KAYSVILLE – Led by senior quarterback Brock Anderson, Syracuse dominated both sides of the field and the clock during all four periods, defeating Davis 28-14.
Region One opening season jitters were apparent for both teams early in the first quarter, with errors in execution on either side. But Davis found its focus first, scoring on a short 4-yard sprint by Colby Child, followed by Andrew Fuller’s extra point kick within the first five minutes of play. Syracuse answered back two minutes later with a 21-yard carry into the end zone by Kavika Fonua, followed by Anderson’s PAT kick. Late in the quarter, a 26-yard field goal attempt by the Titans fell short, ending the first period 7-7.
Syracuse found itself the recipient of numerous offensive fouls during the second quarter, and at one point lost 45 yards in penalties. The offense simply dug its heels in and managed to shrug the penalties off, as Jake Garver took a 13-yard pass into the paint, followed by Anderson’s kick halfway into the quarter.
Drives led by Davis quarterback Gage Cook were met with resistance as Titan Jace Purser, and then most of the defensive line, sacked Cook for a loss. The score at the end of the second quarter was 14-7 in favor of the Titans.
“We were a little bit on our heels when Davis scored first," Titan defensive coordinator Dayne Faerber said. “Our guys started out overplaying a little, but they calmed down, began playing their alleys correctly, and things came around quickly.”
The Titans’ kickoff went out of bounds at the start of the second half, and the play garnered penalty. Davis got the ball on the 35-yard line but was unable to capitalize on the play, meaning Syracuse regained possession. A 26-yard pass reception by Diante Mitchell, along with the extra point kick by Anderson, brought the score to 21-7 at the nine minute mark.
Davis again suffered quarterback sacks, first at the hands of Jace Purser and again by Caden Call. The Darts regained their composure briefly with a pass interception at the 49-yard line but were unable to advance into scoring position.
The Titans controlled the fourth quarter, despite receiving several more offensive fouls, but the Darts were unable to turn that advantage into points.
Cook was stopped in back-to-back sacks by junior Wyatt German, finally relinquishing possession to the Titans. Fonua drove down the side for a 22-yard carry and was finally stopped at the 11-yard line. Minutes later, Syracuse found themselves at third down with 12 yards to the goal and set up for a field goal attempt with four minutes left on the clock. To the delight of the Titan fans and the dismay of the Darts, the field goal play was a fake. Junior Blake Taurone ran into the end zone for a touchdown. Anderson’s extra point kick brought the score to 28-7.
A last ditch effort by Davis to ease the sting of the loss started with less than two minutes left on the clock. A quarterback keep by Cook powered the ball to their 20-yard line, and he then scored with a 7-yard keep into the end zone. With three-tenths of a second left on the clock, the extra point by Fuller was good.
The game ended on book-end scores for Davis and a huge win for the Titans.
“Obviously any time you beat Davis it’s a big win. It’s a tight rivalry, and 28 points is the most points we’ve been able to score on them," Faerber said. “Tonight our offense was clicking. Brock Anderson really excelled at managing the ball game. The receivers tonight did a great job of catching and the offensive line did a good job of protecting. Overall, our team really performed well and we’re proud of them.”
Anderson completed 20-of-28 passes for 209 yards, four touchdowns, one interception and 4 PAT points. The Syracuse defense sacked the Davis quarterback six times.
Syracuse remains undefeated (5-0) and will meet Layton (2-3) Friday, September 21, at home.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company