Davis High football coach Tim Garcia is trying to get his players to believe that the Spartans can be a team to contend with this season.
A 3-0 start is a pretty good selling point.
Zach Magana passed 333 yards and four touchdowns to lead Davis to a 27-26 victory over Los Banos on Friday night.
Davis led for most of the game, but Los Banos took a 26-21 lead with 6 minutes, 27 seconds left in the game on Daniel Fernandez’s 1-yard touchdown run.
The Spartans responded right away.
On the first play of the drive, Magana hit Tailolo Limu-Jones on a 71-yard touchdown pass. Limu-Jones made the most of single coverage and took Magana’s perfect pass in stride at about the 20 and cruised into the end zone.
“This is outstanding,” said Garcia, who got a water bath from some of his players after the win. “The kids have been working hard since January. We’re trying to bring the tradition back to Davis.”
It’s Davis’ first 3-0 start in more than a decade.
“I’m trying to get them to believe in themselves,” said Garcia, a former star quarterback for the Spartans. “We’re trying to build on the tradition and help the kids understand what it means.”
Garcia seems to be the perfect fit to improve quarterback play and Magana appears to be a proper pupil.
The Spartans had trouble running the ball all night, but Los Banos couldn’t stop Magana and a bevy of talented receivers. Magana finished 19 of 33 and was intercepted once.
Davis’ Tala Toilolo caught 10 passes for 117 yards and two first-half touchdowns, and Limu-Jones caught five balls for 164 yards and the game-winning TD.
The game was tied at 14 at halftime. Davis dominated the third period despite not scoring. The Los Banos offense ran just three plays in the quarter.
The Spartans took a 21-14 lead on Magana’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Johnnie Montez early in the fourth quarter.
Los Banos’ David Walker, however, took the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to cut it to 21-20.
Davis got the ball back and had it at midfield when Magana fumbled after being sacked.
Los Banos (1-2) took over at the 43 yard line and ended the drive on Fernandez’s touchdown.
Tigers quarterback Adam Herrera was difficult for the Davis defense to contain. He rushed for 142 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown on his second carry.
“We just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” Los Banos coach David Caropreso said. “We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities, and it’s a learning experience.”
“Our kids played about as perfect a first half as possible,” said coach Jeremy Plaa, whose team led 35-0 at halftime. “We got up on them, and they never got the momentum.”
Wilson completed 17 of 26 passes for 220 yards and had five carries for 25 yards as the Knights improved to 2-1 ahead of their game next week against El Capitan.
Wilson had a 2-yard run to open the scoring, then hit Jeffry Jones and Isaiah Larry on touchdown passes of 25 and 17 yards, respectively.
He had a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and closed out the first half scoring with a 10-yard TD pass to Sean Bingham.
Bingham and Malcome Green each had four receptions.
“P.J. was really patient and consistent with the game plan,” Plaa said. “He plays his best when he’s not trying to do too much.”
Green led the team in rushing with 34 yards.