Reynolds and Wall return, Davie blows by Demons
By Brian Pitts
For the Salisbury Post
WINSTON-SALEM — Davie County’s football team was amped for last night’s game at Reynolds for two major reasons.
No. 1, it was the Central Piedmont Conference opener. Secondly, it marked the return of quarterback Chris Reynolds and receiver Cooper Wall.
Reynolds and Wall delivered a spectacular return from injuries that cost them two games, and the War Eagles tormented the Demons, 54-7. While Reynolds fell to 1-5 overall, Davie, at 5-1, produced its best start since 2012.
On its first offensive play, Davie went downtown and Reynolds and Wall raised goosebumps by connecting for a 38-yard touchdown on a fly route down the left sideline. Yep, Wall’s ribs were good to go. And Reynolds’ ankle was A-OK.
The quick strike came on the heels of a defensive turnover for the War Eagles. Broc Barnette popped Adonis Jones on a jet sweep, resulting in a fumble that Reynolds recovered but suffered a 10-yard loss. On the next play, Jack Little forced a fumble that Isaac De’Maura recovered at the Reynolds 38.
“We were at pregame meal, and Bum (offensive coordinator Todd Bumgarner) comes up to me says: ‘I think we’re going to go for the bomb on the first play,’” Reynolds said. “I said: ‘Hey, if you’re for it, I’m for it.’ Next thing you know, the first play of the game and it works out for us.”
“Those are two major parts of our offense, and that was real big for us tonight,” Davie coach DeVore Holman said.
After a Cody Hendrix sack forced a Reynolds punt, Davie zoomed 82 yards in nine plays. Reynolds completed passes to Cameron Thomas, Will Shepherd, Wall and Peyton Hampton before finding Wall for a 23-yard score and a 14-0, first-quarter lead.
The Demons tried to catch Davie offguard with a reverse, but Rashon Bethea fumbled and Kinston Whitener gave Davie possession at its 40. Seven plays later, Reynolds completed a 22-yard slant to Roberts. Then Adrian Cranfill used a sweet cutback to score from 15 yards out, and it was 21-0.
Bethea breathed life in the Demons with a 57-yard TD run. But what transpired next left Reynolds demoralized. Davie motored 80 yards in eight plays, with Reynolds going 6 of 7 for 71 yards on the drive. The last three plays: A sidearm, Brett Favre-like completion to Beau Byerly for 11 yards, a 16-yarder to Roberts and a 14-yard TD to Byerly with 31 seconds remaining in the half.
Davie high-stepped to the locker room with a commanding 29-7 lead, at which point Reynolds was on pace for 500 yards. He connected with seven receivers while going 18 of 22 for 253 yards and three TDs in the first half.
“I was expecting a little rust here and there, but I was fortunate enough to come back that fast and I’m happy for Coop,” Reynolds said.
The War Eagles kept their foot on the gas in the third quarter. Roberts’ 16-yard reception led to Reynolds’ 16-yard TD run. A Barnette sack forced a fumble and Spencer Wilson recovered at the Reynolds 21. Jared Griggs nailed a 34-yard field goal. Moments later, Little intercepted Lang, and Cranfill, who ran for 77 of his 97 yards in the second half, took care of 36 yards in two plays.
With Reynolds — who attempted one pass in the second half to finish with 19 of 23 for 269 yards — done for the night, Cranfill’s 30-yard run set up backup QB Josh Hall’s 6-yard run to the end zone. That made it 54-7 with 6:35 to go and led to a running clock the rest of the way.
The War Eagles piled up 25 first downs and 423 yards while routing Reynolds for the seventh consecutive year. They only faced third down five times all night and punted once. Roberts led with six catches for 83 yards. Wall had four for 73 yards, and a 66-yard, highlight-reel TD was negated by a penalty. Thomas had three catches, Byerly and Hampton two each and Shepherd and Mason Wilson one apiece.
Davie was 3 for 3 out of the muddle-huddle formation on two-point plays, with Reynolds completing passes to Shepherd Wilson and Roberts and running one in himself.
“I love giving everybody a chance,” Reynolds said of his receivers. “There’s guys that work their butt off in practice and they deserve it.”
The War Eagles put up the most points since last year’s 55-14 blowout of Reynolds, and their defense held a third opponent to seven points or less.
Next week, they will host Reagan in a grudge match. The Raiders have beaten Davie the past three years.
“Coach Josh McGee has one of the best staffs in North Carolina, and there’s no doubt they’ve had our number the past several years,” Holman said. “He’s been battling the injury bug, too. We’re going to prepare just like they’re Dudley.”