TIFTON, Ga. — Stephenson high school running back Mike Davis rushed for 221 yards and four touchdowns on only 17 carries to lead the Jaguars to a 35-21 victory over the previously undefeated Tift County Blue Devils.
Davis, who is verbally committed to the University of Florida, had a career night in front of Gators’ running backs coach Brian White, who was on hand to watch his future back.
Davis split carries during the first three quarters of the game with Florida Atlantic running back commit TJ Moon. Moon and South Carolina defensive tackle commit Carlos Hood were ejected for leaving the bench during an altercation in the third quarter.
Davis, who rushed for 40 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries in the first half, decided to put the team on his back. Davis accounted for 181 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the second half, including an electrifying 53-yard touchdown run to seal the victory in the fourth quarter.
On the play, Davis ran off tackle to the left, turned back and tried to run back to the right where he was met by several Blue Devil defenders. Somehow Davis wiggled his way out back to the left where he scampered 53 yards for the score.
After watching the long touchdown run by Davis, Stephenson head coach Ron Gartrell said he came up with a nickname for Davis.
“I just gave him a new nickname, ‘Houdini,’” Gartrell said. “He disappeared several times tonight then all the sudden he would re-appear.”
Gartell said he doesn’t want to wear his star running back out, but said Davis carried the load for his team on Friday night after Moon was ejected.
“He had a good game,” Gartell said. “Mike can carry the load for us. We don’t like to get him that many carries — especially this early in the year. This was one of those games if he had to carry it on every down, he would have.”
“He’s a great leader for us, he works hard, never complains about anything,” Gartell continued. “Last week he had 11 carries for four yards, and didn’t say a word. A great back like Mike, and he didn’t complain, he didn’t say anything. He came out this week and worked hard, I know he wanted to come out and make a statement tonight and he did.”
Davis credits his success with the play of his teammates.
“I feel I did very well,” Davis said. “I don’t take all the credit to me, I give it to my offensive lineman. It doesn’t matter if I get all the load. I just want to compete with the other players. I just give all the credit to my team. They wanted to carry me, so I had to carry them.”
As for recruiting, Davis said he is planning to get to the Florida-Tennessee game with his family for a visit. Davis also said he is not hearing from any other colleges at this point.
“I’m only hearing from Florida,” Davis said. “I’m strong, I’m 100-percent committed to Florida.”
Davis said he had a chance to watch the Florida-FAU game last Saturday and came away impressed with Florida running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey.
“I thought it was a very offensive game,” Davis said. “Jeff Demps and Rainey those are two special running backs. With Demps having No. 28 on (Davis also wears No. 28), that’s nice. I think the offense is going to shock everyone in the SEC.”
Stephenson now moves to 3-0 heading in to their bye week.
Gator Country Recruiting Coordinator Derek Tyson can be reached at Derek@GatorCountry.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at DerekTysonGC.