Although its roster has drastically changed, the game plan remains the same for the Hilliard Davidson High School football team.

Although its roster has drastically changed, the game plan remains the same for the Hilliard Davidson High School football team.

The Wildcats used a potent running attack and solid defense to beat host Grove City 26-10 in the opener Aug. 26.

Davidson returned six starters from a team that reached a Division I, Region 2 semifinal last season before losing to Huber Heights Wayne 20-6.

Wildcats coach Brian White wasn't sure how his relatively inexperienced team would fare early in the season, but for at least one night, he was pleased.

"I'm so proud of the kids," White said. "We have so many new starters. Who knows how they're going to react in a hostile environment? Grove City is a school that has a home field advantage. I'm pleased. We had our share of mistakes, so we'll have to learn and get better on film before next week's (Hilliard) Darby game, but I'm happy how they came out and responded."

Running back Ryan Royer rushed for 118 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries and senior kicker David Hoyle made field goals of 47 and 39 yards to lead the way for the Wildcats. Hoyle, who is in his first season on the football team, is the starting goalkeeper on the Davidson boys soccer team.

"Let's welcome David Hoyle to football," White told his team following the game.

Grove City took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on Zach Sammeth's 23-yard field goal, which was set up by Chris Witcher's 57-yard run to the Davidson 12.

From there, the Wildcats took control, taking a 13-3 lead into halftime. Royer scored on a 4-yard run and Hoyle kicked both of his field goals, including the 47-yarder as time expired in the first half.

The Wildcats added to their lead in the third quarter on Royer's 4-yard touchdown run, with the senior accounting for 61 of his team's 70 yards on the drive.

Royer closed Davidson's scoring with a 14-yard run in the fourth.

Grove City, which finished with 162 total yards, capped the scoring on Dylan Schoonover's 5-yard run in the fourth quarter.

"They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball," Grove City coach Mike Lanza said of Davidson. "That was the name of the game. We just have to keep getting better."

Grove City running back D.J. Gatewood injured his leg in the fourth quarter and was transported to a local hospital for medical attention. Lanza said Gatewood may have suffered a broken leg.


Team 1 2 3 4 Final HILLIARD DAVIDSON
0 13 7 6 26 GROVE CITY
3 0 0 7 10

GC-Sammeth 23 FG

HD-Royer 4 run (Hoyle kick)

HD-Hoyle 39 FG

HD-Hoyle 47 FG

HD-Royer 4 run (Hoyle kick)

HD-Royer 14 run (kick failed)

GC-Schoonover 5 run (Sammeth kick)