Davidsen rumbles for 221 yards in win over Huskies
|Boston Davidsen had a monster game Sunday for the Hilltops.|
The 20-year-old running back, who stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 188 pounds, ran the ball 31 times for 221 yards and scored three touchdowns to power the Hilltops to a 34-20 victory over the Edmonton Huskies in a CJFL regular season clash on Sunday at Saskatoon Minor Football Field.
Davidsen’s performance allowed the Hilltops to build a 17-0 edge in the first quarter and hold a 20-0 advantage at halftime. The power running back’s legs ensured the Hilltops held off a Huskies surge in the second half to preserve the victory.
When asked if this contest was a statement to show he had arrived, Davidsen deflected credit to his offensive line.
|Boston Davidsen (#24) powers his way to a 10-yard touchdown run.|
“It is more the O-line’s time has arrived,” said Davidsen, whose father Donnie Davidsen is the Hilltops long time offensive line coach. “This is probably their best game of the year.
“When the O-line has a good game, the running back is going to have a good game. I think just O-line play and coaching plan led to the game today.”
The win was a big one for the Hilltops as it allowed them to improve to 4-2, while the Huskies fell to 4-2.
|Boston Davidsen (#24) celebrates his second of three majors.|
Both clubs have two games remaining on their respective regular season schedules. The Regina Thunder sit first in the PFC with a 6-0 mark with two games remaining on their regular season schedule.
Hilltops head coach Tom Sargeant said Boston Davidsen has emerged thanks to the work he put in during an extended break when the 2020 CJFL season was cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has gripped the world.
|Boston Davidsen, left, scores his third rushing TD on Sunday.|
“Carter (McLean) is our starter, but he (Davidsen) just kept coming and coming,” said Sargeant. “Carter got a little nicked up, and at the end of the day, hey, he (Davidsen) is starting to make his plays, and it is fun to watch.
“Everyone rallies around him. To have Boston and Carter in our backfield and Jordan Tabin who played a great game today as well, our three backs were absolutely exemplary today. A big credit to the O-line.
|Boston Davidsen piled up 221 yards rushing on Sunday.|
The presence of Davidsen and McLean gives the Hilltops a huge one-two punch at the running back position, while Tabin has taken on the role of short-yardage specialist. McLean had a solid outing too in Sunday’s win carrying the ball 14 times for 64 yards.
Davidsen said McLean, who is in his third full season with the Hilltops, has been a good mentor.
“The running back ahead of me, Carter McLean, he has been a really big influence on me,” said Davidsen. “He has been really helping me out teaching me and has been a big supporter of mine.
“A lot of credit goes to him.”
|Josh Wiebe had a big opening kickoff return on Sunday.|
The Hilltops offence proceeded to drive the ball after Wiebe’s return for an opening series touchdown drive that was capped by a four-yard scoring run by Davidsen to take a 7-0 lead. That score marked the first time the Hilltops offence scored a major on their opening possession of the game this season.
Saskatoon quickly got the ball back again thanks to an interception near midfield by outside linebacker Konner Johnson, who had seven total tackles in the contest.
“That was one of our big talking points in practices,” said Davidsen. “It was let’s have a good drive and let’s stay on the field, especially on that first drive and hit them hard.
|Konner Johnson came up with a big first quarter interception.|
The Hilltops drove down and got a 17-yard field goal from kicker Teijon Abel-Douglas on their ensuing possession to go up 10-0.
Before the first quarter ended, Davidsen ran in a touchdown up the gut from 10-yards out to increase Saskatoon’s advantage to 17-0.
In the second quarter, the Hilltops scored a safety to go up 19-0, when Huskies star quarterback Declan O’Flaherty was penalized for intentional grounding for throwing the ball away while in his own end zone.
Abel-Douglas added a single from a missed 37-yard field goal to put the Hilltops up 20-0 going into halftime.
|Two Hilltops defenders make a big hit on a Huskies receiver.|
“It was more of a feeling,” said Morrow, who had three solo tackles and a pass knock down in the win. “We came out with more energy.
“We were giving each other more high-fives. We were excited for each other making plays. That energy just really took us into the game, and we played a better game.”
The Huskies didn’t go away. On the first series in the second half, the Huskies put together a long offensive series that culminated on an 11-yard touchdown run from star running back Alex Gayle to cut Saskatoon’s lead to 20-7.
|Huskies receiver De Shawn Le Jour gets tackled after a catch.|
“Boston was amazing, but I also have to give a shout out to the O-line,” said Morrow. “They were awesome as well.
“He (Davidsen) was hitting the holes hard. Yards after contact, he can get a lot of those. He was special today.”
Before the third quarter ended, the Huskies got on the board again, when O’Flaherty hit star receiver De Shawn Le Jour with a 35-yard touchdown pass. Huskies kicker Ethan Hartman hit the crossbar on the ensuing convert to see the Hilltops lead sit at 27-13.
|Declan O'Flaherty (#4) had 306 yards passing for the Huskies.|
That was as close as the Huskies would come to making a comeback.
Hilltops quarterback Damon Dutton hit speedy receiver Ethan Godson with a 27-yard touchdown pass with 8:42 remaining in the fourth quarter to conclude the scoring in the 34-20 win by the host side.
“We’re a work in progress, but at the end of the day, this was by far our best game of the year,” said Sargeant. “You know what, the guys stuck together and played together.
|Ethan Paslowski, left, sets to make a block in pass protection.|
“At the end the day, the defence was great in the first half.”
Doubling as the Hilltops offensive coordinator, Sargeant gave his offence, which has been inconsistent this season, an extra plug.
“The Edmonton Huskies had the best offence in the league,” said Sargeant. “That was our challenge is whose got the best offence.
“I think we proved today putting 34 points on it right now that the Saskatoon Hilltops offence is pretty good. We’re only going to get better.”
|Carter McLean carried the ball 14 times for 64 yards on Sunday.|
O’Flaherty connected on 26-of-40 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns, while throwing one interception for the Huskies. Gayle carried the ball 22 times for 119 yards to go with his major score, while Le Jour caught seven passes for 114 yards to go with his catch for a major score for the visitors.
Defensive lineman Josh Lenz had a sack for the Huskies.
The entire PFC now heads off on a bye week.
The Hilltops return to action on Sunday, October 17 at 1 p.m. when they host the Edmonton Wildcats (2-4) at SMF Field.
|Matthew Turple, left, and Luciano Jolly are all smiles after Sunday’s win.|
“We’re getting ready for the playoffs here,” said Davidsen. “We have two more games.
“We have to try and ramp up the intensity, so that when we go into the playoffs, we are ready to go, and it is our best game when we are heading into Week 1 of the playoffs.”
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