Davis coach Jody Weber achieved a landmark feat. He deflected credit the accomplishment
DAVIS — Dominant in all three phases, the Davis Wolves delivered a milestone win on behalf of their head coach, Jody Weber.
In his 16th season, teams coached by Weber won their 100th district game — against four defeats, the last of which occurred in the 2008 regular-season finale.
Owning a 20-point first-half advantage in points off turnovers, Davis also won the special-teams battle. The Wolves’ Blake Neal answered Kingston’s score with a 90-yard kickoff return. Logan Taliaferro’s tackle on Davis’ fifth kickoff forced a fumble. Briston Summers scored his second touchdown two plays later.
Public-address announcer Jeff Mapes told the crowd of the milestone; Weber deflected credit.
“I am grateful to be a part of Davis football,” Weber said, standing in the locker room about 30 minutes after the game. “I have great staff and we’ve had great kids for a long, long time. Davis has 100 district wins. If you listed every name that’s a big part of that (milestone), there wouldn’t be enough room.”
A 54-12 win, Davis’ 47th consecutive district triumph came with a price. On the Wolves’ second possession, Dylan Melton sustained a leg injury. As appropriate personnel wheeled him off the field on a stretcher, Melton could sit up. The junior linebacker and tight end acknowledged the home fans on the east side of the field.
Davis (5-2, 4-0 District 2A-4) won the toss and deferred. Kingston’s and the Wolves’ defenses forced five punts on the five initial possessions.
On Davis’ second possession, Cody Flesher sacked Summers for a seven-yard loss, the Wolves’ lone negative play en route to a 225-84 advantage in rushing yards.
Davis opened the scoring on its next possession, as Summers’ 79-yard touchdown run featured a number of cuts, including one to his right at his own 40-yard line that sprang him.
“I just got some really good blocks and I put on some good moves,” he said stoically.
He finished the first half with 194 yards on 10 carries.
Kingston (3-4, 1-2) fumbled on its ensuing drive, the first of the Redskins’ three-first half fumbles. Four plays later, Conner Webb scored a four-yard touchdown run.
Kingston responded with a 10-play, 67-yard drive to pull within 13-6.
Davis answered quickly, as Blake Neal scored on a 90-yard kickoff return.
Webb recovered a fumble on the third play of the ensuing Redskins’ drive.
Jordan Thomas scored two plays later.
On the kickoff, Taliaferro’s tackle caused Stoney Lowe to fumble, setting Davis up at Kingston’s 18-yard line.
“It’s really exciting,” Taliaferro said stoically. “A game-changer. It turned the tide, got us all hopped up. Good play. Good time.”
Two plays later, extending his arm, Summers managed to break the plane, extending the Wolves’ lead to 34-6.
The touchdown gave the Wolves their 20-0 lead in points off turnovers.
“It’s just awesome to be a part of this,” Summers said. “We just work hard and it’s just awesome when it pays off in games. It’s just a lot of fun.”
Giving an interview standing side by side, Blake Williams and Neal had their own moment of fun — which began when Williams said he didn’t hear Mapes’ announcement.
“It’s great,” Neal said of the milestone win.
“One hundred district wins?” Williams asked a split-second later, standing to Neal’s right. “Did you not hear the announcement?” Neal asked his teammate, laughing.
“I don’t hear anything,” Williams answered, a look of awe and surprise on his face.
“I loved it,” Neal said. “It was great. I love playing for him.”
Said Williams, laughing, a couple seconds later, “I really had no clue!”
Next Friday, Davis travels to Tishomingo before its bye week. The Wolves’ coaching staff must mull its options to find Melton’s successor.
Webb described Melton’s impact.
“After we had a key player getting hurt, we just had to have some kind of momentum,” Webb said. “We played hard the whole time. It’s hard to not let it bother us, but we did the best we could and we got better this week.”
In response to a follow-up question, Webb said Davis improved because it decreased the number of mistakes it committed and didn’t have any busts.
The Wolves finished with a 27-0 advantage in points off turnovers.
“Like all kids, when they get an injury in football, it’s tough,” Weber said. “It’s part of the game but it’s tough.
“This kid, he’s so important to us. Anytime we have a need to be met, he’s the first guy we think of. It’s tough, but we’re going to be with him and he’ll be with us, too.
“We hope he gets healed up fast and we can start getting him in shape for next year.”