Both East Clinton and Blanchester are coming off tough losses last week as the two teams collide 7:30 p.m. Friday night in Lees Creek.
The Astros lost to Batavia 26-21 and the Wildcats dropped a 33-29 decision to Clinton-Massie.
Both coaches believe their respective teams should be 1-0.
“We gave that game away with one or two specific plays and I told the kids that same thing,” BHS coach Brandon Sammons said.
East Clinton coach Jeremy Yankey said, “I felt like we beat ourselves with penalties and a couple of turnovers.”
Kickoff Friday night at ECHS is set for 7:30 p.m.
While Yankey lamented the turnovers and penalties in last week’s opener, he also was not happy with the defense that surrendered four touchdowns of 23 yards or longer
Wyatt Floyd had a couple of interceptions on defense and caught four passes for 77 yards and a touchdown on offense. Austin Hanners rushed 12 times for 78 yards and a score on offense and came up with seven tackles on defense.
Yankey added, “Discipline is an issue for us. We have to learn to keep composure and focus during the game. We must tackle better and play more physical on both sides of the football.”
Scouting the Wildcats, Yankey said, “Blanchester has adapted quickly to the spread offense and from what I have seen they are running it well. Defensively they run a 4-3 with some physical players up front and they are getting good linebacker flow to the ball. The kicking game (Dakota Penquite) for Blanchester is an asset to them; they are capable of kicking the ball to the endzone on kickoffs and hitting a field goal as well.”
Sammons expanded on his squad’s near-miss against Massie.
“We should have won that game, plain and simple,” said Sammons. “Massie is a great team with a great tradition, but we should have won that game and hopefully we can become a program that people see the same way — from a tradition standpoint — as them. We’ve had many people tell us they are so proud of the guys and amazed at the effort they played with and that is all great because the kids have worked their tails off to get to this point and they are a talented group.
“But being satisfied with ‘almost winning’ is not why we were brought in as a new staff. We were brought in to win this type of game and we will get there in time.”
Blanchester quarterback Tristan Greene passed for 342 yards and three touchdowns against Clinton-Massie. The 342 yards is believed to be a single-game BHS record.
Quenton Miller had a big day catching the ball, with six receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown. Dylan Miller caught five passes for 96 yards and a score and Nick Hopkins had three catches for 97 yards and a TD.
At the other end of the offense, the Wildcats were not able to put together much of a rushing attack — 27 attempts and seven yards.
“We need to fix our run game,” Sammons said. “Massie is a beast up front, so that is part of it, but we have things that need fixed and fixed now in our run game.”
On defense, Marco Torres-Garcia was credited with being in on 10 tackles while Branson Campbell was in on seven and Quenton Miller six.
Scouting East Clinton, Sammons said, “East Clinton has some good-sized kids up front on O and D and some (line)backers that can bring it. They have some good team speed in the secondary and skill positions. Definitely a good team that fell just short last week in their opener, just like us. I look for this game to be a great matchup.”