West Rowan 24, Davie 21

Published 7:20 am Saturday, September 14, 2019

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A week ago, West Rowan was doomed by five turnovers in a frustrating 28-13 home loss to Cox Mill. Friday night against visiting Davie County, the Falcons watched Davie suffer turnover heartache in a validating 24-21 win for West (2-2).
“That was big for our team,” West coach Joe Nixon said. “We talked about keep trusting. There were a lot of doubters. We play a tough schedule for a reason. Davie is a phenomenal team, but I knew what I had in my locker room. I knew if they played well, we had a shot.”
The War Eagles (3-1), who used three nail-biting wins for their best start in 13 years, had visions of more magic when they erased West’s 21-7 lead and forced a tie with four minutes left in the third quarter. But their latest second-half rally did not bear fruit.
“The little things that we’ve gotten away with we weren’t able to overcome tonight,” Davie coach Tim Devericks said. “Ill-timed penalties, special teams penalties, turnovers. It finally caught up with us tonight.”
On the second play of the second half, Loeblein went long to Houston, who hauled in a 66-yard reception to the Davie 1. Nixon didn’t ask his sophomore QB to throw much, but he will take a 39-yards-per-completion average and run with it. Gonsalves punched it on two plays later to lift West to the 21-7 advantage.
But after West scored 21 unanswered points in a span of 11:48, Hampton and the War Eagles erased that damage in a hurry. Hampton went 7 of 8 during an 11-play, 75-yard drive, shaking off a second-and-26 dilemma and tossing 41-yard TD to Tate Carney on third down.
After West’s offense went three-and-out, Carney dominated a 58-yard drive, gaining 20 yards on a run play, converting a third-and-5 with a six-yard run and turning a wheel route into a 17-yard TD reception.
Davie had two TDs in just over three minutes and it was 21-21 with 4:04 left in the third quarter.
The Falcons’ offense rose to the occasion by mounting a 15-play, 82-yard drive. Ty’Kese Warren went high to grab a 36-yard pass at the Davie 39. Houston, who played a big role in the backfield, escaped Matthew Hill trouble well behind the line and scampered 29 yards – with a late-hit penalty tacked on. West bogged down at the Davie 3, but it got the decisive points on Fredrico Cruz’s 19-yard field goal with 8:54 to play.