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High school football: Davis Darts 2020 preview – Deseret News

Note: Davis finished with a 4-6 overall record in 2019 and was fifth in Region 1 with a 4-3 record. It was RPI seed No. 16 in the 6A playoffs, and was eliminated by Westlake 35-14 in first round.


KAYSVILLE — How much can experience help change the fortunes of a team from one year to the next?

That’s a question that will be before the Davis Darts in 2020 after a pretty good roller-coaster ride of a season in 2019. A young Darts squad lost its first two games by a combined seven points before winning its next four, but then lost its last four, all by at least three touchdowns.

“We finished about where I thought we would,” head coach Mitch Arquette said. “Fairly young last year. I thought we’d be in a couple tighter ballgames. Toward the end, we just kind of ran out of gas.”

Arquette’s hope this year is that the returning starters — five on offense and seven on defense — will lead the way to better fortunes.

“We have quite a few returning starters, this will be our second year in our defensive scheme, more upperclassmen, more seniors, so I think we’ll be quite a bit more experienced,” he said.

That said, he noted that sometimes experience can become a bad thing if players become too confident in what they’re doing, but he trusts that experience will be a positive for his group.

“Last year I think there were times where our youth, we played timid, played a little intimidated,” Arquette said. “I didn’t quite know how to find it within us to win some games, and hopefully with past experience now, the boys understand the difference and what it takes to come out on top.”


Davis Darts at a glance

Coach Arquette’s thoughts on how his players dealt with the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“It’s just extended the workday making certain that we’re doing everything with screening and sanitization and constantly reminding the boys to physically distance. If they want to have a season, they’ve got to make smart choices about who they spend around with on the weekends and one another. This is a sacrifice if this is what you want to do.”

Davis offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Clay Bayard

2019 offense: 21.0 (19th in 6A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • Five returning starters
  • Multiple formations
Returning offensive starters
  • Chance Trujillo (QB)
  • Davis Richardson (OL)
  • Lucas Baird (OL)
  • David Spjut (WR)
  • Spencer Ferguson (RB)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Ethan Healey (TE)
  • Owen Murdock (WR)
  • Jake Maw (WR)
Coach Arquette’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“We’ve got to protect our quarterback. We’ve got to be able to look to numbers and identify the matchups that we like.”


Davis defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Colby Bockwoldt

2019 defense: 22.0 ppg (13th in 6A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • Seven returning starters
  • 4-2-5 defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Charlie Gardiner (DL)
  • Kache Allen (DL)
  • Bryant Wells (DL)
  • Ephraim Fiso (LB)
  • Taeten Stilson (LB)
  • Spencer Ferguson (DB)
  • McKay Renstrom (DB)
Coach Arquette’s keys for defensive success in 2020:

“We’ve got to be sure tacklers. Got to understand assignments and get off the field. Can’t have long drives. Got to be able to keep the opposing offenses contained.”

Deseret News outlook for 2020

Based on returning experience, it stands to reason Davis will be better this year than it was last year. How much improvement can be made though? While it doesn’t seem like the Darts will quite be ready to contend for the region crown, Region 1 does appear to be pretty open. Can Davis at least make things interesting at the top? That would certainly be a successful season.


Felt’s Facts for Davis High School

  • All-time record: 594-379-29 (104 years)

  • Region championships: 31 (1929, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1949, 1960, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1969 co, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979 co, 1980, 1981 co, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988 co, 1989 co, 1990 co, 1991 co, 1994 co, 2004, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016 co)

  • Playoff appearances: 51
  • All-time playoff record: 61-44
  • State championships: 7 (1937, 1943, 1949, 1965, 1974, 1976, 2004)

  • State championship record: 6-10

  • Most played rivalry: 53 meetings with Clearfield dating back to 1961. Davis leads 29-23-1.

Last 5 Seasons

  • 2019 — 4-6 (4-3 in Region 1 – 6A First round)
  • 2018 — 7-4 (4-2 in Region 1 – 6A Quarterfinals)
  • 2017 — 1-8 (1-5 in Region 1 – Missed playoffs)
  • 2016 — 7-4 (4-2 in Region 2 – 5A First round)
  • 2015 — 9-1 (6-0 in Region 2 – 5A First round)

Davis coaching history

  • 2017-current — Mitch Arquette (12-18)
  • 2014-2016 — Tyler Gladwell (23-6)
  • 2001-2013 — Ryan Bishop (80-53-1) *1 state title
  • 1984-2000 — Jim Dickson (108-77)

  • 1979-83 — Ward Sawley (43-12)

  • 1969-78 — Jay Cullimore (74-36-1) *2 state titles
  • 1959-68 — Gerald Purdy (67-33-4) *1 state title
  • 1947-58 — Lee Liston (64-36-6) *1 state title
  • 1941-46 — Howard “Tuff” Linford (34-17-7) *1 state title
  • 1937-40 — “Deb” Young (21-10-2) *1 state title
  • 1934-36 — Floyd Millet (12-6)

  • 1931-33 — Ray Forsburg (11-8-1)

  • 1926-30 — Jack Croft (18-15-2)

  • 1923-25 — James Anderson (2-19)

  • 1921-22 — Floyd Anderson (5-8-1)

  • 1920 — Wilf Romney (6-2)

  • 1919 — Homer Warner (1-6)

  • 1915-1917 — Lorin Briggs (6-10)


Davis All-State at-a-glance

Deseret News First Team All-Staters the past 10 years

2019 — Kyle Roberts, CB

2016 — Jake Hadley, OLB

2015 — Connor Taylor, LB

2014 — Ty Hinds, DB

2012 — Chance Parker, DB


2012 — Jackson Peacock, LB


2011 — Troy Hinds, DL