It may be easy to look at Mariemont’s numbers this season and say the Warriors are a one-man team.

Max Tepe, a 5-10, 160-pound senior, has indeed done a little bit of everything for Mariemont and done it well.

But Blanchester head coach Jon Mulvihill will not be lulled into a sense of stop Tepe and you stop the Warriors.

“Mariemont is a good team,” said Mulvihill. “They are an athletic group. Their linemen aren’t especially big but they move well and are aggressive. If I had to compare them to a team we have faced this season, it would be Bethel-Tate.”

Bethel-Tate defeated Blanchester 41-14 this season.

Mariemont, a member of the Cincinnati Hills League, opens its gates for Blanchester for the first round of the Div. V Region 20 playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Saturday.

“Mariemont is in a tough league,” Mulvihill said. “They have a schedule full of bigger division teams and plenty of competition.”

Tepe will certainly be one of the best players on the field Saturday night. Tepe accounted for 1,586 yards (1,042 rushing, 266 receiving, 278 in returns) and was the leading tackler with 122. Connor Souders intercepted a team-best four passes, returning two for touchdowns.

Like Blanchester, Mariemont lost its starting quarterback to injury. Bryce Sipple is out for the Wildcats and David Dorsten is injured for the Warriors. For MHS, sophomore Charlie Tully has taken over the past three games and has shown versatility passing and running the ball.

BHS comes in to the game having won five of its last six games after an 0-3 start.

“We are playing with as much confidence right now as we have all season,” said Mulvihill. “The early schedule has definitely shaped us into what you have seen. We found out pretty quick what we were good at and what we were not good at.

“Line play has carried us offensively and defensively. We have to continue to get after it up front. We have some things to fix, but I feel pretty good about where we are. We’re as healthy as we have been all season. Obviously missing your starting varsity QB is a big deal, but guys have stepped up to fill the void. We do have a couple guys rehabbing nagging injuries, but to this point, we’re not worried about those slowing us down.”


• Roger Bacon or East Clinton awaits the Blanchester-Mariemont winner in the second round of the playoffs. In the other quarter bracket on the bottom half of Region 20, is Preble Shawnee, Greenon, Brookville and Williamsburg. The upper bracket is Taft, Madeira, Purcell Marian, Springfield Shawnee, Reading, Carlisle, Versailles and Summit Country Day.

• Mariemont seemed to face a playoff team each week this season, with eight games against teams in the post-season, including Oakwood, Williamsburg, Madeira, Indian Hill, Deer Park, Wyoming, Reading and Taylor. Blanchester had seven playoff teams on its docket this season — Paint Valley, North Union, Waynesville, Williamsburg, Bethel-Tate, Fayetteville-Perry and East Clinton.

• The Warriors had five games against Div. IV teams this season, four against Div. V schools and one opponent in Div. VI. Blanchester’s schedule went one Div. III, two Div. IV, four Div. V, one Div. VI and one Div. VII.

• Blanchester makes the post-season as a No. 10 seed. Mulvihill, though, is not a supporter of the 16-team playoff format.

“This 16-team format isn’t my cup of tea,” he said. “Pretty disappointed the OHSAA actually went against the coaches association recommendation of 12 teams. I’ll be interested to see how many 13-16 seeded teams win a first round game.”

Seth Coyle (64) leads the Wildcats on to the field in a game earlier this season. Also in the photo, from left to right, Dylan Creager (5), Dustin Trace (44), Chasen Allison (69), Adam Frump (7) and Sebastian Smith (6). Coyle (64) leads the Wildcats on to the field in a game earlier this season. Also in the photo, from left to right, Dylan Creager (5), Dustin Trace (44), Chasen Allison (69), Adam Frump (7) and Sebastian Smith (6). April Garrett | News Journal File Photo
Wildcats, Warriors open playoffs Saturday night in Mariemont

By Mark Huber

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Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports