Davie County beats Knights, moves to 2-0
By Brian Pitts
For the Salisbury Post
WELCOME — Davie County and North Davidson raced up and down the field Friday night like kids playing in the back yard — until their parents called them in for dinner.
The touchdowns piled up, one after another, until there were 10 in all.
But after finding themselves down, 23-15, the visiting War Eagles went on a 27-0 run in the second half and won, 42-31, their first win in Welcome since 2011.
Davie is 2-0 for the first time in three years, since the Chris Reynolds/Cooper Wall/James Boyle/Cody Hendrix days of 2016. North, the defending 2AA runner-up, slipped to 0-2 for the first time since 2006.
“We talked about mental toughness all offseason,” Davie coach Tim Devericks said. “We’ve been mentally tested in these two games (28-27 win over Page in the opener), and they’re battling with each other.”
“It feels amazing,” left tackle Camden Beck said. “We’re already at the amount of wins we had last year. Last year, we would have blamed each other. This year, we’ve come together and we’re playing as a team. Whole different mentality, and it’s amazing to be a part of it.”
Other War Eagles felt the same way.
“Man, the step up from last year to this year has been crazy,” left guard Tanner Batten said. “The feeling is like a shockwave hitting you, and I love that feeling.”
Individual exploits from both sides made you wonder if somebody’s calculator miscalculated. The Black Knights picked up 421 of their 477 yards through the air. QB Landon Moore (25 of 43 with four TD passes) and receivers Jamarien Dalton (10 catches for 170 yards) and Mason Everhart (eight catches for 196 yards) were incredible.
But Davie survived all that because QB Nate Hampton and running back Tate Carney carved out places in the school history book. Putting his jukes, power and pure speed on display, Carney rushed for 119 yards, had 138 receiving yards and scored three TDs. The sophomore became the first War Eagle this century to reach 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game.
Hampton went 18-of-27 for 340 yards, throwing for the sixth-most yards in Davie annals. He became the eighth different Davie QB to fire four-plus TDs in a game, connecting with four different guys (Jack Reynolds, Zymere Hudson, Carney and Evan Little) in the process. He also pounded out 53 rushing yards, as Davie put up its most points in 20 games.
What’s more, Reynolds had 108 receiving yards and sophomore Hudson went to the house — on a 47-yard post route in the second quarter — on his first varsity catch.
North wiped out Davie’s 15-10 halftime lead and went ahead, 23-15, midway through the third quarter. Davie’s back was against the wall.
A simple screen pass from Davie’s 20-yard line turned the momentum. Carney caught it in the left flat, broke a tackle at the Davie 40-yard line and went all the way for an 80-yard score.
“Every time Tate gets the ball, you don’t know what he’s about to do,” Hampton said. “You saw that tonight. He’s a dog in about everything he does.”
“It was just a screen play,” Carney said. “I had to hide in there and make sure they didn’t see me. We caught them by surprise. It was a great play call (by offensive coordinator Matt Gould). We had the crowd on our side, the defense stepped it up big and it was awesome to see it play out like it did.”
Less than four minutes later, Carney scored again on a six-yard run, Davie regained a 28-23 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, Hunter Meacham, Zach Smith and Bishop Norman stuffed a fourth-and-inches run up the middle from the Davie 31.
“I think we had three fourth-down stops in the red zone against Page, and we had two big stops tonight,” Smith said. “I hit him first and then Hunter and Norman wrapped him up.”
On the ensuing drive, Hampton fired a 26-yard TD to Little to make it 35-23.
“The corner tried to slide toward Jack, so I thought I might as well throw it up top to Evan,” Hampton said. “I knew he was going to come down with it.”
The War Eagles were suddenly unstoppable. Safety Caleb Bowling intercepted — Moore finally threw a pick on his 39th throw — and returned it 17 yards to the North 15. Carney rumbled to the end zone on the next play, giving Davie two TDs in 62 seconds, capping the 27-0 run and pushing the margin to 42-23 with 6:21 to play.
Kristian Lyons iced it with an INT with four minutes to go.
“It feels amazing,” defensive tackle Ben Norman said. “We came back and showed them how to play a four-quarter game.”
NOTES: The last 12 times the War Eagles opened 2-0, they enjoyed a winning season. The last time they started 2-0 and did not finish above .500 was 1980. … Carney had a heavier load because fellow running back Josh Robinson did not play as he nursed a knee injury. Robinson said the injury is not serious.