Less than four minutes into the second quarter, Elder had tied St. Xavier and mild groaning from Long Blue Line fans ensued.
From there, over the final 32 minutes of play, the Panthers were denied the end zone. Kick-started by some hard running by Charles Kellom, the Bombers tacked on 10 points before the half, then added 28 more in the second half to plow the Panthers 52-14.
"He's really playing well," St. Xavier coach Steve Specht said of Kellom. "The offensive line's blocking doing a great job and our receivers are doing a great job blocking on the perimeter."
Greater Catholic League-South rushing leader Kellom ran for 164 yards and two scores, while senior Brogan McCaughey was 13-for-19 passing for 214 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those went to senior Terrell McFarlin who had five grabs for 100 yards.
"We missed two touchdowns in the first half," McFarlin said. "We got in the locker room and made our adjustments in the second half."
Added McCaughey, "We're focusing on leaving no doubt and leaving everything on the field."
Elder senior Ben Hambleton was 13-for-23 for 145 yards and two touchdowns but was sacked three times. Senior Drew Ramsey was held to five yards rushing and three catches for 12 yards, spending most of the night punting.
From early in the second quarter until the end, the Bombers had a major jet propulsion to improve their record to 6-0. It was their 14th consecutive win dating back to last season.
"Don't get used to this!" Specht said. "Elder's a very good football team and we caught some breaks in the second half."
After holding Elder to an initial three-and-out to start the contest, St. Xavier quickly scored after a pass to Kellom went to the 1-yard line. Kellom then took the direct snap for the score.
Elder then took advantage of a roughing the passer call and completed an 11-play 65-yard drive with Hambleton finding senior Zane Klusman from eight yards out on fourth down.
The first score of the second quarter featured St. Xavier's McCaughey faking a run before spotting Jay Farrar in the end zone to regain the lead. Hambleton, who was second in the GCL-South in passing yards behind McCaughey coming in, answered with a 21-yard pass to the right corner of the end zone to tight end Mike Kirch.
A five-plus minute drive culminating in another Kellom plunge gave St. Xavier the 21-14 advantage. After forcing Elder to punt, the Bombers tacked on a Mason Rohmiller 27-yard field goal before intermission.
The fans had barely settled in their seats at the start of the second half when Alex Kemper ripped through the Panthers for a 99-yard kickoff return in the third quarter making it 31-14.
"There was a huge hole," Kemper said. "I didn't have to do much. I mostly ran straight the whole time. I ran as fast as I could."
Two minutes later McCaughey found McFarlin unattended from 36 yards to extend the lead to 24.
A second scoring pass to McFarlin put St. Xavier in a running clock position for the sixth time in its last seven games dating back to last year's state title game. McCaughey won that one at quarterback and now is six games deep with nary an interception in 2021.
"His efficiency is tremendous," Specht said. "The reality is for three games he only played a half of football (due to running clock scores). There's only one stat that matters and that's a win."
The Panthers drop to 2-4 but hope to make a run in the postseason after reviewing this loss.
"I believe that, but we need to make sure all of the kids believe that," Elder coach Doug Ramsey said. "From what I've seen, I won't be afraid to play anyone in the city. I think they (St. Xavier) are the best team, maybe by a long shot."
Elder next hosts Moeller on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. while St. Xavier is back home Friday night hosting Louisville Trinity.
To secure a 10-0 mark heading into the playoffs, the Bombers will have to get by Trinity, La Salle, Cleveland St. Ignatius and Eagle Landing Christian (Georgia). Three of those four will be at RDI Stadium/Tom Ballaban FIeld.
ELDER 7 7 0 0 14
ST. XAVIER 7 17 21 7 52
StX - Kellom 1-yard run (Rohmiller kick)
E - Hambleton 8-yard pass to Klusman (Maurer kick)
StX - McCaughey 30-yard pass to Farrar (Rohmiller kick)
E - Hambleton 21-yard pass to Kirch (Maurer kick)
StX - Kellom 1-yard run (Rohmiller kick)
StX - Rohmiller 27-yard FG
StX - Alex Kemper 99-yard kickoff return (Rohmiller kick)
StX - McCaughey 36-yard pass to McFarlin (Rohmiller kick)
StX - McCaughey 24-yard pass to McFarlin (Rohmiller kick)
StX - Eary 33-yard run (Rohmiller kick)