Tag: <span>Alex Winters</span>

Massillon vs. McK - Throwback (Large) History

2011: Massillon 20, Canton McKinley 23

Nine seconds changes everything for Massillon

Chris Easterling

The offseason arrived early for the Massillon Tigers. That‟s because the McKinley Bulldogs scored late in Saturday‟s showdown at Fawcett Stadium.

When Alex Winters scored on a 43-yard touchdown run with 1:13 remaining, it seemed to give the Tigers the win, as well as their fourth straight playoff berth. Except that the Bulldogs had an answer, and marched down to get a 4-yard Tyler Foster touchdown run to give them a 23-20 win.

“That was an emotional game,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said after his team concluded a 7-3 season. “You‟re up, you‟re down. Both teams had to handle adversity. I guess from a fan‟s perspective, it‟s everything you‟d want from a rivalry game.”

Except, of course, for the Tigers, a win. And because of that, there won‟t be an 11th game for Massillon.

The last time the Tigers weren‟t playoff participants, it was 2007. And the final score of the Tigers-Bulldogs showdown that day — also in Canton — was 23-20.

Only that one was a Tiger win, in overtime. On this day, the three-point margin favored the Bulldogs.

And because of that, it will be McKinley, and not Massillon, heading to this weekend‟s first round of the playoffs.

“It feels great,” said McKinley safety Ruben Burrows, whose last-play interception sealed the game. “It‟s great. They‟re our rivals. Any time you can stop a rival from doing anything, it‟s amazing.”

The thing was, it could have just as easily been a Tiger player saying the same thing as Burrows was after the game. That‟s because it seemed as if both teams had their chances to be the one ringing the Victory Bell.

Massillon twice took the lead in the fourth quarter. The first came just 36 seconds into the quarter when Tre Hendricks caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Kempt to give the Tigers a 14-10 lead.

The second came when Winters ripped off his 43-yard run with just 73 seconds remaining. That put Massillon in front 20-16.

“I thought our kids played tough on both sides of the ball,” Hall said.

The only problem for the Tigers on this day was that McKinley just seemed to have an answer every time. And it wasn‟t the answer Massillon wanted to hear.

So, just before 5 on Saturday afternoon, the Tigers found themselves somewhere they haven‟t been under Hall. That‟s left with nowhere to go after the McKinley game but into the offseason.

For some Tiger players, the reaction was tears. Others reacted with blank stares. Yet others tried to help console their distraught teammates, left with nothing but memories for 2011.

All because the final momentum swing in a game full of them went McKinley‟s way. And it swung Massillon into an offseason that arrived all too early for its taste.

McKinley scores in final minute to top Massillon

Chris Easterling

CANTON A minute-and-a-half can be an eternity in the game of football. It certainly was Saturday afternoon at Fawcett Stadium as Massillon and McKinley met for the 121st time in their storied history, and it ended up costing the Tigers a trip to the playoffs.

In that time span, the Tigers appeared to secure their first regular-season win over the Bulldogs since 2008.

Except that, they didn‟t, as McKinley managed to wrest the Victory Bell back to their side — along with a playoff berth — with a heart-pounding 23-20 win.

Massillon took a 20-16 lead with 1:13 remaining when Alex Winters tore off a 43-yard scoring run. However, Tyler Foster capped a five-play, 74-yard drive with a 4-yard run with nine seconds remaining to put McKinley head for good.

“We had 1:13,” Tiger coach Jason Hall said after his team finished the season 7-3. “We just had to play defense. Unfortunately in a crucial situation, we missed tackles, got a personal foul penalty. … They had a good play call to what we were running.”

Foster‟s go-ahead score was set up by a 41-yard catch-and-run by Jeff Richardson on the second play of the Bulldog drive. Richardson caught an out pattern, then turned upfield, breaking a tackle before finally being dragged down at the Tiger 19.

Massillon, though, was flagged for a personal foul at the end of the play, moving the ball to the Tiger 8.

“I just had to make a big play,” said Richardson, whose five-play, 82-yard receiving day also included a second-quarter touchdown as well. “I saw the corner bite on the pass. He tried to tackle me, and I ran through the tackle and ran up field.”

The frenetic finish was just part of a back-and-forth fourth quarter between the two rivals, one in which each team took the lead twice. Such a finish couldn‟t have been pictured at halftime, when the teams were tied at 7-7.

Ultimately, though, the only lead that mattered came when the scoreboard clock hit 0:00. And that lead belonged to McKinley, which had entered the fourth leading 10-7.

“We were just going up and down the field going, „You‟ve just got to believe,‟” said McKinley coach Ron Johnson, whose team will take an 8-2 record into the playoffs, while he improved his own personal mark against the Tigers to 3-2 while at McKinley. “Our kids did not doubt.”

Massillon took its first lead of the game on its second offensive play of the fourth quarter, when Kyle Kempt hit a wide-open Tre Hendricks for a 28-yard touchdown to give the Tigers a 14-10 lead at the 11:14 mark of the fourth. It was the second wide-open 28-yard scoring pass Kempt threw in the game, as he also hit Winters on one to tie the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.

Kempt was 10-of-18 for 149 yards with two scores and one interception.

“They were playing man defense,” Hall said of the two Tiger touchdown passes. “When you do hit the middle of the field, there‟s no one there. It‟s a track meet. Those two plays, that‟s what it boiled down to.”

McKinley answered with a scoring drive of its own, marching 63 yards in 10 plays to lead 16-14 on a Foster-to-Terrance Burt 5-yard pass at the 7:27 mark of the fourth. The score came on a fourth-down play.

Foster finished 13-of-20 for 144 yards with two TDs and an interception.

“He manages the game well,” Hall said of Foster. “He doesn‟t turn the ball over. For the most part, he had a game-winning drive there and he threw some crucial balls there for big plays.”

The Tigers needed their own fourth-down conversion on what they thought was their winning drive. Facing fourth-and-2 from their own 42, Kempt hit Ernie Baez on a crossing pattern for a 15-yard gain to the McKinley 43.

“We just ran what we call a whip route — misdirection route — to their man coverage,” Hall said. “Ernie got enough space to get open.”

On the next play, Winters ran through the McKinley defense as if it had been parted like the Red Sea. By the time Winters crossed the goal line, the orange-clad faithful in the stands were in a delirium, thinking the Victory Bell was coming back to Massillon.

Instead, it was merely the prelude to one final swing of momentum, one that left those in red and black, and not orange and black, savoring a win on this afternoon.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2011: Massillon 27, Akron Firestone 13

It wasn’t pretty, but Massillon moves to 4-1

Chris Easterling
The Independent

MASSILLON – At the end of the night, the Massillon Tigers emerged with a 4-1 record. But that doesn’t mean the Tigers are satisfied.

On Friday night, the Tigers had to overcome a choppy performance to hold off the Firestone Falcons, 27-13, in front of 6,486 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

It was Massillon’s third straight win, all of which have come by double figures. However, the most recent win no doubt left head coach Jason Hall grinding his teeth at some of his team’s own struggles to find the consistency he has emphasized.

“We didn’t play a really good game,” Hall said. “We played obviously good enough to win. We had, offensively, a lot of negative plays. … It is what it is.”

Massillon finished with 293 yards of offense, with 194 coming in the first half as the Tigers opened up a 13-0 lead. However, there were very few sustained, efficient drives for the Tiger offense.

The most efficient drive for Massillon came on its first drive, when it marched 82 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead just 1:43 into the game.

The Tigers were 4-of-5 for 72 yards passing on the drive, while Alex Winters capped the drive with a 1-yard run.

After that, the Tigers spun their wheels often, even when they picked up quality field position.

Three times in the first half, Massillon reached the Firestone 30, but only mustered a pair of long field goals by Andrew David for the 13-point lead at the half.

“They came out in a six-man front,” Hall said of Firestone’s defense. “We just didn’t adjust to some of their pressures. Our quarterbacks were taking some hits. It’s things we have to correct.”

Massillon was able to grab a three-score lead when Kyle Kempt capped a 66-yard, seven-play drive with a 1-yard plunge to make it 20-0 with 2:53 left in the third. The Tigers also scored on a 14-yard Winters run with 9:16 left for a 27-7 lead.

“It’s nice to get that cushion,” Hall said. “It’s nice to see us hit two long field goals tonight.

We’d like to see us when we get into that red zone not get negative plays and put us in that situation. Anytime you get that bonus score in the fourth quarter, a little security blanket, it’s nice.”

Maybe the nicest thing for the Tigers on this night was their defense. Despite a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns by Firestone – one which pulled the Falcons to within 20-7 with just over five minutes left – Massillon allowed its guests few sustained drives.

A big reason for that was the Tigers’ ability to come up with the takeaways when they needed it. Brody Tonn intercepted a pair of passes for Massillon, while both Garrett Kreiger and Gareon Conley also picked off Falcon passes.

“We gave up those two red-zone passes, which are things we have to correct,” Hall said of his defense, which ultimately allowed 211 total yards on the night. “In the course of the game when it was crucial, our defense came out and responded. They were able to make some big plays.”

Massillon was playing short-handed, due to a handful of players being suspended due to violating team and school rules. That number included at least three starters.

Hall wouldn’t say what the status of those players would be for next week’s game against winless Hoban at InfoCision Stadium.

“Right now, they’re being dealt with for breaking school and team policy,” Hall said. “The total discipline hasn’t been determined. There’s not much else to say.”


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2009: Massillon 21, Cleveland St. Ignatius 26

Tigers suffer Heartbreaker to Iggy

The Independent

The Massillon Tigers appeared to have a season-defining win all wrapped up with just over two minutes left in Saturday night’s showdown of unbeatens at Byers Field against St. Ignatius when Tyler Miller came up with an interception inside the Tiger 5 to preserve a one-point lead. But in the midst of the Tigers’ jubilation came a cold splash of water. A penalty flag. This one for defensive holding against Massillon, negating the potential game-clinching pick.

Given new life, St. Ignatius scored on a 5-yard Bobby Grebencs run with two minutes remaining, carrying the Wildcats to a 26-21 lead which would prove to be the final margin in Massillon’s first loss of the season.

“Our kids handled adversity,” Tiger coach Jason Hall said. “We came up short.” The penalty which altered the final two-plus minutes of the game came on a defender who was away from the play. Hall, though, wouldn’t comment about it directly.

“I have to watch it on film,” Hall said. “I’m not going to make any excuses, it’s not my mentality. I’m going to have to look at it on film. I couldn’t see it because it was on the far side of the field, but I do know that it wasn’t the guy that the ball was thrown to. … We’re not going to make excuses.”

The Tigers fall to 5-1 with the heart-wrenching loss. Not that they can dwell for long on the defeat, as a trip to face undefeated Steubenville awaits Friday night.

“We have to get back to work,” Hall said. “We don’t have any time to cry about this.”

What the Tigers do need to do is look at what they did to gain a 21-14 third-quarter lead over the top-ranked Wildcats, who are now 6-0. That’s especially true considering the 14-0 deficit Massillon faced less than two minutes into the second quarter.

In order to do that, Massillon did what it does best, which is hit on the big play.

The Tigers’ first scoring drive – which cut the deficit to 14-7 with 40 seconds left in the half – was bolstered by a 47-yard pass from Robert Partridge to Devin Smith to take the ball to the Ignatius 22. Partridge then hit Grunder for the 5-yard scoring pass to slice the deficit in half.

“Momentum kind of swung away a little bit,” St. Ignatius coach Chuck Kyle said. “They made adjustments with their receivers.

They have some skilled guys, and that was a concern for us the whole week, and they hit a few.”Massillon hit one of its biggest plays in the third quarter to tie the game at 14-14. Facing a fourth-and-1 at his own 29, Hall elected to go for it, and tailback Alex Winters rewarded him with a 71-yard touchdown run with 8:26 left in the quarter.

“A lot of the guys were saying, ‘Punt,'” Hall said. “But that was, to me, my way of saying to my kids that this was our time. We’re going to do it. … If you’ve ever read Joe Paterno’s book, there’s a quote in there that says, ‘In order to win, sometimes you have to take the chance to lose.’ It’s football; it’s fourth-and-1. We’ve got a couple of 300-pounders, let’s do it.”

It certainly looked like the Tigers were going to do it on their next possession when Partridge hit Smith for an 82-yard pass down to the Wildcat 3. The next play, Winters fought his way in to the end zone to give the Tigers a 21-14 lead – following the PAT – with 3:58 left.

Partridge finished 16-of-29 for 265 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. Smith had six catches for 135 yards.

The Tigers’ problem, especially early, was slowing down the Wildcats’ junior tailback Bobby Grebencs. Grebencs had 122 rushing yards in the first half on 20 carries, as Massillon struggled to gain any sort of control of the line of scrimmage.

Grebencs’ 1-yard run with 6:13 left in the first quarter helped give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. He then scored from 3-yards out with 10:16 left in the half to help make it a 14-0 Ignatius edge.

But the Tigers slowed Grebencs – and conversely, the Wildcat offense – for much of the second half, which helped open the door for their comeback. However, Grebencs got loose for 48 yards – and two touchdowns – on 10 fourth-quarter carries, the last one of 10 yards being the biggest, as it gave the Wildcats the lead for good.
He finished with 217 yards on 40 carries.

“I kept asking him, ‘Are you OK?'” Kyle said. “He kept saying, ‘Yeah, no problem.'” And, thanks to a second chance, there wasn’t any problem for St. Ignatius. Unfortunately for the Tigers, their problem would come thanks to that second chance.


St. Ignatius 26
Massillon 21

Massillon 00 07 14 00 21
St. Ignatius 07 07 00 12 26

SI – Grebencs 1 run (Franklin kick)
SI – Grebencs 3 run (Franklin kick)
M – Grunder 5 pass from Partridge (Geier kick)
M – Winters 71 run (Geier kick)
M – Winters 3 run (Geier kick)
SI – Grebencs 1 run (Run failed)
SI – Grebencs 10 run (Pass failed)
Mas St. I
First downs 11 23
Rushes-yards 21-109 47-234
Comp-Att-Int 16-30-3 10-23-0
Passing yards 265 111
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalty yards 7-60 8-67
Records 5-1 6-0
Massillon – Winters 17-97 2 TDs.
St. Ignatius – Grebencs 40-217 4 TDs.
Massillon – Partridge 16-29-265 TD, 3 INTs.
St. Ignatius – Myers 10-23-111.
Massillon – Smith 6-135; Olack 5-89; Grunder 3-19 TD; Allman
St. Ignatius – Joseph 3-19.

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2009: Massillon 44, Akron Garfield 13

Tigers roll to fifth-straight victory, face Iggy next

The Independent

A bit of the killer instinct the Massillon Tigers showed in their first two games returned on Friday night, and not a moment too soon.

Massillon jumped out early and kept on scoring, sending Garfield to a 44-13 defeat in front of 6,995 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The Tigers held a 34-7 lead, their biggest halftime margin to date, and opened the season 5-0 for the first time since 2005.

“I thought it was good,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “We changed the tempo up in practice this week, and I let them know that this week was about attitude and getting back after it. Our kids responded well. We’re getting better. That’s the key.”

But the preliminaries have concluded now for Massillon. Next up for the Tigers is a Saturday trip to Byers Field to take on the undefeated reigning Division I state champions and current No. 1-ranked team in Ohio, St. Ignatius.

The Tigers certainly tuned up for that showdown with the Wildcats against Garfield. In doing so, they returned to the form they displayed in wins over Buchtel and GlenOak, when they jumped in front of those two opponents 42-7 and 35-3.

That kind of start hadn’t been seen over the previous two weeks, as the Tigers dealt with choppy opening halves in eventual double-digit wins over Stow and Firestone. But it was there for Massillon against the Golden Rams, who are now 2-3.

Massillon scored on all four first-quarter drives, jumping on top 24-7 by the end of the quarter. The Tigers also picked up the tempo during the quarter by going to a quick count at times, especially on the first drive of the game.

“We came out ready to play,” Hall said. “We changed the tempo up a little bit.” The star of the first three drives was Alex Winters. The sophomore tailback registered his fourth 100-yard rushing game before the contest was even 10 minutes old, gaining 120 of his 121 net rushing yards on eight first-half carries.

“He, just like everybody else, is getting better every week,” Hall said. “He’s learning a lot. He’s taking it in like a sponge. He’s a doer. He just works hard.”

Winters had a touchdown run of 13 yards to put the Tigers up 7-0 – following the Jeremy Geier point after – just 1:03 into the game. He added a 25-yard scoring jaunt with 6:14 left in the quarter for a 14-0 lead.After Garfield cut it to 14-7 on a 56-yard run by Tyson Gulley, Winters provided Massillon’s answer, ripping off a 70-yard run for a 21-7 edge with 3:55 left in the first quarter.

The next two Tiger drives reached the Golden Rams’ red zone, but could only generate a pair of Geier field goals of 39 and 35 yards. The last came with 5:52 left in the half, giving Massillon a 27-7 lead.

Massillon tacked on a 19-yard Robert Partridge-to-Devin Smith touchdown pass with 35 seconds remaining in the half for a 34-7 lead.

Garfield missed on a couple of potential scoring opportunities in the first half, reaching inside the Tiger 25 twice. One would end a yard short on fourth down, while Bo Grunder’s interception – the first of three on the night for the senior – in the end zone squelched another one. Grunder came up with a second takeaway on a fumble recovery at the Ram 19 to set up Smith’s touchdown.

“That’s why he’s got some offers himself,” Hall said of Grunder. “He’s a gritty kid. He’s tough.” The Golden Rams did capitalize on a drive into Massillon territory on the first possession of the second half, as Gulley – who rushed for 179 yards in the game – punched it in from 4-yards out to cut it to 34-14 with just under six minutes left. But Geier’s 25-yard field goal on the subsequent Tiger possession took away much of the Rams’ momentum as it gave Massillon a 37-13 lead. Mikal Mayle added an 8-yard run late for the Tigers.


Massillon 44
Garfield 13

Garfield 07 00 06 00 13
Massillon 24 10 03 07 44

M – Winters 13 run (Geier kick)
M – Winters 25 run (Geier kick)
G – Ty. Gulley 66 run (Martin kick)
M – Winters 70 run (Geier kick)
M – FG Geier 39
M – FG Geier 35
M – Smith 19 pass from Partridge (Geier kick)
G – Ty. Gulley 4 run (Kick failed)
M – FG Geier 25
M – Mayle 8 run (Geier kick)
Gar Mas
First downs 18 23
Rushes-yards 55-313 33-206
Comp-Att-Int 0-7-3 14-25-0
Passing yards 0 263
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-yards 6-50 9-80
Records 2-3 5-0
Individual leaders
Massillon – Winters 19-121 3 TDs.
Garfield – Ty. Gulley 17-166 2 TDs.
Massillon – Partridge 13-23-243 TD.
Garfield – Hoisten 0-5-0 3 INTs; Ty, Gulley 0-1-0.
Massillon – Olack 5-93; Smith 5-79 TD; Grunder 2-55; Winters 1-16.
Garfield – N/A.

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2009: Massillon 31, Stow 14

Tigers continue hot streak on the road

The Independent

In their first two games, the Massillon Tigers were able to run out to big early leads, then found themselves watching as their opponents put a score on the board right before halftime to steal some momentum.

On Friday night at Stow, the Tigers didn’t get off to the fast start they have been noted for. However, they did steal a tric from their first two opponents in taking the momentum right before the half.

Two touchdowns in the last half of the second quarter broke open a tie game and carried Massillon to a 31-14 victory over the winless Bulldogs in front of more than 5,000 at Bulldog Stadium.

“I thought our kids kept fighting through it and fighting through it,” Tiger coach Jason Hall said. “We score the last
series of the first half and the first series of the second half. … I thought we were the better team coming in, but you have to play the game. They made us earn our points tonight.”

Massillon’s offense sputtered and struggled to get into any rhythm early, but the Tigers were able to shift it into the gear they needed in order to improve to 3-0. After the Tigers finished the first half strong they continued a season-long trend of roaring out of the locker room as they scored on their first drive of the second half for a 28-7 lead less than three minutes into the third quarter.

“I thought their kids came out ready to play,” Hall said. “They were trying to match up personnel on and off the field. We really weren’t clicking very well. I have to hand it to our kids. This is the first time they’ve really had to handle adversity.”

The Tigers were sitting pretty less than two minutes into the game. Tyler Miller stepped in front of a Bulldog aerial and intercepted it, returning it 39 yards to the Stow 13.

After two plays netted no yards, Alex Winters rushed it in from the 13 to give the Tigers the early edge. Jeremy Geier’s point after made it 7-0 just 2:16 into the game.

Both teams spun their wheels for the remainder of the first quarter, but the Tigers began marching to open the second quarter, reaching the Stow 40. But a holding call on a third down play pushed the ball back to the Bulldog 48. Stow’s Niko Diamantopoulis then stepped in front of an errant screen pass and returned it to the Massillon 10.

Boosted by the pick, John Markulis fought his way in on the first play of the next possession for the Bulldog score. Drew Horning’s PAT evened the score at 7-7 with 10:10 left until halftime.

That score proved to be a wake-up call for the Tigers, who would march 67 yards on 10 plays – aided by a Bulldog personal foul – to take a 14-7 lead when Robert Partridge hit Devin Smith on a 4-yard fade route for a
touchdown with 6:46 remaining until the half.

Stow would stun the Tigers with a 62-yard receiver pass from Kevin Podnar to Kevin Herman to take it to the Massillon 19, but penalties and a stout Tiger defense would limit the Bulldogs to a 44-yard field goal try which fell short.

Massillon took a 21-7 lead with 2:41 left in the second quarter when Partridge hit Smith on a 33-yard pass in which Smith managed to chop his feet in the back of the end zone for the catch. That capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive.

The Tigers took the second half kickoff and marched right down the field, with Smith taking a 36-yard catch-and-run to the Stow 1. Massillon made the score 28-7 on Partridge’s 1-yard quarterback keeper.

While Partridge’s score was not exactly a long burst, he did provide a lift to Massillon’s running game, rushing for 42 first-half yards on five carries. He finished 11-of-23 passing for 181 yards.

“I think Rob handled the adversity the best,” Hall said. “A couple of balls were here or there, or maybe a receiver didn’t run a great route, but we kept running our offense and eventually you saw it start clicking. That’s a sign of a good quarterback and that’s the sign of a veteran quarterback.”

Stow would march deep into Tiger territory on its second possession of the third quarter, reaching the Massillon 26. But for the second time in the game, the Bulldogs missed short on a 40-plus-yard field goal, this one from 43 yards.

The Tigers answered Stow’s failed scoring drive with a successful scoring drive of their own. They took a 31-7 lead on Geier’s 29-yard field goal with 9:44 left in the game.

Stow would score with five seconds left when Duane Mitchell hit Podnar on a 45-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-12.


Massillon 31
Stow 14

Massillon 07 14 07 03 31
Stow 00 07 00 07 14

M – Winters 13 run (Geier kick)
S – J. Markulis 10 run (Horning kick)
M – Smith 4 pass from Partridge (Geier kick)
M – Smith 33 pass from Partridge (Geier kick)
M – Partridge 1 run (Geier kick)
M – FG Geier 29
S – Podnar 45 pass from Mitchell (Horning kick)
Mas Sto
First downs 15 5
Rushes-yards 38-147 27-50
Comp-Att-Int 11-23-1 8-15-1
Passing yards 181 153
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalty yards 5-40 5-35
Records 3-0 0-3
Massillon – Winter 26-103 TDs; Partridge 6-43.
Stow – J. Markulis 13-42 TD; Mitchell 13-7.
Massillon – Partridge 11-23-181 2 TDs, INT.
Stow – Mitchell 7-14-91 TD, INT; Podnar 1-1-62.
Massillon – Smith 4-82 TDs; Grunder 3-38; Winters 2-19; Sheegog
Stow – Herman 4-63; Podnar 2-54 TD; Ellesin 2-36.

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2009: Massillon 35, Canton Glenoak 10

Fast start helps Massillon blitz GlenOak

The Independent

There were few truly surprised when the Massillon Tigers got out to a three-touchdown lead in the first half of their season opener against Buchtel a week ago. However, the same couldn’t be said during Thursday night’s showdown with GlenOak at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

But much to the delight of the orange-clad faithful among the 11,080 in attendance, there the Tigers sat with a 21-0 lead just 12 seconds into the second quarter.

Buoyed by the start, Massillon made it two straight lopsided wins to open the season, this one a 35-10 victory over the Golden Eagles.

“I don’t think you anticipate something like that,” Tiger coach Jason Hall said. “We anticipated a physical football game. … I was just pleased with the way our kids came out and they played.”

The Tigers only punted twice in the first three quarters, as they built up a 35-3 lead. Robert Partridge hit Devin Smith for a pair of touchdown passes, while Alex Winters added two scoring runs to help build up that edge.

“This was a lot of fun,” said Smith, who had five catches for 143 yards. “Getting a win against a big school like this and all the talk that’s been going on saying we couldn’t handle it against these guys, it was good to come back with a win.”

The Tigers forced GlenOak to punt from the Massillon 41 on the first drive of the game, and took over at their own 13. From there, Massillon methodically marched down the field to the end zone. Three times on the drive, the Tigers had to convert third downs of at least five yards, and all three times they did so.

Massillon picked up a 12-yard catch from Justin Olack on a third-and-6. Facing a third-and-9 six plays later, Partridge scrambled for 10 and another first down. Partridge would again use his legs to move the chains when he gained eight on a third and-5 to put the ball on the GlenOak 24.

The next play would bring an end to the 15-play drive, as Partridge hooked up with Smith on a 24-yard touchdown pass with 1:57 left in the first quarter. Jeremy Geier’s kick made it 7-0 Tigers.

Massillon’s lead would grow to two touchdowns the next time the Tigers literally touched the ball. Bo Grunder stepped in front of a Golden Eagle pass attempt at the Tiger 23 and outran everybody into the end zone for the score just 12 seconds into the second quarter.

Grunder’s pick-six was the second one in as many weeks for the Massillon defense. It was one of two takeaways for the Tigers on Thursday, giving them eight for the season.

“That really set a lot of the tempo for the rest of the half,” Hall said. “They were starting to move the ball a bit and had got a couple of big plays. … Bo just read it perfectly and took it to the house.”

Geier’s point after kick was good, making it 14-0 Massillon.

After a three-and-out by GlenOak, the Tigers went right back to work on offense. A 36-yard pass to Smith put the ball at the Golden Eagle 25, and two plays later, Alex Winters tore through the GlenOak defense for a 14-yard touchdown run.

Geier once again was true on the PAT, and Massillon had its second 21-0 lead in as many weeks. This one came with 6:54 left in the half.

And for the second straight week, the Tigers saw an opponent try to steal some momentum right before the half. GlenOak marched from its own 26 to the Massillon 4 with under 40 seconds left.

But the Tigers bowed their backs on defense and limited the Golden Eagles to a 21-yard field goal with 27 seconds left in the half to make it 21-3 Massillon.

The Tigers led 28-3 with 8:51 in the third after Winters’ second scoring run of the game, a 3-yarder. That capped an eight-play drive which started with Smith hitting Olack for a 29-yard gain on a receiver pass to the GlenOak 29.

Three plays after the Tigers held on fourth down at their own 24, Partridge and Smith hooked up again, this one a 75-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline. The PAT made it 35-3 with 3:49 in the third.


Massillon 35
GlenOak 10

GlenOak 00 03 00 07 10
Massillon 07 14 14 00 35

M – Smith 24 pass from Partridge (Geier kick)
M – Grunder 77 interception return (Geier kick)
M – Winters 14 run (Geier kick)
GO – FG P. Julian 21
M – Winters 3 run (Geier kick)
M – Smith 75 pass from Partridge (Geier kick)
GO – Martin 3 run (P. Julian kick)
Massillon – Winters 12-45 2 TDs.
GlenOak – Lemon 14-57.
Massillon – Partridge 11-18-189 2 TDs; Smith 1-1-29.
GlenOak – .
Massillon – Smith 5-143 2 TDs; Grunder 3-32; Olack 2-41.
GlenOak – Gavin 2-1; Hearn 1-39; Osborne 1-28; Campbell 1-10.