Tag: <span>Bill McGee</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2000: Massillon 51, Akron Garfield 26

Unbeaten Tigers give Garfield the ‘boot’
Massillon rules 51‑26 as Oliver tallies 3 touchdowns

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers dug a little deeper into their voluminous offensive playbook and it paid off with a 31‑point explosion in the final two quarters, sparking them to a 51‑26 thrashing of the Akron Garfield Golden Rams in front of 13,080 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Friday.

Program Cover

The Tigers, now 3‑0 on the campaign, held a 20‑14 halftime advantage but did not fully take advantage of four Garfield turnovers before the band show.

Massillon came out in the third quarter and put together back‑to‑back touchdown drives of 75 yards and 73 yards to take control of the game.

Justin Zwick connected on 11 straight passes during that stretch, utilizing bootlegs and rollouts to get away from the pesky Garfield pass rush.

In a game Garfield coach Bill McGee said would be decided by adjustments, the Tigers made a major one at halftime and the Rams were never able to counter.

“Justin likes to throw that boot pass and for the past couple years Orrville did a nice job of running that boot pass,” said Tiger coach Rick Shepas after the game. “It’s something we have in the playbook.

“Credit Coach (Dan) Murphy with some halftime adjustments.

He kept asking me, ‘Have you thought about that boot pass? Have you thought about that boot pass?’ Quite honestly I hadn’t, so I stuck it in there and it was a good adjustment. We ended up building the offense in the second half around that.”

McGee admitted his team never did come up with a stopper.

“That’s something we haven’t seen,” McGee said of the boot pass. “It shouldn’t have been as effective after the first time they did it, but we were tired. When you’re tired, the brain doesn’t work as well.

“They did things better in the third quarter especially, which was the difference. We were only six points behind at halftime and I thought we had a chance. I knew we had to kick off but they dominated the third quarter and a big part of it was on those roll outs.”

Like Buchtel had in the opener, Garfield jumped out to a 7‑0 lead on the Tigers, taking just four plays to go 80 yards. The quick strike was a 48‑yard Brian Sutphin to John Bell touchdown pass, set up by Sutphin’s textbook pump fake that froze the Massillon defensive back for a split second.

After an exchange of punts, Massillon took over at its 22. Zwick found Montale Watkins for 14 yards to the 41. Three plays later, from midfield, Zwick spotted Jesse Robinson open at the Garfield 20 and was on target with the throw. The senior co‑captain did the rest, bolting into the end zone at the 5:17 mark of the first quarter. David Abdul added the point after and it was a 7‑7 game.

The first of three Matt Shem interceptions set up Massillon’s second score. Jeremiah Drobney latched onto a Zwick pass at the Garfield 3 on first down. Then Perry James swept around left end for the touchdown on the very next play. Abdul’s PAT made it 14­-7 at the 6:53 mark of the second quarter.

Shem’s second interception was offset by a pickoff by the Garfield secondary. An interference call on Massillon gave the Rams the ball at the Tiger 29. Four plays later Sutphin threw a fade pass in the end zone and Lawrence Cherry climbed the ladder for the touchdown grab. The kick made it a 14‑14 contest at 3:33 of the second period.

Zwick completed four straight passes on Massillon’s ensuing possession but a holding penalty forced the Tigers to settle for a 27‑yard Abdul field goal with less than a minute to play in the half.

Shem picked off his third aerial of the quarter on Garfield’s first play after the Massillon kickoff, leading to a 28‑yard Abdul field goal, making it 20‑14 as the half expired.

The third quarter was all Massillon as Zwick came out of the locker room on fire. The Tigers moved from their own 25 to the Garfield 9 on eight plays, three of which were bootleg passes. On first and goal from the 9, Zwick rolled left and found sophomore Devon Jordan running free along the back line of the end zone for the touchdown. Abdul’s kick made it 27‑14 Massillon with 8:40 in the third period.

Tyrell McElroy got the ball right back for Massillon with a brilliant one‑handed, over‑the‑shoulder interception at the Tiger 27‑yard line.

Mixing the boot passes with the running of Terrance King and Robert Oliver, Massillon moved down the field and into scoring position. Zwick rolled to his right and completed a throw to Drobney that moved the ball to the 3. Two plays later, Oliver followed King’s block into the end zone. The two‑point conversion pass failed but Massillon was in command at 33‑14 with 3:31 left in the third.

But Garfield had some fight left as Sutphin went deep and found Lawrence Cherry on the post pattern with a 44‑yard scoring bomb to make it 33‑20 at the 2:11 mark.

Tiger sophomore Jamaal Ballard made sure the momentum didn’t swing away from the locals, returning Garfield’s ensuing kickoff 60 yards to the Rams 36. It only took five plays for Oliver to score again, sweeping around left end and into the end zone from four yards out. Zwick and Mike Corsale meshed on the two‑point conversion pass to make it 41‑20 with just seconds left in the third.

Abdul left the paying customers gasping when he opened the fourth quarter scoring with a 56‑yard field goal with 11:09 to play.

“With the wind at his back, I said he has 50 in him tonight and his father said he has 57 in him,” noted Shepas. “He ended up getting 56.”

Garfield’s resilience surfaced again as the Rams moved 80 yards on just three plays, with Cherry covering the final seven on a sweep around his left side to make it a 44‑26 contest.

Then Oliver capped off an eight‑play, 90‑yard march with a five‑yard touchdown run. The junior was hit twice inside the five but shook off both potential tacklers and found pay dirt with 7:30 to play, closing the scoring.

Despite surrendering 30‑plus points for the second week in a row, Shepas was not displeased with the Massillon defense.

“Five turnovers, that’s how I’ll look at the defense,” he said. “There were a lot of outstanding plays. Shem has three picks. Ty Mac has a great interception and Justin Princehorn has an interception.”

First downs rushing 6 5
First downs passing 19 4
First downs by penalty 0 1
TOTAL first downs 25 10
Net yards rushing 119 141
Net yards passing 375 185
TOTAL yards 494 326
Passes attempted 43 21
Passes completed 29 6
Passes intercepted 5 2
Punts 2 6
Punting average 33 21.7
Fumbles/Lost 2/2 1/0
Penalties 5 3
Yards penalized 57 15

MASSILLON 7 13 21 10 51
GARFIELD 7 7 6 6 26

G ‑ Sutphin 48 pass to Bell (Kulick kick)
M ‑ Zwick 49 pass to Robinson (Abdul kick)
M ‑ James 3 run (Abdul kick)
G ‑ Sutphin 11 pass to Cherry (Kulick kick)
M ‑ Abdul 27 field goal
M ‑ Abdul 28 field goal
M ‑ Zwick 9 pass to Jordan (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Oliver 2 run (Pass failed)
G ‑ Sutphine 56 pass to Cherry (Run failed)
M ‑ Oliver 4 run (Zwick to Corsale)
M ‑ Abdul 56 field goal
G ‑ Cherry 7 run (Pass failed)
M ‑ Oliver 5 run (Abdul kick) man

Massillon rushing: Oliver 11‑62, James 8‑41.
Garfield rushing: Klopton 4.49, Hullum 11‑38.

Massillon passing: Zwick 29‑43‑375 2 TDs, 2 INTs.
Garfield passing: Sutphin 6‑20‑185, 3 TDs, 4 INTs.

Massillon receiving: Drobney 10‑137, Robinson 4‑68, Watkins 5‑64, King 5‑63, Williams 2‑26.
Garfield receiving: Bell 2‑109.


Kreg Rotthoff

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1998: Massillon 21, Akron Garfield 10

Tigers’ attack hits high gear

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers put the air back into the football Friday night, scoring three first half touchdowns ‑ two through the air ‑ in handing the Akron Garfield Rams their third straight defeat 21‑10 in front of 10,180 fans on a warm, late­ summer evening at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

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One week after passing the football just nine times in a. drubbing of Lima Senior, the Tigers (2‑1) put it up 14 times in the first half alone, completing eight of those aerials, including scoring tosses of 34 and 25 yards to Neil Buckosh and Marc Cleveland.

Senior quarterback Tom Fichter connected on 8‑of‑14 first half throws for 120 yards, putting the winless Rams back on their heels and in a hole from which they never recovered.

Jon Stanke set the Massillon offense up with exceptional field position by returning the opening kickoff all the way for a touchdown. Unfortunately for Stanke and the Tigers, a holding call negated the score and put the ball at the Garfield 37.

After two incompletions and facing a fourth‑and‑7, Fichter dropped back to pass, got excellent protection, and laid a perfectly thrown pass over the right shoulder of Buckosh. The senior tight end pulled the foot in at the 10‑yard line and dashed to the end zone to put Massillon up 6‑0.

Brett Marshall’s conversion kick made it 7‑0 at 10:58 of the first quarter.

“We do a lot of distraction drills in practice,” Buckosh said afterward. “On that play their guy ran right across my line of sight and those practice drills paid off. I stayed on the ball.”

“Tommy made a great throw for me. I give all the credit to Tommy Fichter.”

Fichter made a pre‑snap read on the play and recognized his tight end might be open.

“I knew the route Buckosh was going to run and I saw who was going to cover him,” Fichter said. “I know Neil has good hands and I knew I had to put the ball where it had to be. I got lucky and put it right there and Neil made a great catch and good run and we got six points out of it.

The Tigers defense nearly got an interception from corner­back Brandon Clark on Garfield’s initial drive and forced the Rams into a three-­and‑out series. Rocky Dorsey’s punt return set Massillon up with a first down near midfield ‘

Fichter found Buckosh open over the middle on the very first snap for 20 yards to the Garfield 32. After Ronnie Lynn picked up 12 yards to the Rams’ 15, two Marc Cleveland sweeps did the rest. The second, a pitch sweep around left end from seven yards out, made it 13‑0 with 7:13 to play in the first quarter.

Marshall tacked on the PAT and it was a 14‑0 Tiger cushion.

“We came out and we did exactly what we wanted to do,” said head coach Rick Shepas. “We know that Garfield is a well coached football team. We know they are very talented and they play hard and if they know they’re in the football game then we’re going to have prob­lems with them.

“Getting nicked twice in their first two games made it a dif­ferent atmosphere for them. Fortunately we were able to come out and get the good kick return and get it in the end
zone, get a good defensive stop, get it in the end zone again and now they might question them­selves a little bit.”

Garfield got on the score­board on an eight‑play, 43‑yard drive capped by Greg Kulick’s 28‑yard field goal that made it a 14‑3 game with 5:04 left in the first half. The Rams had first-­and‑10 from the Tigers 12, but consecutive outstanding defen­sive plays by Ellery Moore, Clark and Jamie Allman pre­vented any further incursion into Tiger territory.

Massillon took the ensuing kickoff and put together a well­ executed drive. The first big play on the march was an 11­-yard Fichter‑to‑Jason Clemens sideline pass on third‑and‑eight that moved the ball into Garfield territory as well as netting a first down.

Then on fourth‑and‑five from the Rams’ 43, Fichter found Cleveland open for 18 yards along the right hash mark for another do‑or‑die first down.

Three snaps later, on third­-and‑10, Fichter dropped back and floated the football into Cleveland’s waiting hands in the end zone from 25 yards out. Marshall again converted and the Tigers were up 21‑3 with just :35 until the band show.

“We started to get things going,” Fichter said in the lock­er room. “We started to feel good about ourselves again.”

Shepas built on that theme. “I think the kids feel better about themselves,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.’

“I was pleased with Tom’s performance in the first half. We’re still not seeing all the field and you can see that in a number of instances. But we did a better job for the quarter­backs this week in practice, giv­ing them a better look at what they were going to see cover­age‑wise to make them more comfortable. Every week we’re going to start over again. We’re going to go out and teach for four days before we play a football game. We’re going to see if we get better and we’re going to start to understand more things as the games go by.”

The Massillon defense was as much the story as the re‑emer­gence of Shepas’ West Coast Offense. The Tigers held Garfield to 145 yards of total offense for the entire game. The Rams did not complete a pass in eight attempts and scrambling quarterback Eli Ward only gained 45 yards in 11 totes.

“If offense can go out and get some scores and put some points on the board, the defense doesn’t have to worry about where they are on the field,” pointed out Shepas. “They can fly around and make plays. Hey, we have our marquee players on defense. We want to play good defense. We’re taking steps to improve in that area, too. We did eliminate some mis­takes and we’re one week bet­ter, but that’s all we are.”

“What’s taking more time than anything is getting to know who our people are and how to use our people. That’s the biggest thing. We’ve done a 360 degree turn since the summer and we’re starting to find out more and more who to play in these football games. It’s going to take the entire season to get a feel for who we got.”

“The offense is coming around,” said Buckosh, who fin­ished with three catches for 59 yards. “We had a great first half on offense The second half we didn’t score any points so we’ve got to get better. We’re in great shape, better shape than our opponents. We just need to focus on not putting the defense in jeopardy.”

Garfield got its only touch­down of the game late in the third period on a 43‑yard drive set up by Massillon’s second interception of the evening. It took the Rams 11 plays, but they finally punched it in from a foot out after three tries from inside the 5‑yard line.

“For us it’s been a lack of con­sistency,” explained Garfield coach Bill McGee after the game. “Our defense has been tough in the first half the first two weeks. Tonight we gave them a couple of easy ones in the first half and we had break­down in the kicking game which gave them good field position.”
“This was an improvement for us in some areas. After the first seven or eight minutes of the game we outscored them, but we put ourselves into too big a hole.’

First downs rushing 5 8
First downs passing 6 0
First downs by penalty 0 2
TOTAL first downs 11 10
Net yards rushing 91 145
Net yards passing 136 0
TOTAL yards 227 145
Passes attempted 18 8
Passes completed 10 0
Passes intercepted 2 0
Punts 3 5
Punting average 47 29.4
Fumbles/Lost 3/0 2/0
Penalties 7 4
Yards penalized 57 20

MASSILLON 14 7 0 0 21
GARFIELD 0 3 7 0 10

M – Buckosh 34 pass from Fichter (Marshall kick)
M ‑ Cleveland 7 run (Marshall kick)
G ‑ Kulick 28 field goal
M ‑ Cleveland 25 pass from Fichter (Marshall kick)
G – Ross 1 run (Kulick kick)


Massillon rushing:
Cleveland 18‑79,
Lynn 1‑16,
Miller 6‑5.
Garfield rushing:
Jones 14‑53,
Ross 14‑46,
Ward 11‑45.

Massillon passing:
Fichter 8‑16‑2 120, 2 TDs,
Eyerman 2‑2‑0 16.
Garfield passing:
Ward 0‑8‑0 0

Massillon receiving:
Buckosh 3‑59,
Cleveland 3‑46,
Clemens 2‑22,
Dorsey 1‑7,
Miller 1‑2.

Marc Cleveland

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1997: Massillon 20, Akron Garfield 14

Tigers victorious on final drive

Morgan’s TD clinches it

Independent Sports Writer

There were shouts filled with anxiety, shouts emitting from the stands that showed something wasn’t right.

Program Cover

For 48 minutes, 9,000 Massillon fans, all clad in their orange and black, watched as the improbable almost took place Friday night in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

But the improbable didn’t happen.

The Tigers wouldn’t let it happen. Christian Morgan, playing with a broken bone in his right hand and wearing a cast, wouldn’t let it happen.

They were pushed to the limit by a Garfield team, just one week after falling to the defending Division I state champion Lima Senior Spartans.

But Morgan, shaking off two straight fumbles on the Tigers’ first two possessions, took a handoff from quarterback Tip Danzy, who was starting for the flu stricken B.J. Burick, and trotted one yard for the game­ winning touchdown with just 1:32 left.

After last week,” said Massillon head coach Jack Rose, “I was going to take any­thing ‑ 7‑6 would have been fine with me.”

After junior Jamie Allman dove to intercept the sailing sideline pass of Garfield quar­terback Mitchell Moss with 25 seconds left to play, the Tigers (2‑1) could finally rest. They defeated the Golden Rams and veteran head coach Bill McGee, 20‑14.

The 73‑yard game‑winning drive, which took nearly three minutes off the clock, lasted seven plays. Morgan carried the ball all seven times, three off pitches from Danzy. Overall, the 6‑foot‑3, 221‑pound tailback carried the ball 19 times for 83 yards.

The Golden Rams (0‑3), with their full house backfield, uti­lized the running game against the Tigers. When you don’t have a lot of players, you have to shorten the game, McGee said. And that’s what his team did, keeping possession of the football for 31 minutes. They ran 38 times, amassing 295 yards on the ground. They passed just 10 times.

“It was a patented Garfield game plan,” Rose said. “Hold onto the ball, drive it and keep our defense on the field.

“The question was if we were going to hold onto the thing (Massillon had three fumbles, one interception).”

On fourth and inches with 8:39 left in the first quarter, the Rams struck first. Bill Ross (12 carries, 70 yards) took the handoff from Moss and took off through the Massillon defense on a 45‑yard run. With a last effort to stop Ross, Massillon’s Josh Wood dove to bring the runner clown but came up short.

“We needed something good to happen early in light of last week,” Rose said. “That didn’t happen.”

Then Morgan, who broke a bone in his right hand in the Tigers’ opening win over Cardoza High (Washington D.C.), fumbled after taking a pitch from Danzy. On the sec­ond Tigers’ possession, Morgan couldn’t hang onto another pitch.

After the game, the senior admitted the cast has been bothersome to him. He is forced to shift the ball to his left hand upon grabbing it.

“My impression was that we would come in and jump on them from the start,” Morgan said. “I had a few problems with the pitch.”

But Garfield could not take advantage of the two turnovers, missing a 37‑yard field goal and punting on fourth down from the Massillon 49.

Junior Julian Miller got the Tigers on the board on a 9‑yard run with 7:36 left in the second quarter. The score came after the Rams’ Chris Guthrie fum­bled and Allman recovered. At halftime, Massillon and Garfield were tied, 7‑7.

“We came (into the locker room), and everyone was yelling at each other, trying to figure things out,” Danzy said. “We were kind of new to this.”

Rico Person gave the Tigers their first lead (14‑7) with 7:42 left in the third quarter when he recovered a loose ball in the end zone. Moss had to retreat to snag a snap over his head. But he couldn’t grab the bouncing ball as he slipped on the turf. Person came out of a pile with ‘ his hands up and boost of momentum.

But the Rams weren’t fin­ished. On third‑and‑two, Garfield’s playmaker, running back Dale Knox (14 carries, 116 yards), took a handoff up the middle and disappeared amid a swarm of linemen. He reemerged and took off on an 80‑yard sprint, outrunning Allman for the score with 4:08 left in the game.

That left it to Morgan, who scored four touchdowns in a 36-­6 win over Garfield last season, and the Tigers’ offense to pro­vide the dramatics and a much ­needed win.

“Coach (Eric) Schumacher pulled me and Christian aside,” Danzy explained, “and let us know that we were the mar­quee guys everyone would be looking at on the last drive. Christian had a couple of nice runs, and we had the game won.

First downs rushing 12 11
First downs passing 2 1
First downs by penalty 1 2
TOTAL first downs 15 14
Net yards rushing 237 248
Net yards passing 45 34
TOTAL yards 282 282
Passes attempted 7 10
Passes completed 4 4
Passes intercepted 1 1
Punts 3 2
Punting average 37.3 47.5
Fumbles/Lost 4/3 6/2
Penalties 4 9
Yards penalized 28 83

MASSILLON 0 7 7 6 20
GARFIELD 7 0 0 7 14

G ‑ Ross 46 run (McDonald kick)
M ‑ Miller 9 run (Hose kick)
M ‑ Person fumble recovery in end zone (Hose kick)
G ‑ Knox 81 run (McDonald kick)
M ‑ Morgan 1 run (Hose kick)


Massillon rushing:
Morgan 19‑83,
Danzy 10‑101,
Hodgson 8‑44,
Miller 1‑9.
Garfield rushing:
Knox 14‑116,
Ross 12‑70,
Moss 15‑8.

Massillon passing:
Danzy 4‑7‑45 1 INT.
Garfield passing:
Moss 4‑10‑34 1 INT.

Massillon receiving:
Clifford 1‑14,
Venables 1‑14,
Morgan 1‑11,
James 1‑6.
Garfield receiving:
Parnell 2‑22,
Ward 1‑14.

Attendance: 9,363.

Jared Stefanko

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1996: Massillon 36, Akron Garfield 6

Garfield can’t stop Tiger attack

Independent Sports Editor

Let the comparisons begin.

The Massillon Tigers rolled up over 400 yards of total offense in giving the Akron Garfield Rams a 36‑6 whipping in front of 10,223 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium , Friday night.

The victory boosts the Tigers to 3‑0, while Garfield falls to 0‑3.

Program Cover

The Golden Rams opened the season with a 17‑0 shutout defeat at the hands of the McKinley Bulldogs. So it was natural to ask veteran Garfield coach Bill McGee to compare the two storied rivals. But McGee wasn’t about to be drawn into a controversy.

“Massillon has an outstanding club,” McGee said. “They are the best balanced club we’ve seen. They did a good job of executing and they didn’t make any mistakes. This is one of their better balanced teams I’ve seen in all the years we’ve been coming down here.”

Indeed. Massillon racked up 259 net yards rushing and 153 net yards passing. Those are the kinds of statistics that will make offensive coordinators smile and defensive coordinators wince.

But McGee wasn’t about to anoint the Tigers state champions just yet. He believes they still have to answer some questions.

“The weakest part of our team is the offense,” McGee said. “Massillon’s test is going to be when they play a team with a high‑powered offense. They’re not as good on defense as they are on offense. They handled us but we’ve only scored two touchdowns in three games.”

The Tigers did manhandle the Golden Rams offense, limiting the Garfield attack to 128 total yards, nine first downs and an average of less than three yards per rushing play. Massillon ran 70 offensive plays. Garfield snapped the ball 43 times.

“It was just like what it looked like out there,” McGee conceded.

Jack Rose wasn’t about to make any comparisons either and he wanted no part of grading just how good the Tigers are this season.

“I think we’re pretty good,” Rose said. “How good? I don’t know. We are improving every week. That’s always been our goal.

“But, don’t forget that Garfield had two tough games in a row.

But what about the fact the Tigers beat Garfield by 30 points and the Bulldogs margin of victory was 17 points?

“I don’t like to get into a comparison of games,” Rose said. “We wanted to go out and establish ourselves offensively and mix it up. We feel we have a chance to be a pretty good offensive team.”

Pretty good would not seem to cover it. Tigers tailback Christian Morgan recorded his second straight 100 yard rushing game in two starts, gaining 122 yards in 20 carries. He found the end zone no less than four times.

Massillon quarterback Ben Hymes was sharp once again, hitting on 11 of 17 aerials for 137 yards. He had one interception. The senior’s numbers would’ve been even more impressive, except for three intentional incompletions late in the first half when the Tigers were without time outs and needed to stop the clock.

Hymes spread the wealth around, hitting Devin Williams five times for 45 yards, Brian Baer twice for 36 yards, Chris Martin twice for 33 yards and Elijah Blake and Chris Autry once each.

Blake had another superb game in relief of Morgan, carrying the football 11 times for 61 yards and a touchdown run that conjured images of Jimmy Brown.

Early in the fourth quarter Massillon moved the football from its own 15 to the Garfield 10, mostly on Blake’s shoulders. The 5‑10, 170‑pound senior had five carries for 27 yards. On first and 10 from the 10, Blake took a handoff from Hymes, hit the middle of the pile and was pushed back into his own backfield. Refusing to go down, Blake bounced outside, ducked under a couple of tacklers broke a tackle at the 5 and fought his way to paydirt to close the evening’s scoring.

“I don’t know how I did it,” Blake said. “I never ran like that before. I saw all those defenders and they were trash talking, saying I wouldn’t get in. I just had the heart to get in there. I got in there somehow. I don’t know how.”

Neither does Rose.

“We didn’t block anybody on the play,” marveled Rose. “That was simply a great effort on the part of Elijah Blake.”

Massillon opened the scoring by marching 65 yards on eight plays on its initial possession of the evening. Morgan covered the final 15 yards, finding a hole over right guard and running over Garfield tacklers at the 10 and 5 on the way to the end zone at 5:57 of the first quarter.

The Tigers defense forced Garfield into a three‑and‑out series and the offense had superb field position at the visitors’ 41. After a penalty, Morgan tore off a 21‑yard gain to the 25. Two snaps later, Hymes hit Williams on a curl route for a first down at the 12. Morgan scored one play later, following his blockers off right tackle from eight yards out with under 90 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Garfield got its offense untracked in typical Garfield manner. The Rams covered 81 yards in 15 plays, the final on a Phil Mitchell to Erick Hawkins touchdown pass at 5:56 of the second quarter. The drive took 7:15 off the game clock, but did not take the momentum away from Massillon.

Morgan carried the ball on all five plays of the Tigers’ ensuing drive, scoring a touchdown on a run around right end from the 23‑yard line at 3:34 of the second quarter to make it a 20‑6 contest.

First downs rushing 14 6
First downs passing 9 2
First downs penalty 3 1
Total first downs 26 9
Net yards rushing 259 94
Net yards passing 153 34
Total yards gained 412 128
Passes attempted 18 9
Passes completed 12 3
Passes int. 1 1
Times kicked off 7 2
Kickoff average 49.9 28.5
Kickoff return yards 17 90
Punts 0 6
Punting average 0 38.0
Punt return yards 22 0
Fumbles 2 0
Fumbles lost 1 0
Penalties 6 4
Yards penalized 47 55
Number of plays 70 43
Time of possession 25:31 22:29
Attendance 10,223

GARFIELD 0 6 0 0 0
MASSILLON 14 12 3 7 36


First Quarter
Morgan 15 run (Hose kick)
Morgan 8 run (Hose kick)

Second Quarter
Gar ‑ Hawkins 15 pass from Mitchell (kick failed)
Mass ‑ Morgan 23 run (kick failed)
Mass ‑ Morgan 2 run (pass failed)

Third Quarter
Mass ‑ Stanley 32 FG

Fourth Quarter
Mass ‑ Blake 10 run (Hose kick)


Massillon ‑ Morgan 20‑122, 4 TDs;
Blake 11 ‑61;
Bradley 5‑32;
Hodgson 7‑21;
Stefanko 4‑14;
Hymes 2‑10;
Childs 1‑4.
Knox 13‑37,
Blackwell 9‑28,
McNeil 5‑14,
Guthrie 5‑12.

Hymes 11‑17‑137‑1,
Danzy 1‑1‑16.
Mitchell 3‑9‑34‑1, 1 TD.

Williams 5‑45,
Baer 2‑36,
Martin 2‑33,
Dean 1‑16,
Blake 1‑14

Paul Salvino

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1995: Massillon 21, Akron Garfield 14

Rams make Tigers sweat

Independent Sports Editor

It sure seemed like the Mas­sillon Tigers were on a roll when they carried a 21‑6 lead over the Akron Garfield Rams into the halftime locker room, Friday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

But the Tigers stumbled and bumbled their way through the second half, before regrouping to hold off the Rams 21‑14 in front of 10,872 fans. The victory boosts Massillon to 3‑0, while their counterparts from the Rubber City fell to an uncharac­teristic 0‑3.

In a subdued Tiger locker room after the game, head coach Jack Rose admitted the signs were there the orange-­and‑black might be in for a struggle.

“We didn’t practice very well all week,” Rose reported. “We just weren’t real crisp like we were the week before.

“We focused on Moeller real well. I didn’t see that same look this week. Anytime you have a ‘big win like (Moeller), that’s going to be the drawback. Plus the short week,. But (Garfield) is going to win some games. They’re a pretty good team.”

Garfield fumbled the game’s opening kickoff and it seemed the Tigers were in business at the visitors’ 35 yard line. But Massillon was unable to move the football and turned it over on downs at the 26.

Bill McGee’s Rams mounted one of their patented, clock ­eating, run‑dominated drives. They converted four third downs, the biggest coming at the Massillon 15 when a face mask penalty moved the ball to the 2‑yard line. Junior fullback Anthony Blackwell hit the mid­dle of the line on first‑and‑goal and burst into the end zone to give the Akron crew a 6‑0 lead at the 1:41 mark of the first quarter.

The 15‑play, 74‑yard march consumed 8:04 and it seemed the Tigers’ worst fears were being realized.

After the ensuing kickoff, Massillon took over at its 33. Quarterback George Whitfield Jr. picked up the host’s first first down of the evening on a two‑yard quarterback sneak on the first play of the second period.

After Vinny Turner picked up 12 yards up the middle, Whit­field bootlegged left and found a wide open Vaughn Mohler along the left sideline at the 10‑yard line. Mohler hauled in the foot­ball and coasted into the end zone. Josh Hose’s PAT made it 7‑6 Massillon at the 10:20 mark of the second quarter.

Garfield cranked up its full house T‑formation offense once again, moving from the Ram 31 to the Tigers’ 30. But the Massillon defense pushed Garfield back nine yards on three plays, forcing the punt which traveled out of bounds at the Tiger 17.

On first‑and‑10, Whitfield handed the ball to Turner, who found a seam off right tackle and was off to the races. He didn’t stop until 83 yards later, leaving several Garfield defenders in his jet stream. Hose was true on the conversion kick and Massillon suddenly had an 8 point lead at 14‑6 with 5:42 left in the half.

Garfield got poor field posi­tion after Matt Stanley boomed the kickoff. The Rams, starting at their 19, went three‑and‑out and set up to punt at their 25. But Massillon’s Bill Condon broke through and spiked the kick. It rolled toward the Garfield goal­line and after a mad scramble the Tigers’ Lance Grimsley fell on the football in the end zone for a touchdown.

Hose made it three‑for‑three and Massillon seemed to have it all their way at 21‑6 with 2:40 until the band show.

“It’s a crime to lose it on the kicking game,” lamented McGee. “But that’s what happened. We allowed them to block a punt. Those are always bad things. I don’t ever remember winning a football game in which we had a punt b1ocked. We haven’t had many blocked over the years. Maybe two or three. It’s something that’s not a good sign. It’s a momentum thing. We score first and we come in at halftime down 21‑6.”

Massillon fumbled away the second half kickoff and that was pretty much the way the third and fourth quarters would go for the Tigers.

Massillon held after the fum­ble, forcing Garfield to turn it over on downs at the 21. But the Tigers, after a couple of first downs, failed on a fourth‑and-­one at the Ram 39.

Garfield quarterback Phil Mitchell hit tight end Erick Hawkins for 33 yards on the second snap of the next series and the Rams were in business at the Tiger 25. Another face­mask penalty against the locals helped move the ball to the 8­-yard line. Three snaps later, Blackwell found the end zone from two‑yards out. The junior also hit paydirt for the two‑point conversion and it was a 21‑14 game with just over one period left to play.

After a Massillon punt, Gar­field got one final chance, tak­ing over at its 22 at the 1:55 mark. The Rams hit on four passes, but Lavell Weaver’s sack of Mitchell eftded the game.

First downs rushing 7 12
First downs passing 4 3
First downs penalty 1 0
Total first downs 12 15
Net yards rushing 190 169
Net yards passing 98 79
Total yards gained 286 248
Passes attempted 12 10
Passes completed 6 6
Passes int. 0 0
Times kicked off 4 3
Kickoff average 41.0 47.0
Kickoff return yards 69 29
Punts 2 4
Punting average 36.0 19.8
Punt return yards 12 8
Fumbles 2 1
Fumbles lost 2 1
Penalties 7 6
Yards penalized 41 47
Number of plays 39 59
Time of possession 16:24 31:36
Attendance 10,872

GARFIELD 6 0 8 0 14
MASSILLON 0 21 0 0 21


First Quarter
G ‑ Blackwell 2 run (run failed)

Second Quarter
M ‑ Mohler 44 pass from Whitfield (Hose kick)
M ‑ Turner 83 run (Hose kick)
M ‑ Grimsley recovered blocked punt in end zone (Hose kick)

Third Quarter
G ‑ Blackwell 2 run (Blackwell run)


Turner 16‑157, 1 TD;
Whitfield 5‑24;
Weaver 3‑4;
Wonsick 1‑4;
Blake 1‑1.
Miller 11‑67;
Owens 12‑50;
Blackwell 12‑39, 2 TDs;
McNeil 6‑18;
Weaver 1‑4.

Whitfield 6‑12‑0, 1 TD,
Mitchell 6‑10‑0.

Mohler 2‑49, 1 TD;
Williams 2‑18,
Turner 1‑17,
Wonsick 1‑12.
Gibson 3-38.
Hawkins 1-31,
Hawkins 1-31,
Owens 1-6,
Miller 1-4.

George Whitfield

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1994: Massillon 6, Akron Garfield 21

Tiger lament: Missed opportunities
Massillon falls 21-6, but score not indicative of tilt

Independent Sports Editor

When your offense gets inside the “red zone” against the rug­ged Akron Garfield Golden Rams defense, it had better put some points on the scoreboard.

Program Cover

The Massillon Tigers learned that lesson the hard way, squandering two “golden” scoring opportunities in the first half and falling to the de­fending Akron City Series champions 21‑6 Friday night in front of 15,772 at muggy Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The defeat drops Massillon to 2‑1 on the season with the Man­sfield Tygers scheduled to visit next Friday. Garfield improves to 2‑1.

The Tigers had all the better or it in the first half, but failed to put any points on the board. Garfield recharged its batteries at halftime and dominated play in the third and fourth quarters.

Massillon took the opening kickoff and marched to the Garfield 10 before stalling.

The drive was keyed by senior tailback Leon Ashcraft, who returned the kickoff 43 yards to the Rams 45‑yard line. Ashcraft found a hole over left guard and picked up 12 more on the second play of the drive to move the ball inside the 30.

On fourth‑and‑four, quarter­back Willie Spencer gave the drive life by hitting Ryan Sha­nor over the middle for a first down at the 16. Vinny Turner picked up three yards on first down and Spencer added three more on second down.

But Ashcraft was stuffed for no gain on third‑and‑four at the 10 and Garfield’s Antoine Win­field came up with an intercep­tion in the end zone on fourth down to end Massillon’s first threat.

“When you get backed up your own goal line,” said Garfield coach Bill McGee, “sometimes character comes through and our guys had char­acter tonight. I was real pleased we got solid and tough when we had to. Of course, you don’t have to defend as much ground, so it gets easier.”

Garfield’s next three posses­sions and the Tigers next two series ended in punts.

Brennan Rohr returned the Rams’ third punt of the evening from the Tiger 35 to near mid­field and Massillon would mount its second serious march of the night from that point.

Ashcraft got the orange‑and-­black started by picking up 11 yards on first down. Then, on second‑and‑nine from the Gar­field 40, the Massillon line opened up a hole over left guard and tackle, and Ashcraft burst 18 yards to the Rams’ 21.

Turner picked up eight more on first down, prompting Gar­field head coach Bill McGee to call for time out. It didn’t help much as Spencer rolled around right end for 10 yards to the three‑yard line two snaps later and it looked like the locals would draw first blood.

But with first‑and‑goal at the three, Massillon’s second opportunity to put up points went by the boards. Ashcraft was tackled for a loss of two on first down. Spencer lost four on a rollout on second down, then was sacked by Damon Turner for an 11‑yard loss on third down.

After a delay of game, Massil­lon faced a fourth‑and‑goal from the 26 and Spencer’s pass went out of the end zone for a Garfield touchback.

“Against a team the caliber of Garfield, you can’t miss those opportunities,” said a de­jected Jack Rose in the Tiger locker room. “That was a big series for them when we got it down there and didn’t get in right before the half. It kind of took the momentum away from us a little bit. If we had punched it in there, it would have been a different ballgame.

“Give Garfield a lot of credit. They really controlled the line of scrimmage down there. We just couldn’t block them.”

Despite failing to score in the first 24 minutes, Massillon had the better of things. The Tigers out gained Garfield 100‑to‑65, re­corded eight first downs to the Rams’ four, and owned a time of possession advantage of 14:26 to 9:34.

But the most important sta­tistic, the score, was still 0‑0 and Massillon’s inability to put up any points proved fatal.

“I was happy to be 0‑0 at half­time, especially the way we played offense in the first half,” McGee admitted. “I knew we wouldn’t play that way the en­tire game.”

Obviously, he was correct. The Rams opened the second half by driving from their 22 to the Tigers 38 in eight plays. But Spencer fell on a Garfield fum­ble on the 29 yard line to quell the incursion.

Again the Tigers marched, sparked by runs of 14 and 31 yards by Ashcraft, who finished the night with 142 yards on 19 carries. Massillon had first-­and‑10 at the Garfield 25, but failed to gain any yardage on the next three downs. On fourth-­and‑10, Damon Turner sacked Spencer for an 11‑yard loss.

On the ensuing series Gar­field moved from its 36 to the Massillon 47, where it was second‑and‑five. Desmond Bell took a handoff and attacked the middle of the Tiger line. He burst through a small seam as if he were launched by a rocket didn’t stop until he struck paydirt. The kick made it Garfield 7, Massillon 0 with 4:04 to play in the third.

Massillon coughed up the football at their 30‑yard line on its next possession and Garfield went for the kill. Winfield and Bell took turns blasting into the Massillon line. Then fullback Eric McKinstry took three handoffs in a row, diving in from the one on fourth‑and‑goal at 11:22 of the fourth quarter. The PAT made it 14‑0 Garfield.

Massillon came back with a 13‑play, 79‑yard march. Ashcraft had bursts of 19‑ and 14‑yards to move the ball to the Garfield 40. Spencer hit Rohr for 13 yards and then found Tur­ner for 10 more to the Rams’ 2. The senior quarterback culmin­ated the drive by scoring on a rollout around left end, making a superb cutback at the 3‑yard line to elude a final defender.

The Tigers tried for a two­ point conversion, but the pass was intercepted and it was a 14­-6 game at the 5:28 mark.

There was still time for the locals and the comeback looked possible when Garfield faced a second‑and‑20 at its 10‑yard line. But Winfield dashed the hometown hopes by slashing up the middle and dashing 73 yards before Courtney Herring drag­ged him down from behind all the way down to the Tiger 17‑yard line.

Six plays later, Alonzo Wal­lace kept the football on the op­tion play and swept around right end for the icing‑on‑the­-cake TD with just l:50 to play.

“I thought our defense did a great job,” Rose said. “They couldn’t have played any better. Take a couple of plays out of there and we really shut them down. That last run of Win­field’s for 72 yards … up until then we had him contained. But a great player makes great plays in big games, and he made a couple on offense and defense. ”

Leon Ashcraft

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1993: Massillon 28, Akron Garfield 7

Tigers 3-0 after repulsing the Rams

B.J. ‘Paynes’ Garfield ‘11’

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers didn’t, wait until after the band show to get going this time, putting up 14 first‑half points on their way to a convincing 28‑7 victory over always‑rugged Akron Garfield before 13,245 at Paul Brown Ti­ger Stadium Friday night’

Program Cover

While the Tigers’ offense roared to life in the first half, the game’s turning point did in­deed come after halftime, when the Massillon defense forced I he Rams to go three‑and‑out on their first possession of the third quarter.

In fact, Tiger defensive tack­le B.J. Payne was a one‑man gang, making three consecu­tive tackles as Garfield netted zero yards in the key sequence.

After the Rams punted, Mas­sillon drove 53 yards in eight plays Danzy capping the march on a nine‑yard touch­down pass to Ali Dixon in the right corner of the end zone. The score gave the Tigers a 20‑7 lead and Garfield ‑ with its ground based attack ‑ was pretty much out of the game.

“We needed that series right there,” recalled Tigers coach Jack Rose. “They had a chance to go back down and tie it up and that could’ve been a big drive for them. B.J. did a great job. The whole defense did on that we got the ball back and we scored.”

Payne admitted he felt the momentum might be slipping away from the Tigers at that point of the game. They had just received a good kickoff return and a fortunate bounce on a fumble but failed to capitalize with a score.

“Offensively when we got stopped, I knew we had to hurry up and get three plays and out,” [ Payne said. “I just tried to do my job and make some plays to get us out of it.”

On first down, Payne smelled out a draw play and tackled Rams halfback Antoine Win­field for a yard loss. On second clown, Winfield again got the football and Payne took him down for a four‑yard loss. Gar­field gave the ball to fullback Frank Idley on third down, and Payne tripped him up just as it appeared he might find some daylight.

“There are certain times in the game when you have to step it up,” Payne. explained. “We have a lot of seniors on defense and we all know we have to step it up at certain times and that was my time right there.”

Garfield head coach Bill McGee couldn’t agree more.

B.J. is an outstanding play­er,” McGee said. “He’s the ideal size for a defensive tackle. He’s a guy where your offensive linemen have to stay down on him. He was outstanding. They had a lot of outstanding people on defense tonight.

“The turning point in the game was the first touchdown of the second half. Massillon kind of established control with that score. We felt at that point we had to do some things diffe­rent and they just didn’t allow it. They played outstanding de­fense. They swarmed us and we couldn’t block them.”

Things didn’t look quite so bright for the locals in the first quarter. Garfield took the open­ing kickoff and marched 54 yards in 13 plays before a touch­down saving deflection by Lon­nie Simpson in the end zone kil­led the drive. A 29‑yard field goal attempt hit the crossbar ­and bounced back.

But the Rams got another chance moments later, re­covering a Massillon fumble at the Tiger 43. Four plays later, Idley found a hole over his left guard and tackle and rumbled 23 yards to pay dirt. Mark Glockner hit the extra point and it was 7‑0 Garfield with 1:40 to go in the opening period.

The Tigers came right back. On second‑and‑12 from the Mas­sillon 43, Danzy rolled right and hit Eddie Griffith for a first down at the Garfield 44. On the very next snap, Danzy rolled the opposite direction and found Simpson alone in the end zone for a 44‑yard touchdown bomb. Randy Endsley’s conversion kick made it 7‑7 with less than a half minute gone in the second quarter.

More than any other, that score drew McGee’s ire:”

“They made the big play,” he said. “We allowed a guy (Simp­son) to get behind us. We play zone coverage and that’s some­thing you simply cannot have happen.”

“It’s a bootleg and there’s a lot of play action,” Danzy ex­plained. “I saw the free safety bite on the play fake. Then Lon­nie got behind him and it was just a matter of getting the ball to him. Lonnie was wide open and I hit him.”

“Mike has a good feel for that play,” praised Rose. “We want him to run it sometimes, too. If it’s open deep, throw it. Mike did a good job reading that and putting the ball down there.

“That really turned the momentum our way, especially after fumbling away the ball. The passing game was much better this week and it’s only going to get better.”

Rose admitted this week he’s heard from the fans about the aerial attack. So has Danzy.

“Sure, it becomes a challenge,” Danzy said. “I love challenges. People might criti­cize but I can take criticism and move on.”

With the game knotted at 7, Garfield retaliated. The Rams drove from their 20 to the Mas­sillon 3S, with Winfield account­ing for 42 yards on two slashing carries over the right side of his offensive line.

The Tiger defense stiffened at that point and quarterback Shane Legg dropped back to pass on third‑and‑11. Legg fired a short slant pass but Tim Men­ches timed it perfectly and step­ped in front of the intended re­ceiver for a drive‑killing in­terception at the 29.

Then Massillon mounted a drive that Garfield fans could appreciate, taking 12 plays to cover 75 yards and eating up over five minutes of game clock in the process. Danzy sustained the march with two key 17‑yard passes, the first to Dixon and the second to tight end Isaiah Jackson.

On second‑and‑goal from the 5, Danzy rolled right and ex­ecuted the pitch option to perfection, getting the ball to Dixon at the last possible mo­ment. The senior tailback hand­led the toss and sprinted un­touched into the right corner of the end zone for a 14‑7 Massillon lead at 2:31 of the second period.

McGee thinks Danzy’s play is the spark in the Tiger attack.

“Danzy throws the ball well and he’s an outstanding run­ner,” McGee observed. “He really puts pressure on the de­fense. When you have to worry about containing him, it puts pressure elsewhere on the de­fense.”

After the Danzy‑to‑Dixon TD connection in the third quarter put Garfield in a hole, the Ti­gers threw dirt on top of the visi­tors with their final scoring drive of the evening. Massillon moved 77 yards in 10 plays as Leon Ashcraft and Dixon took turns running through holes created by the right side of the offensive line.

On third down from the 10 Danzy rolled left after a play fake, took a hit at the 2 but dove into the end zone for the final touchdown of the evening. The senior signal caller hit Ashcraft with a two‑point conversion pass to make it 28‑7 with 6:30 to play.

A late Garfield drive died when Willie Spencer Jr. picked off a pass on the game’s final play.

“The second half of the ball game they were more physic­al,” McGee said. “I was dis­appointed with that. We held our own physically in the first half. The second half they were more physical. They came out and went at us harder. They ran right at us and took it to us.”

Payne indicated the Rams may have stirred the Tigers’ emotions with some comments made following last season’s 14-­13 Garfield victory.

“They said last year we we­ren’t physical enough and I think this year we showed them how physical we are,” Payne said.

“This is the kind of game I love. Somebody who’ll bring it right at me. Bring it on. Let’s see what you’ve got. I don’t think there’s anybody who can drop me. That’s my feeling.”

First downs rushing 11 8
First downs passing 7 1
First downs penalty 0 3
Total first downs 18 12
Net yards rushing 171 135
Net yards passing 119 16
Total yards gained 290 151
Passes attempted 11 8
Passes completed 7 1
Passes int. by 2 0
Times kicked off 5 2
Kickoff average 45.8 48.5
Kickoff return yards 70 94
Punts 0 3
Punting average 0.0 32.0
Punt return yards 26 0
Fumbles 1 2
Fumbles lost 1 0
Penalties 7 3
Yards penalized 45 15
Number of plays 47 47
Time of possession 20:44 27:16
Attendance 13,245

GARFIELD 07 00 00 00 7
MASSILLON 00 14 06 08 28

G ‑ Idley 23 run (Glockner kick)
M ‑ Simpson 44 pass from Danzy (Endsley 1kick)
M ‑ Dixon 4 run (Endsiey kick)
M ‑ Dixon 8 pass from Danzy (kick failed)
M ‑ Danzy 10 run (Ashcraft pass from Danzy)

Ashcraft 14‑70,
Dixon 9‑62,
Danzy 10‑33,
Fraelich 2‑2,
Paul 1‑4;
Winfield 17‑76,
Idley 12‑64,
Bell 5‑8.

Danzy 7‑11‑119‑0, 2 TDs.
Legg 1‑8‑13‑2.

Simpson 1‑44,
Dixon 2‑29,
Jackson 2‑25,
Griffith 1‑13,
Merchant 1‑8;
Cook 1‑16.

McGee rates
Tigers over the Bulldogs

Akron Garfield head coach Bill McGee knows a good opponent when he plays one.

Garfield has played a cou­ple of them in the first three weeks of the season, arch riv­als Massillon and McKinley. The Rams lost to the Pups 7‑0 in Week 1, and 28‑7 to the Ti­gers Friday.

So, Bill, which is better? Massillon or McKinley?

“At this point in the season, I’d have to rate Massillon an advantage,” McGee said. “They are quicker on defense and there’s the quarterback, situation.

“(Mike Danzy) made some big plays for them tonight. He makes their offense go be­cause he opens things for other people.

“So I’d have to rate them a little bit ahead. But there’s a long way to go until Week 10

Mark Fair
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1992: Massillon 13, Akron Garfield 14

Hard day’s night in Tigertown
Garfield rally provides 14‑13 upset

Independent Sports Editor

It rained Friday, hard enough, maybe, to wash tomorrow into today. For the Massillon Tigers, 14‑13 losers to Akron Garfield, tomorrow got here too soon.

“I told the team before the season, ” Tiger head coach Jack Rose said after his football team fell to 2‑1, “we would face a crisis sometime this season. “Obviously, it got here with this game. It’s tough.”

Program Cover

“But,” added Rose, “I really feel we’ll bounce back. We’ll have a good week of practice. Our kids will play hard … they’ll play as well as they can against Moeller.”
Cincinnati Moeller, 6‑0 in the all‑time series against the Tigers will pay a visit next Saturday to Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, where 9,950 saw last night’s game.

Meanwhile, tomorrow couldn’t have arrived at a better time for Garfield. “We use a lot of two‑way players,” explained Garfield head coach Bill McGee. “We want October to get here. Tonight felt like October.” It felt that way because of the rain, because it was cool. Consequently, some of the energy the two‑platoon Tigers might have sapped from the Rams on a hot day hung around.
It was there after the Tigers broke a 7‑7 halftime tie with a touchdown in the middle of the third quarter.

Garfield marched 59 yards after the ensuing kickoff . Junior running back Frank Idley scored from nine yards out with 2:25 left in the third quarter. Since the Tigers had misfired on the previous extra‑point kick attempt, Garfield’s Mark Glockner was able to give his team a 14‑13 lead by booting it through when it was his turn.

When the Tigers couldn’t keep moving on a fourth-quarter drive that pushed the ball to the Garfield 15‑yard line, the Rams toughened up and rode out the 14‑13 lead until it was the final score.

The rain couldn’t wash away yesterday. Not for Garfield’s senior quarterback, Joe Nemith. Nemith said a recurring thought kept flashing through his mind throughout the game. ”Sixty to 13,” was the thought, he said. “That’s all … 60 to 13.”

That was the score by which the Rams lost to the Tigers in 1991. “Our kids were highly motivated by that 60‑13 theme,” McGee said. “It was real embarrassing for us … not that Massillon ran it up, or anything like that. We just had one of our poorer teams.”

This year’s team is different. It has at least five seniors with a shot at landing a Division I college scholarship. It has sophomores who should keep the 2‑8 nightmare that was the 1991 season from happening again soon .

“I’ve said all along they play harder this year,” Rose said. “They have a lot of talent. They have good speed and good balance.”
McGee, who says the goal of his team (now 2‑1) is to win the 1992 state title, returned the compliment. “I underestimated how physical a team Massillon is,” he said. “That was one of the harder‑hitting games we’ve played in a long time.”
There were a few hard feelings afterward. Most of Garfield’s players punctuated their post‑game celebration by dancing on the Obie the Tiger insignia on the middle of Massillon’s sand‑turf field.

By that time, most of the Tigers were near the locker room. Some of them saw the celebration and went out to meet it. There was some shoving, but the mini‑melee was quickly broken up. McGee didn’t endorse the actions of his team. “Get your fat (butt) back to the locker room,” he told one of his linemen.

But he understood it. “That was all about something that happened before the game,” he said. “Their players all congregated on the tiger. The problem was, they cross the 50‑yard line and pushed some of our players out of the way to do it.”

There were also some hard feelings in the stands. Some directed their anger at Rose, who is in his first year as Tiger head coach. “Go back to Kent State,” a few of them yelled. Rose was an assistant coach at Kent State before becoming the Tigers’ defensive coordinator in 1991.

The loss was tough on Rose. He looked like a man who had been up all night in the postgame locker room. But he is a tough man. He was composed as he assessed the loss.

“The main thing,” he said, “was that we kept shooting ourselves in the foot … penalties … turnovers … mistakes.”

The game was tense throughout. Garfield woke up the crowd right away when sophomore sensation Antoine Winfield returned the opening kickoff from his 8‑yard line to the Tigers’ 5 before Dan Hackenbracht brought him down. A clipping penalty on the return put the ball on Massillon’s 25, but Garfield needed only five plays to run it in. On third down from the 7, Winfield lined up at left halfback in the T‑formation (three back) offense, took an inside handoff, and streaked up the middle for a touchdown. Glockner’s kick made it 7‑0.

The Tigers wound up with only three first‑half possessions, which will happen against a good ball‑control team. They made it to the Garfield 15 on the first and to the Garfield 32 on the second, but didn’t score until the third.

Quarterback Mike Danzy threw a 31‑yard touchdown pass to tight end Todd Peters with 1:32 left in the half. Peters ran an end zone route and Danzy hit him with a well‑thrown bomb that barely eluded the sophomore, Winfield, who was streaking in front of him.

Jason Brown’s kick created a 7‑all halftime score.

Early in the third quarter, Tiger cornerback Scott Brediger recovered a Winfield (yes, the soph plays running back, too) fumble at the Garfield 35.

A holding penalty set up a third‑and‑19, and Danzy tried to hit flanker Alonzo Simpson on a post pattern near the goal line. Again it was the soph, Winfield, arriving on the scene to make the interception; however, Garfield was stuck with the ball on its own 4‑yard line.

Switching to running back, Winfield fumbled on second down and the Tigers’ Joel Smith recovered at the 1. Tiger senior Eugene Copeland scored on the next play, but Brown’s extra point try was wide left, and the Tigers led 13‑7 with 6:23 left in the third quarter.

Garfield drove 59 yards for the decisive points after the ensuing kickoff. A 9‑yard run by Frank Idley and the conversion kick made it 14‑13 with 2:25 left in the third quarter,

Key plays were a pair of 13‑yard completions from Nemith to senior end Eugene Lewis.

“They were bringing a strong safety to the strong side and I was throwing to the short side,” Nemith said. “We were in a spread formation and we’d send the tight end to the flats, up the seam.

Garfield then pulled a stunner by onside kicking, but the Tigers recovered near midfield.

The Tigers spent the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter driving the ball ‑ running it, mostly. A bootleg run of 17 yards gave the Tigers a first down on the 16. But two runs for a total of one yard and a holding penalty stalled the drive, then Danzy was sacked for a 19‑yard loss that was nearly worse than that. Danzy threw while he was going down and the ball was picked off by a Garfield lineman who would’ve had clear sailing to the end zone. The Tiger quarterback, though, was ruled down, as McGee scolded a Ram assistant coach who blew his stack over the ruling.

Garfield then staged a drive reminscent of 1987, the last time the Rams beat the Tigers. They completed a pass to loosen things up and otherwise used Idley and Winfield on runs. They took the ball from their own 17 to the Tiger 16. There was 2:43 left when B.J. Payne stopped Idley at the 16 on fourth down.

Danzy scrambled for a yard, then threw three incomplete passes. On fourth down, Danzy lobbed what seemed destined for a completion to Peters, but there he was again ‑Winfield ‑ flashing in to knock away the pass.

Garfield took over and ran out the clock. The Rams wound up with a 213‑160 advantage in total offensive yards. They got away with gridiron murder, fumbling six times, losing four of the cough‑ups. Idley was the workhorse, rushing 87 yards in 23 carries. Nemith didn’t pass much, but he did it effectively ‑ 5‑for‑6 for 58 yards.

Tiger running back Andre Stinson left the game in the first half with a bruised thigh and was replaced by Hackenbracht. Stinson returned in the second half and wound up with 48 yards in 11 carries. Hackenbracht was the Tigers’ second‑leading rusher with 42 yards in eight carries.

“It was a good game,” con­cluded Garfield’s coach, McGee. “We’re a good team. We win here occasionally.”

The Tigers, meanwhile, are a team facing a crisis: trying to rebound from a tough loss, and having to do it against Cincinna­ti Moeller.

First downs rushing 8 10
First downs passing 2 4
First downs by penalty 1 1
Totals first downs 11 15
Net yards rushing 116 155
Net yards passing 44 58
Total yards gained 160 213
Passes attempted 14 6
Passes completed 3 5
Passes int. by 0 1
Kickoff average 44.0 31.7
Kickoff return yards 39 111
Punts 2 2
Punting average 33.0 40.0
Punt return yards 8 0
Fumbles 2 6
Fumbles lost 1 4
Penalties 5 6
Yards penalized 44 55
Number of plays 47 55
Time of possession 18:27 29:33

Alliance 7 0 7 0 14
Massillon 7 0 6 0 13

G ‑ Winfield 7 run (Glockner kick)
M ‑ Peters 31 pass from Danzy (Brown kick)
M ‑ Copeland 1 run (kick failed)
G ‑ Idley 9 run (Glockner kick)


(M) Copeland 4‑12, Stinson 11 48, Danzy 5‑6, Seimetz 3‑7, Hackenbracht 842, Dixon 2‑1.
(G) Idley 23‑87, Campbell 3‑18, Nemith 8‑10, Winfield 15‑40.

(M) Danzy 3‑14‑1, 44;
(G) Nemith 5‑6‑0, 58.

(TD) Copeland 1‑5, Peters 2-39.
(G) Lewis 4‑42, Winfield 1‑16.

Dan Hackenbracht
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1991: Massillon 60, Akron Garfield 13

Tigers gore Rams
99-yard run adds to Tigers’ fun

Independent Sports Editor

Even when it was 48‑6, Chaun­cey was taking no chances.

Massillon Tiger sophomore Chauncey Watson, whose longest previous run was a 65­yarder last year at Lorin Andrews Junior High, took a fantastic 99‑yard voyage for a touchdown to put an added glow on a 60‑13 high school football victory over the outmanned Akron Garfield Rams Friday night.

The Tigers improved to 3‑0 on a warm Friday night. Next up is a game one week from today at Kings Island against Cincinnati Moeller. Garfield fell to 0‑3 be­fore 10,752 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Moeller improved to 2‑1 by beating Trotwood ­Madison 28‑0 Friday night.

Watson has run the 100‑meter dash in track but says he isn’t very good. He runs the 40 in 4.9. He looked pretty snazzy in the 100‑yard dash, though.

Following “great blocks” by Terry Holland and Dan Seimetz, Watson broke (by his count) “five or six” tackles as he roared toward the left side­line and broke into the clear.

Seimetz was angry at himself for slipping on a kickoff return that stuck the ball inside the 1.

“It was right on the goal line,” observed Watson, mean­ing he set a school record ‑ call it 99 1/2- yards ‑ that would have to be broken by inches.

Seimetz made up for his slip with the fine block and Watson did the rest.

“All I was thinking was, ‘Get out of the end zone. No safety,”‘ he said.

Watson was promoted to the varsity this week because of in­juries to junior running backs Gene Copeland and Pat McVeen.

99 Yard TD Chauncey Watson

He was on the field with back­up players; in fact, the second and third teams played all but one series in the second half af­ter the Tigers had taken a 41‑0 halftime lead.

