A lot more than community bragging rights will be at stake on Friday, Oct. 28, when the Hilliard Davidson High School football team visits Hilliard Darby.

A lot more than community bragging rights will be at stake on Friday, Oct. 28, when the Hilliard Davidson High School football team visits Hilliard Darby.

The Wildcats, who beat Upper Arlington 25-7 on Oct. 21 to improve to 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the OCC-Central Division, can win the league title outright and improve their position in the Division I, Region 3 playoffs with a victory.

The Panthers, who defeated Westland 45-7 on Oct. 21 to improve to 7-2 and 4-2, are hoping a win will earn them a playoff berth for the second consecutive season.

Davidson beat Darby 16-0 last year for its third consecutive win in the series.

"Obviously, a cross-town rivalry game against Darby is going to be big," Davidson coach Brian White said. "Beating us can make their season. It doesn't look like at this point they're going to have the computer points to get in (the playoffs). Regardless, a win against us can certainly make their season and they have some great players in their own right.

"Hopefully, our kids will just come back and have a great week of practice because that's what it takes in order for us to play well on Friday nights."

Darby's spread-option offense will attempt to establish its running game against a Davidson defense that is allowing only 3.5 points per game.

Leading the Panthers in rushing are quarterback Chase Longwell (596 yards and 10 touchdowns on 114 carries), fullback Hayden Van Kirk (564 yards and four touchdowns on 98 carries) and slotback Dante Talley (455 yards and five touchdowns on 55 carries).
Longwell is 37-for-68 passing for 588 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Caleb Day has 16 receptions for 322 yards and five touchdowns.

Davidson's defense, which has been tough to run on, held UA to minus-32 yards on the ground.

Linebacker Dylan Skaggs had five of the Wildcats' six sacks against the Golden Bears, while linebacker Ian Losey tackled UA running back Gus Ackley in the end zone for a safety.

"We've got a lot of guys who can run the ball, so we need to execute up front by having our line get low and drive them off the ball," Darby junior fullback/linebacker Cameron Kohl said.

Against UA, Davidson's option offense was led by Alex Mickley (163 yards on 33 carries) and Tyler Talbott (66 yards on 14 carries).

Darby is led on defense by Kohl (74 tackles, two interception returns for touchdowns), Van Kirk (43 tackles) and Trevor Parker (43 tackles).

"Davidson runs the same offense we do, so we know we have to play all of our responsibilities to stop them," Kohl said. "We can't make mistakes or they will explode through them."

Watkins Memorial (4-5, 2-4) at Bradley (6-3, 3-3)

Hilliard Bradley will try to close the regular season strong when it plays Friday, Oct. 28, at home against Watkins Memorial in an OCC-Capital Division game.
Bradley fell to 6-3 overall and 3-3 in league play with a 33-14 loss at Olentangy Orange on Oct. 21. That dropped the Jaguars out of the league title race, two games behind Big Walnut, New Albany and Orange, which are 5-1 with one game remaining.

"We can't dwell on it. We have to get over it and put it past us," coach Mike LoParo said about the Orange loss. "It hurts and we don't like it, but we still have a chance to do something great. We only had (a combined) five wins in the first two seasons and we have a chance to finish 7-3. That's still quite an accomplishment. But we still have to prepare and focus for Watkins (Memorial) or they can beat us."

Bradley, a third-year program, has yet to beat Watkins Memorial, which won 21-14 last season and 26-14 in 2009.

On Oct. 14, the Warriors beat Franklin Heights 56-6 to improve to 4-5 and 2-4. Brenden Kemp scored on runs of 7 and 2 yards and Ron Carruthers-Kimball had a 6-yard touchdown run and an interception. Evan Din (2 yards), quarterback Jake Hopson (5), Tyler Hodge (4) and Le'Trel Taylor (25) also scored rushing touchdowns. Kevin Crawford had an interception.

"The last thing we want to do is overlook Watkins (Memorial)," LoParo said. "Our older kids have to lead the way and make sure the younger kids stay focused and keep working to progress this week."

Blake Scipio had 58 yards on 10 carries against Orange to increase his program-record of 1,089 rushing yards in a season. Senior Terell Stanford had 61 yards on eight carries with a 43-yard touchdown. Stanford, who has nearly 800 yards rushing this season, also had two receptions for 31 yards.

Quarterback Conor Driscoll was 8-for-17 passing for 81 yards with a 17-yard touchdown to Cody Klein, who had four catches for 32 yards. Jalen Jackson caught two passes for 18 yards.

"From watching film, they have a lot of speed," Watkins Memorial coach Jeff Severino said. "Mike LoParo (teams run) the triple-option awfully well. They have pretty good speed across the board and they are big. That could be a problem for us.

"We have to be really disciplined and we will be spending all week working on who has the quarterback, who has the dive (back) and who has the pitch (man). Any one of them could have the ball, so our defense needs to be disciplined. It will be a challenge."

-Scott Hennen