Tag: <span>Duane Crenshaw</span>


1985: Massillon 6, Canton McKinley 21

Defeat can’t hide Tiger pride
Pups end Massillon season

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ They’ve pulled the plug on the football season, and it’s quiet around here all right.

No football playoffs to get crazy about … heck, not even a scrimmage against Akron East.

Maybe the calendar says “Nov. 4,” but its winter, baby.

You can say this, though. As the sports soul of Tigertown sighs and enters hibernation, it can be tucked in with a blanket of pride.

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Here’s a nut and bolts way to took at it: the Tigers got a 21‑6 spanking from the playoff‑bound McKinley Bulldogs Saturday before 20,174 fans in Canton’s Fawcett Stadium to close their season with a 7‑3 record under first‑year head coach John Maronto.

Here’s another way: the Bulldogs were heavy favorites but got a pretty good scare.

If you want to get at the soul of this 91st game, which left the Tigers with a 50‑36‑5 lead in the fabled series, climb on down off the scoreboard.

How close was this game?

With 8:39 left, Mike Norris was digging for yardage round the 2‑yard line, needing to get inside the 1 for a first down and into the end zone for a chance for the Tigers to turn a 14‑6 deficit into a 14‑14 tie – Norris was stopped right there at the 2 on fourth down.

How close?

With fire minutes left, the Tiger defense stuffed the Pups, and Massillon got the ball on a punt in A‑1 field position near midfield.

Game action vs. Canton McKinley 1985

Here was another chance to gun for a touchdown, a two-point conversion, and some dancin’ in the streets.

On the first play after they took over, the Tigers lost the ball on an interception, McKinley got a quick score on a bomb, and that was that.

How close.

Dead even, almost. In the end, McKinley had 211 total yards to 199 for the Tigers.

Of course, “close” only cuts so much ice. Plenty of Tigers shed plenty of tears after the clock froze at 0:00.

McKinley was going to the play offs, against GlenOak Saturday night in Fawcett Stadium as it turns out, with a 9‑1 record.

Game action vs. Canton McKinley 1985

The Tigers were going home.

After the bus wheeled into Paul Brown Tiger Stadium and the players met for it quiet team meeting, Duane Crenshaw found his locker and removed his pads slowly.

He was sad and proud all at once.

”Everybody said they would blow us out,” said the senior defensive tackle. “They sure didn’t blow us out.”

Crenshaw’s locker was near that of Cornell Jackson. By now Jackson had removed his No. 8 for the last time, having gone out in splendid fashion.

His 83 yards in 18 rushing attempts made him the most visibly consistent offensive player in the game. Late in the contest, he turned the intangible of “determination” into something that could be seen with the naked eye.

Game action vs. Canton McKinley 1985

On the late drive that set up the Tigers with their fourth and short from the 3, trailing by 8, Jackson got good blocking and shed many tacklers as he plunged ahead for 38 yards in seven memorable carries.

“It dawned on me at about that time that within a number of minutes my high school career would be over,” said Jackson, who was in his third game of a comeback after arthrosopic knee surgery. “I wanted to go out with my best effort. I’m just upset that we fell short.”

Maronto was upset, too. His marathon vigils in the film room, which produced a game plan laced with short passes and helped the Tigers stay in the game, were not enough to overcome a McKinley team seen by many as a solid state championship contender.

Maronto fought to get out the words as he spoke with reporters in the Tiger Stadium locker room after delivering the season‑ending address to his troops.

Game action vs. Canton McKinley 1985

“It’s hard to feel anything good about losing to McKinley,” said the man who arrived from Detroit De La Salle High in mid‑June. “But maybe I have to look at it more maturely. I can say this. The kids just spilled their guts.”

The game’s first four possessions developed with the Tigers and the Bulldogs imitating each other.

McKinley received the opening kickoff and had to punt after three plays.

Then the Tigers had to punt after three plays.

Then McKinley scored on a long march. Then the Tigers scored on a longer march.

McKinley’s scoring drive began in Massillon territory after Chris Clax returned a punt 15 yards to the 48. Using Brian Chaney‑to‑Jerome Perrin passes and runs by fullback Percy Snow and the tailback Clax, the Bulldogs marched on six plays to the 6, where it was first down.

Game action vs. Canton McKinley 1985

From there, Snow found a gaping hole on a left‑side trap play and literally trotted into the end zone for a McKinley score with 5:38 left in the first quarter. Mark Smith’s kick made it 7‑0, Bulldogs.

The Tigers started from their 34 after the kickoff. Behind senior Paul Fabianich’s sharpest quarterbacking of the season, the Tigers maneuvered downfield against McKinley’s vaunted angle defense.

Highlights included a 12‑yard pass to Bart Letcavits, a 16‑yard Fabianich scramble (his longest of the season), a 10‑yard strike to Wes Siegenthaler and a 17 yard, third and 10 completion to tight end Derick Newman to the 9.

Had later events favored the Tigers, the completion to Newman would have emerged as one of the most interesting developments in the game.

On the play, Fabianich nimbly darted away from the Bulldog linebacker Perrin. A year ago, Perrin was making tackles in that kind of situation, as his big‑play tackles sparked McKinley to a 17‑6 win and led to a first‑team, All‑Ohio berth for Perrin.

But this time, Fabianich stole the moment and zipped a completion to Newman … who had been a fullback all season.

“We wanted to use Derick as a tight end from the start, but injuries didn’t let us go that way,” Maronto said.

Norris, a junior fullback, plowed six yards up the middle to the 3. On second and goal, Fabianich flicked a quick pass over the right side of the line that barely zipped over the linebacker Snow’s hand and nestled into Newman’s grasp for a touchdown.

Norris changed shoes and lined up for the PAT attempt, but his kick sailed low and wide right, and the score stayed at 7‑6 with 1:31 left in the first quarter.

The game of copycat continued through the rest of the half, which was colored by excellent defense from both sides.

McKinley punted, Massillon punted. Then the Bulldogs punted again, then the Tigers punted again … but this time Ken Hawkins’ boot was partially blocked.

McKinley took over on its 46 with three minutes left in the half. The Bulldogs could get no farther than the Tiger 35, where they ran out of downs when a Chaney pass sailed over Perrin’s head.

The Tigers couldn’t budge, and the half ran out shortly after they punted with McKinley leading 7‑6.

The defenses dominated the third quarter, too, with McKinley shifting its alignment to take away Massillon’s short passing game, and Massillon playing “stuff the run,” as the Bulldogs put Chaney’s arm in seclusion and unsuccessfully tried to operate a power attack.

In their first five possessions of the third period, the teams combined for just five first downs on drives that all ended with punts.

The fifth of the punts sank the Tigers.

The boot, a low-flying 41-yarder off the foot of Hawkins, was taken by Clax at the McKinley 38. Clax started for the middle and found an opening to the outside. He broke to the left sideline and then back toward the middle of the field, outracing two Tigers and arriving in the end one at the end of a 62‑yard jaunt.

Smith’s PAT kick made it 14‑6, McKinley, with 1:55 left in the third quarter.

There was still fight left in the Tigers.

The Tigers took over on the kickoff at their 29 and, with the help of a 15‑yard pass interference penalty, used the running of Jackson and Norris to hammer out a length‑of‑the field drive.

On the eighth play of the march, which now was in the fourth quarter, Jackson exploded through the line on a trap play and exploded for 15 yards, almost breaking away for a touchdown but getting dragged down just outside the 10.

Jackson then went around the left side but slipped and fell at the 8. Norris bulled straight ahead for five yards, but on third and about two from the 3, Jackson tried the right side and was stopped for no gain.

Now it was fourth and two.

Do you go for the field goal and make it 14‑9 with about eight minutes left? Or do you go for the touchdown and two‑point conversion to tie?

“We needed a touchdown,” Maronto said, who mapped out strategy during a timeout called by McKinley.

The Bulldogs might be looking for Jackson to come around one of the ends, as he had on two of the previous three plays, Maronto figured.

The Tigers would try to pop Norris through the line.

“It was an inside belly play,” Maronto said. We felt we had enough force to make that play work. Norris is a strong runner.”

Norris lined up close to Fabianich. Fabianich handed him the ball an instant after the snap and Norris charged into the left side of the line. McKinley nose guard Cary Brown lid directly into Norris’ path and made the hit as other players arrived. Norris went down in a pile at the 2. It was McKinley’s ball.

McKinley’s poor field position loomed as a possible silver lining for the Tigers, but that went away when Snow ran eight yards to the 10 on the next play.

Still, the Tigers were alive and kicking when they forced the Bulldogs to punt from their 22. Massillon took over on its 44 with five minutes left in the game, but Smith’s interception killed a would‑be drive before the orange army in the north stands could get worked up.

Five plays after the interception, Smith struck again, racing behind two Tiger defensive backs and hauling in a perfect strike from Chaney on a 41-yard TD play. Smith’s kick gave the Bulldogs a 21‑6 lead with 2:30 left, and the seats cleared out early.

Fabianich finished with a season high of 21 passing attempts. He completed nine throws for 75 yards, two interceptions and the touchdown, the only aerial TD the Tigers achieved in 1985.

Chaney completed eight of 13 passes for 62 yards.

Snow led McKinley’s rushing attack with 64 yards in 15 carries. Clax, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 1984, was held under 600 yards for 1985 as a result of gaining just 20 yards in nine carries Saturday.

Back to Ringling Bros.
Tiger football season ends for Obie XVI, seniors

MASSILLON Ed Annen looked a bit sad. But then, he was about to lose a friend.

“It’s back to Ringling Brothers for her now,” Annen sighed as he looked at the friend, who lives in a cage and answers to Obie XVI.

With help from some loiterers, Annen wheeled the cage of Obie XVI out of a pickup truck and into her fall home at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The football season was over for another year, and so were Annen’s special duties: caretaker of the live tiger that is part of what makes game days in Massillon different than game days in other towns.

The echo of the final gun was still so fresh that the players were in a team meeting within growling distance of Obie’s cage.

In an unplanned moment, the locker room door cracked open and revealed the meeting scene … a silent room filled with bowed heads.

Forget about Obie. Nobody who wears the orange and black feels much in a circus mood after losing to McKinley, as these Tigers had by a 21‑6 score in Fawcett Stadium on this Saturday.

“I thought we played pretty well against McKinley, but we could have played better … we could have beat ‘em,” said Jerrod Vance, a junior linebacker. “Next year we’re going to have a super team. I’m going to try my best to make sure of that.

The meeting broke up, and folks moved quietly amid the benches,

The seniors said their good byes to the locker room in which legends have been born. The juniors talked about setting things straight next year.

“I thought we played pretty well against McKinley, but we could have played better … we could have beat ‘am,” said Jetted Vance, a junior linebacker. ”Next year we’re going to have a super team. I’m going to try my best to make sure of that.

“I thought we should have done better this year. But we came a long way,”

Another junior linebacker who will go some more of the way with

Duane Crenshaw
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1985: Massillon 13, Massillon Perry 3

Tiger kamikazes help sink Perry

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Sometimes, the kamikazes live to fight other wars.

Such is the case with the unknown soldiers who strap on their goggles and plummet ahead like so many cruise missiles. The guys who sacrifice their bodies more than any other unit had plenty to do with the Massillon Tigers’ 13‑3 victory over the Perry Panthers before 15,638 fans in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Friday night.

“The guys on the special teams can win a game or lose a game,” noted Tiger kamikaze member Bob Foster. Friday, he helped win one.

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In the first quarter, the Tigers were stopped on their first series and had to punt. Panther return man Todd Sabin lost the ball as he was hit by Rod Patt, Howard Evans dove on the ball, and the Tigers got a field goal.

In the third quarter, with the score tied 3‑3, the Panthers again stalled the Massillon offense, forcing a punt. Sabin again lost the ball and Foster flew in for the recovery. The Tigers drove 33 yards for the touchdown that shaped the rest of the game.

“I was running down field and saw the ball pop out and I dove for it,” Foster said. “I was just doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

He’ll try to do it again next Saturday in Canton, where the Tigers will take on McKinley for the 91st time.

As if the Tigers needed something to fuel their jets to get psyched for McKinley, they’ll be playing with the knowledge a win or a loss will be the difference between making the playoffs and going back to the weight room.

Beating the Panthers should vault the Tigers into the top four in Region 2 of Division 1. Three teams ahead of them ‑ Jackson, Brunswick and of course, Perry ‑ lost Friday night.

The loss left the Panthers with a 6‑3 record and kayoed their playoff chances. Perry closes the season against Louisville, whose 4 5 record will not provide enough computer points to offer the Panthers any hopes for a mathematical miracle.

However, if the Panthers beat Louisville, they will clinch at least a share of the Federal League championship ‑ more than just a consolation prize.

Neither Massillon nor Perry was thinking about next week between 8 and 10 Friday night.

Both wanted desperately to win the last game in the Panther‑Tiger series for who knows how long.

“We did what we wanted to do,” said Tiger head coach John Maronto. “We closed out the chapter with things 100 percent in Massillon’s favor.”

The Tigers lead the series 8‑0, with the last two games’ 10‑point margins representing the closest contests.

“Our kids fought real hard,” said Perry pilot Keith Wakefield. “I thought these guys fought harder than any group I’ve brought over.

“When you play four games like our last four (North Canton, GlenOak, Midpark, Massillon) … maybe that caught up with us. But hey, we can share the Federal League title.”

Aside from the big plays by the special teams, the Tigers won with defense. They held Perry’s superb wing‑T running attack to a net of 78 yards. Their defense apparently is ready to deal with McKinley.

“Our defense played outstanding football as a team and I was especially proud of the front seven’s play,” Maronto said.

Perry’s defense played well, too – Massillon led in the total yardage war by a 206‑131 margin.

But it was the Tigers’ best defensive game of the autumn.

“It was the last home game for the seniors,” said defensive tackle Duane Crenshaw, who returned in a big way after sitting out a week with a leg injury. “We wanted to go out like this. Perry’s players were talking about this game since the season started. We wanted to prove we were the better team.”

Four plays into the game, the miscue that plagued Perry nearly nagged the Tigers. Bart Letcavits dropped a Perry punt but picked it up on the bounce, and the Tigers had the ball on their 33.

But the Panthers stopped the Tigers on three plays, setting up the punt that resulted in Evans’ fumble recovery.

The turnover gave the Tigers the ball on the Perry 31. Six running plays resulted in a fourth and three from the 10. After a timeout, Mike Norris boomed a 27‑yard field goal and Massillon led 3‑0 with 4:22 left in the first quarter.

The Panthers enjoyed their finest moments after Tom Ross, performing in front of his uncle Mark Ross, a former Massillon mayor, returned the kickoff 29 yards to the Perry 41.

Perry elected to run and run some more, and it worked, with halfback Archie Herring, fullback Rick Phillips and quarterback Tracy Seery plowing to the Tiger 15 on second and five.

The drive stalled when a Seery‑to‑Herring pass was stopped at the 15 on fourth down, three yards short.

The Tigers took over, but not for long. On third and six from the 19, Sabin made up for his miscue, stepping in front of Chris Aegerter and intercepting a Paul Fabianich pass at the 38 and streaking down the left sideline to the 10.

A motion penalty nullified a second down Panther run to the 1‑yard line, and on fourth and goal from the 3, Joel Kessel was summoned to try a 20-yard field goal, which he drilled over the right part of the crossbar.

With 6:23 left in the first half, the score was tied at 3.

Late in the half, a Kessel punt rolled dead at the 1 with 1:11 left in the half, and the Panthers had a chance to brew up some trouble.

But Cornell Jackson blasted 11 yards on first down, and on the next play Fabianich uncorked a bomb that was hauled in by Wes Siegenhalter on the right sideline. Siegenthaler tumbled to the ground and was ruled down in bounds at the Perry 43, which kept the clock running at the end of the 45‑yard gain.

Only nine seconds remained in the half by the time the Tigers ran another play and called a timeout.

Fabianich then threw a 19‑yard strike to Letcavits over the middle, and another timeout was called with two seconds left. A 42‑yard field goal attempt by Norris was five yards short of sneaking over the crossbar, falling short and right.

The Panthers had a chance to seize momentum at the start of the second half when they kicked off and held the Tigers to three yards in three plays.

But the ensuing Punt resulted in Foster’s fumble recovery, giving the Tigers possession on the Perry 33.

Now it as Massillon’s turn to unleash a threesome of rushers. Michael Harris, Derick Newman and Jackson bulled the ball to the 3, where it was fourth and goal.

Norris came onto the field, but not dressed in a kicking shoe. A handoff went to Harris, who cut over the left side and ran through a big hole opened partially by a Norris block for a touchdown.

Norris’ PAT made it 10‑3 with 1:23 left in the third quarter.

An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty helped the Panthers drive with their ensuing possession near midfield, where they arrived at fourth and four.

The Panthers gambled.

With Kessel in punting formation, the snap was whipped short to Herring, who was stopped by C.J. Harris and Mark Harder two yards short of a first down.

The Tigers took over at their own 49, moved to the 20 with the help of a late hit call, but faced a fourth and three.

Norris has had some trouble finding a kicking groove, but Maronto told him to put on his kicking shoe.

“Mike Norris kept his belief in the team and himself, and we kept our faith in him,” ‘Maronto said.

Norris responded with a picturesque boot that rose from the left hash mark and traveled high and far over the crossbar to give the Tigers a 13‑3 bulge with 8:39 left in the game.

“The field goal was a big play,” Wakefield said.

When Ross slipped on the 11 while fielding the ensuing kickoff, and the Tiger defense stopped the Panthers right there, Perry had to punt.

Massillon controlled the rest of the game, running out of downs at the 3 with just 36 seconds left.

The game ended with some shouting and shoving in an incident growing out of the final play (see related information in today’s sports column).

The outburst ended quickly, and the players from both sides formed a long line and shook hands.

The game was billed as a game, which would be won by the team that played the best defense, and it turned out that way. Other than their scoring drive, the Panthers couldn’t get anything going.

The Tigers moved with only slightly more regularity.

The Tigers led 158‑89 in rushing yardage but gained only 2.6 yards per run.

Fabianich connected on four of eight passes for 80 yards. Seery connected on five of 12 throws far 53 yards.

Sabin and Herring combined to catch four passes for 46 yards.

Jackson was the game’s rushing leader with 48 yards in 16 carries, which isn’t overwhelming, except many of his carries were important in keeping drives alive, and in the Tigers’ lead in time of possession, 28:51 to 19:09.

Phillips led the Panthers with nine carries for 36 yards. Herring was held to 27 yards in 10 carries, leaving him 125 yards short of a 1,000‑yard season.

First downs rushing 8 4
First downs passing 2 2
First downs by penalty 2 1
Total first downs 12 7
Yards gained rushing 158 89
Yards lost rushing 32 11
Net yards rushing 126 78
Net yards passing 80 53
Total yards gained 206 131
Passes attempted 8 12
Passes completed 4 5
Passes int. by 0 1
Times kicked off 4 2
Kickoff average 49.0 40.0
Kick off return yards 19 63
Punts 3 4
Punting average 39.0 31.8
Punt return yards 2 11
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 2 3
Fumble lost 0 2
Penalties 5 4
Yards penalized 46 34
Touchdowns rushing 2 0
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Number of plays 60 40
Time of possession 28:51 19:09
Attendance 15,638

PERRY 0 3 0 0 3
MASSILLON 3 0 7 3 13

M ‑ FG Harris 27
P ‑ FG Kessel 20
M ‑ Harris 3 run (Norris kick)
M ‑ FG Norris 37

Duane Crenshaw
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1985: Massillon 13, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 3

Tigers finish street fight on top 13-3

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ It was a street fight with white lines instead of double yellow, the Massillon Tigers’ 13‑3 victory over Akron St. Vincent‑St. Mary Friday night.

“If you ever saw a good fighter get up after he was knocked down…” John. Maronto’s clause had punch enough to render a sentence unnecessary.

The Fighting Irish ‑ just the right nickname ‑ were knocked down all right 2‑4 coming in.

The game, which left the Tigers at 6‑2 going out, left no hearts stopped. The non-allure of a team with a losing record produced a season‑low crowd of 9,243.

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But inside the binoculars, and down at ringside, there was plenty of Ali‑Frazier in this.

“There was some serious hitting,” said Tiger linebacker Jerrod Vance, who was doing his slugging for the Irish a year ago, then decided to transfer to Massillon.

“I don’t think they were as good as some of the other teams we’ve played. But they were more pumped up. Part of it was because of me, I guess.

“I was getting weird feelings from those guys, with all the hitting and all the talk down there. But that’s the way it had to be.”

In the end, the Tiger, took the best punch the Irish could muster, and knocked them out before it could go the distance.

“In the end, you could tell they were getting up slow,” Vance said.

The Tigers must make their celebration fast. They now must prepare for an invasion by the 6‑2 Perry Panthers, who are stinging from an overtime loss to Midpark.

Massillon heroes abounded Friday. The defense, wearing down the Irish by keeping fresh linemen in the game, had its knees buckled but punched mightily off the ropes.

The special teams were just that.

The offense did just enough, and The Union, alias the offensive line, got a chance to fine tune its touchdown dance.

The Tigers have been living on the edge ever since losing to Austintown‑Fitch three Fridays ago. One more loss and they’re out of the playoff off race, and you know what that’s like around here.

The edge is where they were living in the fourth quarter Friday.

They were nursing a 6‑3 lead based on Mike Norris’ 26‑yard touchdown run, but the Irish were driving near midfield.

On second and eight from the 48, eight fullback Ken Wayman dropped a pitch, and the ball bounced the funny way footballs do, out of his line of flight and into the arms of streaking Tiger linebacker Todd Perdue.

The Tigers got the ball on the Irish 41. On fourth and goal from the 1, Cornell Jackson plowed over the left side, putting six points on the board and the game out of reach with 4:18 left. Norris’ PAT cemented the final score.

The win wasn’t as easy as a shallow view might have foreseen ‑ the Irish were 2‑4, weren’t they.

But outlasting a team that beat Akron Garfield and should have defeated Cincinnati Moeller means never having to say you’re sorry.

“I want to tell yon something,” said Maronto, the Tigers’ head coach, “I’m proud of this team. We’ve been through three tough game in succession, There comes a time when you’re not as concerned with how big you win as with showing the determination to get the job done … and we got it done.”

An early knockout looked like a good possibility when Wes Siegenthaler returned the opening kickoff 41 yards to the Tigers’ 49‑yard line.

A six‑yard sideline completion from Paul Fabianich to Siegenthaler on the left, a 16‑yard sideline completion to Siegenthaler on the right and a three‑yard ran by Derick Newman put the ball on the 26.

On second and seven, Norris lined up in a one‑back set and ran on a trap play into the right side of the line, which became a Union Gap. Norris ran downfield five yards then cut to the right sidelines, outrunning two Irish defenders on his 26‑yard TD bolt.

“Joe Luckring, Tony Lambert and Lance Hostetler (Union members) drew their guys off the line real well, and I did my best to try to get to the end zone,” Norris said.

Norris changed shoes but missed the PAT kick, and the Tigers led 6‑0 just one minute and 18 seconds into the game.

Little was seen of the Tigers’ offense the rest of the half.

St. Vincent‑St. Mary drove to the Massillon 25 and stalled when safety Bart Letcavits knocked away a would‑be TD pass on fourth down.

On their next possession, the Irish plowed to the Massillon 31 but were stymied by Hoagy Pfisterer’s diving interception.

The next time they had the ball the Irish made it to the Tiger 37 before a Mike Wilson hit forced fourth‑and‑long and a punt.

The punt, which died at the 3, enabled the Irish to break the ice. The Tigers wound up punting from deep in their own territory, giving St. Vincent field position that led to a 28‑yard field goal by Vince Lobelle with 2:41 left in the half.

With two minutes left in the half, Ken Hawkins nailed a 47‑yard punt that landed at the 3, but the Irish made a first down and survived the half without further damage.

The Tiger Swing Band had the field as long as the Tiger offense. At the intermission, the Irish led 169‑91 in offensive yardage and 15:15 to 8:45 in time of possession.

The defenses controlled the third quarter, in which the offenses mustered 82 yards.

A key play was mad by Tiger nose guard C.J. Harris, who stuffed quarterback Rick Davis for no gain on fourth and one at the Tiger 40 with 1:45 left in the third quarter.

The Irish made their last run at a win early in the fourth quarter.

Taking over on a punt on their own 20, they pushed to near midfield on a facemask penalty.

Perdue made his big fumble recovery two plays later.

Now the Tigers had a chance to put the game away.

They did, behind three big plays. On fourth and two from the 34, Cornell Jackson dropped a pitch but picked it up on the bounce and ran seven yards for a first down.

But Jackson then lost three yards, and it was second and 13.

“They were playing their corners tight, and their linebackers were playing the sweep,” Maronto said.

“He sent Letcavits outside the cornerbacks, down the left sideline. Letcavits cut back toward the hashmarks as he reached the 15 and was open as he gathered in a nicely thrown Fabianich pass for a 27‑yard gain to the eight.

Jackson’ a fourth‑down TD run was the big play that iced the game.

Injuries shaded the look of both teams. The Tigers’ were without defensive tackle Duane Crenshaw for the first time this season, one factor in St. Vincent’s gaining 203 rushing yards, at 4.5 a carry.

The Irish didn’t have Carl McDougal, an outstanding back nursing an ankle injury and made sophomore Rich Sparhawk their workhorse, giving him his first carries of the season … but also his last.

After gaining 62 yards in 11 totes, Sparhawk suffered a broken collarbone near the end of the first half.

With several running backs having fallen victim to injury, the Irish found themselves using Davis, the quarterback, at halfback an several plays.

The Tigers used Siegenthaler at quarterback on several plays for the second straight week, but the Irish handled the switch better than Cleveland St. Joseph had the week before, limiting Siegenthaler to four yards in four rushes and one pass completion, an 11‑yarder to Letcavits.

The Irish passing attack was contained by the Tigers. Davis and Mark Lenz combined for six completions in 19 attempts for 85 yards.

Fabianich completed five of nine tosses far 61 yards.

Norris gained 61 of the Tigers’ 121 rushing yard,, in just six carries.

Jackson, in his second game coming off knee surgery, carried nine times for 42 yards.

Newman was held to 12 yards in 10 carries.

Even though his defense did a decent job of containing them, St. Vincent coach John Cistone cited the Tigers’ offensive backs as the strength of the team.

“Massillon’s a good team, and I thought we did well against ’em,” the 26th‑year Irish boss said. “We played hard. It’s just a matter of us running out of backs we can use.

“And it seems like every time we came down here we have trouble in the first quarter.”

That early trouble set the tone for the game. But after that … hey, it was a streetfight.

Duane Crenshaw
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.

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“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

1985: Massillon 19, Austintown Fitch 21

Fitch flattens Tigers 21-19
Ex-Tiger Hartman: “Words can’t describe the way I feel”

Independent Sports Editor

MASS ILLON – The magic that was a win over Barberton get flattened by a Fitch fist Friday night.

Austintown‑Fitch, whose lumberjack linemen have to grunt to squeeze into jerseys marked “extra‑large,” had a tight squeeze on the scoreboard, trimming the Massillon Tigers 21‑19. But this was no cheapie, Fitch led 333‑182 in total yards.

The Tigers, who overcome a 20‑9 halftime deficit and beat Barberton 30‑20 last Saturday, went flat in the second half against Fitch, losing a 12‑7 edge at the intermission, falling to 4-2 on the season and going on the critical list of playoff contenders.

Fitch improved to 5‑1, winning its third straight since a 21‑12 loss to McKinley.

Program Cover

“Words can’t describe the way I feel about winning here,” said Fitch head coach David Hartman, who was a senior on the unbeaten 1964 Massillon team.

Words came hard to the conquered coach, the Tigers’ John Maronto.

“We had a chance to win, even as poorly as we played at times, but we didn’t rally when we had to,” Maronto said. “They probably deserved to win. That was the best football team we’ve played. And their quarterback is one excellent athlete.”

The quarterback was Dave Phillips. Maybe he has something to do with Phillips 66. He was slippery enough.

Late in the third quarter, with the Tigers nursing their 12‑7 lead, Fitch had the ball with a fourth‑and‑inches 15 yards away from the Massillon endzone. While many among the throng of 10,988 in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium followed fullback Leo Hawkins as be leaped into the middle, presumably with the ball, Phillips kept and sprinted 15 yards around right end to a score.

He also ran for a two‑point conversion, and Fitch led 15‑12 with 10 seconds left in period three.

Hartman decided to go for the jugular, ordering an onside kick.

The move backfired royally. Massillon’s Tim Carpenter pounced on the high‑bouncing squibber, and the Tigers marched 53 yards to regain the lead. A 23‑yard ran by Michael Harris on a fake‑reverse and a 20‑yard pass play to tight end Daimon Richardson were the big plays that set up a one‑yard TD blast by Norris.

Norris’ kick made it 19‑15 with 9:56 left in the game.

In defense of the onside kick, Hartman said, “The defense was playing extremely well, and we’d rehearsed that play a lot, I thought we had a 50-50 chance. We just didn’t get a good kick.”

Instead, Fitch got a kick in the pants. But the Falcons got back up and started slugging away with their ground game again.

