Football | Week 1 Preview
Grove City at Hilliard Davidson
The high school football game between Grove City and Hilliard Davidson has become an early season tradition.
The teams open against each other for the fourth consecutive year Friday, Aug. 30, at Davidson.
The Wildcats have controlled the series, winning the last seven meetings. However, coach Brian White said he expects another test from the Dawgs, who lost last year's opener 26-14.
"We know each other's programs pretty well and we know that they have big, strong tough kids down there that will certainly come up and give us everything we can handle, and hopefully we can return that and be competitive against them as well," White said.
Grove City's last win in the series was 33-28 in 2003.
Coach Matt Jordan said his defense will be challenged to contain Davidson's option attack. Senior lineman Ryan Serafini and junior cornerback Peyton Bowyer are key defensive players for Grove City.
"You always know what you're going to get (with Davidson)," Jordan said. "They're the master of technician. They do everything the right way. They just do what they do and they do it well, and they just keep coming. That's on both sides of the ball."
Senior Nick Iske returns at quarterback for the Wildcats. He missed the final eight games last season after tearing tendons in his left ankle in week five against Central Crossing.
Senior fullback D.D. Clark returns after rushing for 853 yards and five touchdowns. Senior Phillipie Motley, a University of Pittsburgh recruit, is another threat at slotback, and senior center Jared Johns anchors the offensive line.
White said his defense will be tested by Grove City's triple-option attack led by senior quarterback Cameron Meece, who last season rushed for a team-high 1,102 yards and 16 touchdowns and passed for 662 yards and five scores.
Senior running backs Corey Williams (479 yards rushing) and Jake Norbut (198 yards) also return.
Davidson's defense is led by senior Alex Backenstoe (LB) and Motley (CB).
Last season, the Wildcats reached the Division I, Region final and lost to Pickerington North 21-0 to finish 10-3.
Grove City, which went 5-5 a year ago, is seeking its first postseason berth since 2008, when it lost to Davidson 38-7 in the first round.