Tag: <span>Fremont Ross</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2002: Massillon 76, Fremont Ross 6

Tigers take no prisoners at Fremont Ross

Independent Sports Writer

Massillon fended off an early Fremont Ross attack and responded with 70 unanswered points in its 76‑6 win over the Little Giants Friday night at Fremont.

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The Little Giants took their opening possession deep into Tiger territory after a 35‑yard completion from senior quarterback Chad Clark to sophomore wideout Terrance Jones. The play set the Little Giants up at the Tiger 9‑yard line.

The Massillon defense set the tone for the game by turning back the Little Giants on four consecutive plays, giving the ball to the Tiger offense for the first time.

“Fremont moved the ball well,” Massillon coach Rick Shepas said. “They got down there and the defense really turned the momentum for us.”

Quarterback Matt Martin led the Tiger offense on a four‑play, 91‑yard drive capped by a 63‑yard touchdown strike to Devin Jordan. On the play Jordan shot through the middle of the field and Martin laid the ball in his hands on the run. Jordan then broke a tackle, avoided another and was off to the races. Jordan finished the game with 101 yards receiving on four catches and the one score.

On Fremont’s second possession, the Tiger defense again over powered the Little Giants with a blocked punt by linebacker Brock Hymes. The ball died on the 29‑yard line, leaving a short field for the Tiger offense. The offense again made short work of the Fremont defense, scoring in four plays on a Ricky Johnson two‑yard scamper.

Two plays later junior cornerback Billy Belford would strike, intercepting a Chad Clark pass at the Fremont 47‑yard line. Massillon drove but was stopped for the first time of the night.

The defense picked up the offense as senior linebacker A.J. Collins, subbing for the injured Shawn Crable who twisted an ankle in practice late in the week, forced Clark to fumble on the next play giving the ball back to the Tigers.

Johnson ran up the gut for his second score of the night on the first Tiger snap, making the score 21‑0 Massillon.

The Tigers would lose a score on their next possession when they fumbled the ball into the end zone and the Little Giants recovered.

On the ensuing drive, Massillon senior defensive back Jamaal Ballard would find the end zone when he returned an interception 40 yards for a 28‑0 Tiger lead.

Senior running back Terrance Roddy would find pay dirt with 3:36 left in the half on a 6‑yard run. “I thought I was in on the touchdown,” Roddy said. “But coach told me to get out there and get it back. I ran my hardest and got in.”

Senior tight end George Pribich finished the scoring in the half on a 7‑yard pass reception from Martin.
In all, the Tiger defense allowed Fremont’s offense only 149 yards in the game. Meanwhile Martin, Jordan and Johnson amassed 364 yards in the first half, on their way to a 42‑0 halftime lead.

The Massillon offense finished with 409 yards rushing and 249 yards passing on the night.

Lost in the offensive explosion were scoring plays that were taken away by penalties in the first half, four in all. “We have had a problem in the past with penalties,” Shepas said. “We are going to take a look at the tapes and see just what happened.”

Johnson and Roddy both lost touchdowns to holding penalties in the first quarter. Relford lost two punt returns to offsetting penalties in the second. Relford returned a punt for 60 yards only to be negated by offsetting penalties.

I was so fired up,” Relford said. I would have liked to have those touchdowns, but I knew we would get them back. Our team blocked well on the ones that were called back and I knew we would get another shot.”

The second half was marred by what appeared to be a serious injury to Fremont junior defensive back Jonathan Franks. The game was delayed 15 minutes as Franks was put on a stretcher and driven away in an ambulance.

Franks had feeling in his arms and legs and was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons.

Collins sacked Clark in the end zone for a safety, the first score the second half.

Martin connected with Stephen Ashcraft to make the score 50‑0 and the Tiger first team offense and defense were finished for the evening. A game like this one gives us a chance to build our depth,” Shepas said. ‘We got some younger players in with some first teamers and got a look at how they would perform.”

Junior quarterback Steve Hymes came off the bench and rushed for 93 yards including a 41‑yard score.

Junior running back “Tuffy Woods rushed for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a 5‑yard scamper and a 65‑yard burst.

Fremont Ross would get on the board with 6:30 left in the game on a 70‑yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Charles Jones.

Woods returned the ensuing kickoff 75‑yards for a touchdown to round out the scoring for the night.

The biggest concern for Coach Shepas in the game was penalties. Massillon racked up 109 yards on 13 penalties.

“In this type of game those kind of things are going to happen,” Shepas said. “It was sloppy, but we are going to put this one in the books as a win.”

Massillon will now get ready for Akron Garfield next week at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Massillon 76
Fremont Ross 6
First downs rushing 15 2
First downs passing 8 2
First downs by penalty 0 1
TOTAL first downs 23 5
Net yards rushing 409 98
Net yards passing 249 51
TOTAL yards 658 149
Passes attempted 20 10
Passes completed 14 3
Passes intercepted 0 2
Punts 1 7
Punting average 39 25.3
Fumbles/Lost 1/1 1/1
Penalties 13 7
Yards penalized 109 34

Massillon 21 21 14 20 76
Ross 00 00 00 06 06

M ‑ Jordan 63 pass from Martin (Shafer kick)
M ‑ Johnson 5 run (Shafer kick)
M ‑ Johnson 2 run (Shafer kick)
M ‑ Ballard 40 interception return (Shafer kick)
M ‑ Roddy 6‑yard run (Shafer kick)
M ‑ Pribich 7 pass from Martin (Shafer kick)
M ‑ Safety, Collins tackles running back in end zone
M ‑ Ashcraft 45 pass from Martin (Kick failed)
M ‑ Hymes 41 run (Kick failed) M ‑ Woods 5‑yard run (Shafer kick)
M ‑ Woods 65‑yard run (Shafer kick)
R ‑ Jones 70 run (Run failed)
M ‑ Woods 75 kickoff return (Kick failed)


Massillon rushing: Johnson 12‑131 2 TDs, Hymes 5‑93 TD, Woods 4‑76 2 TDs, Roddy 7‑55 TD, Pullin 6‑39, Dahlquist 330.
Ross rushing: Jones 6‑83 TD.

Massillon passing: Martin 14‑20‑249 3TD.
Ross passing: Clark 3‑10‑51 2 INTs.

Massillon receiving: Jordan 4‑101 TD, Ashcraft 5‑97 TD, Roddy 1‑20, Pribich 215 TD, Caprita 1‑14.

Ross receiving: Jones 1‑35.

Shawn Crable
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2001: Massillon 57, Fremont Ross 6

Tiger defense stands tall over Little Giants
Fremont manages just one first down as Massillon wins number seven, 57-6

Independent Sports Writer

Fremont Ross head coach Mark Wetzel said one thing was for sure when he brought his Little Giants to Paul Brown Tiger Stadium to take on the Massillon Tigers.

Wetzel vowed his charges would give the Tigers a better game than did Youngstown Woodrow Wilson, a 56-8 loser to Massillon one week ago.


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Justin Zwick cranked up his right arm for five touchdown passes and the Massillon defense limited Fremont to just one first down all night long as the Tigers rolled over the Little Giants 57-6 in front of 7,777 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Homecoming Night, Friday.

A week after eschewing the pass in favor of the running game Zwick let it all hang out and the Little Giants were virtually helpless to stop him. The senior signal caller tied the school record with six touchdown passes while connecting on 22 of 37 aerials for 238 yards.

The Tigers tallied with less than two minutes elapsed in the game and the defense set it up by recovering a Fremont fumble at the visitors 28-yard line.

Robert Oliver went around right end for 13 yards and a first down and Zwick hit Devon Jordan at the 5 to set up the score.

On second down from the five, Zwick rolled right and hit Oliver at the two yard line. The senior running back stretched to haul in the football, then turned and found the end zone at 10:11 of the first quarter.

David Abdul’s kick made it 7-0 Massillon.

“We really go off our defense,” asserted Tiger coach Rick Shepas after the game. They’ve been sparking us.

“We’ve been playing on a short field all year long. When we don’t have a lot of yardage or limited time of possessin at the end of a football game, it’s because our defense puts us in great field position.”

Fremont’s Bo Martin showed the crowd that all the praise directed his way is well deserved, taking the ensuing kickoff at the one-yard line and sprinting 99-yards untouched for the score. Tiger senior Andy Alleman blocked the point-after kick to preserve Massillon’s lead at 7-6 with 9:58 to play in the opening period.

The Tigers went to the ground game on their ensuing possession with senior Ryan Boyd ripping off a 24-yard gain to advance the ball to the 44. Three snaps later, Oliver hit into the middle of the line and burst free for a 16-yard gain to the Fremont 35.

Oliver gained nine yards on the next play then picked up the first down with a two-yard buck to the 24.

Then on third-and-six from the 20, Zwick made a nice play-action fake and hit Marquis Williams, who made a leaping catch at the 6.

Zwick found Jordan wide open in the endzone on the next play for six. Abdul’s conversion made it 14-6 Massillon at 6:45 of the first quarter.

Oliver and Boyd, who played extensively because Rickey Johnson was out sick all week, combined for 155 yards rushing in 17 carries.

“Robert Oliver is becoming a more complete back every week,” said Shepas. “Ryan Boyd has kept practicing and working hard and tonight he got another opportunity and came through for us again.”

After the Tiger defense force Fremont into another in what would a long line of three-and-out series, Abdul drilled a 42-yard field goal at 3:13 of the first quarter.

Massillon’s next possession began at its 18-yard line. The Tigers advanced the ball to the 36 when Oliver hit into the middle of the line, broke a couple of tackles and cut to the right sideline. He was dragged down 53 yards later at the Fremont 12.

Five plays later Zwick rolled left and zipped the ball to David Hill in the end zone for the touchdown. Abdul’s kick made it Massillon 24, Fremont Ross 6 at 8:00 of the second quarter.

Another three-and-out series by Fremont set Massillon up with good field position at the visitors’ 35. The Tigers failed to get a first down but Abdul salvaged the possession with a 45-yard field goal at 4:42 until the band show to put Massillon up 27-6.

The Tigers final touchdown of the first half capped a four play, 27 yard drive. Zwick found Jordan open on a slant pattern in the end zone from eight yards out. Abdul’s kick made it 34-6 at 2:42 of the second quarter.

The score was set up by the Tiger defense, which not only stopped Fremont on three plays but also sniffed out a fake punt for a four yard loss.

The Little Giants – who scored 25 points against Cleveland St. Ignatius three weeks ago – ran 44 plays but managed just 13 net yards of total offense.

“We’re just coming together,” said junior linebacker Shawn Crable. “We’re communicating better and working as a unit out there.

“It all starts up front. The line is playing so well that it lets the rest of us roam and make plays. The line deserves a lot of the credit.”

“We’re playing better together,” agreed senior defensive tackle Dan Speicher. “I think it’s because we’re spending more time together. We’re becoming more of a team.”

The Tigers didn’t let up after the halftime homecoming ceremonies, taking the second half kickoff and moving 78 yards for a touchdoen. Zwick’s best pass of the evening came on the drive when he found a streaking Stephon Achcraft in stride along the left side line for 35 yards to the Fremont 1-yard line.

Two plays later, Zwick hit Marquis Williams in the end zone and it was 41-6 Massillon at 10:12 of the third period.

Craig McConnell, who had five punt returns for 47 yards, gave the Tigers great field position with a ten-yard return to the Fremont 30 after yet another three-and-out series by the Little Giants.

Nine plays and two penalties later, Zwick rolled right and hit Oliver in the end zone from a yard away. Abdul’s kick made it Massillon 48, Fremont 6 at 4:51 of the third period.

A high snap from punt formation resulted in a Fremont Ross safety early in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers final tally came on James Helscel’s one-yard quarterback sneak with severn minutes to play. Kris Reinhart tacked on the point after to account for the final margin.

Schedule taking shape – Massillon and Fremont Ross will meet in week two of the 2002 and 2003 seasons after signing a deal Friday.

The Tigers will open the 2002 campaign at home against Westerville South. Then comes games at Fremont, home vs. Garfield, home vs. St. Ignatius, at Austintown Fitch, home vs. Mansfield, and home vs. Woodrow Wilson.

Week eight is open at the moment, with a week nine game at Warren Harding and week Ten at home agains McKinley.

If the Tigers can find a suitable foe for week seven they will let Wilson out of its contract.

First downs rushing 10 2
First downs passing 9 0
First downs penalty 2 1
TOTAL first downs 21 3
Net yards rushing 185 -17
Net yards passing 270 20
TOTAL yards 455 3
Passes attempted 40 20
Passes completed 25 9
Passes intercepted 0 1
Punts 2 8
Punting average 35.0 32.0
Fumbles/Lost 3/2 3/2
Penalties 14 7
Yards penalized 105 53

MASSILLON 17 17 14 9 57
FREMONT 6 0 0 0 6

M – Oliver 5 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
FR – Martin 99 kickoff return (kick blocked)
M – Jordan 6 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M – FG Abdul 42
M – Hill 1 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M – FG Abdul 45
M – Jordan 8 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M – Williams 5 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M – Oliver 1 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M – Heiscel 1 run (Reinhart kick)

Massillon rushing: Oliver 14-109, Boyd 3-42, Acosta 4-17.
Fremont Ross rushing: Dickman 1-11.

Massillon passing: Zwick 22-37-238, 6 TDs; Heiscel 3-3-32.
Fremont Ross passing: Clark 8-17-26 1 INT; Martin 0-2, Yost 1-1-2.

Massillon receiving: Jordan 7-65, Williams 6-57, Ashcraft 3-53, Oliver 3-22.
Fremont Ross receiving: Moreno 2-11.

Justin Zwick

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2000: Massillon 35, Fremont Ross 0

Tigers swarm over Fremont

Independent Sports Editor

Massillon’s Black Swarm defense, much maligned in back‑to‑back defeats to St. Ignatius and Perry, forced a pair of first half turnovers and pitched their first shutout of the season in the Tigers 35‑0 thrashing of the Fremont Ross Little Giants in front of 8,159 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Homecoming Night, Friday.

Program Cover

“We had a lot of frustration built up from the past two weeks and we just took it out on Fremont Ross,” said Tiger strong safety Robert Oliver. “We finally put it all together and got the shutout.”

The Massillon defense forced three turnovers and limited Fremont to 232 total yards in its best overall performance of the 2000 season. It was a far cry from the 36‑ and 31‑points surrendered in the previous two outings.

“The last couple games we’ve allowed a lot of points on the scoreboard,” observed Tiger linebacker Justin Princehorn, who had a sack and an interception in the same first half series. “It helped to get the shutout tonight.

“We were a lot more fired up tonight. The defense was really pumped. We’re coming together and building momentum going into the playoffs.”

Tiger cornerback Tyrell McElroy, who had nine solo stops last week against Perry, followed up with another fine game, helping to stuff the potent Fremont running game.

“The defense really wanted it tonight,” McElroy said. “We were hyped. We were ready to kill people.”

While the Massillon defense was outstanding, it was the special teams that made the first big play of the game as sophomore James Helscel recovered a muffed punt at midfield after the Tiger offense went three‑and‑out on its initial possession of the game.

The Tigers made Fremont pay for its gaffe as quarterback Justin Zwick dropped back to pass on third‑and‑10, and found Jesse Robinson running free on a post pattern. Zwick was on target with half his high, arcing throw which Robinson hauled in at the 5 on his way to the end zone.

David Abdul boomed the conversion kick over the south bleachers and Massillon was up 7‑0 at the 10:00 mark of the first quarter.

After Massillon kicked off, the Tiger defense would get the ball right back. On first‑and‑10 from the 25, Fremont quarterback James Martin tried to execute an option keeper around right end but lost the handle.

Senior defensive tackle Walter Thompson outscrapped everyone for the ball and the Tigers had possession at the Little Giants’ 32.

Two incompletions and a three‑yard running play forced Massillon to try a 46‑yard field goal. Abdul had the kick lined up but was just short as the ball hit the crossbar and fell away.

Fremont moved from its 20 to midfield on its second possession of the night before Oliver stopped Tyrus Hamilton for a one‑yard loss and McElroy sniffed out a screen play for a three‑yard loss to force a punt.

An unsportsmanlike conduct flag on Fremont helped Massillon move to the Little Giants 22 but a 39‑yard field goal attempt sailed wide left as the first quarter ended.

Again Fremont marched, moving from its 20 to the Massillon 21 on nine plays. On first‑and‑10 at that spot, Princehorn blitzed and sacked Martin for a five‑yard loss.

On the very next play Martin tried to beat the blitz with a quick pop pass over the middle. Massillon’s Jared Frank tipped the ball, which went through the intended receiver’s hands before Princehorn picked it out of the air for a drive‑killing interception at the Tiger 16.

After an exchange of punts, Massillon took over at it’s 20 and Perry James immediately ripped off 12 yards around left end, with another 15 tacked on for a facemask penalty. The senior running back got the ball on a draw play on the next snap and found a gap that yielded another 16 yards to the Fremont 37‑yard line.

Oliver gave James a breather, gaining seven yards around left end and 16 around right end on the very next play as Massillon moved to the 14‑yard line.

“Perry was struggling a little in the first half and we stuck Robert in there and he ran it well and gave Perry a little push,” said Tiger coach Rick Shepas, “We had a lot of draw and a lot of screen in the game plan tonight and it worked out for us.”

One play later, Zwick hit Jeremiah Drobney along the left sideline for 16 yards to the Fremont 1. Then James went flipping into the end zone on second‑and‑goal. Abdul’s kick was good and Massillon carried a 14‑0 lead into the halftime locker room.

The second half saw the Massillon offense get back into synch behind the spirited play of Zwick and the continued effective running of James.

After the defense set the table by forcing Fremont to punt after just three plays, the Tigers took over at their own 38.

Zwick completed passes to James (seven yards), Montale Watkins (six yards) and Robinson (16 yards) to move the ball to the Fremont 33. James then picked up 13 on a draw play and Zwick again got the ball to Robinson for nine more to the 11.

The Little Giants bowed their necks at that point but Zwick was able to sneak in from the 1‑yard line on fourth‑and‑goal. Abdul’s PAT made it 21‑0 with 5:36 left in the third quarter.

After yet another Fremont punt, set up by Brent Dean’s 7‑yard sack of Martin, Massillon regained possession at its 17‑yard line. The lousy field position was not a problem as Zwick and Robinson hooked up for 18 yards on first down. One play later, James got a seam on the draw play and scooted 60 yards to the Little Giants 1.

Robinson went in from there on an end‑around and Massillon led 28‑0 heading into the fourth quarter.

The final Tiger tally was set up by Brian Leonard and Chris Pittman, who combined to stop Fremont’s Aaron Hines on fourth‑and‑one.

Zwick beat the blitz with a quick toss to Jeremiah Drobney for 22 yards on first down. The strong‑armed junior then hit Marquis Williams in the end zone from 11‑yards out. Abdul’s kick closed the scoring at 10:03 of the fourth quarter.

“This was an important win for our team and our unity,” remarked James, who finished with 133 yards in 15 totes. “We came together as a team tonight. We’ve turned this around.”

“We’re trying to get these kids to play for each other,” Shepas said, “Trying to get them to step up and provide leadership without turning to me. It seems like as Zwick goes, we go. When he comes out and gets excited like he did in the second half, we go.”

First downs rushing 7 10
First downs passing 9 6
First downs by penalty 3 0
TOTAL first downs 19 16
Net yards rushing 162 148
Net yards passing 221 84
TOTAL yards 383 232
Passes attempted 25 22
Passes completed 14 11
Passes intercepted 0 2
Punts 2 4
Punting average 28 32.8
Fumbles/Lost 3/1 4/2
Penalties 6 6
Yards penalized 57 64

MASSILLON 7 7 14 7 35
FREMONT ROSS 0 0 0 0 0

M ‑ Robinson 48 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M ‑James 1 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Zwick 1 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Robinson 1 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Williams 11 pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)

Massillon rushing: James 15‑133, Oliver 7‑27.
Fremont Ross rushing: Hamilton 19‑59.

Massillon passing: Zwick 13‑24‑178 2 TD, Williams 1‑1‑43.
Fremont passing: Martin 10‑21‑74 2 INT.

Massillon receiving: Robinson 6‑100, Drobney 2‑39, Watkins 2‑17.
Fremont Ross receiving: Root 6‑31.

