Jamar Davis is the kind of player any coach would like to have in his offense.
Central High School coach Tony Servais, for one, might feel a little spoiled as he lists the number of ways Davis can be used to break down a defense.
Servais smiles as he talks discusses his receiver’s abilities to beat coverages with speed and precise execution on routes, but it doesn’t stop there.
“He’s our motion guy, and we do that for a reason,” Servais said. “He can stress a defense depending on if we give him the ball on a jet (sweep) or don’t and let him continue on his route.
“He can be our bubble (screen) guy or put an outside (line)backer or safety in no man’s land when he makes his decision on what to do.”
The 6-foot Davis next will have his skills on display Friday at UW-La Crosse. That’s where the Red Raiders (3-1, 1-1) will meet Logan (2-2, 1-1) in the Battle for the Ark of Victory.
The meeting is the 93rd between the schools and another opportunity for players to make memories that will be discussed at reunions for years to come.
Davis, who has 16 catches for 245 yards and three carries for 31 in his last two games, is certainly a candidate for a memorable performance as one of several offensive weapons for the Red Raiders.
And he sees no way for Central to put too much emphasis on a rivalry game like this one.
“We need to put everything we have into this week,” he said. “It’s a big game. It’s Logan. There is a lot of intensity that goes with this game.”
That was evident when Central beat Logan 24-18 by scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown last season. It was the Red Raiders’ first win in the series since 2011 and turned their focus this season to retaining the Ark instead of trying to bring it back home.
“When you have it,” Davis said, “you don’t want to give it back.”
One of Central’s wild cards is the availability of quarterback Johnny Davis, who missed last week’s 32-8 win over Aquinas with a foot injury suffered the previous week. The junior threw passes on the side of Tuesday’s practice, and his return for this game is officially “questionable” according to both he and Servais.
But Jamar Davis showed last week that he can make an impact with Trevon Van Egtern as the quarterback, too. Van Egtern completed eight passes for 86 yards and a touchdown to Davis, who has scored three touchdowns this season.
“It wasn’t much different because we know (Van Egtern) can lead this team on the field, too,” the wide receiver said. “The throws they make are a little different. Johnny might throw it harder, but we know Trevon will get the ball where it needs to be, too.”
Jamar Davis said his two points of emphasis entering his senior season were becoming a leader and becoming a stronger player on the field.
“A lot of (weight) lifting,” he said of his offseason after qualifying in the Division 1 100-meter dash and 400 and 800 relays for the WIAA state track and field meet last June. “Coaches wanted us to do more of that, and I did.”
Servais said that much has been evident for Davis, who has 25 catches for 381 yards and four carries for 39 this season.
“I think he even saw at the state track meet the benefit of getting stronger,” Servais said. “He did a much better job in the weight room this last offseason, and we’re seeing him break through tackles more than he has before.
“He is a huge part of what we do offensively, and I can’t wait to see what he does the rest of the season because he’s only going to get better.”