Prep Football: Davie 22, Thomasville 17
By Brian Pitts
MOCKSVILLE ó Davieís Trevon Faulkner and Kurtis Banner werenít on any scouting reports or player-to-watch lists heading into Davieís home game against Thomasville last night.
But both grabbed the spotlight in a harrowing fourth quarter that saw the War Eagles barely escape Thomasvilleís rally, 22-17.
Faulkner, a senior outside linebacker, played the game of his life, making a one-handed interception before making two crucial plays on Thomasvilleís final drive. Banner, a junior backup in the secondary, stole the ball from receiver Dezmond Wilson in the end zone with less than two minutes left to turn back the Bulldogs.
Thomasville dropped to 1-4 with a fourth straight loss. Davieís third straight win lifted it to 3-2.
While Davie soaked up euphoria from dodging a bullet, the Bulldogs departed in exasperation. It was all too familiar, offensive coordinator Dickie Cline said.
ěWe canít get a break or make a break,î Cline said. ěWeíre driving down for the winning score and they flag the bench (15 yards). Weíre just not getting any breaks. The kids are playing hard. Our kids just have to keep fighting.î
Shaquan Johnson, the extremely talented tailback who rushed for 224 yards on 30 carries, returned a kickoff 91 yards to help Thomasville to a 7-6 lead. Davieís Adam Smith and Jae-Re Peebles hooked up for an 80-yard TD that gave Davie a 12-7 halftime lead.
Smithís 14-yard strike to tight end Johnathan Wiseman pushed the margin to 19-7. After Faulknerís interception at the Davie 43, Woody Parrish drilled a 41-yard field goal to make it 22-7 late in the third.
Thomasville, however, would not back down. Johnson got outside and raced 77 yards to cut it to 22-14 with 10:50 left. After the Bulldogs drove 68 yards, Rob Styers hit a 32-yard field goal as Davieís lead was trimmed to 22-17 with 5:51 left.
Thomasville got a three-and-out and took over at its 42 with 4:14 left. Moments later, it faced fourth-and-16 at Davieís 41. Shakeem Peterson found Sharaun Mouzone over the middle, and Mouzone carried defenders to the Davie 9, good for 32 yards.
After a toss sweep to Johnson gained 1 yard, Peterson play-actioned on second down. The pass over the middle hit Wilson in the end zone, but Banner wound up with the ball for a game-clinching pick.
ěWhat do you say?î Cline said. ěOur guys could have won the last two weeks. We need to get a break and eliminate little mistakes.î
Davie coach Doug Illing sang Bannerís praises. ěKids practice all week and you never know when your opportunity is going to come,î he said of Banner, who didnít see action until the fourth. ěHe broke on a pass earlier and missed it. But there he is to make a play and steal one for a victory. He said he took it away (from Wilson). Thatís just awesome.î
And how about Faulkner. ěWe had gotten on him because he missed a tackle on the big kickoff return,î Illing said. ěBut he got back in there, stuck his nose in there and made big plays. Heís been trying to find his way and prove he should be in there.î
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