Davie County falls to RJ Reynolds, 28-10
By Brian Pitts
For the Salisbury Post
WINSTON-SALEM — Right when Davie County’s football team needed to right the ship, the bottom fell out.
In the Central Piedmont Conference opener at Reynolds Friday night, the first half was a disaster, in an eventual 28-10 loss to the Demons.
Scoring three touchdowns in a span of 5:56 in the first half, Reynolds bolted to a 28-3 lead at intermission and coasted from there.
Davie fell to 3-4 with its fourth loss in five games. The Demons, who stopped an eight-game losing streak in the series, improved to 4-3. They’ve already matched their high for CPC wins between 2010-17.
One positive trend continued for the War Eagles, who scored first for the seventh time in seven games. Isaiah Cuthrell forced a fumble and Matt Hill recovered for Davie at the Reynolds 28. Skyler Schoppe nailed a 27-yard field goal to give Davie a 3-0 lead, in midway through the first quarter.
But Davie has played porous pass defense all season, and it was undone again by the opponent’s aerial attack. Twenty-one seconds after Schoppe’s field goal, Charlie Mensh found a wide-open Tobias Johnson on a seam route, and the result was an 80-yard score. That set in motion four Reynolds TDs in four possessions.
Reynolds rotated QBs and both had tremendous success. Caden Davis completed 23- and 28-yard passes before hitting Kenyar McPhatter in the end zone for a 10-yard score. At that point, Mensh and Davis were 4-for-4 for 141 yards — and the first quarter wasn’t over yet.
Then it was Mensh’s turn. He went to Johnson again, and the big guy beat double coverage for a 51-yard score.
Tate Carney, a freshman who was the bulk of Davie’s offense, had seven carries for 42 yards in a series that halted in Reynolds territory and ended with a punt.
On fourth-and-2 from its own 28, Reynolds coach Pat Crowley dialed up a fake punt. The upback, Nic Imes, made it work by gaining 8 yards. Davis converted a fourth-and-1 from the Davie 24 with a read-option run for 5 yards. After scoring on three TD passes, Reynolds showed it could burn Davie with the run, too, as Tavon Taylor went 19 yards to the end zone, barely getting touched on his first carry of the night. The 14-play, 80-yard drive extended the gap to 28-3 with 2:38 left in the half.
To make matters worse for Davie, QB Nate Hampton left after four series with an injury. He joined two other starters who were in street clothes from the beginning (safety Hunter Meacham and receiver Evan Little). And starting running back Josh Robinson saw little action due to an injury that kept him out of practice this week.
But to the Demons’ credit, they built a 21-3 lead before Hampton departed. In the first half, they gained 260 yards on 10 completions on the way to 308 total yards. By contrast, it was a listless half for the War Eagles, who had more punts (five) than first downs (four). They had 69 total yards. Three completions yeilded 3 yards. Six-of-nine third downs were unsuccessful.
Crowley, Reynolds’ fourth-year coach, let off the gas in the second half. Five Reynolds possessions tallied 41 yards.
The second-half bright spots for Davie: Hill exploded up the middle to block a 25-yard field goal; Carney got loose outside for a 51-yard run; Jack Reynolds made a spectacular diving catch for 28 yards from freshman QB Alex Summers, who made his varsity debut; and Carney scored from 6 yards out to cap a 26-carry, 152-yard night when most of it came against a loaded box. After starting 0-for-6, Summers completed four of his last six attempts for 64 yards.
Davie went 39 minutes between scores, and it won’t get any easier in the unforgiving CPC. Arch-rival West Forsyth visits Davie next week, and the Titans have won five of the past six meetings.