By JOE SHAHEEN
Independent Sports Editor
St. Ignatius Week officially began at 10:43 p.m. Friday.
That's when the Massillon Tigers saw the final second click off the scoreboard clock at the south end of Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, closing a 59‑0 victory over the Garfield Rams in front of 9,475 high school football fans.
Head coach Rick Shepas ‑ standing on the block 'M' at midfield ‑ gathered his players and coaching staff around him after the game and explained the facts of life with regard to the next opponent on the Tigers' schedule, the vaunted St. Ignatius Wildcats, a team Massillon has never tamed.
"We're going to have a chance to go up and scout them," said Shepas. "They're a good football team. They've always been. Our program is improving and we're going to find out where our program is at next week."
Tigers did a commendable job of focusing on the here and now in dispatching
"We're pretty happy but we need to improve quite a bit for next week," Alleman said. "We had a lot of mistakes. We just made some nice plays here and there and that's how we got the shutout.
"We're pretty excited for the (St. Ignatius) game. It's going to be a big game. But we can't have nearly as many mistakes as we did tonight or we could get beat."
Shepas admitted his charges were shooting for the shutout.
"(A shutout) is what we wanted going into the game," Shepas said. "We were looking for that. The kids have been working hard defensively."
Tigers had their way with
its first possession,
Two Robert Oliver running plays netted 23 yards to get things started.
Justin Zwick hooked up with Devin Jordan for 18 yards
Zwick, lining up in the shotgun, rolled to his left and found
plays later Zwick rolled left and completed a pass to
Joe Jovingo for 18 yards to the
there, Oliver picked up eight yards around left end on first down to the
its third possession of the evening,
high snap was bobbled by the
Four plays later, Abdul nailed a 28‑yard field goal and the Tigers were up 17‑0 early in the second quarter.
A clipping penalty on the Tigers negated a spectacular 60‑yard punt return to the end zone by Michael White, but the yellow flag only prolonged the inevitable.
at their own 24,
second‑and‑3 from the
scored on the very next play, skirting right end from 15 yards out. Abdul's
right foot made it 24‑0
"That seems to be the way its going," Shepas said of his team's quick‑strike ability. "We've got a good front.
"We're getting a good mix of run and pass right now. Zwick is effective calling the plays. Our running backs ‑ if they don't put the football on the ground ‑ are pretty effective."
Zwick established a Massillon Tiger career passing record for most attempts (422) and completions (232) with his 16‑of‑23 performance.
Nine of those completions were to Jordan, who seems to have taken over as No. 12's favorite receiver.
"There's a lot of receivers you have to deal with when we come out and throw the football," Shepas said. "We've been spreading the ball around.
"Devin seems to be a go‑to guy but remember we thought he was the guy who was going to replace Drobney in the understanding of the defensive coverage."
"We knew they were good," McGee said. "They were more of everything than we thought. On offense they really have the whole shot.
"They're just real good. This and the 1991 team (coached by Lee Owens) for them are the two best teams I've seen them have in the past 20 years or so."
Tigers second half scoring was more of the same. A one‑yard
Then Zwick found pay dirt himself on a keeper around right end from three yards out at 1:24 of the third.
linebacker Tony Graves tallied for the
Oliver, who rushed for a game‑high 130 yards in just ten carries, got into the scoring column on a 28‑yard jaunt with 7:49 to play, and Terrance Roddy closed the scoring on a 56‑yard burst with 2:22 to play.
First downs rushing 14 9
First downs passing 10 2
First downs by penalty 0 4
TOTAL first downs 24 15
Net yards rushing 279 157
Net yards passing 233 87
TOTAL yards 512 244
Passes attempted 23 12
Passes completed 16 6
Passes intercepted 0 1
Punts 1 1
Punting average 27.0 28.0
Fumbles/Lost 2/1 5/1
Penalties 8 4
Yards penalized 70 39
M ‑ Ashcraft 7 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M ‑ FG Abdul 28
M ‑ Johnson 15 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Zwick 3 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Graves 49 fumble return (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Oliver 28 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Roddy 56 run (Abdul kick)