By Shane Bennett
A touchdown with just 1:08 to play in the game delivered a crushing defeat to the Davis football team Oct. 9 at Lindsay. The Wolves led 14-0 late in the second quarter, but big plays in the passing game keyed a comeback for the home team in a week six district defeat.
The Wolves’ controlled the first 20 minutes of the game, churning out 217 rushing yards in the first half. Unfortunately for the Red-and-White, they would lead by just eight points by the end of it.
The Davis defense allowed just 16 yards and only one first down on Lindsay’s first three drives, combined. On the flipside, the Wolves moved the ball freely.
After marching for 11 plays down to the Lindsay 36 yard-line, Davis’ first drive stalled, forcing a punt. On its second possession, the Wolves started backed up on their own 12 yard-line, but scored quickly anyway. It took just five plays to reach the endzone due in large part to senior quarterback Colin Dulaney. He ripped off a 36-yard run down to the Lindsay 34 and then lobbed a beautiful, deep pass to Cody Caraway behind defense for the touchdown. Jeston Idleman added the extra-point kick and Davis was off and running, up 7-0.
The Wolves made it 14-0 on their third possession, when they maneuvered 91 yards in 14 plays to get back into the endzone. Tucker Miller scored on a well-executed option play for a four-yard touchdown run.
With just 4:05 to play in the first half, the Wolves were in the driver’s seat . . . . then momentum shifted.
After the kickoff Lindsay started at its own 27 and ripped off a 19-yard run on the first play. Then, they went deep to their best player, runningback/wide receiver Lane McKee. McKee ran past the Davis defender and caught a 48-yard touchdown pass to stun the visitors and put the Leopard’s on the board.
A two-point pass play failed to make the score 14-6, but in two plays Lindsay had racked up four times as many yards as it had gained in the entire first half.
“Momentum is big in every sport at every level,” said Davis head coach Greg Parker. “That was certainly a big momentum swing in the game. Lindsay got us on our heels, mixing run and pass and we just never really played good team defense after that.”
Davis got the ball to start the second half and caught another bad break. A second-down handoff was bobbled by a Wolf runner and as he went to the ground, Lindsay defenders were ripping at the ball. After whistling the play dead, the officials held a conference and emerged with a ruling of a fumble, recovered by Lindsay.
Then the Leopard offense seized on the opportunity, running for a 37-yard gain on the first play. On fourth-and-goal from the three yard-line, McKee lined up in the wildcat formation and took a direct snap straight up the middle for a touchdown. Davis stopped a two-point conversion run to hold on to a slim, 14-12 lead.
The Wolves got a good kickoff return out to their own 42 yard-line, but managed just one first down before having to punt. Dulaney got off a beauty that was trickling toward the goalline when Tuff Hammons made a great hustle play, diving to down the ball at the two yard-line.
It looked like Davis would get a stop with a low pass on third-and-three for Lindsay. Though the ball appeared to hit the ground, the official ruled it a catch and the drive continued for the home team.
Then, four plays later the Leopards connected on a 64-yard touchdown pass deep down the middle of the field. The Leopards added a two-point run and with 3:13 left in the third quarter, they held their first lead, 20-14.
Both teams traded punts after that with the second one pinning Davis deep. The Wolves had gained just 21 yards on 12 offensive plays to that point in the second half. Now they had the ball at their own five yard-line, trailing by a touchdown with just 8:46 left in the game.
Davis showed grit and mounted its longest drive of the night. They mixed runs between Dulaney, Parks and Rawls. Each runner used second and third effort, refusing to be brought down easily. The Wolves earned five first downs on the drive before Parks burst through a hole up the middle and raced 21-yards for the game-tying touchdown.
“That was just a typical Davis drive, really,” Parker said after the game. “Our offensive line did a great job and we really moved the ball well all night with the exception of a few penalties and times of poor execution.”
Unfortunately for the Wolves, the extra point kick barely missed wide right and with 3:03 to play, the game was tied at 20.
More misfortune struck on the kickoff. A short kick was returned by a Leopard into the back of several blockers, stacked up by Davis defenders. As the outside defenders came in to make the tackle, Lindsay’s returner bounced outside and ran the ball all the way down to the Davis 17 yard-line.
It took the home seven plays and a fourth-down conversion, but they finally punched the ball in on a one-yard run with 1:08 remaining.
Davis stopped the two-point conversion and recovered a squib kickoff at their own 39 yardline. Davis had one last chance, trailing 26-20 with 1:07 left in the game. The Wolves picked up one first down into Lindsay territory before throwing a desperation interception on the second-to-last play of the game.
After holding Lindsay to 2-of-8 passing in the first half, Davis allowed seven completions on 10 attempts for 120 yards in the second half. Offensively, after amassing 251 yards of offense in the first half, the Wolves managed just 112 after intermission.
Dulaney was the workhorse for Davis, rushing 25 times for 173 yards in the game. Parks added another 87 yards on 15 carries in a losing effort for the Wolves.
Davis was nearly back up to full strength with Gavin Moore, Tanner Claxton and Lathan Dickenson all having recovered from injuries. Unfortunately though, the speed of senior cornerback and wide receiver Kolton McGaha was missed due to quarantine.
With the loss, Davis fell to 4-2 on the season, 2-1 in district play and now is sitting in fifth place in the district due in large part to cancellations. Canceled games are considered no-contest, so Frederick and Marietta, who are each 1-0 in district play are now tied with Marlow (3-0) for first place in the district.
As teams play more games, this discrepancy will hopefully get sorted out, however Marietta has already canceled this week’s game against Lindsay due to an outbreak in its school.
For Davis, the road won’t get easier this week. The Wolves will welcome the undefeated Marlow Outlaws for a Thursday throwdown at Wolf Field.
Marlow is now 5-0 on the season following a 55-7 pasting of the Coalgate Wildcats in week six. In week five, Marlow topped Lindsay, 47-0.
Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.
Team 1 2 3 4 – F
Davis 7 7 0 6 – 20
Lindsay 0 6 14 6 – 26
D – Cody Caraway 34 pass from Dulaney. (Jeston Idleman kick), 7-0
D – Tucker Miller 4 run. (Idleman kick), 14-0
L – Lane McKee 48 pass from Taryn Kesler. (pass failed), 14-6
L – McKee 3 run. (run failed), 14-12
L – Cade Belveal 64 pass from Kesler. (Kesler run), 14-20
D – Drew Parks 21 run. (kick failed), 20-20
L – McKee 1 run (run failed), 20-26
18 First Downs 9
363 Total Offense 299
1/6/1 Comp./att./int. 9/18/0
63-369 Rushes-yds. 27-129
34 Passing Yards 170
3-1 Fumbles-lost 3-1
2-20 Penalties-yds. 3-23
4-28.3 Punts-avg. 4-40