St. Xavier (Cincinnati)
vs. Pickerington Central (Pickerington)
, noon, ESPNUSpringfield
vs. Upper Arlington (Columbus)
, 3:30 p.m., ESPNUMonday's Games
Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.)
vs. Glenville (Cleveland)
, noon, ESPNIndianapolis Cathedral (Indianapolis)
, 4 p.m., ESPNU
When the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic schedule was announced in early May, St. Xavier football coach Steve Specht said the opportunity to play at Ohio Stadium would be "monumental" for his program.
That feeling was emphasized again this week as the Bombers prepare to travel to Columbus Sunday to play Pickerington Central at noon in a game that will be televised live on ESPNU. It will mark the Bombers first game at the Horseshoe.
"The players are excited and I think the community is excited about the trip to Ohio Stadium," Specht said. "I thought our crowd was great Saturday night…hope they all make the trip this Sunday."
Specht, who is 72-17 in his eighth season with the Bombers (1-0), has never coached in the storied venue, but is looking forward to the challenge of playing Pickerington Central. The Tigers' school is located about a 20-minute drive from the stadium in the Columbus area.
"I think Pickerington is as a good a team as there is in Ohio," Specht said. "They're big, physical and have really good skill players."
St. X was impressive in its season opener last week when it defeated Springfield 30-7 in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium.
Senior quarterback Griffin Dolle
was 9 of 15 passing for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
"He's only going to get better," Specht said.
Senior running back Connor Hundley
rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown. Hundley rushed for 1,507 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior last season.
Also on Saturday, junior wide receiver Trey Kilgore
– one of the Cincinnati area's top players in the 2013 class – had four receptions for 70 yards a touchdown.
Defensively, the Bombers were outstanding – allowing just 11 total yards of offense against Springfield. The Bombers were led by senior linebacker Nate Gerbus
(two sacks) and senior defensive end Bryson Albright
(one sack). Both players verbally committed to Miami University this summer.
It is the second consecutive week Pickerington Central (0-1) will play a Greater Catholic League South division team. The Tigers lost to Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati)
14-0 in the Showdown last weekend.
Pickerington Central has won two straight games in the Herbstreit series and is loaded with college prospects. Senior lineman Jacoby Boren
is a four-year starter and is verbally committed to Ohio State. Senior wide receiver/defensive back Roger Lewis is also verbally committed to the Buckeyes. Senior defensive back Sebastian Smith is verbally committed to Indiana.
"I think the big thing to watch is how well our defense plays against (the Pickerington Central) offense," Specht said. "We aren't as big defensively, but we are quick and can run. They are huge offensively and like to pound the ball. I think that will be a key."
Pickerington Central coach Jay Sharrett recognized last week was a "slugfest" against Moeller and expects another tough game from St. X on Sunday. Still, he's embraces the challenge.
"To get to these venues and have this experience is great," Sharrett told the Herbstreit event. "You have to be willing to play anybody."NOTESSpringfield vs. Upper Arlington –
Ironically, Springfield also travels to play in the Herbstreit event after it lost to St. X 30-7 last week in Cincinnati. The Wildcats (0-1) are led by senior outside linebacker Darius James (6-foot-2, 230 pounds), who is being recruited by Big Ten schools. Senior lineman Brandon Ehlinger (6-2, 280) has started every game of his high school career at left tackle. Former Springfield standout Trey DePriest, a highly-recruited senior linebacker in the 2011 class, is now playing at Alabama. …Upper Arlington (0-1) has 12 starters returning, including senior wide receiver/free safety Frank Epitropulous
, who is verbally committed to Ohio State. The Golden Bears are also led by senior outside linebacker Tyler Pfister (committed to Ohio State for lacrosse) senior 6-8, 268-pound lineman James Henry (Toledo commit). Upper Arlington lost to Tri-Valley 29-27 in the season opener.Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.) vs. Glenville (Cleveland) –
Camden County (1-0), which plays in Georgia's 5A classification (large school division), is led by junior quarterback Brice Ramsey
, who is verbally committed to Georgia. The Wildcats are also led by senior defensive end Devlyn Cousin
, a 6-3, 270-pound standout, who is verbally committed to Southern Mississippi. Senior Bryan Attaway
(6-5, 257) has several offers and can play tight end and linebacker. …Glenville (0-1), which lost to reigning Ohio Division I state champion Lakewood St. Edward 17-14 last week, always has plenty of college prospects and this year is no different. Senior safety/wide receiver Devan Bogard
(6-1, 190) is one of the nation's top safeties and is committed to Ohio State. Senior running back/receiver/returner V'Angelo Bentley
has offers from Pittsburgh, Illinois and Mid-American Conference schools. Senior defensive lineman Alex Pace (6-2, 260) has offers from Illinois, Mississippi State, Air Force and several others. Senior cornerback Sean Draper (6-1, 175) has offers from MAC schools and interest from Big 10 and Southeastern Conference schools.Cathedral vs. Centerville –
Cathedral (0-2) returns 15 starters from last year's state title team. Senior offensive tackle Jacob Bailey
(6-4, 260) has committed to Indiana. Senior defensive back John Turner
(6-2, 205) has committed to play at Notre Dame. The quarterback is senior Corey Babb
, who is 6-5 and 200 pounds. He is also considered a Division I prospect. According to the Herbstreit event, Cathedral has the most wins in Indiana state history with 659. The school has won eight state titles and has been playing football for 92 years. …Centerville (0-1) lost to Elder in Week 1, but the Elks are one of the most formidable teams in Southwest Ohio. Senior free safety Jay Mastin is verbally committed to Miami University. Senior offensive lineman Benny McGowan
(6-4, 308) is committed to Michigan State. Senior Ifeadi Odenigbo
, one of the nation's top defensive linemen, has numerous offers. The 6-4, 220-pound standout has had offers from the likes of Ohio State, UCLA, Oregon, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Boston College, Michigan State, Alabama and several others.Information from the Herbstreit Classic program used in this report