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Each week, the staff of massillontigers.com will provide input of their choice related to the current season or Massillon football in general.

After the 49-35 defeat to Buffalo Canisius we as Tiger fans have to increase our support for our Tiger Team.  Some may not agree with me, but our young men do pick up on the mood of our community.  Therefore, we have to be unusually diligent in our preparation for the upcoming game against Akron Firestone.  It would be easy for we as fans to take the Falcon’s 3-4 record for granted and just expect an easy win.  This is not the case.  Canisius was able to stretch our defense with the combination of a good quarterback, a good running back and a couple of very good receivers.  Akron Firestone has an eerily similar combination of athletes.  They have a tall and athletic quarterback who can throw deep.  His name is Gavin Cornelius and he is 6’ 5” and weighs 220 lbs.  He is also very athletic.  They have a very good running back, Joshua Mitchell, who is 5’ 11” and weighs 170 lbs.  He is not big but he is very fast.  They also possess two 6’ 3” receivers who are 180 lbs.  They both have very good speed.  Their names are Lafeyette Johnson and Darshun Williams. — GV

Akron Firestone comes into Tiger Stadium on Friday with a 3-4 record.  Here are their results to date:

Wadsworth (7-0) 14-55 L
Copley (3-4) 0-42 L
Revere (2-5) 6-28 L
Toledo Scott (1-6) 26-12
Akron North (0-7) 41-6 W
Akron East (6-1) 0-31 L
Akron Kenmore-Garfield (0-7) 45-12

Although the Falcons are not a polished team like others the Tigers have faced this year, they do have some very skilled athletes in several positions.  Offensively, they return seven starters from last year, including 4 of 5 linemen and a pair of wide receivers.  Look for a lot of run/pass option plays, utilizing their strong-armed 6′-5″ quarterback and hard-running speed back.  They will also run some wildcat.  The line is on the smaller side and Massillon should match up well there.  According to Assistant Coach Craig McConnell, the Tigers need to accomplish three things this week on defense: get aligned right, do the job and TACKLE (30 missed tackles were recorded last week).  Defensively, Firestone will line up in in a 3-4 with a cover 4 secondary.  Four starters return, with three on the line.  Head Coach Nate Moore calls it a “good line.”  But Moore, who was extremely dissatisfied with the team’s performance against Canisius, emphasized that the Tigers must be good enough this week to beat the Massillon team of a week ago, regardless of the opponent this week. — DE

Here is a rundown of the Computer Rankings for Region 7:

  • No. 1 Columbus Walnut Ridge – In the playoffs.
  • No. 2 – Columbus Mifflin – Needs one win. HIghly likely.
  • No. 3 Massillon — Currently in the No. 3 spot, the Tigers may need a win over Firestone to assure themselves of a playoff spot.  An additional win is needed for a first-round home game.
  • No. 4 Ashland – Needs two wins.  Favored against Lexington and West Holmes
  • No. 5 New Albany – Needs two wins.  Favored against Big Walnut, Franklin Heights and Groveport.
  • No. 6 Canal Winchester – Needs three wins.  Favored against Franklin Heights, Newark and Big Walnut.
  • No. 7 Boardman – Needs two wins.  Remaining opponents are Youngstown Ursuline (2-5), Austintown Fitch (4-3) and Ashtabula Lakeside (4-3).
  • No. 8 Licking Heights – Needs two wins.  Favored against Watkins Memorial.  Needs to beat either Johnstown-Monroe (5-2) or Licking Valley (7-0).
  • Others in need of an upset or two include Columbus Whitehall-Yearling, Columbus Northland, Westerville South, North Canton, Worthington Kilbourne, Dublin Scioto, Wooster and Columbus Franklin Heights.
  • Click here for the computer rankings.
  • — DE