Prep Football: East ties school record with victory over West
East Davidson wrapped up what has been a regular season to remember Friday night with a 35-18 win over West Davidson at Glosson Stadium. In doing so, they pulled off a feat that has not been accomplished in more than 40 years.
Way back in 1968 and '69, East put together a pair of 9-win seasons. With its victory over the Green Dragons, they have tied the school record, and will have a shot at breaking it next week in the first round of the 2-A state playoffs. Oh by the way, they have never won a playoff game in school history.
“That 9-2 almost does not sound quite right,” said first-year head coach Vance Hanner. “But again, you cannot say enough about these kids wearing these uniforms. My job has been easy and we are real proud of them.”
The Golden Eagles tied the record against former coach Bryan Lingerfelt and his West squad. Though disappointed with the loss, it was a memorable experience for Lingerfelt, who guided the East program for 11 years before stepping away in the offseason.
“I was hoping we could beat them, but it was good to see them have success and coach Hanner is doing a great job with them,” said Lingerfelt. “I was glad to see those guys. We battled hard against them, but early turnovers hurt us and got us off track.”
East started strong, scoring points on two of its first three drives. Quarterback Austin Wallace sneaked the ball in from a yard out to put EDHS up 7-0. Following a Toby Craven interception, Wallace found Michael Ramos for a scoring strike. On the second snap from the 49, Ramos made the catch near the sideline and cut inside. Shedding shoulder tackles, he broke loose and did not stop until crossing into the end zone. East was up 14-0 with 10 minutes gone in the Central Carolina Conference contest.
West cut into the lead with Kyle Smith scoring on a 5 yard run. A short series by the Eagle offense sent the kicking unit out onto the field and West was set to receive excellent field position. It wound up being better than expected. Salvador Pecina's kick was blocked by Zach Beck. Not pleased by the turn of events, Hanner immediately called for time as West set up at the East 25.
His point was made and the players responded. East scored three consecutive touchdowns to blow the game wide open. Wallace found Ramos and Tyler Rhodes for scores, while Ramos added his third tally of the night on the ground. East led 35-6 at that point with three minutes remaining third quarter.
“We just needed a wake-up call there,” said Hanner. “We had not had a punt blocked all year so that aggravates me a bit.”
The Eagles secured third place in the league and will find out Saturday who their first round opponent will be when pairings are released by the NCHSAA.
“We have never won a playoff game and that has been our goal all season,” said Hanner. “We think we have put ourselves in the best position to do that.”
Notes: Ramos rushed for 110 yards on nine carries, while hauling in four catches for 149 yards … Wallace was 7-for-14 for 181 yards … Former West standout Josh Bush had his jersey retired during halftime.