Tag: <span>Andy Alleman</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2001: Massillon 57, Fremont Ross 6

Tiger defense stands tall over Little Giants
Fremont manages just one first down as Massillon wins number seven, 57-6

Independent Sports Writer

Fremont Ross head coach Mark Wetzel said one thing was for sure when he brought his Little Giants to Paul Brown Tiger Stadium to take on the Massillon Tigers.

Wetzel vowed his charges would give the Tigers a better game than did Youngstown Woodrow Wilson, a 56-8 loser to Massillon one week ago.


Program Cover

Justin Zwick cranked up his right arm for five touchdown passes and the Massillon defense limited Fremont to just one first down all night long as the Tigers rolled over the Little Giants 57-6 in front of 7,777 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Homecoming Night, Friday.

A week after eschewing the pass in favor of the running game Zwick let it all hang out and the Little Giants were virtually helpless to stop him. The senior signal caller tied the school record with six touchdown passes while connecting on 22 of 37 aerials for 238 yards.

The Tigers tallied with less than two minutes elapsed in the game and the defense set it up by recovering a Fremont fumble at the visitors 28-yard line.

Robert Oliver went around right end for 13 yards and a first down and Zwick hit Devon Jordan at the 5 to set up the score.

On second down from the five, Zwick rolled right and hit Oliver at the two yard line. The senior running back stretched to haul in the football, then turned and found the end zone at 10:11 of the first quarter.

David Abdul’s kick made it 7-0 Massillon.

“We really go off our defense,” asserted Tiger coach Rick Shepas after the game. They’ve been sparking us.

“We’ve been playing on a short field all year long. When we don’t have a lot of yardage or limited time of possessin at the end of a football game, it’s because our defense puts us in great field position.”

Fremont’s Bo Martin showed the crowd that all the praise directed his way is well deserved, taking the ensuing kickoff at the one-yard line and sprinting 99-yards untouched for the score. Tiger senior Andy Alleman blocked the point-after kick to preserve Massillon’s lead at 7-6 with 9:58 to play in the opening period.

The Tigers went to the ground game on their ensuing possession with senior Ryan Boyd ripping off a 24-yard gain to advance the ball to the 44. Three snaps later, Oliver hit into the middle of the line and burst free for a 16-yard gain to the Fremont 35.

Oliver gained nine yards on the next play then picked up the first down with a two-yard buck to the 24.

Then on third-and-six from the 20, Zwick made a nice play-action fake and hit Marquis Williams, who made a leaping catch at the 6.

Zwick found Jordan wide open in the endzone on the next play for six. Abdul’s conversion made it 14-6 Massillon at 6:45 of the first quarter.

Oliver and Boyd, who played extensively because Rickey Johnson was out sick all week, combined for 155 yards rushing in 17 carries.

“Robert Oliver is becoming a more complete back every week,” said Shepas. “Ryan Boyd has kept practicing and working hard and tonight he got another opportunity and came through for us again.”

After the Tiger defense force Fremont into another in what would a long line of three-and-out series, Abdul drilled a 42-yard field goal at 3:13 of the first quarter.

Massillon’s next possession began at its 18-yard line. The Tigers advanced the ball to the 36 when Oliver hit into the middle of the line, broke a couple of tackles and cut to the right sideline. He was dragged down 53 yards later at the Fremont 12.

Five plays later Zwick rolled left and zipped the ball to David Hill in the end zone for the touchdown. Abdul’s kick made it Massillon 24, Fremont Ross 6 at 8:00 of the second quarter.

Another three-and-out series by Fremont set Massillon up with good field position at the visitors’ 35. The Tigers failed to get a first down but Abdul salvaged the possession with a 45-yard field goal at 4:42 until the band show to put Massillon up 27-6.

The Tigers final touchdown of the first half capped a four play, 27 yard drive. Zwick found Jordan open on a slant pattern in the end zone from eight yards out. Abdul’s kick made it 34-6 at 2:42 of the second quarter.

The score was set up by the Tiger defense, which not only stopped Fremont on three plays but also sniffed out a fake punt for a four yard loss.

The Little Giants – who scored 25 points against Cleveland St. Ignatius three weeks ago – ran 44 plays but managed just 13 net yards of total offense.

“We’re just coming together,” said junior linebacker Shawn Crable. “We’re communicating better and working as a unit out there.

“It all starts up front. The line is playing so well that it lets the rest of us roam and make plays. The line deserves a lot of the credit.”

“We’re playing better together,” agreed senior defensive tackle Dan Speicher. “I think it’s because we’re spending more time together. We’re becoming more of a team.”

The Tigers didn’t let up after the halftime homecoming ceremonies, taking the second half kickoff and moving 78 yards for a touchdoen. Zwick’s best pass of the evening came on the drive when he found a streaking Stephon Achcraft in stride along the left side line for 35 yards to the Fremont 1-yard line.

Two plays later, Zwick hit Marquis Williams in the end zone and it was 41-6 Massillon at 10:12 of the third period.

Craig McConnell, who had five punt returns for 47 yards, gave the Tigers great field position with a ten-yard return to the Fremont 30 after yet another three-and-out series by the Little Giants.

Nine plays and two penalties later, Zwick rolled right and hit Oliver in the end zone from a yard away. Abdul’s kick made it Massillon 48, Fremont 6 at 4:51 of the third period.

A high snap from punt formation resulted in a Fremont Ross safety early in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers final tally came on James Helscel’s one-yard quarterback sneak with severn minutes to play. Kris Reinhart tacked on the point after to account for the final margin.

Schedule taking shape – Massillon and Fremont Ross will meet in week two of the 2002 and 2003 seasons after signing a deal Friday.

The Tigers will open the 2002 campaign at home against Westerville South. Then comes games at Fremont, home vs. Garfield, home vs. St. Ignatius, at Austintown Fitch, home vs. Mansfield, and home vs. Woodrow Wilson.

Week eight is open at the moment, with a week nine game at Warren Harding and week Ten at home agains McKinley.

If the Tigers can find a suitable foe for week seven they will let Wilson out of its contract.

First downs rushing 10 2
First downs passing 9 0
First downs penalty 2 1
TOTAL first downs 21 3
Net yards rushing 185 -17
Net yards passing 270 20
TOTAL yards 455 3
Passes attempted 40 20
Passes completed 25 9
Passes intercepted 0 1
Punts 2 8
Punting average 35.0 32.0
Fumbles/Lost 3/2 3/2
Penalties 14 7
Yards penalized 105 53

MASSILLON 17 17 14 9 57
FREMONT 6 0 0 0 6

M – Oliver 5 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
FR – Martin 99 kickoff return (kick blocked)
M – Jordan 6 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M – FG Abdul 42
M – Hill 1 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M – FG Abdul 45
M – Jordan 8 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M – Williams 5 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M – Oliver 1 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M – Heiscel 1 run (Reinhart kick)

Massillon rushing: Oliver 14-109, Boyd 3-42, Acosta 4-17.
Fremont Ross rushing: Dickman 1-11.

Massillon passing: Zwick 22-37-238, 6 TDs; Heiscel 3-3-32.
Fremont Ross passing: Clark 8-17-26 1 INT; Martin 0-2, Yost 1-1-2.

Massillon receiving: Jordan 7-65, Williams 6-57, Ashcraft 3-53, Oliver 3-22.
Fremont Ross receiving: Moreno 2-11.

Justin Zwick

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2001: Massillon 17, Mansfield Senior 14

Tiger defense comes To the rescue
Massillon wins mistake filled 17-14 verdict over Mansfield

Independent Sports Writer

The Massillon Tigers beat the Mansfield Tygers at their own game Friday night.

Bolstered by a superb defensive effort, the Tigers edged the Tygers 17‑14 before an announced crowd 11,276 at Arlin Field.

“Our defense played four good quarters of football, “said Massillon linebacker Tony Graves. “They were a good team.”

Massillon didn’t secure its fifth victory against one loss until cornerback Brian Hill picked off a Mansfield pass intended for wide receiver Jeff Montgomery near the Tigers ‑ 40‑yard line with 22.4 seconds left in regulation.

“We work hard on defense,” said Massillon head coach Rick Shepas. “The. kids are starting to understand the scheme and they’re doing a better job of executing it.

“Mansfield has a well balanced offense. To hold them to 14 points is a credit to our defense.”

With tackle Dan Speicher controling the middle, Graves and fellow linebackers Brock Hymes and Andy Alleman filling the gap, and 190‑pound defensive back Markeys Scott hitting with the ferocity of a player 60 pounds heavier, the Massillon defense limited Mansfield to only 46 rushing yards on 25 attempts.

“We knew we had to stop the run and we knew we had to play four quarters of defense,” Graves said. “We did both.”

In the second half, the Tigers also established a running game that helped keep their defense off the field.

After being held to a paltry two rushing yards in 11 carries the first half, Shepas switched from a one‑back formation to a two‑back set. Robert Oliver, the starter, was joined by Ricky Johnson in the backfield. The tandem combined to rush for 128 yards on 22 carries during the final two quarters.

Mansfield played a lot of nickel defense on us, so we decided to go with the two backs,” Shepas said. “Both ‘of those backs ran hard.”

Johnson a 6‑foot, 211‑pound junior, scored Massillon’s lone second‑half touchdown on a 2‑yard sweep to the right at the 3:29 mark of the third quarter. That touchdown capped a nine‑play, 81‑yard drive that was aided by a costly pass interference penalty against. Mansfield.

With Massillon facing a third‑and‑14 from its 15, the Tigers fired a quick out. Mansfield was flagged for pass interference, giving Massillon an automatic first down at the 30.

Justin Zwick and wideout Devon Jordan teamed up for 16 yards, moving the ball to the 50.

Then it was back to the running game. Johnson picked up nine yards off right tackle. Oliver took a handoff from Zwick and raced 25 yards to the 16.

With Mansfield focusing on the run, Zwick hit tight end A.J. Collins on a crossing pattern for 14 yards. One play later, Johnson scored.

While the Massillon defense played a strong game, the special teams struggled. The Tigers missed a short field goal, fumbled away a punt, had a punt blocked and allowed a long kickoff return following Johnson’s touchdown.

Marcus Davis took the ensuing kickoff at the Mansfield 10, cut to the right and found a hole at the 20. He motored down the right side and was hauled down at the Massillon 39.

Mansfield needed eight plays to score. The big play of the drive was a 29-yard pass play from Georg Andress to wide receiver Dane Greer, who made a leaping catch at the Massillon 1. One play later, Andress sneaked over from left guard. Hollister Histed’s conversion kick cut Massillon’s lead to 17-14 with :43.8 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers had a chance to tack on an insurance touchdown late in the game, but fumbled the ball out of the end zone for a touchback.

Hill’s interception, however, denied Mansfield any hope of a dramatic victory.

Massillon’s first touchdown was set up by its defense. Alleman intercepted a pass at the Mansfield 42 and returned the ball six yards before he was brought down.

Operating on a short field, the Tigers put together a six-play, 36-yard drive. Zwick and Jordan teamed up on a curl route for 15 yards, moving the ball to the 20.

Mansfield held Massillon to five yards on two plays before Zwick hooked up with Stephon Ashcraft for nine yards and a first down.

On one of the few successful first-half running plays, Oliver swept the right side and scored. Abdul’s extra point made it 7-0 at the 6:35 mark of the first quarter.

The Tigers made it 10-0 when Abdul booted a 54-yard field goal at the 2:59 mark of the first quarter, a kick that cleared the uprights at the west end of the field by five yards.

Massillon then fumbled away a punt at its own 43 late in the first quarter. On Mansfield’s first play following the turnover. Andress hit Montgomery on a deep post at the Massillon 10 and the wide receiver broke free for a touchdown.

Mansfield had a chance to tie the game late in the first half. Mike Donaldson, a 6-6, 320-pound tackle, gave the Tygers the ball at the Massillon 45 by blocking a punt. The Tigers tried to quick kick on third down, but the strategy backfired.

After the Tygers were stalled at the Massillon 29, they tried a 46-yard field goal. The attempt sailed wide to the left and the Tigers held a three-point lead, one they also had at the end of game.

First downs rushing 6 6
First downs passing 13 5
First downs by penalty 2 0
TOTAL first down 21 11
Net yards rushing 124 46
Net yards passing 231 157
TOTAL yards 355 203
Passes attempted 37 29
Passes completed 24 14
Passes intercepted 0 2
Punts 6 4
Punting average 32 25.8
Fumbles/Lost 3/2 0/0
Penalties 7 4
Yards penalized 60 50

MASSILLON 10 0 7 0 17
MANSFIELD 7 0 7 0 14

M – Robert Oliver 6 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ David Abdul 54-yard field goal
Man – Monigomery 43 pass from Andres (Histed kick)
M – Ricky Johnson 2 run (Abdul kick)
Man – Andress 1 run (Histed kick)

Massillon rushing: Oliver 20-98, Johnson 9-47.
Mansfield rushing: Phillips 7-22, Perdue 7-12.

Massillon passing: Zwick 24-37-231.
Mansfield passing: Andress 14-29-157 1 TD, 2 INT.

Massillon Receiving: Jordan 11-106, Collins 4-52, Williams 4-32, Oliver 1-19.
Mansfield Receiving: Montgomery 6-78, Davis 5-48.

Justin Zwick

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2001: Massillon 59, Akron Garfield 0

Massillon shuts out Garfield; Iggy’s next

Independent Sports Editor

St. Ignatius Week officially began at 10:43 p.m. Friday.

That’s when the Massillon Tigers saw the final second click off the scoreboard clock at the south end of Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, closing a 59‑0 victory over the Garfield Rams in front of 9,475 high school football fans.

Program Cover

Head coach Rick Shepas ‑ standing on the block ‘M’ at midfield ‑ gathered his players and coaching staff around him after the game and explained the facts of life with regard to the next opponent on the Tigers’ schedule, the vaunted St. Ignatius Wildcats, a team Massillon has never tamed.

“We’re going to have a chance to go up and scout them,” said Shepas. “They’re a good football team. They’ve always been. Our program is improving and we’re going to find out where our program is at next week.”

The Tigers did a commendable job of focusing on the here and now in dispatching Garfield, a foe Shepas described as “dangerous” early in the week as his squad began preparations for the Golden Rams.

The Massillon defense pitched its first shutout of the 2001 campaign, a fact that was not lost on senior outside linebacker Andy Alleman.

“We’re pretty happy but we need to improve quite a bit for next week,” Alleman said. “We had a lot of mistakes. We just made some nice plays here and there and that’s how we got the shutout.

“We’re pretty excited for the (St. Ignatius) game. It’s going to be a big game. But we can’t have nearly as many mistakes as we did tonight or we could get beat.”

The closest Garfield came to scoring on the Massillon defense was when the Golden Rams penetrated to the Massillon 22‑yard line, and missed a 39‑yard field goal in the second quarter.

Shepas admitted his charges were shooting for the shutout.

“(A shutout) is what we wanted going into the game,” Shepas said. “We were looking for that. The kids have been working hard defensively.”

The Tigers had their way with Garfield almost from the beginning, scoring on their first four possessions of the evening, none of which took more than two minutes off the game clock.

On its first possession, Massillon ‑ beginning at its own 26 after a Garfield punt ‑ moved 74 yards in six plays.
Two Robert Oliver running plays netted 23 yards to get things started.

After Justin Zwick hooked up with Devin Jordan for 18 yards and Massillon’s third first down in as many snaps, Oliver swept around left end for nine yards to set up a third‑and‑one from the Rams’ 25.

Zwick, lining up in the shotgun, rolled to his left and found Jordan wide open at the 10. The 6‑foot‑3, 185‑pound junior jogged untouched into the end zone for the touchdown. David Abdul’s conversion kick was true and Massillon led 7‑0 at 8:03 of the first quarter.

Garfield could do nothing on its ensuing possession and punted after three snaps, with the ball rolling dead at the 50‑yard line.

Massillon’s second scoring drive began when David Hill took a screen pass from Zwick and picked up eight yards on first down.

Two plays later Zwick rolled left and completed a pass to Joe Jovingo for 18 yards to the Garfield 15.

From there, Oliver picked up eight yards around left end on first down to the Garfield 7. Then Zwick rolled right and fired a bullet to an uncovered Stephon Ashcraft in the end zone. Abdul’s point after was good and Massillon’s lead with 14‑0 at 3:55 of the first quarter.

On its third possession of the evening, Garfield picked up its third first down of the game but was forced to punt three plays later when Justin Princehorn sniffed out a reverse and brought down Austin Clopton for a two‑yard gain on third‑and‑10.

A high snap was bobbled by the Garfield punter, who finally fell on the football, giving Massillon possession on downs at the Golden Rams’ 33.

Four plays later, Abdul nailed a 28‑yard field goal and the Tigers were up 17‑0 early in the second quarter.

The Massillon defense surrendered a couple of first downs on Garfield’s ensuing possession, but an option play on third‑and‑six lost 10 yards and the Rams were forced to punt.

A clipping penalty on the Tigers negated a spectacular 60‑yard punt return to the end zone by Michael White, but the yellow flag only prolonged the inevitable.

Beginning at their own 24, Massillon went to the ground game. Oliver gained 16 yards up the middle. Rickey Johnson carried for 12 more, then Oliver found seven yards around left end.

On second‑and‑3 from the Garfield 41, Zwick zeroed in on Jordan running a deep out pattern for 27 yards.

Johnson scored on the very next play, skirting right end from 15 yards out. Abdul’s right foot made it 24‑0 Massillon at 7:29 of the first half.

Amazingly, Massillon’s first four possessions of the game resulted in three touchdowns and a field goal as the Tigers generated 240 yards of total offense in the first half.

“That seems to be the way its going,” Shepas said of his team’s quick‑strike ability. “We’ve got a good front.

“We’re getting a good mix of run and pass right now. Zwick is effective calling the plays. Our running backs ‑ if they don’t put the football on the ground ‑ are pretty effective.”

Zwick established a Massillon Tiger career passing record for most attempts (422) and completions (232) with his 16‑of‑23 performance.

Nine of those completions were to Jordan, who seems to have taken over as No. 12’s favorite receiver.

“There’s a lot of receivers you have to deal with when we come out and throw the football,” Shepas said. “We’ve been spreading the ball around.

“Devin seems to be a go‑to guy but remember we thought he was the guy who was going to replace Drobney in the understanding of the defensive coverage.”

Garfield coach Bill McGee certainly was impressed.

“We knew they were good,” McGee said. “They were more of everything than we thought. On offense they really have the whole shot.

“They’re just real good. This and the 1991 team (coached by Lee Owens) for them are the two best teams I’ve seen them have in the past 20 years or so.”

The Tigers second half scoring was more of the same. A one‑yard Zwick to Jordan toss culminated a seven‑play, 81‑yard drive at 9:14 of the third quarter.

Then Zwick found pay dirt himself on a keeper around right end from three yards out at 1:24 of the third.

Garfield sophomore Norman Taylor was injured on the play and was carted off the field.

McGee indicated Taylor’s injury did not appear serious, but added he will be hospitalized for tests.

Junior linebacker Tony Graves tallied for the Massillon defense, scooping up a Garfield fumble and rumbling 49 yards for a touchdown at 10:33 of the fourth quarter.

Oliver, who rushed for a game‑high 130 yards in just ten carries, got into the scoring column on a 28‑yard jaunt with 7:49 to play, and Terrance Roddy closed the scoring on a 56‑yard burst with 2:22 to play.

First downs rushing 14 9
First downs passing 10 2
First downs by penalty 0 4
TOTAL first downs 24 15
Net yards rushing 279 157
Net yards passing 233 87
TOTAL yards 512 244
Passes attempted 23 12
Passes completed 16 6
Passes intercepted 0 1
Punts 1 1
Punting average 27.0 28.0
Fumbles/Lost 2/1 5/1
Penalties 8 4
Yards penalized 70 39

MASSILLON 14 10 14 21 59
GARFIELD 0 0 0 0 0

M ‑ Jordan 25 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Ashcraft 7 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M ‑ FG Abdul 28
M ‑ Johnson 15 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Jordan 1 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Zwick 3 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Graves 49 fumble return (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Oliver 28 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Roddy 56 run (Abdul kick)

Massillon rushing: Oliver 10‑130, Roddy 2‑60, Johnson 7‑52, Boyd 3‑25.
Garfield rushing: Clopton 19‑67, Norman 12‑31.

Massillon passing: Zwick 16‑23‑233 3 TDs.
Garfield passing: Donatelli 6‑12‑84 1 INT.

Massillon receiving: Jordan 9‑156 2 TDs, Williams 2‑20.
Garfield receiving: Clopton 3‑42, Russall 3-42.

Justin Zwick