Tag: <span>Andrew Wilson-Lamp</span>


2020: Massillon 43, Massillon Perry 13

Second-half surge helps Massillon run by Perry to regional championship
Chris Easterling, The Independent


PERRY TWP.Massillon had just fallen behind Perry more than six minutes into the second quarter of Friday night’s Division II, Region 7 championship game. Not only that, but the Tigers hadn’t even touched the football in the quarter.

Turns out, Massillon needed just one play to turn all of that around.

Zach Catrone hit Jayden Ballard for a 72-yard touchdown pass, and the subsequent point-after kick put the Tigers in the lead for good.

Massillon then scored 36 second-half points to blow open a tight game at halftime, rolling to a 43-13 regional-final win over the Panthers at Perry Stadium.

“We just came out and played hard,” Massillon coach Nate Moore said. “It looked like we needed to get some drives going on offense and give our defense some rest. … We came out and played hard and got off the field and got some offense going.”

Catrone had a perfect night passing, Ballard delivered big plays, sophomore running back Willtrell Hartson delivered another strong game and the Tigers are moving on.

Massillon won its ninth consecutive game to improve to 9-1. More importantly, the Tigers won their fourth consecutive regional title, extending a school record run for the program.

Up next is a state semifinal next Friday night against Region 8 champion Cincinnati La Salle, which defeated Massillon in last year’s Division II state championship game. Early indications are the game will be played at Marysville High School, but the OHSAA will confirm the site this weekend.

“We’re excited to be in the dance,” Moore said. “We’re excited to be going to state. We’re certainly looking forward to it.”

Halfway through the first half, though, it looked as though it was Perry which stood poised to win its third regional title in the last six years. A big reason for that was simple, it didn’t really give Massillon a chance to possess the football.

The Panthers ran 40 first-half plays, gaining 167 yards. That compared to just nine plays for the Tigers for 103 yards, 72 of those were on the go-ahead TD pass to Ballard.

“We didn’t block them great, but we blocked them good enough to move the ball,” said Perry coach Keith Wakefield, whose team finishes 9-1 on the season. “You just can’t give up (over-the-top passes). You just can’t.”

Perry’s most impressive drive came on its third possession, after having punted from its own 43 and missing a 40-yard field goal earlier. This time, the Panthers drove 81 yards in 15 plays, including a pair of fourth-down conversions.

They capped the drive with a 5-yard Josh Lemon TD run with 5:18 left in the second quarter to go in front 6-0 after the PAT was missed. It was one of two scoring runs for Lemon, who finished his last game at Perry with 190 yards on 34 carries.

The problem for Perry was Lemon’s second TD didn’t come until there was 3:40 left in the game. At that point, it pulled Perry within 35-13.

In between those two Lemon runs, Massillon scored 35 straight points, reaching the end zone on four of five possessions. The Tigers also got an Austin Brawley punt return for a touchdown for a 28-6 lead late in the third quarter.

Catrone hooked up with Ballard for three touchdowns on the night, part of a 10-for-10, 234-yard passing night. Ballard finished with 150 yards on seven catches.

“Fantastic,” Moore said of Catrone. “Made a lot of really good decisions first off. Threw some really nice balls, and our receivers did a really nice job of catching them. The line protected. Proud of all of them.”

Hartson added 111 yards rushing and two scores for Massillon. It was his 4-yard TD that opened the third quarter to make it 14-6, then his 1-yarder to make it 35-6 midway through the fourth quarter.

Reach Chris at chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2020: Lakewood St. Edward 24, Massillon 23

Turnover, trickery helps St. Edward rally to stun Massillon

Aug 28, 2020 11:35 PM


MASSILLON Massillon seemed to have its hands grasped around an impressive season-opening win on Friday night.

Despite the challenges of a strange offseason and then a mid-game lightning delay, the Tigers found themselves in control of the football and a six-point lead over St. Edward with less than five minutes remaining. However, five minutes later, it was all gone for Massillon.

“Very bleak,” St. Edward coach Tom Lombardo said of his team’s chances late.

Bleak turned into brilliant for the Eagles as they converted a fourth-quarter Tiger pick into a little razzle-dazzle touchdown of their own, and it was the difference in what became a 24-23 victory at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The go-ahead touchdown came when Justin Slattery took a lateral pass from quarterback Christian Ramos, then threw a strike to a wide-open Joshua Kerekes for a 72-yard touchdown with 4:01 remaining.

Kerekes’ catch-and-run, which included him tight-roping the sidelines for the final 15 or so yards, was one of just five passes caught by Eagle receivers in the game. Two of those five went for second-half touchdowns, the other a Ramos-to-Andrew Cook 4-yard pass with 3:23 left in the third to cut Massillon’s lead to 20-17.

“Being the first game and the first scrimmage, we said, ‘Just play four quarters and keep playing,'” Lombardo said. “Obviously, we were having trouble stopping them early. … Our defense really made some plays at the end and obviously, we got the double pass.”

St. Edward was just 5-of-13 passing for 107 yards. The Eagles also had just 97 rushing yards.

The loss was Massillon’s first regular-season setback since falling to St. Vincent-St. Mary in Week 9 of the 2017 season. Since that setback, the Tigers had won 32 of 35 games, including 21 consecutive in the regular season.

It appeared that the streak was going to increase to 22 in a row after Massillon, while in possession of a 23-17 lead, had the ball at the Eagle 35 with the clock nearing four minutes. However, on third-and-8, a pass to the middle of the field was intercepted by St. Edward’s C.J. Hankins, who brought it back to the Eagle 41.

“In-game mistakes, you have to self-correct and move on,” Massillon coach Nate Moore said. “We don’t have time to sit around and mope about anything. … As a player on the field, you have to self-correct and move forward. You can’t let one negative play turn into two negative plays and all those things.’

Two plays later, what had been a Tiger lead turned into a Massillon deficit. The Tigers would have two possessions after giving up the lead, going three-and-out and punting from their own 15 on the first.

The second one, which started with 37 seconds remaining at the Massillon 31, reached the St. Edward 40. However, four incomplete passes – the final one with two seconds remaining – ended the Tigers’ hopes.

The ending spoiled what was, in many ways, a solid start for Massillon. After giving up a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to Joal Castleberry with 8:07 remaining in the third quarter to fall behind the Eagles 7-3, the Tigers would score 14 straight points – on a pair of Zach Catrone-to-Jayden Ballard touchdowns – to lead 17-7 in the second quarter.

Catrone finished his first career start 14-of-29 for 262 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Ballard had a team-high 68 yards and the two touchdowns on two catches.

Raekwon Venson made his first career start as well at running back for the Tigers, rushing for 113 yards on 25 carries. That helped Massillon outgain St. Edward 396-204.

The probably for the Tigers was that they had to settle for three field goal, two of which were of less than 30 yards. Alex Bauer had two field goals of 26 yards, the last of those giving Massillon a 23-17 lead with 9:38 remaining, plus a career-long 41-yard boot.

Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE


2019: Massillon 35, Massillon Perry 7

Massillon airs it out to topple Perry
Nov 15, 2019 10:12 PM


LAKE TWP. The one thing Massillon didn’t want to have happen in Friday night’s Division II Region 5 semifinal was Perry to get an early lead. To fall behind early to the Panthers meant potentially dealing with their ability to constrict the game behind their run-heavy offense.

So, the Tigers made sure they didn’t fall behind. At all.

Massillon scored on its first five possessions to take control of things almost from the start in rolling to a 35-7 victory over Perry in front of a capacity crowd at Lake High’s Blue Streak Stadium.

The Tigers will now take a 12-0 record into next Friday’s regional championship game against four-time reigning state champion Hoban in a rematch of last year’s state title game at a site to be determined. The Knights, 11-1, rallied late to beat Mayfield 21-17 in the other Region 5 semifinal.

“We’ll figure that out later,” Massillon coach Nate Moore said. “The coaches will be in working all weekend. We’re going to celebrate this tonight. We’re going to enjoy it.”

The Tigers got the party started early by taking the opening kickoff and turning it into a 14-yard Aidan Longwell-to-Andrew Wilson-Lamp touchdown pass with 5:46 remaining in the first quarter. The two would hook up against to close out the second Massillon possession of the quarter, this time on a 36-yard strike to make it 14-0.

Longwell and Wilson-Lamp would connect eight times for 142 yards. They would hook up for a third touchdown, this time a 48-yarder with 25.6 second remaining in the half to give Massillon a 35-7 lead.

“We had some matchups on the outside,” said Longwell, who was 14-of-15 for 300 yards with five touchdowns in the first half alone, “They were giving us a different look than they were showing us on film. We took advantage of it.”

Longwell would finish the game 19-of-26 for 337 yards. While Wilson-Lamp caught three of his five touchdown tosses, he didn’t forget about the other star receiver on the team, Jayden Ballard.

Ballard had a game-high 10 catches for 186 yards. He also caught a pair of touchdowns as well on virtually the same play, albeit a little different the second time around.

Ballard’s first scoring catch was a 57-yarder just 45 seconds into the second quarter. That put Massillon in front 21-0.

His next touchdown catch, though, was a demonstration in concentration. On third-and-3 from the Tiger 18, Ballard ran a similar post pattern deep, although the ball was deflected by Perry’s Amir Betts.

That deflection, though, was enough to give Ballard a chance to bring in the pass. It would end up being an 82-yard scoring play to put Massillon ahead 28-0.

“We always do tip drills in practice,” Ballard said. “It just gets our hands better for what we do on Fridays.”

That big lead was enough to put Perry in a bind from which it never could really recover. That was especially true after back-to-back three-and-outs to start the game, followed by a punt on its third possession.

The Panthers would finally put together their best drive of the night to get on the board late in the first half. With Dion Cundiff and Josh Lemon leading the way, Perry would march 80 yards on 13 plays to pull within 28-7 on Lemon’s five-yard run with 1:10 remaining in the half.

Lemon would finish with 92 yards on 18 carries. Cundiff would add 77 yards on 17 carries.

Perry would finish with 208 rushing yards in the game, a season low. The Panthers would have 261 total yards, with three of their nine possessions reaching Massillon’s side of the 50.

“Listen, they’re a well-coached football team,” Massillon defensive coordinator Craig McConnell said. “I respect what they do and what those kids have done. They play hard. Our kids were ready. We were patient with our calls and our kids read their keys and tackled. We were lucky enough to get ahead of the chains in a lot of situations.”

Just like Massillon was able to get ahead of Perry on the scoreboard early.

Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE

Massillon vs. McK - Throwback (Large) History

2019: Massillon 24, Canton McKinley 14

Late plays help Massillon answer the bell, defeat archrival McKinley
Chris Easterling
Nov 02, 2019 8:00 PM

CANTON Two passes by two teams with two different results.

However, there was just one ultimate result from both of them: A 24-14 Massillon victory over McKinley in their 130th meeting, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday afternoon, giving the Tigers their second consecutive 10-0 regular season.

The first pass came with just over three minutes remaining and the Tigers clinging to a 17-14 lead. McKinley had moved the ball to the Massillon 17, where the Bulldogs faced fourth-and-4.

Elijah Wesley threw toward tight end Jasper Robinson. However, Andrew Wilson-Lamp, who played his season high in defensive minutes, deflected the pass to turn the ball over the Tigers on downs.

“(Cornerbacks coach Jason Jarvis) always talks to us about staying ready,” said Wilson-Lamp, who did not have a pass break-up all season entering the game. “I stayed ready. My time came today.”

The fourth-down stop still left Massillon with three minutes to burn off in order to preserve a fourth consecutive win over its archrival. The Tigers managed to burn about half that off, but still were left with about 80 seconds and a third-and-6 from their own 21.

With both teams still owning a timeout, conventional wisdom suggested running the ball to force McKinley to use its final timeout. The Tigers, though, threw conventional wisdom — and the ball — into the wind.

The result was a 79-yard game-sealing touchdown pass from Aidan Longwell to Jayden Ballard. It provided Massillon with the first two-score lead of the day at 24-14 with 1:13 remaining.

“We’ve got matchups,” said Longwell, who shook off an injury both in last week’s win over Louisville as well as in the second quarter Saturday to throw for 206 yards and two TDs. “We had Drew and Jayden on that play, just looking for the better matchup. Jayden was the one who had the matchup. We trust him to go make the play.”

It was the perfect book-end on the day for the Tiger passing combo, who had connected on a 12-yard score with 2:21 remaining in the first half to tie the game at 7-7. Ballard finished with nine catches for 114 yards and the two scores.

McKinley, which saw its six-game win streak come to an end to finish the regular season at 8-2, gave Massillon everything it could handle throughout the game.

“It was a great environment,” first-year head coach Marcus Wattley said. “The fans were great. We did some stuff that was out of character and made some mistakes, but the atmosphere was electric. It’s nice that it’s not over, that the season didn’t end on that note. We’ve got to get over it and move forward.”

The Bulldogs, who likely will host Solon in the Division I playoffs Friday, capitalized on a pair of Tiger turnovers for each of their leads.

After a punt bounced off the back of a blocking Massillon player, McKinley recovered at the 50. Seven plays later, Wesley threw a perfect 34-yard strike to Xavier Black in the end zone for a 7-0 lead with three seconds left in the first quarter.

After Massillon had milked the first 7:20 of the third quarter, Harold Fanin came up with a fourth-down interception at the McKinley 20. Eight plays later, Lameir Garrett ripped off a 48-yard TD run to give the Bulldogs a 14-10 lead with 1:28 remaining.

That lead lasted all of 16 seconds. That’s how long it took for Terrance Keyes Jr. to get loose for a 63-yard TD run on the first play of Massillon’s next possession, giving the Tigers the lead back for good at 17-14.

“It was just getting a feel of it,” said Keyes, who rushed for 141 yards and a score on 21 carries. “Like I said, the atmosphere, it was just crazy. It was kind of nerve-wracking. … I just had a mindset that, I don’t care if I score, I don’t care about the stats, I just want to get the win.”

Garrett’s 48-yard run helped him rush for 159 yards on 25 carries, the most rushing yards by an individual against Massillon this season. Of McKinley’s 300 net yards, 179 came on the ground, which also was a season high allowed by the Tigers.

However, it still wasn’t enough to prevent the Tigers from extending their hot streak in the series to 8-1.

“We did some things that were out of character a little bit,” McKinley senior linebacker Joseph Saipaia said. “The effort was there, but we just didn’t execute.”

Massillon has won 21 consecutive regular-season games as it heads into the Division II state playoffs.

“Our mentality has always been there’s going to be big plays,” Massillon linebacker Benjamin Krichbaum said. “This is a big game. Big plays are going to happen because these are both two good teams. When they do, we focus on next play. Go to the next play.”

Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2019: Massillon 24, Louisville 0

Injuries, Louisville not enough to slow down Massillon
Oct 25, 2019 10:43 PM

MASSILLON Massillon’s undefeated season remains intact. The Tigers, though, head into their biggest game of the year with a couple of big injury concerns.

Massillon emerged Friday night with a 24-0 win over visiting Louisville. However, in the process, both Tiger quarterback Aidan Longwell and center Cole Jones departed the game in the third quarter with injuries.

After the game, Massillon head coach Nate Moore declined to comment on the nature of either injury. Instead, he focused on the performance his team put forth in improving to 9-0 for the second consecutive season entering the annual rivalry game at McKinley.

“It’s a good ballgame against a good team,” said Moore, whose team has won 20 consecutive regular-season games. “We just kept playing ball.”

The injuries came in the midst of a penalty- and injury-filled third quarter that saw the Tigers pick up seven flags for 57 yards and the Leopards draw four for 30 yards. Louisville also saw running back Nathan Guiley leave the game with a leg injury as well in the quarter.

Massillon had fought its way to a 14-0 lead after it took the second-half kickoff and marched 48 yards to the end zone, with Terrance Keyes Jr. rushing the final 11 yards for the touchdown with 9:44 remaining in the third. The Tigers got the ball on the Louisville side of the 50 after it had unsuccessfully tried an onside kick.

It was on Massillon’s second third-quarter possession in which Longwell was injured as was hit while delivering an incomplete third-down pass. He left the game, with Zach Catrone coming in to play the final quarter and a half.

Catrone would throw a fourth-quarter touchdown to Andrew Wilson-Lamp, a 22-yarder, to give Massillon a 24-0 lead with 2:41 remaining. He was 2-of-4 passing with 33 yards in relief of Longwell.

Longwell was 11-of-19 for 114 yards with an interception in his time.

“I’m proud of him,” Moore said of Catrone, who had also come in for Longwell in last season’s regional-semifinal win over Columbus Whitehall-Yearling. “He did a great job.”

Louisville’s defense, while it would give up 17 second-half points, was stout for much of the game in not giving Massillon too many big plays. While the Tigers finished with 377 yards in the game, the Leopards were able to force a pair of missed field goals – one of which was blocked – while also limiting Massillon to just 5-of-11 on third-down conversions.

The biggest area where Louisville was able to succeed was at the line of scrimmage. Defensive ends Jason Goard and Tony Brahler combined for nine solo and six assisted stops, with Goard recording the Leopards’ lone sack.

“Our kids played hard,” said Louisville coach Jeff Twiddy, whose team falls to 5-4. “They’re really fast. I thought we were physical. I thought we played a good ballgame.”

The problem for Louisville was it was unable to take advantage of any opportunities it had to put points on the board. The Leopards had three drives inside the Tiger 40, two of which ended on downs and the third squelched by an interception by Massillon’s Preston Hodges.

Massillon’s defense limited Louisville to 192 total yards on 62 attempts. The Tigers held the Leopards to just 43 rushing yards on 30 carries.

“We played really well defensively,” Moore said. “I would’ve liked to get off the field a little sooner on a couple of drives. Other than that, it was a great ballgame by our defense.”

While Louisville couldn’t sustain its running game, Massillon’s running game thrived to a tune of 230 yards on 44 carries. Keyes finished with 157 yards on 26 carries for his fourth consecutive 100-plus-yard game.

Zion Phifer added 78 yards on 14 carries. He gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead with a 1-yard run with 9:41 remaining in the second quarter.

“Both of those guys grounded out a lot of really tough yards,” Moore said. “Zion is a great back and did a heck of a job.”

Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2019: Massillon 42, Penn-Trafford, PA 21

Record-setting night by Aidan Longwell helps Massillon top Penn-Trafford
Chris Easterling
Sep 20, 2019 11:00 PM

MASSILLON There was only record Aidan Longwell cared about as he walked off the Paul Brown Tiger Stadium turf on Friday night. That would be Massillon’s 4-0 record.

The Tigers, though, earned that record in part because of Longwell’s ability to set a new school career passing touchdown mark in their 42-21 victory over previously-undefeated Pennsylvania visitor Penn-Trafford.

“I think a lot of people are trying to pressure us into things this year,” the Massillon senior quarterback said. “We’re overcoming it. We’re just taking it one game at a time and we’re doing a great job of it right now.”

Longwell threw four touchdown passes in the victory, giving him 65 for his career. He broke the old mark of 63 set by Justin Zwick in 2000-01.

His record-tying 63rd career scoring pass, a 54-yard strike to Andrew Wilson-Lamp, gave Massillon a 28-14 lead with 4:10 remaining in the first half. His record-setting strike, an 8-yarder to Jayden Ballard in the front left corner of the end zone as time expired in the half, gave the Tigers a 35-21 halftime lead.

For the game, Longwell was 14-of-15 for 225 yards. He goes into next Friday’s home game against Firestone needing just 31 yards to break Kyle Kempt’s career passing record of 6,034 yards set from 2010-12.

“It’s special, especially at Massillon,” Longwell said of the record. “The quarterbacks and great players who have played here. I just have to give a great shout-out to my offensive line, present and past, and my receivers. Everybody’s kind of balled for me as part of this.”

Penn-Trafford was impressive in turning the game’s first drive into a methodical 17-play, 82-yard scoring drive that took the initial 9:38 off the clock. The Warriors converted all five third downs on the possession, including a 6-yard run by quarterback Gabe Dunlap to give them a 7-0 lead.

Dunlap would prove to be a handful all evening, gaining 90 of the Warriors’ 110 rushing yards, while throwing for 257 yards and two scores. He ran for two touchdowns and threw for another.

“He’s a field general,” said Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane, whose team falls to 4-1. “He’s an underrated football player. He continually makes plays for us in the passing game, and more importantly, in the run game sometimes. There’s a lot of times where it’s tough to get him down on the sack with one guy, and he kind of showed that tonight.”

The Warriors’ opening possession would be, by far, the longest scoring drive by either team over the duration of the first half. That is, until Massillon put together its half-ending 13-play, 74-yard drive to go up 35-21 at the break.

In between, the Tigers’ other four scoring drives went for a combined 15 plays. Penn-Trafford, meanwhile, scored its other two first-half scores on a combined seven plays.

In the second half, the only scoring drive was Massillon’s 13-play, 49-yard fourth-quarter march which ended with Longwell hitting Anthony Pedro on a 5-yard touchdown pass.

Massillon, which went scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this season, would score the game-tying touchdown on the first play off the second quarter on Zion Phifer’s 3-yard run. Then, one play after stopping the Warriors on a fourth-down play, Longwell and Ballard hooked up for a 30-yard touchdown pass to go in front 14-7 with 9:54 remaining in the first half.

The Tigers would lead 21-7 on Terrence Keyes’ 8-yard touchdown run with 7:32 remaining in the half. They would also open up 14-point first-half leads on Longwell’s record-tying and record-setting scoring passes at 28-14 and 35-21.

Penn-Trafford used a pair of big pass plays to stay within reach. A 64-yard catch-and-run by Ethan Carr on a fourth-down pass from Dunlap cut it to 21-14, while Mason Frye’s 77-yard catch set up Dunlap’s 3-yard run to make it 28-21 Tiger lead with 3:55 remaining in the half.

The Warriors, who had 253 yards at halftime, had just 114 yards in the final two quarters.

“We really did a good job, in a lot of ways, in the first half,” Massillon coach Nate Moore said of his defense. “We just had to make the plays that are there.”

Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2019: Massillon 55, Canton Glenoak 13

Dominant first half carries Massillon past GlenOak
Chris Easterling
Sep 06, 2019 11:46 PM

MASSILLON Darien Williams took the kickoff and, following his blockers, raced to the left and then down the field to the GlenOak 42.

The only problem, however, was a yellow flag sitting back inside Massillon’s 40. That holding flag negated what would have been a big return, plus extra yards tacked on for a horse-collar tackle.

That would be about the only thing to go wrong for Massillon in the first half of a dominant 55-13 victory over visiting GlenOak on Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Once the Tigers were able to snap the ball – following a re-kick and then a GlenOak offsides penalty before the first play – they wasted no time laying waste to any hopes the Golden Eagles had of pulling off an upset. Massillon scored on its first six possessions, along with an interception return for a score by Preston Hodges, to jump out to a 48-0 lead just over 13 minutes into the game.

“We treat this like any other week,” Hodges said. “We come out looking to get as good as we can. We’re just looking to better ourselves as the season goes on.”

That was just the start, however. By the time the teams went to the locker room for halftime, the Tigers had already scored more points than GlenOak had given up in more than two decades, as they held a 55-6 lead.

Then only score of the half for the Golden Eagles came on a 91-yard Leeshawn Johnson kickoff return with 10:37 remaining in the second quarter. That trimmed the Massillon lead to 48-6.

GlenOak would have one other chance in Tiger territory over the first 24 minutes of the game. Jamiel Randle intercepted a Massillon pass on the Tigers’ seventh possession and returned it to the Tiger 13.

Four plays later, however, Massillon would get the ball back by stopping the Golden Eagles at the Tiger 9. Nine plays after that, Massillon would tack on its ninth touchdown of the half when Austin Brawley took a quick pass at the line of scrimmage from backup quarterback Zach Catrone and raced 35 yards for the touchdown with 3:39 remaining in the half.

If the scoreboard didn’t show the dominance of the first half, the statistics did. Massillon held a 401-21 edge in total yards, including 211-10 in rushing yards.

The Tigers also forced three turnovers in the first half. Besides Hodges’ pick-six, Robbie Page set up Massillon’s third touchdown of the night on a diving, juggling interception at the GlenOak 30. There was also a recovery by Isaiah Clark of an uncovered kickoff.

GlenOak did not pick up a first down until the 2:45 mark of the third quarter on a 29-yard run by Johnson to the Tiger 38. By that point, Massillon held an 18-1 edge in that stat.

Johnson would score GlenOak’s other touchdown as well on a 9-yard run with 4:54 remaining.

“We’re real young offensively right now,” said GlenOak coach Beau Balderson, whose team was out-gained 466-115 in total yards, and out-first-downed 21-4. “We’re taking our lumps. We’re going to continue to get better and they’re going to continue to fight and not point fingers at each other. We’re going to build from the positives of tonight and move on.”

All of that was done with the Tiger starters essentially calling it a night after Hodges ripped off a 16-yard scoring run to put Massillon ahead 48-0 with 10:53 remaining in the half. That was on the first play after Clark’s kickoff recovery.

Those starters, however, did the most with the little opportunity. Aidan Longwell was 5-of-6 passing for 155 yards and three touchdowns, completing his final five pass attempts.

Jayden Ballard, meanwhile, turned both of his catches into touchdowns for a total of 109 receiving yards. Andrew Wilson-Lamp added two catches for 38 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown catch.

All of that passing came after Massillon ran the ball on 11 of its first 12 plays, for 117 yards. Terrence Keyes would gain 79 of his 83 rushing yards on seven of those plays, while Zion Phifer added 29 of his 47 yards on four carries.

“We weren’t trying to establish the run,” Massillon coach Nate Moore said. “We were just calling the plays we thought would be successful. The kids executed.”

Both would score on 2-yard touchdown runs for a 14-0 Massillon lead with 6:25 left in the first quarter.

Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2019: Massillon 44, Akron St. Vincent St. Mary 14

Record-setting night by Wilson-Lamp keys Massillon win
By Chris Easterling
Independent sports editor
Aug 30, 2019 10:30 PM

MASSILLON It must be something about season openers that brings out the best in Massillon receivers.

Junior Andrew Wilson-Lamp set a single-game school record with 232 receiving yards on 11 catches, helping the Tigers to a season-opening 44-14 win over St. Vincent-St. Mary on Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. It breaks the old record of 222 yards, set by Austin Jasinski in the 2016 opener at Mentor.

“I just came out ready to play,” Wilson-Lamp said after his record-setting performance. “I wasn’t expecting to break anything.”

It didn’t take long for Wilson-Lamp to get into the groove, as he hauled in a 51-yard catch on Massillon’s third play to set up its first touchdown, 13-yard Terrence Keyes touchdown with 7:15 remaining in the first quarter. By halftime, he would have six catches for 163 yards and a score, a 45-yard catch to give the Tigers a 21-0 lead.

In between that catch and his record-setting 17-yard catch-and-run late in the third quarter, his final catch of the game, however, Massillon would go from on its way to a rout to a close game back to a rout. The Irish would score two touchdown in the final 56 seconds of the first half to cut it to a 21-14 halftime deficit.

“The first post I caught, I was like, ‘This is going to be a good game,'” Wilson-Lamp said.

The Tigers, though, would come out of the locker room by scoring 16 points in the first 4:45 of the third quarter to open up a 37-14 lead. They would get a opening-drive Preston Hodges touchdown run, as well as a safety on a bad punt snap by St. Vincent-St. Mary.

On the subsequent free kick, Jayden Ballard return it 66 yards for a touchdown with 7:15 remaining in the third. Ballard, who had 63 yards on five catches on the night, added a 33-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the fourth quarter.

“We just coached them up,” Massillon coach Nate Moore said of the halftime talk. “The coaches just got together, made the adjustments we needed to make, tried to take care of it. We just came out and played better.”

Or, essentially, play much like the Tigers did to start the game.

Massillon couldn’t have scripted a better opening 20 minutes. It had the football for four possessions and had found the end zone three times for a 21-0 lead with 4:18 remaining in the half.

Not only that, but the Tigers were doing just about what they wanted on offense, especially in the passing game. Aidan Longwell connected on 12 of his first 13 passes for 215 yards, including the 45-yard touchdown pass to Wilson-Lamp to give Massillon a three-score lead.

Included in Longwell’s start was a run of eight consecutive passes to open the second quarter, all but one of them to either Wilson-Lamp or Jayden Ballard. Longwel was 20-of-23 for 322 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Beyond the passing, Keyes was making the most of his Massillon debut. Playing against the team for which he played his first three seasons, Keyes had a the Tigers’ initial two touchdowns on runs of 13 and one yard.

Keyes would finish with 58 yards on 14 carries.

“I really like how we spread the ball around,” Moore said. “We take pride in getting the ball to all of our athletes.”

St. Vincent-St. Mary, however, would find life in the final 56 seconds of the first half. Enough life to turn what appeared to be heading to a halftime blowout into a one-score game.

The Irish cracked the scoreboard with a 10-yard Luke Lindsay-to-Josh Nickerson touchdown with 56 seconds left in the half to make it 21-7. Then, after Quinn Knox came up with an interception for St. V-St. M at the Irish 49, Lindsay hit Darrian Lewis for a 27-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-14 with 21 seconds left.

“We showed a lot of resiliency,” said Irish coach Bobby Nickol, whose team finished with 179 total yards. “We could have fell behind 28-0 at halftime and hung our heads. We made a few plays there at the end of the half.”

Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE