Standing in the middle of Davis' Homecoming court at halftime, Ricardo Acevedo unwrapped a delicate orange rose that signified the student body had chosen him to be king for a day.
Was he ever.
Leading his team on both sides of the ball, the Davis senior made his biggest impact driving the offense with a career-high 259 rushing yards and a touchdown as the Pirates fought their way to 21-6 victory over East Valley in their first home game of the season at Zaepfel Stadium.
On the stout arm of junior Garin Gurtler, who threw for 263 yards, East Valley was within 14-6 with eight minutes left. But Davis quickly responded with a six-play scoring drive and then sealed it with the defense's third interception — and second in its own end zone.
"It was definitely bend but don't break tonight for us," said Davis coach Jay Dumas. "We gave up some yards because that East Valley team is better than their record suggests. But the defense made some big plays when it had to, which is a testament to their resolve."
Becken Murphy, Marc Rodriguez and Jamasen Carter — all underclassmen — came up with the interceptions on a night when the Red Devils gained 363 yards and got inside the Pirates' 10 three times but came away with only six points.
"A big focus we have on defense is winning the turnover margin and we did (3-2)," Dumas said. "I couldn't be more proud of that group and their effort."
Dumas and the entire Homecoming crowd was pretty excited about Acevedo's effort, which started in a hurry as he ran for 68 yards on Davis' first possession and capped the charge with a 13-yard touchdown run. He finished with 12 runs of 10 yards or more.
"The offensive line did a great job tonight, but we had some problems with penalties on defense and offense. We had to work hard to overcome that," said Acevedo, who also played the entire game at middle linebacker. "We had a tough time with a really good team last week (a 58-0 loss to Garfield), so this feels a lot better."
Even with all his carries and yards, Acevedo was equally happy about a touchdown he had nothing to do with — Jason Chavez's 9-yard strike to tight end Cadin Hogue with 5:51 left in the game. It was Davis' first passing score of the season.
"Jason's just a sophomore but he's a tough kid and I'm excited for him," Acevedo said. "We want to be a running and passing team and we're improving with that."
East Valley got a breakout game from junior Allan Sires, who caught eight passes for 150 yards. Carson Knautz, also a junior, hauled in 10 of Gurtler's passes for 59 yards and scored on a 6-yard catch with 8:20 left. The Red Devils (0-4) resume CWAC play next Friday at Ephrata.
Davis completed its nonleague season at 2-2 and will open CBBN play on Friday at West Valley.
Davis — Ricardo Acevedo 13 run (Deacon Strom kick)
Davis — Morgan Rodriguez 1 run (Strom kick)
EV — Carson Knautz 6 pass from Garin Gurtler (kick failed)
Davis — Cadin Hogue 9 pass from Jason Chavez (Strom kick)
RUSHING — EV, JJ Dobie 14-60, Knautz 1-25, Riley Zaldivar 4-24, Santiago Soto 1-3, Logan Clark 1-0, Gurtler 2-(minus 10), Team 1-(minus 2). Davis, Acevedo 29-259, Rodriguez 6-12, Chavez 5-3, Team 4-(minus 8).
PASSING — EV, Gurtler 26-46-3-263. Davis, Chavez 8-18-2-95.
RECEIVING — EV, Allan Sires 8-150, Knautz 10-59, Teghan Moser 5-36, Alex Juarez 2-14, Dobie 1-4. Davis, Estevan Escamilla 2-48, Hogue 2-21, Donald Barnes 1-8, Erik Navarro 1-7, Rodriguez 1-7, Jayden Corbray 1-4.