Hetherington X-factor for Davis
MIDWEST CITY — Following Davis one-sided win over Vian on Friday, all was complete but for one more thing.
Coach Jody Weber had special words for his composed quarterback, ballhawking defensive back and field-tilting punter — all the same guy. Weber stopped in mid-sentence, pulled in close the Swiss Army knife that is Alec Hetherington and told him he couldn’t have played any better.
Hetherington was responsible for two of Davis’ three touchdowns, intercepted two passes and came in as a punter to keep Vian pinned deep in its territory. The cool-headed senior was in complete command from the first snap, helping Davis to a 22-0 win in the Class 2A semifinals.
Hetherington wasn’t as much surprised by the way Davis played, but how effective the Wolves were. Davis forced seven turnovers and shut out of one of the most prolific offenses in Oklahoma prep football history.
“I figured we could have caused a couple (turnovers),” a semi-stunned Hetherington said. “But seven ... it was good.”
Per usual, Hetherington understated the control he and the Wolves had over the game. In a span of seconds in the first half, he made Vian more uncomfortable than it had been all season.
His 2-yard TD run put Davis up 6-0 in the first quarter, In the second, his 50-yard punt downed the Wolverines at their own 15, and his interception on the next play deflated Vian’s chances of scoring before the break.
First down on Vian’s own 15, Landon Decker overthrew his receiver over the middle. The ball bobbled a few times in Hetherington’s hands, each set of stands holding their collective breath.
The red and white side erupted when Hetherington secured Davis third takeaway of the half.
On the Wolves’ next offensive play, Hetherington’s 30-yard touchdown strike to a streaking Michael Nowden shushed the entire purple and gold contingent, one which hadn’t witnessed a halftime deficit all season.
On first down at the Vian 30, Hetherington ducked his shoulder to fake the run, hugging up close to his offensive line. He elevated off one foot and delivered a Tim Tebow-esque jump pass to a wide open Nowden down the middle.
“I could not see Michael Nowden,” Hetherington said. “I had to jump up. I was going to either throw it to him or throw it away, I just couldn’t get sacked.
“My line blocked well and my halfbacks did too. They gave me a lot of time to read and a lot of time to make my decision.”
Save for an early fumble on a pitch (which Davis recovered), Hetherington kept the ball and pitched it masterfully in the Wolves’ Wishbone. When Davis needed conversions to eat up precious clock time, Hetherington answered, going 2-for-3 on fourth down with the ball in his hands in the first half.
Hetherington finished the game 3-of-6 passing for 56 yards and with 77 yards on 23 carries. With punter/defensive back Deaundre Carr injured early, Hetherington also added three punts for a 46.3-yard average to go along with his two picks on defense.
With a Division I prospect on the other side of the ball (Vian lineman Rob Boyd), it was Hetherington who was the best player on the field in the year’s biggest game.
“Alec was the best he’s been in his career,” Weber said. “He hadn’t punted for us in nine weeks, pinned them inside, kept the field turned around. He came in and played corner ... picked the ball off against at 6-5 receiver twice.
“He stepped up when we needed him to like a lot of them did.”
Erik K. Horne