Tag: <span>Danny Clark</span>


2014: Massillon 7, Perrysburg 56

Perrysburg crushes Massillon in DII quarterfinal

Chris Easterling

PERRYSBURG The start was about as bad as it could get for Massillon. The finish was worse.

The Tigers fell into an early hole against the top-ranked Division II team in the state, Perrysburg, in a Division II Region 4 quarterfinal. Like quicksand, though, it would swallow up Massillon in a 56-7 loss to the Yellow Jackets in front of a crowd of nearly 6,000 inside Steinecker Stadium.

“Nothing went right,” said Massillon coach Jason Hall, whose team ends its season at 7-4. “You have to tip your hat to them. No. 10 (Perrysburg quarterback Gus Dimmerling) is special. … We really just couldn’t get into a rhythm on either side of the ball.”

A 21-0 first-half deficit would eventual result in the first time Massillon had been on the wrong side of a running clock in the second half, when Dimmerling’s fourth touchdown – a 75-yard run with 1:38 left in the third – made it 42-7 Yellow Jackets. By the time it was over, Perrysburg had handed the Tigers their worst loss since 1931.

As the fireworks exploded over Steinecker Stadium, Perrysburg celebrated a win in its first home playoff game as it improved to 11-0. It will meet Nordonia, also 11-0, in a regional semifinal next week.

“These guys come out and get after it,” Perrysburg coach Matt Kregel said. “They flip the switch and they’re ready to go. The taunting and the ‘we’re-better-than-you’ attitude, we were ready.”

Perrysburg scored on its first two possession – needing nine plays and 13 plays – to take a 14-0 lead with 43 seconds left in the first quarter. The first score came on a Trevor Hafner-to-Quinn Thomas scoring pass; the second on a 25-yard Dimmerling run.

Dimmerling finished the night with 302 rushing yards on 21 carries. He also completed 13-of-18 passes for 112 yards, while catching two passes for 21 yards.

“The momentum was huge,” said Dimmerling, whose 5-yard run with 4:13 left in the half gave Perrysburg a 21-0 lead. “It really got the crowd into. Everybody was just real pumped up and it just got us going.”

Massillon, on the other hand, never could get its offense consistently going. The only score came with 35 seconds left in the half, on J.D. Crabtree’s 1-yard run.

The run by Crabtree – who rushed for 107 yards on 21 carries – made it 21-7 at halftime.

The Tigers, though, had other opportunities to put more points on the board.

Their first drive of the game, after the Yellow Jackets had scored, got all the way down to the Perrysburg 2. But on fourth-and-goal, the defense stuffed a run for a 5-yard loss, turning it away.

“We had our opportunities, especially early,” said Hall, whose team finished with 280 total yards to Perrysburg’s 497. “We just couldn’t get into a rhythm.”

Massillon would also be turned away on fourth-and-20 from the Perrysburg 25 in the third quarter. By that time, the Tigers were down 35-7.

They also reached inside the Yellow Jacket 5 early in the fourth quarter. But a fumble at the goal line was picked up and returned 99 yards – the last 20 by Seth Durham following a lateral from Hafner, who had picked up the loose ball – to make it 42-7.

Perrysburg also had an interception return for a touchdown by Zach Honsberger, which made it 29-7 after a two-point conversion with 6:34 left in the third.

Massillon turned the ball over four times.



2014: Massillon 31, Canton McKinley 21

Victoery Bell chimes For Tigers after 125th meeting with archrival

By Chris Easterling
Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON It was familiar territory for Massillon at halftime of the 125th game against McKinley on Saturday afternoon at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The Tigers were sitting with a lead – a 10-point one, in this case – with a chance to secure the win.

Twice before, though, that halftime lead dissolved into losses. The memory of those games was a big reason why Massillon’s seniors were doing something they had done before at the end of the game as well: ringing the Victory Bell after beating the Bulldogs.

“We had yet to play a strong four quarters of football,” senior running back J.D. Crabtree said after Massillon’s 31-21 win over McKinley. “We really stressed that this week. We stressed that in the locker room at halftime that we can’t come out flat. We’ve been in this situation before; we’ve been up. We have to come out and do our jobs. We came out fired up, and we did what we were supposed to.”

What Massillon did was post its fourth consecutive win in the series against the Bulldogs, including its third straight regular-season win. The win improved the Tigers to 7-3 and sent them packing for Perrysburg to meet the 10-0 Yellow Jackets in a Division II Region 4 quarterfinal Friday night.

While the playoff berth was secured long before kickoff – only the opponent, – Perrysburg or Nordonia was up in the air – Massillon came out looking like a team trying to pull out all the stops on its rivals. The Tigers recovered an onside kick to start the game, although that ended up in a missed 51-yard field goal.

That proved to be the only time Massillon would get inside the McKinley 40 and not put points on the board. The Tigers’ second possession ended with Crabtree scoring the first of his four touchdowns on the day, a 5-yard run with 6:56 left in the first quarter.

McKinley pulled even with Massillon only once after that point. The Bulldogs tied the game at 7-7 on a 3-yard Eric Glover-Williams run with 9:06 left in the half.

Massillon scored on two of its final three possessions of the half, though, to take a 17-7 halftime lead. Crabtree’s 1-yard plunge and Andrew David’s 41-yard field goal with 1 second left in the half provided the Tiger margin.

“We just needed to play our game,” senior running back/linebacker Danny Robinson, whose fourth-down run with less than 40 seconds left picked up the game-clinching first down. “We came in at halftime and everybody knew we were the better team in that locker room. We just needed come out and execute and stop them.”

Massillon grabbed a 24-7 lead on Crabtree’s third score, a 16-yard run just 2:15 into the second half. It was part of the senior’s 34-carry, 131-yard performance.

“The Massillon people would say that’s the J.D. Crabtree they know,” Tigers coach Jason Hall said.

McKinley, though, had a little life left in it. A Lee Hurst-to-Bryce Short touchdown pass in the third quarter, followed by a Hurst quarterback plunge pulled the Bulldogs within 24-21 – after a Glover-Williams-to-Short two-point conversion – with 10:43 remaining.

Both were set up by special-teams plays. A 22-yard fake-punt run by Devion Jenkins helped keep the former scoring drive alive, while the latter was set up by a muffed punt by Massillon at its own 30.

Massillon, though, wouldn’t let another double-digit lead slip by it as it did against Austintown Fitch in Week 6. With a little help from a pair of McKinley penalties, the Tigers marched down the field on their next possession to punch in the insurance score on Crabtree’s fourth score of the day with 9:35 remaining.

“I think we’ve learned from (Fitch) when we had that lead and we lost it,” Tiger senior tackle Devin Williams said. “There’s no point in the game where you should be flustered. … No matter what the score is, whether we’re up, down, it’s always the same.”

Which is why Massillon’s seniors got the oh-so-familiar experience of ringing the Victory Bell again Saturday afternoon.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2014: Massillon 20, Akron St. Vincent St. Mary 28

Massillon’s playoff hopes Shaken following defeat

Chris Easterling
Independent sports editor

MASSILLON – Massillon’s playoff hopes might not hinge completely on next Saturday’s regular-season finale against McKinley. At this point, though, the Tigers don’t have any other option than to treat it that way.

For the second year in a row, St. Vincent-St. Mary put Massillon in a bind entering its annual grudge match with the Bulldogs. This time, it was a 28-20 win by the Irish on Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The loss drops Massillon to 6-3 on the season. The Tigers came into the game ranked No. 5 in Division II Region 4, and had a number of games involving level-two points for them or teams behind them in the rankings break their way.

That said, Massillon Coach Jason Hall doesn’t want to hear about anything other than what his team can control. That would be next Saturday afternoon’s home game against McKinley, which is 3-6 after losing to Boardman Friday night.

“Right now, our attention has got to go to McKinley,” Hall said. “That’s the only option we have. … For our kids, it’s McKinley Week.”

Massillon found itself in that predicament because St. Vincent-St. Mary made the playsit couldn’t on Friday night. The Irish outgained the Tigers 473-318 overall, rushed for 208 yards to the Tigers’ 162 and didn’t turn the ball over while Massillon gave it up once.

All of that added up to a second consecutive victory in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium over Massillon for the Irish, who are now 7-2 and firmly in control of a path back to the playoffs after consecutive Division III state titles.

“I thought we did a nice job shutting down their big receiver (Reggie Rogers), too,” Irish coach Dan Boarman said. “We slowed down (Massillon’s 1,000-yard rusher J.D.) Crabtree. I don’t think we stopped him.”

Crabtree rushed for 97 yards on 18 carries, the first time he was held under 100 yards in a game he played four quarters in. He scored a touchdown to pull Massillon within 14-7 in the second quarter.

Rogers, meanwhile, caught an 18-yard touchdown to pull Massillon to 28-20 with 1:09 remaining. The Irish, though, blocked the extra point and then recovered the onside kick to essentially remove all doubt.

Rogers finished with seven catches for 94 yards for the Tigers. They completed 15 of 22 passes for 156 yards in the air.

“We just have to play consistent,” Hall said. “In the second half, we didn’t do a good job with our inside zone. We didn’t do a good job in our short passing game. We’ve got to be more consistent with things. If you don’t have a balanced attack and you’re not consistent and you give up big plays, us coaches have to do a better job. It’s not just the kids.”

The Irish were the big-play offense Friday night. Twice, that is, and those big plays were killers for Massillon.

St. Vincent-St. Mary scored on an 83-yard Dom Davis-to-Tyrece Speaight pass with 3:53 left in the first quarter. On the play, a Massillon defender tried to get the interception, missed, and gave Speaight a clear path to the end zone.

A similar thing happened in the fourth quarter, as Markus Hurd capitalized on an overaggressive Tiger defense trying to get an interception. This time, it was a 55-yard scoring catch and run to make it 28-14 Irish with 7:14 remaining.

That was one of three two-touchdown deficits Massillon faced during the game. It trailed 14-0 after one quarter, 21-7 in the second quarter and then 28-14 in the fourth quarter.

“We gave up big plays,” said Hall, whose team trailed 21-14 at halftime. “You can’t give up big plays. We didn’t start off good in the first quarter, and we have to make plays on offense. We just have to put a complete game together.”

That complete game, the Tigers hope, comes next week against McKinley. In fact, their season may depend on it happening.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2014: Massillon 38, Akron Garfield 0

Massillon ends two-game losing streak, routs Garfield

Chris Easterling

MASSILLON Some good news on the scoreboard was what Massillon needed. That good news is what it received on Friday night.

Facing an overmatched Garfield team, the Tigers came out and took control early and rolled to a 38-0 win at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The win snapped Massillon’s longest losing streak – two games – since 2011, and improved its record to 6-2 on the season.

It was the elixir the Tigers needed to not just calm the waters around town, but also get them in the right direction heading into a huge final two regular-season games. That starts with next week’s home game against St. Vincent-St. Mary, followed by the finale against resurgent McKinley.

“It’s nice to see our kids smile,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “We have a couple big ones coming, and a huge one definitely here in seven days. … We regroup now and move on.”

Massillon took control of the game in the first half, and unlike the previous two weeks against Austintown Fitch and Ursuline, didn’t let a halftime lead disappear. The Tigers, following an opening-drive turnover, turned their last two first-quarter possessions into scores for a 14-0 lead.

They wouldn’t stop scoring, either. A 21-0 halftime lead turned into a 31-0 edge after three quarter, with the entire fourth quarter spent playing under a running clock.

The first score was set up by Jeff Koch’s second interception in as many games, and third turnover picked up by the junior cornerback. Ten plays later, J.D. Crabtree was in the end zone with a 2-yard run and a Massillon lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Mike White, one of three running backs the Tigers used in the first quarter alone, made it 14-0 when he took a swing pass and raced 66 yards for a touchdown on their next possession. Despite a penalty flag that the officials ultimately picked up, Massillon was up 14-0.

White would add a pair of second-half scoring runs, a 12-yarder in the third quarter and a 55-yarder in the fourth.
Crabtree’s second short scoring run – a 3-yarder – made it 21-0 Massillon midway through the second quarter. The Tiger senior became the fifth running back in the last seven years to top the 1,000-yard rushing mark with a 55-yard scamper on that scoring drive.

“Being a 1,000-yard rusher, it’s always what I dreamed of,” Crabtree said. “I tried at it last year, but I came up 300, 400 short. (Running backs coach Joe) Pierce, I know he’s going to be proud of me. He works me hard.”

