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Prep Football: West Forsyth 37, Davie 20

By Brian Pitts
sports@salisburypost.com
MOCKSVILLE ó Five turnovers to your opponent’s zero is rarely a winning formula, and it definitely wasn’t in Davie’s 37-20 loss to visiting West Forsyth in the Central Piedmont Conference opener for both teams.
One first-half turnover wasn’t the sole reason for Davie’s first loss to West since 2003, but that one exemplified Davie’s frustration. Trailing 14-6 in the second quarter, the state-ranked War Eagles (5-2) had second-and-goal at the 1. Quarterback Zach Illing ran a speed option, was mashed and fumbled the ball to the Titans.
West (6-1) had already turned an earlier Illing fumble into an 11-yard scoring drive for a 7-6 lead. That one stemmed from a sack.
“One thing we’d been able to do all year was capitalize on scoring opportunities, and it just didn’t happen tonight,” coach Doug Illing said.
“When you give them 11 yards to score two times, you give them confidence. We went down and scored right away (for a 6-0 lead), and everything was clicking. Then we turn it over and give them life. You’ve got to take the wind out of them and smother them.”
The War Eagles had uncharacteristic breakdowns to negate Illing’s 315 passing yards and three TDs. Illing threw three costly INTs ó one more than he had in the previous six games.
The most glaring mistake was fatal.
Moments after Davie had marched 95 yards to cut the deficit to 27-20, West faced third-and-6 at the Davie 27. The defense failed to mark receiver Xavier Sloan and he made the easiest TD catch you’ll ever see.
That made it 34-20.
Davie’s James Mayfield finished with 100 rushing yards, but 72 of them came when West was in complete control. The War Eagles edged West in first downs (21-19) and yards (411-380), but they couldn’t contain Dedrick Anderson, the 5-foot-6, 145-pound waterbug who pierced Davie time and again on the way to 204 yards on 26 carries.
Davie’s hopes for a sixth straight first-place finish is in jeopardy with Mount Tabor coming next week. Davie had won 21 of 25 CPC games since ’03. “You generally get one (slip) ó maybe,” Illing said. “We’re going to have tough skin.”

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