Tag: <span>Christian Morgan</span>


1997: Massillon 14, Canton McKinley 27


Tigers make it a game, but McKinley prevails

Tigers throw scare into dogs with second-half turnaround

Independent Sports Editor

It started as if a rout was the order of the day. It ended with the Massillon Tigers giv­ing the McKinley Bulldogs a bit of a scare before succumb­ing 27‑14 in the 104th meeting between the two Ohio high school football giants in front of a full house at Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium in Canton this afternoon.

Program Cover

The Tigers went one‑two-­three punt on each of their first three possessions, while McKinley put together scor­ing drives of 4, 11 and 11 plays to jump to a 21‑0 lead early in the second quarter. At that point, the Bulldogs seemed very deserving of their No. 1 rating in USA Today’s national high school rankings.

But a funny thing happened to the Pups on their way to a blowout. Massillon’s out­manned Tigers, riding the grit and savvy of quarterback Tip Danzy, the hard running of fullback Dave Hodgson and a defense that wouldn’t quit when it was down, made it a game and then some.

“The kids came back and we made a few adjustments at halftime,” said Tigers coach Jack Rose. “I told them a less­er team would have thrown in the towel when it was 27‑7 at halftime and get blown out.

“There’s no quit in these young men. They carne out in the second half and played their hearts out.”

McKinley bench boss Thom McDaniels did not want to hear any talk of his team let­ting down after building a three touchdown lead at the intermission.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1997

“I don’t think we let down,” he said. “I think we got a little sloppy in the second half. I think our execution dimin­ished, but I don’t think there was any kind of a conscious letdown. We just didn’t play as well.

“The team on the other side of the field was good. Again, you have to maintain concen­tration and try to execute for 48 minutes. We had our lapses primarily with penalties we had some really inoppor­tune penalties.”

The Tigers got excellent field position when Julian Miller returned the opening kickoff to the Tiger 44, but three plays and just two yards later were forced to punt. McKinley took over at its 45 after an 18 yard return by Fred Wilcox.

On third‑and‑six from the 49, Ben McDaniels found Matt Curry on a short slant pattern, and Curry did the rest, sprinting across the grain to the Tiger 26. On the next play, DeMarlo Rozier took a pitch around left end and outran the Massillon defense to the end zone. Phil Armatas’ conver­sion kick made it 7‑0 McKinley at 9:22 of the first period.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1997

Once again Miller ‑ and a facemask penalty on the Pups ‑ gave the Tigers good field position at their 45. But Massillon could pick up just five yards in three snaps and were forced to punt.

Rozier got the ball on the first four snaps of McKinley’s second possession, as the Bulldogs moved from their 29 to just beyond midfield. Then McDaniels bootlegged left and hit Wilcox for 22 yards to the Tigers 26. Rozier again got the ball on four consecutive snaps, setting up second and goal at the Massillon 8. McDaniels scrambled for five yards to the 3, before Isaiah Robinson found a small hole over right guard and scored the second TD of the game.

Armatas was again true with the PAT and McKinley, led 14‑0 at 2:59 of the first quarter.

McKinley’s third touch­down drive again followed a Massillon punt and began at its 41. A third down roughing the passer penalty gave the march life at the Tigers 40. On third and four from the 34, Rozier ripped off a nine‑yard gain over left guard for a first down at the 25.

McDaniels hooked up with Curry for 11 yards to the 16 and three plays later Rozier burst through a hole over his right guard and into the end zone from seven yards out. Armatas capped off the 11­play drive with the PAT at 9:33 of the second quarter to make it 21‑0 and McKinley fans were ready to party.

It looked like they’d get their chance after Massillon again couldn’t move the foot­ball and was forced to punt from its 18. But Josh Hill turned the game around by slicing through the McKinley offensive line to nail Richard Bradley for an 11‑yard loss on a sweep play. Josh Kreider forced McKinley to punt by bringing Bradley down in the open field after he snared a McDaniels third‑down pass in the flat.

“What happened defensive­ly is we finally adapted to their speed,” explained Rose. “Initially we were taken aback a little. They have such great speed and it is difficult to simulate that in practice. Once we got in the flow a little bit, we did better.”

Massillon took over at its 27 after McKinley punted. Hodgson got the ball on four straight plays and picked up 25 yards, including 13 on a draw play that moved the ball to the McKinley 48. On third and 10, Danzy dropped back to pass, saw a seam open up in the middle, and took off for an 11-yard gain and a first down.

Then Danzy found Andy Cocklin on the right sideline for 16 yards. A late hit flag on McKinley moved the ball to the 10. After a first down play lost four yards, Danzy again dropped back and again saw the red sea of Bulldogs jer­seys part. He never hesitated, sprinting 14 yards to paydirt and Massillon was on the board at 21‑7 with 2:37 left in the half.

The rejuvenated Massillon defense stopped McKinley after a couple first downs and forced the punt. But Massillon couldn’t move the football either and was forced to punt from its 24 with under :30 left in the half.

Les Thompson broke through the Tigers blocking scheme and blocked Luke Shilling’s kick. Robinson scooped up the ball at the 15 and raced to the end zone for the back breaking touchdown. A missed PAT made it 27‑7 at halftime.

“The last thing we wanted was to fall behind by three touchdowns to this team,” Rose said. “I said that earlier in the week.

“The blocked punt really hurt, but we had a couple plays there that if we would have executed them, we wouldn’t be punting. In a big game like this, you have to execute every time and we had a few plays where we did­n’t get the job done.”

Massillon stuffed McKinley on the Bulldogs first posses­sion of the second half. The Tigers then moved from their 33 to McKinley’s 30, where they faced a pivotal fourth-­and‑one. But the option blew up in their face for a seven­ yard loss and a scoring oppor­tunity went by the wayside.

McKinley’s next two series’ ended in a punt and a missed field goal, the latter setting the Tigers up at their own 20. After Massillon gained a first down at the 31, Hodgson raced 18 yards on a draw play and a personal foul on McKinley moved the ball into Bulldog territory at the 42. On third and seven from the 39, Danzy rolled left, then scram­bled back to the right and finally found Christian Morgan over the middle for a 21‑yard gain to the 18.

Hodgson again made the Pups pay for their over‑pur­suit by grinding out 12 yards on the draw to the McKinley 5. One play later, Danzy rolled left and completed a pass to Neil Buckosh in the end zone for the touchdown. Josh Hose was true with the PAT kick and it was McKinley 27, Massillon 14 with 10:37 to play.

The Massillon defense, smelling blood now, again shut down the McKinley attack on three plays to force a punt that Kreider fair caught at the Tiger 34. On third and four from the 40, Danzy and Hodgson executed the shovel pass to perfection to pick up 15 yards to the Bulldogs 45 and the locals were rolling.

Danzy dropped back to throw on second and seven. Tyrie Clifford made a twisting grab of the wounded duck at the McKinley 8 and the Bulldogs faithful were con­cerned.

But the Tigers failed to exe­cute a handoff following an audible on the next snap and McKinley’s Mike Doss came up with the fumble to quell the threat and effectively secure a perfect 10‑0 regular season for the Pups.

Again the Tigers could have rolled over. There was still nearly seven minutes to play in the contest and the Bulldogs would’ve loved noth­ing more than to tack on another touchdown, just for celebration purposes.

But the Massillon defense stood tall and gave the offense another shot in the waning moments. Danzy was standing in the pocket still pitching at the final gun, not willing to concede anything, even in defeat.

As the Tigers trudged off the field, there was no griping from the Massillon fans. Just thank‑yous for making a game against the nation’s top ranked high school football team.

“I’ve got to give our fans a lot of credit,” Rose concluded. “They hung in there with us today the entire time. The team appreciated that and I did, too. The fans were a great help in this.”

McKinley 27, Massillon 14
Massilion McKinley
First downs rushing 9 9
First downs passing 6 5
First downs by penalty 0 3
total first downs 15 17
rushing yards 146 183
passing Yards 151 134
total offense 297 317
passing attempts 31 23
completions 15 13
touchdown passes 1 0
interceptions 1 0
punts 6 6
punting average 26.3 37.5
fumbles 5 2
fumbles lost 2 0
Penalties 5 8
yards penalized 57 86

Massillon 0 7 0 7 14
McKinley 14 13 0 0 27

Massillon rushing:
Morgan 5‑0
Hodgson 18‑109
Danzy 8‑26
Spicer 1-11
McKinley rushing:
Rozier 23‑141
McDaniels 4‑12
Robinson 2 6
Doss 3‑3
Bradley 8‑21
Massillon passing:
Danzy 15‑31 151 yards 1 TD,
McKinley Passing:
McDanels 13‑23 134 yards

Massillon receiving:
Morgan 4‑34
Venables 1‑4
Cocklin 2‑19
Hodgson 3‑25
Clifford 4‑64
Buckush 1‑5
McKinley receiving:
Curry 6‑83
Rozier 3‑25
Wilcox 1‑22
Bradley 1‑3
Robinson 1‑(2)
Lucrus 1 3

Jared Stefanko

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1997: Massillon 10, Akron St. Vincent St. Mary 3

Tigers win isn’t pretty

Independent Sports Editor

If the Massillon Tigers were trying to keep the McKinley Bulldogs in the dark for next week’s annual season‑ending showdown, they did a good job of it with a lackluster 10‑3 victory over Akron St. Vincent‑St. Mary, in a light drizzle Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Program Cover

The Tigers, coming off last week’s disappointment at Cincinnati Moeller, struggled all night long and trailed 3-0 at halftime. They lost three of four fumbles and had seven penalties for 55 yards, negating 336 yards of total offense.

“As good as we played last week offensively, we played just that poorly tonight,” said Tigers coach Jack Rose. “I was concerned about a letdown from last week. It’s a tough week to coach here, with McKinley up next. And St. Vincent‑St. Mary seems to always give us fits.”

Part of the reason for the Tigers troubles was a fired up Fighting Irish team that was playing for its playoff life. The St. V defense was stout all night long and the offense kept Massillon off balance enough to hold a nearly four minute time of possession advantage the first half.

“Our kids are tough kids,” said Irish first year coach Jim Meyer. “They work hard and they’re in great shape.

“But the better team won. We couldn’t make big plays when we needed it. Massillon is a great team. Give them credit.”

The Tigers, 7‑2 on the season, won it with a 10-play march on the opening possession of the second half. Christian Morgan carried the ball on five of those snaps, ripping off a 17 yard gain over left tackle that moved the ball to the Irish 12 yard line. Two plays later, junior Marc Cleveland took an option pitch from quarterback Tip Danzy and outsprinted the visitors’ defense to the right corner of the end zone for the only touch of the game.

Josh Hose drilled the point after conversion kick and Massillon led for the first time 7‑3 at 7:34 of the third period.

Actually, the Tigers most impressive drive of the night was on its final possession and began at the 7:12 mark of the fourth period at the Massillon 12.

On the fourth play of the march, Massillon faced a third down and 11 situation at its own 22, too deep in Tiger territory to pass the football. So Danzy gave, the ball to, Morgan who willed his way to a 15‑yard gain, a first down and across the 1,000‑yard season rushing barrier.

The senior tailback came out of the game at that point, having aggravated a hip pointer he suffered last week.

“Christian made some runs tonight where he didn’t have any help at all,” observed Rose. “On the one he got injured, I think he ran through their whole team. it was a terrific effort. He picked it up as the game went on. I think both of our backs did.”

Morgan admitted the 1,000-yard plateau has special meaning, especially the second time around.

“I think a lot of people thought I wasn’t going to get it this year, so I had to prove them wrong,” Morgan said.

Meyer also took time to tip his hat to Morgan, who carried the ball 30 times for 167 yards.

“We thought the guy who did a good job was the tailback,” Meyer said. “He was awesome.”

After Morgan left the game, Danzy hooked up with tight end Seth Venables (4 receptions, 54 yards) for a 20 yard gain to the St. V 43.

“When the running game is going that well, you key on it and something else comes open,” observed Meyer. “In this case it was their tight end.”

Two plays later, Dave Hodgson tore off a 20 yard gain on a draw play, then added 15 more on the very next snap to set up Massillon with first and goal from the 5‑yard line.

But the Irish defense stiffened, and three plays later, Hose kicked a field goal to close the scoring with 1:23 left to play.

St. V had one more shot, but the Tigers defense pressured quarterback Ross Marconi all over the field and the possession went nowhere.

In fact, Josh Hill was in the Irish backfield throughout the contest, making Marconi’s night very unpleasant.

“I like going after the quarterback,” Hill said. “That’s the best part about playing outside linebacker, going after the quarterback. So I had a lot of fun tonight.”

“He’s a great player,” Rose said of Hill. “He’s played that way all year. He’s a great pass rusher and his speed lets him run down plays from behind.”

Hill then turned his attention toward next week’s showdown with McKinley.

“We’re ready for them,” Hill said. “They rained on our parade last year so it’s our turn this time.”

Morgan agreed. “We just got to pull it together for this final week,” he said.

ST. V‑St. M 3
First downs rushing 14 1
First downs passing 5 4
First downs by penalty 0 1
TOTAL first downs 19 6
Net yards rushing 264 13
Net yards passing 68 103
TOTAL yards 332 116
Passes attempted 10 23
Passes completed 5 9
Passes intercepted 0 0
Punts 3 8
Punting average 40.3 27.6
Fumbles/Lost 4/3 1/0
Penalties 7 3
Yards penalized 55 15

MASSILLON 0 0 7 3 10
ST. V‑ST. M 3 0 0 0 3

S ‑ Williamson 23 field goal
M ‑ Cleveland 8 run (Hose kick)
M ‑ Hose 24 field goal


Massillon rushing:
Morgan 30‑167,
Hodgson 12‑70,
Danzy 10‑14,
Cleveland 1‑8,
Miller 3‑5.
St. V rushing:
Skipper 12‑39

Massillon passing:
Danzy 5‑10‑68
St, V passing:
Marconi 9‑23‑103

Massillon receiving:
Venables 4‑54
St. V receiving:
Irvin 4‑43,
Alvarado 1‑26,
Ja. Walter 1‑14,
Hlivko 1‑8,
Skipper 1‑5,
Jo. Walter 1-7

Jared Stefanko

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1997: Massillon 34, Austintown Fitch 6

Tigers run over, around Fitch

Hodgson’s 3 touchdowns do the trick

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers sent a message to the five teams that await them the second half of the 1997 high school football season.

Program Cover

Key on tailback Christian Morgan and Massillon is going to serve up mega‑doses of full­back Dave Hodgson until the defense changes its game plan.

Hodgson, a 5‑10, 205‑pound senior, rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns in 15 carries to lift the Tigers past Austintown Fitch 34‑6 in front of 7,862 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Friday. For good measure, he added a third TD on a 15‑yard pass from Tip Danzy.

It wasn’t as if Morgan was a non‑factor. The 6‑4, 215‑pound senior toted the football 30 times for 151 yards and a touch­down as Massillon’s offensive front was in control of the line of scrimmage practically all night long.

But Hodgson was clearly the spark for Massillon, which fin­ishes the first half of the campaign at 4‑1.

“Massillon’s known for running the tailback,” Hodgson said. “I just want to put our opponents on notice that both of our backs can run the ball. That should take some pressure off Christian. We spread it out a lit­tle bit, the coaches did a great job of picking the right plays and our line did a great job of blocking.”

“It’s like pick your poison,” said Tigers boss Jack Rose. “You want to defend the flanks, we’ll just rip the fullback up in there. If you want to close down in there and stop the fullback, we’ll come out around the cor­ner with it and pitch it.

“Our line is doing a good job of getting on people who can run and we just run around guys who can’t. As long as we continue to do that we have a chance to move the ball.”

Move the ball the Tigers did racking up 422 yards of total offense ‑ including 382 yards on the ground. Massillon averaged over six yards per rushing play and converted 5 of 11 third downs into first downs.

For the first time since their opener against Cardoza, the Tigers won the time of possession battle, 25:23 to 22:37.

But the turnover monster continues to rear its ugly head. Massillon had three first half giveaways or it would have held a much more substantial lead at halftime than the 7‑6 tally on the scoreboard. Overall, Massillon fumbled the ball seven times, losing three. The Tigers also had a pass intercepted.

“The way the game started it looked like it was going to be one thing after another,” Rose said. “Three turnovers in the first half, two touchdowns called back on penalties. It’s frustrating really.”

“The nature of this offense is we’re going to put the ball on the ground. It’s going to hap­pen. When you start tossing that thing around out there with people flying around, its going to happen. What bothers me is the unforced fumbles. It appears sometimes it’s a con­centration thing. That’s some­thing that has to be change the second half of the season or we’re going to give our defense a hole they can’t get out of.”

The Tigers did just that on the opening kickoff, fumbling the football away at the 1‑yard line, The Massillon defense bowed its neck, stopping Fitch cold on three straight snaps, before quarterback Michael Reynolds swept around right end for the touchdown at 9:58 of the first period. A running play out of PAT formation failed and the Falcons led 6‑0.

The Tigers moved from their 39 to the Fitch 30 on their first possession, but failed to con­vert a fourth and four and turned the ball back over to the visitors.

The Falcons got one first down but punted the ball away and Massillon began its initial scoring drive from its 30. On second down, Hodgson picked up 16 yards to midfield on a counter play out of the offset I.

Morgan added 11 more to the Fitch 35 on a pitch around right end and Hodgson found a hole over right guard for 13 yards down to the 24. Two snaps later, Hodgson hammered into the line, popped out to the left side­line and raced 15 yards to the end zone. Josh Hose’s kick made it 7‑6 Massillon at 3:02 of the first.

“We put a counter in this week because the coaches said we couldn’t run the trap from the I‑set,” Hodgson revealed. “Running off the guard and up the middle worked best.”

“The line deserves a lot of credit. They’re doing a great job of coming off the ball and moving the front.”

Fitch took the second half kickoff, but turned the ball over when Josh Kreider tipped a Reynolds pass and Corey Ball came up with the interception at the Falcons 40.

On second down, Morgan took an pitch from Danzy on an option play around right end, exploded through a seam creat­ed by a fine block by Hodgson and motored 37 yards for the touchdown. The conversion kick failed and the Tigers led 13-6 at 9:45 of the third quarter.

Massillon fumbled the ball way on its second possession of the second half, but marched 77 yards in 11 plays the next time it had the football. The drive was keyed by Danzy’s 17-­yard completion to Hodgson and Hodgson’s 36‑yard burst off right guard that moved the ball to the Fitch 16.

Three plays later, Danzy ­again found Hodgson in the right flat. The burly fullback looked to be stopped at the 3, but clawed his way into the end zone. Hose’s kick made it 20‑6 Massillon at 6:02 of the fourth.

“We ran the boot pass a lot today,” Hodgson said. “We weren’t running it at the begin­ning of the year. But I got on the coaches to run it. As junior var­sity players last year, Tip and I were successful running that.”

Hodgson made it 27‑6 with a 23‑yard touchdown, run over right guard and tackle, capping off an eight‑play, 42‑yard drive with 2:19 left to play.

Junior quarterback Tom Fichter’s 33-yard scoring scam­per with 37 seconds left to play put the finishing touches on the Falcons.

As impressive as the Massillon offense was, the defense again was in command. It yielded just five first downs and 75 total yards of offense. The Tigers held Fitch to an average of less than one yard per rushing play.

“I think it was our best game of the season defensively,” said cornerback Jamie Allman “We played as a team. No matter what happened on the other side of the ball, we kept our
heads in it.

“We’re getting a lot better. Mentally, it’s a big thing. When we get our heads in the game, we’re pretty good. When the mental part comes, the physical part comes with it.”

“The first four weeks we have physically handled every­body,” said Fitch coach Brian Fedyski. “Today, Massillon came ready to play and they handled us up front. Credit to Massillon’s staff and team.”

First downs rushing 18 2
First downs passing 2 3
First downs penalty 3 0
TOTAL First downs 23 5
Net yards rushing 382 28
Net yards passing 40 47
TOTAL yards 422 75
Passes attempted 8 14
Passes completed 3 5
Passes intercepted 1 3
Punts 2 5
Punting average 28 36.8
Fumbles/Lost 7/3 1/1
Penalties 10 11
Yards penalized 136 93

MASSILLON 7 0 6 21 34
FITCH 6 0 0 0 6

F ‑ Reynolds 2 run (Run failed)
M ‑ Hodgson 15 run (Hose kick)
M ‑ Morgan 36 run (Kick failed)
M ‑ Hodgson 16 pass from Danzy (Hose kick)
M ‑ Hodgson 23 run (Hose kick)
M ‑ Fichter 33 run (Hose kick)

Massillon rushing:
Hodgson 15‑153,
Morgan 30‑151,
Danzy 10‑38.
Fitch rushing:
Wilson 13‑36,
Reynolds 14­-16.

Massillon passing:
Danzy 3‑8‑40 1 TD, 1 INT.
Fitch passing:
Reynolds 4‑12‑36, 2 INTs.

Massillon receiving:
Hodgson 2‑34, Kreider 1_15~
Fitch receiving:
Jarvis 2‑18,
Wellington 2-18,
McDougal 1-11.

Jared Stefanko

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1997: Massillon 42, Mansfield Senior 0

Massillon puts it all together

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers started off Friday night’s game against the visiting Mansfield Tygers as if it was going to be a repeat of last week’s turnover marred­ performance against Akron Garefield.

Program Cover

Massillon lost a fumble on its first possession, threw an interception the second time it had the football, and you could almost hear the crowd saying, “Here we go again.”

