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Varsity Football



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Team Stories

The St. David’s varsity football season ended with a 54-40 loss at Parrott Academy in Kinston Friday night. The Warriors (6-4) led the state semi-final playoff game 14-8 after the first quarter after an 11-yard Hudson Taylor scoring pass to Josh Rhoads and Houston Walker’s one-yard plunge.  However, the Patriots (9-1) answered with 32 points in the second quarter for a 40-14 lead before Tai Goode’s 70 yard touchdown run made it 40-21 at halftime. "We started very well, but Parrott's offense was too much for us to keep up with," said coach Dan Casey. "Congrats to them. They played tough all night." After Parrott scored again, Goode broke loose for a 19 yard score for a 48-27 deficit. SDS trailed 54-27 with under three minutes left, but rallied as Taylor found Goode for a 25 yard touchdown. The defense forced Parrott to punt and the Warriors blocked it in the end zone, where Houston Walker recovered with 17 seconds left, cutting the deficit to 14. Parrott recovered the ensuring on-side kick and ran out the clock to advance to their third straight title game. "We had a great group of seniors who I will really miss," said Casey. "Im proud of the way they bought into what we were trying to do." St. David’s out-gained the Patriots 438-333, including 279 rushing yards. Walker had 146 on 26 carries, while Goode added 115 on 16 carries.

Four St. David’s varsity football players have been named to the All-Conference team by the Colonial Carolina Conference coaches. Seniors Josh Rhoads and Walker Taylor along with juniors Tai Goode and Houston Walker represent the Warriors on the 18-player squad. “We were looking for guys to step up and help us after losing so many seniors from last year,” said coach Dan Casey. “These guys showed up and played well in big games. The vote is about the other coaches respecting the way they played.” The Warriors are 6-3 and travel to Parrott Academy in the first round of the playoffs Friday.  The CCC coachs named Isaiah Thomas of Rocky Mount Academy player of the year, Parrott’s Conner Bright as the offensive player of the year and his teammate Holden Killinger won the defensive award. In other Warriors football related news, Goode earned a spot on the News & Observer’s starting 11 for the second time this season. The speedy junior scored four touchdowns on five touches in the 63-0 rout of Cary Christian last Friday. He had 149 yards on four rushing carries and returned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown. 

The varsity football Warriors ended the regular season with a 63-0 rout of Cary Christian Friday night at John A. Murray Field. SDS scored the first five times it touched the ball for a 34-0 first quarter lead that grew to 56-0 at halftime. Junior Tai Goode took the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown. After a Blake Stanley interception, Goode raced 35 yards for another score. The St. David’s defense forced a punt on the next possession and Goode scored from 41 yards out. After Stanley’s second interception, quarterback Hudson Taylor found Robert Batchelder for a 42 yard scoring pass. The Knights managed a first down on the next possession, but Batchelder came up with the Warriors third interception that set up Taylor’s 62 yard touchdown pass to his twin brother Walker. “We said we wanted to start fast and we did,” said coach Dan Casey, whose team is 6-4. “Our young guys played a lot and this should give us momentum going into post-season play.” Goode finished with 149 yards rushing on only four carries as St. David’s gained 382 yards on just 19 plays while limiting Cary Christian to 87 yards on 42 plays. “This was a good primer for us,” said Casey. “We hope the improvement continues next week.”

The varsity football Warriors furious second half rally fell short in a 38-36 loss at Southampton (Va.) Academy Friday night. Senior Brett Duckworth’s interception at the Southampton seven-yard line set up Houston Walker’s three-yard touchdown run with 2:35 left in the game that gave the Warriors a 36-32 lead. However, the Raiders drove 73 yards in seven plays for the winning score with five seconds left. SDS ended the game on the Raiders 15 yard line after Hudson Taylor found Tai Goode for a 42-yard completion. "It was a heartbreaker, but a solid second half comeback on our part," said coach Dan Casey. "Hudson really stepped us and called some great plays in the second half. They dominated the first half. If we can come off the bus and play our best for four quarters, we'll be really good." St. David’s (5-3) trailed 26-8 at halftime before Taylor ignited the offense with three touchdown passes in the third quarter. He threw 15 and 31 yard scoring strikes to his twin, Walker, and a 14 yarder to Goode to cut the deficit to 32-30. Southampton out-gained the Warriors, 500-365, including 349 rushing yards. Taylor was 11-23 for 232 yards and four touchdowns. Goode caught seven passes for 135 yards and two scores. St. David’s ends the regular season at home Friday against Cary Christian.

