August 24th, 2019

Tigers Roll Past DeSales 38-7

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 

Tigers Roll Past DeSales 38-7
Tigers defeat Colts 38-7 / photo by Jeff Woods

St. Xavier’s season-opening loss to DeSales last year sure seems like a distant memory.


After giving up a touchdown on the Colts’ opening drive, the Tigers scored 38 unanswered points in a resounding 38-7 victory to begin the 2019 campaign.


“I’m tickled to death to get this one done,” said head coach Kevin Wallace. “I thought we did a lot of good things. I’m proud of our kids other than three personal fouls on defense.”


Right out of the gate, the game appeared to have the makings of a shootout. DeSales had little trouble marching down the field on its opening drive, going 78 yards in ten plays, capped by Demarcus Avery’s five-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Scroggins.  


The Tigers answered with an eight-play, 65-yard drive of their own. Doug Bodhaine’s eleven-yard strike to senior Elijah Byrne tied the game at 7-7 with 4:39 left in the first quarter.


DeSales’ night unraveled on its second possession. Deep in its own territory, Avery took a sack and fumbled, which was recovered by St. X’s Hale Bohler. The Tigers scored two plays later on a Logan Davis touchdown run. DeSales’ next three possessions resulted in a punt, a turnover on downs, and an interception.


“I think turnovers were a big key to the game,” said Wallace. “I don’t think there’s that big of a separation between these two teams. But when you have as big of a positive turnover margin as we had, it makes things a little easier for us.”


Bodhaine was back under center for the first time since a knee injury derailed his 2018 season just before the start of the playoffs. He finished the night 12-of-18 for 292 yards and three touchdowns. He also made some plays with legs, making his coach a little nervous on the sideline.


“The times he took off in the first half…I choked his neck at halftime a little bit,” Wallace joked. “But that’s what competitors do. And as smart as he is, it’s hard to take that out of him. I’m glad he came out of it okay. But yeah, I’m holding my breath every time he takes a step out there.”


“(Playing again) meant a ton to him. He’s been practicing with us this whole time and working his butt off,” said Byrne, the recipient of two of Bodhaine’s three TD passes.


Leading 24-7 late in the first half, the Tigers stayed aggressive on offense. Facing 2nd and 18 on their own 43, Bodhaine hit Michael Duddey in stride down the sideline for a 67-yard score with 27 seconds to play. St. X entered the locker room with a healthy 31-7 lead.


The Tigers put an exclamation point on the night when they received the opening kickoff of the second half. On the first play from scrimmage, Bodhaine threw a slant pass to a wide-open Byrne, who went untouched for a 73-yard touchdown and a 38-7 lead.


“We discussed that play in the locker room and it opened up when the safety came down, and Doug threw a perfect ball. It just opened up perfectly,” said Byrne.


St. X’s performance Friday was quite the turnaround from last year’s tilt when the Colts upended the Tigers 19-16, Wallace’s first game as St. X head coach.


“The big thing is we know what we’re doing,” said Wallace. “A year ago, I go back to the tape of that game, and there is just no detail. I was embarrassed by how poorly coached we were on offense early in the season last year. These kids have now had a year under their belt, and they have a pretty good understanding of it.”


For DeSales, it is the first season-opening loss since 2011. Head coach Harold Davis says the Colts did not play as team Friday night.


“What I think it is, we showed how undisciplined they are,” he said. “Everything with this team right now is between their ears. They are not being responsible for themselves. And we cannot have that if we want to have any success.


“Right off the bat, we played so well. And maybe they got overconfident. I don’t know. But you could tell there we individuals out there. There were people doing things that they don’t need to be doing if they want to be part of a team.”


The Tigers (1-0) travel to Lexington to face Henry Clay next week while the Colts (0-1) host Butler.


Recent Articles