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High school football in Middle America doesn’t get any better than Friday afternoon’s affair between Clinton-Massie and St. Clairsville. The game features a pair of undefeated teams who are looking for the first state title in football. They are disciplined squads from hard-working, blue collar towns. This is a huge deal for their communities, who have backed them from the very beginning of this quest. Neither team would have it any other way battling the best to earn a state title and everlasting fame back in their home city.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE RED DEVILS (14-0) vs. CLINTON-MASSIE FALCONS (14-0)
Site: Fawcett Stadium, Canton McKinley HS
Kickoff: Friday, November 30th at 3:00 P.M.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Bayle Wolfe has been a workhorse for Clinton-Massie with 401 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in four post-season games. The junior has 1,839 yards and 37 scores on the ground this fall. Wyatt Running has 444 more yards rushing in the playoffs. The senior has run for 1,657 yards and 21 touchdowns. Trent Smart, JD Curtsinger, Travis Daugherty and Wolfe have been huge on defense during November.
Boston College-bound Dan Moteroso presents problems as a receiver for the C-M defense. Monteroro has the speed and size to make life miserable for the Falcons’ secondary. He has over 1,300 yards receiving. Jerrid Marhefka can break a game open with his big-play ability. Center Cole Stephen anchors the o-line. Jay Gossett and Monteroso have a knack for making things happen on defense for the Red Devils.
TEAM TRENDS: Clinton-Massie has scored a state record 771 points this season. St. Clairsville has scored 37 or more points in every contest. On the opposite side of the ball the Red Devils have given up at least 27 points in every playoff game. The 21 points that C-M yielded to Bishop Hartley last Friday was a season high. The Falcons have only allowed 14 or 13 points three times while the other 10 foes have been held to seven points or fewer.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Controlling the clock by moving the chains and keeping the offense on the field as long as possible will put the Red Devils in a position to win late in the contest. An efficient offense will be St. Clairsville’s best defense. What can’t happen is turning the ball over on special teams or via the passing game. Clinton-Massie has made teams pay for miscues by converting takeaways into points time and time again.
CLINTON-MASSIE’S KEYS TO VICTORY: As good as the offense has been the defense will need to have one more stellar night. The underrated unit will be tested once more but when the dust clears expect them to rise to the occasion. The Falcons have shown to be above average in every phase of the game and one more complete and focused performance will be needed versus the Red Devils.
PREDICTION: CLINTON-MASSIE 42, ST. CLAIRSVILLE 24
Greg is a co-founder of TSF and is now entering his ninth season as a Featured Analyst for the website. The Xavier University grad also serves as the Content Manager for the website and is widely considered one of the top high school football experts in the region. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.