St. Xavier seeks improvement before showdown at Colerain

CINCINNATI – St. Xavier football coach Steve Specht wasn’t about to sugarcoat his feelings about Saturday’s game.

Yes, the Bombers defeated Hinsdale Central (Ill.) 43-14 in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown at Princeton High School.

But, the longtime St. X coach wasn’t pleased with some of the mental errors and mistakes from Week 1.

“We went on last year’s film – we had nothing from this year,” Specht said. “(Hinsdale) did things that we struggled adjusting to the whole game.”

Three penalties allowed Hinsdale Central (0-1) to march right down the field on its opening drive and scored a touchdown on its fourth play.

Junior Luke Skokna scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to help give the Red Devils a 7-0 lead just 44 seconds into the game.

After the teams traded punts, the Bombers sustained a 12-play, 97-yard drive that saw senior running back Matthew Fox scored on a 14-yard touchdown run to make it 7-6.

Hinsdale Central went for it on fourth down on its next possession and was stopped at its own 29.

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The Bombers capitalized on the next play when senior quarterback Chase Wolf found junior Jared Kreimer for a 26-yard touchdown pass connection. That gave the Bombers a 12-7 lead.

Hinsdale Central wouldn’t get any closer. Still, Specht said the Bombers need to improve before it travels to Colerain (0-1) Sept. 1.

“We have a long way to go,” Specht said.

Wolf, a Wisconsin commit, was 22 of 28 passing for 196 yards and two touchdowns Saturday. But, he acknowledged the Bombers need to improve.

“(Coach) doesn’t think we are a good team yet, but we can get there,” Wolf said.

Wolf scored on an 8-yard touchdown at the six-minute mark of the second quarter to give the Bombers a 19-7 lead.

Junior Chris Payne scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 44 seconds left in the quarter to help give St. X a 26-7 lead.

Hinsdale, a team from suburban Chicago, scored on a fumble recovery in the third quarter to close the gap to 26-14.

Senior Donny Stock added a 25-yard field goal with 1:26 left in the third quarter to extend the Bombers’ lead to 29-14.

St. X went ahead 36-14 after Wolf found Andrew Wittrock for a 31-yard touchdown pass connection with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter.

The Bombers went ahead 43-14 when Fox scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 3:03 left.

Fox finished with 21 carries for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

St. X, the reigning Division I state champion, is 11-3 in the Showdown since 2004 and has only one loss to an Ohio team in that span in the event (Colerain in 2008).

St. Xavier is ranked No. 18 nationally by the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 rankings (editorial rankings). The Bombers are No. 6 in the USA Today Midwest computer rankings.

St. X plays at Colerain at 7 p.m. Sept. 1. It will be the 35th meeting between the programs. Colerain won the regular season game in overtime in 2016 but St. Xavier won the regional semifinal game in overtime.

St. X leads the all-time series 21-13.

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