Tag: <span>1993 OHSAA Playoffs</span>


1993: Massillon 20, Walsh Jesuit 30

Walsh Jesuit holds on: Massillon finishes 10-2

Independent Sports Editor

Jack Rose knew 16 points would not be enough to beat the Massillon Tigers.

And he told his team that at halftime of Saturday’s Division I regional championship game against Walsh Jesuit at the Akron Rubber Bowl. The Tigers trailed the Warriors 16-0 at the time.

With 8:48 left in the contest, Rose looked like a prophet as Massillon had pulled to within 23‑20 on a 55‑yard touchdown bomb from Mike Danzy to Lonnie Simpson.

At that point, not only were the Tigers believers, so was Walsh Jesuit head coach Gerry Rardin.

“I was thinking, ‘We can’t let this happen again,”‘ confided Rardin after the game. “I was. I’ll admit it now.”

Rardin had seen Massillon come from behind to defeat his team in the 1989 playoffs and last year during the regular season. This time, however, Walsh Jesuit was able to hang on for a 30‑20 victory and a berth in the state semi-finals against Cleveland St. Ignatius on Dec. 4 at Fawcett Stadium.

The Warriors cemented the win with a clutch seven‑play, 48‑yard touchdown drive following Simpson’s TD catch. It was set up when Matt Lloyd gave his team superb field position with a hard‑driving 39‑yard kickoff return.

After quarterback Todd Riddle started things off with a 22‑yard strike to Brock Kreitzburg that moved the ball to the Massillon 26, Lloyd finished the Tigers off the way he does all of his rushes. The senior tailback carried on four of the next five plays, scoring on a two‑yard smash into the middle of the line with 4:38 to play.

“Matt Lloyd’s a great kid. Matt Lloyd’s an outstanding tailback,” Rardin said, “He just runs with a great deal of heart and determination.”

Those same remarks would apply to more than one Tiger on what turned out to be a disappointing evening. Danzy showed enormous heart in rallying his team in the second half with a 68-yard touchdown run on an option keeper and the lone bomb to Simpson. The 5‑7, 165‑pound senior was a heavyweight this day with 120 yards and 107 yards passing.

Ali Dixon and Courtney Herring played key roles also. Dixon breathed life into the running game in the second half while, Herring’s two‑way play at tailback and linebacker belied his lack of experience.

The Massillon defense, despite Walsh Jesuit’s 30 points, hung in against a well‑balanced Warrior attack. It forced and recovered two fumbles in the third quarter to get the comeback started. The second one, recovered by Chris Porrini, led to Jake Laughlin’s 3‑yard touchdown dive that made it 16‑7 with 3:39 to go in the third period.

Walsh Jesuit countered with an eight‑play, 78‑yard touchdown march. Lloyd personally accounted for 71 of those yards (54 rushing, 17 receiving) and put the points on the board with a 28‑yard scoring run on a counter gap play over the Warriors’ right side. The PAT made it 23‑7 with :07 to go in the third.

Massillon showed why if is appropriately dubbed the City of Champions by fighting right back. Danzy electrified the crowd of 11,765 with his 68‑yard TD scamper on the option keeper. His conversion pass failed but it was 23‑13 with just under 11 minutes still to play.

The Tiger defense made another stand on Walsh’s next possession, forcing the Warriors into a three‑and‑out sequence by sniffing out a screen pass to Lloyd on third down.

After the punt, Massillon had it first‑and‑10 at its own 45. Danzy rolled right found Simpson wide open along the right sideline at the ­Walsh 25 and put the pigskin on the money. Simpson did the rest, outrunning the secondary to the end zone to make it 23‑20 with just under 9:00 to go.

That’s when Lloyd and the Warriors put together their final scor­ing march, drawing the curtain down on a fine comeback season for the Tigers.

“It was a heck of a season,” a disconsolate Rose said softly in the empty Massillon locker room. “Going 10‑2 isn’t too shabby, coming back from a 5‑5 season.

“We’ve got a real nice junior class coming back and we should have another real fine season in 1994.”

Rose cited two factors contributing to the Walsh Jesuit victory; third‑down efficiency and pass protection.

“They did a real nice job on third down,” he noted. “They converted a lot of third down plays. They had to have a great percentage, (56 percent for the game) especially on that first drive when they got the field goal.

“Riddle is a strong kid. He can shake off a guy. They did a good job of protecting him and he really threw the ball (12‑for‑20, 173 yards). He was on. He can throw the ball well.”
Unlike the week before against McKinley, Walsh Jesuit was not able to be one‑dimensional on offense. The Warriors went to the air early and often – Riddle was 8 of 12 for 127 yards in the first half alone – to keep the Tigers defense off balance.

“We felt we would have to mix it up a lot more to keep them­ honest,” Rardin said: “The kids executed a lot‑of‑things well, even when it got tough and they were stuffing us. They kept their poise and they continued to execute. That was the difference.”

First downs rushing 10 10
First downs passing 3 3
First downs penalty 0 0
Total first downs 13 18
Net yards rushing 236 203
Net yards passing 108 173
Total yards gained 338 355
Passes attempted 13 20
Passes completed 3 12
Passes int. by 1 0
Times kicked off 4 6
Kickoff average 45.5 58.0
Kickoff return yards 54 83
Punts 3 1
Punting average 35.0 28.0
Punt return yards 2 3
Fumbles 2 3
Fumbles lost 2 2
Penalties 2 1
Number of plays 44 59
Time of possession 18:41 29:19
Attendance 11,765

WALSH JESUIT 3 13 7 7 30
MASSILLON 0 0 7 13 20

Mark Fair

1993: Massillon 46, Mansfield Senior 6

Tigers rebound: maul Mansfield

Walsh Jesuit next hurdle

Independent Sports Editor

Yes, Virginia, those were the same Massillon Tigers thrashing Mansfield 46-6 Saturday in Parma as the squad that fell to Canton McKinley 21-13 seven days ago.

And, while Mansfield isn’t McKinley, neither is the artificial turf of Byers Field comparable to the muck and mire that is the Fawcett Stadium playing surface.

Now Massillon gets a Walsh Jesuit team that is peaking after an impressive 19-0 victory over McKinley. The Tigers and Warriors will do battle at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Akron Rubber Bowl.

One play underscored why the Tigers are among Ohio’s elite high school football teams when the playing surface isn’t a factor in the contest. It came in the second quarter, about 5½ minutes before halftime. Mike Danzy tried to execute the option around the right side of the Tiger offensive line on second-and-32 from the Massillon 27.

Mansfield got excellent penetration and had the play defensed. So Danzy reversed course in the backfield, looking for some daylight around left end. A wall of blockers formed and Danzy found a seam to the 51-yard line as the pursuit closed in on him.

But the Tigers’ 1993 Most Valuable Player wasn’t satisfied. He cut back against the grain at midfield, leaving a host of defenders grasping at air in his wake. Danzy turned on the afterburners and sprinted to the Mansfield 7-yard line before one of the Tygers’ track stars pushed him out of bounds.

It was the type of play that cannot be scripted, but one which Danzy and several of his teammates are capable of making at any time. Such plays are a big reason the Massillon offense is so explosive.

“You just cannot make that run on a muddy, sloppy field,” Jack Rose said of Danzy’s highlight file scamper.

The Massillon offense, paced by a line that gouged huge holes in the Mansfield defense front and the determined running of Leon Ashcraft (80 yards, three touchdowns), functioned like a well-oiled machine.

But it was the defense that limited Mansfield to a paltry 2.7 yards per rush and 144 yards of total offense that made a statement. The Tygers came into the game averaging more than 30 points per start. Yet Massillon shut the speedsters down, permitting just one meaningless score in the fourth quarter after the issue had long since been decided.

“The defense really was swarming to the football,” Rose said. “We looked quick tonight. That’s the way we looked all year. We were on the right surface. It was good to get on a good playing surface.”

There was more to the way the defense performed than just the playing surface. There seemed to be a higher than usual level of intensity.

“We were pretty disappointed with the way things went last week,” said Tiger tackle B.J. Payne, “and I think we turned that disappointment into anger. Mansfield just happened to be the opponent and they had to deal with it.”

