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HAZELWOOD — Charles Davis earned the right to do whatever he felt like on Friday afternoon.

The Hazelwood West senior defensive end scooped up a fumble and rambled 84 yards for a score in the first quarter to kick-start the Wildcats to a convincing 31-0 win over Mehlville in a hotly-contested, non-league affair at West.

So after West recorded its final touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, Davis marched onto the field with the kickoff team, a tee in hand.

The 6-foot-1, 260 pounder was determined to join the special teams unit and kick the ball off.

And no one was going to deny him that chance.

"I've always wanted to do it," Davis said. "Just once — it'll be the last time."

Actually, Davis did a more than adequate job, booming the ball all the way to the 20-yard line to cap off a strong all-around performance.

"I've always said, he can do everything," West coach Rory Seals said. "Didn't he show that today?"

Davis, usually a two-way standout as a running back, was held out of most offensive plays due to soreness in his calf.

But he made his mark on the defensive side of the ball by recording the biggest play of the season for the up-and-coming Wildcats, who have not given up an offensive touchdown on their way to a 2-1 start.

His lengthy touchdown helped shift the early momentum away from the Panthers, who were driving for the first score of the contest.

On a fourth-and-1 play, the ball popped loose at the line of scrimmage and Davis came out of the pack with it. He immediately took off down field and had a seemingly safe 10-yard head start over everyone else. After a sprint of nearly 50 yards, Davis began to tire as a defender closed in on him from behind. But Davis fended off the would-be tackler at the 15 and rumbled the rest of the way home.

"I was not going to get caught — no way," Davis said.

Added senior quarterback Darius Cooper, "That (play) gave us all the momentum."

Cooper hit on nine of 16 passes for 124 yards. He tossed three touchdowns passes — two to senior wide out Jack Douglas.

He guided the Wildcats on a scoring drive of 77 yards on the first possessions of the second half to put the game away.

"We watched film and we knew their weaknesses," Cooper said. " And we came out and exploited them."

Cooper hit Morion Thomas on an 18-yard scoring strike early in the second quarter to push the lead to 12-0. A 34-yard toss to Brian Stiles on third down kept the drive alive.

Mehlville (1-2) managed to put together three elongated drives in the first half, but came up empty on fourth down. The Panthers finished the contest 0-for-5 on fourth down.

The Wildcats opening march in the second half featured on a 41-yard catch-and-run from Cooper to Jaiden Mayberry. Cooper's 19-yard TD toss to Douglas capped off the nine-play drive.

West defensive lineman Kyle Smith set up the fourth score by pouncing on a fumble at the 3. Jeremiah Anderson bowled over on the very next play for a 25-0 lead.

The Wildcats are on a roll after a 57-6 win over Soldan in Week 2. They were tagged with a 3-0 loss to Oakville in their season opener. That contest was stopped in the second quarter by rain.

"Our motto is, 'dictate, never accept,'" Seals said. "We dictate what we want to do. We dictate what the other team can do."

The Wildcats' last shutout was a 15-0 triumph over McCluer on Sept. 22 last season.

Mehlville amassed 127 yards on offense in the first half, but could not come up with the big play.

"We just didn't execute," Panthers coach Kent Heinemann said. "At times our guys really battled."

The contest was stopped by the officials after a fight broke out between two players with 4 minutes, 10 seconds remaining.

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