Boys Varsity Football, Varsity Football · Football Playoffs Week 2 Preview – Colerain Cardinals (5-2) vs. Mason Comets (5-2)

Chris Himonidis


What:             PLAYOFFS – Week 2 – Varsity Football Preview
Who:              #5 Colerain Cardinals (5-2) @ #4 Mason Comets (5-2)
Where:          Dwire Field @ Atrium Stadium, Mason Middle School, 6370 Mason-Montgomery Rd., Mason OH 45040
When:            Friday October 16, 2020 @ 7 PM
Media:          VIDEO:  TV – LIVE coverage on Spectrum News1 | Web – OHSAA Network (per game fee)
AUDIO ONLY:  Pregame @ 6:45PM – YouTube Channel (Click Here)



Team Schedule/Results and Key Players to Watch

Mason Comets (5-2, 4-2 T-3rd Place in the GMC)

2020 Schedule/Results:
W, 24-12:  8/28 vs. Fairfield (1-6)
W, 28-21:  9/4 @ Lakota East (4-3)
W, 27-12:  9/11 vs. Oak Hills (0-6)
W, 21-13:  9/18 vs. Sycamore (1-6)
L, 7-12:  9/25 @ Hamilton (3-4)
L, 0-21:  10/2 @ Lakota West (6-0)

Playoffs (#4 Seed):
W, 34-16:  10/9 vs. #13 Lebanon (2-5)
10/16 H #5 Colerain (5-2)


Total Offense:  276.7 YPG (9th in GMC)
Rushing Offense:  191.0 YPG (6th in GMC)
Passing Offense:  85.7 YPG (8th GMC)
Points per game:  17.8 PPG (7th in GMC)

Offensive Players to watch:
QB – #7 Michael Molnar (Jr.) 6’4” 195 lbs:  54-82 for 449 yds PASS, 3 TD, 2 INT; 80-355 yds RUSH, 7 TD, 1 Fumble
RB – #22 Nolan McCormick (Sr.) 5’11” 199 lbs:  133-660 yds RUSH, 5.0 AVG, 7 TD, 1 Fumble; 5-37 yds REC
WR – #6 Michael Roux (Sr.) 5’9″ 170 lbs:  13-130 yds REC, 2 TD
WR – #11 Eli Jordan (Sr.) 6’0″ 193 lbs:  15-95 yds REC


Total Defense:  235.3 YPG (3rd in GMC)
Rushing Defense:  166.8 YPG (4th in GMC)
Passing Defense:  68.5 YPG (2nd in GMC)
Points allowed per game:  15.2 PPG (3rd in GMC)

Defensive Players to watch:
DE – #13 Jaxon Orlando (Sr.) 6’0″ 213 lbs:  32 Tackles, 3 Sacks
LB – #31 Kaden Evans (Jr.) 6’0″ 212 lbs:  31 Tackles, 1 FR
LB – #8 Cameron Ashurst (Sr.) 6’2″ 199 lbs:  38 Tackles, 2 FF
DB – #12 Ryan Caplinger (Sr.) 5’10” 160 lbs:  33 Tackles, 1 FF, 1 FR, 2 INT
DB – #17 Brady Comello (Sr.) 5’10” 174 lbs:  10 Tackles, 3 INT


COLERAIN CARDINALS (5-2, 4-2 T-3rd Place in the GMC)

2020 Schedule/Results:

L, 0-10:  8/28 vs. Lakota West (6-0)
W, 30-0:  9/4 @ Oak Hills (0-6)
L, 37-41:  9/11 vs. Princeton (6-1)
W, 42-6:  9/18 vs. Middletown (1-5)
W, 21-7:  9/25 @ Sycamore (1-6)
W, 14-13:  10/2 vs Hamilton (3-4)

Playoffs (#5 Seed):
W, 38-7:  10/9 vs. #12 Milford (2-4)
10/16 @ #4 Mason (5-2)


Total Offense:  348.8 YPG (5th in GMC)
Rushing Offense:  263.3 YPG (3rd in GMC)
Passing Offense:  85.5 YPG (9th in GMC)
Points per game:  24.0 PPG (4th in GMC)

Offensive Players to watch:
QB – #15 Tyler Prather (Sr.) 6’3” 185 lbs:  28-58 for 432 yds PASS, 1 TD, 1 INT; 47-233 yds RUSH, 6 TD, 1 Fumble
QB/RB – #1 Freddie Johnson (Sr.) 5’11” 175 lbs:  67-377 yds RUSH, 3 TD; 12-172 yds REC, 2 Fumble
RB – #28 Amere Shannon (Jr.) 6’0″ 170 lbs:  21-146 yds RUSH 1 TD; 4-37 yds REC 1 TD, 2 Fumbles
FB – #9 M.J. Flowers (Jr.) 6’1” 185 lbs:  123-708 yds RUSH, 11 TD, 1 Fumble
WR – #2 Isaiah Myers (Jr.) 6’4” 175 lbs:  11-279 yds REC


Total Defense:  194.0 YPG (2nd in GMC)
Rushing Defense:  63.8 YPG (1st in GMC)
Passing Defense:  130.2 YPG (9th in GMC)
Points allowed per game:  12.8 PPG (2nd in GMC)

Defensive Players to watch:
DL – #58 Dontay Corleone (Sr.) 6’2” 340 lbs:  31 Tackles, 7 Sacks, 1 FF   3*** UC Commit
LB – #20 Lavert Jarmon (Jr.) 5’10” 175 lbs:  40 Tackles, 3 Sacks
LB – #5 Mike Bess Jr. (Sr.) 6’1” 245 lbs:  25 Tackles, 1 Sack
DB – #10 Sean Williamson (Sr.) 6’ 165 lbs:  33 Tackles, 0.5 Sacks, 2 Interceptions
DB – #4 Brandon Sinclair (Sr.) 6’2″ 185 lbs:  26 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 Interception



Keys to Victory for Colerain

    • OFFENSE:  In this space last week, I said that the Cards should lean heavy on Jr. MJ FLOWERS and possibly work on the passing game a bit with big Jr. ISAIAH MYERS.  One for two isn’t bad!  The Cardinals absolutely leaned on FLOWERS as he rushed for 132 yards and 4 TD’s.  It was MJ’s 3rd consecutive game of 100+ yards.   The big surprise was the fact that SR QB TYLER PRATHER didn’t play at all due to injury.  He hurt himself late against Hamilton and as a result, handed the ball over to 2019 starter SR QB FREDDIE JOHNSON for the first time this year.  The offense was slow to get started but got rolling and racked up 250 yards of offense and scored 30+ points for the 4th time this season.Versus Mason, the Cardinals will see a better run-defense than what they saw vs. Milford.  The Comets are Top 4 in the GMC in yards allowed and points per game.  They are a tough unit to score on and they take advantage of mistakes.  Colerain avoided the turnover bug last week, which was huge, and only suffered 30 yards in total penalties.  They will need that again to beat Mason.  This is going to be a “grind it out” type game.  Expect the Cardinals scoring to drop a bit this week as they try to find any way they can to score.  Coaching adjustments are going to be big in this game as Offensive Coordinator Tyler Williams will have to mix things up to keep the Comets defense on their heels throughout the night.


    • DEFENSE/ST:  Another lights out performance for the defense against Milford.  Outside of one big play early in the 4th quarter that went for a 49 yard TD catch, the defense held Milford to 127 TOTAL yards on 48 other plays, or a mere 2.6 yards/play.  That’s getting it done.  The Mason offense is ranked 2nd last in the GMC.  They are nowhere near as dynamic as some other teams the Cards have played.  What they are, however, are grinders.  The bulk of the offense is going to come through the dynamic duo of JR QB MICHAEL MOLNAR and SR RB NOLAN MCCORMICK.  These two account for 60% of the teams total points on the season.  They are the top two rushers on the team, by far, and will be expected to carry the load again on Friday against Colerain.  What the defense really needs to on the lookout for are QB draws and broken plays.  Molnar is deceptively fast and once he gets in the open, can cause some real damage in the secondary.  He does have a 62-yard run on the year so he can motor.  Turnovers could be hard to come by as Mason averages about the same yardage in the air as the Cardinals do…and that’s not much.


    • Bottom-Line:  Last week, the Cardinals won their opening round game of the playoffs to improve their all-time first round record to 23-0…a state record across all divisions.  This week, Colerain battles Mason for the second in the playoffs and fourteenth time overall.  Mason is 0-13 against Colerain in their history.  These two teams met last year and the Cards escaped with a 33-28 victory.  This is a contest between two teams that rely on the run offensively and defensively, slow teams down to make it very difficult to score.  One could argue these teams are very similar to each other.  In the past, these were games that Colerain would walk into and impose their will on their opponent and be up 10 points before the ball was kicked off.  This year is different.  Colerain is NOT the Champion of the conference and they are not favored to even win this game, if you go by the seedings.  Those of us that know better, however, realize that Colerain football doesn’t back down to anyone, anywhere.  Mason has dominated the GMC All Sports trophy competition, winning it every year since they entered the league back in 2007.  However, they have never beaten the 900 lb. gorilla that is Colerain football.  Does Colerain fall to a GMC team for third time this season or do they continue their playoff run one more week?  The Cards will have their hands full, on the road in Mason, but if they play mistake-free football by eliminating turnovers and keeping penalties to a minimum (<30 yards), they should advance to the Regional Semi-finals next week.
  • #BeatMason