St. Xavier defeated the Manual football team for the 25th year in a row last Thursday night. The Crimsons fell to the Tigers 28-7 in blowout fashion.
The Manual defense, which had only given up 3.5 points per game coming into the game, struggled for the first time this season.
The Tigers jumped out to a 25-0 lead in the first half before the Manual defense only gave up three points in the second half.
“We just weren’t playing as well or game plan as well as we should have,” Derek Dorsey (11, #92) said. “We tried to fix it in the second half, but it was too late.”
The scoring started when St. X blocked Jake Rist’s (12, #7) punt on Manual’s first possession of the game and got a safety when Rist fell on the ball in the end zone. It was the second time a Rist punt had been blocked in the last two weeks. On October 10 against Trinity, a punt was blocked and returned 36 yards for a Shamrock touchdown.
“There was confusion on the line, DJ called one call and Jake (Rist) heard it and thought it was a fake punt call,” Chris Roussell (11, #46) said. “So Jake thought it was a fake punt, when it was not at all and he tried to throw it, and he got blocked, like last week, and they got a safety out of it.”
The safety gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. After a quick touchdown drive for St X, Manual was down 9-0 early in the game and never recovered.
“Jake’s punt just killed our whole drive, everyone put their head down right after that,” Hayden Vinegar (12, #55) said. “That really hurt our defense. Our defense has been untouchable all year, and it could have gotten into our heads. We went into this game with the mindset that we were just going to destroy them, and it didn’t turn out to be that way.”
The Crimson defense will look to return to its normal dominance next week against rival Male.
“We just have to work hard in practice and not let this loss keep us back,” Dorsey said. “We are better than what we did tonight and we’re going to bounce back.”
The Crimson offense continued its inconsistent play Friday night and did not perform well against St. X. One of the reasons that the offense has struggled is that the offensive line needs to improve.
“The offensive line has got to stay strong and do the same things,” Vinegar said. “We just hope to stay focused and improve.”
Manual quarterback Tim Comstock (11, #3) has had an up and down year. Comstock has not played great in the past two weeks. Comstock threw two interceptions and a touchdown against St. X Friday night after throwing three picks against Trinity on October 10.
The offense needs to regroup and refocus heading into the Male game, according to Comstock.
“We just aren’t focused; we don’t have each others backs,” Comstock said. “We just need to be a team, be a family.”
Comstock is going to take more of a leadership role to try to get the entire offensive unit to play better.
“I’m going to set them (the offense) down this week and talk to them, talk to each other in a meeting, try to figure things out, and to study Male,” Comstock said. “We will become a more cohesive unit.”
The loss drops Manual to a 6-2 record; however, the Crimsons are now 0-2 in district play. The loss against St. X guarantees that Manual will receive the fourth seed in the playoffs, no matter what happens against Male.
Manual will play Male in the 122nd edition of the Old Rivalry on October 24, 7:30 p.m., at Male stadium.
“Next week, we get Male, its the biggest game of the year, and we need to come ready to play and beat them,” Comstock said.
Stay tuned to RedEye for #ManualvMale and Red/White week coverage all of next week.