UNION, Ky. - The immediate result of Thursday night’s regionally televised contest between Ryle and Cincinnati Colerain was a 35-0 win for the Cardinals at C.R. Borland Stadium.
Head coach Bryson Warner of Ryle and Tom Bolden of Colerain hope the game will have a lasting effect throughout their seasons.
“Our district is not as big or as fast as those guys, so it helps you,” said Warner of playing a team that has won at least 10 games in seven of the last eight years. “We’ve still got a tough district. That’s what our goal is, to get to the district where we can compete at a high level. If you play someone you’re better than all the time, you’re not going to find out what your weaknesses are. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Said Bolden, whose team plays fellow Cincinnati powerhouse St. Xavier next week: “We need to be more multiple in what we do. In our formations and running the ball and throwing the ball and I think it just makes us that much more dangerous. We’ve got a wealth of talent on offense and we’ve got to make sure we utilize those weapons.”
Thursday, that meant unleashing a passing attack that was just 1-for-6 in the Cardinals 28-15, season-opening win against Pickerington (OH) Central.
Senior quarterback Alfred Rambsy matched last week’s completion total on the third play from scrimmage with a 50-yard bomb to junior receiver T. J. Dula, and went on to finish 10 of 17 for 256 yards with three touchdowns.
“We pass a little more this year,” Rambsy said. “Coming into the game today we were going to go half-and-half with it. We saw we could pass more than run, so we put it in the air a little more.”
Rambsy’s long pass set up a 6-yard touchdown run by senior running back Chris Davis on the opening series of the game, and the two combined for an 8-yard touchdown pass on Colerain’s next possession to put the Cardinals ahead, 14-0.
Davis finished with six catches for 118 yards, the only Cardinal with more than one reception.
“You just get him the ball and he makes something happen,” said Rambsy of Smith.
A 16-yard pop pass to junior tight end Josh Boland expanded the lead to 21-0 in the second quarter, and Rambsy’s third touchdown pass, a 57-yard strike to senior DeTuan Smith-Moore, came one play after a 60-yard touchdown pass to Davis was negated by penalty.
“We’ve got a guy who can throw it and we’ve got some guys who can go get it. So if that’s what the defense gives you, we’ll try to take advantage of it,” Bolden said.
Backup quarterback Kelvin Cook ran in a 9-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring in the game.
Senior fullback Jackson Sorn had 103 yards on 12 carries for the Cardinals, who finished with 430 yards of offense.
The Raiders only gained 171 yards of offense, with their lone scoring opportunity ending when Casey Lozier and Smith-Moore converged to block a 49-yard field goal attempt by the Raiders on the final play of the first half.
Senior running back Tanner Pulice led the Raiders with 61 rushing yards on 20 carries.
Senior quarterback Nathan Davis added 49 yards on 19 carries and completed two of five passes for 28 yards, with 27 of those coming on a pass to senior receiver Thomas Baumann.
Those paltry stats were not as important to Warner after the game as the fact his team maintained its intensity throughout, forcing three turnovers in the second half.
“We step up to big challenges, and it makes us better,” said Warner, whose team plays another Ohio school, Columbus St. Francis DeSales, before opening district play against Simon Kenton on Sept. 21.
“We definitely benefitted from it by building character and teamwork. When you play a team like (Colerain), you’ve got to bring it. That’s the idea behind that. We want to challenge ourselves and get better as a program.”
at RYLE 0-0-0-0—0
C-Davis 5 run (Gehner kick)
C-Davis 8 pass from Rambsy (Gehner kick)
C-Boland 16 pass from Rambsy (Gehner kick)
C-Smith-Moore 57 pass from Rambsy (Gehner kick)
C-Cook 9 run (Gehner kick)
RECORDS: Colerain 2-0, Ryle 1-2.
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