Tag: <span>Beau Huffman</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2013: Massillon 37, Steubenville 21

Tigers handle adversity to escape Death Valley

Independent sports editor

STEUBENVILLE Massillon had plenty of reason to feel like things weren’t going to go its way in Friday’s visit to Steubenville’s Harding Stadium.

The Tigers battled turnovers. They battled a rugged Big Red team. They fought the flags.

Yet, when push came to shove, Massillon shoved the hardest. And that’s why the Tigers picked up their first win at Steubenville since 1977 – with a 29-year hiatus in there – with a 37-21 win over Big Red to improve to 5-0 on the season.

“It’s crazy; it’s a beautiful thing,” Massillon running back Lyron Wilson said. “We’re the first team to beat them in how long? … It was a great game for us.”

And that great game for the Tigers was in large part because of Wilson’s running. The senior rushed for 234 yards on 24 carries, and scored three times, the last with 3:54 remaining after a crazy a sequence.

“We handled adversity,” said Wilson, who also credited fellow running back J.D. Crabtree, who ran for 55 yards and a score on eight carries. “We scored down there three times, and they called all but one of the touchdowns back. We just fought and kept running; the line blocked their tail off. I just ran for everything.”

That third score came after the Tigers had two other scores or near scores called back by penalty. After the second, it sent head coach Jason Hall into near-hysterics on the sideline, as he rushed at the officials.

Hall’s frustration arose from a night where the Tigers had 14 penalties for 92 yards. Five of those came on that final scoring drive.

“I just told our kids to keep playing,” Hall said. “We had to handle some adversity. They just kept playing. I may have lost my cool a little bit.”

The Tigers found themselves in a dogfight until the fourth quarter because of those flags, which self-destructed several drives. They also turned the ball over three times. Massillon only led 16-14 at halftime, and just 23-21 entering the fourth quarter.

Steubenville also helped, with three turnovers of its own. Both teams also gave the other team good field position with bad punt snaps.

Massillon, which had first-half leads of 2-0, 9-0 and 16-7 before a late first-half score by Steubenville, took control of the game on the first play of the fourth quarter. Facing fourth-and 1 from the Big Red 4, freshman Danny Clark play-faked and then spun around to the left and hit Beau Huffman for a four-yard touchdown and a 30-21 lead.

The Tigers scored on three of its four meaningful second-half possessions, prior to three kneeldowns at the end of the game. Crabtree had a 5-yard scoring run on the first drive of the second half for a 23-14 lead, a five-play, 45-yard march that was all runs by the Tiger running back.

“That’s just how we do it,” Wilson said. “That’s how we do it. That’s exactly how we do it.”

Steubenville, which scored on a 1-yard Robert Hayden run and a 10-yard Mandela Lawrence Burke to Kair McClurg pass in the first half, scored its final touchdown on a 10-yard Dimitri Collaros-to-Lucas Herrington pass to make it 23-21 with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2013: Massillon 35, Mentor Lake Catholic 6

Runaway Tigers
All phases clicking in blowout victory

Independent sports editor

MASSILLON Massillon scored on the ground. It scored through the air. And it scored on defense.

And when it was all said and done Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, the Tigers had scored a 35-6 knockout of visiting Lake Catholic to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2009.

“I think both our offense and defense came out with a great focus tonight, especially after our defense struggled for a few series last week,” said Tiger cornerback Reed Fichter, whose second-quarter interception return for a touchdown helped break the game open. “We came out and made a statement tonight. We’ve got momentum going into next week. We’ve just got to keep our heads on straight and keep getting better each week.”

That’s especially true next Friday night, when Massillon heads to Steubenville, a place that has been a house of horrors. The Tigers are 0-2 since the series was renewed in 2009. But on this Friday night, Massillon made sure to keep its eyes on task at hand against Lake Catholic.

“We came out of Warren (last week) and still feel like we haven’t put together a full four quarter game: special teams, offense and defense all working off each other,” Tiger lineman Nathaniel Devers said. “So we wanted to practice and make sure we could come out and execute. … We’re not looking past anybody. This was a tough team.”

Massillon’s offense wasn’t quite the picture of four-quarter efficiency against the Cougars, as it had been the week before at Warren Harding. Still, the Tigers were good enough, showing at times the diversity of run and pass that can make them a handful for opposing defenses.

On this night, Lake Catholic was forced to choose to deal with the two-headed rushing monster than is Lyron Wilson and J.D. Crabtree. Or, it could try to take away the deep passing game from quarterback Danny Clark.

Turns out, the Cougars had enough problems with both to make it a long night. Massillon finished with 316 total yards, with 172 coming on the ground and another 144 coming through the air.

Most of that damage was done in the first half, which ended with the Tigers in front 35-0.

Massillon went into the locker room with 228 total yards, 117 of those in the air and anotherin the air.

“They were a blitzing team and we were kind of just going with the flow of the game,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “We ran at it, and had success running at it. I thought we threw a couple of good balls.”

The Tigers scored on their second and third possessions to take the lead for good at 13-0. The first score came on a 3-yard run by Crabtree, while Clark hit Beau Huffman for a 17-yard scoring strike for the second.

Wilson also got into the scoring act, rushing for a 15-yard touchdown late in the first half. He finished with 97 yards on 14 carries, while Crabtree rushed for 78 on 13 attempts.

The defense took over the scoring from there. Fichter picked off a pass and return it 62 yards for a touchdown and a 20-0 second-quarter lead.

Two Cougar possessions later, Saive Isles – who had earlier set up a score with an interception – hauled in an overthrown pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown. Fichter hit Malik Dudley for a two-point conversion and a 28-0 lead.

“As a whole team, we feed off each other,” Huffman said. “No matter, whether it’s defense feeding off the offense or offense feeding off the defense. Tonight, it was the offense feeding off the defense. That was just huge.”

When the Massillon defense wasn’t scoring points, it was doing its best to keep Lake Catholic from so much as getting a first downs. In fact, the Cougars didn’t cross the 50 through three quarters, with just three first downs and 80 total yards in the first 36 minutes of the game.

They finished with 126 total yards, 106 of those on the ground.

The first time Lake Catholic snapped on the Tiger side of midfield came with 10:39 remaining after Massillon botched a punt snap and the Cougars took over 1 yard from the goal line. On the next play, Justin Sanders scored to break up the shutout.

By that time, though, it was 35-6 and Massillon could start thinking about being 4-0 … and Steubenville.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2012: Massillon 71, Pauline Johnson, Ont. Canada 12

Massillon moves to 7-1 with rout of Canadian team

Chris Easterling
The Independent

MASSILLON – The best thing the Massillon Tigers could say about Friday night’s game against Pauline Johnson Collegiate (Ont.) is that it’s behind them and they can now turn their attention to bigger opponents.

Facing a dramatically overmatched opponent in the Thunderbirds, the Tigers rolled to a 71-12 win inside Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The win, Massillon’s sixth in a row, improves the Tigers to 7-1.

“I think the best part about this is that a lot of guys got to play,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “A lot of guys who work as hard as anybody in practice, a lot of guys on the challenge team. To see those guys out there getting a chance to run the ball and make tackles, do all those things, that was the best part about tonight.”

Now the Tigers can turn their attention to the final two games of the regular season, starting with a home game against St. Vincent-St. Mary. They can also do so having avoided any significant injuries during Friday’s rout.

The game, expected to be a rout, didn’t waste much time in getting to that point. The Tigers did not run more than four plays in any of their first-half possessions, and walked into the locker room with a 56-0 halftime lead.

“We took care of business,” said senior quarterback Kyle Kempt, who was 7-of-9 for 103 yards with two touchdowns.

The first time Massillon ran a play that did not pick up positive yardage was on the final play of the first half.

That’s when the Tigers, who recovered a Pauline Johnson fumble at the Thunderbird 2, took a knee with 40 seconds remaining.

The game was so lopsided by that point, it was agreed upon by both teams that the second half would be limited to a pair of seven-minute quarters. The Tigers still added a pair of third quarter scores to lead 71-0.

By that point in time, the Tiger starters had already made themselves quite comfortable on the bench. The last time the entire first-unit took the field together was on the first possession of the second quarter, which ended with a 41-yard touchdown run by Lyron Wilson just 51 seconds into the quarter, making it 35-0.

“I thought they came out and played pretty sound,” Hall said. “We just lined up and played. Offensively, it’s what we would expect from our guys. They came out and executed.”

The rout actually took a little longer than expected, roughly 2:33, to be exact. The Thunderbirds took the opening kickoff and picked up a first down before the Tiger defense stiffened and forced a punt 2:18 into the game.

Two play after that punt, it was 7-0 Massillon, thanks to a 56-yard Ernie Baez touchdown run.

After a three-and-out by Pauline Johnson, the Tigers took four plays to go ahead 14-0 on a Kempt-to-Beau Huffman 23-yard touchdown pass with 7:20 left in the first quarter. Kempt also threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Rambo that made it 28-0 with 1:43 left in the first quarter.

Reserve quarterback D.J. Brown also threw two touchdowns, one to Zach Volzer and another to Damion Smith. Brown completed all four of his passes for 57 yards.

Wilson, who saw extensive playing time with the first unit as Ryne Moore rested a mild injury, made the most of the time he saw on the field. The junior running back had a 49-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, while finishing the game with 85 yards on four carries.

Even the reserves got into the action, scoring on five of nine drives after the majority of the starters were pulled. The first time the Tigers didn’t score on a possession came on their eighth drive, which ended on a fumble.

They recovered from that, though, as Gunner Ries picked off a pass on the subsequent Thunderbird possession and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown with 1:46 left in the half. That was one of five turnovers by Pauline Johnson, three in a row to end the first half.

The shutout held until the final 2:44 of the game. Pauline Johnson put together two scoring drives in that span to prevent the Tigers’ first shutout since 2009.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2012: Massillon 34, Austintown Fitch 14

Massillon dominates Fitch in statement game

Chris Easterling
Saturday, October 6, 2012

MASSILLON – The Massillon Tigers wanted a complete game. Through their first six games, they had either had shown up with a big offensive performance, or their defense was the highlight of the night.

But Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, they put both offense and defense together. And the result was the Tigers’ most impressive performance of the season in a 34-14 rout of the state’s No. 5-ranked Division I team, previously-undefeated Austintown Fitch.

Consider it a statement made.

“You’ve really got to be proud of our kids and our coaching staff,” Tiger coach Jason Hall said after his team improved to 6-1 heading into next week’s home game against Canadian foe Pauline Johnson Collegiate. “Our coaching staff put a game plan together and our kids bought into it and they executed it. We came out with a lot of energy and we started the third quarter off with energy as well. I think that’s as complete a game as we’ve played. … I think everybody in Massillon’s proud of their Tigers tonight.”

Fitch, now 6-1, had not allowed any teams to score more than 10 points in its first six games, a total Massillon had exceeded by the end of the first quarter. The Tigers rolled up 533 yards of offense on the Falcons’ highly-touted defense.

“It was a huge statement, because everyone was talking this team up all week,” said Tiger running back Ryne Moore, who finished with 112 rushing yards and a score. “They were beating teams pretty good, so it was a huge statement for us to come out and do what we did.”

Coming into the game, Massillon felt like it may have an edge over Fitch thanks to the throwing arm of Kyle Kempt. Of the Falcons’ first six opponents, none boasted a quarterback with the passing ability of the Tigers’ senior.

And Kempt proved that to be true.

By the end of the first quarter, Kempt had thrown for 209 yards and two touchdowns, completing 12-of-15 passes. By halftime, his numbers were up to 15-of-20 passing for 273 yards with four touchdowns.

“We didn’t see a lot of changes in their looks, and they didn’t change the rest of the night,” said Kempt, who finished the game 18-of-26 passing for 308 yards with four scores. “We had a  good plan heading into the game. We just knew we could exploit them, especially through the air.”

The big performance by Kempt and the offense was equalled by a defensive effort that kept the high-scoring Falcons to a season-low in points, with their second touchdown coming with just more than four minutes remaining. The previous low had been 24 points in their season opening win over Warren Harding.

Through three quarters, Fitch – which lost starting quarterback Matt Futkos in the third quarter – had just 161 yards of offense. The Falcons finished with 259 total yards.

“We came out and we knew we were going to play because we knew they were a good opponent,” said Tiger defensive end J.D. Crabtree, who 6.5 total tackles, two sacks and four tackles for loss in the game. “We saw what they had done to Boardman, and we saw that Boardman had beaten GlenOak. … We came out fired up and we did our jobs.”

Massillon came out of the gate looking to show just what kind of night it was going to be for it offensively. The Tigers took the opening kickoff and marched from their own 15 to the Fitch 18 in 10 plays.

But the Falcons arched their backs on third and fourth down, including a sack on the latter to turn away the Tiger threat.

Undaunted, Massillon made sure its next possession ended in points. The Tigers took eight plays to go 93 yards — the last 32 on a touchdown pass from Kempt to Beau Huffman — to take a 7-0 lead with 3:30 left in the first quarter.

Fitch had its one and only answer on the night, taking the subsequent drive 76 yards in seven plays. The last 10 came courtesy of a quarterback keeper by Futkos to tie the game at 7-7 with 47 seconds left in the quarter.

That 47 seconds was more than enough for Massillon to take the lead for good. Kempt hit Marcus Whitfield for a 58-yard touchdown strike on the final play of the quarter to make it 14-7 Tigers.

Kempt hooked up twice with his favorite target this season – Gareon Conley – on touchdown strikes in the second quarter to help Massillon take a 28-7 halftime lead. The first was an 18-yard scoring pass with 5:03 left in the half to make it 21-7.

