DWS backup QB Tripp Pressley came on during Friday night’s rout of Sherwood and scored on a TD run and intercepted a pass.
ALBANY -- OK, Deerfield-Windsor, your kids win 49-13 against your biggest rival on opening night. So what prompted the biggest cheer of the game?
Without a doubt, it was the DWS team going bananas on the sideline when freshman Harry Vildibill kicked an extra point in the fourth quarter.
That's how lopsided Deerfield's opening night win against city rival Sherwood Christian Academy was Friday at Sherwood's Legacy Park, where a big crowd got a look at the defending state champs and everyone got to see just how electric Sherwood's Mack Green can be.
"Mack Green can flat-out run,'' said Deerfield coach Allen Lowe, whose team dominated the game from the start.
Green had his moments, taking a five-yard pass and turning it into an 85-yard sprint down the sideline for a touchdown. He finished the game with five receptions for 134 yards and he also rushed for 49 yards on five carries.
"Mack Green did what we expected him to do,'' said Sherwood coach Otis Covington, who took over the program this year. "He's a playmaker.''
It was a tough opening night for Covington and his kids, who had to face the defending GISA Class AAA state champs, who just also happened to be their biggest rivals. That's no easy task for anyone -- especially a team that is low on numbers.
"We played hard. We made some mistakes, but that's to be expected,'' Covington said. "The players we have gave us a good effort. But we started (camp) with just 17 players. In the last week we got eight more players, but that only got us up to 25. But we will get better.''
And facing the state champs?
"That's a tough assignment,'' he said. "That's a quality program. They did what state champs are supposed to do. They played well and they executed.''
They executed, all right -- from the first play from scrimmage.
It took Deerfield 11 seconds to get on the board.
Sherwood's new quarterback Brett Shepard's first pass was picked off by Kh'ron McClain, who returned it 15 yards for a touchdown -- and just like that -- DWS had its first lead of the season.
"When I saw the ball my eyes got big -- real big,'' said McClain, who was Tony Zeon's backup two years ago as a freshman. He moved to Atlanta, but came back to Albany this year and had a big game in his return.
"It feels good to be home,'' added McClain, who couldn't have had a better start. He opened with a TD and he also had two carries for 21 yards.
Another new face at DWS is KE'Marvin Pitts, a junior who has emerged as a weapon both as a cornerback and running back. Pitts scored twice in the second quarter on a 7-yard run and a 12-yard run to lift DWS to a 35-6 lead.
"It felt great,'' Pitts said. "It's a dream come true to start the season like this. It's a big motivator to beat Sherwood, our rival. I think we're going to go all the way and win another state title. We're confident. We feel we can do anything we put our minds to.''
It looked like that early as Deerfield's new quarterback Dallas Margeson took his first steps in replacing Banks Kinslow, who played in three state title games in a row before graduating.
"I thought Margeson had a good game,'' Lowe said. "He put the ball in good spots, and he ran the offense.''
Margeson completed 5 of 9 passes for 78 yards and threw a 19-yard TD pass to Rich Fallaw, who made a leaping catch in the end zone.
"I was nervous, pretty nervous,'' Margeson said. "But I wasn't going to throw up or anything like that -- just nervous. I think I matured (Friday night), but I've got a long way to go.''
So does Deerfield if the Knights want another perfect season. They have 14 games on the schedule, but some of the returning starters are already thinking about another perfect run.
"We want to go 27-0 (13-0 last year and 14-0 this year),'' said Quentin Heard, who could have easily rushed for more than 100 yards. He gained 92 on just nine carries and left with the rest of the starters early in the third quarter right after his 2-yard TD run lifted DWS to a 42-13 lead.
Gaughf Ivey also had a 14-yard TD run, and had a solid night on both sides of the ball; he also ran a punt back 40 yards.
"We had six different players score (Friday),'' said Lowe, who all but laughed at the 27-0 goal earlier this week, saying: "I'm not worried about being 27-0. I want to be 1-0.''
He is, and his team looked impressive in getting that first win. Even backup quarterback Tripp Pressley scored on 1-yard run and he also had an interception. Everything seemed to go right for the Knights, who watched kicker Trey Puckett nail six extra points before Vildibill booted in his PAT after Pressley's score.
The Deerfield kids shouted and cheered. They spent most of the second half watching the backups, including sophomore Grey Lanier, who had a hard-luck night. Lanier -- the fourth Lanier to play at DWS -- scored twice on short runs, but both were called back because of penalties.
Sherwood's only points came on Green's electric catch-and-run and Rashard Davis' 90-yard kickoff return, which should signal a message to the rest of the teams in Region 2-1AAA that the Eagles are explosive.
But Deerfield's defense may be the best in the region -- or state. The Knights had five sacks on Friday -- three from Matthew Fox and two from Matt Miller, who also made a big play when he tackled Sherwood running back Derek Allen for a five-yard loss in the backfield.
But the biggest tackle?
You guessed it. Vildibil again. After he nailed his extra point Vildibil made the tackle on the ensuing kickoff, and once again the Deerfield kids shouted and cheered.
It was that kind of night for the Knights.
They may be shouting all year ...