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Week 5: Moeller Travels to St. Xavier

September 17, 2012
Cincinnati Moeller High School

By Chase Howell, Cincinnati Enquirer


Week 5: Moeller Travels to St. Xavier

Greater Catholic League play opens next week for Moeller and St. Xavier, ranked first and third, respectively, in the Enquirer Division I area coaches’ poll. The Bombers will host the Crusaders on Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

“I always tell my guys, when GCL play starts, the grass is a little greener and the sky is a little bluer,” St. Xavier coach Steve Specht said. “Going into the season, our goal is to win the conference championship.”

“I think we beat ourselves, which is what’s frustrating to me,” Specht said. “We had numerous situations in the second half, but just couldn’t generate any touchdowns. We played great defensively for three quarters, but had a few breakdowns at the end that led to final score.”

St. Xavier, 2-2 this year, fell 14-13 Louisville Trinity (first overall in MaxPreps Freeman Rankings, selected as 2011 National Champion by Rivals.com) on Sept. 14. Trinity scored the game-winning touchdown with 29 seconds remaining in the game.

Moeller, 4-0, enters the week after fighting off a late Louisville St. Xavier surge for a 34-27 victory.

“We just got off to an early start, played great the first half, and held them off in the end,” Moeller coach John Rodenberg said. “We probably fell asleep some at the end, but that happens in high school football.”

In preparation for the GCL match-up, Rodenberg said the Crusaders wouldn’t be making any major adjustments to prepare for St. Xavier junior quarterback Nick Tensing, who threw for 235 yards and a touchdown against Trinity.

“We’ll stick to our normal game plan. Obviously, we’re going to have to look out for [Tensing], but we can’t just focus on him,” Rodenberg said. “They’re very balanced offensively, and that’s exactly what I think Coach Specht wants.”

St. Xavier will need to contain Moeller senior running back Keith Watkins, who has 519 yards and seven touchdowns over four games.

“With [Watkins], you have to be disciplined in your read,” Specht said. “We’re just going to have to play all around disciplined football.”

The Bombers will likely be without senior wide receiver Trey Kilgore, who is recovering from surgery five weeks ago on a broken foot. According to Specht, Kilgore is now out of the boot, but is doubtful for this week.

Senior cornerback Ben Carroll is also questionable after injuring his shoulder against Colerain on Sept. 7. St. Xavier senior wide receiver Kevin Milligan should be ready to play this week, according to Specht, after injuring his hand against Trinity.

For the Crusaders, Rodenberg reported that there are no injuries that should impact anyone’s playing time.

 “It’s a healthy rivalry, great for the fans,” Rodenberg said. “St. Xavier is a big game for us because our guys know a lot of their guys, lots of them grew up playing with or against one another. It’s going to be a great game for the city of Cincinnati.”


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