Griffin Grady knows what to expect.
Griffin Grady knows what to expect.
The senior linebacker for the Dublin Coffman High School football team said there will be no surprises when the Shamrocks travel to Hilliard Davidson on Friday, Sept. 18, to open OCC-Central Division play.
But that doesn't mean facing the Wildcats won't be challenging.
"We know what they are doing and they know what we are doing," Grady said. "They are going to run the ball right at you and you just have to stop it. That's what they do. ... They run it down your throat."
Both teams enter the matchup with a 2-1 record. Davidson is coming off a 20-0 win over host Hilliard Bradley 20-0 on Sept. 11. That same night, Coffman lost 28-7 at Fairfield.
Coffman and Davidson met twice last season, with the former winning both meetings. The Shamrocks won the regular-season game 24-9 en route to winning the OCC-Central championship and outlasted the Wildcats 14-10 in the opening round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs.
In the postseason meeting, Coffman quarterback Gunnar Hoak connected with 2015 graduate Kyle Marcinick on a 54-yard touchdown pass with 4 minutes, 32 seconds remaining for what proved to be the winning score. Another 2015 Coffman graduate, Reagan Malas, knocked away a Davidson pass on fourth down from the Shamrocks' 8-yard line with 10 seconds left to seal the outcome.
Before last season, Davidson won five of the previous six meetings, including playoff matchups in 2009 and 2012.
The Wildcats lead the all-time series 18-12.
"The rivalry is huge," said Grady, who has committed to the Wisconsin. "(Dublin) Scioto is our crosstown rival and Olentangy Liberty is another rival, but Coffman-Davidson goes back to when it was just Dublin and Hilliard. That game is always circled on my calendar.
"It's a rivalry that can never be taken lightly. We beat them twice last year, but these are two completely different teams. We still know what to expect from both sides."
Davidson coach Brian White said his defense will have to be disciplined if it is to stop Coffman's spread attack led by Hoak, a senior and Kentucky recruit who has completed 26 of 50 passes for 468 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Hoak was 8-for-21 passing for 37 yards with no touchdowns and one interception against Fairfield.
"We have to mix things up because they have such chemistry on offense," White said. "Maybe the biggest thing is keeping them off the field. We have to be able to do that -- win the time of possession -- and that may be the best way to limit what they can do."
Davidson dominated the time of possession in its first meeting with Bradley. The Wildcats had three long touchdown drives, including one that covered 61 yards on 16 plays and took more than seven minutes off the clock.>> Check out highlight videos from Coffman's
and Davidson's games Sept. 11
"The 16-play drive we had was so important for us," Davidson senior quarterback Jack Klein said. "We kept the clock running and kept (the Jaguars') offense off the field. That's the way we will have to play against Coffman."
Davidson dominated Bradley from the start, holding the Jaguars without a first down in the opening half and limiting them 10 total yards in the first two quarters. The Wildcats totaled 297 yards for the game and limited Bradley to just 82 total yards.
Through three games, junior running back Ryan Royer leads the Wildcats in rushing with 253 yards and four touchdowns on 61 carries. Klein has 111 yards and one touchdown on 35 carries and is 15-for-29 passing for 198 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Senior running back Destry Snyder has 94 yards rushing on 30 carries.
"We had the ball more than 35 minutes against Bradley, and we have to have that kind of game against Coffman," White said. "Bradley is similar to Coffman offensively. They both run the spread, but Bradley is in its first year in that scheme. Coffman has been running it since coach (Mark) Crabtree came there (in 2001), so (the Shamrocks) have things down."
Against Fairfield, Coffman was limited to 62 total yards. Defensive back Ryan Boyle had two interceptions.
Through three games, sophomore running back Gavin Sturdivant has 415 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 50 carries. He has been filling in for senior running back Stephen Headings, who missed the first three games with a groin injury.
Senior Eric Bradford leads the Shamrocks' receiving corps with 12 catches for 219 yards and five touchdowns. Senior Brady Rothgeb has six receptions for 83 yards and one score.