Cincinnati Colerain coach Tom Bolden knew two teams could give his team fits going into the second half of the season. The first game – a matchup at Middletown – proved costly as the Cardinals lost 42-39 Oct. 3. But, this Friday night’s game at West Chester Lakota West is also a concern. “The way we are approaching it is we are the underdog,” Bolden said this week. “We are going to have our hands full.”
Cincinnati Colerain coach Tom Bolden knew two teams could give his team fits going into the second half of the season.
The first game – a matchup at Middletown – proved costly as the Cardinals lost 42-39 Oct. 3.
But, this Friday night’s game at West Chester Lakota West is also a concern.
“The way we are approaching it is we are the underdog,” Bolden said this week. “We are going to have our hands full.”
Clearly, Colerain, is not the underdog. But, it makes sense the Cardinals approach it as such.
Colerain (7-1, 4-1 Greater Miami Conference), which had a 61-game conference winning streak until the Middletown loss, travels for the second time in three weeks when it plays the Firebirds (5-3, 4-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The game will go a long way in determining the conference champion with just two weeks left. Colerain has won two consecutive league titles outright and has at least shared the conference title since the 1999 season.
Colerain, ranked No. 6 in the Ohio High-ONN Power Poll, has dominated the Firebirds recently, including a 44-0 win in 2007. The Cardinals haven’t allowed Lakota West to score in double digits since the 2004 season.
“They’re still Colerain, Lakota West coach Larry Cox told the Pulse Journal. “They’re going to be one of the best. It’s going to take a great game by us to be able to go out and beat them. Nothing’s going to be given to us.”
Despite being the obvious underdog, the Firebirds have plenty of talent on both sides the ball. Lakota West has won two consecutive games, including a 34-7 win over host Middletown last week.
Cox reportedly told his team it was the most complete game the Firebirds played all season, according to the Pulse Journal.
Senior RB Stephen Houston, a Mississippi recruit, has rushed for 740 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 28 carries for 146 yards and three touchdowns against the Middies.
“He can hit the hole quickly and run between the tackles,” Bolden said.
Junior TE Alex Smith, who is 6-5 and 225 pounds, is a solid prospect in the 2010 class. Smith, who has an offer from Cincinnati, has 19 receptions for 269 yards and four touchdowns.
Junior LB Jordan Hicks (6-2, 210), one of the state’s prospects in the 2010 class, leads the defense with four sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble. Hicks has been offered by Texas, Florida, Ohio State, Stanford, Michigan Sate and Illinois among others, according to the Lakota West athletic department.
Colerain has several college prospects of its own, including two in the 2009 class with senior OL Brandon White (Louisville and Ball State offer) and senior WR-OLB Damon Sims, who picked up an offer from Kent State Tuesday morning.
Colerain is coming off a 52-14 win against visiting Fairfield. Junior QB Greg Tabar rushed 12 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns in the triple-option offense.
“Greg is getting better at managing the game,” Bolden said. “He keeps improving.”
Sophomore RB Tyler Williams (5-7, 155) – one of the rising stars in the 2011 class along with teammate Trayion Durham – has rushed for 998 yards and 12 touchdowns. Durham (6-0, 200) has rushed for 799 yards and five touchdowns.
The defense is led by senior LB Colin Lozier, who has a team-leading 4.5 sacks. Junior LB Tyon Dixon has 3.5 sacks.
“We have to play a complete game,” Bolden said. “We take pride in making teams one dimensional.”
Colerain plays host to Oak Hills at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, while Lakota West plays rival Lakota West the same time and day.