Colerain wins 20th straight GMC title in overtime

FAIRFIELD, Ohio – The game was billed as the “Battle for the Title” and it was too good to end in just 48 minutes. The Colerain Cardinals only needed an extra period to win its 20th consecutive GMC title. The Cardinals escaped Fairfield Alumni Stadium with a 16-10 overtime win over the previously undefeated Fairfield Indians in front of a standing room only crowd.

The Colerain defense made numerous stops against Fairfield in the red zone including one at the one-yard line with the scored tied 10-10 midway through the third quarter.

The Cardinals got an interception in the end zone by Sean Williamson with 2:21 left in the fourth quarter to again keep Fairfield from retaking the lead it held for a large portion of the game.

Colerain grinded out the clock and went for a 37-yard field goal with just one second left to go in the regulation. Cameron Ott, who had already kicked a 32-yarder earlier game, pulled the kick wide left forcing overtime.

Fairfield won the coin toss and elected to play defense first giving Colerain the ball on the 20-yard line.

Deshawn Pace settled into the wildcat formation and took six direct snaps until he finally scored from the one-yard line. The extra point kick attempt was blocked by Fairfield’s Phoenix Porter further improving the Indians chances on its turn despite trialing 16-10.

The Colerain defense tightened up the screws yet again but Fairfield still had its chances. 

The Cardinals were called for a pass interference penalty in the end zone giving Fairfield a first-and-goal at the nine. A facemark penalty on the next play put the ball inside the five-yard line giving the Indians another first-and-goal opportunity.

Fairfield could not take advantage thanks to the stingy Colerain defense. Tight coverage by the Cardinals secondary forced an incomplete pass ending Fairfield dreams of its first GMC title since 1999.

Colerain extended its GMC regular season winning streak to 83 games by winning its sixth consecutive outright championship.

Fairfield’s offense controlled much of the early going until it got into the red zone.

The Indians received the opening kickoff, grinding out a 13-play drive that chewed up nearly eight minutes off the clock. The Colerain defense held tough forcing a turnover when Pace intercepted Fairfield quarterback Sawiatha Ellis just in front of the end zone.

The Cardinals held onto the ball themselves capping off a 15-play drive with a 32-yard field by Ott. This gave Colerain the lead 3-0 at the 9:32 mark of the second quarter.

Fairfield only had two offensive possessions in the first half but they were long and sustained drives. The Indians were able to march down the field relatively easy until they got close to the goal line. It took three chances inside the four-yard line but finally broke the plane of the goal line when Ellis sneaked in on a one-yard surge that gave the Fairfield a 7-3 lead.

That was the score at halftime and Fairfield added three more points halfway through the third quarter on a 30-yard field by Nick Maddy.

Colerain was able to tie the score 10-10 in the closing seconds of the third quarter on a quarterback sneak of their own by Freddie Johnson.

Fairfield out gained Colerain in total yards 218-211 but the Cardinals came up with 201 of its yards in the rushing game.

Along with the stout Colerain defense its was mistakes that ultimately was the undoing of the Indians. Fairfield turned the ball over three times and committed eight penalties that cost them 65 yards.

Fairfield running back and University of Kentucky commit JuTahn McClain was held in check with just 63 yards on 15 carries.

Both teams are expected to earn the right to host a first round playoff game but that won’t be announced until later on this weekend.


Colerain 0-3-7-0-6 – 16

Fairfield 0-7-3-0-0 – 10


C – Cameron Ott 32-yard field goal

F – Sawiatha Ellis 1-yard TD run (Nick Maddy kick)

F – Nick Maddy 30-yard field goal

C – Freddie Johnson 1-yard TD run (Cameron Ott kick)

C – Deshawn Pace 1-yard TD run (kick blocked)

RECORDS: Colerain (9-1, 8-0); Fairfield (9-1, 7-1)

UP NEXT: 1st round of the Division-I, Region 4 playoffs

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