Three other unbeaten teams

• Hough High (3-0) will host Independence (3-1) at 7 p.m. Sept. 20. The game potentially could have been between unbeatens, but Independence lost 40-33 to West Mecklenburg last week. Still, the Patriots are one of the state’s premier teams.

• SouthLake Christian (4-0) will host Hickory Grove at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20. The Eagles have scored 30, 43 and 53 points the past three games.

• Lake Norman Charter (4-0) is averaging 34.8 points and 421 yards per game. The Knights will host Village Christian at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20.

 

DAVIDSON – Davidson Day’s football team, for the third straight season, is an offensive juggernaut. That surprises no one.

The biggest shocker for the unbeaten Patriots (4-0) is their defense, which has limited opponents to an average of 10 points per game. Last Friday, after spending most of the day riding a bus across North Carolina, Davidson Day crushed Harrells Christian, 64-14, the lowest point total for Harrells in the past 49 games.

“I think our front seven, and our linebacker play in particular, has been the biggest improvement for our defense,” Patriots coach Chad Grier said. “Trevor Darby, Matthew Stevens, Chase Monroe and Lamar Briggs are all playing at an incredibly high level. ...

Up front, Garrett Groulx is having an awesome year at defensive end and he's just a freshman. Ricky Smith, Dustin Tyler and Jake Helms are providing great veteran leadership, and they're sophomores. I think our defensive coaches are doing a great job with game planning and our kids are having fun flying around and making plays. They've been fun to watch.”

The past two seasons, both which ended with Davidson Day winning state championships, were more about offensive prowess than defensive dominance. In 2011, the Patriots averaged 43 points and allowed 23.8. Last season, Davidson Day averaged 51.1 points, but allowed an average of 28.8

This season, the Patriots average score is 60-10.

The offense, despite new wide receivers, is in high gear behind quarterback Will Grier. He’s 88-of-127 passing (69.2 percent) for 1,448 yards and 25 touchdown passes. His fewest number of touchdown passes in a game is five. Grier also leads the Patriots in rushing (465 yards on 29 carries), including a 97-yard scoring run last week.

Running back Jordan Brown has run for two scores and is averaging 12.5 yards per carry. He’s also caught a team-high 20 passes for 302 yards and six scores. Michael Stevens has 19 catches for 428 yards and eight touchdowns. Glen Coates, Kendon McLaurin, Jacob Robinson and Briggs have combined for 11 touchdown receptions, giving Grier plenty of targets.

Davidson Day’s defenders are piling up equally impressive statistics. In four games, the Patriots have 10 interceptions and 10 sacks. That means they’re getting the ball back for their offense more, which leads to more scoring opportunities and that’s what the Patriots do best.

Briggs has three interceptions and Stevens, who has committed to Kansas State, has two. Robinson, H Strachan, Darby and Kendon McLauren have one each. Darby has a team-high three sacks, Groulx has two and Helms, Smith, Matthew Stevens, Briggs and Tyler Stevens each have one.

“I am most pleased with how aggressive and physical we are playing,” Grier said. “We had a great off-season in the weight room and our kids are older, stronger and faster as a whole than in previous years. Not coincidentally, they are playing with a lot of confidence, and we have become a very physical team on both sides of the ball. Our defense has been the catalyst for our success, and I can't say enough about what Coach (Dave) Serepca and his staff have done with scheme and with what our players have done in executing the scheme.”