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Irish Fall Late in High Scoring Affair

Cathedral led until the final minute Friday night, but Cincinnati Elder scored with 34 seconds remaining to earn its 600th football victory in school history, 39-34, at Marian University.  The lead changed six times during the game as the teams combined for nearly 800 yards of total offense.      

The Panthers took advantage of an Irish interception to score first on a three-yard run by quarterback Michael Bittner less than two minutes into the game.  Cathedral tied the score 7-7 on a Chon’Dre Cissell four-yard run.  After Elder regained the lead 13-7 on a Matthew Luebbe five-yard run, Cissell’s 65-yard scoring dash gave the Irish a 14-13 lead. 

Luke Masminster ran five yards on the first play of the second quarter for an Elder touchdown. Cathedral answered on its next possession when Daylen Hall ran 31 yards for a score with 8:42 to play in the first half giving the Irish a 21-20 lead.  Neither team would score again until the fourth quarter.

Luebbe threw a 45-yard scoring pass on an end around to Zeno Perry to start the final period.  Bittner’s one-yard scoring run with 8:36 remaining gave the Panthers a 33-21 lead.  Cathedral answered two minutes later on a six-yard shuffle pass from Orin Edwards to Bo Sanders for a touchdown.  After a successful onside kick and an Elder unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the Irish regained the lead 34-33 on a one-yard Edwards to Sanders shuffle pass with 4:01 left to play.

Elder then moved the ball down the field in a nine-play, 72-yard drive that ended on Bittner’s one-yard touchdown run with 34 seconds to play.  The Panthers improve to 2-0 on the season, while a second consecutive loss drops Cathedral’s record to 1-2.

Cissell led the Irish rushing attack with 143 yards on 17 attempts.  It was the eighth 100-plus yard rushing game in Cissell’s high school career.  Bittner ran for only 50 yards, but in doing so reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his career.   

Elder now leads the all-time series with Cathedral 4-1 with the only Irish win coming in 1930.  Cathedral faces Bishop Chatard next Friday at Arsenal Tech’s Howard Longshore Stadium.  The Irish lead the all-time series with the Trojans 25-18.  Cathedral has won its last five meetings with Chatard.  The Trojans are 3-0 this season with wins over Brebeuf Jesuit, Lawrence Central, and Roncalli.

Author: Scott Uecker   E-Mail: