Posted on 9/16/2018 at 10:15 a.m.

Eagles’ Fourth-Quarter TD Spoils Big Day For Panthers’ Bittner
After trailing by 14 points at halftime, Lakewood St. Edward rallied to tie the game at 28-28 after scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter, only to see Elder take a 30-28 lead by virtue of a safety two minutes into the final quarter, before the Eagles scored what turned out to be the game-winning TD on a 22-yard pass from Garrett Dzuro to Jack Kurz with 3:55 remaining to emerge with a 36-30 victory over Elder early Saturday evening at The Pit in Price Hill – sending Elder to its first loss of the season after opening with three consecutive victories.
Elder (3-1) moved the ball across midfield on its next possession after St. Edward took the lead but, after a penalty, was backed up and ultimately forced to punt.  St. Edward got the ball back with less than two minutes remaining, and converted a fourth-and-1 to maintain possession and ultimately run out the clock – having outscored Elder, 22-2, in the second half to even its record.  St. Edward (2-2), which dropped its first two games by a combined four points, also snapped a two-game losing streak to Elder on the road.
Panthers’ senior quarterback Michael Bittner, who leads the Greater Catholic League South Division in passing yards, completed 30-of-42 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns – including a 4-yard strike to senior Kyle Trischler in the final minute of the first half to give Elder a 28-14 lead at intermission.  Trischler, who leads the GCL South in receiving yards, hauled in 13 passes for 102 yards and two scores, while junior tight end Joe Royer caught eight passes for 111 yards and two scores.  Senior receiver Sean O’Conner had seven receptions for 64 yards.
St. Edward was able to run the ball against Elder, racking up 376 yards on 46 carries, an average of 8.2 yards per rush.  Senior Jordan Castleberry led the Eagles on the ground, carrying 21 times for 134 yards and three TDs – including both scores in the third quarter, on runs of 22 and 32 yards, respectively.  Dzuro also was effective on the ground, finishing with 18 rushes for 19 yards.
Elder travels to Northeast Ohio to face Cleveland St. Ignatius (2-2) at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Posted on 9/15/2016 at 6:10 a.m.

St. Xavier Rallies, Falls In OT; Elder Set To Play This Afternoon

La Salle and Moeller posted impressive double-digit victories against interstate opponents Thursday and Friday, respectively, with both schools recording their third win in four games.  St. Xavier narrowly missed doing the same, scoring a game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion with one second remaining in regulation before falling to Indianapolis Cathedral in overtime.  Elder, looking to remain the lone undefeated team in the Greater Catholic League South Division, hosts perennial state power Lakewood St. Edward at 4:30 p.m. today at The Pit in Price Hill.
Here is a look at the GCL South games:
La Salle 37, Scott County (KY) 7 – The game was moved up one day to Thursday so Georgetown College could move its game against St. Andrews, FL up a day because of Hurricane Florence.  The move certainly didn’t cause any issues for La Salle (3-1), which scored on its first five possessions – including four TDs – to take a convincing lead against a Scott County team that entered the game undefeated, with victories against Highlands and Moeller, 10-7.   Junior quarter MK Horton accounted for four scores, two rushing and two passing, for the Lancers – who have now won three straight games.
Horton completed 15-of-21 passes for 247 yards and two TDs, while rushing 13 times for 78 yards and two scores.  La Salle led 14-7 after one quarter before scoring three TDs in the second quarter to take a commanding 34-7 halftime lead.  Senior receiver Kevin Swift caught eight passes for 123 yards and two TDs, while sophomore Tay Smith hauled in four passes for 97 yards.  Defensively, La Salle limited Scott County (4-1) to just eight first downs and 160 total yards.   Senior Jake Seibert remained perfect, too, knocking down his fifth field goal this season, a 21-yarder.  He is now 14-of-16 in field-goal attempts the last two seasons.
Moeller 39, Lexington Lafayette 0 – Senior RJ Khayo racked up more than 250 all-purpose yards, scoring three TDs, and Moeller’s defense did the rest in posting a shutout road victory.  Khayo scored on a 70-yard pass from senior Mitch McKenzie and a 60-yard punt return in the second quarter, and then added a 90-yard scoring run in the third quarter, more than enough for Moeller (3-1) – which held Lafayette to minus-2 total yards in the game.  Lafayette completed just 2-of-10 passes for four yards, while rushing 25 times for minus-6 yards.   Lafayette (1-4) was 0-for-10 on third-down conversions.
Khayo finished the night with four rushes for a team-high 95 yards, caught four passes for a team-best 75 yards, and returned three punts for 81 yards.  McKenzie was also effective, connecting on 12-of-18 passes for  120 yards and one score.  Defensively, Joe Toepfer, Ryan Mullaney and Luke Szabados recorded seven, six and four tackles, respectively, with each recording a sack.  Moeller opens GCL South play next Friday when the Crusaders travel to take on St. Xavier.  Kickoff is 7 p.m. at St. Xavier Stadium.
Indianapolis Cathedral 20, St. Xavier 14 (OT) – Senior Jared Kreimer hauled in a 22-yard scoring pass from junior quarterback Wyatt Hudepohl with one second remaining, then Hudepohl tossed a scoring pass to Marshall Lang on the ensuing two-point conversion to send the game into overtime.   St. Xavier (2-2) had the ball first in OT but, after being unable to move the ball, a 27-yard field goal attempt by Zach Saupe was wide left.  Cathedral’s Bo Sanders scored on an 8-yard pass reception on its possession  to send the Bombers to their second loss in the last three games. 
The Bombers’ only other defeat this season is to No. 1 and unbeaten Colerain, 14-12, in week two.  The Bombers’ defense continues to play well, with senior linebacker Thomas Kiessling recording eight total tackles in the game, including 3.5 tackles for loss.  Sophomore Liam Clifford gave the Bombers a 6-0 lead in the second quarter, catching a 16-yard scoring pass from Kreimer.  St. Xavier held the lead into the third quarter, until Sanders hauled in his first TD pass and the extra point gave Cathedral (2-3) a 7-6 advantage, which is would increase to 14-6 until the game’s last offensive play.
Elder Looks For Perfection – Elder will attempt to remain unblemished when it meets St. Edward this afternoon at The Pit.  Senior quarterback Michael Bittner is off to a solid start for the Panthers, leading the GCL South in passing yards with 491, while ranking just behind teammate Matthew Luebbe in rushing yards, having picked up 184 with five TDs to rank fourth in the league.  Luebbe has run for 190 yards, averaging 6.3 yards a carry, and two scores in Elder’s three wins.  Senior Kyle Trischler is Bittner’s leading receiver, having caught 17 passes for 247 yards and one score to rank second in the league in receiving yards with one fewer game played.
Don’t be deceived by St. Edward’s 1-2 record.  The Eagles two defeats are by a combined four points – falling 42-39 in the opener against Mentor and then losing the next week, 21-20, to talented Cass Tech from Detroit.  St. Edward won last week against Cathedral Prep from Erie, Pa., 35-3.  St. Edward defeated Elder, 40-7, last year in Northeast Ohio – a game the Eagles led 33-0 after three quarters, holding Elder’s explosive offensive to less than 180 total yards and just nine first downs.  St. Edward has won six of eight in the series since 2010, but Elder has won the last two meetings in Cincinnati – 21-14 in 2014 and 15-9 in 2016.

Posted on 9/3/2018 at 8:58 a.m.

Colerain Rallies To Defeat St. X; Horton, Porter Pace La Salle

Colerain, which was held scoreless by St. Xavier in the first half of Friday’s game that was suspended at intermission because of persistent lightning, scored two touchdowns in the third quarter when the game resumed Saturday morning at St. Xavier High School and held on for a 14-12 victory over the Bombers in what has become the game in Greater Cincinnati every year.

La Salle, the second Greater Catholic League South Division team to have its game suspended Friday because of inclement weather, returned to Lancer Stadium early Saturday night and went on to record a 34-21 victory over Mason to even its record after the first two weeks of the regular season.

