Tigers’ run ends in 31-17 loss to Glenville
By CHRIS EASTERLING
AKRON, OH — The one thing the Massillon Tigers didn’t want Saturday night’s Division I state semifinal against Glenville to turn into was a track meet. But the Tarblooders were able to do just that, hitting on three touchdowns of at least 40 yards as they defeated the Tigers 31-17 in front of 10,248 at the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium.
The loss ends Massillon’s season a game shy of the state championship game, as the Tigers bow out at 10-4. Glenville, which is 13-1, will make its first-ever title-game appearance next Saturday night at Fawcett Stadium, facing Hilliard Davidson (12-1).
The catalyst for the Tigers’ loss was their inability to keep Glenville’s explosive athletes in check. The Tarblooders hit on touchdowns of 51, 44, 71 and 26 yards, the last two of those coming in the fourth quarter after Massillon had battled back from an 11-point deficit to tie the game at 17-17.
“It just wasn’t our night tonight,” said Tiger coach Jason Hall, whose team was outgained 466-270 on the night. “They made more big plays than us. They executed. … They’re a good team.”
The Tigers did their best for much of the night to keep Glenville contained. The Tarblooders managed just two first downs over the first 15 minutes of the game, while Massillon chewed up yards and clock time in jumping in front 3-0 on Jeremy Geier’s 30-yard field goal with 9:07 left in the first half.
But on the very first play of its next possession, Glenville showed why they’re generallyregarded as one of the most athletic teams in the state. Running back Toney Foster Jr. took a pitch to the left and raced down the sideline – avoiding a would-be Massillon tacklers at about the Tiger 15 – for a 51- yard touchdown with 8:46 left in the half.
It would grow to 14-3 Glenville on the Tarblooders’ next possession. This time, it was Cardale Jones hitting Aramis Greenwood Jr. on a 45-yard catch-and-run on a post pattern.
Jones tossed a jump pass to Shane Belle II for the two-point conversion for the 11-point margin with 2:26 showing on the clock.
“We just felt we needed to attack the middle,” said Jones, who threw for 199 yards and two scores while rushing for another 150 yards and a score. “We felt they were weak in the middle, and our game plan, everything was based on attacking that middle.
Their linebackers were running out to the flats, leaving the middle wide open.”
But the Tigers didn’t wilt in the face of their largest deficit of the postseason. Instead, they began to claw back.
Massillon pulled within 14-10 on Bo Grunder’s 26-yard touchdown catch with 1:28 left in the half. The one-play scoring drive was set up by a muffed punt which was recovered by the Tigers’ Danny Huhn.
Grunder finished the game with four catches for 63 yards, all of those in the second quarter.
“I just try to do the best I can for my teammates,” Grunder said. “I try to make a play when I can; catch a ball when it’s thrown to me. I do my part.”
Glenville would get a field goal before the half for a 17-10 lead, but the Tigers fought back to a 17-17 deadlock on Jake Reiman’s 2-yard run with 5:53 left in the third. Reiman’s run capped a 13-play, 74-yard scoring drive for Massillon, a drive boosted by a pair of penalties on Glenville, including an offsides flag on a fourth-and-4 situation from the Tarblooder 15.
Nine of the 13 plays on the drive were rushes by Massillon, which ran the ball 37 times for 104 yards. Reiman finished with 79 yards on 26 carries.
“I thought we had some success,” Hall said. “We just weren’t consistent tonight. That probably would be the biggest thing; we weren’t consistent when we got on the other side of the 50.”
Glenville got on the other side of the 50 on its first two fourth-quarter possessions, and that’s what won it the game.
The first time came when Jones hit Shane Wynn on a 71-yard touchdown pass with 8:59 remaining. Jones was scrambling to the left, drawing the Tiger defense toward him, before hitting a wide-open Wynn about 10 yards down-field.
Wynn then raced to the end zone for a 24-17 Tarblooder lead. “I dumped the ball off to Wynn,” Jones said. “It was about a 6- yard pass, and he did the rest.”
Jones did it himself on the next Tarblooder possession, scrambling 26 yards for a score with 5:02 left for a 31-17 lead.
Massillon would twice drive inside the Glenville 25. Both would end on failed fourth-down conversions.
Massillon 00 10 07 00 17
Glenville 00 17 00 14 31
M – FG Geier 30
G – Foster 51 run (Run failed)
G – Greenwood 44 pass from Jones (Belle pass from Jones)
M – Grunder 26 pass from Partridge (Geier kick)
G – FG Bryant 28
M – Reiman 2 run (Geier kick)
G – Wynn 71 pass from Jones (Bryant kick)
G – Jones 26 run (Bryant kick)
First downs 16 18
Rushes-yards 37-104 36-267
Comp-Att-Int 11-29-0 9-20-0
Passing yards 166 199
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-1
Penalty yards 4-21 9-79
Records 10-4 13-1
Massillon – Reiman 26-79 TD; Nalbach 4-37; White 2-4.
Glenville – Jones 16-150 TD; Foster 5-69 TD; Walton 7-28; Wynn
Massillon – Partridge 11-29-166 TD.
Glenville – Jones 9-20-199 2 TDs.
Massillon – Smith 5-78; Grunder 4 – 63; Olack 2-25;.
Glenville – Wynn 2-71 TD; Anderson 2-14; Greenwood 1-44 TD;
Davis 1-23; Dunn 1-19; Bell 1-18; Bryant 1-9.