Davie implodes at Kannapolis

Published 9:44 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

KANNAPOLIS – The Davie football team’s first trip to Kannapolis in 30 years was a bitter disappointment.

The War Eagles went off the rails midway through the second quarter and got their clocks cleaned, 56-27, last Friday. It was deja vu in the worst way. Another quarterback tore up Davie’s secondary, this time getting torched by Jordan Medley, a 6-4, 210-pound senior who threw three TD passes and averaged 10.9 yards per pass attempt. Davie has allowed 15 TD passes in six games, and it’s allowing 16.9 yards per catch.

“We had him scrambling a few times, but once he was able to get comfortable back there, he’s a good athlete and he can make those throws,” Davie coach Tim Devericks said. “I think he’s the key to making them go. He knows when to run, when not to run and when to give his guys a chance to make a play on the ball.”

The War Eagles stumbled to 3-3 in their final nonconference game. The Wonders, who have 98 points in two games, improved to 4-2.

Things started well for the War Eagles. Peyton Hampton disrupted Kannapolis’ first series, corralling Medley on back-to-back plays, and Kristian Lyons nearly intercepted before Kannapolis got off a bad punt (22 yards).

Davie’s o-line showed it could win the line of scrimmage, and running back Josh Robinson moved the sticks three times. The drive stalled but Hampton’s punt hit a Wonder on the leg and Davie’s Matt Hill jumped on it at the Kannapolis 1.

On third-and-goal, quarterback Nate Hampton went airborne into the end zone as Davie took a 7-0 lead.

Kannapolis went 93 yards in 11 plays, keyed by back-to-back 20-yard passes to Nick Lyerly, to tie things at 7. P. Hampton’s hit on Medley forced an incompletion and three-and-out, and Davie was back in the lead three plays later. N. Hampton hit Jack Reynolds on a slant, and Reynolds broke a tackle at the Davie 44 and was gone, the 68-yard TD making it 13-7 in the opening seconds of the second quarter.

But good starts have not been advantageous for the War Eagles, who have scored first in every game but are 2-4 on the field. (The loss to Page became a forfeit win.)

After Reynolds’ explosive play, Davie fell to pieces. Andy Flores sacked Medley. It would have been third-and-15, but a War Eagle was flagged for a personal foul and Kannapolis made it hurt by scoring on the next play with a 16-yard pass to Lyerly, who burned Davie with seven catches for 124 yards. That capped a 15-play, 92-yard drive.

Medley, who went 16 of 23 for 251 yards despite not playing in the fourth quarter, threw a 47-yard TD to Antonio Knight, who lost his defender with a down-out-down move. About three minutes later, a 37-yarder to Knight set up a 1-yard TD that made it 28-13.

“We’ve got guys capable of making those plays,” Devericks said. “But you’ve got to move on to the next play. You’ve got to forget about the last one. You can only play the next play, and we’re going to focus on that (this) week.”

Davie got back in the game before the half. A defensive back slipped down and receiver Tate Carney went 60 yards. On fourth-and-3 at the Kannapolis 11, Devericks decided to go for it. It paid off as Robinson scored on a beautiful 11-yard run in which he wasn’t touched until he reached the 1-yard line.

“They were keying on where we were going with the tight end and the back,” Devericks said of Robinson’s TD. “So we made a little adjustment and caught them offguard.”

Although Davie, down 28-20, was in contention at halftime, the floodgates soon opened. Lyerly made a one-handed circus catch for 35 yards before Jose Vargas got behind the Davie defense for a 19-yard TD.

The Wonders’ next TD, the defensive variety, was deflating for Davie. N. Hampton took off on third-and-8 and gained positive yardage. But Alante Johnson stripped the ball and went 83 yards the other way. Instead of having a chance to cut into Kannapolis’ 35-20 lead, Davie was down 42-20.

“Nate had three guys on him and (Johnson) ripped it out,” Devericks said. “He was trying to make an effort play. There’s nothing you can say about that.”

It went from bad to worse as Kannapolis issued knockout blow after knockout blow. Amareon Plummer intercepted N. Hampton at the Davie 20 to set up Jaron Cooper’s 5-yard TD run. Lyerly made a 26-yard catch before Medley ran a QB draw for a 31-yard TD.

With 2:21 left in the third, it was 56-20.

“A lot of it was our tempo of the game,” Kannapolis coach Mike Newsome said. “We decided a couple weeks ago that the best part of our offense was our two-minute offense. So we said why not run two-minute offense the whole game?”

The Wonders had two ridiculous flurries, scoring three first-half TDs in a span of 4:34 and scoring four second-half TDs in 7:30. They went on a 49-7 run in less than 16 minutes. Newsome inserted backups at the start of the fourth.

“Man, that kid (Medley) just keeps getting better and better,” Newsome said. “We weren’t even intending to play him at quarterback two years ago, and here he is as the star of the game. He has to get the same confidence I have. I think that kid is a superstar. Sometimes I don’t think he believes it himself. I know how strong he is, how fast he is, and he’s not even close to his potential yet.”

N. Hampton threw for 185 yards, but 128 of those came on two plays. Kannapolis’ defense kept him uncomfortable all night and forced 18 incompletions. Davie punted seven times and went 4 for 13 on third downs.

The War Eagles are 2-4 on the field, but remember they’ve faced strong teams. Page (5-1 on the field), North Davidson (4-1), Mooresville (5-0), West Rowan (3-2), Carson (2-4) and Kannapolis (4-2) are a combined 23-10.

“With their speed, that’s why it’s good to play teams like this in nonconference,” Devericks said. “It sets us up for what we’re going to see in the coming weeks.”

The War Eagles are giving up 38 points on average, offsetting a 29.8 offense, and this was the most they’ve allowed in 41 games (Davie lost 56-14 at Dudley in 2015). This was their worst loss since that Dudley game.

On a cheerier note, the War Eagles are 0-0 in the Central Piedmont Conference. The games that really matter are next. After a bye week to regroup, Davie opens league play at Reynolds on Oct. 5.

“I think our guys believe in what we’re trying to do, and they’re going to keep fighting,” Devericks said. “If you look at the teams that we’ve faced, all of them (are possible) playoff teams.”

Notes: Robinson had a nice game with 122 rushing/receiving yards. … Reynolds has five of Davie’s seven TD catches. … In the closing minutes, Adrian Cranfill capped an 80-yard drive with a 13-yard TD run.

Davie        7    13  0    7 – 27

Kannapolis     7    21  28  0 – 56

First Quarter

D – Hampton 1 run (Schoppe kick), 6:07.

K – Lyerly 3 run (Gutierrez kick), 2:15.

Second Quarter

D – Reynolds 68 pass from Hampton (kick fail), 11:48.

K – Lyerly 16 pass from Medley (Gutierrez kick), 6:52.

K – Knight 47 pass from Medley (Gutierrez kick), 5:20.

K – Davis 1 run (Gutierrez kick), 2:18.

D – Robinson 11 run (Schoppe kick), :33.

Third Quarter

K – Vargas 19 pass from Medley (Gutierrez kick), 9:51.

K – Johnson 83 fumble return (Gutierrez kick), 7:20.

K – Cooper 5 run (Gutierrez kick), 5:58.

K – Medley 31 run (Gutierrez kick), 2:21.

Fourth Quarter

D – Cranfill 13 run (Schoppe kick), 1:08.




Rushing 31-135 33-157

Passing 185 264

C-A-I 14-32-1 18-26-0

Punts 7-32 3-26

F-L 1-1 1-1

Penalties 7-80 8-70

3rd conv. 4-13 4-8



RUSHING – Robinson 19-84, Cranfill 4-23, Hampton 6-17, Crenshaw 2-11

PASSING – Hampton 14-32-1-185

RECEIVING – Robinson 4-38, Reynolds 3-68, Carney 2-62, Gantt 1-8, May 1-6, Chamberlain 1-4, Crenshaw 1-1, Cranfill 1-(-2)


RUSHING – Medley 10-53, Cooper 12-51, Lyerly 3-28, Knight 1-15, T. Harris 3-7, Davis 2-3, Black 1-1, team 1-(-1)

PASSING – Medley 16-23-0-251, Black 2-3-0-13

RECEIVING – Lyerly 7-124, Vargas 4-39, Knight 3-84, D. Harris 1-11, Robinson 1-5, Cooper 1-3, T. Harris 1-2