CENTERVILLE – It certainly wasn’t the time or place, or fashion, Clinton-Massie was used to losing.
But when Kettering Alter, top-ranked in the final Division IV Associated Press poll, bounced the Falcons from the playoffs, 28-0 Friday at Centerville Stadium, it was the first time since 2010 Massie had lost in the regional semifinals and first time it had left the field without scoring a point since the final week of the 2006 regular season.
“We just got beat by a better team. They’re ranked No. 1 in the state for a reason,” CM head coach Dan McSurley said.
The Knights (12-0) conquered the Falcons (10-2) with a series of backbreaking plays.
Alter faltered on its first two drives but caught fire when sparked by a David Reuth 42-yard punt return to the CM 42. The very next play, Ryan Markoff hit JP Schimpf in stride for a touchdown.
“Usually coaches are going to go up top (after plays like that). We just kind of fell asleep. He broke loose on a slant play for a touchdown,” McSurley said.
After stuffing the Falcons a yard short on 4th-and-2, the Knights marched 60 yards in 15 plays to double their lead. The unlucky 13th play of the drive, for Massie, was looping 20-yard pass from Markoff to Holden Rushing in between two Falcons on 4th-and-14. John Bivens III capped the drive by bouncing off a couple Falcons at the 7 and sprinting to paydirt.
“The 4th-and-14 was a big play. We just didn’t get the coverage. The ball was way up in the air. We just didn’t make a play on the ball,” McSurley said.
Massie got the ball to start the second half but stalled after seven plays.
Alter’s first drive of the second half resulted in a 6-yard Rushing rushing touchdown and a 21-0 cushion.
The Knights put the final nail in the coffin early in the fourth quarter on a Markoff 24-yard keeper.
“I think what happened in the second half is we wore down. They used their numbers on us a little bit,” McSurley said.
Alter held Massie to 92 total yards. The Falcons got no further than the Knights 18 where Alter blocked a 34-yard Chris Demler field goal attempt.
November 11, 2016
Alter 28 Clinton-Massie 0
A-Justin Schmipf 42 yard pass from Ryan Markoff (Matt Ruffolo kick) 0:45
A-John Blevins III 7 yard run (Matt Ruffolo kick) 1:00
A-Holden Rushing 6 yard run (Matt Ruffolo kick) 2:58
A-Ryan Markoff 24 yard run (Matt Ruffolo kick) 10:05
Massie: 92 total yards, 87 rushing 5 passing. Penalties 0-0. Fumbles 1-0. First downs 7
Alter: 272 total yards, 211 rushing 61 passing. Penalties 1-5. Fumbles 0-0 First downs 13
RUSHING: ALTER-Markoff 16-83, Rushing 10-46, Bivens 8-35, Smith 6-32, Harris 2-9, Hedford 2-6, Wilson 2-0. MASSIE-Poynter 17-55, Hunt 5-21, Wolf 14-17, D. O’Bryon 5-6
PASSING: ALTER-Markoff 2-3-0, 61 yards, 1 TD; MASSIE-D. O’Bryon 1-2-0, 5 yards
RECEIVING: ALTER-Schmipf 1-42, Rushing 1-19; MASSIE-C. O’Bryon 1-5
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01