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Tigers roll to 48‑6 win after close first half
Scott’s passing keys rout of Aviators

Independent Sports Editor

It was a close game for 22 minutes.

Then Massillon Tiger Quarterback Bill Scott took matters into his own hands, passing his team to a 14‑6 halftime lead that sparked them to an eventual 48‑6 rout of the Alliance Aviators before 10,534 fans in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Friday night.

The Tigers were leading the Aviators 7‑6 with 2:06 left in the first half when Scott marched his team 60 yards in eight plays ‑ all of them passes ‑ to a touchdown with :31 showing on the clock.

That seemed to take the life out of the undermanned Aviators. The Tigers came out of the lockerroom to score 27 points in the third, quarter and coast to their second straight win.

“We played a good second half, anyhow,” Tiger coach Mike Currence said afterwards. “I think we had a little too much depth for them.”

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I think it was obvious that our lack of depth hurt us,” Aviator coach Julius “Juice” Tonges agreed. “We hung in there well in the first half, but it took its toll. The things we did were sound (defensively), we just didn’t have enough man power. We just ran out of gas.”

“If we could make them play 11 guys for 48 minutes, we’d give them a good game,” Tonges added referring to the fact several Aviators played both ways the whole game, while Massillon used the two-platoon system plus fresh substitutes.

But it was that late second‑quarter touchdown drive that Currence called the turning point of the game.

“That late touchdown was crucial for our morale,” he explained. “It makes us feel like we have a ball club that can come through for us. That was great determination by our offense.”

Alliance received the opening kickoff, got one first down, then punted to Massillon. Dan DiLoreto fumbled the punt and the Aviators’ Alan Matthys recovered at the Alliance 43.

After 7:15 of possession, the Aviators tried a 32‑yard field goal attempt by freshman Chris Zurbrugg. It was blocked by nose guard Bob Simpson and the Tigers took over at their 20.

The Tigers then drove 80 yards in 10 plays with Scott hitting Marty Guzzetta with a 24‑yard touchdown pass, the first of three TD tosses by Scott, who finished the game with 14 of 21 passes for 174 yards.

Guzzetta caught the ball at the 15 and threw a nice move on an Aviator defensive back at the 10. Scott completed four of five passes in the drive, which was aided by a late hit penalty against Alliance on a crucial third down play. Scott had completed a nine-yard pass to Bill Burkett, but it was still five yards short of the first down. The penalty gave the Tigers a first and 10 at the Alliance 49 and they scored five plays later.

Fry converted the point after and Massillon led 7‑0.

Alliance’s Tony Grimes recovered a Sam McDew fumble at the Tiger 40 yard line midway through the second period, but the Aviators couldn’t move the ball.

On fourth and three at his own 47, Zurbrugg faked a punt and passed to Andre Jackson for a first down at the Tiger 44.

On the next play, quarterback Clay Brown scrambled to his right and found Jackson wide open for a touchdown with 2:11 showing on the clock. The Aviators muffed a two‑point conversion try, but trailed only 7‑6.

The Tigers took the kickoff and Burkett returned it 27 yards to the 40. That’s when Scott went to work.

He hit Guzzetta ‑ who had 7 catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns ‑ for seven and eight yards and a first down.

Greg Evans dropped his next pass, but the Aviators were called for defensive holding and the Tigers had a first down at the Aviator 30 with 1: 08 left.

Two incompletions and a screen pass put the ball back at the 33. On fourth and three with :44 remaining, Scott threw over the middle into a crowd and Guzzetta made a great catch at the 13.

Scott found Burkett open in the right corner of the end zone for the touchdown with :31 left. Fry converted for the 14‑6 half time lead.

“You have to give gill (Scott) a lot of credit,” Currence said. “Especially on that second touchdown drive. He hit the secondary receiver well. He knows the offense well and he’s starting to get a little confidence.”

Currence said Scott’s passing in the first half helped open up the Tiger running game in the second half (the Tigers had only eight yards net rushing in the first half but totaled 248 yards in the second half).

“In the first half, they were up tight on us,” Currence explained. “Scott worried them with his passing and they dropped off on us in the second half.”

“I went to the second backfield (in the third quarter) and it was all over. At that point, it was a combination of our depth – those were fresh backs I put in there ‑ Scott’s passing and their players being tired.”

The Tigers took the kickoff opening, the second half and marched 65 yards in 11 plays. Scott completed passes of 17 and 22 yards to Bill Beitel, the last one giving the Tigers a first down at the Aviator 24. Five running plays later, it was third‑and‑six at the nine. Scott drilled one to Guzzetta just inside the goal line in the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown with 8:16 to go in he third quarter. Fry’s kick made it 21‑6.

