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LB Billy Davis leads Arbor View’s defense into state semis

Arbor View linebacker Billy Davis stands 6-feet tall, weighs 220 pounds, and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. He has a team-high 93 tackles, 10 sacks and an interception, scholarship offers from Southern Utah and Dixie State, and interest from a handful of Division I programs.

Oh, and he’s humble, too.

“Winning is the number one thing,” he says. “I just played my best and everything just worked out good.”

Davis helps anchor one of the state’s stingiest defenses, and will lead the Aggies in the Class 4A state semifinals against Bishop Manogue on Saturday afternoon in Reno. A two-year varsity starter, the soft-spoken senior has blossomed into one of best players in the Las Vegas Valley, and spearheads a unit that’s allowed a paltry 12 touchdowns in 10 games against in-state competition.

“Billy is one of our guys…one of our leaders,” Arbor View coach Dan Barnson said. “He’s a leader on the field, he’s a captain on the field when it comes to making calls and a ll that. Him and (linebacker) J.J. (Tuinei) kind of bounce a lot of things off each other. It makes us better.”

Like so many of Arbor View’s standout players, Davis bided his time before starring on the varsity. He developed in the Aggies’ freshman and junior varsity programs before debuting as a starter last season, recording 66 tackles and two sacks.

“I just like hitting people,” he said. “I’m a physical player.”

Davis prepared for his senior year by packing 30 pounds onto his frame during the off-season. He excels against the run and the pass, and occasionally plays fullback in Arbor View’s double-wing offense.

Only in big games, though. Like the one on Saturday

“We’ve been fortunate enough with our depth, is to be able to get guys like Billy off, so they play one side and stay fresher,” Barnson said.

That depth has helped the Aggies dominate local competition, and running back Kyle Graham said the defense gives the offensive confidence to start and sustain scoring drives.

“It gives us the momentum that we need to start get the ball rolling, to start driving the ball.” said Graham, who leads the area with 1,863 rushing yards. “When we’re on defense, I watch the game, but I just know our defense is going to get that stop. They’re going to make the big play we need.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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