10/19/12 — Rosewood's Davis knows his days are numbered in backfield

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Rosewood's Davis knows his days are numbered in backfield

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 19, 2012 1:48 PM

The end of Joshua Davis' high school football career becomes more of a harsh reality with every passing day.

Rosewood's senior tailback and defensive back has come to grips with the dwindling number of opportunities he has to tug his jersey over his shoulder pads on Friday nights and strap on that yellow helmet with "RHS" painted on the side.

A burning sense of urgency continues to fuel Davis as the Eagles battle for third-place in the Carolina 1-A Conference.

Rosewood (2-6 overall) plays host to North Duplin (5-3) tonight with just two weeks left in the regular season. Each team is 1-2 in conference play.

"I just want to win," Davis said. "I just want to make it to the playoffs and have a chance to get to the state championship. All that matters to me is getting in the end zone and winning with my team."

The unquestioned leader in Rosewood's young backfield, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Davis possesses the speed to run past defenders and the strength to shake off tackles. He improved his speed by competing on the Eagles' track team in the spring and committed himself to the weight room over the summer.

Davis has reaped the benefits of his hard work by rushing for 885 yards and seven touchdowns this season. The area's fourth-leading rusher, Davis' 8.85 yards per carry average ranks first among the top eight rushers.

"That mostly comes from the weight room and going hard every day, and not taking any days off," Davis said. "I knew I needed to work on my speed. Running those 400's last year in track really picked up my speed and doing quick-feet drills helped, too."

Davis has demonstrated the ability to grasp the intricacies of Rosewood's Wing-T offense when quarterback Jacob Sasser either lines up under center or goes to the newly-added shotgun formations.

"We try to figure out with Josh how many different ways we can get the ball in his hands," Rosewood head coach Robert Britt said. "It is a good feeling knowing that if we do things right, any play could possibly be a big play for us.

Sasser, a junior in his first season as the Eagles' starting quarterback, and underclassmen running backs Spencer Garrison, Bronton Woodard and Brett Jones have each benefited from Davis' leadership. Davis has not only imparted words of wisdom to his backfield mates, but his performance on the field sets a strong example as well.

"For a leader to be a leader, first they've got to be a follower when they're younger," Britt said. "When they are leading they've got to be able to perform. Josh was a good follower when he was in ninth and tenth grade, and now that he's a leader he's performing and the younger kids are following him."