Waverly’s season ended by Clinton-Massie for second season in a row

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CLARKSVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) — The Waverly Tigers clashed with the Clinton-Massie Falcons looking for a different result than last year’s heartbreaking defeat, but they could not get the job done Friday as they fell to the Falcons for the second season straight in the playoffs.

Waverly’s senior stars Wade Futhey, Will Futhey, and Penn Morrison came into this contest looking to extend their high school football careers another game, but Clinton-Massie had other ideas.

The Falcons wasted no time getting going in this game, with quarterback Kody Zantene keeping the triple option to run it 15 yards to the endzone to put them up seven after their opening drive. The Tigers were able to quickly match in just 90 seconds off a great kick return by Penn Morrison, leading up to him finishing off the drive with a great contested 13-yard touchdown catch.

The Falcons tough and brutal wing-T offense wore down Waverly physically all night. Kody Zantene only attempted two passes, and logged zero yards in the air, making the run game the Falcons’ main attraction. Despite knowing what was coming, the Waverly defense struggled to stop it, with Clinton-Massie’s offensive line winning the line of scrimmage and creating holes for their backs to run.

Gridiron Glory Player of the Year finalist Will Futhey had an impressive game with two touchdown catches and seven tackles on defense, but he became the epicenter of controversy in the second quarter when he slowly strutted toward the end zone and was then hit and stripped at the goal line before the ball crossed the plane. Both Will and Wade Futhey pleaded their case that the ball had crossed the goal line before the fumble, but the referees deemed it short, shifting the momentum heavily in Clinton-Massie’s favor.

After the Falcons scored again on their ensuing drive late in the first half, Penn Morrison took the following squib kickoff 75 yards to the house, keeping the Tigers within striking distance only down 21-14 at halftime.

The player that put the nail in the coffin for Waverly’s postseason aspirations was Carson Vanhoose. He had a stellar regular season for the Falcons, averaging 127 rushing yards a game, racking up 1,156 total rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. Vanhoose’s performance on Friday for Clinton-Massie was exceptional, as he exploded for 220 yards on the ground and 5 touchdowns while averaging 13 yards per carry.

The Falcons blew the game open in the second half, and the Tigers could not slow them down, with Clinton-Massie advancing to the division IV semifinals by a final score of 49-28.

For Waverly, it is now time to turn a new leaf, with many talented seniors now moving on from the program. “The toughest part about coaching is about saying goodbye to people. These guys have a special place in my heart,” said Waverly head coach Chris Crabtree. “I try to tell the young guys that these are the guys you want to emulate and how they set the standard for the guys that come in the future.

Up next for Clinton-Massie, they will travel to a neutral site to face the number one seed of their region, Wyoming, next Friday. Kickoff for the division IV regional semifinal game is set for 7 p.m.