The South Central Ohio League opens yet another season. In recent years, it’s been the Clinton-Massie Invitational.

Will 2016 be the same?

For Clinton-Massie, it’ll be a supreme test Friday night when the Falcons travel to state-ranked Miami Trace for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The Panthers are No. 9 in Div. III in this week’s Associated Press poll.

“Miami Trace is off to a great start at 3-0, so this is a huge game for Harbin ratings,” said CM coach Dan McSurley. “Every one knows what’s at stake. Trace will be physical and well-coached in all three phases.”

Clinton-Massie (2-1 on the year) has never lost an SCOL opener, 11 straight wins. The Falcons are also 52-0 in their last 52 SCOL games, dating back to a loss at Gardner Park to the Blue Lions on Oct. 12, 2007.

“As far as the league is concerned it’s all about avoiding injuries and depth,” said McSurley.

The Falcons continue to add to their depth, unfortunately because of injuries in some cases.

“I think we had a few young players really step up and fill some really big roles,” McSurley said of last week’s 36-0 win over Shawnee. “Ty Beam replaced Weston Trampler at the fullback position and did a nice job with virtually no reps in practice. Thomas Meyers continues improving on defense along with Cody Collingham.

“We are still not at full participation but are getting some players healthy and in game condition. Hopefully over the next few weeks we will have what we thought we were going to have at the beginning of the season.”

One area keeping the Falcons on the winning side of things is special teams. Led by kicker Chris Demler, the Falcons kicking game and special teams in general separate them from many of their opponents.

Kicker Chris Demler leads the Clinton-Massie special teams. Chris Demler leads the Clinton-Massie special teams. Elizabeth Clark | News Journal

By Mark Huber

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Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports