Hilliard Davidson High School football coach Brian White realizes his sport is a game of adjustments.
After being contained offensively in a scoreless first half, the host Wildcats made effective changes during the break on their way to a 21-0 win over Upper Arlington on Oct. 11.
Davidson improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Central Division, while UA fell to 3-4 and 2-2.
“It was adjustments in attitude,” White said. “I thought they were playing harder than us. We adjusted our desire. I didn’t yell at them at halftime. I just told them I was a little disappointed and that seniors, if we don’t get some things turned around real fast, we’re going to blow an opportunity for a pretty special season.”
After being held to 55 yards in the first half, Davidson drove 70 yards on eight plays on its first possession of the second half, capped by D.D. Clark’s 29-yard touchdown run with 9 minutes, 10 seconds left in the third quarter.
It didn’t take long for Davidson to strike again, as Markus Bailey intercepted a Kyle Kaparos pass and scored on a 33-yard interception return just 48 seconds later.
“When we throw a pick six, it’s not a team you can get behind 14-0,” UA coach Mike Golden said. “They’re just too good on defense to get behind like that.”
Another big play added to the Wildcats’ lead on their next possession, with quarterback Nick Iske connecting with Nick Stull for a 59-yard touchdown to make it 21-0. It was the 23rd pass attempt of the season for Iske.
“We made too many dumb mistakes in the second half,” Golden said. “They made some nice adjustments by unbalancing the line a little bit, trying to get a crease and a crack. They took advantage of that.”
The scoreless first half was a battle of field position and defense controlled by the Golden Bears, who held the Wildcats to two first downs before the break.
UA limited Davidson to 28 yards rushing in the first quarter and had an advantage of 31-20 in total plays in the first half.
The Golden Bears outgained Davidson 117-55 in the first half, and finished with a 226-213 advantage.
UA drove into Davidson territory late in the first quarter, but the drive ended when Davidson linebacker Ben Brooks recovered a fumble by Lewis Hughes.
The Wildcats moved into UA territory just once in the first half, but were forced to punt at Golden Bears’ 38 early in the second quarter.
HD--Clark 29 run (Johns kick)
HD--Bailey 33 interseption return (Johns kick)
HD--Stull 59 pass from Iske (Johns kick)