The Hilliard Davidson High School football team unveiled its new synthetic turf field Aug. 25 with a familiar game plan.

The Wildcats used their patented ground attack, along with a solid defensive effort, to defeat Grove City 24-0 in the opener for both teams.

Ben Wright scored on three short runs and Davidson’s defense limited the Dawgs to just 93 total yards and forced three turnovers.

Wright scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards in the first half and added a 1-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter to give the Wildcats a 21-0 lead. Jacob Bauer’s fumble recovery at the Grove City 5-yard line set up the third score.

Wright finished with 120 yards rushing on 28 carries.

Davidson, which did not attempt a pass, outgained Grove City 236-93 in total yards.

“I’m extremely happy,” Davidson coach Brian White said. “I’m sure when we watch the film we’ll find a ton of mistakes that we made tonight, but it was the effort that they gave tonight that I’m so proud of. We work them like dogs. This is a tough-person sport. You can’t play this sport if you don’t have some mental and physical toughness, and our guys are showing that.”

D.J. Gatewood, who missed most of last season with a broken leg, rushed for 52 yards on 15 carries to lead the Dawgs.

“Our defense was on the field the entire night,” first-year Grove City coach Tennyson Varney said. “You can’t get mad at them. Three short fields, one a 1-yard field. That’s Hilliard Davidson football. They did a great job. We didn’t execute and they sure did.”

Grove City played without running back Devin Dukes, a transfer from Ready who was not cleared to play because of OHSAA transfer rules.

Dukes was the Division VI district Offensive Player of the Year last season, rushing for 2,194 yards and 32 touchdowns.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final GROVE CITY
0 0 0 0 0 HILLIARD DAVIDSON
7 7 7 3 24

HD—Wright 1 run (Carrier kick)

HD—Wright 3 run (Carrier kick)

HD—Wright 1 run (Carrier kick)

HD—Carrier 20 FG

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