As dangerous as running back Brendan Douglas is with the ball in his hands, you should see him without it.
Douglas scored three touchdowns in a 44-14 Aquinas win over nonregion foe Jeff Davis on Friday night. But most of the evening, he played fullback, looking for someone to block in a forceful way.
“He wants to hit you and for your mother in the stands to feel it. That’s his goal every single time when he’s blocking,” Irish coach Matt LeZotte said. “He’s just an extremely physical player.”
For the second year in a row, Aquinas is off to a 6-1 start. This time, the Irish are tied atop the Region 7-A standings with Lincoln County. Aquinas travels to play the Red Devils next Friday before closing with Washington-Wilkes and Warren County.
Against Jeff Davis, Aquinas utilized several Wildcat formations and accumulated 232 yards on the ground. Douglas had scoring runs of 1, 41 and 44 yards en route to 113 rushing yards on nine carries. Douglas also helped open holes for other runners. Ruben Garnett added 80 yards on 13 rushes, while Daniel Lindsey gained 40 yards on three rushes. Lindsey finished the game with a 102-yard interception return for a touchdown.
“I love blocking for those backs,” Douglas said. “They’re quick, fast. They’ve got that speed we’ve needed the past few years.”
In the first half, Aquinas scored on just two of its five drives, failing to break the game open by halftime.
“We left 14 points out there in the first half,” LeZotte said. “We couldn’t keep drives going. Penalties and botched snaps, we just can’t have them.”
Jeff Davis (5-3) pulled within seven after Aquinas fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and Clay Black returned the ball 46 yards for a score. But Aquinas responded. Douglas took three carries, breaking off a 44-yard touchdown run.