NATOMAS — It was a long, hot day for the four Davis Junior Blue Devil football teams on Saturday.
Despite some terrific individual efforts — and solid defensive play in key spots — all four local teams lost to Inderkum squads.
Here’s a look at the highlights …
The Pee Wees had some success with a powerhouse game against the speed of the Inderkum Junior Tigers despite a 12-6 overtime defeat.
The Blue Devils started fast, opening the game with a 52-yard strike from Luke Carrell to Ben Busano on the third offensive play.
But after that, Davis was not able to capitalize on three other opportunities inside the Inderkum 2-yard line.
Busano led the offense with three receptions for 65 yards and the touchdown. He also amassed 48 yards rushing.
Carrell was 5-of-9 passing for 85 yards with a touchdown and one interception, two of those completions going to Elijah Hackett.
The Devil defense was stingy, despite being on the field most of the second half. Key defensive plays were made by Ethan Rosendale, Keaton Massey, Cameron Nelson, Adam Perry, Santiago Gonzalez, Adam Hasson and Keiffer Jones.
The locals maintained their lead until the fourth quarter, when the Tigers scored their first TD and sent the game in overtime.
“I am proud of our team,” said Davis coach Scott Carrell. “We fought hard throughout the contest and unfortunately came up short. Importantly, we improved as a team and walked away with our heads held high.”
Despite a solid defensive showing, the Junior Midgets were stung by a couple of huge Inderkum plays and temperatures that reached triple digits. Eventually, both took their toll on the locals in a 19-0 loss.
The setback sent Davis to 0-2 on the season.
Defensively, the Blue Devils were led by linemen Michael Catanzaro, Kevin Halozan and Gabriel Franco, who all tacklers with six and recovered a fumble late in the game. Davis’ Dedrick Underwood also recovered a fumble, while Payne Barksdale and Taylor Vaughn each had a handful of stops and Charlie Easton and Cody Taylor saved opposing touchdown runs in the first half.
Lucas Griffiths and Joseph Satarri came up with big tackles in the first half as Griffiths had three stops, two of them for losses. The strong defense helped the Devils trail just 7-0 at intermission.
In the second half, however, Inderkum relied on a couple of big runs to wear down the locals.
On their first drive of the third quarter, the Tigers scored on a 48-yard touchdown jaunt and went up 13-0, before a 50-yard fourth-quarter TD scamper completed the scoring.
Offensively, Davis had a difficult time moving the ball. Kevin Coleman led all running backs with 11 carries, while quarterbacks Caden Neel and Barksdale completed half of their passes for nearly 50 yards.
The Blue Devils’ best drive came late in the fourth quarter. On third-and-long, Barksdale completed a 20-yard pass to Easton, setting up Davis’ best field position on the day. The drive, however, came up just short.
Junior Pee Wees
Although the Junior Pee Wees played with heart and spirit on Saturday, it wasn’t enough to hold off Inderkum. In the end, the Tigers prevailed 34-6.
Blue Devils running back Jude Vaughn rushed 89 yards and scored his team’s only touchdown when he eluded the aggressive Inderkum defense for a nifty breakaway kick return. Davis quarterback Trajan Clark also contributed four yards rushing.
Meanwhile, the Devil defense worked hard to hold down a quick Tiger offense.
Alex Hasson broke through the Inderkum offensive line for two impressive sacks, while Baron Rosario and Ethan Cavanaugh were good for four tackles each.
Joseph Herrera, Kai Roberts, Jude Vaughn and Trajan Clark added tackles for Davis (1-1).
The game was plagued by penalties on both sides.
“We came into the game knowing they would be a tough team,” Blue Devil coach Paul Hasson explained after the game. “We know now what we have to do when we face them again in the playoffs.”
Under a scorching sun, the Midgets played aggressively against Inderkum but the Tiger offense was too much in a 33-6 decision.
The three-time Sacramento Youth Football League champs’ only points came on an exciting Jack Hoal touchdown with only five seconds to go before halftime. Hoal’s blast to paydirt came from two yards out.
In all, the Blue Devil offense rushed for 110 yards, 74 by Hoal, 16 by Zach Thornburgh and 20 by Ethan Iacono.
Other Davis highlights came on kick returns as Kayden Hoal posted a 22-yard return and Deon Wilkins had 23 yards worth of runbacks. Among the Devil receivers, Neil Welch had 25 yards while Gavin Schouten had 18.
The local defensive line battled fiercely against the Tiger den.
Inderkum had to fight for every yard as the Davis defense made 25 tackles. Jack Hoal topped that list with six stops, followed by Will Smith and Christopher Carr with five tackles each. In addition, Carlos Robles recorded two tackles and Iacono, Ryan Benjamin, Luke Maffly, Quehemiah Edmonds, Zach Carrell, Wilkins, Alexander Battistoni and Kayden Hoal had one apiece.
“Our defense did a great job of not allowing any passes, however, we will need to work on containing their offense,” said coach Josh Maffly. “(Theirs) was a running game and we’ll be ready to overtake them next time.”
Notes: This Saturday, the Davis Junior Blue Devils return to Brown Stadium with game times at 11 (Junior Pee Wees); 1 p.m. (Pee Wees); 3 p.m. for the Junior Midgets; and 5 p.m. (Midgets). … The Junior Blue Devil Page appears each Tuesday in The Enterprise. Our thanks go out to correspondents Rosie Segura, Matt Banuelos and Linda Delbar.