Davie Football: Mooresville visits War Eagle Stadium on Friday night
Published 1:21 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023
The last time we saw Davie’s football team in real action, last November in the first round of the playoffs, the War Eagles made a monster opponent work for the win even though Davie looked outclassed on paper.
Grimsley was 10-0, the top seed in the West Region and was allowing 14 points a game on average. But the War Eagles’ offensive execution was dynamic. In the first half, quarterback Ty Miller rolled up 226 rushing/passing yards. They held a 17-14 lead at the 6:49 mark of the second quarter. They were within 28-17 at halftime and 35-24 in the third. They didn’t have a three-and-out until the fourth, they scored touchdowns on five of 12 possessions and they scored more points on the Whirlies than anyone had all season. They finished with 28 first downs, 507 yards of offense and averaged 6.1 yards per play.
The Whirlies, though, had endless weapons, the underdog ran out of juice and Grimsley pulled away 69-37. The Whirlies would go on to finish 15-1 as the state runner-up, the only loss coming against 16-0 New Bern.
Even though the War Eagles went home with their first losing record in four seasons, the showing in Greensboro on Nov. 4 provided momentum as they prepared for the 2023 season.
“We had them spinning and turning in the first half,” assistant coach Blaine Nicholson said. “They were like: ‘Oh my gosh, what is going on here?’ Talent definitely wins out most of the time, and that’s what happened (in the second half). They got us in the trenches, but that was more points than anybody else (had) put up against them the whole year.”
“I think that playoff game is a good stepping stone to this season,” assistant Matt Gould said. “Grimsley was one of the best teams in the state, and we went out and showed we can compete with those guys. We played hard for four quarters. We’ve been building off that experience for sure.”
Davie will open the season Friday night at home at 7 against a dangerous foe. While Davie went 4-7 and finished fifth in the Central Piedmont Conference in 2022, Mooresville is coming off a championship season. The Blue Devils went 10-2 overall, swept through the Greater Metro 4-A Conference at 6-0 and lost in the second round of the playoffs.
In last year’s opener, the War Eagles lost 44-28 at Mooresville because of a woeful first half. The Blue Devils scored 24 unanswered points in less than nine minutes, Davie dropped five passes and faced a 31-7 deficit at halftime. Davie outscored them in the second half, but the damage had been done.
The most important part of the season will begin Sept. 15 in the CPC opener at Reynolds, but the first game can be a tone-setter. Davie will need its A game to settle the score from last year.
“I know they return everyone on defense,” eighth-year head coach Tim Devericks said. “Mooresville is going to be loaded on defense, and they’ll be good offensively as well with a Joe Nixon-coached offensive line.”
Davie has a challenging nonconference schedule, with West Rowan on the road and North Davidson at home to follow.
“It’s going to be a tough first game for us, but all three of those nonconference games are going to help us get ready for the CPC,” Devericks said.
Davie-Mooresville has been a great series. Davie, which leads the series 17-15-1, won 34-13 in 2017. Mooresville won 52-32 in 2018. Davie won 31-30 in overtime in 2019 and 51-34 in 2021.
Notes: There will be a student tailgate from 4:30-6:30 with food, games and music. The cost to enter is $1 (cash only). All entrance fees will be donated to the Darrin and Lisa Hartness Family Scholarship Fund through the Davie Community Foundation. Be prepared to show a student ID.