St. Xavier downs Trinity 35-21 to end 7-game streak

St. Xavier downs Trinity 35-21 to end 7-game streak


St. Xavier downs Trinity 35-21 to end 7-game streak

Noah Houk passed for 186 yards and three touchdowns


Noah Houk passed for 186 yards and three touchdowns

St. X ended Trinity’s seven-game winning streak Saturday night. The CJ’s Eric Burse tailgated with the fans and talked tradition. Video by Scott Utterback


Will Wolford called it “noise” his St. Xavier High School football team has endured since 2009, the last time the Tigers had defeated rival Trinity.

But the only noise left at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium at the end of Friday’s matchup was that of the Tigers celebrating a big-time victory.

MORE: St. Xavier’s Roshkowski an unlikely star

PHOTOS: Fans tailgate before the game

PHOTOS:  St. Xavier vs. Trinity action

MORE video highlights

Even more video of fans and fun can be found at the end of this story

Noah Houk passed for 186 yards and three touchdowns and sophomore Blake Roshkowski filled the role of “Surprise Star” as the Tigers beat Trinity 35-21 in front of an announced crowd of 26,349 on a cool and rainy night.

St. X (5-2) – No. 4 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings — snapped Trinity’s seven-game winning streak in the series, the longest by either team in a rivalry that goes back to 1956. The Shamrocks still hold an all-time edge of 38-37-2.

“Nowadays with Internet and blogs and criticism, a lot of high school kids catch a lot of flak,” Wolford said. “I’m just very happy for the kids to come out and play as well as they did. It was a very complete game on both sides of the ball against a great football team.”

The St. X offense had struggled against the toughest two opponents on its schedule so far this season, getting shut out by both Bowling Green (6-0) and Cincinnati Moeller (26-0).

But Wolford said he and his assistants didn’t panic, choosing to tinker with the offense rather than giving it an overhaul. The Tigers posted 348 total yards against Trinity with a solid mix of run (162 yards) and pass (186 yards).

“We’ve known from the start we’ve had it in is,” said junior wide receiver Colin O’Daniel, who had two catches for 38 yards and a touchdown. “We just had to get one spark that would get us going. This week we all came together as a team and said, ‘Let’s step it up right here.’ Our guys pulled through.”

No. 7 Trinity (4-3) struggled from the start, losing fumbles on two of its first four possessions and falling behind 21-0 midway through the second quarter.

The Shamrocks fumbled six times, losing three, and committed 12 penalties for 72 yards.
“Those are just focus issues,” Trinity coach Bob Beatty said. “Those are things that are correctable. We just have to get it done.”

Houk’s second touchdown pass of the night – a 30-yarder to O’Daniel – gave the Tigers a 21-0 lead with 5:43 left in the first half before Trinity rallied.

Ryan Young hit Rodjay Burns with a 36-yard touchdown pass with 3:19 left and Jacob Woosley with a 28-yard TD pass at the 0:17 mark to get Trinity within 21-13.

But Roshkowski, who entered the game with just one carry this season, helped St. X regain the momentum in the third quarter. The speedster’s 58-yard run moved the Tigers to the Trinity 13-yard line, and six plays later TaiJon Smith scored from 1 yard out for a 28-13 lead at the 3:12 mark.

“We needed some big plays and needed some speed, and we did a nice job getting our fastest guys on the field,” Wolford said of Roshkowski, who had a 16-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Trinity made a final push, pulling within 28-21 with 5:34 remaining on Young’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Burns and a two-point conversion pass from Woosley to Andrew Del Visco.

But after a 47-yard kickoff return by O’Daniel, St. X needed little time to put it away. Houk hit a streaking Jaylon Hibbs for a 47-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-21 with 3:45 remaining.
“Everybody underestimates the speed of my receivers,” Houk said. “When they’re wide-open, it’s easy to hit them.”

St. X took advantage of a depleted Trinity secondary. Alex Reisert and Ryan Reynolds have been out several weeks with injuries, and senior safety Canon Jackson was a late scratch from Friday’s game because of an injury.

“We have young guys in there,” Beatty said. “That’s no excuse. Those guys have to make plays, and they didn’t make plays. It’s smart on (St. Xavier’s) part. They went to the air because we were young.”

For St. X, the victory not only ended a tough losing streak to its rival but also put it on solid early ground in Class 6-A, District Four – also known as the “Super District.” No. 3 Male and No. 5 Manual are the other two members.

“It feels so great,” Houk said. “Growing up, I’ve never missed a St. X-Trinity game in my 18 years of life. Being able to come over and win this game is phenomenal.”

Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and followed on Twitter @kyhighs.

St. Xavier
SX – Blake Roshkowski 16 run (Ben Logsdon kick); SX – Michael Ackerman 32 pass from Noah Houk (Logsdon kick); SX – Colin O’Daniel 30 pass from Houk (Logsdon kick); T – Rodjay Burns 36 pass from Ryan Young (Andrew Deye kick); T – Jacob Woosley 28 pass from Young (pass failed); SX – TaiJon Smith 1 run (Logsdon kick); T – Burns 22 pass from Young (Andrew Del Visco pass from Woosley); SX – Jaylon Hibbs 47 pass from Houk (Logsdon kick).


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