CINCINNATI — The Mason Comets’ defense had four straight shutouts — then they faced Colerain Friday night.
The Cardinal offense could not be stopped in the Division I regional semifinal matchup en route to a 49-21 win.
“We made some great adjustments off of what they do, we got after it up front and obviously scored a lot of touchdowns,” said Colerain head coach Tom Bolden.
Ivan Pace Jr. was a workhorse on both sides of the ball. He ran for four touchdowns and rushed for 232 yards on 22 carries. Additionally, he had seven tackles playing outside linebacker.
“He’s heck of a football player,” Bolden said. “He runs hard. He’s got some wiggle. He’s 222 pounds. He’s got some power. Great athlete ... I bet you if we had a tracking device on him tonight, I can only imagine the miles that he covered.”
Colerain’s defense shut out Mason in the first half, twice stopping the Comets stopped on fourth down within the 20-yard line. In the second quarter, Mason was on the one-yard line for three straight plays, but could not get past the Cardinal defense.
“They’re huge momentum-getters,” Bolden said. “They’re almost like turnovers down there. We lost so many kids last year from last year’s defense and a lot of people thought that might be a weak point with us, but we fly around and we get after it.”
The Cardinals will face the defending state champion St. Xavier Bombers next week in a rematch of the 2016 regional semifinals, when St. Xavier beat Colerain 29-23. Colerain has won 10 straight this yeaar since losing its first two games to La Salle and St. Xavier, 20-17, in overtime.
“What a great matchup,” Bolden said. “It will be another instant classic like they always are. They’re going to do what they do. We’re going to do what we do and it will be great.
"I’ve always said it and I’ll always keep saying it, that our matchup, it’s such a healthy respect the kids have for one another, as different as we may be in terms of some backgrounds and things like that, but it’s such a healthy relationship and … it’s what’s best about football in Cincinnati.”
C: Leyendecker 40-yard rushing touchdown (Mangold kick good)
C: Pace Jr. Four-yard rushing touchdown (Mangold kick good)
C: Pace Jr. 37-yard rushing touchdown (Mangold kick good)
C: Pace Jr. 25-yard rushing touchdown (Mangold kick good)
M: Adams 33-yard passing touchdown to Croy (Curran kick good)
C: Pace Jr. 17-yard rushing touchdown (Mangold kick good)
M: Sora One-yard rushing touchdown (Curran kick good)
C: Leyendecker 26-yard passing touchdown to Davis (Mangold kick good)
M: Adams Two-yard passing touchdown to Knue (Curran kick good)
C: Smith-Moore Two-yard rushing touchdown (Mangold kick good)
RECORDS: Colerain (10-2); Mason (9-3)
UP NEXT: Colerain vs. St. Xavier (11-1)