Hilliard Davidson 22 Dublin Coffman 7: Wildcats cash in on turnovers to reach state semifinals
By Mark Znidar The Columbus Dispatch Sunday November 22, 2009 6:28 AM
It has been said that the Hilliard Davidson football team is boring from its triple-option offense right down to those plain blue and white uniforms.
To its fans, their team isn't boring but remarkably efficient.
The Wildcats reached their second state semifinal in four years with a workmanlike 22-7 victory over Dublin Coffman in a Division I regional championship game last night before a crowd of approximately 8,000 at Upper Arlington.
The deciding factor was the Shamrocks committing three turnovers, two of which led to touchdowns by Davidson.
"It's a cliche, but turnovers in games like these will be the determining factor," Davidson coach Brian White said. "All the credit goes to our defense. I told the defensive coaches during the week that it would take 22 points to win and they took offense to that. We didn't need the 22 points."
Davidson (11-1) put the game away with a crunching nine-play, 58-yard drive capped by a 1-yard run by quarterback Jake Trubiano with 9 minutes, 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Then Trubiano, who holds for extra points, caught Coffman (12-1) off guard by rolling right and throwing to Pat Dougherty for the two-point conversion.
The Wildcats first touchdown was set up by an interception by defensive back Max Friedman on a tipped pass. He returned the ball 7 yards to the Coffman 32-yard line.
"We knew big plays give you momentum and they also change things for teams," Friedman said. "We had to calm down and I think the interception did that for us. Both teams came in so charged up. After that we just said we had to fly to the ball, and that's what we did."
Five plays after the interception, Spencer Delande ran 4 yards for a touchdown with 8:40 left in the quarter.
Davidson took a two-touchdown lead with 5 minutes left in the second quarter when Delande ran over right guard for a 34-yard score. That capped a seven-play drive in which the Wildcats converted two third downs.
That touchdown also was set up by a Coffman mistake when linebacker Kenny Klatt recovered a fumble by Shaun Jones at the Davidson 42-yard line.
When Coffman defeated Davidson 10-7 during the regular season, Delande and running back Rico Butler did not play because of injuries and Trubiano sat out because of the flu.
This time, quarterback Cole Stoudt and linebacker Brett Buehler, the district defensive player of the year, sat out. Buehler has a broken foot and Stoudt has a broken leg.
"We were pumped to play this time," Delande said. "We knew we had to hold on to the ball and get 4 yards at a time. Our offense was moving them off the line. This game was just one more step to a state championship."
Coffman finally broke through when quarterback Colton Caldwell hit receiver E.J. Williams for a 72-yard touchdown pass with 4:09 left in the second quarter. Williams caught the ball at the Davidson 35 and was home free after the defensive back lunged to deflect the pass and fell.
Without question, this has been the most dynamic series between Division I teams in central Ohio in the last five years.
Davidson has won five of the seven games, but five games have been decided by eight points or less.