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2023 Booster Club Report – Week PO5 – Post-Cincinnati Anderson; Preview of the Akron Hoban Game

Massillon (15-0) defeated Cincinnati Anderson (13-2) in the playoff state semifinals, 55-7.  This is first time that the Tigers have won 15 games in a single season.  Massillon next travels to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton to face Akron Hoban (13-1) for a Thursday, 7:00 pm kickoff in the state finals.  The Knights come in at No. 1 in Region 5, while the Tigers are No. 1 in Division 2, Region 7.  Massillon trails in the series with Hoban, 3-2.

Link to the Anderson Game Story

Link to the Anderson Game Statistics

Review of the Anderson Game

It was win No. 947, which keeps Massillon in the No. 3 position nationally for all-time wins, just one game behind Louisville Make, KY, and five games behind Valdosta, GA.

Massillon defeated Cincinnati Anderson, playing perhaps its best game of the season.  The offense rolled up 393 yards, with 258 on the ground and 136 in the air, while never in position to punt the ball.  In fact, they were able to either convert a first down or score a touchdown 93% of the time.  The defense held Anderson’s 40+ point offense to just seven points, holding the Raptor run game to a mere eight yards.  Anderson did complete 33 of 50 passes, but for less than eight yards per catch.  The special teams also played a great game, returning a kickoff for a touchdown and dropped their own kickoffs in great position right along the sidelines to quell any potential returns.

“What a great victory it was,” said Massillon Head Coach Nate Moore.  “It was the biggest offensive challenge of the year.  To hold a big offense to seven points.  It was great.  We played really well in all three phases of the game.  A shout out to the defense.  The defense played great.  They brought great pressure.  Our scout team gave us a phenominal look.  And they were faster than Anderson.  The offensive line played great.  The backs ran hard.”

Moore also said that the game plan going in was to blitz and let the man-to-man defense handle the screens.  But that didn’t work out so well on Anderson’s first drive.  So the Tigers adjusted by taking off the blitz and assigning one linebacker to the quarterback and another to the screen, while blocking off any short crossing pattern.  Following that adjustment, the game went much better.

Cody Fair

The guest player was inside linebacker Cody Fair.  “Last week it was a pretty tough team to prepare for,” he said.  “But we adjusted well.” Fair also felt that Massillon used their constant physical play to tire out the Anderson players.  He also added that Anderson running an up-tempo offense didn’t help matters (they ran 70 plays).  Regarding the upcoming game against Akron Hoban, Fair believes that the Tigers need to be close to perfect.  But they are excited to get after them this week.

Statistics leaders:

  • Da’One Owens: 8 of 13 passing for 135 yards and 1 touchdown; 5 carries for 75 yards and 1 touchdown
  • Ja’Meir Gamble: 10 carries for 52 yards
  • Peytton Mitchell: 9 carries for 41 yards and 1 touchdown
  • Mylen Lenix: 6 carries for 33 yards and 1 touchdown
  • Jacques Carter: 4 receptions for 46 yards
  • Braylyn Toles: 3 receptions for 58 yards
  • Emy Lewis: 1 reception for 31 yards and 1 touchdown; 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown
  • Mike Wright:  5.0 tackle points; 2.0 sacks; 2.5 TFLs; 4 carry for 18 yards and 2 touchdowns
  • Shon Robinson: 8.0 tackle points
  • Chase Bond: 5.0 tackle points; 3.0 sacks; 4.0 TFLs; 1 pass interception returned 51 yards for a touchdown

Akron Hoban Scouting Report

Hoban enters the contest with a record of 13-1.  The Knights have outscored their opponents by an average margin of 33-8.  In contrast, Massillon has outscored its opponents by an average margin of 41-8.  The two teams have played one common opponent: Lakewood St. Edward.  The Tigers defeated the Eagles 15-13, outgaining the Eagles in total yards 299-212.  Hoban lost 14-7 and failed to score an offensive touchdown.  It is without a doubt a game matching the two best defenses in Division 2.  Scores to-date:

  • Frederick Douglass, KY (5-4): 45-6 W
  • Erie Cathedral Prep, PA (6-3): 44-12 W
  • Trinity Episcopal School, VA (6-3): 34-6 W
  • Akron East (8-3): 39-0 W
  • Cleveland St. Ignatius (3-9): 35-0 W
  • Walsh Jesuit (12-2): 57-7 W
  • Cleveland Glenville (12-3): 28-16 W
  • St. Francis, NY (4-5): 28-13 W
  • Lakewood St. Edward (14-1): 7-14 L
  • Akron Ellet (39-7) (PO): 39-7 W
  • Barberton (7-5) (PO): 41-7 W
  • Painsville Riverside (10-3) (PO): 21-0 W
  • Walsh Jesuit (12-2) (PO): 30-6 W
  • Avon (14-1) (PO): 17-14 W

The Hoban offense is similar to Massillon’s in that they use many of the same plays:  They line up in the  spread with some empty backfield, some 2-fullback sets, some heavy sets and a few jet sweeps.  They run primarily gap scheme and power with some play-action mixed in.  Moore believes that their offensive line is very good and they have several good running backs.  The quarterback can run, some off of set plays.  But the passing game is a definite weakness with both the quarterback and wide receivers.  Nevertheless, it is a pretty solid group overall.

The strength of the defense is the front-7 which, according to Moore, is really good.  They line up in an even front with stand-up ends.  Two or three linebackers, one of which has an offer to Ohio State.  Another linebacker has an offer to West Virginia.  The secondary is normally in cover-1 with man-to-man on the receivers and occasionally in cover-3.   Often, it will resemble a 4-2 dime look.  Look for a lit of  blitzing.  Moore said that the Hoban defense is really good across the board.

The keys to the game: run the ball and stop the run.

Go Tigers