CENTRAL POINT — Trever Davis may be a man of few words, but his actions are increasingly saying a lot toward the Crater football team’s success these days.
In what has been a slowly building season for the Comets, full of injuries and revamped lineups, the junior quarterback has his team hitting on all cylinders at just the right time as Crater prepares for Friday’s clash at top-seeded Wilsonville in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state playoffs.
“It’s getting late in the season and things are starting to execute well,” says Davis, “and we’re starting to come together as a team really well.”
Crater (7-3) has won six of its last season games, playing at its highest level by averaging nearly 42 points and 367 yards per game entering a return match with Wilsonville (10-0), which stunned the Comets 53-20 in the season opener.
“Wilsonville’s loaded,” says Crater head coach Randy Waite. “We knew that going in the first time, and they’re still loaded. They’ve boat-raced everybody so we don’t know exactly what to expect, except that I know our guys are going to go up there and compete like crazy and we’ll see what happens.”
The Wildcats boast the most dominant quarterback at the 5A level in senior Nathan Overholt, who has completed 72 percent of his passes for 2,827 yards, 48 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Davis, however, is unfazed by all the hoopla that may surround Wilsonville. All that matters for the matter-of-fact junior is appreciating the opportunity the Comets have in front of them, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.
“We played Wilsonville right off the bat and I think that wasn’t us,” he says. “We should play different this week.”
That goes for Davis, himself.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder passed for a season-low 72 yards after going 7-for-16 with one interception the first time around against the Wildcats. Still splitting time with senior Ethan Scott at QB back then, Davis wasn’t as comfortable in guiding the Comets as he is these days.
After that reality check, Davis has dialed it up a notch from behind center and enters the quarterfinals having completed 108 of 221 passes for 1,674 yards, 17 TDs and eight interceptions. He’s also run 98 times for 533 yards and four scores.
“I think his maturity is the big thing,” says Waite of Davis’ in-season growth. “He’s understanding what we want from him and he’s understanding the leadership role in another year as a team captain, and he’s being a little bit more vocal this year.”
While “vocal” is all about perspective when it comes to someone like Davis who mostly plays it close to the vest, his play as of late has screamed success to anyone will to listen. Last week in a 47-41 playoff win over Lebanon, Davis passed for five touchdowns — four to Trevor Jaasko — and 209 yards.
“He’s definitely playing at a high level and that’s where we needed him to play,” says Waite. “We knew he could play that way, but it’s just a process because he’s still a young quarterback.”
“He’s throwing footballs that he wouldn’t have thrown at the start of the year or even last year,” adds the coach. “He’s trusting his receivers to be in the spot and he knows which spot to throw it to, and that’s been the biggest change as the year has progressed. He’s now making those throws and not being reckless with them.”
Davis first began to see playing time at quarterback during his freshman year, then spent the better part of the last year and a half sharing time at the position with Scott. All those experiences, as well as his new-found hold on the position, have factored in to his development, according to Davis.
“It’s for sure helped me,” he says of his third year on varsity. “As a freshman coming in, guys were huge and I was intimidated and didn’t know what to think. But now it’s just go do your thing and play football.”
Davis particularly credits his offensive line of Dawson Davis, Hunter Van Sickle, Crayton Gillispie, Jared Odell, Gerritt Warner and Jacob Memmott for helping make him more comfortable in the pocket.
“That’s a pretty solid group of kids,” says Davis. “They’ve all played since last year so they’re pretty solid, and that helps me a lot because I can sit in the pocket and trust them to block.”
Crater also boasts a host of running backs — led by 400-plus gainers Gavin Acrey and Tony Flores — and receivers Jaasko, Scott and Dylan Kinney who help make Davis as successful as he can be.
While it could be anyone’s breakout game on the balanced Comets, who average 181 yards rushing and 187 yards passing per game, it was Jaasko’s turn a week ago with his four TDs and 103 yards receiving.
“Jaasko on the outside has been really good for us the last few games,” says Davis. “He’s gone up and caught some balls that some people could never catch.”
To extend the season one more week, as has been the goal in each of the past few weeks for the Comets, Crater will need more special efforts like that in order to get past Wilsonville — and expect Davis at the forefront.
“He’s a very quiet kid and very humble,” adds Waite. “He works hard — I don’t think anybody outworks him — and he’s just the ultimate teammate. He’ll do whatever it takes and whatever you need.”
Overholt passed for 423 yards and six scores two weeks ago against Pendleton and has a wealth of perimeter targets, led by Jonah Gomez (44 catches, 831 yards, 15 TDs), Zach Rivers (25 catches, 438 yards, seven TDs), Cooper Mootz (24 catches, 474 yards, five TDs) and Sam Westing (24 catches, 513 yards, 11 TDs). Mootz has also run for 640 yards and eight scores.
In the previous meeting, Crater built a 7-0 lead when Acrey scored on a 40-yard run but the Wildcats responded with 50 straight points — using a 29-0 second quarter — to pull away.
“They had that second quarter and it was kind of a boat race from there,” says Waite “But it was a good experience for our guys. Now it’s just a matter of earning another week.”