La Salle Opens Title Defense With Convincing Win


Posted 11/7/2015 at 9:47 a.m.

Elder, St. Xavier To Open Football Postseason Journeys Tonight

Senior running back Jeremy Larkin rushed 16 times for 303 yards and four touchdowns, and La Salle broke open a 7-7 tie with 31 straight points in the second quarter to begin defense of its Ohio Division II state championship with a 52-14 victory over Vandalia Butler on Friday night at Lancer Stadium in the first round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association state football playoffs.

La Salle (9-2), the No. 1 seed in Region 6, advances to meet No. 5-seed Lima Senior (9-2) in the regional semifinals next Friday at a site to be determined.  Lima Senior advanced with a 44-42 win over No. 4 Miamisburg Friday night at Miamisburg.  La Salle’s Greater Catholic League South Division colleagues Elder and St. Xavier are set to play their Division I, Region 2 opening games tonight.

Larkin racked up 245 yards and three of his touchdowns in the second quarter, when the Lancers erupted for four TDs and a field goal to take command after Butler had tied the game, 7-7.  The four scores by Larkin – a University of Cincinnati commit – give him 85 TDs in his career, making him the all-time leading scorer in the GCL.  He was tied with former Elder running back Bradley Glatthaar, with 81 TDs, entering the game.

It was another explosive offensive night for the Lancers, who averaged 49.4 points in its five postseason wins last season on their way to the school’s first state football title.  Against Butler (7-4), Larkin scored on runs of 4, 25, 45 and 58 yards as La Salle’s four offensive TDs in the first half took just over 90 seconds combined.  La Salle also scored on a defensive TD, when senior linebacker Kyle Farwick recovered a fumble in the end zone.

Larkin, too, went over 300 yards rushing for the second time in his last five playoff games.  He also picked up 304 yards on just 16 carries and scored five TDs in the Lancers’ 56-24 win against Harrison in the second round of the 2014 postseason.  Backfield mates Jarell White and Christian Turner also had rushing TDs for La Salle against Butler, scoring on runs of 16 and 8 yards, respectively.

Here is a look at the other two GCL South teams playoff openers:

Elder (7-3), fresh off a 21-7 win at La Salle to earn a share of the GCL South title with St. Xavier, hosts Fairfield (8-2) at 7 p.m. at The Pit in Price Hill.  The Panthers, the No. 5 seed in Region 2, will attempt to slow No. 12 Fairfield (8-2), which enters the game riding a four-game winning streak - including a 20-16 win at Hamilton last Friday .  The game features two of the area’s top quarterback who are both sons of their respective team’s head coaches.

Senior Peyton Ramsey, son of Elder coach Doug Ramsey, will lead a Panthers’ offense that has been solid all season. Ramsey led the GCL South in passing yards, with 2,139, and was second in the league in rushing yards, with 876.  He is committed to Indiana.  Senior Hunter Krause, son of Fairfield coach Jason Krause, directs the Indians’ offense.  He returned to action last week after missing almost five games with an injury.

St. Xavier (6-4), the third GCL South team to earn a playoff berth, hits the road tonight for the fourth consecutive week – traveling to Greater Columbus to face Gahanna Lincoln (7-3), the region’s No. 8 seed.  Kickoff is 7.  Coach Steve Specht’s Bombers, the No. 9 seed, closed the regular season with three straight games on the road – winning last Friday, 20-10, at Louisville St. Xavier to snap a two-game losing streak.

The Bombers are led by junior quarterback Sean Clifford and senior running back Sean Prophit.  Clifford has completed 143-of-241 passes for 1,537 yards, 11 TDs and just four interceptions.  Prophit rushed 146 times for 758 yards and six scores during the regular season for St. Xavier, which has been solid on defense all season – holding opponents to a league-best 17 points a game.  The Bombers have held four opponents to 10 points or less.