Ouch! East Forsyth pounds Davie

Published 9:24 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

KERNERSVILLE – Davie’s football team entered Friday’s game at East Forsyth searching for redemption and renewal. It found a 35-7 loss.


The teams’ first meeting since 1988 was a huge disappointment for the War Eagles, who for the second week in a row suffered their worst Central Piedmont Conference loss in three years (North Davidson beat Davie 59-29 in 2014). They scored the fewest points in a CPC game in seven years (Mt. Tabor beat Davie 34-0 in 2010). And it was the worst loss since 56-14 at Dudley in 2015.

“I think those are two pretty evenly-matched teams, but the score doesn’t reflect that,” Davie coach Tim Devericks said after the third straight defeat dropped it to 4-6 overall and 1-3 in the CPC.

East (6-4, 2-2) has redefined its season with two straight wins.

“Before (a win over Reagan on Oct. 20), we had three tough losses in a row,” said Todd Willert, who recently became the winningest coach in East history. “But now we’re finally healthy and I believe we’re peaking at the right time. Now that we’re 10 games into the season, our offensive line is coming of age and that’s a huge plus.”

H-back Ben Summers made a nice adjustment on a Josh Hall pass down the seam, and his 18-yard reception moved the ball to midfield. But Davie’s first possession was bogged down by a sack.

Outside linebacker Kinston Whitener appeared to stop East’s first possession, nailing the bubble-screen receiver on a third-and-1 play to force an incompletion.

But the Eagles had a trick up their sleeve. Instead of punting from their 46, they snapped the ball to Ronald Jackson, who was lined up two yards behind the center. He wasn’t touched until he got inside the Davie 10 as he scored a 54-yard touchdown.

“Everyone on the field was yelling: ‘Watch the fake,’” Devericks said. “The guys came off and said they heard them change what they were doing. Our guys knew it was coming. They just executed it.”

Davie came right back. Mason Wilson, who began running jet sweeps and also taking snaps from the wildcat formation the previous week, ran for 12 yards on a jet play. Hall found Cooper Wall on back-to-back plays, the latter for 18 yards as Wall made two Eagles miss as he churned to the East 15. A jetting Wilson used a cutback to reach the East 6. Peyton Hampton plowed up the middle to the East 1, giving Davie first-and-goal.

Davie seemed destined for a game-tying score, even after Josh Robinson was cut down at the line of scrimmage. Davie was still at the East 1 with three downs to go.

But on second down, Hall’s pass was intercepted. He wanted to hit Wall on a slant. Khalid Martin, who was being blocked by Summers, reached up and batted the ball to himself, and Summers tackled him from behind at the East 10.

Davie’s 80-yard drive had imploded on the 13th play, creating a deflating feeling.

“That pick turned out to be big in terms of momentum, and it was a great play for them,” Devericks said. “We had three or four good plays, and then there was one that broke our back. We’d have three or four good ones and then one that breaks our back.”

Even worse for Davie, East turned the game’s only turnover into a 10-play, 90-yard drive. Jaelon Maxie (17 carries for 98 yards) covered the final 29 yards, with a five-yard horse-collar penalty mixed in, and it was 14-0 with 7:01 left in the first half.

East had third-and-14 from its 42 when Wilson came back toward the receiver to break up a pass by Brandon Bullins (13 of 18 for 214 yards). Wilson’s good position and reach around with the left hand to knock it away was overridden by a striped shirt, who flagged him for pass interference. (It was just that kind of night.) Demoralized Davie watched East score three plays later for a 21-0 bulge with 32 seconds remaining in the half.

It coulda/shoulda been 7-7 or 14-7 East at intermission. Instead it was 21-nil even though both teams had 11 first downs.

“We’re not going to make excuses,” Devericks said. “There were some things that didn’t go our way tonight. That’s football.”

