By Bijan Soltani, Lucas Robison and Lucia Ferrer
The past two years of Davis High Homecoming football games have not ended in Blue Devil victories, but this year’s varsity football team is looking to end that trend this year.
In 2013, the Devils took a hard fall to the Monterey Trail Mustangs, losing 21-14 and struggling with turnovers on both sides of the field–a blow to team self-esteem
Beaten but not broken, the Devils fought hard in 2014, but once again fell short, accepting a colossal 53-13 defeat to Elk Grove. The defensive superiority of the Thundering Herd crushed the Devil offense, allowing a meek one touchdown per half.
But this year, the Devils are confident that they can beat the Sheldon Huskies in the long-awaited Homecoming match on Friday, Oct. 9, which kicks off at 7:15 p.m.
“We have played each other before and we have beat them, so we can definitely win,” junior running back Ismael Perez said.
Both Davis and Sheldon (coming off a loss to Franklin on Oct 2.) have the same 2-3 record this year. Last season, DHS beat Sheldon in a close, 49-41 contest.
In a recent game, the Devils lost star senior running back Cole Morse to an injury, making winning much more difficult. But despite the odds, Perez, who replaced Morse, is still confident that his team can defend its home turf.
“Yeah, it sucks that [Morse] got hurt, but I think our team is strong and we will win,” Perez said.
Junior linebacker Austin Griffiths agrees.
“Sheldon is a good team; they have beaten us, but we have beaten them, like we will on Friday,” Griffiths said.
The Huskies are a “fast and quick team,” Griffiths pointed out.
“But so are we,” Perez added.
From the Huskies’ perspective, the Homecoming game will be a tough match-up. The Huskies have scored 79 points in total this season while conceding 120 points.
Sheldon’s varsity football coach Herb Berry believes that junior Alex Cook, a wide receiver and defensive back, will be the player to look out for in the Homecoming game. Cook is first in the league for receiving yards, with a whopping 273.
Berry knows that in order to be successful on Friday, the Sheldon Huskies must “play consistent[ly] and play mistake-free football.”
He noted that the defense has proven to be a strength, partly due to the number of senior starters they have. However, the team has lost a significant number of starters due to injury this season, which Berry believes is one of the team’s biggest weaknesses at the moment.
“To achieve success [in the game on Friday] we need to remain disciplined, along with playing fast and hard with minimal mental errors,” senior running back and middle linebacker Deante Grinner said.
Grinner pointed out three aspects of the Huskies’ game in particular that have cost the team in the past and that Sheldon will need to improve upon: missing tackles, “playing docile” and not following assignments.