By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Colerain, which was held scoreless by St. Xavier in the first half of Friday’s game that was suspended at intermission because of persistent lightning, scored two touchdowns in the third quarter when the game resumed Saturday morning at St. Xavier High School and held on for a 14-12 victory over the Bombers in what has become the game in Greater Cincinnati every year.
La Salle, the second Greater Catholic League South Division team to have its game suspended Friday because of inclement weather, returned to Lancer Stadium early last night and went on to record a 34-21 victory over Mason to even its record after the first two weeks of the regular season.
St. Xavier (1-1), No. 7 in USA Today’s Super 25 national rankings, had not allowed a point in its first six quarters this season after posting a shutout in the opening win against Lakota West seven days earlier and then shutting down No. 6 Colerain’s powerful option attack for 24 minutes Friday. But, after a 13-hour delay overnight, a 19-yard TD run by Cardinals’ senior JJ Davis less than a minute into the second half gave his team a 7-6 lead. And the Cardinals followed with a 2-yard scoring run by Ivan Pace Jr. with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter to quickly go in front, 14-6.
Colerain’s two scores when play resumed early Saturday followed turnovers by St. Xavier – which had also plagued the Bombers in the second quarter the night before, when St. Xavier had a chance to extend its 6-0 lead. Both teams were scoreless until St. Xavier junior quarterback Wyatt Hudepohl connected with senior Nathan Stockman on a 32-yard scoring strike with 2:52 left in the game. But Colerain’s defense came up big on the two-point conversion, as junior Deshawn Pace sacked Hudepohl to preserve the lead.
St. Xavier had more first downs then Colerain, 17-10, and outgained the Cardinals, 357-230, but the Bombers were victimized by five turnovers. Hudepohl, in only his second start, completed 16-of-34 passes for 298 yards with two TDs and three interceptions. His leading receivers were Jared Kreimer (5 catches, 70 yards), Chris Payne (4-89) and Liam Clifford (3-64). The Bombers were held to just two yards per carry in 29 rushing attempts, but did manage to convert 7-of-13 third downs. St. Xavier was 1-of-3 on fourth down. Colerain is now 2-0 against St. Xavier in games played over two days, coming back on a Saturday morning to post a 13-10 win in overtime in similar circumstances in 2015.
Both Colerain and St. Xavier had standouts on defense. Senior Luke Bolden, a Miami University commit, had seven total tackles and two interceptions for Colerain. Deshawn Pace led the Cardinals with eight total tackles and an interception. Senior linebacker Nathan Arthur led St. Xavier with four unassisted tackles, nine assists and a sack, while senior linebacker Thomas Kiessling recorded nine total tackles and two sacks. Senior defensive back Trevor Potts had 10 total tackles for St. Xavier, which travels to Walnut Hills this Friday. Colerain opens Greater Miami Conference play by hosting unbeaten Princeton the same night.
La Salle (1-1), which held a 20-14 lead as play resumed in the third quarter, got two TD runs from junior Cameron Porter in the period to extend its lead to 34-14 entering the fourth. Porter had 18 carries for 72 yards, while junior quarterback MJ Horton – making his second start for the Lancers – rushed for a game-high 161 yards on 23 carries, including a 25-yard scoring run in the first quarter Friday night that gave the Lancers the lead for good, 14-7. Ls Salle also got an outstanding performance from junior kicker Jake Seibert.
Seibert connected on field goals from 46 and 45 yards, respectively, in the second quarter to give La Salle a 20-14 lead at halftime. He also was a perfect 3-of-3 on extra points for the Lancers, after being named Kicker of the Year a season ago when he made all 22 extra-point attempts and knocked down 9-of-11 field goals. La Salle remains at home Friday, when the Lancers host Lutheran North from St. Louis.
GCL South members Elder and Moeller are both 2-0 after recording victories Friday night. The Panthers defeated Indianapolis Cathedral, 39-34, on the road behind a big game from senior quarterback Michael Bittner – who threw for 176 yards and ran for three TDs in the road victory. Moeller got a TD pass from Mitch KcKenzie to Max Land midway through the second quarter to take a 21-14 lead that held up against Louisville Trinity at Lockland Stadium. The game was called because of inclement weather in the third quarter and declared official.