SACRAMENTO — It was a tough day at Natomas High on Saturday as all four Davis Junior Blue Devil squads dropped their Sacramento Youth League games.
However, each of the contest had memorable moments for the locals. Here’s a look back …
In what turned out to be a nail-biter, the Blue Devils almost came back from a huge first-quarter deficit before falling, 34-31, to the Dragons of Sacramento.
Davis fell behind 22-0 early before Jack Hoal led a furious comeback that just came up short.
Running back Hoal scored four touchdowns — two of which went for about 30 yards each. The other two touchdowns were short carries.
Another score came courtesy of Will Smith, thanks to a one-handed catch and dash to pay dirt. Chris Carr gave the Devils their extra-point conversion.
The Davis tacklers were aggressive and it was difficult to keep track as teammates seemed to pile on one another at every play.
Key stops by Joseph Morrison and Ethan Iacono kept the Dragon offense in check after the first-period onslaught.
Luke Scoggins, Eric Balderama, Jack and Kayden Hoal, along with Zach Thornburgh, forced Sacramento to look for alternate ways to move the ball late.
Blue Devil lineman Carlos Robles record a career-high three sacks and special kudos go to Kayden Hoal, who proved his versatility with numerous tackles and by blocking a pair of conversions and throwing in a quarterback sack.
“They took us by surprise by scoring early, but both our defense and offense came back to even out the score,” said local coach Josh Maffly. “We’ll be ready for them come playoff time.”
It was a rough outing for the Blue Devils as Sacramento rolled to a 32-0 victory.
The first half was well-contested, and Sam McGlynn, Cody Taylor, Kel Williams and Elijah Mitchell provided several stops for the Davis defense, but by intermission, the Dragons led 18-0.
The Devils’ offensive struggles continued in the second half they went three and out to begin the third quarter and Sacramento made it 24-0 on the next possession.
The Dragons would add one more touchdown and convert the PAT to end the scoring.
Offensively for the Blue Devils, the effort was led by running backs Gabriel Franco, Kevin Coleman, Taylor Vaughn and Marc-Antony Fields. Wideouts Andrew Battistoni and Finn Thomsen provided key blocks from their positions as the offense tried to bounce the ball outside.
Mitch Banuelos, Battistoni and Alexander Din provided key blocks on special teams for Davis, while linebacker Banuelos Din and defensive lineman Jaheim Smith each recorded big stops.
Defensive back Joseph Sattari was stellar, preventing the Dragons from completing receptions to his side early in the first half.
In a back-and-forth contest, the Blue Devils lost a heartbreaking 31-27 decision to the Dragons.
The Davis offensive line of Chris Najera, Keiffer Jones, Nathan Lee, Chris Johnson and Josiah Roa controlled the line of scrimmage, allowing Ben Busano to score two touchdowns on 134 yards rushing. Busano had another 45 yards receiving.
Jack Chavira caught his first touchdown pass of the year on a 34-yard strike from Devil QB Luke Carrell, who added a rushing touchdown to complete the local scoring.
Keaton Massey caught three passes, including two extra-point conversions, while Adam Hasson, Ethan Rosendale, Santiago Gonzalez, Cameron Nelson and Adam Perry led the way for the Blue Devil defense.
Junior Pee Wees
It was a tall order for the Blue Devils, as Sacramento came in unbeaten and unscored upon.
Davis broke the first streak, scoring a touchdown, but lost, 25-7.
That score, a Jude Vaughn touchdown, sent the Devil faithful into a frenzy. Vaughn finished with 92 yards rushing and Baron Rosario added 38. Ethan Cavanaugh ran for 18 yards, and Trajan Clark and Kai Roberts added some solid yardage on kickoff returns.
On defense, the Davis line worked relentlessly to hold the Dragons in check. And their number of tackles is a testament to the Blue Devils’ determination to stop Sacramento’s push for the end zone.
Vaughn and Rosario each had four tackles, and Clark, A.J. Hasson and Adam Turner were good for three stops each. Robert Maggenti broke through the line for a sack and Roberts added a key tackle.
“We knew going in that this was a tough team. Our Blue Devils showed Sacramento that we are indeed a match for them,” said Davis coach Paul Hasson. “In spite of the score, we played some real football (Saturday). I couldn’t ask more of the boys.”
The Junior Blue Devils are back on the field Saturday to host Pleasant Grove at Aggie Stadium at UC Davis. The day begins with the Junior Pee Wees game, which kicks off at 10 a.m.