Saturday night’s Region 16 semifinal football game between Clinton-Massie and London is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
It may be over at 8:10.
The Red Raiders and Falcons are both 10-1 and both teams choose to rush the ball more than they pass it.
“They run, run and run some more,” Clinton-Massie coach Jeskee Zantene said of the London offense.
That style of offense sounds familiar, doesn’t it Falcon fans?
The winner of Saturday’s Div. IV battle at Miami Trace’s Tony’s Welding and Fabrication Stadium will advance to a Nov. 17 game against either Wyoming or Indian Hill.
London and Clinton-Massie were both members of the South Central Ohio League for several years. The last time the two former SCOL rivals met on the football field was in 2012, the season Clinton-Massie won the first of back-to-back state championships.
The Falcons were 62-13 winners at London in 2012. They won 49-7 in 2011 at CMHS.
Dating back to the 2005 season, when Massie joined the SCOL, Clinton-Massie has an 8-0 series advantage. The Falcons haveoutscored the Red Raiders 371-87.
But Kyle Cutler is the new head coach at the Madison County school and things have changed for the better in recent years.
“This new staff has brought a physical brand of football to London,” Zantene said. “They will be physical and we will have to match that. They have done a nice job adding to the energy that surrounds their football program.”
This season, KJ Price and Brennan Spiess are the Red Raiders 1-2 punch at running back. Price has had several huge games on the ground, including a 300-plus yard performance. Spiess is the thunder to Price’s lightning and has lined up at quarterback this season.
“They have some really good backs that run behind a stout offensive line,” said Zantene. “They are very similar to us in the fact that they want to run power football.”
Bricker Thiel is the top defender on London’s squad.
“They will line up in multiple fronts (on defense),” the CM coach said. “They have some size up front that may be able to match up well with the size of our offensive line. Their leaders are their linebackers who run to the football well.”
The Raiders overpowered their 2018 schedule through nine weeks, outscoring opponents 537-130.
The biggest win of the season for London was a 42-0 victory over Grandview Heights, a Div. VI playoff team.
The lone loss for London was a 34-15 defeat at the hands of Whitehall-Yearling in Week 10. Whitehall-Yearling won its first Div. II Region 7 playoff game last week.
The Red Raiders defeated Cincinnati Taft 37-21 in the regional quarterfinal round last week.
Zantene said the Red Raiders, like the Falcons, don’t go to sleep during the week when it comes to special teams.
“They will do several things on their kickoff team to try and get the ball back to their offense,” he said. “It seems they want to have some sort of wrinkle thrown in on every special team including their PAT. We will have to plan and execute on all levels of special teams this week.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports