There’s no other way to say it: the Davis High football team was beaten badly by host Yuba City on Friday night.
In the 40-0 loss, the Blue Devil offense was unable to move the ball and the defense struggled to slow the Honkers.
But since it was a season opener, and the first game ever with new coach Marc Hicks at the helm, the DHS staff isn’t focused only on what the team did wrong:
“All things being said, I thought we played hard,” Devil defensive coordinator Ty Brown said after the game Friday. “I thought the effort was there; it was never a question of how hard we were playing. We just made a lot of mistakes (Friday) that you would typically see a team make in their first game.”
And with those mistakes coming against a Yuba City team full of talented athletes, that made things rough on the locals.
Running back Omar Herrera tops that group as he used his next-level speed and agility to rush for 108 yards and two touchdowns. But he certainly wasn’t the only potent Honker: Four YCHS players ran for more than 50 yards and four different Honkers found the end zone, including Austin Thompson, who had two scores, one rushing and one receiving.
The good news is, not only does Davis not have to see those Yuba City standouts again, but the mistakes the Blue Devils made to help them out on Friday night are fixable.
“They caught us on a corner route in the first (quarter) because our DB got caught looking into the backfield, the guy gets on top of him, and (Yuba City) gets a big gain,” Brown said. “Then, a guy runs an arrow route and gets up the sideline because we’re not aligned correctly. If we just get our alignment right, and we get there and tackle like we’re supposed to, we can probably eliminate four of the touchdowns that they scored.”
On the offensive side of the ball, Hicks — who calls plays for DHS — also said that most of the mistakes were mental, the type that can be eliminated.
Backups play well: With five starters missing some or all of the contest (three were injured during the game), several Blue Devil reserves had the opportunity to see extended playing time, and gain good experience against a talented Honker squad.
After Herrera’s touchdown scamper put the game out of reach in the second quarter, Hicks slowly began to work more backups into the game, and eventually everyone got some work.
Although senior quarterback Emilio Barba led only one drive, he did complete his first pass of the night — a bullet to Nate Curtis for a 12-yard gain.
Hicks also made note of the play of junior linemen Ben Gore and Nathan Ortiz, who both saw time after sophomore standout Jonah Williams went down with an injury and missed the second half.
“Guys came in and tried to do what they could do,” Hicks said. “It’s kind of hard when you’re down by so much and you go into a game. You’re really not trying to make up at that point, you’re just trying to do what you can do to the best of your abilities, and I thought the guys who came in did that.”
Injuries: When asked about the injuries to Williams, a two-way lineman, and linebacker/tight end Brendan MacDonald — who was seen on crutches during Friday’s second half — Hicks said, “They will be fine.”
Hicks did not provide a timetable for either player’s return.
— Reach Thomas Oide at firstname.lastname@example.org