It was only fitting that a league like the Delta League that was so competitive all year and seemingly always had a new team atop the league every week would come down to a winner-take-all match up in the regular season finale against Cosumnes Oaks and Davis to crown a new champion.
As the Wolfpack got set to host the Blue Devils, they knew they needed to get off to a good start right away because being able to come from behind would not be easy.
Getting off to a good start was the opposite of what the Wolfpack did.
After being down by as much as 20 in the second half, Cosumnes Oaks’ comeback attempt fell short and Davis won the game and the Delta League from start-to-finish by a score of 27-14 last Friday at Cosumnes Oaks High School.
“We were just spinning out wheels in the mud out there,” said Cosumnes Oaks head coach Andrew Bettencourt.
“Credit to Davis they came out in a different front and we did not do our job tonight.”
From the get go, Davis was able to make play after play and especially in key moments. The Blue Devils took the game’s first possession all the way for a touchdown that was scored by Taylor Vaughn all while eating up six minutes of the first quarter. Vaughn scored three touchdowns on the night, all of which came in the first half.
While Davis’ offense was able to consistently pick up yardage on the ground, the Cosumnes Oaks offense was unable to match them. Quarterback Anthony Grigsby Jr. did not have his normal success throwing the ball and the Blue Devil’s secondary was able to capitalize on opportunities.
Davis intercepted Grigsby two times and forced a fumble on a sack late in the fourth quarter as the Wolfpack were driving down by 13.
“We were unable to get the little plays going that gets third downs in short yardage and unable to make tackles when we needed to,” Bettencourt said.
“Some plays go your way and some don’t and we need to take this one on the chin and move on.”
Grigsby would go on to account for both Cosumnes Oaks touchdowns. Grigsby scored on a three-yard run in the second quarter and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Austin Taylor late in the fourth quarter.
By time Cosumnes Oaks were able to match Davis’ play, it was too little too late. In the second half, the Wolfpack only allowed seven points, but their offense was unable to cut the deficit with enough time to make a game out of it. With a double-digit lead, Davis took the air out of the ball and kept plugging away on the ground game.
“We wanted to get some momentum and sustain some first downs but we couldn’t get them,” Bettencourt said.
“We played from behind the whole game and that’s hard to do.”
The Blue Devils featured an offense that rotated two quarterbacks all throughout the night. Starting quarterback Luke Carrell was usually under center during obvious passing downs, while dual-threat quarterback Payne Barksdale was at the helm during most running plays.
Although the Wolfpack are disappointed in their performance having had the potential of winning their first Delta League title, they know the game against Davis can be a wake up call as they head in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs next week with a 7-3 record.
“We’re excited and this season we have come a long way,” Bettencourt said.
The Wolfpack was awarded the second seed in the Division II playoffs during Sunday’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section selection show, and have extra time to prepare for the postseason as they have a first-round bye this week.