In what is never an easy place to win a football game, it was almost like Saint Ignatius felt at home at Tom Ballaban Field at St. Xavier High School. Having to win out to make the playoffs, the Wildcats controlled the Bombers for four full quarters of football.
In the first quarter, it was mostly both teams getting a feel for each other. The dominating defense of the Wildcats would shut out the Bombers in the entire first half, while Pat Ryan was remarkable once again.
Ryan would first hook up with senior Mike Lehto for 48-yards, as Lehto had to make an over the shoulder catch with two Bombers around him. This made it 10-0 Wildcats in the second quarter.
Then Mark Bobinski ran it in from 7-yards out to 7:35 left in the half to make it 17-0 Saint Ignatius. Bobinski, now heading into Week 10, leads the team in touchdowns with 12.
Then the play of the year so far came with 4:15 left in the second quarter. Pat Ryan passed to tight end James Leyden in the slot, and Leyden did the rest. After easily getting the first down, Leyden made a tackler miss five yards after the first down, then made another Bomber miss, spun off another tackle, broke free from another tackle, all before taking it 62-yards for a Wildcat touchdown to make it 24-0 Wildcats in the first half!
Ryan and the Wildcats would need one more score for the knockout punch, and that would come in the fourth quarter where Ryan hooked up with junior Connor Kennedy for 47-yards to make it 31-7 Wildcats.
The final score would 31-14 Saint Ignatius over their Jesuit rival St. Xavier. It was another all around complete game by the Wildcats to move to 8-1 on the season. They have outscored their opponents 346-73. Credit that to the complete team we have this year–an electrifying offense, and a lockdown, dominating defense.
This now brings up Ed Week at Saint Ignatius High School, and this 54th edition is a little more interesting as it is raised to a new stage. For Week 10, the Wildcats and St. Edward Eagles will square off at FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the 0-7 Cleveland Browns. The Wildcats and Eagles have the opportunity to get the first win at FirstEnergy Stadium of the 2016 football season.
And with that being said, it will be something we have never seen before: the Saint Ignatius student section will be able to sit in the Dawg Pound, along with the Saint Ignatius Wildcat Marching Band. It will also be Senior Night for the Wildcats which means an extra long pregame. Kickoff was moved up to 6:00 because the Browns need enough time to prep for their Week 8 game vs. the Jets. Plus, the SIBN will have a scoreboard stream, which means if you tune into the SIBN, you will be able to see everything the fans at the stadium are seeing on the jumbotrons.
Both Saint Ignatius and St. Edward are 8-1, so the game will certainly not disappoint. However, the Wildcats once again need this win to punch their ticket to the playoffs. They are currently 7th in Region 1, and a loss to an 8-win team could knock them out of the top 8.