Elder Notches Fifth Consecutive Victory Behind Luebbe


Posted on 10/26/2019 at 11:34 a.m.

Winton Woods Rallies Past La Salle; St. Xavier, Moeller In NE Ohio Today

Senior quarterback Matthew Luebbe accounted for more than 400 yards total offense to lead Elder to a 31-20 victory  over Clarkson Football North from Mississauga, Ontario in a non-conference game Friday night at The Pit in Price Hill.  The win was the fifth straight for the Panthers, who have clinched a berth in the state playoffs and can close the regular season with the Greater Catholic League South Division championship with a victory at La Salle next Friday.

Speaking of La Salle, which  can earn the league title all t, the Lancers appeared headed for an impressive win last night after they took a 21-7 lead over Winton Woods midway through the second quarter in a marquee matchup between two of the region’s top Division II teams featured as part of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.  But that’s before Warriors’ senior running back Miyan Williams took over – finishing with 32 carries for 145 yards and the game’s final three TDs – the game-winning coming on an 8-yard run with 5:44 remaining – to give Winton Woods a 26-21 win in its final game of the regular season, a game it needed to keep its state playoff hopes alive.  Williams now has 5,769 rushing yards in his varsity career to rank among all-time state leaders.

St. Xavier and Moeller, the remaining two GCL South teams, close out week nine this afternoon with a pair of games in Northeast Ohio.  St. Xavier (6-2), which has dropped two of its last three games, faces perennial state power Cleveland St. Ignatius (4-4) in the annual meeting between the two schools.  Kickoff is 3 p.m. at Byers Field in Parma.  St. Ignatius has won the last two meetings in the series.  Moeller (1-7), which has dropped five games in a row, faces defending DI state champion Lakewood St. Edward (7-1) at 4 p.m. at Lakewood High School.  St. Edward is ranked No. 2 behind unbeaten Mentor in the latest Associated Press DI state poll, has won seven straight and is the lone team to defeat Elder this season, winning 42-25 in NE Ohio in week four.

Elder (8-1), No. 4 in the AP DI state rankings and second behind Fairfield in the DI, Region 4 Harbin computer ratings, has the most potent offense in the GCL South – averaging just under 40 points a game behind Luebbe, who has now combined for 2,801 total yards and 27 TDs and an offense line that includes three seniors who have committed to BCS schools in Jakob James (Ohio State University), Luke Kandra (Louisville) and Joe Royer (Ohio State), who is a solid blocker and also is third in the league in receptions (45), second in receiving yards (815) and tied for the lead in TDs (nine) with St. Xavier junior Liam Clifford.  Against Clarkson North (3-6), Luebbe completed 22-of-33 passes for 306 yards and three scores, while also rushing 18 times for 104 yards and one TD.

The Panthers, who racked up 28 first downs and 562 total yards, held a 31-6 lead with 50 seconds left in the third quarter after senior Joseph Cantania scored on a 2-yard run and senior Sam Harneyer converted the extra point.  Royer had another huge night receiving, hauling in seven passes for 163 yards to average 23.3 yards per catch.  Sophomore Drew Ramsey also caught seven passes for 65 yards and one TD, a 12-yarder from Luebbe to give Elder a 14-0 lead after one quarter.  Ramsey rushed six times for 57 yards,  scampering 54 yards to give Elder a 7-0 lead with 7:34 left in the first quarter.  

La Salle (6-2), like Elder, was looking to take some momentum into its winner-take-GCL South game against Elder in the regular-season finale with a win over highly regarded Winton Woods.  And, after getting two TDS from senior and Northwestern commit Cam Porter to take a 21-7 lead in the second quarter, it looked as thought the Lancers might do just that and, in the process, eliminate Winton Woods (a state finalist two years ago and state semifinalist last season) from the postseason.  Independent Winton Woods entered the game at 5-3, having played a brutal schedule that included its three losses to St. Edward, Christian Brothers from Missouri (the equivalent of a DI school in Ohio) and Elder, 42-37, last week.

But Williams, an Iowa State commit who is considered one of the top backs in the state, took over – as the Warriors turned to their speedster who responded with scoring runs of 8, 2 and 8 yards, respectively, to earn the Showdown Mercy Health Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Most Valuable Player honors for his performance.    The final TD run came with 5:44 remaining, and Winton Woods got an interception from junior linebacker Cameron Sanders after La Salle had moved the ball to the Warriors’ 11 on its final drive.

According to the website JoeEitel.com, which projects the Harbin computer ratings throughout the season, La Salle is No. 3 behind Harrison and Turpin in the DII, Region 8 rankings.  According to Eitel, Harrison and Turpin – the region’s top two teams – are the only teams to clinch a playoff berth and a first-round home game, while the Lancers control their own destiny.  Winton Woods, which entered Friday at No. 10, is now eighth and must await the results of next Friday’s game before officially learning its playoff status.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association releases the official Harbin ratings at noon each Tuesday.  There is one more week remaining in the OHSAA regular season, with state playoff games beginning on Friday, November 8.  The top eight teams from each region qualify for postseason competition, based on the final Harbin ratings.

Elder and St. Xavier hold down the Nos. 2 and 3 spots, respectively, in Region 4 according to Eitel, having clinched a berth and a first-round home game.  Unbeaten and No. 1 Fairfield and perennial playoff qualifier Colerain, at No. 4, also have earned first-round playoff home games.  Colerain, which has not lost a Greater Miami Conference game since 2008, travels to Fairfield next Friday for the GMC championships.  Both teams are 7-0 in the league, with Colerain’s lone loss this season coming back in week two to St. Xavier, 21-14.