Davie pulls off upset win

Published 10:52 am Thursday, August 30, 2018

Davie’s football team saw its lead disappear in the fourth quarter and it might have sensed what 14 of North Davidson’s last 16 opponents had: doom.

The Black Knights erased Davie’s 7-0 lead in the third and they wiped out Davie’s 13-7 lead in the fourth, scoring with 6:55 remaining, adding the extra point to take its first lead of the game and setting up an exasperating 14-13 defeat that seemed like the kind that could linger for awhile.

But the War Eagles discovered some resolve and some grit with their backs against the wall. They drove 80 yards in 16 plays, scored on Nate Hampton’s third touchdown connection with Jack Reynolds and won a classic nonconference game, 21-14, before a huge home crowd last Friday.

Making the game-winning drive all the more remarkable, Davie did it against a 2-A powerhouse that in 2017 went 13-2, reached the state semifinals and returned all 11 defensive starters in 2018.

North, after blanking Mt. Tabor 21-0 in week one, slipped to 1-1. Davie, bouncing back from a 35-28 loss at Page, evened its record.

“I think we learned a lot from (the Page game), being in a tight game,” Davie coach Tim Devericks said. “We play a tough schedule. North Davidson is an outstanding team, and we’ve got to be able to execute when it’s tight like that.”

Hampton, a sophomore who got his feet wet at Page, made a name for himself on a big stage, throwing for 243 yards, or 158 more than he had in the opener. Reynolds, who looks even better than his advance billing, delivered the first three-TD receiving game in 19 games. (Cooper Wall caught three of Chris Reynolds’ five TDs in a 45-42 home win over North Davidson on Oct. 14, 2016.) And then there’s sophomore cornerback Kristian Lyons, who had a historic performance with three interceptions.

With 311 yards and 20 first downs, Davie’s offense took a big step forward after managing only eight first downs and 133 yards at Page. With left tackle Camden Beck, left guard Tanner Batten, centers Grant Copeland/Stuie Marshall, right guard Owen Brown and right tackles Jared Simpson/Spencer Hoke protecting up front, Hampton was sacked once while attempting 45 passes, which tied a record. (Josh Hall attempted 45 in last year’s 49-27 playoff loss at Porter Ridge.) Davie snapped off 70 run/pass plays, and there were only seven negative results.

“I’ll have to watch film, but I know (the o-line) was miles ahead of where it was last week,” Devericks said.

“Listening to our coaches,” Reynolds said. “They know what they’re doing. As long as we listen to them, we’ll be good.”

The War Eagles failed to score on their first four possessions, but they gave notice. They opened the festivities with a nine-play, 55-yard drive that featured an acrobatic 49-yard reception by the freshman manchild, Tate Carney.

With Davie at the North 9 in the second quarter, a slant banged off Carney. North’s Jackson Perrell intercepted the deflection at the North 2 and returned it 24 yards.

While Davie was missing opportunities, its defense was suffocating North’s attack. Big Bishop Norman batted a pass straight up deep in North’s territory and was close to picking it off. Hunter Meacham made a splendid open-field tackle on third-and-12, stopping the receiver 2 yards short. Peyton Hampton, Ronald “Ron Jon” Wilson and Damian Garcia ganged up for a minus-3 tackle.

“We talked about Nate learning from last week’s film. Hunter learned a lot as well,” Devericks said. “He kept competing and competing. I love his fire.”

Two plays later, Lyons dove for an overthrown pass and came up with his first interception at the North 35.

“Kristian is a great athlete, and he’s a very intelligent kid,” Devericks said. “He had two interceptions early, then he had one or two mistakes. But he came back and was able to wipe those clean. We always talk about bouncing back.”

After Lyons’ pick at 6:19 of the second, Carney’s 14-yard catch and Josh Robinson’s three runs for 13 yards moved Davie to the North 8. On third-and-goal, Hampton hit Reynolds on a slant for six points. Skyler Schoppe added the PAT for a 7-0 lead.

Two plays later, Lyons intercepted a deep ball at the Davie 47. After Davie went three-and-out, Ben Norman had a strip/sack that North recovered. Then Samuel Hendrix made an athletic, horizontal interception at the Davie 46. But Jacob Foltz picked off N. Hampton’s home-run ball on the very next play, and that’s how the half ended.

P. Hampton and Garcia, who was playing with a cast on his left arm, stuffed quarterback Landon Moore at the line on a third-and-3 run, and North’s offense had done nothing through seven possessions and 33 plays (three first downs, 76 yards).

“Damian has fought, fought and fought,” Devericks said. “He’s been injured. He had an unfortunate thing happen to his hand (at Page), but he’s able to play with that cast.”

Everything changed in the blink of an eye. On third down, Themus Fulks flew down the right sideline and scored on a 72-yard pass play. Jake Marion’s kick tied it at 7 with 5:45 left in the third.

Davie’s offense responded immediately, and you can thank Robinson for that. On a third-and-11 swing pass, he broke two tackles and gained 17 yards. The junior running back was vital with 95 rushing/receiving yards.

“He got tough yards,” Devericks said. “Josh has got such a big heart and he kept churning and churning and churning. When we came out at halftime, he told the guys: ‘We’re going to finish this thing.’”

Moments later, N. Hampton and Reynolds hooked up on the slant again. Hampton was hit as he threw, but Reynolds beat senior Anthony Pearson’s one-on-one coverage for a 17-yard TD. Schoppe’s PAT was wide left to keep Davie’s lead at 13-7 with 3:46 left in the third.

“It’s one step slant that we call Clemson,” Reynolds said. “My inside (receiver) runs to the corner, takes out that linebacker and it leaves the hole wide open.”

Davie got a three-and-out and Reynolds danced 37 yards on a punt return to the North 39. But a holding penalty brought it back. Davie dropped a pass around midfield when the receiver would have run for days. Then North partially blocked P. Hampton’s punt.

North missed a prime opportunity with a short field as Marion’s 47-yard field goal banged off the left upright, keeping Davie’s lead at six.

But North had the momentum. Davie punted on fourth-and-30 from its 15 and North overcame P. Hampton’s minus-7 tackle, converting a fourth-and-3 from the Davie 24 on a Moore completion of 13 yards to Fulks. The Black Knights didn’t let Matt Hill’s minus-4 tackle stop them, scoring on the next play as Moore found Perrell in the back of the end zone for a 15-yard TD. When Marion converted the kick, North had its first lead at 14-13 with 6:48 to go.

The War Eagles have a sneaky talented roster because they have few senior starters, and their offense came through at money time, answering North’s go-ahead score with an astonishing drive: 16 plays, 80 yards.

On third-and-10 from the Davie 20, N. Hampton spun out of the same defender’s grasp twice – defensive end Blake Stephens – and found Robinson for 15 yards. On third-and-10 from the Davie 35, N. Hampton got away from Stephens and threw to Robinson, who made an offbalance catch for 7 yards. On fourth-and-3, a slant to Evan Little picked up 9 and kept the drive alive. On third-and-7, Reynolds reached up between two defenders and made a 14-yard catch. On third-and-10, N. Hampton rolled right and hit Carney for 15 yards. On third down from the North 11, N. Hampton and Reynolds hooked up for the fairy-tale finish. Reynolds faked the slant and faded to the back right corner, resulting in a TD with two minutes to play. The same duo connected on a two-point conversion that gave Davie the 21-14 lead.

There was still some suspense. Three Moore completions moved the ball from North’s 17 to Davie’s 32. Davie didn’t have any luck during those frantic moments, with Perrell catching a pass that Garcia deflected up in the air and Justice Redmon narrowly missing an INT on a long jump ball.

But Davie had an upset win – North was a supremely confident team that came in as a 7.8-point favorite, according to Brian Simmons’ power ratings – when Lyons notched his third INT at the Davie 12 at :31.

“Three picks – man, that’s insane,” Reynolds said. “It’s crazy because he was a running back last year (on JV). He switched to corner and look at him now. He’s getting hat trick interceptions.”

“Amazing,” P. Hampton said. “I’m really happy for him.”

At age 15, Lyons has demonstrated he’s a quick learner. He scored a game-tying TD at Page on an unbelievable play in which Gage Recktenwald blocked a field goal and Hill pitched to Lyons, who dashed 59 yards. In his second varsity game, he won a place in history. The Lyons/Hendrix combination produced Davie’s first four-INT game in six years. Individually, Lyons achieved the first three-INT game in at least 20 years. Between 1999-2017, no War Eagle had three in a game.

“Definitely thanks to my DB coach (Blaine Nicholson),” Lyons said. “Coach Nic has been a great help on and off the field. He’s really molded our DB group to be better and tight-knit like a family.”

And to think how high the ceiling is when Lyons is far from a finished product. How dedicated is he?

“I watch film 30 minutes to an hour after each practice, just to see what we can work on technique-wise and things like that,” he said.


• Davie’s defense held North to two first downs and 54 yards in the first half. “Coach (David) Hunt kind of (ticks) us off and from that we play mad,” linebacker P. Hampton said of the defensive coordinator. “And Damian is feisty. He gets everybody in a feisty mood.”

• Four hulks – Wilson (6-2, 340), Ben Norman (6-2, 345), Bishop Norman (6-2, 340) and Andy Flores (6-0, 280) and sophomore Caleb Steele are rotating on the d-line. “They’ve bought into going three or four plays and then letting somebody else get reps so they can recuperate,” Devericks said. “It’s a war of attrition. With how big they are, they’ve got to be able to withstand four quarters.”

• Steele was helped off the field in the fourth quarter at Page. Fortunately, the ankle was not broken and he was back for ND. “He’s tough,” DL coach Perry Long said. “He said: ‘I want to play next week (vs. ND).’”

• The defense turned back eight of North’s 12 tries on third down and gave up just 69 yards on 27 rushes. “The guys in the middle (P. Hampton and Matthew King) played well again,” Devericks said. “Hill is a very gifted athlete who can make plays in space. Hendrix stepped in tonight and got a big interception. That was a great athletic play. He did a fantastic job.”

• Hendrix had to leave with an injury, but Hunt said he should be OK for this Friday at Mooresville.

• On Lyons’ game-icing third pick, he had his face mask pulled and was hit late out of bounds. “They could have thrown my helmet off and done anything else … I was so happy to make that interception,” he said.

• OL coach Jimmie Welch is employing five juniors, one freshman (Beck) and one senior (Hoke). “We’re getting better each week, but we still have a ways to go,” he said.

• North’s effort was undermined by 12 penalties for 137 yards. “At the end of the day, I’m responsible for our actions on the field,” North coach Brian Flynn told The Dispatch. “Say what you want but (the flags) and some selfish play helped get us beat. Northing against Davie County, they did a fantastic job. They made the plays when they should have and we didn’t.”

• Davie plays at Mooresville on Friday. The Blue Devils are 1-0 after beating West Rowan 21-7 and then having a bye last week. Last year Davie handled Mooresville 34-13. Davie leads the series 15-13-1.

N. Davidson    0    0    7    7 – 14

Davie       0    7    6    8 – 21

Second Quarter

D – Reynolds 8 pass from N. Hampton (Schoppe kick), 4:35.

Third Quarter

ND – Fulks 72 pass from Moore (Marion kick), 5:45.

D – Reynolds 17 pass from N. Hampton (kick fail), 3:46.

Fourth Quarter

ND – Perrell 15 pass from Moore (Marion kick), 6:55.

D – Reynolds 11 pass from N. Hampton (Reynolds pass from N. Hampton), 2:00.




Rushing 27-69 25-68

Passing 208 243

C-A-I 16-29-4 22-45-2

Punts 5-42 6-29


Penalties 12-137 7-74

3rd conv. 4-12 8-17


North Davidson

RUSHING – Brown 15-32, Moore 6-22, Perrell 2-12, Sanchez 1-2, Fulks 3-1

PASSING – Moore 15-25-3-201, Fulks 1-4-1-7

RECEIVING – Fulks 7-120, Perrell 6-62, Everhart 3-26


RUSHING – Robinson 17-44, N. Hampton 8-24

PASSING – N. Hampton 22-45-2-243

RECEIVING – Robinson 6-51, Crenshaw 6-35, Reynolds 5-62, Carney 4-86, Little 1-9