The Hilliard Davidson High School football team made a triumphant return to the postseason by using its patented ground attack.
After failing to make the playoffs last season for the first time since 2007, the Wildcats opened the Division I, Region 3 playoffs with a 28-21 win over eighth-seeded Huber Heights Wayne on Nov. 2 at home.
The top-seeded Wildcats improved to 10-1 and will play fourth-seeded Springfield in a regional semifinal Nov. 9. Springfield defeated fifth-seeded Kettering Fairmont 19-14 in the first round Nov. 2.
Jordan Hicks rushed for 194 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries to lead the Wildcats.
Kalib O’Connor added 92 yards on 13 carries and quarterback Carson Felicetty added 74 yards on 11 carries for Davidson, which racked up 374 yards on the ground.
After the Warriors opened the scoring on Devin Nelson’s 9-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter, Davidson responded with a 65-yard drive capped by Hicks’ 20-yard touchdown run with 2 minutes, 17 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Davidson turned to its defense to take the lead for good as Ethan Royer’s interception helped set up Hicks’ 8-yard touchdown run and a 14-7 lead with 9:10 remaining in the second quarter.
The Wildcats added to their lead with a pair of third-quarter touchdowns as Hicks scored on runs of 7 and 4 yards. The first score was aided by a personal foul against Wayne on a missed field goal by Sean Carrier.
Wayne closed the scoring with a pair of Rashad McKee touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors finished with 501 total yards, led by McKee, who completed 17 of 21 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
“They are really good, especially offensively, but (the scoreboard) is the only thing that matters,” Davidson coach Brian White said. “I’m really proud of our guys. We obviously made a tremendous amount of mistakes. We turned the ball over, had stupid penalties.
“Most of the time against a team like that, you’re not going to advance when you do as many dumb things as we did tonight. But for some reason, it still worked out for us. Hopefully, at some point sooner or later, like before next week, we can get some things cleaned up.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final HUBER HEIGHTS WAYNE 7 0 0 14 21 HILLIARD DAVIDSON
7 7 14 0 28
W—Nelson 9 run (Hawley kick)
HD—Hicks 20 run (Carrier kick)
HD—Hicks 8 run (Carrier kick)
HD—Hicks 7 run (Carrier kick)
HD—Hicks 4 run (Carrier kick)
W—Nelson 31 pass from McKee (Hawley kick)
W—Harris 17 pass from McKee (Hawley kick)