Paint Valley is one of the best teams Blanchester will play this season.
Coach Jon Mulvihill knew that going in. But he wasn’t expecting his Wildcats to be hit by the turnover bug in a 42-26 loss to the Bearcats.
“We will fix the turnover issues,” the coach stated forcefully.
The fixing begins this week when Blanchester crosses over to the SBAAC American Division to face Batavia. The game at Batavia’s Holman Motors Stadium is set to kickoff 7 p.m. Friday.
Blanchester and Batavia last met in 2016 with the Wildcats coming out on top of the Bulldogs 28-7. Blan also won in 2015, 41-21. The Bulldogs last defeated the Wildcats 21-20 in 2014.
Mulivhill said Batavia has numerous young, skilled athletes that will pose problems to the Blanchester defense. They have guys who are “fast and athletic” pass-catchers.
On defense, Batavia deploys a 5-2 front 7 “with walk away defensive ends and outside linebackers that will slant and blitz at times,” Mulvihill said.
“They have good size and are very aggressive,” he added. “They have a nasty attitude that sometimes gets them penalties.”
Mulvihill said his team will need to run the ball and stop the run to be successful Friday night.
The good thing about playing a team like Paint Valley is it exposes the weaknesses that a team may not know about.
“We have room for improvement,” said Mulvihill. “Paint Valley was one of the better teams on our schedule. This week we have to concentrate on fixing what they exposed. Having said that, we will concentrate on being better in all facets.”
Mulvihill said his team must make better decisions but there were players in posotions “they weren’t ready for yet. They will improve through the year and we’ll be better because of that.”