SPRINGFIELD TWP., Ohio - Nothing Chase Wolf does surprises his coach anymore.
The St. Xavier quarterback threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Jared Kreimer on the last play of the first half - one of four TD passes on the night - and led the Bombers to a 40-12 playoff win over Fairfield.
St. X coach Steve Specht said he has become accustomed to Wolf’s heroics.
“This program has been blessed to have some great quarterbacks,” Specht said. “(Wolf) separates himself as he has such a quick release. Really, at this point, anything (Wolf) does on the field doesn’t surprise me. When he runs the offense like that, it is like a video game.”
The senior hit on 23 of 37 passes for a career-high 374 yards and four scores as the top-seeded Bombers ended the Indians’ season for the second straight year. It was the Hail Mary that took the Indians out of the game, according to Fairfield coach Jason Krause.
"Good teams make those plays at the end of halves,” Krause said. “These are high school kids. You try to talk about the positives at halftime, but that was a big shock. It really just took any momentum we had.”
St. X, the defending Division I state champ, will meet Sycamore, a 41-35 overtime winner over Milford, on a neutral field next Friday night.
The Indians (6-5) used a punishing ground attack early to gain a 6-2 first-quarter edge, but failed to contain Wolf as the Bombers (10-1) rolled off the next 38 points ast Ballaban Field.
The Bombers got on the board first when Will Childs buried Fairfield quarterback Jeff Tyus in the end zone for a safety.
Malik Vann sacked and stripped Wolf on the next possession, and the Indians cashed in when JuTahn McClain went over from 9 yards away.
Quick-play St. X then struck twice. Following a good kickoff return after the Fairfield score, Wolf completed a long pass to Kreimer (five catches, 127 yards) and Matthew Fox scored on a 1-yard run for a 9-6 lead.
Following an FHS punt, Wolf found Andrew Wittrock (five catches, 151 yards) with a 77-yard scoring toss, and the Bombers led 16-6.
Fairfield pinned St. X on its own 15 with 1:07 left in the half, but Wolf moved the Bombers up the field before hooking up with Kreimer on the last play of the half.
Fairfield had success running the ball early, picking up 118 first-half yards, but the hosts clogged the middle in the second half while blitzing Tyus, finishing with six sacks.
"We knew they had big-play potential, so we wanted to run the ball,” Krause said. “Give them credit. They shut us down between the tackles.”
As the the Bombers celebrated at midfield after the game, Krause sat in the end zone and looked ahead to 2018 and another chance to get a playoff win.
“Yes, we had a good season,” Krause said. “We won six games, we have five straight winning seasons and we have been to the playoffs three straight years, but it is time to get that first playoff win. We have set the standard that we will be in the top half of the Greater Miami Conference and play in Week 11, but our offseason has to be focused on getting to Week 11 and getting a playoff win.”
St. Xavier 9-14-14-3--40
X: Safety, Will Childs tackled quarterback Jeff Tyus in the end zone
F: JuTahn McClain 9 run (Kick blocked)
X: Matthew Fox 1 run (Donny Stock kick)
X: Andrew Wittrock 77 pass from Chase Wolf (Stock kick)
X: Jared Kreimer 37 pass from Wolf (Stock kick)
X: Nick Shamsi 12 pass from Wolf (Stock kick)
X: Cameron Specht 23 pass from Wolf (Stock kick)
X: Stock 33 field goal
F: Erick All 18 pass from Tyus (Run failed)