Dan McSurley has never backed down from a strong opponent.
So start a season with Cincinnati Anderson and Bishop Fenwick is no surprise.
But instead of softening things as the SBAAC American Division schedule begins, McSurley and the Falcons jump right into the fire.
Columbus St. Francis DeSales was the Division III state runnerup, falling to unbeaten Chardon in double overtime in the championship game 31-28.
These two perennial powers met in Week 5 of the 2013 season wtih the Stallions posting a 21-16 win.
Massie went on to win the second of two straight Division IV state championships later that season.
“Any time you get an opportunity to compete at the highest level against a program like DeSales, it gives you an idea of where we’re at as a team,” said McSurley. “In these high profile games I want the kids to just play and have fun.”
Kickoff ot SFD’s Alumni Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
“Should be a great atmosphere in a beautiful stadium,” McSurley said.
DeSales is 1-2 and not quite the team it was last season at this point in the year. However, DeSales was just 5-4 in 2013 when they defeated Massie.
The Falcons opened in Week 2 with a 29-22 loss to Anderson then bounced back in a big way with a 44-0 flogging of Fenwick last week.
“I think we made a big step from week two to last week,” said McSurley. “Our conditioning was our biggest improvement. I felt as if we could have played another entire game. Fenwick was breaking in an entirely new offensive system and we took advantage of that defensively.”
McSurley said his defense has improved this season primarily because of the secondary.
“The biggest difference from last year to this year has been our depth in the secondary,” he said. “This year so far we’re primarily two platoon and that really helped on both sides of the ball.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports