Prep Football: Davie 24, Alexander Central 10
By Brian Pitts
MOCKSVILLE ó Davie was its own worst enemy in the first half against Alexander Central last night at War Eagle Stadium, with two fumbles and two costly penalties letting the Cougars off the hook in a 7-7 first half.
But Davie made up for it in splendid fashion, scoring 17 unanswered points to win going away, 24-10. Davie improved to 1-2 after gaining a measure of revenge for narrow losses to AC the past two years. The Cougars fell to 1-2.
ěAfter an emotional loss (at West Rowan), we put them through a tough test this week in practice, and boy, they came out and performed,î Davie coach Doug Illing said. ěI was proud of our defense in the second half.î
Central took a 10-7 lead with 5:28 left in the third, but that was actually a small victory for the War Eagles, who forced a field goal after AC had first-and-goal at the 3.
Everything clicked for Davie the rest of the way. A 39-yard pass from Adam Smith to Mitchell Miller set up Woody Parrishís game-tying, 24-yard field goal.
After forcing a punt, Davie drove 78 yards in six plays. Smith and Stephon Smoot had three 14-yard runs between them before Denzel Redmon broke away for 23 yards for a 17-10 Davie lead.
After Davieís defense got a three-and-out, Smith put the Cougars away. First, he connected with Jae-Re Peebles for 20 yards and with Nate Jones for 21. Then Smith zigged and zagged 21 yards on a QB keeper. The TD with 5:08 left provided the 24-10 lead.
There were many reasons for Davieís breakthrough.
Smoot (181 yards on 24 carries) recorded his sixth career 100-yard game, but first of this year. It was a career high, surpassing the 139 at Porter Ridge in the 4A semifinals in 2010.
Smith passed for 132 yards and ran for 71. Redmon, a senior seeing time in the backfield for the first time since ninth grade, picked up 41 yards on four carries. And Miller was Smithís main target, catching three passes for 68 yards. His 20-yard catch in the second quarter represented the gameís first points.
Illing was all smiles after overcoming a pesky foe. Nick Salyer was the catalyst for AC, rushing for 91 yards and throwing for 120.
ěTheyíre going to hang around, take advantage of the opportunities they get and not hurt themselves,î Illing said. ěAnd youíve got to beat them. The longer they were in it, the tougher they were going to get. Thatís what I was fearful of.î
Smoot caught Illingís ire after fumbling twice in the first half. But he didnít disappoint from that point on.
ěI think we blow them out in the first half if he just hangs on to it,î Illing said. ěHeís the kind of kid thatís not going to hang his head. He got back to his old self.î