By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Senior quarterback Patrick Delahunty connected with senior receiver Jack Kennedy for a 72-yard touchdown pass to give Cleveland St. Ignatius a 10-0 halftime lead, which turned out to be more than enough for a Wildcats’ defense that held Elder scoreless until the game’s final minutes in a 17-7 win Saturday afternoon at Byers Field in Parma, Ohio. The win was the third straight for St. Ignatius, which handed Elder its second consecutive loss against a perennial Northeast Ohio power. Lakewood St. Edward rallied for 22 second-half points a week ago to beat Elder, 36-30, at The Pit in Price Hill.
St. Ignatius (3-2), which opened its season with losses to two good football teams in Mentor, the Ohio Division I state runner-up last season, and unbeaten and highly regarded Archbishop Hoban from Akron, has now won three in a row. The Wildcats’ passing combination of Delahunty and Kennedy hooked up seven times for 137 yards and the game’s first TD. The Wildcats’ defense pressured Elder senior quarterback Michael Bittner throughout the game, with Bittner completing 17-of-41 passes for 221 yards. Elder was unable to get untracked running the football, carrying 21 times for only four yards.
Elder (3-2), however, had a chance to score first after blocking a St. Ignatius punt and taking over at the Wildcats’ 30-yard line with 3:30 left in a scoreless first quarter. Elder moved the ball inside the 10-yard line but, after being unable to score a TD, an attempted 23-yard field goal was no good. Elder had another chance in the first half, after St. Ignatius had taken the 10-0 lead, but a drive stalled inside Wildcats’ territory. Since putting up 28 first-half points last week against St. Edward, the Panthers’ high-powered offense has scored one TD in the last six quarters.
Elder hosts St. Xavier, which has dropped two straight and three of its last four games, in a key Greater Catholic League South Division game for both schools Friday. St. Xavier (2-3, 0-1 GCL South) lost its league opener at home to Moeller, 19-14, on Friday night. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Elder. Moeller (4-1, 1-0) travels to La Salle (4-1), which has won four straight, in the other GCL South game Friday. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Lancer Stadium as La Salle opens up GCL South play.