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Fairley’s ‘Mr. Football’ contender steps up big time; Bulldogs pull away for playoff win

Jacquan Davis has made a habit of taking the opposing quarterback’s pass and making it his own. He did it again – twice – against Camden Central High School as Fairley High School’s Bulldogs romped to a 62-33 playoff win in the 2A Region 8 first round last Friday.

Fairley’s junior safety now has a county record 14 interceptions this season, obtaining a goal he sought from the outset.

A two-way star, Davis’ exploits as a wide receiver and running back netted three touchdowns in the game played at John P. Freeman Field at John P. Freeman Optional School, 5250 Tulane Road.

“There’s a reason why Jacquan Davis is a Mr. Football Semifinalist,” Fairley head coach Frederick Copeland said. “Without him, there’s no way we bring this victory home tonight.”

Said Davis: “We stayed humble and if it wasn’t for my offensive line, we would not have moved the ball like we did tonight.”

Davis was one of Fairley’s multiple weapons. Take note of the Bulldogs’ freshman running back Quinterrion Hollins, who scored four touchdowns.

Fairley’s freshman quarterback Andrew Johnson gets ready to guide his team down the field during the third quarter of Friday’s game against Camden. Injured in the fourth quarter, he did not return. (Photo: Liaudwin Seaberry Jr./The New Tri-State Defender)

Still undefeated (11-0), Fairley withstood an early upset bid by Camden’s Lions. Two minutes into the second quarter, the Bulldogs led 28-20.

The Lions, however, could get no closer as the Fairley defense asserted itself, limiting Camden to 13 points the rest of the game.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ offense kept churning with 35 more points as Fairley built a huge lead.

In the second half, mishaps on the defensive side of the ball gifted Camden (4-6) a fleeting sliver of hope about getting back in the contest.

A fourth touchdown by Hollins effectively sealed Fairley’s spot in the second round of the playoffs.

The 29-point victory notwithstanding, Copeland delivered a dose-of-reality message to his team about the playoffs.

“I told them, ‘This is not inner-city Memphis football anymore, this is the playoffs,’” Copeland said.

“Look at Camden – a 4-6 (team) that gave us all that we could handle. When you get to the playoffs, record doesn’t matter. And they showed that tonight.”

Fairley players and supporters get an assessment from the coaching staff after the Bulldog’s 62-33 victory over Camden Central High School. (Photo: Liaudwin Seaberry Jr./The New Tri-State Defender)

Ecstatic about moving forward toward the goal of a state title, Davis echoed Copeland’s step-by-step, stay-focused mantra.

“It feels good to be still undefeated because I’ve never done that in high school before … but we are really just going week by week,” he said.

The Bulldogs take on Huntingdon High in this week’s second round and it is uncertain if their starting quarterback, freshman Andrew Johnson, will be available. Injured in the fourth quarter, Johnson did not return to action.

“We will go through the entire concussion (protocol) to make sure that he’s all right and ready to go before sending him back out there,” said Copeland.

“While we want him out there, player safety comes first, second and third.”

In Johnson’s absence, Davis – the 2A Region 8 MVP – switched to quarterback, making plays with his arm and legs.

A confident Copeland knows that Fairley is stocked with numerous other difference makers, notably Keshun Parker, Jalen Russell and Hollins.

“I have a strong feeling of relief right now,” he said after the win over Camden.

“I’m proud of this team and I am proud to be moving forward in the playoffs with them, and now it’s on to Monday and preparing for next week.”

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