The big sigh from western Clinton County Friday night was the proverbial monkey being lifted off the back of the Clinton-Massie football program.
After an uncustomary, honestly unthinkable 0-4 start, the Falcons defeated Harrison last week at Frank Irelan Field 31-17.
“I believe this game helped us gain some confidence going in to league play,” CM head coach Dan McSurley said.
With losses to Waynesville, Edgewood, Fenwick and Columbus DeSales to following their 2021 Div. IV state championship, Massie finally notched its first win. The losses were by a combined 35 points, so not exactly four blowouts. They had a chance to win each and every game.
Still for a team that averages less than two losses per season over the past 20 years, four defeats is mind-boggling.
Clinton-Massie begins SBAAC American Division play 7 p.m. Friday when Goshen comes to Lebanon Road.
“We expect to see a lot of passing from Goshen and obviouisly they know what to expect from our offense, so they’re going to be well prepared,” McSurley said.
Greg Miller, a former standout lineman for Clinton-Massie, had been the head coach at Goshen prior to Shane Elkin taking over this season.
The Clinton-Massie rivalry with Goshen reached its zenith when the Warriors defeated the Falcons 33-31 in 2017. That was the first year Clinton-Massie rejoined the SBAAC.
The loss was the first in 61 league games covering the SBAAC and South Central Ohio League for Clinton-Massie at the time. It also was the first SBAAC loss for Clinton-Massie after 25 straight wins. Massie was part of the SBAAC from 2002-04 then again in 2017.
Since then, though, the rivalary with Goshen has been all Massie. The Falcons have outscored the Warriors 182-30 in the four games following that 2017 encounter.
And despite the tough start to the season, Clinton-Massie has everything to play for as the 2022 campaign heads in to the second half of the regular season.
“All of our goals are still out there if we continue to improve each week,” said McSurley. “Winning our conference is the main goal.”
And step one of that process is Friday night.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports