COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Colerain dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage to win handily in a game that was billed as one of the top high school matchups in the country.
The Cardinals outgained St. Xavier, 340-215, but the Bombers gained much of that yardage in the fourth quarter of Colerain’s 31-19 win over at Cardinals Stadium on Friday.
The Cardinals led, 31-6 and went into prevent mode. At halftime, Colerain held a 195-to-44 edge in total yardage.
“We just have to eliminate the penalties – it should have been an even bigger (winning margin),” senior offensive lineman Ross Demmel said. “We should have had 28 points going into halftime. We’ve got to eliminate the penalties next week.”
Colerain (2-0) had a long touchdown run by senior quarterback Kelvin Cook nullified by a holding penalty in the second quarter, and still Cook totaled 120 yards and a touchdown by halftime.
The only score the Cardinals allowed in the first two quarters was also set up by a penalty when a pass interference call extended a St. Xavier drive on a third down incompletion.
The Bombers (1-1) briefly pulled back into the game when senior running back C.J. Hilliard juked his way to a 15-yard touchdown, making the score 14-6, but the extra point missed left.
Hilliard ended the game with 12 carries for just 46 yards as the Cardinals’ defensive front refused to let him find any running room.
“Hilliard is a great running back – we just prepared well for this game,” said senior linebacker Tegray Scales. “Our nose guard (Jacob) Todd, about 315 (pounds) plugs up the middle and our defensive line played fast.”
St. Xavier senior quarterback Nick Tensing understandably struggled as well Friday, as he was never able to get comfortable in the pocket. He was sacked five times and hurried countless others.
Scales was responsible for 2½ of those sacks.
“The coaches gave us a great scouting report this week, and I just studied the film,” Scales said. “I just go fast and I happened to make a couple of plays for a tackle for a loss.”
Said Colerain coach Tom Bolden: “That was Colerain football right there, they flew around and hit people hard. Tegray Scales, he’s our leader on that defense and he was flying around making plays.”
St. Xavier will have to get over this loss quickly as they play a brutal schedule this year facing off against Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy (2-1) next week, and coach Bolden will be rooting for coach Steve Specht’s club.
“We just want to get after each other for these two hours, but outside of that we’re good buddies,” Bolden said.
With a win over the Bombers under its belt, Colerain would only benefit from every St. Xavier win through the Harbin rankings.
Colerain heads down I-71 next week to take on Louisville Trinity (1-2), winners of three straight Kentucky 6A state championships.