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Playoff Preview: #1 Colerain (10-0) vs. #8 Springboro (7-3)

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(image courtesy of ohiohshelmets.webs.com)

Chris Himonidis
WeAreColerain.com

What: OHSAA Playoffs: Division I, Region 4 1st Round
Who: Colerain Cardinals (10-0) vs. Springboro Panthers (7-3)
Where: “The Cage” at Colerain High School, 8801 Cheviot Road
When: Friday November 4, 2016 @ 7:30 PM
Internet: LIVE AUDIO – WeAreColerain.com via TheCube
Television: DELAYED VIDEO – Waycross Community Media. Details Below:

Time Warner Cable 979 / CinBell Fioptics 850
Saturday 11/5 6:00 PM

Tuesday 11/8 11:00 AM
Friday 11/11 11:00 AM
Time Warner Cable 4 / CinBell Fioptics 854
Sunday 11/6 1:00 PM
Wednesday 11/9 2:00 PM

Key Team and Player Stats/Comments

#8 SPRINGBORO PANTHERS (7-3) – CO-GWOC West Champions
2016 Schedule/Results:
L – Mason (6-4), 14-28
W – Middletown (0-10), 45-27
W – Winton Woods (5-5), 36-28
W – Kettering Fairmont (1-9), 38-20
L – Centerville (5-5), 21-28
W – Beavercreek (4-6), 31-28
W – Miamisburg (8-2), 39-38
W – Fairborn (2-8), 66-42
L – Northmont (4-6), 20-32
W – Lebanon (7-3), 45-42

Offense:
386 Total YPG (3rd of 20 in GWOC)
162 Rush YPG (12th of 20 in GWOC)
223 Pass YPG (1st in GWOC)
35.5 Pts/game (4th of 20 in GWOC)

Offensive Players to Watch:
QB – #11 Brody Mahle (Sr.) 6’0” 180 lbs: 172/261 for 2,144 yds (1st in GWOC), 25 TD/6 int,
RB/LB – #28 Liam Foley (Sr.) 5’11” 220 lbs: 829 yards rushing, 5.4 AVG yards per carry, 15 TD
WR/DB – #16 Nick Kovacs (Sr.) 6’3” 195 lbs: 76 rec 1,022 yds (1st in GWOC), 12 TD
WR/DB – #17 Tyler Tischler (Sr.) 6’0” 185 lbs: 45 rec 682 yards, 9 TD’s / 5 INT as a DB (2nd in GWOC)
K – #20 Charlie Kuhbander (Sr.) 5’10” 190 lbs: 11/15 FG, long of 49 yards, 44/45 XP

Defense:
444 Total YPG allowed (LAST in GWOC)
248 Rush YPG allowed (18th of 20 in GWOC)
197 Pass YPG allowed (LAST in GWOC)
28.5 Pts/game (16th of 20 in GWOC)

Defensive Players to Watch:
LB – #23 Payton Standifer (Jr.) 5’10” 200 lbs: 42 Tackles, 2 FF, 1 FR

LB – #47 Ethen Miller (Sr.) 5’9” 200 lbs: 24 Tackles, 2.0 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT
LB – #43 Joe Poelking (Jr.) 6’1” 210 lbs: 24 Tackles, 3.0 Sacks, 1 FR, 1 INT
DL – #53 Tyler Hasbrook (Sr.) 6’2” 215 lbs: 18 Tackles, 3.0 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR

 
#1 COLERAIN CARDINALS (10-0) – GMC Champions
2016 Schedule/Results:
W – Warren Central (IN) (9-1), 31-28
W – St. Xavier (5-5), 20-14 ot
W – LaSalle (8-2), 6-0
W – Princeton (6-4), 38-7
W – Sycamore (6-4), 52-7
W – Mason (6-4), 30-16
W – Middletown (0-10), 47-8
W – Mason (3-7), 63-14
W – Middletown (1-9), 49-10
W – Oak Hills (5-5), 29-17

Offense:
323 Total YPG (6th of 10 in GMC)
243 Rush YPG (1st of 10 in GMC)
80 Pass YPG (LAST in GMC)
33.1 Pts/game (1st of 10 in GMC)

