Colerain wins rematch with St. Xavier 21-14

Mason, OH – The Colerain Cardinals advanced past the St. Xavier Bombers 21-14 Friday night to win the Ohio Division I, Region 4 championship on Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium.

The stat sheet makes it seem that Colerain dominated this game, and in a sense it did, but it took a clock killing drive in final four minutes to secure the win.

The Cardinals had the ball for nearly 31 minutes while St. Xavier had it for just over 17 minutes and Colerain out gained the Bombers 431 yards to just 183.

“48 minutes, we finished that was the big thing we carried over from the first time we played them,” said head coach Tom Bolden.

In week two this year and in the Region final last year St. Xavier beat the Cardinals in overtime but the Bombers would not be given a chance to take this game past regulation.

Junior running back/linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. finished the game with 23 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown and had several key runs in the final drive to kill the clock.

“It’s just beast mode with my teammates and going through the hole,” said Pace Jr.

Pace Jr. also led Colerain with eight tackles including six solo tackles.

The Cardinals forced St. Xavier to be a one dimensional offense as they allowed the Bombers just 15 yards on 17 carries, controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

“We’re not the biggest up front but they’re tough as nails and it’d be hard to find four better than our linebackers,” said Bolden.

Colerain also allowed just nine total first downs to St. Xavier and of it’s 168 passing yards, 105 came on three plays.

On the other 36 of their 39 offensive plays the Bombers totaled 78 yards.

The Cardinals meanwhile were able to pick up large chunks on several plays with junior running back JJ Davis leading the big play barrage putting up 218 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.

Along with Pace Jr. and Davis, senior quarterback Gunnar Leyendecker rounds out the triple option and Friday he had 52 yards on 11 carries plus 46 passing yards with seven completions on ten attempts and a huge fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter as Colerain was running out the clock.

Since starting 0-2 the Cardinals have won 11 straight games and it’s in part due to the leadership of Leyendecker and the way this team has bonded.

“We’ve been clicking on all cylinders lately and we have the family part down, studying preparing, and practicing great, we want to finish state champions,” said Leyendecker.

Colerain 7-7-7-0-21
St. Xavier 0-6-8-0-14

C: Pace Jr 1 run (Mangold kick)
C: Davis 91 run (Mangold kick)
X: Kreimer 6 pass from Wolf (kick failed)
X: Wittrock 6 pass from Wolf (Jefferson 2 pt pass from Wolf)
C: Jones 1 run (Mangold kick)

RECORDS: Colerain (11-2); St. Xavier (11-2)
UP NEXT: Colerain vs Pickerington Central (12-1)

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