Game of the century
MASSILLON WINS 42-41 SHOOTOUT
By J0E SHAHEEN
Independent Sports Editor
It was a fitting 100th game between the Massillon Tigers and McKinley Bulldogs at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium this afternoon.
The storied rivalry went into overtime before the Tigers nailed down a heart‑stopping 42‑41 victory.
Massillon finishes the regular season with a 9‑1 record, while McKinley falls to 8‑2.
Both teams will qualify for the Division I playoffs. Pairings will be announced Sunday and the two schools will probably not meet in the first round next weekend.
Today’s game was one in which neither team seemed capable of stopping the other’s offense. In fact, the 83 total points scored is an all‑time record in the series that began in 1894.
McKinley forced overtime when it scored on a seven‑yard Josh McDaniels to Shakeer Abdullah pass with less than two minutes to play. McDaniels’ extra‑point kick made it a 35‑35 contest.
After a low snap foiled McDaniels’ 50‑yard field goal attempt as time expired, the teams headed to overtime.
Massillon won the toss and deferred, giving the Bulldogs the first chance in overtime.
Adrian Brown secured a first down just inside the 10 on the first snap of OT. Four plays later, on fourth and goal from the one‑yard line, fullback Kinta Mitchell went in standing up to make it 41‑35. McDaniels quickly changed shoes for what was another in what had been a string of routine conversion kicks all afternoon. But he sliced the kick to the right, missing it.
crowd, which numbered 19,125, seemed to sense this was the opening the Tigers needed.
On second down, quarterback Willie Spencer Jr. ran the option around his right end. He appeared to have made up his mind to keep the football and was being dragged down at the 15 when he pitched to split end Victor Redrick, who was trailing the play. Redrick took the ball in stride and sprinted down the sideline and into the end zone to knot the game at 41‑41.
Then, with all the pressure of the rivalry’s 99 previous games riding on his shoulders, Nick Pribich calmly split the uprights with his conversion kick and the Tigers went wild.
On the sidelines, McKinley’s Josh McDaniels kneeled with his head bowed in defeat, being consoled by his father, Pups head coach Thom McDaniels.
Spencer and Tigers assistant coach Steve Studer sprinted to the East stands and began ringing a victory bell.
The contest was highlighted by both teams’ refusal to quit – like two great heavyweights, exchanging knockdown punches and getting up for more.
McKinley opened the scoring with 11:30 to play in the second quarter. Mitchell capped a six play, 80‑yard drive with a seven‑yard TD run up the middle to make it 7‑0 Pups.
Massillon counter‑punched with a 12‑play, 80‑yard march. Spencer kept the football on the option and cut off his right tackle for a three‑yard touchdown to tie the game at 7‑7 with 6:20 until halftime.
The Tigers got a break when McKinley fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Steve Griffith recovered at the Bulldogs’ 25. It took seven plays, but Leon Ashcraft ran through a big hole over left guard and into the end zone to make it 14‑7 with 2:18 left in the first half.
The Bulldogs executed the two‑minute drill to perfection, moving 65 yards in 10 plays with Mitchell doing the honors from the one‑yard line with just 18 seconds remaining until the band show. McDaniels’ PAT made it 14‑14 at the half.
The quick‑strike Tiger offense untied the score less than 40 seconds into the third quarter. On the second snap of the half, Ashcraft took a handoff, pitched it back to Spencer, who lofted a bomb to Redrick, The senior sprinter ran under the pass at the 23, broke a diving tackle, then cruised in to the end zone to make it a 21‑14 Massillon advantage.
Once again the Bulldogs answered, moving 82 yards in just eight plays. Adrian Brown ran the ball on the final four snaps of the march, bucking into the end zone from the 2 to tie it 21‑21 with 8:08 left in the third.
But Massillon would not be discouraged.
The Tigers, with Spencer often changing plays at the line of scrimmage, moved 68 yards in seven plays to regain the lead. Spencer hit Vaughn Mohler, who scooped the ball off the turf in the end zone for a seven‑yard TD catch, making it 28‑21 Tigers.
McKinley then mounted the longest drive of the game, going 80 yards in 15 plays. Mitchell again found the end zone from a yard away and it was 28‑28 with 8:13 left in regulation.
Back came the Tigers with another 80‑yard drive.
Ashcraft, who rushed for 109 yards on the afternoon, scored on a draw play from 20 yards out with four minutes left to make it Massillon 35, McKinley 28.
By this time, everyone in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium realized they were witnessing a classic game. Nobody believed the Bulldogs were done, and they were not.
McDaniels marshalled another drive, this one covering 68 yards in seven plays. The senior signal‑caller hit Abdullah in the left side of the end zone after a brilliant play fake. The seven‑yard TD toss accounted for the end‑of-regulation score of 35‑35.
Then came overtime, a missed extra point and the Tigers pulse‑stopping victory.
First downs rushing 14 15
First downs passing 3 8
First downs penalty 1 2
Total first downs 18 25
Net yards rushing 245 233
Net yards passing 103 148
Total yards gained 348 381
Passes attempted 13 20
Passes completed 6 14
Passes int. 0 1
Times kicked Off 6 6
Kickoff average 42.3 55.1
Kickoff return yards 65 52
Punts 2 1
Punting average 26.5 35.0
Punt return yards -4 0
Fumbles 0 4
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 4 5
Yards penalized 47 25
umber of plays 51 65
Time Of Possession 23:23 24:37
MCKINLEY 00 14 07 14 06 41
MASSILLON 00 14 14 07 07 42
Fleaflicker is big play for Tigers
By JOE SHAHEEN
Independent sports editor
In a football game like today’s contest between the Massillon Tigers and McKinley Bulldogs, selecting one big play is all but impossible.
But the most memorable for many was the Tigers’ flea flicker that went for a 62‑yard touchdown at the onset of the third quarter.
In addition to the significance on the scoreboard ‑ the bomb gave the Tigers a 21‑14 lead ‑ the play showed Jack Rose was going to attack the Bulldogs in the second half.
Rose sent a message to his players, to the fans and – most importantly – to the Bulldogs. He let them know Massillon was going to go out and get the victory the old-fashioned way – earn it.
With the game tied at 14, Massillon accepted the second half kickoff, and Nate Lewis returned the ball to the 29, for 19 yards.
On first down, Willie Spencer rolled left and hit Devon Williams for eight yards.
On second‑and‑two, Spencer handed the ball to Ashcraft on what appeared to be a simple dive play into the middle of the line. But Ashcraft took just one step, turned and pitched the ball back to Spencer. He looked long and there was Victor Redrick in full stride on a post pattern.
The pass was there, Redrick made the catch and 25 yards later, the Tigers had assumed a 21‑14 lead.
In doing so, they set the tone for the second half, one of the best shootouts in the history of high school football.