Division IV State Final Preview: Two of Ohio’s top offenses ever go at it


JJHuddle State Football Coverage

The D-IV State Championship has arrived. Whether you’re headed to Stark County or headed to the couch to watch on TV, here’s what you need to knowKeys, Two Cents, Stories, Stats, Top Players, Quotes, Notes & More.





Clinton-Massie (14-0) vs St. Clairsville (14-0)
Friday, 3 p.m. at Canton Fawcett Stadium
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There will be a first-time state champion with two first-time finalists…This is also the only state final that features two first-time state finalists…The teams have combined for 1,453 points this season…Massie has scored a state record 776 points, while St. Clairsville’s season total of 677 ranks No. 6 all-time…Massie is the first team from Clinton County to play for a state football title.


St. Clairsville (14-0, ONG JJH #2/AP #7)

Head Coach: Brett McLean
Nickname: Red Devils
Affiliation: Ohio Valley Athletic Confernece/Buckeye 8
School-Type: Public
2012 Regional Seed: 1 (Region 15)
2012 Regional Tournament: Cadiz Harrison Central (W, 41-6); Piketon (W, 59-27); Johnstown-Monroe (W, 37-29)
State Semifinal: ONG JJH #3/AP #3 Creston Norwayne (W, 40-27)
State Championships: 0
State Semifinal Appearances: 3 (12, 86, 83)
State Final Appearances: 1 (12)
All-Time Tournament Record: 11-8

The Difference Makers:
*Dan Monteroso, sr., WR/DB: Boston College commit has caught 59 passes for 1,340 yards and 17 TDs. Defensively he has five picks. Monteroso doubles as one of the state’s top basketball players (was first team JJHuddle D-II All-Ohio last year).  With BC’s head coach getting fired recently, expect some other colleges to move in one Monteroso.
*QB Matt Kinnick, sr.: In last 26 games (two years) he’s thrown for 5,759 yards and 63 TDs. Add in eight rushing TDs this season and just three INTs as Kinnick is having a special run. Said McLean: “He’s so under the radar on our team. I’m waiting for a scholarship to come his way. If one doesn’t, someone is missing out.”
*RB Jaylon Brown, jr.: After scoring 14 TDs last season, Brown has upped it to 38 this season, including 33 rushing. He has 1,778 yards on 197 carries. All-purpose yards? Try 2,380.
*LB/RB Michael Ferns, jr.: Michigan commit has 127 tackles this season after registering 112 last year. Has scored eight TDs on offense.
*LB Luke Smith, sr.: Team leader in tackles (157) and TFL (16).
*WR/DB Jerrid Marhefka, sr.: After netting eight INTs as a junior, he’s snagged seven this season. Threat on offense as well with eight TD catches.

The Story: St. Clairsville returned eight starters on offense and nine on defense from last year’s regional semifinalist team and entered this season with great expectations. The Red Devils opened the season at No. 3 in the Ohio National Guard JJHuddle Preseason D-III Power Poll and ended it at No. 2. St. C captured the Buckeye 8 Conference title this year and won it’s first OVAC title since 1990. Said McLean: ‘This group of kids is just a successful group.”

Key: Balance – on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the Red Devils have plenty of options as evidenced by a RB that’s rushed for over 30 TDs (Brown) and a QB that’s thrown for 30-plus (Kinnick). Said McLean: “We’ve kind of been tagged as a spread team and we throw the ball all over the place, but it’s not very often that we’re not in a two-back set.”…That being said, McClean added. “It comes down to defense when you get to this level.” Last week St. C held defending state champion Norwayne, which was averaging 52 points per game, to its lowest offensive output of the season.

Two Cents: The Red Devils are due. St. C made the D-II Final Four in boys basketball earlier this year and was a D-III regional finalist (Elite Eight) in baseball in the spring.

Coach’s Quote: “We’re looking at it realistically. I mean we’re playing the team that’s scored the most points in the history of Ohio. Keeping them out of the endzone is going to be impossible but we’ve got to play sound and fundamentally be the best we can defensively. They’re going to get their big plays and have their statistics when the game is over.”


Clinton-Massie (14-0/ONG JJH #4/AP #4)

Head Coach: Dan McSurley
Nickname: Falcons
Affiliation: South Central Ohio League
School-Type: Public
2012 Regional Seed: 1 (Region 16)
2012 Regional Tournament: Cincinnati Madeira (W, 48-7); Batavia (W, 42-13); West Milton Milton-Union (W, 35-7)
State Semifinal: ONG JJH #1/AP #1 Columbus Bishop Hartley (W, 45-21)
State Championships: 0
State Semifinal Appearances: 2 (12, 11)
State Final Appearances: 1 (12)
All-Time Tournament Record: 16-11

The Difference Makers:
*RB Bayle Wolf, jr.:
In the last two years, Wolf has rushed for 3,229 yards and 68 TDs, including 37 this season.
*RB/LB Wyatt Running, sr.:
In the last two years Running has rushed for 2,635 yards and 36 TDs, including 21 this season. Said McSurely: “In our offense you have to stop the fullback. And sometimes that takes more than one guy.”
*TE/DL Trent Smart, sr.:
Ohio University commit.
*K Calem Jones:
Holds state record for most PATs in a season with 100 this year.
*QB Tyler Uetrecht, sr.:
Has thrown for 14 TDs and rushed for nine more.

The Story: This has been a special season at Massie for more reasons than one. Inspired by the memory of former QB Jake Richardson (Class of 2011), who passed away in September, Massie made the playoffs for the 11th straight season and finally broke through for their first state final. Said McSurley: “We’re finally the bride. We’ve been the bridesmaid for so long.”…Big things were expected of Massie but maybe not this big. The Falcons did return eight starters on defense and seven on offense from last year’s state semifinalist team that lost to Kenton…Massie will play 22-23 kids on each side of the ball…Said McSurley: “We’ve got a lot of talent and a lot of speed.”

Key: Offense. The Falcons have punted 12 times this year. Said McSurely, whose team employs the wishbone: “Nobody goes into a season expecting to score 776 points. It just kind of happens.”

Two Cents: Massie is deserving. Consider, the Falcons last five playoff losses have been to Kenton (two times in a row), Alter, Badin and Coldwater. With a huge win over Hartely under its belt…why not them? Said McSurely: “The best defense going into this game looks like it’s going to be a good offense. Hopefully we can control the game.” Scoring-wise there’s never been a better “O” in Ohio.

Coach’s Quote: “I want people to know that I don’t think – in my opinion – that we disrespected our opponents. In a lot of these games we had our guys out well before the third quarter ended. We certainly don’t want to disrespect anyone and I don’t think we have, but at the same time you’re kids have to go out and play. That’s why you practice, that’s why they lift the weights, that’s why they do what they do in the offseason – so they can play to another level and that’s what we’ve been able to do in a lot of our games.”



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