Greatest Victories of All-Time – The 2000s

1st – 2005 – MASSILLON (12-1) vs. LAKEWOOD ST. EDWARD (13-0) – 21-17

  • Coaches – Massillon: Tom Stacy; St. Edward: John Gibbons
  • Prelude – It was the Division 1 state semifinals and Massillon was a clear underdog against the undefeated Eagles.
  • Brian Gamble on his way to the winning touchdown to defeat Lakeside St. Edward in the 2005 Division 1 state semifinals

    The Game – Attendance: 14,100 at the Akron Rubber.  Game time temperature was 20-degrees, with wind and snow.  St. Eds controlled the action throughout most of the contest and with seven minutes left they went ahead 17-7, making it a 2-score game.  That’s when the Tigers kicked it into gear.  Starting at their own 38, Massillon drove the ball 62 yards in eight plays, with Bobby Huth connecting with Brian Gamble (Illinois / Ashland) for an 18-yard score.  St. Edward then took over at their 26.  Following a 1-yard run and an incomplete pass, linebacker Andrew Dailey (Wake Forest) stormed in and blind-side sacked Brandon Frohnapple (Slippery Rock) to set up a punt with under four minutes left.   With the ball placed at the Tiger 45, Huth went back to work.  Three straight completions moved the it to the Eagle 29, but then disaster struck when the center snapped the ball early and Huth was forced to fall on it for a 20-yard loss.  After an incomplete pass and faced with an improbable 3rd and 30, Huth found with Gamble on a crossing route and he beat St. Eds to the stick, giving Massillon a first down at the 14.  Gamble caught the next pass and advanced it to the 5 and then powered his way into  the end zone for the go ahead score, which came with 1:56 left on the clock.  The Eagles subsequently failed to move the ball and Massillon killed the clock for the win in front of thousands of shivering, but joyous Tiger fans.  Huth was 14 of 20 for 230 yards and one touchdown.  Gamble ended with 62 yards rushing  and 5 receptions for 98 yards, scoring two TDs.  Frohnapple passed for 173 yards, with six completions to Kyle Hubbard.  Running back Nate Oliver (Ohio State) was held to just 76 yards on 27 carries.

  • Postscript – The win gave the Tigers a birth in the Division 1 state finals, where they unfortunately lost by a touchdown to Cincinnati St. Xavier.  Gamble and Dailey were named 1st Team All-Ohio.

2nd – 2002 – MASSILLON (9-2) vs. MASSILLON PERRY (10-1) – 23-21

  • Coaches – Massillon: Rick Shepas; Perry: Keith Wakefield
  • Prelude – Massillon and Perry are natural rivals and were facing each other in a regional semifinal playoff game.
  • Max Shafer kicks a last-second 35-yard field goal to beat Perry in the 2002 playoffs

    The Game – Attendance: 17,000 at Faucett Stadium.  The Tigers jumped on top 13-0 in the second quarter, but Perry responded with two fourth quarter touchdown runs by Chris Kortis to take a 21-20 lead with 1:17 left in the game.  In a “ditch drive”, Matt Martin (John Carroll) moved the ball into scoring range with six straight pass completions.  The last one was back shoulder catch by Devin Jordan (Ohio State) at the Perry 18 with just seconds remaining.  Max Shafer finished it off by calmly kicking the game-winner from 35 yards out and he was instantly swarmed by his teammates.  For the night, Martin completed 21 of 29 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns.  Both scores went to Jordan, who overall caught seven passes for 170 yards.  Perry’s vaunted wing-T attack was held to 143 yards and 3.1 yards per carry.

  • Postscript – Massillon advanced to the regional finals where they defeated Pickerington 14-0, but lost the following week in the state semifinals in overtime to Warren Harding.  Jordan was named 1st Team All-Ohio.  Shepas would later coach Waynesburg University, PA.

3rd (tie) – 2006 – MASSILLON (2-1) vs. HAMILTON CHANDLER, AZ (2-0) – 35-26

  • Coaches – Massillon: Tom Stacy; Chandler: Steve Belles
  • Prelude – Massillon was facing a national power as part of the Herbstreit Classic, while coming off a lopsided loss to Cincinnati Moeller the previous week.
  • Massillon defeats Hamilton Chandler, AZ, in the 2006 Herbstreit Classic

    The Game – Attendance: 10,000.  The Tigers fell behind 17-7 off a 66-yard pass and an 80-yard run.  But then kicked it into gear in the second quarter by outscoring Chandler 28-9 the rest of the way.  Brian Gamble (Illinois / Ashland) had a monstrous game, rushing for 159 yards and scoring four touchdowns: one by run, two via the pass and one on a 37-yard pass interception return.  He also led the team in tackles.  Huth pass for three scores.  Brad Gruner (New Mexico), Chandler’s quarterback, passed for 250 yards, including 181 yards to Kerry Taylor (Arizona State), as the two teams combined for 865 yards of offense.

  • Postscript – It would be Chandler’s only loss that season and they finished as the Arizona state champions.  Massillon posted a 7-5 mark.  Gamble was named 1st Team All-Ohio.

3rd (tie) – 2005 – MASSILLON (5-0) vs. CLEVELAND ST. IGNATIUS (4-1) – 29-26

  • Coaches – Massillon: Tom Stacey; Chandler: Chuck Kyle
  • Prelude – Massillon had lost the first six games in the series with the Wildcats and was playing this one on the road.  But it was yet another chance to get that first win.
Shawn Weisand scores the winning touchdown against St. Ignatius in 2005
  • The Game – Attendance: 12,500 at Byers Field.  The Tigers hung tough throughout this emotional game, only to fall behind 26-14 by the end of the third quarter.  But two special drives in the fourth spelled the difference.  Behind the duo quarterbacking of Bobby Huth and Shawn Weisand, Massillon drove 90 yards in 9 plays and scored on a 1 yard run by Brian Gamble with 5:27 on the clock.  After Ignatius was forced to punt, they then drove 72 yards in 13 plays and took a 27-26 lead off a Weisand run of 5 yards with 2:28 left in the game.  Weisand capped the drive with a successful conversion run.  The defense was spectacular in the fourth quarter, holding the Wildcats to 20 yards of offense and forcing two punts and a pass interception.  Gamble led all rushers with 133 yards and three touchdowns.  He also caught four passes for 67 yards and intercepted a pass.
  • Postscript – Massillon would eventually advance to the Division 1 state championship game where they lost to Cincinnati St. Xavier.  The upset staggered Ignatius and they went on to lose two of their next three games (Lakewood St. Edward and St. Xavier) and fail to make the playoffs.  Gamble was named 1st Team All-Ohio.