Defending state champs still alive for playoffs; Davidson turns it up a notch in second half

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Davidson 41, West. North 14
Hilliard Davidson senior Clay Trubiano realized there was no need for any halftime lecture. After a sluggish first half resulting in a 14-7 lead against
Westerville North on Friday, the Wildcats came alive in the second half
in a 41-14 win over the host Warriors. Trubiano ignited the second half rally, and finished with 201 yards on
24 carries. He scored on touchdown runs of the 61 and 10 yards.


WESTERVILLE – Hilliard Davidson senior Clay Trubiano realized there was no need for any halftime lecture.

After a sluggish first half resulting in a 14-7 lead against Westerville North on Friday, the Wildcats came alive in the second half in a 41-14 win over the host Warriors.

Trubiano ignited the second half rally, and finished with 201 yards on 24 carries. He scored on touchdown runs of the 61 and 10 yards.

“Coach (Brian) White didn’t even yell at us at halftime,” Trubiano said. “We were all so disappointed. We had nothing to do but to play with passion and heart that we haven’t played with all year because the offense really has not done anything all year long. Our defense has kept us in every game.”

Despite the win, the defending state champion’s playoff hopes remain slim.

Davidson entered the week 10th in the Division I Region 3 rankings. The three teams in front of them – Lancaster, Upper Arlington and Groveport-Madison – each won leaving the Wildcats on the outside looking in.

The top eight teams qualify for the postseason.

Davidson stands at 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Buckeye Division, and will close out its regular season on Friday at home against Grove City.

The Warriors, which celebrated Senior Night, dropped to 1-8 overall and 0-4 in the division and will visit state-ranked Dublin Coffman on Friday.

Senior quarterback Connor Dietz added touchdown runs of 31 and 17 yards for Davidson, and finished with nine carries for 86 yards.

The visitors struck quickly as senior Joey Ciamacco fielded a Matt Schaublin punt and dashed 72 yards untouched for the game’s first score 3:01 into the contest.

Davidson led 7-0 after one quarter despite running just two offensive plays from scrimmage.

North took advantage of the Wildcats’ second fumble of the first half to tie the game early in the second quarter. Quarterback Adam Krieger capped a short 27-yard drive by connecting with Matt Workman for a 12-yard touchdown with 9:27 left in the half. Simon Wallace’s fumble recovery and return into Davidson territory set up the tying score.

Davidson began to wear down the Warriors midway through the second quarter as Dietz’s 31-yard TD run gave his team the lead for good with 2:39 remaining.

The Wildcats took control in the second half, scoring on their first two possessions to open a 28-7 lead midway through the third quarter.

Dietz capped a 65-yard drive to open the half with an 11-yard TD run and Trubiano scored on a 10-yard run to help the visitors pull away.

Krieger’s second TD pass of the game, a 4-yard strike to Andrew Ziegler closed out North’s scoring with 3:56 left in the third quarter. Troy Van Meter’s 65-yard run helped set up the score.

Davidson sealed the win on Trubiano’s 61-yard TD run and Ryan Meadows’ 5-yard score.

“We finally did a couple things right in the second half that we didn’t do right in the first half,” White said. “Our defense is playing really well and our number one goal offensively is ball security at this point just so we don’t screw things up too bad for how well our defense is playing.

“This is really disheartening, we really don’t know what to do. We try and praise the kids and build their confidence. You rip them, you do all different kinds of things to try and attack it all different kinds of ways. We had some character issues, especially this week, we had some guys who showed their character and had to sit out. It’s a multitude of things that has gotten us to a point where we’re not better than we were to start the season. I don’t know if we’re even as good as we were to start the season, and I don’t know the reason why.”

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