Eagles hit revenge road

Josh Davis (51) and his Stratford teammates are looking for revenge Friday night against Aquinas, a team that beat them three times last year. (Photo courtesy of Josh Davis.)

By WADE SNOW and NICK DOROGY, Gazebo Sports Writers

Five yards.

The number has stuck in the head of senior linebacker Josh Davis for the past 12 months.

That’s how close the Stratford Eagles came to beating Aquinas in the Class A state semifinals last year. Time ran out in a 35-28 loss, with an incomplete pass on fourth down at the Aquinas 5 yard line.

Losing to a team once is not fun. Losing to the same team twice in a season is worse. Losing to a team three times is practically unbearable.

The Eagles suffered that very fate last season at the hands of the Aquinas Fighting Irish. The Eagles played Aquinas in the regular season, the region championship, and finally in the state semi-final. The Eagles came within 15 feet of a trip to the Georgia Dome in the last matchup in Augusta.

This year’s team now has the opportunity to right last year’s wrongs and get revenge on Friday. The Eagles travel to Augusta for a 7:30 matchup with the Irish in a Region 7 crossover game.

“You go into every game with the same mentality,” Davis said. “But honestly, this game (Friday) means so much after losing to them four times in a row back to my sophomore year.”

The Eagles will be lead by their defense that has been dominant all season.  Davis, who has been a key member of the defense since he was promoted to a starter in his junior year, missed time early in the year due to an ankle injury.

“Josh has the perfect linebacker mentality,” head coach Mark Farriba said. “He is very aggressive and he is a very valuable guy. When he got hurt before the FPD game, we were thinking that he had to be back for that game.”

And he was.

Davis was a key defensive player in Stratford’s 28-0 steamroll over FPD.

But now, the Eagles shift their attention to this week’s region crossover against Aquinas. Davis hopes to play an important role.

“I think we owe them a little something,” said Davis.