Through most its South Central Ohio League years, Clinton-Massie could easily lament the lack of playoff points available with most of the teams in its league.
Oh, Wilmington offered a stiff test as did Chillicothe, but most other teams, most other years there simply wasn’t any room for improvement from a playoff standpoint for the powerful Falcons.
As the SBAAC American Division schedule begins this week, that is no longer the case.
Clinton-Massie will face 4-1 Batavia this week, then 1-4 Western Brown before finishing the season with 5-0 Goshen, 4-1 New Richmond and 4-1 Wilmington.
But head coach Dan McSurley is not looking beyond the Bulldogs and Friday night’s 7 p.m. kickoff in Clermont County.
“As far as looking ahead, we’re really only preparing for each team and trying to control the things that we can control,” he said.
Batavia is currently No. 8 in the Region 16 playoff standings, so a win would vault the Bulldogs squarely into the playoff race. Consequently, a Massie wins gives the Falcons valuable secondary points.
The Falcons are coming off a 52-6 win over Cincinnati Northwest. Massie is 5-0 and sits in the No. 5 spot in the Div. IV Region 16 playoff standings. The top eight in each region advances to the playoffs.
“This was our best and most complete game on the year,” McSurley said.
The Massie varsity-only defense has allowed fewer than 50 yards on the ground in each of the first five games.
With that in mind, the defensive secondary was young and inexperienced coming into the season. With teams being unable to run on the Falcons, they’ve turned … at least tried …. the passing game.
“With all the spread style offenses that we’ve played, the back end (of the defense) is getting a lot of experience and it’s starting to really show,” McSurley said.
Luke Richardson is among the SBAAC leaders in interceptions with three.
Massie has two of the top 10 rushers in the league. Christian Poynter has run for 655 yards and 13 touchdowns while fullback Cody Collingham has 406 yards and three scores on the ground.
Batavia runs the Wing-T offense. Clinton-Massie faced a Wing-T set against Edgewood in a scrimmage earlier in the year, McSurley said, so they’ve been exposed to the offense this season.
Jason Griffin has 425 yards rushing to lead the Bulldogs on offense. Dylan Ellington has 42 tackles to pace BHS on that side of the ball.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email email@example.com or on Twitter @wnjsports