October 10th, 2020

Tigers Get First Win of Season


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

Tigers Get First Win of Season
photo by Ed Peak

Saint Xavier's offense dormant in its first two games came up with enough big plays while its defense turned in a stellar effort in beating host DeSales 28-7, Friday night.


Junior Mekhi Smith caught two touchdown passes and Thomas Brian rambled 47 yards for a score as St. Xavier (1-2) earned the victory. The Tigers were supposed to play district rival Manual, but the Crimsons had Covid-19 positive test and were forced to cancel.


DeSales (2-2) was supposed to play district rival Christian Academy, but positive test by the Centurions forced a cancellation. 


"I was very happy with our offense tonight," said Smith. "We were just finally clicking together. We're starting to know each other better."


St. X's defense struck early. DeSales quarterback Jayden Scroggins was under pressure and tried a pass over the head of 6-foot-5 sophomore Micah Carter. In one motion around the 15 Carter jumped intercepted the ball and returned it for a touchdown. Cameron Tegge's extra point kick gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 7:04 in the first quarter.After forcing a Colts punt, St. X drove 60 yards in eight plays as Giles Pooler connected with Smith in the right corner of the end zone for an eight yard touchdown. Tegge's kick with 1:18 in the first quarter gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead.


"I was pleased with our defense," said St. X coach Kevin Wallace. "We were physical. They (team) keep my spirits up because we have gone through so much. But we're not making the improvement I would like to see us make."


DeSales got back in the game late in the third quarter when James Johnson's five yard touchdown run completed an eight play 85 yard drive with 1:14. Travis Moss' extra point kick cut the lead to 14-7.


After another DeSales punt, on the second play from scrimmage Brian rambled 47 yards down the right side for a touchdown with 9:57 to play. Tegge's extra point kick gave the Tigers a 21-7 lead.


Smith caught his second touchdown, a pass over the middle from backup quarterback Jackson Sivori of 55 yards with 6:17 remaining. Sivori replaced senior Giles Pooler who left the game in the third quarter with a thigh injury.


Wallace said Pooler's injury wasn't serious. Senior receiver Michael Duddy left with an injury was well.


DeSales had an opportunity to score late in the game driving to the St. X two where on fourth down Johnson was stopped for no gain.


"We just need to play," said Wallace. "It would really be nice to play for a while. We have a lot of young players that need to play to really improve."


DeSales coach Harold Davis was disappointed but not discouraged by his team. "I'm extremely proud of our team after being down 14-0. We worked on some things at halftime and got it to 14-7. We got tired (fourth quarter) and started making some mental mistakes."


Now that St. X has found its offense Smith thinks this team has found itself.


"We ran the ball better tonight," said Smith. "That interception (Carter's) gave us the momentum. This feels great to get the win."


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