By Shane Bennett
The Wolves’ trip to Marlow on Oct. 14 was one they won’t soon forget . . . . no matter how bad they want to. Davis lost more than just a district game on the night, thanks to two broken legs.
The Wolves lost the game to Marlow, the second ranked team in Class 2A, by a score of 35-6. Perhaps more significantly, the Red-and-White also lost senior starting quarterback Tuff Hammons and junior split-end/safety Tye Barnett to injury.
Marlow overwhelmed the Wolves, right from the start. The Outlaw quarterback completed 10 of 11 passing attempts on the first half, racking up 139 passing yards and three touchdowns in the process. Those were the only possessions the Marlow offense would get in the first half, but not the Outlaws only points. They threw another touchdown on special teams when they scooped and scored after a high snap on a Davis punt.
Of Davis’ four first half possessions, the second one was the most impressive. Davis earned four first downs on a 13-play march from it’s own 20 yard-line inside the Marlow 30. Brendan Rawls had six carries for 24 hard-earned yards on the drive. Jeston Idleman pitched in a 10-yarder and a six yarder and Trey Gammill added another five-yard run as the Wolves found some momentum on the drive.
Jake Parker came in at quarterback on fourth-and-2 at the Marlow 29 to try and pick up the first. A great tackle by the Marlow safety, though, stopped him a yard short and Davis turned the ball over on downs.
At halftime, the score was 28-0 and the game was virtually out of reach. Marlow’s defense then stuffed the Wolves on three plays to start the second half, before its offense scored on three plays to make it 35-0 and end the night for its first-team offense.
The next play was the one that everyone left the game talking about. Davis quarterback Tuff Hammons ripped off a 12-yard run, but he went down hard at the end of the play. A Marlow defender was trying to wrestle him down from behind and landed on the back of Hammons legs. Then a defensive back hit him, driving him backwards for the tackle. The result of the vicious, but legal tackle, was a broken leg that ended Hammons’ football season.
The game was delayed for several minutes while trainers and coaches from both sidelines tended to Hammons and ultimately carted him off the field.
“As soon as I got to him he told me it was broken,” Parker said later. “It’s always hard to see them in that kind of pain, but also the sadness of knowing that for them, the season is over. Injuries are the worst part of the game, but unfortunately, they are part of the game.”
In addition to the injury, the play was nullified by a blocking penalty on Davis. Behind the chains again, the Wolves’ drive would end in another punt.
The Davis defense then held Marlow’s second-team offense to a punt and got the ball back at their own 9 yard-line. Unfortunately for Davis, another injury came on its next offensive play.
At then end of a four-yard run, Brendan Rawls got tackled and rolled into the legs of Tye Barnett, who was blocking on the play. Barnett stayed down and, like Hammons, had to splinted and carted off the field.
In a span of three offensive plays, Davis had lost two players to broken legs.
“It was really bizarre,” coach Parker recalled. “ I felt like I was in the twilight zone. When you lose two guys that close together it just takes your intensity and competitiveness and everything out of you.”
After a second injury delay, in a 35-0 game, the clock moved swiftly for the last two minutes of the third quarter, as well as the fourth. To their credit, the Wolf offense mounted the longest drive of the night to end its evening.
Davis matriculated down the field on a 13-play, 91-yard touchdown drive. The Wolves gashed the Marlow defense with six different players ripping off runs of six yards or more. The biggest play in the series was a 27-yard scamper by Tyson Moss down to the Marlow 12. Moss would later punch the ball in on a one-yard plunge for the Wolves.
With the loss, Davis fell to 4-3 on the season, 2-2 in district play. Hammons was the team’s senior, starting quarterback and Barnett played split end on offense. Both players, though are also defensive backs, a unit that will be taxed and stretched thin going forward.
“Both of those guys were really important players for us,” the Davis coach said. “Neither one is really replaceable; we just have to figure out how to get it done without them.”
Parker went straight from the game in Marlow to the hospital in Duncan. Getting a chance to visit both players and see them recovering and even able to crack a joke or two was a great relief. The one thing the Wolves’ coach is confident of, is that whatever players he calls on to step up, those young men will “work like crazy and give us everything they have . . . . and that’s all you can ask for.”
The Wolves will need to retool quickly with another critical district game again on Friday. Davis travels to Coalgate and while the Wildcats don’t have a great record, they have played quality games.
In weeks four and five, Coalgate played Lindsay and Frederick to one-score games. Lindsay beat the Wildcats 40-34 on Sept. 24 and Frederick bested them 14-7 on Oct. 1.
Now, Coalgate is riding high, after a 28-0 trouncing of Tishomingo last week.
“Coalgate is the biggest team we’ve played so far and they’ve got a really good quarterback,” coach Parker said. “We’re gonna have to play well to win.”
With just three weeks left in the regular season, its time to be rounding into playoff form. For Davis, the only sure way to make the playoffs is to win the rest of its games. That task begins on Friday in Coalgate at 7:30 p.m.
Team 1 2 3 4 – F
Davis 0 6 8 0 – 14
Marlow 7 0 7 12 – 26
M – Kyle Wilson 35 pass from Jace Gilbert. (Gilbert kick), 0-7
M – Will Bergner 18 pass from Gilbert. (Gilbert kick), 0-14
M – Wilson 8 pass from Gilbert. (Gilbert kick), 0-21
M – Wilson 24 fumble return. (Gilbert kick), 0-28
M – Bergner 32 pass from Gilbert. (Gilbert kick), 0-35
D – Tyson Moss 1 run. (kick failed), 6-35
10 First Downs 8
187 Total Offense 253
0/1/0 Comp./att./int. 11/13/0
42-187 Rushes-yds. 20-82
0 Passing Yards 171
1-1 Fumbles-lost 0-0
2-20 Penalties-yds. 2-25
3-25.3 Punts-avg. 1-37