Daouda Sylla does a little bit of everything for Ypsilanti Community football team
Patrick Record | AnnArbor.com
That is, save for one -- or rather, three -- as Ypsilanti Community senior Daouda Sylla was Mr. Everything for the Grizzlies on Friday night, displaying his skills as a linebacker, receiver and running back.
He even handled kicking duties for the Grizzlies.
“He’s our man. He’s our do it all,” said Ypsilanti coach Rufus Pipkins. “He’s more than willing to put it all on his shoulders.”
He put his shoulders one others as well.
Ypsilanti’s first scoring drive in the second quarter showed just how valuable and punishing a player Sylla can be for the Grizzlies (0-2). On what would have been a first down run deep in Ypsilanti territory, Sylla hit Saline quarterback Travis Brown so hard it sent the junior quarterback and the ball he was carrying flying in opposite directions.
It would be Brown’s final play of the night.
When the Grizzlies lined up for the extra point, it was Sylla (who else?) who split the uprights giving him a forced fumble, touchdown reception and extra point in a five-play span.
“He’s our heart and soul. He’s our guy,” said Pipkins. “It’s not going to take long before a college recognizes that he’s definitely a big time D1 player.”
Sylla finished with seven receptions for 135 yards and two touchdowns, nine rushes for 28 yards and made his only extra point attempt. On defense there was hardly a play where Sylla wasn’t delivering a hit and on offense it was much of the same.
“(Hitting) definitely feels good on both sides,” Sylla said.
Sylla’s onside kick attempt in the final 30 seconds during Ypsilanti’s comeback attempt left much to be desired. Despite all he’d done for his team, and the minor chance even a well-struck onside kick would have been recovered, Sylla seemed genuinely disappointed to have not performed better.
It’s the type of attitude Pipkins said Sylla applies to everything he does. Having Sylla in the huddle, Pipkins said, is like having another coach on the field.
“He wants us to play with a sense of urgency all the time,” Pipkins said. “Coach, captain everything in one on the field.
"We look up to him and it’s amazing. You don’t get kids often with his type of ability and his type of passion for the game.”