CINCINNATI – Clinton-Massie will return to a familiar place using a familiar method.
The Falcons reached the regional final for the fifth straight year after knocking off Indian Hill 40-34 at Princeton High School’s Mancuso Field Saturday.
Massie, 11-1 and ranked sixth in the final Associated Press Division IV poll, will head there to face top-ranked Middletown Bishop Fenwick on the back and legs of Davey Tunon.
After setting a school-record for rushing yards in a game last week at 371, he nudged that up to 387 against the Braves (11-1). He scored Massie’s first two touchdowns to stake the Falcons to a 12-0 first-quarter advantage and then made Indian Hill’s game of catch-up more difficult by answering three Braves scores.
But perhaps Tunon’s best carries came on the game’s final drive. He converted two third downs, Indian Hill burnt all three of its timeout and CM took a knee to seal the game.
“He’s a special kid. He’s so explosive. He works so hard. I don’t think people really realize what goes into what he just did on the football field,” CM head coach Dan McSurley said about Tunon.
Tunon’s exploits spoiled quite a night for Indian Hill phenom Reed Aichholz, who racked up 321 total yards and accounted for all five Braves scores that each cut Massie’s leads from two touchdowns to one.
“There was never a safe situation the whole night,” McSurley said. “I don’t care if you gave those guys 30 seconds, they were going to score.”
Indian Hill had multiple chances to take the lead, only to come up short.
After Aichholz’s 12-yard run on the first play of the second quarter that made the score 12-7 Massie, Indian Hill recovered a pooch kick and marched to the CM 6 where it turned the ball over on downs. The Falcons then went 94 yards in six plays and about two minutes, all on Tunon carries, to build their cushion to 19-7.
The Braves had another chance to break serve and take the lead after another Aichholz score that came after the Braves stuffed Massie on 4th-and-1 at the CM 38. Massie converted a fake punt on a Christian Poynter 21-yard run and Tunon converted a fourth down and a third down later in the 12-play, 64-yard drive that ended with a Tunon TD and a 33-20 advantage.
“I felt like we needed a spark. We put Christian Poynter in there. I usually have Davey Tunon in there. When you have Davey Tunon right there at that spot, the fake there is not really a fake, because everybody is going to key on him,” McSurley said. “They were coming hard off the edge. We knew they were going to rush the punter. It sparked the offense and we scored off it. It ended up being a critical play in the game.”
Nov 14, 2015
@Princeton’s Mancuso Field
Clinton-Massie 40 Indian Hill 34
CM – Tunon 39 run (Kick failed), 10:03.
CM – Tunon 19 run (Conversion failed), 1:42.
IH – R. Aichholz 12 run (Heidel kick), 11:53.
CM – Tunon 27 run (Demler kick), 6:47.
IH – Heidel 27 pass from R. Aichholz (Conversion failed), 3:26.
CM – Williams 21 pass from Fentress (Demler kick), :44.2.
IH – R. Aichholz 1 run (Heidel kick), 7:28.
CM – Tunon 3 run (Demler kick), 2:05.
IH – R. Aichholz 2 run (Heidel kick), 11:55.
CM – Tunon 1 run (Heidel kick), 11:04.
IH – R. Aichholz 1 run (Heidel kick), 5:05.
RUSHING – Clinton-Massie Tunon 41-387, Wolf 9-37, C. Poynter 1-21, Hunt 6-3, Fentress 3-(-5), Total 60-443. Indian Hill R. Aicholz 14-39, Hunter-Cure 8-25. Total 22-64.
PASSING – Clinton-Massie Fentress 2-6 37, Indian Hill R. Aichholz 17-34-1 282.
RECEIVING – Clinton-Massie Williams 1-21, Boyd 1-16. Indian Hill Heidel 6-109, D. Aichholz 3-66, Wirthlin 3-38, Shaw 2-38, Hunter-Cure 2-22, Steuerwald 1-9.
Follow Shawn on Twitter @twinzdad01.