Wk 1 LYN 2023 LCA @ Salem 752 1294 SWVA High School Sports

Davidson makes plays late to pull away from Salem 21-14 in opener

Willis White Field, Salem, VA – On a muggy night, more heat then anything else, LCA knocked off Salem 21-14 in week one. Adding to the heat was Bulldog RB/S 8 Gideon Davidson who broke open a 14-14 game in the last few minutes with a 56-yard scamper down the sidelines in front of the LCA bench to the Salem twelve. Three plays later the Junior, and Clemson Tiger commit, caught an 8-yard toss from QB 9 Jeb Moon (9/16, 139, 2TDs).

The extra point made it 21-14 with 2:50 left. Salem drove to the fifteen, but they were held to five yards on three downs. So when Spartan QB 8 Eli Taylor was brought down on 4th down with a hit and fumble, the Bulldogs knew they had pulled off a stunner in Salem. A big difference was Salem committed four turnovers to zero for LCA.

A packed house at Salem was on hand to watch the battle

LCA Coach Frank Rocco was emotional after the game, “I am so proud of my team…never been more proud of at team in a game. We’ve never played a team (Salem) like that, they were loaded across the board, so well coached and fundamental.” Salem LB 9 Chris Cole and RB 2 Peyton Lewis are the #1 and #4 prospects in Virginia this year. And the Spartans have other talent end to end. Davidson and OL/NG 78 Easton Ware are both Juniors but will be playing at the next level as well. LCA had the size advantage on the lines with Ware checking in at 6’6, 280 pounds. The Bulldogs used what they had to get the job done. Davidson rushed 17 times for 133 yards, TD, and was 2/3, 13, TD receiving. He didn’t get this win alone, but he was the difference. Number eight was all smiles after the game, “First game of the year and we came out and beat a high level team, almost (feels) like a state championship.”

Salem RB Peyton Lewis follows WR 9 Chris Coles block as he looks for daylight

Salem marched on their first drive, but in Bulldog territory, Davidson intercepted an Eli Taylor (6/12, 112, 2pt pass, 2 INTs) pass thrown over the middle, and late. Two plays later QB Jeb Moon hit WR 11 Dalton Nesselrotte (2/63,TD) down the middle of the field for a 56-yard score to make it 7-0. Later in the quarter, LCA mounted a nine play, 59-yard drive capped off by Davidson from 8 yards out. LCA pushed their lead to 14-0 at the end of the quarter. Salem’s State 100 meter champion sprinter and a Tennessee commit, RB 2 Peyton Lewis got the Spartans back in the game with a 70-yard kickoff return down to the Bulldog fourteen following the score.

Salem Spartan RB 2 Peyton Lewis returns a kickoff to get Salem back into the game

LCA was penalized on the return putting the ball on the seven. Three plays later Lewis took it around the left end to make it 14-6. Liberty Christian NG 78 Easton Ware blocked the point after. Lewis stood out at times but LCA kept him contained to short runs for the most part. The Senior finished with 136 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown.

Salem RB 22 Josiah Persinger (3/5, TD) would tie it up before the half with a 3-yard TD run capping off a 60-yard Salem drive midway in quarter two. Salem blocked a Bulldog field goal attempt as the half ended with the score tied at 14-14.
After a scoreless third stanza where Salem was stopped at the LCA thirty on a fumble by FB 21 Javion Jones (17/67), the tone was set for the finish.
Salem was turned back again a yard short on a 4th and six pass from Taylor to Lewis at the Bulldog twenty-six, and then again with another LCA interception at the visitors twenty-seven.
That set the stage for LCA’s winning drive. It took six plays for Coach Rocco’s squad to get into the end zone, with the big play coming on Davidson’s 56-yard run. The Junior darted through the line then bellied out to get the outside. After that it was all after burners. He was eventually caught by LB 9 Chris Cole tracking him down to keep him out of the end zone. Cole is set to announce his decision where to play college ball next year in a few weeks. He had a pass deflection, and a near interception and a number of tackles.

Bulldog RB 8 Gideon Davidson works the forearm and the sidelines

Three plays later, Davidson snuck out the back side and caught an uncontested TD pass in the left corner of the end zone.
Salem doesn’t know quit though. The Spartans drove the ball to the LCA fifteen. But three plays netted only five yards and Taylor was eventually sacked and fumbled on the fourth down attempt.
LCA took a knee and celebrated the hard fought win.

Davidson catches TD pass which proves to be the game winner
Back to top