Dust Devils in uncharted territory
DAYTON — The 2-0 Dayton Dust Devils.
“That sounds pretty good,” said Dayton football coach Rob Turner earlier this week. “It’s a little out of character for us. We haven’t been 2-0 in a while.”
The Dust Devils (2-0, 1-0) go for their third straight win when they host Spring Creek today (7 p.m.). Dayton hasn’t started a season 3-0 since 2009 when it won six straight contests to start the season.
Turner expects a game dominated by running backs.
Dayton’s Skyler Berntson rushed 25 times for 189 yards and five scores last week in a 50-6 win over Sparks. The 170-pound senior has gained more than 340 yards in the first two outings, and he’s carrying the type of load Austin Fletcher carried last year.
“I do a lot,” Turner said when asked if he thought he might be using Berntson too much. “I think we’re blocking better up front this year than we did last year. Skyler is fast, and he hits and gets through the holes quicker than what Austin did. Skyler can get through some small openings. Austin was more about power. I gave him a little break. Our No. 2 back Johnny Aguilar got hurt last week. His younger brother, Mike, got some carries.”
The Dust Devils enter the game relatively healthy. Adam Smith and Thomas Jones are still out. However, the Dust Devils will have Douglas transfer Chris Eshe in uniform tonight. He will line up at defensive tackle.
“He knows football,” Turner said. “We’re happy to have him.”
Turner said Spring Creek hasn’t changed much, and the Spartans beat Dayton last year, a game Turner believes the Dust Devils should have won.
“I didn’t expect to lose that one,” Turner said. “We ran out of gas. There is a little bit of revenge factor going in. The kids feel bad about that game.”
The Spartans haven’t changed the way they attack teams. Turner expects a heavy dose of running between the tackles.
“They are a power team,” Turner said. “They can throw a little.”
Braxton Williams rushed for 120 yards against South Tahoe in a 15-13 win, while QB Dillon Draper passed for 87 yards.
Defense and special teams played a big role in Spring Creek’s opening win. The Spartans blocked a kick and Draper fell on it in the end zone. Draper also scored on a short run.
Jesse Silva leads the 4-3-4 defense along with Draper,
“Sometimes they will go to a 5-2 or a 5-3,” Turner said. “I’ve put in some things specifically for them.
“I have to figure out if our top five can beat their top five. If we can, we’ll be in pretty good shape.”