GCL South Friday Night Football Roundup

10/03/2015

Posted 10/3/2015 at 4:57 p.m.

Elder, La Salle Open League Play With Huge Road Victories

Elder and La Salle hit the road for their Greater Catholic League South Division openers Friday night, and both schools needed extra time to record dramatic wins – Elder a 24-17 win in double overtime at St. Xavier, the second straight year these two schools have needed a second OT  to decide the outcome, and La Salle a 13-7 victory in OT over Moeller at Lockland Stadium to keep the Lancers streak alive.

The Panthers (5-1, 1-0 GCL South), which lost to St. Xavier, 32-24, last season in double OT at The Pit, entered the game tied at No. 7 in the Associated Press  Division I state poll, No. 2 in The Enquirer’s DI weekly coaches’ poll, and sitting at No. 3 in the Region 3 Harbin computer rankings, jumped out to a 10-0 lead before getting clutch plays from a variety of players to eventually earn the win.

Senior quarterback Peyton Ramsey had another big night, completing 17-of-30 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns, including an 8-yard strike to Nick Hall in the second OT that proved to be the winner.  Ramsey also ran for a team-high 95 yards.  Senior kicker Joe Onorato converted a 38-yard extra point to force the second OT after the Panthers were penalized for an illegal block on a potential game-winning, two-point conversion.

Finally, it was Elder’s defense that created the game’s lone turnover – a forced fumble and recovery inside its 10-yard line to negate a potential game-tying drive by St. Xavier (4-2, 1-1), ranked No. 3 locally and tied with Elder at No. 7 in the AP state rankings this week.

St. Xavier was led by junior running back Quinn Early, who rushed 14 times for 71 yards and one score in a game that was dominated by defense  - with both teams combining to convert just 7-of-25 attempts on third down on a chilly and rainy night at St. Stadium.

La Salle came into its game against Moeller averaging nearly 45 points a game, but the Lancers found themselves held scoreless through three quarters and trialing Moeller, 7-0, with their 13-game winning streak in jeopardy Friday night at Lockland Stadium.  However, a 1-yard run by junior Jarell White with 9:44 left in the game tied it, and senior quarterback Nick Watson’s 19-yard scoring run in OT gave La Salle a dramatic 13-7 win.

As a result, La Salle (6-0, 1-0) increased its unbeaten streak to 14 games dating back to last October, and also further solidified its place in the local and state rankings, along with the Division II, Region 6 Harbin computer ratings.  The Lancers began the night ranked No. 1 in the AP DII local and state polls, and also were perched atop the computer rankings used to quality team for the state playoffs.

Moeller (2-4, 0-2), which has won or shared the GCL South championship the last three seasons,  has now dropped three straight games – including two tough defeats in the GCL South on back-to-back Friday nights.  The Crusaders led St. Xavier 10-0 last week, before the Bombers rallied to score two second-half TDs post a 14-10 win at St. Xavier Stadium.

The Moeller defense was able to slow La Salle’s vaunted rushing attack, as senior Jeremy Larkin - the GCL South leading rusher entering the game - carried five times for zero yards, and White rushed 10 times for 25 yards.  Watson led the Lancers on the ground, picking up 95 yards on 14 attempts.  As a team, La Salle managed just 115 yards rushing on 32 attempts, by far a season low.

Moeller nearly doubled La Salle’s total yards on offense, 293-148, but it was the La Salle defense that came up big in OT – with senior linebacker Haydon Jester stopping Moeller inside the Lancers’ 1-yard line on the opening possession of the extra period.  Minutes later, it was Watson’s run that sent La Salle to the win – its second straight victory over Moeller for the first time in history.  La Salle won, 34-9 , last season at Lancer Stadium.