“We played hard, we played lights out; we played the way we should’ve played last week,” Davis High defensive coordinator Ty Brown said Friday after the Blue Devils won at Foothill, 30-7.
Carried by running backs Talek Deary and Winfred Roberson — each of whom ran for more than 160 yards — DHS used a solid all-around performance to earn its first win of the season, and make sure that last week’s loss to Yuba City will be long forgotten.
After getting torched for 278 yards on the ground in that Week 1 loss, the Devil locked in on Friday, allowing the Mustangs to gain just 254 total yards.
“I challenged (senior) Brendan MacDonald this week, I challenged (senior) Winfred Roberson, we challenged our secondary and linebackers, to show up this week and play better, and they did,” Brown said.
The Blue Devils were forced to punt on their first possession of the game, but immediately forced and recovered a fumble to regain possession on the Mustang 38. On the ensuing drive, Davis went straight to its running game, giving Roberson five carries and Deary two.
On first and goal from the 8-yard line, Roberson took the handoff from quarterback Quinten Jones, broke a tackle in the backfield, and bowled over two Foothill defenders to score the Devils’ first touchdown of the season.
Moments later, the DHS defense forced another fumble, and took over on the Foothill 38. The Blue Devils went right back to their human bulldozer named Winfred Roberson.
In all, the Davis defense forced five turnovers and did not allow a touchdown on the night.
“The (turnovers) were huge (Friday),” Brown said. “That was the difference for us in breaking open the game.”
With a minute left in the first quarter, Jones pulled off his best impression of Colin Kaepernick on a zone read. Jones faked the handoff to Roberson, dashed to his left, made a sharp jump cut to elude a Mustang cornerback and waltzed into the end zone from 26 yards out to put the locals up 12-0.
The tenacious DHS defense forced yet another turnover — this one on downs — on Foothill’s next possession.
After the turnover on downs, Jones and the offense methodically drove down the field with the running game steadily eating up the clock. And with 1:06 left before intermission, the Blue Devils found themselves at the Mustangs’ 17-yard line.
From there, Jones tried to throw a pass to receiver Joey Dossa’s back shoulder, but Foothill DB Marcus Hansen picked the ball off and took it to the house, cutting the lead to five points at the half.
According to Marc Hicks — who got his first win as Davis’ head coach on Friday — line coach Yijie Gee gave a speech to the Blue Devils during the halftime break. Gee’s talk worked wonders, and clearly had an effect on Deary, a JV standout in 2012.
First, it was the Devil defense coming out strong as Bailey Yarrow intercepted a David Carter pass just as the Mustangs looked like they were starting to get something going.
Back on offense, Roberson got the locals into the red zone before taking a breather. Deary replaced him and, immediately after entering the contest, exploded through a gaping hole opened by the offensive line. The shifty back used a couple of head fakes and sharp cuts to go 18 yards to paydirt and put DHS ahead 18-7.
After Eli Castro forced another fumble, the Blue Devils took over on their own 29. Again, Roberson started the drive and Deary finished it.
Following a false start — the locals were plagued by penalties all night, committing 14 — which had the sideline visibly irritated, Deary turned those frowns upside down.
The explosive back took a handoff near midfield and exploded through a big hole opened by the line. Deary beat the linebackers with a jump cut and, by the time he got into the second level, there was no chance for the Foothill secondary to catch him. The 55-yard TD run put DHS up 24-7.
“I’m really happy for Talek,” Hicks said. “We’ve been trying to talk to him over and over again about working hard at practice and it really paid off for him (Friday).”
Deary finished with 165 yards on just 10 carries — two for scores — and Roberson lumbered for 162 yards and a touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, back-up QB Emilio Barba connected with MacDonald from 1 yard out to close out the Davis scoring.
Despite the strong win, Hicks still feels there is work to do before next week’s game at Armijo.
“I’m not satisfied,” Hicks said. “I’m hungry now. I’m hungrier than I ever was before watching these guys (Friday). We played well, but we still made some mistakes I wish we didn’t make, but that will happen. It’s the game of football; things happen.”
“Everything (needs work),” Hicks added. “You gotta improve on everything, nothing’s ever for sure. So we gotta keep going, be repetitious, keep going over the plays, keep running plays, come up with new ideas, just get the guys ready.”
Notes: When asked what Gee said during his speech, Hicks said, “Nope. That’s football talk. Can’t tell you about football talk.”… Backup running back Wally Perez did not play because of an injury and lineman Nick Yaver left the game after getting hurt. Both Jonah Williams and MacDonald, who were injured and missed time last week, returned and started against Foothill. … Evan Meerscheidt and Dustin Tillman contributed statistics for this article.
— Reach Thomas Oide at email@example.com