Page rolls past Davie, 53-22
By Brian Pitts
For the Salisbury Post
MOCKSVILLE — Davie quarterback Chris Reynolds threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns – all three to Ben Ellis — in the first half alone here Friday against the Page Pirates — yet the War Eagles trailed, 46-22, at intermission.
Page went on to win, 53-22, in the season opener for both squads.
The reason for Davie’s large halftime deficit: It turned the ball over on its first three possessions, and the War Eagles also gave up two touchdowns on blocked punts in the first half.
“Bang, bang and we’re down real quick,” Davie coach Devore Holman said. “That’s hard to come back from.”
There were 10 touchdowns in the first half, including seven by the Pirates, who jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first 6:11 of the contest.
The War Eagles’ first three possessions went interception, interception, fumble. The Reynolds-to-Ellis combination got them back in the game, if only briefly. Reynolds and Ellis, who set the school record for receiving yards in a season last year, hooked up for 66 yards and Reynolds completed to Cooper Wall for two points to cut the Page lead to 21-8.
Page went 80 yards to make it 28-8, and it returned the first blocked punt 23 yards to make it 34-8 just 14 seconds into the second quarter.
“They are huge up front,” Holman said. “They’re big and fast. (Running back Javon Leake) is special, and they’ve got a couple receivers who are special. We couldn’t get any pressure and we couldn’t stop the run inside.”
Page fumbled a punt at midfield. Then running back Curtis Gray converted a fourth-and-2 before Ellis hauled in a 34-yard TD catch as Davie climbed within 34-15. Less than four minutes later, Reynolds and Ellis connected for 67 yards, and Jonn Young’s point-after kick cut it to 34-22 with 2:46 remaining in the half.
That was enough time, however, for two more Page TDs – the first on a 42-yard pass and the other on a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone.
After the wild first half, there was only one score in the second half, coming on a Page run early in the fourth period, after Davie botched a punt attempt inside its 5-yard line.
Page QB Will Jones threw for 185 yards and three TDs, while Leake ran for 196 yards on 16 carries.
For Davie, Reynolds went 14 of 22 for 280 yards, bouncing back nicely from those two early picks and making plays while running for his life most of the night. Ellis had eight grabs for 200 yards, while Wall had 72 yards on four receptions.
Davie struggled mightily on the ground (38 yards on 33 attempts). It was helped by Page’s 12 penalties for 90 yards.
“Reynolds is doing exactly what he’s supposed to do,” Holman said. “He’s going to fight until the bitter end. We’ve got to protect him better. He took way too many shots tonight.
“I’ve said it time and time again, Ellis’ knowledge and his hands are amazing. When the lights come on, you can count on Ben Ellis.”
Page coach Kevin Gillespie was all smiles.
“We played great,” he said. “Those guys up front did an excellent job. Oh, we’ve got a great group (of receivers). All four of them can make plays. We were mixing it up good.”