St. Xavier came out swinging against Henry Clay on Friday night and, aside from a short stretch in the second half, the Blue Devils failed to dodge. The Tigers went back to Louisville with a 40-13 win in the first game of the Traditional Bank Bluegrass Bowl at Lexington Catholic on Friday.
St. X junior quarterback Desmond Ridder was a nuisance all night for the Blue Devils, mostly off scrambles out of the pocket. He rushed for 151 yards on 12 carries, scoring two touchdowns — one on the Tigers' first possession as well as their last score.
Ridder also threw for 122 yards on 13-for-26 passing. He found a wide-open Trey Clements in the second quarter for a 23-yard TD, his lone scoring toss.
It was the season opener for both teams.
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Henry Clay was roughed up by the Tigers' defense, especially in the first half. The Blue Devils were forced into a safety, almost fell into another during a fake punt that didn't work and saw Davonte Robinson fumble on back-to-back-to-back possessions.
It wasn't until Austin Bledsoe reached the end zone on a 3-yard dive that Henry Clay got on the board. It was down 30-7 at that point.
Bledsoe, who started in place of Joquise Buford, had the Blue Devils' other TD. It was another 3-yard score that came early in the fourth quarter. He finished with 113 yards on 15 rushes.
Buford, the state's leading rusher last season as a junior, will also miss next week's game against Clark County.
St. X outgained Henry Clay 560 to 268 overall, with a 400-172 edge in rushing.
Senior running back Chase Rowan had a good night for the Tigers with 95 yards on 10 carries. He rushed for a TD, as did junior Sam Taylor.
Robinson, a UK commit, led all players with eight tackles.
Play stopped for about 20 minutes after Braidon Washburn, a St. X junior linebacker, collided with another player and was down on the field. He eventually was carted off in an ambulance. His condition was not known but one St. X coach said the ambulance was precautionary.
LexCath met Ryle in the second game of the double-header. For details on that game visit Kentucky.com.