Tag: Canton McKinley

History

2017: Massillon 16, Canton McKinley 15

Massillon rallies to take out archrival McKinley
Oct 28, 2017 5:54 PM

 

CANTON The last time Massillon played archrival McKinley, in the last game at Fawcett Stadium, it saw its heart ripped out by a late Bulldog score. The first time the Tigers played in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, their archrivals’ sparkling new home, they weren’t about to allow lightning to strike twice.

Massillon emerged from the 128th meeting against McKinley with a 16-15 victory which wasn’t completely secured until Sam Snyder’s 45-yard field goal with 90 seconds remaining was pushed wide left.

Tre’Von Morgan

“It was swinging back and forth, back and forth,” said Massillon running back Jamir Thomas, who rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries. “It was a hard-fought game, really. They’re a really good team; they’re top-10 in the state in Division I. Us coming in and beating them, that’s a good thing.”

The Tigers, who will take a 7-3 record into Friday’s Division II Region 7 quarterfinal against Boardman at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, took the lead for good on Tre’Von Morgan’s 8-yard touchdown catch – and Klay Moll’s point-after kick – with 6:02 remaining. For both Morgan and Moll, there was a bit of redemption.

Morgan dropped a sure touchdown catch on Massillon’s first possession of the second half, which would have extended its 9-7 halftime lead. Moll, meanwhile, suffered his first missed PAT kick of his career after the Thomas’ 2-yard run in the second quarter put the Tigers in front.

Morgan, though, atoned on the go-ahead drive with a 52-yard catch-and-run to the McKinley 25, then with the touchdown which tied the game at 15-15. Moll, then, gave Massillon the lead with the point-after kick.

“It’s was very big,” said Morgan, who had a team-high 77 yards on four catches. “I dropped one in the end zone, and they just kept telling me to keep playing. So I kept playing.”

One part of Massillon’s team which kept playing the entire game was its defense, which never allowed McKinley’s high-octane offense to get into a consistent groove. The Bulldogs did gain 267 total yards to the Tigers’ 248, but the explosive plays weren’t there.

The biggest play for McKinley was a 40-yard run by Javon Lewis to the Massillon 31 on the final Bulldogs drive of the game. However, that drive netted just three yards before Snyder’s field-goal try.

“A lot of it was heart,” Massillon linebacker Logan Anania said. “It was just who wanted it more. I feel like we did.”

McKinley’s two scoring drives accounted for 127 of the 267 yards. The first, a 55-yard march, put the Bulldogs in front 7-0 with 8:13 left in the first quarter on Keyshawn Watson’s 13-yard touchdown run.

The second, a 72-yard drive, ended on a Josh Chandler 1-yard run with 9:15 remaining. Sio Saipaia ran in the two-point conversion on a counter play for a 15-9 McKinley lead.

Chandler, playing just his second game after missing four with an injury, ran for a team-high 107 yards on 18 carries for McKinley. Watson, the former Tiger playing in his second game for the Bulldogs, was limited to just 32 yards, while also having a kickoff return for a touchdown negated by a hold and then muffing a punt.

McKinley rushed for 242 yards as a team on 38 attempts.

“We felt we were able to run the ball on them,” said McKinley coach Dan Reardon, whose team enters the playoffs at 8-2. “And we really did a good job. I don’t know what the yardage was, but we felt like our ability to run the ball never wavered. (But) we put ourselves in some long yardage situations with some penalties.”

If there was an Achilles’ heel for McKinley all day, beyond the Tiger defense, it was those penalties. The Bulldogs were flagged 13 times for 110 yards, including nine for 65 in the first half alone.

“Cost us the game,” Reardon said of the flags.

One negated Watson’s kickoff return for a score immediately after Massillon went ahead 9-7. The Bulldogs also help set up the Tigers’ first touchdown when it was flagged for holding on the kickoff, then hit for a hold and a false start to force them to put from their own 10.

A 30-yard punt by McKinley put Massillon on the Bulldog 40. Seven plays later, the Tigers scored on Thomas’ 2-yard run for their first lead of the day.

It wouldn’t last the remainder of the game. However, Massillon would still have the last lead of the game.

GAME STATS


Redemption story: Morgan’s TD catch keys Massillon win against McKinley
Oct 28, 2017 6:30 PM

CANTON Redemption is available in high school football.

Seizing it is another matter entirely.

Massillon’s Tre’Von Morgan snatched his Saturday afternoon. McKinley’s Sam Snyder came painfully close to grabbing his own.

Tre’Von Morgan

Morgan’s 8-yard touchdown reception and Klay Moll’s ensuing extra point midway through the fourth quarter rallied Massillon to a 16-15 win against McKinley at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in the 128th edition of this rivalry.

A crowd of approximately 14,000 braved wet, cold conditions to christen Benson Stadium in a matchup that dates back to 1894.

Saturday wasn’t a masterpiece, but as is usually the case it was close at the end, with the game being decided by two points or less for a third straight year.

Junior Jamir Thomas, who two years ago had McKinley’s Dominque Robinson flip over him for the winning score and last year helped bleed out the clock in a Massillon win, called the feeling “incredible” after the Tigers beat the Bulldogs for the sixth time in the last seven meetings and improved to 70-53-5 in the series.

No one would have been surprised if he had described the feeling as “dead tired,” considering he carried the ball a season-high 42 times for 124 yards and a touchdown Saturday.

“I feel good. I feel real good,” said Thomas, a Canton native, who waved good-bye at the McKinley stands after the game. “We lift and prepare for this and we come out here and wear teams down. That’s our motto and that’s just what we do.”

Morgan, a 6-foot-6 junior, dropped what would have been a 29-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter. That would have put the Tigers up two scores. They eventually turned the ball over on downs, and then found themselves trailing early in the fourth quarter when McKinley’s Josh Chandler scored on a 1-yard touchdown run.

“They just told me to keep playing,” Morgan said about his teammates, “so I kept playing.”

Good thing.

With Massillon down 15-9, it was Morgan’s 47-yard catch and run that flipped the field. The Tigers eventually faced a fourth-and-3 from the McKinley 8. After a timeout, sophomore quarterback Aidan Longwell found Morgan wide open on a fade route for the score with 6:02 left.

Moll, who missed a point-after try earlier in the game for the first time in his career, knocked this one through to give the Tigers the 16-15 lead.

“Roll the dice. Big game,” Massillon head coach Nate Moore said about his decision. “We thought about playing for field goal-field goal, but how often do you get that close with a chance like that? We took a chance and the kids executed.”

Morgan finished with four catches for 77 yards, while Austin Kutscher added six catches for 37 yards. Longwell, who had been knocked out of the game briefly in the first half with a leg injury, returned to complete 11 of 17 passes for 121 yards, the one TD and no interceptions.

“That shows a lot of guts,” Moore said about Longwell.

McKinley got two shots after Morgan’s touchdown.

The first one was short-circuited by a penalty — a theme throughout the day for the Bulldogs.

The second one had life when Javon Lewis broke loose on a 40-yard run.

McKinley eventually faced a fourth-and-7 from Massillon’s 28 with 1:30 left. After a timeout, Bulldogs head coach Dan Reardon elected to have Snyder, his senior kicker, try a 45-yard field goal for the lead.

It was Snyder who missed from 37 yards last year in the fourth quarter against Massillon with his team down 21-19.

“I felt good about Sam kicking it,” Reardon said about Saturday. “A bunch of kids said, ‘Yeah, give him a chance. He’ll make this kick.’ And we went with it. He felt good about it.”

But Snyder’s attempt sailed just to the left of the uprights. Massillon ran out the clock from there.

Massillon dominated the time of possession 31:00 to 17:00 thanks in part to its running game with Thomas and clutch play on third down (9 of 17), but also because the Bulldogs couldn’t get out of their own way.

McKinley was penalized 13 times (which matched a season high) for 101 yards. A holding penalty in the first half negated Keyshawn Watson’s 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and the flags plagued the Bulldogs throughout.

“Cost us the game,” Reardon said, the disappointment seeping out of him.

McKinley (8-2), which has lost two straight after starting 8-0, did not look like the No. 8-ranked team in the state in Division I. Junior QB Alijah Curtis completed only three passes for 24 yards and was intercepted once. Watson muffed a punt.

Chandler, in his second game back after missing four straight because of a knee injury, carried 18 times for 107 yards. Watson, the former Massillon player, had a 13-yard touchdown run on the game’s opening drive. McKinley finished with 242 yards on the ground.

Both McKinley and Massillon had clinched playoff spots entering Saturday. The Tigers (7-3) will host Boardman next week in the first round of the Division II, Region 7 playoffs, according to JoeEitel.com’s projections. Official pairings will be announced Sunday by the OHSAA.

McKinley could have earned a home game in Week 11 by beating Massillon. Now the Bulldogs will go on the road to either Cleveland St. Ignatius or Lakewood St. Edward next week.

SCALZO: In gritty game, Tigers ride workhorse to victory

Joe Scalzo – Canton Repository
CANTON The upset was complete, the victory bell was ringing, the party was starting, but before he joined his teammates, the Tiger at the end of the postgame handshake line wanted to leave a parting message for his arch-rivals.

So Massillon junior Jamir Thomas jogged over to the nearly-empty home stands at Tom Benson Hall of Fame stadium, formed a “W” with his hands and waved goodbye.

Jamir Thomas

Two years after McKinley quarterback Dominique Robinson dove over Thomas’ body and into the end zone in the final game at the former Fawcett Stadium, Thomas was leaving Canton’s iconic field in a much better mood.

“This definitely feels better,” he said moments after singing the alma mater with his teammates in front of Massillon’s student section following the 16-15 victory. “Two years ago, him (Robinson) diving in the end zone really killed everything, especially coming in the last moments of the game.

“This year, we were able to run the ball, control the line of scrimmage and control the game clock. We came out here to win, and that’s what we did.”

In a game that had all the beauty of a construction site, the 6-foot-1, 212-pound Thomas repeatedly pounded away at the inside of the McKinley defense, chipping paint off his helmet and precious seconds off the clock, 3.0 yards at a time.

He carried the ball 42 times for 124 yards — exactly half of the Tigers’ total offensive output — as Massillon controlled the ball for 31 of the game’s 48 minutes.

It was the type of game only Jim Tressel (or Mike Fratello) would love, but it was the type of game Massillon needed to play.

“We had a plan going in and we were able to see that through in a lot of ways,” said Tigers coach Nate Moore, who improved to 2-1 in the rivalry against McKinley coach Dan Reardon. “We felt it was important to help our defense out.”

At times, the Pups seemed to feel the same way. They were flagged 13 times for 101 yards. They muffed a punt. They made attempting a forward pass seem as risky as buying junk bonds.

It was all the more mystifying considering this is a team that has more seniors than the Hartville Kitchen at lunchtime.

Massillon, meanwhile, was supposed to be a year away from contention after graduating four FBS recruits, a two-year starter at quarterback and its most dynamic wide receiver. But the Tigers’ young team kept getting better, while the Bulldogs’ experienced team — one that looked like state championship contenders just a few weeks ago — seems to have stalled.

“That team is good and we were definitely the underdogs,” Thomas said. “But in this game, it really doesn’t matter. You can be 0-9. Anybody can win.”

McKinley still finishes the regular season with an 8-2 record. It still has a share of the Federal League title. It still has its third straight playoff berth. But all that seems empty as the Pups stumble into the postseason for the second straight year.

Instead of hosting a first-round playoff game, the Bulldogs will likely travel north to play one of Cleveland’s two Catholic powerhouses. If they win, the other one likely awaits.

Anyone like those odds?

Massillon, meanwhile, benefits from playing in Division II, Region 7, the same region Perry rolled through over the past two years en route to back-to-back state championship game appearances. With the Panthers stuck in Division I and no frightening foe looming in the first three rounds, does anyone think the Tigers can’t do the same?

But all that can wait. The playoffs should never overshadow high school football’s biggest rivalry. Saturday’s game may not have been an instant classic — more like a distant throwback — but it was everything the city’s fans come to expect.

Meaningful. Emotional. Consequential.

Oh, and physical. Boy, was it physical.

“A lot of it was heart,” Tigers linebacker Logan Anania said. “It was just who wanted it more.

“We feel like we did.”

History

2016: Massillon 21, Canton McKinley 19

Tigers battle adversity, bring back victory bell

Chris Easterling
Independent sports editor

MASSILLON Nothing seemed too easy for Massillon on Saturday afternoon.

The yards – and the points – didn’t quite come as effortlessly as they had in other games. McKinley, conversely, moved the ball as well as any Tiger opponent had moved it on them in weeks. Nothing, though, is supposed to be easy about a game between archrivals Massillon and McKinley. That’s why the wins are celebrated as heartily as they are, as was the case after the Tigers’ 21-19 win over the Bulldogs in front of roughly 14,000 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“That’s a Massillon-McKinley game,” Tiger defensive lineman Malcolm Robinson said. “The thing that won this game for us was that we pulled for each other until the last minute and the last seconds of the last quarter. That’s what this Massillon Tiger football team does. When you do that, you win football games.”

Massillon will now take an 8-2 record into the Division II playoffs, which will start next Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The Tigers, who will be the No. 2 seed, will face No. 7 seed Dublin Scioto, although the official pairings won’t be set until Sunday.

The record will show the winning points for Massillon came on a 10-yard run by Keyshawn Watson – who was making his season debut – with 10:05 remaining. That gave the Tigers a 21-13 advantage. It will also show McKinley had multiple chances to make things even more difficult on Massillon than it already was. The Bulldogs pulled within 21-19 on a 4-yard Dominique Robinson run less than a minute after Watson’s run.

Having already had a point-after kick blocked, McKinley went for the 2-point conversion to try and tie the game. That attempt was fumbled, keeping the Tigers in front by two.

“We were chasing that point from early in the game,” McKinley coach Dan Reardon said after his team fell to 6-4 heading into the Division I Region 1 playoffs. “We had to go for two, and we didn’t get it. When you get behind by a PAT or whatever, you’re always chasing it. That was the difference.”

Likewise, McKinley’s subsequent – and final – drive offered a chance to not just tie, but take the lead. However, a 37-yard field goal try with 4:32 left was pushed right, keeping Massillon ahead.

“It’s all about the brotherhood,” Tiger senior linebacker Jacob Risher said. “We all do it for the guy next to us. We all wanted it as bad as the other, and we pulled through.”

McKinley, despite an afternoon in which it gained 339 offensive yards, never saw a chance to change the score after that. That’s because Massillon milked the rest of the clock by running it nine straight times to end the game. That running game was boosted by the return of Watson, who had missed the first nine games due to
being academically ineligible. The junior, who rushed for 1,000 yards a year ago, gained 167 yards on 31 attempts and scored the Tigers’ final touchdown.
Watson’s effort helped Massillon run for 261 yards on 54 carries as a team. It was Watson’s 35-yard run – with an additional 15 tacked on for a McKinley personal foul – which moved Massillon from secondand-7 at its own 5 to first-and-10 at the Bulldog 45.

That drive, which included a 9-yard Jamir Thomas run on fourth-and-1, culminated in Watson’s scoring run.

“We knew Keyshawn was a good football player,” said Tiger quarterback Seth Blankenship, whose only two completions on the day were a pair of touchdown passes to Austin Jasinski. “We knew he had to change to get back out there. Once he fixed that up, it’s was just Keyshawn being Keyshawn. He didn’t lose any form, because we made him work himself back into it.”

McKinley, which had come into the game having scored just one offensive touchdown in its previous two games, scored one in each of the first two quarters to take a 13-7 halftime lead. The Bulldogs picked up a 79-yard Robinson-to-Prayer Wise touchdown in the first quarter to pull within 7-6, then a 12-yard Robinson run with 9:33 left in the half to take the lead.

The Bulldogs threw virtually everything at Massillon, from Reggie Corner getting his first four rushing attempts of the season – for 62 yards – to a formation where backup quarterback Alijah Curtis lined up by himself behind center, with everyone else lined up in a swinging-gate-like look.

That’s how seven of McKinley’s 11 possessions were able to reach Massillon territory. However, an interception and a fumble lost ended two drives, while the Bulldogs also failed to convert on fourth and-1 at the Tiger 22.

“It was nuts,” Risher said. “All the formations they ran, it was not on film. We watch a ton and a ton and a ton of film. We had to read our keys, learn on the go and we got the job done.”

That’s why, despite all the adversity, the Tigers were ringing the Victory Bell in joy when the game came to an end.


GAME STATS

History

2015: Massillon 28, Canton McKinley 30

NOT QUITE THERE
Bulldog QB flips into endzone with 20 seconds left, winning game and ending Tigers’ season

Chris Easterling
Independent Sports Editor

CANTON Massillon struck first. McKinley struck last.

That final blow by the Bulldogs also was enough to end the Tigers’ season. Dominique Robinson helicoptered his way into the end zone on a 1-yard run with 20 seconds left, carrying McKinley to a 30-28 win over Massillon in the 126th meeting between the two rivals in front of about 10,000 Saturday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

Massillon, which ended the game at the Bulldog 35 after a reception, would have qualified for the Division II playoffs with a win. Instead, the Tigers head home with their first losing season (4-6) since 2004.

“Our kids fought hard,” Massillon first-year coach Nate Moore said. “Obviously, they’re really disappointed right now. … It’s tough to say goodbye, but you don’t get second chances.”

Robinson may have begged to differ. The McKinley quarterback – who played at Timken last season prior to the merger – had put his team in a 28-24 hole when, while being grabbed by the rushing Tiger defensive line, he threw an ill-advised pass right into the hands of Massillon
defensive end Dakota Dunwiddie.

Dunwiddie picked the ball off at about the Bulldog 15 and returned it for a Tiger touchdown with 3:50 remaining. Three-and-a-half minutes later, Robinson was redeeming himself with the go-ahead touchdown, capping an 11-play, 69-yard McKinley scoring drive.

“I just had to regroup,” said Robinson, who rushed for 50 yards and two touchdowns in his first appearance in the rivalry following the merger. “I had to get back. … When I play, I play for my seniors, and I was leaving them out. I had to get them a win.”

Robinson also threw for 272 yards on the day, while McKinley finished with 292 total passing and 418 total offensive yards. On the go-ahead drive, he hit passes of 18 yards on fourth-and-6 to Shaquille Perry and 13 yards on third-and-7 to Tre’On Vance.

The junior also had a pair of third-quarter scoring passes: 23-yards to Zay’Breyon Perry for a 18-14 lead and 5 yards to Vance – who played at Massillon last season – for a 24-21 edge.

The dramatic finish closed out a game that started with almost as big a flourish. Keyshawn Watson took the opening kickoff for Massillon and, after faking a handoff, raced 95 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Tiger lead 15 seconds into the game.

Robinson led McKinley on an answering drive, capping a 10-play, 54-yard drive with a 5-yard run with 7:44 left in the first quarter. He also perfectly executed the swinging-gate play on the two-point conversion, giving the Bulldogs an 8-7 lead.

McKinley led 11-7 after a Sam Snyder field goal, but another big return for Massillon – this time a 40-yard punt return by Lee Hurst II to the Bulldog 31 – set it up to take the lead at the half. Watson capped that drive with a 1-yard run with 8:39 remaining in the half, giving the
Tigers a 14-11 lead.

Watson, who topped the 1,000-yard plateau for the season, finished the day with 113 rushing yards. He accounted for Massillon’s only offensive touchdown of the game with that run, while his rushing yardage accounted for 60 percent of its total yardage.

Massillon only was able to muster 187 yards on 53 plays on the day. It also was stopped late in the first half on a fourth-down play from the Bulldog 11.
“We weren’t able to get into an offensive rhythm,” Moore said. “We missed some throws; we had some missed assignments up front with protection. I think we had some dropped balls. Just can’t do those things.”

What helped the Tigers was their return game. They returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the game – Deionne Harper’s 89-yard return with 10:38 remaining in the third gave Massillon a 21-18 lead.

Massillon averaged 55 yards on five kickoff returns. Hurst’s big return was the lone punt return.

“Here’s the thing, I can’t tell you how much time we spent on special teams this week,” said first-year McKinley coach Dan Reardon, whose team heads into the Division I playoffs at 7-3.

“We normally spend a lot of time on special teams. We spent extra time on it this week.”

GAME STATS

History

2014: Massillon 31, Canton McKinley 21

NICE RING TO IT
Victoery Bell chimes For Tigers after 125th meeting with archrival

By Chris Easterling
Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON It was familiar territory for Massillon at halftime of the 125th game against McKinley on Saturday afternoon at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The Tigers were sitting with a lead – a 10-point one, in this case – with a chance to secure the win.

Twice before, though, that halftime lead dissolved into losses. The memory of those games was a big reason why Massillon’s seniors were doing something they had done before at the end of the game as well: ringing the Victory Bell after beating the Bulldogs.

“We had yet to play a strong four quarters of football,” senior running back J.D. Crabtree said after Massillon’s 31-21 win over McKinley. “We really stressed that this week. We stressed that in the locker room at halftime that we can’t come out flat. We’ve been in this situation before; we’ve been up. We have to come out and do our jobs. We came out fired up, and we did what we were supposed to.”

What Massillon did was post its fourth consecutive win in the series against the Bulldogs, including its third straight regular-season win. The win improved the Tigers to 7-3 and sent them packing for Perrysburg to meet the 10-0 Yellow Jackets in a Division II Region 4 quarterfinal Friday night.

While the playoff berth was secured long before kickoff – only the opponent, – Perrysburg or Nordonia was up in the air – Massillon came out looking like a team trying to pull out all the stops on its rivals. The Tigers recovered an onside kick to start the game, although that ended up in a missed 51-yard field goal.

That proved to be the only time Massillon would get inside the McKinley 40 and not put points on the board. The Tigers’ second possession ended with Crabtree scoring the first of his four touchdowns on the day, a 5-yard run with 6:56 left in the first quarter.

McKinley pulled even with Massillon only once after that point. The Bulldogs tied the game at 7-7 on a 3-yard Eric Glover-Williams run with 9:06 left in the half.

Massillon scored on two of its final three possessions of the half, though, to take a 17-7 halftime lead. Crabtree’s 1-yard plunge and Andrew David’s 41-yard field goal with 1 second left in the half provided the Tiger margin.

“We just needed to play our game,” senior running back/linebacker Danny Robinson, whose fourth-down run with less than 40 seconds left picked up the game-clinching first down. “We came in at halftime and everybody knew we were the better team in that locker room. We just needed come out and execute and stop them.”

Massillon grabbed a 24-7 lead on Crabtree’s third score, a 16-yard run just 2:15 into the second half. It was part of the senior’s 34-carry, 131-yard performance.

“The Massillon people would say that’s the J.D. Crabtree they know,” Tigers coach Jason Hall said.

McKinley, though, had a little life left in it. A Lee Hurst-to-Bryce Short touchdown pass in the third quarter, followed by a Hurst quarterback plunge pulled the Bulldogs within 24-21 – after a Glover-Williams-to-Short two-point conversion – with 10:43 remaining.

Both were set up by special-teams plays. A 22-yard fake-punt run by Devion Jenkins helped keep the former scoring drive alive, while the latter was set up by a muffed punt by Massillon at its own 30.

Massillon, though, wouldn’t let another double-digit lead slip by it as it did against Austintown Fitch in Week 6. With a little help from a pair of McKinley penalties, the Tigers marched down the field on their next possession to punch in the insurance score on Crabtree’s fourth score of the day with 9:35 remaining.

“I think we’ve learned from (Fitch) when we had that lead and we lost it,” Tiger senior tackle Devin Williams said. “There’s no point in the game where you should be flustered. … No matter what the score is, whether we’re up, down, it’s always the same.”

Which is why Massillon’s seniors got the oh-so-familiar experience of ringing the Victory Bell again Saturday afternoon.

GAME STATS

History

2013: Massillon 34, Canton McKinley 7

Blocked kick changes momentum
Massillon’s Dailey returns it for huge TD vs. McKinley

BY CHRIS EASTERLING
Independent sports editor

CANTON McKinley was poised to get the momentum during Saturday’s 124th meeting against Massillon at Fawcett Stadium.

The Bulldogs, despite a one-touchdown deficit, were lining up for a half-ending field goal. They also were in line to get the opening kickoff of the second half as well, which could have completely altered the look of the game.

In one of the most bizarre plays in the series’ history, Massillon took the momentum back from McKinley when Alex Dailey returned a blocked field goal 45 yards for a touchdown. And the Tigers would never let it go in rolling to a 34-7 win.

“That’s something we work on, our special teams,” Massillon head coach Jason Hall said. “Anybody who comes to our practices, the first 30 minutes of the day is just special teams. From blocking to scooping and all that, it’s all built. Not quite rolling around, ball bouncing around like that, but we work it.”

The Tigers were looking at, at best, a 7-0 halftime lead before the field-goal try on a fourth-and 2 from their 20. Instead, Bailey’s return gave Massillon a 14-0 advantage, a multiscore margin it maintained the rest of the way.

“It’s a great feeling, but I’ve got to owe it all to Marcus Whitfield for making the block and Malik Dudley for keeping the play alive,” Dailey said. “He could’ve picked it up, and he probably would’ve been tackled. Instead, he laid a block for another teammate to get it, and their guys just tried to pick it up. In the end, I just ended up with it.”

The sequence all started with the block. With the Bulldogs lining up for the 37-yard field goal try, Whitfield swooped in and got the kick almost before it got airborne.

“It was just a presnap thing,” Whitfield said. “This whole game, I was just wanting to go (all out). That was just one of those things, just a big effort and heart play.”

Things began to get crazy as the ball rolled toward midfield. For a moment, it seemed as if both teams froze, thinking it was a dead ball as would be the case on a blocked point-after touchdown try.

Then, both teams began the wild chase to get the loose pigskin. Massillon’s players were trying to pick the ball up to score. McKinley’s players, instead of just falling on it to lull the half, also seemed to be trying to make a play on the ball.

Dudley and Nathaniel Devers – like Dailey and Whitfield, Tiger captains – both picked up key blocks to keep Bulldog players from getting the ball. Dailey finally got his hands on it, avoided touching his knee to the ground before gaining total balance and racing to the end zone.

“It just uplifted everybody’s spirits,” Devers said. “It was just a (heck) of a play.”

The sequence had a negative impact on the Bulldogs. They would get no points there, then went three-and-out coming out of halftime.

“From an emotional standpoint, it was bigger than the points,” McKinley head coach Todd Filtz said. “That was a devastating blow that we had to recover from.”

And one McKinley never could recover from.

GAME STATS

History

2012: Massillon 28, Canton McKinley 19

KENT, Ohio — It is one of the best football rivalries in the country, but Massillon Washington definitely had Canton McKinley’s number in 2012. The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs, Saturday, for the second time in three weeks, 28-19, in the Division 1, Region 2 semifinals.

Ryne Moore carried the load for Massillon (11-1), scoring twice on short runs, as the Tigers jumped out to a 28-7 lead, before McKinley’s comeback effort fell short.

Massillon’s senior quarterback Kyle Kempt also threw two touchdown passes as the Tigers won their tenth straight game, dating back to a week two loss to Canton Glenoak.

Top-seeded Massillon advances to next Saturday’s Region 2 Final against 2nd-seeded and unbeaten Toledo Whitmer (12-0), which held on to eliminate Hudson (9-3) 39-28. The winner will advance to the State Semifinals.

GAME STATS

History

2012: Massillon 37, Canton McKinley 29

THE BELL IS BACK
Tigers jumps to big early lead, hold off late Bulldog rally

Chris Easterling
The Independent

MASSILLON The sound of the Victory Bell hadn’t chimed inside the Massillon locker room in a while. Three Octobers had come and gone without the Tigers ringing the bell.

Yet, shortly after 5 on Saturday afternoon, there was the distinctive “clang,” echoing through a jubilant Tiger locker room at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The Victory Bell was back in Tigertown, but not without a fight. Massillon jumped out big early, then hung on late to outlast McKinley’s comeback attempt to prevail 37-29 in front of 17,582 fans.

“The bell’s been over in Canton for three years now,” Tiger senior Brody Tonn said.

“Everybody’s saying, ‘You guys ever going to get the bell back? You guys going to get the bell back for your senior year?’ Our slogan all year has been ‘15 weeks,’ but all we focused on this whole week was getting the bell back and beating McKinley for our seniors.”

And Tonn was front and center in helping Massillon, which heads into Saturday’s Division I regional quarterfinal against Nordonia (7-3) at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium with a 9-1 record, end a two-game losing streak overall – and three-game regular-season skid – to the rival Bulldogs.

Tonn threw a 7-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead. He also caught a 35-yard scoring strike to put Massillon ahead 14-0.

And, for good measure, he turned away a McKinley scoring threat late with an interception in the end zone with 3:15 remaining.

Early on, such late heroics would have seemed unnecessary for Massillon. After all, thanks to three first-half Bulldog turnovers, the Tigers were in possession of a 24-0 lead with 7:42 remaining in the first half.

“When they make a mistake, it just gets us excited,” said Tiger junior Marcus Whitfield, whose 37-yard touchdown catch gave Massillon a 24-0 lead. “We get a chance to punch it down the field and score.”

Even after McKinley pulled to within 24-7 at halftime, many in attendance would have never expected things to come down to a last-ditch heave by the Bulldogs on the final play of the game.

The players wearing the special graphite-gray uniforms – on a day that matched those duds = weren’t surprised.

“Every time we go into the locker room at halftime, we always say to the whole team, ‘It’s 0-0,’” sophomore defensive end J.D. Crabtree said. “You can never give up, especially on an opponent like that. … They’re all extremely fast. We were ready.”

Massillon twice opened up 20-point third-quarter leads – at 27-7 and 34-14. The latter came on the third of Kyle Kempt’s three touchdown passes on the day, this one a 66-yarder to Gareon Conley.

“They were trying two-on-one (Conley) all day, and we got our chance,” said Kempt, who was 16-of-32 for 285 yards with the three scores and one interception. “We capitalized on it.”

McKinley, which will take a 7-2 record into Saturday’s regional quarterfinal at Hoover, used the arm of sophomore quarterback Eric Glover-Williams to mount its comeback. Glover-Williams, who rushed for 141 yards and a score on 27 carries, threw second-half touchdown passes to Jeff Richardson and Chris Prowell-White, the latter pulling the Bulldogs to 37-29 – after a two-point conversion – with 5:04 left.

Glover-Williams completed 15-of-30 passes for 196 yards.

Massillon brings back Victory Bell, tops McKinley

Chris Easterling
The Independent

MASSILLON Halfway through Saturday’s 122nd showdown against archrival McKinley, the Massillon Tigers looked like they were on their way to a rout. The only problem was, nobody told the Bulldogs that fact.

Still, despite a valiant comeback effort by McKinley, Massillon finally got its hands on the Victory Bell for the first time since 2008 with a 37-28 win in front of 17,582 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“It’s almost unreal,” said Tiger senior Brody Tonn, who threw a touchdown pass, caught a touchdown pass and came up with a game-saving interception late in the game. “I haven’t beat McKinley since my freshman year. … I’m absolutely just speechless right now. I’m so proud of everybody on this team.”

Massillon improves to 9-1, its best regular-season record since 2005. It is expected to play host to Nordonia (7-3) next Saturday in a Division I regional quarterfinal, although the official pairings will be announced Sunday by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

McKinley falls to 7-2. The Bulldogs are expected to play at Hoover (8-2) in a regional quarterfinal next Saturday, with the winner of that game to play the Massillon-Nordonia winner in the second round.

The win snapped a two-game win streak overall for McKinley in the series. In regular-season meetings, the Bulldogs had won the last three coming into Saturday.

“I’m happy for these seniors,” said Tiger coach Jason Hall, who now is 3-3 against McKinley.

“It was interesting. We had some people talking before the game, and they asked how many of the seniors had touched the bell. None of them could raise their hand. More of a joy for them.”

The Tigers at one point led 24-0 midway through the second quarter. They turned three McKinley turnovers into 17 points, with Kyle Kempt hitting Tonn and Marcus Whitfield for scoring passes of 35 and 37 yards.

Kempt was 16-of-32 for 292 yards. He finished with three touchdown passes, including a 66-yarder to Gareon Conley to give Massillon a 34-14 lead with 3:39 left in the third.

Andrew David also had a 25-yard field goal in that stretch as well. “When they make a mistake, it just gets us excited,” said Whitfield, whose touchdown catch made it 24-0 with 7:42 left in the half. “We get a chance to punch it down the field and score.”

The first Tiger touchdown, though, came courtesy of a little trickery. The Tigers found themselves faced with a fourth-and-goal on the McKinley 7 on their second possession of the game.

Massillon lined up for the field-goal try. However, instead of placing the ball down for the kick, Tonn – the holder – rose up and fired a strike to a wide-open Malik Dudley for the touchdown.

The Tigers, who initially lined up for a two-point conversion try before taking a timeout, added the David PAT to make it 7-0 with 4:35 left in the first quarter.

“We out and we actually had the check on,” Tonn said. “I looked over to the sideline and coach said, ‘It looks like they’re bringing a blitz, so run it.’ They actually ended up bringing everybody up the middle. Malik Dudley leaked out through the middle and was just wide open.”

McKinley would crack the scoreboard when Eric Glover-Williams hit Chris Prowell-White for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 3:40 left in the half, cutting it to 24-7. It would be one of two scoring connections between the two, as their second one – a 5-yarder with 5:04 remaining – cut the score to 37-29, after Jeff Richardson’s two-point conversion run.

Glover-Williams, McKinley’s elusive sophomore quarterback, completed 15-of-50 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns. His one interception came with 3:15 remaining, two plays after Richardson had come up with a interception of a Tiger pass.

That interception, though, didn’t end McKinley’s hopes. The Bulldogs got the ball back with 41seconds at their own 36.

A pass interference flag against Massillon moved the ball to midfield on the first play. But McKinley would be flagged for intentional grounding, then throw a harmless incompletion on the game’s final play, setting off a raucous celebration.

GAME STATS

History

2010: Massillon 17, Canton McKinley 40

McKinley keeps bell with 40-17 win over Massillon

By CHRIS EASTERLING
The Independent

MASSILLON, OH – The little things can seem so insignificant when looked at individually. A missed tackle or a dropped pass or a missed assignment or a penalty, all can be looked at as mere bumps in the road for a football team.

On Saturday afternoon, those little things added up quickly for the Massillon Tigers. The sum of those little things was a 40-17 beating at the hands of the archrival McKinley Bulldogs in front of 17,794 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“I thought they executed and we didn’t,” said Tiger coach Jason Hall, whose team will take a 7-3 record into next Saturday’s Division I Region 2 quarterfinal, expected to be at Toledo Whitmer (9-1). “We missed tackles. … We shot ourselves in the foot. You can’t have (five) turnovers, which can be put on a lot of things. You can’t take field position. You can’t have personal fouls. You can’t have all the little things that just build up.”

Those little things began to really cause Massillon problems in the second quarter despite its possession of a 10-7 lead on an Anthony McCarthy 37-yard field goal.

With McKinley (8-2) eyeing a fourth-and-10 situation from the Massillon 28, the Tigers were flagged for pass interference to give the Bulldogs new life. On the next play, Massillon was hit with its second straight penalty – this one a personal foul – to put McKinley at the Tiger 6.

Those two Tiger penalties were among the nine they were flagged for in the game, for 95 yards. McKinley, meanwhile, was flagged 12 times for 143 yards. After the two penalties, Sa’Veon Holloway ran it in from there to give McKinley a 14-10 lead – post point-after try – with three minutes left in the half.

Massillon would drive down to the McKinley 8 on its next possession. However, three straight incompletions – including two drops – and a missed field goal left the Tigers with no points to show for it.

“We missed two consecutive big plays down in the end zone, two opportunities to score,” Hall said. “We miss a field goal. No matter what, you want to put some points on the board in that situation.”

McKinley’s defense harassed the Tigers in five turnovers on the afternoon, but none were bigger than Jermaine Edmondson’s two third-quarter interceptions for the Bulldogs. Both turnovers would end up as Bulldog touchdowns – one on a Kyle Ohradzansky 24-yard run; the other on a 19-yard Ohradzansky-to-Malcolm Robinson pass – to put McKinley up 27-10 with 4:17 left in the third.

“The coaches always tell me to be there at the right time,” Edmondson said. “I just jumped on the ball and got the interception.”

The turnovers spoiled what started out like a good day for the Tiger offense. After McKinley scored on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead, Massillon marched right back down the field to match the score with one of its own on a 1-yard Jake Reiman run.

Massillon came out running the Wildcat formation with Devin Smith lined up at quarterback for the first three plays, gaining 30 yards on Smith runs to move to the McKinley 34. Smith, who added 135 yards on seven catches, also had a 33-yard reception on the drive to put the Tigers at the Bulldog 4.

“We’ve been practicing that,” Hall said of the Wildcat. “We’ll mix that in every once in a while. We haven’t used that a lot, but I thought it was time to let him run around.”

The Tigers came into the game knowing they had to shuffle some things around up front due to another injury – or in this case, illness – situation. Kyle Belak, who moved from guard to center in Week Seven due to injury, was lost to a case of mononucleosis in the middle of the week.

Craig Kircher then moved from left tackle to center, while Brian Robinson moved from right guard to left tackle. Tim Dimitroff then moved into the right guard spot.

That line was faced with the challenge of dealing with a highly-regarded McKinley defensive front, led by ends Steve Miller and Se’Von Pittman. Early on, they did just that, as Massillon gained 184 yards in the first half.

The problem, though, was that as the second half went on, the Bulldogs began to get more and more pressure on sophomore quarterback Kyle Kempt. By the fourth quarter, they were able to pin their ears back and really get to the Tiger passer, as they finished with three sacks, all in the second half.

“We just kept playing hard and kept rushing the passer,” Miller said. “We just kept rushing the quarterback and having fun.”

McKinley, meanwhile, began to have some fun rushing the football. The Bulldogs finished with 357 rushing yards for the game, with a pair of 100-yard rushers in Elijah Farrakhan (136 yards on 14 carries) and Ohradzansky (101 yards on 15 carries).

Ohradzansky’s second scoring run may have been the dagger, a 36-yard touchdown run on the second play of the fourth quarter to give McKinley a 34-17 lead. That came on the Bulldogs’ subsequent possession after Massillon had found new life – so it thought – on Reiman’s second 1-yard touchdown run of the game to pull within 27-17.

“It was huge,” Ohradzansky said of the scoring run. “It really killed their momentum. It really allowed us to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to take this thing over and we’re going to end it right now.’ And that’s what we ended up doing.”

GAME STATS

McKinley 40

Massillon 17

at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium

McKinley 7 7 13 13 40

Massillon 7 3 7 0 17

SCORING SUMMARY

McK – Montgomery 38 run (Lioi kick)

Mas – Reiman 1 run (McCarthy kick)

Mas – FG McCarthy 37

McK – Holloway 6 run (Lioi kick)

McK – Ohradzansky 24 run (Run failed)

McK – Robinson 19 pass from Ohradzansky (Lioi kick)

Mas – Reiman 1 run (McCarthy kick)

McK – Ohradzansky 36 run (Lioi kick)

McK – Holloway 1 run (Kick failed)

McK Mas

First downs 20 22

Rushes-yards 54-357 31-100

Comp-Att-Int. 5-11-0 15-36-3

Passing yards 70 189

Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-2

Penalties-yards 12-143 9-95

Records 8-2 7-3

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing:

Massillon – Reiman 12-50 2 TDs; Winters 5-32; Smith 5-23; Taylor 4-14.

McKinley – Farrakhan 14-139; Ohradzansky 15-101 2 TDs; Holloway 16-80 2 TDs;

Montgomery 5-64 TD.

Passing:

Massillon – Kempt 15-35-189 2 TDs; Smith 0-1-0 INT.

McKinley – Ohradzansky 5-11-70 TD.

Receiving:

Massillon – Smith 7-135; Winters 3-(minus-7); Olack 2-38; Miller 1-10; Kreiger 1-8; Baez 1-5.

McKinley – Robinson 3-56 TD; Sweat 1-8; Foster 1-6.

History

2009: Massillon 10, Canton McKinley 7

Tigers survive nailbiter with McKinley, win regional title

By CHRIS EASTERLING
The Independent

AKRON, OH — In the span of two minutes of game action Saturday night, the Massillon Tigers took an emotional roller-coaster ride which would have rivaled anything offered at Cedar Point.

But in the end, the ride ended with the Tigers earning their first state semifinal berth in nine years – as well as a ton of revenge – by beating McKinley 10-7 in a Division I regional final in front of an announced crowd of 13,121 at the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium.

Leading by three, the Tiger marched 74 yards in 14 plays, reaching the McKinley 6. But with just under two minutes, Massillon fumbled the ball out of the end zone, giving the Bulldogs life at their own 20.

“It was a thriller,” Tiger quarterback Robert Partridge said.  “We just wanted to get down and run the clock out. It was a mistake, but I knew our defense was going to come out and stop them. We have great players on defense.”

McKinley took advantage driving down to the Massillon 16 less than 45 seconds remaining. But faced with a third-and-4, Massillon’s Tyler Miller came up with his second interception of the game – the third for the Tiger defense on the night – at the Tiger 2 with 33 seconds remaining to send Massillon into next Saturday night’s state semifinal against 12-1 Glenville at InfoCision Stadium.

“We put ourselves in position,” McKinley coach Ron Johnson said. “We went down and made plays and got into the scoring zone. We just didn’t finish.” A big reason why McKinley wasn’t able to finish was the Massillon  defense.

After allowing McKinley to score 35 points and rack up 364 yards in the Bulldogs’ regular-season win over Massillon, the Tigers clamped down on the Bulldogs in the playoff rematch. Massillon surrendered just the one touchdown – an 8-yard pass from Kyle Ohradzansky to Angelo Powell with 8 seconds left in the half –
and 219 total offensive yards to McKinley, which bows out at 8- 5.

The Tigers turned the Bulldogs away three different times in the second half after McKinley had reached deep into Massillon territory. Massillon blocked a 39-yard field goal attempt on the first drive of the third quarter, while Miller picked off a pass in the end zone with 8:37 left, then closed out Massillon’s win just over eight minutes later.

“They did have the ball on our side of the field pretty much the whole second half,” Tiger safety Bo Grunder said. “You know, we just have to stay up and stick with what we’re doing, read our keys and make plays.”

Massillon finished with three takeaways on the night, as Grunder also had an interception midway through the third quarter.

“We’re playing good defense,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “We’re holding good teams to one touchdown or 10 points.”

Massillon may have felt a bit disappointed only having 10 points on its side of the scoreboard going into the locker room. Of course, that was still enough for the Tigers to hold a 10-7 lead.

The Tigers drove onto McKinley’s side of the 50 on their first four first-half possessions, and inside the 20 on three straight possessions. They were able to take a 7-0 lead when Jake Reiman’s 1-yard plunge capped a 10-play, 69-yard drive at the 3:51 mark of the first quarter.

Reiman matched his career high rushing with his second straight 127-yard rushing performance.

After a missed field goal on its first second-quarter possession, Massillon made it 10-0 on Jeremy Geier’s 21-yard field goal with 4:04 remaining in the half.

The Tigers had 182 total yards in the first half. They finished the game with 269 yards.

“We just executed our plays,” Partridge said of the first-half offense. “We did our keys. Offensively, we mixed it up with the run and the pass. We ran the ball really well this time.”

That was especially true on the Tigers’ fourth-quarter drive which appeared on its way to icing the win. After getting the ball at their own 20 on Miller’s first interception, the Tigers ran it 12 times for 74 – including 11 straight runs after backto-back pass plays left Massillon with a fourth-and-1 at its own 29.

That’s when Hall turned riverboat gambler. Eschewing the punt, he went for it deep in his own territory, getting it when Clayton Mattox fought forward for two yards.

“Everybody keeps asking me about that,” Hall said of the fourth down call. “But to me, it was a situation where after the first McKinley-Massillon game in Week Ten, a lot was said about them winning the game physically. That was our focus. … I think in general, I wanted our kids to win the game, so I put it in their hands because I know they can do it.”

And in the end, the Tigers did just that. Only not before going on one more emotional roller-coaster ride.

GAME STATS

Massillon 10
McKinley 7

Massillon 07 03 00 00 10
McKinley 00 07 00 00 07

SCORING SUMMARY
Mas – Reiman 1 run (Geier kick)
Mas – FG Geier 21
McK – Powell 8 pass from Ohradzansky (Forsythe kick)

Mas McK
First downs 16 12
Rushes-yards 41-178 33-150
Comp-Att-Int 12-22-0 10-24-3
Passing yards 91 69
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalty yards 1-5 0-0
Records 10-3 8-5
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Rushing:
Massillon – Reiman 27-127 TD; Nalbach 2-24; Partridge 6-19;
Grunder 2-10.
McKinley – Wilder 18-89; Ohradzansky 7-61; Farrakhan 7-11.
Passing:
Massillon – Partridge 12-22-91.
McKinley – Ohradzansky 10-23-69 TD, 3 INTs; Team 0-1-0.
Receiving:
Massillon – Olack 7-60; Reiman 2-15; Allman 1-8; Smith 1-5.
McKinley – Powell 3-24; Wilder 3-7; Parton 2-21; Ogletree 1-16.

History

2009: Massillon 21, Canton McKinley 35

Bulldogs’ big plays take down Tigers

By CHRIS EASTERLING
The Independent

Massillon came into Saturday afternoon’s game against archrival McKinley as the team boasting the big-play ability. But it was the Bulldogs who seemed to make the biggest plays when needed in the 118th meeting between the two storied programs.

And those big plays – be it on offense, defense or special teams – proved to be the difference as McKinley snapped a four-game losing streak to the Tigers with a 35-21 victory over Massillon in front of 15,555 at Fawcett Stadium Saturday afternoon.

McKinley had three touchdowns of 25 yards or more in the game. None of the Tigers’ three scoring plays were by more than two yards.

“They made a lot of big plays,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “You have to take your hat off to them. They really made some big plays, just too many for us to recover from.”

The Tigers now head into the playoffs with a 7-3 record. Massillon will be hosting a first-round game next Saturday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, likely against Hoover, the same team which beat the Tigers in the first round last year in North Canton.

McKinley, meanwhile, likely earned a trip to the playoffs with its first two-game win streak of the season. The Bulldogs, who are now 6-4, are expected to head to Toledo to meet Whitmer next weekend.

The Bulldogs set the big-play tone on their third play after a missed Tiger field goal, as quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky hit Angelo Powell on a post pattern for a 66-yard touchdown pass with 5:09 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead after the point-after try.

“It really got the nerves off our shoulders,” said Ohradzansky, who was 7-of-10 for 136 yards with a pair of touchdowns to Powell. “They shut us out last year 17-0. So when we come out and score right away, it gave our guys a real sense of confidence, like ‘Hey, we can score on these guys and we can do it really, really fast.”

Ohradzansky would add a 1-yard plunge for a 14-0 Bulldog lead 1:36 into the second quarter. But the Tigers would come back with a 1-yard Jake Reiman plunge to cut it to 14-7 with 3:46 left in the half.

Reiman, who finished with 50 yards on 16 carries and three scores, came into the game after Alex Winters suffered an apparent knee injury on the first play of the Tigers’ second possession. That’s when McKinley would get big play No. 2, and maybe the biggest play of the game.

Taron Montgomery would take the subsequent kickoff at McKinley 2, run straight ahead, cut to the left and then took off. He wouldn’t be touched until he was tackled well after crossing the goal line by a Massillon player, but the score stood and the Bulldog lead was 14 again at 21-7 with 3:33 left until halftime.

“It’s a momentum swing,” said Hall, whose team trailed 21-14 at halftime. “In big games, special teams a lot of times are the factor. That was a big play for them.” Massillon offense reached McKinley’s territory on all nine
possessions of the game. But the Tigers were turned away on five trips inside the Bulldog 35, once on a missed field goal, another on an interception on their second drive, twice on downs and a final time when time expired in the game.

“We were just relentless,” McKinley defensive lineman Jamaal McClain said. “We went through practice all week talking about going hard. … We just wanted to play hard and relentless. That’s all we did. We were just focused and ready to play.”

Both of the turnovers on down came in the third quarter after McKinley moved ahead 28-21 on Ohradzansky’s second touchdown pass of the game. The first came from the Bulldog 24 on fourthand-10, the second from the McKinley 17 on a fourth-and-8.

“Sometimes in these big games, we were down and trying to get momentum back,” Hall said. “You don’t know when you’re going to get back again. We tried one early and we didn’t hit. We just decided we were in that tweener area. A couple times they made plays and a couple times that’s when we got scores.”

Massillon seemed to have a chance with just under six minutes remaining after Reiman’s third scoring run – a 2-yard run – cut it to 28-21. But McKinley answered, as Bryce Wilder ripped off a 25-yard touchdown run with 1:17 left to cap a nine-play, 81-yard drive.

Wilder finished with 119 yards on 17 carries. “Bryce Wilder and Elijah Farrakhan, unbelievable,” McKinley
coach Ron Johnson said. “They took care of the football. They squeezed it up and they made plays.”

And plays – big ones – were the reason why the Bulldogs were the ones celebrating with the Victory Bell on Saturday afternoon.

GAME STATS

McKinley 35
Massillon 21

Massillon 00 14 00 07 21
McKinley 07 14 07 07 35

SCORING SUMMARY
McK – Powell 66 pass from Ohradzansky (Forsythe kick)
McK – Ohradzansky 1 run (Forsythe kick)
Mas – Reiman 1 run (Geier kick)
McK – Montgomery 92 kickoff return (Forsythe kick)
Mas – Reiman 1 run (Geier kick)
McK – Powell 5 pass from Ohradzansky (Forsythe kick)
Mas – Reiman 2 run (Geier kick)
McK – Wilder 25 run (Forsythe kick)
Mas McK
First downs 18 15
Rushes-yards 33-127 42-228
Comp-Att-Int 13-34-1 7-10-0
Passing yards 235 136
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalty yards 4-50 8-64
Records 7-3 6-4
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Rushing:
Massillon – Reiman 16-50 3 TDs; Partridge 8-48; Winters 7-26;
Robey 2-3.
McKinley – Wilder 17-119 TD; Farrakhan 12-77; Ohradzansky 11-26
TD.
Passing:
Massillon – Partridge 13-34-235 TD.
McKinley – Ohradzansky 7-10-136 2 TDs.
Receiving:
Massillon – Olack 5-107; Allman 2-41; Grunder 2-40; Reiman 2-19.
McKinley – Powell 3-83 2 TDs; Parton 2-10; Wilder 1-31; Ogletree
1-12.