SHARONVILLE, Ohio – Colerain football coach Tom Bolden spun the football in his hands and reflected on his 100th career win.
Wearing his trademark Colerain visor, he smiled.
The visiting Cardinals had just defeated Princeton, 38-7, Friday night in the Greater Miami Conference opener for both teams.
As is his custom, the former Colerain quarterback spoke to his team for a few minutes after the game like he's done year after year. This time was extra significant.
His sons, senior linebacker Kyle Bolden and sophomore linebacker Luke Bolden, presented the game ball to their father. The football was inscribed with his 100th win and will likely go in his coach’s office at the school.
“Great players and great coaches have been with me along the way, have made this pretty special,” Tom Bolden said. “It kind of crept up on me, to be quite honest with you. I know we won a lot of games, but getting No. 100 in a little over nine years is pretty darn cool. It’s a testament to the Colerain family.”
Tom Bolden is 100-16 in his 10th season.
Kyle Bolden said he was looking forward to enjoying the milestone win with his dad late Friday night at their home. The game was delayed for more than 45 minutes because of severe weather.
“It’s big,” Kyle Bolden said. “It’s exciting for him.”
Colerain (4-0, 1-0 GMC) is ranked No. 5 nationally by the MaxPreps computer ratings and No. 13 nationally by the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 (editorial rankings).
The Cardinals are ranked No. 15 nationally by the USA Today expert ratings and No. 6 in the computer ratings.
Colerain’s current regular-season GMC win streak is at 53 games. The Cardinals’ most recent loss in the GMC was at Middletown Oct. 3, 2008 (42-39). Colerain defeated Hamilton 42-14 in the playoffs Nov. 6, 2010, which would make the streak 54 consecutive games against GMC opponents overall.
Colerain sophomore JJ Davis had 12 carries for 126 yards. Senior fullback Monalo Caldwell rushed 15 times for 63 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cardinals went back to their traditional triple-option offense for most of the night. The Cardinals had 390 yards of total offense and just two passing yards.
Sophomore Deante Smith-Moore filled in nicely for regular starting quarterback Gunnar Leyendecker, who has been battling shoulder and ankle injuries this season. Smith-Moore rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Tom Bolden said Leyendecker is expected to return Sept. 22 when the Cardinals play host to Sycamore at 7 p.m. in a Thursday night game. He said Leyendecker could've played against Princeton.
Junior linebacker Dan Bolden had a team-high seven tackles to help lead the Colerain defense.
Colerain had 215 yards of offense on 40 plays in the first half. Princeton had 96 yards on 20 plays.
For Princeton (3-1, 0-1), the Vikings play at Oak Hills next. Princeton coach Pat McLaughlin said the team needs to return to a solid mindset.
“I said at the beginning it’s not the Super Bowl and it’s not the last game of the year,” McLaughlin said. “Win or lose, we still have six games left.”
Princeton senior quarterback Solomon Reed was 9 of 15 passing for 99 yards. Raymond Kozlowski threw a touchdown pass to CJ Henderson on a jet sweep in the first quarter.
Senior defensive lineman Jamal Hines (UC commit) had a game-high eight tackles.
Princeton is ranked No. 7 in the AP Division II state poll. Colerain is ranked No. 2 in the Division I state poll.