It’s not easy to watch your teammate suffer an injury right before the start of the season, and when you’re the guy that has to step in and fill his shoes you have no choice once your number is called. Mill Creek High School quarterback Daniel David experienced that first hand after watching projected starting QB Eric Ritland go down with a foot injury during a scrimmage game back on Aug. 3.
After that, David’s entire mindset changed, knowing that he was going to be calling the shots under center in one of the most competitive regions in the state. Since then David has been pretty impressive for a guy who was a freshman less than a year ago; however, he doesn’t let his status determine his level of capability on the field.
“I felt bad for him (Eric) and it was sad but, I went into [the season with the mindset that] I got the job now and I have to get this done. So what if I’m a sophomore. Anybody can do this. I just went into it like that,” stated David.
David has responded well to such a tall order and admitted that he experienced some first game jitters at the start of the season. The Hawks first challenge was against their foe Dacula High School but, the rivalry game wasn’t really much of one as the Hawks went on to win 35-0.
“In the first game I was nervous because it was my first varsity game but now I go into it [without] being nervous at all. All of my teammates around me keep me up if I get down. We just go into it like we’re going to win every game,” said David.
The Hawks took a loss 31-21 loss to Brookwood High School the following week, cruised past Mountain View High School 49-0 in week three and went on to defeat Peachtree Ridge High School 20-10 in their fourth game of the year.
“Once I threw that first touchdown in the Dacula game, I didn’t feel any pressure after that. It was easy from there on out. I just went through the motions,” said David.
“Now I don’t get nervous at all before games. We’ve faced great teams already. I think my knowledge and mechanics have increased since the first game against Dacula,” David said.
After getting of to a 3-1 start, David would be tested against Norcross High School, a team that has a seven game win streak over the Hawks. Against the Blue Devils, David rushed for two touchdowns (one being 34-yards) and threw two touchdown passes. Mill Creek was down 35-14 going into the locker room but, came out firing on all cylinders in the second half.
With 6:56 left in the game, he completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to running back DeVozea Felton to bring the game within eight. Still, it wasn’t enough to take down Norcross in what could have been one of the greatest comebacks in the history of Mill Creek football.
“I remember [thinking] we can win this game. We were scoring touchdowns and our defense was doing great. Everyone got it together eventually; we just got fired up after halftime. We were determined to win but we didn’t,” said David.
“We should have won that game. I wish we could do it over again because I know we can beat them now. We should have beaten them then,” said David.
From the start of the season until the game against Habersham Central High School, David has thrown more than 1,200 yards, scored four touchdowns and has thrown just two interceptions. The Hawks can rely on a guy that doesn’t turn the ball over much and will need that dependability from him as they continue their journey through the postseason.