The nationally-ranked Colerain Cardinals faced their toughest hurdle in the Greater Miami Conference on Friday night, but were able to put away the Mason Comets 30-16 in front of a large crowd at Colerain High School.
The win improved Colerain’s record to 6-0 on the season, and a perfect 3-0 in GMC play, while the loss for Mason knocked them down to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in GMC play.
Mason took an early lead over the Cardinals on Friday night when quarterback Preston Hutchinson found James Grace for a 74-yard bomb and, after shedding a few Colerain defenders, Grace walked into the end zone to put Mason up 6-0 after a failed extra point.
The first quarter ended with Mason up 9-0 after Andrew Hauer nailed a 34-yard field goal before the clock struck triple zeros.
Colerain finally got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter, when Monalo Caldwell found the end zone on a short one-yard touchdown rush. After a failed extra point, the Cardinals were still behind the Comets 9-6.
However, Colerain refused to go into the locker room trailing. Right before the teams left for halftime, Deante Smith-Moore found Ja’Von Hicks for 61 yards, giving the Cardinals a 13-9 halftime lead.
The third quarter was pretty quiet for both teams, except for a Ryan Murray 32-yard field goal to extend the Cardinal lead to 16-9.
Colerain extended its lead on its first possession of the fourth quarter when Monalo Caldwell found the red end zone paint form 23 yards out to all but put the game away for the Cardinals. After the score, Colerain sat at a comfortable 23-9 lead.
However, Mason attempted to mount a late comeback when Hutchinson found Austin Croy for a short four-yard touchdown reception. The Comets suddenly found themselves staring down the Cardinals, only down by one score.
Unfortunately for the Comets, the Cardinals sealed the victory on Caldwell’s third touchdown rush of the night, giving the Cardinals a 30-16 win.
Smith-Moore led the Cardinals both through the air and on the ground, accumulating 142 yards passing with one passing touchdown and rushing for 103 yards. Caldwell accrued 95 yards on 22 touches and three touchdowns. Hicks led the Cardinals receiving corps with two receptions on 85 yards and a touchdown.
The Comets were led in offense by Hutchinson, who threw for 110 yards and two touchdowns while getting picked off only once.
Colerain (6-0, 3-0 GMC) will travel to Barnitz Stadium next Friday night to take on the winless Middletown Middies. The Middies lost to Oak Hills on Friday night in another conference matchup.
Mason (4-2, 2-1 GMC) will head back home to take on the team with the same record, Fairfield. Fairfield knocked off Sycamore on Friday night in a 28-27 barn burner on its home turf.