BETHEL — Blanchester secured at least a share of the SBAAC National Division title and spoiled Bethel-Tate’s homecoming with a 45-20 victory Friday.
The Wildcats (6-2, 3-0) can win the title outright in the season finale in two weeks at East Clinton.
Blan has a late-season non-conference tilt at New Madison Tri-Village, which ranked 10th in the Ohio Associated Press Division VI poll entering Friday’s games.
Blanchester’s win over Bethel-Tate Friday is its fifth straight since starting the season 1-2 and a 45-0 loss at Waynesville.
The Wildcats have scored at least 45 points in their last four victories.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Bethel-Tate.
After trading first-quarter scores with Bethel-Tate and giving up an 85-yard scoop-and-score to trail 14-6 at the 5:30 mark of the second quarter, Blanchester reeled off 39 unanswered points.
The first 26 came in the last 4:40 of the second half, and 20 of those came on Blanchester’s last three plays from scrimmage.
Blan answered the Tigers’ scoop-and-score quickly with a two-play drive that ended with a Michael Mulvihill 41-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Sipple to cut the Tigers’ lead to 14-12.
After a three-and-out on BT’s next drive and a six-yard punt gave Blan the ball at the Tiger 26, Blan took four plays to reach paydirt. Mulvihill got what his team needed on 4th-and-inches and then some on his 15-yard romp to the end zone. He also converted the two-point attempt to put Blan up 20-14 with 1:53 before the intermission.
Sammy Roush picked off BT’s first play on the ensuring drive, and then it was Mulvihill to Sipple again for 53 yards on the next play to put the Wildcats up 26-14 with 90 seconds to go in the half.
Blan forced another Tiger three-and-out and Sipple returned the resulting punt 53 yards to the BT 2, from where Mulvihill would plunge into the end zone a play later for a 32-14 Blanchester lead a half minute before the break.
The Wildcats’ first drive of the second half failed, but a perfectly placed punt pinned Bethel-Tate at its 2, and the Wildcats forced yet another three-and-out. The Tigers’ shanked a zero-yard punt that gave Blan the ball at the 4. Sebastian Smith scored a play later to give the Wildcats a 38-14 cushion midway through the third quarter.
Blanchester forced a running clock on its next drive when Mulvihill scored again on a 5-yard run with 4:05 left in the third quarter for a 45-14 advantage.
The Tigers (4-4, 2-1) halted the running clock with a touchdown pass with 5:46 left in the contest to set the final score.
Oct 7, 2022
@Bethel-Tate High School
Blanchester 45, Bethel-Tate 20
BL-Michael Mulvihill 6 yard run (PAT Failed)
BT-Cam Snider 1 yard run (PAT Failed)
BT-Nolan Darnell 86 yard fumble return (Talon Armacost Run)
BL-Bryce Sipple 41 yard pass from Michael Mulvihill (PAT Failed)
BL-Michael Mulvihill 15 yard run (Michael Mulvihill Run)
BL-Bryce Sipple 53 yard pass from Michael Mulvihill (PAT Failed)
BL-Michael Mulvihill 2 yard run (PAT Failed)
BL-Sebastian Smith 4 yard run (PAT Failed)
BL-Michael Mulvihill 5 yard run (Elijah McVey PAT)
BT-Troy Harris 10 yard pass from Cam Snider (PAT Failed)
PASSING: Blan-Mulvihill 3-9-1, 100 yards, 2 TD; BT-Snider 11-21-2, 156 yards 1 TD
RUSHING Blan (42-226) Mulvihill 22-139-4, Smith 13-58-1, Sipple 4-15-0, Sears 2-7-0, Goodwin 1-8-0; Bethel-Tate (12-33) Snider 5-16-1, Darnell 5-9, Armacost 2-8
RECEIVING: Blan-Sipple 2-94-2, Smith 1-6-0; BT-Essig 5-55, Harris 2-41-1, Morris 2-13, Darnell 1-40, Schultian 1-7.
INTERCEPTIONS: Blan-Roush 2
TACKLES: Mulvihill 12 (1 sack), Malone 5 (2 sacks), Allison 4 (3 for loss), Montgomery 5 (1 for loss), Roush 3, Goodwin 3, Short 2, Shank 2, Elsteon 1, Begley 1, Creager 1, Trace 1.