BLANCHESTER — A defensive stand and a special teams surprise helped Blanchester pull away from Fayetteville Friday night in a 50-14 victory at Barbour Memorial Field.
Blanchester (4-1) scored 20 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 27-7 lead. Fayetteville had three consecutive big gains on offense in the final 38 seconds of the first half and had one shot at the end zone.
Quarterback Levi Wiederhold threw for the corner to Jayden Bradshaw, but he was unable to stay inbounds. The Wildcat lead remained 27-7.
Fayetteville (4-1) was set to receive the second-half kickoff. Blanchester surprised the Rockets with an onside kick. Freshman Bryce Sipple got the perfect kick and bounce, and Blan recovered at the Rocket 48.
“It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision,” BHS head coach Jon Mulvihill said. “I looked at our guys and they wanted the ball. We decided to go for it.”
Seven plays later, Brayden Sipple found fellow senior Trenton Czaika for one of his three touchdown receptions and the rout was on.
Was it practice makes perfect for the Wildcat special teams?
Not exactly, said Mulvihill.
“I told (Sipple) who to kick it at and he made a perfect onside kick,” Mulvihill said. “We tried 30 onside kicks in practice and he didn’t do any of them good at all. So we tried it in the game, and there it is, the one good attempt was the one that mattered.”
On senior night, it was the Wildcat veterans that put the game out of reach. Gage Huston had 61 all-purpose yards, a touchdown and a pair of two-point conversion catches.
Brayden Sipple had four touchdown passes and a touchdown run. He had nearly 300 yards passing and nearly 100 yards rushing. Czaika finished with 89 yards receiving on six catches.
It appears the seniors will get at least one more home game when the playoffs start in two weeks. They can still earn a share of a National Division title with a win at East Clinton next week and a Fayetteville win over Bethel-Tate.
The performance was a bright spot in an otherwise tough week for the Blanchester football program after the loss of coaching legend George Rise.
“They went out there and busted their butts especially for me and Coach (John) Lovin,” Mulvihill said.
Mulvihill is in his second year coaching his alma mater. After opening the season last year with a road defeat at Washington, Blanchester returned home and gave Mulvihill his first varsity coaching win, 34-7, over Taylor.
When the Wildcat head coach made his way toward the locker room, a surprise visitor awaited him as he exited the field.
“I saw George Rise standing there in the opening of the fence gate,” Mulvihill said. “I’m sure the look on my face was a big smile. A handshake turned into a hug. He said he was proud of me, and that was the last time I spoke with him.
“The last time I spoke with him, he told me he was proud of me. I’ll always remember that.”
Friday, Sept. 25, 2020
At Blanchester High School
Blanchester 50, Fayetteville 14
B – Adam Frump 15-yard pass from Brayden Sipple (Bryan Bandow kick) 7:34
F – Jayden Bradshaw 56-yard pass from Levi Wiederhold (Kendall Holden kick) 3:30
B – Trenton Czaika 16-yard pass from Sipple (kick blocked) 9:46
B – Gage Huston 1-yard run (Adam Frump run) 4:50
B – Sipple 13-yard run (kick failed) 0:38
B – Czaika 24-yard pass from Sipple (Sipple pass to Huston) 9:26
B – Czaika 12-yard pass from Sipple (Frump pass to Huston) 4:37
F – Blake Coffman 21-yard pass from Wiederhold (Holden kick) 10:11
B – Bryce Sipple 8-yard run (Bandow kick) 6:26
PLAYS: F 50; B 55. FIRST DOWNS: F 14; B 26. RUSHES-YARDS: F 20-106; B 23-187. PASSING YARDS: F 200; B 283. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: F 16-29-1; B 20-31-1. TOTAL YARDS: F 306; B 470. PENALTIES-YARDS: F 4-25; B 13-120. FUMBLES-LOST: F 2-2; B 0-0.
Rushing (carries-yards): F Levi Wiederhold 10-46; Hunter Jester 9-63. B Brayden Sipple 6-92 TD; Colt Conover 2-9; Chase Barnes 1-22; Gage Huston 11-43 TD; Bryce Sipple 3-21 TD.
Receiving (catches-yards): F Jayden Bradshaw 5-94 TD; Blake Coffman 5-71 TD; Tyler Tipis 3-22; Austin Attinger 2-18. B Brody Rice 5-46; Colt Conover 2-39; Adam Frump 4-56 TD; Trenton Czaika 6-89 3 TDs; Gage Huston 2-18; Noah Faulkner 1-35.
Passing (completions-attempts-interceptions): F Wiederhold 16-29-1 200 yards; B Sipple 20-31-1 283 yards.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.