November 11th, 2017

Allgeier, special teams lead St. X past PRP

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Allgeier, special teams lead St. X past PRP
The Tigers listen to head coach Will Wolford following the win / photo by Conor Revell

Football seemed trivial when St. Xavier hosted Pleasure Ridge Park in a second round Class 6-A Russell Athletics/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl game Friday night.   

The host Tigers defeated a very emotional PRP squad 16-7 to advance to the Class 6-A quarterfinals at a cold and windy Brother Thomas More Stadium.

PRP (7-5) was playing their first game since head coach Tommy Williams lost his wife, Amanda, while delivering twins Tuesday.

“That’s a heck of a football team,” St. X head coach Will Wolford said. “We knew they were going to play their absolute best for their coach and the community. And, they did. PRP is a good football team. This is the best win I have been a part of in a long, long time.”

St. X (10-2) held a moment of silent before the game and even Wolford had tears in his eyes following the contest because of the tragedy the Panthers have had to deal with over the past week.

The Panthers came out with passion and struck first – Bryant Robinson connected with Shannon Bishop on the first play from scrimmage for an 80-yard touchdown to put the Tigers in a 7-0 hole.

“We needed to take a step back,” Jake Netherton said. “They’re a team with a lot of speed. Shannon is an athlete and he was able to make a big. Once he did that, we adjusted and didn’t let him go deep anymore.”

And then trouble struck for the Tigers, Anthony Moretti lost a fumble and went down with a shoulder injury and never returned.

That forced Dominic Allgeier to come in and step up.

“Coach didn’t tell me anything,” Allgeier said. “I just knew. I saw my buddy got injured, I saw that he tried to shrug it off, and come back in. But, when I heard my name, I knew it was my moment to shine and go to work.”

Allgeier did just that and his 21-yard touchdown run tied the game at 7 with 7:13 remaining in the opening quarter.

“I saw the opening and I knew I had to take it,” Allgeier said. “We were down 7-0 and I was like I need to get a score. That’s what I did and nobody touched me until I got to the end zone.”

PRP had two chances to take before the fourth quarter but Patrick Cleary missed a 17-yard field goal late in the second quarter and the Tigers Connor O’Dea blocked a 29-yard field goal late in the third quarter.

“Basically I was supposed to go inside the wing,” O’Dea said. “If the wing popped out I’d get a free lane, but if he pops down on me, the corner gets a free lane. He popped down on me but not enough and I was able to get through.”

It was Will Ginter’s 35-yard run on a critical third down that gave the Tigers the ball at the PRP 16. Allgeier ran it in from 1-yard out to make it 13-7 with 10:04 remaining.

“There were so many big plays in this game,” Wolford said. “Connor’s block was just one of the many big plays. The defense gave up some yards tonight but they didn’t give up the big play. Our offense stuttered at time, but it was a great team win. It has been a tough week for a lot of people.”

However, Alan Mateja missed the PAT when his kick sailed wide left.

“I honestly think I just messed up my steps a little bit,” Mateja said. “When I got to the ball I was just a little bit behind it and swung my leg a little to the right and pulled it.”

On the next drive, Robinson was picked off by Netherton and that gave the Tigers the ball at the PRP 33.

“The No. 2 receiver was running a seam route,” Netherton said. “I saw him come off the line and I tried to squeeze him. I saw that the ball was thrown too high and tracked it and caught it.”

And that give Mateja a shot at redemption.

“I told Alan that I wanted him to keep his head because we’re going to need you,” Wolford said. “I didn’t think it was going to happen that quickly. But, it did. He’s like the rest of these kids, he works hard, and he made it happen when we needed it.”





Mateja took advantage of the situation and iced the game when he blasted a 29-yard FG through the up-rights to give St. X a 16-7 lead with 4:42 remaining.

“I didn’t think about that kick as much,” Mateja said. “For the PAT I probably thought about it too much and that’s why I kicked it wrong. For the field goal, all I thought about was getting it to the right spot, and then getting it through the uprights.”

Allgeier, a wide receiver at the start of the year, rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries. Moretti rushed for 38 yards on three carries before getting hurt and Ginter’s lone rush was for 35 yards as the Tigers rushed for 262 yards.

“He’s a warrior, he weighs about 200 pounds,” Wolford said. “We’re going to need every pound of him moving forward. I know he had a lot of carries tonight but we’re going to play hand we are dealt with. It’s not real fun at the running back position but we will be alright.”

Jack Albers, who missed the first round with a finger injury, looked shaky at times, and threw for 59 yards and an interception. Will Crum was the Tigers top receiver and caught three passes for 30 yards.

Robinson threw for 214 yards, a touchdown, and an interception for PRP. Bishop was the Panthers top receiver with six catches for 131 yards and a score.

St. X advances to the regional championship game and will host Butler next Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Bears, a No. 4-seed, pulled off their second straight upset, and stunned Male 14-6 at Maxwell Field.

The Tigers won the regular season matchup 37-0 with Butler less than a month ago. 


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