St. Xavier (1-1), No. 7 in USA Today’s Super 25 national rankings,  had not allowed a point in its first six quarters this season after posting a shutout in the opening win against Lakota West seven days earlier and then shutting down No. 6 Colerain’s powerful option attack for 24 minutes Friday.  But, after a 13-hour delay overnight, a 19-yard TD run by Cardinals’ senior JJ Davis less than a minute into the second half gave his team a 7-6 lead. And the Cardinals followed with a 2-yard scoring run by Ivan Pace Jr. with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter to quickly go in front, 14-6.

Colerain’s two scores when play resumed early Saturday followed turnovers by St. Xavier – which had also plagued the Bombers in the second quarter the night before, when St. Xavier had a chance to extend its 6-0 lead.  Both teams were scoreless until St. Xavier junior quarterback Wyatt Hudepohl connected with senior Nathan Stockman on a 32-yard scoring strike with 2:52 left in the game.  But Colerain’s defense came up big on the two-point conversion, as junior  Deshawn Pace sacked Hudepohl to preserve the lead.

St. Xavier had more first downs then Colerain, 17-10, and outgained the Cardinals, 357-230, but the Bombers were victimized by five turnovers.  Hudepohl, in only his second start, completed 16-of-34 passes for 298 yards with two TDs and three interceptions.  His leading receivers were Jared Kreimer (5 catches, 70 yards), Chris Payne (4-89) and Liam Clifford (3-64).   The Bombers were held to just two yards per carry in 29 rushing attempts, but did manage to convert 7-of-13 third downs.  St. Xavier was 1-of-3 on fourth down.  Colerain is now 2-0 against St. Xavier in games played over two days, coming back on a Saturday morning to post a 13-10 win in overtime in similar circumstances in 2015.

Both Colerain and St. Xavier had standouts on defense.  Senior Luke Bolden, a Miami University commit, had seven total tackles and two interceptions for Colerain.  Deshawn Pace led the Cardinals with eight total tackles and an interception.  Senior linebacker Nathan Arthur led St. Xavier with four unassisted tackles, nine assists and a sack, while senior linebacker Thomas Kiessling recorded nine total tackles and two sacks.  Senior defensive back Trevor Potts had 10 total tackles for St. Xavier, which travels to Walnut Hills this Friday.  Colerain opens Greater Miami Conference play by hosting unbeaten Princeton the same night.

La Salle (1-1), which held a 20-14 lead as play resumed in the third quarter, got two TD runs from junior Cameron Porter in the period to extend its lead to 34-14 entering the fourth.  Porter had 18 carries for 72 yards, while junior quarterback MJ Horton – making his second start for the Lancers – rushed for a game-high 161 yards on 23 carries, including a 25-yard scoring run in the first quarter Friday night that gave the Lancers the lead for good, 14-7.  Ls Salle also got an outstanding performance from junior kicker Jake Seibert.

Seibert connected on field goals from 46 and 45 yards, respectively, in the second quarter to give La Salle a 20-14 lead at halftime.  He also was a perfect 3-of-3 on extra points for the Lancers, after being named Kicker of the Year a season ago when he made all 22 extra-point attempts and knocked down 9-of-11 field goals.   La Salle remains at home Friday, when the Lancers host Lutheran North from St. Louis.

GCL South members Elder and Moeller are both 2-0 after recording victories Friday night.  The Panthers defeated Indianapolis Cathedral, 39-34, on the road behind a big game from senior quarterback Michael Bittner – who threw for 176 yards and ran for three TDs in the road victory.  Moeller got a TD pass from Mitch McKenzie to Max Land midway through the second quarter to take a 21-14 lead that held up against Louisville Trinity at Lockland Stadium.  The game was called because of inclement weather in the third quarter and declared official.

Posted on 9/1/2018 at 10:09 a.m.

