Friday, August 29, 2014

Intriguing moment at hand in Davis football season

From page B1 | October 25, 2012 |

When the Davis High football team travels to Grant on Friday, there will be story lines aplenty …

Will the following-day headlines read “Grieving Pacers Back on Track” or “Blue Devils Headed for the Playoffs”?

Will Grant running back Marquis Carter-Petit have a field day, or can DHS linebacker Brendan MacDonald and Company shut down their hosts — holding a sixth opponent to single-digit scores?

After back-to-back train wrecks against the Pacers, these Devils are different from recent past seasons.

Coming in with a 5-3 overall record (2-1 in Delta Valley Conference), the locals have pitched three shutouts and have a sleight-of-hand offense that also can pound the ball.

Having depth and talent can take a team a long way …

In 2010, head coach Steve Smyte remembers entering the Grant game with only 19 healthy Blue Devils, and suffering a 56-0 pasting on the road.

Last year — again with the herd thinned by injuries — the Pacers held Davis to fewer yards (56) than Grant got points (58) in another embarrassing shutout.

But the third-year mentor believes those games are ancient history.

“We know we’re playing for something,” Smyte said during a break in an enthusiastic practice Wednesday. “I’m impressed with the way we’re going after it this week. These guys know what’s at stake.”

Smyte doesn’t need to mention the P-word. Playoffs — something DHS hasn’t seen since 2007 — are at hand with a win over Grant. Three wins out of five conference games will allow Davis to advance.

Imagine, Grant — a team that just five years ago won a state championship and has eviscerated the Blue Devils 114-0 in the past two years — battling upstart DHS for the third DVC spot in the Division I tournament. The Pacers are 3-5 and 1-2 in league.

But there’s a long way to go if this dream sequence is to have a happy ending.

The Devils have to bottle up Carter-Petit, says Smyte, who adds: “It all starts with that running back. He’s a big-time guy. He’s a Pac-12 running back and we have to stop him. Otherwise, it’s a long night.”

But, Smyte told The Enterprise, Grant presents problems across the board.

Quarterback Isaiah Rios — who threw only nine passes in last week’s 14-7 win over Monterey Trail — threw for 214 yards and four touchdowns in the Pacers’ 34-26 loss to Franklin on Oct. 5.

“And they have two very good receivers (sophomore Darrion Jeffrey and senior Trayvon Henderson),” Smyte continues. “You can see the talent out there.”

But Grant has battled demons …

Former player John Bloomfield, who collapsed after Sacramento State’s season-opener at New Mexico, died on Sunday after a monthlong coma. Earlier this fall, Grant assistant coach Ed Coleman murdered his girlfriend before taking his own life.

And the Pacers have had a case of the yips on the field …

In the win over Monterey Trail, GHS offensive linemen were whistled 13 times for 140 yards of penalties. Eight interceptions by Rios have been compounded by six lost fumbles.

Stopping Grant is only one piece of the puzzle. Davis needs to play ball control — a successful style that has seen the locals average 34 points a game and own the clock.

A recent change — seeing former tailback Winfred Roberson frequently lining up at fullback — has paid dividends.

Last week, with Roberson convoying backs Austin Lampley and Wally Perez, the Devils danced past Laguna Creek, 27-0. Lampley and Perez each scored twice.

“He’s just a bigger body back there,” assistant coach Josh Reese said of the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Roberson. “He’s a strong guy and is able to move kids. With some of the linebacker/defensive ends sets we seek, we’ll have faster guys behind him.

“It’s a good fit for him. What it really comes down to is physiques.

“Plus, I think he could learn a little bit more if he talks to his dad. He needs to get a more downhill mentality.”

Roberson’s dad — Winfred Sr. — played fullback at Cal. The elder Roberson, who is the Davis superintendent of schools, had some Golden Bear named Marc Hicks (yes, that Marc Hicks) running behind him in the 1980s.

Reese — who carried the rock as a Blue Devil and at UC Davis — has been delighted with Roberson’s adjustment and the success of Lampley and Perez.

“(Austin) is a good kid. Very coachable, but he has a good attitude-spice to him, too,” Reese adds. “He listens and I like that he wears No. 22.”

22 — Reese’s old number

Now the coaches hope their Blue Devils all have Grant’s number.

Game time is 7:15 p.m.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at or 530-747-8047.



Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis Innovation Center team fields questions

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Researchers solve mystery of Death Valley’s moving rocks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    California extends review of $25B delta plan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Equestrian eventing competition slated

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Forum explores local mental health services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Books, conversation and poetry at Logos

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7



    Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    What if we need MRAP?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    How could tank be helpful?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

    Don’t sentence our police to death

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2, 1 Comment

    Will Davis see river water?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Travel buddy is getting too fat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



    Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils scrimmage with Sac

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6

    Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery





    ‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery



    Technology makes a great car better

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery



    Elaine Dracia Greenberg

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Margarita Elizondo

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4