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Multiple Teams · Playoff Football Preview: AP #10 Colerain Cardinals vs. AP #8 Pickerington Central Tigers


(Graphic Courtesy of OhioHSHelmets.webs.com)
Chris Himonidis
WeAreColerain.com

HappyThanksgiving

What:       2017 OHSAA Playoffs – State Semi Finals
Who:        AP #10 Colerain Cardinals (11-2) vs. AP #8 Pickerington Central Tigers (12-1)
Where:     Evans Stadium, 1700 Clifton Ave., Springfield OH
When:      Friday November 24, 2017 @ 7:30 PM
Internet:  LIVE AUDIO – WeAreColerain.com, Pregame @ 7:15 PM
LIVE VIDEO – Spectrum Sports (Ch. 314 in SW OH, 311 in Central OH)
Twitter:         @WeAreColerain
Snapchat:     WeAreColerain.com
Facebook:    WeAreColerain

 

Key Team and Player Stats/Comments

 

PICKERINGTON CENTRAL TIGERS (12-1, 1st in OCC-Ohio)

2017 Schedule/Results:

Aug 24 W 24-21 N Detroit Cass Tech MI (7-2 D1)
Sep 01 W 25-20 vs. Indianapolis Cathedral IN (5-5 D2)
Sep 08 L 19-28 vs. Trotwood-Madison (13-0 D3 R12)
Sep 15 W 33-7 @ Groveport Madison (0-10 D1 R3)
Sep 22 W 41-7 vs. Upper Arlington (5-5 D1 R2)
Sep 29 W 45-8 @ Gahanna Lincoln (7-5 D1 R2)
Oct 06 W 14-13 vs. Lancaster (4-6 D1 R3)
Oct 13 W 24-21 @ Pickerington North (10-3 D1 R3)
Oct 20 W 41-7 vs. Reynoldsburg (7-3 D1 R3)
Oct 27 W 48-14 @ Grove City (1-9 D1 R3)

Region 3 playoffs

Nov 03 W 41-21 vs. Clayton Northmont (8-3 D1 R3)
Nov 10 W 42-31 N Hilliard Bradley (11-1 D1 R3)
Nov 17 W 31-14 N Pickerington North (10-3 D1 R3)

Division I state tournament

Nov 24 N Cincinnati Colerain (11-2 D1 R4)

 

Offense (Total Season-13 games):
n/a Total YPG
n/a Rush YPG
n/a Pass YPG
32.9 Pts/game

Defense:
245.8 Total YPG allowed
111.0 Rush YPG allowed
134.8 Pass YPG allowed
15.8 Pts/game

 

Players to watch:
QB/RB – #10 Demeatric Crenshaw (So.) 6’2” 200 lbs
WR/DB – #3 Xavier Henderson (Sr.) 6’2” 195 lbs:  4-star DB, Committed to Michigan State
RB/DB – #7 Jeremiah Wood (Sr.) 6’1” 205 lbs:  3-star DB, 12 D1 offers – UC, Iowa St., UK
LB/TE – #8 Trenton Gillison (Sr.) 6’3” 250 lbs:  4-star TE, Committed to Michigan State
LB/TE – #11 Alex Morgan (Sr.) 6’5” 250 lbs:  2-star TE, Committed to Toledo
DL – #24 DeWayne Carter (Jr.) 6’4” 275 lbs:  3-star DL, 15 D1 offers – ND, UC, UK, UL, IU
LB/RB – #9 Grey Brancifort (Sr.) 6’0” 220 lbs
WR/P – #4 Tristan Peppers (Sr.) 5’9” 170 lbs
WR/DB – #6 Terry Simuel (Jr.) 5’9” 160 lbs
LB/WR – #14 Isaiah O’Connor (Jr.) 6’0” 215 lbs

 

COLERAIN CARDINALS (11-2, GMC Champions)

2017 Schedule/Results:

Aug 25 L 3-7 @ La Salle (8-2 D2 R8)
Sep 01 L 17-20 vs. St Xavier (9-1 D1 R4)
Sep 08 W 38-7 @ Middletown (1-9 D1 R4)
Sep 15 W 42-0 vs. Sycamore (8-2 D1 R4)
Sep 22 W 41-7 @ Hamilton (3-7 D1 R4)
Sep 29 W 36-10 vs. Mason (8-2 D1 R4)
Oct 06 W  38-13 vs. Lakota East (6-4 D1 R4)
Oct 13 W 38-12 @ Fairfield (6-4 D1 R4)
Oct 20 W 52-24 vs. Lakota West (2-8 D1 R4)
Oct 27 W 37-6 @ Oak Hills (0-10 D1 R4)

Region 4 playoffs
Nov 03 W 45-0 vs. #7 Archbishop Moeller (4-7 D1 R4)
Nov 10 W 49-21 vs. #3 Mason (9-3 D1 R4)
Nov 17 W 21-14 vs. #1 St. Xavier (11-2 D1 R4)

Division I state tournament

Nov 24 N Pickerington Central (12-1 D1 R3)

 

Offense (Regular Season Stats):
320.8 Total YPG (2nd in GMC)
241.9 Rush YPG (2nd in GMC)
78.9 Pass YPG (8th in GMC)
34.2 Pts/game (1st in GMC)

