St. Xavier had little trouble moving the ball in its 27-6 victory over Manual on Friday.
The Tigers (5-2, 2-0 Class 6-A, District Three) had the ball 12 times, in all but two of those, St. X ran at least one play in Manual territory. And one of those two was a one-play drive at the end of the first half when the Tigers opted to run out the clock.
Led by quarterback Desmond Ridder, the Tigers ran 68 plays for 379 yards, the team’s third best offensive output this season. It was a far cry from the 145 yards they amassed against Trinity the week before.
“We work every week to get better, and I just try my hardest to learn the offense, coming in new,” Ridder said. “Now I got it down pretty good, and I think we’re going to roll with it.”
Ridder admitted the team started the week down because of the loss to their archrival, but preparing for a tough district foe in the Crimsons helped the Tigers get focused pretty quickly.
“We didn’t want to come in here thinking that we were going to get beat or that we were going to come down, so we had to come with the same energy and same passion that we come with in every game,” he added.
While the offense was running efficiently, the Tigers defense also played well. They limited a Crimsons offense that had been averaging nearly 350 yards a game to just 240, and they got Manual (6-1, 1-1) off the field by allowing the hosts to convert on only 4 of 13 third downs.
It was a “complete game against a really good opponent,” St X coach Will Wolford said. “It does feel real good that the kids, from beginning to end, they played great football. That is the first time we’ve done that this year.”