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Knights make statement with victory over Davie County

By Bruce Wehrle
For the Lexington Dispatch

WELCOME — After last Friday’s 40-6 dismantling by Reagan, you had to think that perhaps North Davidson’s football team might be at a crossroads.

Nah.

The Black Knights simply ran through their season’s symbolic intersection and didn’t even stop to ask for directions on the way to a purposeful 45-28 Central Piedmont Conference victory over rival Davie County Friday night for Homecoming at Palmer Field.

“After last week’s game, we had a bunch of fans who were waiting to explode, a bunch of players who were waiting to explode and a bunch of coaches who were waiting to explode,” said head coach Mark Holcomb, whose team is now 2-1 in the league, 7-1 overall.

“We worked on our tempo all week, trying to pick the tempo up on our offense and trying to go as fast as we can. We’d kind of gotten away from that the last couple of weeks.”

The Knights took care of things right away.

On the very first possession of the game, North quarterback Joe Butts guided the team 85 yards in eight plays, capped by a 1-yard run by Kennedy McKoy.

Davie County answered immediately, with quarterback Chris Reynolds connecting with wide receiver Cooper Wall on a 70-yard TD strike to tie the game at 7-7.

But then it was North, this time with senior Keshon Roman taking the ensuing kickoff and running it back for an electrifying 95-yard return for a 14-7 lead that the Knights never relinquished.

“I thought that kickoff return was one of the biggest plays of the game,” noted Holcomb. “That was outstanding. We just moved him there this week. We gave him a chance to make a play, and he did.”

But the Knights weren’t through.

North responded with an onsides kick that Randee Ivery recovered on the 46-yard line. Then Nygil Dalton followed that with a 46-yard TD run and a 21-7 lead.

A few minutes later, Christopher Dunn booted a 24-yard field goal and North was up 24-7.

The Knights just kept pouring it on and finished the game with 517 yards in total offense. Butts, for his part, ended up going 24 of 36 for 328 yards.

“We knew we didn’t play our kind of ball last week,” said Butts. “We needed to fix some stuff and we fixed it. We came out hot. It was a good win for us. I just give credit to my receivers and the O-line. They’re the ones who make it happen.”

In the second period, North took advantage of a flubbed punt attempt by the War Eagles on their own 8-yard line when punter Jared Griggs couldn’t handle a low snap.

McKoy – who had four rushing touchdowns for the game – rolled in for an 8-yard TD run and a 31-14 lead.

McKoy added another TD on a 1-yard run with three minutes to go in the half for a 38-24 edge.

Davie County struck quickly in the third period with Reynolds breaking loose on a 71-yard keeper to edge back in to trail 38-21. Then the Eagles scored again early in the fourth period as Reynolds hit Mitchell McGee for a 37-yard TD pass to trail 38-28.

Reynolds had a strong passing night himself, hitting 26 of 37 attempts for 362 yards.

But North thwarted any thoughts of a Davie comeback when McKoy brook free for a 61-yard TD run and a 45-28 lead with 4:57 left to play.

Notes: Shannon Elise Morris was named North’s Homecoming queen. … Both teams combined for 73 passes and 690 passing yards. … McKoy rushed for 131 yards on 19 carries. …Garrett Griffith paced North receivers with seven catches for 108 yards. McKoy had six receptions for 92 yards. … North also had 122 yards in 12 penalties. … The Knights visit R.J. Reynolds on Friday.

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