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TAMPA — When Carrollwood Day senior Robert Davis stares in the bedroom mirror of his Lutz home, immortality stares back.
In bold, black dry-erase marker.
In the preseason, Davis wrote 1,966 — the yardage needed his senior year to become Hillsborough County’s all-time rushing leader — on the mirror. Each successive Saturday, when informed of his rushing total from the previous day’s game, the number has been supplanted by a smaller one.
The current figure after four games: 1,127.
“I look at it every day in the mirror,” said Davis, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound Cincinnati commitment. “It’s something pretty much that means a lot, but I prefer my team get to states.”
This is the paradox surrounding the diminutive, dynamic dual threat who stands within striking distance of former Riverview star Avious Steadman’s 5,320 career yards: If there’s one thing Davis’ mirror doesn’t reflect, it’s an obsession with individual acclaim.
If it did, Davis, averaging 15.3 yards a carry, wouldn’t have sat out the entire second half of three blowout wins already this season.
Nor would he have been so understanding when coach Lane McLaughlin sat him in five similar second halves in 2011.
“He’s usually pretty good about it,” said McLaughlin, whose 4-0 team travels to 4-0 Admiral Farragut tonight in what many deem the Class 2A, District 5 title game. “I’m just not gonna run it up. If he gets it that’s great, but it’s about the team.”
In that spirit, Davis said he’ll do anything — run, receive, reverse handoff — to prevail Friday.
In this, arguably the biggest game in CDS’ five-year history, Davis also will line up in the Patriots’ secondary (he has four pass deflections) and perhaps on special teams. If McLaughlin, whose team averages seven passes, decides to open things up, Davis is down with that, too.
“If we decide to do that approach, they can put me out in the slot,” he said. “The record isn’t as necessary as people make it seem. I just want our team to go to states.”
Running toward the record
Robert Davis through the season’s first four games
Opponent Result Att Yds TD
Imagine Academy W 42-7 11 152 3
Keswick Christian W 48-0 13 246 4
Northside Christian W 49-0 10 192 3
Shorecrest W 22-0 21 249 1
Yards shy of county career rushing record: 1,127
Yards averaged through four games: 209.8
Average needed in final six games to set record: 187.8
Joey Knight can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JoeyHomeTeam.