East County Sports

Davis defines career in three-pick game

JALEN DAVIS celebrates a touchdown Friday night against BYU.



By Ramon Scott



LOGAN, Utah – Former Helix Highlander JALEN DAVIS often knows what his opponent is likely to do before they do it.

The Utah State senior quarterback is not some clairvoyant cornerback, but his vigorous video study often puts him in the right place at the right time.

That was certainly the case last Friday night against visiting BYU.

After the Cougars got out to a 21-7 lead, Davis and the Aggies’ defense took over in the rivalry matchup.

Davis had three interceptions, including two for touchdowns, along with five tackles as USU reclaimed the Old Wagon Wheel from the Cougars.

The first of Davis’ interceptions was the turning point of the game. The Aggie star was in place to grab a ricochet off of his own man, and return it for his first pick-six of the game.

After the Cougars surrendered 20 straight points to USU, Davis recorded his second INT, a relatively easy one for him, returning a pass from young QB Koy Detmer for modest yardage.

His third takeaway, however, came at a point in the game where the outcome very much hung in the balance.

The play is being talked about as one that will forever be rewatched and rehashed in Aggie lore.

Davis was reading Detmer’s eyes the entire play, and his errant pass was late by several yards and went straight into the hands of Davis.

The play set the crowd into a frenzied that hasn’t been seen in Maverik Stadium since the Aggies’ upset of Boise State in 2015.

Davis won numerous national player-of-the-week awards for his career game, as well as Mountain West Conference and regional honors, as well.

It was a bit of sweet personal redemption as well for the La Mesa native.

While Davis has had a stellar career in Logan despite receiving just three Division I offers out of high school.

He had used that motivation to become the first true freshman to start at corner in his first game at USU.

Then he upped the ante this season, as he proclaimed his desire to make the first team all-MWC or even an All-American.

Just a few weeks ago, Davis got unwarranted national attention with an early ejection from a game on a spontaneous targeting call.

It was Davis’ second multi-interception game of the season, as the senior recorded two interceptions against Idaho State in early September, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

For his career, Davis has registered 11 interceptions and four touchdowns.

Jahad wins P-12 defensive award

Recently-named starting linebacker JAHAD WOODS, also out of Helix, had 9 tackles, 1 sack and a forced fumble in Washington State’s 30-27 win over USC Friday night.

Woods made the game-clinching defensive play on Trojans’ star quarterback Sam Darnold to seal the win, and with it came Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Darnold lined up in the shotgun at the USC 25-yard line with three receivers to his right. WSU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch dialed up a middle linebacker blitz that sent Woods between the center and a true freshman right guard who was in the game as a result of three injuries.

Washington State LB JAHAD WOODS sacks Southern Cal QB Sam Darnold Friday night.

Woods, all 6-foot, 200 pounds of him, came through untouched and in about two seconds was on Darnold’s back. The ball popped free and WSU dove on it. Two kneel-downs later, the Cougars celebrated one of the biggest wins in program history.

“Open hole,” Woods said. “Early in the first quarter, I actually got the same play and I missed and he scrambled for a first down. It was huge. So I made sure I made up for it.

“[Darnold] is more elusive than you think. I didn’t know he was that elusive until we actually got on the field. You watch film and you see him moving, but it’s a different story when you’re on the field.”

Woods’ physical attributes can also be deceiving until you see them up close, according to WSU coach Mike Leach.

“He’s always drilled people in a fashion that surprises you,” Leach said. “Because he sort of looks kind of like everybody else, linebacker type of guy. Some people can just generate a great deal of power, and he’s one of them. He’s done a good job stepping in and playing early doing a good job. It really hasn’t fazed him much. He’s real steady for a young guy, I think.”

Johnson’ one-handed TD

Former Steele Canyon receiving star JORDAN JOHNSON made one-handed touchdown catch for Hastings College in their 38-18 win over Concordia.

Johnson had two receptions for 51 yards, including this Top 10 highlight-reel grab.



Grossmont High great ANTHONY LAWRENCE led USD to a big road win over Dayton with 291 yards and two touchdowns. He went 19-of-30 in the passing department.

Azusa Pacific teammates WILLIE FAIR (Steele Canyon) and JABRION BURNSIDE (Helix) combined for six tackles in a 48-17 win over Western Oregon.

Another former Cougar, LAWRENCE DICKENS had another nice afternoon in the receiving department for Marist College, hauling in six passes for 58 yards in a 31-9 win over Davidson.

Former Valhalla Norseman JOHN TODD had an 86-yard touchdown reception in a 56-13 win over Chadron State. Todd was able to make it into the end zone despite grabbing his hamstring with five yards to go to make it 35-13. He also had a 37-yard reception.

Olivet Nazarene teammates ANTHONY PORTILLO (Valhalla) and SEBASTIAN SWIFT (Christian) combined for 11 tackles in a 44-41 win over Trinity International.

Former Mount Miguel defensive star MIKE JONES, having a stellar year at Dixie State, had three tackles in a 15-12 win over Western State, while teammate ALEX LILLARD, out of Grossmont High, had six tackles for the Trailblazers.

Former West Hills workhorse NOAH YLAGAN racked up another 90 total yards in Briar Cliff University’s 39-10 loss to Doane College.

Former Helix Highlander LEEPO NAPOLEAN, of Oregon State, had two tackles in a 42-7 loss to Washington.

Former Valhalla defensive star DESHAWN TONE, of Southwest Baptist, had six tackles, including one for loss in a 28-7 loss to McKendree University.

Former El Cajon Valley Brave receiver WIRNELL MOON had two receptions for 68 yards, inlcuding a touchdown in a 30-24 loss to CSU-Pueblo.

Missouri Southern wide receiver KENE ANIGBOGU, out of Helix, had a 33-yard catch in a 16-6 loss to Nebraska-Kearney.

Former El Capitan great ISAIAH CAPOOCIA returned a kickoff 13 yards for Sacramento State in a 52-31 loss to Eastern Washington.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *