High school football: School records fall as West wins shootout with Davie

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 27, 2022

By Mike London

FARMINGTON— West Rowan and Davie County combined for 971 yards and 69 points on Friday in one of the more scintillating games in what has been an exciting series.

In a 35-34 victory, West quarterback Lucas Graham connected on 15 of 25 passes for a whopping 388 yards, a school record.

Graham’s favorite target, Evan Kennedy, had seven catches for a school-record 227 yards.

“Kennedy can take over a game and people are starting to see that,” winning coach Louis Kraft said. “As far as Graham, he just keeps making the right reads and the right throws.”

Graham, who threw for three touchdowns, already had surpassed 200 passing yards before a whirlwind first quarter ended with the Falcons on top 20-7.

“We thought we were close to knocking them out with those three straight touchdowns, but Davie is Davie,” Kraft said. “They came roaring back.”

There was so much offense on display that when West retook the lead for the final time on Graham’s 42-yard strike to Adrian Stockton with 2:18 remaining, the big concern for Kraft was that the Falcons had scored too quickly and too early.

Davie did push past midfield in the final  minutes, but the War Eagles lost almost 20 yards on a devastating holding penalty, and West DB Matthew Gabriel broke up a desperate fourth-down pass on Davie’s last snap of an eventful night.

“I told an official in the third quarter, ‘Man, this is going to get pretty exciting,'” Kraft said. “And it did. What a game it was. What a game for our guys to win, and now we’re 2-0 with two big road wins. Not many people thought we’d be 2-0.”

West almost always opens with 4A opposition, and Mooresville and Davie are almost always tough. This is the first time the Falcons have started 2-0 since 2012.

Davie is 0-2 for the first time since 2017 when it fell to Page in overtime and then was smacked by North Davidson in Week 2.

Davie took the opening kickoff and had a Markel Summers touchdown on the scoreboard before two minutes had elapsed.

West answered with a long drive, with Graham connecting on key pass plays with Paxton Greene and Adrian Stockton (4 catches, 118 yards) to move the chains.

West reached the 1-yard line before the Falcons were pushed back to the 11 by penalties. From there, Graham hit tight end Abe Davis for a touchdown. Davie blocked Juan Arteaga’s PAT to maintain a 7-6 lead.

“Always glad to get the tight end in the end zone,” said Kraft, a former tight end. “We didn’t run that play all that well, but it worked out for us.”

Davie marched back to the West 30, but the Falcons got a stop on downs when Alijah Gray and Kenrick Payne blew up a running play on fourth-and-1.

Next, Graham found Kennedy for a 65-yard touchdown. Arteaga tacked on the point for a 13-7 West lead.

West scored again in the final seconds of the first quarter for 20-7. Kennedy’s 75-yard catch and gallop set up a touchdown run by West’s powerful back Landon Jacobs, who amassed 147 yards on 36 workhorse carries.

Jacobs racked up 5-yard gains all night, as West’s offensive line thumped the War Eagles off the line of scrimmage.

“I don’t think anyone has tackled Jacobs clean yet,” Kraft said of the big back who is always falling forward. “And our offensive line is just mauling people.”

Davie made a stand in the second quarter — and an impressive comeback. QB Ty Miller hit Summers and Evan York for touchdowns, and Palmer Williams made two PATs for a 21-20 Davie lead.

West had a chance for points late in the half, but DC’s Landon King made a leaping interception in the end zone. King was hurt on the play, but the War Eagles carried their precarious, one-point lead into the second half.

West’s drive on the first possession of the second half was critical.

Davie came close to stopping the Falcons, but three times Graham connected with Kennedy to keep the drive moving.

Once West reached the Davie 10, Jacobs was a battering ram. His second TD of the night made it 26-21 Falcons. West tried a trick play for a 2-point conversion, but it failed.

Miller had a productive night with 170 passing yards and 124 rushing yards.. He threw his second TD pass to York with 4:17 left in the third quarter to put the War Eagles on top 28-26.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Falcons inched in front 29-28 on the strength of Arteaga’s 29-yard field goal.

Miller, a junior who had a hand in four of Davie’s five TDs, scored on a 3-yard run with 9:39 left in the game. Leading 34-29, Davie head coach Tim Devericks understandably went for a 2-point conversion, but a pass play failed.

When the War Eagles stopped West on a fourth-and-5 from the Davie 42, things looked grim for the Falcons. Davie had the lead and the ball, with a hard-to-stop offense and a clock ticking toward the 4:00 mark.

Davie was still moving it, looking for the clinching score, when Jacob Perry picked off a pass at the West 33 with under three minutes left to play.

“With all the big plays that we made Perry’s pick was the biggest,” Kraft said. “That interception changed  a lot.”

West cashed in on the turnover. Graham propelled the Falcons into Davie territory with a clutch completion to Kennedy.

Then it was Stockton to the post, and Graham made the sweet throw for tht 42-yard touchdown that would provide a 35-34 victory.

The try for two points failed with 2:18 remaining, so Davie still had a chance to win it with a field goal, but the Falcons’ defense got the pass rush and the breakup that sealed victory.

“I was happy with our pass rush most of the night,” Kraft said. “Give Davie’s QB credit. He’s a slippery guy.”


NOTES: West punted only once and was stopped on downs once. Next for the Falcons is a third straight road tripto face Mooresville (1-1), coached by former West head man Joe Nixon. … After high-scoring losses to Mooresville and West, Davie will go to North Davidson next week. … Kennedy broke the school record of 213 receiving yards that Jalen Houston had set against Davie in 2018. … Graham broke the passing yards record of 371 that Noah Loeblein set last season against Central Cabarrus.


West Rowan   20  0    6    9 – 35

Davie               7    14  7    6 – 34

First Quarter

D – Summers 9 run (Williams kick), 10:37.

WR – Davis 11 pass from Graham (kick blocked), 5:17.

WR – Kennedy 65 pass from Graham (Artega kick), 2:12.

WR – Jacobs 5 run (Artega kick), :06.

Second Quarter

D – Summers 11 pass from Miller (Williams kick), 9:11.

D – York 15 pass from Miller (Williams kick), 4:47.

Third Quarter

WR – Jacobs 9 run (pass fail), 7:39.

D – York 14 pass from Miller (Williams kick), 4:17.

Fourth Quarter

WR – Arteaga 28 FG, 11:10.

D – Miller 3 run (pass fail), 9:39.

WR – Stockton 42 pass from Graham (pass fail), 2:18.


    WR    D

FD    26    20    

Rushing    51-186    40-217

Passing    388    170

C-A-I    15-25-1    10-22-1

Punts    1-19    1-53

F-L    0-0    0-0

Penalties    11-69    7-69

3rd conv.    6-14    2-9


West Rowan

RUSHING – Jacobs 36-147, Evan Kennedy 10-47, Stockton 1-3, Graham 3-(-4), team 1-(-7)

PASSING – Graham 15-25-1-388

RECEIVING – Kennedy 7-227, Stockton 4-116, Greene 2-37, Davis 1-11, Poole 1-(-3)


RUSHING – Miller 19-124, Summers 20-93, Maddox 1-0

PASSING – Miller 10-22-1-170

RECEIVING – Coleman 5-97, York 3-45, Summers 2-28