Crabtree finished Friday night with 173 yards, 124 in the first half. He now has 1,120 on the season.

One key to the Massillon win was its ability to not be its own worst enemy, as had been the case in the previous two games. That’s not to say the Tigers didn’t have miscues – their first drives of both the first and second quarters ended in turnovers – but they were significantly lessened overall compared to previous weeks.

After 19 combined flags against Massillon in the two losses, it was flagged five times against Garfield. That’s more in line with the first five games of the season, when the Tigers had just 14 penalties combined.

“I thought our kids were focused,” said Hall, whose team also got a 51-yard field goal by Andrew David. “They didn’t get worked up. They handled the turnovers. We made them have to drive the field and the things we want to do. I thought we did a good job.”

Which is why Massillon was able to get a whole lot of good news on the scoreboard.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2014: Massillon 14, Youngstown Ursuline 23

Ursuline uses strong running game to stop Massillon

Chris Easterling

YOUNGSTOWN The more physical team always was expected to be the team to emerge from Friday night’s showdown between Massillon and Ursuline with the win.

The Irish were the more physical of the two teams on this night inside Youngstown State University’s Stambaugh Stadium. That fact was reflected on the scoreboard, which read Ursuline 23, Massillon 14.

And no one was disputing that fact less than Tiger head coach Jason Hall, whose team dropped its second consecutive game – both to Youngstown area teams – to fall to 5-2.

“We got beat physically,” Hall said. “It is what it is. Their defense beat us up physically. There you go. We all got to look in the mirror.”

Massillon’s only two scores were set up by short fields. One came after a shanked punt set up their first possession at the Irish 26; the other after Jeff Koch’s interception started their final possession of the first half at the Ursuline 37.

Both ended with J.D. Crabtree touchdown runs. The first put Massillon ahead 7-0; the second gave the Tigers a 14-13 halftime lead.

Other than that, Massillon found next-to-nothing consistently go right for it against a stout Irish defense. The Tigers had their first drive of the second half end with a blocked 22-yard field goal, and their final drive of the game end with a 41-yard field goal go wide right.

Massillon’s running game was limited to a net of 77 yards, although Crabtree did run for 105 yards on 18 carries. The Tigers put the ball up 37 times, completing 14, for 223 yards.

“They got movement,” said Hall, whose team also was hurt by eight penalties. “They were able to get some penetration. It really cut off our cut-backs and our seams.”

The Tigers did have two other drives reach Ursuline territory, one to the Irish 39 and the other to the Irish 37. The first ended in a punt after the drive was short-circuited by a first-down sack in the second quarter; the latter saw the Tigers lose 31 yards on a bad punt snap to put the Irish in business at the Massillon 27 late in the third quarter.

The second one would set up Ursuline’s 26-yard field goal with 10:04 remaining. That gave the Irish the lead for good at 16-14.

“We’re growing up as a football team,” Ursuline head coach Larry Kempe said after his team improved to 5-2. “I’ve always liked our physicality defensively. We’re starting to understand that offensively up front, too.”

That was evident in the Irish’s patience with the running game. Of their 63 offensive plays, 60 were rushes, netting a total of 274 yards.

For the second week in a row, Massillon allowed a pair of 100-yard rushers, with one of those two being the opposing quarterback. This time, it was Irish quarterback Vito Penza leading all rushers with 168 yards on 27 carries and three touchdowns.

Penza’s 32-yard run on the Irish’s second possession pulled them within 7-6 of the Tigers. His 1-yard plunge with 9:05 left in the second quarter gave Ursuline a 13-7 lead after the PAT.

His final score – a 55-yard run with 8:33 remaining – made it a two-score game at 23-14.

“We knew we had to play Ursuline football, Youngstown football,” Penza said. “We played really well as a team.”

Kimauni Johnson also topped 100 yards rushing for Ursuline, gaining 106 yards on 27carries


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2014: Massillon 33, Austintown Fitch 34

Fitch ends Massillon’s unbeaten hopes again

Chris Easterling

MASSILLON It was like deja vu for Massillon. For the second year in a row, Massillon found itself needing a furious last-minute rally to try to knock off Austintown Fitch. For the second year in a row, that comeback fell short for the Tigers, this time in 34-33 loss at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Friday night.

