By Shane Bennett
It took all four quarters, but the Sulphur Bulldogs prevailed in Murray County Bedlam on Sept. 10 at Davis. With two touchdowns late in the first half, Sulphur took control and held on for a 27-14 win over the Wolves.
The first possession of the game looked like things might get ugly for the Wolves as Sulphur easily marched 67 yards on just four plays for the game’s opening score. A 45-yard run by their fullback on the second play from scrimmage keyed the drive before quarterback Mace Mobly finished it with a 17-yard scoring scamper.
“They didn’t do anything new or unexpected,” said Davis head coach Greg Parker of the Bulldog offense. “I think we just weren’t quite ready for their speed because we were a little late on our run fits everywhere.”
Davis then took over and faced a third-and-7 to start the game. They used a hard snap count and got Sulphur to jump offsides. Then, on third-and-2 Jeston Idleman took an option pitch and ran for 7 yards to pick up a big first down to get the drive going.
“That was big,” Parker said after the game. “We couldn’t go three and out after watching them go down and score as quickly as they did.”
With a fresh set of downs, Davis put the drive squarely in the hands of starting quarterback, Tuff Hammons. He lived up to his name in the game, fighting for extra yards and refusing to go down all night long. He carried on the next seven consecutive plays for Davis on a long drive that yielded no points, but allowed the Wolves to get their feet under them.
On fourth down at the Sulphur 39, Davis punted into the endzone for a touchback. Then Suphur decided to go to the air. Mobly showed off his arm strength with a pair of deep passes that both fell incomplete. Both were well covered by Cody Caraway, including a leaping effort in which the senior corner was horizontal in mid air when he batted away what would’ve been a long completion.
Sulphur punted on fourth-and-11 and the Davis offense went back to work. On the twelfth, consecutive running play of the drive, Hammons faked to fullback Lane Rawls and went into the endzone untouched on fourth and goal from the two. Eathin Kennedy added the extra point and midway through the second quarter, the game was knotted at 7.
On the scoring drive, Hammons amassed 18 yards on 7 carries as the Wolves went 40 yards on 12 plays for the touchdown. At that point in the game, Davis had run 22 plays to just 7 for the Bulldogs.
Sulphur’s third drive saw the Wolf defense rise up again. Three runs netted just eight yards and Mobly was forced to punt again. This time, though, he got off a long, high punt that bounced out-of-bounds at the 9 yard-line to pin Davis deep.
Then disaster struck for the home team. On third-and-10 Sulphur stuffed an option play, causing an errant pitch that was fumbled and recovered by the Bulldogs in the endzone.
Without producing another first down since the opening drive, Sulphur managed to extend its lead to 14-7, with 4:25 to go in the first half.
Three plays later, Davis was forced to punt again and then Sulphur came up with two big plays to ring up the scoreboard again. After a bad snap on first down, Mobly turned a second-and-25 at his own 13 into a first down at the Davis 30. With Davis defending deep, he took a run over the right side, reversed his field, pick up some blocks and raced 57 yards before being driven out of bounds.
The Davis defense then held, until Mobly found Daniel Amaya on a 28-yard touchdown pass on third-and-8 to make it a two-score game. A fumbled snap made the extra point no good, but Sulphur had snuck in two scores in just under 4 minutes of game time to make it 20-7 at halftime.
Sulphur put some distance between the teams on the scoreboard on its first drive of the third quarter. Mobly threw deep and completed a 28-yard post pattern to Brytan Gaddy for a touchdown with 7:29 to play in the third quarter. That stretched the lead to 27-7 and took the air out of the Davis side of the field.
After another Wolves punt, the Davis defense came up with a turnover. Another high snap led to a fumble recovery by Jake Parker to give the Wolves the ball back at the Sulphur 26.
The tough sledding against the Sulphur defense continued, until Hammons found some magic on fourth-and-8. He rolled to his left and launched a pass into the endzone. Caraway was there and came up with a combat catch at the goal-line that sent a roar through Wolf Field.
“Tuff did a great job of buying time and then giving Cody a chance to make a play,” Parker recalled.
The play took a game that looked like it was over and gave the Wolves life again. The lead was down to 27-14 with 2:08 to play in the third quarter.
As defense dominated much of the second half, both teams traded punts on their next two possessions. Then Sulphur tried to put the game away. They started at the Davis 46 yard-line and picked up a first down at the 34, before a penalty back them up. On third-and-17, Mobly ripped off a 13-yard run, but Idleman came up with another huge play for the Wolves. He ripped the ball away on the tackle and Levi Baxter recovered to get the ball back with 8:11 left in the game.
Hammons ripped off a 30-yard run on the first play and just like that, Davis was across midfield. The Wolves drove 42 yards on eight plays until a fourth-down pass play fell incomplete. It was the last possession of the night for the Wolves, resulting in their first defeat of the season.
“We didn’t execute as well as we wanted in any phase of the game, but there was no doubt we played hard the entire game,” Parker admitted.
After watching Rawls rack up 25 carries in week one, it was Hammons who rushed 27 times in week two.
“We figured after what we did last week Sulphur would take away the fullback,” Parker explained. “But a lot of Tuff’s runs were reads and keeping it was the right read. He really is tough and he’s such a great competitor.”
Hammons piled up 76 yards on the night, while Rawls added 24 yards on 12 carries against a stout Sulphur front.
On the injury front, senior linebacker and fullback Drew Parks reinjured his shoulder that has been nagging him early in the season. The injury came early against Sulphur and he didn’t make it back into the game. If he can’t go in week three, it will make two defensive starters out of the lineup for Davis along with Malaki White at safety.
With the loss, Davis fell to 1-1 on the season, looking ahead to its first road trip Friday night at Wynnewood. The Savages are also 1-1 after they hammered Holdenville last week, 54-0. In week one, they fell at Lone Grove, 37-7.
Wynnewood has a super athletic quarterback, who combines a fast runningback to give the team a real one-two punch in the running game. With an athletic and attacking defense, the game figures to be an entertaining one when the game kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
Team 1 2 3 4 – F
Davis 0 7 0 7 – 14
Sulphur 7 13 7 0 – 27
S – Mace Mobly 17 run. (Daniel Amaya kick), 0-7
D – Tuff Hammons 2 run. (Eathin Kennedy kick), 7-7
S – Fumble recovery in the endzone. (Amaya kick), 7-14
S – Amaya 28 pass from Mobly. (run failed), 7-20
S – Brytan Gaddy 28 pass from Mobly. (Amaya kick), 7-27
D – Cody Caraway 24 pass from Hammons. (Kennedy kick), 14-27
Davis Pauls Valley
8 First Downs 8
152 Total Offense 270
1/3/0 Comp./att./int. 4/7/0
46-128 Rushes-yds. 31-207
24 Passing Yards 63
2-1 Fumbles-lost 5-2
3-15 Penalties-yds. 6-39
5-24.6 Punts-avg. 3-34.3
By Shane Bennett