By Shane Bennett
The Davis Wolves saw their playoff run come to an end on Nov. 20 at Community Christian School in Norman. The Royals’ diverse offense and newly healthy quarterback were too much for Davis in a 35-7 defeat.
The Davis defense weathered the storm of the Royal offense on the first drive, then got off the field with a crucial turnover. After seeing the home team march 44 yards on nine plays, Tucker Miller came up with a huge fumble recovery at his own 24 yard-line to end the threat and give his team a chance to score first.
As the Wolf offense went to work, the unit found some traction early. Davis mixed runs with senior quarterback, Colin Dulaney, junior fullback Drew Parks and senior runningback Brandon Blankenship. The Red-and-White picked up a couple of first downs and moved the ball out to midfield, but ended up punting on fourth-and-six.
From there, the Royal offense started to hit its stride. Unfortunately, the quarterback the Wolves saw on film finishing out the season was not the one faced in the post-season game.
“We saw him running the ball a lot early in the season, but he had an ankle injury late in the year and didn’t run it much for them the last few games of the season,” said Davis head coach Greg Parker.
Against Davis, however, it was offense by Boyce Mcintosh for Community Christian. The junior signal caller had 17 carries for 117 yards in the first half while the rest of the team amassed negative rushing yardage. Between that and his 11 of 18 showing for 115 yards through the air, Mcintosh accomplished the rare feat of accounting for more than all of his team’s offense in the first half.
On his second drive of the game Mcintosh racked up 51 rushing yards on just four carries. That included the last three plays of the drive, culminating with the seven-yard touchdown run to put the home team ahead, 7-0.
“They got rolling early and kind of got us on our heals and then it seemed like everything they did worked,” Parker explained after the game. “They really put you in a lot of positions where you have to tackle in space and we didn’t tackle very well.”
On its second drive, Davis was moving as five straight Dulaney runs had the Wolves with a first down at the Royal 35. Then the Wolves fumbled on the next play, ending their best chance to score in the first half.
The Royals mixed run and pass to sustain long drives all night. The next possession lasted seven plays and covered 68 for another touchdown to extend the lead to 14 by halftime.
Receiving the second-half kickoff, Davis hoped to get on the board and get back into the game. Instead, a 15-yard penalty turned an already difficult third down into third-and-29 and the Wolves would punt again.
Community Christian took over at its own 30 and maneuvered 70 yards in 13 plays for another score to put the game seemingly out of reach.
As the home team onside kicked most of the night, Davis would recover and start its next drive at the Wolf 42 yard-line and finally put the ball in the endzone.
After losing Parks to injury again late in the first half, Davis mixed runs with sophomore fullback Lane Rawls and Dulaney. The two took turns carrying the ball for short yardage in a cloud of . . . . turf rubber. The Wolves crossed midfield and then came through with their longest play of the night to convert a fourth down.
On fourth-and-four from the Community Christian 40, the Wolf line opened up a hole over the left side and Dulaney rumbled 20 yards into the red zone.
Tucker Miller got free around the left side on the next play for 12 yards to set up a first-and-goal. Then Dulaney got the last two carries to find pay dirt for the Wolves.
The touchdown came with just six seconds left in the third quarter and with Jeston Idleman’s extra point kick, it cut the lead to 21-7. The Wolves would come no closer, though. The home team put up two more scores in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.
“I was really proud of how hard our kids played thoughout the game,” Parker said. “They never gave up and in the end, they lost to a pretty good team.”
For Davis, the Wolves finished the season with a record of 7-4 and captured their first playoff win in three seasons. What a year it was, too. Davis only lost one game to COVID-19 and managed to avoid a team-wide quarantine, themselves. The issues of the pandemic, though, still made for a challenging year.
“Every time you hear about even other teams having to cancel, that wears on you,” Parker explained. “Through all of that, though, it has been a long time since we’ve had a team work as hard in practice as this team did.”
With all of the mask-wearing, distancing and other mitigations the team had to endure, Parker said the team still was able to work hard and have fun doing it throughout the season.
“Guys would still hang around after practice in their masks and play ping pong in the locker room,” he said. “This is a close group that was fun to coach and to be around and I’m super proud of them.”
The Wolves will have to replace a core of seniors in Dulaney and Blankenship along with Tanner Claxton at linebacker, Kolton Mcgaha at wide receiver and corner and Chase Warren and Wyatt Fisher doing the heavy lifting in the trenches. They will also lose tight end/linebacker Ty Birkes, among others.
Now, having been back to the playoffs in two consecutive seasons, Davis will hope for 2021 to be more of a normal year as the Wolves look to build on their success and make it three in-a-row.
Team 1 2 3 4 – F
Davis 0 0 7 0 – 7
Comm. Chr. 7 7 7 14 – 35
C – Boyce Mcintosh 7 run (Carter Lowry kick), 0-7
C – Mcintosh 1 run (Lowry kick), 0-14
C – Luke Ridgway 16 pass from Mcintosh (Lowry kick), 0-21
D – Colin Dulaney 2 run (Jeston Idleman kick), 7-21
C – Luke Ridgway 1 pass from Mcintosh (Lowry kick), 7-28
C – Mcintosh 1 run (Lowry kick), 7-35
Davis Community Chr.
9 First Downs 26
116 Total Offense 451
0/3/0 Comp./att./int. 24/36/0
43-116 Rushes-yds. 36-198
0 Passing Yards 253
2-1 Fumbles-lost 1-1
5-50 Penalties-yds. 7-60
5-32 Punts-avg. 0-0