Now is the time for the Davis High football team to show what it’s made of.
After enduring a tough loss to Monterey Trail last week, the schedule doesn’t let up for the Blue Devils (4-2 overall, 0-1 Delta Valley Conference) as perennial Sac-Joaquin Section powerhouse Franklin (3-3, 0-1) comes to town Friday night.
After dropping its DVC opener, DHS head coach Marc Hicks expressed extreme disappointment in the team’s performance.
Many of the problems stemmed from offensive inconsistencies, according to Hicks.
“Too many mistakes,” the first-year head coach said. “It’s like we’d have a good play and then we’d have a mediocre play, and then two bad plays in a row. You can’t sustain a drive like that… It’s just not possible in the game of football.”
For the past two weeks, the primary cause for concern has been the lack of push from the offensive line. The lack of movement off the line has made running backs Talek Deary, Winfred Roberson and Wally Perez ineffective in the last two games.
“We’ve been working on staying low, firing out … again, football is a game of basics,” Hicks said. “If you don’t do the basics, you can’t be successful. So we went right back over everything again.”
According to Hicks, the offense was not working at a quick pace during practice this week.
“Offensively, (practice) was slow-paced, but that was OK with me because we were really emphasizing our assignments,” he said. “Assignment football is everything; communication and assignment football. So I’m not trying to do your job, I’m gonna do my job. If you stick to doing your job, you will be successful.”
The Blue Devils’ success will come down to an acronym, AAKA: alignment, assignment, keys and adjustment. Brown and Hicks have stressed this to the team all season long.
“We started off the first couple of plays (in the Monterey Trail game) where we were not aligned correctly and boom. He’s gone, 65 yards later and it’s a touchdown. And that’s just from not being aligned correctly,” defensive coordinator Ty Brown said.
Franklin is 3-3 this season, but like Monterey Trail, those three losses have come to top-tier teams: Oak Ridge, Jesuit and Grant.
The Wildcats graduated their entire offense last season, but that doesn’t mean they are any less potent this year. The Franklin offense screams balance: averaging 141.7 receiving yards and 192.5 rushing yards per game.
FHS has two 300-yard rushers in Joey Banks and quarterback Lamar Jackson, Banks has rushed for three scores and Jackson has rushed for four. Jackson also has thrown for nine scores, five of which were to receiver Jabarri Johnson, who has racked up 17 catches for 311 yards this season.
“It’s going to be another great challenge,” Brown said. “Franklin’s going to line up with some good athletes, and I feel that we’ve got some good athletes that can match those guys.”
What can be expected from Franklin?
“Fast and furious,” Hicks said. “So we gotta be fast and furious too. You know there’s a saying: ‘Any given team can be beaten on any given day.’ I don’t care if you’re 0-10 or 10-0. You could still lose or win. It’s about alignment, assignment, keys and adjustments. That is football.”
— Reach Thomas Oide at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterThomas