BLANCHESTER — A dominant second half Friday night propelled unbeaten Bethel-Tate to a 22-15 victory over Blanchester on homecoming night at Barbour Memorial Field.
It was a sloppy game that featured nine combined turnovers and five drives which ended in turnovers on downs.
Leading 15-14 at halftime, Blanchester had a golden opportunity to expand its lead early in the third quarter after a wild series of events which saw a combined four turnovers in 40 seconds.
After a Blanchester fumble, Bethel-Tate threw an interception. During the interception return, Blanchester fumbled it back to Bethel-Tate. On the next play, the Tigers would then fumble the ball back to Blanchester, which the Wildcats returned to the Tiger 15.
Blanchester had first and goal at the 5. Four plays later, Blanchester had gained just two yards and Bethel-Tate took over on its own 3.
“We’re not executing,” BHS head coach Brandon Sammons said. “We’re not doing the little things well. I know we’re a young team, but some of our older guys are making mistakes that you can’t make if you’re going to win football games.”
Bethel-Tate (6-0) started to push the tempo on offense as Nate Owens started gaining large chunks of yards on the ground.
Needing just one fourth down conversion on the drive, Bethel-Tate quarterback Seth Becker found Owens for a 10-yard touchdown pass on the 15th play of the drive. The two-point conversion gave the Tigers a 22-15 lead.
By comparison, Blanchester (1-5) ran just 15 offensive plays the rest of the game, gaining just one first down.
The second half was statistically lopsided. Bethel-Tate ran 44 plays in the second half to just 17 for Blanchester. Bethel-Tate rushed for 125 yards in the second half. Blanchester had just six rushing yards in the half and just 20 yards total.
After leading Blanchester in first downs 9-7 in the first half, Bethel-Tate finished the game with 19 first downs to just 9 for Blanchester.
Blanchester’s defense forced five Bethel-Tate turnovers. However, the Wildcats had four turnovers of their own, including three lost fumbles.
“Ball security is way too important, and we’re not taking care of that,” Sammons said. “We’re not tackling well. We’re not catching balls that hit us in the hands. Those things are always going to come back to haunt you, and it did again.”
Sept. 29, 2017
@ Barbour Memorial Field
Bethel-Tate 22, Blanchester 15
BT – Owen Holtke 17-yard run (Christian Altmayer kick) 4:46
BT – Seth Becker 29-yard pass to Chris Wheeler (Altmayer kick) 11:24
BL – Brayden Sipple 12-yard pass to Clayton Schirmer (Jasper Damewood kick) 6:19
BL – Brent Hopkins 4-yard run (Sipple pass to Brent Hopkins) 50.9
BT – Becker 10-yard pass to Nate Owens (Becker pass to Wheeler) 1:27
PLAYS: BT 79; B 53. FIRST DOWNS: BT 19; B 9. RUSHES-YARDS: BT 47-170; B 29-42. PASSING YARDS: BT 195; B 126. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: BT 18-32-3; B 11-22-1. TOTAL YARDS: BT 365; B 168. PENALTIES-YARDS: BT 7-57; B 5-45. FUMBLES-LOST: BT 2-2; B 3-3.
Rushing (carries-yards): BT Owen Holtke 21-72 TD; Seth Becker 16-27; Nate Owens 9-63; Cooper Dunn 1-8. B Brayden Sipple 4-(-31); Spencer Dissel 4-1; Brent Hopkins 21-72 TD.
Passing (completions-attempts-interceptions): BT Becker 18-32-3 195 yards 2 TDs. B Sipple 11-22-1 126 yards TD.
Receiving (catches-yards): BT Holtke 3-39; Owens 1-10 TD; Dunn 6-34; Chris Wheeler 2-47 TD; Gabe Noble 5-65. B Derick Bowman 4-44; Dissel 2-32; Tanner Creager 2-20; Jacksson Waialae 1-18; Clayton Schirmer 2-16 TD; Hopkins 1-6.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton