KAYSVILLE On a night when both teams played inspired defense, and the offenses were giving the ball away like unwanted Christmas sweaters, the determined running of the Darts' Tanner Hinds made all the difference in Davis defeating rival Clearfield 21-6.
The junior running back slashed and bruised his way to more than 180 total yards and two touchdowns.
The first half of the game was marred by turnovers and inept offense. Davis twice drove deep into Clearfield's territory, only to turn the ball over. Clearfield had its own problems on offense, failing to complete a pass in the first half. The Falcons' lone bright spot on offense was kicker Jose Casillas, whose 42-yard line-drive field goal before the half gave the Falcons their first lead, 3-0.
The second half belonged to Hinds. After Davis stopped a Clearfield drive, Hinds caught a deep Casillas punt at his own 35, juked right to break one tackle and raced down the right sideline before finally being stopped at Clearfield's 8-yard line. On the next play Hinds finished what he started with a run up the middle of Clearfield's defense for the touchdown. A Mike Jewkes extra point gave the Darts the lead 7-3.
After struggling in the first half, Clearfield quarterback Kolton Young got into a nice rhythm in the second half, completing several passes in the fourth quarter to set up another Casillas field goal, cutting Davis' lead to one, 7-6.
On the ensuing drive Davis was able to milk nearly five minutes of the game clock thanks to inspired running by Hinds and a key Clearfield personal foul penalty on a third and long. The key play on the drive came on a third and 13 with 3 minutes left in the game. Davis responded with a 20-yard sweep by Sam Lloyd, setting up first and goal at the 2-yard line. The next play saw Hinds dive into the end zone for a score. It was the first sustained drive for Davis all game and couldn't have come at a better time.
"It felt really good to finally capitalize and put a drive together," said Hinds. Needing a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie the game, Clearfield desperately tried to march down the field, but Davis' Marshal Burton intercepted Young's pass and returned it 20 yards for the touchdown to extinguish any hopes of a Clearfield comeback.