Enterprise staff writer
After two games, Will C. Wood High seems like a resurrected team.
ThereÕs a new coach, a 1-1 start in which the offense looks rejuvenated, and some promise being shown by an undersized defense.
WildcatsÕ first-year man Carlos Meraz says FridayÕs game will tell his teamÕs fans a lot more about who Wood is in 2010.
Any of that sound familiar?
After Davis High and Wood each struggled through last season at 2-8 (including a Blue Devil 14-7 victory in a Sept. 24 matchup between the two squads at Aggie Stadium), both programs have made wholesale changes Ñ some tangible and some mental.
When the final gun sounds Friday at Tom Zunino Field on the Vacaville High campus, one team should go boldly into the future, its stock soaring. The other? It might signal for a new drawing board.
When the ÕCats opened with a 44-22 loss to Pioneer, they moved the ball through the air. But the overall feel of that game had similarities to DHSÕ 27-13 setback last week at Sacramento.
Two Wood turnovers resulted in Patriot scores, a tipped pass resulted in another PHS touchdown and there were two penalties that negated big Wildcat pickups.
ÒObviously, we made a lot of mistakes,Ó Meraz told the Vacaville Reporter after that contest. ÒWe need to work on capitalizing on our opportunities.Ó
Then last week, in its win against Vanden (31-21), Wood rushed for almost 250 yards and owned the clock.
ÒWhen these kids get things together, and they believe in each other, these guys can accomplish a lot of things,Ó Meraz believes.
Are these two teams trying to be mirror images of one another?
Remember, in its victory over Armijo in Week 1, Davis used a slick passing game to set the tone and overwhelm the Indians.
Another first-year coach, the DevilsÕ Steve Smyte, said when his troops eliminated the mistakes and played well in the red zone, theyÕd be a force to be reckoned with.
The following week Ñ riding running back Courtney WilliamsÕ rushing prowess Ñ the local offense was in gear, but it was stopped by penalties and turnovers. Again, the red zone was a concern.
One week these teams have run, the next pass (or vice versa). Penalties and turnovers are a problem. Both the Wildcats and Blue Devils are much more disciplined and capable than a year ago. But both are still trying to find themselves.
Wood is dominated by seniors.
Two-way performer Brian Clay sets the tone. As a quarterback, heÕs 14-for-25 passing, for 225 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, he has 22 tackles and a fumble recovery from his corner position.
At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Jedidiah Cox will be DavisÕ main concern downfield. The wideout has four catches for 42 yards and two scores, but has yet to break out. He was the WildcatsÕ No. 1 target a year ago Ñ including catching five passes for 96 yards and a long touchdown in the loss to DHS.
Ryan Spinelli, another senior at tailback, has 144 yards on the ground for Wood, which has rushed for almost 350 yards after two games (Clay has 104 yards and two ground scores running).
When the Devils have the ball, Cox is joined at linebacker by Shane Siegrist and Brian Stansbury Ñ all with good size and all with at least 20 tackles after just two games.
It all starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
Ñ Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 747-8056. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com