Elder, Moeller Post Key Interstate Victories Friday Night; La Salle, St. Xavier Football Games Suspended, To Be Completed Today

Photo courtesy Ron Ramer, ESP Media

Photo courtesy Ron Ramer, ESP Media

By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner

It was anything but an ordinary night of high school football Friday, as continuous lightning delays in Greater Cincinnati ultimately forced the majority of high school games – including those involving Greater Catholic League South Division schools La Salle and St. Xavier – to be suspended and scheduled to resume today.  But two league members – Elder and Moeller – were able to emerge with key interstate victories in the second week of the regular season.  Elder traveled to Indianapolis and emerged with a wild 39-34 victory against Cathedral, while Moeller stayed home and beat Louisville Trinity, 21-14.

The Moeller-Trinity game was called with 7:38 left in the third quarter and declared an official game.

La Salle’s game against Mason, with the Lancers leading, 20-14, in the second quarter, will resume at 4 p.m. this afternoon at La Salle’s Lancer Stadium.  St. Xavier, which took a 6-0 lead into halftime in its annual regular-season matchup with Colerain, will kick off the second half at 9:30 this morning at St. Xavier Stadium.  Colerain and St. Xavier have split the last 14 games in the series  dating back to 2010, with four of the last six meetings – including postseason play – going into overtime.  Colerain and St. Xavier held down the top two spots in The Enquirer’s Division I coaches’ poll entering play Friday.

Elder (2-0), which opened with a convincing shutout win against Gahanna Lincoln from Greater Columbus at The Pit a week earlier, outlasted Cathedral behind senior quarterback Michael Bittner – who completed 11-of-19 passes for 176 yards, while also rushing for 50 yards and three scores.  It was Bittner’s 1-yard TD run with just 34 seconds remaining that erased a 34-33 deficit and gave the Panthers their second straight non-conference victory.  Junior Matthew Luebbe was a dual threat for Elder, completing 2-of-2 passes for 58 yards and a TD and rushing 10 times for a team-high 70 yards with one score.  Cathedral (1-2) rallied from a 12-point deficit to lead 34-33 with 4:01 left.

Senior Kyle Trischler led Elder with six receptions for 105 yards.

While Elder completed its game without any weather issues out of town, Moeller (2-0) was able to capitalize on a 52-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Mitch McKenzie to junior Max Land with 8:01 remaining in the first half, snapping a 14-14 tie and giving the Crusaders a win after the game was called and declared official following two quarters of play.  McKenzie was solid for Moeller, connecting on 6-of-9 passes for 165 yards and the game-winning TD.  Senior Chrystopher Watkins led Moeller on the ground, rushing 16 times for 68 yards and one TD, while senior RJ Khayo had a rushing TD and hauled in three passes for 68 yards.

Trinity, annually one of the region’s top programs, falls to 0-3.