LIVERMORE FALLS — Spruce Mountain and Morse made up 20 unproductive minutes of football with an action-packed final four minutes of the first half.

Reece Davis scored three of his six touchdown runs during that stretch and the Phoenix took a two-touchdown lead into halftime before running away with a 54-22 victory in 8-man Large School football action Friday at Griffin Field.

Davis had touchdown runs of 49, 44 and 10 yards in those final four minutes of the second quarter.

Davis said the offensive line was told to “lock in” at the end of the first half.

“They did their jobs, got to the second level, did a great job, paved the way for a few touchdowns,” he said.

Morse quarterback Calin Gould broke out of a tackle for a 79-yard touchdown run that drew the Shipbuilders within 8-6 before Davis responded for his second touchdown on the next play, and then his third with 1:14 left in the half to make it 20-6.


Morse coach Jason Darling said his team stopped matching Spruce Mountain’s (2-1) physicality late in the second quarter.

“(Reece Davis) is a good back. (Linemen Eli Moffet, Brandon Wilson, Garrett Hunt), those guys, they get after it up front. And if you take your foot off the gas at all, they’re going to get you,” Darling said. “And I think that’s what happened, was we weren’t able to match their physicality at the end of the first half.”

Morse (2-1) had a chance to end the half with momentum after Davis’ third touchdown. Aqil Alaboudi returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards and Gould ran three straight times before getting hurt with the Shipbuilders facing fourth-and-1 at the Phoenix’s 9-yard line. Backup QB Jackson Murray ran for a first down, but the Shipbuilders ran out of time and yards when Alaboudi was pushed out of bounds at the 1-yard line after the halftime horn sounded.

“That was huge. I think that gave us a good lift. (The players) were feeling good at halftime,” Spruce Mountain coach David Frey said. “Yeah, that was huge. I think if they would have scored, it might have been a different ball game.”

Davis agreed about that being a pivotal moment.

“That was a big stop, going into halftime, knowing we were coming back out in the third quarter getting the ball,” Davis said. “It was a huge play.”


In the first half, the teams combined for eight fumbles (six for Morse with three lost, two for Spruce Mountain with one lost), and Morse’s Alaboudi intercepted a Phoenix pass to end Spruce Mountain’s second drive of the game, which pushed into Shipbuilders territory.

“At halftime we made some adjustments,” Frey said. “Like I told them, we have to suck it up, we got 24 minutes to play. And the first half, they played solid. I said we were just going to keep it on the ground and try to chew the clock up, and move the ball, and we did that very successfully.”

Davis added a 50-yard touchdown two plays into the first possession of the second half, and after the Shipbuilders went three-and-out, Davis capped off a two-play drive with a 19-yard touchdown.

“(Coach Frey) had some talks about me running the ball more (in the second half),” Davis said. “Came out aggressive — had to come out aggressive to keep them in our rearview — and that was pretty much it.”

The Phoenix didn’t attempt a pass in the second half after completing 2 of 8 in the first half.

Morse responded to Davis’ second touchdown of the second half with a 10-play drive that ended with Garrett Burden’s 22-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion run to make it a 34-14 game.


Elie Timler scored on a 34-yard quarterback keeper late in the third quarter, and two plays into the fourth, Davis ran 72 yards for his sixth touchdown, stretching Spruce Mountain’s lead to 48-14.

Davis finished the game with 18 carries for 330 yards. In total offense, Spruce Mountain out-gained Morse 555 to 291.

Frey said that defensively the Phoenix “played their hearts out.”

“They really did. They played hard,” Frey said. “That’s a very good Morse team, and it was a big concern all week, to find out how good we really could be on the defensive side.”

Murray finished up Morse’s scoring with a 41-yard QB keeper that fooled the Phoenix defense, and Spruce Mountain backup quarterback Austin Armandi scored the final touchdown of the game on a 25-yard run in the final minute of the contest.

Gould didn’t return to the game after running nine times for 106 of Morse’s 160 yards in the first half.

“We certainly rely on him a lot, and he’s a big part of what we do — as are some of the other guys that weren’t able to go tonight,” Darling said. “But to have a sophomore (in Murray) get in there and do some good things, that was good to see. But we certainly missed Cal, as well as the other guys.”

Morse finished with 12 fumbles as a team, losing three of them.

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