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November 30, 2012

Clinton-Massie Crowned Champs

The Clinton-Massie Falcons capped off a remarkable 2013 campaign by winning their 15th straight game and their first-ever state title as they took down the St. Clairsville Red Devils 46-36 to win the OSHAA Division IV championship game on Friday at Fawcett Stadium in Canton.

Junior Bayle Wolf turned in a performance that will not soon be forgotten as he rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries and added another score on a 36-yard catch as he tied a DIV state finals record with five touchdowns.

Clinton-Massie (15-0) got off to a fast start on three Wolf touchdowns and jumped out to a 19-0 lead in the first quarter. Wolf scored on a 9-yard run less than three minutes into the game. After the Falcons' D got a stop, Wolf scored on the team's very first offensive play of their second drive as he turned a Tyler Uetrecht pass into a 36-yard receiving touchdown. The junior would add another score in the final minute of the opening quarter, this time on a 3-yard scamper.

However, St. Clairsville (14-1) didn't go away easily. The Red Devils got on the scoreboard for their first time in the opening minutes of the second quarter on a 1-yard TD run by Jaylon Brown. St. Clairsville then successfully attempted and converted an onside kick. They would cut the deficit to five points at 19-14 when Jerrid Marhefka pulled in a 7-yard TD pass from Matt Kinnick minutes later.

Despite their offense getting things going they had no answers for Wolf on defense. They allowed the Falcons' running back to find the endzone for a fourth time with 27-yard run midway through the second quarter. On the team's next drive Wolf sustained a knee injury and was forced to finish the half on the sidelines. He would return in the second half. That opened the door for Wyatt Running to come in and rush for a 6-yard touchdown. The Falcons took a commanding 33-14 lead. Running, a senior, complimented Wolf well and finished with 101 yards on 18 carries.

Marhefka would break away for a 76-yard TD catch with just over a minute left in the half though to cut the deficit to 12 points at the break and give St. Clairsville some momentum going into the locker room.

The Red Devils cut the lead to five points midway through the third quarter as once again Kinnick connected with Marhefka for a 9-yard passing touchdown as St. Clairsville trailed 33-28.

Ueterecht put the Falcons up double digits again when he scored on an 8-yard quarterback keeper with 4:47 left in the third quarter. A failed conversion left the game at 39-28.

Marhefka pulled in his fourth touchdown pass of the day and Kinnick converted the two-point conversion and suddenly the lead was trimmed to three points with 2:36 left in the game. He finished with 272 yards on nine catches. Minnick completed 21 of 39 passes for 437 yards and four touchdowns. Brown rushed for 70 yards on 16 carries in the loss.

The Falcons recovered the onside kick attempt and got some insurance as Wolf capped off his offensive explosion with a fifth score on a 22-yard run with just 1:46 left on the clock. St. Clairsville tried to rally back, but Wolf sealed the deal by picking off a Minnick pass on the defensive side of the ball.

The two teams combined for 988 total yards of offense. Clinton-Massie accumulated 408 yards on the ground while St. Clairsville picked up 442 yards through the air. There weren't many stops on the game, making the Falcons' two interceptions have an even larger impact. The Falcons finish the season with a state record 817 points.


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