It’s a bit of role reversal for Clinton-Massie and Wilmington in this the regular season finale of the 2022 football season.
Wilmington is in the playoffs and Clinton-Massie likely needs a win to advance.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to enter the playoffs with nothing to lose and just have fun,” CM coach Dan McSurley said. “We need a win this week first.”
The Hurricane visits Frank Irelan Field to meet the Falcons. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday.
Last week’s defeat by Western Brown left Wilmington to play for league runnerup. The Broncos have winless Batavia this week, so a win is almost a certainty. The winner of the Massie-WHS game will be second in the American Division.
“Western Brown is a good football team,” WHS head coach Ryan Evans said. “We played them tough. Proud of my team and players.”
Evans said the Falcons “are great” in all three phase of the game, offense, defense and special teams.
The Falcons have not missed the playoffs since 2001. They’ve won three state championships during that run.
And while Massie could play in Week 11 win or lose Friday, the Falcons could be packing gear come Saturday morning and awaiting the start of the 2023 season.
“This week is a huge game for playoff chances, win and we’re in,” McSurley said.
The two schools met six times from 1971 to 1976. They split the first two with Wilmington winning 24-6 in 1971 and Massie coming back with a 21-6 win in 1972.’The next four games went to the Hurricane, the final three by a combined 121-0.
The teams didn’t meet again, though, until 2014 when both were members of the South Central Ohio League. In those three years, Massie came out on top in each one but the final two were thrillers — 29-28 in 2015 and 23-21 in 2016.
From there, however, the schools went to the SBAAC American Division and the Falcons dominated with wins by 48, 49, 39, 35 and 35 points.
Clinton-Massie is coming off a 42-21 win over New Richmond while Wilmington was defeated last week 32-14 by league leader Western Brown.
McSurley said his team made a few mistakes that allowed the Lions to hang around. It was 21-21 going to the final quarter when Massie exploded for the 21-point win. Wilmington also played New Richmond close before pulling away late in Week 8.
The Hurricane trailed the Broncos 12-7 last week before Western Brown scored two straight touchdowns to take control of the game. Massie also played the Broncos close the first half but lost it in the second half in Week 7.
The two teams are eerily similar in terms of numbers on offense. WHS 299 yards rushing per game. CM 285 yards rushing per game. WHS 284 yards passing for the season. CM 212 yards passing for the season.
If both teams stick to their previous game plans, this game could be over by 8:15 p.m.
“Wilmington is a run heavy team that spreads you out and uses some tough running backs to crease the secondary,” McSurley said. “Their defensive front plays hard, so it’s going to be won in the trenches.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports