August 18th, 2018

Colts surprise Tigers

Block_screenshot 2018-10-06 at 2

Conor Revell

Staff Writer

Colts surprise Tigers
DeSales' Aaron Pfaadt looks to make a pass / photo by Mark Sims

Hype was the word of the night as the DeSales and St. Xavier football programs squared off for the first time in 20 years.

It’s a night that will be discussed on Kenwood for years to come as the host Colts stunned St. Xavier 19-16 Friday night in the season opener, their first win in the series since 1986.

“I think our defense played a very solid game,” DeSales head coach Harold Davis said. “I don’t know how many times we stopped them in the red zone, but it was more than once. That was a big win for us. I know our kids - we had some sophomores gain a lot confidence and we were believing. It reinforced that we can be a special team.”

Head coach Kevin Wallace’s was coaching his first game as the Tigers head man after a successful 21 year stint at Bowling Green where he led them to five state titles.

“I’m not going to make excuses,” Wallace said. “DeSales played better than we did. You can’t turn the ball over like we did. We left a lot of points on the board. We didn’t get a touchdown in the red zone, we had a missed field goal. Two trips to the red zone and zero points.”

Trailing 16-13 with 9:58 to go, the Colts had their backs against the wall, and had to drive 84 yards.

Quarterback Aaron Pfaadt threw a 13-yard completion to Darren Hollenkamp, later in the drive James Johnson and Antoine Johnson both had 12 yard runs.

“We just dug in and realize that this was the game,” Hollenkamp said. “We just trusted our teammates and it happened.”

A pass interference moved DeSales to the Tiger 13-yard line. Three plays later Pfaadt sneaked it in to give DeSales a 19-16 lead with 4:00 to go.

“I knew our running backs were starting to get tired,” Pfaadt said. “I just started trying to carry more of the weight for the offense.”

The Colts forced four St. X turnovers - Shawn Kaufman and Hollenkamp each picked off passes - and the defense recovered two fumbles, one that sealed the victory with two minutes to go.

“Coach had been telling me they had been running that bubble and doing a double move on it,” Kaufman said of his pick. “I saw it and the ball was right there and I made a play.”  

It was the Tigers that went up 3-0 in the first quarter on Nicholas Sexton’s 21 yard field goal with 4:36 to go in the first quarter.

But DeSales answered when Pfaadt’s 1-yard qb sneak tied the game up at seven with 22 seconds left in the first.

“Aaron is a very calm quarterback,” Davis said. “He doesn’t get too high, he doesn’t get too low. He is very level headed. He’s focused throughout the game. I love to see that. Him being calm in the huddle helped the rest of those guys.”

Wallace and his Tigers decided to be aggressive at the end of the first half and Hollenkamp picked off St. X quarterback Doug Bohdaine giving the Colts the ball at the visitor 34 yard line.

“I’ll have a hard time getting over the call I made at the end of the first half,” Wallace said. “We didn’t have any timeouts and I had no business throwing the ball down the field. Put this one on me. It’ll take a long time for me to get over that call and asking Doug to do something like that.”

After nearly completing the first hail mary pass, Pfaadt finished the second as Antoine Johnson came down with it to make it 13-3 at the half.

“That was Jayden Scroggins who almost had the first hail mary,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t supposed to get the ball honestly. He wasn’t supposed to throw it to me and then I was like I have to go and make a play and I made a play. When I jumped, I was over the line.”

The Tigers dominated the first part of the second half, Anthony Moretti’s 8-yard touchdown run made cut the Colts lead to 13 -10 in the third quarter then Bohdaine connected with Andre Coleman on a 74-yard touchdown to make it 16-13 with 10:04 to go.

“The third quarter, I don’t know,” Davis said. “We have kids playing both ways. They were able to recompose themselves after that quarter and finished the game out.”

And that setup the Colts game winning drive.

“I was happy with our run offense,” Davis said. We were able to run the ball for a first down after the fumble. Our offensive line did a great job. Our backs didn’t back down. We took a fight to them. I think we played great.”   

Turnovers weren’t the only issues the Tigers had, they made it inside the five two times in a row and only came away with a field.

Pfaadt completed 8 of 13 passes for 146 yards and an interception. The Colts running game struggled at times and picked up 42 yards on 25 carries.

“We did a good job of keeping St. X honest,” Pfaadt said. “We would pass and then we would run it. Then we had them honest and just ran it down their throat towards the end.”

Bohdaine completed 17 of 24 passes for 263 to lead the Tiger offense who struggled to run the ball - only picking up 45 yards on 25 carries.

“Offensively, we have a lot that we can learn,” Wallace said. “We have a need to take better care of the football. I feel bad about this one because I think I cost us the game. I didn’t do enough to help us get the win.”

The Tigers are off next week while the Colts travel to Butler, kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


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