In case anyone was wondering, the Cleveland High School football team is not a one-trick pony.
After riding its impressive rushing attack to a 6-0 start, the Storm went to the air for Friday night’s game against visiting Cibola — and quarterback Jeff Davison proceeded to light it up.
The sophomore completed 13 of 19 passes for 425 yards and six touchdowns as Cleveland rolled to a 52-15 victory. Star running back Dorian Lewis had a relatively quiet night with nine carries for 98 yards and one score, though he did have three receptions for 86 yards and a TD.
Davison, who did not have six touchdown passes all season prior to Friday, smiled when asked about the Storm’s pass-first game plan.
"In my mind, this does show people we can win with the pass," Davison said. "All year we’ve been run-heavy, run-heavy. Tonight it was time for us to come out and pass."
Cleveland (7-0, 2-0) didn’t waste any time getting started. Davison completed three passes for 60 yards on the Storm’s first possession, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Tre Watson that made the score 7-0.
After the Cougars (3-4, 0-2) went three-and-out, Davison hooked up with Randy Nieto on an 83-yard bomb to make it 14-0.
Cibola responded with a 13-play scoring drive, capped by Marcus Steele’s short touchdown pass to Jacob Padilla. But Cleveland answered with its second straight one-play possession, scoring on Davison’s 64-yard pass to Braedin Ross.
Davison added two more touchdown strikes before halftime and William Gebhardt booted a 34-yard field goal.
The Storm led 38-7 at halftime and invoked the 35-point mercy rule early in the third quarter.
Davison’s big night included three touchdown passes to Watson, who finished with five catches for 86 yards.
"That goes back to YAFL and years of playing together," Davison said. "We have good chemistry together."
Nieto finished with four receptions for 129 yards for the pass-happy Storm.
Steele ended up 17-of-23 passing for 122 yards but had little time to look for receivers down the field.
The Storm finished with 591 yards of total offense to Cibola’s 202.
Storm warnings: Cleveland ran its home field winning streak to nine with its victory Friday night.
… The Storm are home again Friday at 7 to face Volcano Vista (6-1, 2-0). The Storm are 8-1 all-time against the Hawks, but have won the last eight meetings.
... This is the third year in 10 seasons altogether that the Storm have won their first seven games. The other times? In 2011 and 2015, when they proceeded to go 13-0 and win state championships.