The Clinton-Massie defense will, once again, face a high-powered attack in Friday’s state championship game.
Youngstown Ursuline may be the best of them all.
Clinton-Massie (13-1) will meet Ursuline on Friday at 10:30 am in the OHSAA division. IV State Championship match at Tom Benson Hall of Fame stadium in Canton.
The Fighting Irish (11-3) have their attack on the cruise control, totaling 612 points in 14 games. Ursuline started off 4-3 – including a 36-27 loss to Division III runner-up Chardon in week three. The Irish have won seven straight games, averaging 47.6 points per game during their winning streak.
“We’re not the kind of team that does the same thing every year,” Ursuline head coach Dan Reardon said on a statewide teleconference Tuesday morning. âThis year we’re mainly a spread team, playing with a running back and four receivers.
âBut we are always ready to have the best players on the pitch, regardless of their position. So from year to year we can look different. Once we’ve figured out who these top players are, we narrow it down and try to build on their strengths. “
The best player on the Fighting Irish team is running back DeMarcus McElroy, a 5-8, 183-pound dynamo.
In 14 games, McElroy has run 315 times for 2,191 yards and 41 touchdowns. McElroy has nine touchdowns in his last seven quarterbacks. CJ Hester of Wyoming was a talented back and Massie contained him, but McElroy is clearly on a different level.
âThey’re very explosive,â said CM head coach Dan McSurley. âTheir quarterback (Brady Shannon) is doing a good job leading the attack. The McElroy kid is something. They have a good group of receptors. We’re going to have to contain them.
McElroy, when he was Team YU’s top runner last season, was more of a defensive mainstay for the Irish.
âIf you look at the numbers (last year) you’d say he really blew up the attack, and he did, but he was a lot more valuable last year on defense,â said Reardon.
As a runner, McElroy has âgood vision and patience. He’s not the biggest kid but he’s strong, really good between tackles. He’s talented, but he works hard for us.
Shannon is a great quarterback (6-3, 210) who threw for 2,647 yards and 27 touchdowns. Shannon broke the academic achievement record set by Darryl Clark, who started at Penn State. Shannon accepted a baseball scholarship at the University of Central Florida.
Four Irish receivers have 28 or more receptions, with Dean Boyd in the lead with a 52-916-9 receiving line.
â¢ From the For What It’s Worth department, Ursuline beat Bishop Hartley 62-58 in the season opener and Hartley beat St. Francis De Sales 31-20 who lost to Clinton-Massie 17-7.
â¢ Adult tickets to the state championship game are $ 15 and student tickets are $ 12. All tickets must be purchased online at www.hofvillage.com.
â¢ Parking information for Tom Benson’s Hall of Fame is online at www.hofvillage.com. Parking around the stadium in residential areas is available at the owner’s discretion. Parking is prohibited on the streets of the city. Disabled parking is available in Lots A and C. There is a limited number of paid parking spaces ($ 10) available at McKinley High School adjacent to the Hall of Fame as well as in adjacent neighborhoods.
â¢ The sack policy for State Championship games is the same as for an NFL game. More information about this on www.hofvillage.com.
â¢ As for the items prohibited inside the stadium, these are, but not limited to, bags which are not transparent, drawstring bags, coolers of all kinds, diaper bags, large handbags, loud appliances, plastic bottles, signage, strollers, thermos and umbrellas.
â¢ Ursuline is in the state title match for the sixth time – winning in 2000, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and finishing second in state in 2007.
Clinton-Massie defensemen Braden Rolf (42), Nate Wildermuth (41) and Colton Trampler (34) will have their hands full with the Ursuline offense in the division on Friday. IV state championship match. In the photo, the Falcons are pictured against Western Brown.
Contact Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports