CINCINNATI – Ohio State verbal commit Devier Posey was supposed to be the receiver to star in the first game of the Kirk Herbstreit Ohio vs USA Challenge at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium on Saturday. And he did, recording five catches for 111 yards.
However, Indianapolis Cathedral's Jack Lupo stole the show late in the Fighting Irish's 7-6 win over Cincinnati LaSalle. Lupo made a leaping 28-yard grab on a beautiful throw from Cathedral quarterback Andre Pimentel with 2:59 to play to steal the victory from the hard luck Lancers.
Lupo started the winning drive with a 46-yard catch to get the Irish across mid field and a first down pass to Jon Horn set up the winning score. For the game, Lupo led all receivers with 125 yards on four catches and the games only touchdown.
If you were looking only at the box score, you'd be hard pressed to believe the game was played in beautiful sunshine and 75 degrees. Cathedral was unsuccessful in seven red-zone attempts and missed three field goals while the teams combined for six turnovers. It was a field position battle reminiscent of a game played in heavy sleet, especially in the first half.
Cathedral won the field position battle in the first two quarters but came up empty and it nearly cost them.
It was LaSalle who made the most of its first half opportunities with Posey making the difference. Posey caught two passes for 60 yards on a drive midway through the second quarter to put the red and white in position for the first of two Aaron Walter field goals.
Cathedral came out of the locker room at half time with one of the game's best drives. Pimentel took an option keeper 26 yards on the first play from scrimmage and two plays later he connected with Horn for 11 yards. The Lancers got a break on the next play however when LaSalle's Ryan Luggen recovered Lupo's fumble.
LaSalle's Jones was intercepted two plays later but Cathedral was stopped on fourth down when Posey knocked down a Pimentel pass inside the Lancer 5-yard line. Three plays later, Kendall Owens just missed on a trick play that may have been enough to put LaSalle over the top.
Owens went to his right on a sweep, stopped, and had Eric Watson wide open down field, but unfortunately his pass was just out of reach.
Early in the fourth quarter, another solid Cathedral drive was stopped by a turnover. Horn made a 14-yard catch, but fumbled and it appeared that LaSalle would recover but the Lancer defender bobbled the recovery before it went out of bounds at the LaSalle 16 yard line. On the very next play lady luck shined on the Lancers when Nick Najem coughed up the football and LaSalle's JK Schaefer recovered on the Lancer 22 yard line.
Owens, who was held in check all day by a fast athletic Irish defense, raced 40-yards on the third LaSalle play after the fumble recovery. Three plays later Posey made a 19-yard catch setting up Walter's second field goal and giving the Lancers a 6-0 lead with 3:58 to play.
That set the stage for Lupo to steal the show and give the Irish the hard fought win.
Owens led the losers with 92 yards on 16 carries and Jones ended up 10 of 27 for 180 yards while throwing 3 interceptions. He was sacked 5 times.
In addition to Posey, LaSalle's Matt Green made three catches for 36 yards.
For Cathedral, Najem led the Irish with 49 yards on 21 carries. Pimentel finished 13 of 23 for 237 yards and the games only touchdown to Lupo.
Scottie Miller, who was 0-3 on field goal attempts for the Irish, connected on the PAT with 2:59 to play to give the Irish their margin of victory.