ADAMS TOWNSHIP — Clinton-Massie’s schedule is chock full of winning football teams, Anderson, Columbus DeSales, Western Brown.

On the other hand, there are plenty of teams who struggled in 2021. Therefore, Massie had to maintain sharp focus to not only beat the good teams but make sure the teams that struggled didn’t pull off an upset.

“We come out to get business done,” said senior Colton Trampler, who was named the SBAAC American Division defensive player of the year. “We don’t ride the highs very long and when there are lows we don’t wallow in it.”

Clinton-Massie’s season continues 7 p.m. Friday when Waverly comes to Frank Irelan Field for a Div. IV Region 16 matchup. The Falcons defeated the Tigers 31-28 in last season’s playoff thriller.

In the regular season, Massie never played back to back teams with winning records. The Falcons finished with three teams with losing records to prepare for the playoffs.

Kody Zantene, quarterback and defensive back, said the seniors have helped navigate the team through the up and down schedule.

“This senior group … you never know when it’s going to be your last game,” he said. “Just get better each game. Don’t worry about your opponent, just get better.”

And the Falcons have done that in 2021.

Carter Frank, talented running back who missed the last half of 2020f because of an injury, said his experience as a sophomore provides a driving force when it comes to preparation.

“Making sure everybody was ready to play, not overlooking anybody,” he said. “My sophomore year that happened with Valley View (a Massie loss). We just have to know everything we can about our opponents. Learn from our mistakes.”

Unlike the playoffs, many teams on the Massie regular season schedule have very little chance of knocking off the Falcons.

With that in mind, Trampler points to his squad’s practice habits.

“We work everyday on being better,” he said. “Practice is sometimes more difficult than the games because of the level we hold each other to.”


• The senior class defeated Archbishop Moeller in a freshman game three seasons ago, sparking thoughts of a future state championship.

For Zantene, son of coach Jeskee Zantene, the win over Moeller didn’t really add to where most people believe the Falcons year should end … in Canton.

“The expectations here are always high,” he said. “It’s always the same goal, so there’s not really much pressure.”

• According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, at least one school from every seed won a first-round playoff game last week. Overall in the first round, the better seeded teams went 191-33 at home for an 85.3 winning percentage.

In the final three years (2017-19) of the previous playoff format when the top eight schools per region qualified and only seeds No. 1 through No. 4 hosted, the better seeded teams won their first-round games at a 74.4 winning percentage (250-86).

• CM head coach Dan McSurley wasn’t a fan of the 16-team playoff until last week.

“At first I thought it was a bad idea,” he said. “However after some higher seeds lost to some real low seeds, it kinda changed my opinion.”

McSurley hopes with a more teams advancing to the playoffs, there will be less pressure to schedule easy wins.

“A lot of schools won’t schedule strong programs for fear of losing and not making the playoffs,” he said. “This may change that mindset.”

Clinton-Massie head coach Dan McSurley puts his squad through a workout Tuesday afternoon at Frank Irelan Field. head coach Dan McSurley puts his squad through a workout Tuesday afternoon at Frank Irelan Field. Mark Huber | News Journal
2020 playoff thriller came down to McGuinness field goal

By Mark Huber

[email protected]

Win over Valley View gives Waverly CM rematch

Despite trailing 18-0 at halftime, Waverly defeated Valley View last week in its playoff opener, 28-18.

Jase Hurd scored two touchdowns on the ground while Wade Futhey threw two TD passes to Penn Morrison. All four scores came in the second half.

Hurd finished with 155 yards rushing while Futhey was 20 for 31 for 239 yards passing. Morrison was the top receiver with an 8-141-2 line.

Clinton-Massie will be tasked with stopping that offense 7 p.m. Friday night at Frank Irelan Field in the second round of the Div. IV Region 16 playoffs. The two teams met in last year’s post-season.

“The talent level is there,” Massie senior Kody Zantene said. “I’m sure they’re coming in here with a chip on their shoulder. We just have to come out with the same intensity.”

Last year, Trevor McGuinness kicked a 24-yard field goal as time expired to give Clinton-Massie a 31-28 playoff win.

‘They had an amazing offense,” said Carter Frank, who missed that playoff battle royale because of an injury. “We just had the ball last and came out with the W.”

Clinton-Massie head coach Dan McSurley said his squad is covering all bases in preparation for Friday night’s contest.

“Waverly is pretty much the same on offense and defense, so we’ve watched both last year and this year,” he said.

McSurley said the Tigers like to throw the football but with Hurd have a strong running game.

“They’re really similar to our non-conference opponents so we think that should help on the defensive side of the ball.”


• Waverly finished fifth in the Harbin Computer Ratings in Region 16. They are 9-1.

• During the regular season, the Tigers defeated one Div. III team (Miami Trace, 42-3), defeated one Div. IV team (Unioto, 47-10), defeated five Div. V teams and one Div. VI team (Valley, 42-14). The only loss was to Div. V Wheelersburg, 21-14.

• Waverly scored 42 or more points in seven games this season. The Tigers have allowed 149 points in 10 games.

• Waverly played seven teams that advanced to the post-season — Miami Trace, Portsmouth, Washington Senior, Valley, Portsmouth West, Wheelersburg, Minford.

• Waverly had two games canceled this season, one Sept. 10 against Chillicothe and another Sept 17 against Washington Senior. The Tigers were able to schedule Portsmouth Sept. 17 and posted a 35-34 win.

Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports