JV football on longest win streak in 7 years

Published 9:38 am Thursday, October 4, 2018

Down by one at halftime, Davie’s JV football team opened the second half with a spectacular drive that sent the War Eagles on their way to a 27-14 road win over Carson in a makeup game on Sept. 25.

Hurricane Florence wiped out the game on Sept. 13 and it was rescheduled for a Tuesday. In their final nonconference game, the War Eagles (4-1) buried a team that had won three of four and established their longest winning streak (four) in seven years.

Davie got on the board first and led 13-7 before Carson took a 14-13 lead into halftime

The War Eagles recovered their edge on the opening drive of the third quarter, clicking off a beautiful 15-play, 65-yard march that culminated with a swing pass from Alex Summers to MJ Holleman, who made a thunderous return after missing two games. Their second TD connection lifted Davie to a 20-14 lead.

“We nickel and dimed them,” coach Blaine Nicholson said. “For our offense to be able to execute that many plays in a row is amazing at the JV level.”

Summers has been immense during the winning streak, going 16 of 20 for 170 yards in this one. He tossed three TDs without a turnover. The freshman quarterback has a remarkable three-game streak: 41 of 61 for 511 yards with seven TD passes against one interception.

“He’s doing exactly what he’s being coached to do,” Nicholson said. “It’s awesome to see him get more comfortable in the pocket. Asking somebody to throw it 20 times on the JV level is hard to do. We’ve not had execution at quarterback like this since I’ve been JV head coach (2015). We had Nate (Hampton) last year, but that was his first year at quarterback. In pre-snap, he’s doing a good job of seeing where he needs to go with the ball, and he goes there. He doesn’t overcomplicate things. It’s awesome.”

In the fourth quarter, DeVonte Lyerly supplied the insurance TD with a 47-yard romp. He finished with 90 yards on 12 carries, while Holleman added an efficient nine carries for 51 yards.

“DeVonte has so much explosion that eventually somebody’s going to just try to reach an arm out there and then he is going to bust one,” Nicholson said. “It’s just whether or not he sees his hole because sometimes he overruns it a little bit.”

On the receiving end of Summers’ spirals were Holleman (five catches for 65 yards), JT Bumgarner (five for 30), Isaiah Lytton (four for 53), Hunter Rose (one for 11) and Zymere Hudson (one for 11).

Lytton turned a bubble screen into a scoring reception.

“It takes two or three guys every time to get him down,” Nicholson said. “He refused to be taken down. Sometimes on the JV level, the perimeter guys are not the most physical, but he really is.”

What about the defense, which pitched a shutout in the second half, solving Carson’s triple-option after having issues in the first half? Linebacker Jadon Davis’ hair was on fire, which is par for the course. The freshman is seemingly always in the right place, and he gets there in a hurry.

“He was tackling the fullback and quarterback at the same time,” Nicholson said. “I mean he has turned into our dude on defense. We go as he goes.”

Freshman Sam Collins, who was a constant before missing two games, made a nice return. Isaac Webb was another standout at linebacker.

“Sam played well,” he said. “We missed him a lot (against West Rowan and A.L. Brown).”

The feisty defensive line (Darius Leonard, Vance Visser, Andrew Shuler and Davy Marion) had what Nicholson considered its best overall game.

“We were getting churned on in the first half; we couldn’t stop them. They had long drives,” Nicholson said. “Coach (David) Hunt made adjustments and coach (Perry) Long got those guys to execute. Darius had a couple tackles for loss, and that’s huge for him. Vance did the dirty work. He didn’t make many tackles, but he helped our linebackers (Davis, Ivan Poag, Webb and Collins) run free. Andrew probably had our biggest hit of the year on a huge third-down play.”

In case the War Eagles need more good news, the offensive line received a thumbs up from Nicholson. OL coach Jimmie Welch had nine guys going in and out (Spencer Williams, Merritt Killian, Avery Taylor, Ashton Williams, Brandon Logan, Mark Dixon, Ethan Doub, Tanner Sechrest and Zy’mier Lewis).

“The offensive line is giving Alex enough time to stand back there and make his reads,” he said. “That’s good for an OL that rotates so many guys.”