The Hilliard Davidson football team doesn't face too many teams that remind it of itself, and that definitely has not been the case in recent meetings against OCC-Central Division rival Upper Arlington.
This year is different, however, given that longtime Wildcats assistant Jeremey Scally is in his first season as coach of the Golden Bears.
Davidson will try for its 13th consecutive win in the rivalry dating to 2008 when it visits UA on Friday, Oct. 11.
"They're doing a lot of the same things we do and having some success. Defensively, especially, they're trying to institute the same scheme," Wildcats coach Brian White said. "There aren't too many teams around anymore that run the option like we do. (Hilliard) Darby is one and Jeff Gafford used to when he was at Worthington Kilbourne."
The Wildcats improved to 4-2 overall with a 35-0 win over visiting Central Crossing on Oct. 4 in their league opener. That same night, UA defeated Westland 41-23 in its league opener to improve to 3-3 and hit the .500 mark for the first time since Week 2.
"They're a machine, 20 years in the making," Scally said. "You don't go into games and just outcoach Brian White and his staff. I'm confident they have all of our games from the season broken down. I know how well they prepare and coach. They don't adapt the scheme to their personnel, they adapt personnel to their scheme."
Scally was an assistant at Davidson from 2004-13 and again the past two years, coaching tight ends in 2017 and quarterbacks last year before being hired at UA in January.
According to White, this will be the first time his team faces a former assistant who now is a head coach since a 31-24 win over Westerville North in 2005. The Warriors were coached by Chad Williams at the time.
Jonathan Weir rushed for 147 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries to lead Davidson past Central Crossing, which it outgained 302-78 in total yards.
"Our confidence had been shaken. It wasn't just that we lost to Olentangy Liberty and Pickerington Central, because a lot of teams are going to lose to them this year, but it was how we lost," White said. "We weren't playing well in any phase. We had a better week of practice last week and it paid off."
Quarterback Jake Leve ran for two touchdowns to lead the Bears past Westland. UA pulled away with 17 unanswered points in the third quarter.
"(Leve) looked comfortable," Scally said. "Maybe the loneliest seat in the stadium is for a quarterback who runs the option, but he's doing a good job of learning and buying in."