While any coach will tell you they don’t dwell on the past, Clinton-Massie football coach Dan McSurley will be the first to tell you he has not forgotten last season’s game against Chillicothe.
The Falcons and Cavaliers battled tooth and nail for 48 minutes with Clinton-Massie coming out on top 22-19 in the first-ever South Central Ohio League meeting between the two schools.
With a 64-2 SCOL record since joining the league in 2005, not many teams have played the Falcons that close.
“They took us to the wire,” said McSurley. “They shut down our wishbone and with the conditions we had issues throwing the ball. We’ll try to be more balanced in the running and passing game.”
That will be no problem. Hunter Fentress gives Clinton-Massie an offensive weapon unsurpassed in the McSurley era. Fentress and his receiving corps can single-handedly score enough points to allow the Falcons to win most games on their schedule.
Chillicothe and Clinton-Massie are set to kickoff 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Frank Irelan Field.
While McSurley and Co. haven’t forgotten the 2014 game with CHS, it certainly isn’t the primary motivation for this week’s contest.
Clinton-Massie is 6-1 overall while Chillicothe is 5-2. But both teams are 4-0 in league play and tied with Wilmington atop the loop standings.
“This is a huge game for playoffs and a league championship,” said McSurley.
The Falcons will face the Hurricane in Week 9, another matchup that will help sort out the SCOL championship.
“We are preparing with a sense of urgency,” McSurley said. “The next two weeks will define us as a team.”
But the Cavaliers come first.
“Chillicothe has several players that have scoring ability on offense and special teams,” the CM coach said. ‘They play very well in the secondary and do a nice job of preventing big plays.”
When the Falcons are fortunate enough to have a big play, they can’t beat themselves with penalties. Last week, Massie had 13 in the 56-7 win over Hillsboro.
“We did overcome most of them,” said McSurley. “That was the most penalties very by a Massie team that I can remember. Hopefully, this won’t be as big of an issue this week.”