| Enquirer contributor
CLARKSVILLE – There were 2.8 seconds left on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, the game tied at 28 points each.
Clinton-Massie had the ball on its 7-yard line after a five-minute drive. The Falcons had to end the game here, or they would go into overtime against a dangerous Waverly offense that had just scored 14 unanswered points. In order to ice Trevor McGuinness on the kick, Waverly called three consecutive timeouts.
McGuinness didn’t let his nerves get to him and drilled the 27-yard field right through the uprights, giving Clinton-Massie a 31-28 victory over Waverly and advancing his team to the regional championship.
Head coach Dan McSurley knew his experienced kicker was going to win it Saturday night.
“He would have made that from 40 yards,” McSurley said.
The game-winning drive is accredited to the Falcons’ dominating run game. Colton Trampler, Cayden Clutter and quarterback Kody Zantene all had runs on the game-winning drive, but the longest came from Carson Van Hoose on a 21-yard rush.
The rushers aren’t the only ones who deserve credit, however. The offensive line, consisting of Colton Doyle, Broderick Muterspaw, Garrett Vance, Joe Baughman and Lane Schulz, was also a pivotal part of the game-winning drive, along with the rest of the game.
McSurley recognized his offensive line’s help in his team getting over 340 yards of offense on the night.
“If you don’t have an offensive line, you don’t do what we did tonight,” McSurley said. “They’re the untold heroes nobody knows about, but it was really their game tonight.”
If the game-winning field goal was the most important play of the night, then Blake Ireland’s field goal block was the second most vital.
Toward the end of the first half, Waverly decided to try a long field goal with less than 30 seconds remaining. If the kick was good, the Tigers would have a chance to take a lead when they got the ball first in the second half, and the game would have ended up going into overtime after the last kick.
Fortunately for the Falcons, Ireland made sure that didn’t happen, and he kept his team’s lead to seven points, and McGuinness’s eventual kick was a game-clincher.
Most of the first half was evenly matched. Zantene scored a rushing touchdown early and Van Hoose followed that up with two running scores of his own. The Tigers responded by using their talented quarterback, Hadyn Shanks, who had two deep touchdown passes to Will Futhey in the half to keep his team in the game.
Despite the result, Shanks, Futhey and running back Jackson Poe have every reason to hold their heads up high. Shanks threw four touchdowns and 286 yards on the night, and Futhey caught two of those touchdowns and had a total of six receptions for 152 yards. Poe also kept Waverly’s offense afloat with 105 rushing yards on 20 carries.
Waverly failed to tie the game up when it got the ball to start the second half, and Clinton-Massie punished its opponent when Zantene ran the ball into the endzone from 10 yards out, giving the Falcons a two-score lead. That could have been the end for the Tigers, but they never gave up.
Shanks responded to Zantene’s score with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Zeke Brown, closing the gap to one score. After a failed onside kick, the Tigers easily could have been out of the game if the Falcons scored, but instead, the Tigers recovered a fumble and got the ball back at the start of the fourth quarter.
With just over eight minutes left in the game, Shanks found Phoenix Wolf for a 36-yard touchdown pass, tying the game up. Clinton-Massie failed to get a first down on the next drive, and Waverly finally had its chance to take the lead.
The Falcons didn’t let up. They stopped the Tigers on fourth down with five minutes left in the game and now had their own chance to finally win the game. Using the running game to take off as much of the clock as possible, Clinton-Massie ran down the field to the 7-yard line, and then came the game-winning kick.
Clinton-Massie will advance to the Division IV regional finals, where it will face a familiar foe, Wyoming, who beat Valley View Saturday night in overtime.
“We know what to expect,” McSurley said.
Waverly – 7 7 7 7 – 28
Clinton-Massie – 7 14 7 3 – 31
CM – Kody Zantene 1-yard run (McGuinness kick good)
W – Will Futhey 61-yard pass from Hadyn Shanks (Flanders kick good)
CM – Carson Van Hoose 4-yard run (McGuinness kick good)
W – Will Futhey 38-yard pass from Hadyn Shanks (Flanders kick good)
CM – Carson Van Hoose 1-yard run (McGuinness kick good)
CM – Kody Zantene 10-yard run (McGuinness kick good)
W – Zeke Brown 4-yard pass from Hadyn Shanks (Flanders kick good)
W – Phoenix Wolf 36-yard pass from Hadyn Shanks (Flanders kick good)
CM – Trevor McGuinness 27-yard field goal
Records – Waverly (8-1) Clinton-Massie (9-0)