La Salle, St. Xavier Football Games Suspended, To Be Completed Today

It was anything but an ordinary night of high school football Friday, as continuous lightning delays in Greater Cincinnati ultimately forced the majority of high school games – including those involving Greater Catholic League South Division schools La Salle and St. Xavier – to be suspended and scheduled to resume today.  But two league members – Elder and Moeller – were able to emerge with key interstate victories in the second week of the regular season.  Elder traveled to Indianapolis and emerged with a wild 39-34 victory against Cathedral, while Moeller stayed home and beat Louisville Trinity, 21-14.

The Moeller-Trinity game was called with 7:38 left in the third quarter and declared an official game.

La Salle’s game against Mason, with the Lancers leading, 20-14, in the second quarter, will resume at 4 p.m. this afternoon at La Salle’s Lancer Stadium.  St. Xavier, which took a 6-0 lead into halftime in its annual regular-season matchup with Colerain, will kick off the second half at 9:30 this morning at St. Xavier Stadium.  Colerain and St. Xavier have split the last 14 games in the series  dating back to 2010, with four of the last six meetings – including postseason play – going into overtime.  Colerain and St. Xavier held down the top two spots in The Enquirer’s Division I coaches’ poll entering play Friday.

Elder (2-0), which opened with a convincing shutout win against Gahanna Lincoln from Greater Columbus at The Pit a week earlier, outlasted Cathedral behind senior quarterback Michael Bittner – who completed 11-of-19 passes for 176 yards, while also rushing for 50 yards and three scores.  It was Bittner’s 1-yard TD run with just 34 seconds remaining that erased a 34-33 deficit and gave the Panthers their second straight non-conference victory.  Junior Matthew Luebbe was a dual threat for Elder, completing 2-of-2 passes for 58 yards and a TD and rushing 10 times for a team-high 70 yards with one score.  Cathedral (1-2) rallied from a 12-point deficit to lead 34-33 with 4:01 left.

Senior Kyle Trischler led Elder with six receptions for 105 yards.

While Elder completed its game without any weather issues out of town, Moeller (2-0) was able to capitalize on a 52-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Mitch McKenzie to junior Max Land with 8:01 remaining in the first half, snapping a 14-14 tie and giving the Crusaders a win after the game was called and declared official following two quarters of play.  McKenzie was solid for Moeller, connecting on 6-of-9 passes for 165 yards and the game-winning TD.  Senior Chrystopher Watkins led Moeller on the ground, rushing 16 times for 68 yards and one TD, while senior RJ Khayo had a rushing TD and hauled in three passes for 68 yards.

Trinity, annually one of the region’s top programs, falls to 0-3.

Posted on 5/31/2018 at 10:19 p.m.

Bombers To Play Cleveland St. Ignatius In Title Match 

St. Xavier moved to within one win Wednesday night of keeping the state lacrosse championship trophy in the Greater Catholic League South Division, waiting through a lengthy weather delay to ultimately emerge with an 18-8 victory over Worthington Kilbourne in the semifinals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Lacrosse Tournament at Chaminade-Julieene in Dayton.  The victory moves the Bombers into the final match against Cleveland St. Ignatius, which defeated Dublin Coffman, 16-15, in overtime in the other semifinal at Wooster High School. 

The two teams meet at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Selby Stadium.  St. Xavier defeated St. Ignatius (16-7) twice during the regular season, winning by identical scores of 12-11 and setting the stage for what figures to be a great state final.  St. Xavier (18-3) is looking for its second lacrosse state crown in four years, having advanced to the state final and emerged victorious back in 2015.  This, however, is just the second year that boys’ lacrosse has been sponsored by the OHSAA, with GCL South member Moeller winning the first OHSAA state title last spring. 

Previously, the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association had conducted a state tournament. 

The Bombers came out strong against Worthington Kilbourne (17-6), scoring five of the game’s first six goals and maintaining a 7-2 lead after the first quarter.  Kilbourne rallied back in the second quarter to score four goals and narrow the deficit slightly to 10-6 at intermission.  But St. Xavier held its opponent scoreless in the third quarter, increasing its margin to 14-6 entering the final period.  And, despite having to wait through a weather delay that lasted just over two hours, the Bombers were able to increase the lead and move on behind four goals from senior John Holcomb and three from senior Duke Alf.

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