Like a ghost, Marcus Davis moves deceptively through the football field. Would-be tacklers line him up only to come just inches shy of getting a hand on him.
If you can get close enough to Davis to get straight-armed, you’re doing well.
The Grade 12 student was named the AAA High School Football Player of the Year for the second year running at the awards banquet in Vancouver on Tuesday. If his status as the winner was in any doubt, he stamped it out scoring five of the Rams’ six touchdowns in the 39-33 semifinal win over the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers last week.
The electric Davis, who scored touchdowns from all areas of the field as a running back, wide receiver, kick returner and defensive back, is playing the trophy down for now.
“(Player of the Year) doesn’t matter too much, the main goal is to win the championship, on top of that it’s just a bonus.”
The Rams face the Terry Fox Ravens in the AAA Subway Bowl high school championship final in B.C. Place on Saturday. Shaw TV will broadcast the game with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The entire Rams team attended the Tuesday banquet and picked up some heavy hardware.
Lineman Zach Wilkinson took home a trophy as important as he is big, as he’ll depart the Rams’ program as the provincial defensive MVP.
Offensive lineman Christian Krause and Aarmin Purewal were named to the All-Star team with defensive lineman James Nicholas and Julian Luis. Seye Farinu, a nimble tackler who can catch and run on offence, was named the Grade 11 Co-Player of the year.
With Davis, Krause, Christianson and Purewal moving on, among others, this year’s is the Rams’ greatest graduating class of players, which is saying a lot. The program previously moved two-time Subway Bowl MVP Mason Swift to the Guelph Gryphons and Marcus’ elder brother Terrell, the 2011 Player of the Year, to the Arizona Sun Devils. Not to forget Alex Anthony, who celebrated the Grey Cup this week as a Saskatchewan Roughrider.
Marcus said he would like to join his brother on the Sun Devils if he got the chance but right now his top NCAA suitor is the Washington State Cougars. Ironically, the Cougars’ had originally committed to Terrell in 2011 before a coaching overhaul cut him loose in January of 2012.
The older brother is slowly working his way into the Sun Devils lineup this season, having beefed up to 232 pounds this year. Marcus is a similar build though a bit slighter – he’s known for turning so sharp he makes defenders fall over, whereas Terrell tended to use his power to push through tacklers (multiple tacklers, actually).
Davis will seek an NCAA Div. 1 spot if it’s the right fit but he doesn’t have a gig by Feb. 3, which is the NCAA’s first day to announce player signings, he’ll look at Canadian schools, many of which are already in contact with him.
The only thing on Marcus’ mind and that of his teammates is beating Terry Fox on Saturday and going down in history for winning three straight AAA B.C. titles.
Last week Davis was the reason the Rams were able to edge the Panthers in the AAA semifinal as Panthers’ running back Jamal Lyles nearly matched Davis score-for-score with four touchdowns of his own. But it was Davis’ interception and 73-yard run back for a TD that helped the Rams’ pull away, said the Panthers coach.
“(Jamal Lyles) is a heck of a ball player,” Davis said. “(The Hawks) are more difficult to prepare for. They don’t have the one superstar, they have lots of guys that can hurt you so we have to be prepared all around.”