The varsity football Warriors fell behind early and couldn’t recover in a 43-20 loss at Rocky Mount Academy Friday night. St. David’s trailed 22-6 at halftime, then allowed another touchdown before a brief rally. “They had some dynamic plays on offense,” said coach Dan Casey, whose Warriors are 5-2. “We got down early, then struggled to get back into it. RMA played well.” Junior Tai Goode exploded for 263 yards on just 17 carries, but RMA rolled up 488 total yards, including 390 on the ground. “Tai carried us on offense, but it wasn’t enough,” said Casey. “It was a good learning opportunity for our guys to compete for four quarters. Hopefully, we can recover and get back next week at Southampton. 

After spotting Faith Christian an early 8-0 lead, the varsity football Warriors exploded for 34 unanswered points on the way to a 49-26 victory on Senior Night at John A. Murray Field. Senior quarterback Hudson Taylor threw all three of his touchdown passes during the first half rally, Christopher Rhoads forced a fumble at the Faith 15 yard line and ran it in for a score then running back Tai Goode broke loose for a 59 yard run to give St. David’s an insurmountable 34-14 halftime lead. A pair of scoring runs from Houston Walker made it 49-14 after three quarters. “We told the players all week that confidence is contagious,” said coach Dan Casey, whose Warriors are 5-1.  “Hudson commanded the game, ran the offense and played with confidence. The rest of the guys followed his lead. Our offensive and defensive lines took charge and played well also.” Goode led St. David’s with 162 yards on 11 carries, Taylor was 6-10 for 141 and three touchdowns and Josh Rhoads caught three passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. Both of Robert Batchelder’s catches were for scores. Walker also had eight tackles, including 3.5 for a loss. St. David’s (5-1) travels to Rocky Mount Academy Friday. 


Homecoming was all Goode in the end. The Warriors wiped out a halftime deficit with 28 unanswered points for a 42-22 victory over Grace Christian Friday night at John A. Murray Field. Junior Taijae Goode exploded for 291 all-purpose yards, three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions, mostly in the second half to lead St. David’s (3-1) to the comeback victory. “Grace won the first half,” said coach Dan Casey. “We were scrambling to get our run game going and stop theirs. We wanted to use Tai on the edge and Houston (Walker) up the middle.” Down 22-14 at the half, the Warriors defense forced the Eagles (2-2) into a three and out. Goode returned the punt 72 yards to make it 22-20.  Goode ended Grace’s next drive with an interception and gave the Warriors the lead four plays later with a 75-yard sprint to the end zone.  “He’s a great athlete with a ton of heart,” said Casey. “He never quits and turned things around for us tonight.” Goode finished with 180 rushing yards on just seven carries as St. David’s outgained Grace 425-275. Josh Rhoads caught a pair of touchdown passes from Hudson Taylor. The Warrior defense forced six turnovers, including three interceptions from Walker Taylor.  Matthew Haist led the Warriors  with 13 tackles.   SDS junior James Motter took the above photo. 

The Warriors suffered their first loss this season, 66-20, at Parrott Academy in Kinston Friday.  The Patriots returned the opening kickoff 63 yards to the Warriors 17 yard line and were in the end zone two plays later. St. David’s went three and out and Parrott scored again after along punt return for a 14-0 lead six minutes into the game. “They played with a lot of energy and discipline,” said coach Dan Casey. “That early lead helped them maintain momentum throughout the game.” The Warriors capitalized on a 10 yard punt for a 22 yard scoring drive later in the first quarter, but the Patriots answered with a 94 yard scoring march that led to a 48-20 halftime margin. Parrott outgained St. David’s 526-234 and forced five turnovers. “It was good for us to play a very good opponent,” said Casey. “It’s a good reminder of what we need to work on.  How a team responds to adversity says a lot about its character. I’m confident we’ll bounce back.” The Warriors host Grace Christian on Homecoming Friday at John A. Murray Field. 

Josh Rhoads was named to the News and Observer’s Starting 11 for his 6 catches for 219 yards and 4 TD’s in Friday’s home victory over Halifax Academy


The Warriors were also recognized by the film service Hudl for their 93-yard touchdown on the first play in Friday’s game. It was the longest pass play in the state of North Carolina


The football Warriors scored on the games first play, jumped out to a 22-0 lead then had to hold off a determined opponent for a 48-26 victory over Halifax Academy Friday night at John A. Murray Field. Senior quarterback Hudson Taylor threw for 417 yards and six touchdowns, including a 93 yarder to Robert Batchelder to start the game. “Hudson was tremendous tonight,” said Warriors coach Dan Casey. “He threw several good deep balls and showed good poise when things got tighter.” The Vikings stormed back to make it 22-18 early in the third quarter, but Taylor teamed with his twin brother Walker for a 16 yard touchdown pass, then found Josh Rhoads for a 53 yard score that gave St. David’s a 36-18 advantage. Halifax pulled to within 10, but Taylor and Rhoads hooked up again on a 49 yard touchdown catch and run to put the game away. Rhoads finished with six catches (four for touchdowns) and 219 yards, while Houston Walker ran for a team high 97 yards. The Warriors outgained the Vikings 579-310 and overcame 13 penalties to raise their record to 2-0. “I thought our defense came up with some big plays as well as the offense,” said Casey. “John Mac Feeney intercepted a pass late to kill a drive and Cooper Crosby was solid on the line.” Crosby had a game-high 16 tackles, including 11 solo and five for a loss. St. David’s is off next week before hosting Wayne Christian Sept. 8th. St. David’s junior James Motter took the photo that accompanies this report. 

The varsity football Warriors opened the season with a 42-8 rout of Community Christian in Wilson Friday night. Senior quarterback Hudson Taylor threw three touchdown passes, the first two of 27 and 53 yards to his twin brother Walker and a 38 yarder to senior Josh Rhoads. St. David’s led 26-0 at halftime and added 16 more points in the third quarter before the Cyclones scored late. "We recently named the Taylors captains (along with Aaron Shahrokhi)," said coach Dan Casey, whose team earned the victory in his head-coaching debut. "They provided great leadership tonight." Taylor completed 8 of his 14 passes for 159 yards, while Walker Taylor led the team with six receptions for 101 yards. Junior Houston Walker ran for a team-best 45 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. St. David’s outgained Community 236-198. Matthew Haist led the defense with 12 tackles, while John Mac Feeney had eight. "This was the best we've seen John Mac play," said Casey. "He was assertive against the run and consistent against the pass. Matthew has controlled his intensity more so far this season and its made him better." Cooper Crosby ran 27 yards for the Warriors last touchdown in the third quarter. St. David’s opens the home season August 25th against Halifax Academy.

If a productive summer is the key to a successful fall, the Warriors varsity football team should be in good position for another deep post-season run. Coming off back-to-back appearances in the 2A state title game, St. David’s opens the new season Friday in Rocky Mount against Community Christian. Dan Casey is the new head coach after serving as an assistant last fall. Chris Campfield is the offensive coordinator and director of football operations. Steve Baker is the defensive coordinator and Ricardo Viera will work with the receivers, tight ends and defensive ends. “It’s been fun putting everything together,” said Casey. “We had 12 to 15 guys here most days this summer for weight workouts, we had a very instructive team camp at Wofford College and we had 7 on 7 games against Ravenscroft and NRCA that were a huge help.” The Warriors return six seniors, including quarterback Hudson Taylor, receiver Walker Taylor, receiver Josh Rhoads, linemen Brett Duckworth and Aaron Shahrokhi and running back/receiver John Mac Feeney. “The seniors have done a great job leading in the weight room,” said Casey. “We are attempting to replace an outstanding senior class and these guys have started strong.” The Warriors home opener is August 25th against Halifax Academy.