Prep Football: Davie 17, Thomasville 15
By Brian Pitts
MOCKSVILLE ó The Davie football team’s offense was downright ugly in the first half of Friday’s non-conference contest against visiting Thomasville.
But the defense saved Davie’s bacon time after time and the offense came through in the clutch as the War Eagles (2-3) ended an 11-game losing streak to the Bulldogs, scoring 14 fourth-quarter points for a 17-15 victory.
Davie got payback for painful losses the past two years (14-13 in 2007 and 38-34 last year) and took down Thomasville (1-4) for the first time since 1962.
“I don’t feel sorry for them,” Davie coach Doug Illing said of Thomasville’s four-game losing streak by a total of 16 points. “I’m glad we’re on this side of it this time. I’m real proud of our kids and coaches for hanging in there.”
The Davie offense was lifeless throughout the first half (three first downs, 40 yards, no passing yards) and without a TD for three quarters.
Thomasville’s first nine points came on an INT return and a safety. Trailing 9-3, Davie made up for it in the fourth.
The cure-all play came on third-and-7. Quarterback Jacob Barber escaped pressure up the middle, rolled right and connected with Darius Wilson at the Thomasville 10. Wilson completed the 33-yard play, and Woody Parrish’s point-after kick gave Davie a 10-9 lead with 8:45 to play.
“Jacob was buying time, keeping his eyes down the field, and the receivers kept working,” Illing said.
On Davie’s previous series ó an 11-play drive that came up empty ó Nick Bohannon revived the offense with a 31-yard catch-and-run. On the next play he bolted 20 yards on the ground. In the second half, Davie responded with eight first downs, 132 rushing yards and 64 passing yards on two completions.
Kenyatta Brand sacked Thomasville’s Sam Nelson on third down to force a punt, and Nelson threw incomplete on fourth down of the next series. With 1:51 to go, Davie’s Skeeter Montgomery broke a 51-yard TD run as Davie bumped the lead to 17-9.
“They’ve got some guys up front that we couldn’t root out,” Illing said. “It took a while for our kids to learn how to get underneath them and root them out.”
With four seconds on the clock, Nelson threw a 15-yard TD to Donavan Merchant, pulling Thomasville to 17-15. But on the two-point play, Nelson’s play-action pass to Sharaun Mouzone was high, with P.J. Neely defending.
Montgomery covered up the onside kick and Davie celebrated a second straight win after an 0-3 start. What loomed large in the end was a second-quarter, 47-yard field goal ó three yards from the longest in school history ó by junior Matt Cusack, a first-year player who had never attempted a field goal in a game. He is better known for his wrestling exploits.
“He’s making 47-, 50-yarders on Thursdays in practice,” Illing said. “I knew it was within his range. He’s good from 50.”