After winning 16 straight season openers from 2005 to 2020, Clinton-Massie has now started back-to-back seasons with 0-1 records.
The Falcons are still smarting from last week’s 14-7 defeat at the hands of neighboring rival Waynesville.
“It’s been a tough weekend, losing the way we did,” Massie coach Dan McSurley said.
It won’t get any easier for the Falcons this week as perennial power Edgewood provides the opposition. Clinton-Massie heads to Trenton for a 7 p.m. Friday kickoff.
“This week’s game will be a slugfest,” said McSurley. “Edgewood is very similar to us, classic Wing-T offense.”
The Cougars were defeated last week by Milford 42-6.
Clinton-Massie started the game with Waynesville by hogging the ball for all but 30 seconds in the first quarter. The result was a 19-play, 83-yard touchdown drive that put them on top 7-0.
From there it was a myriad of mistakes that proved to be the downfall of the Falcons.
“Special teams, turnovers and not finishing drives will beat you every time,” said McSurley.
While the coach and his staff have been together for a number of years, they haven’t been in this exact position in a while. Rather than change a spark plug or two from year to year, this almost looks like an engine rebuild is underway.
“We’re trying to straighten things out,” he said. “I think all of our mistakes are correctable and that’s our primary focus.”
Clinton-Massie has not last consecutive games in the same season since 2011. But at 0-1, with Edgewood this week and games looming against teams such as Fenwick, Columbus DeSales, Goshen, Western Brown and New Richmond, McSurley knows a “W” this week goes a long way toward keeping the ship afloat.
“I hate to talk about urgency this early, but this game is really important to us,” he said.