FAIRFIELD — On a frigid Friday night in Fairfield, with 26 mph gusts whipping mercilessly at the players and spectators, it was the Davis High football team who heated up quickly and gave Armijo High school a 27-0 thrashing.
The Blue Devils (2-1) opted to travel in the direction of the winds to start off the game, and their decision paid off immediately.
The DHS defense forced Armijo (0-2) to punt into the wind on the hosts’ first drive, and Indian punter Wyatt Greives had difficulty. His kick went just 17 yards, setting the Devil offense up on the Armijo 31.
And as soon as the locals had possession, they went right to their 1-2 punch of running backs in Winfred Roberson and Talek Deary.
In a moment that seemed to prove it would be the Blue Devils’ night, Roberson let go of the ball on the third play of the drive and it traveled forward another four yards. When Davis pounced on the fumble, Roberson’s near-turnover was turned into a 9-yard gain.
Deary then took the reins from Roberson on the 5-yard line and, on his first carry, the Devil blockers got a huge push and Deary waltzed to paydirt. Even kicker Ian MacKallip, who went 0-5 on extra points last week, was feeling DHS’ mojo as he nailed the conversion kick to make it 7-0.
On Armijo’s ensuing drive, the Blue Devil defense forced a three-and-out, putting Indian punter Greives back on the field, still not looking comfortable as he prepared to kick into the wind.
He never even had the chance, as he fumbled the snap. By the time Greives picked the ball up, Roberson was on top of him, pummeling the punter and forcing the ball to pop out. Davis senior standout Brendan MacDonald snatched the ball out of the air with one hand, then took it 20 yards to the house, and the Blue Devils found themselves up 14-0 after just six and a half minutes of action.
“What led to the play, was that we were just prepared for it,” DHS head coach Marc Hicks told The Enterprise. “Our guys did a great job; special teams came through for us (Friday) big time.”
Davis created yet another turnover on Armijo’s next drive, when Devil lineman Marcos Herrera fell onto a fumbled snap on the DHS 20. In all, the Blue Devil defense forced three turnovers and didn’t give up a touchdown for the second game in a row.
“Another solid effort from us on defense,” said local defensive coordinator Ty Brown. “We worked a lot this last week on alignment. As well as we played last week (a 30-7 win at Foothill), we still had trouble getting lined up correctly, but I thought we corrected a lot of those mistakes this week.”
After the Indian fumble, the Blue Devils went to work with the ground game. Quarterback Quinten Jones again showed off his speed and smarts as he ran zone read plays to perfection, often leaving the defense with no idea whether he or his RB was carrying the ball.
On third-and-1 from the Armijo 22, Jones chose to try and get the first down with a keeper, but looked to be wrapped up in the backfield. However, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior shook off the would-be tackler, and spun his way to a first down. Jones finished with 31 yards on the ground, while backup QB Emilio Barba ran for 43.
“Both quarterbacks did a great job (Friday),” Hicks said. “We can go with either one, but (Jones) is our man right now and we’ll stick with (Jones) because we’re using (Barba) all over the place.”
As he has in each of the first three games, Barba lined up as a H-back and a wide receiver during the course of Friday’s contest.
Following his first down run, Jones was tackled for a 6-yard loss, but Roberson made up for it by pounding his way for a 21-yard scoring run. The extra point was missed, but the Devils still found themselves up 20-0 entering halftime.
And after intermission, DHS wasted no time in putting the game away. The Blue Devil offense drove down the field methodically, highlighted by a 23-yard pass from Jones to Nate Curtis to convert a third-and-13 from their own 48.
That pass set up a 31-yard rushing touchdown from Deary, who cut into a hole opened by the offensive line, and blew by the Armijo defense. McKallip’s extra point closed out the scoring with the Blue Devils up 27-0.
After the Devils’ resounding win, Hicks felt proud of his team.
“It was a great game, great win,” Hicks said. “We played well, and I’m very excited, very happy, for the guys. We still have work to do, like every other week, and we have to get ready for Rio Americano.”
Hicks added: “We’re getting things dialed in, we’re gelling as a team, so we just have to keep getting better. We have to execute, execute, execute.”
Notes: DHS running back Wally Perez was held out of the game due to his high ankle sprain. Still, the Blue Devils ran for 233 yards, paced by Roberson’s 91 yards on 16 carries. … MacDonald led the Davis defense with six solo tackles. … The win over Armijo capped a three-game road stretch for the Devils, who finally play their home opener on Friday (7:15 p.m.) against Rio Americano. … Dustin Tillman and Evan Meerscheidt contributed statistics for this article.
— Reach Thomas Oide at email@example.com. To view galleries and purchase prints of Blue Devil sports photos, visit http://davisenterprise.zenfolio.com.