Perusing the stat sheet after most Mayflower Eagles’ games, one might be surprised by some of the gaudy offensive numbers being put up by head coach Jed Davis’ team.
So when fans read that Adam Dycus threw eight touchdowns against Rose Bud last Thursday night, they shouldn’t be so surprised. In fact, it was the second eight-touchdown performance of the season for Dycus, who has thrown 49 touchdowns this season.
Davis said they had been practicing "empty" all week, meaning their formations are without a running back in the backfield.
"We were empty almost exclusively last year," Davis said. "This year we’ve had a running back so we hadn’t done it as much."
That running back, Justin Bailey suffered a deep thigh bruise forcing him to miss last week’s regular-season finale.
But as astronomical as the number seems for TD passes, Davis had no clue until the end of the game.
"I didn’t realize until after the game when somebody told me that we had eight touchdown passes," Davis said. "I was shocked. It was one of those things where I didn’t even realize at the time."
Davis said it was just the natural course of the game. Without Bailey, Dycus was forced to throw nearly every down. Dycus threw for 548 yards to go along with his eight scores.
Dycus finished the regular season with 3,966 passing yards and 49 touchdowns. Also in 396 passing attempts, Dycus was intercepted only 12 times.
"Eight is a big number," Davis said, "but when you are averaging four or five a game, I don’t pay much attention."
Davis acknowledged that without the receivers to catch the pass, Dycus doesn’t have those numbers. Josh Woodham snagged 10 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns, Madison Chambliss caught six for 123 yards and four touchdowns and Drew Duncan had seven receptions for 106 yards and a TD.
"Madison led us in every receiving category in the first three or four games," Davis said. "Then teams started putting two on him, and the other guys stepped up."
Add in a line that is comprised of three juniors and two seniors, all of whom started last season, and the Eagles have experience up front to go with the talented playmakers.
Davis said that guys up front, including Trey Bradly, Tristin Speed, Austin Grundy, Justin Case and Jordan Graves, are the team’s "unsung heroes."
Mayflower goes to Fordyce on Friday for the first round of the Class 3A playoffs to take on what Davis said is a physical defense.
"They have the skill guys in the secondary to give us some matchup problems," Davis said. "It’s going to be a tough game."