After a rough start to the season, Blanchester limped into its first SBAAC National Division contest against Clermont Northeastern in Week 6.
Three weeks later, the Wildcats are in the hunt for a post-season berth. A huge 30-24 triumph last week over playoff-hopeful Bethel-Tate has Blanchester in a good place as Halloween nears but the coaches must guard against a big-win hangover.
“With the win last week we’ve moved into a possible playoff situation,” first-year BHS head coach Jon Mulvihill said. “That alone has given us motivation to stay focused these last two weeks.”
Blanchester is 4-4 after a 1-4 start to the year and will travel to Fayetteville-Perry Friday night. With a win, the Wildcats will earn no less than a share of the National Division crown.
With a win, more importantly, Blanchester keeps its faint playoff hopes alive going in to a Week 10 county showdown with East Clinton.
The win over Bethel-Tate was keyed by Tanner Creager’s fingertip catch and 56-yard touchdown reception, and an opportunistic defense that came up with four turnovers.
Jasper Damewood, the BHS kicker/punter, has played a key role in the recent win streak.
“Jasper has really come on this season,” said Mulvihill. “He has done a great job of doing what we’ve asked him to do in recent weeks and very rarely has a punt that is returned. He’s only missed one field goal on the year and is perfect on his extra points. He is a big part of why we’ve been able to do what we’ve done thus far.”
Fayetteville is banged up, said Mulvihill. Levi Wiederhold, the starting quarterback, was injured against East Clinton a couple weeks ago and is out. But the Rockets have Blake Coffman and Hunter Jester to contend with along with a stingy defense.
“I’d imagine they’ll dedicate more guys to the box this week in order to limit our running lanes,” said Mulvihill.
If the Rockets are successful early stopping the run and forcing BHS to pass, Wildcats fans should remain confident. Last week, the coaches went to the lockerroom at the intermission and they came out and won the second half.
“The halftime adjustments of mixing in man coverage blitzes created problems for (Bethel-Tate) and led to some turnovers that created scoring opportunities for us,” said Mulvihill.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports