CINCINNATI — The Colerain and St. Xavier athletic departments have verbally agreed to a renewal of the storied football rivalry for Week 2 of the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
The 2021 game is scheduled to be played at Colerain with the 2022 game at St. X.
"This is a game between two of the best programs in Ohio - just a few miles from one another," Colerain athletic director Craig Ulland said. "It doesn't get much better than Colerain-St. X."
The two athletic programs were in the middle of signing contracts for the series when the schools shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Colerain (11-2 in 2019) and St. X (9-3 in 2019) will meet Week 2 of this upcoming 2020 season at St. Xavier in the final game of a home-and-home agreement that was renewed in March 2018.
"There's nothing like an in-town rivalry game, especially early in the season," St. Xavier athletic director Brian Reinhart said. "Both school communities and high school football fans alike from around the Tri-State pack the stadium to see two of the best teams in the state, which serves as a gauge for the rest of the season."
Last season, the Bombers snapped a three-game losing streak to Colerain in a September 2019 game the Cardinals hosted. St. X leads the all-time series, 23-16.
"This game is circled on both the players' and fans' calendars every year as it's always a hard-fought, exciting game," Reinhart said. "A number of our students are neighbors with each other, so there's a lot of pride and bragging rights at stake. Extending the series for at least two more years will guarantee some classic Friday night football nights in Southwest Ohio."
St. X, a regional semifinalist in 2019, has earned 11 consecutive postseason appearances – the longest active streak for a Division I area football program.
Colerain, a Division I regional runner-up, won its 20th consecutive Greater Miami Conference title last season. Colerain has 10 consecutive postseason appearances.
The Cardinals and Bombers have played in the postseason in five of the past six seasons. The 2019 season was the most recent time the rivals didn't play in the postseason since 2013.
"Two heavyweights collide for four quarters – it's always an instant classic," Ulland said.
Colerain coach Shawn Cutright said the game is so significant to both programs.
"I truly believe that is a game that we have circled every year," Cutright said. "Both teams usually play one of their best games of the season no matter if it's Week 2 or Week 11, 12 or 13. Those rivalry games - their just special to everybody."
Colerain and St. X are annually recognized for their success on a statewide and national spotlight.
In July 2019, Colerain was ranked No. 2 and St. X No. 8 on a MaxPreps list of the state's most dominant football programs over the past 10 years.
MaxPreps took into account the finishes in state and national rankings, along with state championships and state final appearances from the 2009 through 2018 seasons.
In July 2018, Colerain and St. X were named among the nation's top 10 programs over the past 15 years, according to MaxPreps.
Ohio High School Athletic Association official football practice starts Aug. 1. The season officially begins Aug. 24.
The dates and location of the seven state finals have not been determined.