Sunday, October 24, 1999

St. Xavier 50, Cle. St. Ignatius 33

Sollmann rushes for record 6 TDs, 306 yards

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Led by senior tailback Steve Sollmann's six touchdowns, the St. Xavier Bombers, ranked No.2 in the state Division I poll, beat No.5 Cleveland St. Ignatius 50-33 Saturday night.

        Ranked No. 1 in The Cincinnati Enquirer's Division I poll, the Bombers gained 487 yards, 216 rushing and 271 passing.

        The six TDs by Sollmann tied a the single-game school record held by his brother, Scott Sollmann, and Brian Fitzgerald. Besides rushing for 218 yards on 22 carries, Sollmann caught two passes for 88 yards.

        “That's back-to-back great performances by our offensive line,” said Sollmann, who rushed for 128 yards in the Bombers' 30-13 victory over Elder last week.

        Quarterback Marty Mooney was also at the top of his game. The sophomore completed 9 of 17 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns despite inclement weather.

        “I tried to put the wind and rain out of my mind,” Mooney said. “Several of the passes got caught by the wind, but Michael (Larkin), Eric (Arling) and Nick (Larsen) came back and caught them.”

        St. Ignatius rushed for only 19 yards. Quarterback Bry an Panteck threw for 362 yards, many coming late when the game had been decided.

        “The key for us was stopping (Dan) Murphy and forcing them to throw,” Rasso said.

        Led by linebackers Eric Scheidt and Brian Heizman, St. Xavier sacked Panteck 11 times, intercepted three passes and limited tailback Murphy to 30 yards on 10 carries.

        “We put pressure up the middle early in the game, which I don't think they expected,” defensive back Nick Lyle said. “We then switched and started putting pressure from the outside.”

        No one, including Steve Rasso, expected 83 points to be scored — not with the 40-degree temperature, a wind clocked at 20 miles per hour, and off-and-on rain.

        “On a night like tonight, who would expect that two teams with good defenses would allow this many points?” Rasso said. “The special teams also were great, and Larkin's kickoff return was big.”

        Trailing 28-14 at halftime, St. Ignatius pulled within eight points less than a minute into the third quarter when Mike Foran returned a Bomber punt 30 yards for the TD. The conversion kick was blocked and the St. X lead was cut to 28-20.

        But, as they did all night, the Bombers answered the challenge.

        Larkin took the ensuing kickoff at the 1-yard line, broke toward the sideline and raced 99 yards for the TD and a 35-20 lead.

        “This was a big play,” Rasso said. “The special teams got it done all night.”

        St. Xavier ....... 7  21  15   7—50

        St. Ignatius ....... 7   7  12   7—33

        SX—Sollmann 1 run (Nolan kick)

        SI—Murphy 1 run (Kesic kick)

        SX—Sollmann 1 run (Nolan kick)

        SX—Sollmann 16 run (Nolan kick)

        SI—Gresky 78 pass from Panteck (Kesic kick)

        SX—Sollmann 62 pass from Mooney (Nolan kick)

        SI—Foran 30 punt return (kick blocked)

        SX—Larkin 99 yard kickoff return (Nolan kick)

        SI—Foran 72 pass from Panteck (pass failed)

        SX—Sollmann 75 yard run (Larsen run)

        SX—Sollmann 3 run (Nolan kick)

        SI—Miller 28 pass from Panteck (Kesic kick)

        Records: St. X 8-0, St. I 7-2


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