The Davis High football team has worked tirelessly throughout the week, preparing for the beginning of the season that looms just 13 days away.
And, after a long week of two-a-day practices, the Blue Devils capped it off with the Blue and White scrimmage on Saturday, showing what they had worked on throughout the week to nearly 100 fans who were in attendance at Brown Stadium.
DHS head coach Marc Hicks, in his first season at the helm, had mixed feelings about the session.
“We gotta get better,” said the former star Devil running back. “The frustration for me at this point is that we looked great all week in practice and we came to a scrimmage setting, yes it was hot, but we didn’t play the same way we did all week in practice. We’ll see how they bounce back on Monday, but I think we’ll be alright.”
Davis began its hour-long session with seven-on-sevens, a drill that works on the timing between the quarterback and his receivers. Senior signal-caller Emilio Barba received the majority of the reps with the first-team offense, and he threw several sharp passes to seniors Joey Dossa and Brendan MacDonald.
Even though Barba got most of the reps, Hicks said the competition for starting quarterback between Barba and junior Quinten Jones is ongoing.
“I think we’re still in the process of looking and seeing,” Hicks said. “(Saturday) we gave (Barba) most of the reps, and I thought he did pretty good. But I also thought that (Jones) threw some great passes when he was in.”
After the seven-on-seven drill, the team transitioned into a more traditional scrimmage. The first part featured the first-team offense taking on defense made up of first- and second-teamers.
Again, Barba got most of the reps at QB, but his primary job was to hand the ball off to running backs Talik Deary, Austin Lampley and Winfred Roberson. Each back had carries for significant gains.
Next, the first-team defense played together — but still the offense found a way to score. Junior Nathan Curtis caught a ball from Barba and wove his way through the defense for a score and Deary rushed for a touchdown on the following possession. Hicks was pleased by performances from the backs who excelled on JV last season:
“Those performances (are) what we expect from our program, that guys from the JV team will come up to the varsity level and contribute. We had other great running backs that didn’t get opportunities (Saturday), but that’s because we wanted to give the younger guys more reps. If we can get that from (Curtis and Deary) this season, we’ll be set.”
The day ended with plenty of special teams work as assistant coach Josh Reese had the team working on punt returns and coverage, kickoff return and coverage, and field goals.
“As far as special teams goes, I think we’re looking good,” Hicks said. “Again we have to polish it up, we wanted to really emphasize special teams (Saturday), because that’s not something we do a lot of during practice time. (Saturday) was a good day to see it put all together.”
Notes: Although the varsity team was the main attraction, the day featured the entire Blue Devil football program. The Davis Junior Blue Devil Pee Wees, Junior Pee Wees, Midgets and Junior Midgets each had their turn on the field, as did the DHS freshman, and JV teams. All of the teams were in full pads and scrimmaging. … The DHS and Junior Blue Devil cheer squads also preformed for the crowd throughout the day.