“Work. We need a lot of work. We made a lot of mistakes that we should not have made,” Davis High football head coach Marc Hicks said after his team improved to 4-1 with a 7-0 win over Woodland on Friday at Brown Stadium.
And the timing couldn’t be better for the Blue Devils to buckle down in practice as DHS has a bye week before hosting Monterey Trail on Oct. 11. The Homecoming game also is the Devils’ Delta Valley Conference opener.
First and foremost, the locals will look into fixing their penalties. They committed eight, costing them 69 yards against WHS.
“We looked like the Oakland Raiders (Friday),” Hicks said Friday night. “I can laugh about it now, but I won’t be laughing (Monday) because we are going to run for that.
“A lot of them were mental mistakes, they weren’t mistakes that couldn’t be helped. You know, it was offsides, face masks; we just have to work on the whole thing.”
After being outgained by the Wolves, 216 yards to 128, the Blue Devils also will be working hard on their offense.
DHS’ rushing attack was held to just 55 yards. Running back Winfred Roberson picked up less than 100 yards for the first time since the season opener at Yuba City and quarterback Quinten Jones had less than 40 yards for the first time since Week 1.
Despite the 45-yard game, Roberson scored the winning touchdown, his fifth of the year to go with 452 rushing yards. Jones has gained 102 yards on the ground.
“A lot of that was just us not making the adjustments,” Hicks explained. “Our line was having a hard time for whatever reason. Like I said, we’re just going to have to get back to the basics and start all over again.”
One bright spot for the Devil offense on Friday was the passing game, which looked better than it has all season.
For the first time in 2013, the locals passed for more yards than they ran for with key plays coming on Jones’ throws to senior Brendan MacDonald (four catches) and Bailey Yarrow, whose 22-yard pickup on a fourth-and-20 led to Davis’ only score.
Curtis takes over punting duties: Against Woodland, safety Nate Curtis replaced kicker Ian McKallip as the Blue Devils’ punter.
Curtis performed admirably, averaging 54 yards per punt, meaning the move should be a win-win for DHS as McKallip is now freed up to focus on place-kicking.
“(Curtis) is going to be our punter now,” Hicks said. “We’re going to let (McKallip) keep working hard, but we had to make that change. That’s just the way it is.”
Big games from safeties: Speaking of Curtis, his strong game Friday at the “beast” safety position was part of a huge performance from the Devil secondary.
After struggling a bit early in contest, allowing two long gains by the Wolves, the junior settled down to record 5 1/2 tackles and a pick.
Curtis was solid in coverage for most of the game, especially on Woodland’s final play — a long pass that fell incomplete.
Yarrow, the free safety, also played an excellent game, recording his second interception and 3 1/2 tackles on the day.
The already-strong tandem is made up of a pair of juniors who will continue to grow. They should form a fearsome center-field unit for the rest of the season and the next.
— Reach Thomas Oide at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterThomas