North Davidson 34, Davie 24
By Brian Pitts
MOCKSVILLE – In the showdown for the CPC’s No. 1 seed before an overflow crowd at War Eagle Stadium last night, visiting North Davidson showed why they’re undefeated.
While the War Eagles stumbled out of the gate, the Black Knights were at peak form in the first half, built a 27-17 halftime lead and maintained a cushion in a 34-24 decision.
North (11-0, 5-0 Central Piedmont Conference) carved up a defense that had not allowed more than 14 points all season. Davie, which had won nine of 11 meetings, slipped to 8-3, 3-2. Davie will be the CPC’s No. 2 seed.
The War Eagles got off on the wrong foot, starting the game’s first series at their 8 and fumbling on third down. North’s Hunter Hoots scooped and scored from the 5.
Two plays later, Davie quarterback Cade Carney broke a 70-yard run, and it was 7-7 less than four minutes in. But Tevin Tuttle returned the ensuing kickoff 53 yards to the Davie 36, and North covered the remaining 36 yards on the ground to take a 14-7 lead. Davie would play catchup the rest of the night.
“They’ve fed off turnovers all year on defense, and their defense played well tonight,” Davie coach Doug Illing said. “There were a lot of emotions early. You can get caught up in the moment. We just didn’t handle it well.”
Woody Parrish drilled a 42-yard field goal to pull Davie to 14-10. North’s response was a 10-play, 80-yard drive that made it 21-10, and Spencer Landfried’s 34-yard field goal bumped the margin to 24-10.
Davie gained 168 yards in the first half, and 143 of them came on two plays, including A.J. Blaskievich’s 73-yard catch-and-run. He broke tackles, hurdled a defender at the North 20 and scored to cut Davie’s deficit to 24-17.
North took total control early in the third, driving 67 yards for a 34-17 advantage.
North QB Chase Mitchell was brilliant, going 16 of 19 for 210 yards and no interceptions. Receiver Ashton Phillips came up big time and again, finishing with five catches for 93 yards, including a spectacular, one-handed grab for 52 yards.
North’s offense was diverse as Devonte Moore (71 yards) and Conlee Hunter (52) were efficient on the ground.
“When you execute the throwing game, it opens up the running game,” Illing said. “And when you try to stop the running game, it opens up the passing game. They did a good job of mixing it up.”
Davie made things interesting in the fourth. Carney’s 39-yard scamper keyed an 80-yard drive that pulled Davie to 34-24.
Johnathan Wiseman’s 30-yard catch had Davie at the North 12. But North intercepted Carney on third down. Carney, who rushed for 169 yards and passed for 112, was picked off twice – both times getting hit as he threw.
“Some big plays were made out there, and we didn’t make enough of them,” Illing said.
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