By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
La Salle and Moeller posted impressive double-digit victories against interstate opponents Thursday and Friday, respectively, with both schools recording their third win in four games. St. Xavier narrowly missed doing the same, scoring a game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion with one second remaining in regulation before falling to Indianapolis Cathedral in overtime. Elder, looking to remain the lone undefeated team in the Greater Catholic League South Division, hosts perennial state power Lakewood St. Edward at 4:30 p.m. today at The Pit in Price Hill.
Here is a look at the GCL South games:
La Salle 37, Scott County (KY) 7 – The game was moved up one day to Thursday so Georgetown College could move its game against St. Andrews, FL up a day because of Hurricane Florence. The move certainly didn’t cause any issues for La Salle (3-1), which scored on its first five possessions – including four TDs – to take a convincing lead against a Scott County team that entered the game undefeated, with victories against Highlands and Moeller, 10-7. Junior quarter MK Horton accounted for four scores, two rushing and two passing, for the Lancers – who have now won three straight games.
Horton completed 15-of-21 passes for 247 yards and two TDs, while rushing 13 times for 78 yards and two scores. La Salle led 14-7 after one quarter before scoring three TDs in the second quarter to take a commanding 34-7 halftime lead. Senior receiver Kevin Swift caught eight passes for 123 yards and two TDs, while sophomore Tay Smith hauled in four passes for 97 yards. Defensively, La Salle limited Scott County (4-1) to just eight first downs and 160 total yards. Senior Jake Seibert remained perfect, too, knocking down his fifth field goal this season, a 21-yarder. He is now 14-of-16 in field-goal attempts the last two seasons.
Moeller 39, Lexington Lafayette 0 – Senior RJ Khayo racked up more than 250 all-purpose yards, scoring three TDs, and Moeller’s defense did the rest in posting a shutout road victory. Khayo scored on a 70-yard pass from senior Mitch McKenzie and a 60-yard punt return in the second quarter, and then added a 90-yard scoring run in the third quarter, more than enough for Moeller (3-1) – which held Lafayette to minus-2 total yards in the game. Lafayette completed just 2-of-10 passes for four yards, while rushing 25 times for minus-6 yards. Lafayette (1-4) was 0-for-10 on third-down conversions.
Khayo finished the night with four rushes for a team-high 95 yards, caught four passes for a team-best 75 yards, and returned three punts for 81 yards. McKenzie was also effective, connecting on 12-of-18 passes for 120 yards and one score. Defensively, Joe Toepfer, Ryan Mullaney and Luke Szabados recorded seven, six and four tackles, respectively, with each recording a sack. Moeller opens GCL South play next Friday when the Crusaders travel to take on St. Xavier. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at St. Xavier Stadium.
Indianapolis Cathedral 20, St. Xavier 14 (OT) – Senior Jared Kreimer hauled in a 22-yard scoring pass from junior quarterback Wyatt Hudepohl with one second remaining, then Hudepohl tossed a scoring pass to Marshall Lang on the ensuing two-point conversion to send the game into overtime. St. Xavier (2-2) had the ball first in OT but, after being unable to move the ball, a 27-yard field goal attempt by Zach Saupe was wide left. Cathedral’s Bo Sanders scored on an 8-yard pass reception on its possession to send the Bombers to their second loss in the last three games.
The Bombers’ only other defeat this season is to No. 1 and unbeaten Colerain, 14-12, in week two. The Bombers’ defense continues to play well, with senior linebacker Thomas Kiessling recording eight total tackles in the game, including 3.5 tackles for loss. Sophomore Liam Clifford gave the Bombers a 6-0 lead in the second quarter, catching a 16-yard scoring pass from Kreimer. St. Xavier held the lead into the third quarter, until Sanders hauled in his first TD pass and the extra point gave Cathedral (2-3) a 7-6 advantage, which is would increase to 14-6 until the game’s last offensive play.
Elder Looks For Perfection – Elder will attempt to remain unblemished when it meets St. Edward this afternoon at The Pit. Senior quarterback Michael Bittner is off to a solid start for the Panthers, leading the GCL South in passing yards with 491, while ranking just behind teammate Matthew Luebbe in rushing yards, having picked up 184 with five TDs to rank fourth in the league. Luebbe has run for 190 yards, averaging 6.3 yards a carry, and two scores in Elder’s three wins. Senior Kyle Trischler is Bittner’s leading receiver, having caught 17 passes for 247 yards and one score to rank second in the league in receiving yards with one fewer game played.
Don’t be deceived by St. Edward’s 1-2 record. The Eagles two defeats are by a combined four points – falling 42-39 in the opener against Mentor and then losing the next week, 21-20, to talented Cass Tech from Detroit. St. Edward won last week against Cathedral Prep from Erie, Pa., 35-3. St. Edward defeated Elder, 40-7, last year in Northeast Ohio – a game the Eagles led 33-0 after three quarters, holding Elder’s explosive offensive to less than 180 total yards and just nine first downs. St. Edward has won six of eight in the series since 2010, but Elder has won the last two meetings in Cincinnati – 21-14 in 2014 and 15-9 in 2016.