A year ago at Austintown, the comeback was halted when Fitch picked up a sack with less than five seconds left. On Friday night, the Tigers were thwarted when a 40-yard field goal try went wide right with five seconds remaining.

Either way, it was the second year in a row the Falcons knocked off Massillon when it was undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Division II.

“It came down to a last-second play, but at the end of the day, you can’t make as many mistakes as we did,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said after his team fell to 5-1. “Special-teams blunders; we had some uncharacteristic penalties. Good teams don’t win like that. We didn’t play a great game tonight.”

Which was another eerie resemblance to last year’s 30-27 loss in Austintown. In that game, Massillon had miscues on offense, including bad penalties at inopportune times, which put it behind the 8-ball.

This time, the Tigers had a season-high 11 penalties for 96 yards. It was a jaw-dropping total for a team that had just 14 flags on it the first five games combined.

They also had not one, but two bad punt snaps.

One set up Fitch to tie the game at 14-14 late in the first half.

The other, early in the fourth quarter, was salvaged when Andrew David tracked it down at the goal line and boomed a 48-yard punt. Two plays later, the Tigers even found themselves with a 33-27 lead after Jeff Koch – playing in place of the injured Reggie Rogers – returned a fumble 53 yards for a score with 8:49 remaining.

Except that Massillon would botch the subsequent point-after try, leaving it ahead by just six points. Nine plays later, the Tigers would find themselves behind by a point after Fitch marched  down for a 2-yard Antwan Harris touchdown run – and, most importantly, the subsequent PAT kick – with 4:13 remaining.

Harris, the Fitch quarterback, had a second big rushing performance against Massillon. He rushed for 114 yards and two scores Friday, a year after going for 147 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s win.

“Antwan is Antwan,” Fitch coach Phil Annarella said after his team improved to 5-1. “He does this every week for us. He’s just an absolutely fabulous kid, fabulous football player. He’s carried us through six weeks now, and hopefully, we’ll have him for the last four too.”

Harris had help in the form of tailback Tyler Hewlett. Hewlett, filling in for the injured Darrin Hall, rushed for 133 yards and two scores.

Of course, Massillon probably never saw an ending like the one it ended up having 12 minutes into the game. Two drives into the contest, the Tigers had a 14-0 lead, racking up a 12-play, 80-yard march and a 13-play, 96-yard drive.

J.D. Crabtree scored the first Tiger touchdown, one of two scores by him on a night when he rushed for 114 yards. The second score came on a Danny Clark-to-Rogers touchdown pass, part of a 237-yard passing night by the Tiger sophomore.

All of it, ultimately, for naught in the eyes of their head coach.

“I guess it’s always frustrating,” Hall said. “We played well in spurts. We made a lot of mental mistakes.”

That’s why, when all was said and done, Massillon once again needed a furious last-minute rally to try to beat Fitch. It’s also why, once again, the Tigers couldn’t end up beating Fitch.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2014: Massillon 26, Steubenville 13

Massillon gets physical, stays unbeaten with win over Steubenville

Chris Easterling

MASSILLON It’s not how you start, but how you finish. Or, if you were Massillon on Friday night, it’s both how you start and how you finish.

The Tigers jumped out on visiting Steubenville to a two-touchdown first-quarter lead. Then after Big Red had threatened in the second half, Massillon came up with the necessary drives — and points – to keep them at bay in a 26-13 win at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“Everybody knows we both play physical football,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said after the state’s No. 1-ranked Division II team improved to 5-0. “You expect momentum shifts in this game. I thought we put a drive together when it counted. … Our kids, when it counts in the fourth quarter, they come through.”

When it counted most, the Tigers hitched their wagon to their running game. Specifically, they hitched it to running back J.D. Crabtree.

Crabtree took over in the fourth quarter, which started with Massillon nursing a 23-13 lead.

That’s when the senior battering ram gained 48 – on 10 carries – of his game-high 127 yards.

It may not have resulted in any touchdown drives, but it took time off the clock.

“Coach Hall came out and said that they said we were the less-physical team here and they were going to come out and be too physical for us,” Crabtree said. “I think we all took that to heart. Our goal was to come out strong in the first quarter and hit them hard.”

Massillon had 90 rushing yards in the fourth quarter, and finished with 201 net yards on the ground. Austin Jasinski also had a big 44-yard run on the Tigers’ next-to-last drive that moved the ball from the Tiger 12 to the Big Red 43.

That drive, the final scoring drive of the game, ended with an Andrew David 26-yard field goal with 2:45 remaining. It was one of two second-half field goals by David, who also hit a 42- yarder with 1:21 left in the third quarter to provide Massillon with a 23-13 advantage.

Those were the Tigers’ only two scores of the second half. They had started it with a 20-7 lead.

“It’s the biggest weapon, if not the country, then the state,” Hall said of David.

Massillon set itself up for a big finish by flying out of the gates with its best start of any of its four games against American competition. After a first-possession three-and-out, the Tigers put the ball in the end zone on both of their next two drives.

The first one was set up by their defense, when Malek Jackson picked off a Steubenville pass and returned it inside the Big Red 15. Three plays later, Danny Robinson caught a 9-yard screen pass from Danny Clark to give Massillon a 7-0 lead with 8:20 left in the first quarter.

A nice punt return by Jasinski – plus a Big Red penalty – put the Tigers in business on their next drive at the Steubenville 16. This time, it took four plays to reach the end zone, with Crabtree scoring from 12 yards out for a 14-0 lead with 5:27 left in the quarter.

Steubenville (4-1) finally cracked the scoreboard when Niko Petrides caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Dimitri Collaros with 8:19 left in the half to cut it to 14-7. It was one of two scoring strikes for Collaros, who finished 17-of-30 with 225 yards.

The other Steubenville score came on the first drive of the second half, a 15-play, 80-yard march that milked 5:17 off the clock. It ended on a 30-yard pass from Collaros to Charles Reeves.

Robinson had Massillon’s other touchdown, a 6-yard run with 5:48 left in the first half. It came on the drive immediately following Steubenville’s first score.

“The one thing about these guys, they like to compete,” Hall said. “They don’t get worked up; I get more worked up than they do. They adjust, they keep working.”

Steubenville did have a couple of chances to add points to its total. Big Red drove to the Tiger 10 – trailing by 10 – early in the fourth quarter, but was stopped on downs.

After Massillon pushed its lead to 13 late in the fourth, Steubenville drove to the Tiger 20. That possession ended on three incomplete passes into the end zone with under 1:50 remaining.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2014: Massillon 77, St. John’s Collegiate, Ont. Canada 13

Kicking it into history
David sets record Williams also ends Team gender barrier

Chris Easterling
Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON Andrew David calmly lined himself up and waited for the snap. Once that snap arrived, he turned his powerful leg loose and sent the ball on its way toward history.

And with that kick just 11 seconds into the second quarter Friday night, the Massillon senior set a school record with a 58-yard field goal.

Of course, by the time David attempted that record-setting mark on first down, the Tigers owned a six-touchdown lead over visiting St. John Collegiate (Ontario). It would only get worse from there for the Canadian guests, as Massillon pile-drove them into the Paul Brown Tiger Stadium turf in a 77-13 rout.

“We knew if we could get in that situation, he’d have a shot at the school record,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said after his team improved to 4-0. “I know that was one of his goals. It was a perfect time for him to have a crack at it.”

Andrew David’s 58-yard field goal.

The game was never in doubt from the moment Massillon scored on the game’s fourth play for a 7-0 lead. So the only real drama was left to the kicking game, starting with David’s booming boot and ending with Taylor Williams breaking down a barrier by becoming the first female to both appear and score a point in the varsity game for the Tigers.

David’s kick was 2 yards longer than the previous mark, set by David Abdul in 2001. It also tied the fourth-longest field goal in Ohio history, three behind the record of 61 yards set by Mentor’s Kevin Harper (2007) and Mayfield’s Carey Spear (2009).

“For me it’s awesome, because we’ve had some many great kickers come through Massillon,” David said. “For Steve (Schott) to be helping me, I’m not sure Steve ever got a chance to kick it that far, but I’m sure Steve could’ve, and I know David Abdul could’ve as well. … For me to be able to come out and hit that, it was a stamp to everything I’ve been doing and my preparation.”

The second bit of history came with 4:19 remaining in the first half after Marcus Perrin scored on a 34-yard run to make it 63-0 Tigers. That’s when Williams became the first female to appear in a varsity game for Massillon, as she attempted the point-after kick.

A bad snap threw the entire sequence off, but didn’t negate the importance of the moment. And with four seconds remaining in the third quarter, she would get another opportunity at history, this time connecting on a PAT that made it 70-6 on the scoreboard and put her in the books as the first female to score a point at the varsity level in school history.

“I was really nervous at first,” said Williams, who hit another PAT later in the fourth quarter.
“The nerves really got to me this game. After I got it, it was amazing.”

The first half alone took two hours to play, primarily because Massillon couldn’t stop scoring.

The Tigers scored on six straight first-quarter to lead 38-0.

Three of those six scoring drives were no more than two plays. Mike White scored on a oneplay, 35-yard drive, J.D. Crabtree capped a two-play drive with a 16-yard run, while Todd Fichter caught a 7-yard scoring pass to close out another two-play march.

Danny Clark also threw a 51-yard touchdown pass on the fourth play of the game to Reggie Rogers. Crabtree added a 3-yard scoring run to cap an abbreviated five-carry, 74-yard, two touchdown night.

The only drama of the second quarter, outside of the kicking game, was whether or not Massillon would actually have to punt. It did, with 5:16 left in the half and a 57-0 lead, only to see St. John give it right back by mishandling the punt.

“We’re healthy and a lot of guys played tonight,” Hall said. “We’re going to let them have a nice weekend. We’re going to let them have the rest of the weekend off and by the time we get to Sunday, it’s going to be all about Steubenville.”

The second half was played under the new Ohio High School Athletic Association “mercy rule” which stipulated a continuous clock for a game in which a team holds a 30-point lead. That didn’t stop both teams from putting up a pair of touchdowns.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2014: Massillon 46, Warren Harding 24

Massillon overcomes slow start to roll past Warren Harding

Chris Easterling

MASSILLON The start continues to be an issue for Massillon. The finish, though, remains exactly what the Tigers want to see.

For the third game in a row, Massillon found itself slowly coming out of the gates as it welcomed Warren Harding to Paul Brown Tiger Stadium for its home opener. The Tigers found their second gear, though, after falling into an early deficit, and used it to race past the Raiders for a 46-24 win Friday.

The win improves Massillon to 3-0, with Canadian visitor St. John Collegiate paying a visit next Friday.

“It was our home opener, and Massillon, you’re not going to lose your home opener,” said senior Danny Robinson, who had a touchdown run and a team-high four catches.

“We’re not going to come out there and lose to Warren. They’re a great team, and their running back (Keemari Murry) is really good, but we weren’t going to lose our home opener.”

Early on, the momentum certainly favored the visitors. The Raiders used a 82-yard touchdown run by Murray and a field goal after recovering a Tiger fumble to lead 10-0 midway through the first quarter.

Massillon, though, seemed to get angry at that point. And when it got angry, it found a second gear.

The Tigers finished the first half by scoring on its final five possessions. What started with a Andrew David field goal with a minute left in the first quarter ended with a 17-yard Austin Jasinski scoring run with 1:22 remaining in the half.

When it was all said and done, Massillon owned a 29-10 halftime lead.

“We didn’t come out crisp at all offensively,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “It took a bit to gather our thoughts. They hit us with a big play.”

The big play was the bulk of Warren’s offense on the night. And Murry was the key to that.

A year after rushing for 201 yards against the Tigers in Warren, Murry gained an even 200 yards on Friday night. Of that, though, 154 yards came on his two touchdown runs – the 82-yarder and a 72-yarder early in the second half that pulled the Raiders to within 29-17.

Quindez Stubbs added a 68-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter for Warren.

Outside of those two touchdown runs, Murry had 46 yards on 15 carries. He had rushed for over 320 yards in the first two games.

“I’ll watch it on film, but I think we just rolled wrong a couple times,” Robinson said. “It’s fixable mistakes. Other than that, I think our defense and our offense played great.”

Once again, that offense featured a heavy dose of J.D. Crabtree running the ball. Crabtree topped the 100-yard plateau for the third straight week, gaining 161 yards on 27 carries and scoring three touchdowns.

But maybe the bigger plus was the way various others stepped up, especially in the passing game. Quarterback Danny Clark had his best night throwing the ball of the season, completing 13 of 16 passes for 203 yards.

Those 13 completions were spread around to seven different receivers, which didn’t even include leading receiver Reggie Rogers, who did not play – along with safety Mike Smith – for disciplinary reasons. Despite that, Todd Fichter caught three passes, while Jasinski grabbed two and James Hendricks, Chase Piatko, Dylan Henderson and Tre’on Vance each caught one.

“Todd, Austin are coming along,” Hall said. “Austin was hurt in the preseason, and this was a great game for him. Starting next week we get our guys back and we keep plugging along.”


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2014: Massillon 17, Canton Glenoak 14

Crabtree’s running keys Massillon in victory over GlenOak

Chris Easterling

PLAIN TWP. One moment, J.D. Crabtree looked like he was going down to the ground. The next, he was on his way to the end zone.

And that Houdini act by the Massillon senior running back was the latest crazy play to decide a Tigers-GlenOak showdown.

Crabtree’s 45-yard run with 5:45 remaining lifted Massillon to a 17-14 come-from-behind high school football win over the Golden Eagles in front of a capacity crowd at Bob Commings Field.

“I hit the hole and I was like, ‘Oh, I’m in trouble,’ ” said Crabtree, who maintained his balance with one hand while in the pile. “I was able to push some guys off me. My receiver, Dylan Henderson, caught a great block for me on the end, I was able to make a cut and take it right end.”

That run was the next-to-last carry in a 24-carry, 174-yard performance for the Tiger senior.

But it would be his 24th and final run that would ultimately seal the game.

With 1:18 remaining, Massillon had the ball in a fourth-and-inches situation at the GlenOak 42.

The Tigers elected to call timeout, and head coach Jason Hall wanted to punt the ball away.

Crabtree, though, had other ideas.

“We were getting ready to punt and he looked at me and he said, ‘I will get that yard,’ ” Hall said. “So we said, ‘Let’s do it.’ ”

With the offense back on the field, the ball went to Crabtree one final time. He powered his way for a 3-yard gain, picking up the first down and sealing the win.

It marked the second week in a row Crabtree had a huge second half to carry Massillon to a 2-0 start. A week ago, he rushed for 161 yards after intermission to rally the Tigers from 17 points down to beat Perry.

This time, it was a 124-yard performance that helped the Tigers turn a scoreless halftime total into a winning margin.

“I think the guys need to realize that we need to throw the first punch and the last punch,”

Crabtree said. “It said on our offensive scouting report, ‘Start to finish.’ I think that hit me big. I know we came out kind of slow and went into the half 0-0, but I knew coming out, the look in the guys’ eyes told me how it was going to come out.”

Those teams went into the locker room scoreless after both teams ended what was essentially their only second-quarter possessions without capitalizing. Massillon reached the GlenOak 7, but missed a 25-yard field goal.

GlenOak reached the Tiger 9, where it ran a fake field goal to the 5 for a first down. But after a running play, the clock ran out without the Golden Eagles being able to get another play off.

The third quarter, though, was an offensive onslaught for both teams. The Tigers scored on their first possession, with Danny Robinson’s 1-yard run capping a 76-yard, eight-play drive fora 7-0 lead.

Seven plays later, GlenOak tied it up when Brennon Tibbs ran it in from 3 yards out with 6:32 left in the third. Tibbs, the Golden Eagle quarterback, ran for 81 yards on the night.

After a Tiger three-and-out, GlenOak marched down for a 14-7 lead. This time, it was Cameron Cabilla doing the honors, running it in from 13 yards out with 3:18 remaining in the third.

“They got good at running that power read,” Hall said.

Massillon would draw closer on its final third-quarter drive. Andrew David did the honors with a career-high 50-yard field goal with 1:18 remaining.

Neither team would score again after that. At least, not until Crabtree went full Houdini to help Massillon escape from GlenOak with a win.