COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Ryan Murray didn’t expect to score Colerain’s only points Friday night but he’s sure glad he did.
The senior kicked two field goals – a 41-yarder in the second quarter and a 35-yarder in the fourth quarter - as host Colerain defeated La Salle 6-0.
It was the first time Colerain didn't score a touchdown since August 2009.
“I was a little nervous (before the game),” said Murray, who has battled a groin tear. “I just went out there and didn’t think about it too much. I just kicked it.”
Friday’s win wasn’t pretty from a fan perspective, but the Cardinals (3-0) will certainly take it. The defense shined for Colerain, ranked No. 7 nationally by USA Today and MaxPreps.
“We’ve played in big-time games,” Colerain coach Tom Bolden. "The kids are battle tested and they responded.”
— Mike Dyer (@MikeDyer) September 10, 2016
Colerain blocked a field goal attempt with 1:43 left in the first quarter, which set the tone for the Cardinals’ defense all night.
“The field goal block was huge momentum,” Bolden said. “Big time.”
Colerain’s defense was led by several players, including senior defensive lineman Kawantay Stanley (two sacks) and senior linebacker Ryan Davis (sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery).
“I just got to make my kicks and let the ‘D’ do their thing,” Murray said. “They did a great job.”
La Salle (2-1) is ranked No. 25 by the USA Today computer rankings and No. 1 in the Midwest by MaxPreps.
La Salle coach Jim Hilvert understands the physical nature of Friday’s game but is careful not to let it define the Lancers’ season.
La Salle had an opportunity with 3:58 left on fourth down at the Colerain 5-yard line but came up short.
“The kids fought hard,” Hilvert said. “I was proud of them. They played 48 minutes. They laid it on the line for each other. They never ended the fight. They kept hanging in there. We just came up a little bit short.”
Colerain went up 3-0 when senior Murray kicked a 41-yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the second quarter for a halftime lead.
That completed a four-play drive for the Cardinals, who took advantage of a 15-yard penalty on La Salle on the first down.
Colerain led the time of possession at 19:30 compared to La Salle’s 4:30 during the first half.
The Cardinals haven’t lost at home to an area opponent since 2011.
Colerain leads the all-time series with La Salle 12-10.
Earlier Friday, both schools announced a renewal of the series in 2017 with a Week 1 game scheduled at Nippert Stadium in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
La Salle 0-0-0-0--0
C-Ryan Murray 41 FG
C-Ryan Murray 35 FG
Records: C 3-0, L 2-1
RELATED: Check our Tri-State scoreboard.