KETTERING – Clarksville Clinton-Massie edged West Milton Milton-Union 18-14 in the Division IV, Region 16 semifinals Saturday night at Fairmont’s Jack Roush Stadium in a wild affair in front of a near capacity crowd.
In a game that featured everything from last second heroics on defense to trick plays on offense, it was Clinton-Massie that came out on top at the final whistle – thanks in large part to WR/DB Logan McCormick.
McCormick tallied 120 yards receiving on four catches with two TDs and two INTs including a pick in the final minute of the game to seal the win for the Falcons.
“Coach (Dan McSurely) had a game plan. We were running against our offense all week and we knew we had to contain (Milton-Union) on defense and I think we did a heck of a job containing them,” McCormick said.
“Offensively, we are a powerhouse, running football team and we use our pass plays off of that. Coach (McSurely) did a heck of a job knowing when to throw and our quarterback (Chad Fields) did a nice job putting it out there for me to make plays,” he added.
Clinton-Massie (11-1) came out firing on all cylinders scoring on two of its first three possessions before Milton-Union (10-2) even recorded a first down.
The Falcons got on the board midway through the first quarter with Fields connecting with McCormick for a 35-yard TD strike on fourth down and four. With the failed 2–point conversion, Clinton-Massie held a 6-0 early lead.
Fields hooked up with McCormick again on Clinton-Massie’s next possession for a 50-yard TD as the clock ran out on the first quarter. RB Jesse Calhoun lost his footing on the 2–point conversion attempt and the Falcons took a 12-0 lead into the second frame.
After trading turnovers in the second quarter, Clinton-Massie orchestrated an 11 play, 71-yard scoring drive capped off by a 3-yard Calhoun TD run as he stretched the ball across the goal line. With an illegal procedure call on the point after, the 25-yard attempt failed and Clinton-Massie held an 18-0 advantage with 2:45 left in the half.
Milton-Union answered, though, scoring twice in the next 1:48 before the break.
Facing a second down and 22 situation on their own 29, Bulldogs QB Jon Mason hit Tyler Wilson on a screen pass and Wilson raced up the sideline 71 yards to the end zone. The Kurt Brackman point after cut Clinton-Massie’s lead 18-7.
Fields was picked off on Clinton-Massie’s next possession by Dan Harmon setting up the Bulldogs on the Clinton-Massie 21 with less than a minute left in the half.
After a holding call and a 9-yard gain, Mason connected with WR Brandon Johnson who shed several tackles and stumbled to the end zone for a 23-yard scoring play. The point after cut Clinton-Massie’s lead to 18-14 and gave the Bulldogs momentum going into the locker room.
“We got a turnover and wanted to score so we worked as a team and put it in,” Johnson said. “The locker room was loud at halftime and we told each other we needed to pick it up and come back the second half but mistakes killed us in the second half.”
The second half was a battle of defenses as both teams buckled down not allowing any points on either end.
Clinton-Massie threatened late in the third quarter but Calhoun fumbled on the Milton-Union 6 and the Bulldogs pounced on it ending a 16-play, 6:28 drive. But Milton-Union was unable to convert the turnover to points.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Milton-Union ran a lateral play with Mason bouncing the ball off the turf to Johnson who heaved the ball down field to Trevor Luckenbill for a 44-yard gain down to the Clinton-Massie 19.
“It was just one of our trick plays we were running all week,” Johnson said. “I am either supposed to run it or throw it but (Luckenbill) was open so I threw it. I thought he would score on it. In practice, we got it every day this week so I thought he would score on it.”
But three plays later, McCormick picked off Mason to end the drive.
Milton-Union had one more chance to put points on the board getting the ball back with just under 30 seconds left in the game on their own 18 but on first down McCormick picked off another Mason pass to put a bow on the 18-14 win.
McSurely commented on McCormick’s big night.
“I noticed he was a whole head taller than some of the defenders on him and he was just ready to play the game,” he said. “He’s got such a great ability to get away from defenders and run great routes you’ve got to go to him.
“The passing game worked for us in the first half and that was all we needed to win the game.”
Fields was 6-of-12 passing for 135 yards with two TDs and two INTs despite Clinton-Massie primarily running a Wishbone offense.
The Falcons tallied 350 yards of offense to Milton-Union’s 205 and held the edge in time of possession 35:27 to 12:33, respectively.
“The defense played lights out. It was just a spectacular defensive effort,” said McSurely.
Clinton-Massie had 215 yards rushing with Calhoun collecting 72 yards on 24 carries and a TD and Levi Schwab adding 99 yards on 23 carries.
Mason finished 5-of-13 passing for 125 yards with two TDs and two INTs.
Clinton-Massie will take on Coldwater next week in the regional finals. The Cavaliers upset No. 1 seed Kettering Alter 59-52 in triple-overtime Saturday at Piqua's Alexander Stadium.