FOLSOM — When a team gets dominated just two weeks before the season starts, there is usually cause for concern.
But for the Davis High School football team, getting beaten in Saturday’s scrimmage by the Folsom Bulldogs — arguably the best team in Northern California and one of the top teams in the state — was a great learning tool for the Blue Devils.
“It really went how I expected it today,” DHS head coach John Wiley said. “We got a true understanding of what we want to accomplish and we wanted to get stuff on film. Why not get stuff on film with the best team around here and use it as a learning tool?”
The Blue Devils have been in camp for the past two weeks, and Wiley said the players implemented what they have worked on in camp.
“We stayed pretty generic tonight; we’re trying to make sure the kids understand our base,” the first-year coach said.
As for the game as a whole, DHS played well in spots. The team looks like it has talented athletes at most positions on the field. Cole Morse, last year’s leading rusher on the 9-1 DHS JV football team, rattled off a couple of nice runs but was largely bottled up by the Folsom defense. Part of that was due to playing against a talented Folsom line, which includes former DHS player Jonah Williams.
“We gotta get a lot better (on the line),” Wiley said. “We’re not very physical up front, and we’re going to have to get a lot better there.”
The quarterback battle between Jack Beckman, the signal caller for last year’s JV team, and Quinn Williams, who was out last season with a torn ACL, continued, but Wiley remained noncommittal in choosing the starting QB for this season. Williams is also DHS’ presumed starting strong safety, but Wiley said that won’t factor into his decision.
“Well, at any position we’re going to want to put our best athletes,” the coach said. “Whether it’s safety or it’s quarterback we’re going to play our best athletes. At this point, I would say we’re going to go and look at the film. Everything you think occurs isn’t as bad as you think or as good as you think.”
On the Blue Devils’ fifth drive of the day, all of their weapons were on display. Nate Curtis, who caught 16 passes for 367 yards last season, had a 22-yard reception, Marqise Turner had a nice 18-yard game after shaking the cornerback out of his cleats, and tight end Nash Nunes capped off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown reception.
On the defensive side of the ball, University of Washington-bound Folsom quarterback Jake Browning — who threw for 5,737 yards and 75 touchdowns last season — and the Bulldogs’ hurry-up spread offense gave the Blue Devil secondary some problems. However, DHS had two interceptions (one taken away on a penalty), and defensive coordinator Ty Brown thought the senior-laden secondary—Bailey Yarrow, Curtis, Williams and Turner — held up well.
“I thought we were good in spots, but the thing about football is you can’t play in spots,” Brown said. “It has to be a consistent effort from opening whistle to the end of the game. Again, (Browning) is the best quarterback we’re going to see all year; it’s great to see a player of his quality early.”