Tag: <span>Cleveland St. Joseph</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1989: Massillon 7, Cleveland St. Joseph 14

Wind, snow, St. Joe add up to Tiger woe
Massillon looking ahead in 14‑7 loss?

Independent Sports Editor

Bill Gutbrod was in pigskin paradise.

Lee Owens was in parochial pain.

So it went for the opposing head coaches in the wake of Cleveland St. Joseph’s 14‑7 high school football victory over the Massillon Tigers in a wind‑driven snow Friday night in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Program Cover

“There was one thing I wanted to do before I retire, and that was to win a game down here,” said Gotbrod, 64, St. Joseph’s head coach since the school opened in 1950.

“It’s so hard to win in Massillon,” added Gutbrod, whose team beat the Tigers in a 1987 mud bath at Euclid but dropped the only four other games in the series. “They do all these things to pysche you out.”

As for that parochial pain, Owens’ team is 6‑0 against public schools and 1‑2 against private ones this year.

Even the win was murder, an overtime sweat job against Akron St. Vincent‑St. Mary.

Overtime was a possibility again Friday when the Tigers tied St. Joseph at 7‑all on a convincing drive ending early in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings seized back the momentum, however, and swallowed seven minutes on an 80‑yard drive ending on Sam Woodfolk’s 6‑yard yard touchdown run with 53 seconds left.

Afterward, Owens looked like a man whose million‑dollar lottery ticket had blown away with the snow.

“I could see it in practice. I could see it in team meetings. We just couldn’t get the full attention of the players for this game, and I have to take responsibility for that,” said Owens.

Misdirected focus on next Saturday’s McKinley game was “the problem,” Owens said.

The Bulldogs also had their equilibrium jarred, losing to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney at Fawcett Stadium.

“It’s still going to be a classic matchup between two great teams,” Owens said, “but I was hoping we’d both win. The great teams win the big games and we didn’t win a big one tonight.”

All is hardly lost. The Tigers still figure to be in first place in Region 3 of the Division I playoff standings, with about 125.3 points. A win over McKinley would guarantee a playoff spot.

A loss, however, would put Massillon in a mad scramble among six contenders for four berths. The other contenders: Jackson, McKinley Akron Garfield (a 14‑0 conqueror of Buchtel Friday), Grove City and Walsh Jesuit.

The week 10 schedule: Massillon vs. McKinley, Jackson vs. Hoover, Walsh Jesuit vs. St. Vincent‑St. Mary, Garfield vs. Ellet, and Grove City vs. Westerville South.

A win over St. Joseph would have clinched a playoff spot.

Two turning points kept it from happening.

The first was early in the game. The Tigers seemed bent on making a statement, driving 46 yards to the St. Joseph 12‑yard line on second and five.
The drive stalled. The Vikings regrouped to lead 102‑92 in first‑half yardage. The halftime score was 0-0.
Turning point No. 2 came after the Tigers tied the game at 7.

A St. Joseph scoring drive that produced a 7‑0 lead in the third quarter clearly aroused the Tigers, who converted a third‑and‑16 screen pass to the 31 then rip‑roared 69 yards on the ground for the game‑tying score.

The Tiger defense held St. Joseph to three plays and a punt. But the offense couldn’t keep its edge and in turn had to punt. When Chris Roth’s punt bounced inside the 5 and Joe Pierce couldn’t quite trap the ball at the 1, the Vikings got the ball on the 20 on a touchback and launched their winning drive.

Viking quarterback Tony Miller kept the Tigers mindful of the outside option game and had the volume level where he liked it.

“We had the crowd out of the game, which is something we wanted to do in this big stadium,” the 5‑11 junior said.

St. Joseph fullback Steve Clark hammered away on the inside.

“Our big boys started clicking,” Clark, a 5‑7, 200‑pound senior wound up with 118 rushing yards.

The Tigers still had a chance to send the game to overtime when St. Joseph had the ball at the 23 with two minutes left. The Vikings lack a strong kicking game and a field goal into a nasty wind would have been unlikely from there or even 10 yards closer. But on first down Clark rumbled 14 yards to the 9. It was getting away.

On second‑and‑goal from the 6, Miller took off on an option run around left end. He was met at the 5 but at the last split second flicked a crazy pitch to halfback Sam Woodfolk, who caught it cleanly at the 6 and dashed into the corner of the end zone.

It was 14‑7 with 53 seconds left.

The Tigers made a last‑ditch drive. A pass from Lee Hurst to Rameir Martin would have given them a first down at the St. Joseph 30 with time for one more play but the ace receiver lost the football as he was hit, and St. Joseph recovered to end any Tiger hopes.

This isn’t how the Tigers wanted to go into the McKinley game but then, the Bulldogs are in the same boat.

“We’re set back now”, Owens said. “We feel some real anger in our meeting after the game. I was glad to see that our players snapped out of it right away. There’s only one thing to do … put this behind us.

St. Joseph, 6‑2, used the victory to clinch a Division II playoff berth.

Gutbrod called it “one of the top three” of his 259 coaching victories at St. Joseph.

Clark had it at No. 1.

“This means everything,” he said.

It’s different for the Tigers. The pain of this loss will fade if they connect on their “everything” one week from today.

A drive‑by‑drive summary of Friday’s game:

JOE ‑ Start with opening kickoff on own 25 after 90‑yard TD return by Brian Brown is called back by clipping penalty. Drive nine plays to Tiger 40. Stall on downs on fourth down hit by Craig Turkalj.

MAS ‑ Start on own 40. Drive 12 plays to 12. Miss 34‑yard field goal.

JOE ‑ Start on own 20. Drive six plays to 40. Punt.

MAS ‑ Take over on Viking 35 on punt of minus‑five yards. Lose ball on fumble on second play.

JOE ‑ Start on own 32. Lose yardage to 21. Punt.

MAS ‑ Start on own 49. Three plays and punt.

JOE ‑ Start on own 24. Eight plays and clipping penalty to Tiger 30. Lose ball on Keith Rabbitt interception one play after St. Joe receiver drops would‑be TD pass near goal line.

MAS ‑ Start on own 25. Three plays and punt.

JOE ‑ Start at midfield Six plays, Miss 37‑yard field goal attempt with 51 seconds left in first half.

Halftime score:
Tigers 0, St. Joe 0

MAS ‑ Start on own 12 after successful St. Joe squib kickoff. Three plays and punt.

JOE ‑ Start on own 43. Three plays and punt.

MAS ‑ Start on own 15. Lose yardage to 13 and punt.

JOE ‑ Start on Tiger 35 after nearly blocking Chris Roth’s punt. Clark carries seven times for 32 yards and goes over from 1 on fourth down. Chris Stevers kick good at 3:22 of third quarter.

St. Joe 7, Tigers 0

MAS Start on own 18 after another squib kick. Drive 82 yards for TD, 6‑yard run by Ryan Sparkman. Key plays: 16‑yard Hurst‑to‑Manion screen pass, 22‑yard Lamonte Dixon run, Sparkman rushes of 13 and 14 yards. Gary Miller kick good at 11:56 of fourth quarter.

Tigers 7, St. Joe 7

JOE ‑ Start on own 20 after kickoff and touchback. Three plays and punt.

MAS ‑ Start at midfield. Three plays and punt.

JOE ‑ Start at own 20 on touchback. Drive 80 yards in 16 plays, Woodfolk scores on six‑yard run. Key plays: 13‑yard completion (only one of game for Vikings) on second and 12, followed by 13‑yard Clark run to Massillon 46. Stevers kick good at 0:52 of fourth quarter.

St. Joe 14, Tigers 7

MASS ‑ Start on own 32 after kickoff. Drive to 30 with 10 seconds left, lose ball on fumble with seconds left.

St. JOSEPH 14­

First downs rushing 8 13
First downs passing 3 1
First downs by penalty 1 1
Totals first downs 12 15
Yards gained rushing 159 225
Yards lost rushing 10 10
Net yards rushing 149 215
Net yards passing 71 13
Total yards gained 220 228
Passes attempted 18 4
Passes completed 7 1
Passes int. by 1 1
Times kicked off 2 3
Kickoff average 55.5 43.1
Kickoff return yards 13 31
Punts 5 4
Punting average 30.0 24.8
Punt return yards 4 0
Fumbles 2 1
Fumbles lost 2 0
Penalties 6 6
Yards penalized 40 49
Number of plays 50 63
Time of possession 17:12 30:48
Attendance 9,000 (est.)

Individual statistics
(Mas) Dixon 11‑59, Ashcraft 8‑33 Dixon 7‑42, Hurst 5‑15.
(Joe) Clark 27‑118, Miller 17‑48, Woodfolk 8‑23, Bardner 5‑21, Splete 1‑5.

(Mas) Hurst 7‑18‑1 71.
(Joe) Miller 1‑4‑1 13.

(Mas) Martin 3‑41, Manion 3‑13 Sparkman 1‑17.
(Joe) Stevers 1‑13.

St. Joseph 0 0 7 7 14
Massillon 0 0 0 7 7

SJ ‑ Clark 1 run (Stevers kick)
M ‑ Sparkman 6 run (Miller kick)
SJ ‑ Woodfolk 6 run (Stevers kick)

Rameir Martin
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1988: Massillon 33, Cleveland St. Joseph 8

Tiger Victory ‘heals a lot of wounds’

Independent Sports Editor

EUCLID ‑ Brother, did the Mas­sillon Tigers need a win.

And, boy, did they ever get one, against one of The Big Brothers of Ohio high school football, Cleveland St. Joseph.

”This heals a lot of wounds,” Massillon tight end Doug Harig said on the muddy sidelines as Tiger fans stomped their feet in the background toward the end of Saturday night’s stunning 33‑8 victory at Euc­lid Panther Stadium.

Harig and his brother Doug both had a hand in what head coach Lee Owens called “as good a first half as I’ve ever seen played.”

Another Lee ‑ Hurst ‑ the quar­terback, said Jeff’s younger brother Doug had been bugging him for weeks.

“Why don’t you throw me a pass,” Jeff wanted to know.

He got one, from 5 yards away in the corner of the end zone, for as Massillon’s second touchdown. Brother Doug snared a conversion pass for 14‑0 Tiger lead with the game not yet nine minutes old.

A minute into the second quarter, Jeff Harig caught a 4‑yard Hurst pass for another touchdown.

Six minutes later, fullback Bob Dunwiddie plowed an inch or two for another touchdown.

Incredibly, a Tiger team that had lost three straight games led 26‑0 at halftime.

And there was no way St. Joseph, a ball‑control team, was going to come back.

“We didn’t seem flat,” said Bill Gutbrod, who is 255‑97‑17 as the only head coach St. Joseph has had. “You’ve gotta give them credit. They just killed us. I can’t figure out how they lost three ball games.”

This was the same St. Joseph team that beat Akron Garfield, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney and Toledo Whitmer in succession be­fore losing back‑to‑back to McKin­ley and Cleveland St. Ignatius. The Vikings made a huge statement by beating what is supposed to be an awesome Mooney team 14‑0. The same Mooney team socked it to a solid Cincinnati Xavier squad 37‑0 Saturday.

“I’d say right now that they’re su­perior to anyone we’ve played,” Gutbrod said.

This was easily the most dazzling Massillon win over a powerful team since an 18‑7 victory over McKinley in 1983.

It couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only had the Tigers lost consecutively to Fitch, St. Vincent-­St. Mary and Warren Harding, but they were 4‑6 dating back to last year’s 8‑0 defeat in a brutal mud bath against St. Joseph.

“Not counting our loss to McKin­ley, last year’s St. Joseph game was the worst loss I’ve been through,” said Trace Liggett, a defensive tackle who helped the Tigers limit St. Joseph to one first down in the first half.

“They were not a passing team and we forced them to pass. I thought the defense played well. Mostly, though, we were just sick of losing.”

Liggett said Saturday’s field con­ditions were nowhere close to as bad as the ones that greeted the team in Euclid last year.

Still, strong winds and freezing rain pelted players’ faces as the game began. Mounting a steady offense seemed unlikely.

Surprisingly, the Tigers passed on the first play. Hurst’s attempt was incomplete, but the Tigers had made a statement.

“Passing is always in our game plan and the coaches had decided we were going to pass no matter what the field conditions,” Hurst said.

Passing drifted to the back­ground, though, when the Tigers ran wild right off the bat.

On the game’s second play, full­back Jason Stafford, who finished with 105 yards, streaked for 13. On the next play, Stafford ran for 11.

“The offensive line was blowing them 5 yards off the ball,” Stafford said. “Basically, everybody was real fired up,”

An overlooked factor during the losing streak was Stafford’s health. He was playing, but with a right leg hampered by a hamstring pull. If you’ve ever had one of those, you know they can be nasty and slow to heal.

“To be honest, I’m still not 100 percent. Stafford said. “But I’m feeling better. I’m getting there.”


First downs rushing 10 0
First downs passing 0 0
First downs by penalty 1 0
Totals first downs 11 0
Yards gained rushing 157 38
Yards lost rushing 7 12
Net yards rushing 150 26
Net yards passing 32 0
Total yards gained 182 26
Passes attempted 7 0
Passes completed 6 0
Times kicked off 4 2
Kickoff average 53.8 48.0
Punts 0 3
Punting average xx.x 26.3
Punt return yards 0 0
Fumbles 1 1
Fumbles lost 1 1
Penalties 0 3
Yards penalized 0 25
Number of plays 37 14
Time of possession 15.53 8.07


(Mas) Stafford 11‑50, Hurst 6-­47, Dixon 5‑41, Sparkman 4-8, Dunwiddie 4‑4.
(Joe) Miller 5‑21, Woodfolk 6‑9, Clark 2‑1.

(Mas) Hurst 6‑7‑0 32, 2 TDs.
(Joe) no attemts.

(Mas) Jeff Harig 2‑13, Doug Harig 1‑3, Carpenter 1‑8, Manion 1‑3.

Hurst and A‑back Lamont Dixon were the other key men in Massillon’s gaining 150 rushing yards in the first half.

“After those three losses, every­body said all week in practice that we’ve got to do something,” Dixon said.

Dixon’s “something” was 41 rip ­roaring yards in five first‑half car­ries. Hurst had his best night of the year on the bootleg run, rushing 47 yards in the first half on six carries. Hurst turned over the chores to Jamie Slutz after the Tigers built a’ 33‑0 lead.

“That quarterback impressed the hell out of me,” Gutbrod said.

Gutbrod had to be at least as awed by Massillon’s first‑half de­fense. The Tigers sat in a 6‑2 (six linemen, two linebackers), same as, they had against the other sock‑it‑to‑you team on their schedule, Fairfield. St. Joseph amassed only 26­yards in the first half, all on the ground, and arrived at their final ­figure of 195 with lots of yards with the outcome long‑earlier decided.

“We wanted it,” said Tiger defensive end Monte McGuire. “The last few weeks have been tough. Real tough. We hardly talked about the games. We’ll talk about this one.”

The Tigers took the opening kick­off and drove 76 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown. Short passes to Jeff Harig and Troy Manion kept St. Joseph off balance and aided the running game.

On first and goal from the 6, “bull offense” backs Liggett and Dun­widdie checked in, but the Vikings stopped two runs for 2 total yards. The “bull” checked out, and Staf­ford took a lightning‑quick handoff on third down, zooming the 4 yards for a touchdown. Hurst’s kick was wide and the Tigers led 6‑0 with 7:02 left in the first quarter.

Dunwiddie, now playing defen­sive tackle, pounced on a Sam Clark fumble three plays later and Mas­sillon was in business at the Viking 30. Dixon’s 15‑yard run keyed a TD mini‑march capped by Hurst’s 5­yard pass to Doug Harig on third down. Jeff Harig’s conversion catch made it 14‑0 with 3:27 left in the quarter.

Again, the defense made an im­pact, with David Ledwell and Dun­widdie combining for a sack that set up a St. Joseph punt.

Massillon took over 2 yards short of midfield and ran toughshod to the 4. Stafford, Dixon and Hurst each made key runs, setting up the 4­ yard touchdown toss on first and goal to Jeff Harig. Hurst’s kick mis­fired but the Tigers led 20‑0 with 10:49 left in the second period.

Yet another strong defensive stand forced a three‑and‑out for the Vikings. This time, a short punt plopped dead on the St. Joseph 37. An 8‑yard pass to Desmond Carpen­ter fueled a 37‑yard drive that en­ded with the bull offense back on the field and Dunwiddie carrying it in on fourth‑and‑inches.

The conversion pass failed and the Tigers settled for a 26‑0 lead with 4:06 left in the half.

Stafford galloped 50 yards around the left side for an insurance touch­down, looking quite like his old self, at 6:28 of the third quarter. Hurst, still struggling with his placekicking but saying his injured leg is feel­ing better, drilled the P.A.T. this time to create the 33‑0 lead.

“Making that one was important to me,” he said.

The Vikings drove 55 yards for their touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

When it was over, the Massillon players frolicked in the mud. Many of their fans hung around outside the locker room and chanted gleefully.

“You’ve got to say something ab­out our fans,” Owens said. “To drive all this way in the rain and sit in the cold … we felt such a respon­sibility to them.”

Nobody dressed in orange was heard asking for a refund.

First downs rushing 13 6
First downs passing 0 4
First downs by penalty 1 0
Totals first downs 13 6
Yards gained rushing 246 142
Yards lost rushing 15 22
Net yards rushing 231 120
Not yards passing 49 75
Total yards gained 280 195
Passes attempted 10 12
Passes completed 8 5
Passes int. by 1 0
Times kicked off 6 2
Kickoff average 55.7 35.5
Kickoff return yards 12 27
Punts 2 5
Punting average 31.0 22.6
Punt return yards., 0 9
Fumbles 2 1
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 2 5
Yards penalized 17 51
Number of plays 56 44
Time of possession 25.56 22.04


(Mas) Stafford 15‑105, Hurst 6‑47, Dixon 9‑39, Slutz 3‑16, Dunwiddie 5‑5.
(Joe) Woodfolk 13‑56, Miller 12‑59, Moore 2‑6.

(Mas) Hurst 7‑8‑0, 38, 2 TDs; Slutz 1‑2‑0, 11.
(Joe) Miller 5‑12‑1, 75.

(Mas) J. Harig 3‑17, D. Harig 1‑5, Manion 1‑3, Carpenter 1‑8, Stafford 1‑11.
(Joe) Gardner 3‑47, Robertson 1‑25.

MASSILLON 14 12 7 G 33
ST. JOSEPH 0 0 0 8 8

M ‑ Sparkman 4 run (kick failed)
M ‑ D. Harig 5 pass from Hurst (J. Harig pass from Hurst)
M ‑ D. Harig 4 pass from Hurst (kick failed)
M ‑ Dunwiddie 1 run (pass failed)
M ‑ Stafford 50 run (Hurst kick)
J ‑ Gardner 3 run (Miller run)

T.R. Rivera
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1986: Massillon 22, Cleveland St. Joseph 17

Tigers win … let the ‘war’ begin

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ The private war is over.

Let the war the world watches begin.

The smallest and quietest home crowd of the Tigers’ season ‑ 7,425 ‑ watched their boys silence Cleveland St. Joseph 22‑17 Friday night.

It didn’t titillate those in the elevated chairs. But it was a beauty at (black) eye level.

“Without a doubt, it was the hardest‑hitting game of the year,” said Ken Hawkins, a Massillon senior who had a big hand (and foot) in the victory.

Hawkins looked weary. He said he felt like he looked.

“GlenOak can say they beat us. Fitch can say they beat us. But neither of them can say they hit us like St. Joe,” he said.

Program Cover

The crowd will be bigger and noisier next time. Canton McKinley is due to show up at 2 p.m. next Saturday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“McKinley is next and all, but it’ll take a few days to get over this one,” said Hawkins.

McKinley has to worry about a Hawkins tonight. The Bulldogs face Austintown‑Fitch at 7:45 p.m. in Fawcett Stadium. Fitch’s tailback, Leo Hawkins, scored the two touchdowns that did in the Tigers 14‑10 in a mudbath four games ago.

A star the Bulldogs won’t have to worry about is Jerrod Vance, the Tigers’ standout senior linebacker, who suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter Friday and is out for the season.

That took some of the joy out of the victory. But it was still a win as big as the season is long.

“We played with composure and showed the kind of team we are,” said Tiger head coach John Maronto. “It was a real important game, because it came right before the biggest one, which now is staring us right in the face.”

The win kept the Tigers in the playoff race with a 7‑2 record and packed drama in the injunction decision due the day before the Massillon‑McKinley game from Judge Sheila Farmer. St. Joseph is 4‑3.

The verdict on Vance is a tough one. The 6‑foot‑2, 232‑pound senior, rated as one of the state’s top college prospects, was to be examined today to determine whether his knee injury will require surgery.

Massillon trainer Pat Trainor said it already is known Vance will not play in the McKinley game. His injury occurred, as many knee injuries do, when his foot was planted and a player collided with him. It came on the first play of the fourth quarter. The biggest drama Friday came with hundreds of folks in the parking lot thinking the game was in the bag.

Massillon led 22‑10 as the clock wound toward the 1: 00 mark of the fourth quarter. On fourth down from the Tiger 29, punt snapper Todd Perdue hiked the ball over Hawkins’ head. The ball squirted toward the goal line. St. Joseph senior Bob Shaffner beat Hawkins to the ball and smothered it for a touchdown.

Perdue to Hawkins had been a reliable snap combo all season. And long before that.

“We’ve been together since ninth grade,” Hawkins said. “That’s the first time something like that happened.”

Tom Beckwith’s PAT kick made it 22‑17 with 58 seconds left.

Obviously, the onside kick was next. And it was scary. Beckwith’s squibber took a crazy bounce over the Tigers’ front wall and squirted toward the St. Joseph bench, with everyone in hot pursuit. St. Joseph’s Sherman Dean came the closest to getting the ball, but he knocked it out of bounds near the Massillon 40.

Then … confusion.

St. Joseph coach Bill Gutbrod thought his team would get another crack at the onside kick.

“I thought the rule was changed to make it an automatic penalty when the ball went out of bounds,” he said.

But referee Ron Giacomo whipped out his rule book and showed Gutbrod that there had been no such rule change. The receiving team gets the option to take the ball or make the penalized team kick over. So the Tigers took over where the ball went out of bounds. Quarterback John Miller fell on the ball three times, and the game was over.

“They’re an awful good club,” Gutbrod said of the Tigers, then mentioning the other two clubs to which his team has lost. “Lakewood St. Edward… Cardinal Mooney. There couldn’t be more than a 6‑point difference between Massillon and those two clubs.”

The stats sheet showed little difference between the Tigers and the Vikings. Both teams had 13 first downs. The Tigers trailed 204‑196 in total yardage.

Both teams completed four passes. The leading rusher for the Tigers ‑ bulldozer Mike Norris gained 88 yards in 18 carries. The top rusher for the Vikings ‑ waterbug Desmond Howard ‑ picked up 87 yards in 22 carries.

“Howard’s longest run was 10 yardsm abd that was a big factor,” Maronto said. “This is the only game I know of where he hasn’t broken a long one. He reminds me a lot of McKinley’s runner, Jeff Richardson.”

Both coaches spent much of the night trying not to remind one another of what they had seen on the game films.

St. Joseph lives by the wishbone attack, but the Vikings often lined up in the “bone” and broke out of it before the center snap.

And the Tigers, who typically pass times a game, crossed up the Vikings by throwing on the game’s first play from scrimmage.

The play ‑ a quick pass from quarterback John Miller to split end Jerome Myricks ‑ netted 11 yards just seconds after Myricks streaked 41 yards with the opening kickoff. That set the tone for a scoring drive of nine plays and 54 yards, capped by Miller’s 11‑yard rollout run through a huge hole on the right side.

The drive was kept alive when Maronto elected to go for it on fourth‑and‑12 from the 34. After a timeout, Miller drilled a 14‑yard completion to Myricks for a first down.

Massillon led 7‑0 following Lee Hurst’s PAT kick.

The Tiger defense stuffed St. Joseph on its first possession, but Myricks mishandled the ensuing punt and the Vikings’ Dale Kitchen recovered his fumble at the Massillon 32. That led to Beckwith’s 26‑yard field goal, which made it 7‑3 at the 1:17 mark of the first quarter.

Hawkins’ foot rose to the fore midway through the second quarter. On fourth‑and‑six from the St. Joseph 37, Hawkins lofted a towering punt that hit on the 17 and bounded to the 1 where it was downed.

On the next play, St. Joseph quarterback Dale Pratt mishandled the snap and dove on the ball in the end zone for a safety.

In addition to falling behind 9‑3 With 6:36 left in the first half, St. Joseph had to give the ball back to the Tigers on a free kick. The Vikings elected to punt, and got off a boot fielded by Matt Swank, who took off toward the right sideline. However, the whistle had blown – St. Joseph had lined up offsides.

The Vikings made the mistake of punting to Swank again. This time, he made exactly the same cut toward the right sideline, broke into the clear, and wasn’t caught until he had brought the ball 46 yards to the 10.

On third-and-five, Miller lofted a pass that would have split the uprights had the 6‑foot‑8 Hawkins not leaped to pick it out of the air in the back of the end zone for a Tiger touchdown.

The Tigers went for two, but fullback Vern Riley’s run was stopped short. Massillon settled for a 15‑3 lead at the 4:58 mark of the second quarter, and that stood up as the halftime score.

“Coach Maronto told us at halftime that it wasn’t time to celebrate, that they probably would come back and hit us with their best shot of the game,” Norris said. “He was right.”

Little Howard raced 42 yards with the second‑half kickoff, setting up a 53‑yard scoring drive. Key plays were an 11‑yard scramble by Pratt on fourth‑and‑six and a 17‑yard pass from Pratt to halfback Jerry Carlock to the 3. One play later, Howard scooted into the end zone. Beckwith’s PAT boot made it 15‑10 with 7:33 left in the third quarter.

The ”composure” of which Maronto spoke then surfaced for the Tigers.

Massillon got back the momentum with an impressive 62‑yard scoring drive after the ensuing kickoff.

The march was built on the blocking of the offensive line ‑ Lance Hostetler, Tony Lambert, John Woodlock, John Schilling, Todd Feemster, Sean Murphy and Hawkins ‑ and the powerful runs of Norris.

The 5‑10, 212‑pound fullback picked up 40 yards in five carries. Miller finished the job with a 10‑yard rollout run to the 1, followed by his own sneak for a touchdown. Hurst’s kick made it 22‑10 with 3:12 left in the third quarter.

The rest of the game was uneventful until the final minute, when St. Joseph scored on the snap over Hawkins’ head.

Norris said St. Joseph gave the Tigers a little pep talk as the teams shook hands after the game.

“They told us to get McKinley for them,” he said.

As if the Tigers needed to be reminded.


First downs rushing 8 9
First downs passing 4 2
First downs by penalty 1 2
Totals first downs 13 13
Yards gained rushing 162 179
Yards lost rushing 7 19
Net yards rushing 155 160
Net yards passing 41 44
Total yards gained 196 204
Passes attempted 6 10
Passes completed 4 4
Passes int. by 0 0
Times kicked off 4 4
Kickoff average 50.3 40.8
Kickoff return yards 134 84
Punts 3 4
Punting average 46.3 34.5
Punt return yards 19 5
Fumbles 2 0
Fumbles lost 2 0
Penalties 5 7
Yards penalized 55 40
Number of plays 44 56
Time of possession 22:17 25:43
Attendance 7,425

St. JOSEPH 3 0 7 7 17
MASSILLON 7 8 7 0 22

MAS ‑ Miller 11 run (Hurst kick) ST. JOE ‑ Beckwith 27 FG
MAS ‑ Safety, St. Joseph quarterback Pratt falls on ball in end zone
MAS ‑ Miller 5 run (run failed)
ST. JOE ‑ Howard 3 run (Beckwith kick)
MAS ‑ Miller 1 run (Hurst kick)
MAS ‑ Shaffner recovers fumble in end zone (Beckwith kick)

Jerrod Vance
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1985: Massillon 28, Cleveland St. Joseph 14

Tigers pull switch in beating St. Joe
St. Joseph’s husky lumberjacks were wide as they were tall, but a question dogged the Cleveland boys, which Tiger has the ball?

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON – Enter, please, a new cliche in The World Book of Wonderful Sports Quotations.

He who lives by the game film dies by the game film.

The Massillon Tigers who were studied all week by the Cleveland St. Joseph Vikings weren’t the same Tigers who ambushed them 28‑14 Friday night before a season‑high crowd of 11,482 in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“The new stuff they did hurt us,” said St. Joseph linebacker Ralph Godic. “There were a lot of tricky things they did which we didn’t see on the films.”

Oh, how the films can lie.

Program Cover

“Their backs were a lot quicker in person than they appeared on film,” noted St. Joseph head coach Bill Gutbrod. “My, they have the backs.”

It was a marvelous Massillon defensive effort, really, that was at the heart of the victory that sent St. Joseph to its second defeat versus five victories.

But it was an exotic offense that set P.B.’s Big House a buzzing as the Tigers improved to 5‑2 and got back in the playoff hunt.

The two most prominent scenes not played on Gutbrod’s game films were Cornell Jackson running the football and Wes Siegenthaler playing quarterback.

Jackson, a surprise starter who had missed five games with a knee injury, brought 6 feet, 3 inches and 205 pounds of fast‑lane excitement to the Tiger offense. He ended the night with 10 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.

The numbers weren’t overwhelming, but as Tiger head coach John Marrow noted, “Cornell Jackson is a force.”

“I can’t describe how great it felt to play again,” Jackson said, “I was as excited as I was when I was a sophomore.”

Scene No. 2 was a delicious variation of the old switcheroo.

On the eighth play of the game, after Paul Fabianich had taken all seven snaps at quarterback, with Siegenthaler playing split end, Fabianich came out of the huddle and lined up at wide out, with Siegenthaler lining up over center.

Siegenthaler kept the ball and got buried for a two‑yard loss, but the St. Joseph defense started wandering.

The Tigers pulled the switcheroo more times, with Siegenthaler running the QB keeper on seven occasions for 64 yards.

Sometimes the game films don’ lie.

“In the films, we saw that a lot of yardage was gained against St. Joseph on the option,” said Fabianich. “Wes, of course, is a very good runner. When we pulled the switch, I heard their coaches saying a couple of times, ‘Watch for the double pass.’ But the situation was designed for Wes to run the ball. I think we crossed them up.”

Sometimes the game films lie.

Sophomore Jerome Myricks, who is listed incorrectly in the program as a junior, doesn’t show up as a ball carrier in any of the Tiger game records. But the speedy Myricks hit St. Joseph for a 15‑yard gain on the Tigers’ third‑play of the game and finished with five carries.

Junior tailback Michael Harris, a star of the game films and the Tigers’ leading rusher coming in, surprisingly didn’t play ‑ he was slightly injured but was available if needed.

In another twist, junior Jerry Gruno saw his first extensive action on defense, playing most of the game at left tackle.

In short, Game No. 7 was full of surprises.

About the only thing it lacked was high suspense.

The Tigers grabbed an early lead, got a late challenge from the Vikings, then staged a clutch drive on which Mike Norris scored his third touchdown of the night.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers stalled early in the second period and sent in Ken Hawkins to punt.

Hawkins got off a beautiful boomer that backed up St. Joseph deep man Andre Smith to the 15. Smith’s back peddling left him off balance and caused him to drop the ball, which squirted to the nine, where the Tigers’ Todd Perdue pounced on it.

0n second and goal from the 4, Jackson swept right and high stepped into the end zone. Norris’ PAT kick was flat but went through and the Tigers led 7‑0 with 8:34 left in the half.

St. Joseph drove 57 yards to the Tiger 30 after taking the ensuing kickoff, but on fourth and one Lance Hostetler’s tackle stopped Godic, who plays fullback in addition to linebacker, and the Tigers took over at the 29.

After an eight‑yard loss, Siegenthaler and Fabianich pulled one of their switches, with Siegenthaler keeping for a 25‑yard gain to the Viking 41.

Two plays later, it was back to the exotic, as Fabianich pitched to Norris, who pitched to Siegenthaler, who gunned the ball to a wide-open Bart Letcavits. Letcavits caught the ball and crashed to earth at the 1 for a 38‑yard gain.

Norris then hit the middle three times, going over the left side for score on third and goal from the 1.

The PAT kick failed at the 1:28 mark, and the Tigers settled for a 13-0 halftime lead.

The Tigers took the second‑half kickoff but stalled at midfield.

Then the Massillon defense, which yielded just 107 yards in the first half, buried the Vikings deep in their own territory, forcing a fourth‑and‑12 punt train the nine.

Siegenthaler fielded the punt near midfield and danced his way to another of his spectacular returns, getting the bull to the 15. But for the third time this season, a long Siegenthaler return was negated by a clipping call, which, for the record, “de‑finitely wasn’t clipping,” according to Siegenthaler.

The Tigers started from their own 41 and scored anyway, using Norris’ power running and a 13‑yard burst by Jackson to get the ball to the 4 on first and goal. Norris went over the right side and scored easily from there, and fullback Derick Newman tacked on a two‑point conversion run to make the score 21‑0 with 1:11 left in the third quarter.

Than the Vikings made it interesting, starting on their own 28 after the kickoff and rampaging 72 yards in just five plays, with split end Dale Pratt breaking wide open along the right sideline and hauling in a 30‑yard TD toss from quarterback Bob Duffy. Smith’s two‑point run made it 21‑8 with one second left in the third quarter.

Siegenthaler streaked 48 yards with the kickoff, but the Tigers ran out of downs on the Vikings 16. St. Joseph drove to midfield but had to punt, but the Tigers stalled and had to punt from deep in their own territory.

Another good boot by Hawkins forced the Vikings to start on their own 46. From there, they marched 54 yards in seven plays, with Smith racing in from 11 yards out. The PAT kick failed, but St. Joseph now had a chance, trailing 21‑14 with 2:55 left in the game.

The key to the game became St. Joseph’s ability to recover an onside kick. The squibber traveled 11 yards to Massillon’s Bob Foster, who smothered the ball at the Tiger 49.

The Tigers’ offensive line and Newman took over from there. On first down, Newman exploded over the right side for 33 yards to the 18. Six plays later, Norris swept left to score from three yards out. Norris’ kick made it 28‑14 with 30 seconds left.

In the end, the game looked even on paper, with the Tigers holding a 303‑301 edge in total yards. But the Tiger defense played extremely well while the Tigers was all but putting the game out of reach during the first three quarters.

“St. Joseph was as big an offensive team as we’ve seen, but we have great defensive quickness and tonight we played as a team,” said Perdue, a junior linebacker. “If we’d played this well last week, we could have beaten Austintown Fitch.”

“We just had to watch them up the middle,” added Tiger tackle Duane Crenshaw. “We reduced our mistakes and played good team ball tonight.”

When the defense began to give ground in the second half, Newman counterpunched an offense. The 206‑pound senior gained just three yards in three first‑half carries but surged for 69 yards in nine second‑half lugs.

St. Joseph’s wishbone backfield spread the carries among Al Forney (seven for 73), Godic (12 for 73) and Smith (10 for 57). Norris gave the Tigers 53 yards in 15 trips.

Duffy completed 10 of 24 passes for 115 yards. Fabianich connected on just one of eight tosses for four yards, but Maronto created him with doing “a good job of running the offense.”

St. Joe’s defense just didn’t
Have Siegenthaler’s number

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Wes Siegenthaler is a split end, wingback, quarterback, kickoff returner, punt returner and cornerback.

Maybe it was only fitting that a guy who wears so many hats wore more than one number Friday night in the Massillon Tigers’ 28‑14 high school football victory over Cleveland St. Joseph.

Siegenthaler wore No. 87 in warm-ups and No. 20 during Friday’s first half. At the start of the second half, No. 1 was on his back.

Actually, it wasn’t fitting. No. 20, which used to belong to Robert Cooley – he transferred to Tuslaw ‑ is one size smaller than Siegenthaler’s regular jersey No. 1.

“He forgot his jersey, that’s all,” said Tiger head coach John Maronto.

But that’s not all there was to it in the mind of Bill Gutbrod, the St. Joseph head coach. The start of the second half was delayed several minutes while Siegenthaler’s jersey change was debated.

Ohio high school rules prohibit such a jersey switch, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

The second half began only after Siegenthaler’s ripped No. 20 was presented to Gutbrod on the St. Joseph sideline.

“The jersey had a little tear in it – I think they tore it. It was about that big,” said Gutbrod, holding his thumb and index finger two inches apart.

Gutbrod, who at age 60 and with 36 years under his belt at St. Joseph is one of the nation’s veteran high school coaches, wasn’t happy about the incident but cut the jersey talk short.

“It had nothing to do with the game,” he said. “They did a good job. Give them credit.”

Duane Crenshaw
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 27, Cleveland St. Joseph 7

Tigers’ 27-7 win ‘a big one’

Independent Sports Editor

EUCLID ‑ Ahhh. That’s a little more like it!

Massillon snapped out of a three‑game losing streak Saturday night at Euclid Stadium by swamping host Cleveland St. Joseph 27‑7 before a boisterous Tigertown following.

To say the victory was one of the biggest for the Tigers in recent year may net be true. But it was darn close.

“It’s a big one,” said a jubilant and much‑relieved head Tiger football coach Mike Currence. “You never know until you lose three in a row how big that next one is.

“We’re back on a row now, I hope.”

The victory lifted the Tigers to a 2‑3 record, and now they’ll return to home turf for the remainder of the season. St. Joseph, playoff participants a year ago, dropped to 1‑4.

“I told the kids that this was a real personal victory for me, because I had coached up here for five years,” Currence, who had head coaching stints at Westlake and Lakewood St. Edward before joining the Tigers in 1976 said.

“I thanked them personally after the game.”

Keys behind the Tiger success were a diversified offensive attack and a hard‑hitting defense that stopped the Vikings cold following the game’s opening set of downs.

The offense seemingly put it all together with senior quarterback Mike Scott at the helm. Scott, who suffered a fractured vertebra on Aug. 18 in a scrimmage against Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, hit on 11 of 24 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown ‑ the first through the air for the Tigers this year.

Scott, who had at least a half‑dozen passes dropped, had excellent pass protection throughout the game. He had to break out of the pocket only occasionally, and once took a solid hit by a St. Joe defender when forced to scramble.

“We got him back and now we want to keep him healthy,” said Currence, who had his offense line up in an I‑formation. “We wanted to give Mike Scott as much protection as we could get him.

“My line did just a great job,” the veteran coach noted. “I’m really proud of them for doing that. I think he (Scott) means a lot in terms of leadership to the ballclub.”

With Scott at quarterback, the Tigers moved Wes Siegenthaler to a split end. The move paid off as the junior caught five passes for 52 yards and dazzled the crowd with his acrobatic leaps for slightly over thrown passes.

And while the passing game was clicking, the Tigers rushed for 166 yards on the ground as well on 31 carries.

Nonetheless, the Tigers were given a scare by St. Joseph in the early going.

The Vikings took the opening kickoff and marched 73 Yards in 11 plays to paydirt when quarterback Robert Duffy hit tight and Tom Barni from eight yards out. Mike Oliver added the point‑after to give the Vikings a 7‑0 lead at the 6:29 mark.

Massillon aided the Viking drive with three penalties, one an encroachment call on third‑and‑two.

For that matter, the Tigers were penalty riddled throughout the contest. They were called for 12 infractions for 123 yards, twice being flagged for having too many players on the field on punt returns.

“We were trying to get into so many defensive formations, and we had people on the field who had not been there before,” Currence analyzed. “The nice thing is that it didn’t hurt us tonight.”

One of those illegal participation calls took away a fine 36‑yard punt return by Siegenthaler in the opening period and gave the hall back to the Vikings.

The first period was one the Tigers would rather forget. They ran off just six plays, recorded but one first down and saw junior halfback Derrick Newman suffer a possible fractured wrist after taking a jarring tackle on a pass reception.

But good things befall those who wait patiently.

If the first period was a lost cause, than the second 12 minutes more than made up for it as the Tigers scored twice to take a 14‑7 lead at halftime.

Massillon’s first score came just two plays after Newman was hurt when Scott hit a wide‑open Irwin Hastings over the middle far a 65‑yard score. Hastings, playing by far and away his best game, broke a tackle on his TD jaunt.

And for the first time this season, the Tigers convened an extra‑point try as Dan Kozma booted the first of three straight PATs. His fourth try was blocked later in the game.

The Tigers played the role of opportunists on St. Joe’ near possession when Chris Slinger pounced on a loose ball, giving Massillon field position at the Viking 45.

Eight plays later the Tigers found the end zone as fullback Duane Crenshaw exploded 12 yards with 6:57 remaining. Key plays in the march were a 5‑yard run by Hastings on third‑and‑two and a 15‑yard pass from Scott to Siegenthaler an fourth‑and‑five from the Viking 27.

Massillon nearly had another six points tacked to the scoreboard later in the period when Siegenthaler appeared to have returned a punt 86 yards. He stepped out of bounds, though, at midfield.

Both teams punted on their first two possessions of the third quarter, but the Tigers worked things out on their third set of downs.

After a Scott Byelene punt buried St. Joe at its 13-yard line, the Tigers took over at the Viking 42 following a 27‑yard punt.

This time the Tigers marched 58 yards in nine plays with Hastings plowing over from two yards out with three seconds left in the period. Twice Scott found Hastings on third-and‑long situations with screen passes for first downs to keep the drive alive.

Massillon closed out its scoring at the 6:32 mark of the final period when Jackson cut back and then sprinted past a host of defenders 35 yards to paydirt. Again, it was Hastings who had the big play with a 33-yard gain on a reverse.

St. Joe had three cracks at the Tiger defense in the final quarter, once reaching the Massillon 36 and another time the 22. Interceptions by Brian Miller and Antwan Jones stopped two of those marches.

“It was a team effort all the way,” Currence said. “The line did well, the backs ran well and the defense did another solid job. It turned out to be as exciting a game as if we were both 4‑0.”

Hastings finished as the Tigers’ leading ground gainer with 52 yards on file carries. He also added 103 yards on four pass receptions.

The Tigers will host Stow on Friday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in an 8 p.m. game.

Area prep gridsticks


First downs rushing 8 7
First downs passing 6 5
First downs by penalty 0 3
Totals first downs 14 15
Yards gained rushing 175 164
Yards lost rushing 9 19
Net yard, rushing 166 145
Net yards passing 174 93
Total yards gained 340 238
Passes attempted 24 18
Passes completed 11 7
Passes int. by 2 1
Yardage on pass int. 15.8 13.3
Times kicked off 5 2
Kickoff average 50.2 31.0
Kickoff return yards 5 90
Punts 4 5
Punting average 41.5 36.0
Punt return yards 47 2
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 0 2
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 12 4
Yards penalized 123 47
Touchdowns rushing 3 0
Touchdowns passing 1 1
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 55 62
Time of possession 21:35 26:25

MASSILLON 0 14 7 6 27
ST. JOSEPH 7 0 0 0 7

SJ ‑ Tom Barni 8 pass from Robert Duffy (Mike Oliver kick).
M – Irwin Hastings 65 pass from Mike Scott (Dan Kozma kick).
M ‑ Duane Crenshaw 13 run (Kozma kick)
M ‑ Hastings 1 run (Kozma kick).
M ‑ Cornell Jackson 34 run (kick blocked)

Mike Scott