A lot went right for the Davis High football team in Friday’s 27-0 win at Armijo, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Among those things was finding the apparent answer to one of the major questions for the Blue Devils (2-1) entering the 2013 season — replacing shutdown cornerback Ahmari Hayes.
DHS fans, say hello to Joey Dossa.
The 6-foot-1, 160-pounder was brilliant against the Indians, successfully defending three passes and nearly intercepting Armijo quarterback D’Mario Johnson in the end zone. The play would have been a pick if not for another member of the Devil secondary, safety Bailey Yarrow, also making a strong jump for the ball.
Dossa broke up another pass in the end zone, and also prevented two first downs by denying would-be completions to opposing receivers.
Davis defensive coordinator Ty Brown spoke like a proud father when describing Dossa’s performance:
“(Dossa) was just spectacular. Spectacular,” Brown said. “I’m going to be completely honest with you: I have been Joey’s worst critic. I have been so hard on that kid in practice because I knew that he would come through for us. I knew that at some point in time, we were going to have to depend on him to make plays for us. (Dossa) showed up for us in a big time way; he got his swagger back (Friday).”
Blue Devils’ passing improving: The DHS aerial attack showed some more life against Armijo than it had in the first two weeks of the season.
Junior quarterback Quinten Jones threw several nice passes, highlighted by a 23-yard completion to Nate Curtis to convert a third down. Jones could have better numbers — he finished with 32 yards on two pass completions — had it not been for a few passes that just clipped the fingertips of his receivers.
Backup QB Emilio Barba, a senior, also performed well, completing three shorter passes and connecting with Eli Castro on a 40-yarder that was called back because of a holding penalty.
Though DHS only finished with 47 passing yards, drops and penalties are partially to blame. Eliminating those mistakes may lead to coach Marc Hicks opening up the passing game as the season progresses.
Already, Hicks gave his quarterbacks more opportunities to throw the ball downfield against the Indians than he had in the first two games.
“The reason we threw the ball downfield (Friday) was mainly because we wanted to give some guys some different looks and see if they could handle the pressure,” Hicks said. “We’ll see what happens in the future.”
Mobile QB gives DHS issues: The scenario was same time and time again on Friday. The Blue Devil defense would blow by the Armijo offensive line and get into perfect position to sack Johnson.
But each time, the Indians’ signal-caller weaseled his way through the locals in the backfield, often turning the play into a decent gain.
“That kid is a good player,” Brown said of Johnson, who ended up with 23 yards rushing. “We watched him on tape and we said, ‘Hey, listen, if there is a guy on their team who can win this game for them single-handedly, it was that kid.’ That kid is a good football player on any team. He’s a tough football player and it was really tough to corral that guy.”
For a DHS squad that will face its share of mobile QBs once it gets into Delta Valley Conference play, there is work to be done.
“I’m not happy with our tackling,” Brown said. “We have got to improve our tackling (or) that will be our Achilles’ heel down the stretch.”
— Reach Thomas Oide at firstname.lastname@example.org