A lot more than community bragging rights will be at stake Friday, Oct. 28, when Hilliard Davidson visits Hilliard Darby in an OCC-Central Division game.

A lot more than community bragging rights will be at stake Friday, Oct. 28, when Hilliard Davidson visits Hilliard Darby in an OCC-Central Division game.

The Wildcats, who beat Upper Arlington 25-7 on Oct. 21 to improve to 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the OCC-Central, 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."

-Aaron Blankenship