By Rayan Tilmatine,
Davis High football played its first game of the school year at home against Woodland in front of a lively crowd in the William & Mary Stadium on August 31.
Students in attendance as well as the athletes were in search for improvements from a disappointing 0-10 season last year.
“We know how the team looked last year, [so] we want to show that we’ve made strides to become a better team,” senior quarterback Shaan Nahal said.
The Blue Devils started off the game strong, with junior running back Taylor Vaughn scoring the team’s first touchdown in the first two minutes of the game.
Vaughn continued his dominance, completing a 70-yard run for the team’s second touchdown of the night, giving Davis a 14-0 lead.
“I really try to not overthink it, I just look for openings and try to make the smart play,” Vaughn said about his ability to find running lanes with ease.
The second quarter consisted of two touchdowns from starting quarterback Payne Barksdale, followed by Vaughn’s third touchdown, increasing the lead to 35-0.
The second quarter also consisted of Woodland scoring its first and only touchdown of the night, making the lead 35-6 in favor of the Blue Devils.
The third quarter contained no change in score, crediting the Blue Devils’ defensive impact.
“We saw our guys get the lead up in the first half, so we made it our job to keep the lead and continue to put pressure on Woodland’s offense,” senior defensive back Elijah Smith said.
The fourth quarter ended with junior receiver Ben Busano scoring a 52-yard touchdown, sealing the game for the Blue Devils with a 48-6 victory over Woodland. Busano also carried the ball nine times for 70 yards when filling in for Vaughn after sitting with a tweaked leg.
Nahal credits the team for keeping its physicality throughout the match.
“Sometimes when the score gets ran up like that, it gets difficult for us to want to put out full effort,” Nahal said. “Tonight we committed to finishing out the game strong and not having many lapses that could have cost us some touches.”
Vaughn believes the running game is the team’s gift.
“With [Barksdale] and I, teams know that we’re going to run the ball through them, and yet they still can’t stop us. That’s credited to the hard work from our offensive line and us runners knowing our schemes and finding angles,” Vaughn said.
“If we continue to play the rest of the season like we did tonight, we’ll be a fun team to watch for sure,” Vaughn continued. He finished the night with 242 yards alongside his three touchdowns.
Senior Zane Schouten thought the energy from the crowd was what got the team going. “Hearing chants from the senior section and the cheering from all the fans sparks a light under us and makes us want to show off our best skills,” Schouten says. “We need everyone to start showing up to games this season, the support is a huge boost for us.”
After Friday’s win the Blue Devils increased their record to 2-1. They play away at Pioneer next Friday.