Known for their titanic gridiron wars, Colerain and St. Xavier added another memorable chapter in the Cincinnati rivalry Friday night at Ballaban Field.
For the second season in a row, Colerain needed overtime to beat the Bombers, 20-14.
After St. Xavier missed a field goal on the first possession of overtime, Colerain junior quarterback Gunnar Leyendecker won it with a 13-yard touchdown run.
“I told the kids you can throw the records out, that’s a great football team,” said Colerain coach Tom Bolden. “They’re banged up, they’re injured and all that kind of stuff but they never quit.
“We’re up 14-0, they never rolled over. But, what I like about our kids is we never quit either and it brings a tear to my eye. That’s what they’re all about. Some of them ain’t got much but they know they got each other and they know they got me.”
Leyendecker finished with 55 yards rushing and was 7 of 18 passing for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
“I’m happy for my teammates, they made that happen,” said Leyendecker, who was noticeably banged up after taking some big shots. “It hurt but I just knew I had to be there for my team and they would be there for me.”
With the game tied 14-14 and 1:25 left in regulation, Colerain decided to go for it with fourth-and-one from St. Xavier’s 2-yard line. The Cardinals gave it to Monalo Caldwell for what looked like a touchdown run, but the Cardinals were called for 12 men on the field and missed the ensuing 33-yard field goal.
“That was on me, we had a personnel we shouldn’t have had out there,” said Bolden. “I should have called timeout. We’ll get that part fixed; we’ll be alright.
“The greatest thing about this is we’re gonna keep getting better. And our defense is lights out.”
Colerain and St. X both traded missed field goals to start the fourth quarter. St. Xavier senior cornerback Colton Paul made a pretty interception along the sideline to give the Bombers a chance to take the lead with under 10 minutes left in regulation, but a botched snap on a 29-yard field goal attempt gave it back to Colerain.