Boys Varsity Football, Varsity Football · Football Week 8 Preview: Mason Comets (3-4)

Chris Himonidis

Graphic courtesy


What:             Week 8 Varsity Football Preview – Youth Football Night
Who:              Colerain Cardinals (6-1) vs. Mason Comets (3-4)
Where:          UC Health Field at Cardinal Stadium – THE CAGE, Colerain High School
When:            Friday October 18, 2019 @ 7:00 PM
Coverage:    Live VIDEO Broadcast starts at 6:45 PM via CLICK HERE


Team Schedule/Results and Key Players to Watch

Mason Comets (3-4, 3-2 in GMC – Division 1, Region 4)
Current Harbin Ranking – 10th

2019 Schedule/Results:
L, 7-34:  Aug 30 vs. Springboro (6-1 D1 R2)
L, 0-31:  Sep 06 vs. La Salle (6-1 D2 R8)
L, 14-20:  Sep 13 vs. Lakota East (4-3 D1 R4)
W, 35-7:  Sep 20 @ Oak Hills (0-7 D1 R4)
W, 21-14:  Sep 27 @ Sycamore (4-3 D1 R4)
W, 35-21:  Oct 04 vs. Hamilton (3-4 D1 R4)
L, 6-14:  Oct 11 vs. Lakota West (5-2 D1 R4)
Oct 18 @ Colerain (6-1 D1 R4)
Oct 25 vs. Middletown (1-6 D1 R4)
Nov 01 @ Princeton (4-3 D1 R4)


Total Offense:  242.1 YPG (8th in GMC)
Rushing Offense:  92.6 YPG (10th in GMC)
Passing Offense:  149.6 YPG (1st in GMC)
Points per game:  16.9 PPG (8th in GMC)

Offensive Players to watch:
QB/P – #10 Collin Brown (Sr.) 6’4” 210 lbs:  88-129 for 1,007 PASS, 10 TD, 6 INT
RB – #21 Nolan McCormick (Jr.) 5’10” 195 lbs:  72-345 RUSH, 2 TD; 8-43 REC, 1 Fumble
WR – #18 Alec Dardis (Sr.) 5’9” 175 lbs:  27-311 RUSH, 4 TD
WR – #16 Brett Wexelblatt (Jr.) 6’4” 181 lbs:  24-306 REC, 2 TD
WR – #7 Jack Cooper (Sr.) 6’6” 185 lbs:  20-233 REC, 4 TD


Total Defense:  312.4 YPG (9th in GMC)
Rushing Defense:  203.7 YPG (8th in GMC)
Passing Defense:  108.7 YPG (6th in GMC)
Points per game:  20.1 PPG (7th in GMC)

Defensive Players to watch:
DL – #40 Nick Wadsworth (Jr.) 6’1″ 230 lbs:  19 Tackles, 2.0 Sacks
DL – #1 Barak Faulk (Sr.) 6’3” 240 lbs:  22 Tackles, 2 Fumble Recoveries
LB – #44 Jack Haglage (Sr.) 6’3″ 205 lbs:  50 Tackles, 1.0 Sack
LB/TE – #80 Nick Molinari (Jr.) 6’2” 205 lbs:  12 Tackles, 2.0 Sacks; 7-106 REC
LB – #27 Jordan Jones (Jr.) 6’0” 220 lbs:  41 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble


COLERAIN CARDINALS (6-1, 5-0 in GMC – Division 1, Region 4)
Current Harbin Ranking – 4th

2019 Schedule/Results:
* – denotes conference game

W, 28-19:  Aug 30 @ Wayne (2-5 D1 R2)
L, 14-21:  Sept 6 vs. St. Xavier (6-1 D1 R4)
W, 45-14:  Sept 13 vs. Oak Hills (0-7 D1 R4) *
W, 23-14:  Sept 20 @ Princeton (4-3 D1 R4) *
W, 41-14:  Sept 27 @ Middletown (1-6 D1 R4) *
W, 27-7:  Oct 4 vs. Sycamore (4-3 D1 R4) *
W, 17-3:  Oct 11 @ Hamilton (3-4 D1 R4) *
Oct 18 vs. Mason (3-4 D1 R4) *
Oct 25 vs. Lakota East (4-3 D1 R4) *
Nov 1 @ Fairfield (7-0 D1 R4) *


Total Offense:  334.1 YPG (2nd in GMC)
Rushing Offense:  274.6 YPG (2nd in GMC)
Passing Offense:  59.6 YPG (9th in GMC)
Points per game:  27.9 PPG (2nd in GMC)

Offensive Players to watch:
QB – #1 Freddie Johnson (Jr.) 5’11” 170 lbs:  18-40 for 325 yds PASS, 2 TD, 72-407 yds RUSH, 5 TD, 2 Fumbles
FB – #9 M.J. Flowers (So.) 6’1” 185 lbs:  90-475 RUSH, 5 TD, 2 Fumbles
RB/LB – #2 Jaylen Thomas (Sr.) 6’0” 190 lbs:  41-429 RUSH, 3 TD – 10-194 REC – 30 Tackles, 2.5 Sacks
RB – #14 Hamzah Abdul-Waheed (Sr.) 5’6” 175 lbs:  41-326 RUSH, 4 TD – 3-38 REC
OL – #60 Ace Ehrenschwender (Sr.) 6’0” 280 lbs:  3-yr starter on the OL, Team Captain


Total Defense:  215.7 YPG (3rd in GMC)
Rushing Defense:  85.9 YPG (2nd in GMC)
Passing Defense:  129.9 YPG (Last in GMC)
Points per game:  13.1 PPG (2nd in GMC)

Defensive Players to watch:

DL – #49 Donovan Owens (Sr.) 6’2” 230 lbs:  23 Tackles, 2 Sack
DL – #58 Dontay Corleone (Jr.) 6’1” 285 lbs:  22 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Fumble Recovery
LB – #8 Xander Kendall (Jr..) 5’11” 220 lbs:  35 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Interception
LB – #11 Elijah Ford (Sr.) 6’3” 215 lbs:  26 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 Fumble Recovery
DB – #3 Deshawn Pace (Sr.) 6’3” 210 lbs:  36 Tackles, 1 INT


Keys to Victory for Colerain

    • OFFENSE:  Last week the Cards scored a season low 17 points on the road at Hamilton.  While this may seem like an alarm to some, a closer look at the boxscore reveals there is a hidden story there.  The Big Blue played “keep away” all night long against Colerain by using the play clock on offense as a weapon limiting the number of opportunities Colerain had to score.  The Cards only touched the ball three times in the first half of play, scoring on two of them.  It was a strange night to say the least for the Colerain offense.  Only one passing attempt on the night (incomplete) but 42 rushing attempts yielding a 7.4 average for 309 total yards on the night.  Four different players rushed for at least 48 yards on the night as the Cardinals won convincingly, 17-3.  At this point in the season, the Cardinals are what they are offensively.  They want to control the clock and have minimal, if any, turnovers.  They have a stable of solid runners who can carry the load.  From a passing perspective, the Cardinals have shown they are very precise with their game-plan for when to throw.  Last week was 1 attempt, the week before against Sycamore was 11 attempts resulting in 142 yards.  The Comets are middle of the pack in the GMC in pass defense, allowing just over 100 yards/game.  Against the run, however, Mason is much more vulnerable.  Expect the Cardinals to game plan around running the ball another 40+ times to control the clock and limit possessions for the Comets.


    • DEFENSE:  The Colerain defense improved over their week six performance against Sycamore by only allowing Hamilton 174 total yards of offense and just a single FG in last week’s game.  It was the first game this season that the Colerain defense held an opponent out of the endzone entirely.  It is possible they do that again this week as the 8th ranked GMC offense comes The Cage.  Ironically, this will be the third week in a row that the Cardinals face the #1 ranked passing offense in the GMC.  This is possible because after facing both Sycamore and Hamilton while they were the #1 ranked passing offenses, the Cardinals clamped down on both of them and knocked them from that perch after each meeting.  The Cards will look to do that again this week against a Mason squad averaging almost 150 yards in the air.  Led by the huge 6’4″ Senior Collin Brown at QB and two receivers who stand 6’4″ and 6’6″ tall.  To say it is going to be a “tall” order for the Colerain secondary is an understatement.  Mason ranks dead last in the GMC in rushing the ball so they are going to throw it and throw it often.  This means the QB is going to need time in the pocket for the plays to develop in front of him.  This is where the dynamic duo of Donovan Owens and Dontay Corleone come into play.  Expect heavy pressure on the Comet signal caller and a few sacks on the night as they attempt to disrupt his timing which could also lead to a turnover or two on the night.


  • Bottom-Line:  The Mason Comets hold a very interesting distinction when in comes to their history against Colerain:  they are O-fer in their history.  Mason is 0-12 all-time against Colerain.  Despite the perceived under-whelming play of the offense so far this year, the defense is still one of the best in the city and will ultimately put enough pressure on the QB and Mason offense to force negative plays and maybe even a turnover.  Offensively, the Cardinals need to keep the ball on the ground and continue the work to refine their running game.  Finding the “big play” has been a struggle this year but a glimpse of Deshawn Pace in the Wildcat last week is an intriguing concept.  Ultimately, the Cardinals are going to prove to be too much for the Comets once again and they should bring home their 7th win of the season and their 81st GMC victory in a row.