St. Xavier blanks Lakota West

St. Xavier and Lakota West renewed their friendly rivalry for a third straight season opener at RDI Stadium on North Bend Road. Game one in 2021 was a blowout in the Bombers’ favor. The return game at Lakota West last year was a tightly contested affair that broke the Firebirds’ way. It seemed the only thing the series was missing was a low-scoring affair, and that’s what happened Friday night as St. Xavier emerged with a 10-0 win in front of a capacity crowd.“Great start. I’m really happy with the kids right now. I’m excited for them,” St. Xavier head coach Steve Specht said.The Bombers scored on the first possession of the game, a four-yard run from sophomore Jacob Britt that capped a nine-play, 77-yard drive. They would dent the scoreboard for the final time with a Jake Cengia field goal in the second quarter.The defense turned up the intensity in the second half, forcing a total of four turnovers to put the game away.More:Welcome to 2023 Cincinnati high school football season. Here’s what you need to knowThree keys to St. Xavier’s victoryFirst and foremost, this was a defensive battle. The game ball goes to the Bomber defense, which gave up a paltry 94 yards. Lakota West only managed seven first downs and only ran one play in St. Xavier territory in the entire second half.“I think we’re really good. We’ve got a really good senior class and a good sophomore class coming up, so I think we can be better,” sophomore Brayden Reilly said of the defense.2. The defense not only flexed their muscles in the statistical categories, but they helped the Bombers put away a close game, something St. Xavier struggled with a year ago.The Bombers had late leads in 2022 against both Lakota West and Moeller but gave up game-winning touchdowns in each game. Returning five of their front six defensive starters to go along with a secondary that proved themselves with three interceptions tonight shows the St. Xavier defense is not to be messed with.”We’re young experience-wise in the secondary but I think they grew up today, and I think we have a pretty good front,” Specht said.3. Finally, the offense showed their ability to move the ball when it mattered. Sure, the only touchdown came on the first drive of the game, but the Bombers consistently moved the ball into Lakota West’s territory on the ground and in the air.Stephen Napier and Jacob Britt combined for 93 rushing yards and junior quarterback Chase Herbstreit found success against one of the best secondaries in the city.”We were just physical. We just kept on going. They’re really good up front and in their secondary, but we just kept on going,” Herbstreit said.Which players were keys to St. Xavier’s victory?Chase Herbstreit, St. Xavier: To open his first full season as the Bombers’ starting quarterback, he threw for 137 yards. His longest completion of the night was a 34-yard toss to Jack McClatchey to set up the game’s lone touchdown.Brayden Reilly, St. Xavier: The Bombers had two players grab multiple interceptions last year; they both graduated. Reilly quickly cemented himself as a threat in the secondary by intercepting two passes against the Firebirds. Both turnovers gave the Bombers a short field and resulted in a total of three points.How can both teams improve?Lakota West faced questions on offense with freshman quarterback Jackson Smith and few returning weapons. Head coach Tom Bolden admitted the offense didn’t do much to help Smith, but they also suffered from a lack of communication. The Firebirds hurt themselves with multiple false starts and fumbled snaps.“Growing pains is a great way to put it. We turned it over way too much and put our defense in terrible positions,” Bolden said.For as well as St. Xavier played on defense, the offense needs to do a better job of putting the game away going forward. Not every win is going to be a shutout, and the offense’s inability to score let the result hang in the balance until there were about five minutes left.“What I love about playing a team like Lakota West, or any of the great teams we play, you know exactly where you’re exposed. And you’ve got to work on where you’re exposed and get better,” Specht said.Who do the Bombers and Firebirds face in Week 2?St. Xavier begins the national portion of their schedule, traveling to Detroit to take on Martin Luther King Jr. in the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic. The game kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 4 p.m..Lakota West begins Greater Miami Conference play with a home game against Princeton on Friday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.. The Vikings will be a contender in the conference, and the winner of this game will have an early advantage in the standings.St. Xavier 10, Lakota West 0St. Xavier – 7 3 0 0 – 10Lakota West – 0 0 0 0 – 0St. X: Britt 4 run (Cengia kick)St. X: Cengia 37 FG

See also  Panoramic Information Mix-Up at Commencement: UND Graduates Accidentally End Up With 'North Dakota State University' Degrees day 06/07/2023

Related Posts