La Salle Looks To Extend Streak, Hosts Rival Colerain

09/10/2015

Posted on 9/10/2015 at 4:25 p.m.

Lancers Have Won 10 Straight Games Dating Back To Last Season

La Salle, the defending Ohio Division II state champion, will attempt to extend its winning streak to 11 straight games when it hosts rival Colerain in a matchup of two teams ranked No. 1 in their respective divisions in Greater Cincinnati.  Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Lancer Stadium Friday night in one of four non-conference games involving Greater Catholic League South Division schools.

The Lancers (2-0), ranked No. 1 in The Enquirer’s Division II weekly coaches’ poll and No. 13 nationally in the USA Today Super 25 computer rankings, have only lost once since the final game of the 2013 season – that a 24-21 setback to GCL South colleague St. Xavier on October 10, 2014.  Since then, the Lancers have reeled off 10 wins in a row, including five dominating victories en route to the school’s first state football title last December.

But it won’t be easy against Colerain, No. 1 in The Enquirer’s Division I coaches’ poll and No. 9 in the USA Today Super 25 expert rankings following a 13-10 overtime win last Saturday against St. Xavier.  The game will feature some of the area’s most explosive offensive performers in Colerain senior quarterback Deshaunte Jones (236 yards rushing, three touchdowns), and the La Salle backfield duo of senior Jeremy Larkin (325 yards, five TDs) and junior Jarell White (two TDs).

La Salle defeated Colerain, 40-21, in the season opener last year as part of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown at Miami University’s Yager Stadium.  That game marked the first meeting between the two neighboring schools since the final game of the 2004 season – which was won by Colerain.

Elder (2-0), fresh off two convincing wins over Oak Hills and Lakota West, also will attempt to remain unbeaten Friday.  The Panthers host Scott County, Ky. (3-0) at The Pit, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.  The Panthers defeated Lakota West, 34-17, on the road last Saturday morning behind senior quarterback Peyton Ramsey and junior running back Ja’Vahri Portis.  Ramsey connected on 13-of-20 passes for 162 yards and one TD, while also running 14 times for 169 yards.  Portis carried the ball 29 times for 121 yards and four scores.

Portis, who also ran for 114 yards in a season-opening win over Oak Hills, has scored four TDs in each of the first two games.  Ramsey also has been solid, hitting on 24-of-35 passes for 337 yards and three TDs; his favorite target is senior Nick Hall, nine catches for 167 yards and three TDs. 

St. Xavier (1-1) will be tested by Mentor, which is coming off a 63-56 victory over Northeast Ohio rival Cleveland St. Ignatius last Friday in a game that saw both teams combine for more than 1,400 yards of total offense.  Mentor (2-0) scored with eight seconds remaining on a 10-yard TD pass from quarterback Tadas Tatarunas to receiver Mark Porter for the win.  Tatarunas completed 25-of-35 passes for 523 yards and four TDs in the win, while Cardinals’ running back Alex Matthews rushed 31 times for 235 yards.

St. Xavier’s defense did hold Colerain’s high-powered option offense to just 12 first downs and 3.2 yards per rushing attempt.  The Bombers’ defense was led by senior defensive back J.P. Bitzenhofer, who had eight solo tackles and six assists for St. Xavier – which has allowed 20 points in two games.  Kickoff is 7 at St. Xavier.

Moeller (1-1), which fell just short of completing a comeback against Ohio Division I state runner-up Wayne last Sunday in a 24-22 setback, looks to get back on track when the Crusaders travel to Xenia (0-2) at 7.   With starting quarterback Thomas MacVittie sidelined with an injury and backup Evan Ernst also having to leave the game, junior Pete Lampert came off the bench to lead Moeller back from a 24-7 deficit to Wayne and had his team in position to tie and perhaps win the game late.  But, after a 4-yard TD pass from Lampert to Hunter Hughes made it 24-22, the two-point conversion failed.

The Crusaders recovered an onside kick and moved into field-goal range, before a penalty moved them back into their own territory and Wayne came up with a final stop.  Lampert was 11-of-18 passing for 128 yards.  Senior receiver Kyle Butz had seven catches for 128 yards and one TD.