The Davis Junior Blue Devils youth tackle football program turned in a rewarding performance on Saturday as three of the four local squads came away with victories over visiting Natomas at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium.
The teams rebounded nicely from the previous week, having been swept by Inderkum.
The Sacramento Youth Football League contests saw some outstanding offensive showings while Devil defense seemed to be the calling of the day.
Here’s a look back at the action …
The Blue Devils dominated the Natomas Midgets, 33-0, as both the Davis offense and defense shined brightly.
Almost immediately, the locals got on the scoreboard, eventually scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter — all courtesy of Jack Hoal (one with a conversion by Ethan Iacono).
Later, Iacono dashed for an eight-yard touchdown run with Hoal contributing the point after.
Kayden Hoal wrapped up the Blue Devil onslaught with an 18-yard touchdown run in the third quarter (brother Jack Hoal converted).
Jack Hoal led Davis with 109 rushing yards, while Zach Thornburgh (35) and Iacono (47) also did damage. Other offensive highlights included long pass completions by Kayden Hoal, Neil Welch and Luke Maffly.
The Devil defense cleaned up with 24 tackles, three interceptions, a fumble recovery and one sack. Interceptions from Welch, Luke Scoggins and Iacono gave the locals absolute control in the game.
A fumble recovery by Joe Morrison in the second quarter and the sack of the day by Gavin Schouten ensured Davis’ dominance.
Tackles were aplenty: Iacono and Will Smith had four each, Kayden Hoal and Schouten each had two and it seemed everyone got a piece of the action as Carlos Robles, Deon Wilkins, Thornburgh, Morrison and Ryan Benjamin had one stop each. Newcomers to the team — Eddie Segura Armijo and Oliver Nichols — along with Raza Ali, Scoggins, Nicolaus Laverne, Zach Carrell and Chris Carr all made their first tackles of the season.
“The boys played well (Saturday),” said Blue Devil head coach Josh Maffly. “There were a lot of things that we needed to work on after last week (a loss to Inderkum) and this game was a great opportunity to do that.”
Davis dropped a Junior Midgets heartbreaker on Saturday in a game that required two overtime periods to decide. After leading Natomas for most of the game, the locals came up short, 32-25.
The Blue Devils looked sharp early, scoring on their first two possessions to go up 12-0 in the first period.
Payne Barksdale (from 16 yards out) and Kevin Coleman (54 yard-run) found the end zone early as Coleman broke several tackles, found an outside lane and outran the defense for the longest Davis touchdown of the season.
The speedy running back amassed 85 yards on the day, thanks to an impressive group of linemen — Chris Plasterer, Jeremiah Jones, Jack Walsh, Kevin Halozan and Tsadiku Obolu — and the additional blocking of H-back Sebastian Tamayo. The line also offered enough protection to QB Caden Neel, who threw for 50 yards in the game.
After linebacker Lucas Griffiths recovered a Nighthawk fumble in the second quarter, Barksdale connected with wideout Zane Schouten for a 17-yard score. Schouten led all receivers with four catches for 57 yards. When Coleman blew through the line to convert the extra point, the Devils led 19-6 at the half.
The stingy local defense did not allow a first down in the opening half as the Nighthawks’ lone score came on a 58-yard run at the end of the first quarter. Throughout the game, Sam McGlynn, Dedrick Underwood, Elijah Mitchell. Joey Asta, Charlie Easton and Tendai Gundumura all came up with crucial defensive plays for the Blue Devils.
Natomas used a 1-yard TD that capped an 11-play drive to make it 19-13 after three quarters and then took advantage of a Davis interception to make it 19-19 late in the game.
Eventually, Mitchell’s sack ended the final Nighthawks possession, sending the game into overtime.
In the first extra session, the Devils took just two plays to get into the end zone as Kel Williams hauled in a nine-yard pass from Neel to set up a 1-yard score by Coleman.
In the second overtime, the Nighthawks converted on a 12-yard touchdown pass, but the Davis offense nearly forced a third extra period. Devil Marc Antony Fields took the ball to the 2-yard line but, after a quarterback sack pushed the locals back six yards, they were intercepted to end the game.
The Blue Devils shut down the Natomas Pee Wees, 33-0, on Saturday.
Davis was able to control the line of scrimmage throughout the contest thanks to the offensive and defensive line play of Kieffer Jones, Nathan Lee, Chris Johnson, Chris Najera, Keaton Massey, Aidan Cohen and Jamie MacNear.
Leading the Devil stone wall were Adam Hasson and Santiago Gonzalez with five tackles each, while Jones and Adam Perry each recovered a fumble. Another recovery — by Ethan Rosendale with help from Tony Williams — put Natomas away for good in the second half.
When the locals had the ball, their offense was fueled by Ben Busano and Elijah Hackett.
Busano accounted for 229 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, Hackett had three receptions for 118 yards and two scores, while Luke Carrell completed 8-of-14 passes for two TDs with one interception.
Four Blue Devils carried the ball, including Cameron Nelson, Keaton Massey, Busano and Hackett. Carrell also rushed for a third touchdown.
On special teams, Luke DeSimone, Zachary DeWit, J.J. Guerrero and Preston Runk were Davis standouts.
“Our team responded well to last week’s overtime loss,” said Devil head coach Scott Carrell. “We improved in every aspect of the game.”
Junior Pee Wees
In a game that had it all — hard hits, fast runs and exciting plays — Davis completely shut down the Natomas Junior Pee Wees squad, 19-0.
Local running back Jude Vaughn got the scoring started with a nearly 60-yard kick-return touchdown, then struck twice more in the second quarter. Vaughn followed a 35-yard touchdown run early in the period with another score just 30 seconds before halftime.
In all, Vaughn rushed for 214 yards while quarterback Trajan Clark added 29 yards on the ground, Baron Rosario ran for 30 and Ethan Cavanaugh was good for two yards.
Meanwhile, the Blue Devil defense crushed the Nighthawks with a total of 16 tackles.
Cavanaugh and Rosario both had four stops, Alex Hasson and Vaughn added three tackles apiece and Matias Turner and Kai Roberts each had one. Impressive sacks came from A.J. Hasson, Turner and Cavanaugh.
“The team played with confidence (Saturday),” said Davis head coach Paul Hasson. “Our defense was aggressive and stopped their offense from scoring.
“Next week we face a tough opponent and I’m confident the team will play like they did Saturday.”
The Davis contingent heads to Elk Grove on Saturday to meet the Cosumnes Oaks Wolfpack. Games begin at 10 a.m. with the Junior Pee Wees and progress through the Midgets encounter at 4 p.m.