Great write up by Enquirer Reporter Adam Baum.
It wasn’t perfect, but eventually Colerain snapped out of a lull in the second half when the Cardinals’ defense flexed its backbone on fourth down and a yard with 1:32 left. That moment helped Colerain escape with a 27-16 win over Indiana powerhouse Warren Central in a Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown game.
Colerain took a 20-0 lead into the fourth quarter and watched as Warren Central scored 16 unanswered points. With a 20-14 lead and roughly three minutes left, Colerain set up to punt from its own end and a bad snap gave the Warriors a safety.
“It’s a humbling experience. We came out with the W,” Colerain coach Tom Bolden said. “We were great at times tonight, then we were just okay at times, and we’ve got to be great always.”
On the ensuing drive, down 20-16, Warren Central ran a dive on fourth and one at Colerain’s 30-yard line, and Colerain stuffed it and got off the field. Three plays later, with 0:30 left, senior quarterback Deshaunte Jones went 77 yards for a touchdown to close out Warren Central.
“Never a dull moment,” said Bolden. “I think we made that Cardinal mistake, no play on words, but we went up the three scores, sitting there 20-0 and we let up a little bit, we got comfortable … I told the guys if we want to be great we can’t do that. Hats off to Warren Central, they’ve got some players — there’s no doubt about that. They’re big, they’re physical and they had a great game plan. It’s a great game to start.”
Bolden said during the fourth down he was with his offense on the bench discussing what they would do when they got the ball back.
“Actually, I wasn’t too bad, I wanted to make sure we were okay for the kids,” Bolden said. “That’s what I told the coaches; we’re adults we’ve gotta be able to handle this. The kids were spiraling a little bit and they’re looking at us, looking at their captains and the seniors. That’s why I took the offense over to the bench during their last drive, even on the fourth and one, we just stayed on the bench and I told them if we get the ball back this is what we’re gonna do.”
After a lackluster first quarter filled with penalties, broken tackles and missed opportunities in the turnover department, Colerain relaxed and found some confidence when junior cornerback Amir Riep intercepted Warren Central’s Zach Summeier in the end zone. Following the turnover, Jones did his best defibrillator impression and electrified the Cardinals’ offense with a 46-yard touchdown run to start the scoring.
The Warriors learned the hard way that when Jones breaks contain he’s nearly impossible to bottle up with his ability to stop, start and seamlessly change direction. This time, Jones escaped around the left side for a 33-yard touchdown run, giving Colerain a 13-0 lead after a missed extra point.
Jones finished with 183 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns. Monalo Caldwell added 123 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown.
Riep stifled another Warren Central drive with his second interception of the game — an overthrown pass he bobbled before securing with one hand.
Colerain had another chance before intermission to tack on more points, but the Cardinals fumbled on fourth down at Warren Central’s 5-yard line.
Both defenses came out of the locker room motivated. For the first 10 minutes of the second half neither offense could find much room, not until a poor Warren Central punt left Colerain with prime field position. Senior running back Zach Johnson set up Colerain’s third touchdown with a 28-yard gain and Monalo Caldwell finished it off with a touchdown dive from four yards out.
Warren Central finally cut into Colerain’s lead with a touchdown run from Jay Coe early in the fourth quarter. Sensing the game on the line, the Warriors’ defense tightened and gave its offense opportunities.
Warren Central 0 0 0 16 – 16
Colerain 0 13 7 7 – 27
C-D. Jones 46 run (Dinevski kick)
C-D. Jones 33 run (kick failed)
C-Caldwell 4 run (Dinevski kick)
W-Coe 5 run (Nehrig kick)
W-Coe 5 run (Nehrig kick)
C-D. Jones 77 run (Nehrig kick)
Records: C 1-0, W 0-1