Davie opens Friday at Mooresville

Published 10:08 am Thursday, August 18, 2022

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Davie football fans will get an awesome matchup right out of the gate when the War Eagles travel to Mooresville on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30.

The War Eagles have a five-game winning streak in nonconference games, but the Blue Devils will be eager for some revenge after getting smacked around in last year’s matchup.

Last September, Davie sprinted to leads of 17-0 and 31-7 before setting for a 51-34 decision. It was the second straight win in the series, including a 31-30 overtime nailbiter in 2019.

Last year the Blue Devils went 6-5 overall and 5-1 in their 4-A conference, good for second place. They lost 48-9 to Hough, won 21-13 over West Rowan, lost to Davie, won 33-14 over Cox Mill, lost 45-19 to Hickory Ridge, won 42-7 over South Iredell, lost 33-13 to Providence, won 50-14 over West Cabarrus, won 14-6 over Kannapolis and won 14-0 over Lake Norman. In the first round of the playoffs, they fell 44-26 to Myers Park.

While the War Eagles also went 6-5 to record their third winning season in a row, they stumbled to fifth in the eight-team Central Piedmont Conference at 3-4. They won 56-30 over West Rowan and 42-28 over Lake Norman before taking down Mooresville. Then they won 73-28 over Reynolds, lost 59-21 to East Forsyth, lost 52-14 to Reagan, won 56-49 over Mt. Tabor, lost 35-14 to West Forsyth, won 55-0 over Parkland and lost 62-28 to Glenn to close the regular season. In the first round of the playoffs, they were trounced 61-28 by Asheville.

The War Eagles have several playmakers on offense and they have a giant kicker in Palmer Williams. If the new 3-4 defensive scheme that they installed in the offseason works, they will create a headache for opponents.

The new defense is hoping to make up for last year’s mistakes (62 touchdowns allowed).

“It’s going real well,” defensive coordinator Blaine Nicholson said. “It’s different looks for the offense to have to diagnose very quick. We’re sending pressure from different areas. We’ll bring a lot of funky packages, different blitz angles and mix our coverages up a little more. It sounds like we’re doing a lot more, but it’s actually a lot less. We can call the defense a lot faster. We’ve shortened up a lot of the calls.

“When you have a tough year on defense like we did last year, with a lot of youth and inexperience, we took a step back and said: ‘OK, how can we make this defense better for our kids and put them in better situations to succeed?’ So we retooled as a staff, moved some players and coaches around, and we think we’ve got something that’s definitely better than what we put on the field last year.”

And then: “We’re going to be better than we were last year (on defense). How much better can we be? Can we take a big jump to where we win a couple of games because the defense is playing well and the offense isn’t having to go for 40 or 50 points?”

The team speed is one of the most exciting aspects of the ‘22 squad.

“We’ve got some absolute burners – on offense and defense,” Nicholson said. “(Running back) Markel Summers is a muscular dude, but he can absolutely take the top off. You’ve got (receiver) Bryan Argueta. We’ll take some deep shots with him. You’ve got (quarterback) Ty Miller. Ty is crazy fast. You’ve got (outside linebacker) Ethan Silvey. You’ve got (running back) Taye Maddox. You’ve got (cornerback) Willie Purvis. That’s six guys right there. I don’t know if they all run track, but they absolutely should be in the 100-meter dash.”

Davie leads the Mooresville series 17-14-1.