However, with a late touchdown by Tanner Hinds they were able to squeak by the Northridge Knights 21-17 Friday night.
“They were prepared,” said Davis coach Ryan Bishop. “They played harder than us, executed better than us and were really shutting us down for most of the game.
“It was an ugly game, but we’ll take the win.”
Davis put up the first points of the game when Gavin Fowler hooked up with tight end Landon Horne on a 45-yard catch and run. The drive took only three plays but Davis worked with a short field thanks to the punt return.
Northridge struck back just as quickly, going six plays 75 yards to tie the game. The drive started with two quick first downs by the Knights, then a 51-yard pass play from Travis Harper to Colton Hill for the game tying score.
The Knights defense in the first half had taken over the game afterward. They had forced Davis to punt the ball on several occasions and put pressure on Fowler while keeping Hinds from getting any big gains.
Davis’s offense also sputtered during the first half. On their next two drives their offense sputtered due to penalties and were forced to punt, while the Knights went on long drives and came away with points.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a few times,” said Bishop. “We’d get a first drive and have it taken away on a penalty, then we’d sustain a drive only to get another penalty. We had to clean those up if we were going to stay in the game.”
The Knights scored again with under four minutes to go when Harper ran in the football from one yard out. The score capped off a 15-play drive that took up most of the second quarter. After Davis was forced into a three-and-out, the Knights went on another long drive and made good on a 36 yard field goal by Austin Gottschalk to close the first half.
Davis cut their deficit to three the first time they had the ball in the second half when Hinds scored from three yards away. The 10-play drive mostly involved Hinds, who carried the ball seven times including a 20 yard scamper to keep the drive alive.
After holding the Knights in their own territory for most of the second half, the Darts had another good opportunity to score late in the game to take the lead. From the Knights 44 yard line halfway through the fourth quarter, the Darts rose to the occasion again to take the lead for good when Hinds scored from three yards away. Two key plays in the game-leading drive were a personal foul call against the Knights to start the drive, then a holding call that Davis later converted three plays later. Hinds again saw most of the action, carrying the ball seven times in the drive.
Northridge had threatened to score in their next drive, but failed to convert on a fourth and long when Troy Hinds sacked Harper.
“We still have to get better,” said Bishop. “We’ll take the win however we can get it.”