Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Here we go… Friday will be telling for Blue Devils


From page B1 | October 12, 2012 |

Let’s hope that Friday’s Blue Devil football game will be one for the ages.

Davis flies under the radar no more, and a very, very good Franklin team — 6-0 and ranked second in the Sac-Joaquin Section — is lying in wait for its Delta Valley Conference rivals.

When the two schools kick off at 7:15 p.m. at Cosumnes Oaks High, there are so many directions this game could head.

Knowing that, it makes Friday that much more interesting.

The Wildcats, a spread offense that uses all its firepower to move the ball, has been helped out by a defense that repeatedly has given Franklin a short field.

Last week, in a 34-26 win at Grant, it was the defense that saved the day — blocking a field goal with seconds left, then, adding insult to injury by returning the ball for a touchdown.

DHS, meanwhile, buried an unsuspecting Monterey Trail, 42-7. After four years of DVC despair, the Devils (4-2) made quite a statement. There probably are some league coaches looking back at last week’s papers to make sure the score wasn’t a typo.

It wasn’t. And regardless of what happens with Franklin, it’s doubtful that DHS is going to disappoint anyone from here on out.

Blue Devil Nation, take heart …

Not only is your team deeper than at anytime in the past five seasons, it has scary-good skills players and a quarterback who is growing Hulk-like in stature.

Twice in the past seven days, two newspapers have credited signal-caller Grant Dickerson with having Peyton Manningesque calm and ability. Wow.

Dickerson told me nothing happens — for him or his teammates — without the brilliant play of his offensive line.

The senior, who didn’t play quarterback in 2011, seems to have a moat around him. Bray Harwood, Oscar Sepulveda, Nick Denton, Brain Stabenfeldt, Bailey Murray and Zac Slavich have been trench mainstays.

The line’s solid effort has allowed Davis to farm out the ball, giving tailback Winfred Roberson a chance to score nine touchdowns and go over 600 yards — this while actually getting occasional breaks and missing half the first game with a knee bruise.

With Dickerson getting a chance to throw without running for his life (remember Shayne Reagan’s courageous 2011 season), the big right-hander has 13 TDs and more than 1,200 yards through the air.

Shhhh. Don’t tell the other DVC teams, but Dickerson is on a school-record-setting pace in both categories.

Oh, did I mention DHS might have the best receiving corps in the Sac-Joaquin Section ranks?

Friday night, they’ll be a key. Franklin plays tough up front. C.K. Hicks, Kevin Sorensen, Brett Bloomfield and their pals will have to help out on pass protection — in addition to being cat-quick off the ball to get open when their numbers are called.

Then there’s special teams …

Former Davis High and UC Davis standout Josh Reese has done a terrific job coaching those unsung Devils units.

All season, special teams have covered kickoffs and punts well. (Punts? What punts, you ask? Fair enough, since DHS didn’t punt once against Monterey Trail, but don’t expect that lightning to hit twice against Franklin.)

Good kick coverage will be only half the battle on Friday. Reese and his players know it’s time that Adam King, Hicks or Quinn Williams receive that one big block and take a game-changer back to The House.

“We’ve been doing a great job on coverage and returns,” Reese told me this week. “But we’re always changing things up. We don’t want to get scouted … beat on our coverage or returns.”

Reese doesn’t want to tip his hand, but smiles broadly when asked if there are new wrinkles in store for the heart of the conference lineup.

Mix in the offensive genius of head coach Steve Smyte and this Blue Devil team could be scarier than Davis’ mascot El Diablo dressed as Dracula on Halloween.

48-45? Could be. 42-7? Could be. 10-6? Doubtful. The real question is, who wins? By what margin? The game is that intriguing.

Kickoff is 7:15 p.m. See you at Cosumnes Oaks High? Miss this one, and you might miss a classic.

While I Have You Here: The massive soccer crowd for Jesuit and Davis last Saturday saw a clunker (if you’re a Blue Devil fan), but the number of fans in attendance — an estimated 1,500 — spotlighted how valuable the rebuild of old Halden Field has been for DHS.

Not only did the school’s athletic program get more than $4,000 for the gate, it provided a showcase venue for one of the state’s top rivalries. Regardless of the sport, there is something special about Jesuit/Davis or St. Francis/Davis.

I know. Our soccer coaches, past and present, prefer playing on the natural grass at Yudin Field. The Devils practice there. They’re comfortable there. And a lot of folks (including those at PG&E) worked hard to get lights on that pitch, which sits north of the tennis courts.

But there is no strategy for charging admission at Yudin Field, and because of the low-sitting bleachers, sight lines aren’t the best. (Even though Ron & Mary Brown Stadium’s visitors seating isn’t super, the visitors’ accommodations at Yudin Field are even worse.)

And who didn’t love having the concession stands open? Thanks, Blue Devil Football Backers.

So, kudos to the administrators who moved Saturday’s game to the stadium. It’s why we brought the on-campus facility back to life. Who’s looking forward to a replay this spring when St. Francis comes to town?

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at or 530-747-8047.



Bruce Gallaudet



Undocumented Student Center offers help to immigrants

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Rairdan supports more inquiry-based learning

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Mondavi Center hosts all-star lineup of classical, jazz, dance and more

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C3 | Gallery

Willett students sensitized to those who are different

By Maria Clayton | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Friends of the Library host biggest book sale of the year

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Give blood and get a free movie ticket

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

‘Edible City’ discussion planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

TSA bomb training may be noisy

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Katehi will address Rotarians on Monday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

‘ADHD — Myth or Reality’ addressed at UCD talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

AIM testing dates set this fall, winter

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

Tour Honey Bee Haven on Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Woodland City Cemetery tours planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

UCD athletics have break-from-work entertainment for everyone

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: C5 | Gallery

Wetlands visitors may see ducks arriving

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Boy Scouts host family event in park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

How did the Aggies get their name?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C12



Hey, it’s free childcare …

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Will you open your heart, and your home?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

The right vote for education

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Just what Davis schools need

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Nolan’s a calm voice of reason

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



DHS girls tennis team tames Lions

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devil girls play dynamite pool defense

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis volleyballers finish strong at Franklin

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Hard-working Blue Devil boys get a water polo win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

A’s fall as AL wild-card game lives up to its name

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

AYSO roundup: Beans, Capay can’t shake each other in U19 play

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Legacy roundup: Milliennium takes Manteca tournament

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Alliance roundup: Los Azules, Italia win tourneys

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Real Salt Lake has too much for Republic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8



From the ground up: Rediscovering classic cheesecake

By Ann Evans | From Page: A10 | Gallery





Leonard D. Blackford

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Anne Elizabeth Elbrecht

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



Comics: Wednesday, October 1, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A8