As of Thursday, December 6, 2012
EL CAMPO - At this point in the season, there's no secret about El Campo's game plan.
The Ricebirds will run the football until the defense can't take anymore. Then they'll run it some more. However, don't be fooled into thinking they're a one-dimensional team.
"I don't think we're one-dimensional, but three-dimensional," said El Campo head coach Bob Gillis. "We have three running backs who have rushed for over 1,000 yards and Jack is one of them."
Senior Jack Davis has been instrumental in El Campo's rushing attack that has guided the Ricebirds to a 13-0 record and their first regional championship since 1967.
He's one of the most explosive players in the area with the threat of breaking a long run at any point.
It's those long runs and big plays that Davis loves about the offense.
"It's like a rush; a happy feeling," Davis said. "I just like making big plays."
He's had many big plays in 13 games this season. He's gained more than 1,300 yards and scored 16 touchdowns on 134 carries, and has an average of 12 yards per rush.
"Jack is a hard-nosed, gritty football player," Gillis said. "He's not really big, but he's tough. What Jack can do is run straight ahead, make a move and keeps going as fast as he was going."
Davis showed off his speed and moves in the area round against Somerset. Davis had only seven carries but led the Ricebirds with 206 rushing yards and three touchdowns (both season highs).
His long runs weren't around the ends. A majority of them went straight through the heart of Somerset's defense, including a 71-yard touchdown run that left everyone in his wake.
While Davis specializes in making big plays, it's not the philosophy of the El Campo offense. But even then he fits in perfectly.
"We don't look for the big plays, but if it happens it happens," Gillis said. "Last week against Ingleside we didn't have one big play, but if we get 10, 18, 20 yards we're doing well."
In the regional game against Ingleside last week, Davis had just one run longer than 20 yards (a 36-yard run in the second half), but he gained at least 10 yards on 9 of his 15 carries.
"He always makes positive yards," Gillis said. "Very seldom does he get tackled for a loss and that's big for us."
The 175-pound senior has been in the starting lineup for El Campo since last season. But it wasn't until earlier this season that Davis realized how well he fit into the offense.
In season opener against Waller, Davis ran the ball 12 times for 116 yards and one touchdown. It's not his most impressive stat line, but it showed his potential.
"I started making big plays and thought to myself that I could really do something," Davis said.
Davis has had a huge impact on El Campo's run this season and has earned the recognition. However, Davis is quick to admit he's nothing without his offensive line.
"I love my line, I trust my line," Davis said. "Being a running back, if you don't have the line to block for you, you won't be able to do much. I don't care how good you are. You can be Reggie Bush, but if you don't have the line you won't be successful."
Davis and the Ricebirds are hoping for a chance to play for El Campo's first ever state championship.
First they have to win their semifinal game against Carthage (11-2), which has won three of the past four state titles in Class 3A.
When asked what he needs to do to help El Campo win Friday night in Beaumont, Davis had a simple answer.
"Just run," he said.