KAYSVILLE — Steady progression is what every coach is looking for.
However, progression is sometimes halted by a grind-it-out, gritty game. Such was the case Thursday night as the Davis Darts needed a couple of key defensive plays and some timely offensive ones as well to overcome visiting Cottonwood, 23-12.
“Geez, I feel like we had to beg, borrow, steal — I don’t know,” Davis coach Ryan Bishop said. “We had to fight, scratch, claw against a great team in Cottonwood. The key to this game was our defense. They had to come from behind and they made plays when they needed to, especially on that fumble return. That’s a good team (in Cottonwood) and I thought that we needed to make plays on both sides and both sides did just that.”
It was Cottonwood that struck first as quarterback Cooper Bateman rolled out to the left and came back to the right to scamper in from two yards out for the 6-0 lead after having the extra point blocked. Davis had an answer just one series later as quarterback Gage Cook sprinted 40 yards to the end zone to give the lead to the Darts for good. Cook would add another touchdown later in the second quarter to make the score 13-6 at the half.
The Davis made some key stops with the biggest one coming late in the third quarter. With the Colts knocking on the door from the 1-yard line, Bateman’s handoff squirted out of the running back’s hands and Chance Porter scooped up the fumble and returned it 95 yards for another touchdown to put the game out of reach. Inoke Lotulelei grabbe a 17-yard pass from Bateman to get some of the deficit back, but a 27-yard field goal from Davis’ Andrew Fuller accounted for the final score.
“The best part was that our defense created some turnovers and made tackles that allowed us to keep a good team at bay for a little bit,” Bishop said. “We knew coming in that this was a good team loooking to get better from last week. I thought that we got a little better, but we are still looking for that one clean game that everyone wants and we are starting to get to that point. We only have one more preseason game to get things right before heading into region play.”
Cook was the offensive leader for the Darts, rushing the ball 14 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns and was 9-for-14 for 114 yards in the win. Bateman was the offensive leader for the Colts, completing 23-of-44 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown.