Turnovers costly for Davidson Day
by Staff Writer
By Cliff Mehrtens
CORNELIUS – It’s difficult to beat any football team when you commit five turnovers, much less against a reigning state champion.
Davidson Day’s sloppiness handling the ball proved costly in a 24-15 loss to Providence Day on Friday in a matchup of state champions at Bailey Road Park. The Patriots (2-1) lost four fumbles and threw an interception. That was mixed with too many mental errors, costly penalties and dropped passes that prevented any prolonged success on offense or defense.
Part of the problem, said Davidson Day coach Chad Grier, was youthful inexperience. Several of the miscues were by sophomores and freshmen.
“They’re going to be great, but it’s part of the process,” Grier said. “You can’t turn the ball over that many times and expect to beat anybody. We’re making young mistakes. It’s a discipline thing, and when those guys get a couple years’ experience under their belt, they’re going to be fantastic. They’re good now.”
But Friday, Providence Day was better. The Chargers, the NCISAA reigning 3A champion, dominated the first half to build a 17-7 lead. The Chargers controlled the line of scrimmage during a 15-play, 64-yard touchdown drive that chewed seven minutes off the clock.
The second Providence Day possession was another touchdown, with eight plays consuming 65 yards.
In between, Davidson Day scored on Evan Gates’ 40-yard touchdown catch from Will Grier. Gates caught a deep pass over the middle, sidestepped two defenders and sped into the end zone to tie the game at 7.
Davidson Day was stymied until two minutes left in the game, when Gates caught a 30-yard score from Grier. A two-point conversion pass to Lamar Briggs cut Providence Day’s lead to 24-15.
Mostly, it was a night of frustration for Davidson, which won the NCISAA Division III title last season.
“(Providence Day) is a very good football team,” Chad Grier said. “They’ve had a lot of success and they’re very experienced. No disrespect to them, but I never really felt like they were stopping us. … That’s one where we’re going to watch the (game) film tomorrow and be sick to our stomachs about the opportunities we had.”