WAYNESVILLE — A repeat of last year’s thrilling comeback against Waynesville slipped through the fingers of the Blanchester Wildcats Friday night at Waynesville High School.
Unable to get the offense untracked for the second week in a row, Blanchester fell to 0-3 with a 20-8 loss to the Spartans.
“Our big play stuff isn’t there,” BHS head coach Brandon Sammons said. “We’re dropping balls that are hitting our hands. Wide open guys that sometimes we’re missing.
“It’s not one guy. We’ve got to have 11 guys doing the right thing at the same time. That has been a big problem the last two weeks when we don’t have a big play ability.”
The combination of strong special teams from Waynesville and Blanchester’s sputtering offense spelled doom for the Wildcats.
Thanks to two long field goals by Cameron Anderson, Waynesville took a 13-8 lead into the intermission.
Anderson kept the Wildcats far from its end zone by pounding kickoffs for touchbacks and dropping punts inside the 20.
“He’s a weapon,” Sammons said. “We knew that going into it. I thought it could come down to their kicker being the difference in the game. It wasn’t quite the difference, but it definitely helped them.”
On a night that finished with plenty of rain, there was only one bolt of lightning from the Wildcat offense.
Blanchester took an 8-6 lead when Brayden Sipple found Brent Hopkins straight down the seam for a 93-yard touchdown pass.
Waynesville took the lead for good when Anthony Carmichael dropped a pass right into the arms of Tanner Fannin with 1:48 left in the first half. The 61-yard strike gave the Spartans a lead they did not relinquish.
“I feel like a broken record,” Sammons said. “It’s the same thing – effort, heart, hustle, assignment, execution – we’re just not doing it right now.”
Carmichael had an outstanding performance for the Spartans, completing 23 of 29 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns.
The Wildcats return home for two straight weeks but the schedule gets no easier. Before renewing the King of the Road rivalry with Goshen in two weeks, the Wilmington Hurricane visit Barbour Memorial Field next week.
“We’ve got to dig in,” Sammons said. “We’ve got to see what we’ve got inside. It doesn’t matter what we can scheme Xs and Os, if we’re not getting heart, we can only be so successful.”
Friday, Sept. 7, 2018
At Waynesville High School
Waynesville 20, Blanchester 8
W – Cameron Anderson 43-yard field goal 11:54
W – Anderson 47-yard field goal 7:40
B – Brayden Sipple 93-yard pass to Brent Hopkins (Tanner Creager run) 3:39
W – Anthony Carmichael 61-yard pass to Tanner Fannin (Anderson kick) 1:48
W – Carmichael 27-yard pass to Parker Struewing (Anderson kick) 9:41
PLAYS: W 68; B 58. FIRST DOWNS: W 19; B 12. RUSHES-YARDS: W 39-105; B 27-94. PASSING YARDS: W 280; B 191. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: W 23-29-0; B 11-31-1. TOTAL YARDS: W 385; B 285. PENALTIES-YARDS: W 5-60; B 4-25. FUMBLES-LOST: W 4-1; B 0-0.
RUSHING (CARRIES-YARDS): B Brent Hopkins 10-63, Junior Torres 1-8, James Peters 14-41. W Anthony Carmichael 20-30; Hunter Filmore 14-37.
PASSING (COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS): B Sipple 11-31-1 191 yards; W Cameron Anderson 23-29-0 280 yards.
RECEIVING (CATCHES-YARDS): B Brent Hopkins 2-105 TD, Jacksson Waialae 1-21, Junior Torres 1-17, Clayton Schirmer 6-44. W Tanner Fannin 4-108 TD, Riley Blankenship 12-96, Parker Streuwing 5-49 TD.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton