Bowling Green vs. Saint Xavier: The Preview
There is a big game going down Friday night, Tiger Nation. It is St. X against Bowling Green. Two of the most established programs in Kentucky High School Football history. The Purples are chasing history entering this clash of titans, and the Tigers are on a mission to make sure a record is not broken. It is sure to be a great one. Other than the state championship game, don’t expect to experience an atmosphere more full of tension and emotions than the one inside El Donaldson Stadium this weekend.
The 2-0 Tigers will take on the 2-0 Purples at 8:00 p.m. in Bowling Green. Both teams were in action at Lexington Catholic High School last week, with St. X taking home a 28-13 victory over Bryan Station and Bowling Green drubbing Lexington Catholic by a final line of 40-14. Both teams are looking good, and they are both certainly hungry.
Last season saw Bowling Green travel to Brother Thomas More Stadium and batter the Tigers by a final score of 39-25. The Bowling Green students rushed St. X’s home turf, and the Tigers were left with a sour taste in their mouths. Now St. X is coming to the Purples’ house with similar intentions. Bowling Green is riding a 46 game winning streak, and Trinity’s state record of 50 consecutive victories is in sight. This very well may be the last legitimate chance the Purples’ streak could perish.
It will be a very interesting game to watch. Bowling Green has featured a high-powered offense in recent seasons, and it has been difficult for St. X to contain as of late. Last year, Purples then-senior quarterback Devin Hayes torched the Tigers, both with his legs and arm, throwing to 2013 Kentucky Mr. Football Nacarius Fant and running back Blue Tisdale. The St. X secondary had no answers for the Purples’ offensive attack last season.
However, this is a new season. Hayes, Fant, and Tisdale are all gone, and St. X’s secondary is completely revamped since last year. Seniors Davey Sermersheim, Jackie Arnold, Tyler Boarman, and Brandon Blaser are all ready to bring a no-fly zone onto the field at El Donaldson. They are all big, strong, and fast, but more importantly, they are ballhawks; they will find the ball in the air and attack it. The unit’s closing speed is deceptive.
Another huge matchup to watch will be Bowling Green defensive end Ben Holt against St. X offensive tackle Tyler Haycraft. Holt already has eight sacks this season, including six in the first game of the season. If Haycraft can stymie Holt’s rush off the edge, it could bode very well for senior Tiger quarterback Noah Houk and the St. X passing attack.
The big-play ability of senior St. X running back TaiJon Smith and senior wide receiver Jaylon Hibbs could also be a big factor. If either of those elite athletes find a crease at any point during the game, they could be gone to the house in an instant and completely flip momentum. It will be fun to watch those two Tigers do work on the road.
Finally, the pass rush on St. X’s side could determine the game result. If senior defensive end Will Edwards and company can get to Purples senior quarterback Campbell Gott early and often, fans may even see a blowout. By the same token, if Gott is allowed to sit back and read the St. X coverage, he very well could pick apart the Tiger defense and lead the Purples to a blowout victory.
Friday night in El Donaldson Stadium will be intense. Two heavyweights will lay it all on the field, and looking at it on paper, anyone’s guess as to who will win this game is as good our’s. Tiger Nation, we will say this, though: If there was ever a time to drive two hours to an away game, it would be Friday night. It will be exciting. It will be rowdy. It will be memorable.
Here’s hoping the Tigers can snatch a victory from the Purples on the road and capture revenge. As always, Go Tigers! We Are!