BLANCHESTER — Three touchdowns in 3:11 of the fourth quarter turned Blanchester’s first home playoff game in 14 years into a rout, as the Wildcats defeated Madison Plains 55-33 Saturday night.
The win broke a three-game playoff losing streak for Blanchester dating back to 2006. It was the first playoff win since defeating Clinton-Massie 41-7 on Nov. 10, 2006, at Kings High School. It was the first home playoff win since beating North College Hill 29-13 on Nov. 3, 2006.
With the victory, Blanchester (6-1) will host Springfield Shawnee at 7 p.m. Saturday at Barbour Memorial Field. Shawnee shut out Middletown Madison 34-0 in its playoff opener Saturday night..
Much of the damage in the second half for Blanchester was done on the ground. After forcing a Golden Eagle fumble at the Blanchester 37, the Wildcats needed just four Gage Huston runs to find the end zone.
The final Huston run was 26 yards and gave Blanchester a 35-20 lead with 9:54 left in the third.
“That was a huge momentum change,” BHS head coach Jon Mulvihill said. “Coach (John) Lovin did a really good job at halftime making adjustments that got us some room on the running plays. We were able to control the clock. When you can run and pass, it makes a huge difference.”
It remained 35-20 heading into the fourth quarter. In the span of just two offensive plays, Blanchester put the game away.
On its first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter, Brayden Sipple found Brody Rice for a 31-yard touchdown. Blanchester led 41-20.
Two plays into Madison Plains’ next drive, sophomore quarterback Evan Coil was picked off by Rice who returned it 45 yards for another Wildcat score.
After a Golden Eagle three-and-out, Huston needed just one play to find the end zone again. This time, it was a 47-yard touchdown run.
In the span of 3:11, Blanchester’s lead went from 35-20 to 55-20, and the first playoff win in 14 years was locked up.
Huston finished with 154 yards rushing and two touchdowns to go with a 10-yard touchdown reception. Colt Conover had 106 combined rushing and receiving yards and a touchdown.
“We came out and reeled off five or six 10-yard-plus plays and got them on their heels,” Mulvihill said. “They tried to load the box more and that made the pass plays open. Sometimes you’ve got to run to open up the pass, and sometimes you’ve got to pass to open up the run.”
Brayden Sipple threw for 235 yards and four touchdowns.
As the number two seed in Region 20, Blanchester will remain at home for the second week in a row as Shawnee comes to town. It’s a team that has Mulvihill’s full respect and attention.
“We’ve got them here, they’ve got a long drive,” Mulvihill said. “They’re a good team. I voted them number two in the region. I think they’re a really, really good team. We’re going to see what we’re made of.”
Division V, Region 20 Playoffs
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020
At Barbour Memorial Field, Blanchester High School
Blanchester 55, Madison Plains 33
B – Gage Huston 10-yard pass from Brayden Sipple (Bryan Bandow kick) 8:21
B – Adam Frump 19-yard pass from Sipple (Bandow kick) 6:16
M – Dalton Cunningham 4-yard run (run failed) 4:21
M – Paul Bryant 85-yard pass from Evan Coil (run failed) 11:48
B – Colt Conover 3-yard run (Bandow kick) 9:32
M – Cunningham 8-yard run (Cunningham run) 7:13
B – Frump 9-yard pass from Sipple (Bandow kick) 3:15
B – Huston 26-yard run (Bandow kick) 9:54
B – Brody Rice 31-yard pass from Sipple (kick failed) 11:41
B – Rice 45-yard interception return (Bandow kick) 10:40
B – Huston 47-yard run (Bandow kick) 8:30
M – Cunningham 13-yard run (pass failed) 2:19
M – Bryant 1-yard run (Coil to Cunningham pass) 0:06
TEAM STATS: PLAYS: M 55, B 68. FIRST DOWNS: M 16; B 27. RUSHES-YARDS: M 33-142; B 29-219. PASSING YARDS: M 165; B 235. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: M 10-21-2; B 17-37-0. TOTAL YARDS: M 307; B 454. PENALTIES-YARDS: M 5-35; B 4-26. FUMBLES-LOST: M 2-1; B 1-1.
Rushing (carries-yards): M Dalton Cunningham 17-114 3 TDs; Ryan Ernst 6-31; Evan Coil 4-(-4); Paul Bryant 5-13 TD. B Brayden Sipple 3-12; Colt Conover 8-50 TD; Gage Huston 17-154 2 TDs; Bryan Bandow 1-3.
Receiving (catches-yards): M Ryan Ernst 4-37; Andrew Hunt 2-21; Paul Bryant 2-97 TD; Josh Champer 2-10. B Brody Rice 5-76 TD; Colt Conover 3-56; Adam Frump 5-61 2 TDs; Trenton Czaika 3-32; Gage Huston 1-10 TD.
Passing (completions-attempts-interceptions): M Evan Coil 10-19-2 165 yards TD. B Brayden Sipple 17-37-0 235 yards 4 TDs.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.