The Hilliard Darby and Davidson high school football teams run different variations of an option offense.

The Hilliard Darby and Davidson high school football teams run different variations of an option offense.

So according to Davidson coach Brian White, each team's defense should be well prepared for most of what it will see from its opponent when the Panthers play host to the Wildcats on Friday, Sept. 4.

"We're very similar offensively, so we see each other basically every day in practice," White said. "We see their offense in practice and they see our offense. They may throw a little bit more than we do, so we have to be ready for that. It's going to be a battle.

"Very few games we've played with them haven't been battles."

Both coaches agree that the game has the potential to turn into a low-scoring slugfest, much like last year's matchup that Davidson won 10-7 to take a 6-2 lead in the all-time series.

Each team enters the contest 1-0. In their openers Aug. 28, the Wildcats defeated visiting Grove City 20-0 and the Panthers beat host Clayton Northmont 21-7.

"When you play another option team, they typically know how to defend it because their defense sees it all the time," Darby coach John Santagata said. "Davidson runs more power out of their option than most teams, so that's an extra challenge for our defense. Both of us like to run the ball, too, which drains the clock and doesn't leave as many opportunities to score."

Darby quarterback Nick Powers rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries and was 2-for-5 passing for 16 yards against Northmont. Fullback Kyle Colvin rushed for 128 yards and a score on 24 attempts and slotback Ritchie Palsgrove ran for 59 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

"Obviously, I've seen Darby on film... and it's going to take a heck of an effort," White said. "Nick Powers is unbelievable. Nick Powers is one of the best athletes in the city of Hilliard and in central Ohio. He can throw the ball, he can run the ball. He's big, he's strong, he's smart."

Davidson is coming off a dominant defensive effort in which it forced two turnovers and limited Grove City to 99 total yards, including 83 yards rushing on 26 carries. Defensive back Nick Cummings intercepted a pass to set up place kicker Robert Le Fevre's first of two field goals, which gave the Wildcats a 10-0 lead at halftime.

Running back Ryan Royer led Davidson's offense in the opener, rushing for 80 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Quarterback Jack Klein was 6-for-11 passing for 52 yards and scored on a 1-yard run.

Those two accounted for the majority of Davidson's offensive production, as the Wildcats rushed for 167 yards on 48 carries.

Safety Jonte Peterson led Darby's defense against Northmont with 10 tackles and cornerback Willie Lewis and linebacker Thomas Scholl both had nine.

"We're very familiar with Davidson's offense and both teams know each other very well," Darby senior linebacker Braeden Hook said. "Stopping the option mostly comes down to discipline. Each of us will have an assignment to cover and we each have to hold up our end to keep all of their options covered."