The buzz around town was about whether or not the Reds could bounce back in the NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies. However, it was business as usual on a Friday night of high school football at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township as Colerain hosted Hamilton in a Greater Miami Conference matchup.
On Colerain's first drive, senior quarterback Tyler Williams broke the Cardinals all-time career rushing record of 3,140 yards set by Ronnie Alexander who played for Colerain from 1993-95. However, that drive ended with no points as kicker Tommy Budke missed a 25-yard field goal attempt.
Hamilton answered with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a two yard touchdown run by quarterback Brian Cleckley. The extra point by Jordan Weislogel gave the Big Blue a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Budke redeemed himself by making a 38-yard field goal that cut the Hamilton lead to 7-3 with 9:30 to play before intermission.
--Postgame Interview: Tom Bolden, Colerain
--Postgame Interview: Tyler Williams, Colerain
With 5:48 left before halftime, Colerain punter Joe Bolden pinned Hamilton on its own nine yard line with an excellent punt. With Hamilton driving, running back Chris Tarrant sprinted 50 yards all the way to the Colerain 1-yard line. The Cardinals' defense stiffened by throwing Cleckley for a four yards loss, but on the next play, Tarrant went around the left end and made it into the end zone. The scoring play capped off a 91-yard drive. The Big Blue touchdown made the score 14-3 at the half.
Colerain took the opening kickoff in the second half and marched 79 yards in just over five minutes. Williams scored on a 1-yard run to cut the Hamilton lead to 14-10.
The Cardinals' defense tightened up in the second half, forcing Hamilton to a pair of consecutive three-and-out possessions.
Colerain's offense went on another extended drive going 57 yards in five-and-a-half minutes of game time as running back Trayion Durham ended the 12-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to take the lead 17-14.
Hamilton got the ball back with 8:29 to play in the game and went on a potential game winning drive. Senior running back Devin Jarrett, who leads the GMC in rushing, carried the ball ten times in the 17-play drive for 50 yards. The drive stalled on the Colerain nine yard line but Weislogel missed a 26-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds to secure the win for Colerain 17-14.
Williams rushed for 158 yards on 32 carries for the Cardinals while Hamilton's Jarrett also rushed for the century mark (111). The Big Blue actually outgained Colerain in total offense 261-256.
Colerain (8-0, 5-0) heads to Princeton to for a special Thursday night game that will be televised on Fox Sports Ohio. Hamilton (4-3, 2-2) travels to the east side of town on Friday for a road game versus Sycamore.
Written by: Brady Laber, TriStateFootball.com