It came against a “non-traditional” school playing only its second season of college football.
But Davidson’s first victory in more than 19 months, a 56-0 season-opening thumping of College of Faith-Charlotte on Saturday night at Richardson Field, might be the new start the Wildcats were looking for last year.
At least that’s what second-year coach Paul Nichols hopes.
“We wanted the results to come faster, but they didn’t,” said Nichols, still damp from a last second ice bath from his team, which broke a 12-game losing streak dating back to November 2012. It was also the first home win for Davidson since November 2011, breaking an 11 game streak.
“You go to work every day and try to get better, and that’s what we’ll keep doing,” Nichols said. “I’m excited for these kids.”
The Wildcats rolled up 483 yards total offense and limited the visiting Saints (0-1) to 120. Eight different Wildcats scored touchdowns, and Nichols said that every healthy player on the roster got into the game.
“To finally get a win feels great,” said junior running back David Rogers, who rushed 13 times for a career- high 116 yards and a touchdown. “We’ve worked hard in the pre-season to try to come back from last year, and this is good for our confidence.”
The Wildcats dominated from the start, taking the opening kickoff and driving 57 yards in five plays. Rogers scored 2 minutes and 18 seconds into the game on a 3-yard run.
Quarterback J.P. Douglas, the first of three quarterbacks in the game for the Wildcats, ended another big drive – 66 yards in 10 plays – with a 1-yard keeper for a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Wildcats scored on four of five possessions in the second quarter, helped by a couple of short punts by College of Faith.
Douglas tossed three touchdown passes – 8 yards to Nick Wheeler, 22 yards to William Morris and 11 yards to Cam Cheuvront for the freshman’s first career touchdown.
Davidson got another touchdown from another freshman, running back Austin Wells, on an 11-yard run for a 43-0 halftime lead.
“There’s a freshman or a sophomore at every position in our two-deep (roster),” Nichols said. “We’ll depend on them as the season goes along.”
Freshman running back Jeffrey Keil scored on a 7-yard run, and Chris Woods added a 1-yard touchdown run for the Wildcats in the third quarte
NOTES: The shutout was the first for Davidson since a 49-0 victory at Campbell on Nov. 1, 2008. … The Wildcats host Catawba at 7 on Saturday. College of Faith travels to Greeneville, Tenn., at 7 Thursday to play Tusculum.