But the Tigers ‑ feeding off the emotion of a big hit and fumble recovery by injured co-captain Jared Stefanko ‑ scored twice in the second quarter and put the game away with a three­ touchdown barrage in the third period in securing a 42‑0 victo­ry at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“We needed this,” said a relieved Tigers coach Jack Rose. “The way it started out I didn’t know if it was going to be our best performance of the season. We made those turnovers at the beginning of the first half and you can’t do that if you expect to win.”

Massillon got its offense on track early in the second quarter following a 16‑yard punt return by Josh Kreider that set the Tigers up with a first down at midfield. Tailback Christian Morgan, running with more authority than at anytime during the season, gained 15 yards around left end on first down. One play later, the senior took a pitch from Tip Danzy and gained eight around right end.

After Seth Stefanko fell on a Tigers fumble, Kreider got the football on a flanker reverse and picked up 14 yards around right end to the Mansfield 9. Dave Hodgson bulled through the middle of the Tygers line for the touchdown on the next snap. Josh Hose hit the PAT and Massillon led 7‑0 at 8:36 of the second quarter.

“We’ve been practicing that play for a while,” Kreider said. “The line blocked well and did a good job and when that hap­pens, we’re going to have a successful play.”

Kreider forced a Mansfield fumble on the Tygers ensuing possession and Jamie Allman recovered at the visitors’ 35 to give Massillon the short field once again.

After a holding penalty against the hosts, Morgan ‑ who finished with 179 yards rushing in 18 carries ‑ picked up 15 yards around left end. Three plays later, Tip Danzy kept the ball and swept around right end for 11 yards to the Mansfield 9. Morgan found paydirt on the next play, getting a huge hole over his left guard.

Hose’s conversion made it 14-­0 at 5:59 of the first half.

“Our offensive line is step­ping up its game,” remarked Danzy. “They’ve been working hard the past couple weeks and the coaches have been getting on them, so they’ve got to do their thing.”

“As long as I pitch the ball to Christian, I know he’s going to get his yards.”

Mansfield came out with renewed vigor in the second half, moving from its 23 to the Massillon 30 on just four plays. But on second and 10, Mansfield quarterback Jeremee Butts was pressured by Massillon’s Chris Turner and threw an interception to safety Bud Kraft at the 19‑yard line.

Three plays later, on third and one from the 28, Hodgson ran the trap up the middle and exploded into the clear. A Mansfield defensive back tried to steal the ball away at the 35, but Hodgson stiff‑armed him away and galloped the rest of the way, into the end zone for a show‑stopping 72‑yard touch­down.

Hose’s conversion kick at 9:23 of the third period made it 21‑0 Massillon.

Rose called that series of plays the game’s turning point.

“The way things have been this year, yeah, I had some anx­iety when Mansfield got those big plays at the beginning of the second half,” he said. “But were turned the turnover into a touchdown, and instead of it being possibly 14‑7, now they’re down 21‑0. That’s a 14‑point swing and I think it took them out of their game plan.”

The Massillon defense forced Mansfield into a three‑and‑out on its next possession, and the Tigers took over at midfield fol­lowing a 12‑yard punt return by Kreider. On second and six from the Mansfield 48, Morgan found a gaping hole over left tackle and sprinted 32 yards to the Tygers’ 16.

Danzy picked up 11 yards around right end on second down and scored a touchdown two plays later on a sneak from the 1. Hose made it 28‑0 at 5:09 of the third.

After another Mansfield series went nowhere, the Tigers mounted their third scoring drive of the third period.

It began with a 12‑yard B.J. Burick keeper around right end that moved the ball from the Massillon 23 to the 35. Three plays later, Morgan took a pitch around right end and raced 53 yards untouched for the score. Hose’s kick at 3:12 made it 35‑0 Massillon.

“We made two adjustments at halftime with the blocking on the two plays we broke for touchdowns,” Rose reported “We were getting out on the perimeter with the ball a little more tonight and they gave us a couple things inside on certain sets that we took advantage of. Our fullback broke the play up the middle there. Establishing him in there helped.”

“I think in the first half we came out a little rusty, worried about turnovers and all of that,” Danzy said. “The second half we came out and came together. We played hard and just turned it around.”

While the Massillon offense came up with the spectacular plays, the defense set it up by limiting Mansfield to just over 100 yards total offense in the second half.

“We’ve been expecting this kind of game defensively for three or four weeks,” Kreider noted. “We finally accom­plished what we’ve been work­ing for. We got some guys back and it seemed like we were real­ly clicking out there tonight.”

One of the returnees was Jared Stefanko, who didn’t play in the second half because of some soreness in his injured right knee.

“He’ll be back,” Rose said. “He just had a little slippage in there and it got sore on him. They told him that would hap­pen from time to time.

“But Jared made a couple of good plays in there. He’s really an impact player. He’s really something else. It’s just a shame (the torn knee ligament) happened to him. He’s a terrific player.”

Marc Cleveland closed the scoring with a 13‑yard touch­down run that included second and third effort.

So, have the Tigers turned the corner?

“Time will tell,” Kreider said. “We have to come out and prac­tice hard every week. We have to play as a team and prepare to win.”

“I think next week you’re going to see a better Massillon team than you have up to this point this season,” Danzy promised.

As for Rose, well, he sees something in this year’s Tigers that reminds him of a past Massillon squad.

“This team reminds me a lot of the 1994 team,” he said. “I think it’s a team that will con­tinue to get better each week.”

Ma Mn
First downs rushing 21 4
First downs passing 0 7
First downs by penalty 2 0
TOTAL first downs 23 11
Net yards rushing 440 133
Net yards passing 5 142
TOTAL yards 445 254
Passes attempted 6 20
Passes completed 1 10
Passes intercepted 2 1
Punts 3 6
Punting average 28 38.2
Fumbles/Lost 2/1 4/3
Penalties 4 10
Yards penalized 24 85

MASSILLON 0 14 21 7 42
MANSFIELD 0 0 0 0 0

MASS ‑ Hodgson 9 run (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Morgan 9 run (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Hodgson 72 run (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Danzy 1 run (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Morgan 53 run (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Cleveland 13 run (kick good)


Massillon rushing:
Morgan 18‑79‑2,
Hodgson 15‑142‑2,
Danzy 4‑24‑1,
Cleveland 6‑51‑1,
Burrick 6‑17,
Kreider 1‑14.
Mansfield rushing:
Butts 10‑43,
Burdette 6‑31,
Lloyd 8‑26.

Massillon passing:
Danzy 0‑3 1 int.;
Burrick 1‑3‑5, 1 int.
Mansfield passing:
Butts 10‑20‑50‑1.

Massillon receiving:
Venables 1‑5.
Mansfield receiving:
Luttrell 3‑64,
Lloyo 3‑29.
Bradley 2‑16,
Jones 1‑18,
Davis 1‑15.

Jared Stefanko

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

1997: Massillon 7, Lima Senior 25

Tigers fall on own
swords vs Spartans

Independent Sports Editor

If Jack Rose has any trouble selling his Massillon charges on their playoff potential in the wake of Saturday’s 25‑7 setback at Lima Senior, he need only point toward the Tigers’ tormentors.

The very same Lima Senior Spartans who left Paul Brown­ Tiger Stadium one year ago on the short end of a 28-14 final, went on to win 12 straight football games and the Division I state championship.

But the Tigers first defeat of the 1997 season‑was no acci­dent. Lima Senior controlled the game in the trenches, espe­cially during the second half when it denied Massillon a first down until being flagged for running into the punter with 3:05 left in the game.

We got to do a better job at the line of scrimmage,’ Rose said afterward. “We’ve got to block a hell of lot better than we did tonight. We, demonstrated the ability to do that in the scrimmages.

“They didn’t break any big plays on us. They were just methodical and consumed the clock. They’d get three or four yards a clip and get out on the option occasionally. They kept our offense off the field, and when we did get there we had a lot of three-and-outs.

Lima played with more discipline than in its penalty-marred opening game loss to Toledo St. Francis in which it committed 12 infractions. Perhaps more important, the Spartans also displayed playoff level intensity for 48 minutes and they used Tiger spirit as motivation.

“Massillon totally disrespect­ed us,” said All‑Ohio defensive back Joe Sellers, who shadowed Tigers tailback Christian Mor­gan all night long. “They came here with their signs along I‑75 and that “Welcome to Paul Brown Stadium’ stuff. They gave is no respect.’

“They were very emotional,” concurred Rose. “They played an emotional pitch. They’ve been sitting on this one for a year. We were the only ones to hang a loss on them, so I.m sure they thought about this game.”

Massillon hurt itself with nine penalties for 111 yards, includ­ing back to back 15‑yard per­sonal fouls on Lima’s scoring drive, one for celebrating a tackle and the other for grabbing the face mask.

Sellers punched in the first score from a yard out at 2:21 of ­the second period to make it 6—0. but the fireworks were just beginning.

After a muffed kickoff, the ­Tigers attempted a short pass to the left flat on second‑and‑7 at their own 19-yard line. Lima defensive lineman JaJuan Godsey made a leaping interception at the 14 and rambled untouched into the Massillon end zone.

Massillon was intercepted at midfield on its ensuing possession, and Lima’s Quentin Manley ran the ball back to the Tigers’ 4-yard line with 21 still left in the half. The Massillon defense came up with a big play as Josh Krieder scopped up a Lima fumble at the 8 to quell the threat.

It appeared Massillon may have a shot at getting back into the game when Tyrie Clifford returned the second half kickoff from his 14 to the Lima Senior 47. But the Tigers offense went three and out leading to a botched punt which set the Spartans up with good field position for their next scoring drive.

“We’re down 12‑0 and we haven’t played worth a lick,” recalled Rose, “.so we get our adjustments in at halftime, get some good field position, then we run an off tackle play and lose two yards and it just crushed our momentum.

“The problem we have up front is we just aren’t very big and we got overpowered in some places, at a few positions. We didn’t sustain blocks. We didn’t get on them and stay on them.”

Lima’s third scoring drive was a 12-play march that covered 53 yards and consumed 4:14 off the game clock. Sellers ­scored from two yards away, but the key to the drive came at the Massillon 12 when Lima fumbled, recovered and picked up seven yards in the process.

One of the Tigers few bright spots cam late in the third quarter when Krieder returned 59 yards for a touchdown. The senior’s heroics came after the Lima punter was flushed by a good rush and got off a line drive kick.

But Massillon again was its own worst enemy, following. the TD by kicking off out of hounds, giving Lima the ball at the 35 yard line. The Spartans put the game away on that possession, taking 11 plays to score on an 18-yard pass from Fred Collins to Nathan Collins on a fourth‑and‑seven play. Once again the hosts got a boost from a Tiger 15‑yard facemask penalty.

Among the more damning statistics for Massillon offense; Four first downs, 1.7 yards per running play, 38 total yards of offense, 0-6 third down conversions.

First downs rushing 11 1
First downs passing 3 1
First downs by penalty 5 2
TOTAL first downs 10 4
Net yards rushing 151 31
Net yards passing 56 7
TOTAL yards 209 38
Passes attempted 7 10
Passes completed 6 2
Passes Intercepted 2 0
Punts 2 3
Punting average 34.5 41.7
Fumbles/Lost 5/2 O/0
Penalties 4 9
Yards penalized 31 111

LIMA SR. 00 12 06 07 25
WASSILLON 00 00 07 00 07


L – Sellers 1 run (Kick failed)
L – Godsey 11 pass interception return (Kick failed)
L – Sellers 2 run (Kick failed)
M – Krieder 59 punt return (Hose kick)
L – Nathan Collins 17 pass from Fred Collins (Oheney kick)


Massillon rushing:
Morgan, 13‑31,
Hodgson 1-0,
Burick 2‑13,
Danzy 2-(minus)13
Lima rushing:
Nigh 19‑77,
Sellers 16-44,
F. Collins l1‑33.

Massillon passing:
Burick 1‑4‑4 2 INT;
Danzy 1‑5‑3
Lima passing:
Collins 6‑7‑58 l TD

Massillon receiving:
Dean 1‑4,
Hodgson 1‑3,
Lima receiving:
Lepley 2-15,
N. Collins 1-17, l TD,
Sellers 1‑12,
Cannon 1-11.

Jared Stefanko

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1997: Massillon 72, Washington D.C. Cordozo 6

Tigers barely break a sweat

Independent Sports Editor

If ever there was a case for the mercy rule in football, it was the Massillon Tigers’ 72‑6 demolition of the Washington D.C. Cardoza High Clerks in front of approximately 11,000 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Friday.

Program Cover

The Tigers jumped out to a 33‑0 lead after the first quarter and were cruising 53‑0 at half­time with junior varsity players on the field the majority of the second quarter.

Cardoza did not cross the midfield stripe until the 7:10 mark of the fourth quarter.

“I don’t enjoy games like this,” admitted Tigers mentor Jack Rose. “But coming off those scrimmages we had, this was just what we needed.”

Massillon scrimmaged Pennsylvania grid powers Penn Hills and Upper St. Clair, and Pickerington this month, result­ing in injuries to several key players including quarterback Tip Danzy, wide receiver Tyrie Clifford and linebacker Jared Stefanko. The latter was a potentially season‑ending knee injury and with defending state champion Lima Senior up next, the Tigers could ill afford a bruising opener.

“I didn’t blow any smoke at our players this week,” Rose said. “I told them we should win this game easily. We warned them that not playing hard is the easiest way to get injured. Fortunately, the kids listen and we played hard for four quarters.”

It was so bad the Cardoza coaching staff asked for six minute quarters (instead of the regulation 12) in the second half. The Tigers, planning to play junior varsity players the third quarter and sophomores the fourth quarter, settled on eight minute periods.

“Actually, I was rooting for them to get first downs in the second half,” Rose said.

“We came off the ball real well and did a good Job with our the bounce play and the zone play. We didn’t run the option as well as I thought we would. Our quarterbacks were ducking up in there when they should have been kicking it out.”

The Tigers marched 61 yards in five plays following the open­ing kickoff. Tailback Christian Morgan gained 29 yards off right tackle on the first play from scrimmage and added 18 more off left tackle on the game’s second snap. But a penalty and two negative ­yardage plays set up a third and 20 situation at the Cardoza 25. Quarterback B. J. Burick pitched to Morgan on the option play around left end and the 6­foot‑4, 210‑pound senior cut off a sensation block by wide receiver Clint Dean and scam­pered untouched into the Clerks’ end zone.

Josh, Hose boomed the point after kick, nearly hitting the scoreboard, to give the Tigers a 7‑0 lead at the 10:10 mark of the first period.

Cardoza fumbled the ball away on its first snap and Tigers cornerback Jamie Allman fell on the loose pigskin at the visitors’ 34. On first down, Burick found fullback Dave Hodgson in the left flat and the senior carried the ball to the 12. On the very next snap, Hodgson, filling in for Stefanko, found a hole over left guard, spun off two tacklers and bulled his way into the end zone.

Again Hose converted and it was 14‑0 with just under nine minutes to play in the opening stanza.

Cardoza got off one snap before turning the ball back over to Massillon. On first and 10 from the 24, following a pass interference on the hosts, Massillon linebacker Brad Dean picked off a Cardoza pass at the 34 and returned it 13 yards to the 21. Burick hit Clint Dean on a quick slant pass for 19 yards and Morgan scored over right tackle on the next snap to put the Tigers up 20‑0 at 7:21 of the first.

Following a Cardoza punt, Tip Danzy took over at quarterback and on fourth and 8 from the visitors’ 44 found wide receiver Andy Cocklin wide open along the left sideline. Cocklin snared the ball at the 20 and sprinted untouched into the end zone for a 27‑0 Massillon lead.

Cardoza fumbled the ball away on the first snap of its next series, as the center snapped the ball over the head of the quarterback who was in a shotgun formation. Chris Turner recovered for Massillon at the 15. Two plays later, Danzy pitched to fullback Rico Person on an option around right end and the senior covered the eight yards to the end zone for the touch. The kick failed but it was 33‑0 with 1:37 to play in the First.

“Rico has good hands and he showed he has good speed on that play,” Rose noted.

On Massillon’s next posses­sion, Burick lofted a pass down the left hash mark that Clifford ran under for a 56 yard gain. Two plays later, Morgan crashed into the end zone from two yards out and it was 40‑0 at the 9:20 mark of the second quarter.

Clifford’s speed earned Rose’s praise. “He gives us a lot more speed at wide out and that’s going to make a difference in the offense this season,” Rose said.

Josh Kreider’s 39 yard punt return set up the Tigers’ next TD, a 9‑yard burst up the mid­dle, by junior Julian Miller.

First downs rushing 8 2
First downs passing 4 5
First downs by penalty 0 1
TOTAL first downs 12 8
Net yards rushing 163 31
Net yards passing 158 104
TOTAL yards 321 135
Passes attempted 6 18
Passes completed 5 11
Passes intercepted 0 3
Punts 0 3
Punting average 0 28.3
Fumbles/Lost 2/0 5/3
Penalties 7 5
Yards penalized 67 25

MASSILLON 33 20 19 00 72
CORDOZO 00 00 06 00 06


M ‑ Morgan 25 run (Hose kick)
M ‑ Hodgson 12 run (Hose kick)
M ‑ Morgan 2 run (kick failed)
M ‑ Cocklin 44 pass from Danzy (Hose kick)
M ‑ Person 21 run (kick failed)
M ‑ Morgan 2 run (Hose kick)
M ‑ Miller 9 run (pass failed)
M ‑ Lynn 41 pass interception return (Hose kick)
M ‑ Cleveland 84 kickoff return (kick failed)
M ‑ Lynch 17 run (kick good)
M ‑ Buckosh tumble recovery (kick failed)
C ‑ 2 run by unknown (run failed)


Massillon rushing:
Morgan 10‑70, 3 TDS;
Lynch 2‑22, 1 TD;
Wagner 2‑19;
Hodgson 1‑12, 1 TD;
Miller 1‑9, 1 TD;
Person 1‑8, 1 TD.
Cordozo rushing:
Belle 10-22.

Massillon passing:
Burick 3‑3‑103;
Danzy 2‑2‑55, 1 TD;
Fichter 0‑1.
Cordozo passing:
Crockett 11‑18‑104‑3

Massillon receiving:
Clifford 1‑56;
Cocklin 1‑44, 1 TD;
Hodgson 1‑28;
Dean 1‑19;
James 1‑11.
Cordozo receiving:
Johnson 5‑45,
Brooks 1‑21,
Belle 2‑9.

Jared Stefanko

1996: Massillon 6, Brunswick 7

Tigers go cold at Icy Rubber Bowl

Brunswick to take on Pups next

Independent Sports Editor

When it was all said and done, the Brunswick Blue Devils secured a berth in the Division I regional finals against the McKinley Bulldogs the old fashioned way … they earned it.

The Massillon Tigers, beneficiaries of four Brunswick fumbles, could not convert any of the takeaways into points, and dropped a 7-6 heartbreaker in front of 6,839 at the Akron Rubber Bowl, Saturday.

Massillon’s speed and quickness was negated by the snow covered and slippery Rubber Bowl artificial turf, and Brunswick established an advantage at the line of scrimmage that finally paid off on its final drive of the evening.

“They have some very strong kids,” observed Jack Rose.
We had a hard time moving them out of there, When we did, we got some plays run.

“But you only get so many opportunities They had a couple turnovers that gave us great field position. We didn’t capitalize on them. You knew it was going to be a one-touchdown game. We had a chance to get it done.”

Brunswick overcame a size disadvantage on both lines to win the game’s statistical battle out gaining the Tigers 194 to 123.

“I’d like to think we controlled the line of scrimmage,” said Brunswick coach Tom Fasko.

“We did a great job in the second quarter coming off the football and in the fourth quarter as well.”

The Blue Devils employed two tight ends and their attack was at its best when it had to be. The Brunswick defense came ….. takeaway, recovering a Massillon fumble at midfield with 6:43 to play and the Tigers leading 6-0.

Tailback Brian Kolin carried the football on five consecutive plays, including a 14-yard burst up the middle, as Brunswick moved from its 48 to the Massillon 25. Jesse Peticca got the football on the counter trey on two of the next three snaps to set up second-and-six from the 10. Then Kohn took the pitch around left end to the two yard line.

Kolin capped off the drive by going into the middle of the line for the touchdown at 2:31 of the fourth quarter. Nick Gargano’s conversion kick was good and Massillon’s post-season was over.

Easko acknowledged his charges were able to execute on the final game-deciding drive …. field conditions.

“We couldn’t afford a mistake at that point,” he said. “We couldn’t have a penalty. We couldn’t have a turnover. We had to execute flawlessly under these conditions. It was a tribute to our offense. And except for one play, our defense played a great game also.”

“We were pretty confident coming in,” said Kolin, who finished with 73 yards and no fumbles in 18 carries. “We were underdogs for the first time this season and that was motivation.”

On the final drive, Kolin knew he was going to Brunswick’s featured runner after splitting tailback duties with Dave Harris most of the game.

“We marched on them,” Kolin said. “We knew we could. It’s just that the cold and wetness really made the football slippery, so you’re never sure about your traction out there/”

“We knew we had six-and-a-half minutes left and we said, “Hey, this is it. It’s now or never,” said Fasco. “Our kids buckled it up, We had some nice runs and we got some great calls from upstairs.”

Christian Morgan put the Blue Devils in a comeback mode midway through the third period. Brunswick had buried the Tigers deep in their territory with a punt and a clipping penalty. But on first-and-10 from the Massillon 11, quarterback Ben Hymes checked off to toss sweep around right end.

