By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Sunday, August 25, 2013 —
The anticipation for Friday’s game between the visiting Davidson Day Patriots and the Albemarle Bulldogs had been building up since the schedules were finalized months ago.
Friday’s game featured two programs with similar records of success despite one program being only in its third season of varsity play and the other with a long, storied tradition.
The Patriots are coming off back-to-back championships in the independent ranks in their first two seasons playing varsity football, while Albemarle has its proud tradition of five 1AA state championships along with two previous state titles in the Western North Carolina High School Athletic Association (WNCHSAA) as well.
Davidson Day scored quickly and often and posted the most points against Albemarle in 51 years in a 61-6 win over the Bulldogs at Albemarle Friday.
The 55-point margin of defeat for Albemarle (0-1) is the most in that same span of time since the Bulldogs lost to Lexington 58-0 in October 1976.
Albemarle’s Lee Autry gave the Bulldogs their only points of the game in the third quarter, which kept the team’s streak of not being shutout on the field alive at 83 games and counting. The last shutout loss on the field for the ‘Dogs was Oct. 19, 2007 when Albemarle lost 21-0 to Mount Pleasant.
Patriot quarterback Will Grier opened his senior campaign in impressive fashion, going 16-for-26 through the air for 292 yards and six touchdowns, though he was picked off by the Oak Tree defense three times. Trey Nivens, Autry and Terrace Ellis all had interceptions in the game for Albemarle.
Grier impressed with his feet as well with 78 rushing yards and a touchdown run in which he hurdled an oncoming Albemarle tackler en route to the endzone.
Davidson Day racked up 540 net yards of offense in the game and averaged 11 yards per play. The longest of the Patriots’ scoring drives was their first drive, lasting just 1:43 on the clock, as most drives were around a minute or less.
Albemarle’s only points on the game came after one of Davidson Day’s four fumbles in the game. After Autry’s interception at midfield, the Bulldogs drove down to the Patriot 37-yard line where the drive stalled, forcing a Bryan Blanton punt that was fumbled at the three-yard line and was recovered by Alonzo Brown. Autry scored three plays later.
The Bulldogs’ offense was hampered with injuries to both K.J. McKinney and Larry Stanback. McKinney was already banged up after suffering an injury in a recent practice while Stanback did not play for much of the second half.
As a team, Albemarle had seven net yards on the ground, taking into consideration four sacks of quarterback Blanton by the Patriot defense.
“I thought their defense was good. We could not do anything with them up front,” Albemarle head coach Seth Smith said, adding that the Bulldogs “didn’t protect well up front. We had receivers open, but Bryan just didn’t have time. They had a good defensive scheme.”
Regarding the game, Smith said “the defense will be a work in progress” and added that “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
The Bulldogs travel to Central Cabarrus on Friday night.
DD 21 26 14 0 61
A 0 0 6 0 6
DD – Mike Stevens 41 pass from Will Grier (Will Grier kick), 10:17, 1st
DD – Stevens 20 pass from Grier (Grier kick), 8:02, 1st
DD – Jacob Robinson 70 interception return (Grier kick), 1:47, 1st
DD – Stevens 15 pass from Grier (kick failed), 10:57, 2nd
DD – Jordan Brown 61 pass from Grier (Grier kick), 8:02, 2nd.
DD – Kendon McLaurin 12 pass from Grier (run failed), 4:44, 2nd.
DD – Grier 22 run (Grier kick), 2:15, 2nd
A – Lee Autry 1 run (kick failed), 5:04, 3rd
DD – Brown 40 run (Grier kick), 4:38, 3rd
DD – Dominique Geter 1 pass from Grier (Grier kick), 2:17, 3rd
1st Downs 24 6
Rushing 22-246 43-7
Passing 294 72
C-A-I 17-27-3 7-19-2
Punts 1-35.0 10-33.4
Penalties 6-56 5-45
Fum.-Lst. 4-4 3-2
3rd Down 0-3 4-19
4th Down 1-1 0-2
TOP 18:24 29:36
Rushing: DD – Brown 6-124, TD; Grier 6-78, TD; Cullen McGahan 7-40; Coates 3-4. A – McKinney 7-14; Mack 2-12; Sellers 12-6; Harris 1-4; Autry 3-3; Stanback 9-(-5); Blanton 9-(-25).
Passing: DD – Grier 16-26, 292 yds., 6 TD, 3 int.; Coates 1-1, 2 yds. A – Blanton 7-19, 72 yds., 2 int.
Receiving: DD – Stevens 7-134, 3 TD; Brown 3-76, TD; Coates 1-33; McLaurin 2-20; McGahan 2-19; Briggs 1-11; Geter 1-1. A – Sellers 2-20; White 1-16; Ellis 1-15; Ridenhour 1-8; Brafford 1-7; McKinney 1-6.