Davie beats Mt. Tabor, 40-33

Published 2:05 am Saturday, October 31, 2015

By Brian Pitts
For the Salisbury Post
With a playoff berth on the line for both teams, Davie County came up with just enough grit and oomph to stave off visiting Mt. Tabor, 40-33, last night in Mocksville in a shootout for the ages.
The season is likely over for the Spartans, who have a bye next week. They are 5-6 and 2-4 in the Central Piedmont Conference. If Davie (4-6, 2-3) beats Parkland next week, it will advance to the postseason.
It was the signature win for Davie’s third-year coach, Devore Holman. Not only was the season on the line, the War Eagles exorcised some demons. They had lost three straight and 13 of 15 to Tabor. Before this, Holman’s only CPC wins since becoming coach in 2013 were against Reynolds and Parkland.
“Our message was: Are you going to play for the guy beside you?” Holman said. “That’s what these guys did tonight. They played for one another.”
Davie never trailed, although it barely held on at the end, and the breakthrough was a testament to quarterback Chris Reynolds and receivers Ben Ellis and Cooper Wall. Reynolds, who may be as hot as you can possibly get, completed 25 of 28 passes for 250 yards without an interception. He threw two touchdown passes, ran for two and finished with 89 rushing yards.
Ellis set the single-game record for catches with 12 and had 100 receiving yards. Wall had six receptions for 103 yards as Davie broke a three-game skid and won for the first time since Sept. 25.
“I told you before the season that Chris is a special young man,” Holman said. “He has the ability to make something out of nothing. My gosh, it’s amazing to watch Ellis. He played double duty tonight on offense and defense. I know he’s dog tired. Oh man, Wall is a playmaker. He’s a big-time playmaker. He helps make us tick.”
The War Eagles withstood the lethal Divine Deablo, a Tabor receiver headed to Virginia Tech. The 6-4, 205-pounder had six catches for 163 yards and two TDs.
Davie led 19-11 at halftime, but it probably should have had a bigger advantage after putting up 116 more yards than Tabor and running 41 plays to Tabor’s 21.
The Spartans tied the game in the first minute of the third, scoring on Deablo’s 70-yard catch-and-run and on Isaiah Jones’ two-point conversion. Jones would finish with 23 carries for 112 yards – his sixth straight game over the century mark.
Davie answered with an 11-play, 79-yard drive capped by an 11-yard TD pass to Ellis. A two-point pass failed, leaving the Davie lead at 25-19.
Then Davie safety Caleb Wallace intercepted a pass that deflected off Deablo’s hands. “What a pick,” Holman said. “Oh my gosh. Somehow he leaned back and was able to keep possession of it.”
Greg Dalton’s first carry of the game was a 40-yard explosion up the gut to the Tabor 7. Reynolds scored on a run, and Jared Griggs’ point-after kick made it 32-19 with 3:34 left in the third quarter.
It was far from over. Tabor kept the ball on the ground on 12 of 13 plays during an 80-yard march that cut the Spartans’ deficit to 32-26.
Wall’s 35-yard reception set up Peyton Hampton’s 1-yard plunge. Davie went for two, and Wall improvised in back-yard fashion to give Davie a 14-point lead at 40-26. Reynolds scrambled around and threw behind the line of scrimmage to Wall, who decided against running it and instead threw it up to Ellis. Lo and behold, Ellis came down with it.
Less than two minutes later, Tabor QB Teddy Christakos hooked up with Deablo for a 40-yard score. Now it was 40-33 with 5:39 to play.
Reynolds’ streak of 18 straight completions ended on first down, but Davie ripped off big chunks of yards on four consecutive plays. Reynolds had a 15-yard keeper to the Tabor 20, but near the end of the play he was stripped and Tabor took over at its 20 with 3:01 to go.
Tabor roared to the Davie 28 in four plays. Ellis defended a deep ball to force Tabor into a third-and-7 situation at the Davie 25. After an incompletion, Tabor called timeout to plot its fourth-down play.
Christakos did what everyone expected and threw deep to Deablo, who had a shot to catch it around the goal line. But Wallace jumped as high as he could get, batted it down and sealed the victory with 61 seconds on the clock.
“I told the team: ‘Guys, don’t let No. 1 (Deablo) behind you,” Holman said.
Davie had 29 first downs to Tabor’s 19, it outgained the Spartans 460-360 and it averaged 6.3 yards per play. Tabor stayed within striking distance by averaging 7.2 yards per play.