Darreion Davis bided his time behind a talented running corps, and now the senior for the Grandview Heights football team is making up for the carries he missed in the past.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Davis has rumbled through the line and carried defenders downfield to accumulate 530 yards and five touchdowns on 102 rushes.
Davis said he's emulating the style of 2019 graduate Hudson Jump, who is now with the Ohio State wrestling program.
"I would always watch Hudson and how he would finish every play trying to get as many more yards as he could on every single play," Davis said. "I took that to heart, and I try to do that this year."
In a 31-10 win over Bexley on Sept. 20 in the MSL-Ohio Division opener, Davis rushed for 80 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. He also had 117 yards on three punt returns, including a 75-yard touchdown.
On Sept. 27 in a 60-13 league loss at Whitehall, Davis rushed for 118 yards on 26 carries. He also returned three kickoffs for 58 yards.
"Darreion has been a three-year starter for us on defense," said coach Jason Peters, whose team is 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the MSL-Ohio. "Even though this is his first year to be featured on offense for us, he's had some good players in from of him like (Jump) and Harrison Morosky. For a lot of my years here, he would have been our No. 1 back.
"He's big, but when he puts his foot in the ground, he can be full speed in a hurry. It's been fun to watch him get better and mature."
Peters said part of the fun of watching Davis has been his relentless, all-out effort.
"Darreion brings a lot of energy and a lot of intensity," Peters said. "Sometimes he'll make a little mistake, but the one thing you can never question is how hard he plays the game. He plays the game about as hard as anyone I have had the privilege of coaching. Sometimes that gets you in trouble and sometimes it makes for a beautiful play.
"That's just Darreion. He's going to go 1,000 mph and when he does things the right way, it's beautiful. He just plays so daggone hard, and that's why he has been a great player for us for a long time."
Davis had 79 tackles, one sack and one interception last season. He said playing on the defensive side of the ball has made him a better running back.
"When you're running the ball, depending on the flow, you know where the linebackers are normally going to go," he said. "I use my eyes to see where they are flowing.
"I like playing running back better (than linebacker). I would rather have the ball in my hands than in anyone else's."
Peters agreed that Davis' abilities in the backfield are tied to his skills as a linebacker.
"I think it gives him a better idea of what they want to do (defensively) and how to set people up when he's running the ball," Peters said. "Things make more sense to him.
"Darreion's earned being our feature back. We have Trey (Cook) back there as a change of pace and he's benefiting from (the success of wide receiver) Luke (Lachey). Sometimes (the defense will) have two and a half or three guys trying to take Luke away, and that definitely helps."
The Bobcats renew their rivalry with host Harvest Prep on Friday, Oct. 4. The teams last played in 2011, with Grandview winning 40-21. As members of the MSL-Cardinal from 2003-11, the Bobcats held a 5-4 edge.
The Warriors were 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the MSL-Ohio after defeating Columbus Academy 45-24 on Sept. 27. Langston Perry rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries, and Javon Eggert ran for 116 yards and two scores on 15 attempts.
Perry transferred from Pickerington Central and must sit out the last five games of the regular season and any possible playoff games because of OHSAA rules.
Davis also plays basketball and competes in track and field for Grandview. He would like to play football at the next level, but his immediate goal is helping to lead the Bobcats to the postseason for the second consecutive year.
"It feels amazing (to finally start at running back)," he said. "It's great to see the effort that I put in during the offseason has helped me. Hopefully, we'll be able to keep going and reach the playoffs."
Amicon wins London race
Derek Amicon of the boys cross country team finished first (16 minutes, 40.2 seconds) in the Erin L. Nance Fall Distance Classic on Sept. 28 at London Country Club.
The Bobcats placed 12th (313 points) of 21 teams behind champion Olentangy (55).
Chris Miller was fifth (17:27.0), with P.J. Tingler (103rd, 21:31.0), Nathan Reese (110th, 22:00.5) and Alasdair Schlesinger (116th, 22:22.1) also scoring.
Liza DeVere (fifth, 21:12.6) and Greta Tew (ninth, 21:36.0) led the girls team, which was seventh (156) of 14 teams behind champion Gahanna (34).
Amelia Sturbois (46th, 23:32.1), Nina Brown (47th, 23:32.1) and Emmalyn Kukura (55th, 23:50.9) also scored.
Tennis team prepares for sectional tourney
The girls tennis team will compete in a Division II sectional Thursday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 5, at Academy.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 10 at Academy and Oct. 12 at Reynoldsburg.
Seniors Taylor Fultz, Liz McDermott and Kayla Ward will play singles. The doubles teams will feature senior Marissa Tosi and junior Dylan Dobbs-Euans and senior Ava Rehbeck and junior Kate Kukura.
The Bobcats were 6-7 overall before playing Canal Winchester on Sept. 30. They finished 1-6 in the MSL-Ohio behind champion Academy (7-0).
Below are the coming schedules for the Grandview Heights cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 5 -- Mount Gilead Thill Invitational
Oct. 2 -- Competed in Division III district tournament at Darby Creek. The top team and top individual not on that team advanced to state Oct. 11 and 12 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Oct. 5 -- Home vs. Troy Christian
Oct. 7 -- Home vs. Central Crossing
Oct. 5 -- Home vs. New Concord John Glenn
*Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian
*Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Bexley. The Bobcats lost to the Lions 25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 25-15 on Sept. 10.