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Playoff Preview: Game 2 – #1 Colerain (11-0) vs. #5 St. Xavier (6-5)

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(image courtesy of ohiohshelmets.webs.com)

Chris Himonidis
WeAreColerain.com

What: OHSAA Playoffs: Division I, Region 4 2nd Round
Who: Colerain Cardinals (11-0) vs. St. Xavier Bombers (6-5)
Where: Virgil M. Schwarm Stadium, Hamilton High School
When: Friday November 11, 2016 @ 7:30 PM
Internet: LIVE AUDIO – WeAreColerain.com via TheCube
Television: LIVE VIDEO – Time Warner Sports, Ch. 310

Key Team and Player Stats/Comments

St. X_LOGO2

#5 ST. XAVIER BOMBERS (6-5)

2016 Schedule/Results:

L – St John Bosco (CA) (7-2), 0-34
L – Colerain (11-0), 14-20 ot
W – Mentor (6-4), 20-7
W – Cathedral (IN) (6-4), 34-29
W – Archbishop Moeller (4-6), 21-14
W – Elder (6-5), 31-7
L – La Salle (9-2), 14-17
L – Warren Central (IN) (9-1), 18-19
L – St Ignatius (10-1), 14-31
W – St Xavier (Louisville) (KY) (7-3), 48-3
W – Fairfield (7-4), 35-14 *

*- Playoff Game

Offense:
247 Total YPG (Last in the GCL-South)
73 Rush YPG (Last in the GCL-South)
174 Pass YPG (3rd in the GCL-South)
19.4 Pts/game (Last in the GCL-South)

Offensive Players to Watch:
QB – #2 Chase Wolf (Jr.) 6’1” 183 lbs: 142/234 for 1,230 yds, 15 TD/6 int
RB – #4 Quinn Earley (Sr.) 6’0” 190 lbs: 381 yards rushing, 3.6 AVG yards per carry, 4 TD
WR – #81 Nicholas Moeller (Sr.) 6’2” 165 lbs: 28 rec 283 yds, 2 TD
WR – #8 Cameron Specht (Jr.) 5’6” 141 lbs: 46 rec 419 yards, 1 TD
WR/DB – #12 Andrew Wittrock (Jr.) 5’11” 167 lbs: 39 rec 413 yards, 6 TD

Defense:
318 Total YPG allowed (3rd in the GCL-South)
115 Rush YPG allowed (1st in the GCL-South)
203 Pass YPG allowed (3rd in the GCL-South)
5.8 Pts/game (1st in the GCL-South)

Defensive Players to Watch:
LB – #50 Brady Stoll (Sr.) 6’0” 215 lbs: 64 Tackles, 6.5 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR
DB – #19 Pete Rumpke (Sr.) 6’2” 174 lbs: 57 Tackles, 2 FF, 1 INT

DB – #31 Carl Grimm (Sr.) 6’0” 175 lbs: 76 Tackles, 2 FR
DB – #9 Jacop Buerkle (Sr.) 5’11” 220 lbs: 54 Tackles, 1 FF, 1 INT
LB – #34 Blake Bacevich (Jr.) 6’4″ 215 lbs:  40 Tackles, 4.0 Sacks, 4 FR

 

Color_Cardinal_head
#1 COLERAIN CARDINALS (11-0) – 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
W – Springboro (7-4), 35-14 *

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)
59 Rush YPG allowed (1st in the GMC)
134 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: DO WHAT YOU DO – Stop me if you’ve heard this before:  The St. Xavier Bombers have a top tier defense, and are especially tough against the run.  Really?  Shocking!!  The Bombers are once again 1st in the GCL, only 115 YPG on the ground.  This, however, cannot deter the Cardinals from running the football.  In order to open up passing lanes (and they will have to pass to win this game), they must run the football successfully.  They don’t need 300 yards on the ground, but they do need a commitment to give their Sr. FB Monalo Caldwell a minimum of 25 carries.  Many of those may go for only a yard or two, but that doesn’t matter.  Force St. Xavier to commit to stopping the FB dive and the edges will be there later in the game.

DEFENSE: NOTHING DEEP! – This is not your typical St. Xavier offense.  With Penn State-bound QB Sr. Sean Clifford banged up (hasn’t played in 3 weeks), the Bombers have turned to gunslinger Jr. QB Chase Wolf, and he hasn’t let them down.  In the past 4 games, he has averaged over 211 yards per game and has thrown 11 TD.  He is a true pocket-passer at 6’1″ 183 lbs. He does have his limitations.  In addition to the 11 TD’s over the past 4 weeks, he has also been intercepted 4 times and lost a fumble.  He doesn’t move particularly well in the pocket so the defense can pin their ears back and go after him.  The speed of defense will be key to keep all the plays in front of them.  Do that, and they should be successful in slowing down the lowest scoring offense in the GCL.

Bottom-Line
TURNOVERS!  TURNOVERS!  TURNOVERS!!  Cannot stress this enough.  The game earlier in the year was a lot closer than it needed to be because the Cards turned the ball over and gave St. X short fields in which to score.  This cannot happen on Friday.  Securing the football on runs and in the air will be critical to their game plan.  The facts speak for themselves:  In St. X’s 6 wins on the year, they average +3 PER GAME in the turnover department.  In their 5 losses, they have a -3 turnover differential.  If Colerain can hold on to the ball and even go so far as to cause a few turnovers, they have a very, very good chance to win this game.

We Are…COLERAIN!!!

 

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