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Late touchdown, defensive stand secure Wolf victory at Coalgate

Stuffed at the line. Malaki White (center, white) came flying up from his safety position to stuff this Coalgate run on third-and-one late in the fourth quarter. He had help from Levi Baxter (left) and Gavin Moore (right) combining for the tackle. White had a huge fourth quarter. In addition to this stop, he also laid the hits that caused incompletions on the final two plays to help preserve a 21-14 Davis win.

By Shane Bennett
It took a late touchdown and pass defense in their own endzone as time expired, but the Wolves outlasted the Wildcats at Coalgate on Oct. 22. Davis never trailed, but Coalgate pushed the Red-and-White to the final buzzer in a 21-14 Wolf win that keeps Davis in the hunt for a playoff spot.
The game saw the constant churn of the Wolves on the ground, mixed with a few significant plays, without which, Coalgate would have had no chance to win the game.
It looked like Coalgate would get on the board first when the home team converted a long third down with a 59-yard pass play down to the Davis four yard-line on the game’s opening drive. But the Davis defense stiffened, forcing a 22-yard field goal attempt on fourth-and-goal from the six. The Wildcat kick hit the left upright square and bounced straight back, falling to the ground, no good.
Both teams then went three-and-out, trading punts in Coalgate’s favor. The Wildcats killed their punt at the Davis two-yardline, which set up the longest drive of the season for the Wolves.
It took 10 plays for the visitors to cover 98 yards with Jeston Idleman contributing the two biggest plays. He ripped off a 34-yard run to get the drive going and move the ball out to midfield. The next time his number was called was seven players later with the Wolves facing fourth-and-5 at the Coalgate 32. He took a handoff over the right side, cut upfield and kicked it into high gear. He raced passed defenders in the Wildcat secondary for a 32-yard touchdown run to put his team on top, 7-0, early in the second quarter.
Coalgate responded with a 52-yard drive, inside the Davis 30. Again, two plays accounted for 42 of the 52 yards, while the Wolves stymied the Coalgate offense for most of action.
A four-yard completion on fourth-and-5 brought the drive to an end at the Davis 22. A few plays later, though, Davis was forced to punt and disaster struck for the visitors. A high snap led to a loss of 15 yards and a turnover on downs. That gave Coalgate a really short field, taking over at the Davis 15.
Like the rest of the first half, Davis was stout on defense. They forced a field goal attempt that turned into a fake. The Wolves weren’t fooled on the play, but they also weren’t able to get the Coalgate runner to the ground until he picked up the three yards required for the first down. It ended up taking Coalgate seven plays to cover the 15 yards, but the home team finally punched it in to tie the game at 7 with just 1:14 left in the first half.
A 24-yard kick return by Cody Caraway got the ball out to the Davis 37 yard-line and after a first down run by quarterback Jake Parker, the Wolves decided to take a shot. Parker threw deep for Caraway, who made a leaping combat catch between a pair of Coalgate defenders. The play was good for 36 yards down to the Coalgate 12 yardline.
Davis called one of its last two timeouts of the half with 11.2 seconds left and starting taking shots at the endzone. After Parker had to throw it away on first down, he found Caraway in the endzone on second down. The defender jarred the ball loose and by the time Caraway came down with it, he was out of bounds. On third down with just two seconds left in the half, Parker threw it up in the endzone, but the ball was intercepted by Coalgate to nullify the threat.
By halftime, Davis had won most of the downs of the first half, yet the results were incredibly even. The score was tied at 7 with Davis leading in yards gained, 127 to 126, and also in first downs, 5-4.
In the second half, Davis racked up 170 rushing yards, but significant penalties derailed drives and prevented the Wolves from putting the game away.
Caraway started the second half with another good kick return of 31 yards out near midfield. A 13-yard scamper by Idleman took the ball inside the Coalgate 40. On the next play, though, a personal foul on Davis backed the Wolves up to second and 21. Two plays later, a pass on third-and-long was intercepted at the Coalgate 10.
The Wolf defense was impressive in the second half as well, producing quick punts on each of the Wildcats first two possessions. In between, the Davis offense found pay dirt again.
The Wolves went on an 11-play, 45-yard scoring drive that was vintage Davis. The Wolves mixed runs between quarterback and fullback with Trey Gammill adding the occasional halfback carry until he got the ball down to the Wildcat three. Then Rawls took the handoff on a direct snap and followed his blockers in for an easy go-ahead touchdown. Tyler Tinsley added the second of three extra point kicks to make it 14-7 with 2:15 to play in the third.
It looked like Davis would make it a two-possession game on its next drive, until a pair of untimely penalties were the Wolves’ undoing.
A false start at the Coalgate 32 turned third-and-two into third-and-7. Then, the only blocking penalty called in the game was a 15-yarder against the Wolves, sending them back to the 28 for third-and-20.
An incompletion and a sack ended the drive and gave Coalgate a chance to tie the game with a score . . . . and the home team did exactly that.
Coalgate took over with 9:13 left in the game and maneuvered 65 yards on 12 plays to score. They used a half-back pass to get into Davis territory and then converted a fourth down at the Wolf six to keep the drive alive. The score was a one-yard quarterback sneak and, with the extra point, knotted the game at 14 with just 2:39 left on the clock.
Parker stepped into the huddle to lead one final drive for the win with confidence and plan.
“We knew we wanted to run to the boundary and get out of bounds when we could and just keep the drive going,” Parker said after the game. “We were pretty confident we would score. Nobody was freaking out or anything.”

Junior quarterback Jake Parker (center) got his first as the signal caller for Davis and put together an impressive performance. He racked up 60 rushing yards on 15 carries including the six-yard touchdown with 1:07 left in the game to win it. He also added 36 passing yards. In the run pictured above, Parker followed great blocks by Jeston Idleman and Kobe England.

The drive started at the Davis 42 and Parker picked up 9 yards on the first two carries. A late hit on the second, resulted in a 15-yard penalty down to the Coalgate 34 and the Wolves were in business.
Gammill to the next play for a huge, 20-yard carry around the left end.
“There was a guy we had been kicking out all night and we got him logged on that one,” Gammill explained later.
He ran out of bounds at the 14 yard-line. Back-to-back 4-yard runs by Parker and Rawls set up third-and-two from the Wildcat six with coach Trey Owens barking out the play call to Parker, who hustled his unit to the line for the game-winning touchdown.
Parker faked to Rawls and then followed him off the left tackle for the Wolves’ third go-ahead touchdown of the game.
“It was a huge hole that Lane and the lineman created,” Parker admitted. “I felt like I was gonna score before we ran the play.”
Davis now led, 21-14, but with 1:07 left on the clock, the Wolf defense still needed another stop. After two incompletions a low snap was fielded by the Coalgate quarterback with one knee on the ground. The referee whistled the play dead for a five-yard loss to set up fourth-and-15 with 46 seconds left and no timeouts remaining for Coalgate. The only problem was that the clock never ran.
Officials finally started the clock two seconds before the ball was snapped instead of the home team losing 15 or 20 seconds that elapsed getting back to the line.
On the play, Coalgate connected on a deep pass for 28 yards, out-of-bounds at midfield. The next play was a 20-yard pass down the Davis 29 where the clock would stop with 26 seconds left in the game. From there, Coalgate would get four shots at the endzone to try to tie the game or win it in regulation.
On first down, Seth Knapp and Malaki White bracketed the intended target for an incompletion. On second down, Caraway leaped up and batted the ball away from Coalgate’s best wide receiver at the five yard-line. Caraway and Austin Lynch had a great battle all night long, with each player covering the other on jump balls and both having some success.
After the batted ball, Coalgate tried a different tactic on third down. They put three receivers to the left and two of them went deep with the other one left wide open at the 10 yard-line. The Wildcat receiver had the catch until White came in like mistle with a loud collision that rocked the ball loose for an incompletion.
“Our corner was over the top so I knew I was freed up to go up and make a play,” White said after the game. “Just had to prove something that we could play together and get this win.”
On fourth down with four seconds left, the game’s final play was another deep pass into the endzone. The Wildcat receiver again had the ball in his hands briefly before White converged on him and knocked it out to seal the victory.
In the second half, Coalgate completed just four of 13 passes as the Davis secondary put the clamps on.
Offensively, the Wolves’ ground game churned out 261 rushing yards, split mostly between four ball carriers. Idleman led the team with 94 yards on seven carries. Rawls added 63 on 13 totes. Parker gained 60 on 15 carries, 12 in the second half. Then Gammill added 50 yards on nine rushes of his own.
For the Wolves, the win got them to 5-3 on the season. More importantly, it kept them on pace with the other teams in the district vying for a playoff spot.
The season will likely come down to Lindsay, Frederick, Comanche and Davis all fighting for second through fifth place behind Marlow, but only the top four go to the playoffs. All four of those teams are currently 1-1 against each other with wins over every other team in the district and losses to Marlow. That means two important things. None of those teams can lose any more games and be guaranteed a playoff spot. Secondly, the week 10 matchups of Davis at Frederick and Lindsay at Comanche will very likely determine positions two through five in the district.
First things first, though. The Wolves will have to beat Marietta, who comes to town with an 0-8 record for what might be the final home game of 2021. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., but the seniors in football, cheerleading and band will be honored for senior night at 7 p.m.
Game Summary
Team        1   2   3   4 – F
Davis        0   7   7   7 – 21
Coalgate   0   7   0   7 – 14
Scoring Summary
D – Jeston Idleman 32 run. (Tyler Tinsley kick), 7-0
C – Jody Trevathan 1 run. (Tison Franklin kick), 7-7
D – Lane Rawls 3 run. (Tinsley kick), 14-7
C – Gavin Blue 1 run. (Franklin kick), 14-14
D – Jake Parker 6 run. (Tinsley kick), 21-14
Team Stats
Davis                          Coalgate
12          First Downs           10
297      Total Offense         257
1/7/2     Comp./att./int.    7/19/0
46-261   Rushes-yds.      28-92
36         Passing Yards       165
1-0         Fumbles-lost         1-0
4-50       Penalties-yds.      5-35
1-28        Punts-avg.          3-31

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