November 20th, 2020

Guillaume's 3 picks lead St. X over Panthers

Block_eric thorne

Eric Thorne

Staff Writer

Guillaume's 3 picks lead St. X over Panthers
Grant Goodman drags PRP defenders. He rushed for 76 yards and 1 touchdown. (photo by Eric Thorne)

St. Xavier didn’t need long to dust off the rust of not playing for a month and rolled to a 37-0 win over visiting Pleasure Ridge Park on Friday at Br. Thomas More Stadium in the opening round of the KHSAA Class 6A football playoffs.

Both schools played their last respective games on October 24 ironically against each other where the Tigers won 50-13. Due to Covid-19 neither played again until Friday night.

Tiger coach Kevin Wallace could find little to find fault, only admiration for players getting the opportunity to play.

“You want your season and your senior’s careers to end under normal fashion whether in the state championship or somewhere along in the playoffs” Wallace said. “I have such empathy for the 22 teams that couldn’t play tonight, and those seniors had to end their careers that way. There is a real unfair level this virus is causing on many levels including the young people not having a chance to go to school, be in a play or play sports in a normal fashion.”

On offense the Tigers never were forced to punt and on defense it was Parker Guillaume intercepting three passes including one for a touchdown.

“I think the seniors really came together and led us through these past weeks,” Guillaume said. “I have not ever had a game like this tonight, but we were studied up and ready to play and I was in the right place at the right time.”

Mehki Smith staked St. X to a 14-0 lead as the junior rushed for a 1-yard touchdown on the Tigers first possession. He then capped of their ensuing drive running in it for an 11-yard score.

The Tiger offense was next facing a fourth and two at the PRP 3-yard line and Thomas Brian sprinted untouched up the middle for the touchdown with 7:16 left in the half giving the Tigers a 21-0.

On the following possession PRP was backed up and attempted to punt from the goal line only to have the snap sail out of the endzone for a safety.

Taking the free kick, it was Grant Goodman who raced for a 45-yard touchdown including juking the safety at the 10-yard line that gave the Tigers a 30-0 lead with 4:19 left in the half.

“I got the ball and all I was thinking was touchdown like every time I touch it, and luckily I got a good move on a good defender,” Goodman said. “As I neared the goal line it was ‘I need to score now, or I might not get another chance’ and I did.”

Goodman led the Tiger ground game picking up 76 yards.

“You see we’re hungry and now we are getting closer to being full each week we play,” Goodman said. “St. X we prepare game by game and with three weeks to prepare for PRP we should be ready and played a hell of a game.”

Quarterback Giles Pooler completed 8 of 14 passes for 130 yard with one interception. Smith was the recipient of seven of those for 70 yards.

Guillaume then picked off Kayden Anderson for the third time in the game and his 40-yard pick six made it 37-0 and started the running clock.  It was Guillaume’s team leading fourth interception on the year.

“I have not had a pick-six in a game before, but it really felt good to get that one in the endzone with no white jerseys near me,” Guillaume said reflecting. “I was thinking back to grade school (at St. Edward) running the ball as a running back, and it was nice to be on a little offense tonight.”

Brian Landrum capped off a stellar night of Tiger defense as the senior came up with the Tigers fourth interception on his birthday.

“I thought the effort was really good and we’ve had good practices, but I can’t say enough good things about our players in how they have handled it,” Wallace said. “It’s very admirable and memorable for me because there are a lot of things you put in the memory bank off a unique time like this. To see their fight, I’ll forever be indebted to how they have come back to work when they really haven’t much to look forward to.”

St. X (4-2)moves on to the second round to face Manual next Friday at Manual Stadium with kickoff set for 7pm. The Crimsons (3-1) have won three straight and drew an opening round bye.

“A lot of good things came out of tonight and we’ll say our prayers we can stay healthy, but part of it is while being smart with the virus somebody is going to be lucky enough to make it for five weeks and I think luck plays a big part this year,” Wallace said. “There is as much of a battle getting to Friday as there is winning on Friday”



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