Tag: <span>Cuyahoga Falls</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1994: Massillon 21, Cuyahoga Falls 11

Falls felled! Tigers deal Cuyahoga squad first loss
Spencer sparks Tigers past Falls

Independent Sports Editor

If anyone wondered about Willie Spencer’s attitude coming off last week’s one-game suspension for practice viola­tions, their questions were answered early and often in the Massillon Tigers’ 21‑11 defeat of the previously unbeaten Cuyahoga Falls Black Tigers, Friday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Spencer had a hand in all three of Massillon’s touch­downs as the Tigers had the game salted away before the band show with a 21‑3 halftime advantage.

“Willie was terrific,” gushed Tigers coach Jack Rose. “I made him unterrific in the second half. We threw the interception and I got too con­servative. That’s my fault.

“But Willie was focused all week. When he is in tune, he is hard to beat. Really, the whole team was well‑focused. They were ready.”

The senior signal caller, forced to sit out last week’s vic­tory over Barberton, asserted himself on the Tigers’ first drive of the evening. He earned Massillon’s first first down of the night on an option keeper around left end, then hit Bren­nan Rohr with a 25‑yard pass for another first down at the Falls’ 45.

After a holding call against the Black Tigers, Spencer fol­lowed guard Kevin Bouder on an option‑keeper around left end, cut back at the 30 and sprinted untouched into the end zone. Nick Pribich’s kick made it 7‑3 Massillon with 2:16 left in the first period.

The Tiger defense got the ball back when linebacker Courtney Herring shot a gap in the Falls line on third‑and‑eight, dump­ing Black Tigers’ tailback Kevin Hyatt for a three‑yard loss, forcing a punt.

Again Spencer showed the 13,796 in attendance that he’d put the past behind him and had come to play. He hit Steve Grif­fith with a 13‑yard dart for a first down at the Massillon 44. Jeremy Fraelich picked up 11 yards off left guard to the Falls’ 45, then Leon Ashcraft got it rolling with a 10‑yard spurt on the draw play to the 37.

Two plays later Vinny Turner gained 16 yards off left tackle and the Tigers were driving at the Falls 15. Once again Spencer called his own number, keeping the ball on the option around left end. The Massillon line executed to perfection and Spencer’s quickness enabled him to dance into the end zone. Pribich converted and it was 14­3 Tigers with 5:13 until halftime.

“If we’d have played the op­tion in the first half the way we did the second half, maybe we’d have shut Spenser down,” said Falls coach Don Ross.” He’s too good of an athlete to have breakdowns. He is just a great athlete. He cracks a seam where we were supposed to have someone and the result was a touchdown.”

‘The Massillon defense forced and recovered a Falls fumble near midfield to give Spencer and company one more shot with about a minute until the break.

Spencer, sensing the kill, went up top on first down. Soph­omore speedster Devon Wil­liams got a step on the secon­dary but the ball was under­ thrown. Both Falls defenders appeared to tip the football, but Williams kept his concentration and came down with it for a 52­ yard touchdown bomb. Pri­bich’s boot made it 21‑3 at half.

“Every coach teaches their kids to bat that ball down,” Ross observed. “Maybe they mistimed their jumps. We had two kids there.

“But that score puts us in a hell of a position because you take seven off the board, they’re playing a little tighter and who knows what happens in the second half.”

Spencer never saw Williams catch the ball.

“I saw it get tipped and thought it was incomplete,” he said. “Then I saw the ref put his hands up to signal a touch­down.”

Spencer’s first half statistics: 57 yards rushing and two touch­downs in five carries; 86 yards and one touchdown on 3‑for‑4 passing.

So much for any pregame concerns.

“I was trying to prove to ev­erybody what I was about,”, Spencer said. “I haven’t done much this year passing wise, so I wanted to come out and estab­lish that part of my game.”

The second half was rather rough from the Massillon stand­point, although the final score smoothed things over. The Ti­gers threw an interception on their first possession, then got conservative on offense and went three‑and‑out on their next two series of downs.

“I told them we were going to go out and get after it in the second half,” Rose lamented. “I said you have to be greedy and take it from them, when you play football. Then I don’t listen to myself. I learned a lesson tonight. We all learned one.”

The Tigers defense did its job however, stopping the Black Ti­gers’ first two drives of the second half. Cuyahoga Falls finally made things interesting by marching 53 yards in nine plays. Hyatt covered the final 18 on a simple dive play up the middle. The point‑after made it a 21‑11 game with the entire fourth quarter left to play.

The Tigers kept the ball for six plays to start the fourth, but turned it over on an interception at the Falls’ 25‑yard line with 9:50 to go. The Black Tigers got a heady performance from quarterback Bill Brandt, who completed four passes for first downs to march the offense to the Massillon 14.

Lavell Weaver helped stem the tide by sacking Brandt for a six‑yard loss, then an intention­al grounding penalty wiped out any chance for the Black Tigers to put up a final touchdown.

“We made some big plays offensively and that’s what it takes,” Rose said. “The de­fense bent a little bit, but they made a good adjustment and played much better after that first drive.

First downs rushing 10 9
First downs passing 4 10
First downs penalty 1 0
Total first downs 15 19
Net yards rushing 190 123
Net yards passing 96 169
Total yards gained 286 292
Passes attempted 9 32
Passes completed 4 13
Passes int. 2 0
Times kicked off 4 3
Kickoff average 42 40
Kickoff return yards 14 35
Punts 2 2
Punting average 36.5 39.5
Punt return yards 0 ‑2
Fumbles 0 3
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 2 3
Yards penalized 15 38
Number of plays 42 68
Time of possession 19.55 28.05
Attendance 13,796

FALLS 3 0 8 0 11
MASSILLON 7 14 0 0 21


First quarter
F ‑ Worthington 37 yard kick
M ‑ Spencer 35 yard run (Pribich kick)

Second quarter
M ‑ Spencer 13 yard run (Pribich kick)
M ‑ Williams 49 yard pass from Spencer (Pribich kick)

Third quarter
F ‑ Hyatt 18 yard run (Brandt conversion)


Ashcraft 21‑105,
Spencer 8‑58, 2 TDs.
Hyatt 21‑94, 1 TD.
Spencer 4‑9‑96, 1 TD.
Brandt 13‑32‑169.

Williams 2‑59, 1 TD,
Rohr 1‑25.
Steiner 5‑64,
Hyatt 2‑39,
Marino 2‑39.

Leon Ashcraft

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1988: Massillon 28, Cuyahoga Falls 6

Tigers barrel over Falls 28-6

Fake punt starts onslaught

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers ran and booted and made the crowd’s heart race.

Quarterback Lee Hurst’s heart was racing before he put on his boots.

Coach Lee Owens’ creative con­coction ‑ the run‑and‑boot offense ‑ lived up to advance bill Friday night when the Massillon Tigers outslugged and outran the Cuyaho­ga Falls Black Tigers 28‑6 in a high school football season opener seen by a paid house of 10,724 in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Hurst, a junior starting his first varsity game, didn’t let it show, but he was “sluggish” according to Owens, and for a very specific reason.

“He’s under medication and he may have had a little too much of the medication tonight,” Owens said of the man who had just com­pleted 13 of 20 passes for 138 yards.

He didn’t have the energy he normally would have.”

Program Cover

“I’ve had a problem with a racing heart,” Hurst explained. “The medication is for that. They’ve made it stronger for football sea­son. I may have had too much of it.”

Massillon had too much of every­thing for Falls.

“I thought we did really well on offense,” Hurst said. “The backs ran well and the linemen did a super job blocking.”

Fullback Jason Stafford did a lot of the outrunning and outslugging. The 5‑foot‑9, 165‑pound speed burner rushed 18 times for 103 yards.

He never quite could get his 4.39 second 40‑yard dash speed out in the open, but, as he put it, “I was close to breaking it all the way on every play.”

Hurst and Stafford were well known names last year. Lamont Dixon was not. Dixon opened a few eyes, though, when he rushed six times for 98 yards out of the “A-back” position, as Owens calls it.

Ryan Sparkman, who played de­spite an upper‑leg injury, had been ticketed for starting duty at the “A­back” spot. Dixon played as though he would like the job, running over anything that was in his way.

Speaking of surprises, the Tigers set the tempo for the evening by pulling off a big one.

On the sixth play of the game, fac­ing fourth‑and‑three from the Falls 46‑yard line, the Tigers lined up to punt.

Three Tigers lined up five yards behind center. The man on the right was senior Jamie Slutz, who spent training camp battling for the start­ing quarterback job.

“The coach told me to check out­side to see if Joe (Pierce) was co­vered,” Slutz said. “When I saw that he wasn’t, I called for the snap to come to me.”

It did. Slutz rolled out, “just look­ing to get the ball to somebody.” He saw a linebacker pop in front of the streaking Pierce. Pierce broke be­hind the linebacker and Slutz fired a strike.

The 16‑yard completion gave the Tigers a first down at the 30. The inspired Tigers gained 6, 5, 7, 5 and 5 yards to set up a 1‑yard plunge into the end zone by Sparkman.

The point‑after kick failed, but the gamble had succeeded.

“With all the buildup about our offense, it would have been hard for us to punt there,” said Owens who has said frequently that he looks at punt as “a dirty word.”

The Tigers sputtered at times the rest of the way but managed to make their offense look like they have an Indy car to tune up the rest of the season.

They led 28-0 before Falls scored on a bomb with 55 seconds left in the game.

“There were a lot of times when we out‑athleted ”em,” said Owens, smiling at the word he invented.

“I’m disappointed in a lot of things. We’ll have to be a lot better tomorrow. But I don’t want to take away from the victory earned by the players and the coaching staff. it was a great one.”

Falls is not among the top names on the Massillon schedule. The Black Tigers loomed as a team that might improve on last year’s 7‑3 campaign before a car crash last winter killed two boys, paralyzed two others and led another to trans­fer from Falls to another school dis­trict. All would have been starters this year, including one of the boys who was killed, 6‑7 quarterback Kevin Humble.

“I know a couple of Falls guys and I know they dedicated the whole season to the guys in that crash,” said Massillon middle guard Bob Dunwiddie. “They came in on a bubble. After a couple of hard hits, they came back to earth.”

Dunwiddie was pleased with the Massillon defense, which allowed only 131 yards until Falls beefed the total up to 208 on its last possession.

“We pulled together as a team in­stead of being individuals ” he said

Coach Bill Humble was not at all displeased with his team, which leads one to believe he sees Massil­lon as a powerhouse.

“Our kids played hard,” he said. “I thought we played pretty good football.”

Massillon’s early success on the faked punt “really hurt us,” Hum­ble said. “That was a real key play.

There would be others.

Midway through the second quar­ter, Dixon exploded for 49 yards on a play that highlighted an‑84‑yard scoring drive.

“It was the old Redskin play, a counter gap,” said Owens. “I thought it worked well tonight.”

Dixon’s run was sandwiched be­tween two Hurst‑to‑Marlon Smith completions. The touchdown came on a 6‑yard run by Stafford, who swept left, was caught at the three, spun away and reached the football barely over the goal line as he hit the turf.

Hurst’s point‑after kick boomed through and Massillon led 13‑0 with five minutes left in the half.

Falls went three‑and‑punt and Massillon got the ball back on the Black Tigers’ 45. A 12‑yard recep­tion by Smith put the ball on the 20. On the next play tight end Jeff Harig ran a post pattern and Hurst led him with a high‑arcing pass to the back of the end zone. Harig dove and snagged the ball with his fing­ertips, pulling it in and hanging on as he crashed to the ground with a touchdown.

Harig did it again on the point ­after try, grabbing a tipped ball for a two‑pointer that gave the Tigers a 21‑0 halftime lead.

Falls staged a mild threat late in the third quarter. With the score still at 21‑0, the Black Tigers drove to the Massillon 22 where it was second‑and‑six. Pierce flew from his free safety position to break up what briefly appeared to be a touch­down pass on second down. Monte McGuire, playing with an air cast on his left ankle, stuffed 205‑pound fullback Jim Kearns for no gain on third down. A fourth‑down pass fell incomplete and the threat was over.

The Tigers drove 78 yards in 10 plays for an insurance touchdown. Sparkman went over left tackle and exploded for an 8‑yard touchdown run with 11:06 left in the game. Hurst’s kick made it 28‑0.

Falls’ touchdown drive was cap­ped by a 41‑yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jim Bal­lard to junior split end Jim Otis.

The Tigers were disappointed that the shutout got away. As the defense returned to the bench, Owens said, “Keep your heads up.”

The heads were up in the locker room afterward.

“We could have been a little more intense, but we did pretty well,” Pierce said.

GlenOak had riddled the Tigers for 14 completions in 20 attempts in a scrimmage the previous Friday. The Tiger linebackers’ timing was off that night, as they were not mak­ing the drops that would take away passes over the middle.

“The linebackers did a real good job tonight,” Pierce said. “They helped out the defensive backs a lot.”

