South Davie cruises to football win
Published 1:17 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2023
By Brian Pitts
South Davie’s football team was missing Cam Holland in its playoff game at Corriher-Lipe on Oct. 3.
But Bentley Caudle wasn’t a bad Plan B.
Caudle filled in impressively at outside linebacker and helped the Tigers cruise to a 32-14 victory in the final game of the season.
“Bentley got to start on defense because Cam was out, and he had a heck of a game,” coach Germain Mayfield said of the seventh grader. “I bet he hadn’t played 15 snaps all year. He had at least six solo tackles. Bentley and Dreighton (Lunnerman) had the best defensive games.”
Connor Leonard, Tyrone Speller, Lunnerman and Draeton Nance scored one touchdown each as South recorded a season high in points. Speller’s score came on a scoop-and-score from a Yellow Jacket fumble.
The game was all but over at halftime (26-6 margin).
“Tyrone and Dreighton ran it really good,” Mayfield said. “Connor got to start because Cam was out and he scored. Draeton faked the option one time and hit it inside for 60 yards to the goal line. Man, that was pretty.”
Besides Lunnerman and Caudle, shining on defense were Speller, Jairail Sales and Elijah Tatum.
“Defensively, we probably played as solid as we’ve played all year,” Mayfield said. “We moved Dreighton to safety and he got downhill and took away the edge. We had been giving up big plays off the edge all year.”
The game was between the four seed from the West Division (South) against the four from the East Division. While Corriher-Lipe went 2-6, the Tigers (5-3) closed with three consecutive wins to record their highest win total over the last three full seasons.
Ellis 30, NR 18
Finley Sink was terrific again as Ellis blew past North Rowan on the road on Oct. 3. He scored two TDs and swarmed at linebacker.
“Finley was the workhorse,” assistant coach Roger Blalock said. “He ran fullback dives the whole time. He always does well (at linebacker).”
Cannon Smith broke a TD run on Ellis’ first play from scrimmage, and Brandon Forrest added a scoring run as the Jaguars bounced back from a 20-6 loss to Selma Burke.
Among the standouts on defense were Brodie Newman, Travis Andrews, Tay Settacassie and Allen Moxley.
“Brodie and Travis did pretty good on the defensive line,” Blalock said. “Tay and Allen did good at the ends. It was pretty much a complete game on both offense and defense.”
This was a matchup between the three seeds from each division. The Mavericks (4-4) finished in a three-way tie for first in the East. Ellis (5-2) soared to its third straight winning season.
ND 42, CG 6
After enduring a brutal four-game losing streak, North Davie dismantled overmatched China Grove at home on Oct. 3.
Levi Morales, a seventh grader, was flat out filthy. Not only did he throw for 305 yards, he intercepted two passes, returning one 70 yards to the end zone and returning the other 90 yards. He threw TD passes to Wade Ridenhour and Edarius Oliver. The quarterback/linebacker/safety also had four solo tackles.
“He was all over the place on both sides of the ball,” coach Beau Byerly said. “He’s very physical, probably the most physical kid we have.”
North’s other two scores were Oliver’s pick-6 and a 94-yard run by Isaiah Hernandez. North had four INTs in all, including one from Jason Riddle.
When Hernandez has the ball in his hands, he can do electrifying things.
“He’s quick and he’s good at finding holes,” Byerly said. “He looked like Herschel Walker. On the first play, he ran probably 40 yards side to side trying to find something and got tackled for no gain. It was a blown play and nobody could tackle him for what seemed like a minute.”
Byerly said Jeremiah Hernandez and lineman Camden Gioeli deserve defensive credit.
“Jeremiah had some good plays at safety,” he said. “Camden got some good pressure on the quarterback.”
By picking up their first win since Aug. 29, the Wildcats (4-4) finished with their most wins in three seasons. The Red Devils, who lost 27-0 to North in the opener, went 1-7. This matchup was between the five seeds from each division.