Blanchester or Bethel-Tate has shared top honors in the SBAAC National Division each of the past three seasons.
The Wildcats won league titles in 2018 and 2016 with the Tigers claiming first place in 2017.
This week’s showdown appears to be following the same pattern as the two teams enter Friday night’s game at Barbour Memorial Field unbeaten in division play.
“Bethel-Tate is the toughest of our remaining opponents,” BHS coach Jon Mulvihill said. “They’ve had some very good non-league games as well so they’re coming into week eight confident. They have great team speed. Defensively they’re not big but they run as well as any defense we’ve played this year. With all the athletes on the field, Bethel-Tate is dangerous on special teams as well.”
The Tigers have lost to a pair of very good teams — 5-2 Bellbrook (14-2) and 6-1 Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (28-14).
Both Bethel-Tate and Blanchester are on two-game winning streaks. The Wildcats had a big showing last week in a 42-20 win over Williamsburg.
“We performed much better but we left some points on the field as we fumbled into the end zone and were stopped at the 1,” Mulvihill said. “Defense was tough as well but again had some let-ups.”
Blanchester won last season’s meeting 49-21 with the Tigers winning 22-15 in 2017, a season they were undefeated during the regular season. The Wildcats won 73-18 in 2016.
After a 1-4 start to the season, Mulvihill remained confident in his team who remained confident in each other.
“The thing that most people don’t get to see with this group is that they genuinely like each other,” he said. “We have great team chemistry. They work hard and they have fun together. It has been a blast to have this group in my first year of being the head coach.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports