CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy looked every bit the part of the top-seeded team in Region 20 Saturday night, defeating Blanchester 42-0.
Blanchester’s season ends with a 7-4 record.
CHCA, the third-ranked team in the final Associated Press state football poll, improves to 11-0. They will play Milton-Union in the second round of the playoffs.
“We knew going into it if we were going to have a chance to win, it was going to be — maybe not a shootout — it was going to be a high-scoring affair,” BHS head coach Brandon Sammons said. “They’re a potent offense. They’re talented.”
The Eagles took the opening drive and covered 61 yards in eight plays. Kesean Gamble finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. CHCA led 7-0.
Blanchester’s first drive started with a high snap over quarterback Tristan Greene’s head, which he recovered for a 21-yard loss. Blanchester would punt after going three and out.
“Not much you can say about it,” Sammons said. “You couldn’t have asked for a worse set of circumstances.”
After a short punt, the hosts made it 14-0 following a four play, 40-yard drive. Gamble finished the scoring drive with a 1-yard plunge.
The Wildcat offense finally got its legs underneath it and embarked on a 13-play drive. Blanchester had first and goal at the 5, and third and goal at the 1, but a bad snap on fourth down ended the drive with no points.
“Hats off to them. They played a very good defensive game,” Sammons said. “Nobody shut us down this year, and they did it. And offensively they have a lot of weapons, and we struggled to stop them.”
CHCA took over at its own 9 and began to march again. Eight plays later, Gamble scored his third touchdown of the night, this time on a 37-yard run. With 5:46 left in the half, CHCA led 21-0.
Blanchester would again drive into CHCA territory before the end of the half. A 12-play drive took the ball from Blan’s 35 to the Eagles’ 28. The Wildcats converted two fourth-down plays, but could not convert a third as Greene was stopped short on fourth and three. CHCA led at the half 21-0.
CHCA would add another Gamble touchdown and a Danny Vanatsky touchdown pass in the third quarter to take a 35-0 lead.
It was Blanchester’s first playoff game since losing to Jonathan Alder in the 2006 Division IV, Region 16 championship game, 17-0.
“They’re tough kids,” Sammons said. “A lot of heart, a lot of effort they put forth. They’re a special group of kids. I hope the young guys are able to see some of that, take some of it and try and build on it.”
Nov. 5, 2016
@Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
CHCA 42, Blanchester 0
C – Kesean Gamble 7-yard run (Noah Harrison kick) 9:12
C – Gamble 1-yard (Harrison kick) 5:44
C – Gamble 37-yard run (Harrison kick) 5:46
C – Gamble 23-yard run (Harrison kick) 8:49
C – Danny Vanatsky 26-yard pass to Isaac Carpenter (Harrison kick) 2:41
C – Alex Barnard 49-yard run (Harrison kick) 11:31
PLAYS: C 46; B 47. FIRST DOWNS: C 22; B 8. RUSHES-YARDS: C 24-223; B 33-84. PASSING YARDS: C 199; B 44. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: C 17-22-0; B 7-13-0. TOTAL YARDS: C 422; B 128. PENALTIES-YARDS: C 6-55; B 5-46. FUMBLES-LOST: C 1-0; B 2-0.
Rushing (carries-yards): B Tristan Greene 22-75; Hunter Collier 9-41; C Danny Vanatsky 3-29; Kesean Gamble 12-152 4 TDs.
Passing (completions-attempts-interceptions): B Greene 7-13-0 44 yards. Vanatsky 17-22-0 199 yards TD.
Receiving (catches-yards): B Nick Hopkins 2-17; Quenton Miller 1-3; Hunter Collier 2-19.
Reach Matt on Twitter @ByMattSexton.