Week 10 Preview: Blanchester hosts East Clinton


By Mark Huber - mhuber@wnewsj.com



Blanchester’s Gabe McVey carries the ball against Bethel-Tate in a game earlier this season at Barbour Memorial Field.

Blanchester’s Gabe McVey carries the ball against Bethel-Tate in a game earlier this season at Barbour Memorial Field.


April Garrett | News Journal

Head coach Jon Mulvihill would like to bottle Blanchester’s second quarter last week in its impressive 55-35 win over Fayetteville. If so, the Wildcats would have plenty of trophies.

“We just physically imposed our will on them offensively,” Mulvihill said. “The second quarter was as well as we have played all season as a team. Got turnovers on defense, drove down the field on offense, just flat got after it. It was fun.”

The Wildcats might need to open that bottled up second period this week as East Clinton comes to town. Kickoff at Barbour Memorial Field is set for 7 p.m.

“East Clinton is a tough, physical, well coached team,” said Mulvihill. “They have been hit with injuries this year much like we have. They play the game a lot like we do. This week will be a tough contest. They run a smashmouth offense but also have a good deal of speed in the backfield with (Jared) Smith, (Glenn) Peacock and (Isaiah) Conger. They will load the box on defense and play man coverage. I expect this game to be a low scoring, physical game. Turnovers will be huge.”

The Wildcats will be playing their final home game of the regular season Friday night.

“We are graduating eight seniors,” Mulvihill said. “We will miss them and their leadership and experience very much.”

Blanchester has won five straight games in the series and 7 of the last 10 meetings. However, over the last 20 years, each team has won 10 times.

The winner of the game is almost assured of making the playoffs. The team that comes up short will need plenty of help and will likely face No. 1 Taft or No. 2 Preble Shawnee in the first round.

“This is most likely a win or go home type of game,” said Mulvihill. “If we did manage to squeak in after a loss, it would definitely put us against the 1 or 2 seed in the region at their place. We’re approaching this game like any other league game. No pressure, relax, play hard, trust your game plan. I think if we can do those things, we will be just fine.

After an 0-3 start and the fourth game cancelled by Covid-19, Blanchester has won four of its last five games.

“We are a much better team now than we were week one,” the BHS coach said. “However, the back half of our schedule is much different than the front half. The young guys getting game experience has definitely helped their progress, but we are not as healthy as I would like. We are without (Bryce) Sipple for the remainder of the season and that hurts us offensively.”

Blanchester’s Gabe McVey carries the ball against Bethel-Tate in a game earlier this season at Barbour Memorial Field.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/10/web1_FB8_blGMcVey1008ag-1.jpgBlanchester’s Gabe McVey carries the ball against Bethel-Tate in a game earlier this season at Barbour Memorial Field. April Garrett | News Journal

By Mark Huber

mhuber@wnewsj.com