CINCINNATI -- St. Xavier football coach Steve Specht was very honest with the assessment of his squad Saturday night.
St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) defeated St. Xavier 34-0 in the 19th annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown at Nippert Stadium. The game was televised on ESPNU.
Nobody on the St. X side was pleased with the result but perspective is needed for Week 1.
“We’re inexperienced,” Specht said. “We’re not very good right now but we are going to get better.”
Specht understood the talent St. John Bosco brought with it from across the country this week. Specht liked the Bombers’ effort but said his team didn’t play smart.
“You spot two touchdowns in the first five plays, you fumble a touchdown pass and you drop two passes in the first half and you miss three field goals -- it was a group effort,” Specht said. “We are not very good right now.”
The Bombers’ schedule is very difficult enough this season. So tough that the USA Today analysis ranked it the No. 1 schedule in the country in terms of its difficulty.
St. Xavier plays host to Colerain at 7 p.m. Sept. 2.
“We got a lot of great experience playing a great team today – that’s the good news,” Specht said. “The bad news is it’s not getting any easier.”
St. John Bosco, ranked No. 9 nationally by MaxPreps, had plenty of BCS-level prospects on its team. Junior quarterback Real Mitchell was 10 of 19 passing for 204 and two touchdowns. He also had five carries for 121 yards and a touchdown.
“They kicked our butts,” Specht said. “They kicked our tail. We played dumb. We just didn’t play very smart. When you make mental mistakes like that it’s so costly. We can’t do that.”
Specht said there was no way to simulate Mitchell’s speed. Mitchell had a 98-yard touchdown run at the 8:58 mark of the first quarter. The Braves (1-0) had 494 total net yards compared to St. Xavier’s 148.
St. John Bosco senior wide receiver Berkeley Holman, a Northwestern commit, was named the game MVP. He had three receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
Specht had a scrimmage film and a 2015 game film but the Bombers saw some things that surprised the coaching staff.
“I didn’t do a very good job coaching tonight,” Specht said. “I really didn’t. I am going to go home tonight and I am going to watch film and I am going to get better and I’m going to challenge them to get better.”
St. X senior quarterback Sean Clifford, a Penn State commit, was on crutches after the game. Specht said Clifford’s foot hurt early in the week but he didn’t know his status for Week 2.
St. John Bosco had 332 net yards of offense in the first half compared to St. Xavier’s 116 yards.
St. John Bosco had 184 yards rushing in the first half compared to St. Xavier’s 34 yards.
Colerain (1-0), ranked No. 1 in the TriStateFootball.com Division I rankings, plays at No. 4 St. Xavier (0-1) at 7 p.m. Sept. 2. Colerain is ranked No. 13 nationally by MaxPreps.
Colerain defeated Warren Central 31-28 at Nippert Stadium earlier Saturday.