BLANCHESTER — Andrew Frump changed jerseys in the second half and made 74 stand-out with a key fumble recovery to help Blanchester to 19-7 win over Clermont Northeastern on Homecoming 2019 at Barbour Memorial Field.
Frump, who changed jerseys from 4 to 74 following a teammate’s injury, recovered a CNE fumble late in the fourth to help Blanchester rally for a victory in the first SBAAC National Division game of the year.
The Wildcats are 2-4 on the year, 1-0 in the National Division. The Rockets are 3-3 overall, 0-1 in the division.
“We knew CNE would be a big challenge for us,” BHS coach Jon Mulvihill said. “I told the kids we can’t win the league unless we win this one. The boys laid the wood tonight. I’m proud of them.”
Blanchester trailed most of the night, with a strong defensive effort and a lackluster offensive performance. CNE scored early then Jasper Damewood kicked two field goals for BHS. The Wildcats were down 7-6 in the second half.
“The defense is playing well, setting us up with good field position,” said Mulvihill. “We’re undersized, super young … but they play hard. They played their hearts out.”
On the go-ahead drive in the third quarter, the BHS offense got in gear, if only briefly. James Peters had a big run after the catch for a first down and the run game improved as the offensive line fired off the ball better.
The key mistake by the Rockets came in the form of a pass interference that put BHS in business at the CNE 13. A third and short procedure call against BHS pushed the home team back five. Undaunted, Conover plowed his way into the end zone to put BHS on top 12-7.
After a delay penalty, the try for two was made more difficult and failed to leave BHS on top 12-7 with 30.5 seconds to go in the third.
Neither team did much offensively as it remained a defensive struggle.
“That’s been the story all year on offense,” the BHS coach said. “Teams are flooding the box because they know we don’t pass the ball very well. We’re starting two freshmen and two sophomores on the offensiv eline. Nobody on our team weighs more than 240 pounds.”
But the Blanchester defense was stellar all night and Conover ran his second touchdown of the night with 2:13 to play in the fourth to seal the win. Tanner Creager and Conover both had interceptions late in the game to thwart CNE drives.
In general, the Blanchester offense struggled in the first half. CNE played well but the Wildcats also had several turnovers and miscues.
The Wildcats defense, though, was opportunistic if nothing else. Clermont Northeastern had receivers open most of the night but Blanchester was able to hold the Rockets to one touchdown.
Blanchester had two fumble recoveries in the half, one by Brady Phillips. The other was not able to be identified from the press box.
The Wildcats defensive front played well, pressuring the Rockets quarterback most of the night. They held CNE on first and goal in a series that overlapped the first and second quarter.
Christian Stubbs, James Peters and Nate Coyle led the charge for the BHS defense.
Late in the first half, the teams played giveaway. CNE had its two fumbles sandwiched around a BHS interception on consecutive plays.
The end result was the first of two field goals in the half by Damewood, this one from 28 yard outs at 5:13 to make it 7-3 CNE.
After failing to move the ball much of the half, Blanchester went 47 yards in two plays in the waning seconds of the second quarter to give Damewood another chance, this one from 31 and it was good to make it 7-6 CNE at the half.
In pre-game ceremonies, Ally Davis was crowned queen and Tanner Creager was crowned king of the annual BHS Homecoming.
Oct 4, 2019
@Barbour Memorial Field
CNE: Hopkins 15 yards pass from Amann (Extra Point Good) 3:19
BHS: Jasper Damewood 28 yard field goal, 5:13
BHS: Jasper Damewood 31 yard field goal, o:oo
BHS: Colt Conover 9 yard run (Pass failed) 30.5
BHS: Colt Conover 9 yard run (Jasper Damewood Kick) 2:13
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports