The Davis High football team lost a game on Friday, but found itself a go-to wide receiver.
Junior Nate Curtis became the first Blue Devil receiver to break 100 receiving yards this season, when he made six catches for 101 yards in the 21-14 loss to Monterey Trail.
Curtis caught two touchdown passes, one on a slant route to tie the game up in the first half and another catch in the waning moments of the contest. The two TDs give Curtis, who is also DHS’ punter, three scores on the year.
He also had a fantastic Friday with his leg, averaging 47.3 yards per punt as the Devils (4-2, 0-1) lost their Delta Valley Conference opener.
Taking to the air: Quarterback Quinten Jones had a season-high 20 pass attempts against the Mustangs.
The increase in throws took away touches from senior running back Winfred Roberson, who came into the game with a team-high 452 yards rushing. He had only 11 carries on the night as the locals averaged two yards per lug and picked up a season-low 63 yards.
Head coach Marc Hicks, himself a former star running back, said Davis had to change its offensive plan because of lack of success in the trenches:
“We didn’t want to go away (from the run game), but we had to because we couldn’t get push out of our linemen,” Hicks explained. “That wasn’t our intent, but we had to do, at the moment, what we thought we had to do. Again, it comes back to that we made way too many mistakes, and we have to fix it.”
Defense stays strong: Despite giving up more points (21) than they had in the past four games total (13), Blue Devil defensive coordinator Ty Brown told The Enterprise after the game that he liked the way his unit performed Friday.
“(Monterey Trail) broke a couple of long runs, but for the most part we were solid in stuffing the run game,” Brown said. “But if you look back at the tape, there were three or four chunk runs that they hit that kind of ballooned that number out there. Yards are awesome, but at the end of the day it’s about points: We gave up 21 and we scored 14.”
Though the Mustangs’ veer offense can be tough to read — and the Devils had their share of struggles — Brown thought his guys were properly equipped:
“I think that we were more than well-prepared. Obviously, looking at it in practice is a little different, and you have to get to the game and adjust to the speed of how the game is happening. I thought that we adjusted well, and I thought that we played as well as we could’ve asked.”
What hurt the DHS defense the most was being on the field for long periods of time, due in part to a struggling offense, but also to MTHS’ ability to chew up the clock with deliberate drives.
“That’s really what football is,” Brown said. “We’ve played some games where the offense is always on the field, marching up and down the field. (Friday) it was the defense that really had to step up and get it going.”
— Reach Thomas Oide at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterThomas