Royals spooked by Davis, Bulldogs

On a night known for scary things, San Marcos High found itself living a Halloween nightmare Friday at Valley Stadium.

Bulldog running back Mike Davis busted loose for 242 yards and three touchdowns, scoring on runs of 58, 40, and 4 yards during a 35-10 Channel League win over the Royals. Davis narrowly missed a fourth score only after the ball was pried loose on the goal line at the end of a 39-yard run.

“Mike Davis was really good tonight,” said Buena coach Cliff Farrar, whose team improved to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in league. “That last run was unbelievable ”

Actually, Davis’ goal-line fumble in the fourth quarter, which resulted in a touchback, was one of the few times a momentum swing went the Royals’ way, and that was only after Davis had broke several tackles and appeared to be carrying a defender or two into the end zone.

San Marcos, 3-5 and 1-2, turned the ball over five times and failed to capitalize on a successful onsides kick conversion. Playing a week after an overtime win over Dos Pueblos and a week before the Big Game with Santa Barbara, the Royals were never really in the game after Davis busted his 40-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to put Buena ahead 14-3. It was 21-3 at halftime and 28-3 entering the final period.

“We’re not as bad as we think we are and we’re not as good as we think we are,” said Royals’ assistant coach Dennis Kittle. “We had some good moments and we had some bad moments.”

Cody Clark kept the engine running for the Royals offense, running relentlessly but gaining only 79 yards on 24 carries. Junior quarterback James Crook completed 10 of 27 passes for 98 yards, but also had three passes picked off. Garret Polizzi got one of them back for the Royals when he intercepted a pass by Buena’s Rex Winslow in the fourth quarter to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Clark. But it was too little, too late for San Marcos on this night.

The punctuation mark came a few minutes later when Matt Arve ended a long San Marcos drive with an interception at the Buena 5 and returned the ball unmolested for a 95-yard touchdown. Two of Buena’s other scores were set up by interceptions by Jarrod Burton.

“Our defense played nails,” said Farrar. “They’ve been playing well but tonight they were just nails”

Davis opened the scoring with a 58-yard sprint around right end on the Bulldogs’ first possession. Alvaro Garcia hit a 26-yard kick for the Royals to make it 7-3 but even that seemed a bit of a disappointment after a 15-play, 60-yard drive.

“That was a big momentum swing for us, making them kick the field goal,” said Farrar.     Tight end Tyler Perry made sure the momentum continued to swing Buena’s way when he dropped back to punt from his own 25 and instead ran around right end for a 35-yard gain. Davis ran 40 yards for a score on the next play.

Farrar looked like a daring genius for calling the fake punt but he revealed after the game that the call was Perry’s, not his.

“Tyler got a bit of a high snap, saw something and called that on his own,” said Farrar.

It was one of several moments in the game when San Marcos had a chance to seize the momentum but did not. For instance, following the field goal, the Royals recovered on an onsides kick, but could not pick up a first down. They tried a fake punt at the end of the series but Buena was not fooled and intercepted a pass intended for Max Cavalier.

Cavalier, the hero of last week’s overtime win over Dos Pueblos, went without a catch in the game and that was by design, said Farrar.

“We worked all week on taking him out of the game,” said Farrar. “He’s an athlete. On that fake punt play he was the target but we were all over him.”

Nate Rosales scored the Bulldogs’ other touchdown on a 9-yard run, giving Buena a 21-3 lead at halftime.


Buena         7  14  7  7 — 35

San Marcos  3   0   0 7 — 10

First quarter

B — Davis 58 run (Domanick kick) 9:13.

SM — FG Garcia 26, 2:00.

Second quarter

B — Davis 40 run (Domanick kick) 11:05.

B — Rosales 9 run (Domanick kick) 6:30.

Third quarter

B — Davis 4 run (Domanick kick) 8:59.

Fourth quarter

SM — Clark 3 run (Leon kick) 10:10.

B — Arve 95 interception return (Domanick kick) 6:27.

TEAM TOTALS               B         SM

First downs                  14        16

Rushes-yards          40-324    33-125

Passing yards              49         98

Comp-Att-Int         5-11-1    10-28-4

Sacks-yards lost       0-00       0-0

Punts-avg.                1-43      3-43.7

Fumbles-lost             2-2        1-1

Penalties-yards         7-45      5-35


RUSHING — Buena: Davis 26-242, Rosales 9-38, Perry 1-35, Beeson 3-9, Winslow 1-0. San Marcos: Clark 24-79, Kuykendall 3-6, Miller 5-40, Keefer 2-minus-2.

PASSING — Buena: Munoz 4-6-0-44; Winslow 1-4-1-5; Davis 0-1-0-0. San Marcos: Crook 10-27-3-98; Lopez 0-1-1-0.

RECEIVING — Buena: Stratton 2-23, Perry 2-17, Rosales 1-9. San Marcos: Nichols 6-59, Day 3-20, Kirkwood 1-18..

MISSED FIELD GOALS — Buena: Domanick 39 (WL).

Records: Buena 4-4, 1-2. San Marcos 3-5, 1-2.