Offensive Players to watch:
QB – #12 Gunnar Leyendecker (Sr.) 5’11” 185 lbs:   101 RUSH / 490 yds, 4.7 AVG; 46/82-747 yds, 15 Tot TD/2 INT
FB – #5 Ivan Pace Jr. (Jr.) 5’11” 210 lbs:  69 RUSH for 566 yds, 8.2 AVG, 11 TD
RB – #23 JJ Davis (Jr.) 5’8” 171 lbs:  39 RUSH for 486 yds, 12.5 AVG, 4 TD; 11 REC / 210 yds, 3 TD
FB – #6 Deante Smith-Moore (Jr.) 5’11” 172 lbs:  105 RUSH / 497 yds, 4.7 AVG, 4 TD; 6 REC / 67 yds, 1 TD
RB/WR – #1 Syncere Jones (Jr.) 5’11” 180 lbs:  46 RUSH for 286 yds, 6.2 AVG, 2 TD; 16 REC / 210 yds, 3 TD
WR/DB – #2 Ja’Von Hicks (Sr.) 6’2” 185 lbs:  11 REC for 159 yds, 3 TD; 30 Tackles, 4 INT w/2 TD

Defense (Regular Season Stats):
208.8 Total YPG allowed (3rd in GMC)
118.2 Rush YPG allowed (2nd in GMC)
90.6 Pass YPG allowed (3rd in GMC)
10.6 Pts/game (2nd in GMC)

Defensive Players to watch:
LB – #4 Daniel Bolden (Sr.) 6’2” 236 lbs:  83 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, 4 FF, 1 FR, 2 INT
LB – #7 Luke Bolden (Jr.) 6’2” 204 lbs:  69 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, 2 FF
DL – #11 Ethan Stout (Sr.) 5’11″ 200 lbs:  47 Tackles
DB – #8 Jakari Patterson (Jr.) 6’1” 183 lbs:  38 Tackles, 2 FF, 1 FR, 2 INT, both returned for a TD
DB – #36 Deshawn Pace (So.) 6’0” 166 lbs:  38 Tackles, 1 FR, 3 INT, 1 TD

Keys to Victory for Colerain

  • OFFENSE: Only 21 points last week? Is the offense slowing down?  HARDLY!  Last week the Cardinals racked up 413 total yards of offense (374 on the ground) against a St. Xavier defense that had only allowed 223 YPG (117 YPG rushing) to date.  The inside/outside attack of Ivan Pace Jr (’19) and JJ Davis (‘19) combined for 305 yds and 2 TD.  QB Gunnar Leyendecker (’18) pitched in 53 yards of his own to help bring home the victory over the Bombers.  Most importantly, however, NO TURNOVERS!  We said in this space last week that would be key and for the first time this post season, the Cards did NOT turn the ball over.  This week’s opponent will bring a faster, more athletic defense to the field than St. Xavier did.  However, they haven’t faced a rushing attack like Colerain all year.  Pace carried the ball 23 times last week against St. X, many of those coming in the 4th quarter to put the game on ice.  Expect the same workload this week for the FB as running sideline-to-sideline against this team will prove to be a greater challenge.  The recipe for success this week is move fast…no turnovers…and the yards and points should pile up.
  • DEFENSE: Well, we said the defense was going to have to play a great game to beat St. Xavier, and that THEY DID! Limiting the Bombers to 175 total yards of offense is unbelievable.  More impressive is the only 7 yards they gained on the ground…7!  They will see a much different attack this week as the emphasis shifts to the front 7 vs. the secondary.  Phenom Sophomore QB Demeatric Crenshaw, already with offers from Cincinnati and UK, is a multi-talented threat.  No doubt, his bread and butter is running the football but he also has thrown for over 1,000 yards and 12+ TD’s (exact stats not available).  He matches those stats on the ground with over 1,000 yards rushing and 13+ TD’s.  The defense will see a myriad of backs out of the backfield as the team will be without their leading rusher #5 Jamir Jackson due to undisclosed reasons.  Look for Freshman TB Lorenzo Styles Jr. to get increased carries this week as well as Senior Jeremiah Wood who at 6’1” 205 lbs, will be a load to bring down.

Bottom-Line

This is the second time in three years the Cardinals have been to the State Semi-finals.  Overall, Colerain is 1-3 in this game, winning only in the year 2004.  Losses to Upper Arlington (2000), Hilliard Davidson (2006) and Wayne (2015) sit in the record books.  Colerain has a chance to exorcise some of those demons this Friday with a win over a Pickerington Central program they have beaten twice before.  Once in the 2012 season-opener 28-15 as part of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown and then again in round 2 of the 2013 playoffs, 38-20.  THIS Tiger team is bigger and better than both of those teams.  They have multiple high-D1 recruits and they have been here before, as recently as last year when they lost to St. Xavier by 2 points.  Make no mistake, this Tiger team is poised and ready to take the next step in their journey to a State Title.  The Cardinals must play turnover free football and clean-up the penalties from last week to win this game.  Speed and athleticism will be matched man-to-man in this game.  Those longs runs from JJ and Syncere will most likely not materialize against a team like Central. The game will be won by the doing what they’ve done every week:  Trust the coaching staff, trust your seniors and trust each other.  A trip to Canton is within reach…run fast, hit hard.  GO CARDINALS!!!

 

We Are…COLERAIN!!!