WILLIAMSBURG — Three huge defensive plays in the third quarter took all the drama out of Friday’s Blanchester-Williamsburg game.
Three interceptions, the last of which was a Dylan Miller 49-yard pick-six, propelled Blanchester to a 41-6 victory over Williamsburg.
With the victory, Blanchester (5-3) can win an outright Southern Buckeye Conference National Division title next week with a win at home over Bethel-Tate.
Blanchester led 14-6 at the half. Williamsburg went into its bag of tricks on its first drive of the third quarter. Quarterback Nate Bogan handed off to Kolh Miller, who pitched it back to Bogan. He heaved it long, but Dylan Miller stepped in front of it at the Burg 30.
Miller returned it to the Williamsburg 46, where he was tackled by his face mask. After the 15-yard penalty was signaled, Williamsburg got an additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
“That was huge. That was the catalyst we needed,” BHS head coach Brandon Sammons said. “We’re always looking each week for someone to step up and make the big play, whether it’s a big hit or a big run – something to get them going. That was it.”
Blan started from the Williamsburg 16 after the return and the penalties. Seven plays later, Dylan Miller finished the drive, receiving a pass from Tristan Greene and taking into the end zone from 6 yards out. Blan led 21-6.
Once again, Williamsburg would go to the air to try to get back into the game. This time, it was Nick Hopkins who intercepted Bogan at the Blan 29.
Six plays later, it was 28-6 Blanchester following a 3-yard run by Hunter Collier.
“The offense came out, and we told them after the first interception, it’s time to take over and man up,” Sammons said. “They did a good job of stepping up.”
Dylan Miller would put Williamsburg away on the next WHS series. On second down, Bogan’s pass was overthrown into the hands of Miller along the sideline. He never broke stride, taking it 49 yards to give Blanchester a 35-6 lead.
For good measure, Nick Hopkins added a 67-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
On the night, Dylan Miller had three catches for 30 yards and two touchdowns to go with two interceptions and one touchdown on defense.
“He capped off a pretty good night,” Sammons said. “Couple touchdown receptions and the pick-six, two interceptions total. Man, heck of a night, but that’s what we need.”
Williamsburg (3-5) had won three straight against the Wildcats. Sammons said it was important for his team to come to Clermont County and vanquish a tough rival.
“There’s a new guard in town,” Sammons said. “We’ve got a new group leading things, and the kids are buying in. They’re doing a great job. We told them from day one we should win this league. We’ve got that next step next week with Bethel. We’ve got to take care of it.”
The Tigers will come to Blanchester looking for a league title of their own. Bethel is 2-0 in the SBC-National, and can win the league with wins the last two weeks against Blanchester and Clermont Northeastern.
“It’s championship week, right?” Sammons said. “Let’s pack the stands out. Let’s bring it … make them wonder why they showed up. I want to see the whole village of Blanchester show up and the whole student section.
“It’s going to be a fun night and hopefully we can deliver for them.”
October 14, 2016
@Williamsburg High School, Williamsburg, Ohio
Blanchester 41, Williamsburg 6
B – Hunter Collier 4-yard run (Dakota Penquite kick) 6:53
W – Nate Bogan 15-yard pass to Wyatt Lefker (kick failed) 1:34
B – Tristan Greene 12-yard pass to Dylan Miller (Penquite kick) 9:23
B – Greene 6-yard pass to Dylan Miller (Penquite kick) 6:55
B – Collier 3-yard run (Penquite kick) 3:15
B – Dylan Miller 49-yard interception return (Penquite kick) 2:19
B – Nick Hopkins 67-yard interception return (kick failed) 8:54
PLAYS: B 46; W 55. FIRST DOWNS: B 16; W 13. RUSHES-YARDS: B 29-158; W 22-63. PASSING YARDS: B 76; W 139. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: B 9-17-0; W 17-33-5. TOTAL YARDS: B 234; W 202. PENALTIES-YARDS: B 10-105; W 12-113. FUMBLES-LOST: B 0-0; W 1-0.
Rushing (carries-yards): B Nick Hopkins 2-14; Tristan Greene 17-118; Hunter Collier 9-31 2 TDs. W Andrew Smith 3-12; Nate Bogan 9-27; Kolh Miller 9-19; Wyatt Lefker 1-5.
Passing (completions-attempts-interceptions): B Nick Hopkins 0-1-0; Greene 9-16-0 76 yards 2 TDs. W Bogan 17-33-5 139 yards TD.
Receiving (carries-yards): B Nick Hopkins 2-24; Quenton Miller 2-9; Jared Monhollen 1-6; Dylan Miller 3-30 2 TDs; Collier 1-7. W Adam Donohoo 1-5; Smith 6-25; Miller 4-41; Lefker 5-61 TD; Cameron Hart 1-7.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton