Looking back: South beats North in 4 OTs

Published 9:34 am Thursday, September 17, 2020

Archrivals North Davie and South Davie battled through four overtimes before South emerged with a last-gasp touchdown to win 34-28.

Winless North gave the undefeated Tigers all they could handle. South was without several starters due to injuries and disciplinary reasons.

“I told the boys they needed a super effort to win,” South coach Tom Chaffin said. “They had to play as they never had before.”

Chaffin got a good performance from fullback Cory McClamrock, who scored twice in overtime and rushed for 75 yards. When South needed a big run, McClamrock usually got it for the Tigers.

“McClamrock hurt us more than anybody,” North coach Sam Beck said.

As has been the case in recent years, Davie County’s two freshman teams are heading in opposite directions. While the Tigers improved to 4-0 before a game against unbeaten China Grove, the Wildcats (0-4) continued to lose close games.

Midway through the fourth quarter, no one was expecting the OT fireworks. The only TD had come early in the second half when Kelvin Ijames broke a 37-yard run.

“I expected a 6-0 game,” Chaffin said. “I thought our defense could hold them, but I knew North had a good defense, too. I didn’t think about scoring much in this one.”

North made it interesting late in regulation, recovering a fumble that David Owens scooped up and ran 30 yards deep in South territory. Then Terry Mullis scored on a nine-yard run to tie the game at 6.

With only 1:30 left, South called for a fake reverse. Ijames faked the handoff to Jason Garwood and the entire North defense bit, allowing Ijames to scamper 50 yards to the end zone for an apparent game-winning score. But a holding call nullified the touchdown and the teams headed to overtime.

Both teams had chances from the 10-yard line, and North scored first as Shane Mauldin broke two tackles on a seven-yard run. Then for South, McClamrock scored to tie the game at 12.

On the next possession, Mauldin scored from four yards out and Owens ran in the two-point conversion for a 20-12 North lead.

“The pressure was really on us,” South offensive coordinator Barry Whitlock said.

That was evident when South faced fourth-and-one. But quarterback Jason Allen plunged over and then hit Garwood, who made a splendid catch on the conversion, for another tie, 20-20.

“By this time, the fans had come out of the stands and were all standing around the end zone,” Whitlock said. “You could really feel the pressure.”

North kept the upper hand as Owens scored from four yards out, and again it made the conversion, this time on a Mauldin run. That gave North a 28-20 lead.

“I felt confident throughout,” Beck said. “Our running backs aren’t the speediest, but they got the job done against a real good defense. They should be proud of themselves.”

Again, North was one play from winning the game on South’s next possession. But it turned out to be a replay as Allen leaped into the end zone on fourth down.

Then McClamrock made his biggest play of the game. He dragged several tacklers with him and barely broke the plane of the goal line, tying the score at 28. North coaches argued that McClamrock’s knee touched before he reached the end zone.

In the fourth OT, a huge tackle by South’s Casey James kept North out of the end zone, and then McClamrock won the game on a three-yard run.

“We didn’t play that well,” said Chaffin, noting his team’s seven fumbles, three of which resulted in turnovers. “But our defense held them long enough for us to outscore them. I’m tickled to death.”

It was the Wildcats’ sixth straight loss to their cross-county rivals. “We lost but it was a great game,” Beck said. “This is the way the rivalry should be played.”

Notes: South’s ninth team has won 17 of 18. By contrast, North has dropped 15 of 18. … Owens paced all rushers with 113 yards, while Mauldin added 62. … Allen’s clutch hookup with Garwood was his only completion of the game. … North drove to the South 3 in the first half, only to see Allen block Owens’ field-goal attempt. “Jason got us out of trouble all day,” Chaffin said. … Dana Haneline led South with 14 tackles and Andy Everhardt had 10, including several big ones in OT.