Tigers tune up for Big Red, belt Brantford
By CHRIS EASTERLING
MASSILLON, OH — Jason Hall never denied that a portion of this past week was spent as much on preparing for next Friday’s showdown with undefeated Steubenville as it was on Friday’s actual opponent from Ontario, Brantford Collegiate.
About 10 seconds into the game was all it took for the Tigers to officially be able to turn their eyes to Big Red. That’s the amount of time it took Devin Smith to take the opening kickoff back 79 yards for a touchdown giving Massillon the lead for good.
From there, it was a question not of if the Tigers would add to their lead, but how much, as they rolled up a 56-7 win over the overmatched Canadian guests at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
“It’s really kind of hard to judge, but we played a lot of kids,” Hall said after his team won its fifth straight to improve to 5-1 on the season. “I thought we executed for the most part, even with our young guys. We stayed healthy. It’s fun to see some of those guys play who don’t always play on Friday night. All in all, it was a pretty successful night.”
The Tigers led 28-0 after one quarter and made it 35-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter. It was at that point that Hall began to pull his regulars from the game and the real focus turned to Steubenville.
“I thought at the time that we put our kids in, I knew they would be successful,” Hall said of making the move to the reserves. “They practice hard. I thought we, obviously, had an handle on the game.”
That didn’t prevent Massillon from continuing to bulk up its lead even with the reserves in. By the time the two teams headed to the locker room at halftime the Tigers were up 49-0, and most of what was left of the 6,224 in attention were focused more to the halftime kicking competition where Whitney Robinson had a chance to win $500,000 by making a 35-yard field goal.
Robinson, for the record, ended up walking away with $500 by kicking the ball out of the end zone.
The second half was played with a running clock. By that time, the Tigers were already counting down the minutes and seconds until Steubenville’s first visit to Massillon – to face the Tigers – since 1978.
About the only “blemish,” if you will, came on the game’s last play when Brantford’s Colin Wilcock caught a 27-yard pass from Brodie Parker and fell into the end zone for the shutout-breaking score. The scoring drive was 76 yards and left the Mustangs with 69 total yards for the game, compared to 381 yards for the Tigers.
Even with the Tigers appeared to be on the wrong end of things, it wound up working out for the best. Their second touchdown came on a fourth-and-seven play when Kyle Kempt hit Justin Olack for a 26-yard touchdown pass.
The only time Massillon actually started a first-quarter drive on its own side of the 50, it took it just one play – a 66-yard Kempt-to-Olack touchdown pass – to score.
The sophomore Kempt made the most of his five possessions under center completing 4-of-7 passes for 106 yards. He gave way to fellow sophomore Brody Tonn, who Kempt replaced as the starter two weeks ago, on the second possession of the second quarter.
Another sophomore, Kentrell Taylor, also made the most of his chances to carry the ball in the first half. The bruising 6-foot, 240-pound back punished the Brantford defense for 65 yards and a pair of touchdowns on seven carries.
“Kentrell, the last two or three weeks has really practiced well,” Hall said. “The biggest thing everybody sees is that he’s progressing. He understands the offense and he runs hard.”
Damion Smith also got into the first-half scoring act by ripping off a 43-yard touchdown run. Aaron Medrano added a touchdown catch in the second half.
Brantford (Ont.) Collegiate 7
at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
Brantford 0 0 0 7 7
Massillon 28 21 7 0 56
M – De. Smith 79 kickoff return (McCarthy kick)
M – Olack 26 pass from Kempt (McCarthy kick)
M – Taylor 1 run (McCarthy kick)
M – Olack 66 pass from Kempt (McCarthy kick)
M – Smith 7 pass from Kempt (McCarthy kick)
M – Taylor 14 run (McCarthy kick)
M – Da. Smith 43 run (McCarthy kick)
M– Medrano 28 pass from Tonn (McCarthy kick)
B – Wilcock 27 pass from Parker (Mann kick)
First downs 4 15
Rushes-yards 22-16 24-188
Comp-Att-Int 7-19-1 10-13-0
Passing yards 53 193
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 2-10 5-45
Records 1-2 5-1
Massillon – Taylor 7-65 2 TDs; Da. Smith 1-43 TD; Reiman 5-33; Tonn 2-27; Cowan 2-12; Copeland 2-11.
Brantford Collegiate – Winch 9-22.
Massillon – Kempt 4-7-106 3 TDs; Tonn 6-6-87 87 TD.
Brantford Collegiate – Parker 6-13-54 TD; Kelly 1-6-(minus-1) INT.
Massillon – Olack 2-92 2 TDs; McCormick 2-23; Cowan 2-22; Medrano 1-28 TD.
Brantford Collegiate – Packer 2-25; Dennis 2-2; Archibald 2-(minus-1); Wilcock 1-27 TD.