skip navigation

The Bombers Capture an Overtime Victory From the Wildcats

By Eli Maistros '24, 10/16/23, 10:45AM EDT


St. Xavier comes away with the inaugural Paul Lammermeier Memorial Trophy with a 21-14 overtime win over the Wildcats.

PARMA, Oh - The Saint Ignatius Wildcats (1-8) hosted their Jesuit rivals from Cincinnati in the St. Xavier Bombers (5-4) in the inaugural Paul Lammermeier Memorial Game. The 31st overall meeting between these two storied programs would be a classic, but it would be the Bombers prevailing with a 21-14 victory in overtime. 

The Wildcats kicked the ball off to open the game, giving the ball to one of St. Xavier’s two-headed quarterback duo in Daniel Vollmer or Chase Herbstreit, son of former Ohio State quarterback and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit. 

On the cold and drizzly Saturday afternoon, both teams struggled to move the ball early, as each offense started with a three-and-out.

On their second drive, the Bomber offense moved the ball deep into Wildcat territory, using sophomore running back Jacob Britt, who ripped off a 20-yard gain, to get the ball to the three-yard line. 

However, a false start and an exceptional pass breakup from Cody Haddad on third down brought the field goal team out. Senior captain Ryan Ardire blocked the attempted kick to keep the game scoreless with 6:24 remaining in the first quarter.

Despite a 13-yard run on the first play of the drive by Grant Washington, the offense couldn’t muster anything and was forced to punt. Senior lineman Greg Hanson fooled his blocker with a spin move and dropped Herbstreit for a sack on first down and the Bombers had to punt right back. 

With good field position after the punt, senior Max Ritt broke off the longest run of the game for the Cats, going 29 yards down to the St. Xavier 19-yard line. 

Ritt was supposed to take a direct snap on a trick play two snaps later, but he dropped the snap. Quarterback Josh Papesh picked the ball up and heaved a long pass to Jordon Rodman, who snuck behind the defense and caught in the endzone to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with 2:29 left in the first. 

To start the second quarter, the other Bomber quarterback, Vollmer, came into the game and the Bombers ran with him eight out of nine plays on the drive, but Hanson dropped Vollmer behind the line on third down, and St. Xavier punted again. 

The Wildcats methodically worked their way down the field, burning over five minutes of game clock and getting to the St. Xavier 25-yard line after a 26-yard catch by Jonathan Merimee. Ultimately, penalties pushed the Wildcats back and Tommy Kilbane had to punt again. 

Both teams traded three and outs and the Bombers took back over with 34 seconds left in the half. On the first play, Haddad jumped a Herbstreit pass and collected his first interception on the season. Papesh threw an interception of his own on the last play of the half, but the Cats took a 7-0 lead into the break. 

It didn’t take long for the offense to get going in the third quarter, as on the first play of the quarter, Haddad caught a screen pass, reversed field, and made multiple Bombers miss on his way to a 71-yard touchdown with 11:35 left to play in the third quarter. 

The Bombers seemed unphased as Vollmer took a keeper on second and nine up the middle and went 79 yards untouched to continue the hot start to the second half. The Bombers cut the Wildcat lead to seven with 10:39 to play in the third. 

Week 9 Highlights: Saint Ignatius vs. St. Xavier

The offense regained its first-half form as both teams traded punts and the Cats followed up with another three and out. Vollmer ran eight QB keepers to get the Bombers to the 22 of Saint Ignatius. St. Xavier ran out the kicking team, but the 39-yard field goal was wide right, keeping the score in favor of the Cats with 1:14 remaining in the third quarter. 

It looked to be more of the same as Kilbane booted his seventh punt on the next Wildcat drive and the Bombers lined up in punt formation after a three-and-out on their next possession as the game entered the final quarter of regulation.

However, the snap went to the upman in Ty Golden and he threw a pass to 275-pound Michigan commit defensive tackle Ted Hammond and got past the returner in Marcus Tekancic to score a 49-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 with 10:20 remaining in the fourth. 

After four more punts, two per team, some action finally occurred when Papesh tried to throw a deep ball, but it was undercut by Andrew Weber for an interception. No problem, however, as Haddad added to his exceptional day by making an acrobatic interception on a Vollmer deep ball at the Wildcat 35-yard line with 1:42 left in the ball game. 

One more Kilbane punt ensued and Saint Xavier ran out the rest of the clock to give the Cats their second overtime of the 2023 campaign. 

The Cats won the toss and put their defense on the field first. St. Xavier surprised everyone, going into wildcat with running back and team captain senior Steve Napier and he bulldozed down to the six-yard line on his first touch of the game. Napier walked into the endzone two plays later, giving the Bombers their first lead of the game and putting the pressure on the Wildcat offense.

Ritt got a second down handoff and spun his way down about a yard short of the first down marker and Papesh’s quarterback sneak got them to a goal-to-go situation. Unfortunately, a Papesh sack on third down put the ball back at the Bomber 20-yard line. On the final play, Papesh sent a prayer to the end zone, but it was over the head of Rodman, giving St. Xavier the inaugural Paul Lammermeier Memorial trophy with a 21-14 victory.

Haddad impressed in his first game back from injury as he collected two interceptions and led the defense with 11 tackles. He also dazzled on offense with a 71-yard touchdown reception. 

Saint Ignatius will wrap up the regular season on Friday, October 20, when they host Canada North-Clarkson (ONT) from Wasmer Field. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. as the Wildcats will look to punch their ticket to the OHSAA Tournament.