Davie County continues its roll with shutout of Parkland
By Brian Pitts
For the Salisbury Post
MOCKSVILLE — Davie’s football team started slowly, but it revved its jets at halftime and took care of business in the second half as the War Eagles smothered Parkland, 34-0, in the final regular-season home game at War Eagle Stadium last night.
It was an emotional Senior Night for several reasons. Euphoria overflowed as Davie (10-1, 6-0 Central Piedmont Conference) captured the conference championship outright for just the fourth time in its 61-year history and the first time since 2004.
The others came in 1965 and 1999. It’s the fourth time Davie has reached 10 victories in the regular season, the others coming in 1965, 2004 and 2006.
“This group has been on a mission since the Scotland County (playoff game) last year,” interim coach Tim Devericks said. “It was an emotional night all the way around with this being the ceremonial last game at War Eagle Stadium and Senior Night. They were trying to ride that wave of emotion.”
Meanwhile, the fading Mustangs (7-4, 2-4) dropped their third game in a row.
Parkland’s secondary — and pressure from blitzes — did a solid job containing quarterback Chris Reynolds and Davie’s array of receivers. Reynolds went 11 of 24 for 161 yards. He offset one pick with two TD passes. Junior Cooper Wall did the most damage, making six catches for 122 yards — his eighth career 100-yard game, tying for second in the school’s record book in that category.
But Davie’s eighth straight win was defined by its ground game. Reynolds (15 carries for 122 yards), Peyton Hampton (11 carries for 103 yards) and Adrian Cranfill (12 carries for 61 yards) averaged 7.5 yards per carry between them as the War Eagles churned for 24 first downs.
“Wow. That’s awesome,” Devericks said of having two 100-yard rushers in the same game. “Credit to the o-line and those guys running hard.”
The War Eagles led 10-0 at halftime, but they were unsatisfied as they left points on the field. They settled for Jared Griggs’ 21-yard field goal after having first-and-goal at the 3. Griggs missed a 37-yarder — just his second miss of the season — after Hampton’s 36-yard run put them in the red zone. And Reynolds was intercepted at the Parkland 3 after Davie had first down at the Mustangs’ 12.
Before that, though, 30- and 20-yard completions to Wall sparked a scoring drive that culminated with a 7-yard TD pass to Mason Wilson. That made it 10-0 at intermission.
The War Eagles laid waste to Parkland in the second half, and they did it with power. They marched 60 yards in five plays — all on the ground — scoring when Reynolds faked an option pitch and kept it for 14 yards.
On Davie’s second series of the third quarter, it picked up 57 yards on the ground on the way to the end zone. From the Parkland 5, Davie unveiled a new hammer team, with James Boyle at tight end and Beau Byerly at fullback. Reynolds ran over right tackle to score, and Parkland was down and out with the margin 24-0 with 6:10 remaining in the third.
In a fourth-quarter drive, Davie gained 49 of 67 yards on the ground. The hammer team produced the TD, although the manner it which it happened was unexpected as Reynolds tossed an 8-yard pass to Cody Hendrix, a star linebacker who lined up at tight end.
“We came into the game thinking we could pass the ball because we were thinking they were going to run man coverage,” Reynolds said. “But they changed it up a little bit. We made the adjustments, and next thing you know, we changed the game plan.”
After Hendrix blocked a punt at the Parkland 1, Griggs nailed a 24-yard field goal to complete the scoring. It was his 12th FG of the season, one from assistant coach David Wooldridge’s record. Wooldridge hit 13 in 1999 and 12 in 2001.
Davie’s defense was quite good as well. Parkland QB Tyeous Sharpe was 6 of 18 for 63 yards. The Mustangs were denied on 11 of 14 third downs, they punted seven times and were outgained 441-243 as Davie held a sixth opponent to seven points or less.
The War Eagles, who cemented their 11th conference title and their ninth CPC crown since 1999, have an eight-game winning streak in league play dating to 2015. It’s the longest streak since the 2003-05 teams reeled off eight straight.
“Everybody chipped in in every single way in all three phases, and it led to our result now,” Reynolds said. “Now it’s on to the next season (in the playoffs).”