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In an instant classic, Colerain senior quarterback Alfred “LA” Ramsby scored on a 20-yard touchdown run and Zach Gehner added the extra point as the Cardinals beat the Elder Panthers 35-34 in overtime. The win advances Colerain into next week’s regional championship against Moeller.
Colerain set the tone on the very first play of the game. Ramsby sprinted 57 yards down to the Elder 13-yard line. Two plays later fullback Jackson Sorn barreled 10 yards into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Elder had an answer on its ensuing possession when quarterback Josh Moore hit wide receiver Joe Ramstetter on an eight-yard fade pattern in the back of the end zone. However, the extra point attempt clanked off the upright and Colerain held on to a narrow 7-6 advantage.
--Postgame: Tom Bolden, Colerain
--Postgame: Lonnell Brown, Colerain
--Postgame: LA Ramsby, Colearin
A bit of controversy took place in the second quarter when Colerain punted to Elder. The punt bounced and appeared to be muffed and the Cardinals recovered it on the Panthers’ 20-yard line. However, it was determined that an inadvertent whistle was blown and Elder was given the option to have Colerain re-punt the ball. This time Elder fielded the kick cleanly and proceeded to go on a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Chris Schroer, who went for a 45-yard gain on the drive, hit pay dirt from two yards out and Elder took a 13-7 lead.
Colerain was determined to get the momentum back especially after starting its next drive on the 8-yard line with a block-in-the-back penalty on the kickoff. Ramsby completed a 40-yard pass to Chris Davis to get the Cards into the red zone. Sorn, who rushed for 109 yards, scored his second touchdown of the night to retake the lead 14-13.
Before the intermission, Elder scored again to recapture the lead. With three minutes left in the second quarter Elder was facing a 4th-and-8 on its own 27-yard line. Ramstetter, who is also the Elder punter, scooped up a low snap and took off running for a 27-yard gain and a first down. Two plays later, Moore hit Ramstetter on a crossing pattern and 46 yards later Elder was in the end zone leading 20-14 at the end of an exciting first half of football.
After a scoreless third quarter, Colerain took a 21-20 lead when Ramsby threw a 24-yard touchdown strike in the back of the end zone to Tre Hudson with just over seven minutes left to play.
At the 3:41 mark in the 4th quarter, Elder had the ball deep in Cardinal territory and looked to be ready for another score and possibly go ahead. Moore locked into his intended receiver Max Mazza but Colerain defensive back Lonnel Brown took a chance and jumped the route. Brown made the interception and raced 96 yards for a pick-six touchdown.
With Colerain ahead 28-20 it appeared that Elder was left for dead. The Panthers made a last ditch effort to make a comeback and came up with some big plays and a huge break. On 3rd-down-and-34, Moore completed a pass to Ramstetter and a 15-yard Colerain penalty was tacked on to the end of the play to give the Panthers a first down. Moore then threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Ramstetter in the back of the end zone on 4th-and 19 with 11 seconds left in regulation. Another Moore-to-Ramstetter connection gave Elder the two-point conversion and tied the 28-28 at the end of four quarters of play. Ramstetter caught nine passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns.
Elder went on offense first in overtime and it took six Schroer running plays to eventually get into the end zone. However, the extra point attempt was kicked slightly wide left and the score was 34-28.
On Colerain’s turn at offense, the Cardinals turned to Ramsby who finished the night with 213 yards rushing on 18 carries. “LA” raced 20 yards into the end zone on the very first play to tie the game at 34. Kicker Zach Gehner nailed the extra point right down the middle and Colerain wins the barn burner by a score of 35-34.
Colerain (#1 seed) remains undefeated at 12-0 and will face Moeller (#3 seed) next week in the Division I, Regional 4 championship game next Saturday at Nippert Stadium. Elder finished the season with an 8-4 record.
Brady Laber is a 2009 graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He is in his fourth season with TriStateFootball.com and has covered Northern Kentucky high school football since 2006. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.