September 23rd, 2017

Tigers stay unbeaten with win over PRP

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Tigers stay unbeaten with win over PRP
St. X quarterback Jack Albers looks to make a throw / photo by Conor Revell

St. Xavier running back Brett Metzmeier went down with a serious knee injury in the first half and backup Anthony Moretti got the call.

Moretti rushed 26 times for 182 yards and three touchdowns as the visiting Tigers defeated Pleasure Ridge Park 35-21 Friday night in a battle of unbeaten District Three rivals.

“He’s a junior backup who is all of a sudden the starter,” St. X head coach Will Wolford said. “He certainly ran the ball quite well. We knew he was very talented but he had no experience. He has it now. I’ve been telling people for a while that we’re two deep on offense. Now, we have to replace the backup. But no doubt Moretti has plenty of talent. It’s no surprise he played well.”  

This may just be the start for Moretti as Wolford was quite concerned about Metzmeier injury.

“He hurt his knee,” Wolford said. “We will evaluate it, but I think it’s very serious.”

St. X’s offensive line paved lot of holes for Moretti and often ran a fast paced no huddle offense as the junior running back scored on touchdown runs of 10,12, and 14 yards.

“We go fast and we a do a lot of pulling guards,” Moretti said. “I think Wyatt Smock is the best guard in the state of Kentucky and he opened up a lot of stuff for me.”

The Tigers (5-0) control their own destiny in District Three with the victory – a win over Male in three weeks would make them the clear frontrunner for the district crown.

With the victory, St. X is 5-0, something the storied program hasn’t been able to do since the 2008 season.

Quarterback Jack Albers captained the Tiger offense and completed 4 of 10 passes for 133 yards and one touchdown. The senior also rushed for 63 yards and a score.

“We did what we normally do,” Albers said. “We know we have a really strong o-line so we just try to stay behind them. We would push them. At times, they would start to shut down on our inside run game but we knew we just had to stick with it.”

Will Crum caught two passes for 80 yards and a score.

The Tigers defense also made noise attacking the Panthers front line and recording seven sacks.

“We play six seniors on the d-line and they’re interchangeable,” Wolford said. “Sometimes the backups will play more than the starters on the first few series. They play hard. Andrew Uhls will probably play college football somewhere.”

Nolan Bruner led the way with two sacks while Ben Shugart, Andrew Uhls, Doug Shaffner, Conor O’Dea, and Connor Schaefer also recorded sacks.

“Well we couldn’t get back there without the d-line,” O’Dea said. “Our d-line is a big strength for us. We knew it was going to be a good game so we went after it.”

Bruner also recovered a fumble and Sam Boarman picked off a pass for the Tigers.

Quarterback B.J. Robinson led the Panther (4-1) offense and completed 19 of 29 passes for 356 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

“That’s a very good football team we just played,” Wolford said. “The defense knew that they (PRP) were going to make some plays but they weren’t going to hang their heads. They played hard. We made a couple more plays than they did. It was a damn good football game.”

Wide receiver Shannon Bishop led the Panther receiving corps with five catches for 188 yards and one score and Jordan Wallace caught four passes for 76 yards.

Dewayne Hall led all PRP rushers with 44 yards and a score.

Albers got the St. X offense going early when he connected with Crum for a 68-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

“We originally had a different play called,” Albers said. We saw them lineup with no safety and they were in man so we checked the play at the line. Crum had a one on one matchup and beat his man and took it from there.”

But PRP stormed right back as quarterback Bryant Robinson hooked up with Shannon Bishop on a 64-yard touchdown pass but Patrick Cleary missed the PAT giving the Tigers a 7-6 lead with 10:28 to go in the first quarter.

“They have great skill players,” O’Dea said. “We knew they were going to make some big plays. We just had to stay in it and get ready for the next play. I think we were able to do that well.”

After a Tiger three and out, Cleary made a 23-yard field goal putting PRP up 9-7 with 6:11 left in the first quarter.  

The lead was short lived as Albers scored on a 20 scamper, Moretti had a 38 yard run setting up his 12 yard score, and then scored moments later from 14 yards out as St. X walked into halftime with a 28-9 lead.

“I think our running game is one of our biggest strengths,” Moretti said. “With our running game, we open up the playbook and we can pass.”

But PRP wasn’t done as Robinson’s 6-yard touchdown run made it 28-15 with 3:32 to go in the third quarter.

Things got real interesting when St. X punter Kyle Nalley pinned the Panthers at their own 1-yard line. But PRP responded when Robinson completed an 82 yard pass to Bishop on the very first play and then connected with Dewayne Hall from 10 yards out to cut the Tigers lead to 28-21 with 5:37 left.

Moretti iced the game when his 10 yard touchdown run put the Panthers in a 35-21 hole with 1:48 remaining.

St. X plays archrival Trinity next Friday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. 


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