When scheduled, some may have thought Clinton-Massie’s game with Turpin Friday at Frank Irelan Field would be the first true test of the 2016 season for the Falcons.
And while the Falcons did start the season 1-0 for the 12th consecutive year, it was a hard-fought, two-day 33-29 win over Blanchester rather than a blowout.
“Anytime a team has to travel on back to back days (it) is very stressful for both players and coaches,” said CM coach Dan McSurley. “Also, Blan had a few more players going both ways which perhaps would have taken it’s toll in the second half (had the game been played on one day).
“However, we were just happy to come out on top of a very hard-fought game. We had a few injuries to some pretty important players.”
Turpin opened with an impressive 27-6 win over Cincinnati McNicholas. The Div. II Spartans forced four turnovers and had a pair of 100-yard rushers.
“We are now focusing on conditioning with more two-way players,” said McSurley. “Turpin is a much larger school and will utilize a two-platoon system, so it is all hands on deck including coaches. All of our players realize the importance and implications of this game. Turpin will be well-coached having 13 coaches to our four.”
Nathan Hooper and Will Hausfield both ran for more than 100 yards against the Rockets. Hausfield scored a pair of rushing touchdowns.
The Falcons had their own 100-yard ground-gainers. Quarterback Devon O’Bryon ran for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 10 attempts while Jaycob Wolf had 102 yards and a pair of scores on a workmanlike 25 attempts.
Per McSurley’s pre-season forecast, the 2016 Falcons in the opener were like so many Falcon teams of several years ago — they were ground-oriented on offense with 48 rushing attempts and just three pass attempts.
On defense, the Falcons were tough against the run — Blanchester ran 27 times and was credited with seven yards.
However, Tristan Greene, the BHS QB, had 342 yards and three touchdowns through the air in a game that was close throughout.
Tyler Beam led Massie with 7.5 tackles, including three tackles for loss. Trey Uetrecht had 5.5 tackles with two for loss. Western Trampler was credited with five tackles, three of those behind the line of scrimmage. Thomas Myers and Cody Collingham combined for 7.5 tackles, three for loss. Cole O’Bryon and Devon O’Bryon both had interceptions for the Falcons.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports