November 16th, 2019

Tigers get revenge over Manual to advance

Block_eric thorne

Eric Thorne

Staff Writer


Tigers get revenge over Manual to advance
Michael Duddy caught two passes for 107 yards and 1 touchdown/ photo by Eric Thorne

Anthony Woods made his first career start for St. Xavier Friday night, and the junior made it a night of firsts in leading the Tigers to a 28-9 victory over host Manual in the second round of the KHSAA Class 6A playoffs.

Woods recorded seven tackles, picked off a pass and blocked an extra point by the Crimsons and was all smiles as his efforts drew recognition from his coach and huge cheers from teammates.

“It feels amazing to see that energy we brought, play the way we did and be able to do what I did in my first start was so great,” Woods said. “I’ve been working hard to get to this point and start, and when I found out I was nervous, but I was ready.”

St. X coach Kevin Wallace witnessed a much more consistent effort out of his team than in the past two weeks.

“There were spots in the past two game, but tonight we forced some turnovers and mistakes and took advantage of them and got productivity our of our passing game,” Wallace said. “To beat a really good team in that fashion makes me excited for these kids.”

While it was Woods and his defense coming up big time after time, it was senior quarterback Douglas Bodhaine at the helm of an offense that finally found its rhythm.

Bodhaine found the endzone three times on short runs of 2, 1 and 1 yards and connected with Michael Duddy for 50-yard touchdown pass.

“We kept the ball in our hands, didn’t make mistakes and it ultimately comes down to making a playoff run because if you lose now you are out,” Bodhaine said.

The Tigers (8-4) have been on a roller coaster ride this season including suffering their first defeat to Manual in 26 years by a mere 1-point on a rainy night back in October.

While he wouldn’t say revenge was on the Tigers mind, Bodhaine sure liked his performance better than the last time the Tigers and Crimsons met where he was 2 of 11 and tossed and interception.

Friday, he completed 6 of 15 passes for 132 yards while efficiently running the ball 16 times for 38 yards and three scores.

“That was early in the season and everything went wrong for us, but honestly I am really excited at where we are right now and watching us perform,” Bodhaine said.

Manual took the opening kick and had the ball nearly eight minutes, but the Tiger defense forced them into settling for a field goal.

St. X went 3 and out and its first possession, but the Tiger defense forced two second quarter turnovers and special team problems for Manual.

Parker Guillaume picked off Manual quarterback Zack Recktenwald to open the quarter, but the Tiger offense fumbled it back. Manual however was forced to punt only to see the snap sail over the punter’s head for a 30-yard loss.

Bodaine needed just five plays and 19-yards to reach the endzone making it 7-3.

Manual (9-3) punted again, and watched Bodhaine guide the Tigers 55 yards in 9 plays for a 14-3 halftime led.

St. X took the second half kick and Bodhaine found a wide open Duddy who ran untouched for the score just 1:36 into the third quarter.

“He runs great routes, and while we don’t go deep often it was fun to see us open the playbook up and look what happened,” Bodhaine added.

Manual made it 21-9 as Ja’Wuan Northington’s 8-yard run was aided by a 30-yard penalty on one play for a pair of unsportsmanlike penalties.

Woods got a clean jump on the PAT snap and was able to block the kick.

“Coaches keep telling me to lay out and I would get one and I finally was able to get one and those can be a game changer,” Woods said.

The Tiger special teams also came up with big plays despite kicking out of its endzone twice they forced Manual into fumbling away the ball both times.

“That’s where we really lost the game was on special teams doing things, we haven’t done all year,” Manual coach Scott Carmody said, “Very uncharacteristic, but we were horrendous. All those football cliques come true by not turning it over; snapping over the punters head and our poor kickoffs too they add up. You can’t get away with that this time of year.”

Bodhaine capped off the scoring on his final TD sweep to the outside that was set up by a 57-yard toss to an again wide-open Duddy.

“We let him run down the field twice like that and we didn’t have anyone in the same county as him,” Carmody said.

Woods polished off his night and the game when he intercepted Rechtenwald on the Crimson’s final drive.

“I actually caught a cramp right when I was going for the ball and as he was pulling on my I just told myself hold onto the ball and not drop in as I went to the ground,” Woods said. “That was my first interception and one I will remember.”

Next up for St. X is a chance to redeem another loss against defending state champion Male next week.

“At our best we can beat any team in the state is simply comes down to us playing well and being ready,” Bodhaine said. “We have all been looking forward to this game.”

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