La Salle, St. X Post Solid Home Wins; Moeller Falls On Road


Posted on 9/21/2019 at 12:12 p.m.

Elder Travels To Face Defending DI State Champ St. Edward Later This Afternoon

La Salle and St. Xavier remained unbeaten Friday night, with both members of the Greater Catholic League South Division recording impressive victories in week four of the football season.  Moeller, however, was unable to make it consecutive wins as the Crusaders lost to undefeated Winton Woods on the road, while Elder – the fourth GCL South team – will attempt to become the third league team with an unblemished record when it travels up Interstate 71 to face defending Ohio Division I state champion Lakewood St. Edward at 4 p.m. today at Highland High School in Medina.

Elder, St. Xavier and La Salle are all expected to hold down one of the top four sports when the Harbin computer ratings are released for the first time Monday.  The Ohio High School Athletic Association uses the computer ratings system to qualify teams for its state playoffs.  The top eight teams in every region earn a trip to the postseason.  Elder and St. Xavier compete in Division I, Region 4; La Salle is in Division II, Region 8.

Here is a look at Friday’s GCL South games and a preview of the Elder-St. Edward annual home-and-home series:

La Salle 37, Dayton Dunbar 7 – The Lancers’ defense continued its strong early-season play, limiting Dunbar to just three first downs and 38 total yards in building a 21-0 lead after one quarter and a 35-0 advantage at halftime.  La Salle (4-0) limited Dunbar to just four rushing yards in 13 attempts to go along with only one third-down conversion.  The Lancers have only allowed three defensive touchdowns in four games, including none in wins against Lakota West and Mason the first two weeks.

Junior quarterback Zach Branam made the most of his four completions against Dunbar (0-4), connecting twice with junior Jaylen Norwood on 10- and 2-yard scoring strikes in the first quarter.  The trio of sophomore Josh Shaw (14 rushes, 80 yards), junior OJ Wyatt (7-68) and senior Cam Porter (6-61) combined to carry 27 times for 201 yards and two TDs, one each by Wyatt and Porter.  Up next for La Salle is a trek to Buffalo, N.Y. to face St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute at 5 p.m. next Friday before opening league play.

St. Xavier 41, Indianapolis Cathedral 37 – For the second time in four weeks, St. Xavier trailed a team from Indianapolis only to put up big second-half numbers and prevail at St. Xavier Stadium.  The Bombers were down, 17-16 against Brownsburg in week one at home, before outscoring the Bulldogs, 22-0, in the final two quarters of a 38-17 victory.  Last night, St. Xavier trailed the perennial Indiana power, 24-17, at halftime and then 31-17 in the third quarter before rallying behind two TD passes from senior Matthew Rueve and a scoring run from senior Kellen Newman.

After falling behind by 14 just over a minute into the second half, Rueve connected with junior Liam Clifford on a 44-yard pass to make it 31-24 with 8:17 remaining in the quarter, and then Newman scored on a 10-yard run to tie the game, 31-31, with 4:24 left.  The Bombers scored twice to begin the fourth quarter, capping a 24-0 spurt with a 26-yard field goal from senior Mason Rohmiller four seconds into the final quarter, and then taking a 10-point advantage when Rueve hooked up with junior receiver Drew Britt on a 19-yard TD pass.

Cathedral (3-2), which defeated Moeller, 28-0, three weeks ago before falling, 38-31, to Elder in OT after leading by 14 points with just under six minutes remaining, scored a TD on the final play of the game.  Rueve continues to play error-free football, connecting on 17-of-33 passes for 170 yards.  He now has 10 TDs without an interception this season.  Clifford hauled in seven passes for 125 yards and two TDs; he leads the GCL South in receiving yards, with 455.  Newman carried 23 times for a game-high 120 yards and two scores.

Cathedral racked up 20 first downs and 489 total yards, led by senior quarterback Olin Edwards – who completed 17-of-33 passes for 345 yards and three TDs.  The Bombers, however, were able to force two Cathedral turnovers while not giving up the football.  Senior Tucker Hundley forced and recovered a fumble, while senior Drew Klas intercepted a pass and returned it 20 yards.  St. Xavier (4-0) kicks off the league schedule by facing Moeller at 7 p.m. next Friday at University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium.

Winton Woods 34, Moeller 7 – A week after putting up 68 points in a victory against Lexington Lafayette, Moeller was held without a point for the third time in four games.  Winton Woods, Division II state runner-up a year ago and one of the top contenders for a state title this season, built a 27-0 lead at the end of the first quarter behind three rushing TDs and a defensive score – one of four turnovers suffered by Moeller, which opened the season with shutout losses to Cathedral and Louisville Trinity, 41-0 – the first time Moeller has suffered consecutive shutout losses in its storied program history.

Against Winton Woods (4-0), the Crusaders had 217 total yards offensive – most of which came through the air as senior quarterback Drew Altemuehle went 15-of-28 for 185 yards with one interception.  Moeller (1-3) continues to struggle running the football, carrying 23 times for 32 yards – an average of 1.4 yards per attempt.  The Crusaders converted just 4-of-11 third downs and 1-of-4 on fourth down.  Talented senior Miyan Williams carried 18 times for 165 yards, including a long run of 59 yards.

Elder-St. Edward Renew Series – In what is one of the best annual series pitting Southwest against Northeast Ohio, another version of Elder-Lakewood St. Edwards takes place today in NE Ohio.  If last week is any indication, it could be a high-scoring game as Elder (3-0) is coming off a 60-54 win against Clearwater, Fla. Academy International.  St. Edward (2-1), which beat Colerain in the DI state final last year, is coming off consecutive wins over regional powers Cass Tech from Detroit, 41-20, and Cathedral Prep from Erie, Pa., 21-14, the last two weeks.  The Eagles’ lone defeat is to Mentor, 29-28, in week one.

Elder is led by senior quarterback Matthew Luebbe, who leads the GCL South in rushing with 400 yards in 35 attempts, an 11.4 average per rush, and five TDs.  He also is second in passing yards, with 469 on 32-of-51 passing with five TDs and two interceptions.  A week ago, he connected with senior tight end and Ohio State University commit Joe Royer six times for 106 yards and three scores – including the game-winning, 23-yard TD pass with 1:06 remaining.  Elder has won its last two games by six points, including a 38-31 OT win one week earlier against Cathedral.  St. Edward has won the last two in the series, including a 26-30 win at The Pit last September after trailing 28-14 at halftime.