Even though his Blanchester Wildcats are staring an 0-3 start square in the eye, head coach Jack O’Rourke is optimistic. His squad is getting better. All they need to do now is win.
“We are getting better,” he said. “Our defense has been improving each week. When we execute and block our assignments, we are a very good running team.”
The Wildcats will look to take that 0 out of the win column this week when Waynesville comes calling at Barbour Memorial Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Waynesville is off to a slow start this season. The Spartans dropped a 26-21 decision to Bellbrook to begin the year then were routed by unbeaten Indian Hill 61-19 in the second week.
The Wildcats lost to the Spartans 38-20 in 2014, 56-13 in 2013, 36-0 in 2012.
“Waynesville runs a spread, option offense and likes to throw the ball,” O’Rourke said. “They run an attacking 3-3 (defense) and will stunt quite often. They are a solid team.”
After a slow start through the season’s first 6 quarters, Blanchester’s rushing attack really picked up in the second half of the 21-20 loss to East Clinton Saturday.
With injuries forcing BHS five-deep on the quarterback depth chart, the offense has struggled to find consistency.
However, Nick Grogg’s move to the backfield as a runner seemed to get things headed in the right direction.
“Our ground game started clicking because of confidence,” O’Rourke said.
After totaling 90 yards receiving in the opener against Clinton-Massie, Grogg did not catch a pass against East Clinton but ran 13 times for 91 yards and a touchdown. With Grogg providing a solid threat and taking the defensive focus, the ground game opened up for Hunter Collier (90 yards against EC) and Nick Hopkins (53 yards and 1 TD).
“We need to keep working on the basics,” said O‘Rourke. “We still need to improve our fundamentals. We need to make our (defensive) reads better. We must focus on our keys better.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.