OLD SCHOOL WIN
Tigers rip highly touted Delaware team
MASSILLON There comes a time when hype meets reality. A moment where all the buildup either proves to be true, or just a bunch of manufactured bluster.
That moment came inside Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Friday. There, a program representing the old money of high school football – Massillon – met a program fancying itself as the much talked-about nouveau rich of the sport in Delaware’s Red Lion Christian Academy.
The reality of this night was that Red Lion’s hype wasn’t enough to take down Massillon, as the Tigers ran over the Lions, 37-14, in front of a crowd of 6,828.
The win, arguably the Tigers’ most impressive of the season, improved Massillon to 6-1 entering next Thursday’s home tilt against Warren Harding.
The loss was the fourth in a row for Red Lion, which – despite a boatload of Division I college recruits – is 2-4.
“We might not have the biggest bunch; they were bigger,” Tiger coach Jason Hall said. “They might have been faster all around, and they might have been stronger. There ain’t no Massillon kids on that team over there.”
Much was made of Red Lion’s defensive line – among other parts of its team – coming into the game.
After all, Red Lion has one defensive end heading to UCLA, and a defensive tackle in Kenny Bigelow who is being courted by some of the premier college programs in the nation.
However, the Tigers came out from the start convinced they could run on the Lions. And they were right, especially with tailback Ryne Moore going right at the Red Lion defensive front.
With Moore churning out the yards, Massillon was able to jump out to a 20-0 lead with 9:07 left in the first half. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound junior accounted for all three Tiger scores, all while rushing for a 79 yard on 13 carries over the Tigers’ first five drives.
Moore would top the 100-yard plateau by halftime – gaining 110 yards on 17 first-half carries – while finishing with 172 yards on 34 carries.
“What can you say about Ryne Moore?,” Hall said. “Ryne Moore is as tough as nails. We knew coming into this game that they averaged 75 snaps a game, so we kind of two-platooned up to keep Alex (Winters) and (Kentrell Taylor) fresh on defense and make Ryne the workhorse.”
Just as critical as the Tigers’ ability to run on Red Lion was the way their defense was able to keep the Lion offense under wraps. A big reason for that was the way Massillon didn’t allow freshman quarterback David Sills – already a USC commit – to get into a rhythm.
Sills only had one stretch of more than two consecutive completions in the first half, and that included Red Lion’s lone first-half score, a 6-yard touchdown pass to Fredrick Canteen II with 5:38 left in the half to cut the gap to 20-7. He finished the half completing just 12 of 21 passes for 126 yards, with the one scoring pass and an interception.
For the game, Sills completed 21 of 38 passes for 252 yards, including a late TD pass against Massillon’s backups. He threw two interceptions.
“Defensively, we put their quarterback in a position where they could only have a little success if they put him under center where we couldn’t disguise as much,” Hall said. “Once you cut their offense down like that, we cut their offense by 75 percent once they went under center.”
Massillon’s passing game had its share of ups and downs as well against the Lions. However, one of those ups proved to be a huge momentum shift for the Tigers with just under 90 seconds left in the half when Kyle Kempt hit a wide-open Tre Hendricks for an 89-yard touchdown to make it 27-7 Massillon with 1:25 left until the band show.
“We had it earlier, but we had some pressure, and Kyle threw it away in the flat,” Hall said. “So we came back to it. Kyle made a great read to see that they were in cover-2. He had enough patience to wait for Tre to come open, and Tre made a great play.”
The Tigers completed 11 of 22 passes for 265 yards. Of those, Kempt accounted for 247 yards on 10-of-21 passing, including a 70-yard TD pass to Montel Harrison with 8:41 left to make it 37-7.