RIO LINDA Ñ After two offensive plays in FridayÕs six-team football scrimmage at Rio Linda High, the Blue Devils had two quick Òtouchdowns.Ó But the best news may have come on the defensive side of the ball.
ÒWe did a nice job coming out fired up,Ó Davis High coach Steve Smyte said after his team worked out against Antelope, Kimball and Rio Linda. ÒWe ran around good and got hats on the ball. It went well.Ó
Last season, with a team small up the middle, the Devils were shaky defensively Ñ including a 56-0 setback to Nevada Union in the final game.
With a relatively small linebacking corps, that 2009 team was shredded for 7.9 yards per carry by the opposition. A bulk of that yardage coming up the gut.
If Friday was any indication, Davis foes will have to find new ways to move downfield.
ÒI thought a guy who was really emerging was Chase Hunt-Murray,Ó Smyte continued. ÒHe did a terrific job knocking guys down, making tackles.Ó
With Hunt-Murray (6-foot-3, 205) turning runners toward the middle, a new fate awaits DHS opponents Ñ inside linebackers Peter Smith (6-2, 220) and Corey Nelson (6-2, 190).
In defensive coordinator Tom WattsÕ new 3-4 scheme, containment will be a big deal with active
linebackers. In Rio Linda, the Blue Devils took a giant step forward in presenting a new look with a new attitude on defense, according to Smyte.
Coming off those back-to-back losing seasons, with the exception of not a lot of depth, this fallÕs Blue Devils have little resemblance to those teams that went 4-16 the last two campaigns.
Especially on offense:
ÒWhen our starters were in (on Friday), with Courtney Williams (at running back), we were really good,Ó Smyte assessed. ÒChase made a couple of great catches Ñ one on a waggle route Ñ and Brent Martin and Dillard Brown (played) well at wide receiver.
ÒOur quarterbacks were hitting their targets and the offensive line was moving guys off the ball.Ó
With linemen Lucas Brattesani (5-10, 190) joined by Dominic Brown (6-2, 220), Brian Stabenfeldt (6-2, 235), Bobby Rico (5-10, 250) and Alex Magrino (5-7, 190) drawing further praise from their coach, the sneak preview of the 2010 Blue Devils paints an entirely different picture than the mural of those recent years.
Davis opens the regular season on Friday at Pioneer High against visiting Armijo. Game time is 7:15 p.m. The Indians feature a standout senior QB in Brian Wilson, but come stumbling in after a 2-8 season, like the Devils, in 2009.
Notes: The newest member of DHSÕ Delta Valley Conference Ñ and the top-ranked team in the state Ñ Grant, got its season underway Friday with a 49-14 win over Folsom in a game that was televised by ESPN.