Prep Football: Davie County 27, North Forsyth 0
Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2008
By Brian Pitts
WINSTON-SALEM ó After enduring the worst conference dip in eight years, Davie County pulled together like a clenched fist Friday night and punched host North Forsyth between the eyes 27-0.
James Mayfield, whose rushing production had been modest as he battled a balky shoulder, broke loose for 108 yards in a decisive first half and wound up with 159 on 27 totes. Mayfield had labored to 27 and 67 yards in the past two games, then had his best night since a 143-yard output on opening night, the last time he was completely healthy.
While Davie improved to 6-4 overall and 1-3 in the Central Piedmont Conference, North fell to 4-6, 1-3.
The button that turned the light on for Davie’s offense was a brand-new formation with Jacob Vernon going in motion and serving as blocking back.
Quarterback Zach Illing took snaps under center for the first time all season as Davie alternated between its customary shotgun and the new wrinkle.
“We’re trying to plug stuff in there that’s going to get us tough yardage,” Davie coach Doug Illing said. “Vernon’s a tough nut. He’s going to get in there and knock heads with people so James can churn some yards. We needed to get James going. He actually got his (shoulder) dinged tonight on his one fumble. It went numb, and he lost the handle.
“But he’s being a trooper.”
The War Eagles mixed things up effectively. Illing went 8-of-10 for 104 yards in the first half and finished 10-of-15 for 193 yards and no interceptions. Mayfield did damage in the passing game as well, turning four short receptions into 95 yards.
Ironically, the offensive line rose to the occasion against a formidable defensive front on a night when its health was the worst it’s been all season.
Vince Cioce returned after missing four games, but Devaron Scott (shoulder) sat out and Lewis Favre (concussion) missed his second game. Still, Cody Clark, Ricky Bell, Aaron Peoples, Josh Burcham and Kyle Randall answered the call.
“We went into the game saying we’re going to run the ball,” Illing said. “We put it on their shoulders, and they accepted the challenge.”
Davie’s maligned defense was impressive from start to finish. Linemen Justin Miller and Tanis Jefferies recorded two sacks apiece. Linebackers Jared Barber and Matt Speer delivered constant pressure. Perry James, Shyteek Brown and Alex Newman, seeing his first action after missing nine games with a broken collarbone, limited North Forsyth to 9 passing yards. The Vikings managed just 95 rushing yards on 34 attempts.
Quarterback Travis Livingstone was North’s only effective player, and he had to work hard for 89 yards on 23 rushes.
“We swarmed a lot better than the past three weeks ó I know that,” Speer said. “One hundred percent better.”