High School Football

Elijah Diaz throws for 4 TDs, runs for another to lift Davis to best start since 2014

Watch highlights of Davis’ 43-8 win over El Captian

Behind five touchdowns from senior quarterback Elijah Diaz, Davis High School beat El Capitan High School, 43-8 on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 at Modesto Junior College.
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Behind five touchdowns from senior quarterback Elijah Diaz, Davis High School beat El Capitan High School, 43-8 on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 at Modesto Junior College.

When he was told he was the starting quarterback this summer, Davis High senior Elijah Diaz said he didn’t feel it was the right fit.

“I didn’t have a strong enough arm,” Diaz said.

The 5-foot, 9-inch Diaz had a tall task, replacing record-setter Xavier Rodriguez, now a freshman at Arizona Christian.

Diaz worked with head coach Tim Garcia in the offseason to build his strength and accuracy.

On Friday, Diaz said he was confident Garcia made the right decision after accounting for five touchdowns in the Spartans’ 43-8 win over El Capitan at Modesto Junior College.

With the win, the Spartans are 3-0 for the first time since 2014, Garcia’s first year at Davis.

“He is a manager of the game and is a dual-threat,” Garcia said. “He stretches the defense.”

Diaz completed 15 of 20 passes for 223 yards and four touchdowns and added 12 carries for 42 yards and a score. Three of his last four completions were for touchdowns.

“We came out and executed,” Diaz said.

The first-half was a struggle for Davis as it dropped wide-open passes, had a fumble near the red zone, and had a couple of key penalties. El Capitan led 8-7 after the first quarter but Davis scored two touchdowns in the second quarter and led 19-8 at half.

Garcia said he told the team at halftime to calm down.

“It’s a 0-0 game,” Garcia told the team. “We get the ball first and let’s go down and score and control the game.”

Diaz connected with senior wide receiver Se’Veon Hampton for a 12-yard touchdown on the opening possession of the third quarter. Senior wide receiver Gregory Smith had four receptions for 98 yards and a TD.

“Our offense feeds off of momentum,” Garcia said

Dating back to last year, Davis has won seven in a row and has a bye next week before opening Western Athletic Conference play against Mountain House at Gregori on Sept. 20.

“Don’t be satisfied and get complacent,” Garcia told his team after the game.

Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.
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