Massillon Head Coach Nate Moore has released the 2018 schedule, having filled the remaining open spot with Montclair, New Jersey. Montclair joins two other out-of-state opponents, including East St. Louis, Illinois, and Sun Valley, Pennsylvania. This marks the fifth time that three or more non-Ohio teams have appeared on the schedule. The Tigers also have eight home games for the first time since 2004. Once again it will be a very challenging schedule.
Here is a rundown of each opponent:
Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary – 2017 record: 10-4. The Irish move to the opener from Week 9, replacing Mentor. Last year St. V scored a touchdown with 3:15 remaining in the game to defeat the Tigers 13-10. In the Division 3 playoffs they advanced to the state semifinals where they lost to Tri-Valley, 24-6. The Irish have defeated Massillon in four of the last five years.
Canton GlenOak – 2017 record: 3-7. Last year the Golden Eagles had an uncharacteristic subpar season, which included a 24-10 loss to Massillon. The Tigers have won four of the last five matches.
Warren Harding – 2017 record: 3-6. The Panthers suffered through the loss of graduated quarterback Lynn Bowdon. One of the losses was to Massillon, 31-21. The Tigers own a 3-2 edge over the past five years.
Montclair, NJ – 2017 record: 12-0. Last year Montclair captured the New Jersey North I Group 5 championship with a 35-14 win over Union City. This should be a balanced matchup for the Tigers.
Akron Firestone – 2017 record: 4-6. The Falcons return to the schedule for the third consecutive year. Last year the Tigers defeated Firestone 35-6. The Falcons were 3-2 in Akron City Series competition.
Austintown Fitch – 2017 record: 6-4. Last season Massillon broke a 28-28 tie in the fourth quarter by scoring 10 consecutive points. The Tigers have now won the last two meetings following three consecutive losses.
East St. Louis, IL – 2017 record: 10-2. This may be the toughest opponent on Massillon’s schedule. East St. Louls, with Cleveland Glenville-like talent, is considered to be a national power and annually plays teams from across the country. Last year they lost to another national power in Evangel Christian Academy (Shreveport, LA), 14-6. There is a chance that this game will be televised nationally.
Sun Valley, PA – 2017 record: 5-7.
Louisville – 2017 record: 5-5. Having been booted out of the NBC, the Leopards are now forced to schedule independently. Ergo, the Tigers will visit Lousville this year in a first-ever meeting. Last year the Leopards started out with three consecutive losses: Canfield (28-48), North Canton (14-41) and Austintown Fitch (21-42).
Canton McKinley – 2017 record: 8-3. Last season Massillon held off the Bulldogs 16-15 in the inaugural meeting of these two teams at Canton’s Tom Benson Stadium. The Tigers now have beaten McKinley in six of the last seven games, with the lone loss coming in 2015 by the score of 30-28. The Bulldogs advanced to the playoffs last year but were defeated in the first round by Lakewood St. Edward.