Kreg Rotthoff

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1999: Massillon 20, Fremont Ross 14

Little Giants give Massillon a big scare
Tigers remain undefeated with 20‑14 win

Independent Sports Writer

For the second time in their last three games, the Massillon Tigers were living on the edge at halftime. Playing before an inspired Fremont Ross team, the Tigers dug themselves a 14‑point hole in the first quarter. But just like they proved against Youngstown Chaney on October 1, the Tigers kept their poise and wore down the host Little Giants, rallying for a 20‑14 victory before an estimated crowd of 6000 at Harmon Stadium Friday night.

“We played against the Fremont Ross team we expected to see when we scheduled them,” Massillon coach Rick Shepas said. “They’re a good, solid athletic team with a great offensive mix.”

With the victory, the Tigers improved to 8‑0. None of their last three wins were decided until the second half. In those games against Chaney, Perry and Ross, the Tigers outscored their opponents by a combined 59‑7 over the last two quarters.

“We’re a second‑half team,” Shepas said. “We’ve been to able to keep our poise.”

The Tigers also tightened their belts defensively in the last three quarters. Operating out of a double wing formation that resembled former Massillon coach Mike Currence’s run‑and‑shoot offense.

Ross amassed 144 yards of total offense on its first two possessions. But in their last eight series, the Little Giants only picked up 170 yards.

“We got caught over‑pursuing the first two times they had the ball,” Massillon defensive tackle Ellery Moore said. “We didn’t change our (scheme), we just stayed at home and made the plays.”

As the game progressed, the Massillon offense managed to control the football with its running game. With tailback Jessie Scott leading the way, the Tigers exploded for 251 rushing yards, including 148 in the second half.

“We normally use the pass to set up the run,” said Scott, who finished with a game‑high 154 yards on the ground ‑ 92 in the second half. “But our coaches saw some things they did on defense that helped us with our running game. Our coaches told us at halftime that the linebackers were sitting back for the pass, and their defensive ends were rushing and that set up the sweep.”

Ross, which slipped to 3‑5, held a narrow 14‑12 lead entering the fourth quarter. But the momentum of the game changed on the first play when Ross attempted a pass out of a field goal formation from, the Massillon 15, and the Tigers broke it up in the end zone.

On its next possession, Massillon pounded the ball at Ross, marching 85 yards in 10 plays. With Scott‑breaking contain on off tackle plays and getting to, the outside, he played a major factor in the drive, picking up 50 yards on four carries. But Massillon didn’t entirely forget the pass on that drive.

Quarterback Dave Irwin hit Rocky Dorsey for 12 yards, advancing the ball to the Ross S. Two plays later, Irwin found uncovered tight end Jeremiah Drobney in the middle of the end zone and the five‑yard pass play gave the Tigers the lead for good with 9:04 left in regulation.

Irwin hit Scott for the two point conversion to complete the scoring.

Ross had two final chances to pull out a victory, but it went three‑and‑out on each possession.

While Massillon controlled the final three quarters, it was all Ross in the opening quarter. With elusive quarterback David Rhodes directing a balanced offensive attack, Ross stunned Massillon with two long scoring drives on its first two possessions.

Rhodes, a 6‑foot, 180‑pound junior, engineered a 60‑yard march on his team’s first possession. Fullback Aaron Hines capped the 10‑play drive with a five‑yard plunge at the 7:30 mark of the first quarter.

On their second possession, Rhodes marched the Little Giants 84 yards. The eight‑play drive was capped by a 15‑yard pass from Rhodes to 6‑4 wide receiver David Root, who made a diving catch in the middle of the end zone.

Brian McCord kicked the extra point, and Ross led 14‑0 with 23 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Tigers answered quickly, moving 47 yards in four plays. Scott covered the final eight yards of the drive by cutting off left tackle and into the end zone at the 11:49 mark of the second quarter making it a 14‑6 game.

Massillon closed to 14‑12 when tailback Perry James scored on a one‑yard touchdown plunge with 1:08 left in the first half. The drive covered 90 yards in 10 plays.

Massillon missed both of its attempts for two‑point conversions, setting the stage for another second‑half comeback.

NOTE ‑ The Massillon defense played a good portion of the game without defensive back Jason Jarvis, who was on crutches at the end of the game. Shepas said the 6‑1, 189‑pound senior suffered an ankle injury, but was unsure of its severity.



First downs rushing 13….. 7
Fi st downs passing 6…… 7
First downs by penalty 0…… 0
TOTAL first downs 19…. 14
Net yards rushing 251.. 169
Net yards passing 137.. 145
TOTAL yards 388.. 314
Passes attempted 20…. 17
Passes completed 11….. 7
Passes intercepted 2 0
Punts 4…… 5
Punting average 35.5.. 37
Fumbles/Lost 1/0.. 0/0
Penalties 11….. 4
Yards penalized 95…. 19

MASSILLON 00 12 00 08 20
FREMONT 14 00 00 00 14


F ‑ Heins 5 run (McCord kick)
F ‑ Root, 15 pass from Rhodes (McCord kick)
M ‑ Scott 8 run (Run failed)
M ‑ James 1 run (Run failed)
M ‑ Drobney 5 pass from Irwin (Scott pass f

Dan Studer

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1962: Massillon 7, Fremont Ross 8

Fremont Ross Blasts Tiger Hopes 8-7
Massillon Gridders Drop First Opening Game Since 1946


The Massillon Tigers got plenty of breaks Friday night – all of them bad. This, coupled with a lot of mistakes by a green but spirited team, got the football season off to a bad start at Tiger stadium.

