Ellis, South football unbeaten

Published 9:44 am Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ellis’ football team clobbered Central Davidson 34-14 on the road on Sept. 20. That’s what the Jaguars do. They’ve been so good for three weeks that this was actually the closest call  they’ve had.

Isaac Webb and Tate Carney scored two touchdowns each for an offense that is averaging 33 points per game. Webb’s scoring runs were 95 and 5 yards. The 95-yarder was a fullback dive play that saw him go the distance untouched.

Carney added 55- and 60-yard TD runs to his monster season. With eight TDs in three games, he’s on pace for 21 while running behind blockers Spencer Williams, Mark Dixon, Camden Beck, Charlie Frye and Justin Hayes.

Bryson Parker, the backup fullback behind Webb, broke loose for a 45-yard TD. The other Ellis TD came from the defense – on a pick-six of 50 yards by Alex Summers.

Coach Danny Allard said end Beck, middle linebacker Ryan Walton and tackle Williams made their presence felt on defense.


South Davie’s offense took its time putting away improved Thomasville, committing two turnovers to keep it a one-score game. But when the Tigers had to be good, they were, winning 13-0 at home on Sept. 20.

This was South’s first shutout since week three of 2016, when it drubbed Thomasville 43-0.

“Thomasville was tougher (this year),” coach Antwoine Hairston said. “They were tougher than a lot of people give them credit for. They have three backs who had everything – speed, shifty and strong. We played hard. They were just tougher than we anticipated.”

South took control on its first possession, driving 71 yards in five plays. Trot Byerly and receiver JT Bumgarner hooked up for 48 yards, runner Devonte Lyerly burst 15 yards and Byerly threw a 12-yard touchdown to Isaiah Lytton. South tacked on a point for a 7-0 lead with a Byerly-to-Peyton Helton pass.

From that point until late in the fourth, the unbeaten Tigers (3-0) let a dangerous opponent hang around. Byerly’s 51-yard completion to Helton led to no points. Lyerly’s 38-yard run was followed by an interception. Later, South lost a fumble.

Thomasville drove from South’s 43 to the 13, but the Tigers caught a break when the visitors fumbled. South used 12 plays to move from its 13 to Thomasville’s 10, but it stalled and turned it over on downs. Byerly completions to Bumgarner for 14 yards and to Owen Byers for 34 preceded CJ Dickerson’s 15-yard run to the Thomasville 9. But a 10-yard TD pass to Helton was negated by a penalty and South failed to build on the 7-0 lead.

“We couldn’t find a consistent rhythm,” Hairston said. “We got a lot of big plays. We just couldn’t string them together.”

South’s six series was the knockout blow. It was a short, 12-yard field, with Lyerly scoring from 7 yards out with 48 seconds remaining.

Bumgarner (end), Andrew Shuler (lineman), Chance Jones (outside linebacker) and the South defense turned back Thomasville on all six of its possessions.

“JT always brings it,” Hairston said. “Andrew can play anywhere we put him on the front. He’s the nicest kid you ever want to meet. There’s something about him when the lights turn on. Chance played a big game, too.”

Lyerly carried 11 times for 64 yards. Byerly (5 of 13 for 159 yards) averaged 31.8 yards a completion and surpassed the 155 yards he threw for against North Davidson in week one. He recorded his fifth TD pass in three weeks. Bumgarner (two catches for 62 yards), Helton, Byers and Lytton had the receptions.

The Tigers will be in even better shape this week with the return of two offensive linemen – Elijah Smith and Alex Speckin – who were out with injuries against Thomasville.

“That will help us out a ton,” Hairston said. “They’re a big part of our offensive line. We haven’t played a game yet where everybody’s completely healthy.”


North Davie’s 18-2 loss at Lexington on Sept. 20 was understandable. The Yellowjackets had too many horses.

Lexington scored on 45- and 82-yard runs in the first half, leading 12-0 at the half. North received a safety – cutting the deficit to 12-2 – when Lexington snapped the ball through the back of the end zone. Lexington was stuck on 12 until a garbage-time TD in the final minute.

“The defense clamped down in the second half,” coach Timmy Allen said after North fell to 1-1, losing to Lexington for the third year in a row. “We made some adjustments. We kept bringing pressure up the middle and drove them back. They had a couple bad snaps in a row from us putting the pressure on them.

“They all play with a lot of heart. Sometimes you just don’t have as much athleticism as the other team.”

Allen couldn’t say enough glowing things about Jadon Davis, but he tried. The defensive end/running back made several hero plays on defense.

“Jadon played one of the best middle school games I’ve seen,” he said. “They were always running away from him because he set the tone from the very first snap on defense, and they didn’t want anymore of him. He was laying the boom. He was chasing people down 40 yards down the field. It was a sight to see. Last year he was the real deal for us. Now he’s bigger, faster and stronger. That kid will run through a brick wall for you. He plays intense. He loves football. He just comes with a nastiness. He wrestles, too. I’m hoping he’ll stick with that.”

What about Davis’ future at Davie? “He’s definitely a defensive player,” Allen said. “I could see him as an outside linebacker or strong safety for coach (Tim) Devericks.”

The outcome did nothing to diminish Sam Collins’ outstanding effort.

“I don’t know if he has a broke arm (it turned out to be a deep bone bruise),” Allen said of the running back/linebacker who played through pain. “He’s another bulldog we have. He plays with a lot of heart and intensity. He’s a tough sucker. His arm swelled up. The trainer from Lexington said it’s not broken, so we taped it up. He wanted to keep going, so he played with a strapped up arm.”

Allen said JT Richards “ran the ball really well for us.”