Strong Start For GCL South Football On Opening Night


Posted on 9/1/2019 at 12:11 p.m.

Moeller Looks To Make It A Perfect Weekend For Teams Tonight

It was a strong opening night for the Greater Catholic League South Division football teams Friday, with Elder, La Salle and St. Xavier each posting impressive wins against solid competition as Ohio High School Athletic Association member schools kicked off the 10-week regular season on the first full Friday of play this season.  The three GCL South teams won by a combined score of 110-30, while Moeller will attempt to give the league a four-game sweep of opening weekend when it meets Indianapolis Cathedral at 7 tonight at St. Xavier High School.

Elder and its high-powered offense did not disappoint, as the Panthers traveled up Interstate 71 to Greater Columbus to post a 41-6 victory against Gahanna Lincoln.  La Salle stayed in Montfort Heights and survived a power outage that delayed the start of the game to post a 31-7 win against Lakota West in the debut of former Colerain coach Tom Bolden as the Firebirds’ new leader, while St. Xavier outscored Brownsburg, Ind.,  22-0, in the second half to erase a one-point deficit and record a 38-17 win against the team from Greater Indianapolis in the first of two games in two nights at St. Xavier Stadium matching the GCL South against two schools from Indy.

Here is a look at the three GCL South wins Friday:

Luebbe Paces Elder Attack – Senior quarterback Matthew Luebbe carried just seven times for 241 yards, including scoring runs of 80 and 89 yards as the Panthers racked up 346 yards on the ground – averaging 10.8 yards per carry – to post the road victory.  Luebbe also completed 4-of-8 passes for 111 yards as Elder built a 34-6 halftime lead and coasted.  Senior tight end Joe Royer, an Ohio State University commit, caught three passes for 45 yards – including an 11-yard reception from sophomore Drew Ramsey with just under three minutes left before halftime to make it 28-6.  Elder’s defense was led by senior defensive back Colton Sandhas, who had nine total tackles.  The Panthers limited Gahanna Lincoln to just 2-of-8 on third-down conversions.

Outage Doesn’t Slow La Salle – A power outage that delayed the start of the game by an hour didn’t prevent La Salle from getting off to a fast start, as the Lancers built a 17-0 halftime lead and led 24-0 less than a minute into the second half in posting a strong non-conference victory.  La Salle was led by senior running back Cam Porter, who rushed 10 times for 108 yards, including a 69-yard TD scamper with 11:42 left in the third quarter that gave the Lancers an insurmountable lead.  La Salle’s defense was solid too, limiting West to just 31 rushes for 99 yards, a 2.8-yard average, and holding the Firebirds to 5-of-23 passing for only 65 yards.  Luke Thieman and Jaylen Johnson had eight and seven total tackles, respectively.

Big Second Half Leads St. X – The Bombers trailed by a point at halftime, before putting together a solid second half on both sides of the ball to pull away from the big school from Indianapolis.  St. Xavier  scored TDs in the final two quarters on defense, special teams and rushing to erase a 17-16 deficit and give the GCL South a 3-0 record.  Senior linebacker TJ O’Malley gave St. Xavier the lead for good when he returned a fumble 19 yards for a score with 6:47 left in the third quarter to make it 24-17.  The Bombers extended the advantage to 31-17 on a 20-yard punt return for a score by senior Noah Taylor less than two minutes later.  Senior quarterback Matthew Rueve had a solid debut for St. Xavier, completing 21-of-35 passes for 301 yards and two TDs.  Liam Clifford and Marshall Lang each had seven receptions.