Colerain looking to leap another hurdle

2017 Colerain captains-Kroeger (76), D. Bolden (4) & Hicks (2). (photo by Greg Shoemaker/

Colerain is clearing obstacles that have haunted them in playoffs past, this postseason. The Cardinals got by defending state champion St. Xavier last weekend and now they look to win the battle with Columbus’ finest, Pickerington High School Central. Two of Ohio’s top public school programs duking it out for the right to play for a state title. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Here is a look at this fantastic state semi-final affair.

Division I OHSAA State semi-finals

Friday, November 24th, 7:30 p.m., Evans Stadium, Springfield, OH.


beat Northmont, 41-21  Regional Quarter-finals
beat Hilliard Bradley, 42-31  Regional Semi-finals
beat Pickerington HS North, 31-14  Regional finals
beat Moeller, 42-0  Regional Quarter-finals
beat Mason 49-21  Regional Semi-finals
beat St. Xavier, 21-14  Regional finals

Pickerington HS Central: (18th appearance, 31-17) – 2017 (Regional Champions), 2016 (Regional Champions), 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 (State Runner-Up), 2010, 2009, 2008 (Regional Champions), 2007, 2006 (State Runner-Up), 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 (Regional Champions), 1992
Colerain: (20th appearance, 38-18) – 2017 (Regional Champions), 2016 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006 (Regional Champions), 2005, 2004 (State Champions), 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 (Regional Champions), 1998, 1995, 1994 (Regional Champions)

Jay Sharett
(159-29 at Pickerington HS Central, 15th season)
Tom Bolden (118-19 at Colerain, 11th season; 118-19 overall)

Colerain Head Coach Tom Bolden (photo by Mike Noyes/

This the 12th straight playoff appearance for Pickerington HS Central. The Tigers have also won 12 consecutive OCC titles. Pickerington HS Central is 5-1 in games decided by nine points or less. Their only loss of the year is to undefeated Division III, Trotwood-Madison. The Tigers have scored 40 points or more six times, all coming in the last nine weeks.
did not have an offensive player make first team all-district. Yet they have three runners averaging more than 100 yards rushing this postseason. The Cardinals defense has 18 interceptions for 527 return yards and six touchdown returns. They have also held 10 opponents to 14 points or fewer and six of those schools were playoff teams. This is the ninth straight season that Colerain has had a winning streak of eight games or more.

Xavier Henderson
, Sr, S – A two-time All-Central District defensive player of the year.  Henderson is a Michigan State commit.
Trent Gillison, Sr, TE – First Team All-Central District. The 6-foot-5, 235 pound Gillison is committed to Michigan State.
Jeremiah Wood, Sr, DB – First Team All-Central District. Has offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky, Miami (OH), Ohio, Rutgers, Toledo, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan.
Trey Madison, Sr, OL – First Team All-Central District. Madison comes in at 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds.
Grey Brancifort, Sr, LB – First Team All-Central District.
Alex Morgan, Sr, TE – Second Team All-Central District. The 6-foot-5, 245 pound Morgan is committed to Michigan State.
DeWayne Carter, Jr, DL/ATH – Second Team All-Central District. The 6-foot-3, 270 pound Carter has offers from Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Purdue, Rutgers, Tennessee and Toledo.
Demeatric Crenshaw, So, QB – One of Ohio’s elite players in the Class of 2020. Has an offer from Kentucky.

Ja’von Hicks, Sr, DB – First Team All-Southwest District. Has five interceptions with 270 return yards and two pick sixes. Hicks is committed to Cincinnati,
Dan Bolden, Sr, LB – First Team All-Southwest District. Has been in on 115 total tackles, recorded six sacks, forced four fumbles, recovered two fumbles picked off four passes and returned one for a touchdown. Bolden offers include Ball State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Florida Atlantic, Iowa State, Toledo and Washington State.
Chris Mangold, Jr, K – First Team All-Southwest District. Has 95 points (56/57 XPs, 13/15 FG) and nine games with seven or more points.
Rusty Feth, Jr, OL – Second Team All-Southwest District. Feth comes in at 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds.
Luke Bolden, Jr, LB – Second Team All-Southwest District. Has tallied 94 total tackles and three-and-a-half sacks.
Deshawn Pace, Jr, DB – Second Team All-Southwest District. Has four takeaways (three interceptions) and a pick six.
Gunnar Leyendecker, Sr, QB – Special Mention All-Southwest District. Averaging 116 yards rushing this postseason.
JJ Davis, Jr, RB – Has 308 yards rushing on 21 carried with five touchdowns in the Cardinals three playoff wins. Davis has amassed 1,441 all-purpose yards (794 rushing) on 95 touches with nine total touchdowns this season.
Ivan Pace, Jr., Jr, RB/LB – Has 374 of his 950 yards and six of his 17 touchdowns rushing in the last three tilts. Pace, Jr. takes care of business on defense with 20 total tackles and one-and-a-half sacks during that same span.

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