Moeller Overpowers Cov Cath
September 8, 2013Cincinnati Moeller High School
By Marc Hardin, Enquirer Contributor
Moeller Overpowers Cov Cath
Moeller football coach John Rodenberg returned to his old stomping grounds Saturday at Covington Catholic and watched his team run away from the Colonels with a 45-7 road victory in Park Hills.
The Crusaders, ranked second in the Enquirer Ohio area Division I coaches’ poll, and CovCath, ranked second in Northern Kentucky, have won 14 state championships between them. Rodenberg was part of one for each team, guiding CovCath to the 2006 KHSAA Class 3A title, the last of six crowns for the Colonels. He coached Moeller to last season’s OHSAA Division I title, the Crusaders’ eighth.
Moeller, attempting to repeat as state winner for the first time in 33 years, looked like a champion against CovCath in their first meeting since 2005, when Rodenberg was coaching the Colonels.
The Crusaders (2-0) controlled the line of scrimmage against CovCath (2-1) with superior size and power, and unleashed a stable of athletic skill position players behind the big blockers while shutting down the Colonels’ banged-up offense with dominating play on defense.
CovCath stopped the Greater Catholic League power on its opening drive and made the Crusaders settled for a 42-yard Matthew Coghlin field goal, but there was no stopping Moeller after that. The Crusaders followed with five touchdowns and put a 38-0 lead and a running clock on the scoreboard with 7:16 remaining in the third quarter. They never punted.
Quarterback Gus Ragland had a hand in three touchdowns for Moeller, throwing first-half scoring passes to Jack Gruber and Jake Hausmann, and adding a 24-yard rushing score in the third.
CovCath, playing without its starting quarterback and tailback, ruined the shutout bid with Mitchell Rensing’s 49-yard touchdown pass from Ben Dressman with 2:36 left in the third. The Colonels lost a receiver during the game. Moeller outgained CovCath in total yards, 531-196. The Crusaders amassed 353 passing yards and 178 on the ground.
VIEW FROM THE SIDELINE: “We’re always going to base things on the run. But we wanted to try to throw it today because we’re going to need to later on, and I thought we threw excellent,” Rodenberg said.
Said CovCath coach Dave Wirth: “They would have been crazy to come over here and not try to pound it. They had a tremendous size advantage, and we knew coming in that there would be some matchup issues.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Ragland finished 20-of-25 passing for 231 yards and added 56 yards on seven carries.
TOP PERFORMERS: Moeller’s Chase Pankey had eight receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Gruber had eight catches for 86 yards. Crusaders backup quarterback Matt Crable was 7-of-9 for 118 yards with two TDs.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Following CovCath’s score, Moeller pushed the lead back to 38 with Crable’s 60-yard TD pass to Pankey on the first play of the fourth quarter.
FIRST-HALF HIGHLIGHTS: Demetrius Yett’s 14-yard touchdown run for Moeller helped make it 17-0 in the first minute of the second quarter. The Crusaders outgained the Colonels, 341-82, before the break.
QUOTABLE: “They have lots of guys with a lot of good leverage to drive people off the ball,” said 6-foot-5, 275-pound CovCath right tackle Sam Murrer. “I thought we did alright, but we lost a lineman in the second half.”
EXTRA POINTS: CovCath’s Dressman was 4-of-9 passing for 66 yards and added 20 yards on 10 carries. Sam Hatter had a team-high 40 yards on four carries. His 43-yard run was the longest of the day for the Colonels. Matthew Way led CovCath with 12 tackles.
Moeller 10 21 7 7 -- 45
Covington Catholic 0 0 7 0 -- 7
M-Coghlin kick 42 FG
M-Gruber 5 pass from Ragland (Coghlin kick)
M-Yett 14 run (Coghlin kick)
M-Hausmann 12 pass from Ragland (Coghlin kick)
M-Pankey 4 pass from Crable (Coghlin kick)
M-agland 24 run (Coghlin kick)
C-Rensing 49 pass from B. Dressman M-Pankey 60 pass from Crable (Coghlin kick)
Records: M 2-0, C 2-1.