Improbable comeback: BHS 26-23 in OT


BLANCHESTER — Down 20-7 with three minutes remaining, the Blanchester Wildcats appeared to finally run out of opportunities to defeat the Waynesville Spartans.

Improbably, the Wildcats scored 13 points in the final 2:32 to force overtime.

Brent Hopkins’ 5-yard run in overtime propelled the Wildcats to one of the most stunning comebacks in the history of Barbour Memorial Field, 26-23 in overtime.

The Wildcats (1-2) had numerous chances in the fourth quarter to cut into Waynesville’s lead but failed. Blan drove to the Waynesville 2 with less than seven minutes left, only to stall out inside the 5.

After a Spartan three and out, Blanchester drove down to the Waynesville 21 before a fumbled handoff gave the Spartans back the ball. Blanchester had one timeout remaining and only 3:52 on the clock.

“That fumble that we had, I thought that might be it,” BHS head coach Brandon Sammons said.

Waynesville failed to gain a first down again. They would punt with less than three minutes left. Cam Anderson’s punt was blocked by Junior Torres, who recovered it in the end zone for a Blanchester touchdown. Blan was down 20-14 with 2:32 remaining.

“Junior Torres came up with a huge blocked punt,” Sammons said. “The defense showed up huge. That was the momentum changer right there. That got the kids to believe that it was possible.”

Blanchester attempted an onside kick, but Jaymes Bowman recovered it for Waynesville, which appeared to seal the game for the Spartans.

However, on second down, Josh Daniels fumbled, and Torres recovered for Blanchester with 1:46 left.

Just 55 yards from the end zone, freshman quarterback Brayden Sipple completed 3 of 5 passes to get to the Spartan 18. A pass interference call moved Blanchester to the 9.

After a Hopkins 2-yard run, the clock continued to run with less than 30 seconds left. With no timeouts remaining, Sipple found Jacksson Waialae across the middle for a 7-yard score to tie the game with 17.4 left.

However, the snap on the extra point was low and the conversion was stopped which meant overtime.

Waynesville had the ball to open overtime and drove to just outside the Blanchester 10. Rather than go for it on fourth and less than a yard, they sent out the sure-footed Anderson to drill a 26-yard field goal. The Spartans led 23-20.

“We talked about it and decided to go defense first,” Sammons said. “I knew that kid wasn’t going to miss it. You have the feeling that we had so much momentum. We should be able to drive this ball in from 20 yards. We had just moved it 50 yards to score a touchdown in a minute.

“I kind of had a good feeling about it.”

On Blanchester’s possession, two Hopkins runs and a Sipple pass to Clayton Schirmer gave Blan a fourth and 2 from the Waynesville 12. Sipple found Waialae on a wide receiver screen and he scrambled down to the Spartan 5.

The Wildcats needed just one more play as Hopkins rumbled in from 5 yards out to send Barbour Memorial Field and the Wildcat sideline into pandemonium.

“We’ve had some people come in and talk to the team pregame,” Sammons said. “The people that talked to them pretty much had the same message about believing in each other; believing in something bigger than themselves.

“We saw guys step up in moments that were pretty key. Guys not worrying about who gets this or who gets that. I’d like to say we turned a little bit of a corner of understanding that as a team.”

SUMMARY

Sept 8 2017

@Barbour Memorial Field

Blanchester 26 Waynesville 23 OT

W 07.03.10.00.03…..23

B 00.07.00.13.06…..26

First quarter

W-Josh Daniels 5 yard run (Cam Anderson PAT) 1:35

Second quarter

W-Cam Anderson 25 yard field goal 8:25

B-Jacksson Waialae 25 yard pass from Brayden Sipple (Jasper Damewood PAT) 36.5

Third quarter

W-Cam Anderson 20 yard field goal 6:09

W-Riley Blankenship 50 yard pass from Anthony Carmichael (Cam Anderson PAT) 2:45

Fourth quarter

B-Junior Torres blocked punt recovery (Jasper Damewood PAT) 2:32

B-Jacksson Waialae pass from Brayden Sipple (Conversion failed) 17.4

Overtime

W-Cam Anderson 26 yard field goal

B-Brent Hopkins 5 yard run

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By Matt Sexton

WNJ Sports Writer

Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.