Moeller, St. Xavier Meet In DI Regional Saturday

11/21/2014

Posted on 11/21/2014 at 3:22pm

The GCL South will definitely be represented in the Division I, Region 2 final on Saturday, November 29.  That’s because two of its league members – two-time defending state champion Moeller and St. Xavier, the highest remaining seed in the 16-team region – play Saturday night at Mason High School for the chance to advance to the regional final. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Mason’s Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium.

And, if recent history is any indication, this game is likely to be close.  Moeller has won three straight over St. Xavier, but two of the three games have been decided by a total of nine points – a 20-17 win in overtime during the 2013 regular season, a game that Moeller forced into the extra period with a field goal as time expired in regulation, and a 13-7 Moeller win earlier this year, a game the Crusaders won without scoring an offensive touchdown.

St. Xavier (10-2) has been on a roll since that game, reeling off seven consecutive wins – including a 29-21 victory over Colerain last Saturday.  The Bombers’ offensive line has allowed St. Xavier to run the ball effectively during the streak.  Senior Ben Glines, a Boston College commit, carried a season-high 34 times for 187 yards and two scores sin the victory over Colerain.  Senior Ronnie Fricke also is a versatile back for coach Steve Specht’s team.

Moeller (9-3), which has rebounded to win three straight following a stretch after the St. Xavier win that included three losses in four weeks, has received a boost from sophomore running back Hunter Hughes – who did not have a single carry at the varsity level during the regular season.  However, in the last two games, Hughes has rushed for 108 and 159 yards, respectively, carrying the ball 42 times in a 21-13 win against Pickerington Central last week.

Both teams rely on strong defense.  St. Xavier is led by senior noseguard Simeon Lane, along with senior linebackers Cole Jones and Justin Hilliard.  The Bombers are allowing less than 225 yards and 15 points per game.  Coach John Rodenberg’s Moeller team, led by senior nose guard Elijan Taylor (Notre Dame commit) and senior linebacker Ryan Stofko, is allowing 13.6 points a game and holding opponents to just 94 yards rushing.