Tag: <span>Bart Tanski</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

Massillon and Mentor Eclipsed 100 Points in 2007 Game

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that this 6-4 Massillon team had put up 52 points on the eventual Division 1 state runner-up.  It’s also hard to believe that they also lost the game.  But the offenses prevailed in this one.  And if you weren’t a fan of either team, then it just might have been one of the most entertaining high school games you ever saw.  The final score was 56-52 in favor of Mentor.

Jason Hall’s Tigers entered Week 5 with a 2-2 record, having unexpectedly lost to both Solon and Parma Normandy.  Mentor, meanwhile, dropped their opener to eventual Division 4 runner-up Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, but stormed back to take the next three, beating Strongsville (44-28), Solon (27-0) and Cleveland St. Ignatius (38-17).  So there was no doubt that Mentor was the favored team.  Only the Cardinals have always struggled when playing in Tigertown and this one turned out to be no different.

The two teams lit up the scoreboard right from the onset, with Mentor taking a 21-17 lead after three possessions by each squad.  Following a 29-yard field goal by Steve Schott, KJ Herring scored from 50 yards out and then JB Price returned a fumbled punt 36 yards for a TD.

The onslaught continued right to halftime with 28 more points, 14 by each team, and Mentor holding onto a slim 4-point lead.  For the Tigers, it was two Devoe Torrence rushing touchdowns, from nine and one-yards out, finishing off a pair of 80-yard drives.  Could either team stop the other in the second half?  Not likely.

Each team scored once in the third quarter to set up a thrilling fourth.  Torrence had tallied his third from the nine yardline following a missed 49-yard field goal attempt from Schott.  So entering the fourth quarter, Mentor was up 42-38.

It was one of those games where the team that scored last was going to win.  It started quietly with a Mentor punt.  Then a 24-yard TD by Torrence with 7:25 remaining, gave the Tigers a 45-42 lead.  Mentor answered with a 2-yard TD with 4:01 to play, completing a 16-play methodical drive.  Now it was Massillon’s turn.  JT Turner returned the kickoff to the Mentor 49, with a 15-yard Cardinal penalty tacked on, placing the ball at the Mentor 34.  From there, it took just eight plays, with big Steve Yoder bulling his way up the middle for 21 yards and the score, seemingly carrying half the Cardinal defense on his back.  Schott’s kick was good and the Tigers were up 52-49.

But scoring was not the intent on that play and the TD came too early, leaving 1:52 on the clock.  Too much time for the high-powered Mentor offense.  And they did just what they were expected to.  The winning 8-yard scoring pass came at the end of a 10-play, 79-yard drive, leaving a mere 24 seconds on the clock.  Not enough time for Tigers to pull it out.

Massillon finished with 498 yards, rushing for 433 and passing for another 65.  Chris Willoughby was 6 of 17.  Devoe Torrence rushed 36 times for 283 yards and four touchdowns and KJ Herring added another 109.

Mentor rolled up 588 yards, rushing for 289 and passing for 299.  Bart Tanski was 25 of 38.  Tom Worden rushed 27 times for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns.

So how could a Massillon team that had been basically written off a week before do this to a Mentor team that was destined for greatness?  Simple.  Pure effort and intensity.  And they kept that up for the rest of the season.  Although they dropped a decision to Cleveland St. Ignatius the following week, the Tigers finished strong, winning their final four games and posting a winning record.



2007: Massillon 52, Mentor 56

Tigers’ explosion not enough


The numbers were mind-numbing Friday night: 66 points, 668 yards of offense, 463 rushing yards, two 160-yard rushers and nine touchdowns.

And then halftime arrived in Massillon’s game against Mentor at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

By the time the smoke finally cleared, some three-and-a-half hours after it all began, the last big play was made by the Cardinals, who scored on an 8-yard Bart Tanski-to-Steve Orkis pass with 24 seconds left in a 56-52 Massillon setback.

“The fans got their money’s worth,” said a dejected Tiger coach Tom Stacy, whose team is now 2-3 headed to next Saturday’s game at St. Ignatius in Parma. “That was a heck of a high school football game, that’s for sure. Their offense is just a juggernaut. … We knew they were good, we just didn’t have a whole lot of answers for them.”

Massillon took the lead – the eighth lead change of the game – with 1:52 remaining when fullback Steve Yoder crashed through the line for a 21-yard touchdown. Steve Schott’s extra point made it 52-49.

But Tanski was an efficient 7-of-7 for 71 yards on the winning drive. The only running play on it was an 8-yard scramble by the Mentor quarterback.

“You have to score when you can,” Stacy said. “You have to punch it in when you can.”

After scoring just 30 points in its last three games combined, Massillon came out with a different look to the offense, lining up in the power-I with Torrence at tailback and K.J. Herring at a halfback next to the fullback. With both Torrence and Herring in the game at the same time, they were able play off of each other with big-time results for the Tigers.

Torrence finished the game with 283 yards and four touchdowns – 168 of those yards and two of those scores in the first half. His 200-yard effort was matched by Mentor’s Tom Worden, who ran for 226 yards – 176 in the first half – and three scores on the night.

Herring added 109 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run which gave Massillon a 10-7 lead with 4:47 left in the first quarter.

“We wanted to get K.J. more involved in the game,” Stacy said. “We felt we needed another weapon in there to help take some of the pressure off of DeVoe.”

The problem was, the scoring wouldn’t end at that point. In fact, there were still 49 points and three lead changes to go – just in the first half.

The first defensive stop didn’t occur until just over a minute was left in the first quarter, and even then points were scored. Massillon would punt the ball away to Mentor, only to have Dorie Irvin strip the Cardinal return man, while J.B. Price swooped in to recover the fumble and return it 35 yards for a touchdown. Schott’s extra-point kick made it 17-14 Tigers with 1:09 left in the quarter.

Massillon’s biggest pain was Tanski. With the precision of a skilled surgeon, the senior calmly led the Cardinals down the field on drive after drive.

Tanski was 7-of-13 for 69 yards in the second quarter, with a pair of touchdown strikes to Orkis. He added a 15-yard touchdown run, a run which gave Mentor a 35-24 lead with 2:00 left until the band show.

Tanski finished 25-of-38 for 299 yards and three scores. He also ran for 56 yards.

The Tigers, not to be outdone, managed to change the scoreboard one final time before the half, with Torrence scoring from a yard out with 27 seconds left to slice it to 35-31 after the PAT.

The two teams would each score once in the third quarter – Worden scoring from 2-yards out with 8:48 left in the stanza, and Torrence from 9-yards out with 20 seconds left – keeping the Mentor lead at four, 42-38.

Torrence gave Massillon its first lead since the second quarter on a 24-yard run with 7:25 left – 45-42 after the PAT. But Tanski’s second scoring run, a 2-yarder, put Mentor in front 49-45 with 4:01 remaining.

A 40-yard kickoff return by Justin Turner, with an added 15 yards on a Mentor penalty, put the ball at the Cardinal 34. Massillon then was added by a key offside penalty against Mentor on a fourth-and-4 play at its own 28, extending the drive. Two plays later, Yoder scored to give the Tigers – momentarily – their final lead.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2006: Massillon 7, Mentor 19

Mentor stymies Massillon


Six plays into the second half, the Massillon Tigers had grabbed control of the momentum and the lead in its game Friday night at Mentor. By the time the third quarter ended, the lead – if not the momentum – had shifted to the Cardinals.

Five plays into the fourth quarter, a Tiger fumble left little question who held the momentum. That momentum eventually carried itself over into a 19-7 Mentor win over Massillon in front of approximately 9,500 at Jerome T. Osbourne Sr. Stadium.

Program Cover

“We score a touchdown, and we think the game’s over,” said Tiger coach Tom Stacy, whose team falls to 3-2. “It’s like we stopped playing. I don’t know what the problem is. We have to look at the tape, see what the problem is and get them corrected.”

After both teams failed to mount any sort of scoring threat in the first half, the third quarter turned into a shoot-out. It started when the Tigers’ Chris Thornton recovered a pooch kick at the Mentor 35.

Six straight carries by Brian Gamble put Massillon into the end zone, the last of which covered three yards. Steve Schott’s extra point with 9:24 left in the third quarter gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

Gamble – who finished with 115 yards on the night – looked like he was venting some of the pent-up anger he had from the first half. He was screaming into the air as he walked off the field at halftime, part of it due to an official’s negation of an apparent Tiger touchdown.

“I thought he played well,” Stacy said of Gamble. “I can’t fault the kids’ effort. I thought we played hard. They just made more plays than we did.”

Bobby Huth appeared to hit Giorgio Jackson on a 50-yard “Hail Mary” pass on the final play of the half. However, the official behind the play came in and ruled the pass incomplete.

Television replays appeared to back up Massillon’s contention. Still, the ruling stood, and it was 0-0 at the intermission.

“They said he rolled over and didn’t have the ball,” Stacy said.

After Gamble’s touchdown, the Tigers didn’t have the ball much more in the third quarter. That’s because Mentor would chew up 79 yards on 15 plays on its subsequent possession, taking off over five minutes of clock time before Bart Tanski hit Brandon James on a 7-yard touchdown strike with 3:54 left.

The extra point kick was wide right, and Massillon kept the lead at 7-6. But not for too long.

“After nearly shutting them down in the first half … obviously they just executed better than we did,” Stacy said. “We scored, and it’s like it lit a fire under them.”

Massillon would go three-and-out on its next possession, and punt it to the Cardinals at their own 49. It would take only six plays for Mentor to march over that distance, thanks to a 30-yard quarterback keeper by Tanski to the Tiger 12.

Bill Deitman would give Mentor the lead for good, bull-rushing his way in from two yards out with 1:40 left in the quarter. The PAT pass was no good, keeping the Cardinal lead at 12-7.

“I think after that (Tiger touchdown) drive, we challenged our team on the bench,” said Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno, whose team is 4-1. “We felt we were a little soft on that series. After that, I thought we controlled the game real well.”

The Tigers would put together one final legitimate scoring threat in the game, starting after Deitman’s run. From its own 35, Massillon moved down to the Mentor 15 – with help from a big 31-yard Huth-to-Gamble strike on the final play of the third quarter.

However, the drive – and most likely the Tigers’ hopes – would end when the Cardinals’ Shane Molder popped the ball loose from the Massillon ballcarrier and Nate Wilson fell on the ball for Mentor at its own 5.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Tiger coach Tom Stacy said. “We killed ourselves with penalties. We put the ball on the ground. We shot ourselves in the foot. Supposedly we didn’t catch the ball in the end zone at the end of the half, I don’t know. We just didn’t make any plays. They made more plays than we did.”

The final nail would be driven in the Tiger coffin with 1:58 remaining as Tanski capped a short four-play, 19-yard scoring drive with a 3-yard run. Kevin Harper’s PAT provided the final margin.

Not that the Tigers have long to dwell on the setback.

“We better get back to work, because we’re playing a better football team next week,” Stacy said, referring to next Friday’s home game with St. Ignatius. “It doesn’t get any easier.”

Mentor 19

Massillon 7

Massillon 0 0 7 0 7

Mentor 0 0 12 7 19


Mas – Brian Gamble 3 run (Steve Schott kick)

Men – Brandon James 7 pass from Bart Tanski (Kick failed)

Men – Bill Deitman 2 run (Pass failed)

Men – Tanski 3 run (Kevin Harper kick)


Massillon rushing: Gamble 26–115, K.J. Herring 4-29, Tom Leonard 1-1.

Mentor rushing: Deitman 19-78 TD, Tanski 19-75 TD

Massillon passing: Bobby Huth 13-30-108

Mentor passing: Tanski 11-18-102 TD

Massillon receiving: Bryan Sheegog 4-27, Andrew Dailey 3-21, Gamble 2-36.

Mentor receiving: James 4-33 TD, Mike Popelas 3-51.