St. Xavier High School prevailed in the customary early-season football meeting with Colerain High School on Friday night, building a 21-7 halftime lead and hanging on at the end to defeat new head coach Shawn Cutright’s Cardinals.
Senior quarterback Matthew Rueve had a trio of first-half touchdown passes to Northwestern-bound tight end Marshall Lang. Lang finished with eight catches on the night for 111 yards, while junior teammate Liam Clifford caught nine balls for 67 yards.
“There’s a reason why he committed to Northwestern,” St. Xavier head coach Steve Specht said of Lang. “Your talented kids have to rise to the occasion, and that’s exactly what Marshall did.”
Added Lang, “Words can’t even describe it. We pulled off the win and I’ve got a huge smile on my face. I’m about to go celebrate with my teammates.”
Rueve completed 26 of his 36 passes for 234 yards and the three scores to Lang. He’s now thrown for 535 yards in two games.
“He’s a big target, he’s fun to throw to and I always know he’s going to catch the ball for me,” Rueve said of Lang. “We came out ready to play in the first half, but we’ve got a lot to improve on as you saw in the second half.”
Colerain’s junior quarterback Freddie Johnson was 6-for-12 for 73 yards and ran for 30. MJ Flowers led all rushers with 68 yards and scored his first varsity touchdown when the Cardinals briefly tied the game early.
After a festive pregame, including a Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown stadium show, both teams came out swinging.