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Tiger Football Drops the Defenders, 28-13

Logan Butler celebrates with Michael Ackerman after his third intercetpion. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Logan Butler celebrates with Michael Ackerman after his third intercetpion. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Saint Xavier Football played its first full game Friday night.  It was certainly an exciting full game, to say the least.

Tiger Football defeated Bryan Station by a final score of 28-13 on the strength of senior running back TaiJon Smith.  Smith had 31 totes for 159 yards, picking up big chunks of yardage all night long and consistently wearing down the Defender’s defense.

“Just the way their defense is, we had to put the ball on the ground a lot,” Smith said.  “I think they still played it pretty well.”

Smith and junior tailback John Martinez were both able to have a big impact on this game, as Martinez rushed for 82 yards on 10 carries.  The Tiger rushing game was deadly; St. X racked up 259 yards on the ground to Bryan Station’s 32.

The story of the night was junior linebacker Logan Butler.  He finished the game with three interceptions, 0.5 sacks, and was named the Bluegrass Bowl MVP.  He returned the first interception to the end zone on a wild play, spinning through multiple Defenders on his way to paydirt.

“I saw it on NCAA 14, the video game, once,” Butler explained.  “I cut it all the way back, saw one guy, and I knew he was going to arm-tackle me, and I ran through it.”

Senior safety Jackie Arnold also added an interception, but Butler was the star of the show.  Being named MVP of the Bluegrass Bowl is a great honor to him.

“It means so much,” Butler said.  “I didn’t even know we were going to have an MVP.  I was just playing football, and then they called my name.  I was kind of shocked.”

Bryan Station scored the first touchdown of the game, but the 7-0 lead would be its last.  Senior Tiger quarterback Noah Houk sneaked the ball one yard into the end zone from the goal line to tie it up, and then Butler’s pick-six on the ensuing Defender possession gave St. X a lead they would not relinquish.

Martinez added a scintillating 46-yard touchdown run, in which he bowled over two Bryan Station defensive backs and then dragged another Defender the final 15 yards to paydirt.  At halftime, St. X sported a 21-7 lead.

The second half is when the Tiger defense began to settle in.  Specifically, the front seven really stepped up.

“We were just trying to keep contain on this fast quarterback,” said senior defensive end Will Edwards, who had a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery all in one play.  “I think the key was making huge plays on third and fourth down.  It was a big motivation-booster when we got stops on fourth down.”

Indeed, stopping the Defenders when it mattered most was a strength for St. X on this night.  Bryan Station converted only one of five fourth down attempts, and St. X made two monumental stops late in the game.  The first came when the Defenders were inside the Tiger 10-yard line and threatening in the third quarter.  On fourth down and goal, senior cornerback Brandon Blaser batted away Bryan Station quarterback Dallas Bruton’s pass to the end zone to preserve a 21-13 score.

Then at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Tiger secondary came up big again, swatting another Bruton pass to the turf on fourth-and-four inside St. X territory.  Butler’s third interception on the night with 2:48 left in the game all but sealed the final outcome.

Bryan Station managed to produce only a special teams touchdown in the second half, when they blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt by St. X senior kicker Michael Bennett and ran the ball all the way back for a touchdown.  However, Edwards again made a big play by blocking the PAT attempt to make the score 21-13.

Houk then put the finishing touches on the game in the fourth quarter when he found senior wide receiver Michael Ackerman all alone on the right sideline for a 65 yard touchdown.  Ackerman led St. X in receiving with 3 catches for 78 yards.

Houk did not have a sterling performance, however, as he went 8-18 with the one touchdown to Ackerman and three interceptions.  Turnovers and penalties were issues for both teams, as St. X and Bryan Station each coughed the ball up 5 times; St. X had three interceptions and two lost fumbles, while Bryan Station had four picks and one lost fumble.  Each team finished with six flags as well.

St. X will be on the road again next week, and this time they will clash with Bowling Green in a huge game.  Bowling Green is eyeing Trinity’s consecutive wins streak, and they stormed Brother Thomas More Stadium in last year’s match-up.  Game time is set for 8:00 p.m.

 

 

Gameday Central | Tiger Football vs. Bryan Station

Friday, August 29 | 6:15 PM | Joseph K. Ford Stadium | Lexington, KY

Bryan Station Gameday Central Graphic

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

St. Xavier Tigers (1-0) vs. Bryan Station Defenders (1-0)
Friday, August 29th
Varsity Game – 6:15 PM
Bluegrass Bowl
Joseph K. Ford Stadium
Lexington, KY

GAME NOTES

The 2014 Bluegrass Bowl features the Tiger Football team taking on the Bryan Station Defenders at Lexington Catholic High School.  This is the first meeting between the two schools since the 1999 4A State Championship.  Both teams enter 1-0 and look to remain undefeated in this early season matchup.

The game is not at its usual start time (6:15 PM) and not at Bryan Station, so if you are making the trip to Lexington, pay attention to the information above!

COVERAGE

Live Game Feed: St. Xavier vs. Bryan Station
Radio: WKJK 1080 AM (Pregame show: 5:50 PM)
Twitter: @WSTXSports, @TigerSports_TV
Last Game: Defeated Ballard 17-0 (Game Called at Halftime)
Tigers kick off the Bluegrass Bowl
Prediction Thread: The Bryan Station Game
Flashback: The Bryan Station Game
“Who Are These Guys?”: Bryan Station

Tigers kick off the Bluegrass Bowl tomorrow night

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Michael Bennett splits the uprights against the Ballard Bruins last Saturday in the Tigers’ 17-0 season opener win. | Photo by Damon Atherton (The Voice Tribune)

Tomorrow night, the Tiger Football team will play their second game of the season against the Bryan Station Defenders at Lexington Catholic High School.  The evening will feature two games that are a part of the Bluegrass Bowl which was established in 1995. According to the Lexington Catholic website, the Bowl’s objective is to showcase the excellent quality of high school football in the state of Kentucky.

The Tigers will play first at 6:15 PM against Bryan Station, then Lexington Catholic will take on the Tigers’ week 3 opponent, the Bowling Green Purples at 8:30 PM.

This is not the first time the Tiger Football program has played in the Bluegrass Bowl.  In fact, last season the Tigers defeated the host Lexington Catholic Black Knights 49-28 and Austin Davis was named the games’ MVP.

You’ll have to go all the way back to 2003 for the next to last game that the Tigers played in this event.  The Tigers beat Scott County 38-6 in that game and Tiger great K.J. Austin-Bruce was named the MVP.  St. Xavier defeated Madison Central 56-3 in 2000 in the Bluegrass Bowl and lost only one time in the history of this event to Covington Catholic in 1999.

Prediction Thread: The Bryan Station Game

Colin O'Daniel 5

Colin O’Daniel | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Tomorrow night, the Tigers take the field for the first time on the road in 2014.  We will be making the trip over to Lexington to bring you full coverage of the Tigers’ game against the Defenders of Bryan Station.  Before that, WSTX Sports wants to hear how excited you are for the Tigers’ second game of the season.

Here’s some background information put together by the Lexington Herald’s Mike Fields on the Bryan Station Defenders to help educate your prediction:

The Defenders

Coach: Frank Parks (third year, 11-11)

Last year: 5-6 (lost to Scott County 55-7 in second round of playoffs)

Top players: Marcus Floyd (WR), C.J. Walker (WR), Mikel Horton (OL), Tequan Claitt (WR/FS), Andre Davis (QB/WR/CB), Ke-I Carmichael (WR/LB), K-Ci Carmichael RB/FS), Devon Key (RB/FS), Shane Preston (LB), Quinten Floyd (LB), Brannon Sturgeon (OL), Dermonte Bond (OL), D’Andre Mack (RB), Mahari Sturgis (WR/DB), Jeremy Mason (OL/DL).

Who do you think wins and why?  Leave your prediction in the comment section below!

Flashback: Tiger Football vs. Bryan Station

Tiger Football vs Bryan Station

One game is down, nine more to go.  Bryan Station is borrowing Lexington Catholic’s field tomorrow to host us in Lexington for the Bluegrass Bowl.  It has been quite some time since we last saw the Defenders, so it is important to take a trip down memory lane and remember that we were carrying a state championship trophy to the bus after the last time we played them.

A big shiny football is not the prize tomorrow night, but a repeat performance in the result of a win would be nice.

LAST MATCHUP

In the archives of the KHSAA.org scoreboard, there is only one meeting between the Tigers and Defenders since 1998 and that was the 1999 State Championship game at Old Cardinal Stadium.   St. Xavier narrowly escaped Hopkinsville in the semifinals with a one point victory and in the state championship, it was another close ballgame.  In overtime, the Tigers took home their 10th state championship title and win for the ages.  They closed out the 20th century with a 34-31 win over the Bryan Station Defenders.

Offensive Line coach Adam Billings was a senior offensive linemen during this game and won his second state championship as a result.

SERIES OVERVIEW

1999- St. Xavier 34 Bryan Station 31

ALL-TIME GREATS

Will Wolford (St. Xavier 1977-1981) – Lettered four years in both football and basketball, as well as three years in track. After high school, he accepted an athletic scholarship to Vanderbilt University where he graduated in 1987. A four-year starter for the Commodores, he was a unanimous First Team All-SEC pick after his senior season, and the first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 1986 NFL draft. During his 13-year NFL career, Will played with the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He started in three Super Bowls and three Pro Bowls and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in September of 1994.

Dermontti Dawson (Bryan Station  1979-1983) – Dawson was a nationally ranked high school track and field performer in the discus and shot put at Bryan Station, but his real calling was football.  He was an all-state offensive tackle in high school and eventually accepted a football scholarship to attend the University of Kentucky. Among his high school teammates were future NFL players Marc Logan and Cornell Burbage.  Dawson played center and guard at Kentucky. He lettered in each of his four years. In his freshman year in 1984 the team defeated Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Bowl.  As a senior in 1987 Dawson was named second-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC).  Dawson was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft. In his rookie season he played guard alongside Hall of Fame center Mike Webster. When Webster left the team following that season, Dawson succeeded him as the starting center. He soon became one of the most respected players among the Steelers, and one of the best in the league at his position. He earned the name “Dirt” for the way he would try to grind defenders into the ground.  In contrast, his friendly off-field demeanor led to a second nickname, Ned Flanders, after the annoyingly cheerful character from The Simpsons.

Eric Shelton (Bryan Station 1997-2001) –  Eric was a first team USA Today and Parade All-American, a SuperPrep Elite 50 member and was selected as an All-America by Reebok/ESPN during his playing days as a Defender.  BorderWars.com selected him among their Top 100 prospects and he also made Rivals.com’s Top 100 list.  He continued to get national recognition as the Atlanta Constitution made him a Super Southern selection.  Shelton scored 32 touchdowns and averaged over 10 yards per carry while rushing for 4,970 yards and 59 TD’s over his career.  He was a two-time state class 4A Player of the Year and also played a little defense totaling 129 tackles, 41 tackles for losses and 11 QB sacks during his prep career at linebacker.  Eric also was an all-state track performer competing in the high hurdles, triple jump and 4×100 relay.

TRENDS

We rarely ever see the Defenders so this is a nice changeup in the regular season schedule.  They are a strong team with lots of rich football tradition, but this is 2014 and the Tigers are rolling after a big week one win.  The offense looks as in-sync as it has been since 2009… and that was a state championship season.  Good luck to the Bryan Station defense as they try to defend (pun intended) Noah Houk and the Tigers.

Go Tigers.

