Ironton to host resurgent Moeller in a battle of unbeaten programs
The word around Cincinnati is that Mighty Mo is back.
If that’s true, there are a lot of Crusader opponents who are wishing they had stayed away.
The Archbishop Moller Crusaders have been a perennial powerhouse in Ohio high school football.
The Ironton Fighting Tigers will let everyone know on Friday night whether or not that’s true when they host the Crusaders at Tanks Memorial Stadium in a battle of 3-0 teams.
From 1975-1985, Moeller won seven state championships. The Crusaders also won back-to-back titles in 2012-13 giving them a total of nine Division 1 state championships in football.
But things began to go on the downward swing following the two seasons that saw the Crusaders go 12-3 in 2012 and 14-1 in 2013.
In the next seven seasons, Moeller was 10-3 but that was followed by 5-5, 4-6 two straight seasons, 6-4, 2-8 and just 3-6 last season with wins coming over Columbus Bishop Hartley 34-17, Hamilton 43-27 in the playoffs and 50-14 against Fort Thomas (Ky.) Highlands.
This season the Crusaders are off to a 3-0 start with a 42-17 win over Lakota East, 2-28 over Dayton Chaminade-Julienne and 42-28 and 39-22 over East Central, Ind., last week.
Moeller’s top offensive players include Division 1 prospect Josh Kattus, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound senior tight end, running back and return man Alec Weeder who is a 5-6, 165-pound senior, quarterback Noah Geselbracht who is a 6-6, 203-pound senior, running back Jordan Marshall who is a 5-11, 180-pound sophomore speedster, junior wide receiver Tennell Bryant (5-10, 162) and seniors Brandon White (5-9, 165), Kurt Thompson (6-4, 180) and Jared Merk (6-2, 180).
Weeder is not only a good runner but is a dangerous receiver who breaks big plays coming out of the backfield.
In the win over Lakota East, Geselbracht hit White with touchdown passes of 75 and 63 yards as he hit 13-of-25 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score. Marshall rushed 11 times for 124 yards and two TDs.
Mark Elder is in his second season as the Moeller head coach and has taken on the task of returning Moeller to its elite status.
Elder previously served a tenure as the head coach at Eastern Kentucky for six seasons before taking the Moeller job.
Besides football, the all-male school of more than 800 boys has had great success in all sports and some outstanding athletes have enjoyed great careers after high school.
Moeller has produced baseball players such as Ken Griffey, Jr., Barry Larkin and Steven Larkin, Buddy Bell and sons Mike Bell and current Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell, and Adam Hyzdu with the program winning four state titles.
Mike Larkin — Barry’s brother — played linebacker for Notre Dame and was a team captain.
In basketball, Moeller has won five state titles and has sent more than a dozen players to Division 1 programs including Barry Larkin’s son Shane who played two seasons for the Miami Hurricanes and has played for Dallas and Boston in the NBA.
Moeller is currently raising money to build a sports complex that will include a turf field for a new stadium.
The project cost is an estimated $14 million and has raise more than $11.5 million to day.
Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller Crusaders
Pos. Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.
OT Thomas Biel 72 6-04 260 Jr.
OG Collin Remenowsky 52 6-02 250 Jr.
C Chase Snyder 51 5-10 230 Jr.
OG John Currin 74 6-03 255 Jr.
OT Donny Lewis 79 6-04 280 Sr.
TE Joshua Kattus 84 6-04 240 Sr.
QB Noah Geselbracht 12 6-06 215 Sr.
HB Tennel Bryant 10 5-07 160 Jr.
RB Alec Weeder 6 5-06 165 Jr.
X Kurt Thompson 18 6-04 185 Sr.
Z Jared Merk 19 6-01 185 Sr.
Pos. Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.
DE Ethan Coe 41 6-00 215 Sr.
DT Jackson Garrett 97 6-03 270 Sr.
NG Brandon Martin 9 6-01 255 Jr.
DE Chase Brown 90 6-03 230 Sr.
SLB Jack Sellers 5 5-10 180 Sr.
MLB Joseph Ginnetti 46 6-01 220 Jr.
WLB Ivan Anderson 58 6-01 225 Sr.
CB Colin Berry 2 5-11 165 Sr.
CB Jacob Peddicord 22 5-11 166 Sr.
FS Matthew Seliga 36 5-11 180 Jr.
SS Lamont Cox 8 5-09 175 Jr.
PK William Steele 98 5-09 170 Sr.
KR Alec Weeder 6 5-06 165 Jr.
Brandon White 3 5-09 165 Jr.
Brett Kelley 39 5-08 183 Jr.
P Kurt Thompson 18 6-04 185 Sr.
PR Alec Weeder 6 5-06 165 Jr.
Head Coach: Mark Elder (2nd year)