Tag: <span>Ellery Moore</span>


1999: Massillon 6, Massillon Perry 23

Panthers stun unbeaten Tigers
Massillon’s 0ffense is shut down

Independent Sports Editor

The Perry Panthers, apparently unimpressed with their opponents’ 10‑0 record and No. 3 ranking in the Associated Press Division I poll invaded Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Saturday evening and handed the Massillon Tigers a convincing 23‑6 setback in a regional quarterfinal playoff game in front of 12,250 shocked spectators.

Perry’s victory no fluke. The Panthers held a 282‑228 advantage in total yards and converted 5 of 11 third downs to Massillon’s 3 of’ 14.

The Tigers, who had averaged nearly eight yards per first down play all season, were held to just over five yards per first down snap by a blitzing Perry defense that registered seven sacks of Massillon quarterback Dave Irwin.

“They did a couple of things with their blitzes where they showed some blitz on one side, came back with a blitz on the other side and they caught us after Dave had set the protection with the backs,” explained Tigers coach Rick Shepas. “That was pretty good on their part. It was a good scheme they used on us.”

The biggest sack of the game came on Massillon’s second possession of the evening with the Tigers already leading 7‑0 and looking to score another with the ball at the Perry 13.

The Tiger’s were facing facing a fourth‑and‑four situation and decided to eschew the field goal attempt and try for an early knockout. Instead, it was Massillon that got decked as Perry junior Brian Janson swooped in to take Irwin down before he could release the pass, for a six yard loss.

From that. point on it was all Panthers. They have such a good offense and very good skill kids,” said Perry coach Keith Wakefield. “We were more aggressive on defense than we were the first time we played them.

“We started off very well the first game (won by Massillon 35‑14). This time we just finished the game.” After Janson’s sack, Perry. went to work offensively.

Junior quarterback Joe Shimek scrambled for 20 yards to wipe out a third‑and‑nlne dilemma and then Perry pounded the football right at Massillon, advancing to the Tiger 40 as Spencer Wyatt and Jordan Henning each toted the pigskin twice. From there, Shimek made another big Play, connecting with Joel Bailey on a deep curl pattern for 21 yards to the Tiger 19.

Four snaps later, on second‑and‑goal from the 6, Eric Heinzer got the handoff on an inside counter and burst through a cavity in the line for a touchdown. Shimek’s kick was true and Perry led 7‑6 with 6:29 until the half.

The Tigers appeared to be ready to retaliate, moving from their 20 to the 38 on four running plays. However, on third‑and‑three, a premature center snap left the ball rolling around in the Massillon backfield. Finally, Bailey found the handle for Perry at the 20 and ran untouched into the Massillon end zone. The PAT was wide but it was all good for the Panthers who held a 13‑6 edge with 3:36 remaining in the first half.

Perry fumbled the ball away on its first possession of the second half after forcing Massillon to punt on its initial series of downs after the band show.

The Tigers returned the favor just three plays later as Panthers junior defensive back Anthony Ranalli picked off a pass at the 45 and returned it the Massillon 29.

Now Perry could smell blood and the Panthers moved in for the clincher. Wyatt gained four yards over left guard and Henning bucked for three more before Wyatt went around left end for three yards and a first down at the Tiger 19.

On second‑and‑nine from the 18, Shimek went around his right side on an option keeper, cut back to the middle of the field at the 12 and carried it down to the Tiger 2. Heinzer swept right end on first-and-goal and raced the pursuit to the end zone for six. Shimek’s PAT try was true and Perry was celebrating a 20‑6 lead at 3:58 of. the third quarter.

Massillon had one final bullet in its gun, marching from its 45‑ after Jessie Scott’s long kickoff’ return to the Perry 16. On second down, Irwin hit Rocky Dorsey inside the five on a sideline pattern but the senior wideout caught the ball out of bounds.

A holding call on the Tigers nullified a touchdown pass on the next play and Massillon never got close again. Meanwhile, Perry’s offensive line continued to do the job up front as, Heinzer, Henning, Wyatt and Doug Hutchinson took turns carrying the football for positive yardage and eating up the game clock.

The Panthers tacked on a 26‑yard Shimek field goal with 3:06 to play.

After getting the ball back on downs deep in Tiger territory in the waning moments, Shimek took a knee as the final seconds wound off the clock.

The first half began as if Massillon was going to run away and hide from the Panthers. After forcing Perry to punt after just three snaps, the Tigers mounted their initial drive of the game from their 37‑yardline line and made it look easy.

Scott picked up 14 yards on two plays, then Irwin found Dorsey along the right Sideline for 10 more to the Perry 36. An incompletion and two sack by the fired-up Panthers defense set up fourth 4th and 11 for the Tigers and Shepas opted to go for it. Irwin dropped back and launched a high arching bomb toward the left corner of the end zone. Joe Price was well covered but the pass was perfect and the senior widout pulled it in for a 30‑yard gain to the Perry 6.

On second down, Perry registered its third sack of Irwin as tackle Bill Turner did the honors. But the Tigers were unfazed. On third‑and‑goal, Scott swept around his left end, leaped at the 3 and hurdled a Panther defender landing in the end zone for a touchdown. The kick was wide as Massillon led 6‑0 at 5:40 of the first quarter. Little did the Tigers know that would be their final tally of the football game.

Inside a disconsolate Massillon locker room Shepas couldn’t find it in himself to be critical of his charges. “It’s always tough considering what’s gone on over the course of the last year,” he said. “For a football program to be so low back in the winter time and then to climb that mountain and come back from some odds and reach what looks like a summit after beating McKinley. There’s a lot these kids have accomplished. They stuck together. They showed great character. We have outstanding kids. They played together from start to finish. Tonight they got bit.

“The legacy they leave our football program … we will never be able to thank them enough. What they’ve been able to do to get this pro gram going in the right direction, I’ll be eternally grateful for these kids. Without them I wouldn’t have a job.” Arid Shepas did not hesitate to tip his hat to the Panthers.

They’re a team that is very well coached,” he said. “They play such a solid game. They rarely turn the ball over. And they did turn it over once. We just couldn’t turn it into points. “Perry played hard and they deserved to win. There are no excuses on this side “‘

First downs rushing 11 6
First downs passing 1 7
First downs by penalty 0 1
TOTAL first downs 12 14
Net yards rushing 261 76
Net yard passing 21 152
TOTAL yards 282 228
Passes attempted 2 24
Passes completed 1 10
Passes intercepted 0 1
Punts 4 4
Punting average 27 30.5
Fumbles/Lost 1/1 3/1
Penalties 6 3
Yards penalized 40 27

PERRY 00 13 07 03 23
MASSILLON 06 00 00 00 06


M Jesse Scott 4 yard run (Kick failed)
P Eric Heinzer 6‑yard run (Joe Shimek)
P Joe Bailey 20‑yard fumble recovery (Kick failed)
P Heinzer I ‑yard run (Shimek Kick)
P Shimek 25‑yard field goal


Perry rushing: Heinzer 13‑105, Henning 16-70,
Spencer Wyatt 12-43
Massillon rushing: Scott 12‑80, Perry James 7‑17

Perry passing: Shimek 1‑2‑21
Massillon passing: Dave Irwin 10‑24-152 1 INT.

Perry receiving: Bailey 1‑21
Massillon receiving: Drobney 3‑50, Jesse Robinson 2-24, Rock

Dan Studer

Massillon vs. McK - Throwback (Large) History

1999: Massillon 35, Canton McKinley 7

Massillon mauls McK in 2nd half
Tigers’ Black Swarm defense gives attack chance to awaken

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers, the ultimate second half team throughout the 1999 high school football season, did it again on Saturday by thrashing arch‑rival McKinley 35‑7 with a four‑touchdown outburst after the band show that had Bulldog fans exiting Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium with over 11 minutes left to play.

Program Cover

Massillon snapped McKinley’s five‑game winning streak in this storied series and at the same time put the final touches on a 10‑0 regular season, the Tigers’ first since 1982. The Orange‑and‑Black will be back in action this coming Saturday with a first‑round Division I playoff game at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, probably against Perry.

The Tigers first possession of the second half set the tone for the final 24 minutes. Massillon marched 74 yards in 14 plays to break a 7‑7 halftime tie. Quarterback Dave Irwin, who was woozy at‑the-end of the first half after absorbing a big hit from the McKinley defense, got the drive going by hitting tightend Charles Hendricks for 11 yards over the middle for a first down at the Massillon 40.

After converting a fourth‑and‑inches with a sneak up the middle, Irwin looked to Ellery Moore but the pass fell incomplete. However, a personal foul penalty against McKinley for taunting on the play gave the Tigers a first down at the Pups’ 26.

Game action vs. Canton McKinley 1999

Three plays later, on second‑and‑eight from the 12, Irwin looked off the McKinley defense then dropped a pass into the arms of fullback Jon Stanke, who carried it into the right corner of the end zone for six. Brett Marshall’s PAT made it 14‑7 Massillon at 5:21 of the third.

“We just put that play in,” Irwin revealed. “We put Ellery in to decoy them. I told Stanke they were going to jump Ellery, so keep looking for the ball and don’t turn away. “I delayed, looking off to Ellery. I had to put a touch pass over the top. Jon made a great catch and a great run to the end zone.”

While that score wobbled McKinley, the next series of events KO’d the Bulldogs. Massillon kicked off and the Pups’ kick returner coughed the ball up after a 20‑yard run back. Tigers senior Dusty Wilbur came up with the loose ball and momentum was swinging Massillon’s way.

Irwin picked up five yards on a first‑down bootleg keeper around right end. Then Jessie Scott swept left end for 14 more to the McKinley 11.

Game action vs. Canton McKinley 1999

After a first down run gained just a yard, Irwin dropped back and looked to his right. The senior tri‑captain stood in the pocket for what seemed like an eternity, looking to his right. Finally, Irwin turned left and found tight end Jeremiah Drobney wide open for a 10‑yard scoring pass. Marshall’s PAT made it 21‑7 Tigers with 4:13 left in the third.

McKinley moved the football on its next possession but turned it over on a second‑and‑ten fumble at its own 45. Tiger linebacker Dan Studer hammered the Bulldogs quarterback, who lost the football. Moore, who also had penetrated the pocket, was right there for the recovery.

The Tigers then moved in for the kill. On third‑and‑23 from the McKinley 39, Irwin tossed the football laterally to Anthony Battle, who had lined up as a tailback. Battle rolled right, wound up and hit a wide open Rocky Dorsey along the right sideline at the 5. The senior wideout strolled into the end zone and the rout was on with 11:53 to play. Marshall’s extra point made it 28‑7 Massillon.

The Tigers added a final touchdown on a 36‑yard Irwin‑to‑Jessie Robinson bomb with 4:15 to play. It was Irwin’s 20th touchdown pass of the season, a new Massillon Tiger record.

“It feels real good,” Irwin said afterward. “We battled back. Our defense came out and played tough all day long. That’s why they call them the Black Swarm. You could see it. They just swarmed to the football all daylong.”

Irwin nearly didn’t get a chance to enjoy the Tigers’ 10th straight victory. “I got hit real hard there in the second quarter and I forgot every play we ran in the first half,” he revealed. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it back. But I just had to suck it up and come back a little bit.”

Moore confirmed the Tigers victory over their long‑time rivals was a long time in coming, five years to be exact. “When we play this well we can’t be beat,” Moore proclaimed. “McKinley didn’t touch the end zone on nothing. The defense shut them out. The offense put it together in the second half and we’re going to the playoffs.

“We knew we were going to come out and play hard and if they folded the tent like they did we were going to capitalize on it like we have all year.”

Senior linebacker Dan’ Studer, who was in on seven tackles to lead the Tigers, is another who has endured McKinley’s recent domination of this series. He wasn’t worried at halftime, despite the offense’s turnover woes.

“There wasn’t a doubt in my mind after the first half,” Studer said. “If the offense is down the defense steps up. If the defense is down, the offense steps up. That’s just typical of the unity on this team.”

Shepas also tipped his hat to the defense.

“Our defense did a great job from the outset and that’s what told the story today,” the coach said as he held one of his daughters on his shoulders. “Hats off to our defense, to coach (Mike) Babics and the defensive staff and all the defensive players who stepped up to make this happen.

“Our kids were mad at themselves at halftime about the turnovers and that we didn’t score points. So we came out in the third quarter and controlled the line of scrimmage, threw some high percentage passes and got it into the end zone. We wanted to get up on them by two touchdowns and we were able to that. That changed the game.”

Seth Stefanko, who battled back from a serious knee sprain in Week Four to start on the Tiger offensive line, sat in the locker room afterward and just soaked in the emotional scene.

“It’s been a matter of a lot of hard work and dedication from the whole team that helped get me back,” Stefanko said. “I knew I couldn’t miss this game. I knew I had to come back. This is great. This is fun.”

Stefanko pointed to the Tigers two‑platoon system as the reason for their ultimate success .

The first half our main thing was to wear them down, which we did,” he said. “The second half they were done. They were wore down and our big players made the plays we needed to go out on top.

The first half was a comedy of errors, though no one on the Tiger sideline was laughing. Massillon turned the ball over to McKinley five times, four on interceptions.

McKinley couldn’t take advantage of all of the Tiger generosity. The Bulldogs had just 76 total yards in the first half and were 0 for 6 on third down conversions.

The Tigers moved from their own 31 to the McKinley 27 on six plays on their initial possession of the game. But Bulldogs cornerback Andre Hooks stepped in front of the Massillon wideout Rocky Dorsey, who was running a deep post pattern, for a pickoff at the two‑yard line.

Four plays later, Steve Eyerman got the ball back for the Tigers and then some, intercepting Pups QB Ben Palumbo after Massillon cornerback Sam Young careened into intended receiver Marcus Quincy along the sideline.

Palumbo’s pass deflected into the air, Eyerman snagged it and ran down the sideline 30 yards to pay dirt. Brett Marshall’s kick was good and the Tigers led 7‑0 with 5:06 to play in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs next possession ended at the Massillon 29 after a fake punt failed to gain a first down.

On first‑and‑10 at that Point, the Tigers attempted a shovel pass. McKinley’s Preston Chevers smelled the play out, grabbed the pass and rumbled 25 yards to the end zone to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard at 10:13 of the second quarter. Matt Prendes added the PAT and it was a 7‑7 ballgame.

Massillon 35, McKinley 7

Massillon 7 0 14 14 35
McKinley 0 7 0 0 7

First Quarter
Mass ‑ Eyerman 29 interception return (Marshall kick), 5:06
Second Quarter
McK ‑ Chavers 25 interception return (Prendes kick), 10:13
Third Quarter
Mass ‑ Stanke 12 pass from Irwin (Marshall kick), 5:21
Mass ‑ Drobney 10 pass from Irwin (Marshall kick), 4:13
Fourth Quarter
Mass – Dorsey 39 pass from Baffle (Marshall kick), 11:53
Mass – J. Robinson 35 pass from Irwin (Marshall kick), 4:15

Attendance ‑ 23,987

Mass McK
First downs 20 12
Rushes‑yards 36‑180 40‑184
Passing 169 33
Comp-Att-Int 13‑23‑4 4‑15‑2
Return Yards 62 75
Punts‑Avg. 1‑30 4‑41
Fumbles‑Lost 4‑2 3‑2
Penalties‑Yards 7‑47 2‑30
Time of Possession 23:44 24:16


Massillon: Scott 13‑93, James 11‑51, J.Robinson 1‑17, Irwin 6‑14, Stanke 3‑6, Marshall 2‑(minus 1).
McKinley: Daniels 6‑58, Quincy 12‑51, D.Robinson 6‑39, A. Abdul‑Zahir 4‑19 Gilmer 5‑14, H. Abdul‑Zahir 1‑10, Anderson 1‑2, Maragas 1‑1, Palumbo 5‑(minus 10).

Massillon: Irwin 12‑21‑3‑130, Battle 1‑1‑0‑39, Marshall 0‑1‑1-0
McKinley: Palumbo 2‑9‑1‑20, Daniels 2‑6‑1‑13.

Massillon: Dorsey 5‑81, Price 4‑20, Hendricks 1‑11 Stanke 1‑12, Drobney 1‑10, J. Robinson 1‑35.
McKinley: Geiselman 3‑21, Quincy 1‑12.


McK = McKinley territory
Ma = Massillon territory

MASSILLON: McKinley quarterback Ben Palumbo throws from inside his own 10 to Marcus Quincy down the right sideline. Massillon linebacker Steve Eyerman intercepts the pass and runs it back 29 yards for a TOUCHDOWN with 5:96 left in the first quarter. Brett Marshall PAT good. Massillon 7, McKinley 0.

MCKINLEY: Massillon quarterback Steve Irwin, set up in the shotgun, fields a low snap and attempts a shovel pass. McKinley puts heavy pressure on Irwin, and Preston Chavers intercepts the pass and runs 25 yards for a TOUCHDOWN with 10:13 left in the second quarter. Matt Prendes PAT good. Massillon 7, McKinley 7.


MASSILLON: Massillon’s Jesse Robinson returns second‑half kickoff 16 yards to his own 26. 1‑10, Ma26, Perry James runs for 4 yards. 2‑6, Ma30, James stuffed for no gain. 3‑6, Ma30, Irwin pass to Charles Hendricks for 11 yards over middle. 1‑10, Ma41, Jessie Scott takes lateral around right end for 8 yards. 2‑2, Ma49, Irwin pass to Joe Price for no gain on left side. 3‑2, Ma49, Scott runs for 1 yard on option play to the right. 4‑1, 50, Irwin runs 1 yard up the middle. 1‑10, McK49, James runs 4 yards. 2‑6, McK45, Scott runs 4 yards. (KEY.PLAY) 3‑2, McK41, Irwin throws incomplete to Ellery Moore; McKinley penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. 1‑10, McK26, Scott runs 6 yards. 2‑4, McK20, James runs 6 yards. 1‑10, McK14, James runs 2 yards. 2‑8, McK12, Irwin pass to Jon Stanke in right flat for 12 yards and a TOUCHDOWN with 5:21 left in the third quarter. Marshall PAT good. Drive: 14 plays, 74 yards. Massillon 14, McKinley 7.

MASSILLON: Massillon’s Dusty Wilbur recovers fumbled McKinley kickoff at the McKinley 30. 1‑10, McK30, Irwin scrambles right for 5 yards. (KEY PLAY) 2‑5, McK25, Scott runs 14 yards to the left. 1‑10, McK11 1, James runs 1 yard up the middle after colliding with Irwin. 2‑9, McK10, Irwin pass to Jeremiah Drobney in the left side of end zone for 10 yards and a TOUCHDOWN with 4:13 left in the third quarter. Marshall PAT good. Drive: 4 plays, 30 yards. Massillon 21, McKinley 7.

MASSILLON: Massillon’s Ellery Moore recovers a fumbled McKinley handoff at the McKinley 39. 1 10, McK39, Massillon penalized for illegal procedure. 1‑15, McK44, Irwin pass incomplete. 2‑15, McK44, Scott runs 1 yard. (KEY PLAY) 3‑14, McK43, Robinson runs 17 yards around left end on a reverse. 1‑10, McK26, Scott runs 4 yards. 2‑6, McK22, Massillon penalized for holding. 2‑23, McK39, Irwin pass incomplete. 3‑23, McK39, Irwin laterals to Anthony Battle, who throws a halfback pass to Rocky Dorsey down the middle of the field for 39 yards and a TOUCHDOWN with 11:53 left in the fourth quarter. Marshall PAT good. Drive: 7 plays, 44 yards. Massillon 28, McKinley 7.

MASSILLON: Massillon’s Tyrell McElroy makes an interception in the end zone of a pass by Marcus Daniels. A clipping penalty against Massillon on the runback results in the ball being placed at the Massillon 7. 1‑10, Ma7, Scott runs 13 yards; McKinley penalized for face mask. 1‑10, Ma35, Irwin sacked for 6 yard loss. (KEY PLAY) 2‑16, Ma29, Scott runs 37 yards through the left side. 1 ‑10, McK34, Massillon penalized for illegal procedure. 1‑15 McK39, James runs 4 yards. 2‑11 McK35, Irwin pass down the middle to Robinson for 35 yards and TOUCHDOWN with 4:15 remaining in the fourth quarter. Marshall PAT good. Drive: 5 plays, 93 yards. Massillon 35, McKinley 7.