Pierce said losing the shutout was a disappointment. McGuire agreed, but he didn’t look very dis­appointed.

“I feel good,” he said. “A win is a win.”

First downs rushing 13 5
First downs passing 7 3
First downs by penalty 0 1
Totals first downs 20 9
Yards gained rushing 237 102
Yards lost rushing 17 11
Net yards rushing 220 91
Net yards passing 154 117
Total yards gained 374 208
Passes attempted 211 19
Passes completed 14 12
Passes int. by 1 0
Times kicked off 5 3
Kickoff average 55.8 30.31
Kickoff return yards 44 184
Punts 2 6
Punting average 32.5 30.3
Punt return yards 47 14
Fumbles 0 1
Fumbles lost 0 0
Penalties 5 3
Yards penalized 77 15
Number of plays 57 47
Time of possession 21.20 26.40


(Massillon) Stafford 18‑103, Dix­on 6‑98, Sparkman 7‑15, Owens 1‑9.
(Falls) Kearns 13‑28, Arney 8‑23, Ballard 6‑37.

(Massillon) Hurst 13‑20‑1, 138; Sultz 1-1-0, 16.
(Falls) Ballard 12‑19‑0, 117.

(Massillon) Harig 4‑49, Smith 14‑33, Manion 3‑46, Pierce 1‑16, Dixon 1‑6, White 1‑4.
(Falls) Arney 8‑47, Otis Z4L 1 2‑12, Adkins 2‑12

Attendance 10,724

FALLS 0 0 0 6 6
MASSILLON 6 15 0 7 28

MAS ‑ Sparkman 1 run (kick failed)
MAS ‑ Stafford 6 run (Hurst kick)
MAS ‑ Harig 20 pass from Hurst (Harig pass from Hurst)
MAS ‑ Sparkman 8 run (Hurst kick)
CF ‑ Otis 41 pass from Ballard (pass failed)

T.R. Rivera
T.R. Rivera


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1968: Massillon 30, Cuyahoga Falls 6

Jim Smith’s night as Tigers win 30-6

Gets good blocking, aids WHS bounce-back


It was Jim Smith’s show Friday night at Tiger stadium.

Aided by fine blocking – especially down field – the big senior tailback ran wild as the Washington high eleven downed a bigger Cuyahoga Falls eleven 30-6.

The non-league win, before 11,277 on Dad’s night, represented a comeback from last week’s loss at Warren to a 7-2 record. Falls came out with the same record and had a
six-game winning streak.
* * *
THE BLACK Tigers were without the services of their outstanding senior fullback Doug Root from the third play on, when he injured an ankle. A sprain is suspected but X-rays were taken after Falls arrived home last night because a break wasn’t ruled out.

So the big back battle never materialized but Smith went on to his finest performance of his career, picking up 179 net yards in 22 carries, to account for all but eight of his team’s ground total. He scored three of the Tigertowners’ four touchdowns – all on beautiful, long runs and added a two-pointer.

Normally, Massillon grinds out the yardage, but it was Falls which did the three yards-and-a-cloud of dust bit this time, using almost twice as many plays as the WHS squad and out gaining the Orange and Black by 16 yards on the ground.

However, the Tigers had their best night in the air with 91 yards to roll up more total yardage.

Smith had 125 of his total in the first half but Falls made some alterations during the intermission and held him to 54 yards thereafter. Coaches Bob Seaman of Massillon and Terry Ross of Falls differed on the reason with Ross picking the firing of his linebackers more often and Seaman tabbing the inability of his line to pick up the inside stunts.

* * *

WHILE SMITH was displaying his foot fireworks, the Tigers’ defense couldn’t keep Falls from mounting long drives. But once inside the 20, in Seaman’s words, “Our defense got tough.”

Twice in the second period senior safety Chuck Stoner picked off Falls’ passes to half possible scoring drives and put Massillon on the road to touchdowns.

Falls had second and 10 on the Massillon 13 when Stoner hauled in a Rick Prunty aerial in the end zone and raced 66 yards to the Falls 34. On the next play, Smith took a pitch to the left end and scored with 8:11 remaining. He missed the conversion, trying to go over right tackle.

On the fourth and 10 on the Massillon 32, Stoner pilfered another Falls’ aerial at the 17 and raced 20 yards to the 37. With Smith carrying six consecutive times and taking an option pitch right and from the 42 cutting back across the field on the final play, the Tigers had another score with 15 seconds left.

Quarterback Marc Malinowski’s attempted pass to wingback Mark McDew for the conversion failed but he had two other key catches on the night.

* * *

TIGHT END Mike James may get credit for key blocks on both TD runs when the movies are graded.

McDew’s first big catch caught everybody by surprise when Malinowski passed on first down from his own 29 in the first quarter. McDew completed the “M & M Special” with a running catch on the Falls 40 and went the rest of the way for the 77-yard score.

Smith converted off right tackle.

He got his final score after McDew had caught a 14-yard third down, fourth quarter pass to give the Tigers a first down on the Falls 30. Three plays later, Smith went 33 yards off left guard on a handback trap to make it 28-6 with 5:56 remaining in the game.

Malinowski skirted left end for the conversion.

* * *

THE TIGERS’ other score came on a first quarter safety. Keith Autrey blocked a punt from the end zone, sending it behind the goal post. A snap over the punter’s head and into the end zone on the fly from the 29 was the break the Tigers needed. The time was 0:28.

Falls’ tally came on a 10-play drive aided by the 15-yard personal foul and five-yard illegal procedure penalties. Larry Valentine, converted from a quarterback to a fullback last week, scored off left tackle from the one with 11:19 left in the game.

McDew knocked down Prunty’s pass intended for Valentine on the PATs attempt.

“I thought our down field blocking was real good,” Seaman said. “The running wasn’t too bad either.” Ross also felt the Tigers’ down field blocking was “great.”

“We came back real strong tonight,” Seaman said. “Those early scores and especially that long pass to McDew helped.”

“We missed our big boy,” Ross commented. “It changed our game plan. I think we would have scored a few more times if we had had him. Once he’s gotten into the open, those guys wouldn’t have caught him. We would have controlled the ball well with him in there.”

Ends – Caldwell, Wiant, Parker, Mercer.
Tackles – Lipinski, Richardson, Vujanov.
Guards – Weahry, Ray, Heideman, Wasnac, Whitney,
Centers – Saylor, Meyers, Kuhn.
Quarterbacks – Prunty, Chaboudy.
Halfbacks – R. and K. Parsons, Farabee, Neiman, Phillips,
Kaser, Ispan.
Fullbacks – Root, Valentine.

Ends – Dampier, James, Robinson, Engler, Cline, Conley,
Couto, McLin.
Tackles – Laase, McGeorge, Harris, Dorman, Midgley, Doll.
Guards – Whitfield, Harig, Hout, Indorf, Arnott, Ferguson,
Miller, Fichter.
Center – Cocklin.
Quarterbacks – Malinowski, Fromholtz, Lombardi.
Halfbacks – Smith, McDew, Shumar, K. Autrey, Stoner,
Hodgson, Sheaters, Gamble.
Fullbacks – M. Autrey, Streeter, Johnson.

Falls 0 0 0 6 – 6
Massillon 10 12 0 8 – 30

Touchdowns: Massillon – Smith 3 (34, 42 and 32-yard runs);
McDew (77-yard, pass-run from Malinowski).
Falls – Valetine (one-yard run).

Extra points: Massillon – Smith 2 (run).

Safety – K. Autrey blocked punt in end zone.

Player Att. Net. Ave.
Malinowski 8 -5 0
M. Autrey 2 8 4
Smith 22 179 8.1
McDew 1 -3 0
Streeter 2 8 4

Player Att. Net. Ave.
Root 3 20 6.7
Neiman 13 33 2.5
Phillips 14 62 4.4
Valentine 20 67 3.4
Parsons 5 21 4.2

Referee – Harvey Hodgson, Jr.
Umpire – Ross Kemper.
Head Linesman – Del Groezinger.
Field Judge – Hugh Davis.

First downs – rushing 8 14
First downs – passing 2 1
First downs – penalties 0 2
Total first downs 10 17
Yards gained rushing 218 209
Yards lost rushing 31 6
Net yards gained rushing 187 203
Net yards gained passing 21 20
Total yards gained 278 223
Passes completed 2-7 3-17
Passes intercepted by 2 2
Yardage on passes intercepted 79 15
Kickoff average (yards) 4-42.5 2-19.5
Kickoff returns (yards) 19 70
Punt average (yards) 4-31.8 6-31.0
Punt return (yards) 15 2
Had punts blocked 0 1
Lost fumbled ball 0-2 0-1
Yards Penalized 5-44 3-25
Total number of plays 47 79

George Whitfield