Playoffs: #7 Elder(5-5) vs. #10 Colerain(5-5) at THE PIT


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Colerain will travel to Price Hill tonight to play Elder in the 1st round of the playoffs. This is the 12th times these 2 schools have met in the playoffs. Previously meeting in 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2019

Both teams have struggled at times this season both finishing at 5-5, but there is a lot of talent on both sides of the ball for both teams. This should be another great one in this rivalry.


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The Division I, Region 4 playoffs start off with a bang as Colerain heads to Elder for the Blitz 5 Game of the Week. The last two times these two teams met was in the Regional Championship two years ago. Elder came out on top in 2019 on their way to a state runner-up finish. A year earlier Colerain bested the Panthers on its way to a state runner-up campaign. The winner of this affair will have some excellent mojo on its side moving forward.

Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
Elder Stadium, The Pit
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Colerain offense relies heavily on its rushing attack with senior running backs MJ Flowers, Amere Shannon and sophomore quarterback Zae Jennings. The trio has accounted for 90.3 percent of the team’s rushing yards (Flowers – 1,295, Jennings – 693; Shannon – 377) and 20 of their 22 touchdowns on the ground (Flowers – 15).

On defense, the Cardinals are giving up just 16.0 points per outing. What makes that special is the fact that Colerain has just seven takeaways and only 15.0 sacks all season. Senior Aaron Foster has a team high with four takeaways (three INTs, one FR). Classmate Lavert Jarmon leads the Cardinals with five sacks.

The focal point of Elder’s offense is senior Drew Ramsey. He has 95 receptions for 903 yards, 336 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns (12 rushing, two receiving). His 211 career catches are the most ever by a GCL player and in the top 20 all-time in Ohio history. Quarterback Ben Hambleton has thrown for 2,408 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Andrew Spinney (two FRs, two INTs) and Zack Gutekunst (three INTs, two FRs) have come up with nine of the Panthers’ 18 takeaways. Spinney also leads the squad with four sacks and 51 total tackles.

TEAM TRENDS: Something has to give. Colerain has never lost a first-round playoff game. Doug Ramsey is looking for his 200th win as head coach at Elder, and it is at “The Pit.”

Colerain’s five losses have come to teams that finished in the Top 7 of the final Blitz 5 Top 25 Rankings. The Cardinals averaged just 8.4 points per game in those defeats. The Cardinals have not beaten a team that has a record above .500 this season.

Elder has played a killer schedule. Their opponents are a combined 64-24 (.727 winning %). Seven of those teams (not including Beacon Hill, VA) lost three games or less. That has led to some intriguing numbers for the Panthers. In Elder’s five losses they are allowing 38.8 points per game (versus teams that are a combined 44-4, .913 winning %). In their five victories the Panthers are putting up 41.1 points per contest. Those teams are a combined 18-19 (.486 winning %).

Colerain: Shawn Cutright (22-10 at Colerain, third year; 22-10 overall, third year)

Elder: Doug Ramsey (199-93 at Elder, 26th year; 199-93 overall, 26th year)

Colerain (24th appearance, 46-24) – 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 (State Runner-up), 2017 (Regional Champion), 2016, 2015 (Regional Champion), 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006 (Regional Champion), 2005, 2004 (State Champion), 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 (state semifinalist), 1998, 1995 (2 wins forfeited), 1994 (Regional Champion), Cardinals have never lost a first round playoff game.

Elder (23rd appearance, 40-20 overall) – 2021, 2020, 2019 (State Runner-up), 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2009 (Regional Champion), 2008 (State Runner-up), 2007, 2004, 2003 (State Champion), 2002 (State Champion), 2001, 2000, 1999, 1996 (Regional Champion), 1995, 1991, 1989, 1988

COLERAIN’S KEYS TO VICTORY: The offense needs to step up and play equally as well if not better than the Cardinals’ defense has in big games. Playing mistake free is a must. Each offensive possession must be cherished. Running back MJ Flowers should get every opportunity to set the tone on the offensive side of the ball.

ELDER’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Get an early lead and make the Colerain offense prove they can keep up on the scoreboard. Then establishing the run will allow for high percentage throws to keep the clock moving after halftime. Letting the Cardinals stick around late is going to make for a dogfight in the fourth quarter.

Prediction: Elder 24, Colerain 17



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Could be Ramsey's 200 win.

That would be a heck of an accomplishment, made sweeter by having a son on the team and another walking the sidelines with him.

Elder wants to earn it for him.

Colerain wants to deprive him of it.