The Little Giants of Fremont Ross squeaked to an 8-7 upset win over Washington high school before 11,591 fans. It was the first loss for the Bengals in their last 15 games. It was the first loss at home since 1957. It was the sixth loss in a season-opener, the last one being in 1946.

Program Cover

Warren was the last team to beat Massillon, 19-18, in 1960. Cleveland Benedictine held the last victory over the Tigers at the stadium, 13-7. Cleveland Cathedral Latin triumphed
14-7 in the Orange and Black’s last loss in an inaugural contest.
* * *
IT WAS THINGS like five penalties for 60 yards, all at inopportune times; a couple of Ross first downs by inches, a Ross conversion try that was good b y inches, and a five-yard gain on a freak fumble by the Giants which hurt.

“We made too many mistakes and those penalties killed us,” Massillon Coach Leo Strang said, “You just can’t make up 15-yard penalties.” He added, “I kept telling everybody we have a green team. But no one would believe me. They’ll improve as the season moves along.”

For a team that was outweighed by at least 15 pounds overall, the Bengals gave a good account of themselves. But a little team can do only so much against a bigger one. Don’t sell the Tigers short. They’ll provide their fans with a lot of interesting football before this season’s over.

Strang gave full credit to Ross for having a fine team but also pointed out that the Tigers out-gained Fremont 191 yards to 94 on the ground and 60-0 in the air for a total of 251 yards to 94. The Orange and Black also collected 12 first downs to Fremont’s eight which all goes to point out how a lot of penalty yardage can hurt you.

Mal Mackey, Fremont coach, explained that he reversed his philosophy in this contest from that of nine years ago when his charges lost here. “We played ourselves out in the first half of that game,” he said, “So we told our boys to take it was in the first half this time and go all out the second, and they did it perfectly.”
* * *
MACKEY was pleased with his all-senior line. It showed a lot of power and weight. He thought it was the best one he has ever had.

Mackey was also pleased with the showing of senior Fullback Jack Ziemke. The 5-9,
195-pounder carried 21 times for 68 yards and a 3.2 yard average. He got some timely first downs also.

For that matter so did Washington high’s 160-pound senior tailback, John Kanney. And Kanney averaged 3.8 yards per try off 61 yards in 16 carries.

Mike Koenig did a good job at quarterback for the Bengals with four completions in six passes for the above-mentioned yardage.

The turning point came with 4:09 left in the third quarter. Ross had the ball on the Massillon 20-yard line on fourth down with six yards to go. The Giants then employed a delayed count and shift, the Tigers jumped offside and the penalty made it fourth and one. Ziemke just made a first down through the middle on the next play.

Four plays later at 2:22 he charged down the center again from five yards out for the winning TD. Quarterback John Prosser just made the end zone on a keeper to the right for the conversion which meant victory.

The Giants had moved 54 yards after a punt in 15 plays with three first downs for the score. They utilized a good part of the quarter in doing it. The Bengals managed nine plays in that stanza.

Earlier in the period the Tigers ran afoul of a holding penalty on a good punt runback by Graydon Eckard and found themselves back on the 28 instead of near midfield.
* * *
THREE TIMES in the last period the Tigers were in reach of victory only to be denied it. After a drive of 51 yards with three first downs which took them from their 35 to the Ross 14 and a fourth-and-three situation, Wil Paisley was sent in to try a field goal. However, Massillon was socked with a delay penalty, and Paisley had to boot from the 25 instead of the 20. The kick fell inches short.

Fremont had one series, punted; Terry Getz grabbed the ball on his 35. But a clip after the ball was dead made it first and 25 for the Tigers on their 21. Three plays later with third and 14 on the 32, Koenig passed to Blunt down the left side and ran all the way to the Fremont 18 before being knocked out of bounds.

However, a block that might have sprung Blunt loose for a score was missed, and a debatable clip was called setting the Tigers back to the 34. Five plays later Halfback Bob Hill intercepted Koenig’s pass intended for short side End Ron McAllister via a diving catch at the goal line to end the threat.

Fremont then started to run out the clock. But on the first play of the series Prosser fumbled into the air. However, Ziemke was Johnny-on-the-spot, grabbed the errant pigskin and got a five-yard gain out of the miscue. Ross held onto the ball for the rest of the game.

Massillon’s lone tally came following an 80-yard drive which started when Prosser missed a field goal from the Bengal 28 in the closing stages of the first quarter. The score came after 3:15 seconds had elapsed in the second period.
* * *
RON DAVIS burst through the center from 31 yards out on a first-and-10 play. Paisley booted the conversion. The Tigers had racked up four first downs in their drive for the score, staying mostly on the ground.

Ross then ate up seven minutes of the quarter with a 40-yard drive from the Giants’ 33 to the Massillon 27 in 13 plays with three first downs. Ziemke picked up all three of them, the last one being on a five-yard plunge through center that just made it on a fourth-and-five situation on the Orange and Black 34.

