Hawks’ Davis sets friendships with former teammates aside to lead Hawks to victory
QUINCY — As the Quincy University football team prepared for its final non-conference game, Drake Davis needed to shift his way of thinking.
Friends were now foes.
Northern Michigan visited QU Stadium on Saturday, which meant Davis, the Hawks’ first-year starting quarterback, was going up against his former teammates. Davis transferred to Quincy after deciding to leave Northern Michigan following a coaching change at the end of last season.
“It’s almost like one of those big-time rivalry games,” Davis said. “You’re going against your old school. There’s friendly banter throughout the week amongst friends. When the time comes, you have to be able to split up friendship and the fact it’s actually a game.”
Davis had no trouble straddling that line.
The Princeton, Ill., product threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Hawks to a 45-27 victory and a 3-1 record heading into Great Lakes Valley Conference play. Afterward, he was able to enjoy handshakes and hugs with foes who will always be friends.
“I love all them guys,” Davis said. “I spent four years with most of them. It just so happened the coaching staff got fired, a new staff came in and it just wasn’t for me. Some of those guys wanted to stay there and live it out. At the time, it was not for me. I love all them guys. Those guys deserve everything.”
The Wildcats made it interesting by starting the second half on a 15-play, six-minute drive that resulted in a field goal and trimmed the Hawks’ lead to 14-13. Davis and the offense responded the right way.
An eight-play, 73-yard drive ended with Davis scoring on a 4-yard run. JQ Brown scored on a 5-yard run on Quincy’s next drive, and Davis threw back-to-back touchdown passes to Marlin Washington for 69 yards and Travis Isaac for 8 yards in the fourth quarter to make it 45-20.
“He just needed to come out and operate the offense,” QU coach Gary Bass said. “That’s what he did.”
It didn’t matter who it was against.
“I told him before we came out there today, ‘Hey, man, don’t put too much pressure on yourself,’” Bass said. “We told him not to go out there and think he needed to do something other than what we coached him to do. He did exactly what he was supposed to do.”
Davis completed 25 of 40 passes and ran the ball 11 times for 53 yards, helping the Hawks churn out 480 total yards and 25 first downs.
“I think we played physical, we played fast, we played to our full advantage,” Davis said. “Our defense was very physical. Our offense executed well. Obviously, there are things we can fix. Nobody ever plays perfect. But I like the way we never quit.”
Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?
Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.