Keith Heitzman was ready to lie down and take a nap last Saturday on the artificial turf at Marv Moorehead Stadium in Upper Arlington.

Keith Heitzman was ready to lie down and take a nap last Saturday on the artificial turf at Marv Moorehead Stadium in Upper Arlington.

The senior defensive end for the Hilliard Davidson High School football team had just watched teammate Casey Topp tip away a pass from the hands of Pickerington Central's Eilar Hardy with 3 seconds left in the fourth quarter of a Division I regional final.

But with the Wildcats holding a 13-6 edge, Heitzman and the Davidson defense would have to hold the Tigers on one last play.

"That scared the crap out of me," Heitzman said of Topp's tip-away. "I was dead at the time, but they still had 3 seconds to go. We had a talk before the play that we had to get to the passer and get things to go our way."

Then, Central quarterback Nick Jensen-Clagg dropped back to pass as the Davidson defensive front descended on him, led by Heitzman, who picked up his third sack of the game to go with a forced fumble.

"I had one or two guys on me, but our defensive backs made sure everyone was covered to give us more time to get there," said Heitzman, who made a verbal commitment to play at Vanderbilt. "I was able to get through and over a couple of people to get (to Jensen-Clagg)."

The sack sealed the victory, gave Davidson another week of practice and Heitzman some time to rest before the Wildcats play against Huber Heights Wayne at 7 p.m. Saturday at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.

Wayne is 10-3 after defeating Cincinnati St. Xavier 28-24 last Saturday and is led by quarterback Braxton Miller, an Ohio State recruit. It was the Warriors' first regional championship since 1999.

The fourth-ranked Wildcats improved to 13-0, winning their second consecutive regional title and their fourth in the last six seasons. Davidson secured the final-four appearance on the strength of a dominating first half when its defense allowed only 1 yard of total offense, zero first downs and forced two turnovers - interceptions by Topp and Chase Delande.

"Our defensive coaches did a great job getting us ready to play," coach Brian White said. "When (Central) started to move on us in the second half, (our coaches) were able to make the adjustments."

The Wildcats had 74 of their 162 yards rushing in the first quarter to build a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard run by Jimmy Curtis. J.D. Detmer hit field goals of 32 and 47 yards in the second quarter for the 13-0 advantage.

"It was just an attitude coming off of the ball," center Logan Backstrom said. "We wanted to be first off of the ball and make sure they were reacting to us instead of the other way around."

Alex Mickley led the Wildcats with 94 yards on 28 carries and Tyler Talbott added 41 yards on 10 attempts. Nick Seiffert had 20 yards on six carries.

"We came out fired up and we knew we had to hit them in the mouth in the first half," Talbott said. "We were able to do that because our offensive line was awesome."

Though hard to imagine during the heat of August preseason, the Wildcats are actually looking forward to another week of practice, especially on Thanksgiving.

"This week is always great," Backstrom said. "You always want to practice on Thanksgiving because it shows that you have accomplished a lot."

But aside from a trophy, the regional title also brings other rewards dear to the heart of a 6-foot-3, 275-pound lineman.

"Last year (after reaching a state semifinal), our principal (John Bandow) took us to Der Dutchman (restaurant in Plain City)," Backstrom said. "That would be great to do again."