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QB Davis passes, runs for all five TDs in Mepham's win

Mepham quarterback Tyler Davis rushes for a gain

Mepham quarterback Tyler Davis rushes for a gain during the first quarter of a Nassau II varsity football game against host Wantagh on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Credit: James Escher

Tick tock. Tyler Davis has less than two months before his accelerated graduation from Mepham High School. But before he competes in the spring for the starting quarterback position at UConn, there are some things he wants to accomplish.

It's a brief checklist, really.

"I want to make this team the best team it could possibly be," Davis said. "If we play to our capability, then the only thing I want to do is make sure we are still playing in late November."

He's off to a good start in making that happen.

Davis accounted for all five touchdowns in Mepham's 35-13 win against host Wantagh Saturday in Nassau Conference II.

Davis ran for 253 yards and four touchdowns on 35 carries, and completed 9 of 12 passes for 69 yards and the other touchdown.

Wait, there's more. While playing as a defensive back early in the fourth quarter with Mepham leading 28-13, Davis deflected a pass on 4th and 12.

His 5-yard touchdown scamper four plays later sealed it.

Oh, did we mention he's been playing with a broken left pinky all season?

"I'd cut off my legs for these guys so a pinky really isn't going to hold me back," said Davis, who is righthanded. "It's mind over matter."

Mepham jumped to a 21-0 lead in the second quarter after Davis hit Cormac Quigley, who ran a fade down the left sideline, for a 14-yard TD.

Davis' most impressive play happened in the third quarter. On a scramble, he ran right, broke two tackles, followed a great block by lineman Gabe Ferreri, then cut left, hurdled over one defender, and dove into the end zone for a 41-yard touchdown. It gave Mepham (4-1) a 28-7 lead.

Dylan Beckwith's 11-yard TD cut it to 28-13. Beckwith led Wantagh (2-3) with 78 yards on nine carries.

Greg Laupheimer had a game-high seven tackles and one interception for Mepham. Yianni Hilas, who had one interception and four tackles, said the defense enjoys creating turnovers because it gives Davis another chance to score.

"Having Tyler as quarterback is the greatest thing in the world," said Hilas, who is the Pirates' leading receiver. "Right when we make a play we know he's just going to feed right off the energy. He sees us make a play and he goes right out and makes a play himself."

Davis, modest to a fault, credited his linemen: Ferreri, Justin Rooney, Stephen Johnson, Anthony Santorelli and Justin Hudik for the big game. Davis accounted for 322 of Mepham's 363 total yards.

Davis, who set Mepham's record with 529 all-purpose yards last week, knows that in a few weeks his athletic and academic high school careers will be over.

He's focused on extending the athletic one as much as he possibly can.

"I try not to think about it, but it's starting to set in," Davis said. "I just wake up every day knowing that the days are counting down so I just try to enjoy every single one."

Tick tock.

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