Offensive Players to Watch:
QB – #19 Deante Smith-Moore (So.) 5’7” 157 lbs: 445 Rush yards, 4.7 AVG, 32/66-436 yards, 11 Total TD/2 INT

QB – #12 Gunnar Leyendecker (Jr.) 5’11” 184 lbs: 255 Rush yards, 5.3 AVG, 23/63-366 yards, 6 Total TD/4 INT
FB – #25 Monalo Caldwell (Sr.) 5’10” 215 lbs: 827 Rush yards, 5.2 AVG, 16 Total TD
RB – #23 JJ Davis (So.) 5’8” 160 lbs: 516 Total yards, 4 Total TD (2 rush/0 pass)
WR – #2 Ja’Von Hicks (Jr.) 6’2” 180 lbs: 344 yards REC, 4 TD

Defense:
193 Total YPG allowed (1st in the GMC)
248 Rush YPG allowed (1st in the GMC)
59 Pass YPG allowed (1st in the GMC)
7.2 Pts/game (1st in the GMC)

Defensive Players to Watch:
LB – #4 Daniel Bolden (Jr.) 6’1” 222 lbs: 54.5 tackles, 3 Sacks, 2 INT

LB – #7 Kyle Bolden (Sr.) 6’1” 211 lbs: 36.5 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FF, 4 FR
LB – #30 Ivan Pace Jr. (S0.) 5’9” 190 lbs: 30 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR
DL – #29 Kawantay Stanley (Sr.) 6’0” 195 lbs: 27.5 tackles, 5.0 Sacks
DB – #1 Amir Riep (Sr.) 6’0” 195 lbs: 10 tackles, 3 int

Keys to Victory for Colerain
OFFENSE: FIND A RHYTHM – Coach Bolden has had a very interesting situation the past month at the QB position. The season started with JR Gunnar Leyendecker winning the job and leading the Cardinals to very exciting wins over Warren Central and St. Xavier in overtime. He injured himself in week 1 and played all the way through the LaSalle win in week 3. Needing some rest, one of the many talented players from the sophomore class, Deante Smith-Moore, stepped in against Princeton in week 4 and never looked back. Gunnar got rest, rehab and now he is back in the fold presenting a 2-headed QB situation for the Cardinals, the likes of which Coach Bolden has never had before. Getting both players to play within the system and do what they do best will be key to the Cards offense putting up the points necessary to advance in these playoffs.

DEFENSE: HEADS UP! – Much like when we faced this team in 2013, it’s about the QB and the WR core. This time, Springboro brings the GWOC’s leading passer and WR to The Cage. The corners and safeties will need to be heads up as they should expect the ball to be in the air quite a bit tonight. It can certainly be argued that the strength of the defense is in the secondary with seniors Amir Riep and Keonte Jones, along with Kevin Hyde. They will be tested by Toledo commit 6’3” 200lb Nick Kovacs, without a doubt. On the ground the Panthers are no slouch either. #28 220 lb Sr Liam Foley, coming back from a knee injury earlier this season, is averaging over 5 yards a carry. He will be easy to identify as his flowing gold locks of hair extend well beyond his helmet. The 162 YPG would put Springboro right in the middle of the GMC pack.

Bottom-Line
The key for the Cardinals at the beginning of the year was to lean on their defense until their offense came around and was producing at a high level. The injuries to the QB position delayed the offense in the early going but the defense has gotten even better than we could have imagined. Three shutouts on the year (and several others that could have been if not for the starters being pulled) should leave no doubt that this Colerain defense is elite, which is a good thing because they will be tested Friday night. For the seniors, this is their last home game ever at Colerain. Win or lose, they will not play on this field as a Cardinal ever again after tonight. And there is this: Colerain has NEVER lost a first round playoff game…EVER.
That streak will not end Friday night. The Cardinals are on a mission to prove the doubters wrong. This is a particularly close team with very solid senior leadership. Springboro will score their share of points as they have a few big receivers and a very good passer in Brody Mahle. However, the Cardinals bring speed and athleticism in spades to this contest. Expect the Cardinals to jump out to an early lead and potentially play even the rest of the way as they advance to the second round of the 2016 playoffs.

We Are…COLERAIN!!!

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    RT @CRainBaseball Varsity lost a great game tonight to Lakota East 3-2 in 10 innings.

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