Massillon 35, McKinley 7
– Chris Beaven

Dan Studer

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1999: Massillon 31, Lakewood St. Edward 14

Massillon cruises with
Marshall at controls
Independent Sports Editor

Maybe it doesn’t matter who’s under center. The Massillon Tigers, without the services of starting quarterback Dave Irwin for the first half, hardly missed a beat in handing the Lakewood St. Edward Eagles a 31-14 defeat in front of 8,351 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Friday night.

Program Cover

Brett Marshall filled in for Irwin – who suffered a gashed right index finger in metal shop on Monday – and threw for three touchdowns as Massillon remained undefeated at 9-0.

Irwin even got into the act, starting the second half with a glove on his injured hand. The senior tri-captain still completed seven of 12 aerials for 113 yards and one touchdown. That scoring pass, his 17th this year, set a new Massillon single-season TD mark.

But this night belonged to Marshall, who could barely contain himself afterward. “I couldn’t feel better right now,” Marshall said. “I expected to go out and do a good job but nothing like this. This is great.” Right from the start, Massillon’s Air Raid Attack of­fense seemed to be in synch despite the change in the triggerman.

Massillon’s first possession began at its 49 after a St. Edward punt and Jessie Scott got things rolling with a 35 yard gain off right guard and tackle that moved the ball to the Eagles’ 12. On second and 12 from the 14, Marshall dropped back and lofted a perfectly throw pass over Jon Stanke’s right shoulder and into his waiting arms in the end zone for a quick six.

“We had a play action fake and I told the linemen, `You get the job done and I’ll get the job done,”‘ Marshall said. “They gave me time and I laid it out there. At first I thought I overthrew it. Then I saw his arms outstretched and touchdown. From there on I had all the confidence in the world.”

The referee had barely raised his arms to signal a touchdown before Marshall was changing into his kicking shoe. The senior drilled the point after kick and Massillon led 7-0 at 6:43 of the first quarter.

Tigers junior safety Jared Frank, filling in for the injured Jason Jarvis, Stripped the football away from a St. Ed receiver on the Eagles next possession and Ty McElroy recovered for Massillon near midfield.

However, the Tigers were unable to move the ball as the teams went on to exchange three punts.

St. Ed’s quarterback Joe Marcoguiseppe hooked up with Michael Bowman on a post pattern that went for 47 yards to set the Eagles up with a first and-10 at the Tiger 12-yard line. Two snaps later, Alphonso Hodge took a handoff, faked to the outside and cut up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown jaunt. Chris Bonezzi was true with the extra point kick and the game was tied 7-7 at 1:27 of the first.

The score remained deadlocked until late in the first half when Tiger linebacker Steve Eyerman took Hodge down for a loss of three and defensive tackle Ellery Moore forced Marcoguiseppe to throw away a fourth down pass to give Massillon the ball at its own, 34.

An illegal procedure call set the Tigers back five yards and then the fireworks began. On first-and-15, Marshall dropped to pass and began to scramble left as the Eagles pass rush began to penetrate. The Tiger QB then changed direction, heading toward the right sideline before releasing a short pass to Scott.

The lightning quick senior worked his way along the right sideline to midfield, then cut back into the open at the 40 and left the St. Ed’s defenders in his wake for a 71-yard touchdown pass and run. Marshall’s kick made it 14-7 Tigers at 2:24 of the first half.

After Massillon’s defense forced a quick punt’, Marshall connected on consecutive aerials to Dave Bumgarner and Anthony Battle to move the ball 33 yards to the visitor’s 25. Then he scrambled for 12 more yards before the drive stalled at the Eagles 12. From there, Marshall calmly switched shoes and was perfect on a 29-yard field goal to make it 17-7 at the break.

Irwin took just about everyone by surprise by starting the second half. But it wasn’t until the Tigers fifth possession of the half, early in the fourth quarter, that they put up their third touchdown of the night.

The score was set up by Matt Shem’s interception and return to the St. Ed’s four-yard line. Two penalties and a sack set up second-and-goal from the 30 but Irwin never wavered. He dropped back to pass and found Jessie Robinson striding toward the end zone.

The pass was under thrown and Robinson stopped dead in his tracks as the defensive back blew past him at the 2. The Tiger wideout calmly caught the football and walked into the endzone for the touchdown at 10:05 of the fourth quarter to make it a 24-7 contest.

“It really doesn’t matter who the quarterback is,” Irwin said modestly. “The offense runs the same way. As long as the line blocks and the receivers run their routes, we’ll be fine.”

Massillon put up one last score after St. Edward made it 24-14 on Alphonso Hodge’s one-yard TD plunge at 6:38 of the fourth.

After the Eagles’ onside kick was recovered by Massillon, the Tigers went to work at their own 38-yard line. Two running plays netted two yards to set up third-and-eight from the 40. Marshall dropped to pass and pitched it to Dave Bumgarner along the left sideline. The senior fullback did the rest, breaking two tackles and racing the rest of the way to pay dirt. Marshall’s PAT made it 31-14 with just over five minutes to play.

“That felt good,” Marshall said. “I had a little break. The coaches came up and told me Irwin wanted to get some snaps in to get confident for McKinley. I’d feel the same way. “I went back out there and finished the job. Coach DiLoretto told me to put one more on the board and we put one more on the board.”

“We’re really glad to get that win with Brett in there at quarterback,” said Rick Shepas. “He really did a nice job. “We were fortunate to get Dave Irwin some snaps and Seth Stefanko got some snaps too. This is a game before we get ready for next week that you want to get healthy and get out of there.”

Next week, of course, is the 106th meeting between the Tigers and the McKinley Bulldogs. Game time at Fawcett Stadium one week from today is 2 p.m.


First downs rushing 7 9
First downs passing 8 7
First downs by penalty 0 2
TOTAL first downs 15 18
Net yards rushing 125 114
Net yards passing 300 134
TOTAL yards 425 248
Passes attempted 26 35
Passes completed 16 9
Passes intercepted 0 1
Punts 6 7
Punting average 29.7 33.3
Fumbles/Lost 4/2 4/2
Penalties 8 6
Yards penalized 65 40

MASSILLON 07 10 00 14 31
ST. EDWARD 07 00 00 07 14


M – Stanke 14 pass from Marshall (Marshall kick)
S – Hodge 11 run (Pierce kick)
M – Scott 71 pass from Marshall (Marshall kick)
M – Marshall 29 field goal
M – Robinson 30 pass from Irwin (Marshall kick)
S – Hodge 1 run (Pierce kick)
M – Bumgarner 60 pass from Marshall (Marshall kick)


Massillon rushing: Scott 12-85, James 6-13, Smith 2-34, King 2-16.
St. Ed rushing: Hodge 25-100.

Massillon passing: Marshall 8-13-183 3 TDs, Irwin 7-12-58 1 TD
St. Ed passing: Marcoguiseppe 9-34-­134 1 INT.

Massillon receiving: Battle 5-75, Bumgarner 3-76, Scott 2-73.
St. Ed receiving: Hodge 3-41

Dan Studer

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1999: Massillon 23, Youngstown Chaney 14

Tigers awaken at half to corral the Cowboys

Independent Sports Editor

The Cowboys of Youngstown Chaney played like the Cowboys of Dallas in jumping out to a 14‑0 halftime lead over unbeaten Massillon, Friday night.

Program Cover

But the Tigers responded to the challenge in the second half with four unanswered scores to secure a 23‑14 victory in front of 8,420 on homecoming night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, upping their record to 5‑0.
While Massillon’s margin of victory was nine points, the game was very much in doubt with four‑and‑a‑half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers were clinging to a 17‑14 lead when Chaney began its final march from its 33‑yard line with only seconds remaining in the third.
Fifteen plays and eight‑and‑a‑half minutes later the Cowboys were at the Massillon 15‑yard line, facing a do‑or‑die fourth‑and‑six situation. Chaney coach Ron Berdis eschewed the field goal and went for the drive sustaining first down.
Chaney quarterback Brad Smith, who had made big plays all night long in compiling 134 yards of total offense, rolled to his right and let fly a pass. But Tigers strong safety Jason Jarvis was in the right place at the right moment, breaking up the aerial and breaking the hearts of the Cowboys.
“They lined up in a double wing and it was the first time they’d come out in that formation the entire game,” Jarvis explained. “I just read my keys like I was taught to do and came up with the big play.”
Chaney coach Ron Berdis couldn’t believe Jarvis was in a position to make a play.
“We ran boot keep and they were loaded up to the short side of the field,” Berdis recalled. “We tried to slip it in to our wingback to get the first down. But they had their strong safety over to the boundary, almost like they knew the play and we’ve never run it before. He just made a good play.”
There were all too few good plays from the Tigers in the first half and coach Rick Shepas told his team that at halftime.
“We expected this Chaney team to come in here and be scrappy,” Shepas said. “We knew they had talent. Our kids weren’t into the game early on and I think it showed in the first half. But, like they’ve done all year long, they were able to turn it up a notch and get it going.”
Massillon came out in the third quarter and established its superiority at the line of scrimmage, producing a seven‑play, 61‑yard touchdown drive that featured three straight running plays to the left side behind tackle Greg Dickerhoof and guard Joe Meanor that produced 43 yards.
“It was a shame in the first half that we couldn’t move them off the ball,” Shepas said. “That’s what we talked about doing at halftime. The kids said they could take advantage of our left side and they did.”
The Tigers’ first score came when Dave Irwin found Rocky Dorsey in the end zone from 10 yards out. Dorsey made a diving catch, his body parallel to the ground when he caught the football.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the offensive line and to Dave Irwin for putting the ball out there,” Dorsey said modestly. “I’ve dropped a few passes in the past but I just thought about that famous quote, ‘Catching a pass is all mental.’ You can put all the stick‑um on your hands you want but what it comes down to is pure concentration.”‘
Brett Marshall’s 22‑yard field goal capped the Tigers’ next possession and it was a 14‑9 Chaney lead with 5:13 left in the third period.
Massillon’s defense then forced the Cowboys into their second straight three‑and‑out possession and the Tiger offense only took six plays to stick the football in the end zone. Jesse Scott took a pitch, exploded through a seam off his left tackle and found pay dirt from 13 yards away to give Massillon its first lead of the night at :26 of the third quarter.
Jesse Robinson added the two point conversion on an end‑around to give the locals a 17‑14 advantage.
Dave Bumgarner closed the scoring for Massillon after Jarvis and the Tiger ‘D’ stopped Chaney’s final drive. The senior fullback capped a seven‑play, 85‑yard drive with a 13yard scoring run to account for the final margin. “We dug down deep and found out what this team was all about,” Jarvis said. “We made a decision at halftime we weren’t goinq to lose this game and we came back and did it. We faced adversity in the first half and came back and showed we’re Tigers.”
Chaney came out for the opening kickoff with a greater sense of urgency than the Tigers and established field position before giving the ball up on downs at Massillon’s 33.
The, Massillon offense was ineffective on its initial possession, punting after just three snaps and the Cowboys took over on their 41.
On first down, Brad Smith kept the football on a bootleg and skirted around left end for 47 yards to the Tigers’ 12.
After two plays netted two yards, Smith made another play. The 6‑foot‑3 junior took a half roll to his right, then found tailback Marcus Patton with a short pass at the Tiger two‑yard line. Patton, back to the goal line, fought his way into the end zone for the touchdown at 7:13 of the first quarter. Chris Jaminet added the extra point and Chaney led 7‑0.
Massillon got one first down on its second possession of the evening but two incompletions doomed the drive and the Tigers again were forced to punt.
Chaney then embarked on a 13‑play drive that began at its own 25. While the Cowboys were unable to put any points on the board with the march, they ate seven minutes off the game clock before giving the football back at the Massillon 27.
Jesse Scott appeared to have lit a fire under his teammates with a spinning, twisting 35‑yard run. But a clipping penalty against the Tigers negated the play and doomed the drive.
Chaney took over at midfield after a Tiger quick kick on third down from the Massillon 14.
Massillon’s defense seemed to have found its groove as Chaney appeared to be stalled on third‑and‑eight from the Tiger 37. But Patton took a pitch back from Smith, cut off his right tackle, then spun to the inside at the 25 and sprinted into the end zone for the touchdown.
Jaminet was again true with the PAT kick and the Cowboys led 14‑0 at 5:38 of the second quarter.
The Tigers then launched their first sustained drive of the night, beginning at their own 42.
On second and eight, Irwin found Dorsey for eight yards and a first down along the right sideline. Perry James went off left guard for six yards and a first down two snaps later as Massillon moved to the Chaney 35.
It appeared the drive had stalled when the Tigers were faced with a fourth‑and‑12 situation at the Chaney 37, but Irwin connected on a clutch throw to tight end Jeremiah Drobney, open over the middle at the 15.
Scott got another first down on the next play, ripping off 11 yards off right tackle to the four. On fourth‑and‑goal from the 3, Irwin’s pass to Price was complete but the Chaney defensive back pulled him down inches short of the TD.

First downs rushing 11 9
First downs passing 6 4
First downs by penalty 0 0
TOTAL first downs 17 13
Net yards rushing 213 207
Net yards passing 104 62
TOTAL yards 317 269
Passes attempted 18 11
Passes completed 10 5
Passes intercepted 0 0
Punts 3 1
Punting average 30.3 12
Fumbles/Lost 0/0 1/1
Penalties 6 2
Yards penalized 56 21

MASSILLON 00 00 17 06 23
CHANEY 07 07 00 00 14


C ‑ Patton 9 pass from Smith (Jaminet kick)
C ‑ Patton 37 run (Jaminet kick)
M ‑ Dorsey 10 pass from Irwin (Pass failed)
M ‑ Marshall 22 field goal
M ‑ Scott 12 run (Robinson run)
M ‑ Bumgarner 13 run (Kick failed)


Massillon rushing: Scott 16‑109, James 9‑64, Irwin 3‑22.
Chaney rushing: Patton 23‑105, Smith 10‑74.
Massillon passing: Irwin 10‑18‑101 1 TD.
Chaney passing: B. Smith 5‑11‑60 1 TD.
Massillon receiving: Price 3‑35, Dorsey 3‑23, Drobney 1‑21.
Chaney receiving: T. Smith 2‑33.

