Davie County loses wild battle at Page, 35-28
Published 2:46 am Saturday, August 18, 2018
By Brian Pitts
For the Salisbury Post
GREENSBORO — Davie County pulled several rabbits out of its hat, showed grit after its 15-point lead evaporated and rallied to tie things at 28-28 in the fourth quarter Friday night at Page.
However, the young War Eagles ran out of magic on their last significant defensive series of the night, and the highly-regarded Pirates escaped, 35-28, in the wild season-opener.
The War Eagles jumped all over Page at the outset, with Zach Smith causing and recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff.
Nate Hampton, a sophomore quarterback seeing the bright varsity lights for the first time, engineered a seven-play, 26-yard drive to pay dirt, completing a third-and-5 pass for six yards to Ben Crenshaw and stepping up in the pocket on third-and-18 and finding freshman Tate Carney for 19 yards.
Josh Robinson covered the last four yards on a burst up the middle as Davie grabbed a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Page answered immediately as Cody King returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a score. Davie remained ahead, 7-6, because Isaiah Cuthrell blocked the extra point.
Peyton Hampton, Nate’s older brother and a senior headed to Army, was everywhere in the first half, booming a 57-yard punt from his own end zone and making two tackles for loss in a span of four plays from his new middle linebacker position.
Davie reached into its bag of tricks on a first-down play late in the first quarter. Crenshaw, a sophomore receiver, ran toward the right end with a handoff before pulling up and letting a deep ball fly. Jack Reynolds was wide open for a 25-yard TD.
Kristian Lyons made the next big play for Davie, blocking a punt. The ball pinballed around for a few moments before Matt Hill recovered in the end zone to give Davie a stunning, 21-6 lead early in the second quarter.
But the momentum began to turn for Page after Carney’s fourth-and-2 run for double-figure yards was negated by a holding penalty. Instead of being in the red zone, Davie had to punt. Page, which had one first down on its four possessions, picked up three in a span of four plays, including quarterback Javondra Paige’s 30-yard scamper to cap a 72-yard drive. The holder bobbled the snap and was swarmed under on the PAT.
Page got a three-and-out and then marched 57 yards to cut Davie’s halftime lead to 21-18, scoring on Paige’s 15-yard fade pass to Lawson Albright. The extra point try was wide right.
The Pirates took their first lead by taking advantage of busted coverage. Paige hit a wide-open Ford Moser for 61 yards, the kick was good and Davie was down 25-21.
Paige, who was basically Page’s entire offense with 147 rushing yards and 166 passing yards, converted a fourth-and-2 from Davie’s 17 with a 3-yard run, setting up Matt Chmil’s 35-yard field goal to push the margin to 28-21.
Albright dropped a sure TD, but Page was in position to put Davie away with a 32-yard FG with under seven minutes left. Davie came back to life with a miracle play. Two War Eagles blocked the kick. Hill scooped the ball and ran for a while before pitching it back to Lyons, who dashed the remaining 59 yards for an incredible TD. Skyler Schoppe, who was perfect on extra points, delivered under pressure to tie the score at 28 with 6:20 to play.
But Paige wouldn’t let Page lose. On fourth-and-11 at the Davie 22, he found no one open and ran instead, gaining 14 yards. Two plays later, he rumbled 10 yards to the end zone as Page took the 35-28 lead with only 2:02 left.
Davie needed another miracle that didn’t materialize, and the home team prevailed in this amazing series for the first time since 2010. Davie’s three-game winning streak at Marion Kirby Stadium ended as well.