BLANCHESTER — Despite four turnovers, Blanchester continued its dominance over Clermont Northeastern Friday night with a 37-13 win on homecoming night at Barbour Memorial Field.
It is the 11th straight win for Blanchester (2-3, 1-0 SBC National) in the series. Clermont Northeastern (2-3, 0-1) last won in 2010.
And while Blanchester was never in any danger to lose Friday’s game, it took until the fourth quarter to pull away thanks to four giveaways and two long Rocket touchdown passes.
“We’ve got to do a much better job in the weeks coming up taking care of the football,” BHS head coach Jon Mulvihill said.
The second of which – a 42-yard pass from freshman Josh Groeber to CJ Boothby with 56 seconds left in the third – pulled Clermont Northeastern within 21-13 after three.
“The two plays bummed me out a little bit,” Mulvihill said. “Stuff happens in football when you’re playing man-to-man coverage and sending seven guys every time. We stopped everything else, pretty much.”
Blanchester was able to finally pull away in the fourth thanks to the ground game. The Wildcats ran for 128 of its 356 rushing yards in the fourth. Two Sebastian Smith three-yard touchdown runs, and a safety provided the final margin.
The stats told the story of what could have been with the final margin. Blanchester ran 66 plays to just 38 for CNE and picked up 23 first downs to just seven for the Rockets.
Blanchester had the ball for over 31 minutes to just 16:42 for CNE. The Rockets ran for just 26 yards on 18 carries while allowing 356 yards rushing on 53 carries.
CNE gained 117 yards on two long touchdowns. The Rockets gained 83 yards on their other 36 offensive plays.
Bryce Sipple led BHS on the ground with 185 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Smith had 70 yards to go with his two scores.
After limited crowds for last year’s homecoming, the stands were jammed-packed with Wildcat supporters. Mulvihill and his team were appreciative of the support.
“Last year, we were only allowed to have so many people,” Mulvihill said. “There were four times as many people here as any time last year. It was cool to look up in the stands and not see a bunch of blank spaces. I’m glad everyone came out and I’m glad we put a win up on the board for them.
“We’re going to need them again in two weeks against Bethel-Tate, for sure.”
Before the showdown with the Tigers is a matchup at Williamsburg, which defeated Fayetteville 49-28 Friday night.
“Williamsburg is going to be a tough task,” Mulvihill said. “That’s the game we’re concentrating on right now. The next two games are really going to tell us how our season is going to go.”
Friday, Sept. 24, 2021
At Blanchester High School
Blanchester 37, Clermont NE 13
B – Bryce Sipple 10-yard run (Bryan Bandow kick) 10:04
B – Adam Frump 16-yard run (Bandow kick) 0:20
C – Josh Groeber 75-yard pass to Carter Corey (Connor Yeager kick) 7:04
B – Sipple 6-yard run (Bandow kick) 5:00
C – Groeber 42-yard pass to CJ Boothby (kick failed) 0:56
B – Sebastian Smith 3-yard run (Bandow kick) 9:38
B – Smith 3-yard run (Bandow kick) 4:04
B – Safety, snap out of endzone, 2:20
PLAYS: C 38; B 66. FIRST DOWNS: C 7; B 23. RUSHES-YARDS: C 18-26; B 53-356. PASSING YARDS: C 178; B 9. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: C 9-20-2; B 1-13-3. TOTAL YARDS: C 204; B 365. PENALTIES-YARDS: C 12-75; B 5-40. FUMBLES-LOST: C 2-0; B 1-1.
Rushing (carries-yards): C Jake Mott 5-29; Carter Corey 9-1; Josh Groeber 3-(-2). B Bryce Sipple 17-185 2 TDs; Sebastian Smith 14-70 2 TDs; Michael Mulvihill 9-51; Adam Frump 6-43 TD; Dustin Trace 2-8; Tyler Miller 2-3.
Receiving (catches-yards): C Carter Corey 2-74 TD; CJ Boothby 1-42 TD; Mitchel Braden 1-29; Justin Hartness 3-19; Landon Bacon 1-11; Ethan Wilson 1-3. B Adam Frump 1-9.
Passing (completions-attempts-interceptions): C Josh Groeber 4-9-0 119 yards 2 TDs; Jake Mott 5-12-2 59 yards. B Bryce Sipple 1-12-3 9 yards; Michael Mulvihill 0-1-0.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.