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.
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.