By Shane Bennett
Two long touchdown runs turned a solid game into a spectacular performance for Logan Smith. He and the Sulphur Bulldogs notched a 28-0 win over Davis in their home opener on Sept. 11.
Davis managed one long drive and a couple of goal-line stands, but Sulphur controlled the rest of the action through its offensive and defensive lines.
The Bulldogs received the opening kickoff and started at their own 41 yard-line. Smith carried for 29 yards on the third play of the game to pick up a first-down at the Davis 19, before the Davis defense stiffened.
Lathan Dickenson and Drew Parks stuffed a first-down run for a loss. Then the Wolves held the home team to a pair of short gains to set up a fourth-and-7 from the 19. Tight coverage on the Sulphur pass gave quarterback Reese Ratchford nowhere to go with the ball and he ultimately threw incomplete for a turnover on downs.
Davis took over at its 16 yard-line and went three-and-out for the first of five straight times to start the game. Throughout the first half the Wolves struggled to open up holes against a stout Sulphur front.
“They definitely dominated the line of scrimmage,” admitted Davis head coach Greg Parker. “We had a hard time moving the ball and hard time tackling their big runningback too.”
The Bulldogs’ second drive would be the first of the night to produce points. They went 44 yards in four plays, culminating with a 20-yard touchdown by Ratchford on a quarterback counter. He faked a handoff to Smith to the right, and then ran left and went untouched into the endzone.
After another Davis punt, Sulphur got right back into the endzone with a 71-yard scoring sprint on the home team’s next offensive play. In a span of five plays the game went from scoreless to 14-0 with 2:11 left in the first quarter.
Sulphur’s fourth drive started at the Davis 37, but the Wolves stopped the home team cold. Incomplete passes on first and third downs bookended the three-and-out and led to a punt on fourth-and-15.
A good punt, though, pinned the Wolves at their own three yard-line and Davis ended up punting again on fourth-and-3.
Sulphur’s last score of the first half came on it’s next possession. The Bulldogs drove 23 yards on six plays for the score. This time Ratchford found tight end Brandon Lloyd for an 11-yard touchdown pass. He rolled to his right and threw back to Lloyd dragging over the middle from the backside of the play for the score to make it 21-0.
After halftime, the Wolves were able to move the ball. Davis got the opening kick off of the third quarter and started from its own 37 yard-line. A nine-yard carry on second down by Dulaney got the Wolves rolling with their first first-down of the second half.
Unfortunately, the Red-and-Black quickly stole the momentum. Sulphur intercepted a pass on Davis’ fourth play of the half and then immediately rang up the scoreboard.
Smith produced another one-play drive, darting 65 yards to pay dirt to make it 28-0. The long touchdown runs for Smith were two of his 19 carries in the game for a total of 284 rushing yards.
Trailing 28-0 with 9:35 left in the third quarter, the Red-and-White put together its best drive of the night. Davis picked up three first downs and ran 16 plays, marching all the way to the goal-line.
Dulaney was the workhorse. He threw for a six-yard gain to Kolton McGaha and then ran for five yards on fourth-and-2 to earn a fresh set of downs.
He added a 10-yard scramble on third-and-long to pick up another first down and then dropped a deep pass in to McGaha for a 27-yard completion on third-and-one to give the Wolves first and goal. Unfortunately for the Wolves, Dulaney’s drive would get derailed.
A facemask penalty set up the Wolves with a first-and-goal from the two yard-line, but Dulaney was smothered on the first-down play for a three-yard loss. He took a big, helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked his helmet off on first down and by rule had to come off the field. Dulaney only missed two plays, but those two plays were second and third downs.
After guiding Davis to 53 yards on the nine plays he either ran or threw to that point in the drive, he wasn’t able to re-enter the game until fourth-and-goal from the one yard-line. He faked a handoff and threw incomplete in the endzone and the Wolves turned it over on downs.
After each team had seven possessions in the first half, they only got three in the second due to a long drive for each team. When the Bulldogs took over following the 15-play drive by the visitors, they launched a 16-play, 98-yard, zero-point drive of their own.
The Davis defense held on the goal-line, forcing a fourth-and-goal from the one. Ratchford ran the quarterback keeper but was met by a big hit from Jake Britt. Britt’s hit sent the ball flying on a fumble that ended up rolling out of bounds in the endzone for a touchback to end the threat.
“Our kids did a great job of taking care of our assignments defensively to kind of keep our head above water,” Parker said after the game. “We didn’t play great but we played hard and we never stopped fighting.
Sulphur didn’t score on the drive, but ate up most of what was left of the second half. Davis got the ball with just 4:30 to go in the game and was unable to get on the scoreboard.
It was tough sledding all night for the Wolves, who managed just 106 yards of total offense in the game, compared to 369 for the home team.
The loss evened the team’s record at 1-1 heading into homecoming week. The biggest question of the week is whether or not there will be a game at the end of it. Wynnewood is the slated opponent, but COVID cases have forced the cancellation of its games for each of the past two weeks.
On Sept. 11, the school was notified at 2 p.m. on gameday that they would not be allowed to play that night. This week is a green light for now, but every day, let alone every week is subject to change at any moment due to new cases.
The schedule calls for homecoming festivities Friday at 7 p.m., kickoff at 7:30 and a senior night recognition following the game.
Team 1 2 3 4 – F
Davis 0 0 0 0 – 0
Sulphur 14 7 7 0 – 28
S – Reese Ratchford 20 run. (Daniel Amaya kick), 0-7
S – Logan Smith 71 run. (Amaya kick), 0-14
S – Brandon Lloyd 11 pass from Ratchford. (Amaya kick), 0-21
S – Smith 65 run. (Amaya kick), 0-28
5 First Downs 9
106 Total offense 369
2/7/1 Comp./att./int. 4/10/0
37-73 Rushes-yds. 38-342
33 Passing yards 27
3-0 Fumbles-lost 2-1
4-32 Penalties-yds. 6-37
7-29.6 Punts-avg. 2-43.5
By Shane Bennett