The in-county rivalry between East Clinton and Clinton-Massie continues Friday night in Lees Creek. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Falcons have won 51 consecutive South Central Ohio League games and are 30-1 in SCOL road games.
“Massie is the best in the league at running the ball and probably throwing as well,” said EC coach Jeremy Yankey. “They can beat you both in the air and on the ground. They can beat you with multiple players as well. Defensively they play a very tough in-your-face, attacking style with sound players who tackle well.”
Clinton-Massie is 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the league. East Clinton is 2-7 overall and 0-6 in league play.
“East Clinton is a young team transitioning into a new coach,” CM coach Dan McSurley said.
The Falcons, who have won 10 straight SCOL titles and 66 of 68 SCOL games, are coming off a heart-stopping 29-28 win over Wilmington.
“We really overcame some tough spots throughout the game and in the week leading up,” said McSurley. “We had to replace Jake Garrison on both sides of the ball and create a new defensive end for Colton Chandler. I think whatever could go wrong, went wrong. However, the kids kept poised and focused to come up with the win. It was the next guy up mentality the entire week.”
Jackson Grigsby led CM with eight solo tackles while Thomas Williams had six solos and Cole O’Bryon and Max Keeley had four solos each.
The Falcons offense was balanced, rushing for 214 yards and passing for 182 yards. Hunter Fentress was 12-for-17 passing with a touchdown. Davey Tunon rambled for 140 yards and a score on 17 attempts.
Bryce Boyd caught seven passes for 107 yards and a touchdown, the score that brought the Falcons within one in the final minutes of the game. Trey Uetrecht then caught Fentress’ two-point conversion that won it for Massie.
One downer was Clinton-Massie’s 10 penalties for 75 yards.
“I’m sure things should improve come playoffs,” a confident McSurley said.
The Astros had a 14-7 lead last week over McClain but lost 28-21. EC took the opening kick and grabbed the lead when Austin Hanners scored from the 6. The EC defense then held McClain out of the end zone on its opening series and things looked good for EC.
“Things started very well for us on both offense and defense,“ said Yankey. “We did a good job on offense most of the game.”
Erik Moore then passed 20 yards to Wyatt Floyd as East Clinton went up 14-7. But McClain scored 21 unanswered points before the Astros scored on a Moore to JT McCarren pass.
However it was the running game that pleased Yankey. With 107 rushing yards, East Clinton went over the century mark for just the second time against an SCOL foe.
Yankey was not pleased with his squad’s run defense. The Tigers rushed for 310 yards.
“We just continue to struggle to stop our opponents from running the football against us,” said Yankey. “McClain rushed for over 300 yards and you are just not going to win in the SCOL if you can not stop the run.”
East Clinton, though, will continue to field a young team on defense. Yankey said with Brian Barnes out for this game, East Clinton will start six sophomores and a freshman against the powerful Falcons.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.
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