CINCINNATI -- The St. Xavier football coaches and players don’t view this season as an extension of the 2016 state title run.
That’s certainly not a surprise. New season. New challenges. New identity.
That may be coach-speak in many ways, but it’s especially true in high school sports where so many variables impact a program in a given school year.
With the Bombers trailing Colerain 14-0 midway through the fourth quarter on a very rainy Friday night at Cardinal Stadium, the St. X players didn’t panic.
They had experienced such scenarios multiple times in the postseason. The Bombers had the look of resolve in their eyes.
“We never had a doubt in our mind that we were going to win this football game,” St. X senior wide receiver Cameron Specht told TriStateFootball.com. “We have all the confidence in the world in Chase Wolf. He always does a great job. He leads us like no other.”
Wolf, a Wisconsin commit, led two solid scoring drives in the fourth quarter and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime to give St. X a 20-17 win.
Specht finished a phone interview in the pouring rain Friday night, and the drenched receiver sprinted to the other side of the field yelling his quarterback’s name gleefully as Wolf finished his media interviews.
The Bombers passed a strong early-season test on this chilly Week 2 night, and they were going to enjoy it thoroughly.
“It was very fun,” Wolf said with a smile. “That’s all I can say. It was fun.”
Welcome to the GMC
Mason (2-0) plays at Sycamore (2-0) Sept. 8 in a renewal of the rivalry game that was traditionally played in Week 10. The Greater Miami Conference went to an eight-game conference schedule starting this season, so the Comets and Aviators play in Week 3 -- the GMC opener for both teams.
“They beat us twice last year,” Mason coach Brian Castner said. “They’ve done a good job. (Sycamore coach) Scott Dattilo does a phenomenal job of getting his teams prepared. Our message is we need to take care of us and stick to the process.”
Mason and Sycamore have played since 2007 and that's always been in Week 10 for the "Battle of the Skies" Trophy, according to Sycamore Athletic Director Phil Poggi. Sycamore leads the series 7-3.
Mason defeated Withrow 55-0 Friday night, while Sycamore defeated Mount Healthy 17-0.
Lots of running
Speaking of the GMC, Lakota East is the only other undefeated team in the conference after a 34-27 win at Kings Friday night. Lakota East junior running back Jack Dobrozsi rushed 37 times for 217 yards and five touchdowns. The Thunderhawks had 374 yards rushing and just one passing attempt on a very rainy night. The five rushing touchdowns in a single game is a school record, according to Lakota East Athletic Director Rich Bryant and Sports Information Director Dan Hilen. It is tied for second best in Lakota District history, according to Lakota District historian Bob Ashby. Dobrozsi is the fifth player in district history to score five or more touchdowns in a game.
Lakota East (2-0) plays host to Princeton (0-2) Sept. 8.
Walnut Hills coach Gerry Beauchamp had quite the week. Beauchamp and his wife Alia welcomed their newborn daughter Aubrey on Tuesday morning. On Friday, Beauchamp earned his first win as a head coach when the visiting Eagles defeated Ross 33-13.
“I kept the wristband on from the hospital to honor our family,” Beauchamp said. “It was definitely an incredible week for us.”
Walnut Hills (1-1) plays at St. Xavier (2-0) Sept. 8.
Lancers get muddy
Sophomore Jake Seibert made two field goals and sophomore Cameron Porter rushed for a touchdown as La Salle defeated host East Central 13-0 in St. Leon, Indiana. East Central has a grass field, so there were plenty of stains on the uniforms Friday night.
"We knew weather was going to be bad but it was for both teams," La Salle coach Pat McLaughlin said. "We just asked them to play hard and they did. We did not turn over the ball on offense and that was big."
La Salle (2-0), the reigning three-time Division II state champion, plays host to West Clermont Sept. 8.
Simon Kenton defeated host Conner 13-6 for the Pioneers’ fourth consecutive win to start this season. Junior defensive lineman J.J. Courtney and Treyvon Nash played key roles as Simon Kenton allowed just 164 yards for the night, according to TriStateFootball.com.
Covington Catholic defeated Cooper 41-0 to improve to 3-0 this season. The Colonels have outscored their opponents 138-19 in the first three weeks. CovCath travels across the river next week to play at Kings Sept. 8. CovCath is ranked the No. 1 team in the TriStateFootball.com Northern Kentucky Rankings.
Falcons flying high
Aiken is 2-0 for the first time since the 2007 season. The Falcons defeated Madeira 28-14 Friday night.
“It’s huge,” Aiken coach Jeremy Pflug said. “It’s the best win of my career.”
Senior quarterback Tim Williams had an estimated 200 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Junior Kievaughn Sanks had an estimated 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns and 90 yards rushing. The Falcons are still riding the momentum from their first-ever playoff appearance in 2016. Despite losing 14 seniors from last season and starting just four current seniors, the Falcons have persevered.
“Instead of rebuild, we reloaded,” Pflug said. “It was a great night.”
Aiken is at North College Hill Sept. 8. The two schools haven’t played in an estimated 20 years, Pflug said, but now it will be an ongoing series between the neighborhood schools.
Anderson shuts out McNicholas
Anderson is 2-0 for the second straight season after a 39-0 win over McNicholas in the early game Friday. Senior quarterback Jay Volpenhein threw for 267 yards and rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns. Senior Kyle Blaha rushed 15 times for 137 yards (9.1 ypc.) and three touchdowns for the Redskins, who play at Harrison Sept. 8.
One game of particular interest on the West Side is Oak Hills at Elder at 4:30 p.m. The gates open at 3:30 p.m. Saturday's game is one of only four true home games for Elder this season.
“West Siders enjoy great football, and given the forecast, we wanted to provide the best football conditions possible for this match-up between two great west-side schools,” Elder Athletic Director Kevin Espelage said. “Thanks to the cooperation of the coaches and administrators at Oak Hills High School and our coaches here at Elder, we feel the change gives the players and fans of both schools a better atmosphere for football in The Pit.”
Lockland is 2-0 for the first time since the 2011 season. The Panthers defeated Hillcrest 20-0 Friday night. ...Little Miami is 2-0 for the first time since 1992, according to coach Nate Mahon. ….Moeller plays at Louisville Trinity Saturday afternoon in the first matchup between the programs since Week 10 of the 2014 season. It is the first of three games against Kentucky opponents for the Crusaders this season. Trinity is ranked No. 12 in the MaxPreps Computer Ratings. …The OHSAA weekly computer ratings start Week 4.