Massillon Tigers Letter Logo

Each week, the staff of will provide input of their choice related to the current season or Massillon football in general.

Great week for the Tigers! I am really enjoying watching this young team develop. Names that you may not have expected to hear all season are being large contributors early in the 2017 season. Dyson Berry and Zion Phifer both come to mind immediately on defense and offense respectively. Defensively the Tigers did a great job of forcing Rhoads to get the ball out of his hands and limit his running ability. The Tigers went the entire 1st half without a penalty, but emotions got the best of them in the second half. We have to eliminate the drive extending penalties going forward. This game was a great building block for what is expected to be a tough road game next week vs. Warren. — ES

One additional note, this is the second week in a row where we have seen the impact of the NFHS new rule on defenseless players. Last week it was a crack back block and this week it was in the 4th qtr. on a Glenoak player falling to the ground on an incomplete pass and subsequently getting cracked by Dean Clark. The stands were up in arms about this play and getting on the refs, but as we know, this is the way the NFHS and OHSAA are trending and that has to be communicated to everybody from fan to team. — ES

A lot of kudos to go around after our Tigers out hit Glenoak 24-10.  The Tiger defense limited Glenoak to just 43 yards rushing which forced the Golden Eagles to rely on their passing game.  A like effort will be needed this week at Mollenkopf Stadium against Warren.  The Raiders passed for just 30 yards in their opening game loss to Canton McKinley.  Warren was open in week two and undoubtedly worked on their passing game, but expect them to rely on their strength which is running the football.  Our Tigers will need another physical effort against the Raiders.  So, get out to Mollenkopf Friday and help our Tigers attain their second victory of the season. — GV

Friday will mark the 17th meeting between Massillon and Warren Harding in the current series, which started in 1989 and stands at eight wins and eight losses for each team.  The Tigers’ record at Mollencopf Stadium during that time is 2-5, with the last win coming in 2013 by the score of 35-14. Massillon’s wins there have been by an average of 21 points, whereas the losses have been by an average of 7 points.  This year Warren appears to be favoring the ground attack, as they possess two pretty good running backs who operate behind a big offensive line.  However, in the passing department, they are still searching for an identify, alternating two quarterbacks and occasionally running the Wildcat.  Against Canton McKinley, the Raiders aligned their defense in a 4-3 with a cover-4 secondary. Although the skill level here is decent, the defense has many new players from last year.  But they do return a pair of good ones in safety Jalen Hooks (6′-1″, 190 lb. Sr.) and defensive tackle Kaprice Sledge (5’11”, 325 lb. Jr.).  Hooks has received several D1 offers. Warren has only played one game so far and has had two weeks to prepare for the Massillon invasion.  So Coach Moore doesn’t know what Warren will bring.  But he also said an early season bye does not necessarily provide an advantage.  He emphasized that you need to play games in order to improve.– DE

After two weeks of competition only 5 of the 27 teams in Division 2, Region 7 are still unbeaten, attesting to the weakness of the region.  Those five are Columbus Northland, Columbus Walnut Ridge, North Canton, Boardman and Columbus Briggs.  The big surprise was Westerville South, a 50-14 victor over Dublin Scioto in Week 1.  Last Friday South lost to a resurging Gahanna Lincoln team, 34-0.  Other highlights included Lake losing to Dover, Ashland losing to Clyde, and Wooster and Dublin Scioto both starting out 0-2.  I know it’s early, but the current teams to keep an eye on are Massillon, North Canton, Boardman, New Albany and LIcking Heights.  Others in the hunt include Ashland, Lake, Worthington Kilbourne and Westerville South.  Once again, there may be several teams qualifying with just six wins.  And there may just be two Columbus City teams qualifying.  Games of interest this week include Massillon (1-1) vs. Warren Harding (1-1), Boardman (2-0) vs. Jackson (2-0), New Albany (1-1) vs. Licking Heights (1-1), Westerville South (1-1) vs. Hilliard Darby (1-1), and Lake (1-1) vs. Copley (1-1).  More as the season goes along. – DE

I have been asked why there are “Team” statistics in the game stats. There are several reasons for this. The most common is when a quarterback “takes a knee” after the snap from center. The loss that results is recorded as a “Team” rush and and the lost yards are charged to “Team”. Another reason you will see “Team” yardage is on a wild pass from center where there is a loss of yards. However, If after a wild pass from center the ball is picked up and a yardage gain is the result, the play is recorded as the if the wild pass from center did not occur. On an unblocked punt the entry is similar. If in the opinion of the scorer an improperly centered ball prevents the punter from carrying out his assignment the resulting loss is recorded as a “Team” loss. If the punter is able to recover the ball and punt, but the ball goes for a loss or out of bounds the punt is recorded as a “Team” punt. If the center snap is proper and it the judgment of the scorer the punter miss handles the ball the result of the rush or pass or kick is charged to the punter. — JB