While Lakewood and Countryside are not natural rivals, don’t tell that to Spartans quarterback Ryan Davis. Friday night will mark the fourth time Davis has faced the Cougars since his freshman year at Northeast. Davis — a four-star recruit with offers from the likes of Florida, Miami and Florida State, among many, many others — took time this week to reminisce about the previous games and look ahead to his final matchup with the Cougars:
As a freshman, Davis was injured and did not play in a 37-6 loss. As a sophomore, Countryside ended Northeast’s five-game win streak with an emphatic 49-0 blowout (the game was later ruled a forfeit because the Cougars played an ineligible player). Davis had 28 yards passing and 1 yard rushing.
“We took a beating,” he said. “I remember in my freshman year we played Bogie and got beat pretty badly (48-3). But other than that I don’t think I’ve ever had a game like that.”
Last season, Davis transferred to Lakewood just days before the start of fall practice and had little time to prepare for the first game of the season against Countryside. The result was a 15-13 loss.
“I wasn’t really acclimated to the offense,” Davis said. “Everything was off balance chemistry-wise. I really never had much time to get ready. There was only like three weeks between the time I could play and the game. And then we didn’t even have a preseason game.”
Lakewood went on to play in the Class 5A state semifinals, and win or lose against Countryside on Friday, the same could happen this season. This will be the fourth time since 2009 that Lakewood and Countryside have played. The Spartans are 1-2 in that span, which includes a 51-22 loss in 2010. In 2009, Lakewood won 31-20.
For Davis, a win over Countryside is a chance to add to his growing resume and erase some unpleasant memories.
“I think this is the best chance for me to start off fast,” Davis said. “Instead of being at a slow pace, I’m actually in the system. I’m comfortable with the scheme. I’ve got a spring game and the whole summer under my belt. I should be ready to go. I like playing against the big dogs. If you can’t beat anybody around here, you sure aren’t going to beat anybody outside of here.
‘’I want to beat everybody we play, but I especially want to beat Countryside. I haven’t beaten them.”
Contact Rodney Page at email@example.com. Follow @RodneyHomeTeam.