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Grove City fends off Hilliard Davidson for season-opening win [Article & Video]

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GROVE CITY, Ohio — Defense may win championships, but for now Grove City will be content with just using it to win the season-opener. The Dawgs (1-0) held the vaunted Hilliard Davidson rushing attack to just 81 yards on 39 carries, pulling off a tough 6-0 victory over the Wildcats (0-1). The only score of the night came just minutes into the second half, as running back Peyton Bowyer dashed in from 20 yards out to give Grove City the lead, despite missing the extra point.

Bowyer and the Dawgs were stymied all throughout the first half by Davidson, and only gained a total of 57 yards in the opening two quarters. That all changed after the opening possession of the second half, as a Wildcat fumble would give Grove City the ball inside the Davidson 40. On the second third down of the drive, Bowyer dashed through the line, weaving his way to the end zone for the Dawgs first and only score of the night.

The Dawgs defense matched the intensity of the offense, continuing to come up with one big play after another. Davidson would struggle on their next two possessions as Grove City pressured offensively with Bowyer leading the way. The senior finished the game with 71 yards on 18 carries, including the second-half touchdown.

Hilliard Davidson would get one more chance late in the fourth quarter to take the lead, and after converting two early fourth downs, the momentum seemed to shift in their favor. The Wildcats had moved the ball to the Grove City side of the field for the first time since the opening quarter, and on 3rd & 3 had a chance to move even farther into Dawg territory. The protection for quarterback Jack Klein broke down quickly on the rollout play, and was sacked before he could throw.

The ensuing fourth down pass was off the mark, and the Dawgs held on and ran out the clock to seal the victory.

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I have been covering basketball high school basketball in Columbus for the better part of five years now, but just last year I was introduced to some great basketball before the regular season starts. On Sunday nights last year at The Hoop on E 5th Ave, former Northland book keeper and player consultant Victor Dandridge put on a weekly open gym/showcase for the top players in Columbus and around the state. 

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