Hilliard Davidson at Olentangy Liberty: Patriots not looking ahead despite Wildcats’ struggles
Although Hilliard Davidson is struggling, Olentangy Liberty coach Steve Hale is confident his team realizes it will face a proud program in Week 5.
The Wildcats visit Liberty on Friday, Sept. 25, looking to snap a three-game losing streak that has dropped them to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Central Division.
“Our kids know better than to overlook Hilliard Davidson,” said Hale, whose team is 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the league. “We’ve been playing them for a long time and we’ve had epic battles with those people.
“Most of that staff is intact. They’re trying to figure it out, but we know one thing, they’re going to come out and they’re going to hit you and they’re going to grind that football. If we’re not disciplined and ready for a physical battle, we’re going to be in trouble.”
The series is tied at four, with Liberty winning 22-10 last season.
Davidson is coming off a 49-0 loss at Dublin Coffman on Sept. 18, a game in which it was held to 64 yards of total offense while allowing 542.
Leo Nixon rushed for 42 yards on six carries to lead the Wildcats.
“I believe in what we’re doing,” Davidson coach Jeremey Scally said. “I believe in who we have and it’s just, for whatever reason, it just hasn’t clicked all at the same time.”
Liberty defeated Hilliard Bradley 38-17 on Sept. 18 as Aidan Kenley rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
Quarterback Mitch Fields completed seven of 12 passes for 74 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Patriots rushed for 251 yards.
“They’re just so fundamentally sound and they know how to win,” Scally said. “They have a really good running back (Kenley) and he’s A-plus. He’s a tremendous running back.
“You just look at their technique across the board and they know how to win and we’re learning how to win. There’s a big difference. As good as they are, it has to be Davidson versus Davidson Monday through Friday.”
HILLIARD DAVIDSON at OLENTANGY LIBERTY
•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25
•Last meeting: 2019, Liberty 22-10
•Davidson (1-3 overall, 0-3 in OCC-Central) to date: Defeated Hilliard Darby 17-13; lost to Olentangy Orange 20-7; lost to Hilliard Bradley 22-17; lost to Dublin Coffman 49-0
•Liberty (3-1 overall, 2-1 in OCC-Central) to date: Def. Olentangy Berlin 35-21; lost to Coffman 24-17; def. Upper Arlington 21-14; def. Bradley 38-17
•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 Patriots: Cam Barcus (WR), Jacob Bonacci (DL/TE), Mitch Fields (QB), Matt Hale (WR), Aidan Kenley (RB), Dom Magistrale (WR), Tyler Rosselli (RB/WR), Drew Thornton (DB), Matthew Wrather (OL) and Brian Yamokoski (LB)