GCL South Showdown Set In DI Regional Semis


Posted on 11/16/2014 at 11:06am

GCL South members Moeller and St. Xavier posted victories Saturday night in the Ohio High School Athletic Association state football playoffs, setting up a rematch of the two league rivals in the Division I, Region 2 semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday at a site to be announced today.  Moeller, the two-time defending state champion, handed Pickerington Central its first loss, 21-13, Saturday at Welcome Stadium in Dayton, while St. Xavier ran its winning streak to seven straight by defeating Colerain, 29-21, last night at Hamilton High School’s Vigil M. Schwarm Stadium.

As a result, Moeller (9-3) will meet St. Xavier (10-2), the No. 2 seed in the 16-team region, for the second time this season.  Moeller beat the Bombers, 13-7, in a fierce defensive struggle at St. Xavier Stadium back on September 26.  Last season, the Crusaders defeated St. Xavier twice – 20-17 in overtime at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium during the regular season, and then again, 42-17, in the first round of the playoffs at Lockland Memorial Stadium.   Moeller has won three straight in the series, with St. Xavier posting a convincing 49-21 victory over Moeller in the 2012 regular season.

Speaking of defense, Moeller held Pickerington Central (11-1) to just six first downs and 132 total yards to win its third straight – limiting the Tigers to 13 yards rushing in 19 attempts.  Pickerington Central was able to convert just 1 of 12 third down conversions and managed only 1 of 4 on fourth down.  Offensively, senior quarterback Matt Crable threw three touchdowns passes, including two to senior tight end Doug Bates, and sophomore Hunter Hughes, who did have a carry in the regular season, went over 100 yards for the second straight game – carrying 42 times for 159 yards.

Senior running back Ben Glines was the workhorse for St. Xavier against Colerain.  The Boston College commit rushed 34 times for 187 yards and two TDs.  In all, the Bombers picked up 295 rushing yards on 52 carries, including 97 rushing yards in 10 attempts from sophomore quarterback Sean Clifford – who also threw for 70 yards and one TD.  The Bombers, victimized by three turnovers, built a 29-7 halftime lead and were able to limit Colerain’s high-powered option attack to average just 2.1 yards per carry.  Colerain finished with 72 rushing yards in 35 attempts.

Huber Heights Wayne and Lakota West also advanced in Region 2 advanced with quarterfinal victories and will meet Saturday in the other regional semifinal.  West (7-5), which needed a victory over district rival Lakota East and some help in the final week of the regular season to make the playoffs, beat East, 52-27, Saturday for the second time in three weeks.  West knocked out the region’s top seed, Centerville, in the first round a week ago.  Wayne (11-1) moved on with a 44-35 victory Saturday over previously unbeaten Dublin Coffman.

GCL South member La Salle also is still alive in the postseason.  The Lancers (11-1), competing in the Division II, Region 6 bracket, knocked off Harrison, 56-24, on Friday night to advance to the regional final against undefeated Mt. Healthy (12-0).  The game will be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday at a site to be announced today.  La Salle, which earned a share of the GCL South championship this year with Moeller and St. Xavier, has won five consecutive games – including the first two playoff wins in school history.