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2024 Massillon Football Schedule Released

Defending Division II state champion Massillon is in preparation to embark on a journey to defend its title with perhaps the most difficult regular season schedule they have ever faced in their 130+ years of football.  Every opponent on the slate was a playoff qualifier last year (except the one from Canada) and three of them captured state championships.  Here is the schedule:

  1. NFL Academy – London – N
  2. Canton GlenOak – A
  3. Bergen Catholic, NJ – H
  4. Canisius, NY – H
  5. Lakewood St. Edward – A
  6. DeMatha Catholic, MD – H
  7. Football North (Clarkson), ONT – H
  8. Miami Edison, FL – H
  9. Warren Harding – A
  10. Canton McKinley – H

The Tiger program has steadily improved since Moore was hired nine years ago.  Last season his team captured its first “playoff” state championship with a 16-0 record, following a 55-7 win over Cincinnati Anderson in the Division II state semifinals and a 7-2 victory over Akron Hoban in the finals, adding to 24 previous state titles awarded by the sportswriters.  Not surprisingly, the corresponding success and national ranking, coupled with the fact that Massillon is not in a league, has created an unprecedented challenge in finding opponents, as many teams shy away from scheduling the Tigers.  Only four teams return from last season’s slate, highlighted by Lakewood St. Edward.  And they would not have played the Tigers this year unless they hosted the game, having traveled to Massillon the last three times.

So Massillon, with just four Ohio schools inked, is faced with more of a national schedule, with teams from New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Florida, plus a squad from Ontario that is an all-star group designed to play exclusively U.S. opponents.  There is even a team from Europe.  This undoubtedly creates quite a challenge.  Fortunately, each of these teams is expected to win their fair share of games, which bodes well for playoff computer points.  Even if they falter a few times, they are almost certain to make the playoffs.  And it’s in the playoffs that the local Ohio teams cannot duck them.

The Tigers will open with a pair of road games, including NFL Academy-London and Canton GlenOak.  The match against London is sponsored by Nike as part of their annual Kickoff Classic and will be played on a Thursday evening at the Nike sports complex, which is located in Beaverton, Oregon.  It will also be televised on the NFL YouTube Channel and the NFL Network (the following weekend).  The NFL, which hopes to increase football participation in Europe at the high school level, has partnered with Nike for this game.

Bergen Catholic provides the Week 3 home opener.  They have a record over the past five years of 54-7.  Last season they finished 11-1 and captured the Non-Public Class A championship.  Next up is Canisius, New York, which visits Massillon for the fourth time in a series in which the Tigers hold a 2-1 edge.

Back on the road, the orange and black travels to Lakewood St. Edward, the 3-time defending Division 1 state champion.  The Eagles’ coach Tom Lombardo has had enough of Paul Brown Tiger Stadium and got his way to host the game.  Massillon won the last two encounters, by scores of 31-28 and 15-13.

The Tigers return home for the next three games to face DeMatha from Maryland, Football North (Clarkson) from Ontario, Canada, and Miami Edison, Florida.  DeMatha’s 5-year record is 35-13, which includes a pair of wins last year over St. Johns College, DC, a team that Massillon defeated last year.  DeMatha is a common opponent of St. Edward.  Football North also plays St. Eds regularly, in addition to Cleveland St. Ignatius.  They are a Canadian all-star team that plays by American rules and only schedules U.S. teams.  Edison was a late edition to the schedule and they occupy Week No. 8.

The Tigers will wrap up the season with a trip to Warren Harding and a then home game against traditional rival Canton McKinley, Federal League co-champions last year.

So, it appears that Massillon will face a monumental schedule this year.  Fortunately, they return ten starters on offense, needing to replace as starters just a couple lineman.  Defensively, they have just three players returning, but several others saw significant duty when the games were on the line.

Enjoy the following opponent breakdowns, plus a preview of the Tigers:

Week 1 – NFL Academy London

  • The NFL constantly strives to promote American football in Europe and this year has invited Massillon to participate in a game against NFL Academy London. Staged in conjunction with Nike, the game will be played at the Nike sports complex, which is located in Beaverton, on Thursday, August 22, at 3:30 pacific time.  The team is expected to fly to Oregon on the Tuesday prior to the game, practice on Wednesday, play on Thursday and then return to Ohio on Friday.
  • The game will not be considered directly in the overall tally of Harbin points for playoff qualification purposes. However, Massillon will receive a seasonal average number of computer points for that week.
  • Per the NFL website: “The NFL Academy is a major global initiative by the NFL and it aims to provide full-time high-school education alongside intensive training in American football under the guidance of a world class coaching staff. This is a key pillar in the NFL’s investment in global football development and creating pathways for international talent.”
  • Over a thousand high students from across Europe try out for the Academy each year, with the goal of earning scholarships to American universities and eventually finding their ways to the NFL. Eighty will secure spots on the team.  There, they receive a heavy education in American football, along with taking a full load of high school-level academics.  They also adhere to the age limits that American schools use for playing eligibility.
  • The Academy this year has played several spring games against other European teams. To date they are 4-0, having outscored the opposition on average, 57-12.
  • The game will be held on August 22 at Ronaldo Field, which is located on the campus of the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm Oregon time (6:30 pm Ohio time).  It also will be aired live on the NFL YouTube Channel and via delay broadcast on the NFL Network on Saturday, August 31

Week 2 – Canton GlenOak – A

  • League: Federal League
  • Playoff Division: 1
  • 2023 Overall Record: 7-5
  • 2023 Playoff Results: Lost 35-0 to Lakewood St. Edward in Round 2
  • 2023 Ranked No. 29 in D1; rated 29.6
  • 5-Year Record: 15-36 (.294)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 4 appearances; 1-4 record
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Lost 56-7 to Massillon in 2023
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Canton GlenOak: 15-4
  • Bonus: Lost a lot through graduation; returns alternate senior quarterback Adrian Burt; against Massillon he rushed for 54 yards and scored one touchdown; returns 3 of 4 linebackers.

Week 3 – Bergen Catholic, NJ – H

  • League: New Jersey Super Football Conference – United Red Division
  • Playoff Division: Non-Public Group A
  • 2023 Overall Record: 11-1
  • 2023 Playoff Results: Defeated Delbarton to win the Non-Public A state championship
  • 2023 Ranked No. 1 in New Jersey; rated 62.8
  • 5-Year Record: 54-7
  • 5-Year Playoff History: State champions in 2021, 2022 and 2023; 9-1 record (no playoffs in 2020)
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: n/a
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Bergen Catholic: 0-0
  • Bonus: Returns 7 starters on offense and 7 on defense, including No. 1 quarterback Dominic Campanile (131-221-2,208, 30 TDs), No. 2 running back Dante Kain (69-398-5.8, 16 TDs), No. 1 wide receiver Quincy Porter (41-969, 16 TDs), No. 2 wide receiver (35-334, 3 TDs), No. 3 tackler Ethan Cohall Jr. (27-34, 5.5 TFLs) and No. 4 tackler Kaden Irby-Mason (25-35, 9.0 TFLs). In 2023 lost to Chaminade, FL, 61-21; in 2022 defeated Saguaro, AZ, 28-7; in 2021 defeated Akron Hoban, 42-7; Opens the season with IMG Academy.

 Week 4 – Canisius, NY – H

  • League: Monsignor Martin Athletic Association
  • Playoff Division: Ohio equivalent 2
  • 2023 Overall Record: 5-6
  • 2023 Playoff Results: Lost 21-20 to St. Francis, NY, in the semifinals
  • 2023 Ranked No. 33 in New York; rated 14.5
  • 5-Year Record: 27-22
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 4 appearances (no games in 2020); 5-3 record; in 2019 defeated Cardinal Hayes (Bronx) 25-24 to capture the Catholic State Championship
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Lost to Massillon 42-7 in 2022
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Canisius: 2-1
  • Bonus: In the 2022 game vs. Massillon, Jalen Slaughter completed 7 of 16 passes for 141 yards and 3 TDs. Kyler Wiggins caught 2 passes for 82 yards and a TD and Ja’Meir Gamble caught 2 for 43 yards and a TD and rushed one time for 16 yards.  Peytton Mitchell rushed 4 times for 31 yards.  Mike Wright recorded 2.0 tackles for loss.

Week 5 – Lakewood St. Edward – A

  • League: None
  • Playoff Division: 1
  • 2023 Overall Record: 15-1
  • 2023 Playoff Results: Defeated Springfield 31-21 to capture the state championship
  • 2023 Ranked No. 1 in D1; rated 66.6
  • 5-Year Record: 62-7 (.899)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 5 appearances; 21-2 record; state titles in 2021, 2022 and 2023
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Lost to Massillon 15-13 in 2023
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. St. Edward: 5-4
  • Bonus: 3-time defending Division 1 state champs.  Finished No. 31 nationally in 2023.  Returns 3 starters on offense and 5 on defense, plus backup quarterback Casey Csanyi (6’-2”, 180). Against Massillon last year Csanyi completed 14 of 29 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

Week 6 – DeMatha Catholic, MD – H

  • League: Washington Catholic Athletic Conference
  • Playoff Division: League Playoffs
  • 2023 Overall Record: 9-2
  • 2023 Playoff Results: Lost 7-0 to Our Lady of Good Counsel, MD, in the 2nd round
  • 2023 Ranked No. 2 in Maryland; rated 62.0
  • 5-Year Record: 35-13
  • 5-Year Playoff History: League runner-up in 2022 and 2023; 2-4 record
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: n/a
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. DeMatha: 0-0
  • Bonus: In 2023, defeated Springfield, OH, 35-7 and St. John’s College, DC, 21-14 in the regular season and 21-3 in the playoffs.

Week 7 – Football North (Clarkson), ONT – H

  • League: East Coast Power Prep League (plays exclusively teams from the USA)
  • Playoff Division: n/a (game does not count in Harbin System)
  • 2023 Overall Record: 3-3
  • 2023 Playoff Results: n/a
  • 2023
  • 5-Year Record: 9-21 (no games in 2020)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: n/a
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: n/a
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. 0-0
  • Bonus: Regular plays Lakewood St. Edward and Cleveland St. Ignatius. In 2023, lost to St. Edward 35-15 and St. Ignatius 24-21.  In 2022, defeated Mentor and lost to Akron Hoban, St. Edward and St. Ignatius.

Week 8 – Miami Edision, FL – H

  • League: Unknown
  • Playoff Division: 1A
  • 2023 Overall Record: 6-5, including two forfeit losses
  • 2023 Playoff Results: Lost 31-13 to Miami Central in the first round
  • 2023 Ranked No. 12 in Division 2M; rated 32.2
  • 5-Year Record: 31-17 (.646)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 4 appearances; 4-4 record
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: n.a.
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Warren: n.a.
  • Bonus: Promoted to Division 1A for 2024.  Returns 3.5 star running Sterling Joseph (5′-8″, 185) and 3.5-star cornerback Jett White (6′-2″, 165).  Best playoff finished in last five years came in 2020, when they lost to Chaminade in the Division 3A state semifinals.  A publication listed the 1970, 13-0 Edison teamas the 1 0th greatest in South Florida.

Week 9 – Warren Harding – A

  • League: All-American Conference
  • Playoff Division: 2
  • 2023 Overall Record: 5-7
  • 2023 Playoff Results: Lost 24-21 to Hudson in Round 2.
  • 2023 Ranked No. 23 in D2; rated 24.4
  • 5-Year Record: 25-29 (.463)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 4 appearances; 4-4 record
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Lost 48-14 to Massillon in 2022
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Warren: 60-25-3 (second-longest series)
  • Bonus: Returns 3 starters on offense and five on defense, including quarterback Coleman. Against Massillon last year Coleman completed 9 of 20 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns

Week 10 – Canton McKinley – H

  • League: Federal League
  • Playoff Division: 1
  • 2023 Overall Record: 9-4
  • 2023 Playoff Results: Lost 41-27 to Lakewood St. Edward in Round 3
  • 2023 Ranked No. 109 in D1; rated 42.3
  • 5-Year Record: 37-21 (.638)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 5 appearances; 7-5 playoff record
  • Last Time Massillon vs. Massillon: Lost 35-0 to Massillon in 2023
  • Historical Series vs. McKinley: 76-53-5; Massillon has won 12 of the last 13
  • Bonus: Returns 7 starters on offense and 5 on defense, including 4-star linebacker / wide receiver Dante McClellan (6’-2, 190) (2nd Team All-Ohio), 3-star offensive lineman Dior Garner (6’-4, 285), 2-star running back Nino Hill (6’-0, 200) and 2-star wide receiver Keith Quincy (6’02, 180) (2nd Team All-Ohio). Last year against Massillon McClellan recorded four tackles and caught one pass, Hill rushed 8 times for 2 yards and Quincy caught 4 passes for 35 yards.  Running back Jamar Johnson transferred in from GlenOak.

The Book on Massillon

  • League: Independent
  • Playoff Division: 2
  • 2023 Overall Record: 16-0
  • 2023 Playoff Results: Defeated Akron Hoban 7-2 to capture the Division 2 State Title
  • 2023 Ranked No. 1 in D2; Rated 69.7
  • 5-Year Record: 63-8 (.887)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 5 appearances; 23-4 record; advanced to the state finals in 2019, 2020 and 2023; state champion in 2023; regional champion in 2022
  • Bonus: Coming off a 16-0 season and Division 2 State Championship; defeated Division 1 State Champion Lakewood St. Edward for the second year in a row; returns 10 starters on offense and 3 on defense, plus the punter, the kicker, the long snapper and the short snapper; returning starters include:
    • Quarterback Jalen Slaughter (6’-0, 163); 4-year starter; 34 of 60 for 685 yards and 9 TDs; 4,112 career yards and 49 career TDs
    • Running back Ja’Meir Gamble (5’-9, 190); Honorable Mention All-Ohio; 142 attempts for 948 yards and 5 TDs
    • Running Peytton Mitchell (6’-0, 200); 71 carries for 444 yards and 2 TDs
    • Running back Mylen Lenix (5’-10, 203); 64 carries for 332 yards and 6 TDs
    • Wide receiver Jacques Carter (5’-10, 165); 2nd Team All-District; 41 receptions for 796 yards and 8 TDs
    • Wide receiver Braylyn Toles (5’-8, 145); 3-year starter; Honorable Mention All-District; 46 receptions for 619 yards and 8 TDs
    • Tight end Deangelo Zimmerman (6’-1, 216); 9 receptions for 136 yards and 1 TD
    • Offensive lineman Nolan Davenport (6’-6, 280); 3-year starter; 2nd Team All-Ohio
    • Offensive lineman Mike Looney (6’-0, 243); 3-year starter
    • Offensive lineman Gavin Kappes (5’-11, 250); 2-year starter
    • Defensive lineman Michael Wright Jr. (5’-10, 280); 1st Team All-Ohio; 4-year starter; 28.0 tackle points; 15.5 tackles-for-loss; 10.5 quarterback sacks
    • Linebacker Vito McConnell (6’-4, 215); 27.5 tackle points; 4.0 tackles for loss; 3 pass interceptions
    • Defensive back Tyler Hackenbracht (6’-2, 207); Honorable Mention All-Ohio; 4th leading tackler with 38.5 tackle points; 3 pass interceptions; punter
    • Kicker Mateo Herrera (5’-7, 128); 22 of 22 extra points
  • Current streaks
    • Wins, all games: 16
    • Wins, regular season games: 18
    • Wins, public schools: 23
    • Wins, home games: 18
    • Scoring in games, offense: 202