Norris ‘ kickoff was high, but short, giving Fitch premium field position eight yards short of midfield. Using the same factor, deception, that resulted in the previous Fitch touchdown, the Falcons turned a pair of fourth‑and‑one situations into big plays that set up the winning touchdown.

Wingback Pat Starch went 17 yards on a dive option on fourth‑and‑inch from the 48. Tailback Fred Smith picked up 11 yards on fourth‑and‑one from the 35.

But Fitch still needed to get into the endzone, trailing by four, and things were looking up far the Tigers when Smith was stopped for no gain at the 19.

The Falcons were looking at a third‑and‑five, but a late hit was called on the play, an unusual flag considering the critical time in the game and the apparent lack flagrant contact.

The ball was marched half the distance, to the 9. Hawkins was stuffed for only a yard gain, but Phillips then took matters into his own hands, keeping and wriggling through the right side for eight yards and a score.

Mike Wilson made a big play when he blocked the PAT kick, keeping the score at 21‑ 19 with 5:05 left.

The kickoff went to the man the Tigers hoped would get the ball, but Wes Siegenthaler could negotiate his way only to the 24 on the slippery turf.

On first down, Michael Harris gained five yards, but on second down quarterback Paul Fabianich fired the ball toward Smrek, but Wilson sniffed out the play, stepped in front of the receiver and picked off the ball. He raced 40 yards up the right sideline, picked up a good block that knocked Phillips out of the way, cut to the middle and streaked into the end zone on an electrifying 85‑yard touchdown trek.

The PAT run failed, but the Tigers had seized the lead and the momentum one minute before halftime.

Hartman thought his team could shake loose Smrek for a touchdown on the play that backfired. The Tigers, he explained, had been lining up Wilson as a monster back to the strong side of their formation.

Now it was fourth‑and‑seven with 45 second left. Fabianich’s pass to the right sideline was complete, but fell far short of the first down.

Fitch took over with 40 second, left, and the game was history.

“Passing hasn’t been an integral part of Massillon’s offense,” noted Hartman. “We got hem into a position where they had to beat us by passing, and that’s not what they do best.”

Nor is it what Fitch does best.

The Falcons were in position to take firm control of the game, leading 7-6 and moving the ball effectively they arrived at a third‑and‑three on the Massillon 21.

Phillips dropped back to pass and bobbled the snap, and the Tigers were fortunate to recover his fumble.

Now it was third‑and‑five. The Tigers gambled on the big play, sending Jerome Myricks down the right sideline on a fly pattern. Fabianich’s bomb was out of his reach at the 40.

With just under four minutes left, Ken Hawkins punted to the Fitch 41. Fitch stalled on three plays, and the Tigers regained possession on a punt at their own 31 with 1:27 left.

The situation dictated pass, Maronto hoped to cross up the Falcons with a couple of runs, but Harris gained only a yard on first down, and Norris was stopped after two yards on a second‑down draw play.

The Tigers gambled with the bomb again on third down, but Bart Letcavits couldn’t catch up to Fabianich’s missile.

“They crossed us up when the monster wound up playing the weak side when we threw that pass,” Hartman said. “It was either a fortunate accident by them or a very good guess.”

The game began with both teams moving the ball well. Fitch’s initial drive stalled on the Tigers’ 31, and Massillon’s first possession ended with Norris kicking a low line drive on a 32‑yard field goal attempt. Norris was handling the place‑kicking as a result of Todd Manion having been injured when he was hit by a practice kick during pregame warmups.

Fitch turned its second possession into a score, driving 80 yards in 10 plays, with Smith going the final 10 yards on a sprint draw. Chris Berni’s PAT boot made it 7‑0 with 8:02 left in the first half.

Harris made a sparkling return on the ensuing kickoff, and the Tigers set up on their own 44. Four nice runs by Harris and a 20‑yard Fabianich‑to‑Siegenthaler completion to the 11 led to a two‑yard TD burst by Norris. Norris hit the PAT kick badly, and the score stayed at 7‑6 with 4:29 left in the half.

A short kickoff triggered another Fitch drive, but Wilson’s interception intervened.

Manion’s loss was not a clear blow initially. Norris has shown great promise as a kicker.

“I was kicking the ball well before the game,” Norris said. “It wound up being just one of those nighs.”
Fitch wound up with a 225‑132 lead in rushing yards, a statistic under-scored by Fitch’s lead of 29:47 to 18:13 edge in time of possession. Hawkins led the way with 91 yards in 19 carries.

Harris led he Tiger ground game with 96 yards in 19 trips, but the other Massillon backs were held in check.

Phillips completed six of 14 passes for 108 yards, Fabianich four of eight tosses for 50 yards.

“Phillips was a great quarterback,” said Tiger defensive tackle Duane Crenshaw. “They made some good plays. We made some good plays. It was one of those games where it looks like the last team that has the ball will win.

“Now we’ve got to regroup. We’ll come back.”

The Tiger’ remaining games are against Cleveland St. Joseph (4‑1), Akron St. Vincent‑St. Mary (2‑3), Perry (5‑1) and McKinley (5‑1).

The comeback won’t be easy.


First downs rushing 8 13
First downs passing 2 5
First downs by penalty 1 1
Total first downs 11 19
Yards gained rushing 139 246
Yards lost rushng 7 21
Net yards rushing 132 225
Net yards passing 50 108
Total yards gained 182 333
Passes completed 4 6
Passes int. by 0 1
Times kicked off 4 4
Kickoff average 40.5 42.5
Kickoff return yards 59 57
Punts 3 2
Punting average 38.3 34.0
Punt return yards 1 3
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 1 1
Fumbles lost 0 0
Penalties 5 10
Yards penalized 52 73
Touchdowns rushing 2 3
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 43 63
Time of possession 18:13 29:47
Attendance 10,998

FITCH 0 7 8 6 21
MASSILLON 0 12 0 7 19

Duane Crenshaw
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1985: Massillon 30, Barberton 20

Fabianich: “We’re a team”
Tigers bounce back in Rubber Bowl vs. Magics

Independent Sports Editor

AKRON ‑ Maybe Saturday night’s 30‑20 victory over the Barberton Magics doesn’t mean it’s time for fans of the Massillon Tigers to get carried away.

Or maybe it does.

“I can feel McKinley week coming on,” tailback Michael Harris said in the locker room at the Rubber Bowl, where the gleeful Tigers were bouncing off the walls.

“This is the kind of game that gets you psyched,” said fullback Derick Newman, who scored three touchdowns and hammered out 123 rushing yards.

“This is the greatest feeling,” said quarterback Paul Fabianich, who engineered the Tigers’ march to a 4‑1 record, the same mark with which Barberton was left. “We’re a team. We’ve finally come together.”

Just when it looked as though the season was falling apart.

The first half had the orange army in the east stands feeling blue. Barberton scored touchdowns with 31 seconds and 14 seconds left in the half to take a 20‑9 lead.

The pleasant autumn evening which drew 12,500 to the Rubber Bowl seemed to belong to the Barberton offense.

A rerun of 1981 was developing. That season, Barberton handed the Tigers their second loss, putting the season on the skids.

In the bowels of the Rubber Bowl, Tiger head coach John Maronto did a “gut check” while the bands blared away on the artificial rug outside.

“Coach told us to keep our heads up, and we had ‘em up,” Newtown said.

“We worked to hard all summer to be down,” added Wes Siegenthaler. “We knew at halftime that we had to come together and beat somebody’s butts as a team.”

The road back took most of the third quarter to bear fruit. With 3:41 left in the period, Fabianich sneaked in on first and goal from the one. Newman took a quick handoff and went straight up the middle on a two point conversion run.

Now it was 20‑17.

Barberton wasn’t dead.

A 40‑yard kickoff return set up the Magics in good field position. They made a first down as they crossed midfield. But on first down, Tiger tackle Duane Crenshaw sacked Magic quarterback Joe Underation, setting up a Barberton punt.

The boot pinned the Tigers at their own 15 with the third quarter running out.

Things didn’t look good when tailback Mike Norris was thrown for a yard loss. But the Tigers came right back to Norris on a pitch left, and he broke into the clear for a 55‑yard gain that may have been the game’s biggest play.

Norris’ run served as a comment on the Tigers’ depth at running back. Norris was in the game because Harris had suffered a hand injury on the previous series. Harris started the game because Cornell Jackson remained sidelined while recovering from knee surgery.

The 55‑yard gain was followed by a no‑gain play to Crenshaw.

The second and 10 pickle spawned another big play.

Fabianich rolled right and looked for split end Bart Letcavits, who broke wide open on a flag pattern near the right corner of the end zone. A well thrown ball and a lunging catch resulted in a 30‑yard gain and a first down at the 1.

Crenshaw flew into the end zone on the next play. The PAT kick failed, but the Tigers led 23-20 with 10:39 left in the game.

Massillon got the ball back two plays later on Ettore Scassa’s fumble recovery at the Barberton 41. The Tigers stalled and had to punt, setting up Barberton’s chance for a last hurrah.

The Magics took over on Massillon only punt of the night at their own 17 with 5:40 left. They needed three to send the game into overtime and a TD for the win.

Pat Boone, a speedball tailback, immediately rushed 13 yards to the 30. But then Boone was stuffed for no gain, and Underation threw incomplete.

On third and 10, Underation bee-lined a strike to Charlie Ries over the middle, but the ball hit Ries in the chest and bounced away incomplete at the 45.

The Magics had to punt, and that’s bad news just about any time Siegenthaler is on the receiving end.

Siegenthaler turned what looked like nothing into a 26‑yard punt return, and the Tigers set up camp on the Barberton 36 with four minutes left.

Tigers bounce back, win

Newman plowed for two short gains before taking a third‑and‑five pitch over the right side for 31 yards and a touchdown.

Todd Manion’s kick made it 30‑20 at the 2:34 mark, and those wearing purple jackets started a mass exodus.

They missed out on some mass confusion. With less than half a minute left, Siegenthaler was roughed up after carrying for a yard. He came up, swinging, touching off a wild brawl that carried on for three minutes.

“They were taking their shots, and one guy chopped me in the throat and kicked me in the stomach after the tackle had been made,” Siegenthaler explained. “I got up, and people were coming from everywhere.”

When the smoke cleared, the officials wisely elected to end the game even though there were 10 seconds left.

In the end, there was no love lost between the teams. The players were ushered off the field, but some of the coaches stuck around to shake hands. When two Barberton coaches refused to shake hands with two Massillon coaches, angry words exchanged by the rival brain trusts.

“It was an unfortunate way for the game to end,” said Barberton head coach Jack Foltz. “But these two teams have been meeting for a long time. Feelings can run pretty hot.”

The brawl seemed to heighten the ball the Tigers had in the locker room.

The noise was deafening.

“We made a couple of bad mistakes in the first half,” Moronic said. “But we stuck with the game plan. We never compromised, and we got some tremendous efforts.

“I knew that if we were going to be a good football team we’d have to show a lot of maturity, and we showed that tonight.”

Barberton lived up to advance bill as an outstanding offensive team early, driving 71 yards in eight plays for a score after taking the opening kickoff. A fake kick backfired, and the missed PAT left the score at 6-0.

Bart Letcavits’ interception set up a 56‑yard Massillon march that produced a 23‑yard field goal by Manion on the final play of the first quarter. The score stood at 6‑3.

The Magics then started on their own 20 but were stuffed and had to punt from the 10. Siegenthaler’s 16‑yard return gave the Tigers the ball on the Magics 32. Seven runs by Newman and Harris punched the ball into the end zone, Newman going in from the one. Manion’s PAT kick was wide right, but the Tigers led 9‑6 with 7:36 left in the half.

The Magics then launched an impressive, 77‑yard drive that took 16 plays and ended with a five‑yard TD pass from Underation to Boone. Underation’s kick made it 13‑9 Barberton with just 31 seconds left in the half.

Disaster struck as Siegenthaler fumbled while returning the kickoff, giving Barberton the ball at the 21. On the first play, Underation zipped a perfect pass to Ries in the end zone.

Underation’s PAT boot gave Barberton a stunning 20‑9 lead with 14 seconds left in the half.

The Tigers dominated the statistics, leading 314‑210 in total yards, 13‑9 in first downs and 284‑97 in rushing yards.

The rushing total was a reflection of the Tigers’ offensive line playing its best rest game.

The beneficiaries were Newman, who gained his 118 yards in 23 carries, Harris, who rambled 78 yards in 14 carries, and Norris, who traveled 75 yards in seven trips.

Boone picked up 69 yards in 16 carries and fullback Roy Ferguson added 50 yards in 12 totes for Barberton.

And now, the schedule gets interesting.

The Tigers face a four‑game home stretch against Austintown‑Fitch, Cleveland St. Joseph, Akron St. Vincent‑St. Mary and Perry, then head to Fawcett Stadium to take on McKinley.

The win over Barberton was electrifying.

But the Tigers will need to produce some magic of their own to keep their loss total at “l” when McKinley week arrives.

Massillon beats Barberton

Massillon outscored Barberton 21‑0 in the second half to gain a come‑from‑behind, 30‑20 non‑league victory in high school football Saturday night at the Rubber Bowl.

The Magics, ranked third in the Beacon Journal’s Division I‑II poll, suffered their first loss of the season after four victories. Massillon, ranked 10th in the poll, is also 4-1.

Barberton took the opening kickoff and drove 63 yards touchdown on a 4‑yard run by Pat Boone.

The Tigers came back for a 9-6 lead on a 23‑yard field goal by Todd Manion and a 1‑yard touchdown ran by Derick Newman.

Barberton regained the lead when quarterback Joe Underation threw a 5‑yard touchdown pass to Boone with 39 seconds left in the first half. The Tigers fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Barberton’s Jeff Graves recovered at Massillon’s 21‑yard line.

The Magics capitalized the next play with a 21‑yard touchdown pass from Underation to Charlie Ries with 14 seconds left, giving Barberton a 20-9 halftime lead.

However, Massillon took control of the game in the second half. Tigers quarterback Paul Fabianich scored on a 1‑yard run in the third quarter, and Newman rushed for two TDs in the fourth quarter. Newman rushed for a game‑high 118 yards on 23 carries.

Duane Crenshaw
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1985: Massillon 17, Akron Central Hower 7

No masterpiece Win not pretty, but Tigers down Central-Hower 17-7

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ You want masterpieces? See you at the art institute.

You want wins? Meet you at Tiger Stadium.

The Massillon Tigers, playing like angry bulls but missing the matador fairly often, ran their record to 3‑1 Friday night by outlasting Akron Central‑Hower 17‑7 before 9,200 in P.B.’, Big House.

“It may not have been pretty,” John Maronto said. “But it was a win.”

Right on, coach.

Program Cover

The Tigers haven’t been especially pretty in any of their wins; yet, they’ve survived the early part of the season with hopes of getting better and making the playoffs.

The offense had its moments Friday but came away up feeling like a lotto player who keeps picking two out of three.

The Tigers continued their season-long syndrome of getting to the end zone without getting in. It was the factor that put Central‑Hower in position to repeat its dirty deed of 1984, when it came into the game with an 0‑2 record but knocked off the Tigers 20‑18.

In the first half, the Tigers had drives on which they pushed the ball to the 20‑ and 3‑yard lines without scoring.

They settled for a 10‑0 halftime lead.

Then the Eagles made things unsettling.

A 20‑yard touchdown pass from Eric Hill to Humphrey Hopson and a PAT kick made it 10‑7 with 4:30 left in the third quarter.

Then, when the Tigers fumbled at midfield on their subsequent possession some bad dream deja vu crept in.

Central‑Hower was in position to come from behind for a win, as Akron Garfield had two Fridays earlier against the Tigers.

The Eagles punched the ball to the 11 on a 12‑yard run by sophomore Dwight Twitty.

On third and 10, a pass bounced off Hopson’s chest in the end zone. David Jones lined up for a 27‑yard chip shot that would tie the game. He hooked it wide left.

The Tigers played inspired defense after that and were never threatened again.

This time Central-Hower left town with an 0‑3 record.

“We kept our poise,” Maronto said. “We’ve been in situations this season when we didn’t score and it looked like the team was disappointed. That didn’t happen tonight.When it counted, we jelled.

“(Linebackers) Todd Perdue and Jerrod Vance were really tough down there. And the leadership of the captains, Wes Siegenthaler, Duane Crenshaw and Mark Harder was evident.”

Siegenthaler said the Tigers lost none of their fight when Central‑Hower was driving for a go-ahead score.

“All we were thinking about was stuffing ’em,” Siegenthaler said “The defense really came together tonight.”

“We never gave up,” added senior Ettore Scassa, who played a good game at nose guard. “I don’t think we ever will.”

It was pointed out to Central-Hower head coach Mike Kossuth that the Tigers might come in far criticism over having a tough time whipping an 0‑2 team.

“I don’t put any validity in that.” Kossuth said, “They’re a veteran team and we’re a young team. But we’re a good team. We just do the thing young teams do … make mistakes.

“Give Massillon credit. They’re a very, very aggressive team. They have a chance to be right up there with the state powers.”

The Tigers were on the verge of putting together that one strong game against a decent opponent. They dominated the first half, out-gaining the Eagles 152 yards to 69.

Mike Norris, getting his first start at tailback, was a horse, breaking loose for 76 yards in five carries.

The Tigers slipped in the second half, when they were out-gained 69 yards to 50. Norris slowed down, getting six more carries but only five more yards.

The Tigers had to be content escaping with the win.

Now they face a Saturday night test against Barberton (4‑0 after a 26‑18 win over Akron Firestone) in the Rubber Bowl.

“The road trip will be good for us.” Maronto, whose four games as the Tigers head coach have been at home. “Barberton has a very highly rated quarterback. Any team that’s unbeaten at this point of the season has to be doing something right.

“As for us, we’re building a foundation. All we have to do is rise from there.”

The Tigers came out like Larry Holmes in his prime. They began with the ball on their own 38 after taking the kickoff and Norris immediately went 15 yards over the left side.

On the next play, Paul Fabianich tossed a bomb to the right sidelines which Siegenthaler turned into a pretty, diving 35-yard reception at the 12.

But the Tigers stalled there, and on fourth and three from the five, Maronto opted to go for three. Todd Manion, seeing his first action at place-kicker after recovering from a baseball injury, drilled a 21-yarder, and it was 3-0 at 9:32 of the first quarter.

Matt Swank’s hit and Hoagy Pfisterer’s fumble recovery gave the Tigers the ball on Central-Hower’s 31 moments later. But they stalled at the 20 and Manion was wide right on a 37-yard field goal try.

The Eagles went one-two-three-punt, and the punt traveled only four yards, setting up the Tigers at the Eagles’ 29. The Tigers drove to the 2, where it was third and goal. On the next play, fullback Derick Newman lost the ball on the exchange, and Central-Hower’s Willie Jennings recovered on the 1.

The Eagles punched it out to the 21 before having to punt. The Tigers got good field position again when Bart Letcavits returned the boot 15 yards to the Eagles’ 36.

On fourth‑and-one from the 26, Newman bulled for the first down to the 25. On the next play, Norris got some earth‑mover blocks up the middle, made three crowd‑pleasing jukes in the open field and raced to­ward the left corner of the end zone, where he landed on the dive for a score.

Manion’s PAT kick made it 10-0 Tigers at 6:21 of the second quarter. That was the halftime score.

Early in the third quarter, Cen­tral-Hower linebacker Willie Johnson recovered a Norris fumble at the Tiger 25. On third‑and‑five, Hill dropped back in shotgun formation and popped a quick to Hopson, who streaked into the end zone untouched and then danced half way to Navarre.

Jones’ kick made it 10-7.

The Tigers took over after the ensuing kickoff with great field position as Jerome Myricks’ returned to the 43. But Fabianich lost the handle on the snap three plays later, and the Eagles got the ball back.

After the missed field goal attempt, the Tiger, stalled.

Ken Hawkins’ punt bounced in front of Steve Gray, who tried to field it on the bounce but fumbled it away to the Tigers’ Ron Patt at the Central‑Hower 21.

The Tigers ran out of downs at the 6.

Moments later, Lance Hostetler put a heavy rush on Hill, forcing a misfired pass that was tipped to Pfisterer.

The intercept gave the Tigers possession on the 21 and set up Newman’s five-yard TD smash. Manion’s kick gave the Tigers their 17-7 bulge at 1:46 of the fourth quarter, and the game was history.

No, it wasn’t a masterpiece.

Maybe the Tigers are saving one of those for the Barberton Magics.


First downs rushing 9 5
First downs passing 1 2
First downs by penalty 0 0
Totals first downs 10 7
Yards gained rushing 165 126
Yards lost rushing 13 16
Net yards rushing 152 110
Net yards passing 50 28
Total yards gained 202 138
Passes attempted 9 10
Passes completed 2 4
Passes int. by 0 2
Times kicked off 3 3
Kickoff average 52.0 48.0
Kickoff return yards 75 31
Punts 3 5
Punting average 38.7 30.4
Punt return yards 25 1
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 4 5
Fumbles lost 3 2
Penalties 4 4
Yards penalized 50 40
Touchdowns rushing 2 0
Touchdowns passing 0 1
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 51 40
Time of possession 22:54 25:06
Attendance 9,200

MASSILLON 3 7 0 7 17

Duane Crenshaw
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1985: Massillon 34, Warren Harding 0

Newman’s 4 TDs wreck Warren
Tigers storm past Panthers 34-0

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ A Newman reminds Washington High football coach John Maronto of the old days.

“Derick Newman is a throw‑back,” Maronto said after watching Newman score four touchdowns and help the Massillon Tigers hang a 34‑0 haymaker on Warren Harding High Friday night before 9,535 in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The win made the Tigers the first high school football team in the nation to reach 600 wins.

Program Cover

“Derick can run over people,” Maronto added. “A few times tonight, it was B.Y.O.B. for him.”

B.Y.O.B. has nothing to do with Gator Ade. It stands for “bring your own block” ‑ if there’s no hole, make your own.

That’s exactly what Newman did on a first‑down running play over the right side of the line. He was hit hard at the line but shed the defender, cut to the outside, deflected two more tacklers and used his 4.9‑second speed in the 40 to finish off a 43‑yard touchdown run.

The touchdown, Newman’s fourth of the night, gave the Tigers a 27‑0 lead at 11:23 of the fourth quarter.

Newman bulled for 103 yards in 16 carries and was complemented by tailbacks Michael Harris and Mike Norris, who combined for 124 yards on 28 totes.

“The coach told me in practice not to try to run around anybody, to try to run them over,” said Newman, a 6‑foot‑2, 206‑pound senior. “I’ve been bothered by a pulled hamstring, and the only thing I was worried about tonight was hurting it again.

“Fortunately, my leg felt good. The game felt good. On the long run, I got to follow the coach’s advice and run over a couple of guys, but I got to run around one guy, too.”

The outcome left the Tigers with a 2‑1 record. Warren, 0‑3, has yielded 13 straight touchdowns without scoring.

Friday night, Warren’s Panthers simply got out muscled by some bigger cats.

“The size of their backs was a big factor,” said Harding head coach Frank Thomas, a former Tiger aide whose head coaching mark with the Panthers dipped to 14‑19, including an 18‑6 win over Massillon last year.

“On several plays, our defensive people did a good job reading the play, but we’re tiny to say the least, and against that big, physical team, reading the play wasn’t always enough.

“They have a great defense. We weren’t sure how good their offense would be. But it seems to he on its way.”

The Tiger offense racked up its season high of 328 yards. The defense permitted its season low of 65 yards.

That figured to happen against a Warren team which bore no resemblance to the good Warren teams of yore.

It could happen again next week, when the Tigers take on 0-2 Akron Central‑Hower, which is idle this weekend.

A showdown against Barberton, 3‑0 after a 12‑9 win over Mentor Friday, looms Sept. 28 in the Rubber Bowl. After that, the Tigers will host rugged Austintown‑Fitch, a 21‑12 loser to McKinley Friday.

But first things first, the Tigers can take a few moments to savor the first sign indicating they can develop into a state power.

“That’s a little more like it,” Maronto said of the Warren wipeout.

“I knew when we left the locker room the players were ready to play. They were wired in as a team. You could see their determination as a team. They took the field and they played together. With that factor going for you, winning will take care of itself.”

Victory No. 2 for Maronto was No. 600 for the Tigers.

“The people of Massillon have a lot to be proud of,” Maronto said. “I’m happy to be here and to be part of it. This is a tribute to all of the players of all of the past teams.”

Maronto thanked his assistant coaches, one of whom, Nick Vrotsos, has been a Tiger aide since 1958.

“Now we have 600 wins,” Vrotsos said. “People keep telling me, ‘Congratulations, you were here for the first one and the 600th one,”‘ Vrotsos laughed.

Friday’s game turned into a laugher with Newman’s long touchdown run. But the outcome was pretty well decided by halftime, when Massillon led 21‑0 and held a 137‑34 edge in total yards.

The defense and special teams deserve heavy credit for the first three touchdowns. The Tigers kicked off and held Warren to three yards, but they stalled, too, after getting the ball on a punt. Warren got the ball back on a punt, but on third‑and‑nine, Hoagy Pfisterer blind‑sided quarterback Brian Hendrickson, whose fumble was pounced on by Tiger lineman Mark Harder at the 7.

The Tigers were in danger of repeating their penchant for having the ball near the goal line early in the game and not scoring, facing third‑and‑goal from the six. Newman solved the dilemma by following good blocking up the middle for a six‑yard touchdown blast. Mike Norris’ PAT kick made it 7‑0 with 3:30 left in the first quarter.

On Warren’s ensuing possession, running back Avery Patterson took a nuclear hit from Harder, forcing him to cough up the ball to “Tiger back” Daimon Richardson. Massillon had the ball on the Warren 28.

A 15‑yard pass from Paul Fabianich to Bart Letcavits and three rushes for 12 yards set up a first‑and‑goal on the 2. Newman tried the middle two times, plunging in for a score on the first play of the second quarter. Norris’ PAT made it 14‑0.

Norris’ booming kickoff and good coverage forced the Panthers to start from their own 11. The Panthers stalled and punted to Wes Siegenthaler, who made a short return to the Warren 45 in front of the Massillon bench.

The end of the play triggered a scuffle. A dozen Tigers charged from the sideline to the field, but Marrow was right behind them, ordering them back to the sideline. Warren’s Gary Snyder was ejected, not no penalty was assessed; in fact, the Tigers lost five yards in the melee, with officials incorrectly spotting the ball at midfield.

Newman made up the five yards on the first play. The Tigers methodically marched the 50 yards in 11 plays, with Newman going over the right side to score from the 2. Norris’ kick was good again at 4:13 of the second period, and the Tigers had their 21‑0 halftime lead.

Warren didn’t make it beyond its own 35 in the first half. The Panthers got that far as a result of a 15‑yard penalty.

Starting from their own 39 after the second‑half kickoff, the Tigers drove to the Warren 11 before Fabianich was sacked at the 23 on fourth‑and‑eight.

The Panthers then staged their biggest “drive” of the night, getting their second first down of the game and advancing to the 40. The drive ended there with a punt, and Massillon started from its own 30.

An 11‑yard completion on the Fabianich‑Letcavits connection put the ball on the 43, from where Newman broke his big run. Newman almost made the mistake of celebrating too soon, holding the ball aloft after running past the 5, then getting caught from behind as he crossed the goal stripe.

The Panthers kept the ball for two plays before Matt Swank’s interception launched a Tiger drive at the Warren 38. The Tigers ran out of downs at the 10.

Four plays later, Jerome Myricks picked off a Panther pass at the 30. Six plays later, Harris scored from four yards out with 1:34 left. Norris’ kick was wide, and the final score was cemented at 34‑0.

The Panthers’ strongest sniff of the goal line came on the final play of the game when Patterson rushed within three yards of midfield.

“Massillon is a state power‑they always are,” said Thomas, the Warren coach. “I can’t say how close they are to being at the top, but I can say they’re the best of the six teams I’ve seen, including scrimmages.”

“We lost last week, but we think we can win the rest of our games,” said the fullback, Newman. “We want to go to the state championship game.”

Beating a rebuilding Warren team was no sure indication such heights are in store. But the Tigers whizzed past an old nemesis without a hitch, and that stands for something.

First downs rushing 12 2
First downs passing 5 1
First downs by penalty 2 1
Total first downs 19 4
Yards gained rushing 249 45
Yards lost rushing 20 11
Net yards rushing 229 34
Net yards passing 99 31
Total yard gained 328 65
Passes attempted 14 13
Passes completed 7 5
Passes int. by 0 2
Times kicked off 6 1
Kickoff average 54.5 40.0
Kickoff return yards 19 99
Punts 1 4
Punting average 36.0 25.3
Punt return yards -8 4
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 3 3
Fumbles lost 0 2
Penalties 5 2
Yards penalized 34 30
Touchdowns rushing 5 0
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdown 0 0
Number of plays 65 31
Time of possession 31:11 16:49
Attendance 9,535

WARREN 0 0 0 0 0
MASSILLON 7 14 0 13 34

M ‑ Derrick Newman 5 run (Mike Norris kick)
M ‑ Newman 1 run (Norris kick)
M ‑ Newman 1 run (Norris kick)
M ‑ Newman 43 run (Norris kick)
M ‑ Michael Harris 4 run (kick failed)

Duane Crenshaw


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1985: Massillon 6, Akron Garfield 14

Akron Garfield beats Tigers on home turf

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Around the U.S.A., Garfield is known as a funny cartoon strip.

Around Tigertown, Garfield is known as a bad summer rerun.

Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Akron Garfield High gave the Massillon Tigers the summertime blues for the third straight year, stealing away with a 14‑6 victory before 10,901 sweat‑soaked fans in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Two summers ago, the Tigers had Chris Spielman, but the Rams had Charles Gladman and won 14‑10. The defeat kept Massillon out of the playoffs.

Program Cover

Last year, the Rams rubbed it in but good, winning 29‑12. The game sent the Tigers reeling to a 6‑4 record.

This time, Garfield scored twice in the fourth quarter, seizing control of the game after looking lost on offense for the longest time.

These games against the Rams just haven’t been any fun at all.

“This is a great feeling,” said Garfield head coach Bill McGee. “I don’t think any team has ever beaten Massillon three times in a row on its own field.”

McGee was wrong there. McKinley beat Massillon 11 straight times from 1894‑1906, according to research done in the wee hours this morning by statistician Tom Persell. But it’s been a while, folks.

Rubbing salt into the wound was the fact Garfield prevented the Tigers from reaching their 600th victory, a national high school football landmark.

John Maronto, the Massillon mentor, is one of those coaches who would prefer a sharp stick in the eye to a defeat. He was very unhappy.

“We got our (posteriors) kicked,” he said. “We were out‑coached and out‑played.”

The outcome left both teams with 1‑1 records.

None of the Tiger players thought it left them with another season ruptured by the Rams.

“We can’t give up,” defensive tackle Duane Crenshaw said. “We don’t want another 6‑4 season. We want to go 9‑1, and that’s gonna take a lot of work.”

“We have to learn a big lesson from this,” said Wes Siegenthaler, who accounted for the Tigers’ points with an 83-yard punt return. “We’ve gotta show a lot of character.

“Losing tonight is the worst feeling in the world. It’s hard to accept. We’ve worked harder than any team in the state.”

“We’re not giving up now,” linebacker Hoagy Pfisterer said. “This just means we’ll have to work even border.”

Bill McGee said his team has worked pretty hard. He helped by doing his homework.

The plays that forged the victory revolved around some tricky fakes which had the Tigers, who played well on defense most of the night, tackling the wrong guy.

Before Garfield’s first touchdown, the Rams were going nowhere. Their longest “drive” through three quarters was 22 yards.

The Tigers, on the other hand, plowed to Garfield’s 3‑yard line on their first two possessions. But neither possession brought any points; first, the Tigers ran out of downs, then they missed a field goal.

Maronto, who spent 11 years as the head coach at De La Salle High in the Detroit area, was mystified over the squandered opportunities.

He said his De La Salle teams scored 29 of 30 times in similar situation s.

”We have to evaluate why we didn’t put it in,” he said.

Siegenthaler eased the frustration with his graceful run. He fielded Don Edwards’ 40‑yard punt near the right sideline, picked up two key blocks and outran everybody Mike Norris’ PAT try sailed wide right and it was 6‑0 with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Tigers came close to putting away the game in the third quarter. They began an their own 45 after a short punt, got a first down on a pass interference call, then faced fourth and five from the Rams’ 40. The Tigers lined up to punt but the snap was whipped to Derrick Newman, who made it only to the 38.

The Massillon crowd enjoyed the gamble and gave the Tiger punting team a loud ovation as it left the field. But Garfield had the ball.

Sophomore quarterback Todd Johnson, who by this point was making the Tigers guess whether he bad the ball or had given it to a running back, went 17 yards on a keeper to the Massillon 42 as the third quarter ended.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Tiger defense again bit on the wrong ball carrier, and 5‑foot‑4 fullback Terrick James squirted 17 yards to the 25. The quarterback then kept again and went 13 yards to the 12.

On fourth‑and‑two, Johnson faked to James, who was creamed at the line as Johnson skirted the left side and ran into the endzone untouched. Fred Wolfe’s PAT kick split the uprights and it was 7‑6 Garfield with 9:05 left in the game.

Now the Tigers had to move.

As they awaited the kickoff, the stats sheet showed their second‑half running plays netting gains of 1, 3 and minus‑1 yards. The passing game yielded gains of 8 and 6 yards and three incompletions. That’s 17 yards.

The Tigers started from their 30 and made a first down to the 42 on a Paul Fabjanich pass to Siegenthaler. But on third‑and‑five, another pass went to Siegenthaler, who straggled mightily to spin past the first‑down marker. As he wriggled, the ball popped loose. Garfield’s Dave Whiddon snatched it out of the air and advanced it to the Tiger’s 35.

Now the Tigers were wary of Johnson’s runs to the outside. That may have helped leave the middle wide open for running back Paul Brown to ramble 26 yards up the middle to the 5. Two plays later, James smashed in from the one. Wolfe’s kick made it 14‑6 with 3:10 left in the game.

Now the Tigers were thinking touchdown, two‑point conversion and overtime. They started on their own 37 and drove to the Rams’ where it was second‑and‑seven. Fabianich lofted a pass toward the right corner of the end zone, but Garfield field’s Steve Fowler stepped in front of Bart Letcavits to make an interception with 1:19 left.

The Rams sat on the ball deep in their own territory and ran out the clock.

“The key to the game was our defense,” said McGee, whose Rams held the Tigers to 198 yards ‑ Garfield field amassed 247 yards.

“They did a good job of preparation for us,” added McGee. “They pulled out all the stops.”

Area prep grid stats

First downs rushing 2 10
First downs passing 6 1
First downs by penalty 1 1
Totals first downs 9 12
Yards gained rushing 67 233
Yards lost rushing 1 5
Net yards rushing 66 228
Net yards passing 132 19
Total yards gained 198 247
Passes attempted 21 8
Passes completed 11 2
Pass int. by 1 1
Times kicked off 2 3
Kickoff average 48.0 34.7
Kickoff return yards 23 21
Punts 2 4
Punting average 38.0 29.5
Punt return yards 84 9
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 3 4
Fumbles lost 2 1
Penalties 2 4
Yards penalized 10 40
Touchdowns rushing 0 2
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdown 1 0
Number of plays 46 49
Time of possession 19:30 28:30
Attendance 10,901

GARFIELD 0 0 0 14 14
MASSILLON 6 0 0 0 6

M ‑ Wes Siegenthaler 83 punt return (kick failed)
G ‑ Todd Johnson 4 run (Fred Wolfe kick)
G ‑ Terrick James 1 run (Wolfe kick)

600th win is worth savoring

MASSILLON ‑ The year was 1899. Football coaches weren’t talking in terms of having enough horses to win. They were hoping for enough horses to get the play to the games.

A fellow named Bill McKinley was calling the shots in Washington. He’d not been around long enough to have a high school named after him.

George Washington had paid his dues, and the high school in Massillon took his name. Football was a strange new sport at the high school. Some townsfolk knew not what to make of it. Imagine, an alley fight in broad daylight.

In 1899, winning wasn’t everything. It wasn’t anything.

Going into the last game of the ’99 season, Washington High had never won a game. Not that, many folks cared.

The ’99 campaign brought losses of 26‑0 to Wooster and 34‑5 to Claytown. If there were thoughts of salvaging the season, they were all directed toward the next game, the third game, which also happened to be the last game.

The opponent for the ’99 finale was Massillon Business College, where they knew nothing of E.F. Hutton, but knew something about running the football.

In a real war, the high school team ran up a 30‑0 lead then held off the college team to win 35‑34.

All of the players from the ’99 squad have departed to the Great Gridiron in the Sky.

None of the players on the 1985 squad came into the world until about 70 years later.

But now there is a link between the players from those two different teams.

The boys of ’99 got No. 1. The boys of ’85 bagged No. 600 Friday night, putting it to Warren Harding, 34‑0.

If you closed your eyes, maybe a chill ran up your spine. Maybe you heard the hollow echo of the clapping of the ghosts who found their way to the sidelines Friday night.

Six‑hundred wins.

Roll that around on your tongue for a while because it’s worth a savor.

Consider this: No other high school football team in the country has rolled up 600 wins.

Six hundred wins … that’d be 10‑0 for 60 years.

Six hundred wins … that’s more Paul Brown and Leo Strang and, yes, Mike Currence than you can shake a stick at.

Six hundred wins.

That’s something to be proud of.

Cincinnati Moeller has The New Dynasty. It doesn’t have 600 wins.

Canton McKinley has that state playoff title. It doesn’t have 600 wins.

Texas and California have some high school football teams whose fans say are good enough to make the Ohio powers look silly. Tell ‘em to come on over and play the team with 600 wins some year when the Tigers are loaded.

Enrollment has toppled. The economy stinks. But, hey, there are those 600 wins, and there’s John Maronto, the coach who says he wants to make it so folks in Texas and California learn all over again that Massillon is the town where the best program is.

Now, that’ll be one tough nut to crack.

“Paul Brown can’t do one thing for us tonight,” John Weider, the timekeeper for the last 11 years, was saying at halftime of Friday night’s game. “It’s great to have tradition, but it comes down to those players who are down there tonight having to do it for themselvers.”

They’ve been doing it pretty well, even in the absence of state championships for pretty many years now.

“When Paul Brown was here, the population of Massillon was 29,000, and the high School enrollment was 1,800,” John Weider said. “Now the population is 32,000, but the high school enrollment is 1,200. Earle Bruce was talking not long ago about bumping into former Ohio families who are living in the south now.

“Our town’s getting older. We have fewer boys. But I wonder if there’s any other town of 32,000 that has done as consistently well as we’ve done over all these years. I think we’ve got a tremendous record.”

The timekeeper spoke wisely.

Duane Crenshaw
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1985: Massillon 14, Akron North 6

Tigers hang tough for 14-6 win
Massillon dominates kicking game to give Maronto first victory

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Nobody with better than better than 20‑20 vision is ready to call them The Big Orange Machine yet, but hey, the Tigers weren’t bad Friday night.

Not great, no sir. Better than they were in the scrimmages? The difference was as pronounced as that between the Saints and the 49ers.

Program Cover

“The main thing is that it goes in the column on the left,” said John Maronto, the new head coach of the Massillon Tigers, who seemed as happy be could be with his boys’ 14‑6 victory over Akron North before 9,933 fans in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

OK, so it got scary.

It was nervous time when the Vikings, trailing by that 14‑6 score, hooked up on a 15‑yard pass that gave them a first down on the 15-yard that gave them a first down on the 15-yard line with three minutes to go.

And it got hairy when Troy Campbell, the North quarterback, pitched a pass inside the 10 that hit Dan Boyes in the hands, then caromed toward the hands of another North receiver, Dan Boyes.

But the pass pinballed off Boyes’ mitts, too, and Jerrod Vance, a Tiger inside linebacker, picked it out of the air, returned it to the 20, and brought a giant, happy sigh out of the west stands.

It was a win, and it came against a pretty good team in a pretty tough situation, that of a team which was unsure of itself in the scrimmages and was adjusting to a new head coach whose system is all new.

“We weren’t mentally up for the scrimmages,” said Mark Harder, a senior linebacker. “But this week, we had some super practices, and everybody was real psyched for tonight.

“Last night, Coach Maronto told everybody on the team to close their eyes and think about the game. It got us in a good frame of mind.”

One thing that promoted PMA (positive mental attitude) Friday was GFP ‑ that’s good field position.

Akron North outgained the Tigers 192‑191 in total yardage, but the Tigers’ superior field position on their offensive drives made it appear that they dominated the game.

What they really dominated was the kicking game.

Mike Norris’ kickoffs were out of this world … almost out of the end zone. Ken Hawkins, a 6‑foot‑6 junior punter physique made in heaven, punted well.

But the Tigers’ kick coverage teams played … well, they were the difference.

They staged swarming rushes on North punter Jim Bouhner, who also had to deal with a rash of bad snaps from two different centers, both new on the job this year.

Field position and the kicking game figured in both Massillon touchdowns, both in the second quarter.

The touchdown drives started at the 34‑ and the 1‑yard lines.

The 34‑yard drive started after a punt which Wes Siegenthaler returned 33 yards for an apparent touchdown. It was called back because of clipping. The Tigers scored anyway, with junior tailback Michael Harris going in from the 2 at the end of a sever‑play surge.

Norris boomed the ensuing kickoff and the Vikings started from their 20 after a touchback. They stalled and had to punt, and when the snap sailed over Bouhner’s head he ran back, picked it up and tried to kick it, but Hoagy Pfisterer stormed in to block the attempt.

The ball squirted backward. Bouhner stumbled as he arrived at the ball, which squirted inches into the end zone. His body was sprawled at the 1, and he made the mistake of pulling the ball out of the end zone and cradling it in as Pfisterer piled on top of him.

Instead of North taking a safety, the Tigers had the ball at first and goal, a few inches from a score.

Quarterback Paul Fabianich sneaked in on the first play. Norris’ conversion kick, a dandy that sailed over the end zone seats, made it 14‑0 2:08 before halftime.

Then North came up with a drive that kept the game suspenseful until the end.

Lawrence Moore, the major college prospect who is North’s tailback, broke loose on a 51‑yard run. It set up a North touchdown on the last play of the half, a five‑yard pass from Campbell, who was falling out of bounds as he threw, to Moore.

North tried to heighten the stun factor by faking a kick and going for two on the conversion, but a pass to Moore fell incomplete.

The only serious scoring threat of the second half was the one ending with Vance’s interception.

It was a happy ending for Maronto, the 42‑year‑old coach who pulled up stakes after 11 years at De La Salle High School near Detroit.

“I didn’t really feel that different on the sidelines,” Maronto said, “Coaching is coaching, and it always feels great to win.

“This is a great community. The support from everyone, teachers, community members, administration and students, is tremendous.”

Maronto’s evaluation of his team’s first game?

“We started from day one working to refine two things that can win for us, defense and the kicking game,” he said. “I think you saw some of the fruits of that tonight.

“I realize that it would take our offense a lot of time. But it’ll be there.

“Credit our defense, and the coaches … Brandon Oliver, Jim Letcavits, Tyrone Partridge, Butch Hose, Mike James. They had it ready.

“Our defense was physically tough. They just played one heckuva game.”

Moore gave the Tigers the most trouble. The 5-10, 185‑pound senior rushed 18 times for 120 yards, accounting for all but 72 of his team’s yards.

“Lawrence is the best back in the area,” North coach Charley Marquess said. “I don’t think anyone else can compare.”

Harris led the Tiger ground gainers with 67 yards in 13 carries. Fullback Derick Newman was the workhorse, rushing 16 times and gaining 50 yards.

Tiger quarterback Paul Fabianich was broken in slowly in terms of passing. He threw the ball only six times, completing three for 26 yards.

Six passes is believed to be the lowest number in a game for the Tigers in the last 10 years, dating all the way back through Mike Currence’s run‑and‑shoot offense.

Marquess was as impressed with the Tigers as he was with Moore.

“I can’t pick out any weakness that they have,” he said. “They played well. They played enthusiastically.

“We had problems on our snaps, but what are you going to do? Those kids tried. Generally, our kids answered the bell pretty well today, ”

Field Position? The Tigers’ first-half possessions started on their own 28, North’s 12 (ending on down’s at the 2), their own 48 (ending on downs at the 8), North’s 34 and North’s 1.

A win in hand, the Tigers begin preparing for next Friday’s game against Akron Garfield.

“Garfield has beaten us twice in a row,” Maronto said. “We’ll work on changing that.”

Winning start for new coach
at Massillon

By Roland Queen
Beacon Journal staff writer

Massillon’s first‑year coach John Maronto paced the sidelines like a caged tiger Friday night just before the opening kickoff at his new home, Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

He looked nervous about his first day on the job before the 9,933 Tigers fans who showed up for the unveiling of the Maronto Era at tradition‑rich Massillon.

“No, I wasn’t nervous at all,” Maronto said. “I was just anxious to get going so I could find out more about ourselves.”

Maronto found out his team’s defense was good enough to lead the Tigers to a 14‑6 victory over the visiting North Vikings and their exciting tailback, Lawrence Moore.

“From Day One I said that for us to win we needed a good defense and kicking game,” Maronto said. “We realized that tile offense would take a little time to come around. But that’s how you win early in the season.”

The Tigers couldn’t hold Moore completely in check. He led all rashers with 120 yards on 18 carries, including a 51‑yard run in the second quarter that set up North’s only touchdown.

However, Moore got 87 of his yards in the first half. He was contained better by the Tigers in the second half.

“Our defense was just physically tough,” said Maronto. “They played one beck of a football game.”

North also came up with a spirited defensive effort. Three times in the first half the Vikings held Massillon on downs deep in North territory, once at the 3‑yard line.

The first quarter was scoreless. But Massillon finally broke through in the second quarter after a 19‑yard punt by North’s Jerry Dixon, who was victimized four times by high snaps that threw off his timing.

Massillon took the ball on the North 34 and scored in seven plays, the touchdown coming on a 3‑yard run by junior Mike Harris, Mike Norris’ extra point made it 7-0.

Massillon held North on the next series. This time, Dixon set up to punt from his 29. But the snap sailed over his head and before he could recover, he was buried at the 1.

Massillon quarterback Paul Fabianich scored on a sneak and Norris’ kick made it 14‑0 with 2:08 left before halftime.

It again appeared that North would be bottled up in its end, but on third‑and‑4 from the North 24, Moore cut back against the grain and rambled 51 yards to the Massillon 25. From there, it took the Vikings five plays before quarterback Troy Campbell hit Moore in the back of the end zone with a 5‑yard scoring pass on the final play of the half. That turned out to be the final score of the game.

The second half was a defensive struggle, although North, drove to the Massillon 15 late in the fourth period before a pass from Campbell ricocheted off two of his receivers and into the hands of Massillon’s Jerod Vance.

North coach Charlie Marquess said his team had an uphill fight the whole first half because Massillon dominated the field position.

“If you give a team like Massillon enough chances inside your 30, they’re going to score. They definitely capitalized on our mistakes.”

But Marquess managed a smile when Moore’s name was mentioned.

“Lawrence Moore has got to be the best back in the area this year,” Marquess said. “I don’t think anybody can compare to him.”

The final statistics reflected how even the game was ‑ minus a fumble, interception and the bad snaps on punts by North. The Vikings won the yardage 192-191.


First downs rushing 9 5
First downs passing 2 2
First downs by penalty 1 2
Total first downs 12 9
Yards gained rushing 174 169
Yards lost rushing 9 18
Net yards rushing 165 151
Net yards passing 26 41
Total yards gained 191 192
Passes attempted 6 9
Passes completed 3 4
Passes int. by 1 1
Times kicked off 3 1
Kickoff average 56.3 52.0
Kickoff return yards 20 29
Punts 2 6
Punting average 39.0 18.7
Punt return yards 25 1
Punts blocked by 2 0
Fumbles 1 2
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 4 6
Yards penalized 41 29
Touchdowns rushing 2 0
Touchdowns passing 0 1
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 54 42
Time of possession 23:44 24:16
Attendance 9,933

NORTH 0 6 0 0 6
MASSILLON 0 14 0 0 14

M ‑ Michael Harris 2 run (Mike Norris kick)
M Paul Fabianich 1 run (Norris Rick)
N ‑ Lawrence Moore 5 pass from Troy Campbell (pass failed)

Duane Crenshaw