Hilliard Davidson at Dublin Coffman: Wildcats, Shamrocks expect no surprises in matchup

SCOTT HENNEN
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Devon Williams and Dublin Coffman will play host to Hilliard Davidson on Friday, Sept. 18.

The Hilliard Davidson football team may have a new face leading the program, but Dublin Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said little else will have changed when the OCC-Central Division rivals meet Friday, Sept. 18, at Coffman.

Jeremey Scally has taken over for Brian White, who led the Wildcats for 21 seasons. However, Crabtree still expects a run-oriented, clock-eating offense and the hard-nosed defense that have become Davidson trademarks.

Scally was Upper Arlington’s coach last fall, but before that he was a Davidson assistant for 12 seasons.

“They have a new coach, but it’s still a very similar mindset,” said Crabtree, whose team is 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Central. “A lot of the assistant coaches are holdovers from Brian White’s tenure. You won’t see any change in the defense, which always has been the backbone of the team.”

The Wildcats have won the last two meetings — 24-7 in 2018 and 15-14 last fall. Since 1997, Davidson holds a 19-11 edge in the series. Coffman last won 17-14 in 2017 and has a 4-3 advantage in postseason meetings.

The teams shared the league title with UA a year ago, with all three finishing 4-1.

“This one is different,” said Scally, whose team is 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the league. “If the kids had a red Sharpie out before the season and you ask them which game on the schedule that they would circle, that game would be Dublin Coffman.

“We’re rivals with Darby and Bradley because they’re Hilliard schools, but this is the big one. That’s something that will continue.”

Coffman scored two early touchdowns and let its defense do the rest in a 28-7 league win over visiting Olentangy Orange on Sept. 11. The Shamrocks limited Orange to 99 total yards.

Quarterback Connor Mathews rushed for a team-high 85 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries, and he was 9-for-14 passing for 71 yards. Running back Bryon Threats had 84 rushing yards on 15 carries, and slotback Sheron Phipps added 31 yards on three carries and six receptions for 35 yards.

Wide receiver Hunter Hicks had four catches for 37 yards.

“It’s like playing an all-star team,” Scally said. “They’re talented on offense and defense. There’s no shortage of talent. It wouldn’t surprise me if we’re playing against the Division I state champions.”

Davidson lost 22-17 to visiting Bradley on Sept. 11 despite rushing for 261 yards on 51 carries and holding a 31:44 to 16:51 edge in time of possession.

Junior running back Jonathan Weir rushed for 131 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries, and he also caught three passes for 42 yards. Junior running back Leo Nixon added 124 yards on 26 carries.

Junior quarterback Blake Pettit was 3-for-7 passing for 42 yards.

“In the end, it’s still running five guys through a hole and getting 3 1/2 yards per play to keep moving chains and keep working the clock,” Crabtree said. “They may look a little different, but it’s still the same Davidson.”

shennen@thisweeknews.com

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WEEK 4

HILLIARD DAVIDSON at DUBLIN COFFMAN

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18

•Last meeting: 2019, Davidson 15-14

•Davidson (1-2 overall, 0-2 in OCC-Central) to date: Defeated Hilliard Darby 17-13; lost to Olentangy Orange 20-7; lost to Hilliard Bradley 22-17

•Coffman (3-0 overall, 2-0 in OCC-Central) to date: Def. Dublin Jerome 41-6; def. Olentangy Liberty 24-17; def. Orange 28-7

•Top Wildcats: Jayden Humphrey (WR/DB), Jordan Lyles (WR/DB), Kaden Miller (OL/DL), Nick Monroe (DL), Leo Nixon (RB), Kyle Pepera (QB/LB), Blake Pettit (QB), Kevin Roberts (TE/DL), Owen Savage (OL/DL) and Jonathan Weir (RB)

•Top Shamrocks: Maguire Davis (LB), Connor Mathews (QB/P), O.J. Morris (LB), Sheron Phipps (WR/DB), Hammond Russell (DL), Toby Simpson (OL), Bryon Threats (RB/LB), Daniel Warnsman (OL), Dorian Weaver (DB) and Devon Williams (RB/LB)