Davis High School junior varsity soccer defender Dan Perez was the early hero against Franklin as he slid to reach a ball that was about to enter the goal, denying the Wildcats.
Kyle Fix broke up another FHS opportunity later in that Sept. 25 contest.
And, after those scares, the Blue Devils went to work …
Raunak Manandhar seized a ball just inside the box and nailed a low shot that the goalkeeper could only watch as it hit the back of the net.
In the second half, Ethan Hessl put a ball on the post and Pablo Guarnizo headed in the rebound for the 2-0 decision.
DHS keepers Tom Oide and Javi Nieves shined.
The Devils then won a thrilling, physical game against Grant two days later.
Jaleel Dmeiri almost put in a twisting shot at the outset, but after that, both teams attacked back and forth. Davis had opportunities in the first half, but couldn’t finish. Grant tried to take the Blue Devils out of their finesse game with rough play, picking up six yellow cards and, in the second half, a red.
Finally — with 10 minutes to go — Joe Rainer sent a long pass to Manandhar, who dribbled past the Pacer keeper for the game-winner.
Led by Tim Baxter, Matt Rowen, and Mike Meadows-Smith, DHS put on a late-in-the-game passing clinic to make sure that Grant didn’t have any opportunities to tie.
The Blue Devils ran into a buzz saw on Thursday and their three-game winning streak came to a screeching halt in a 41-0 whitewash by Oak Ridge.
“It was a tough loss,” said DHS head coach Adam Perez. “Hopefully, we’ll learn something from it and improve our performance in our next game.”
Davis returns to the road for the next two weeks — Thursday at Lodi High and Oct. 11 against Ponderosa (Shingle Springs) — before returning home for its final two games.
The Devils are 3-3.
Three team titles and three individual titles, combined with great pack support, made for a good day of running for the Blue Devil frosh/soph and JV cross country teams on Saturday. Running the two-mile course at the Pacific Invitational, both girls squads and the JV boys won the team titles, while the frosh/soph boys took second.
The DHS JV boys dominated their race, placing four runners in the top five. Sean Lee won the race in 10:43, while teammate John Britton crossed the finish line just behind him in second, with an identical time. Shane Pesis and Jose Arzaluz did likewise, finishing fourth and fifth with both posting times of 10:58. Andrew Leady rounded out the Devil scoring with his 13th-place finish.
Davis’ Blake Croft, Charlie Harris, and Kellen Browning took the top three spots in the boys frosh/soph race. Croft’s 10:16 was the fastest Blue Devil time of the day, while Harris and Browning were timed at 10:24 and 10:26, respectively. Liam Mayr and Torin Halsted were the other top finishers for DHS.
Also swarming the finish line with Devil runners was the frosh/soph girls squad as it placed four in the top 10. Elise Chu won the race in 12:09, while Claire Dicker (12:12), Katherine Dimond (12:23), and Jasmine Casillas (12:28) finished in third, fifth and eighth. Davis’ fifth runner, Zoe Juanitas, crossed the line in 11th.
For the Blue Devil JV girls, Pooja Tripathi placed second in 12:54, with Lauren James (fourth) and Michael Joerger (fifth) in the top five. Monica Leflore and Kaley McGrew also scored for DHS.