Hilliard Davidson High School football coach Brian White was full of energy before, during and after the game and looked to be in excellent health. Just the same, he was asked how he was feeling for good reason.
The Wildcats took another major step toward erasing the bad memories of not making the playoffs last season with a 17-10 victory over Hilliard Bradley on Sept. 7 before a near-capacity crowd at Davidson.
Davidson (3-0) wouldn’t have won had it not recovered two fumbles, intercepted two passes and blocked a punt.
What got the Jaguars (2-1) in a downward spiral, though, was halfback Christian Sweet completing two passes, a 52-yard touchdown pass to C.W. Hess on the game’s first possession and a 34-yard completion to Evan Tekancic to the 1-yard line on the final play of the first quarter that set up a touchdown by Jordan Hicks.
White called for five passes in all, which for this team is really airing it out.
“You might think I’m not feeling well,” he said. “They are so aggressive in the secondary, and we thought we could pull off a few of those. If they go incomplete, you are an idiot. We were fortunate they worked.”
Sweet, a senior, smiled when asked if he would try out for quarterback this week. Both passes were on the numbers.
“Maybe I will,” he said. “That would be a lot of fun. Their corners are aggressive, and we knew it was going to be a hard, crazy game. When they flew up to the line, I just did what I could.”
Bradley defeated Davidson 28-10 last season and 31-28 in 2016. The Wildcats won the first meeting 20-0 in ’15.
This was a lot like a playoff game for both teams.
“This is huge,” Sweet said. “Since I was in the eighth grade, we had not beaten these guys. They are our crosstown brothers, and it feels good.”
The Jaguars will watch the film to examine each turnover, and what they will see are Wildcats everywhere.
Bradley lost fumbles on its first two possessions, with the second resulting in a 31-yard field goal by Sean Carrier with 1 minute, 22 seconds left in the first quarter for a 10-0 lead.
The blocked punt set up the third score. Ethan Royer and Evan Annis burst through the line, with Royer getting a hand on it. Davidson recovered at the Bradley 36. Three plays later, Hicks scored.
“We just had a rush on that play, and everybody held a couple of blocks and I just slipped through,” Royer said. “Those turnovers were all huge plays in the game. We want to win the turnover battle. Lots of guys on the defense stepped up.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final HILLIARD BRADLEY 0 3 0 7 10 HILLIARD DAVIDSON
10 7 0 0 17