Blanchester’s first-year head coach Jon Mulvihill knows scoreboard watching will only get his Wildcats in trouble Friday night.
Blanchester, champions of the SBAAC National Division, will host East Clinton after wrapping up the outright league title last week.
With a win — and some help — Blanchester can continue its season next week in the OHSAA Division V state playoffs.
But there is no amount of help the Wildcats can get to make the playoffs if they don’t defeat the Astros at Barbour Memorial Field in the 50th meeting between the two county rivals.
“Take care of business and let’s do our part to ensure the best chance to play another week,” said Mulvihill. “East Clinton is the focus without a doubt.”
And that’s not going to be easy.
“East Clinton has some impressive athletes on the field,” Mulvihill said. “(Running back Todd) Wedding is as explosive as we’ve seen all year. Their quarterback (Jared) Smith also has big play capability. Their team overall is pretty young but this late in the season, they’ve built the experience they need to be dangerous. Defensively, they’re aggressive and fast. They will crowd the box and make us earn the yards we get. This will not be an easy game by any means, we will have to play four quarters of solid football in order to come away with a win on Friday.”
Blanchester leads the all-time series 26-23 and has dominated the past three seasons, outscoring East Clinton 148 to 46. At this point in the season, style points mean nothing. It’s all about the “W.”
“The National Division championship was goal No. 1 for our team this year,” said Mulvihill. “Beating East Clinton this week would give us the best chance to accomplish goal No. 2 for this season, the playoffs.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports