It was a festive beginning for the Davis Junior Blue Devil youth tackle football program as the local teams split four games on Saturday at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium.
Here’s a look at opening-day action …
The Midgets came out of the gates on fire as they dominated visiting Laguna Creek, 24-0.
It didn’t hurt that the locals had an ace in their (Jack) Hoal.
The big running back gained impressive yardage right away, scoring the game’s first touchdown. By the third period, Hoal had steamrolled through the Cardinal offense — gaining well over 100 yards rushing — while scoring three TDs.
Neil Welch made a nice grab in the end zone for Davis’ fourth score.
“The offensive line did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage and driving the defense off the ball,” said DJBD line coach Joe Iacono.
Meanwhile, the Blue Devil defense came out strong and did not let up throughout the game.
Exemplary performances by Carlos Robles, Joe Morrison, Will Smith and Hoal featured numerous tackles in keeping Laguna Creek off the board.
With their all-around performance, the Midgets demonstrated why they’ve won three consecutive Sacramento Youth Football League championships.
“This game is a great start to the season. We have experienced and talented players, but there is always room for improvement,” added coach Josh Maffly. “Everyone got a chance to play (Saturday) and, overall, I’m really proud of the team.”
The Pee Wees’ home debut was a dandy as they sent Laguna Creek packing, 13-6.
The game was won by the Davis defense, which allowed their guests to make only a handful of first downs.
Leading that stone wall were Cameron Nelson, Keiffer Jones and Santiago Gonzalez. Jones and Gonzalez each recorded a sack and Nelson had a key interception that set up the first Devil touchdown.
Other crucial defensive plays came from Keaton Massey, Adam Hasson and Ethan Rosendale.
When Davis had the ball, its offense was fueled by a proficient passing attack. Elijah Hackett scored the first touchdown for the locals, hauling in a 5-yard strike from Luke Carrell, who finished 4-for-5 passing for 127 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was Ben Busano, who tallied three receptions for 122 yards and one TD — a 95-yard catch and run with three minutes to go that was the difference in the game.
Six Blue Devils carried the ball, including Hackett, Gonzalez, Busano, Nelson, Carrell and Rosendale. Carrell paced the group with 38 yards on seven carries, while Gonzalez scored the extra point on a 3-yard run to cap off the victory.
“This was a great win and I am proud of our players,” said Pee Wee head coach Scott Carrell. “Our defense was absolutely stellar and our offensive line of Nathan Lee, Chris Najera, Chris Johnson, Kiefer Jones and Josiah Roa played particularly well late in the game.”
Junior Pee Wees
Despite scoring two touchdowns early in the first quarter, the Junior Pee Wees couldn’t hold off Laguna Creek in a 34-31 loss.
To make the loss even tougher, the locals recovered a fumble at the Cardinals’ 5-yard line, but the final horn sounded almost immediately, putting a bittersweet tinge on the season opener for both teams.
Davis running back Jude Vaughn had the game of his young career, scoring all four local touchdowns, including an 80-yard romp on a first-period kickoff return.
Even with Vaughn rushing for 178 yards, the Blue Devils proved they aren’t a one-trick pony …
Quarterback Trajan Clark toughed out 80 yards on the ground, with Baron Rosario (27 yards), Ethan Cavanaugh (14) and Matias Turner (two) also getting in on the act. Cavanaugh scored Davis’ only conversion.
On the other side of the ball, the Devil defense nearly did enough to win.
With a number of players showing tenacity on defense, Vaughn led the way with seven tackles, Sandeep Chera added six tackles, Clark and Rosario notched five each, Cavanaugh picked up two and Matias Turner posted one. Even Davis’ smallest player — Elijah Shaw — came up big with a drive-ending stop. Additionally, Clark, Vaughn and Rosario each recovered fumbles.
“The team has been working really hard these past three weeks, and it paid off (Saturday) — even though we came up a little short on the scoreboard,” coach Paul Hasson explained. “I’m looking forward to a great season. Overall, the Junior Pee Wee line is getting stronger and the team will be a force to reckon with.”
The Junior Blue Devils will face Inderkum on Saturday at Natomas High. Kickoff for the Junior Pee Wees is at 10 a.m., the Pee Wees hit the field at noon, the Junior Midgets play at 2 p.m. and the Midgets wrap things up with a 4 p.m. contest.
Notes: The Junior Blue Devil Page is a Tuesday staple of The Davis Enterprise. Look for it through the end of the football season … Thanks go to recap coordinator Kari Halozan, DJBD secretary Debbie Shoup and contributors Rosie Segura and Linda Delmar … The Junior Midgets lost 26-6 to Laguna Creek, but did not submit a summary.