The Clinton-Massie Football Invitational begins this week as the other seven South Central Ohio League teams renew their attempt to unseat the reigning champions.
The Miami Trace Panthers are the first SCOL squad with the opportunity to knock off the champs. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Frank Irelan Field.
“They are just so solid in the fundamentals,” Miami Trace head coach Steve Bartlett said. “Everything they do, they seem to do it well. They tend to reload every year. You think they are going to graduate some people. But, that’s a tribute to their program. They do things well and they do them right all the time.”
Clinton-Massie has won 45 straight league games and nine consecutive SCOL championships, with eight of those outright. In 2007, the Falcons shared the league title. In 2005, the first year CM played in the SCOL, Miami Trace was the league champion.
At Frank Irelan Field, the Falcons are money, winners of 33 straight since losing their first home SCOL game at Trace on Sept. 23, 2005.
“The league (title) is a team goal,” said CM coach Dan McSurley. “We know we’ll be getting everyone’s best the rest of the way out.”
McSurley said he rested standout running back Davey Tunon against Indian Creek (Ind.) after he was battered around during a strong performance the previous week against Steubenville. Brad Hunt stepped up, McSurley said, and led the Falcons with 97 yards on the ground. At the goal line, Jacob Wolf slammed his way into the end zone three times.
“The offense is very balanced right now, pass to run, and the line continues to improve,” McSurley said.
Hunter Fentress went 13-for-17 passing for 204 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas Williams was his chief target, reeling in six passes for 64 yards.
Trey Uetrecht led the defense with three tackles, including 1.5 sacks.
“We are still trying to find ourselves on defense but we are getting close,” said McSurley.
The coach said his squad must eliminate its mental mistakes in order to improve.
“Overall, we are healthy, however depth is a concern, so staying healthy is a huge factor right now,” McSurley said.
Chris Demler, the Falcons kicker, “is getting much strong and gaining a lot of confidence,” said McSurley.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.