Massillon Rolls Over Elkhart, Indiana, to Post Fourth Straight Win
It’s time for the Tigers to get more serious and down to business. The tune-ups are over. For Lakewood St. Edward, the No. 1 team in Ohio and defending Division 1 state champion, is rolling into Paul Brown Tiger Stadium next Friday bent on erasing the bad taste the Tigers handed them last year in a 31-28 upset.
Those prior tune-ups involved victories over Canton GlenOak, Mansfield and Elkhart, on the heels of a win over a pretty good Valdosta, Georgia, team in the season opener. In the last three weeks Massillon has posted scores of 56-7, 51-10 and 55-0, marking the first time since 1935 that the Tigers scored at least fifty points in three consecutive games. On top of that, the first team defense in those three contests has given up just one lone field goal.
It didn’t take long for Massillon to assume control against an overmatched Lions team. After holding them to a 3-and-out in the game’s initial possession, quarterback Da’one Owens needed just one play to sprint 42 yards off a fake jet sweep untouched into the end zone. On the next possession Dorian Pringle capped off a 5-play, 39-yard drive of run/pass combination with a 1-yard run. Then, on the Tigers’ third possession following a Lion turnover Owens did it again, this time from seven yards out. By the end of the first quarter Massillon was on top 21-0.
Elkhart attempted to get back into the fray with a nice drive toward the Tiger goal line. But they were held on downs and the Tigers immediately responded with a 3-play 98-yard drive. It ended when quarterback Jalen Slaughter connected with a wide-open Jacques Carter at around the 20 yard line. Carter subsequently broke a tackle and sprinted to the goal line to complete a 60-yard TD pass.
Three more scores came in the second quarter, including:
- A 48-yard punt return by Kyler Wiggins.
- A 1-yard pass from Slaughter to Braylyn Toles.
- An 18-yard return by Adonis Vaughan following a Lion fumble during a kickoff.
That made the score 48-0 as the two teams headed for the locker room.
Halftime involved a great performance by the combined Tiger Swing Band and the alumni band, totaling around 200 musicians.
Aside from the first five plays following halftime, the Massillon backups held sway for the rest of the night’s action, under a running-clock situation. In the fourth quarter Jaydyn Willams scored the final Massillon touchdown from the two yard line. The play was set up by a boot around the left side by quarterback Eli Moore. Meanwhile, Elkhart never threatened after their first quarter challenge.
The No. 1 offense played like a finely tuned instrument throughout most of the game, except for the few times when Elkhart’s massively athletic line was able to break into the backfield to stop a Massillon runner. But in the end the Tigers were able to roll up 457 yards of total offense, including 271 on the ground (7.7 ave.) and 199 in the air. And they did not need to punt for the second consecutive week.
Peytton Mitchell led the rushing attack with 11 carries for 91 yards. Owens added another 55 and two scores with his three carries. Passing-wise, Slaughter had another good night, completing 5 for 7 for 130 yards and two touchdowns. His one errant throw was a near miss TD on a post pattern when the defender was just able to step in front of the intended receiver for the interception. Owens completed 2 of 3 for 18 yards.
Defensively, Massillon was just too much, particularly in the speed and technique categories. Elkhart managed just 24 net yards on the ground off of 21 carries (1.1 ave.) and 9 of 20 passing for just 77 yards. There was just not much going Elkhart’s way. One success, however, was a long pass completion when the Tiger secondary lost track of the receiver that advanced the ball to the Massillon five. The other modest success was when they switched their offense to a Perry wing-T type look and used their big line to pound the ball up the middle. But that worked only for a short while, as the game became more and more out of reach for them.