It will be like a homecoming for Clinton-Massie football coach Dan McSurley Friday night when his Falcons face the Urbana Hillclimbers in a Division IV Region 16 second round game.
McSurley began his varsity football coaching career with one of Urbana’s biggest rivals, St. Paris Graham.
“When I was coaching at Graham 27 years ago,” McSurley said, “Urbana was our biggest rivalry, so going back there Friday will be a little surreal.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Hillclimber Stadium.
“Urbana is very similar to a lot of teams we’ve already played,” said McSurley. “Wide open, spread style offense and a 50 stack defense.”
A member of the Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division, Urbana (9-2) advanced to play Clinton-Massie with a 42-35 win over arch-rival St. Paris Graham last week. The teams combined for 969 yards on offense (452 for Urbana). Both teams had 330 yards passing with Graham ran for 187. Both teams also had 10 penalties in the game, totaling 175 yards.
Rayvon Rogan led with 13 tackles (159 for season) while Shane Davenport had 10, including 1.5 sacks. These two combined for 10.5 sacks this season.
Will Donahoe, the UHS signal-caller, has 25 TDs and just 4 interceptions passing. He doubles as the team’s place kicker with 9 field goals (long of 40) and 45 extra points.
Austin Hill leads the ground game with 783 yards. The Hillclimbers have just 1,206 yards on the ground this season.
Legitimate deep threat Jonathan Hildebrandt averages 25.9 yards per catch on 40 receptions. He has 15 touchdowns. Rogan has 60 catches and 9 TDs receiving. They will challenge an “improving” Clinton-Massie secondary this week that has been “pretty seasoned from playing a few decent passing teams, including Unioto,” said McSurley.
The Hillclimbers only losses are to 3-8 Fort Recovery and 8-3 London. The only team with a winning record to count as an Urbana win was 7-4 North Union 38-12.
Massie has beaten 8-3 New Richmond and 9-2 Unioto this season. Aside from a stumble out of the gate, to a 3-8 Waynesville team, Massie has four losses by a total of 51 points to teams with a combined 34 wins. Edgewood (10-1), DeSales (7-4) and Western Brown (10-1) all won opening round playoff games last week.
With 531 rushing attempts compared to 33 passing attempts, the Falcons are the Falcons. Logan Chesser has 1,009 yards and 9 TDs while Brody Clutter chimes in with 849 yards and 11 scores. Five players have more than 365 yards rushing this season.
Gavan Hunter led by a wide margin with 110 tackles. Keegan Lamb is next with 49. Miles Theetge leads with 4 interceptions.
While Clinton-Massie lost its first four games, the 6-1 run to close the season is much like successful Massie teams of the past. When November comes around, the Falcons run game takes over. Last week every yard gained in the 38-0 win over Unioto was on the ground.
But this is a different Clinton-Massie team, the coach said.
“I think the biggest reward this season for our coaching staff is having so many players from all four grades contributing to the season in a big way,” said McSurley. “Usually it takes players in this program until their junior year to make some kind of an impact. We have multiple young guys playing varsity football at a pretty high level. We’re all about perfecting the little things right now and just having fun as a team.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports