CLARKSBURG, W. Va – Already established as one of the state’s elite running backs, Robert C. Byrd senior Ghovan Davidson has been given an added responsibility this fall. After rushing for 1,730 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2017, Davidson is respected as a veteran leader on a roster that has eighteen starters returning. Davidson credits much of his success to the work of his offensive line, a unit that returns every starter. “Last year we had a pretty good season with the line and it is the same line,” said Davidson. “They have all grown, so we are going to have a better season I think.”
While Davidson will be counted on to tote the ball with regularity, he is also a mentor to highly-regarded freshman running back Jeremiah King. “We are kind of the same,” said Davidson. “We were dominant in middle school and he is about the same size as me and we run with the same speed. We are just like the same person,” said Davidson. “We have told Jeremiah to emulate the things he does on the field, the way he runs, the way he works, the way he prepares himself mentally and physically,” said RCB head coach Josh Gorrell. “Honestly we are just blessed to have two great backs.”
Having a talented backfield combination allows the Flying Eagle coaching staff to look at the big picture of the season. With Davidson and King sharing the carries, the senior could be rested at times, helping to make sure he can be ready for what they hope will be a long postseason run. “We think both backs and capable of going over a thousand yards,” said Gorrell. “Especially with what we have out front we are going to come out and run the football. ‘G’ could have explosive numbers. At the same time, it could be a situation where we can get ‘G’ a break and keep his legs fresh and get him some rest heading into the later stages of the season. Jeremiah can help take some of that work load off of him. We want to put ourselves in a situation to play for a state championship.”
Davidson will also serve a critical role in the middle of the Flying Eagle defense, where he has played since his freshman season. In 2017, RCB allowed 32 points a game. They surrendered 76 points in their opening round loss at top-seeded Mingo Central. “You aren’t going to get far having shootouts with people,” said Gorrell. “That’s where we were last year. We have tried to work exclusively on that in our flex days. We have to be a lot better. We have to tackle people… let’s just be honest about this whole thing, for us to do good things.”
With a roster loaded with experienced players, expectations are elevated in Clarksburg. The Flying Eagles have advanced to the state semifinals twice this decade, most recently in 2013. “It is a lot of pressure. We just have to go out and play as hard as we can and we’ll do good,” said Davidson.