In the third quarter, East’s powerful kicker barely missed a 34-yard field goal; Wall made a diving 25-yard catch on a post route; Cody Hendrix, who lined up at tight end in the wildcat package, made a 10-yard reception as he was falling down; and Wilson took a direct snap and picked up 12 yards to the East 28.

But Hall was sacked, a cornerback reached just high enough to knock away a bomb to Wal, and the Davie wheels fell off at that point.

The Eagles marched 65 and 66 yards to make it 35-0. They turned in their most complete performance of the year, accumulating 23 first downs, 249 rushing yards, 463 total yards, never punting while converting two fourth downs and converting 6 of 10 third downs.

Robinson, Adrian Cranfill and the Davie offensive line took pride in playing until the final whistle. With Ross Starnes, Tanner Batten, Grant Copeland, Preston Robertson and Zach Clubb blocking up front and receiver Evan Little contributing a shield block downfield, Robinson broke the longest run play (54 yards) since 2015. On the next snap, Robinson scored on a 15-yarder, dragging a defender for three yards and shaking him off at the East 2 to reach the end zone.

Davie was finally on the board with 5:43 to go, preventing the first shutout since the 2010 4A championship game against Hillside.

Robinson (13 carries for 111 yards) topped the 88 yards he had at West Forsyth in the team’s top rushing output of the year. Cranfill helped Davie get out of the offensive mud during garbage time, running seven times for 63 yards. His previous season high was 27 yards.

“I’m proud of Josh,” Devericks said of the sophomore. “I think a lot of credit goes to the guys up front. They kept pounding and opening up holes. We had a lot of guys that kept fighting no matter what the scoreboard said, and I’m proud of them for that.”


• As if the lopsided loss wasn’t bad enough, it was made worse by news the next morning that senior safety Broc Barnette, who didn’t play in the second half because of a shoulder injury, was lost for the rest of the year. Father Greg Barnette said there is a tear and recovery time is 4-6 weeks. Another safety, Hite Merrifield,  had two interceptions before getting sidelined for good after 1.5 games. Barnette was first with five INTs. The three-year varsity starter is one of the indispensable War Eagles.

• Davie fell hard despite 19 first downs and 307 yards. … Wilson’s pass to Hendrix was the star linebacker’s second varsity reception; he had one last year. … When Hendrix had 13 tackles against Glenn on Oct. 20, he moved to No. 4 on the career list. James Boyle had 497, Jared Barber 473, D.J. Rice 460 and Hendrix entered East with 458. Patrick Lowery is now fifth at 457.

Davie        0    0    0    7 – 7

E. Forsyth       7    14  7    7 – 35

First Quarter

EF – Jackson 54 run (Lischke kick), 4:09.

Second Quarter

EF – Maxie 18 run (Lischke kick), 7:01.

EF – M. Hall 26 pass from Bullins (Lischke kick), :32.

Third Quarter

EF – Childs 22 pass from Bullins (Lischke kick), 2:10.

Fourth Quarter

EF – Maxie 2 run (Lischke kick), 7:39.

D – Robinson 15 run (Schoppe kick), 5:43.




Rushing 37-217 47-249

Passing 90 214

C-A-I 8-15-1 13-19-0

Punts 3-38 0-0

F-L 0-0 0-0

Penalties 7-57 7-55

3rd conv. 3/7 6/10



RUSHING – Robinson 13-111, Cranfill 7-63, Wilson 6-30, Hampton 3-12, Hall 8-1

PASSING – Hall 7-13-1-80, Wilson 1-2-0-10

RECEIVING – Wall 4-55, Summers 1-18, C. Hendrix 1-10, Wilson 1-8, Robinson 1-(-1)

East Forsyth

RUSHING – Maxie 17-98, Chaplin 15-59, Jackson 1-54, Currence-Daniels 3-39, Bullins 2-1, Marshall 3-1, Brown 6-(-3)

PASSING – Bullins 13-18-0-214, McReynolds 0-1

RECEIVING – Childs 4-49, A. Hall 4-42, M. Hall 3-97, Henry 1-20, Chaplin 1-6