Prep Football: Davie County Notebook – War Eagles are looking for a quarterback to take charge

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 12, 2009

By Mike London
The Davie County notebook …
MOCKSVILLE ó Davie County has enjoyed a long string of productive quarterbacks in the last decade under coach Doug Illing ó Drew Ridenhour, Dan Sullivan, Andrew McClannon, Cooter Arnold, Brad Corriher, Garrett Benge and, finally, Zach Illing.
Most were primarily known for their passing, although Arnold made his living with his legs and Benge, an East-West All-Star, ran almost as well as he threw.
Coach Illing says he hasn’t yet made a decision on who will replace his efficient son as QB, although there are two quality candidates, and Davie probably has the weapons and defense to win its share with either.
‘Both QBs have strengths and both have weaknesses,” Illing said. “Both are working hard and learning. Both are pretty good.”
Junior Carson Herndon, the 6-foot-4 son of Davie baseball head coach and football assistant Mike Herndon, is up from the jayvees and has the size and arm reminiscent of classic Davie passers of the past.
Jacob Barber, 5-11, 190, offers exceptional mobility and athleticism. He rushed 39 times for 152 yards and two TDs as a varsity soph.
Jacob is the twin of Jared Barber, who is three inches taller and 28 pounds heavier and already has been a varsity starter at linebacker for two seasons.
“My brother and I have always pushed each other whether it’s on the field or in schoolwork,” Jacob said. “I hope it’s my time. I’d like to show what I have.”
Jacob described Herndon as a “good player and great friend,” so it’s not a dog-eat-dog competition. Barber and Herndon both will get a chance to showcase their stuff this week, and they’ll pull for each other.
Davie goes to South Meck for a multi-team scrimmage today. It scrimmages Winston-Salem Parkland at home Thursday and travels to Fort Mill, S.C., to take on Lancaster, S.C., in the Battle of the Border on Saturday.
Lancaster’s Bruins played for a state title last season.
The scrimmage with Lancaster will be a half of live football, not one of the standard “controlled” scrimmages.
WEATHER WATCH: Davie began Tuesday’s practice in the gym because of heat issues, although it was probably cooler outside than in the stale, airless gym.
Davie finished practice with an hour of flinging in the rain.
THE BIG IF: The big question mark for the War Eagles is the offensive line, and that unit will be tested early. Davie’s pre-CPC schedule is murderous, with marquee contests against Page, West Rowan and Thomasville.
Davie made the biggest comeback in its 53 years of football to beat Page 50-49 last season. It handed West Rowan its only loss and dropped a thriller against Thomasville.
NATIONAL CHAMP: Davie is proud of alum Jonathan Mayfield, a receiver who played on Richmond’s FCS national champs.
“Jonathan had a chance to come by and talk to our players,” receivers coach Chris Callison said. “It’s something he’ll always be able to look back on. How many guys get to wear a national-championship ring?”
ALL FOR ONE: Jacob Barber declared Davie’s chemistry to be “10 times better than last year.”
“We all get along; we all go out together,” he said.
BIG D: Devore Holman is back as Davie’s emotional and inspirational defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
In his first year as a Davie assistant in 1987, he worked for Mike Carter. Holman returned to Davie in 1992 and has been there since.
Barry Whitlock, offensive guru in recent seasons, is not back this year.
SECRETARY OF LABOR: Davie assistant coach Ron Bivins is also the course superintendent at the Country Club of Salisbury.
This year the big annual Labor Day Four-Ball Tournament at the Country Club of Salisbury and Davie’s rivalry game with West Rowan coincide.
ROWAN RIVALRIES: Davie is 26-10-2 against West Rowan, 18-9 against South Rowan, 19-7-2 against East Rowan, 11-15-1 against North Rowan, 0-0 against Carson, and 8-8 against Salisbury.
Davie plays Salisbury on Sept. 25, its first meeting with the Hornets since 2000. Salisbury’s most recent win against Davie came in 1996.
SHUT DOWN: Davie takes a one-game scoreless streak into this season.
The War Eagles were blanked 24-0 in rain and mud by Butler in the first round of the 4AA playoffs in 2008, ending a streak of 81 consecutive games in which Davie had put points on the scoreboard.
That goose egg was the first for Davie since it lost to A.C. Reynolds 42-0 in the 2002 quarterfinals.
DUNN DEAL: Davie may get a lift from Zach Dunn on the offensive line. The senior last played as a freshman. An accident ó he was thrown from a truck ó proved a serious setback.
Fellow seniors talked him into making a comeback.