Enterprise sports editor
COLFAX Ñ It was one thing for Muhammed Ali to play rope-a-dope with opponents …. he was the greatest of all time.
But for a Davis High football team missing three of its top offensive weapons, trying to come back after getting behind early is not going to be as successful.
Playing in a majestic Sierra foothill setting on Friday, the Blue Devils fell into an early hole (for the third straight week) and a second-half comeback attempt came up short in a 31-21 loss to the Division III Falcons.
ÒItÕs like we wait to get punched and then all of a sudden we come out and do what we should have been doing from the beginning,Ó said DHS head coach Steve Smyte after his team fell to
1-3. ÒWith those (top guys) out we were kind of sitting back and waiting for the first
couple of rounds and that is not going to work.Ó
With two-way studs Peter Smith and Dillard Brown watching in street clothes, DavisÕ star tailback Courtney Williams tried to give it a go with one bad wheel. However the DevilsÕ leading rusher
noticeably limped after each hit, and the coaching staff finally put an end to his night after seven carries (and 62 all-purpose yards).
Already trailing 7-0 less than a minute after WilliamsÕ last carry of the game, DHS fans would experience an emotion roller coaster in the span of two plays. Blue Devil quarterback Shayne Reagan went to the air and found a streaking Kristian Mackewicz for 40 yards down the right sideline. But Mackewicz lost the ball while getting tackled and the Falcons (3-2) recovered.
On the next snap, Colfax running back Tommy Baldoni rumbled 62 yards to paydirt and the extra point made it 14-0. It was the second score to come directly off a turnover, as the FalconsÕ
first touchdown came on a 15-yard interception return by linebacker Roger Lille.
The miscues undermined a strong first half by the Davis defense, which caused two turnovers of its own Ñ including a sweet diving interception by safety Nick Jenness Ñ and forced a Colfax turnover on downs, all before the break. On that key play just before the end of the second period, Blair Kittle and Kevin Concolino combined to stop Baldoni in his tracks on a 4th and 1 at midfield.
ÒIn that first half, our defense did a good job keeping us in the game,Ó Smyte said. ÒOne thing we havenÕt done all year is put together a complete game. We play in bits and spurts, but we just have to do it all together.Ó
Following that pattern, it was the Blue Devil offense that came alive in the second half. Reagan threw three touchdown passes after intermission, one of which came halfway through the third period to cut the Colfax lead to 14-6.
That drive showcased FridayÕs biggest bright spot for DHS: the play of the Reagan-led offense, which saw several players step up in place of the injured stalwarts. In making it 14-6, senior Michael Romero stepped in at running back and ran eight straight times for 45 yards to set up the scoring play. In addition, the touchdown grab was one of two on the night for Mackewicz, who finished with 95 yards receiving and added a two-point conversion catch.
ÒA lot of guys stepped up,Ó Smyte said. ÒI was impressed with the play of the guys who we put in difficult situations filling in. Those guys played great.Ó
For his part, Reagan shrugged off three costly interceptions to throw for 251 yards and the three TDs. Wide receiver Majed Eddin also had his second straight
outstanding performance, catching five passes for 85 yards and a score.
But while the Blue Devil offense was finding its stride in the second half, the defense couldnÕt slow down Colfax enough for DHS to catch up.
The Falcons quickly made it 28-6 on a TD pass from Austin Young and another long
run by Baldoni, this one for 71 yards. Even two late touchdown passes by Reagan Ñ one each to Mackewicz and Eddin Ñ couldnÕt bring the Devils all the way back.
ÒWe showed some fight in the second half, but we just couldnÕt get enough stops,Ó Smyte said. ÒYou have to credit Colfax, they came out with energy and played well.Ó
Notes: Baldoni, who was a game-time decision after suffering a concussion earlier this season, finished with 282 total yards, 242 of them on the ground. … DHS senior Lucas Brattesani addressed his teammates after the game, asking them all to turn and look at the scoreboard. ÒWe put up 21 points in the second half, thatÕs what good teams do,Ó Brattesani said. ÒBut we have to do it all game.Ó … After the long trip up to Colfax, the Blue Devils will play their first real home game of the season on Friday, when they host Oakmont at Halden Field.
Ñ Reach Chris Saur at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 747-8049. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com