Tigers have to be resilient this week
Can’t dwell defeat; Brunswick looms
By Joe Shaheen
Independent Sports Editor
The McKinley Bulldogs played their best game of the 1996 regular season when it counted most in the annual Week Ten confrontation with the Massillon Tigers.
The result was a 21-0 white washing of the Tigers and a berth in the playoffs against Grove City on Saturday at Mansfield’s Arlin Stadium.
The Tigers played arguably their worst game of the ’96 regular season against the Pups.
Now it is up to Jack Rose and the Tigers to prove they can get up off the deck an prepare for the Brunswick High Blue Devils, who will provide the opposition in Massillon’s playoff opener this Saturday at the Rubber Bowl.
McKinley’s victory over Massillon, though not dominating was complete. The Bulldogs had the advantage in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams.
The Bulldogs offense put together only one sustained scoring march all afternoon, but it came at the onset of the second half and virtually sealed the Tigers doom by expanding the deficit from 13 points to 21.
The 12 play, 84 yard drive, consumed just over seven minutes off the game clock and featured an effective play action short passing game by sophomore quarterback Ben McDaniels and was capped by Jamar Martin’s four yard touchdown run.
McKinley’s third quarter scoring drive served two purposes, it left just over one quarter of play for the Tigers to close the three touchdown deficit and it was an effective counter point to Massillon’s initial second half drive, which lasted three play and failed to produce a first down.
Massillon’s offense was bottled up for 18 minutes, as much by its own mistakes as the terrible field position forced upon it all afternoon long. The Tigers generated 110 yards of total offense, barely more than half of the Bulldogs modest total 206 yards.
The Bulldogs defense negated the Tigers massive offensive line and thus their vaunted running attack most of the day. Massillon receivers dropped at least five catchable balls and the Tigers forgot about tight end Chris Martin after he caught two passes in the first series of the game.
Although McKinley missed three field goals, the Bulldogs placement specialists boomed four kickoffs for an average of just under 58 yards per kick. The deep well placed kicks limited Massillon to an average of 10 yards per return.
The Bulldogs special teams also produced a big play on the opening kickoff when Trevor Vaught tore off a 30 yard return to midfield. While McKinley did not score on that possession, it seemed to rock the Tigers back on their heels and set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.
What will stand out in most fans minds was the two McKinley interceptions that set the Bulldogs offense up with first and goal inside the Tigers 5 yard line twice in the first half. Those picks led to a pare of short touchdown runs by De’Andrae Jeter.
What they may forget is McKinley’s late first half drive which nearly produce another TD (it could’ve been a lot worse) and the game long effectiveness of Ben McDaniels, who completed 9 of 13 passes (69 percent) for 143 yards against an accomplished Tiger secondary which picked off a dozen aerials this season.
If there is one comforting development for the Tiger fan who crave a state champtionship and some revenge over McKinley, it is recent history.
Twice since the playoffs were instituted in 1980, Massillon and McKinley have met in the playoffs. Both times the team that prevailed during the regular season was defeated in the playoffs.
The Tigers are hoping they will get a chance to make history repeat itself.
First downs rushing 3 3
First downs passing 5 6
First downs penalty 0 0
Total first downs 8 9
Net yards rushing 95 75
Net yards passing 68 143
Total yards gained 110 206
Passes attempted 20 13
Passes completed 6 9
Passes int 2 0
Times kicked off 1 4
Kickoff average 40 57.8
Kickoff return yards 42 30
Punts 6 4
Punting average 33.2 33.3
Punt return yards -3 3
Fumbles 0 1
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 4 2
Yards penalized 23 30
Number of plays 54 52
Time of possession 24:01 23:59
MCKINLEY 0 13 8 0 21
MASSILLON 0 0 0 0 0
Mck Jeter 1 run (Curry kick)
Mck Jeter 2 run(kick failed)
Mck Martin 4 run (McDaniels pass to Gambler)
Massillon – Stefanko 4-18, Morgan 12-44, Hymes 12-(-37), Hodgson 1-2, Blake 5-16
McKinley – Rozier 7-9, Jeter 6-19 2 TDs, Nash 1-1, Martin 5-7 1 TD, Bradley 6-9, McDaniels 3-(-7), Doss 6-24, Curry 1-(-2)
Massillon – Hymes 6-19-68 0 TD 2 ints, Lightfoot 0-1-0 0TD 0 ints,
McKinley – McDaniels 9-13-143 0 TD 0 ints
Massillon – Martin 3-28, Blake 2-23, Hodgson 1-17
McKinley – Gamble 1-26, Fox 2-19, Curry 3-79, Frazier 1-10, Nash 1-7, Bradley 1-2