Last season, the Davis High School football team traveled to Yuba City and came out of the gates flat-footed in its season opener — eventually getting shut out by the Honkers.
But the 2014 campaign is a fresh start for the Blue Devils along with their new head coach John Wiley. DHS opens its season on Friday at Brown Stadium with a 7:15 p.m. nonleague game against River Valley (1-0).
Wiley, who was the defensive coordinator at Christian Brothers last season, is doing all he can to make sure the Devils do not come out flat:
“That’s one of the responsibilities as the head coach, and as a staff. We gotta make sure our kids are prepared and ready to go,” Wiley told The Enterprise. “Hopefully, we’ve done that over the last few days; we still have one more day to go. Once Friday comes, it’s just a matter of managing the game and letting the kids show their talent.”
Wiley and some assistant coaches traveled to Yuba City last week and saw the Falcons throttle Lindhurst, 48-7.
“They’re a very talented team. They have a lot of guys with a lot of speed. Their running back is a quality guy. Their quarterback has a live arm; he’s extremely accurate. And they have two huge, big receivers. And their offensive line is very aggressive, they fire off the ball,” Wiley explained.
“They’re a very good team and we cannot take them lightly.”
RVHS runs a veer option attack under its first-year coach Brennan McFadden, so two running backs will be in the backfield. The speedster is junior Daunte Love, who rushed for 159 yards and two scores on only 10 carries against Lindhurst, while junior Jacob Scott added 76 yards on eight attempts.
According to Wiley, the Davis must do three things to stop Falcon rushing attack that totaled 246 yards in its opening win:
“Defensively, you always start with alignment, assignments and effort. Those are the three keys to having a successful defense. We have to align ourselves right, get our assignments and then after that it’s about effort.”
On the other side of the ball, both Blue Devil quarterbacks — senior Quinn Williams and junior Jack Beckman — will see time.
“Both are going to have to play,” said Wiley, who added that he’s not sure how many snaps each QB will get.
“They both bring different assets to our team. They’re both going to have to contribute and then we’ll see where we go from there.”
The all-hands-on-deck approach will extend to the entire team as DHS has seen its roster dwindle to 34 players this week. (River Valley has 63 guys on its roster, according to maxpreps.com.)
Wiley, however, isn’t worried about the players he’s lost. He’s simply focused on getting the best out of the players he has.
“We have the guys that we have and we love them — they’re our family,” Wiley said. “We don’t worry who we don’t have; we play with the guys that we do have. We do our best to coach them, make sure they’re prepared for the game, and the expectation is ‘next man up.’ We’re going to do our best to stay positive and get them to work hard.”
No matter which man is up Friday night, Wiley wants to see them use everything they have learned over the past six months.
“I hoping that the guys can transfer everything they’ve done — and when I say transfer, I mean when I first got hired, to the zero-period workouts, to spring football, to the summer, to the passing camps, to the scrimmages — everything they’ve worked so hard for. I just hope they can transfer that,” Wiley said. “I want them to be successful in their first endeavor.”
Notes: Wiley had no comment on the status of running back Talek Deary, who was expected to be a Devil starter but is now not listed on the roster. … Three sophomores could start on Friday: Nicholas Amoah on the offensive line, Ishmael Perez at linebacker and Tucker Fisk, either on the defensive line or at tight end.
— Reach Thomas Oide at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterThomas