Summers, Davis lead JVs to win

Published 9:46 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

It’s become evident that freshman Alex Summers is not a game-manager as the Davie JV football team’s quarterback. He’s a difference-maker.

With DeVonte Lyerly being limited to 23 yards on his first seven carries – he would break loose for a massive run before it was over – Summers took matters into his own hands against visiting Kannapolis A.L. Brown on Sept. 20, throwing for 151 yards and helping lead a 21-14 win over the Wonders.

The War Eagles (3-1) own a three-game winning streak for the first time in three years. They’re heading toward the first winning season since 2013, after going 4-6 in 2014, 5-5 in 2015, 3-7 in 2016 and 5-5 in 2017.

Summers’ 13-of-22 passing was quite the follow-up act; he went 12 of 19 for 190 yards against West Rowan on Sept. 6. The two-game numbers: 25 of 41 for 341 yards, with only one interception.

“I think that’s what separates our offense from a lot of others,” coach Blaine Nicholson said. “Alex can throw the ball with great efficiency, and we have some good receivers. So the passing game has continued to improve. It’s been nice to see all that click. That opens up the run game.”

The Wonders got the ball first and moved 42 yards over eight plays. But they came away with nothing when Darius Leonard recovered a fumble at the Davie 23.

A 9-yard punt gave Davie prime field position at the Kannapolis 27, and the War Eagles capitalized for the game’s first score. Summers completed an 8-yard slant to Zymere Hudson, who reached the Kannapolis 1. Lyerly ran it in on the next play, and Beaven Arey’s kick made it 7-0.

This was a terrific game. The Wonders answered with a 10-play, 60-yard drive, scoring on a 13-yard jet sweep to tie the score at 7.

Davie responded with a 10-play, 84-yard drive. Summers’ 29-yard completion to Hudson put the ball at the Kannapolis 17. On fourth-and-13, a Wonder reached up and got his hand on a pass. But Hunter Rose caught the deflection and scored a 20-yard TD, giving Davie a 14-7 halftime lead.

The back-and-forth game saw Kannapolis tie it on a 73-yard jet sweep with 4:56 left in the third quarter. A spectacular run by Lyerly put Davie back in front. He found daylight up the middle, kicked into high gear and raced 85 yards with 3:48 left in the third. Davie had the lead for good at 21-14. Lyerly, who had 147 yards against Mooresville, finished with 13 carries for 111 against Kannapolis.

“He’s got to be one of the fastest players in the program, if not the fastest,” Nicholson said. “That’s pretty encouraging as a freshman and having that title. And he runs so hard.”

Ivan Poag, Jadon Davis and Isaac Webb stopped runs for minimal gains, and Kannapolis turned it over on downs at midfield. A Wonder defensive back tipped a pass and a teammate intercepted and returned it 26 yards. With a 15-yard personal foul tacked on, Kannapolis was in business at the Davie 36.

Three plays later, though, Kannapolis’ quarterback fumbled the snap and Davie’s Vance Visser recovered it.

Davis made two big tackles before Kannapolis had another turnover on downs at its own 46. Arey’s 36-yard punt pinned Kannapolis at its 15 with 1:50 remaining. Then Arey iced it, intercepting at the Wonder 43 and returning it 30 yards. Then Davie lined up in victory formation.

Davis, who had three tackles for loss, appears to be the real deal at linebacker.

“He’s turning into a guy that we think we’re going to be able to rely heavily on,” Nicholson said. “He’s an emotional player. He tries to lead everybody around him by his actions and also by his words. He pumps guys up between plays. He’s doing everything that coach (David) Hunt has coached him to do.”

Nicholson said linebacker Poag and safety Trot Byerly did stellar work.

“Poag has a lot of boom-or-bust plays,” he said. “With him and Jadon on the inside, we have two guys who are extremely athletic and fast – and tough-minded as well. It bodes well against the run because we have two dudes who can run sideline to sideline.

“Trot did a great job from the safety spot coming down. He wasn’t always making the tackle, but he always made the run bounce and gave our defense time to run to the ball.”

Defensive linemen Leonard, Davy Marion, Visser, Andrew Shuler and Nathan Wyatt helped contain the Wonders, who averaged 6 yards on 34 rushing attempts but only found the end zone twice.

“I thought the defensive line played a lot better than they had in the past,” Nicholson said.

Notes: Kannapolis had 11 first downs to Davie’s 10. … The Wonders had no success in the air, going 2 of 10 for 25 yards. … Summers completed multiple passes to Tyler Snyder (five catches for 34 yards), Hudson (three for 56) and Rose (two for 35). JT Bumgarner, Isaiah Lytton and Lyerly had one catch each. … Offensive line coach Jimmie Welch praised left tackle/center Avery Taylor. “He’s playing the most consistent right now,” he said. … It’s impressive that Davie went 2-0 without MJ Holleman and Sam Collins. Both were back for Tuesday’s makeup game at Carson. … Kannapolis overwhelmed Davie 47-20 in 2017.