Randercous Davis had 122 of his game-high 155 rushing yards – including 47 on the game-winning drive – to lead Mays to a 14-10 win over Clarke Central in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.
It was the sophomore’s first game at running back, having shifted from running back to receiver and now back again, and he got off to a slow start with 38 yards on 9 first-half carries.
But he exploded in the third and fourth quarters and, when the game was on the line in the final 8 minutes, handing it to Davis was the way to go.
“We felt like, in the first half, we could run the football,” Mays coach Corey Jarvis said. “And I think we kind of got away from it too much. In the second half … we finally let our offensive line come off the football. We moved (Davis) to running back because we needed somebody explosive, and he did a heck of a job.”
On that winning drive, he ran on five of the seven plays, including the 1-yard scoring run that capped a 55-yard drive and gave Mays (8-3) its first lead of the game with 5:34 remaining.
But, despite having failed to put together a sustained drive all game up to that point, Clarke Central (7-4) wasn’t done.
That was largely thanks to quarterback Cameron Johnson, who amassed 68 of his team-high 96 rushing yards on the ensuing drive, knifing through the Mays defense for gains of 10, 22 and 29 yards on the way to the Raider 10-yard line.
On third and 3 from the 5, he ran play action and looked right, where Qua-Von Scott was standing wide open in the end zone. He lofted the ball softly into Scott’s arms for what looked like the winning score.
But the Gladiators were flagged for illegal man downfield, negating the touchdown. Two plays later, a Johnson pass fell harmlessly out the back of the end zone, and Region 6 No. 2 seed Mays escaped Clarke Central’s upset bid.
Davis got his 155 rushing yards on 24 carries, for a 6.45-yard average. Johnson had 92 of his rushing yards in the second half, and he also had 49 yards through the air.
Mays will play next week at Region 7 No. 1 seed Kell, who defeated Allatoona 31-17 in the first round.
Clarke C. 7 0 3 0 – 10
Mays 7 0 0 7 – 14
C – Austin Johnson 16 pass from Cameron Johnson (Matthew Ward kick)
M – Natrez Patrick 76 field goal block return (Jordan Goodlett kick)
C – Ward 48 FG
M – Randercous Davis 1 run (Goodlett kick)