September 11th, 2020

Tigers lose to the Purples


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

Tigers lose to the Purples
Photo by Ed Peak

The good news St. Xavier High finally got to play a football game Friday night amid the coronavirus. The bad news the Tigers offense sputtered and its defense couldn't contain Bowling Green on two long drives at Brother Thomas More Stadium.


For the second time in three seasons the Purples beat St. X 14-0. A small crowd of around 850 watched as Class 5-A Bowling Green take the opening kickoff 80 yards in 15 plays for a 7-0 lead. Purples seniors, quarterback Conner Cooper used his speed mixing in timely runs with Javeius Bunton and Eli Burbish and passes mostly to Jordan Dingle to keep St. X off balance.


Bunton's three yard run for a touchdown completed a drive that ran nearly seven minutes off the clock in the opening quarter. Bunton's three yard touchdown run got the Purples off to a fast start


The Tigers came back with a drive of its own to the Bowling Green 15 where Cameron Tegge missed a 32 yard field goal wide left with 45 seconds in the opening quarter.


Bowling Green failed to add to its lead in the third quarter when the Purples lined up for a 45 yard field goal. But the snap from center was low and St. X senior Anthony Woods recovered around midfield and returned it to the 40.


However the Tigers weren't able to take advantage.


After a punt Bowling Green drove from its own five for the clinching touchdown. Cooper connected Desmond Wilson for a four yard touchdown with 6:52 remaining.


The big play in the 17 play 95 yard drive was Wilson's catch of a Cooper pass on fourth and five at the Tigers 38. Wilson made an outstanding catch along the left sideline. 


"We just need a lot of work," said outside linebacker Kurtis Cotten. "We need work coming off the ball. We need to practice and continue to work and get better."


St. X drove from its 33 after the kickoff to the Bowling Green eight where on fourth down junior Mekhi Smith couldn't come down with an eight yard pass from Pooler in the end zone.


"I think we dropped a lot of ball, he (Pooler) missed some shots," said St. X coach Kevin Wallace. "We dropped a lot balls. Those are some pretty good receivers dropping a lot of balls."


That doesn't have anything to do with the way we are practicing."


Bowling Green rolled up 329 yards in 73 offensive plays while St. X has 36 plays for 121 yards.


Pooler, a senior transfer from Fort Collins, Colorado Rocky Mount High was 11 for 23 for 121 yards with one interception. Smith had six catches for 82 yards.


"We gave up two long scoring drives of 15 or more plays," said Wallace. "We couldn't get off the field on third down. They punted once in the game. So your not going to win many football games forcing somebody to punt just once. They physically dominated the football game."


Bowling Green coach Mark Spader was obviously happy with his team.


"It had the feeling of a scrimmage game coming in," said Spader. "We knew what kind of players they had and the traditions we have between the two programs.

"There was some many uncertainties coming into this game," said Spader. "It was very sloppy tonight. Balls on the ground everywhere. Mistakes left and right. The kids brought excitement into the game. This was the season that wasn't going to happen. Our kids gave tremendous effort."


St. X has a week off before playing rival Trinity in two weeks. 


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