Tigers travel to Lexington to take on Bryan Station Friday

Noah and Connor

Co-Captains Noah Houk and Connor Barnes share a laugh during the Simon Kenton Scrimmage earlier this month. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

No one could have predicted how week one went this past weekend with high temperatures and scattered thunderstorms ruining a great opening weekend of high school football in Kentucky.  Only one half was played by the Tiger Football team before they were given the victory due to cancellation of the remaining quarters.

Week two brings a tough opponent to the top of the Tigers’ most wanted list.  The Bryan Station Defenders are also 1-0 entering this Friday’s Bluegrass Bowl at Lexington Catholic and look to improve their record just like Coach Will Wolford and St. Xavier are.

At 6:15 PM on Friday, the Tigers will kick off the first leg of the Bluegrass Bowl double-header at Lexington Catholic High School against the Bryan Station Defenders.  Key players to watch in this game for the Defenders are Wide Receiver Marcus Floyd and Running Back/Free Safety Devon Key.  Bryan Station Head Coach Frank Parks is very high on both of these players and believes they can compete against the best players and teams in the state.

Bryan Station defeated Harlan County 56-22 last Friday and will now have their first tough test of the season against our Tigers.  They will have to get used to the stiff competition because they will see both Lexington Catholic and Highlands later on down the road which will surely make a tough schedule for the Defenders this year.

It is only an hour drive down I-64 to Lexington, so we encourage everyone to do the same as we are and make the trip to Lexington Catholic High School to see the Tigers play this Friday!  If you want to make it into a St. X weekend in Lexington, stay the night and check out Former Tiger Charles Walker play in his first college game on Saturday against UT-Martin at Commonwealth Stadium at Noon!

Go Tigers! #BEATBRYANSTATION

“Who Are These Guys?”: Bryan Station

Bryan Station’s C.J. Walker outran Murray’s Kendrick Lee en route to a score last August. Walker had 60 catches for 1,220 yards and 11 TDs as a junior. Walker is part of an experienced receiving corps, which the Defenders will need with a new quarterback. | Photo by Pablo Alcala

“Tis best to weigh the enemy more mighty than he seems.” -Bill Shakespeare

Good Morning Tiger Fans!  We have an exciting week ahead, but there is a football game this Friday evening at 6:15 PM at Lexington Catholic High School that we would like to get you ready for.  We are now in week two of the Tiger Football season and we are off to a great start with a victory over the Ballard Bruins.  There is no doubt that after each week, the games get harder and harder.  In order to keep the ball rolling in the right direction, you, the fan, need to read up on everything about that team from down I-64.

Mascot: Defenders

School Colors: Green, Gold and Navy Blue

Location: 201 Eastin Road Lexington, KY

Notable People Associated with Bryan Station on Wikipedia:

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Dermontti Dawson | Photo via bleacherreport.net

Dermontti Dawson: Former Pittsburgh Steeler and member of the 2012 National Football League Hall of Fame class.

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Eric Shelton | Photo via sportsworldreport.com

Eric Shelton: Cardinal fans, you may remember this former University of Louisville running back that was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the 2005 NFL Draft.

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Shelvin Mack | Photo via img.ccrd.clearchannel.com

Shelvin Mack: Member of the Butler Bulldogs Final Four teams and current Atlanta Hawk.

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Jack Givens | Photo via bigbluehistory.net

Jack “Goose” Givens: University of Kentucky legendary basketball player.

Coach: Frank Parks

Top players: Marcus Floyd (WR), C.J. Walker (WR), Mikel Horton (OL), Tequan Claitt (WR/FS), Andre Davis (QB/WR/CB), Ke-I Carmichael (WR/LB), K-Ci Carmichael RB/FS), Devon Key (RB/FS), Shane Preston (LB), Quinten Floyd (LB), Brannon Sturgeon (OL), Dermonte Bond (OL), D’Andre Mack (RB), Mahari Sturgis (WR/DB), Jeremy Mason (OL/DL).

Last year: 5-6 (lost to Scott County 55-7 in second round of playoffs)

Last Game: Defeated Harlan County 56-22 in week one.

#BEATBRYANSTATION