It’s been a long while since football coach Scott Peach has had this kind of signal-caller at the helm of the Arlington offense.
D’Montae Davis, a standout slot receiver the past two seasons, has taken over as the team’s starting quarterback. It’s not a new position for the senior, who served as Caelen Day’s backup as a sophomore and junior. But what Davis brings to the Colts attack is new — or at least different from anything Arlington’s had in recent seasons. Arlington opened the season against Plano East on Sept. 1.
“We haven’t had a true dual-threat quarterback in about a decade,” Peach said. “We have to go back to Brandon Kelsey, [a 2008 Arlington graduate] who ended up playing at Midwestern State, since we’ve had a kid who could throw it and run it.”
Davis, who scored eight touchdowns last season, teams with running back Kenland McCray to give the Colts one of the fastest, most athletic backfields in District 4-6A. “First off, my speed, our speed, me and Kenland’s speed in the backfield,” Davis said, explaining the Arlington offense’s strengths.
Add to those backs some talented receivers and the offense sounds undeniably formidable, but it can always improve. “We’ve just got to get better at it,” said Davis, who has impressed Peach with his accurate passes.
Honestly, I wanted to be a receiver because I fell in love with receiver, but, hey, it works out for my team to be the quarterback. So I’m going to be the quarterback.
The position switch to quarterback was never a question of “if,” but rather “when.” Davis played quarterback on the freshman team until his season was ended by injury. As a sophomore, he joined the varsity as a starting receiver. He became a pass catcher because that’s what was needed of him. But after a while, he really took to the new position.
“[Peach] told when I came back to move to slot and told me senior year I’d be moving back to quarterback,” Davis said. “Honestly, I wanted to be a receiver because I fell in love with receiver, but, hey, it works out for my team to be the quarterback. So I’m going to be the quarterback. It’s all about my team. It’s not about me.”
McCray appears to have a similar team-oriented focus. A question about his goals for the season in terms of yards and touchdowns receives a response about team goals and an eagerness to run, catch passes, block — anything the team needs.
“Anything you put in front of me, I’m going to do,” McCray said. “I help my team first, my brothers. My goal is to go deep in playoffs, state-bound, and leave a legacy.”
The phrase “Leave a legacy” is written on the back of Arlington players’ practice jerseys. It’s a meaningful motto to Davis, McCray and their fellow Colts seniors.
“We’re deeper at leadership than we’ve been in a long, long time here,” Peach said. “D’Montae is the leader of that senior class. He’s a guy that, ever since he’s been at Arlington High, shows up every day and brings the energy. He’s really been the emotion of that senior class.”
Davis has no problem bringing the emotion. “I’m putting it all on the line,” Davis said. “I’ve been waiting for this year.”
If anything, Peach wants his team to amp down the emotion just a little bit. They’ll need to play with focus, not just frenzy, to win.
“I can assure you we’ll be excited enough,” Peach said. “It’s just whether we can control that excitement. The thing the kids have to understand, and I don’t know that they always do, is that senior year in football goes in a blink.”
Davis intends to make sure it’s a memorable blink.