Dan Studer

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1998: Massillon 36, Akron St. Vincent St. Mary 7

Cat nap is over

Tigers wake up and blow out St. V-St. M

Tigers follow the Script for victory

Independent Sports Editor

Maybe, just maybe the Tigers have finally figured it out.

Program Cover

Massillon scored touchdowns on three of its first four possessions and went on to post a dominating 36‑7 victory over the ­Akron St. Vincent‑St. Mary’s Fighting Irish at Paul Brown ­Tiger Stadium, Friday night.

It was the Tigers first victory, in the last four weeks and marked the first time they, scored as many as three touch­downs in a game since Week 3 against Garfield.

Fighting Irish coach Jim Meyer was not‑surprised to see Massillon play such a dominant game against his team, which was 6‑2 coming in to the contest.

“I’ve got to hand it to them,” Meyer said, “They wanted this game and they came out and were very, very physi­cal.

“I watched tape on them and I knew it was going to be a physical game. I’m not surprised at all. I think they always had the mate­rial. I think they’ve been a sleeping giant for a while. Unfortunately for us they picked this week to wake up.”

Tigers tailback Marc Cleveland broke the century mark‑in. rushing for the first time since mid‑season with 126 yards and two touchdowns in 16 carries. The senior says the team is hitting its stride.

“We’re coming together as a team,” Cleveland said. “We all just came together. We got tired of getting beat. We figured out we have to do what we have to do. We just have to fire off the line and punish the defense.”

Senior tight end Marcus Simpson, who opened the scoring with a six‑yard touchdown reception, was overjoyed at the victory.

“It was just beautiful,” Simpson said. “The offense came together and we all played good. I was just happy.

“That was my first touchdown and being a senior I was just thrilled to get a chance to help the team out. We’ve got a lot of momentum and we’re starting to move.”

Momentum was provided from the get go when Tigers junior Sam Young returned the Irish’s opening kickoff 53 yards to the St. V 43-yard line.

Cleveland gained 10 yards on two running plays and Massillon quarterback Dave Irwin connected with tight end. Ellery Moore for 10 more to the Irish 24.

Then Cleveland bucked over left guard for 10 yards and Irwin scrambled for four more to set up second‑and‑6 from the 9‑yard line.

From there, Irwin tossed a short pass to Simpson, who was all alone in the right flat. He strolled into the end zone for six. Brett Marshall’s PAT was true and Massillon led 7‑0 less than three minutes into the game.

Massillon linebacker Mike Mattox battled down an Irish third down pass and the visitors were forced to punt after just three snaps on their initial possession of the night.

The Tigers began their second drive from their 40 and methodically moved to the Irish 28. From there, Irwin hit Ron Lynn in the right flat for a 10‑yard gain, then Cleveland ran for 17 more on the flanker reverse to the 1-yard line.

Cleveland did the honors from a yard out and Marshall added the PAT to make it 14‑0 Tigers at 5:05 of the first quarter.

St. Vincent‑St. Mary again went three‑and‑out and the Irish punted the ball back to Massillon at its 26. The Tigers got a couple first downs but punted the ball back to St. V’s. But on first down, Massillon’s Brandon Clark made a gorgeous over‑the‑shoulder interception of a Ross Marconi pass to give the locals the ball at the visitors 34‑yard line.

Six plays later Irwin rolled left then threw back right and found Joe Price alone in the end zone for the six‑yard touchdown pass and a 20‑0 lead at 11:25 of the second period.

After another Irish punt, Massillon moved to the St. V’s 1‑yardline, but had to settle for, a 19‑yard field go by Marshall to go up 23-0 with 4:17 left until halftime.

Although the Irish finally got on the scoreboard with a 67-yard march culminated by a 9-yard Marconi to Miquel Irvin touchdown pass, it was a practically perfect first half for the beleaguered Tigers, who led 23-7 at the intermission.

Irwin was especially sharp. The junior completed 9 of 13 aerials for 73 yards and two TDs in the first 24 minutes of play.

“Dave’s pretty calm back there,” Shepas said. “He doesn’t seem to get rattled that much. He made some plays. He was 4-for-4 at one point and they were all at the right time and he put the ball where it needed to be. He did a nice job of directing that offense. We found some things we are good at … finally.”

For the second week in a row, Shepas scripted his team’s plays. And for the second week in a. row, the attack clicked.

“We did 24 plays this time instead of 17,” Shepas revealed, “The first series we had set for six plays. We got the ball and in six plays we were in the end zone. That’s a Bill Walsh thing and Mike Holmgren does it with the Packers.

It works best when you’re struggling to find some continuity. The main thing is when you come out you have to get some gains. When you get the gains the script works well. You lose yardage on first down and the script isn’t going to work well.”

On reason the Tigers didn’t have many negative yardage plays was their ability to control the line of scrimmage. Once again the offensive front of Mike Dean and Greg Dickerhoof at tackles, Joe Meanor and Chris Rich at guards and Dustin Clawson at center moved the defense around at the point of attack.

“In the games we haven’t been successful, people have established the line of scrimmage on us.” Shepas said, “Tonight were able to control the line on both sides of the ball.”

The team exchanged punts on the first four possessions of the second half. Then the tigers defense came up with a big play. After Luke Shilling’s punt rolled out of bounds at the St. V’s 13-yard line, the Akron entry tried to execute a screen pass Massillon middle linebacker Sam Studer made a one-handed interception and fought his way to the six yard line before being gang tackled.

Three plays later, Irwin found Price on a 10-yard curl pattern in the end zone. Marshall’s kick made it 30-7 Tigers at 11:48 of the fourth quarter.

The Irish turned the football over on second down of their ensuing possession and Cleveland applied some icing on the cake, going off his right tackle untouched for a 41-yard touchdown run.

In addition to putting it all together on offense, Massillon got over the hump by putting together two good haves of football.

“We tried not to make too many (halftime) adjustments because when we made adjustments we seem to make mistakes,” Shepas noted.

The Massillon defense did its part registering four interceptions and limiting the Irish to a paltry 54 yards rushing.

One sobering note for the Tigers was an ankle injury suffered by two-way starter Ellery Moore. The junior tight end/defensive end says he’ll be fine.

“It’s McKinley week so I’m coming back,” Moore said, “I’m not done.”

“We played with heart and dedicated tonight . We’re becoming a team. We’re working together and becoming a team. Just like coach Shepas wanted us to do. Play together. Put our heads together and be one.”

And for a night at least it worked to perfection.

