Hilliard Davidson running back Alex Mickley spoiled the homecoming.

Hilliard Davidson running back Alex Mickley spoiled the homecoming.

In the first game for the Grove City High School football team at Grove City Stadium in two seasons, Mickley, rushed for 196 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries to lead the Wildcats to a 28-21 win.

"The boys up front were doing their job all night long picking up those key blocks," Mickley said. "Then the defense stepped up tonight getting big plays when they needed to."

Davidson entered with a game plan to run the ball right at the Grove City defense and it worked. The Wildcats controlled the time of possession with 67 rushing plays out of their 72 from scrimmage.

"It all starts up front," Davidson coach Brian White said. "Our game plan worked out well for us tonight. Mickley ran downhill and he doesn't go down easy with just one hit. He did a great job, but you got to give Nick Seiffert credit also."

Seiffert, Davidson's fullback, carried 17 times for 74 yards and acted as a lead blocker on a majority of Mickley's carries.

The game was tied at 14 entering the second half. On Davidson's second possession of the third quarter, the Wildcats marched 73 yards in 15 plays, ending with a 1-yard touchdown run by Mickley. The drive took roughly seven minutes off the clock. With 7 minutes, 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Davidson added another Mickley touchdown run to extend its lead to 28-14.

Davidson sealed the win with 2:54 left in the game. Ahead by seven, the Wildcats faced a fourth-and-1 from their own 39-yard line. White decided to go for it and Davidson moved the chains with a 2-yard run by Mickley.

"Everybody in the stands thinks it's a great call if you go for it and make it," White said. "I have confidence and trust our kids they can get that in those situations."

Grove City may have waited two years for a game, but the Dawgs first touchdown was scored within the game's first two minutes. Six plays into the game's opening possession the Dawgs faced a third-and-9 from their own 33-yard line. Luke Smurthwaite dropped back, avoided the rush and found an open Tyler Emmelhainz. From there, Emmelhainz did the rest, running for a 67-yard touchdown to the delight of 12,000 fans.

Grove City bookended the first half with an 11-play, 79-yard drive in the game's final two minutes, culminating in a 7-yard touchdown run by Smurthwaite.

He earned the Dawgs' starting quarterback job and finished his first start 25-for-38 passing for 258 yards with two touchdown runs and one touchdown pass. Emmelheinz had 10 receptions for 130 yards.


GROVE CITY 7 7 0 7 -- 21

GC--Emmelhainz 67 pass from Smurthwaite (Nankivell kick)

HD--Mickley 11 run (Detmer kick)

HD--Mickley 3 run (Detmer kick)

GC--Smurthwaite 7 run (Nankivell kick)

HD--Mickley 1 run (Detmer kick)

HD--Mickley 2 run (Detmer kick)

GC--Smurthwaite 1 run (Nankivell kick)