St. Xavier rallies, turns tables to defeat Colerain 20-17

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- The best high school football rivalry in Greater Cincinnati wouldn't be the same without some drama.

And that's exactly what occurred on a very rainy Friday night at Cardinal Stadium.

St. Xavier rallied to defeat host Colerain 20-17 in overtime -- the third consecutive game between the two programs to go to an extra session and the fourth time in the past five games in the series.

"It's unbelievable, isn't it?" St. X coach Steve Specht said.

PHOTO GALLERY: St. Xavier 20, Colerain 17

With Colerain leading 14-0 at the 11:58 mark of the fourth quarter, the Bombers didn't panic.

St. X (2-0), ranked No. 14 nationally by the MaxPreps Xcellent 25, went to a tempo offense in the fourth quarter and it paid off.

Senior quarterback Chase Wolf found senior wide receiver Cameron Specht for a 10-yard touchdown pass connection to help cut the lead to 14-7 at the 5:16 mark. That completed a nine-play, 71-yard drive that took just 1:16.

Colerain punted on its next possession. With 2:54 left and the Bombers at their own 48, Wolf and his receiving corps went to work yet again.

Wolf, a Wisconsin commit, completed a 15-yard pass to senior Andrew Wittrock on second down and found Cameron Specht on a 13-yard connection.

LISTEN to Cameron Specht interview with

Two plays later, Wolf found Wittrock for a 12-yard connection on fourth down. Senior running back Matthew Fox scored two plays later to help tie the game at 14 and send it to overtime.

Colerain junior Chris Mangold made his third field goal of the night -- this time a 30-yarder to give Colerain a 17-14 lead on the first possession in overtime.

But Wolf struck again and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run after a face mask penalty gave the Bombers excellent field position.

"We just stopped thinking," Wolf said. "We just started playing football instead. The first three quarters -- we were just trying to move the chains but we started moving the tempo. Nobody panicked."

Colerain (0-2) held the time of possession 32:51 to 15:09 but managed just one touchdown.

"They played their tail ends off," Colerain coach Tom Bolden said. "We lost momentum and couldn't make a play or find a way to get it back. But we improved so much from last week. We are a really good football team that will be in playoff mode next week."

Colerain led 3-0 at halftime when junior Chris Mangold made a 33-yard field goal at the 1:20 mark of the second quarter.

There were four fumbles, six punts and two missed field goals in the first half. That was very understandable given weather conditions more familiar to November.

Mangold added a 42-yard field goal at the 8:32 mark of the third quarter. Colerain scored a 1-yard touchdown on junior Ivan Pace's run to give Colerain a 14-0 lead after a two-point conversion.

Bolden said there are no moral victories for the Cardinals but his team will move forward.

"I can almost guarantee we will see them in the playoffs," Wolf said.

St. X leads the all-time series with Colerain 22-13. St. X plays host to Walnut Hills Sept. 8. Colerain plays at Middletown Sept. 8.

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