Sloppy win doesn’t impress War Eagles coach

Published 11:35 am Tuesday, September 20, 2022

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Davie’s running back tandem, Markel Summers and Taye Maddox, both rushed for 100-plus yards. A Davie defender was in the Reynolds quarterback’s face much of the night.

That’s the good part from a 37-13 win over the visiting Demons in Friday’s Central Piedmont Conference opener.

Here’s the bad: The War Eagles couldn’t get the passing game going. They were outgained 319-303 in total yards by a subpar team. They let Reynolds hang around in the first half. They gave up 165 receiving yards to one guy.

Coach Tim Devericks was less than ecstatic because this won’t get it done against East Forsyth, Reagan, Mt. Tabor, West Forsyth  and Glenn.

While Reynolds (1-3 overall) suffered its third loss in a row, Davie’s second straight win evened its record at 2-2.

“We had lack of execution on offense,” coach Tim Devericks said. “We were missing blocks and throwing to the wrong people. We had wrong routes, not making the right reads. Defensively, we were putting our heads in the wrong gap and missing tackles. That’s not going to get it done in the CPC.”

In the first quarter, Davie had first-and-goal at the 5, but it had to settle for a 24-yard field goal from Palmer Williams. Eli Branham intercepted Reynolds QB Lane Albright at the Davie 39, but Davie failed to capitalize, losing a fumble three plays later.

Reynolds gave to the ball to running back Jaylin Murry on third-and-1, but Justin Hayes and Matty Warner buried him 4 yards behind the line, and Reynolds shanked a punt for 12 yards, giving Davie great field position.

Then Maddox went 50 yards in two plays to put Davie up 10-0. While Summers’ productive running was no surprise – he averaged 93 rushing yards in the first three games – this was the coming-out party for Maddox, who came in with eight carries for 24 yards. The junior and first-year Davie player’s speed is something to behold. His ability to squirt through tight spaces and launch into breakaway speed makes him a constant threat to go the distance.

“I think missing two years and not being around the game (has made Maddox hungry),” Devericks said. “Some of these guys who have played all the time take that for granted. Taye wasn’t able to play for a while and he missed it. He missed being around these guys in the game and also being around it and being a part of something. And he’s not going to take it for granted anymore.”

On the ensuing possession, the Demons overcame sacks by Warner and Jerred Alexander and drove 85 yards despite facing two fourth-down situations. Senior Kenaz McMillian, who was superb with 10 catches for 165 yards, made a tremendous catch for 33 yards on third-and-11. Albright eluded a sack from Mason Shermer and found Murry for 15 yards on fourth-and-4. On fourth-and-12, Albright rolled left and threw a 34-yard strike to McMillian to cut Davie’s lead to 10-7.

Albright, a sophomore, came out hot, hitting 11 of his first 14 passes for 130 yards. He did cool off to finish 15 of 29 for 201 yards.

“They’ve got a dynamic receiver,” Devericks said of McMillian. “Sometimes we spooked (Albright) and he made plays with his feet. Credit to him; he’s a good athlete.”

Davie answered with a 71-yard drive. Summers and Maddox ran past and through the Demons for all eight plays, resulting in a 17-7 halftime lead. Although the outcome never seemed in doubt, Devericks wasn’t satisfied at the break.

“Our lack of execution allowed them to stay in the game longer than they should have,” he said.

Reynolds gift wrapped a TD for Davie when a snap went over the punter’s head. Davie took over at the Reynolds 2 and scored to make it 24-7. That’s all it took to cement Davie’s 12th win over Reynolds in 13 tries.

While Miller only managed 77 passing yards after averaging 198 in the first three games, Summers/Maddox kept drives moving. Summers rolled up 118 yards and three TDs on 20 carries. Maddox exploded for 112 yards on 10 tries.

“They’re going to run hard no matter what the scoreboard says,” Devericks said. “That’s two guys that are going to give everything they’ve got every play. I’m super proud of their effort.”

Meanwhile, the defense got two tackles for loss from Brandon Wood, Warner and John Stokes and two sacks from Stokes.

“We were switching between three- and four-man fronts and penetrating gaps or creating matchups that were favorable for us,” Devericks said.

Alexander is a junior outside linebacker who plays with his hair on fire.

“You don’t find many as hard-nosed as him,” Devericks said. “Jerred is going to give everything he’s got every play. If he gets it wrong, he’s going to come back and try it again until he gets it right. That work ethic is helping him make plays on Friday nights.”

Another major positive on defense has been Branham, a junior safety who collected 13 team-high tackles in the win at North Davidson.

“Eli is a cerebral player, and he’s improved his athleticism and his reads from studying film,” Devericks said. “From Week 1 to where we are right now, it’s tremendous improvement.”

Notes: Brysen Godbey, a standout wrestler, returned from injury against Reynolds. The linebacker made his junior debut in the fourth quarter and made four tackles. … Junior Grey Deal’s first varsity catch was a 10-yard TD in the fourth. “Some guys have to realize, when someone gets an opportunity, they might catch somebody’s eye,” Devericks said. … Williams had a nice night punting. He averaged 43 yards on four punts, including a bomb of 56 yards. For the year, he’s achieved touchbacks on 12 of 19 kickoffs. … McMillian, who caught 10 of Albright’s 15 completions, was 51 percent of Reynolds’ offense. … Sophomore cornerback Landon King, who was injured against West Rowan, was on the sideline in a wheelchair. He had knee reconstruction surgery on Sept. 12. That’s a big loss for Davie in two sports (football and basketball). … Davie will be a massive underdog in Kernersville Friday at 7:30 p.m. East Forsyth is 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the CPC. Its wins: 49-38 over Northwest Guilford, 47-0 over Rolesville, 59-7 over South Iredell and 37-3 over Reagan. Last year East belted Davie 59-21. Davie is 2-10 against East, including six straight losses.