High school football: Hornets crush North Davidson

Published 6:10 pm Saturday, August 19, 2023



By Mike London

SALISBURY — Tales are told of the old days when Salisbury’s J.C. Price Red Devils doggedly refused to let opponents cross midfield.

It was an insult to see an opponent lining up to run a play in their territory.

In one of the biggest football games the Red Devils ever played for legndary coach S.W. Lancaster, a crushing 48-0 victory in the 1952 showdown with Hickory’s Ridgeview High that would propel the Red Devils to a 2A state championship for Black schools, Ridgeview never reached the 50.

It would be impossible to document, but it is said that in 1940 when Price outscored opponents 336-0 and was the undisputed champion for all Black schools in the state, regardless of size, there were many games like that — games that were played exclusively on the opponents’ end of the field.

Generations have passed, but Salisbury Hornets still wear a little red with the gold, black and white, in remembrance of the Red Devils, and they still play defense.

North Davidson ran into a buzz saw on Friday’s opening night at Ludwig Stadium and took a 42-0 beating. For a long time, North Davidson didn’t have a first down. North Davidson’s first venture past the 50-yard line came with two minutes left in the third quarter.

“Our defensive played well,” Salisbury head coach Clayton Trivett said. “Offensively, we need to fix some things up front, but overall it was a great game for us on both sides of the ball.

Wesley Jackson is the Salisbury defensive coordinator, with Tay Little, Matthew Hogrefe and Jeff Burton assisting on that side of the ball.

Salisbury’s defensive unit doesn’t have a lot of household names, with the exception of two-ways Mike Geter and Deuce Walker, but it’s a fearsome crew that returned nine seasoned players, including All-Central Carolina Conference picks Jaylin Graham-Taylor and Dashawn Brown, from a very good 2022 group.

North Davidson has a completely new offensive unit, so it was a mismatch. North Davidson had about 10 yards at halftime and fewer than 100 for the game, even after the Hornets relaxed a bit

The best the Black Knights could hope for in the first half was a three-and-out and a punt. There was usually a running-play loss on first down. On second and long and third and long, the Hornets were coming, and a sack was at least as likely as a pass completion.

Salisbury scored on its opening possession, moving 53 yards, with most of it on a 30-yard TD pass from Geter to Walker.

Geter threw a 2-point conversion pass to Jackson Sparger to make it 8-0.

An interception by Torian Brown led to a short-field touchdown.  Jamal Rule, the feature back replacing record-setter JyMikaah Wells, got the touchdown from the 4-yard line to make it 14-0.

It was 28-0 by halftime with Geter juking his way to two scores on the ground and Hank Webb tacking on two PATs.

Rule’s second touchdown from 15 yards out pushed Salisbury’s lead to 35-0.

The last tally for the Hornets came in the fourth quarter when Geter sidearmed a pass to Webb for a 24-yard score.

Walker had six catches for 78 yards, with Evan Koontz and Josh Allen making three catches each.

Rule ran for 180 yards on 26 carries, with most of the damage coming in the first half. He had more than 100 yards rushing by halftime.

Geter connected on his first seven passes and finished 16-for-21 for 182 yards. Besides his two rushing TDs and two passing TDs, Geter intercepted a pass.

Kenyon Hairston and Graham-Taylor had sacks.

A trip to Walkertown (1-0) is next for the Hornets.