It wouldn’t be surprising if there are several bags of candy left in some neighborhoods around the Queen City on Halloween Night. Because if one game can shorten trick-or-treat night, it’s the Archbishop Moeller-St. Xavier football game, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. The game is being televised live on Fox Sports Ohio.
It wouldn’t be surprising if there are several bags of candy left in some neighborhoods around the Queen City on Halloween Night. Because if one game can shorten trick-or-treat night, it’s the Archbishop Moeller-St. Xavier football game, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium.
The game is being televised live on Fox Sports Ohio. (The game will be seen on the network’s alternate channels because of the NBA’s Cavaliers-Bobcats game).
Moeller (9-0), rated No. 2 in JJ Huddle’s Ohio High Magazine Division I Power Poll, wants to prove it has returned for a special season on the statewide scene and nationally.
While St. X (7-2) or Moeller is likely to get the top two spots in Region 4 regardless of Saturday’s outcome, the Greater Catholic League South division title is on the line.
“These games are what I would hope every high school football player is given a chance to play at some point in their football careers,” St. X coach Steve Specht said. “The chance to compete for a league title, no matter what the league, is one of the greatest experiences for any football player. I’m happy for our kids, especially the seniors that they have the opportunity.”
St. X (2-0 in the GCL-South), rated No. 5 in the Power Poll, has played a typically brutal schedule down the stretch. The Bombers lost to No. 1 Cleveland St. Ignatius 30-21 last weekend in Cleveland.
St. X was down 23-1 with three minutes left, but the Wildcats prevailed.
“It’s hard to overcome a four-turnover deficit,” especially against a team the caliber of St. Ignatius, Specht said.
In addition to the always tough GCL schedule, the Bombers have wins against Indianapolis Cathedral, Louisville St. Xavier, Louisville Trinity and Lakewood St. Edward.
St. X senior quarterback Luke Massa (Cincinnati commit) has thrown for 1,290 yards. Sophomore running back Conor Hundley has rushed for 815 yards.
Defensively, the Bombers’ leaders include senior defensive lineman Nigel Muhammad (five sacks), junior linebacker Steven Daniels (four sacks), sophomore linebacker Nathan Gerbus (three sacks) and senior defensive back Nick Weston (three interceptions).
St. X is going for its first league title since 2007 – the same year the Bombers won the state title.
“St. X is a great opponent and rival,” Moeller coach John Rodenberg said. “So many of the kids know each other. There is a lot of pride and tradition on the line so the atmosphere will take care of itself.”
Moeller, which is 2-0 in the league, could win its first GCL-South title outright for the first time since 1997.
Moeller is coming off a 40-10 win at St. Ed’s last week. Senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix (Notre Dame commit) threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns. Senior linebacker Marcus Rush (Michigan State commit) had two sacks – he leads the GCL with 10.
Moeller averages 41 points and has shown it can effectively run or throw the ball on offense. The offensive line is massive, led by senior Ali Kassem (Western Michigan commit) and Jeff Tanner (Wake Forest commit).
Senior running back Jeff Aubin is the team’s leading rusher with 641 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“They are big up front and have been able to run the ball effectively,” Specht said. “We need to do a solid job up front. I think the game will be decided in the trenches.”
In addition to Rush, Moeller’s defense has senior linebacker Nick Galvin (six sacks), junior linebacker Kendall Walker and junior defensive lineman Jesse Hayes (4.5 sacks) among others.