Friday Night Hero: West Rowan's Harvey Landy
By Ronnie Gallagher
MOUNT ULLA – With an offense that only produced 61 yards, the West Rowan defense spent most of the night on the field, fighting and clawing with the 4A Davie County War Eagles.
So early in the fourth quarter, with the score tied at 7, it had to be dead tired, right?
You would have never known it when Harvey Landy made an interception at the five-yard line.
As Landy sped down the field toward the end zone, he was escorted by the entire defense, who had suddenly caught its second wind.
Landy’s interception turned out to be the deciding points in West’s 14-7 victory.
“I thought it was good enough on his own to get that pick,” West coach Scott Young said. “But Kiero (Cuthbertson) was ushering him down the sidelines. Najee (Tucker) was ushering him down the sidelines. Teoz Mauney made a good block. It was good to see our whole defense get involved.”
“I just ran with him to make sure he got there,” Tucker joked.
Landy was the second Falcon defensive back in two weeks to score a touchdown. In the season opener, Tucker took a fumble 65 yards in a win over 4A Mooresville.
“What a difference a year makes,” Young beamed. “(The secondary was) put through the ringer last year. They were the weakest link of our football team.”
Landy said the DBs gathered after a 38-6 loss to Havelock in the 3A state final.
“Losing like that didn’t feel good at all,” he said. “We worked real hard over the summer.”
Landy was almost a drop end this season. That’s where he played during the summer because he had gained speed and 15 pounds. But before the preseason scrimmages, he returned to cornerback.
Landy, who is nicknamed “Bama” because he moved here from the small town of Daleville, Ala., as a freshman, took advantage of the opportunity.
“We said, ‘This is your spot, go out and play,’ ” defensive coordinator Lee Linville remarked. “It built his confidence. He’s very physical, getting up in the receiver’s face and jamming him on the line.”
After a muffed punt at the start of the fourth quarter Friday, it was up to Landy and the defense to come through. Davie made it to the 8-yard line before a penalty put the War Eagles back to the 14.
“They had all the momentum,” Young said.
Parker Correll went back to pass and Landy was waiting.
“He made a good break on the ball,” Linville said. “Bama beat him to the spot.”
Then, it came down to whether Landy – and his defensive teammates – could outrun the War Eagles the length of the field.
“Coach Young likes conditioning,” Landy grinned. “We were in shape.”
Landy’s eyes got big when he picked off the pass.
“I jumped the route and made a spin move,” he said. “I saw green grass. It felt great.”
West still had to go back on the field and stop Davie again. Which it did.
“I’m so proud of the whole defense,” Young said. “As an offensive coach and a guy who calls plays, you could kinda be ‘woe-is-me’ and feel bad for yourself. But sometimes, you’ve got to win games like this.”
You sure do.
Landy and the defense held Davie to seven points and 89 yards rushing a week after the War Eagles punished 4AA state champ Greensboro Page for over 320 yards.
“The intestinal fortitude of the whole defense – you should make them all heroes,” Young said. “But Bama had the big play.”