Prep Football Playoffs: Davie 38, Ragsdale 8
By Brian Pitts
MOCKSVILLE - While Davie's offense got off to a fairly slow start, it was three defensive players who set the stage for Davie's 38-8 beating of Ragsdale in the first round of the 4A playoffs last night in Mocksville.Davie's offense punted twice and turned it over on downs on its first three possessions. But cornerback Mookie Martin, linebacker Alex Gobble and defensive end Jamal Lackey came up big to help Davie forge a 21-0 halftime lead.
Davie ran its record to 9-3. Mt. Tabor upset High Point Central, so Davie will host the CPC rival in the second round. Ragsdale finished 7-4.
Gobble struck first, making a strip tackle on Ragsdale's third play from scrimmage. He scooped the ball and raced 67 yards the other way as Davie jumped to a 7-0 lead.
"He's been wanting one of those all year, so we finally got another SAW Club (which stands for Score Alternative Ways) member," coach Doug Illing said.
Martin intercepted Colson Herndon twice in the first half - both times in the end zone. The first ended Ragsdale's nine-play drive to Davie's 28. The second came on second-and-14 from Davie's 17 as Lackey pressured Herndon into an ill-advised throw.
"Some of that was caused by pressure," Illing said. "And give Mookie credit for being in the right place and making the play."
Five plays after Martin's second INT, A.J. Blaskievich blasted 25 yards through a gaping hole for a 14-0, second-quarter lead.
A minute later was the beginning of the end for the Tigers. Lackey exploded through the line to block a punt. Davie took over at the Ragsdale 17 and scored in two plays for the 21-0 cushion.
"Coach (Devore Holman) had the block called," Illing said. "They had it coached up this week."
The Tigers completely fell apart in the second half. Devon Parks recovered a fumble at the Davie 45. Parks' 47-yard punt return set up Woody Parrish's 30-yard field goal.
There was no letup from Davie until it was 38-0 with 7:39 to play. Its bid for a shutout ended when Ragsdale returned a fumble 17 yards with 3:45 left.
Cade Carney had a strong night, rushing for 113 yards on 14 QB keepers and completing 3 of 4 passes for 50 yards. Blaskievich and Stephon Smoot added 98 yards between them.
Carney recorded his 10th 100-yard game. The freshman stands at 1,776 yards. Only Cooter Arnold, who had 1,921 in '03 and 2,344 in '04, has rushed for more.
"It's extraordinary for him being a freshman, but he's probably playing behind one of the best offensive lines that's ever been through Davie," Illing said. "So you put his talent back there with the talent that's up front and that's a great combination. He's making a lot of it happen, too."
The OL was finally back intact with the return of Shrine Bowler Cole Blankenship, the left tackle who missed seven games with a broken foot. What a boost at an opportune time.
"His leadership and enthusiasm makes all five of them go a little harder than they've been going because they know he's going to get on their butt if they don't," Illing said.