GCL South Friday Night Football Preview

10/14/2016

Posted on 10/14/2016 at 1:54 p.m.

League Teams To Face Non-Conference Opponents This Evening

It might be a week off from the rigors of the Greater Catholic League South Division, but tonight is anything but a week off from playing some difficult opponents for the four football teams that comprise the league - especially Moeller and St. Xavier.  Moeller, which has dropped three consecutive games inside the league, travels to Columbus to face Cleveland St. Ignatius, while St. Xavier is at home to face Warren Central, Indiana’s top-ranked Class 6A team.

Elder and La Salle also are in action tonight, with the Panthers (5-2) hosting Winton Woods (2-5) – a team that knocked off Elder, 14-0, last season at Winton Woods.  Kickoff is 7 p.m. at The Pit in Price Hill.  La Salle (5-2), which has won three straight games including consecutive wins over Moeller and St. Xavier in the GCL South, joins Moeller in traveling to Greater Columbus tonight.  The Lancers will face St. Charles Prep (2-5).  Kickoff also is at 7.

Moeller, which currently sits at No. 9 in the Division I, Region 4 Harbin computer ratings used to qualify teams for the state playoffs, is looking to avoid missing the postseason for the second straight year.  The Crusaders will have chances to earn their way into the playoff picture, with the top eight from each region advancing to the playoffs, if it can defeat St. Ignatius tonight and beat two-time defending state champion Lakewood St. Edward a week from Saturday.

St. Ignatius is 6-1 and ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Division I state rankings this week.  The Wildcats’ lone blemish this season is at Catholic Central from Novi, MI, which posted a 28-21 win back on September 16.  Moeller defeated St. Ignatius last year at Dublin Coffman High School, rallying from a 38-14 deficit in the second quarter to emerge with a wild 55-52 victory.

St. Edward is 5-1, with the Eagles lone setback at GCL South member Elder last month, 15-9.  Moeller is looking to snap a six-game losing streak against St. Edward, ranked No. 4 in the AP state poll.  The Crusaders lost in Northeast Ohio last fall and have not defeated St. Edward since posting a 40-10 victory on October 24, 2009, on the road.

Kickoff is 7 tonight at Otterbein University.

St. Xavier (4-3) will attempt to rebound from a tough loss at La Salle last week, a game the Bombers led 14-3 heading into the fourth quarter before La Salle rallied with a pair of TDs to win 17-14 and move within one win of earning the school’s first outright league football championship in its history.  The win also denied St. Xavier from winning the title outright.  The Bombers can still earn a share of the GCL South crown if Elder knocks off La Salle in week 10.

Tonight, though, St. Xavier (No. 5 In the Region 4 Harbin rankings) welcomes nationally ranked Warren Central – which is 7-1, the lone loss coming against Colerain, 31-28, in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown back on August 27 at University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium.  The Warriors have won every other game and are loaded with talent that will be tested by a solid St. Xavier defense.  Warren Central is riding a six-game winning streak.

Warren Central is ranked No. 18 in the USA Today Super 25.

Kickoff is 7 tonight at Ballaban Field at St. Xavier Stadium.

Elder is looking to carry forward the momentum from last Friday’s 30-28 against Moeller at Lockland Stadium.  The Panthers, which suffered a rare shutout at Winton Woods last season, are led by junior quarterback Danny Nieman – who leads the GCL South in passing yards, with 1,335, and is coming off a four-TD performance against Moeller, and a defense that has been solid all season.  Elder is No. 3 in the Region 4 ratings this week.

Like Elder, La Salle looks to continue its recent streak that includes three consecutive wins – buoyed by the fourth-quarter rally against St. Xavier last week, with senior back Da’Meak Brandon returning an interception 35 yards for a TD with 4:22 remaining for what turned out to be the game-winning score.  The Lancers’ defense has been strong, too, allowing 14 or fewer points in five of the last six games.

La Salle is in solid playoff position, sitting at No. 3 in the Division II, Region 8 Harbins.  The Lancers are the two-time defending Division II state champion, and are hoping to finish with one of the top four spots and be able to host a first-round postseason game.