Behind two goals each from Griffin McNamara, Liam Neville and Ryan Amesbury, the Davis High boys lacrosse team defeated its biggest rival, Jesuit, 8-7, at Brown Stadium on Friday night.
The Break the Record Night crowd was 523 people strong, and they consumed 290 pounds of ribs during a game that the Blue Devils (11-2, 4-0 Sacramento Valley Conference) never trailed.
“It’s great,” DHS coach Nick Juri said about the large crowd. “To see the community come out and support us like this, it’s always awesome. We appreciate having (the large crowd) because it gives these guys the confidence that they’re doing something that people like and that the love for lacrosse is growing. It’s great to see.”
That crowd was just getting settled when McNamara opened the scoring only 53 seconds into the game. The Devils controlled the opening face-off and patiently passed the ball around the net until Kevin Willefert found McNamara, who made no mistake with the first shot of the game.
Exactly a minute later, Neville scored on a solo effort to double the Davis advantage after more prolonged possession.
With 9:46 left in the first quarter, Mark Bruemmer made it 3-0 and Jesuit was forced to call timeout before they had a second of possession on the Blue Devil side of the field.
The Marauders then got two goals back before Amesbury scored at the end of the quarter to give DHS a 4-2 advantage heading into the second.
Though the Devils, who outshot Jesuit, 34-30, on the night, scored the first goal of that second period on a man-up strike from McNamara, the visitors went on a three-goal run to tie it at 5-5. Davis’ Kian Reno, however, broke the deadlock with 3:34 left in the half on a long-range shot to make it 6-5.
Just four goals would be scored in the second half, two for each side, in a matchup that Juri compared to warfare.
“It was a gutty performance,” said the coach, whose beard could rival that of Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson. “It was a tough, hard-fought, in-the-trenches kind of game.”
When Bruemmer scored his second of the night to make it 8-6 with 4:58 left in the game, the Blue Devils had all of the goals they needed. Jesuit got a goal back two minutes later, but DHS won the ensuing face-off and ran out the rest of the clock by passing the ball around.
“It’s not easy to kill two minutes of a game and they killed every second,” Juri said. “It’s always good to beat these guys. You always expect to work hard and play hard and be disciplined. To beat a team like that, you have to be disciplined and play together and be good.
“This is a measuring stick,” Juri added. “But it’s not the final test. There are teams that we need to beat that are better.”
— Reach Evan Ream at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam