GREEN — Cloverleaf’s defensive backfield should have been eager to board the bus and head home Friday night after getting lit up by Green quarterback John Davies.
The 6-foot-4 junior, who entered the game as the Suburban League’s leading passer, threw for five touchdowns in leading the Bulldogs to a 55-28 SL win over the Colts.
In fact, Davies had more completions (22) than the Bulldogs had rushing attempts (21).
“He’s a big kid with a good skill-set,” Green coach Ed Cybak said of Davies, who finished with 398 yards. “He didn’t play varsity last year because he was hurt, so this is only his sixth game at this level. He’s already getting some college looks.”
An added challenge for the Colts defense was the league’s leading receiver, James Angel. The sophomore speedster pulled in five catches for 81 yards and a score to go along with rushing touchdowns on his only two carries.
Green (4-2, 2-1) led 14-0 after the end of the first quarter. The first score came on a 39-yard pass from Davies to receiver Andrew Ventura (6 catches, game-high 119 yards, 2 TDs) on which he broke two tackles. The second came on a 10-yard jet sweep by Angle, who was untouched.
“Our tackling was terrible tonight,” Cloverleaf coach Bob Lake said. “We helped them out tonight because our effort just wasn’t there. We put some young kids on the field in the second half because we’re trying to find kids who want to be out there. Those are the kids who will be playing moving forward.”
Cloverleaf (2-4, 0-3) responded with a 15-play possession that was capped by a 13-yard run by quarterback Garrison Flora early in the second quarter. The junior finished 12-for-22 through the air for 145 yards.
The Bulldogs then exploded for three more touchdowns to close the half. Included in the blitz were two more passes from Davies (33, 28) and a 30-yard run off a botched snap.
Davies opened the second half with a 54-yard scoring pass to receiver Jonathan Brooke to give Green its biggest lead at 41-7.
“We tried to stop them with different coverages and by disguising blitzes,” Lake said. “But their receivers got behind us and made some big plays.”
The Colts didn’t give up and answered with three touchdowns in the third quarter. After a 55-yard kickoff return by Devin Cunningham provided good field position, Flora rewarded the senior running back just a few plays later with 23-yard scoring strike down the middle.
Cunningham led Cloverleaf with 63 yards on 18 attempts. He also caught seven passes for 44 yards.
Sam Potter intercepted a Davies pass on Green’s next drive to give the Colts possession on the Bulldogs 35-yard line. It only took one play for Flora to find Austin Smith on a seam pass for the score, cutting the lead to 41-21.
Smith (3 catches, 73 yards) scored again a few minutes later on a 22-yard slant, but the Colts defense couldn’t stop Green’s attack. The fourth quarter turned into a junior varsity game with a few starters sprinkled in.
Another concern for Cloverleaf was committing 11 penalties for 80 yards.
“Those are absolutely things that we must clean up, and we will,” Lake said.
Contact Kenneth Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org.