By Jeff Mapes
The Davis Wolves used a dominant fourth quarter against Lindsay on Nov. 10 to post a come-from-behind 44-30 win at Wolf Field in the first round of the Class 2A State Playoffs.
It is the first post-season victory for Davis since 2017 when the Wolves defeated Holland Hall at home in overtime. For Greg Parker, it is also his first in his six-year tenure as head coach.
Trailing 30-28 in the third period, the Wolves erased the deficit in the final frame with a pair of touchdowns. The defense also contributed within that stretch forcing Lindsay into two costly turnovers.
“Our kids, they’re just tough,” Parker said of his team. “They don’t ever give in, give up, pout or wonder what’s happening. They just keep playing and eventually we all get it figured out.”
Davis, now 9-2, advances to the second round and will play at fifth-ranked Jones this Friday at 7 p.m. The Longhorns, champions of District 2A-2, defeated Chisholm 53-8.
Fans of Davis and Lindsay were entertained with a high-scoring first half. The two offenses combined for 444 total yards and traded scores on six straight possessions.
“Offenses are tough,” Parker said. “People are tough to defend and we’re tough to defend. They spread you out and get you in space, create a lot of one-on-ones and it’s a different game from just 10 years ago.”
Davis had a promising start to the game, driving 35 yards to the Leopards’ 20. However, three plays of negative yardage forced the Wolves to punt.
Lindsay initiated the scoring spree with a 44-yard touchdown pass from Broty Ramming to Manuel Aguero with 6:35 in the first. Ramming ran for the two-point conversion and Davis trailed 8-0.
The Wolves responded with an eight-play, 54-yard drive. Brenden Rawls carried six times, Tyson Moss ran for 15 and Dax Owens rushed for 13 yards.
Rawls scored the first of his four touchdowns on a one-yard run with 2:32 in the first. Davis still trailed 8-6 after Owens’ pass was batted down on the conversion.
“We shot ourselves in the foot on the first drive,” Parker said. “But after that they never really stopped us.”
Lindsay scored again with 9:34 in the second. Ramming capped off the nine-play series with a one-yard dive. The senior ran for the conversion and the Leopards’ lead was back to 14-6.
Davis again answered on its next possession, marching 57 yards in seven plays. Owens went 2-2 finding Dakota Carter for 27 yards and Dalton Hefley for six.
Rawls scored on a five-yard run with 6:24 in the second. The Wolves were stopped on the conversion and the score remained 14-12.
Lindsay jumped out in front by two scores on the next series. Ramming raced for 45 yards with 3:42 before halftime. He connected with Priest Williams for the conversion pass and the margin was 22-12.
The Wolves retaliated with a drive that covered 55 yards in four plays. Owens ran for 36 yards to the Lindsay 15.
Moss scored on a 14-yard run with 2:03 in the second. Rawls added the conversion and Davis trailed 22-20.
“Our offense was good all night,” Parker said. “They never really stopped us. Our offensive line dominated that game.”
Lindsay’s only punt of the first half came on the ensuing drive. The Wolves took over at their 24 with 1:04 before intermission.
Davis drove 59 yards to the 17 and were aided by two Lindsay penalties. Levi Pullen missed a 25-yard field goal with two ticks left and the Leopards maintained their two-point advantage.
The Wolves made a fourth-down stop at the Lindsay 36 to start the second half. It took five plays for Davis to earn its first lead.
Rawls tallied the last three carries, including a four-yard touchdown run with 7:45 in the third. Owens ran for the conversion and DHS led 28-22.
“We could hardly get them stopped in the first half,” Parker said. “But in the second half, our kids did a great job of adjusting and getting stops.”
Lindsay’s only score after halftime came on its next series. The Leopards regained the lead when Jakub Vaughn scored on a six-yard run with 2:57 left in the third. Aguero’s conversion run put Lindsay back in front 30-28.
Davis’ first fourth-quarter score was a 15-play, 57-yard drive that consumed 7:45 of the clock. Rawls’ final score came on a one-run run with 7:12 left. Dee Idleman ran for the conversion and the Wolves were back on top for good at 36-30.
Rawls’ 137 yards on 23 carries clears the 1000-yard mark. The junior has 1030 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns.
“He’s really tough,” Parker said of Rawls. “He makes great cuts, and he does a great job of taking care of the football.”
Trey Melton made a huge play on defense, intercepting Ramming’s pass at the Leopards’ 31. Three plays later, Moss recorded his second touchdown on a 25-yard scamper with 6:06 remaining.
Idleman chipped in the conversion run and Davis led 44-30.
The defense stepped up again on the next series. Spencer Clinton recovered Shane Jones’ catch-and fumble at the Wolves’ 24 with 4:14. The Wolves gained two first downs and ran out the clock.
“Usually in close games turnovers are the difference,” Parker said. “The way our offense was going, it’s hard to get behind. Our offensive line is just playing well, and we’ve got some scary backs.”
The Wolves are 4-0 all-time against Jones. The Wolves won the last meeting 26-20 in 2010.
“They’re very talented,” Parker said of the Longhorns. “They’re big and just a good football team. It’s going to be a great challenge, but one thing I know, our kids are up to it. They’re excited and they want to go to work.”
Team 1 2 3 4 – F
Lindsay 8 14 8 0 – 30
Davis 6 14 8 16 – 44
L- Aguero 44 pass from Ramming (conv. good)
D- Rawls 1 run (conv. failed)
L- Ramming 1 run (conv. failed)
D- Rawls 5 run (conv. failed)
L- Ramming 45 run (conv. good)
D- Moss 14 run (conv. good)
D- Rawls 4 run (conv. good)
L- Vaughn 6 run (conv. good)
D- Rawls 1 run (conv. good)
D- Moss 25 run (conv. good)
11 First Downs 20
346 Total Yds. 389
33-204 Rushes-yds. 57-341
7-11-1-142 Passing-yds. 3-4-0-48
2 Turnovers 0
7-57 Penalties 3-20
19:43 Time of Poss. 28:17
Rushing- Brenden Rawls 23-137, Tyson Moss 14-93, Dax Owens 16-72, Dakota Carter 1-22, Dee Idleman 2-10 and Trey Melton 1-7.
Passing- Owens 3-4-0-48.
Receiving- Carter 2-42 and Dalton Hefley 1-6.
WHO IS the only freshman to ever start in and win a play-off game? That’s right, Dax Owens #0. Thank you, Boyd Fulton for this trivia question and a way to honor this Wolves rising star. The Wolves will play Jones for Round 2 of Playoff Friday night at Jones at 7 p.m.
AND THE STUDENT SECTION went wild! The Davis High School student section has made standing under the Friday Night Lights fun this year. Their love for the game, has no doubt, made hyped up the crowd and helped push the Wolves to victory. See you at Jones Friday night, Student Section!