2023 Booster Club Report – Week 10 – Post-Canton McKinley; Preview of the Grove City Central Crossing Game
Massillon (10-0) defeated Canton McKinley (7-3), 35-0. The Tigers now hold a 76-53-5 advantage in the series. They have also won eight consecutive games and twelve of the last thirteen. This week Massillon hosts Grove City Central Crossing (4-6) for a Friday, 7:00 pm kickoff in the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers finished No. 1 in Division 2, Region 7, while the Comets come in at No. 16. Massillon has never played Central Crossing.
- 7th Grade (4-4): Season is over.
- 8th Grade (6-2): Season is over.
- Freshmen (9-2): Defeated Canton McKinley, 44-0. Season is over.
- Junior Varsity (3-3-1): Season is over.
Review of the Canton McKinley game
It was win No. 942, which keeps Massillon in the No. 3 position nationally for all-time wins.
It’s not unusual for the game against Canton McKinley to be chippy, given the passion each team has to win in this great rivalry. But, it was a little more than normal in this one and it unfortunately spilled over afterwards during the handshake. Partly through, the two teams started to mix it up. The Tiger players quickly retreated to their own bench at the urging of the coaches, but the Bulldog players followed them enmass to the Massillon side of the field, in spite of both coaches trying to separate the two groups. Within a few minutes the teams separated and exited the field to their respective locker rooms, sans any victory celebration and award ceremony for Massillon winning the game.
“What happened at the end of the game was really sad,” said Massillon Head Coach Nate Moore. “I hope everyone learned a lesson. It was disrespect to the rivalry.”
Then it was time to talk about the game. “I couldn’t be more proud of our guys,” said Moore, who with the win became the all-time leader as a head coach in the series, ahead of Paul Brown, Mike Currence and McKinley’s Thom McDaniels. “We played with speed. We dominated in all three phases. The defense had an historical performance (limiting the Bulldogs to 65 yards of total offense, sacking the quarterback five times and pitching a shutout). “Big” Mike Wright Jr. just destroyed the center and sacked the quarterback three times. The offense played really well. We only punted once and we scored 35 points.”
After Massillon opened a 14-0 lead they perfectly executed an onside kick that led to a third score. Moore credited Special Teams Coach Jason Jarvis for the call. In film study, he saw that on kickoffs McKinley was back three yards from the fifty and immediately retreated as the kicker approached the ball. The play called for the ball to be dribbled directly ahead by kicker Vinny Keller, with the player on either side of him tasked with blocking the two players from the receiving team that had the best chance of recovery. The next two players provided protection for the kicker or recovered the ball themselves in the event the kicker was taken out. Five plays later the Tigers were in the end zone with a 21-0 lead and the game was essentially over.
The guest players were quarterback Da’One Owens and offensive lineman Sam Snodgrass. “It was exciting for my first rivalry win,” said Owens.” Snodgrass added that “the offensive line did a great job. Fired on all cylinders. Pringle had a great game (running the ball).”
- Da’One Owens: 9 of 13 passing for 108 yards and 2 touchdown; 8 carries for 52 yards
- Ma’Meir Gamble: 15 carries for 71 yards
- Dorian Pringle: 6 carries for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns; 2 (1-2) tackle points
- Braylyn Toles: 4 receptions for 61 yards and 1 touchdown
- Jacques Carter: 3 receptions for 14 yards
- Emy Louis Jr.: 30-yard touchdown reception
- Michael Wright Jr.: 4 (4-0) tackle points; 3 quarterback sacks; 3 tackles for loss; 2 carries for 11 yards and 1 touchdown
- Adonis Marshall: 5 (5-0) tackle points; pass interception
- Cody Fair: 4.5 (4-1) tackle points
Central Crossing Scouting Report
Central Crossing plays in the Buckeye Division of the Ohio Capital Conference. The other teams in the division are Pickerington Central, Newark, Reynoldsburg, Groveport Madison and Lancaster. The Comets this year finished 4-6 with a 2-3 conference record. Their scores so far:
- Columbus Independence (5-5): 21-14 W
- Westerville North (8-2): 21-42 L
- Columbus Westland (1-9): 27-17 W
- Grove City (5-5) 63-0 L
- Olentangy (9-1): 35-0 L
- Lancaster (5-5): 21-24 L
- Pickerington Central (7-3): 0-48 L
- Newark (2-8): 33-27 W
- Reynoldsburg (1-9): 30-22 W
- Groveport (6-4): 0-31 L
Central Crossing Scouting Report
The comet offense operates out of the spread with a single running back and occasional tight end. The best player is senior running back Malik Kamara (6′-1″, 190), a 2-star recruit who has committed to the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a good, physical runner, a down hill runner, who can break tackles. Malik also lines up at safety.
The defense lines up in an odd front with cover-3. They will blitz often. The two safeties are very good. Central Crossing also has a good kicker.
According to Moore, they are well-coached and play a traditional brand of football; i.e., very fundamental, not a junk offense. Five players go both ways, on a team with many underclass starters.
Central Crossing may not be the best team the Tigers have faced this year, but Moore emphasized the Massillon program “needs to focus on the prize. Our goal is to win the state title.”