By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Senior quarterback Danny Nieman connected with senior Danny Faillace on a 38-yard touchdown pass with just over two minutes remaining to give Elder a 27-23 win over previously undefeated Gahanna Lincoln Friday night in Columbus , while Moeller junior quarterback Miles McBride tossed four TD passes for the second time in three games to help the Crusaders hand Scott County, Ky. Its first loss of the season, 38-28, at Georgetown College just outside of Lexington. La Salle and St. Xavier also extended their respective winning streaks with victories as the Greater Catholic South Division teams all posted victories.
GCL South teams are 11-1 after three weeks of the regular season. The league’s only loss was a 38-30 loss by Moeller at Louisville Trinity a week ago, a game that the Crusaders led 24-7 in the second quarter. The Shamrocks are 4-0 this season, the top-ranked team in Kentucky according to MaxPreps, and the defending Class 6A state champions.
Here is a look at the GCL South games Friday night:
Elder – The Panthers (3-0), ranked No. 2 in The Enquirer’s weekly Division I coaches poll, continue to get good balance on offense. Nieman connected on 19-of-33 passes for 204 yards, two TDs and no interceptions, while junior Luke Masminster rushed for more than 100 yards for the second straight game – carrying 18 times for 100 yards – and senior Michael Bittner scored a pair of rushing TDs. Elder trailed 13-0 in the first quarter against Gahanna Lincoln (2-1) before coming back to go ahead 20-13 late in the third quarter on a 4-yard TD run from Bittner. Nieman’s other TD strike was a 33-yarder to junior Kyle Tischler, who had a team-high nine catches for 115 yards.
La Salle 30, West Clermont 0 – The Lancers (3-0), No. 1 in Division II, extended their winning streak to 14 games dating back to September 17, 2016 with their second consecutive shutout. La Salle, which also blanked East Central, Ind., 13-0, eight days ago, has yet to allow a TD. The Lancers’ defense held West Clermont (1-2) to just three first downs and 58 total yards in building a 30-0 halftime lead. Senior quarterback Griffin Merritt completed 17-of-23 passes for 189 yards and one TD, a 10-yarder to freshman Deon Campbell in the first quarter. La Salle also got a defensive TD when senior Craig Willis returned an interception 31 yards just over a minute into the game.
Moeller – The No. 3 Crusaders (2-1 ) got another near-perfect performance from McBride, who opened the season by completing 11-of-12 passes for 201 yards and four scores in a 42-7 win at Hamilton in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown. Against Scott County (3-1), McBride was good on 14-of-18 passes for 240 yards and four TDS. He also rushed 18 times for 118 yards, while junior Chrystopher Watkins ran 24 times for a team-high 138 yards and one TD. Senior RJ Khayo caught five passes for 98 yards and two scores, while senior Jack McCracken hauled in four receptions for 50 yards and a TD. McBride has now thrown 11 TD passes and just two interceptions.
St. Xavier 50, Walnut Hills 7 – The No. 1-ranked Bombers (3-0) got a pair of passing TDs from senior quarterback Chase Wolf, while Kellen Newman and Matthew Fox each ran for two scores to build a 43-0 halftime lead and extend their winning streak to nine games overall. Wolf, who scored the game-winner on a 1-yard run in overtime at Colerain last week after engineering two fourth-quarter TD drives, has thrown five TD passes without an interception this season. The Bombers’ defense was solid again, limiting Walnut Hills (0-3) to 2-of-11 third-down conversions and five yards rushing in 27 attempts.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the four GCL South teams. Elder stays on the road next Saturday, traveling to Greater Cleveland to face Lakewood St. Edward (2-0 entering tonight’s game versus Woodson from Washington, DC). Kickoff is 7 p.m. On Friday, La Salle hosts Scott County (3-1) at 7:30 p.m. at Lancer Stadium, while Moeller plays Lexington Lafayette (1-3), the Kentucky Class 6a state runner-up each of the last two season, at 7 at Lockland’s Roettger Stadium, and St. Xavier welcomes perennial Indiana power Indianapolis Cathedral (1-3) to St. Xavier Stadium at 7.