ADAMS TOWNSHIP – In its opening argument in its first game as the state’s top team in Division IV in the Associated Press poll, Clinton-Massie made a convincing case in the court of gridiron opinion with a 63-6 pasting of Dayton Thurgood Marshall in a Region 16 playoff matchup at Frank Irelan Field Saturday.
It was an open-and-shut case after just 10 offensive plays in the opening quarter during which Massie built a 35-0 cushion.
“I thought our kids were really fresh. We came out of the gate hot. We needed that week off,” CM head coach Dan McSurley said about his team’s two-week break before the playoffs.
Quarterback Kody Zantene and running back Carson VanHoose accounted for the five first-quarter trips to the end zone. Zantene hit VanHoose on a 31-yard strike three plays into the game. Two plays after a Thurgood Marshall three-and-out, Zantene sprinted 58 yards to paydirt. One play after the Cougars turned the ball over on downs, VanHoose had a 40-yard scoring romp. One play later, Thurgood Marshall fumbled, and two plays after that, VanHoose found the end zone again, this time from 10 yards out. Zantene rounded out the first-quarter scoring with a 53-yard pick six.
Massie forced a running clock 4:57 before the intermission after a pair of second-quarter scores, an 11-yard run by VanHoose and a Colton Trampler 7-yard run.
“Overall it was one of the best halves we played all year,” McSurley said. “We ran a lot of different things offensively that other teams have to prepare for. Kody, we’ve been kind of holding him back a little bit. We let kind of let him go. We just wanted to empty the playbook tonight.”
The Falcons (7-0) scored on its first drive of the second half, a Gabe McDowell 13-yard run.
Thurgood Marshall answered immediately with Antawn Nathan’s 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Braden Rolf tacked on Massie’s final score, a 9-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
“The whole bench played, and we’re healthy going into next week,” McSurley said.
Massie advances to play Southern Buckeye Conference National Conference counterpart Bethel-Tate at 7 p.m. Saturday at Frank Irelan Field.
Oct. 17, 2020
@Frank Irelan Field
CM – VanHoose 31 pass from Zantene (McGuinness kick); 10:46.
CM – Zantene 58 run (McGuiness kick); 7:31.
CM – VanHoose 40 run (McGuiness kick); 4:52.
CM – VanHoose 10 run (McGuiness kick); 3:53.
CM – Zantene 53 interception return (McGuiness kick); 3:31.
CM – VanHoose 11 run (McGuiness kick); 8:30.
CM – Trampler 7 run (McGuiness kick); 4:57.
CM – McDowell 13 run (McGuiness kick); 1:08.
TM – Nathan 89 kickoff return (Conversion failed); :31.7.
CM – Rolf 9 run (McGuiness kick); 2:59.
Plays – Thurgood Marshall 40, Clinton-Massie 35. Total offense – Thurgood Marshall 112, Clinton-Massie 361. Time of possession – Thurgood Marshall 25:29, Clinton-Massie 22:19. Rushing attempts-yards – Thurgood Marshall 15-46, Clinton-Massie 31-312. Passing – Thurgood Marshall 8-25-2 66. Clinton-Massie 3-4 49. Turnovers – Thurgood Marshall 3, Clinton-Massie 0. First downs – Thurgood Marshall 5, Clinton-Massie 18. Third-down conversions: Thurgood Marshall 2-10, Clinton-Massie 5-6. Fourth-down conversions: Thurgood Marshall 1-5, Clinton-Massie 0-0.
RUSHING – Clinton-Massie VanHoose 6-98, Zantene 2-62, Trampler 8-35, McDowell 5-31, Ireland 2-25, Lamb 3-21, Keck 3-18, Smith 1-13, Rolf 1-9.
PASSING – Clinton-Massie Zantene 3-4 49.
RECEIVING – Clinton-Massie Vanhoose 1-31, Trick 1-14, Trampler 1-4.
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01.