Davie football horizon sunny

Published 10:21 am Thursday, November 8, 2018

Davie’s varsity football team hasn’t won since Sept. 12 and is rebuilding. Davie is also snakebit.

Tate Carney delivered a remarkable catch-and-run in the second quarter of Friday’s Central Piedmont Conference game at Reagan. He went 70 yards for what appeared to be a game-tying touchdown. But a flag was thrown: Clipping on a receiver who was blocking downfield, TD called back.

Davie would punt. Reagan would score a few plays later. The big swing was a microcosm of Davie’s season and sent the Raiders to a 41-21 win.

Despite the stinging call, the War Eagles played their tails off to the final whistle on a rain-severed field in Pfafftown.

“I told them to battle for four quarters and we did that and went toe to toe with a very physical and fast team,” coach Tim Devericks said.

The Raiders improved to 7-3 and 2-2 in the CPC. Davie, experiencing a traumatic drought, fell to 3-7, 0-4.

The War Eagles showed up with considerable adversity in their face. Not only were they a decided underdog, they had to play without starting quarterback Nate Hampton, who had a cast on his right (throwing) hand. That meant freshman Alex Summers, who came off the bench for his varsity debut in the CPC opener at Reynolds, was thrown to the wolves again for his first varsity start.

To compensate for Hampton’s absence and to help ease Summers into a comfortable rhythm, Davie offensive coordinator Matt Gould got creative. He rotated Josh Robinson and Carney at running back. Sometimes they lined up together in the backfield beside the QB. Sometimes Carney took the snap and handed to Robinson or kept it.

By pounding the rock, Davie put an early scare in the Raiders. “We were trying to get our playmakers the ball,” Devericks said.

Summers’ third pass was a costly interception as Reagan took over at midfield and promptly scored when Daniel Moyer turned the corner and sped 55 yards down the Davie sideline. (We must note that Summers rebounded courageously.)

Davie responded with a superb drive: 12 plays – including two Summers completions, seven Robinson runs and two Carney runs – and 65 yards. From the Reagan 8, Carney slid to QB, faking to Robinson and running to the end zone. Skyler Schoppe’s point-after kick tied it at 7.

The next time Davie touched the ball, it overcame a 12-yard holding penalty and went 55 yards in nine plays. Carney ran 13 yards on third-and-15. On fourth down, Carney moved to QB, faked a handoff to Ben Crenshaw and motored 25 yards to paydirt. Davie had a 14-7 lead with :34 left in the first quarter.

In that encouraging first quarter, Carney and Robinson had 100-plus rushing yards together, Davie converted 4 of 5 third downs and a fourth-down try, had a whopping 9-1 advantage in first downs and outgained Reagan 138-54 while running 25 plays to Reagan’s six.

The Raiders couldn’t maneuver much inside against Davie’s big interior defenders. Ronald Wilson, Andy Flores, Ben Norman and Bishop Norman are the main guys there. Caleb Steele got ample playing time as a reward for a “great week of practice,” Devericks said. “Damian Garcia plays some up front and linebacker as well.”

But containing the Raiders’ outside runs was another matter. Perimeter runs yielded 23, 15 and 14 yards as Reagan went 80 yards by keeping the ball on the ground for nine of 10 plays. That tied the game at 14.

A little over two minutes later, Reagan’s hard-nosed quarterback, Gabriel Hollingsworth, broke a tackle and rumbled 75 yards to put Davie in a 21-14 hole.

Reagan didn’t bother with trying to pass in wet and sloppy conditions – Hollingsworth went 2 of 10 for 4 yards – and stuck with the outside runs. It was a winning formula as Moyer (14 carries for 185 yards) and Hollingsworth (16 carries for 154 yards) shared the spotlight. Reagan gained 424 of its 428 yards on the muddy ground.

Carney saw Hollingsworth’s long run and raised it. With Summers taking the snap from the Davie 30, Carney made an acrobatic catch at midfield. He made a cutback move and was gone. A 70-yard TD and a true extra point would have tied the game with six minutes left in the half and would have returned a spring to Davie’s step. Momentum, you know, is a powerful thing in football.

But the clipping penalty was a kick to the gut and changed the tide of the game. Davie lost yards on each of the next three plays and then punted. Then Moyer started left, completely reversed field and raced 65 yards.

Now it was 28-14 at halftime and the underdogs were in trouble. This riled Davie’s coaches immensely. For not the first time this season, Devericks pondered what might have been.

“It was questionable to say the least,” he said. “In my book it was a touchdown. It was a 14-point swing. It was huge. We had them reeling a little bit, maybe sort of doubting. But give credit to them. They took advantage of that play. We didn’t get any points out of it and they scored a few plays later.”

After Davie grabbed the 14-7 lead, Reagan put up 21 points in five minutes, nine seconds. Davie’s opportunity for a CPC breakthrough was all but done at the half.

Even though the War Eagles were facing an uphill battle, they kept digging. Flores pounced on a fumble at the Reagan 41. If a receiver doesn’t drop a fourth-and-7 throw, they’re in the red zone with a chance to get within seven.

Any hope was gone, though, when Reagan capitalized on a short field and went up 34-14 with 2:18 left in the third. Reagan scored its final touchdown with only :17 remaining as Jamon Brown returned an INT 95 yards.

“I’m super proud of them,” Devericks said. “Earlier in the year, that 14-point swing would have deflated us. And it didn’t tonight. We kept battling. The defense got stops.”

The shiny tandem of Robinson/Carney led Davie to 19 first downs and eight third-down conversions. Robinson ran 30 times for 131 yards, marking his fourth 100-yard game and the most carries in 69 games. (Cade Carney had 32 carries for 145 yards in a 31-27 loss to West Rowan in 2013). With 927 season rushing yards, Robinson needs 73 to become the first 1,000-yard back since Carney in 2013.

The other half of the power pack, Tate Carney, was a Swiss Army knife while amassing 68 rushing yards and three TDs and 119 receiving yards. The receiving yards are the most by a War Eagle since Cooper Wall’s 121 in last year’s playoff loss at Porter Ridge.

The boy wonder is in position to do something that hasn’t been done in Davie’s statistical history (individual stats range from 1981-present). Carney has 445 receiving yards and 496 rushing yards. In the 38 seasons since 1981, no one has rushed for 500 yards and had 500 receiving yards in the same year.

Devericks said: “Josh and Tate did a good job blocking for each other. Josh did a lot of things running the ball, but he also did a great job of blocking. I was super proud of him. When it looked like there wasn’t anything, he would get 3 yards.

“When it wasn’t there, Tate got vertical and made positive plays. He’s a great athlete. It’s a two-headed monster with Tate and Josh back there.”

Summers did his part, showing tremendous toughness under the bright lights to complete 16 of 29 passes for 180 yards.

The offensive line has made wonderful progress. With seven guys sharing five spots, Spencer Hoke, Tanner Batten, Grant Copeland, Stuie Marshall, Owen Brown, Jared Simpson and Camden Beck paved the road for two hungry runners.

“The guys up front again did a tremendous job,” Devericks said. “There’s so much communication that they have to make with each other, with the fronts and where they’re going. As a unit, they’ve done a tremendous job of getting a push for us.”

And then: “No one says a word. It’s a quiet (o-line) group. They listen and go out there and go as hard as they can. Not one of them will say a word.”

Sure, it’s been a mostly forgettable season. The War Eagles have lost seven of eight for the first time in 37 years (1981). Their five-game losing streak is the longest in 28 years (1990).

But the horizon is sunny. Very few seniors see the field on offense. Most of the defense is sophomores/juniors. Look at Reagan. It limped to three wins in both 2016 and 2017, and it has risen to seven Ws in 2018. The 27-25 loss at Glenn is the only game in which Davie hasn’t held a lead.

In other words, Davie should be primed by August 2019 for a transformation from also-ran to CPC contender.

Notes: Justice Redmon intercepted a Hollingsworth pass late in the first half. … Davie did not permit a passing TD for the first time in 14 games.

Final Home Game

Davie will host a ghostly opponent for Friday’s Senior Night at War Eagle Stadium. East Forsyth (10-0, 4-0) is burning up the league.

The Eagles’ wins: 42-24 over Sanderson, 35-14 over Mt. Tabor, 57-0 over North Forsyth, 60-0 over Carver, 52-21 over Grimsley, 42-14 over Page, 16-10 over West Forsyth, 48-19 over Reagan, 43-7 over Glenn and 52-21 over Reynolds.

East leads the series against Davie 5-2. Last year East battered Davie 35-7.

WMTV My48 will air the East-Davie game at 7:30 p.m. Friday Night Rivals, launched in late August, air local high school football games throughout the season.

Davie        14  0    0    7 – 21

Reagan       7    21  6    7 – 41

First Quarter

R – Moyer 55 run (Hill kick), 10:12.

D – Carney 8 run (Schoppe kick), 5:54.

D – Carney 25 run (Schoppe kick), :34.

Second Quarter

R – Hollingsworth 6 run (Hill kick), 9:12.

R – Hollingsworth 75 run (Hill kick), 7:05.

R – Moyer 65 run (Hill kick), 4:03.

Third Quarter

R – Hollingsworth 6 run (kick fail), 2:18.

Fourth Quarter

D – Carney 2 run (Schoppe kick), 5:20.

R – Brown 95 INT return (Hill kick), :17.




Rushing 46-188 44-424

Passing 180 4

C-A-I 16-29-2 2-10-1

Punts 4-35 3-39

F-L 2-0 2-2

Penalties 8-77 8-86

3rd conv. 8-16 3-8



RUSHING – Robinson 30-131, Carney 13-68, Summers 2-(-3), team 1-(-8)

PASSING – Summers 16-29-2-180

RECEIVING – Carney 5-119, Reynolds 5-34, Crenshaw 3-6, Chamberlain 2-13, Robinson 1-8


RUSHING – Moyer 14-185, Hollingsworth 16-154, Hamilton 8-53, Woods 6-32

PASSING – Hollingsworth 2-10-1-4

RECEIVING – Sawyers 2-4