MARIEMONT — Early Blanchester turnovers combined with a potent Mariemont offense propelled the Warriors to a 40-14 victory Saturday night in the Division V, Region 20 playoffs.
Blanchester’s season ended at 5-5. Mariemont will play at Roger Bacon next Saturday night after the Spartans defeated East Clinton 49-6.
Mariemont took the emotional advantage from the opening kickoff with a surprise onside kick. Connor Souders both kicked it and recovered it.
The Warriors kept the momentum with two touchdowns in 12 seconds. Charley Tully hit Max Tepe for a 31-yard touchdown pass with 4:05 left in the first quarter.
After Blanchester fumbled on its next play from scrimmage, it took the Mariemont offense one play to capitalize. Tepe ran it in from the 17, and the Warriors led 14-0 with 3:53 left in the first quarter.
“The onside kick got us emotionally,” BHS head coach Jon Mulvihill said. “Turnovers capitalized into points are going to get you every time.”
Mariemont made it 21 unanswered with 5:26 left in the first half. Tully threw his second TD pass of the half, this time to Souders.
Blanchester’s offense finally got some momentum on the ensuing drive. A 6-play, 75-yard drive ended when Michael Mulvihill found Dameon Williams for a 26-yard touchdown pass. Blanchester was within 21-7 with 1:39 left in the half.
The next two Mariemont possessions put the game away. Tully completed five passes on the ensuing scoring drive, including the last one to Ethan Malafa for a 10-yard score with 16.9 left in the half. It was 27-7 Mariemont at the break.
After receiving the second half kickoff, the Warriors needed just five plays to score again. Tully threw his fourth TD pass of the night. Davis Whitmore pulled in the 36-yard catch and run, and Mariemont led 33-7.
“I thought we could stop the run with the way we were playing our defense,” Mulvihill said. “We stopped the run, and they hurt us with the pass.”
Despite the deficit, Blanchester played Mariemont mainly even after the Warriors’ quick start. The Wildcat young skill position players showed again why there is excitement about the program’s future, led by freshman quarterback/linebacker Michael Mulvihill.
Mulvihill threw for 111 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 65 yards and had double digits in tackles on defense.
“He’s just got a lot of heart,” Mulvihill said of his son. “He’s worked very hard to be where he’s at. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Williams, another freshman, had 63 yards receiving and a touchdown.
But it was also a chance for the eight Blanchester seniors to make their mark. The first senior class at BHS to go to the playoffs three straight times, the veterans were led by Adam Frump.
Frump threw for 33 yards, ran for 27, caught two passes for 22 yards and had numerous tackles on defense.
“Some of those seniors are going to be pretty hard to replace,” Mulvihill said. “It’s hard to replace Adam Frump. He’s a little guy, but he did everything for us. He’s been the starting free safety since he was a freshman. He’s the career interceptions leader at Blanchester.”
Another senior, Gabe McVey, had an outstanding touchdown grab in the back of the endzone in the second half.
The other six seniors include Bryan Bandow, Kennedy Campbell, Joseph Haines, Zane Panetta, Jacob Lanham and Seth Coyle.
“We’re going to miss all our linemen,” Mulvihill said. “We’re definitely going to miss all those guys. They’re good players. They’re good kids. I will miss them very much. They’ve started what I’ve wanted to start here. We’re going to try to continue what they’ve brought to us.”
Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021
At Tom Crosby Field at Kusel Stadium, Mariemont High School
Mariemont 40, Blanchester 14
M – Charlie Tully 31-yard pass to Max Tepe (Connor Souders kick) 4:05
M – Tepe 17-yard run (Souders kick) 3:53
M – Tully 7-yard pass to Souders (Souders kick) 5:26
B – Michael Mulvihill 26-yard pass to Dameon Williams (Bryan Bandow kick) 1:39
M – Tully 10-yard pass to Ethan Malafa (kick failed) 16.9
M – Tully 36-yard pass to Davis Whitmore (run failed) 10:30
B – Mulvihill 7-yard pass to Gabe McVey (Bandow kick) 6:20
M – Souders 53-yard punt return (Souders kick) 1:20
PLAYS: B 54; M 53. FIRST DOWNS: B 12; M 13. RUSHES-YARDS: B 38-90; M 29-78. PASSING YARDS: B 144; M 212. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: B 8-16-0; M 14-24-0. TOTAL YARDS: B 234; M 290. PENALTIES-YARDS: B 5-45; M 3-40. FUMBLES-LOST: B 3-2; M 0-0.
Rushing (carries-yards): B Michael Mulvihill 21-65; Adam Frump 12-27; Dameon Williams 4-13. M Max Tepe 18-99 TD; Charlie Tully 5-(-5).
Receiving (catches-yards): B Dameon Williams 2-63 TD; Gabe McVey 3-47 TD; Adam Frump 2-22; Carson Curless 1-12. M Connor Souders 5-98 TD; Max Tepe 4-39 TD; Davis Whitmore 1-36 TD; Timmy Stewart 3-29; Ethan Malafa 1-10.
Passing (completions-attempts-interceptions): B Michael Mulvihill 7-13-0 111 yards 2 TDs; Adam Frump 1-3-0 33 yards. M Charlie Tully 14-24-0 212 yards 4 TDs.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.