Davie football first loss in postponed, then suspended game

Published 8:54 am Tuesday, March 30, 2021

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By Brian Pitts

Davie Enterprise Record

KERNERSVILLE – It would have made a stirring triumph-over-adversity story had Davie’s varsity football team survived at Glenn. But it didn’t.

In a game that was postponed Friday, suspended in the fourth quarter Saturday and completed Monday, the War Eagles generated 29 first downs, 539 yards, converted 14 of 21 third downs and scored six touchdowns. Tate Carney rushed for 289 yards and three touchdowns – he’s been so amazing that the TDs were a season low – and Jack Reynolds caught three TDs from Alex Summers while piling up 11 catches for 175 yards.

It’s pretty tough to lose when you do all that. Somehow previously-unbeaten Davie did, 53-46.

The efforts from Davie’s offensive stalwarts were spoiled by Glenn quarterback Camden Coleman (21 of 33 for 451 yards and four TDs), blazing fast running back Levine Smith (168 rushing yards, three TDs) and excellent receivers Chaney Fitzgerald (eight catches for 228 yards, two TDs) and Aronson Cook (8-145, two TDs). The Bobcats (3-1, 1-1 Central Piedmont Conference) rolled up 27 first downs, 676 yards, converted 9 of 12 third downs and piled up eight TDs.

The game was postponed Friday due to a power outage caused by a wreck in the area. It was moved to Saturday morning at 11, but with 9:06 remaining, it was suspended by thunderstorms. The third segment in four days was resumed Monday night at 7.

Earlier shortcomings that were camouflaged by Davie’s high-octane offense caught up to the War Eagles (4-1, 2-1) this time. They trailed Reynolds 37-28 in the third quarter, led 48-43 with 6:33 left and won going away, 62-43, because their nine TDs trumped the Demons’ six. They trailed Reagan 27-21 in the third before escaping 49-40 as Davie’s seven TDs shaved the Raiders’ six.

“The thing we can learn from this is in close games we’ve been getting away with little things not hurting us,” coach Tim Devericks said. “Saturday and today, little things led to firestorms.”

A turning point: Davie roared 93 yards and scored on Reynolds’ 22-yard reception with 1:27 left in the first half and should have gone into halftime trailing 19-17. But with just :25 on the clock, Coleman eluded pressure and completed a 55-yard bomb to Fitzgerald. That put Davie in a 26-17 hole.

It got worse early in the third quarter. On third-and-12, Cook made a tremendous catch for a 39-yard score that capped a 27-7 surge by the Bobcats and pushed their lead to 33-17.

“It was a challenge,” Devericks said of defending Glenn. “They play football in space and we’ve got to get better at playing in space. They just put a lot of pressure on us that way.”

When an 11-play drive from their 39 to the Glenn 17 produced nothing, the War Eagles appeared dead. But their offense makes it nearly impossible to put them away. Carney churned out all 34 yards in a three-play series, and Reynolds tacked on a two-point conversion to draw Davie within 33-25.

But more peaks and valleys remained in this roller-coaster game. AJ Coverdale returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards as Glenn restored a 39-25 lead. But Davie answered 20 seconds later as Carney thundered 36 yards and scored from the 11 on the next play as Davie closed within 39-32.

Davie’s momentum grew when Owen Byers recovered Willy Moure’s onside kick at the Glenn 49.

“They returned the previous kick (for a TD),” Devericks said. “It was something I had seen on film. They kept cheating down to get over there to create seams. He cheated far enough, it was a chance to roll the dice and we executed it perfectly. Great kick by Willy.”

On third down, Summers and Reynolds hooked up for 53 yards. Davie had ripped off a 22-6 run – that was four TDs in 87 seconds between the teams – to tie the score at 39-39 with 11:52 to play.

“Tremendous heart,” Devericks said. “This is a group of fighters.”

On third-and-5 for Glenn, Smith took an option pitch and dashed 44 yards to the end zone – the game’s fifth TD in a span of 4:13. Junior Devonte Lyerly, who played at Davie the past two years, came in as Glenn’s No. 1 runner after gaining 343 yards through three games. He was sidelined by injury, but Smith is one heck of a backup. He averaged 9.8 yards per carry and amassed 221 rushing/receiving yards. He was ejected for taunting following his tiebreaking TD, but he delivered a big blow before his early exit.

On the two-point try, Coleman looked for Cook, but Caleb Bowling denied the pass to keep Davie’s deficit at 45-39. That was the final play before play was suspended by lightning. Davie had to carry the psychological weight of trailing by six with nine minutes left for two-plus days.

“You’ve got to balance overthinking things,” Devericks said. “You’ve got to keep doing what we’ve done all year.”

Monday’s action began with a Glenn kickoff. Carney immediately went to work, churning for 5, 2 and 6 yards. Summers threw quickly to Reynolds, who sliced for 11 yards. When Glenn committed pass interference against Reynolds, Davie had first down at the Glenn 23. Three Carney runs yielded 12 yards; it was first down at the 11. Glenn’s defense was reeling, but on the ninth play of the drive, Carney fumbled at the 8.

The junior has achieved otherworldly things like running for 863 yards and 15 TDs across three games, but the 37th of his eventual 44 carries proved he’s mere human.

“I don’t need to say anything to him,” Devericks said. “You know he wants to do everything he can for the team, and you don’t have to say anything to him.”

The Bobcats licked their lips, charged 92 yards in three plays and took the game by the throat, 53-39. Davie showed guts by navigating 64 yards in 13 plays. Reynolds’ 18-yard catch moved the chains on third-and-11. Zymere Hudson’s 12-yard reception and Carney’s 8-yard run turned second-and-18 into first-and-goal. Carney would score as Davie made it 53-46.

With 2:32 remaining and three timeouts in its pocket, Davie had a glimmer of hope. But the final bits of sand slipped away when Cook gained 31 yards on a slant route and Coleman punted to the Davie 27 at :30.


• The narrow defeat obscured for the moment the marvelous accomplishments of Carney and Reynolds.

Carney has 1,128 rushing yards in five games. In single-game records, he holds the first (327 vs. Reynolds) and fourth (289 vs. Glenn) spots. With 3,030, he’s fifth in career rushing yards behind Cooter Arnold (5,236), brother Cade Carney (3,815), Justin Brown (3,531) and Ricky White (3,096).

Reynolds has compiled 451 receiving yards across three games, as well as an interception at Glenn. A War Eagle made 11-plus receptions in a game for just the sixth time; two of them belong to Reynolds, who holds the record with 15 against West Forsyth in 2019. He’s tied for third with eight career 100-yard receiving games. Ben Ellis and Cooper Wall share first with 11, and Joe Watson is the other with eight. Reynolds jumped from fourth to second in career catches. Wall had 187; Reynolds has 154.

• The dependable Moure went 4 for 4 on PATs and added a field goal. … Left tackle Camden Beck was injured in the second quarter and never returned. Senior Robert Landry filled in. … Safety Kristian Lyons, a Wingate commit, sat out with an injury. … This was the most points Davie’s ever scored in defeat. It is 79-2 when scoring at least 40. The other loss was 43-40 to Kannapolis in 2019. … Davie has rung up 35-plus points in five straight games for the first time since 2006.

• After three straight road trips, Davie returns home Friday against two-time defending 4A champion East Forsyth (2-2, 2-0). This is Davie’s homecoming.

A bit of perspective as Davie tries to recover. What if someone had said in February: “You’ll be 4-1, 2-1 heading down the stretch – you OK with that?” Your answer would have been yes absolutely.

“I told them there was a positive,” Devericks said. “Everything they want for this season is still in front of them. How fast can we close this chapter and move on is the major thing. They will continue to scratch and claw, and we’re going to close the chapter, go to practice tomorrow and get ready for East Forsyth.”