The Hilliard Davidson High School football team will begin its chase for a third state championship when it plays host to Miamisburg in a Division I, Region 2 first-round playoff game Saturday, Nov. 9.
The Wildcats, who beat Marysville 42-7 in its regular-season finale Nov. 1 to improve to 10-0 overall and clinch the outright OCC-Central Division title, are the top seed in the region.
Miamisburg, which defeated West Carrolton 35-7 on Nov. 1 to improve to 7-3, is the 16th seed.
The winner will play eighth-seeded Pickerington North or ninth-seeded Fairfield in the second round Nov. 16.
Davidson is making its sixth consecutive postseason appearance and 10th in the last 11 years. The Wildcats won state titles in 2006 and 2009.
"We're always going to have a target on our back no matter who we play because any team would love to (give) Davidson its one loss this season," senior linebacker and tight end Alex Backenstoe said. "I felt like throughout the entire season we've had a target on our back, so I don't think there's any added pressure at this point.
"We love this time of year. We get an extra week to spend with each other. You can't ask for much more."
Miamisburg is making its first playoff appearance since 2000 and second overall. The Vikings went 5-0 on the road during the regular season.
"They have three losses, but we feel like the teams they've lost to are probably pretty good," coach Brian White said. "They've faced some tough competition this year and I'm sure they'll be ready for us Saturday night."
According to White, Miamisburg runs a wing-T offense and employs a 4-2-5 base defense.
The Vikings' offense is directed by quarterback Lance Brockman, who has completed 63 of 130 passes for 768 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Running back Chris Young has rushed for 1,107 yards and 16 touchdowns and running back Chris Yerkins has 742 yards and five touchdowns. Wide receiver Adam Giles leads the team with 19 receptions for 148 yards and a touchdown.
The Vikings' defense is led by end Austin Robbins, who has a team-high 75 tackles.
"Miamisburg is a lot like (Upper Arlington) with their wing-T stuff," Backenstoe said. "We have to start preparing mentally because it's going to be a little bigger of a game."
Davidson's option attack is led by running back D.D. Clark, who has rushed for 1,506 yards and 16 touchdowns. He ran for 300 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries against Marysville.
Senior running back and wide receiver Phillipie Motley has rushed for 511 yards and six touchdowns and junior running back Markus Bailey has 405 yards and 10 scores.
Davidson finished 7-0 in the OCC-Central while winning its fourth consecutive league title.
"This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the kids and seeing the dedication they've put in, starting last December to get ready for this season, to see them reap the rewards of that hard work and get a little bit of icing on the cake that they've already earned," White said of winning the league title and earning a playoff berth.