ST. V-ST. M 7

First downs rushing 11 4
First downs passing 7 3­
First downs by penalty 1 1
TOTAL first downs 19 8
Net yards rushing 209 54
Net yards passing 93 118
TOTAL yards 302 170
Passes attempted 18 25
Passes completed 12 7
Passes intercepted 1 4
Punts 6 7
punting average 39 35.3
Fumbles/Lost 1/0 0/0
Penalties 3 8
Yards penalized 40 61

MASSILLON 14 09 00 13 36
ST.V-ST.M 00 07 00 00 07

M ‑ Simpson 8 pass from Irwin (Marshall kick)
M ‑ Cleveland 1 run (Marshall kick)
M ‑ Price 6 pass from Irwin (PAT failed)
M ‑ Marshall 19 field goal
St. V ‑ Irvin 9 pass from Marconi (Williamson kick)
M – Price 10 pass from Irwin (Marshall kick)
M – Cleveland 40 run (Kick(failed)


Massillon rushing:
Cleveland 16‑126,
Lynn 7‑33,
Miller 10‑24,
Wagner 4‑20.
St V rushing:
James 15‑59.

Massillon passing:
Irwin 12‑17‑93 3 TDs, 1 INT.
SL V passing:
Marconi 7-25-116 4 INTs, 1 TD

Massillon receiving:
Moore 4-22,
Cleveland 2‑25,
Price 2‑16,
Miller 1‑8,
Simpson 1‑8
St V receiving:
Irvin 4‑87.

Marc Cleveland

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1998: Massillon 0, Glen Mills, PA 19

‘You can run but you can’t hide’

Depleted Tigers can’t cope with speed of Glen Mills

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers learned the cliche “speed kills” is more than just a warning about driving too fast.

Program Cover

The Battling Bulls of Glen Mills High used lightning speed on both sides of the football to great advantage in handing the Tigers a convincing 19‑0 setback in front of 8,018 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Friday night.

Glen Mills put eight defenders at the line of scrimmage and recorded nine sacks of Tigers quarterback Steve Eyerman, completely overwhelming Massillon’s offensive line at the point of attack.

The Bulls flashed the same blinding speed on special teams and offense, scoring on three big plays:
A 49‑yard punt return by Myron Farley with 4:16 remain­ing in the first quarter.

An 88 yard run from scrim­mage by tailback Sessions Boyd with 2:01 left in the opening stan­za.

A 42‑yard run from scrim­mage by Maurice Costello with 5:03 left in the ball game.

“It’s the old cliche ‘speed kills,”’ acknowledged Glen Mills head coach Ken Banks. “We knew if we could get our kids out to the open field, we’ve got two pretty fast tailbacks and a pretty fast fullback. That’s all we try to do; get them through the line and then let their athletic ability take over.”

Tailback Sessions Byrd paced the GIen Mills running attack with 116 yards on just nine car­ries. Fullback Eugene Smith wasn’t far behind, racking up 114 yards in only 11 carries as the Battling Bulls rushed for 340 yards on the night.

“I was surprised how domi­nant we were,” Banks said. “They have some pretty good football players over there. I was concerned about their two big kids up front on defense (Ellery Moore and Chris Turner). We were able to do some things to play to some of their weaknesses. We had a real good week of practice. When we do that we generally execute really well.”

Tigers coach Rick Shepas was not surprised by how fast Glen Mills was, having seen that very attribute on the team’s game tapes.

The first year mentor was not down after the game, preaching patience and faith on the part of Tiger fans.

“Where we’re at right now is going to take some courage,” Shepas said. “This is a situation that we as a town aren’t used to. It’s going to take some courage and some belief in what we’re doing and some conviction to get the job done.

“I believe in these kids. These kids work hard. They played a hard fought game today. We had kids cramping up and playing to the very end. We just go from here.”

Massillon took the opening kickoff and moved from its 26 to midfield, but on a second‑and-­two play turned the ball over on an interception.

The same Fate befell the Tigers on their second posses­sion of the evening as Glen Mills relentless pass rush and pres­sure at the line of scrimmage paid immediate dividends in the first quarter.

“That’s the style of defense we play,” Banks said. “Its a very aggressive style of defense. We got a very good secondary and we have a lot of confidence in them. That enables us to do a lot of man to man coverage and that in turn gives us the opportunity to do a lot of blitzing with our linebackers and stunts up front because we have faith in our defensive backfield to play man to man.”

Massillon’s defense held the fort after both first quarter turnovers, forcing the visitors to ‑punt the ball back to the Tigers.

The second punt, however, pinned the locals back on their 11‑yard line and three plays later it was time to punt.

Glen Mills’ Farley caught Luke Shilling’s punt at the visitors’ 48-yard line, he cut to the right side­line and raced virtually untouched to the end zone. Danny Young tacked on the extra point and the Bulls led 7‑0.

Massillon went three‑and‑out on its next possession ‑ which included a sack that cost the Tigers nine yards ‑ and was forced to punt again. This time Shilling boomed a 57‑yarder and Glen Mills had to take over at its 12.

On first down, Byrd swept around his right end. He broke a tackle at the 20‑yard line, then turned on the afterburners for an 88‑yard scoring run that saw him pulling away from the pur­suing defenders even as he crossed the goal line. The extra point was partially blocked and Glen Mills’ lead was 13‑0 with two minutes remaining in the initial quarter of play.

At that point, it appeared Massillon was simply overmatched athletically. But the Tigers sucked it up and held the Pennsylvania entry scoreless the rest of the half, thanks to some standout individual plays by linebacker Mike Mattox, and defensive linemen Chris Turner and Ellery Moore.

But Massillon’s offense never got untracked. It generated just 70 yards in the first half and
averaged only 1.9 yards per rushing play. The passing game was a non‑factor because quar­terback Steve Eyerman was being harassed on virtually every snap as the Tigers patchwork offensive line could not secure the line of scrimmage with any consistency.

“We’re trying,” Shepas said when asked about the play of his O-line. “We’re going to continue to work hard. We did some posi­tive things out there, but this is where we’re at.”

First downs rushing 9 4
First downs passing 0 4
First downs by penalty 1 2
TOTAL first downs 10 10
Net yards rushing 370 98
Net yards passing 0 99
TOTAL yards 340 123
Passes attempted 5 24
Passes completed 0 13
Passes intercepted 0 2
Punts 6 10
Punting average 37.3 36
Fumbles/Lost 2/1 4/0
Penalties 3 9
Yards penalized 35 95

MASSILLON 00 00 00 00 00
GLEN MILLS 13 00 06 00 19

G ‑ Farley 49‑yard punt return (Young kick)
G ‑ Byrd 80‑yard run (PAT failed)
G ‑ Costello 40‑yard run (run failed)


Massillon rushing:
Miller 7‑23,
Cleveland 9-­34,
Eyerman 13‑33.
Glen Mills rushing:
Smith 11‑114,
Byrd 9-1­16,
Mitchell 14‑64,
Costello 7‑46.

Massillon passing:
Eyerman 13‑24‑99.
Glen Mills passing:
Mitchell 0‑4‑0,
Newlkirk 0‑1‑0.

