North Davie football off to 3-0 start
Published 1:16 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023
By Brian Pitts
North Davie’s football team smashed through a huge barrier when it hosted West Rowan on Aug. 29. The Wildcats are 3-0 for just the second time in 21 years after taming the Bulldogs 14-2.
North trailed 2-0 before taking control.
“We were playing a little timid (early) because they are big,” first-year head coach Beau Byerly said. “They have some big boys. After awhile, we got confident in what we were doing and knew they are the same age as we are.”
The offensive heroes were quarterback Levi Morales, receiver Carter Cornett and running back Isaiah Hernandez. Morales and Cornett connected for a go-ahead 65-yard touchdown pass. (“It was a go route and Carter just beat his man over the top,” Byerly said.) Hernandez added breathing room by ripping off a 45-yard TD run.
“Reynolds Tomlinson and Edarius Oliver had two great seal blocks to set up the outside edge,” Byerly said. “The ground game was there for us.”
Equally important were defenders Tomlinson and Noah Potts.
“Reynolds had some good plays at corner,” Byerly said. “He took on some massive dudes and was able to make the play through them. He was able to shuck a lot of blocks and keep containment.”
Potts, who moves around at safety, end, d-line, o-line and outside linebacker, made mind-boggling plays.
“Noah was an absolute beast,” Byerly said. “He was everywhere. He looked like (Brian) Bosworth. He has never played football, but he’s probably 6-2 and he can move. If he gets a knack for the game and figures it out, he will be an absolute monster. His main sport is baseball. He’s a heck of a pitcher. He’s been clocked in the 80s. He’s so strong it’s crazy.”
Notes: Cornett was a factor on both sides of the ball. “They had four or five runs that really had potential to change the game,” Byerly said. “Carter was able to get there and shove them out of bounds. He’s very fast.” … North played West regularly between 1993-2004, but West won seven of the nine meetings. This was the first meeting in 19 years. … The other 3-0 start in the last 21 years came in the spring of 2021. … North has outscored opponents 71-2.
Burke 28, SD 16
South Davie fell for the first time on the road against Selma Burke on Aug. 29, but the Tigers more than held their own.
“We were in it,” coach Germain Mayfield said after South slipped to 2-1. “We had so many opportunities.”
The Tigers trailed 14-8 at halftime, but they got the ball to start the second half and moved inside the Burke 35. But then came a turnover. South was down 20-16 when it forced a turnover. The Tigers were driving with a chance to take a fourth-quarter lead, but they fumbled. Then Burke iced it with a long TD run.
“We were right there,” Mayfield said. “Not having (injured Noah Dulin), we don’t have that big play. We have to drive everything, but we were right there.”
South might have had just as much talent overall as Selma Burke, but the Bears had the most gifted player – a bruising running back who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. That guy scored all four TDs for Burke.
“Their (running back) is a load,” Mayfield said. “He’s probably 225 and maybe 6-1. You bounce off of him and he runs to contact. We beat him up to the point where they were having to take him out of the game for stretches. But it just wasn’t enough. Every play they scored was a big play where he broke a tackle or we lost containment.”
Notes: Mayfield said he could not have asked for more from his offensive and defensive lines. Christian Collins, Aiden Houser, Emanuel Cheek, Domenic Isaac and Xander Proctor played on the OL, and Collins, Houser, Cheek and Proctor hunkered down on the DL. … Quarterback Draeton Nance scored both TDs for South. Dreighton Lunnerman had four receptions. … Selma Burke is a first-year school in Mooresville.
Moor 14, Ellis 12
Ellis’ first setback since the spring of 2021 left a sour taste. The Jaguars led 12-0 in an eventual 14-12 home loss to Mooresville on Aug. 29.
The first touchdown was a 50-yard pass from Brandon Forrest to Zyheim Reese. Finley Sink scored on a 3-yard run to make it 12-0. Then came a major turn of events in the fourth quarter, when the Red Imps did all their scoring.
“What hurt us was Cannon Smith went down at halftime with a hurt knee and cramps,” assistant coach Roger Blalock said after Ellis stumbled to 1-1. “Then Mason Driver goes down in the third quarter with a hurt ankle. In the fourth quarter we were dropping like flies.”
Notes: Mooresville was threatening deep in Ellis territory before Sink made a huge play, his strip-sack creating a fumble that Ellis recovered. Brady Hall had an interception. “The defense did their job for a while,” Blalock said. … Ellis had two TDs called back. … Mooresville stopped the Jaguars’ school-record 16-game winning streak. It was the county’s longest since South Davie’s 19-gamer from 2003-05.