Tigers run wild, run past GlenOak23 hours ago
Chris Easterling – The Independent
PLAIN TWP. It was one of those nights at Bob Commings Field on Friday night.
It was a night where almost everything went right for Massillon, and everything went wrong for GlenOak. When it was all said and done, it was a night where the Tigers posted their biggest margin of victory since Week 5 of the 2016 season in rolling to a 49-0 win over the Golden Eagles.
“(Massillon’s) a good football team,” said GlenOak coach Scott Garcia, whose team lost starting quarterback Kindel Richardson to a first-quarter injury. “They took it to us. They have it all. They’ve got an offensive line, the back – (Jamir) Thomas — is as good as they come, and they can spread you out at the same time. They present you a lot of problems.”
Massillon, 2-0 for the first time since 2014, had all of it on display in its biggest win since a 75-7 beating of Toledo Bowsher. The Tigers ran it, they threw it and they stifled GlenOak at every turn.
And that was just in opening up a 35-0 halftime lead.
“They showed that they’re focused,” Massillon coach Nate Moore said. “They showed they’re disciplined. They showed they play hard and really care about this season.”
The Tigers’ big night started with their big running back Thomas powering his way to 170 yards on 11 rushing attempts. All of those were in the first half, as he also ran for three touchdowns of 35, 53 and 49 yards.
The first two came on Massillon’s second and third possessions, giving it a 14-0 lead. The third came on the first play of the Tigers’ fifth drive, making it 21-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
“A really great night tonight,” Moore said of Thomas, who has 278 rushing yards in two games. “He really showed some flashes of some breakaway speed, which didn’t happen much last year. Glad to see that out of him.”
Thomas was just part of the Tigers’ rushing tandem that gained 254 yards in the first half and finished with 343 yards for the game. Zion Phifer, while he wasn’t able to get into the end zone, added 106 yards on eight carries.
Meanwhile, Aidan Longwell added four more touchdown passes, giving him seven on the season. He hit Aydrik Ford on scoring strikes of 35 and 46 yards, while tossing 18- and 17-yard scores to Jayden Ballard.
The final one to Ballard came on Longwell’s last pass of the night, giving the Tigers a 42-0 third-quarter lead. Longwell finished 8-of-13 for 151 yards with the four scores, but two other interceptions in the end zone.
Listen to Longwell’s TD pass to Ballard
“He’s our field general,” Moore said of Longwell. “He’s our quarterback. He’s the one who makes everything work. A couple picks tonight that we certainly don’t want but, he’ll bounce back.”
Longwell’s TD pass to Murphy
GlenOak, which suffered its worst loss since a similar 49-0 setback at McKinley in Week 4 of the 2005 season, is hoping to bounce back from consecutive tough Friday nights against potentially two of the best teams in the state. The Golden Eagles are 0-2 for the second consecutive season after setbacks to first Toledo Whitmer and now to Massillon.
It was a bit of injury thrown on top of insult, however, on this night with the loss of Richardson. The dynamic junior quarterback suffered what appeared to be a leg injury on GlenOak’s third series of the game after being sacked.
After Richardson was taken off the field on a stretcher, J.T. Cooke came in to play quarterback the rest of the way. Regardless of who the quarterback was, GlenOak finished the night with 76 total yards, 65 of those on the ground,
“We’ve to learn from it and move on,” said Garcia, whose team plays host to Royal Imperial Collegiate (Ont.) next Friday. “We have a lot of season left. Obviously, it’s going to be tough without our quarterback. I thought J.T. stepped up and did some decent things. We just have to get better. Right now, we’re playing with a JV football team.”
Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE