Top Teams by Decade

Over the 120+ years of Massillon football, 23 teams finished the regular season undefeated, 24 captured the state title and seven were named as the top team in the nation.  But certain squads within each decade rose above the rest, with arguably the best teams shown below:

Year: 2018
Nate Moore
Points Scored:
State Playoff Runner-up
The Tigers averaged 45 points a game behind all-time career leading rusher Jamir Thomas and a stellar offensive line.  Quarterback Aidan Longwell coupled with the most athletic group of wide receivers Massillon has ever had to score 32 passing touchdowns.  The Tigers lost in the state finals to unbeaten Akron Hoban, 42-28.  The 14 wins set a new single-season mark.

Year: 2005
Coach: Tom Stacey
Record: 13-2
Points Scored: 488-204
Ranking: State Playoff Runnerup
Notes: The Tigers captured classic wins over Cincinnati Elder, Cleveland St. Ignatius and Lakewood St. Edward, but couldn’t get past Cincinnati St. Xavier in the state finals, losing 24-17.  Running Back Brian Gamble rolled up a record 2,505 all-purpose yards.  Paris McCall had a record 95.5 total tackles.  Brian Gamble had a record 60 unassisted tackles.

Year: 1991
Coach: Lee Owens
Record: 10-3
Points Scored: 464-182
Ranking: State Playoff Semifinalist
Notes: Massillon lost to Cleveland St. Ignatius in the State Semifinals, 14-13.  The missed PAT was at the Akron Rubber Bowl, which has a college-width goal post. Ignatius scored in the final minute of the game to grab the win and then captured the state title the following week with a victory over Centerville. Travis McGuire set a single-season record with 1,976 yards rushing.  The team had a record 4,074 yards rushing with 56 rushing TDs.

Year: 1982
Coach: Mike Currence
Record: 12-1-0
Points Scored: 369-110
Ranking: State Playoff Runnerup
Notes: The Chris Spielman-led Tigers rolled through twelve straight opponents before losing to Cincinnati Moeller in front of 31,412 fans at OSU Stadium.

Year: 1970
Coach: Bob Commings
Record: 10-0-0
Points Scored: 412-29
Ranking: Associated Press State Champion
Notes: Massillon recorded seven shutouts.  Only Niles McKinley gave them a game, leading 3-0 at the half, but eventually succumbing 21-3.  The Tigers beat previously undefeated No. 3 Canton McKinley 28-0 in the finale to clinch their 24th state championship.

Year: 1961
Coach: Leo Strang
Record: 11-0-0
Points Scored: 332-64
Ranking: United Press International State Champion; National Champion
Notes: Niles captured the AP title; Massillon the UPI.  The Tigers handed No. 4 Cincinnati Roger Bacon its first home loss in three years, 12-0.

Year: 1950
Coach: Chuck Mather
Record: 10-0-0
Points Scored: 407-37
Ranking: Associated Press State Champion; National Champion
Notes: The Tigers defeated three Top-10 teams, including No. 3 Barberton, No. 8 Canton McKinley and No. 9 Steubenville (9).

Year: 1940
Coach: Paul Brown
Record: 10-0-0
Points Scored: 477-6
Ranking: State Champion by Popular Acclaim; National Champion
Notes: Following nine straight shutouts, Massillon recorded its 33rd consecutive victory with a 34-6 win over Canton McKinley.  The Tigers also rolled over Kent State University in a preseason scrimmage.  Paul Brown would later debate whether this team was better than his 1942 national championship Ohio State squad.

Year: 1939
Coach: Paul Brown
Record: 10-0-0
Points Scored: 460-25
Ranking: State Champion by Popular Acclaim; National Champion
Notes: Canton McKinley was the only team to give the Tigers a competitive game, losing 20-6.

Year: 1922
Coach: Dave Stewart
Record: 10-0-0
Points Scored: 379-28
Ranking: State Champion by Popular Acclaim
Notes: Massillon scored a TD and converted a drop-kick for the PAT with 27 seconds remaining to capture a 7-6 victory over Cleveland Shaw.  Shaw was led by former Massillon coach John Snavely.  Edwin “Dutch” Hill scored 34 touchdowns, a record that stands today.

Year: 1916
Coach:  John Snavely
Record: 10-0-0
Points Scored: 318-35
Ranking: State Champion by Popular Acclaim
Notes: Massillon’s coach tried unsuccessfully to arrange a game against another top Ohio team to support the claim that the Tigers were the best in the state.

Year: 1909
Coach: Hap Fugate
Record: 9-0-1
Points Scored: 155-13
Ranking: State Champion by Popular Acclaim
Notes: A scoreless tie against Akron was the only blemish.