Mike Smith set up Conley’s second touchdown by recovering a Fitch fumble at the Falcon 37.

On the next play, Conley caught a 37-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-7 with still 4:10 remaining until the band show.

Moore made it 34-7 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter with a 27-yard scoring run, juking out Fitch’s Ohio State-bound Billy Price in the process.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2011: Massillon 38, Akron Hoban 16

Massillon turns five turnovers into rout of Hoban

Chris Easterling

AKRON The Massillon Tigers ventured away from the friendly confines of Paul Brown Tiger Stadium for the first time in the 2011 season Friday night as they faced Hoban. And they weren’t about to be a rude guest when it came time to accept the generosity of their hosts.

Massillon capitalized on multiple Hoban mistakes to blow open a close game in the second half and keep the Knights winless with a 38-16 win in front of a couple thousand fans inside the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium.

The Tigers scored 17 points off Hoban turnovers, as the Knights gave up the ball five times.

They also converted a blocked punt into a score, while also recovering an onside kick that didn’t result in points.

“We played a good third quarter,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said after his team improved to 5-1. “We did some things with the turnovers and the field positions. But we had way too many negative plays for a Massillon football team.”

Leading 10-7 at halftime, the Tigers took the second-half kick and drove 42 yards in nine plays to make it 17-7 on Kyle Kempt’s 2-yard pass to Beau Huffman.

On the second play of the subsequent Hoban possession, the Tigers recovered a fumble at the Knight 28. One play after the Tigers would miss a field goal to end that threat; Hoban fumbled again on its own 20.

This time, Massillon converted. Three plays later, Brody Tonn would just get the ball over the plane of the goal line, giving the Tigers a 24-7 lead – post-PAT with 4:07 left.

“I was pleased with how our kids came out in the third quarter,” Hall said. “Instantly, our defense started playing like we expect them to.”

A fourth-quarter interception ended with Massillon grabbing a 38-10 lead on Jason Boykins’ 5-yard run with 2:25 left.

The second-half burst was merely a continuation of a first half filled with as many missed scoring chances as it was converted chances. Both teams turned the ball over in the first half, and both ended up costing the offending team on the scoreboard.

Massillon capitalized on a pair of Hoban mistakes for both of its first-half scores. The first scoring chance came late in the first quarter, after Eric Copeland blocked a Knight punt at the Hoban 14.

Four plays later, Alex Winters fought his way into the end zone from the Knight 2 for a 7-0 Massillon lead at the 39-second mark in the quarter.

The Tigers’ final score of the half could have been higher, as Garrett Kreiger recorded the first of two interceptions on the night and returned it over 50 yards for a touchdown. However, a block in the back penalty against Massillon took the score off the board with just over a minute left in the half.

It appeared the Tigers weren’t going to get any points out of the chance after a pair of sacks and a procedure penalty pushed the ball all the way back to the Hoban 29, where it was fourth-and 27.

But freshman Andrew David, despite kicking into a hard, swirling wind, put a 46-yard field goal just over the crossbar for a 10-7 lead with 17 seconds left in the half.

“Andrew can kick that; we know he can,” Hall said. “We have no hesitation sending him out there. It was a little concern with the wind … but he has a powerful leg.”

While the Tigers were able to capitalize on Hoban’s mistakes for their points, they also were partially responsible for much of the Knights’ scoring. Massillon turned the ball over two times in the game, resulting in 10 Hoban points.

“We want to win the turnover battle, and we don’t want negative plays,” said Hall, whose team was outgained, 289-218.

Hoban, which outgained Massillon 167-71 in the first half, missed on a 21-yard field goal try at the end of a 13-play, 78-yard drive to start the game. However, the Knights recovered a Tiger fumble at their own 21 midway through the second quarter, which opened the door for their only first-half scoring drive.

Buoyed by a Tiger personal foul penalty, along with a 14-yard completion on third-and-10 from the Massillon 24, Hoban got on the scoreboard on the 13th play of the drive. Hoban’s Dominic Orsini rolled to the left, then threw back across the field to a wide-open Jimmy Martter in the end zone for an 8-yard scoring pass to tie the game at 7 with 4:42 left in the half.

“They came out and they did some funky stuff offensively that we had to adjust to,” Hall said. “We didn’t win the line of scrimmage in the first half. They controlled the time of possession.”

A muffed punt by the Tigers gave Hoban the ball at its own 43 early in the fourth quarter. Nine plays later, Matty McGee booted a 29-yard field goal to make it 24-10 Tigers with 8:41 left.