Tag: <span>Cincinnati Western Hills</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2007: Massillon 69, Cincinnati Western Hills 13

Tigers use fast start to roll past Cincinnati Western Hills


The week before the McKinley game always can be a dangerous one for the Massillon Tigers, no matter the records. It can be especially hazardous when the Tigers’ opponent is one like Cincinnati Western Hills, an athletic team sporting a lackluster record.

But those pre-McKinley perils can go by the boards rather quickly when the Tigers take care of business early and often, as was the case on Saturday afternoon when they dismissed the Mustangs 69-13 in front of 6,477 at sun-splashed Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Massillon, which will take a 5-4 mark into Fawcett Stadium this Saturday, scored on its first five possessions on its way to a 42-0 halftime lead. “It felt real good (to jump on Western Hills early),” said Tiger senior tailback K.J. Herring, whose two touchdowns helped Massillon grab a 21-0 first-quarter lead. “It’s a long season, and you’re a little banged up. So you’re like, ‘OK, we can take it to these guys.’ It felt real good just to jump on them real quick.”

The Tigers did a good job of jumping on every opportunity Western Hills provided them.

Herring’s first score – a 5-yard run on the Tigers’ initial play – was set up by a botched snap on a Western Hills punt. The Tigers also got a short field later thanks to a recovered pooch kick, as well as a fumbled punt by the Mustangs.

The Tigers led 35-0 before the 1-8 Mustangs picked up their initial first down, and were up 55-0 before Western Hills’ Tharon Gardner hit Armondo Thomas for a 78-yard touchdown strike with 3:11 left in the third quarter to break up the shutout bid. Western Hills finished with 224 yards, 103 of those on its two touchdown passes.

“The defense had a great week of practice, and we showed that out there,” said Tiger junior cornerback Justin Turner, who also ran for a score while lining up at quarterback in the second quarter. “We didn’t give up no big plays. Then we put in the younger dudes, and they did real good.”

Massillon was well on its way to its best offensive game of the season by halftime, when it had amassed 306 total yards. By that time, the Tigers – who finished with a season-best 502 yards – were liberally substituting, which gave a chance for players like Alexander Love, who rushed for a game-high 120 yards and three touchdowns on 16 second-half carries.

“I thought we played well early,” Tiger coach Tom Stacy said. “I thought we flopped around a little bit and didn’t execute at times the way we wanted to. It’s a good win for us, and hopefully it’s something we can carry into (the McKinley) week.

“What we have to be able to do is carry these last three weeks into game 10 with that kind of momentum, because we’re going to need that. They’re a much better football team – McKinley – than their (3-6) record indicates, and they’ve played very well at home this year.”

The Tigers may have given McKinley something else to think about against Western Hills: the passing game. After struggling to consistently throw the ball – outside of a 175-yard performance in the season opener – Massillon showed what kind of threat it can be through the air against the Mustangs.

Massillon completed 11 of its 13 pass attempts for a season-best 178 yards. Senior quarterback Chris Willoughby was 6-of-7 for 72 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Tim Adkins completed all three of his aerials for 79 yards with a score. Sophomore Robert Partridge hit on two of his three passes for 27 yards.

Not only were the Tigers efficient throwing the ball, they also were diverse, spreading it around to seven different receivers. Giorgio Jackson (four catches, 44 yards) and Brandon Pedro (two grabs, 39 yards) were the only Tigers to catch more than one ball. Jackson finished with two touchdowns, while Pedro added a 13-yard scoring catch in the first quarter.

“The passing game hasn’t been so good at the beginning of the season,” said Jackson, who had second-quarter touchdown catches for 30 and 14 yards. “We’re trying to balance our offense so people can’t stop our run. We can’t just rely on our run, we have to do both. That’s why we’re trying to do both.”


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2006: Massillon 65, Cincinnati Western Hills 6

One win and Tigers are in

Only thing standing between Massillon and postseason is nemesis McKinley


Normally, conversation about the McKinley Bulldogs must wait until the Massillon Tigers have finished off their Week Nine opponent.

So, exactly when did the McKinley talk begin for the Tigers on Saturday night?

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“Pretty much after I came out of the game after halftime,” said senior linebacker Antonio Scassa after Massillon dispatched of overmatched Cincinnati Western Hills 65‑6 in front of 6,641 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Saturday. “Everybody was talking about getting the Bulldogs.”

If the Tigers can get the Bulldogs ‑ who are 9‑0 for the second straight year ‑ this Saturday afternoon at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, they can punch their ticket into the Division I playoffs for the second year in a row. Massillon, which improved to 5‑4 with the win over the Mustangs, is expected to jump back into the top eight in Region 2 when the computer rankings are released Tuesday.

A win over McKinley could not just secure the playoff spot, but just might be enough to catapult the Tigers all the way into the top four in the region. According to a popular web site which projects the rankings, Massillon was ranked No. 6 in the region as of Sunday morning.

“We have to have the best week of practice we’ve had all season,”

Tiger coach Tom Stacy said. “We’re playing obviously a great opponent, an undefeated team. We probably have to win to get into the playoffs. It’s on the line for us. This will be the first week of the playoffs for us. It’s started.

“We can accomplish every goal we set out for, except an undefeated season. All of our other goals which we have up on our board in the locker room are attainable. Our kids know that. It’s obviously going to take a great effort against a great team a week from (Saturday) to get a win.”

The Tigers didn’t need a great effort to dispatch of Western Hills last Saturday. Still, Massillon was more than efficient in dissecting the Mustangs, who fell to 3‑6.

Ten of the Tigers’ 17 first‑quarter plays either picked up first downs or touchdowns as Massillon opened up a 21‑0 lead after one quarter. Two came on Bobby Huth touchdown passes ‑ one to Brendon Baker and the other to Tommy Leonard ‑ while K.J. Herring also ran for a score.

Huth added two more touchdown passes, to Baker and Giorgio Jackson, to push Massillon’s lead to 35-0 at halftime. Huth finished 14‑of‑18 for 169 yards and four touchdowns.

“We just came in thinking we can’t lose any more,” said Jackson, who caught three passes for 51 yards, including a touchdown. “We just consider every game like it’s the state championship game. Every game is like the last game we’re playing. We just have to keep on doing that.”

By the midpoint of the third quarter, the Tigers were liberally substituting on both sides of the football. The only question was whether or not Massillon would get the shutout, which was broken up by a 68‑yard David Shavers run on the option with 6:08 left in the third, a score which cut the Tiger lead to 38‑6.

All of this was accomplished without the services of All‑Ohioan Brian Gamble, who sat out the game with an ankle injury. Stacy said Gamble could have played if needed, but will definitely return for McKinley.

“If he had to play, we could have played him,” Stacy said of Gamble.

In Gamble’s absence, Herring and J.T. Turner split the tailback duties, and did so with solid results, finishing with 146 yards on 19 carries, and a pair of second‑half touchdowns, while Herring ran for 84 on 11 carries with a score.

When it was over, Massillon had scored on nine of its 12 possessions in the game. The Tigers also came up with a defensive score when Jeff Combs returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown with 5:55 left to make it 58‑6.

Combs finished with a pair of interceptions, which was half of the Tigers’ total as a team on the night. Corey Hildreth and Cody Colly also had picks.

About the only thing which really had Stacy upset afterward was two Tiger fumbles in the first half, which raises the team’s turnover total to 21 on the season. Both came on Western Hills’ side of the 50 and spoiled potential scoring chances.

“We can not turn the ball over next week or we will not win,” Stacy said. “We have no chance if we do that. Other than that, I thought our kids played well out there. We did some good things.”