Prep football: Top-ranked Colerain pulls away from Fairfield to extend GMC winning streak

Fairfield running back JuTahn McClain tries to stiff-arm his way to more yardage during Friday night’s 55-27 loss to Colerain at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
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Fairfield running back JuTahn McClain tries to stiff-arm his way to more yardage during Friday night’s 55-27 loss to Colerain at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

COLERAIN TWP. — The Fairfield High School football team had undefeated Colerain on the ropes in the third quarter, but the defense couldn’t prevent big plays down the stretch in a showdown between the top two teams in the Greater Miami Conference.

A six-point deficit for the Indians quickly turned into hole they couldn’t climb, and Colerain rolled to a 55-27 win at home Friday night to clinch at least a share of the GMC title for a 19th straight season.

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The Cardinals (9-0, 7-0 GMC) have won 74 consecutive conference games heading into the regular-season finale at 4-5 Lakota West next week, while Fairfield (7-2, 6-1) finishes at home against Mason (7-2, 6-1).

Colerain has clinched the No. 1 seed in the Division I, Region 4 playoffs, according to www.joeeitel.com, and Fairfield has also qualified for the postseason.

“You can’t give these guys anything,” said Indians coach Jason Krause, whose 2008 Middletown team was the last GMC squad to beat Colerain. “They are too good for that. We gave them some stuff in the first half and we fought our rear ends off to get ourselves back in the game at 27-21, and they answered.

“Give them credit. We had an opportunity and we missed some things, and they just took advantage. They are a really good football team, and I don’t think the final score is indicative of how good of a game it was.”

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Fairfield quarterback Jeff Tyus is pressured by Colerain’s Donovan Owens on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. Tyus and the Indians took a 55-27 defeat. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Fairfield quarterback Jeff Tyus is pressured by Colerain’s Donovan Owens on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. Tyus and the Indians took a 55-27 defeat. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
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Fairfield quarterback Jeff Tyus is pressured by Colerain’s Donovan Owens on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. Tyus and the Indians took a 55-27 defeat. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Fairfield got off to a slow start, falling behind 13-0 in the first quarter after turning the ball over three times. However, coming out of halftime down 27-7, the Indians got two big stops on defense and battled back.

After forcing a turnover on downs the first drive of the third quarter at the Cardinals’ 19-yard line, Fairfield took advantage on offense two plays later with JuTahn McClain’s 5-yard touchdown run. A penalty negated a Colerain score the ensuing possession, and the Cardinals ended up punting after getting backed up into a third-and-35 situation.

McClain found a hole for a school-record 95-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage after that to cut Colerain’s lead to 27-21 with 4:41 left in the third period, but the Cardinals answered with a 48-yard quarterback keeper to set up Ivan Pace Jr.’s 3-yard touchdown.

“I like how the kids responded,” Colerain coach Tom Bolden said. “Heck, it’s my fault we let them get back in it. No disrespect to them, but going for it on fourth down I thought we could get a half yard. It didn’t work out, but better now than Week 15 or whatever. I’m really proud of the kids, proud of the coaches, and like they say, ‘To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man,’ and we like to be the man.”

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Fairfield safety Allen Caldwell tries to get a grip on Colerain’s J.J. Davis during Friday night’s game at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. Colerain was victorious 55-27. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Fairfield safety Allen Caldwell tries to get a grip on Colerain’s J.J. Davis during Friday night’s game at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. Colerain was victorious 55-27. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
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Fairfield safety Allen Caldwell tries to get a grip on Colerain’s J.J. Davis during Friday night’s game at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. Colerain was victorious 55-27. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

The tide shifted for good after the Indians again moved the ball down the field got stopped on fourth down. The Cardinals then rattled off three touchdown runs of 37 yards or more to put the game away, up 55-21 with 2:38 left.

Colerain quarterback Deante Smith-Moore rushed for 208 yards and one touchdown, and Pace finished with 180 yards and four TDs, as the Cardinals racked up 553 yards of offense.

“That’s what they do,” Krause said. “They have good team speed and they execute. They just need a little bit of a crease and they go. They finish long runs, and they did that a couple times tonight.”

Indians quarterback Jeff Tyus had a rough night, fumbling the ball away on the first play from scrimmage and completing just 7-of-18 passes for 113 yards with one interception.

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Fairfield’s L.J. France stops Colerain’s Michael Bess from turning an FHS fumble into a touchdown during Friday night’s game at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. The host Cardinals notched a 55-27 win. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Fairfield’s L.J. France stops Colerain’s Michael Bess from turning an FHS fumble into a touchdown during Friday night’s game at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. The host Cardinals notched a 55-27 win. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
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Fairfield’s L.J. France stops Colerain’s Michael Bess from turning an FHS fumble into a touchdown during Friday night’s game at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. The host Cardinals notched a 55-27 win. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

However, McClain stepped up with 275 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries and broke the school record for most total TDs in a season. He now has 30 touchdowns, besting Earl Haynes’ record of 28 in 1999.

The longest scoring run in school history before Friday was Rodney Cadle’s 89-yard TD against Greenville in 1968.

“Tremendous young man,” Krause said of McClain, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior. “I wish I had a hundred of him. I’ve been coaching this game a long time, and you get special ones. He’s one of the truly special ones. He works his tail off, I’m talking in practice, weight room, with everything we’ve got.”

Bolden said despite the final score, Fairfield gave his team a good tune-up for the playoffs in two weeks. He wouldn’t be surprised to see the Indians again down the road.

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Fairfield running back JuTahn McClain tries to avoid Colerain’s Deshawn Pace during a 55-27 loss for McClain’s Indians on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Fairfield running back JuTahn McClain tries to avoid Colerain’s Deshawn Pace during a 55-27 loss for McClain’s Indians on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
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Fairfield running back JuTahn McClain tries to avoid Colerain’s Deshawn Pace during a 55-27 loss for McClain’s Indians on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

“I just told Coach Krause, I’ll see you in the playoffs,” Bolden said. “That’s a great football team. There is a great chance we could play again, no doubt about that.”

Fairfield 0-7-14-6—27

Colerain 13-14-7-21—55

C: Syncere Jones 17 run (Chris Mangold kick)

C: Ivan Pace Jr. 1 run (Kick failed)

F: Jeff Tyus 1 run (Elgin Phillips kick)

C: Deante Smith-Moore 3 run (Mangold kick)

C: Elijah Ford 14 pass from Smith-Moore (Mangold kick)

F: JuTahn McClain 5 run (Phillips kick)

F: McClain 95 run (Phillips kick)

C: Pace Jr. 3 run (Mangold kick)

C: J.J. Davis 54 run (Mangold kick)

C: Pace Jr. 37 run (Mangold kick)

C: Pace Jr. 46 run (Mangold kick)

F: McClain 13 run (Phillips kick)

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Colerain’s Jakari Patterson (6) intercepts a Fairfield pass in front of teammate Deshawn Pace (3) on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. CHS won 55-27. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Colerain’s Jakari Patterson (6) intercepts a Fairfield pass in front of teammate Deshawn Pace (3) on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. CHS won 55-27. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
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Colerain’s Jakari Patterson (6) intercepts a Fairfield pass in front of teammate Deshawn Pace (3) on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. CHS won 55-27. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

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Fairfield running back JuTahn McClain slips through the Colerain defense and Eric Phillips (99) on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. Colerain recorded a 55-27 victory. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Fairfield running back JuTahn McClain slips through the Colerain defense and Eric Phillips (99) on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. Colerain recorded a 55-27 victory. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
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Fairfield running back JuTahn McClain slips through the Colerain defense and Eric Phillips (99) on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. Colerain recorded a 55-27 victory. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

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Fairfield quarterback Jeff Tyus (5) sneaks into the end zone for a touchdown against Colerain during Friday night’s game at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. The host Cardinals won 55-27. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Fairfield quarterback Jeff Tyus (5) sneaks into the end zone for a touchdown against Colerain during Friday night’s game at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. The host Cardinals won 55-27. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
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Fairfield quarterback Jeff Tyus (5) sneaks into the end zone for a touchdown against Colerain during Friday night’s game at Cardinal Stadium in Colerain Township. The host Cardinals won 55-27. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

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