After reaching the Division I, Region 3 final last season, Hilliard Davidson High School football coach Brian White thought he might face some rebuilding.

After reaching the Division I, Region 3 final last season, Hilliard Davidson High School football coach Brian White thought he might face some rebuilding.

The Wildcats return just four starters and have added several first-year varsity players.

White will get an indication of his team's progress in the opener Friday, Aug. 24, at Grove City.

"We have some talented kids, but we're inexperienced," he said. "We're just going to have to figure out a way to gain some experience real fast."

Grove City has faced a rebuilding issue of its own. It did not play in 2009 because of a failed school district levy.

The Wildcats and Dawgs have played the past two seasons, including Grove City's first game back in 2010, when visiting Davidson held on for a 28-21 win.

Last season, the Wildcats won 28-7 at home in the opener. Davidson went on to finish 11-1, losing to Pickerington Central 24-0 in the regional final.

Grove City finished 3-7.

"It's a great matchup," Dawgs coach Matt Jordan said. "I think we always play them very tough. It's a great, physical game. They're a very disciplined, thorough football team, and we're hoping to get that way."

White hopes the return of senior running back E.J. Jennings (6-foot, 218 pounds) to the lineup will help fill the void left by graduation. Jennings missed the final seven games last season with a broken ankle.

Junior Nick Iske (6-0, 184) replaces 2012 graduate Brandon Gleim at quarterback.

A returning starter on defense is senior tackle Nick Wright (5-9, 277), who also plays tight end.

Grove City is looking to improve a defense that allowed 31.2 points per game in 2010 and 29.2 last season.

Key defensive players should include senior linebackers Tyler Conner (6-2, 230) and Chad Moore (6-0, 195).

Junior Cameron Meece (5-11, 175) has emerged as the starting quarterback, as Grove City has switched from the spread to the triple option.

Juniors Corey Williams (5-8, 196) and Ike Pack (6-1, 185) are key running backs.