Wyoming’s Pierson Rogers was the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Div. IV Southwest District offensive player of the year.
He’ll be one of the key pieces for the Clinton-Massie defense to focus on when the two teams meet 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lakota West High School in the Region 16 championship game.
“They obviously are a talented group,” said CM head coach Dan McSurley. “They’ve scored some points.”
The Cowboys averaged 46 points a game in the regular season. They have scored 35 in two playoff games.
“Their running back and quarterback are pretty good,” said Massie junior defender Thomas Myers. “Their quarterback also is a really good runner. Their running back is similar to Valley View’s. He hits the hole up front, sticks his head down and tries to get as many yards as he can.”
Rogers, a 5-11, 210 junior, gained 934 yards and scored 20 touchdowns during the regular season. Evan Prater is the WHS quarterback and he ran for 650 yards and 10 scores.
Prater also passed for 1,347 yards and 21 touchdowns, giving the Cowboys a versatile offensive threat.
“He is a little bit similar to New Richmond (quarterback Josh Anderson) running the ball,” Myers said of Prater, a 6-5, 180-pound sophomore.
Five Cowboys caught at least 10 passes during the regular season with Joey Edmonds leading the way with 29 catches for 421 yards and eight touchdowns.
On the defensive side for the Cowboys, Hasan Black, a 6-2, 220-pound junior linebacker, leads the way.
“Their defense is solid,” McSurley said.
Black was the second leading tackler for WHS. James Smith is a 6-4, 230-pound junior lineman who led the team with five sacks. Cam O’Gara, another linebacker at 6-2, 220, is a sophomore who was the leading tackler while recording a team-high three interceptions.
“They have some very good linebackers,” said Massie’s Ty Beam. “It’s going to be a hard-nosed football game.”
McSurley said the game plan – as always with his Falcons – will be to control the ball with the running game.
“It will be important for us to play the same game plan as Valley View and keep them (Cowboys) off the field,” he said. “Against Valley View we had 31 minutes possession and Valley View had like 17 which was exactly how we had to play that game.”
Another battle inside the battle in this regional title game comes on special teams.
Clinton-Massie’s Derick Carlisle is a bonified weapon on kickoffs. He is quite adept at field goals and extra points as well.
But McSurley said Wyoming’s Sergio Listo also is the real deal.
“Their kicker is one of the best we’ve played,” the CM coach said.
Listo had a field goal, 52 extra points and a 35-yard punting average for Wyoming this season.
It’s been 10 years since Massie and Wyoming met in the playoffs. However the wait between games may not be as long the next time. While both teams have solid seniors, they are using underclassmen in key roles in all facets of the game.
“They are a younger team than we are used to playing,” said McSurley. “They’re playing about four or five seniors and the rest are juniors and 10th graders.”
Said Spencer Voss, “They are obviously a good team. They are going to come out and hit us hard. We have to hit them harder.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email email@example.com or on Twitter @wnjsports