Kicking it into history
David sets record Williams also ends Team gender barrier
Independent Sports Editor
MASSILLON Andrew David calmly lined himself up and waited for the snap. Once that snap arrived, he turned his powerful leg loose and sent the ball on its way toward history.
And with that kick just 11 seconds into the second quarter Friday night, the Massillon senior set a school record with a 58-yard field goal.
Of course, by the time David attempted that record-setting mark on first down, the Tigers owned a six-touchdown lead over visiting St. John Collegiate (Ontario). It would only get worse from there for the Canadian guests, as Massillon pile-drove them into the Paul Brown Tiger Stadium turf in a 77-13 rout.
“We knew if we could get in that situation, he’d have a shot at the school record,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said after his team improved to 4-0. “I know that was one of his goals. It was a perfect time for him to have a crack at it.”
Andrew David’s 58-yard field goal.
The game was never in doubt from the moment Massillon scored on the game’s fourth play for a 7-0 lead. So the only real drama was left to the kicking game, starting with David’s booming boot and ending with Taylor Williams breaking down a barrier by becoming the first female to both appear and score a point in the varsity game for the Tigers.
David’s kick was 2 yards longer than the previous mark, set by David Abdul in 2001. It also tied the fourth-longest field goal in Ohio history, three behind the record of 61 yards set by Mentor’s Kevin Harper (2007) and Mayfield’s Carey Spear (2009).
“For me it’s awesome, because we’ve had some many great kickers come through Massillon,” David said. “For Steve (Schott) to be helping me, I’m not sure Steve ever got a chance to kick it that far, but I’m sure Steve could’ve, and I know David Abdul could’ve as well. … For me to be able to come out and hit that, it was a stamp to everything I’ve been doing and my preparation.”
The second bit of history came with 4:19 remaining in the first half after Marcus Perrin scored on a 34-yard run to make it 63-0 Tigers. That’s when Williams became the first female to appear in a varsity game for Massillon, as she attempted the point-after kick.
A bad snap threw the entire sequence off, but didn’t negate the importance of the moment. And with four seconds remaining in the third quarter, she would get another opportunity at history, this time connecting on a PAT that made it 70-6 on the scoreboard and put her in the books as the first female to score a point at the varsity level in school history.
“I was really nervous at first,” said Williams, who hit another PAT later in the fourth quarter.
“The nerves really got to me this game. After I got it, it was amazing.”
The first half alone took two hours to play, primarily because Massillon couldn’t stop scoring.
The Tigers scored on six straight first-quarter to lead 38-0.
Three of those six scoring drives were no more than two plays. Mike White scored on a oneplay, 35-yard drive, J.D. Crabtree capped a two-play drive with a 16-yard run, while Todd Fichter caught a 7-yard scoring pass to close out another two-play march.
Danny Clark also threw a 51-yard touchdown pass on the fourth play of the game to Reggie Rogers. Crabtree added a 3-yard scoring run to cap an abbreviated five-carry, 74-yard, two touchdown night.
The only drama of the second quarter, outside of the kicking game, was whether or not Massillon would actually have to punt. It did, with 5:16 left in the half and a 57-0 lead, only to see St. John give it right back by mishandling the punt.
“We’re healthy and a lot of guys played tonight,” Hall said. “We’re going to let them have a nice weekend. We’re going to let them have the rest of the weekend off and by the time we get to Sunday, it’s going to be all about Steubenville.”
The second half was played under the new Ohio High School Athletic Association “mercy rule” which stipulated a continuous clock for a game in which a team holds a 30-point lead. That didn’t stop both teams from putting up a pair of touchdowns.