Saturday, October 02, 1999

St. Xavier 21, Moeller 19


Bombers rally in second half

BY DAVE SCHUTTE
The Cincinnati Enquirer

mooney
St. Xavier QB Marty Mooney escapes the end zone and avoids a safety.
(Ernest Coleman photos)
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        Marty Mooney was up to the task. The 15-year-old sophomore quarterback for St.Xavier threw three touchdown passes, two in the second half, rallying St.Xavier to a 21-19 victory over Moeller before a crowd of 10,000 at Tom Ballaban Stadium.

        “I wasn't really nervous, although I've heard a lot about Moeller,” Mooney said. “Their defense hit hard and seemed to know what we were going to do, but everything worked out.”

        Ranked No.2 in the Associated Press Ohio poll, St.Xavier improved to 5-0 and 1-0 in the GCL-South while Moeller dropped to 3-3 and 1-1.

        The victory was coach Steve Rasso's 150th at St.Xavier.

        “What a great night to pick up 150, against one heck of a football team,” Rasso said. “We had to battle all the way to pull it out.”

ruther
St. X's Andy Ruther tries to escape a Moeller defender.
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        Inserted into the starting lineup at halftime of the Bombers' game against Princeton four games ago, Mooney has been outstanding.

        Against Moeller, he completed 13 of 18 passes for 125 yards, while tailback Steve Sollmann rushed for 91 yards on 21 carries.

        For the season, Mooney has completed 44 of 68 passes for 606 yards and 10 touchdowns.

        “Every opponent's defense has learned to stop Steve Sollmann,” quarterback coach Bobby Klotz said. “This makes Marty the key to the offense. He was outstanding tonight.”

        Klotz said Moeller mixed up the defenses throughout the game in an attempt to confuse Mooney.

        “Marty grew up in football, and his ability to see the field is important,” Klotz said. “We have outstanding receivers and needed someone to get them the ball. That's why Marty is starting.”

        Trailing 17-7, the Bombers scored on the first possession in the second half.

        After returning the kickoff to the St.Xavier 34, the Bombers drove for the TD in seven plays, capped by Mooney's 29-yard pass to Michael Larkin.

        “If I had to call one play as the most significant of the game, it was Larkin's great catch,” Rasso said. “That put us within three points (17-14) and changed the momentum.”

        The winning touchdown drive was set up when defensive back Patrick Kelly intercepted a pass and returned it to the St.X 45. Three plays later, Mooney threw a 12-yard TD pass to Eric Arling.

        Moeller had a chance to pull it out, but the St.Xavier defense stopped the Crusaders on the Moeller 20.

        Marcus Blanks led Moeller with 168 rushing yards on 30 carries. Brian Reisert completed nine of 16 for 166 yards, 162 of which went to tight end Ryan Hamby.

        Moeller ....... 10  7  0  0—19

        St. Xavier ....... 7  0  7  7—21

        St.X—Larkin 13 pass from Mooney (nolan kick).

        M-Blanks 50 run (Murphy kick).

        M-Murphy 21 FG.

        M-Blanks 2 run (Murphy kick).

        St.X-Larkin 29 pass from Mooney (Nolan kick).

        St.X-Arling 12 pass from Mooney (Nolan kick).

        M-Safety.

        Records — M 3-3, 1-1 GCL; St.X 5-0, 1-0.

       



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