Davie Football: Miller, Summers ready to lead offense

Published 1:19 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Sports Editor

Davie’s offense is nasty at two glamorous positions. Quarterback Ty Miller and running back Markel Summers are not only proven commodities who are primed for scintillating encore performances, they are great leaders.

“They do everything right on the field and off the field,” offensive coordinator Matt Gould said.

“There’s been multiple times this summer that Markel took some young guys and said: ‘Hey, let’s work on this,’” head coach Tim Devericks said. “Even when practice was done, he’d say: ‘Let me show you something here.’ When we’re taking reps and he’s not in, he gets super excited for his teammates when maybe he sees the light bulb come on for them.”

“We’re really fortunate that the two senior leaders of the team – Ty and Markel – are the quality guys that they are,” offensive line coach Spencer Pasciolla said. “It’s great for the cohesion of the team, and it’s a great representation for Davie County football.”

Miller (6-1, 195) is coming off a junior year in which he hit 183 of 314 passes for 2,200 yards and 24 touchdowns. He burned West Forsyth with 324 passing yards in narrow defeat. When Davie faced a Grimsley juggernaut in the first round of the playoffs, he fired 27 completions for 265 yards against the eventual state runner-up. In single-season records, he ranks fifth in TD passes, sixth in completions and ninth in passing yards. What’s more, he was the No. 2 ground gainer with 579 yards.

Miller is one of the toughest dual-threat QBs in the area. He has size, arm strength, mobility and experience. And he naturally has a better grasp of the offense going into his second year as the main man.

“He knows what to expect now,” Gould said. “He looks more comfortable and confident reading the defenses and making decisions, making the right decisions more often, understanding what he’s seeing when he’s going through his progressions.”

“From an offensive line perspective, he makes us right a whole lot of times,” Pasciolla said. “Ty can make us right because he’s so willing to move around the pocket. He does a really good job of feeling where the pressure is coming from.”

With a laugh, he added: “Ty maneuvers the pocket, avoids the sack and no one is cussing the o-line – at least not for that play.”

Like Miller, the senior running back has been through the CPC wars. Last year Summers (6-0, 190) carried 202 times for 1,024 yards, averaging five yards per carry and scoring 18 TDs. He showed his mettle by rumbling for 110 yards on 17 attempts against Grimsley. You want versatility? He was Miller’s No. 2 pass-catcher with 40 grabs for 332 yards.

He’s got enough speed to break long runs, and he’s strong enough to pound and chew clock.

“Markel makes us right just as much as Ty does,” Pasciolla said. “He can find that little sliver of space, and he doesn’t need much.”

“We’re going to try to get him the ball as much as we can – as many times as he can handle it,” Gould said. “He had a great year last year and he should definitely be better this year.”

Summers has a chance to do something special in 2023. Only seven runners in the Davie record book have rushed for 1,000 yards two or more times. Justin Brown (2002-04) and Tate Carney (2019-21) did it three times, and David Daye (1995-96), Ricky White (1997, 1999), Cooter Arnold (2003-04), Kenneth Brown (2005-06) and Cade Carney (2012-13) accomplished it twice.

Summers could become the eighth.

“He always runs the ball like he’s on a mission,” defensive coordinator Blaine Nicholson said. “He’s a one-cut runner. He gets downhill and he’ll lay that head back in a minute. He’s made us better as a defense. He’s a special player. Somebody is going to pick him up and realize they have an absolute gem. I wouldn’t want any other running back in the conference.”

Just like last year, sophomore Jamarius Pelote will quarterback the JV and back up Miller. Summers’ backup is senior Junior Romero, who has moved over from defensive back.

“It’s been better for him,” Gould said of Romero’s switch from defense to offense. “Him and Markel are boys and Markel got him up to speed real quick. Those two will stay after practice and work on different drills. That’s Markel wanting to get better himself and trying to make sure Junior is ready to go.”