Spalding (1-1-1) is coming off its first loss of the season, a 14-0 loss at Locust Grove.
Davis, who also doubles as the Jags’ defensive coordinator, was not happy — even with his region-leading defense (7.7 ppg against) which yielded only 7 points.
“Not really,” he said. “We gave up too many points. We gave up a touchdown on special teams and we gave up a touchdown on defense. I’m an old-school defensive guy — if they can’t score, they can’t win.”
Compounding matters, Locust Grove dominated time of possession in the second half.
“We only had seven offensive snaps the second half,” said Davis. “They had the ball 10:19 in the third quarter and 10:03 in the fourth quarter, so we didn’t give our offense a chance to make anything happen.”
Furthermore, Spalding’s hallmark on defense this season, creating turnovers — they had 5 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries in the first two games — was nonexistent against the Wildcats.
“That’s disappointing (because) that’s something we stress,” added Davis. “So from a defensive standpoint we didn’t give ourselves a chance to win the ballgame.”
He’s hoping Spalding’s defense, led by Jevaris Jones (15 total tackles), Larry McCord (14) and Jake Jeffcoat (11), can keep a hard-running Dutchtown double wing/Wing-T offense, averaging a subregion-leading 31 ppg for, in check.
Since losing to Griffin 42-16 in the season opener — in a game they led 16-7 at the half — the Bulldogs (3-1) have reeled off wins against Henry County 35-6, Luella 35-10 and Riverdale 38-0.
On the other side of the ball, Spalding’s offense, which is averaging a region-low 3.3 ppg, is led by Brandon Thomas (5-23 rushing vs. Locust Grove) and receivers Rodney Jackson (3-39) and Xeryous Dewberry (2-24).
Davis and his staff are eager to get quarterback Monquez Sullivan, who broke his ankle in practice the week of the season opener, back in the lineup. Whether or not he plays Friday will likely be a game-time decision.
“We’ll play it by ear,” Davis said Wednesday. “He dressed in full pads yesterday. With a short week you just don’t know. Hopefully, we’ll have him back definitely next week.”
That’s when the Jags up subregion play with a game at Upson-Lee in Thomaston, Ga.
Davis is at a loss of words when it comes to describing his offense’s lack of production this season.
“Offensively we just don’t know,” he said. “For whatever reason we can’t execute properly. You know the kids are working hard, but for whatever reason we’re having one or two people break down on every play either mentally or physically hurting our production on that side of the ball. And once we get going, we can’t sustain it. It’s the same thing — missed assignments or penalties. If we can’t find a way to fix it, it’s going to make for a long season.”
Making matters more difficult for Spalding’s defense this week is Dutchtown’s 4-3 defense, yielding 14 ppg against.
Of course, Dutchtown is also sky high after knocking off state-ranked Riverdale 38-0 last week.
“Dutchtown is a very good football team, very sound and very well coached,” said Davis. “Coach (Jason) Galt has done an outstanding job since he has taken over that program. You can’t take anything away from them. But at the same time, everything went their way. Riverdale made a lot of mistakes that they normally don’t make. You have to look that it was the first time they have been ranked in a while — a lot of those guys played for me as ninth and 10th graders. We knew they were going to be good once they became juniors and seniors, but there is the transition of being able to handle success as well.”