Colerain Defeats St. Xavier, 31-28
September 13, 2012By Chris Himonidis of Colerain High School/WeAreColerain.com
By James Adams | Featured Analyst
In a thrilling matchup between two of Cincinnati’s top teams this year, the Colerain Cardinals came back to defeat the St. Xavier Bombers 31-28 on the road with some clutch plays after waiting out a fifty minute lightning delay.
While Colerain was led by senior quarterback Alfred Ramsby, it was the late game heroics of juniors Ryan Williamson and Zac Gehner that clinched the win for the road team in this week’s US Marines Backyard Battle tilt.
St. Xavier (2-1) looked like they would cruise to another victory over rival Colerain Friday night as they dominated the early going in this contest. After taking over on downs at midfield with just two minutes gone in the game the Bombers would strike first on a 15-yard touchdown run by CJ Hilliard. St. Xavier wasted no time in grabbing the early momentum as Ben Carroll blocked a punt giving the Bombers great field position again and with three and a half minutes to go in the first quarter Nick Tensing’s three-yard touchdown run put them up 14-0.
Colerain (3-0) finally got going late in the first quarter as Ramsby hit Chris Davis on a short pass that Davis took to the house for a 76-yard touchdown. The Cardinal sideline came to life after that play and what looked to be a blowout early settled into the contest of top teams that everyone expected. St. Xavier made the first of two immense turnovers, this one in Colerain territory, and the Cardinals would capitalize tying the game at fourteen on a two-yard touchdown run by Ramsby in which he barely crossed the goal line.
PHOTO GALLERY (from WeAreColerain.com)
VIDEO INTERVIEW - K Zac Gehner (from WeAreColerain.com)
VIDEO INTERVIEW - HC Tom Bolden (from WeAreColerain.com)
The Bombers wasted no time answering as Tensing hit Ryan Frey for a 47-yard scoring strike midway through the second quarter taking a 21-14 lead. Just when it looked like this was going to be a non-stop scoring affair the defenses took over. Both teams would punt before Colerain would threaten to score. Twice in their own end zone St. Xavier defenders picked off passes, one by Frey, and the other by Joe Barrett, and the game reached half time with the Bombers ahead 21-14.
The defenses were still in charge through much of the third quarter until the Cardinals got perhaps the biggest break of the game. With just over six minutes to go in the third quarter Ramsby dropped back to pass and fired a bullet that ricocheted off his intended receiver and floated right to Kevin Cook, who took the ball into the end zone to tie the game at 21.
St. Xavier would go ahead again in the fourth quarter on a two-yard touchdown run from Hilliard making it 28-21, that would be the final score of the game for the Bombers.
Colerain waited until late in the game to answer that score and tied the game at 28 apiece with a little over two minutes to go on a 13-yard TD scamper from Ramsby. While all the extra points were made easily up until this point, Zac Gehner’s PAT just barely got over the crossbar, but was good which would create even more drama in the moments to come.
On the ensuing St. Xavier possession the Bombers came out looking end the game in regulation rather than hold the ball for over time. Nick Tensing dropped back to pass and fired to his left, but the ball was a little over thrown and that’s when Williamson took the game into his own hands picking off the pass and giving his team great field position with time running out.
The Cardinals failed to gain any real ground on their three downs and onto the field came Gehner to try a 39-yard field goal, after just barely making the extra point just seconds prior. Bomber coach Steve Specht used all three of his timeouts in an effort to ice kicker, something Specht has done before with success (including last year’s win vs. Colerain), but this time it didn’t work. Gehner finally got his chance to boot the ball and his kick was good, giving his team its first lead of the game 31-28 with less than a minute to play. Gehner was pointing in the direction of the St. Xavier bench after the kick, no doubt letting coach Specht know that the timeouts didn’t affect him, and in the end the Bombers could’ve used those timeouts.
St. Xavier would get the ball to mid field on their final possession and attempted a would be game-tying field goal from sixty yards out that was on line, but fell short giving the Cardinals the big road win.
Colerain goes home to play Princeton next week as the winless Vikings will no doubt have their hands full, while the Bombers will have to rebound quickly as they travel to take on Louisville Trinity next weekend.
James Adams is if his first season at TriStateFootball.com and has been covering prep sports for over decade. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.