Still, Payne loves playing on the fake grass.

“It helps a lot because we are more of a quick team,” he said. “On turf, we don’t have to worry about the mud making us look like we’re on a roller skates.”

Mansfield played the first half as if it was on roller skates, fumbling four time and losing three to the opportunistic Tiger defense. The first turnover came on a bad punt snap on Mansfield’s first possession. Geoff Osborn recovered at the Tyger eight, and after a penalty Ashcraft plowed into the end zone from four yards out on the first snap and Randy Endsley’s PAT made it 7-0 with just over two minutes elapsed in the game.

The Tygers marched from their 17 to Massillon’s 27, but Tim Menches recovered quarterback Effie James’ fumble to set up the Tigers’ best sustained march of the night. The locals drove 79 yards in 14 plays. A 15-yard Danzy to Greg Merchant pass and Mike Paul’s 22-yard burst highlighted the sequence, which was capped by Ashcraft’s 5-yard TD run behind the blocking of Trevor Paisley and Mark Fair on the left side. Endsley’s boot made it 14-0 at the :43 mark of the first period.

Christmas continued to come six weeks early for the Tigers. On Mansfield’s next play from scrimmage, James’ bad pitch was caught in mid-air by Massillon’s Matt Robinson at the Tyger 16. Three plays later, Paul went in untouched – some trick for a fullback in a goal line situation – and Endsley made it 21-0 at 11:18 of the second quarter.

Massillon scored twice more in the half, on a five play, 71-yard drive keyed by Danzy’s spectacular ad lib run, and on a 12-play, 63-yard march that featured Ali Dixon, who caught a 5-yarder for the TD to make it 34-0 at halftime.

The Tigers drove 52 yards with the second-half kickoff, capped by Courtney Herring’s 2-yard touchdown run at 5:08 of the third period.

Herring’s 53-yard burst over left tackle highlighted Massillon’s final scoring drive. The junior tailback scored from the 2 to make it 46-0 after three periods.

Mansfield head coach Stan Jefferson attributed the outcome more to his team’s errors than anything the Tigers did in the playoff opener.

“we did the damage to ourselves,” Jefferson said. “We had the bad snap. Then we fumbled. Then we had another fumble. I mean, that’s 21 points we gave right now. It was nothing Massillon did to us. It was self-inflicted wounds.

“When we came out there and saw (Massillon) today, they didn’t look as big as the first time we saw them. We felt coming in anything could happen.

First downs rushing 17 5
First downs passing 1 1­
First downs penalty 2 1
Total first downs 20 7­
Net yards rushing 379 131
Net yards passing 25 70­
Total yards gained 395 14
Passes attempted 6 13
Passes completed 3 3
Passes int. by 0 0
Times kicked off 8 2
Kickoff average 39.6 18.5
Kickoff return yards 0 31
Punts 1 3
Punting average 5.0 44.7
Punt return yards 58 0
Fumbles 2 5
Fumbles lost 2 3
Penalties 5 11
Yards penalized 57 71
Number of plays 70 40
Time of possession 30:03 17:57
Attendance 10,312

MANSFIELD 0 0 6 0 6­
MASSILLON 14 20 12 0 46


First Quarter
MASS ‑ Ashcraft 4 run (Endsley kick)
MASS ‑ Ashcraft 5 run (Endslay kick)

Second Quarter
MASS ‑ Paul_2 run.(Endsley kick)
MASS ‑ Ashcraft 2 run (Endsfoy kick)
MASS – Dixon 5 pass from Danzy (kick failed)

Third Quarter
MASS ‑ Herring 1 run (kick failed)
MASS ‑ Herring 2 run (kick failed)

Fourth Quarter
MANS ‑ Lawrence 50 pass from Jones(run failed)


Danzy 8‑86;
Ashcraft 16-80, 3 TDs;
Herring 8‑77, 2 TDs;
Dixon 11-44;
Paul 6-38, 1 TD;
Turner 7-21;
Laughlin 4-16;
Fraelich 2-8;
Hiegl 1-3.
James 6‑50,
Fountain 8‑39,
Barber 5‑6,
Jackson 4‑9.

Mark Fair