Tag: <span>Euclid Panther Stadium</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1988: Massillon 33, Cleveland St. Joseph 8

Tiger Victory ‘heals a lot of wounds’

Independent Sports Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nobody dressed in orange was heard asking for a refund.

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


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

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

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

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

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

T.R. Rivera
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1987: Massillon 0, Cleveland St. Joseph 8

Tigers are angry; Vikes are No. 1
Game‑turning safety might not have been safety, game films reveal

Independent Sports Editor

Does Saturday’s mud‑bath, 8‑0 victory over the Massillon Tigers mean Cleveland St. Joseph is the best high school football team in Ohio?

“Oh, yes … we are … by far,” St. Joseph linebacker Jerry Carlock said even before he had wiped a mask of mud from his face in a slippery locker room at Euclid’s Panther stadium.

A day later, back in Massillon,*, the feeling in the Tiger camp was that St. Joseph was not even the best team in the game. A great team, to be sure. But a dubious victor.

The outcome left St. Joseph with four straight shutouts, an 8‑0 record and a certain perch atop Ohio’s poll of Division I teams. The Vikings entered the week ranked No. 2 behind Cincinnati Princeton, which was upset by defending state champion Fairfield Friday. The Tigers, 6‑2, will be back home Friday to take on 6‑2 Middletown, who own a win over Fairfield this year.

In the film room at Washington High School Sunday night, coaches hurled paper wads at the screen in disgust over critical calls that influenced the scoring.

“I’m sure there will be a few extra people at the Booster Club meeting (tonight at 7:30 at the high school) who are curious about the game films,” one parent of a Massillon player said Sunday.

The players would normally see those films this afternoon. “We may not waste our time showing the players the films because of the total situation,” Massillon’s head coach, John Maronto said.

The game turned on a controversial safety with 4:27 left in the third period.

Tim Radigan, a 140‑pound St. Joseph senior who played the game of his life, put a 28‑yard punt in Downtown Coffin Comer. It skipped out of bounds inside the 1.

Erik White quarterback sneaked one yard, Jerome Myricks was stopped for no gain, Jason Stafford plowed ahead for two yards, and Mark Kester set up to punt from the back of the end zone.

Massillon has been playing football since 1894. It is hard to imagine field conditions ever having been worse than they were in Saturday’s rain. It was not surprising that the long snap to Kester was a bad snap that bounced in front of him.

Kester fielded the ball, straightened up and facing a stiff wind got off his best punt of the miserable night. However, an official ruled that his knee had been down in the end zone. St. Joseph was awarded a safety.

“The game films show what we thought at first had happened,” Maronto said. “Kester made a very heady play. In fact, he was picked by the coaches as our best special teams player in the game,

Kester, a senior who also plays defensive back and split end, said he thought he did everything he needed to do to avoid the safety.

First downs rushing 2 5
First downs passing 1 0
First downs by penalty 0 2
Totals first downs 3 7
Yards gained rushing 84 146
Yards lost rushing 2 10
Net yards rushing 82 136
Net yards passing 45 0
Total yards gained 127 0
Passes attempted 11 2
Passes completed 2 0
Passes Int. by 0 1
Times kicked off 0 3
Kickoff average 00.0 42.0
Kickoff return yards 64 00
Punts 7 6
Punting average 21.7 30.5
Punt return yards 0 0
Fumbles 2 0
Fumbles lost 1 0
Penalties 3 5
Yards penalized 33 30
Number of Plays 37 47
Time of possession 20:00 28:00

Attendance 8,000(est.)

St. JOSPEPH 0 0 2 6 8
MASSILLON 0 0 0 0 0

CSJ ‑ Safety, Massillon punter Kester’s knee ruled down In end zone
CSJ ‑ Howard 10 run (run failed)

Recalling the play, Kester said he went to his knee to knock down the errant snap, knowing he must not hold the ball with his knee on the ground. He then lifted his knee off the ground and picked up the ball, avoiding the rush and kicking it cleanly to the 35‑yard line.

“If he doesn’t have possession when his knee is on the ground, it shouldn’t be a safety,” Maronto said. “Mark did what he was supposed to do.”

The safety stood, and Massillon had to free kick the ball away to St. Joseph trailing 2‑0.

A good kickoff by Lee Hurst kept the Vikings from having great field position, as they had to set up on their own 38.

The Massillon defense, which played masterfully even though senior tackle and co‑captain James Bullock left the game early after reinjuring a sprained ankle, forced a punt after three plays.

Radigan, whose six punts for a 30.5 average were outstanding under the conditions, got off another good one, and the Tigers’ Steve Siegenthaler couldn’t hang on to it. St. Joseph coverage man Byron Hopkins pounced on the ball at the 15. Massillon stayed in the game, though, when Mark Freidly leveled star tailback Desmond Howard on fourth‑and‑one at the 6.

The Tigers moved to the 14 on third and two. Viking linebacker Scott Zele leveled Myricks a split second after the Tiger senior took a handoff and Massillon had to punt.

Most of the fourth period remained, however, after St. Joseph couldn’t budge on three plays, setting up another punt on fourth down from Massillon’s 48‑yard line.

Then … astonishment.

Radigan got off his punt but a flag flew.

Penalty against Massillon … 15 yards?

But what penalty.

“I was given two versions,” said Maronto, who spoke cautiously but clearly was disturbed by the development. “One was too many men on the field. The other was illegal equipment.”

An official exiting the field said the penalty was for too many men on the field. “The game films show we had 11,” Maronto said.

One observer reported that a Massillon player’s mouthpiece was dangling out of his mouth as the play unfolded. If, in fact, the call was illegal equipment based on the mouthpiece ‑ the call would have been technically correct. Based on the field conditions and the moment of the game, however, whistling the technicality would have been utterly flabbergasting.

The 15‑yard penalty moved the ball to the 33 with 8:05 left in the game. Howard ran 8 yards on first down, but the Vikings got a half‑the‑distance penalty after a facemask violation corroborated by the game films. Howard then ran 3 yards to the 10. On second down, he ran over the left side and into the end zone.

Many fans were shocked when St. Joseph head coach Bill Gutbrod, in his 38th year at the helm, elected not to put the game out of reach with a point‑after kick.

“I asked my man if he could give me the point and he was honest,” Gutbrod explained. “He said with the field the way it was, there was no way, he could get off the kick. So we went with a run. ”

The run failed, leaving the Tigers with 6:27 to try for a touchdown and tying two‑point conversion.

Massillon set up on its own 34 after the ensuing kickoff but had to punt after gaining just a yard on a pass completion.

Kester’s punt was fair caught by Howard at the St. Joseph 33. Massillon defense answered the challenge again, forcing a punt after three plays. Radigan got his last lick in, booting the ball to the Tiger 37 with 3:30 left.

There had been nothing to indicate the Tiger’ could wade through 68 yards of slop in a short period of time. But hopes soared when, on first down, White heaved a bomb over the middle into the arms of flanker Wrentie Martin. Martin was behind the defender but couldn’t get the traction needed to escape for a touchdown and was caught at the St. Joseph 18.

The hopes were dashed, though, when White threw four straight incomplete passes, the last of which far overshot Martin with 1:48 left. St. Joseph was able to run out the clock.

“I had guys open, and I wish I could have gotten them the ball,” White said. “Unfortunately, the ball slipped out of my hands a couple of times. Believe me, I wish I could have gotten the ball there. ”

On this night, the ball had a mind of its own. St. Joseph had several chances to take a lead in the first half.

Siegenthaler made a nifty return of the game opening kickoff, a squib kick, and Massillon set up on the 44.

A 42‑yard punt by Radigan, with a strong wind at his back, buried the Tigers at their own 13 with eight minutes left in the first quarter, one play after Bullock was carried off the field.

Punt exchanges enabled St. Joseph to get progressively closer to the goal line. First‑half Massillon possessions began on the 13‑, 5‑, 15‑ and 9‑yard lines.

St. Joseph possessions began in Massillon territory at the 38, 32 and 23.

The half ended in more controversy. A 23‑yard run by Myricks, who three times in the first half was one man away from breaking the same kind of touchdown run he popped in the mud at Austintown‑Fitch last year, put the ball near midfield.

On fourth and one from the Viking 47, a crazy looking play with men in motion was cut short when the Tigers were called for a delay of game. The Massillon camp contends a game official was holding the ball in a towel when it should have been spotted.

The penalty set up a punt, and the half ended with St. Joseph in possession around midfield.

The loss ended a six‑game Massillon winning streak but did not end the Tigers’ playoff hopes. If they beat Middletown and McKinley, they should amass enough points to finish in the top four of, Division I, Region 2. Massillon then would need a favorable ruling from the Ninth District Court of Appeals, which has been asked to overturn an OHSAA playoff ban against the Tigers.

St. Joseph has clinched a Division I playoff berth, setting up the outside possibility of a Tiger‑Viking rematch.

Statistics were predictable, based on the mud. St. Joseph held a 136‑127 edge in net offensive yards. Howard rushed 29 times for 90 yards. The Vikings ran only 18 plays on which the 5‑foot‑8 speedster did not have the ball.

Myricks also had the ball on more than half of his team’s 37 offensive plays. The 5‑foot‑11 tailback rushed 19 times for 73 yards and caught a pass for 1 yard.

The crowd fell short of the 10,000 figure some observers reported. It was in the range of about 8,000. The visitors’ side was a sea of orange; in fact, numerous Massillon fans sat in the home grandstand, and more than half of the throng may have been Tigertown rooters.

They went home disappointed after watching a strange game.

Said one fan dressed in orange, “I sure would like to see a rematch on a dry field.”

But in the St. Joseph camp, the feeling was different. “We’ve got to be one of the top two or three teams in Ohio, based on what we’ve done on the field,” Gutbrod said.

Added the linebacker Zele, “It feels great to be the No. I team in Ohio,”

John Miller