McKinley keeps bell with 40-17 win over Massillon
By CHRIS EASTERLING
MASSILLON, OH – The little things can seem so insignificant when looked at individually. A missed tackle or a dropped pass or a missed assignment or a penalty, all can be looked at as mere bumps in the road for a football team.
On Saturday afternoon, those little things added up quickly for the Massillon Tigers. The sum of those little things was a 40-17 beating at the hands of the archrival McKinley Bulldogs in front of 17,794 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
“I thought they executed and we didn’t,” said Tiger coach Jason Hall, whose team will take a 7-3 record into next Saturday’s Division I Region 2 quarterfinal, expected to be at Toledo Whitmer (9-1). “We missed tackles. … We shot ourselves in the foot. You can’t have (five) turnovers, which can be put on a lot of things. You can’t take field position. You can’t have personal fouls. You can’t have all the little things that just build up.”
Those little things began to really cause Massillon problems in the second quarter despite its possession of a 10-7 lead on an Anthony McCarthy 37-yard field goal.
With McKinley (8-2) eyeing a fourth-and-10 situation from the Massillon 28, the Tigers were flagged for pass interference to give the Bulldogs new life. On the next play, Massillon was hit with its second straight penalty – this one a personal foul – to put McKinley at the Tiger 6.
Those two Tiger penalties were among the nine they were flagged for in the game, for 95 yards. McKinley, meanwhile, was flagged 12 times for 143 yards. After the two penalties, Sa’Veon Holloway ran it in from there to give McKinley a 14-10 lead – post point-after try – with three minutes left in the half.
Massillon would drive down to the McKinley 8 on its next possession. However, three straight incompletions – including two drops – and a missed field goal left the Tigers with no points to show for it.
“We missed two consecutive big plays down in the end zone, two opportunities to score,” Hall said. “We miss a field goal. No matter what, you want to put some points on the board in that situation.”
McKinley’s defense harassed the Tigers in five turnovers on the afternoon, but none were bigger than Jermaine Edmondson’s two third-quarter interceptions for the Bulldogs. Both turnovers would end up as Bulldog touchdowns – one on a Kyle Ohradzansky 24-yard run; the other on a 19-yard Ohradzansky-to-Malcolm Robinson pass – to put McKinley up 27-10 with 4:17 left in the third.
“The coaches always tell me to be there at the right time,” Edmondson said. “I just jumped on the ball and got the interception.”
The turnovers spoiled what started out like a good day for the Tiger offense. After McKinley scored on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead, Massillon marched right back down the field to match the score with one of its own on a 1-yard Jake Reiman run.
Massillon came out running the Wildcat formation with Devin Smith lined up at quarterback for the first three plays, gaining 30 yards on Smith runs to move to the McKinley 34. Smith, who added 135 yards on seven catches, also had a 33-yard reception on the drive to put the Tigers at the Bulldog 4.
“We’ve been practicing that,” Hall said of the Wildcat. “We’ll mix that in every once in a while. We haven’t used that a lot, but I thought it was time to let him run around.”
The Tigers came into the game knowing they had to shuffle some things around up front due to another injury – or in this case, illness – situation. Kyle Belak, who moved from guard to center in Week Seven due to injury, was lost to a case of mononucleosis in the middle of the week.
Craig Kircher then moved from left tackle to center, while Brian Robinson moved from right guard to left tackle. Tim Dimitroff then moved into the right guard spot.
That line was faced with the challenge of dealing with a highly-regarded McKinley defensive front, led by ends Steve Miller and Se’Von Pittman. Early on, they did just that, as Massillon gained 184 yards in the first half.
The problem, though, was that as the second half went on, the Bulldogs began to get more and more pressure on sophomore quarterback Kyle Kempt. By the fourth quarter, they were able to pin their ears back and really get to the Tiger passer, as they finished with three sacks, all in the second half.
“We just kept playing hard and kept rushing the passer,” Miller said. “We just kept rushing the quarterback and having fun.”
McKinley, meanwhile, began to have some fun rushing the football. The Bulldogs finished with 357 rushing yards for the game, with a pair of 100-yard rushers in Elijah Farrakhan (136 yards on 14 carries) and Ohradzansky (101 yards on 15 carries).
Ohradzansky’s second scoring run may have been the dagger, a 36-yard touchdown run on the second play of the fourth quarter to give McKinley a 34-17 lead. That came on the Bulldogs’ subsequent possession after Massillon had found new life – so it thought – on Reiman’s second 1-yard touchdown run of the game to pull within 27-17.
“It was huge,” Ohradzansky said of the scoring run. “It really killed their momentum. It really allowed us to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to take this thing over and we’re going to end it right now.’ And that’s what we ended up doing.”
at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
McKinley 7 7 13 13 40
Massillon 7 3 7 0 17
McK – Montgomery 38 run (Lioi kick)
Mas – Reiman 1 run (McCarthy kick)
Mas – FG McCarthy 37
McK – Holloway 6 run (Lioi kick)
McK – Ohradzansky 24 run (Run failed)
McK – Robinson 19 pass from Ohradzansky (Lioi kick)
Mas – Reiman 1 run (McCarthy kick)
McK – Ohradzansky 36 run (Lioi kick)
McK – Holloway 1 run (Kick failed)
First downs 20 22
Rushes-yards 54-357 31-100
Comp-Att-Int. 5-11-0 15-36-3
Passing yards 70 189
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties-yards 12-143 9-95
Records 8-2 7-3
Massillon – Reiman 12-50 2 TDs; Winters 5-32; Smith 5-23; Taylor 4-14.
McKinley – Farrakhan 14-139; Ohradzansky 15-101 2 TDs; Holloway 16-80 2 TDs;
Montgomery 5-64 TD.
Massillon – Kempt 15-35-189 2 TDs; Smith 0-1-0 INT.
McKinley – Ohradzansky 5-11-70 TD.
Massillon – Smith 7-135; Winters 3-(minus-7); Olack 2-38; Miller 1-10; Kreiger 1-8; Baez 1-5.
McKinley – Robinson 3-56 TD; Sweat 1-8; Foster 1-6.