CORNELIUS – Davidson Day has a football team that scores like a basketball team. Not every so often. Every game.
The Patriots’ string of high-scoring frenzies continued with a 61-21 romp against Metrolina Christian on Oct. 18 at Bailey Middle School. Coincidently, so did Davidson Day’s winning streak. They’re 8-0 this season and have won 13 consecutive games.
“We can score points,” coach Chad Grier said. “I think we’re very explosively offensively.”
Davidson Day’s scores this season: 61, 68, 46, 64, 45, 45, 42 and 61.
But here’s the twist for the Patriots, who won private-school state championships their first two varsity seasons (2011 and 2012) – they’re playing pretty good defense. Of Metrolina’s three touchdowns, only one came against Davidson Day’s defense (one was a kick return, the other an interception return).
“We’re trying to prove a point. That’s been our biggest motivation,” said Lamar Briggs, a senior linebacker. “We want to prove everybody wrong, especially our defense. We’re going to the ball better. We’re seeing it and reading.”
Briggs leads the Patriots with four interceptions. The team has 16 in eight games, including three by Michael Stevens and two each by Jacob Robinson and H Strachan.
Davidson Day also has 17 sacks, including three apiece by Trevor Darby, Garrett Groulx, Ricky Smith and Jake Helms.
The offense, despite replacing three starting receivers lost to graduation, is flourishing as it did during the two championship seasons. The Patriots are averaging 54 points.
“I’ve really enjoyed the kids,” Chad Grier said. “I’ve never dreaded going to practice. They do a lot and they do it well. It’s hard to be frustrated when you have a big win, but at the same time, they’re capable of doing so much. They set such a high standard for themselves.”
Will Grier, who has committed to the University of Florida, leads the state in passing yards (3,077) and touchdown passes (48). He’s completed 195-of-277 passes, and also rushed for 899 yards and eight touchdowns.
Jordan Brown is a dual threat at running back. He’s caught 48 passes for 610 yards and 15 touchdowns, and rushed for 349 yards and three scores on 25 carries, an average of 13.9 yards per carry.
Grier threw six touchdown passes and ran for two scores against Metrolina Christian. He was 21-of-30 passing for 329 yards. Grier also rushed seven times for 63 yards and two scores.
The Patriots wasted little time generating their weekly scoreboard assault. Strachan, a defensive back, returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown after Davidson Day stopped Metrolina Christian on its first possession.
Four minutes later, Brown scored on a 1-yard shuffle pass from Grier for a 14-0 lead. Davidson Day bumped the lead to 20-0 early in the second quarter on Grier’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Stevens. Brown had three scoring catches.
Strachan also had an interception, and his 60-yard return to the Metrolina 5-yard line set up a touchdown two plays later than gave Davidson Day a 47-8 lead.
Davidson Day will face a tough road game against Charlotte Latin (7-1) on Oct. 25. But the Patriots have won key games on the road, beginning with a 61-6 romp at Albemarle in the season opener. They’ve also won lopsided road games against Providence Day (46-20), Harrells Christian (64-14) and Marvin Ridge (45-0).
The Patriots will be in the mix to repeat as the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II champions. The past two titles have carryover effect, Briggs said.
“It gives us a lot of confidence,” he said. “We want to repeat that, so we’re going to do whatever it takes to get back there.”