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McKinley in way of 9-1 mark

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON – Bring on Canton McKinley!

The Tigers strutted their stuff Friday night to the tune of a 38-0 blasting of visiting Youngstown South at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Now the Tigers (8-1) find themselves in preparation for arch-rival McKinley, which posted a 13-6 over North Canton.

Against South (5-4), Massillon’s defense was at its best. The famed “Tiger Claw” did its thing, holding the Warriors to a net total of 118 yards.

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In the first half the Tiger defense was simply awesome, yielding just 42 yards. Half of South’s rushing attempts were for zero or minus yardage.

While the defense was busy holding the quick Warrior offense at bay, the Tiger offense was efficient to say the least.

Quarterback Brian Dewitz completed seven of 11 passes, including six of his last eight tries, for 108 yards and three touchdowns.

Running back Craig Johnson, who caught two of those three TD aerials, totaled 82 yards on the ground on 15 attempts. He added 52 yards via the airways, and now has 110 points scored on the season.

After a scoreless first quarter in which South was held to one net yard on six rushes, the Tigers put it all together in the second stanza by scoring all three times they had the ball.

Massillon’s first score came on a 37-yard pass from Dewitz to Johnson . The Tiger
signal-caller faced a heavy rush on the screen pass, tossing the ball over the onrushing Warrior defense.

Johnson, who bobbled the ball at first, took the pass into the end zone at the 10:05 mark. The drive found Johnson gain nine yards on the ground, and Dewitz 11.

The Tiger defense then held South to minus 10 yards before forcing a punt.

On the first play from scrimmage the Warriors were called for pass interference, but the Tigers were in turn called for illegal motion. With the ball on South’s 37, Johnson rambled for 13 yards before a Chris Spielman carry went for negative yardage.

South was called offside when Johnson broke off a five-yard gain to give the Tigers a first down at the 17. From there unheralded fullback Tom Gruno went the remainder of the distance for his first TD of the season.

As he did on the first Tiger score, Bronc Pfisterer added the point after and Massillon owned a 14-0 lead at the 5:28 mark.

Again the Tiger defense rose to the occasion in holding South to one yard in three plays. Massillon took over on its 47 following a 34-yard punt.

Johnson broke off a 16-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage before Dewitz hit Reggie Crenshaw for a 21-yard gain to the South 16. Gruno then picked up six before the Tigers were called for illegal motion.

With the ball on the 15, Dewitz found a diving Johnson in the end zone for a TD at the 1:20 mark.

Prior to South’s final drive of the first half, the Warriors had a total of minus eight yards in offense. The visitors then gained 50 yards on the last march to gain some lost confidence.

South’s offense continued to sputter in the second half, though. On its first set of downs Tigers safety Steve Walterhouse intercepted a pass. Massillon, however, was unable to capitalize on the turnover.

Spielman then intercepted another Chris Williams pass, zig and zagging his way 39 yards to the South 9 on its next sequence of plays.

From the 9 Johnson gained six yards before Spielman was hurled for a yard loss. Dewitz, on third-and-goal, then hit a wide-open Spielman on a swing pass.

Three plays and a punt later and the Tigers took over on their own 36.

A Dewitz pass to Gruno covered nine yards after Johnson was held to no gain. Spielman then picked up the first down on a tough one-yard gain.

Johnson picked up two more yards when Spielman displayed his prowess in throwing a football, hitting Paul “Big Play” Briggs for a 47-yarder to the South five. From thee Spielman carried the pigskin to pay dirt with 49 seconds left in the third quarter.

Massillon’s final score, a 41-yard field goal by school record holder Pfisterer with 2:48 left, was set up by a fumble recovery by Glen Thomas, the 5-foot-6, 155-pound nose guard.

Pfisterer’s kick was his seventh three-pointer of the season and his 12th as a Tiger.

South’s deepest penetration was to the Tiger 35 at the end of the first half. Of their 12 possessions the Warriors only invaded Massillon territory that one time.

Now, bring on McKinley.

SOUTH……………………… 0

First downs rushing 8 4
First downs passing 6 2
First downs by penalty 1 0
Totals first downs 15 6
Yards gained rushing 168 110
Yards lost rushing 14 32
Net yards rushing 154 78
Net yards passing 171 40
Total yards gained 325 118
Passes attempted 18 14
Passes completed 9 4
Passes int. by 1 2
Times kicked off 7 1
Kickoff average 53.7 60.0
Kickoff return yards 0 87
Punts 2 7
Punting average 45.0 33.7
Punt return yards 13 16
Fumbles 3 3
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 4 3
Yards penalized 20 24
Touchdowns rushing 2 0
Touchdowns passing 3 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 54 46
Time of possession 25:13 22.47
Attendance 8,518

SOUTH……………… 0 0 0 0 – 0
MASSILLON……….. 0 21 14 3 – 38

Chris Spielman