PREP FOOTBALL STATE PLAYOFF NOTES: Like father, like son: DWS star's father remembers Tattnall well

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- No tips from Dad -- at least not yet.

But maybe Rusty Moore is saving the best for a pregame speech.

Rusty, whose son, Davis, plays running back and cornerback for Deerfield-Windsor would like nothing more than to see the Knights beat Tattnall Square Friday night in the GISA Class AAA state title game at Webb Memorial Stadium.

Rusty knows the secret. He was playing running back and cornerback (like father, like son) for Southland back in 1984 when Southland beat Tattnall Square, 14-6, and went on to win the state title.

"He hasn't given me any tips yet,'' Davis said Tuesday after practice. "He might. I'm sure he has the film of that game around here some place. I know Tattnall had the same coach back then and they were running the same offense they're running now.''

Senior Davis Moore was one of three sophomores who played for Deerfield's 2008 state championship team. Quarterback Banks Kinslow and linebacker Rhett Cooper also played in the title game.

Davis Moore was a backup cornerback who entered the game after Justin Webb left with an ankle injury. The Knights were hanging on to a 17-12 lead in the final minute, but Westfield was driving when Moore made a game-saving interception.

That's part of what DWS coach Allen Lowe is telling his kids this week.

"You don't know who is going to step up and make the big play (in the state final),'' Lowe said. "We have been that way all year. We have had so many different kids step up and make big plays all season.''

Nobody made a bigger one than Trey Puckett, who kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired to beat Mount de Sales, 30-27, in the state semifinal last week.

"Winning a game like that does a lot for you this year, but I think it does a lot for future generations,'' Lowe said. "Two years ago, we beat Tattnall Square (14-3) in a great game in the state semifinals to break their (28-game) winning streak. And that semifinal game is one they will always remember. It has carried over. (The win last week) is the same kind of thing. Even a couple of years from now players in the program will remember that game and how it felt and it will carry over, too.''

Puckett's field goal gives him 69 points for the season, just one shy of the school record of 70. The guy who holds the DWS record? It's Puckett's kicking coach Kyle Belcher, who is a big reason Puckett has made so much progress this season. Puckett also has 124 career points. Belcher holds the career record of 133 points.

The Deerfield players all said they were confident Puckett would make the game-winner, and they have been his biggest fans all season.

"We have been pulling for Trey all year and hoping he would make all his kicks, even the easy ones,'' said senior Jordan Funderburk, who starts on both lines for DWS. "We wanted him to make all those kicks because we have been talking all year about how sooner or later we would need a big field goal from Trey. We wanted him to make every kick early to build his confidence, because we knew we would need him. That's why everyone was so confident he would make that kick.''



Davis Moore didn't get any advice from his father, but Daniel Hays, who plays linebacker for Westwood, got some advice from his dad this week. Westwood travels to Savannah on Friday to meet Memorial Day for the GISA Class A state title game. Hays' father was a member of Westwood's first state title team in 1978.

"He told me that 'We won it, now y'all can win it,' '' Hays said. Three players on this year's Westwood team have fathers who played for the 1978 champs --- Hays, Trent Brown and Nolan Grigsby.

Westwood, which opened in 1973, has won six state titles, the last coming on a two-year run in 2000 and 2001 when the Wildcats won 21 games in a row. There have been two undefeated Westwood state champs. The 1981 team went 13-0 and the 2001 team went 14-0. This year's team is 12-0 with a chance for a third undefeated season.