Massillon took over on the 22 when the drive bogged down. However, the clock caught up with the Tigers.

Several incidents in the first quarter perhaps were ill omens of what was to come for the rest of the night. On the first play after the kickoff the Tigers jumped offside to give Fremont a first-and-five situation after throwing a Giant runner for a good loss.

There were two fumbles by defensive halfbacks on punts which were costly. One put the Bengals way back in the hole. The other gave Fremont the ball on the Tiger 23. However, Massillon held for two downs. Then Prosser was hit behind the line for what everybody thought was a fumble and a Bengal recovery. However, Referee Frank Westall ruled it an incomplete pass. Prosser’s field goal try came next as the Giants failed to move the ball from the 23.

Sad But True

Ends – Sale, Boyer, Slatter and Patynko.
Tackles – Kreilick, Bingle, Turley and Jim Pfefferle.
Guards – Jack Pfefferle, Palomo and Hetrick.
Center – Brudzinski.
Backs – Kelly, Ziemke, Hill, Prosser, Frantz and Bailey.

Ends – McAllister and Perry.
Tackles – Profant, Clendening, Fabianich and Miller
Guards – Ehmer, McDew, Swisher and Larseul.
Centers – Bradley and Scassa.
Backs – Koenig, Kanney, Toles, Blunt, Getz, Davis, Eckard and Sullivan.

Fremont 0 0 8 0 8
Massillon 0 7 0 0 7

Massillon – Davis (31-yard run).
Fremont – Ziemke (five-yard run).

Massillon – Paisley (kick).
Fremont – Prosser (run).

Referee – Frank Westall (Findlay).
Umpire – Dr. Robert Scholtz (Lorain).
Head Linesman – Ron Dotson (Lima)
Field Judge – Horace Rainsberger (Painsville)

Mass. Opp.
First downs – rushing 10 8
First downs – passing 2 0
First downs – penalties 0 0
Total first downs 12 8
Yards gained rushing 191 103
Yards lost rushing 0 9
Net yards gained rushing 191 94
Yards gained passing 60 0
Total yards gained 251 94
Passes attempted 6 3
Passes completed 4 1
Passes intercepted by 0 1
Times kicked off 2 1
Kickoff average (yards) 50.0 44
Kickoff returns (yards) 12 62
Times punted 2 3
Punt average (yards) 38.5 43.3
Punt returns (yards) 10 3
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 1 1
Lost fumbled ball 1 0
Penalties 6 1
Yards penalized 6 5

Ben Bradley
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1953: Massillon 40, Fremont Ross 7

Tiger Gridders Crush Fremont 40-7
Mathermen Overcome Stubborn Resistance To Score Six Touchdowns


Little Giants you say?

They were something more than that for two periods here Friday evening before they were beaten down to size by the Washington high Tigers who racked up their ninth victory of the season and their 22nd in a row by a score of 40-7 before a crowd of 15,368 fans.

It was the first defeat of the season for the hard hitting, hard tackling, well drilled crew which had won eight games in a row to rate fifth place in the Associated Press standing of high school teams.

Maybe the loss will knock Ross down in the standings, but it still rates a place in the first 10, and if the ratings were based on sheer courage and determination, we would rate them toward the top.
* * *
SELDOM will a team keep on battling after such a series of disheartening breaks as victimized the Little Giants the first period, but they did just that. They didn’t become discouraged but kept battling back until they were finally worn down by the Massillon team.

Actually there was a lot of heavy breathing in the Tiger stands the first half of the game and rightfully so, for the visitors looked the stronger until they scored. It was not until then that the Tiger became aroused and took command of the game. Up to that time it had been pretty well tamed, and Fremont held an edge of 85 net yards gained to Massillon’s measly 21.

From then on, however the local eleven was in charge. Yards came hard but it drove to touchdowns the next four times it got its hands on the ball, then added two more for good measure. The decisive win over the fifth ranking team should strengthen the Tigers’ hold on first place in the grid poll.

For the greater part of the first half, however, fans were wondering if the Bengals were about to be bumped off the top.
* * *
TO START WITH Fremont worked an onside on the kickoff by covering a Massillon fumble and marched to the one-yard line where Homer Floyd covered Charles Blacks’ fumble. That was break No. 1 for the Tigers, and a bad one for the Little Giants.

Then Freshman Henry Tiller returned a punt 43 yards to the Tiger 16 where Rich Crescenze covered his fumble. That was another break that went against the Little Giants, though had Tiller not fumbled, the ball would have been brought back on a clipping penalty. They lost the leather a third time when Jim Letcavits covered a fumble on the Massillon 33. We hate to think what might have happened had the visitors not handled the ball so loosely the first period.

After three heart-breaking muffs, they still had enough fight to come back, and march 48 yards to score the first points of the game.

The Tigers evened it up with an 88-yard march, and it was still an even game with only 55 seconds of the half remaining to be played. Then Crescenze crossed up the Little Giants who had been pulling their secondary close to the line of scrimmage, and fired a pass that Jim Letcavits caught with no one between him and the Gulf of Mexico that put Massillon in front 13-7, and it was there to stay.
* * *
MASSILLONIANS were pretty confident after that, for it was evident the Bengals were breathing fire again and were poised for the kill.