Massillon receiving:
Allman 5‑61.
Cleveland 2‑17,
Clemens 1‑12,
Miller 1‑10,
Buckosh 1‑1,
Lynn 3‑ ‑2.
Glen Mills receiving:

Statistics courtesy of
Richard Cunningham

Marc Cleveland

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1998: Massillon 10, Austintown Fitch 3

Tigers end first half with road win

Massillon improves to 3‑2 with 10‑7 victory at Fitch

Independent Staff Writer

Chalk this one up to the defense and to the right foot of punter Luke Shilling.

The Massillon Tigers’ football team used a stellar effort from its defensive unit and another outstanding performance from Shilling to post a 10‑3 victory Friday night over host Austintown Fitch before an esti­mated 4,800 fans.

Massillon’s defensive unit, led by its front four, limited Austintown (2‑3) to a single field goal in the second quarter and to just 154 total yards of offense to improve the Tigers to 3‑2 on the year.

On the offensive side of the ball, Massillon put together a 76­-yard touchdown drive midway through the second quarter, and closed out !he scoring with a 26­-yard field goal from junior place kicker Brett Marshall with just 61 seconds to play.

But the difference in the game was the right foot of Shilling, who consistently kept the Falcons pinned deep in their own territory with his towering punts. The 5‑foot‑9, 162‑pounder booted the ball just four times, but averaged 44.5 yards, a kick.

By comparison, the Austintown punter, Brian Sudetic, kicked the ball seven times, but averaged just 28.1 yards a kick. As a result, the Falcons lost a large chunk of yardage every time they exchanged punts with the Tigers.

“Their punter controlled the field position all night long,” said Austintown coach Brian Fedyski,. “He’s a super punter. They have a real weapon when he kicks like that.”

Also controlling the action on the field was the Tigers’ defen­sive front wall, which recorded six sacks and hurried Fitch quarterback John Belak on a number of other occasions. Belak threw the ball an amazing 26 times, but completed just 9 of those passes for only 96 yards and one interception.

It was a sloppy game, but our defense did a great job,” said Tigers’ coach Rick Shepas. “Chris Turner made some big stops, and Jason Hahn and Ellery Moore also played solid games.”

Hahn, Moore and Turner each recorded a quarterback sack, while defensive end Neil Buckosh received credit for two QB sacks. All tolled, the Tigers, sacked the Falcons’ quarterback
six times for minus 45 yards.
Despite scoring just 10 points, Massillon quarterback Steve Eyerman made an impressive debut as the Tigers’ starter. Eyerman, who was filling in for the injured Tom Fichter, showed
his athleticism by scrambling out of a number of tight situa­tions throughout the night. The junior QB wound up completing 8‑of‑18 passes for 127 yards. He also threw an interception.

“This was a tough night for offensive football, but I think Eyerman may have come into his own a little bit tonight,” said Shepas. “He made some nice plays when we needed him to make them. He seemed to get more comfortable out there as the game went on. We’ve been waiting for one of the quarter­backs to step it up.”

By contrast, senior tailback Marc Cleveland had his rough­est night of the season. Cleveland entered the game with 468 yards on the ground and a 6.4 yards per carry aver­age. But the Fitch defense limit­ed him to just 55 yards on 23 Carries for a 2.4 per carry aver­age. Cleveland did manage to score the lone touchdown in the game, with a one‑yard run over left guard midway through the second period.

“Marc was running a little stiff in the second half. His mus­cles tightened up on him during the half,” said Shepas. “But what really hurts is we don’t have much of a running game from our fullback spot, so the other teams can zero in on Marc.”

“We wanted to stop Cleveland. He was the guy we wanted to stop,” said the Falcons’ Fedyski. “We figured Massillon would run the ball more with the starting quarterback out. But Eyerman did a nice job for them. He hurt us with his scrambles when we had the pressure on him.”

Fedyski said the absence of the freshman phenom running back Maurice Clarett also hurt the Falcons’ chances. Clarett had rushed for 469 vards on 61 carries and scored six touch­downs in Austintown’s first four games. But he injured an ankle during the second half of last week’s loss to Madison, and was on crutches during the game with Massillon.

” Not having Clarett hurt us,” said Fedyski. “Although he’ s just a freshman, he leads the Steel Valley Conference in all ­purpose yards with nearly 180 yards a game. It takes a lot of our offense when you lose a player of his stature.”

With Clarett on the sideline the bulk of Austintown’s ground game fell on the shoulders of senior fullback Tom Italiano. He rushed for 85 yards in 14 car­ries, most right up the middle into the heart of the Massillon defense.

After the two teams exchanged interceptions in the first quarter, Massillon finally put a sustained drive together midway through the second period. The Tigers moved the ball 76 yards in 12 plays, capped by the one‑yard run by Cleveland. During the drive, Eyerman completed four key passes, totaling 58 yards. Marshall added the PAT kick to make the score 7‑0.

Fitch responded by taking the Tigers’ kickoff from their own 22 down to the Massillon 21
before their 14 play drive stalled. Junior place kicker Jacob Stewart then booted a 38 ­yard field goal with just five seconds left in the half to make the score 7‑3.

Neither team could sustain a drive throughout the third quar­ter and well into the fourth peri­od. Finally, after several exchanges of punts, the Tigers got close enough to score making a 26 yard, field goal with 1:01 to play capped a 10-play Massillon drive, which began on the Fitch 34‑vard‑line.
The Falcons were unable to mount another scoring threat as Massillon walked off the field with its third win of the season. The Tigers will begin the second half of the 1998 campaign next Friday night when they host Pennsylvania football power Glen Mills High.

First down rushing 4 6
First downs passing 7 5
First downs by penalty 0 1
TOTAL first downs 11 12
Net yards rushing 72 58
Net yards passing 127 96
TOTAL yards 199 154
Passes attempted 18 26
Passes completed 8 9
Passes intercepted 1 1
Punts 4 7
Punting average 44.5 28.1
Fumbles/Lost 4/1 1/1
Penalties 6 8
Yards penalized 69 65

MASSILLON 7 0 0 3 10
FITCH 0 3 0 0 3

M ‑ Marc Cleveland 1 run (Brett Marshall kick)
F ‑ Stewart 38 field goal
M ‑ Marshall 26 field goal


Massillon rushing:
Cleveland 23‑55,
Miller 8‑17,
Lynn 1‑2.
Fitch rushing:
Italiano 14‑85.

Massillon passing:
Eyerman 8‑18 127 1 INT.
Fitch passing:
Belak 9‑26‑96 1 INT

Massillon receiving:
Allman 2‑36,
Dorsey 2­-33,
Cleveland 2‑19,
Clemens 1‑31,
Jarvis 1-8.
Fitch receiving:
Sucletic 2‑24,
Burd 2‑23,
Densevich 2‑22,
Giordano 1‑11,
Wakiters 1‑10,
Italiano 1‑6.

Statistics courtesy of Richard Cunningham

Marc Cleveland