Defenses for both teams figure to be tested Saturday night when Indian Hill and Clinton-Massie square off in a Div. IV Region 14 semifinal game at Princeton High School’s Mancuso Field.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Clinton-Massie is 10-1 coming into the game while Indian Hill is 11-0. The Falcons are the region’s No. 3 seed while the Braves are the No. 2 seed.
“Indian Hill is a complete contrast to us on both sides of the ball,” said CM coach Dan McSurley. “They run out of a spread, looking to run their quarterback.”
Reed Aichholz threw for 2,112 yards and 13 touchdowns in the regular season while rushing for 928 yards and an eye-popping 25 touchdowns.
“He’s a big kid (6-5, 220 pounds) that’s started since his sophomore year, so he will be very experienced in the passing and run games,” said McSurley.
His primary target on offense is Dawson Aichholz, a 6-1, 180 receiver, who has 39 catches for 726 and six scores.
Massie has scored 543 points this season while Indian Hill has amassed 413 points.
The defenses for both squads have been solid — CM surrending just 165 points this season while IH has given up 170.
“They run a 3-3 stack front (on defense),” McSurley said. “We haven’t seen this defense since last season, so our focus is getting a feel for blocking it correctly.”
Dan Becker, a 6-4, 235-pound linebacker, leads Indian Hill on defense with 69 solo tackles. Marcus Baskin, a 5-7, 185-pound linemen, leads the Braves with six sacks while Grant Gottdiner, a 5-10, 210 lineman, has 5.5 sacks.
Indian Hill is a member of the Cincinnati Hills League. The Braves opened the playoffs with a 31-14 win over fellow CHL member Wyoming. Indian Hill defeated WHS 19-14 during the regular season.
The Braves also had regular season wins over two other playoff teams — New Richmond 42-14 in the season opener and Reading 42-35 in the regular season finale.
Clinton-Massie faced two playoff teams this season, losing to Steubenville 37-18 and defeating Chillicothe 42-21.
• In the other semifinal game, No. 1 seed Bishop Fenwick meets No. 4 seed Kettering Archbishop Alter at West Carrollton High School.
Elsewhere in Div. IV:
Region 13: Steubenville (10-0) plays Salem (10-1) in Minerva and Johnstown-Monroe (11-0) meets St. Clairsville (9-1) in Zanesville.
Region 12: Columbus Bishop Hartley (7-3) faces Ottawa-Glandorf (8-3) in Bellefontaine and Bellevue (9-2) plays Kenton Ridge (8-3) in Findlay.
Region 11: Peninsula Woodridge (11-0) battles Youngstown Ursuline (6-5) in Hudson and Parma Heights Holy Name (8-3) takes on Mantua Crestwood (9-2) in Macedonia.
All Div. IV games kickoff 7 p.m. Saturday.
• Among Div. IV regions, Region 14 has the best overall record at 42-2. Region 13 teams have lost two games as well, but have won just 40 games.
• Of the 16 Div. IV teams remaining in the playoffs, 11 also made the playoffs in 2014. In Region 14, Alter and Clinton-Massie made the playoffs in 2014 while Fenwick last appeared in the post-season in 2012 and Indian Hill last made it in 2007.
Alter has an all-time playoff record of 37-18 while Massie is 25-12, Fenwick 13-13 and Indian Hill 6-8.
• Indian Hill has never won a state football championship. Alter’s last state football title came in 2009 while Fenwick last wore the crown in 1974. Clinton-Massie won state titles in 2012 and 2013.
• There are 112 teams remaining in all seven divisions. Higher seeds were 81-31 last week.
• The Div. IV state championship game will be held Dec. 5 at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff has not been set, but will be either 10 a.m., 3 p.m. or 8 p.m. that day.
• Clinton-Massie has the fifth longest active streak of making the playoffs at 14 straight seasons, dating back to 2002.
Steubenville has made the state playoffs 28 times, fifth most in OHSAA history.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.
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