Coaches often talk about unity and family when discussing the success of their football teams.
At Lorain, it’s not just talk. Davion and Daylin Dower are biologically related, but consider the rest of Lorain’s players their brothers, too.
“These two are with each other all the time,” Titans coach Dave McFarland said. “They may be competitive, but they really care about each other. Davion takes pride in blocking, making a big block, and Daylin scores. When something good happens and Davion scores or he makes a tackle, Daylin’s the first one getting excited. It’s really a wonderful family and it’s a cool thing to see the family interacting together.”
Davion, a senior wide receiver and outside linebacker, is one of the leaders on a team loaded with weapons. He’s caught 16 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
Daylin, a sophomore tailback and defensive back, has rushed for 1,011 yards, caught seven passes for 98 yards and has scored 13 touchdowns.
Both are instrumental on Lorain’s defense, too. They are even expected to be top players for the Titans basketball team this winter.
“Davion’s been a great leader for us,” McFarland said. “He’s done a great job — leading on our defense and our offense. Daylon is only a sophomore but he’s got a dynamic personality, he makes great plays and he’s got his network of friends on this team. In the four years, we’ve got a good sense of camaraderie on this team. They’re both huge components of what we do.”
“It started with the seniors,” Daylin said. “Our 28 seniors, there’s something special about them. It’s all about the team, not just them.”
The Dowers know all about family values. They have six other siblings — one older brother, two younger brothers and three sisters. Their father played at Clearview and both parents — Michelle and Antonio — follow every game and every down.
“It’s a big, beautiful family,” McFarland said. “What I admire about these two, they’re family first. I see them hugging the little brothers and little sisters. Mom and dad are always around. It’s just a real good, close-knit loving family.”
“Davion’s been a real, real big reason why I’ve had a successful season — both my freshman and sophomore seasons,” Daylin said. “It’s going to be real tough without him next year. He’s been that person I can lean on when I was down. He was always there to pick me up. He pushes me through things I didn’t think I could do.”
“I’m always proud of my young brother,” Davion said. “Keep him up when he’s down like he said. It’s something I’ve always had that will never go away.”
Daylin earned his way into a starting role as a freshman last year.
“We were never going to do that,” McFarland said. “He’d hang around Davion. I’d pick Davion up so I’d end up picking him up, too. He was always at varsity stuff. He tagged along that summer. I had no intention of ever letting him play varsity.
“When August came, we had a need. He would be at practice and would compete. He’s a competitive kid. It was pretty evident that he was pretty good. He got better as the year went on and obviously he had a pretty good season for us.”
This week, Lorain (7-1) travels to Bedford with the Lake Erie League championship and a home playoff game possibly on the line.
Currently, the Titans are in seventh place in Division I, Region 2 and would have to finish in the top four to host the postseason opener. A win over the Bearcats (7-1), who are fifth in Division II, Region 5, would give them a lot of Tier 2 points and a nice push up the rankings.
“You work all year to play in a meaningful game,” McFarland said. “I suppose if you look around, there’s a lot of teams that are just playing.
“Our young people put themselves in a position to play in a game that means something. There’s a lot of fun to that. It’s a big game. Both teams are highly rated, both teams score a lot of points. They’ve got some big-time recruits over there. We’ve got some kids that are young that are going to be big-timers. It’s going to be fun to play in an atmosphere and see how good we are.”
Lorain lost several playmakers — Naz Bohannon, Daesean Brooks and Carlos Chavis among others — from last year’s team that won the LEL title and advanced to the regional final.
“We had to replace a heck of a class,” McFarland said. “We thought maybe when our sophomores are seniors, we’d be awful good. Senior Justin (Sturgill)’s a great quarterback, but he’s not necessarily one of those guys back there that can run around. He makes plays with his mind, his fakes. We were a little concerned coming into the season. We thought maybe we could get this thing to 6-4 this year and build for the future, but these kids have responded.”
“The season’s gone real well,” Davion said. “It’s going as planned for us. All my brothers are fighting. We keep fighting every single game. We go out and try to have the best outing we ever could.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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