Tonawanda News — Davis totaled only 457 rushing and receiving yards combined last season, a disappointing number for the sophomore sensation who caught 55 balls for 799 yards and rushed for 393 more in 2011.
But already this season Davis said he feels like himself again, and that is bad news for every other team in the Monsignor Martin Association.
“Last year I was plagued with injuries before and during the season,” he said. “But I feel good and anticipate a big season for me. It’s my fourth year on varsity so I try and be a leader on the field. I’m always looking to get the ball in my hand because I always feel like I can take it for a touchdown. … The main goal is to win games and win a championship.”
On defense the Marauders will again look to senior captain Rod Payne to lead the way.
Payne led the Marauders in tackles with 108 last season and was an All-Western New York and News’ first team selection.
“Rod is going to anchor our defense in the middle again. He’s a workaholic,” Gilbert said. “He’s down 15 pounds and he’s probably twice as strong as he was. He’s ready to explode and the rest of the guys follow his lead. When they see the guys who are wow players working that hard they all jump on board.”
St. Joe’s played three different players at quarterback last season, but Gilbert has found his guy and has handed the keys to the car to sophomore Mike McCarthy.
At 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, McCarthy has all the intangibles to lead the Marauders’ offense.
“Mike is as cranial as they come — smart as a whip,” Gilbert said. “I’m sure people are going to come at us like crazy and he’ll see a lot of heat. They’ll run a lot of multiple coverages and disguised coverages, but he’s got it already. … He threw over 20 touchdowns on JV last year, and he’s bigger, stronger and quicker this year. He’s a quiet leader and he just doesn’t rattle.”