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Mepham QB Tyler Davis has grown into his role

Mepham quarterback Tyler Davis, right, readies a hand

Mepham quarterback Tyler Davis, right, readies a hand off during practice at the high school on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. (Credit: James Escher)

Preparing for his third season as the starting quarterback and second in the spread offense, Mepham's Tyler Davis has grown to the point that his head coach Anthony Cracco is always confident he'll make the right decision.

"Nobody gets a better vantage point than the quarterback standing behind the defense," Cracco said.

It helps that Cracco's confidence in Davis isn't the only thing that's grown over the years – the 6-foot-5 quarterback combines his football IQ with the physical tools to do just about anything on the field.

"We're a year in now and a little bit more advanced and we can put more of the offense on Tyler and he can make the reads and the right decisions," Cracco said. "I'm excited to see him go this year. I think he's going to have a fantastic season."

The Connecticut-bound senior finished last year with 1,023 passing yards and six touchdowns. He also ran for 1,107 yards and 21 touchdowns.

As the No. 5 seed in a tough Nassau Conference II, the Pirates still remember the crushing loss they suffered on the road against Garden City in the first round of the playoffs last season.

Davis punctuated a 98-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown on the Pirates' first possession, and Mepham led 30-20 in the fourth quarter before falling to the Trojans, 33-30.

"That game is our main motivation," Davis said. "It was a sick feeling when we walked off the field and we just wanted to get back on the field right after the game and try again. We've been working even harder all offseason and we'll be ready to go week one against Carey."

Mepham will surround Davis with plenty of talent, including all-conference wide receiver Yianni Hilas and junior Isaac Lozada on the outside. The Pirates will line up receivers Cormac Quigley and Justin Greco in the slot.
 
All that talent has upped the expectations at Mepham.
 
"Our guys know that finishing seventh or eighth and just getting in the playoffs is not the goal," Cracco said. "We want to finish with a high seed and put ourselves in a better position to advance."