Posted on 11/22/2015 at 6:09 p.m.

Lancers Put Playoff Streak On Line Friday in Piqua

La Salle will oppose undefeated Perrysburg in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II state semifinals Friday at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium, the OHSAA announced Sunday afternoon.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m., as the Lancers look to continue their defense of the state championship, coming off an impressive 42-7 victory over King in the Region 6 final Friday at Lakota West.

Coach Jim Hilvert’s team (11-2) has outscored its three postseason opponents, 143-34, and the Lancers have won eight consecutive games in the playoffs and 25 of 28 games overall the last two seasons.  Perrysburg won the Region 4 title by knocking off Cleveland Glenville, 50-19, in Friday’s final at Huron High School.  Perrysburg was the No. 2 seed in its region.  La Salle was the No. 1 seed in Region 6.

Hudson (11-2), the Region 3 champion, will play Region 5 winner Massillon Perry (11-2) in the other Division II final Friday.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Solon High School’s Stewart Field.  La Sale won last year’s state title, defeating Olentangy, 48-13, in the semifinals, and then beating Nordonia in the state final, 55-20, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. La Salle was dominant in its five playoff victories last year.

Posted on 11/22/2015 at 9:52 a.m.

OHSAA To Announce La Salle’s State Semifinal Game Today

Junior fullback Monalo Caldwell and senior quarterback Deshaunte Jones combined to rush 38 times for 412 yards and five touchdowns to lead No. 1 seed Colerain to a 41-11 victory over Greater Catholic League South Division member Elder in the Division I, Region 2 semifinals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association state football playoffs Saturday night at Mason High School’s Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium.

The victory moves Colerain (12-1) into the regional final, also a state semifinal, against Huber Heights Wayne (13-0), the Division I state-runner-up, at 7 p.m. Saturday at a neutral site to be announced today by the OHSAA.  Wayne defeated Hilliard Davidson, 20-6, in the other Region 2 semifinal Saturday night.  Defending state champion Lakewood St. Edward (12-1) will face Stow-Munroe Falls (13-0) in the Region 1 final.

Like St. Xavier last week, Elder had difficulty slowing the Cardinals’ high-powered option attack.  Colerain racked up 503 yards against St. Xavier in a 42-14 victory one week earlier, and the Cardinals amassed 504 yards rushing against Elder (9-4) – which entered the game having won four consecutive games.  Caldwell finished with 25 rushes for 222 yards and three TDs, while Jones carried 13 times for 190 yards and two TDs.

Senior quarterback Peyton Ramsey led the Panthers in rushing, carrying 14 times for 80 yards and a 15-yard TD with 8:55 remaining in the third quarter that cut the deficit to 20-11.  But Caldwell scored two rushing TDs, and sophomore quarterback Gunnar Leyendecker finished with scoring with an 80-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter as Colerain scored the game’s final 21 points.  Ramsey also completed 13-of-22 passes for 127 yards.

Jones opened the scoring by scampering 80 yards for a TD on the Cardinals’ first play from scrimmage.  Leyendecker wound up with two rushes for 91 yards and the 80-yard score for Colerain, which has now won 10 straight games since a 39-36 loss at GCL South member La Salle in week three of the regular season on September 11.  The Cardinals averaged 11.4 yards per rush against Elder.  Colerain has outscored its playoff opponents, 136-32.

Speaking of La Salle, the Lancers will learn today who they will face Friday in the Division II state semifinals.  La Salle (11-2), the defending state champion, has now won eight straight postseason after defeating Kings, 42-7, in the regional final Friday night at Lakota West.  The Division II state semifinals ate set for 7 Friday night.  Hudson, Perrysburg and Massillon Perry also are still alive.

Posted on 11/21/2015 at 11:59 a.m.

Elder Looks To Join GCL South Colleague With Victory Tonight

The backfield combination of Jeremy Larkin, Jarell White and Nick Watson combined to carry 33 times for 292 yards and five touchdowns to help La Salle move one step closer to a defense of the Division II state football championship with a 42-7 victory over Kings Friday night in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Region 6 final at Lakota West High School’s Firebird Field.

The win was the eighth straight in the postseason for No. 1 seed La Salle (11-2), which advances to the state semifinals.  La Sale also has won 25 or its last 28 games the last two seasons.  The Lancers’ opponent, date, time and site for the semifinal round will be announced by the OHSAA at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.  Hudson, Perrysburg and Massillon Perry won the other three Division II regional titles with victories Friday night.  

Larkin led the Lancers in rushing, with 160 yards and two scores, one a 78-yarder, on 12 carries, while White rushed 12 times for 99 yards and a 2-yard TD with 10:35 remaining in the first quarter that gave La Salle a 7-0 lead.  Watson, the Lancers’ senior quarterback who also completed 10-of-19 passes for 160 yards, gained 33 yards on the ground and scored twice for the Lancers – who built a 28-0 lead at halftime.

La Salle’s defense turned in its third straight solid performance in the playoffs, limiting an explosive Kings offense to 193 total yards and only 15 yards in 19 rushing attempts, a 0.8-yard average.  Kings (11-2) came into Friday’s game having won eight straight, and the Knights had scored 82 points in two playoff wins.  La Salle has only allowed 34 points in its three postseason wins this year.

Elder will attempt to join La Salle and advance to the next round, when the No. 5-seed Panthers face Colerain in the Division I, Region 2 semifinals at 7 tonight at Mason High School’s Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium.  Elder (9-3) has won four straight games, including a 41-13 win against Hilliard Darby last Saturday, while top-seeded Colerain has won nine in a row since a 39-36 setback at La Salle in week three, the Cardinals’ lone loss this season.

Colerain (11-1) is coming off a 42-14 win over GCL South member St. Xavier Saturday at Mason, a game in which the Cardinals racked up 503 yards rushing against the GCL South’s top defense.  Elder, though, also has a prolific offense led by senior quarterback Peyton Ramsey – who has accounted for nine touchdowns in the Panthers two playoff victories.  Colerain beat Elder in the last meeting, 35-34, in overtime in the 2012 postseason.

Posted on 11/20/2015 at 3:03 p.m.

Elder, Ramsey To Face Top-Seed Colerain Saturday Night

Two members of the Greater Catholic League South Division are hoping to take the next step in the football postseason over the next two days, with La Salle vying to continue its state playoff dominance tonight and Elder looking to take down Colerain, the region’s top seed, on Saturday evening as the Ohio High School Athletic Association state football playoffs enter a third weekend.

La Salle (10-2), the defending Division II state champion and top seed in Region 6, faces No. 2 seed Kings (11-1) in the regional final at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Lakota West High School’s Firebird Field.  The Lancers, who have won 24 of their last 27 games the last two seasons, are riding a seven-game postseason winning streak.  Kings has not lost since week four of the regular season, reeling off eight consecutive wins.

Elder (9-3), the co-GCL South champion with St. Xavier this season, is looking to extend its winning streak to five games when it meets Colerain (11-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Mason High School’s Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium.  The Panthers last played Colerain in the 2012 state playoffs, a game that Colerain won, 35-34, in overtime in the second round.

Led by the GCL’s all-time leading scorer in senior running back Jeremy Larkin, La Salle has been nothing short of dominating in the postseason since last October – outscoring the opposition, 346-118, in seven straight playoff wins.  The Lancers are coming off a convincing 49-13 win over Lima Senior last Friday, a game that saw senior quarterback Nick Watson throw four touchdowns passes and run for another score.

Kings, which tied for the Eastern Cincinnati Conference title with Turpin during the regular season, also has been on a roll since suffering a 20-15 loss to Turpin in week four.  Since then, the Knights have scored 30 or more points in seven of their eight wins.  Last week, Kings defeated Turpin, 47-13, behind a huge game from senior quarterback Tyler Knecht – who threw three TD passes and ran for three more scores.

Speaking of productive quarterbacks, perhaps none have been more impressive this season than senior Peyton Ramsey of Elder.  In Elder’s two postseason wins, Ramsey, the GCL South co-Player of the Year with Larkin for the second straight season, has connected on 30-of-41 passes for 423 yards and five TDs, while also rushing 36 times for 276 yards and four scores.  Elder has scored 91 points in those two games.

The Panthers likely will need plenty of offense against Colerain, which knocked off GCL South member St. Xavier, 42-14, last Saturday.  Facing the GCL South’s stingiest defense, Colerain – led by senior quarterback Deshaunte Jones - racked up 503 yards rushing.  The Cardinals also have one of the area’s top defenses, allowing fewer than two TDs per game. Colerain’s lone defeat is to La Salle, 39-36, in week three.

Posted on 11/15/2015 at 5:32 p.m.

Panthers Advance To Meet Colerain In Regional Semis

Senior quarterback Peyton Ramsey continued his torrid postseason scoring Saturday night, accounting for four of his five touchdowns in the first half to enable Elder to build a 22-point lead and record a 41-13 victory over Hilliard Darby in the second round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I state football playoffs at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.

The win earns Elder (9-3), winners of four straight, a matchup with Colerain in the Region 2 semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday at Mason High School’s Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium. Colerain (11-1) advanced with a 42-14 win over GCL South member St. Xavier on Saturday at Mason, with the Cardinals racking up more than 500 yards rushing to win for the ninth straight week.

Colerain, the region’s No. 1 seed, and No. 5 Elder last met on November 10, 2012, the second round of the playoffs that season with Colerain emerging with a 35-34 victory in overtime.   Elder had possession first in overtime and scored, but then missed the extra point.  Colerain then scored and made good on the ensuing conversion for the one-point win.

Ramsey, also accounted for five TDs in a 50-42 win over Fairfield last Saturday, carried 15 times for 119 yards and three TDs (scoring on runs of 2, 11 and 36 yards) in the first two quarters against Darby (9-3).  He also completed 13-of-17 passes for 142 yards one TD before halftime.  He later tossed a second scoring pass, a 32-yard strike to senior receiver Nick Hall in the third quarter that increased Elder’s lead to 34-6.

The Indiana University commit and son of Elder coach, Doug Ramsey, finished with 286 total yards.  Ramsey has thrown for more than 2,500 and rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season, earning him co-GCL South Player of the Year honors with La Salle speedster and the GCL’s all-time leading scorer Jeremy Larkin, a Cincinnati commit,  for the second consecutive season.

St. Xavier, facing Colerain in the postseason for the fifth time in six seasons (with the Bombers winning three of the previous four meetings), was unable to slow the Colerain option attack led by senior quarterback Deshaunte Jones – who carried 15 times for 231 yards and three touchdowns.  In all, the Cardinals amassed 528 total yards against the top defense in the GCL South this season, 503 of those yards coming on the ground.

Senior Zach Johnson rushed nine times for 120 yards for Colerain, which scored on TD runs of 61, 69 and 44 yards, respectively, to open the seasond half and build an insurmountable 42-7 lead with just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter.  St. Xavier scored on a 9-yard TD pass from junior quarterback Sean Clifford to senior tight end Brock Davin in the second quarter, and a 71-yard kickoff return from senior Louie Raines in the fourth.

No. 3  seed Huber Heights Wayne (12-0), the 2014 state runner-up, will oppose Hilliard Davidson (11-1) in the other Region 2 semifinal.  Wayne defeated Springboro, 52-21, Saturday night to keep its perfect season alive.  No. 2 seed Davidson  advanced to the semifinals with a 17-10 win over Upper Arlington.  All four teams are just two wins away from earning a trip to Ohio Statdium and the Division I state championship game.

St. Xavier finishes its season at 7-5, earning a share of the GCL South championship with a 2-1 league record.  La Salle (10-2), the top seed in Division II, Region 6 and a 49-13 winner over Lima Senior in Friday’s second round, will face No. 2 Kings (11-1) in the regional final at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lakota West High School’s Firebird Field.

La Salle is looking for its second consecutive state championship.

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