Garfield head coach Bill McGee, whose team has been the dominant force in the Akron City Series in his 17 years, and who owns four wins over Mas­sillon in the 1980s, thanked Mas­sillon head coach Lee Owens for holding down the score.

“On paper Massillon was bet­ter than us in every aspect of the game, and it was that way on the field,” McGee said. “I’m just glad these first three games are over.”

Garfield has lost 34‑0 to McKinley, 49‑12 to Cincinnati Elder and now 60‑13 to Mas­sillon.

“I can’t imagine any teams anywhere in the state being much better than any of those three,” McGee said.

McGee rated Massillon and Elder “about even” and slight­ly better than McKinley.

“I give a strong edge to Mas­sillon in the running game,” McGee said “Massillon is much more of a problem because they execute so well out of so many formations.”

The Tigers rushed for an amazing 458 yards. Watson led the way with 134 yards in seven carries.

The backfield starters were Travis McGuire (11 for 132) and Falando Ashcraft (10 for 66).

Backup Dan Seimetz chewed tip 85 yards in nine carries, all in the second half.

Quarterback Nick Mossides had another steady game. Playing only in the first half, Mos­sides completed five of seven passes for 100 yards.

On the Tigers’ second play from scrimmage, pre‑game, talk about Garfield being susceptible to the deep pass came to the forefront.

Flanker Marc Stafford ran motion right and was trailed by Garfield defensive back Marv Campbell. After the senior tight end Greg Paul slipped away from the line he broke for the right sidelines. I was wide open when Mossides threw the ball about 35 yards a catch‑and‑run that covered yards for a TD.

“It was a boot pass and the offensive line did a great job with the protection,” Paul said, “The quarterback and the running backs made some good fakes and I was wide open. Nick got me the ball.”

Rating the Tigers’ performance, Paul said, “We’re taking the steps we need to take. I need to keep getting better.”

The Tigers got on the board moments after the bomb. Middle guard Carl Hye recovered a Garfield fumble on a bad exchange at the 10. Ashcraft ran the 5 and McGuire scored on the next play.

The Tigers had run for only four plays; yet, Ashcraft’s two point conversion run swelled their lead to 14‑0.

McGuire, who is turning the spin move into an art form, had a big first half with nine carries for 102 yards. He seems to be within one move of scoring a touchdown half the time he touches the ball.

He set up first‑half touchdowns with runs of 28 and xx yards. Another touchdown was the result of a Troy Burick interception that gave Massillon possession on the 10. McGuire and Ashcraft each finished the first half with a pair of TDs.

Burick took over at quarterback for one series in the third quarter and looked sharp. I ran once for 18 yards and completed both of the passes I tried for 23 yards. Ashcraft scored his third touchdown of the night early in the second half.
The second team took the field and kept making more yards.

Seimetz scored two touchdowns on runs of 21 and 1.

The game got a little bit wild. Moments after Watson scored his 99‑yard special, Garfield’s Campbell raced 81 yards for a touchdown on the kickoff return.

Garfield had one other fourth quarter touchdown on which they scored on a 47‑yard drive.

The Tiger defense turned in another strong performance.

At the point in the second quarter when the Tigers took a 34‑0 lead, Garfield had run 19 plays and gained 19 yards.

“That’s not bad,” said Tiger defensive tackle Jonathon Jones, “but I compare what we do one week to what we did the previous week. And the pre­vious week we didn’t give up any yards to Walsh (on the ground) in the first half.

“We’re playing fairly well on defense. Our strongest point so far has been our run defense. But we’ve still got to improve on everything.”

The Tigers led 243‑41 in total yard in the first half and finished with a season‑high 581 yards. The 581 yards is believed to be the largest number in a game during the four years Owens has
been head coach. Garfield finished with 111 yards.

Owens didn’t know quite what to say in the end.

“One thing for sure,” he joked, “we proved time of pos­session isn’t that important in football.”

Garfield held the ball for 27:46. Massillon had it for 20:14.

“Our goal,” Owens said, “was not to get anyone hurt and have some momentum going into the Moeller game.”

Owens confessed he had a hard time concentrating on Garfield this week, given the Rams’ uncharacteristic strug­gles and the fact Moeller is up next.

“I told the players after the game that they showed a lot more discipline than I did in focusing on Garfield and tuning out Moeller,” Owens said.

Owens spent part of the week planning the itinerary for the trip to Kings Island.

Those who have not ordered tickets can get them Monday at the Washington High ticket office, but there is a limit of two per customer. They won’t last long. Galbreath Field, where the game will be played, holds only about 10,000. Some stand­ing room tickets will be sold the night of the game.

Garfield’s coach, McGee, isn’t used to nights like this or seasons like these.

“My worst,” he said, “was 6­-5. We’ll be hard pressed to get to that point now. But, believe it or not, there were some areas where I thought we improved tonight. It’s just that we didn’t have the players to match up. We couldn’t slow them down. Nothing we tried worked.”

Stafford was the Tigers’ re­ceiving leader for the second straight week. He caught three passes for 58 yards.

Garfield got 68 rushing yards from sophomore Frank Idley. The Rams’ senior quarterback, 6‑1, 225‑pound Barry Christ, failed to complete a pass in five tries.

Two future Tiger opponents played each other Friday, Au­stintown‑Fitch downing Young­stown East 26‑0. Both teams have 1‑2 records.

Last year’s Tiger offensive coordinator Tom Stacy, is 0‑3 as head coach at Shelby after a 3‑0 setback to Ashland last night.

Defending state champion Warren Harding outlasted Akron Buchtel 19‑16. On Mon­day at 5:30 P.M., the Warren jayvees will be at Massillon to take on the Tiger jayvees.

Eric Wright

1989: Massillon 43, Akron Garfield 7

Two down two to go for Tigers

Independent ‑ Sports Editor

Did Dame Destiny and the Fickle Finger of Fate conspire to stop Lee Hurst and Craig Turkalj Saturday?

There stood Hurst on one side of a water bucket in the Akron Rubber Bowl. There stood Turkalj on the other side. There ticked the clock 0:08 … 0:07 … 0:06 ‑ on a scoreboard that read Massillon 43, Garfield 7.

“Let’s do it,” the two Tigers yelped at 0:01.

And away they ran with their sloshing cargo. But when they got there, the sideline was bare. Their head coach, Lee Owens, had been absorbed by a sea of celebrants.
“Where’d he go?” the quarterback yelled.

“I don’t see him,” the linebacker replied.

They scrapped the mission and joined the fun.

And maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Maybe the cards have it that (attention Coach Owens ‑ do not read this and spoil your surprise) the grand dousing is to take place in Columbus two games down the playoff highway.

As for Owens, he went that‑a‑way ‑ the way that leads to the Division I state semifinals and from there to the state championship.

It’s two playoff wins down and two wins to go for the rampaging Tigers, who came home Saturday night to another frenzied moonlight celebration downtown.

Massillon will oppose defending state champion Cleveland St. Ignatius at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Akron Rubber Bowl.

It won’t be all fun and games.

“This turf is terrible,” said Tiger guard Jim Goff as he walked off the field following Saturday’s Garfield game. “Our sand turf is so much easier on the body. I’m really sore.”

Many Tiger fans thought their team, first in the Region 3 computer rankings at the end of the regular season, should not have had to play against No. 4 Garfield where the Golden Rams saw action in five regular‑season games this year.

But there is a flip side.

The Tigers now have had a game in which to get the hang of the Rubber Bowl (winning by 35 points against a team whose only other loss this season was by 1 point in overtime).

Ignatius has not played at the Rubber Bowl this year.

Still, expect to hear plenty of talk this week painting Ignatius as the favorite. The Wildcats won it all last year, the talk will go, and they have one of the best quarterbacks in the nation in Joe ‑ Ohio State wants him bad – Pickens.

“I hope we do play Ignatius,” Massillon senior Todd Porter said before he knew Ignatius advanced by outlasting Euclid Saturday night. “We beat them in a scrimmage, but people will say it was just a scrimmage. We want to beat them in a game.”

The Tigers’ first opportunity to commence beating on someone other than their own teammates came Aug. 12 in Lakewood, when they beat Ignatius in a practice game.

Three months later, after 12 “count ’em” games, Ignatius owns a 12‑0 record. The Tigers are 10‑2.

In Saturday’s other semifinal battle, Cincinnati Moeller (10‑2) will take on Lima (10‑2) in a 7:30 p.m. clash at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.

Ask around the Massillon locker room and you’ll find a whole lot of folks who want to face Moeller again ‑ the Tigers lost to the Cincinnati kids 41‑7 Sept. 16.

They may get the chance.

And maybe they’re within striking distance because they had things in the right perspective all along.

This was co‑captain Ryan Sparkman talking shortly after the Tigers beat Ignatius in August:

“It was all right to go up there and practice against the defending state champions, but we still have a long way to go.”

It’s not so long anymore.

Massillon makes Garfield pay dearly for its errors
By Ralph Paulk
Beacon Journal staff writer

The Massillon Tigers stepped boldly into the Garfield Rams’ backyard ‑ the Rubber Bowl ‑ then proceeded to manhandle the Rams.

What was supposed to be a grueling battle of defense quickly developed into a Massillon blowout Saturday night before a crowd of 13,607.

The Tigers, racing off to a 29‑7 halftime advantage, advanced to the state Division I semifinals with a convincing 43‑7 victory.

The Rams got out of the blocks in good shape, scoring on their first possession to take an early 7‑0 lead.

After that the Rams’ faithful sat in stunned silence for 3 1/2 quarters. The Tigers whipped Garfield at every phase of the game.

The Tigers’ defense harassed Rams quarterback Marcus Sims, sacking him five times and intercepting two passes. They also recovered four Garfield fumbles in the second half.

As Massillon continued its onslaught the Rams lost their confidence and poise. They were flagged for three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and a rash of other penalties.

Garfield’s coach, Bill McGee, paced up and down the sideline in search of an answer. All McGee and his Rams could find was misery, misery and more misery.

Massillon’s coach, Lee Owens, adjusted his orange cap occasionally and put his hands in his pockets.

What else could he do? His team’s victory already had been put on ice.

“We just got on a roll and were executing very well,” said Owens. “We felt we had to execute well if were going to win.

“This team was playing with extreme confidence. The kids know they can go all the way (state title game).

“I thought we had to get off to a better start than we did last week. We couldn’t wait until the second half.”

Massillon (10‑2), which overcame a 24‑6 deficit to defeat Walsh 42‑24 in the regional semifinal last week, again rolled out of the gate slowly. This time, however, the Tigers started their scoring flurry late in the first quarter.

Massillon halfback Ryan Sparkman ignited an awesome first‑half scoring explosion with a 44‑yard run to the Rams’ 2. Two plays later, Sparkman bounced off left tackle for a 1‑yard touchdown, making it 7‑6.

Gary Miller’s conversion kick was blocked by Thomas Lewis. It was the only thing the Tigers didn’t execute perfectly.

Quarterback Lee Hurst who threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, ripped apart the Rams’ secondary like a master surgeon.

“We knew there were some things in there defense that we could exploit,” said Hurst, an All‑NEO Inland Region first‑teamer.

Massillon, which made its last appearance in the state ‑ title game in 1982, took a 14‑7 lead with 8:35 left in the second quarter.

Doug Harig, who caught a 45‑yard pass, capped off a 7‑play, 61‑yard scoring drive by catching a 4‑yard touchdown pass from Hurst.

There was still hope for Garfield. That was until Tigers safety Keith Rabbit intercepted a Sims pass at the Garfield 37.

It took the Tigers six plays to get the hall into the end zone. Hurst bootlegged around left end for an 11‑yard touchdown scamper and tossed a 2‑point conversion pass to Rameir Martin to put Massillon ahead 21‑7 with 5:17 left in the second quarter.

The Rams, marched to the Tigers’ 46. But Kevin McCue intercepted another Sims pass at midfield.

Hurst wasted little time in making the Rams pay for their mistake. On first down. he rifled a 50‑yard touchdown strike to Martin with 2:31 left in the first half.

Martin’s touchdown, Owens said, is what really burst the Rams’ bubble.

“The touchdown to Martin probably sealed the game,” Owens said. “We were doing every thing right, and we knew we were in good shape.”

Hurst, catching Garfield’s defense off‑balance, bootlegged left for a 2‑point conversion to give Massillon its 29-7 lead at the half.

“I thought at the half we would play a strong second half”‘ said McGee, whose team lost to Cincinnati Princeton in the 1983 championship game.

“I think once they scored to begin the third quarter, I realized it wouldn’t be our night. It was frustrating for us because it was always something.

The Rams began the second half by fumbling the ball away to Massillon. Again, Hurst rewarded the Tigers’ defense by directing the offense into the end zone.

Hurst threw a 20‑yard touchdown pass to Harig with 6:42 left in the third quarter, giving Massillon a commanding 36-7 lead.

The Tigers got their final points a 3‑yard touchdown run by Lamonte Dixon ‑ which also was set up by a Garfield fumble.

“This doesn’t happen to its very often.” McGee said, “Massillon was very excited about playing.

“We weren’t overwhelmed physically, but I think emotionally we were never in it. It was hard getting our kids’ confidence back.”

Massillon will play Cleveland St. Ignatius in next weekend’s state semifinals.

Individual Statistics
(Mas) Sparkman 10‑70, Ashcraft 10‑34, Dixon 12‑21, Hurst 4‑17, Slicker 2‑5.
(Gar) McGhee 9‑62, Martin 10‑28, Sanky 3‑21, Lewis 1‑9, Sims 7‑(minus 41).

(Mas) Hurst 10‑14‑0 175, Shertzer 1‑1‑0 10.
(Gar) Sims 4‑16‑2 66, Conley 3‑6‑0 36.

(Mas) Martin 4‑77, Harig 3‑68, Manion 2‑21, Carpenter 1‑11, Sparkman 1‑8.
(Gar) Lewis 3‑41, Harrison 2‑42, Martin 1‑14, Keller 1-5.

Kickoff returns
(Mas) Dixon 1-20.
(Gar) Martin 4‑83, Lewis 2‑37, Sankey 1‑19.

Punt returns
(Mas) Blake 1‑17, Manion 1‑0.
(Gar) None.

Massillon 6 23 14 0 43
Garfield 7 0 0 0 7

G – Sims 3 run. Williamson kick
M – Sparkman I run. Kick failed
M ‑ Harig 4 pass from Hurst. Martin Pass from Hurst
M ‑ Hurst 11 run. Miller kick
M ‑ Martin 50 pass from Hurst. Hurst run
M ‑ Harig 20 Pass from Hunt. Miller kick
M ‑ Dixon 3 run. Miller kick


First downs rushing 9 3
First downs Passing 7 5
First downs Penalty 0 4
Total first down 16 12
Net Yards rushing 142 79
Net Yards Passing 185 102
Total net yards 327 181
Passes attempted 15 22
Passes completed 11 7
Passes intercepted 0 2
Fumbles/lost 1‑1 5‑4
Punts 2 3
Punting average 14.5 34.7
Penalties 6 6
Yards penalized 59 47

All‑around dominance
Massillon’s offense, defense click in 43‑7 rout

Repository sports writer

AKRON ‑ If’ you’re a fan of high‑powered offenses, the Massillon Washington High School football team has the fix you’ve been looking for.

That’s not an earth‑shattering statement. Most people know that.

But what’s becoming more evident each week is the Tigers have plenty to offer you fans of defense ‑ quick, hard‑hitting, in‑your‑face defense.

Massillon had both its units working to near perfection Saturday night against Akron Garfield at the Akron Rubber Bowl.

Of course, the results of the Tiger explosion of power wasn’t pretty for Garfield fans, as their Rams lost this Division 1, Region 3 championship game 43‑7 in front of 13,637 fans.

The win raised Massillon’s record to 10‑2 and placed the Tigers in a state semifinal game next weekend. The site, date and opponent will be determined later today. Garfield, meanwhile, ended its season at 9‑2.

“I get the strong feeling these kids want to go all the way,” said Massillon head coach Lee Owens.

“They’re playing with extreme confidence right now. They’re getting better and better each week, which is what you need to do.”

Massillon’s confidence began to soar last week against Walsh Jesuit when the Tigers scored 36 unanswered points to erase a 24‑6 halftime deficit. Massillon’s confidence never wavered Saturday, not even when Rams’ quarterback Marcus Sims capped a 46‑yard seven‑play drive with a four‑yard TD run to put Garfield ahead by a touchdown with 6:58 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers calmly reeled off 29 points before the half was over. Ryan Sparkman scored on a one-yard run, and quarterback Lee Hurst threw TD passes of four yards to tight end Doug Harig and 50 yards to Rameir Martin, and even ran for an 11‑yard score.

Martin’s TD reception came one play after an interception when Hurst layed a beautifully thrown pass on Martin’s fingertips. Gary Miller added the PAT to make it 29‑7 with 2:31 to go in the half.

“The pass to Martin is probably what sealed it,” Owens said “That play just shows how” balanced our offense is.”

“Before that, we were able to score with our running back, our quarterback and our tight end.” Owens added. “You can’t concentrate on any one weapon when you play us.”

Harig will attest to that. After catching just 13 passes all season, he caught three for 68 yards Saturday, including a 20‑yard TD pass in the third that extended Massillon’s lead to 36‑7 and convinced Garfield head coach Bill McGee that, “This maybe wasn’t going to be our night,”

“We can do anything we want to do,” Harig said “You can’t shut down just one guy and expect to beat us.”

Massillon tacked on another TD when Lamonte Dixon scored from three yards out with 29 seconds left in the third.

The Tiger defense didn’t let up in the second half. It added another four takeaways, giving itself six for the game.

“This is the best we’ve played defensively as a team all year,” said Massillon defensive coordinator Dan Boarman. “You have to say everyone played well. The main thing is we needed to control the line of scrimmage, and that’s exactly what we did.”

Massillon’s defense also threw gasoline on Massillon’s red‑hot offense in the first half. Safety Keith Rabbitt set up Massillon’s third score with an interception at the Garfield 37, and linebacker Kevin McCue set up the fourth score by returning an interception 12 yards to the 50.

Rabbitt also set up the first score of the second half when he recovered a fumble at the Garfield 48. Other players to recover fumbles in the second half were Eric Wright, Chad Tharp and David Whitfield.

Massillon out gained Garfield in total offense, 327 yards to 181. Massillon led in rushing, 142‑79, with Sparkman picking up 70 yards on 10 carries.

Hurst again was efficient at throwing the football. He completed 10‑of‑ 14 passes to five different receivers for 175 yards and no interceptions.

Martin led all receivers with four catches for 77 yards. He also caught a two‑point conversion on pass.

Owens tried to sum up just how bad his team beat Garfield, but somehow he didn’t come as close as a sign that was held Up by one of the younger Massillon fans.

The sign read, “Massillon kicks …” Well, uh, you know the rest.

Akron Garfield 7 0 0 0 7
Massillon 6 23 14 0 43

Garf ‑ Sims 3 run (Williamson kick)
Mass ‑ Sparkman 1 run (kick failed) I ‑
Mass ‑ Harig 5 pass from Hurst (Martin pass from Hurst)
Mass ‑ Hurst 11 run (Miller kick)
Mass ‑ Martin 50 pass from Hurst ( Hurst run)
Mass ‑ Harig 20 pass from Hurst (Miller kick)
Mass ‑ Dixon 3 run (Miller kick)

Rameir Martin