Morgan broke two arm tackles at the line of scrimmage and was off to the races. Eighty nine yards later he crossed the goal line and the Tigers led 6-0.

But other than that play. Massillon was unable to get any thing going on offense. In fact, when Morgan’s 89-yard touchdown jaunt is subtracted, the Tigers had just 44 yards rushing. They also were an abysmal 0-12 on third down conversions and committed six penalties for 45 yards.

Rose was not about to attribute the defeat to the emotional baggage of the McKinley game or the less than ideal field conditions.

“I really thought we had over … had really good practices. Wednesday and Thursday, I really felt good coming into this game except for the fact we had so much flu going through the team that we didn’t have everyone together for practices at one time.

“This is northeast Ohio, It’s going to be 70 degrees one day and like this the next. We didn’t get out on the perimeter with the option. We did run the toss sweep, but we thought we could get to the corner on them. Hey, they played in this, too. They are more of a hammer team than we are, but I’m not going to … .

Massillon had two golden opportunities to convert Brunswick turnovers ito scores. In the first period, the Blue Devils muffed a punt at their 23 and the Tigers recovered. Four plays (including two incompletions and a sack) and minus four-yards later, Massillon turned the ball back to Brunswick on downs.

Brunswick’s second gift to Massillon came with 10:52 to play when B.J. Burick fell on another muffed punt at the Blue Devil’s 22. Hymes gained eight yards on a second down sneak, but the Tigers again failed to get a first down in four snaps.

“We had our chances,” Rose said. “We had our chances …”

M Man
First downs rushing 2 11
First downs passing 1 0
First downs penalty 0 0
Total first downs 3 11
Net yards rushing 123 194
Net yards passing 10 5
Total yards gained 133 199
Passes attempted 12 5
Passes completed 2 2
Passes int 1 0
Times kicked off 2 2
Kickoff average 31 36.5
Kickoff return yards 14 0
Punts 6 5
Punting average 32.8 30.4
Punt return yards 1 0
Fumbles 3 4
Fumbles lost 1 4
Penalties 6 4
Yards penalized 45 20
Number of plays 44 52
Time of possession 21:53 26:07
Attendance 5,839

BRUNSWICK 0 0 0 7 7
MASSILLON 0 0 6 0 6


Third Quarter
Mass – Morgan 89 run (kick failed)

Fourth Quarter
Brun – Kolin 1 run (Gargano kick)


Morgan 19-109, 1 TD;
Stefanko 3-6;
Hodgson 2-3;
Hymes 7-4;
Blake 1-1.
Horba 7-37;
Kolin 18-73 1 TD;
Hendricks 6-(-8);
Harris 13-79;
Peticca 2-13.

Hymes 1-11-18, 0 TD, 1 int.;
Morgan 1-0-0 0 TD, 0 int.
Hendricks 2-5-5 0 TD, 0 int.

Morgan 1-16;
Martin 1-(-6)
Peticca 1-3;
Kolin 1-2

Paul Salvino


1996: Massillon 0, Canton McKinley 21

Tigers have to be resilient this week
Can’t dwell defeat; Brunswick looms

By Joe Shaheen
Independent Sports Editor

The McKinley Bulldogs played their best game of the 1996 regular season when it counted most in the annual Week Ten confrontation with the Massillon Tigers.

The result was a 21-0 white washing of the Tigers and a berth in the playoffs against Grove City on Saturday at Mansfield’s Arlin Stadium.

The Tigers played arguably their worst game of the ’96 regular season against the Pups.

Program Cover

Now it is up to Jack Rose and the Tigers to prove they can get up off the deck an prepare for the Brunswick High Blue Devils, who will provide the opposition in Massillon’s playoff opener this Saturday at the Rubber Bowl.

McKinley’s victory over Massillon, though not dominating was complete. The Bulldogs had the advantage in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams.

The Bulldogs offense put together only one sustained scoring march all afternoon, but it came at the onset of the second half and virtually sealed the Tigers doom by expanding the deficit from 13 points to 21.

The 12 play, 84 yard drive, consumed just over seven minutes off the game clock and featured an effective play action short passing game by sophomore quarterback Ben McDaniels and was capped by Jamar Martin’s four yard touchdown run.

McKinley’s third quarter scoring drive served two purposes, it left just over one quarter of play for the Tigers to close the three touchdown deficit and it was an effective counter point to Massillon’s initial second half drive, which lasted three play and failed to produce a first down.

Massillon’s offense was bottled up for 18 minutes, as much by its own mistakes as the terrible field position forced upon it all afternoon long. The Tigers generated 110 yards of total offense, barely more than half of the Bulldogs modest total 206 yards.

The Bulldogs defense negated the Tigers massive offensive line and thus their vaunted running attack most of the day. Massillon receivers dropped at least five catchable balls and the Tigers forgot about tight end Chris Martin after he caught two passes in the first series of the game.

Although McKinley missed three field goals, the Bulldogs placement specialists boomed four kickoffs for an average of just under 58 yards per kick. The deep well placed kicks limited Massillon to an average of 10 yards per return.

The Bulldogs special teams also produced a big play on the opening kickoff when Trevor Vaught tore off a 30 yard return to midfield. While McKinley did not score on that possession, it seemed to rock the Tigers back on their heels and set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

What will stand out in most fans minds was the two McKinley interceptions that set the Bulldogs offense up with first and goal inside the Tigers 5 yard line twice in the first half. Those picks led to a pare of short touchdown runs by De’Andrae Jeter.

What they may forget is McKinley’s late first half drive which nearly produce another TD (it could’ve been a lot worse) and the game long effectiveness of Ben McDaniels, who completed 9 of 13 passes (69 percent) for 143 yards against an accomplished Tiger secondary which picked off a dozen aerials this season.

If there is one comforting development for the Tiger fan who crave a state champtionship and some revenge over McKinley, it is recent history.

Twice since the playoffs were instituted in 1980, Massillon and McKinley have met in the playoffs. Both times the team that prevailed during the regular season was defeated in the playoffs.

The Tigers are hoping they will get a chance to make history repeat itself.

MCKINLEY………….. 21

M Mck
First downs rushing 3 3
First downs passing 5 6
First downs penalty 0 0
Total first downs 8 9
Net yards rushing 95 75
Net yards passing 68 143
Total yards gained 110 206
Passes attempted 20 13
Passes completed 6 9
Passes int 2 0
Times kicked off 1 4
Kickoff average 40 57.8
Kickoff return yards 42 30
Punts 6 4
Punting average 33.2 33.3
Punt return yards -3 3
Fumbles 0 1
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 4 2
Yards penalized 23 30
Number of plays 54 52
Time of possession 24:01 23:59

MCKINLEY 0 13 8 0 21
MASSILLON 0 0 0 0 0

Second Quarter
Mck Jeter 1 run (Curry kick)
Mck Jeter 2 run(kick failed)

Third Quarter
Mck Martin 4 run (McDaniels pass to Gambler)


Massillon – Stefanko 4-18, Morgan 12-44, Hymes 12-(-37), Hodgson 1-2, Blake 5-16
McKinley – Rozier 7-9, Jeter 6-19 2 TDs, Nash 1-1, Martin 5-7 1 TD, Bradley 6-9, McDaniels 3-(-7), Doss 6-24, Curry 1-(-2)

Massillon – Hymes 6-19-68 0 TD 2 ints, Lightfoot 0-1-0 0TD 0 ints,
McKinley – McDaniels 9-13-143 0 TD 0 ints

Massillon – Martin 3-28, Blake 2-23, Hodgson 1-17
McKinley – Gamble 1-26, Fox 2-19, Curry 3-79, Frazier 1-10, Nash 1-7, Bradley 1-2

Paul Salvino

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1996: Massillon 47, Akron St. Vincent St. Mary 7

Tigers go to the air for win No. 9

By Joe Shaheen
Independent Sports Editor

All you need to know about the thoroughness of the Massillon Tigers 47-7 thrashing of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary Friday night as the Fighting Irish offense couldn’t advance the football past midfield until the 3:45 mark of the third quarter.

By that point, the Tigers had already built a 35‑0 1ead and were substituting liberally as looked they looked ahead to next week’s annual confrontation with the McKinley Bulldogs, who will play host to St. Thomas Aquinas this evening.

Program Cover

St. Vincent‑St. Mary veteran head coach John Cistone was matter-of-fact about his team’s demise in front of 8,766 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“Massillon is as good a football team as I’ve seen,” he said. “I’ve seen Ignatius on TV. But we scouted about three Tigers games … better … last year .. the last few years. I think. They’re pretty well balance. They’re real strong on the defensive and offensive lines. They pursue well. They have everything to be a great football team.”

The Tigers came into the ninth week wanting to establish some consistency in their passing game to balance an attack that has leaned heavily on the ground game the past three or four weeks. They accomplished that as starting quarterback Ben Hymes connected on 9 of 12 aerials for 195 yards and two touchdowns.

Hymes, who spent a season at St. Vincent-St. Marry before transferring to Massillon, was pleased with his performance.

“We saw some open guys and we threw it to them,” Hymes said with a broad smile. “Yes, I was glad to get a good game throwing the ball under by belt. We’re starting to get it all together going into the Canton McKinley game. We’re polishing it up.”

Hymes’ best throw of the evening came on the Tigers second possession. The Irish had just been flagged for pass interference on Devin Williams, giving Massillon the ball and a first down at the St. Vincent-St. Mary 38.

The Tigers offensive line gave Hymes airtight protection as he dropped back. Eric Lightfoot had a step on the St. V cornerback and Hymes hit him in perfect stride on the post pattern for the touchdown with 5:05 left in the first quarter. Josh Hose’s conversion kick gave Massillon a 14-0 advantage.

It also gave Hymes and the offense an extra dose of confidence, while forcing the Irish (and McKinley next week) to honor the Tigers passing game.

“We wanted to throw the ball better,” said Jack Rose. “The biggest emphasis this week was getting the passing game going again and throwing the ball where it is supposed to go and we did a good job of that.

“We needed to score some points tonight. We needed to hit some big plays. We needed for the quarterback to have some success. We needed to pass protect well. When Ben sets his feet, he’s pretty good. We were a lot more balanced offensively.”

The statistics bear out Rose’s claim. Massillon rushed for 207 yards and passed for 242 yards.

Brian Baer was Hymes’ favorite target this night, snaring four passes for 33 yards. Williams had three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown on a beautifully executed pump-and-go pattern along the left sideline that covered 19 yards with just over a minute remaining in the first half.

Massillon opened the game by marching 72 yards in 14 plays. Christian Morgan carried on seven of those snaps, crashing into the end zone from four yards out at 6:54 of the first period. Hose converted to make it a 7-0 game.

After the Irish went three-and-out, Hymes hit Lightfoot on the post pattern to make it a 14-0 game.

St. Vincent-St. Mary continued to struggle on its second possession. On second and 15 from its own 12, quarterback Rob Adamson went deep. But Lightfoot made a sensational, leaping interception at the 47. The senior safety was escorted down the left sideline by a cadre of Tiger blockers and dove into the end zone for the touch. Hose again was perfect and Massillon led 21-0 with just over four minutes remaining in the first period.

The Irish got one first down on their next possession but were force to punt from their 38. Massillon took over at its 30 and again began to drive the football. On second and 15 from the 25, Hymes hooked up with Baer for 16 yards over the middle. Two plays later it was Hymes and Williams making the connection for 27 yards to the Irish 23.

Six plays later, Elijah Blake found a hole over right guard and scored from three yards out. Hose’s PAT was true and the Tigers owned a 28-0 advantage with 8:33 left in the half.

Massillon upped its cushion to 35-0 at halftime when Hymes and Williams executed the hitch and go from 19 yards out.

The Tigers scored in the third period when Hymes hit fullback Jared Stefanko with a swing pass along the right sideline. Stefanko turned on the jets and 74 yards later was pulled down at the Irish 1. Morgan slashed into the end zone from there and it was a 41-0 game.

“The number one thing we were worried about was a letdown from the week before and looking ahead to the tenth week,” Rose admitted afterward. “Then you’re worried about injuries from guys not playing hard. It has been very difficult this week in the building because people are talking about the Moeller game and the McKinley game. But the kids were well focused and practiced very well all week long.”

As for Hymes, who admitted satisfaction at beating his old teammates, it’s time to prepare for McKinley.

“My main goal is to settle down until I get to the game.” he said. “If I had my choice. I’d be playing the game this Monday instead of next Saturday. This is going to be a long toward playing them for a long time now.”

First downs rushing 12 4
First downs passing 7 2
First downs penalty 1 0
Total first downs 20 6
Net yards rushing 207 91
Net yards passing 242 43
Total yards gained 449 144
Passes attempted 14 15
Passes completed 10 4
Passes int. 1 1
Times kicked off 8 2
Kickoff average 42.3 49.5
Kickoff return yards 32 87
Punts 2 8
Punting average 29.5 29.3
Punt return yards ‑7 ‑1
Fumbles 3 6
Fumbles lost 1 1
Penalties 2 6
Yards penalized 15 50
Number of plays 61 41
Time of possession 28:26 19:34
Attendance 8,766

ST. VINCENT 0 0 0 7 7
MASSILLON 21 14 6 6 47


First Quarter
MASS – Morgan 4 run (Hose kick)
MASS – Lightfoot 38 pass from Hymes (Hose kick)
MASS – Lightfoot 47 pass int. return (Hose kick)

Second Quarter
MASS – Blake 3 run (Hose kick)
MASS – Williams 19 pass from Hymes (Hose kick)

Third Quarter
MASS – Morgan 1 run (kick failed)
ST V – K Alvarado 2 run (Tricomi kick)
MASS – Tony Danzy 47 pass for Tip Danzy (kick failed)



Morgan 20-98, 2 TDs;
Blake 10-42, 1 TD;
Tip Danzy 1-20;
Hodgson 4-7;
Bradley 5-6;
Childs 2-6;
Autrey 1-6;
Hymes 1-4;
Stefanko 1-3.
St. Vincent
K Alvarado 5-56 1 TD;
Morgan 8-18;
Ake 2-14;
Short 5-11.

Hymes 9-12-195-1 2 TDs
St Vincent
Adamson 4-14-53-1;
Cook 0-1

Baer 1-83;
Williams 3-52, 1 TD;
Stefanko 1-73
Duffy Vance 1-47, 1 TD
St. Vincent

Paul Salvino