GCL South Teams Perfect In Opening Weekend


Posted on 11/8/2015 at 11:15 a.m.

Elder, St. Xavier Post Victories To Join La Salle In Second Round

One day after La Salle opened defense of its Division II state football championship with a convincing victory, Greater Catholic League South Division members Elder and St. Xavier both recorded wins on the opening night of play in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I state playoffs.

Elder got another big-time performance from senior quarterback Peyton Ramsey, who racked up 403 total yards and accounted for four touchdowns, and a big play from its defense when it need it most to hold on for a 50-42 victory over Fairfield Saturday night at The Pit in Price Hill.  St. Xavier hit the road for the fourth straight week, getting another strong performance from its defense in a 28-14 win over Gahanna Lincoln in Columbus.

A night earlier, senior running back Jeremy Larkin rushed for 304 yards and five TDs to lead La Salle to a 52-14 win over Vandalia Butler in its first postseason game.  The Lancers (9-2), winners of six straight playoff games and 23 of 26 games the last two seasons, will meet Lima Senior (9-2) in the Region 6 semifinals at 7:30 Friday at a neutral site to be announced today by the OHSAA.

Elder (8-3) trailed a Fairfield team riding a four-game winning streak, 35-24, with 2:58 remaining in the third quarter, and then again, 42-31, with 7:16 left in the game.  But coach Doug Ramsey’s team scored the game’s final three TDs – the first on a 46-yard scoring strike from Ramsey to Nick Hall to make it 42-37 with 5:43 left.  Then, with less than two minutes to go, senior Ja’Vahri Portis’ 1-yard run gave Elder at 43-42 lead.

Fairfield had a final chance but, after a penalty moved the Indians’ back to their 10, Elder senior linebacker Keith Orloff intercepted a pass and returned it 20 yards for a score to give Elder a 50-42 lead.  Ramsey finished 15-of-22 passing for 246 yards, three TDs and no interceptions.  He also rushed for a team-high 157 yards on 21 carries and one TD.  Seniors Robby Oswald and Nick Hall each had 100-plus yards receiving for the Panthers.

Both teams combined for more than 900 yards of total offense.  Fairfield (8-3) got a strong performance from senior quarterback Hunter Krause, playing in just his second game after missing four games because of an injury.  Krause connected on 22-of-37 passes for 312 yards and three TDs, while Indians’ senior running back Tellis Kennedy rushed 21 times for 129 yards and three scores.

Elder, the No. 5 seed in Division I, Region 2, advances to meet Hilliard Darby (9-2) in a second-round game at 7 p.m. Saturday at a neutral site to be determined.  Darby, the No. 13 seed, , advanced with a 17-10 victory over No. 4 seed Lancaster Saturday in Lancaster.

St. Xavier (7-4), which trailed Louisville St. Xavier, 10-7, at the half eight days ago before pitching a second-half shutout to win 20-10 on the road, found itself tied, 14-14, at halftime against Gahanna Lincoln.  The Bombers’ defense was again solid in the final two quarters, and TD runs by senior Pete Rumpke and junior quarterback Sean Clifford helped the Bombers earn the first-round win.

Coach Steve Specht’s team - allowing a GCL-South best 17 points a game - was able to run the ball effectively, carrying 47 times for 304 yards – an average of 6.5 yards per rush.  Senior Sean Prophit led St. Xavier, rushing 21 times for 172 yards and two TDs in the first half.  Clifford, who completed 9-of-16 passes for 110 yards, also ran 13 times for 72 yards and a TD.   Senior tight end Noah Davis had four catches for 73 yards.

St. Xavier, the No. 9 seed, advances to meet No. 1 Colerain (11-0) in the second round at 7 p.m. Saturday at a neutral site.  The two teams met the second week of the regular season, a game that Colerain eventually won, 13-10, in overtime at Colerain.  The game was set for Friday night, September 4, but was moved to the next morning because of inclement weather.  Colerain beat Dublin Coffman, 55-7, Saturday to advance.