October 29th, 2011
Tigers Match Bomber "D" In 7-3 Victory
Louisville St. Xavier pulls off upset win on Senior Night
Since August, St. Xavier High School head football coach Mike Glaser has been telling anyone who would listen that he was banking on the postseason and that he wouldn't have a good football team until November.
It appears his projections are coming to fruition sooner than expected.
Behind its best defensive effort of the season on Friday, the Tigers won its third straight game and pulled the upset of nationally-ranked Cincinnati St. Xavier with a 7-3 win over the Bombers at Thomas More Stadium.
Louisville St. Xavier's lone score came in the second quarter when sophomore Dekota Jones intercepted Cincinnati St. Xavier QB Griffin Dolle and returned it 65 yards right in front of the Tigers sideline for a touchdown. Jones, who was moved from running back to defensive back several weeks ago, took full advantage of his new role and ended up providing the game-winning points for his team.
"I think the defensive preperation was key," said Glaser. "The defensive staff did a great job. The kids are really starting to understand this defense and they're really flying to the ball. They just did an outstanding job. The sophomore Dakota Jones gets the interception and takes it back all the way. He's a heck of a threat."
Behind a 20-carry, 90-rushing yard effort from sophomore running back Charles Walker, the Tigers were able to hold the ball for nearly 27 minutes on Friday but could not reach the end zone against the trademark Cincinnati St. X defense that has been one of the most consistent and most ferocious in the country for years.
"Gosh that's a really good defensive football team," said Glaser. "We said coming in, 'This is going to be as good of a defense as you're going to face,' so I feel really good about the win. I think the last time we beat them was 1973 or somewhere around there. I don't think anybody gave us a chance. Everybody went to other games tonight but I tell you what, they missed a heck of a football game here."
As good as the Bomber defense was, the Tigers' unit was just as strong. Junior DB Patrick Sermersheim hauled in his team-leading third interception during the game and teamed with Jones to disrupt the Cincinnati St. X passing attack. Dolle finished 14-of-26 for 123 yards, but most of those came from short passes in the flats to Trey Kilgore and Kevin Milligan.
The Bombers, which got its lone points on a 30-yard field goal by Nick Roemer during the game's opening drive, were also stymied on the ground, as Louisville St. X linebackers George Stone and Deonte Clyburn kept CJ Hilliard in check. Cincy St. X, which played its second straight game without leading rusher Conor Hundley, who has a sprained ankle, could only muster 61 rushing yards.
The two teams combined for nine punts, including five for 171 yards by Tigers junior Brad Schickel.
Louisville St. Xavier, which was celebrating Senior Night, got another gutsy performance out of its senior QB Alex Mattingly. By picking up a slew of key third and fourth down conversions, Mattingly moved the chains on several occasions and helped the Tigers control the pace and the clock.
The Tigers were 3-for-3 on third downs and 3-for-5 on fourth downs.
Mattingly, who was hit hard and sacked late in the game, appeared to suffer a slight stinger and finished the game on the sideline. He completed five passes and only had 38 passing yards, but his management of the offense was equally significant. Tigers RB Brandon Moore added to the Louisville St. Xavier rushing yard total, accumulating 38 yards on 11 carries.
"I think the big thing was, sometimes we'd look at them and we'd get scared to run the football because (Cincinnati St. X) is so big and strong. But we decided that we could run it and we took the time of possession away," said Glaser. "We did what we had to do to win."
Friday was the 14th meeting in the all-time series between the two St. Xavier High Schools. The two programs have played one another in 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929,1936,1937,1947,1955, 1956, 1971, 1997, 2009, and 2010, and then again on Friday. The head-to-head record is now tied at 7-7.
The win over the Bombers wrapped up the Tigers' regular season schedule, but Louisville St. X (6-4) will be back at home next Friday to host Nelson County (1-9) in the first round of the Class 6A Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl.