Tigers tear into 'Birds

GEORGETOWN — Coach Andy Schulten isn't sure how history will judge this St. Xavier team, but if he got to pen its story, he might rate the team among the best ever.

"When these guys are at their best like they were tonight, I don't think there's anybody better," he said. "I can just judge from the last 15 or so years, but when these guys are on, they just go crazy."

Statistics back up the coach's claims.

Top-ranked St. Xavier's 7-2 victory over Highlands in the state championship game at Georgetown's Toyota Stadium on Saturday night was the most lopsided in state championship history.

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The Tigers' seven goals are the most scored by a winning team. They outshot the Bluebirds 20-2.

Six different players scored for the Tigers, who won their 16th straight game, their second straight state championship and their eighth overall.

"It's pick your poison," Schulten said. "You hope that some of these guys are having an off night and some of them are, but not all of them."

Kyle Schickel definitely wasn't having an off night. He put St. X on the board 33 seconds into the game. The senior took a feed from Zach Stewart and slammed it into the Bluebirds' goal

"We knew we had to put them away early," Schickel said. "We knew we had the better team, it was just coming out and scoring first. We couldn't keep them in the game long."

Schulten called Schickel's goal "a dagger," and it was.

The Tigers got two more goals from Tyler Riggs and Kevin Bick by the half to grab a 3-0 lead.

Not only did Bick score, he also assisted on three other goals in the game, including a goal by Ryan Smith less than three minutes into the second half.

Two minutes later, Highlands' Jason Lewis found the back of the net to keep it respectable.

Tigers senior Nick Jones added back-to-back goals in the final 14 minutes.

Cameron Coppola's goal with 7:19 remaining rounded out the scoring for the Tigers.

Dakota Beerman added a second goal for Highlands as the clock wound down on the Bluebirds' season.

"To score two goals against this team, you've got to be at least happy you got on the board," Coach Jeremy Robertson said. "Of course we wish we'd done a little bit better, but I'm happy with these boys."

It wasn't the ending Highlands wanted in its first state championship appearance, but Robertson was proud of his team's effort.

"We're blessed to do so well as a team and the boys have worked hard all year," he said. "They can't keep their heads down; they've got to look high."

St. Xavier 7, Highlands 2

Goals—SX: Kyle Schickel, Tyler Riggs, Kevin Bick, Ryan Smith, Nick Jones 2, Cameron Coppola; H: Jason Lewis, Dakota Beerman. Goalkeepers—SX: Andrew Brotzge, Oliver Brown; H: Alex Etienne.

Records—St. Xavier 22-1, Highlands 17-4-4.