Davie County’s season ends at Porter Ridge, 49-27
By Brian Pitts
For the Salisbury Post
INDIAN TRAIL — Davie County came to Indian Trail to see if it could contain Porter Ridge’s triple-option rushing attack. It couldn’t.
The Pirates came out looking to run the ball in old-school, smash-mouth fashion. It could, leading to a 49-27 win over the visiting War Eagles in the first round of the 4A playoffs last night.
The eighth-seeded Pirates (8-4) won for the fifth time in six games and avenged a loss in the only other meeting between the schools, a 21-14 Davie victory in the 4A semifinals in 2010.
No. 9 Davie County finished 5-7.
Porter Ridge junior quarterback Grayson McCall orchestrated the flex-bone with surgical precision as the hosts assumed control right out of the gate while building a 35-6 lead in the second quarter.
McCall handed off or pitched to talented runners like Jaylen Coleman, who ran 23 times for 152 yards and four touchdowns, and Malcolm Hines, who ran for 100 yards on 11 carries. McCall blended 14 carries for 64 yards with 127 passing yards on five completions.
The Pirates roared to the end zone on their first four possessions, driving 75, 66, 68 and 42 yards for a 28-6 lead.
Three of those possessions were ground-oriented. On the second series, all Davie eyes were on the run as McCall gave the defense an option-run look before throwing down the seam to receiver Keon Polk, who was wide open for a 60-yard touchdown.
The War Eagles were reeling when Porter Ridge went up 28-6. Things got even worse on the ensuing kickoff. It was fumbled and a Pirate scooped it and scored to make it 35-6, giving them three TDs in a span of 5:31.
Davie’s first score came on a third-and-goal play. Josh Hall, who had a record night, hit Ben Summers in the left flat. Summers dove for the pylon for a 4-yard score.
The War Eagles came up with a 21-7 run bridging the second and third quarters to give themselves hope. They marched 80 yards in nine plays in the final minute of the first half, scoring on Mason Wilson’s reception. In the third, Wilson’s second TD catch capped a 77-yard drive.
Davie linebacker Cody Hendrix, who broke James Boyle’s career tackles record in his final game wearing the orange and black, recovered a fumble on the next play from scrimmage. Four plays later, Hall and Cooper Wall connected for a 12-yard score. Backup kicker Beaven Arey’s extra point cut the deficit to 42-27 with 5:33 left in the third quarter.
But that was as close as Davie would get. Porter Ridge restored order with a nine-play, 76-yard drive to push the margin to 49-27, and neither team scored in the final quarter.
Hall was terrific in defeat, going 27 of 45 for 329 yards and four TDs, and his lone interception came on the game’s final snap. It was the sixth-most passing yards in a Davie game. Only Chris Reynolds, Garrett Benge, Zach Illing and Adam Smith have had bigger games in terms of passing yardage. It was the 13th time in Davie’s 62-year history that a QB tossed four or five TDs in a game, as Hall finished one short of Reynolds’ single-game record. His 27 completions tied a record; Reynolds had 27 on two occasions. And Hall, who connected with 10 different backs/receivers, set a record for pass attempts in a game (Benge threw 44 times in a 40-19 playoff loss at Independence in 2006).
Wall (nine catches for 121 yards) added to his record career in his final hour as a War Eagle. It was his fifth game with nine or more catches. He owns five of the 13 such games by Davie receivers. His 11th career 100-yard receiving game put him in a tie with Ben Ellis for first in that category.
Wilson had seven grabs for 88 yards as Davie finished with 22 first downs and 380 yards.
Unfortunately for Davie, it wasn’t nearly enough on a night when the Pirates churned 56 times for 363 rushing yards, a 6.4 average. They converted 8 of 13 third downs and 2 of 3 fourth downs on the way to 490 yards. Their only punt came with 82 seconds remaining.