GCL South FB Teams Kick Off Playoffs With Strong Wins

11/09/2019

Posted on 11/9/2019 at 8:48 a.m.

Big Offensive Nights Pace St. Xavier, Elder & La Salle To Victory 

It was a strong kickoff for the three Greater Catholic League South Division football teams in Friday’s opening round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Football Tournament, as St. Xavier, Elder and La Salle each scored more than 40 points to win their respective regional quarterfinal games by a combined 132-37 score and advance to the second round. 

St. Xavier, the No. 1 seed in Division I, Region 4, trailed at halftime before exploding for 35 unanswered points in the final two quarters to defeat No. 8 Mason, 48-20, at St. Xavier Stadium.

Senior running back Kellen Newman carried 22 times for a season-high 172 yards and two touchdowns as St. Xavier (9-2) won its third consecutive game.  The Bombers scored in every facet of the game, including a 100-yard interception return for a TD by sophomore Eli Kirk, and a 58-yard punt return for a score by senior Tucker Hundley.

As a result, St. Xavier earns a rematch with GCL South rival and No. 4 Elder in the regional semifinals next Friday at a site to be announced by the OHSAA.  Elder (9-2) built a 28-3 halftime advantage and went on to a 42-17 victory against No. 5 Lakota West at The Pit in Price Hill, posting its sixth in the last seven games.  One of those wins was a 31-28 victory against St. Xavier on October 4 at St. Xavier, behind 236 yards rushing and three TDs by senior quarterback Matthew Lueebe.  Against West, Luebbe – named GCL South Co-Player of the Year by league coaches earlier in the week – completed 11-of-15 passes for 188 yards and two scores, while rushing 13 times for 103 yards and a pair of TDs.

La Salle, the third GCL South team in the postseason and the No. 1 seed in DII, Region 8, scored three TDs in just over six minutes and built a 35-0 lead after one quarter in a 42-over victory against No. 8 Little Miami at Lancer Stadium.  The Lancers, who won three straight DII state titles from 2014 to 2016, are now 18-1 in their last five state playoff appearances.  Senior Cam Porter, named GCL South Co-Player of the Year with Luebbe, rushed 11 times for 96 yards and three scores to lead the Lancers.  La Salle (9-2) advances to face Columbus Walnut Ridge (11-0). A 28-7 winner over Xenia Friday night, in the semis next Friday at a site to be determined.

All regional semifinal games in Divisions I and II are set for 7 p.m. kickoffs next Friday.  The OHSAA will announce the regional semifinal sites Sunday afternoon.  In Region 4, Colerain and Fairfield – which played just eight days ago for the Greater Miami Conference championship (Colerain won the game, 16-10, in overtime) – will meet again in the other semifinal.  Colerain (10-1) advanced with a 30-7 win against Princeton, while Fairfield (10-1) knocked off Hamilton, 37-1, in two playoff games involving all GMC teams last night.  Harrison faces Columbus St. Francis DeSales (9-2) in the other Region 8 semi, after DeSales defeated previously unbeaten and No. 2 seed Turpin, 27-13, last night.  Harrison (10-1) advanced with a 24-18 win over Canal Winchester.