East Clinton has one more opportunity for a victory Friday night when a hot Blanchester squad comes to Lees Creek.
While the Astros have lost 12 straight regular season games, the Wildcats have won four straight after an 0-5 start.
East Clinton, in its third game under the guidance of Mark Scovanner, have played much closer games in recent weeks but continue to search for that elusive W.
The Astros were defeated by Clermont Northeastern 13-7 last week. The Rockets are still fighting for a playoff berth.
“We thought that was the toughest we’ve played all season on both sides of the ball,” EC coach Mark Scovanner said. “Our defense played a solid ‘bend, don’t break’ mentality as we only gave up a single score and forced five turnovers but we still gave up almost 300 yards rushing.
“Offensively, this was the best we’ve played all season. We established some rhythm but could not finish any drives. We had multiple opportunities inside the red zone that we could not take advantage of.”
Blanchester is clearly the class of the SBAAC National Division. The Wildcats crushed Fayetteville-Perry 69-0 last week and have outscored four division opponents 187-28.
“Blanchester is a tough team,” said Scovanner. “There is a reason they are at least sharing a portion of the division title. Defensively we have our hands full with their spread offense. They will utilize motion and line up in many different formations in order to out flank the defense. Their quarterback is a dual threat guy that spreads the ball out to multiple receivers and their tailback runs the ball hard, It will take both physical and mental toughness to stop them on offense.
“Offensively, we have to manage their solid front six. Their defensive line and linebackers play the run well. Blan has a guy in the secondary with five interceptions on the year so we have to be aware of their ability to create turnovers. It will be a massive challenge but one that if we keep mental and physical focus on winning individual battles we will have a great opportunity to win.”
Scovanner took over the East Clinton team after Jeremy Yankey resigned prior to the Week 8 game at Bethel-Tate.
“Going forward, this program needs to reestablish a winning culture,” the EC coach said. “Our guys need to learn or re-learn what it takes to win. We need to focus on doing the little things right every day. We need to show the guys that winning cannot start on the game field or even on the practice field, it is a way of life. If our guys are taught how to and then embrace making good choices off the football field, winning on the field will come. We need leaders to emerge and guys willing to be led.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports