Prep Football: Davie 23, West Forsyth 17

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 7, 2011

By Brian Pitts
CLEMMONS ó Thereís only one way to say this. Nate Jones is crazy good. As a first-year varsity player as a senior, he does things that are absurd.
How absurd?
Adam Smith, Davieís prolific running-and-passing machine, went down with cramps with seven minutes to play last night at West Forsyth with the score tied at 17. Jones, a receiver who had never attempted a pass and had three rushing attempts this season, took over at quarterback in the wildcat formation.
Jones sliced between the tackles for 8 yards on second-and-7. On the next play, Jones faked a handoff and threw a bomb that hit Jae-Re Peebles in stride at the West 28. Peebles raced to the end zone for a 56-yard touchdown. Davie botched the extra point (the holder, Smith, was on the sideline), but after a defensive stop, Davie had a heart-pounding 23-17 victory.
Davieís sixth straight win lifted it to 6-2 and 2-0 in the Central Piedmont Conference. West fell to 3-4, 1-1.
You did not need a PhD in football to know that Davie was in trouble without Smith, who threw for 180 yards on 11-of-15 passing and ran for a team-high 58 yards. But Jones was unflappable in the face of intense pressure.
ěWe put in the War Eagle package this week with Adam replacing (injured Denzel Redmon), and then Adam goes down,î Davie coach Doug Illing said. ěIt was good that Adam stayed on the ground to give us time to think. All Nate does during practice is throw the ball. Heís a gamer. Heís playing with a passion and a mission.î
This was a white-knuckler all night. The War Eagles trailed 14-7 at the half and needed a big play. The first of many heroes was sophomore Sam Nesbit, who blocked a punt, scooped the ball and scored from the 6 as Woody Parrishís point-after kick tied the game at 14.
ěWith a three-step punter, we thought we could block it,î Illing said.
The Titans had first-and-goal at the 9, but Davie forced them to settle for a 27-yard field goal that put West in front 17-14.
Smith rolled out on first-and-21. He could have tucked it and run for big yards, but he went deep to Peebles, who made a 53-yard catch. Moments later, Parrish drilled a career-long 43-yard field goal to tie it at 17 with 10:24 left. Parrish had missed from 48.
ěIíve got total confidence in him,î Illing said. ěHe kicked a 52-yarder before the game.î
Davieís next big play came from nose guard Raekwon Gray, who batted down a fourth-and-10 screen pass. Smith went down with cramps on the next play. That set the stage for Jonesí magical pass to Peebles, who had four catches for 132 yards.
ěJae-Re had a big night,î Illing said. ěCoach (Chris Callison) gave him an opportunity after threatening to take away his starting position.î
West faced third-and-7 from its 42, but Landon Hurt caught QB Trae Bailey from behind for a 5-yard sack. West punted with 2:48 left.
On third-and-6 for Davie, Stephon Smoot ran for 7 hard-earned yards by bulling through Titans on second and third effort. Davieís first successful conversion on third down all game sealed the game.
ěOur defense just kept finding ways,î Illing said. ěThey were drawing in the dirt over there. I donít know what they were doing, but they found ways to get it done.î