As the halfway point of the high school football regular season approaches, the games seem to be getting better and better each Friday night. As for the Elder football team and the entire student body, a GCL rivalry game against the Bombers of St. Xavier couldn’t come soon enough. The hype and intensity building up to the bloodbath is always exhilarating. Starting on Monday, the hallways will be booming with noise about the game.
However, this year’s match-up takes on a whole new level of intensity as it will be the 100th overall meeting between the Panthers and the Bombers. This historic rivalry dates back to the 1920’s and had continued its legacy up till today.
The first ever game played between the two schools took place in 1923 at Corcoran Field (Xavier) as the Bombers came out victorious 20-0. They also took the second meeting just a year later winning a whopping 7-0 in a clear cut shootout.
Despite those first two loses, nearly 96 years later Elder has bounced back and currently holds the series lead 51-42-6… no questions there.
Last year’s meeting took place in The Pit where the boys put quite a few points up on the board to seal the victory, 51-26. Coming off last years victory, much excitement awaits this Friday, however, the boys have told me that their focus and energy is what will define a win or loss.
Looking to make it two years in a row, Elder center Mason Berger voiced, “We expect nothing less than a victory this year. There’s a lot on the line considering both teams are among the top in Ohio. We’ve had this game circled on our calendar for awhile and I’m sure they have as well, so we are looking forward to it.”
Berger and the rest of the offensive line have shown significant dominance this year in the trenches and have done a great job protecting their main man, Matthew Luebbe. Luebbe is currently second is the GCL in passing yards with 1,020, trailing St. X quaterback, Matthew Rueve who stands at 1,314 yards. Although Luebbe has put up great numbers in the air this year, his ability to run and shed tackles really has set him apart from the rest of the pack. He currently leads the GCL with 413 yards on the ground.
When asked about his thoughts on the game, he said, “Obviously the tradition of this rivalry goes back a long time before I have been around and it means a lot to play in the 100th meeting, but this week, myself and the team can’t get too caught up in the outside distractions.”
He also talked about the support from the students and fans, and how big of an impact that will have on the outcome.
“I know the environment will be great and we’re going to have to lean on the cheering section to help us at points in the game, but this week is all about us and not about the team we are lining up against,” Luebbe added.
T-shirts will go on sale this week for the game with the designed logo pictured below. Each school’s proceeds will benefit a selected charity of their choice.
That being said, purchase your tickets early in the week and come out and fill the stands with some purple in support of the Panthers.