Each week, the staff of massillontigers.com will provide input of their choice related to the current season or Massillon football in general.
Ursuline coach Larry Kempe said, “For the first time in four weeks we played with great passion.” Despite winning by 29 points the game was much closer than the score indicates. Our Tigers had 418 yards in total offense while Ursuline had 375 yards. That is a difference of just 43 yards. To state the obvious our Tigers have to keep getting better. Getting better means working to contain the speed of this week’s opponent, Bedford. So, Tiger fans we need to get out and support our guys with great energy. This is a BIG GAME! — GV
The Tigers showed continued growth this week vs. Youngstown Ursuline. While our defense was challenged by what appears to be a very talented running back in Joe Floyd, the Tigers never broke and held Ursuline out of the endzone for most of the game. This week the Tigers will again face a talented team that will surely test them and show if they continue to grow. Offensively our Tigers continue to gel in both the running and passing game. Our special team’s punting and field goal kicking have been very good for us. Our freshman punter Magnus Haines is averaging 33.1 yards per punt and has had two downed inside the 20 yard line. Klay Moll is 2-2 on his FG attempts this season and 15-15 on his extra points for the season! – ES
We’re four games into the season and just one team in Massillon’s region remains unbeaten: Columbus Walnut Ridge. Based on performances so far and considering the remaining opponents, it appears that ten teams are in contention for the coveted eight playoff spots. They are Massillon, Boardman, Westerville South, Wooster, New Albany, Canal Winchester, Licking Heights, Columbus Walnut Ridge, Columbus Mifflin and Columbus West. Another five teams are on the bubble, including North Canton, Westerville North, Ashland, Franklin Heights and Columbus Northland. Wooster (1-3) will need to win out, but may stumble against Mansfield in Week 8. New Albany (1-3) will also need to win out. North Canton will need to beat either Columbus Bishop Hartley (3-1) or Jackson (3-1). Ashland may fall short even with an 8-2 record due to poor scheduling. This week, keep an eye on Massillon vs. Bedford, Boardman vs. Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, North Canton vs. Canton McKinley and Columbus West vs. Columbus Marion Franklin. — DE
The Tigers are no stranger to fierce competition and annually seem defeat a team or two that finishes 8-2 or better. This week’s test is Bedford, which comes in with a 4-0 record and is on a quest to post an undefeated season. Although the schedule so far has been substandard, Bedford has won each game convincingly like a good team should. The Bearcats possess a host of athletic talent at the skill positions, particular at running back and wide receiver. Offensively, the they will line up in a Power-I formation and run the ball between the tackles utilizing No. 11 Kenneth Wilkins. When they need to pass, it’s down the field to No. 4 Davion Johnson. Both of these players have track speed. The offensive line is not as big as Massillon’s earlier opponents, but they fired off the ball well. According to Coach Nate Moore, the Tigers will need to line up correctly, read their keys, react properly and gang tackle. Defensively, the normal alignment is 4-2, with the linebackers over the defensive ends, but they occasionally push one inside. Moore expects something similar to what Youngstown Ursuline did in the first half of last Friday’s game; i.e., pushing a safety up into the box. The linebackers are the strength of the defense, while the secondary also plays well. The line is undersized and does not seem to have an overwhelming pass rush. The kicking game is a challenge for them. — DE