Davis High head coach Marc Hicks and defensive coordinator Ty Brown raved throughout the preseason about how good the Blue Devil defense would be.
However, after getting steamrolled at Yuba City in the season opener, the DHS defensive identity was in question.
For past three games — all wins — the Devils (3-1) have answered those questions, giving up just three touchdowns and proving that the defense is the strength of their team.
In each of the past two weeks, the locals have allowed less than 200 yards of total offense.
“You know, we face a lot of good teams, and I just think that we’re getting better every week,” said Davis senior middle linebacker Brendan MacDonald. “It sounds generic, but it’s really what’s happening.
“You know their first drive (in Friday’s 27-13 victory over Rio Americano), they scored pretty easily and we just made simple adjustments,” MacDonald continued. “The coaches are seeing everything; we have great coaches observing us, and we have good players. (If) we make the right adjustments, we’ll get better every week.”
Those adjustments have clearly been made and every part of the defense has excelled in the three-game winning streak. Brown has promised that the depth of his defensive line would pay big dividends and it did on Friday, dominating the Raiders as sophomore Jonah Williams recorded two sacks in the game.
“What can you say about our front four?” Brown asked. “We talked earlier in the year about how good those guys could be, and having those guys allows us to do a lot more stuff on the back end with the linebackers and secondary.”
And that Blue Devil back seven was just as tough against Rio. Safety Bailey Yarrow had a whopping 11 solo tackles, MacDonald contributed seven stops and cornerback Joey Dossa defended four passes and added a key interception to stop a Raider drive in the red zone.
“It always goes back to (the secondary),” Brown said. “We’ve been challenging these guys each and every week, and those guys accepted the challenge. And we know we can still play better.
“(Dossa) is as athletic as any kid in the section, and we knew that he could play the way he has played in the last couple of weeks. And even now, we’re only seeing about 10 percent of what this kid can do. As we get going he’s gonna get more and more comfortable, and settle down into his role.”
And DHS’ newly minted lockdown cornerback isn’t even the scariest aspect of this stingy defense, which has been without one of its top players for the past three weeks.
“We’ve played the last three games without one of our best defensive players in Wally Perez,” Brown said. “We’re hoping to get him back next week, and we’ll have The Cartel (linebackers MacDonald, Eli Castro and Perez) in effect, and we’ll be ready to go.”
Notes: Another strong Devil defender, Marvin Grant, did not suit up for the game against Rio Americano due to a hamstring injury early last week. Grant should be ready for this week’s matchup against Woodland. … Even though Davis picked off two passes against the Raiders, Brown wants his team to force even more turnovers as the season goes on.
— Reach Thomas Oide at firstname.lastname@example.org