The Aviators showed definite signs of exhaustion at this point, and the Tigers rammed three quick touchdowns downs their throats: 64 yards in three plays, 33 yards in three plays and 54 yards in two plays.

After an Aviator punt, the Tigers took over on their own 36 with 7:12 left in the third period. Sam McDew swept right end behind some good blocking, broke a couple tackles and ran 48 yards to the Aviator 16.

Mike Jones carried 13 yards to the three, and Bob James took it over for the score on the next play. The kick failed and the Tigers led 27‑0 with 5:52 to go in the third quarter.

The ‘Tigers took over at the Aviator, 33, and on second‑and‑nine Scott pitched the ball to Jones who threw a pass to Guzzetta who made a fine catch in a crowd at the one yard line. He had been wide open, but the wobbly pass was under thrown. Jones then did the honors on the next play, the kick by Dave Eberhart failed, and the Tigers led 33‑0 with 1:48 left in the third quarter.

Dave DeLong then went in at quarterback for the Tigers as they took over after an Aviator punt at their own 46 just before the end of the third quarter.

DeLong ran 11 yards for a first to the Alliance 43, and Jones electrified the crowd with a twisting, tackle breaking run of 43 yards for a touchdown with :26 on the clock. Burkett ran for the extra points and a 41‑0 Tiger lead.

Massillon failed to move the ball on its next two possessions, and it looked like the fireworks were over when they took over on downs at their own 18 yard line with :19 seconds left in the game.

But Damian McKinney the speedster from the Tiger track team ‑ swept right end, got a couple blocks, and showed the tired Aviator defenders nothing but heel, sole and spikes as he burst 82 yards for a touchdown. Eberhart’s conversion kick capped the scoring at 48‑6.

“It’s been a great rivalry over the years,” Currence said afterwards, referring to the fact this was the last scheduled meeting between the two teams. “And for the first half it was a good ball game.”

Defensive coordinator Jim Letcavits singled out nose guard Bob Simpson for his exceptional play. Tiger linebackers Tim Reese and Kevin McClelland also had good games, coming up with a lot of successful blitzes.

“We were blitzing so much because we had to get some pressure on Clay Brown, he’s so quick,” Currence explained.

In addition to some fine statistics for Scott and Guzzetta, McDew had 74 yards in eight carries, Jones had, 48 in five carries and McKinney led all rushers with 98 in three carries.

The Tigers totaled 461 yards, 205 in the air and 256 on the ground, and piled up 23 first downs.

The Tigers are now 2‑0 and will entertain Mentor Friday night at 8 in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The Aviators fall to 1‑2 and they will host Cleveland John Adams on Saturday.

The final tally on the Tiger‑ Aviator series now reads 58 wins for Massillon, nine for Alliance and two ties.

ALLIANCE 0 6 0 0 6
MASSILLON 7 7 27 7 48

M – Marty Guzzetta 24 pass from Bill Scott (Jeff Fry kick);
A ‑ Andre Jackson 44 pass for Clay Brown (run fail);
M ‑ Bill Burkett 13 pass from Scott (Fry kick);
M ‑ Guzzetta 9 pass from Scott (Fry kick);
M ‑ Bob James 3 run (kick fail):
M – Mike Jones I run (kick fail)
M ‑ Jones 43 run (Bill Burkett run);
M ‑ Damian McKinney 82 run (Dave Eberhart kick).

Massillon 48
Alliance 6
Mass. OPP
First downs‑rushing. 10 14
First downs – passing 11 6
First downs – penalties 2 0
Total first downs 23 0
Yards gained rushing 284 78
Intercepted 0 0
Times kicked off 8 1
Kickoff average (yards) 46.1 48.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 51 10?
Times punted 1 ?
Punt average (yards) 31.0 28.
Punt returns (yards) 22 ?
Had punts blocked 0 ?
Fumbles 4 ?
Lost fumbled ball 2 ?
Yards lost rushing 28 41
Net yards gained rushing 256 37
Net yards gained passing 205 178
Total yards gained 461 215
Passes attempted 23 21
Passed completed 15 8
Passed intercepted by 1 0
Yardage on posses
Penalties 4 6
Yards penalized 40 45
Touchdowns rushing 4 0
Touchdowns passing 3 1
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Misc. touchdowns 0 0
Total number of plays 58 66
Total time of possession 20:16 27:44
Attendance 10,534

Marty Guzzetta