BOWLING GREEN — The Christian County Colonels saw their season come to a close on Friday night after falling 36-6 in the first round of the KHSAA football playoffs to South Warren in Bowling Green.

The Spartans capitalized on the opening kickoff, as Ohio State commit Jantzen Dunn took the opening kickoff all the way to the eight-yard line to open the contest. Caden Veltkamp found Christian Conyers two plays later to open the scoring and put County on the back foot early.

Throughout the majority of the first half, the Colonels struggled to move the ball down the field as South Warren plugged up every hole that L’Ray Coleman could run through and forced Donta Abren to scramble and make throws he didn’t want to make.

Down 28-0 in the final minutes of the first half, the Colonels had an opportunity when Abrean connected on three passes to put County on the one.

However, the Spartan defense held strong and kept the Colonels out of the end zone and off the scoreboard through 24 minutes of football.

South Warren got the clock to run early in the third and put it in cruise control the rest of the way.

County did get on the board with a 57-yard touchdown pass from Abren to Cameo Gordon in the fourth but the time was already on its way out.

Despite coming out on the wrong side of things, Colonels’ head coach Steve Lovelace said he was proud of how his team fought in their final contest of the season.

“We had some chances early and we just didn’t take advantage of them,” Lovelace said. “They came out and they played hard. They came after it. We did some different things on defense that caused some problems. On three scoring chances early we could’ve made it closer but our kids didn’t quit.”

Lovelace said the hardest part of the year is the last game and seeing his team walk off on a loss.

“Playoffs are hard because, with your seniors, you hate to end this way,” he said. “This train ride is eventually going to end. Either you win a state championship or you go home early. That’s one thing we told our kids. Every Friday night there’s going to be one team celebrating and another is going to be upset.

“Our senior kids did a heck of a job battling.”

County finishes the season 1-5 and will lose 21 seniors to graduation. Lovelace said he wishes the best of the players that are leaving after Friday night’s loss.

“That’s the hard thing about coaching,” Lovelace said. “These kids become your kids. You spend so much time with them and they do so much, they’re like your own kids. That’s the hard thing about saying bye to kids. You hope they learned enough to go out and be real men. That’s the greatest thing about this game — it teaches you how to be a man. It don‘t matter what color you are, how big or small you are.”

SOUTH WARREN 36, CHRISTIAN COUNTY 6

South Warren14 14 8 0 — 36

Christian County0 0 0 6 — 6

SCORING

SW: Veltkamp 17 pass to Conyers (PAT good), 7-0, 11:36 1Q

SW: Veltkamp 36 pass to Neal (PAT good), 14-0, 6:03 1Q

SW: Veltkamp 4 pass to Dunn (PAT good), 21-0, 10:49 2Q

SW: Abren intercepted by Bell, 28 yard return (PAT good), 28-0, 4:02 2Q

SW: Veltkamp 32 pass to Conyers (two-point good), 36-0, 9:21 3Q

CC: Abren 57 pass to Gordon (two-point no good), 36-6, 2:35 4Q

PASSING LEADERS

SW: Caden Veltkamp: 11-16-180-4

CC: Donta Abren: 7-20-190-1

RUSHING LEADERS

SW: Weonard Hopkins: 6-44

CC: L’Ray Coleman: 9-36

RECEIVING LEADERS

SW: Christian Conyers: 4-78-2

CC: Cameo Gordon: 1-57-1

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