They only scored once in the third quarter, but were well on their way to another when the period ended – got it on the second play of the fourth and shoved over two more before the last minutes were ticked off.

Fremont, which had been a constant threat the first period and half, was pretty well throttled after its lone touchdown, and never got close to the goal line again.

The spirited Little Giants put out everything they had offensively. They ran from the T, single wing and I formations, and once they spread-eagled the field with players.

They had slick runners in Black, Jim Tiller, Lester Franks, and Ronnie Whitcomb and a couple of fine defensive ends in Henry Tiller and Dick Harter. Ted Houghtaling also did a nice job of passing.
* * *
THE VISITORS lived up to their reputation of having a good defensive team and stopped John Traylor, Tiger ball-carrying ace, almost completely. His only long run was called back on a clipping penalty. John Francisco carved them with slashes in the tackles, and Homer Floyd got loose for a couple of dandy long runs. Homer’s footwork brought three of the Tiger touchdowns. Crescenze scored on a sneak in which not a hand was laid on him, and Jim Letcavits and Tom Boone caught passes for two others.

The Tigers blocked two Fremont punts and tossed Whitcomb for a loss when he bobbled a poor pass in another attempt to punt.

Fremont held the Tigers to 237 yards gained on the ground. The Little Giants gained 128. Total net yards including passes, figured 291 for Massillon and 148 for Fremont. First downs were 13 to 11 in the locals’ favor.

It was a rough, bruising game which resulted in tempers flaring several times. On one occasion the officials tossed out both Chuck Lentz of the Tigers and Jerry Gallagher of Fremont. In the last couple of minutes, Boone was given the brush-off, though he said he was only trying to break up a duel on the ground between Willie Longshore and a Fremont player. They both escaped banishment, but the incident brought players of both teams pouring on to the field with fists cocked for action but which were kept locked in that position by coaches and police. They were quickly herded back to the benches and the game went on to conclusion.
* * *
THE TIGERS sustained a couple of casualties during the course of the contest.

Crescenze received a hard rap when he was tackled while trying to pass that made him dizzy for a time, but was able to leave the dressing room under his own power. Ronnie Agnes, regular guard, sustained a shoulder dislocation that will keep him out of next week’s game with Canton McKinley.

The contest was the Tigers’ last home game of the season, and while it attracted a crowd of more than 15,000 the turnout was not as good as anticipated. Fremont responded well, with at least 3,500 traveling the 100 miles to the game, and the performance of their tam the first half gave them plenty to cheer about.
* * *
THE LITTLE GIANTS earned their touchdown but apparently shot their wad getting it.

They started late in the first period after getting the ball on a punt on the Tigers’ 48, and they went all the way.

Whitcomb and Black hammered for a first on the Tiger 36, and Tiller covered Black’s fumble for a two-yard gain. A 14-yard pass, Houghtaling to Frank Lenhart gained a first on the 20 and Whitcomb wiggled his way around left end to another first on the eight. It took four downs to get the ball over from there, but Franks drove across on his own after being almost bottled up for a loss. Whitcomb’s toe produced the extra point.
* * *
FREMONT successfully worked an onside kick for the second time in the game after the touchdown and gained the ball on the Tiger 48. This time Massillon braced, forced Whitcomb to punt and got the ball on the 12. It was a long way to the opponents’ goal, but with Francisco carrying the ball three out of four times, the locals hammered their way to a first down on the 46.

Enter Floyd into the picture. He swept, around his right flank and headed down the sidelines. Nobody could get close to him after he passed the line of scrimmage and he was over for six points. Boone tied the score at 7-7 with the extra point from placement.

Fremont got one first down on its next series then was stymied by the Massillon line and forced to punt. Floyd made a nice return to his 48, and with only 55 seconds remaining in the half, Crescenze on the next play stepped back and shot the ball to Letcavits who caught it about the 25 and ran for a touchdown. Boone’s kick was wide of the uprights.
* * *
THE LITTLE GIANTS made a slight flurry at the start of the second half when they received the kickoff and made one first down as they worked the ball to the Massillon 44, but Tiger hands got in the way of Whitcomb’s punt and the ball rolled back to the Fremont 25 where the locals took over.

Aided by a five-yard penalty, the locals drove to the four. Francisco gained two yards and Crescenze sneaked for the last two and the Tigers’ third touchdown of the game. Boone kicked the extra point and it was 20-7.

Fremont managed to move for one first down after the next kickoff before the Tigers could force a punt. They got the pigskin on their own 29 and again began their hammering tactics with Francisco doing most of the pounding. They moved to a first down on the Fremont 47 as the quarter ended. On the second play of the fourth period, Floyd was again turned loose around left end and he went the distance. Boone missed the kick.

The locals missed out on their bid the next time they got the ball, but Ronnie Gardner regained the pigskin by blocking one of Whitcomb’s punts that rolled back to the four. Floyd went through tackle for the T.D. on the first play.

Another touchdown was scored in seconds.

Tiller fumbled Ronald Boekel’s kickoff and Joe Lopez flopped on the ball on the 35. On the first play Crescenze fired the leather to Boone who was into the end zone with a few steps to spare. He also kicked the extra point, and that ended the scoring of the evening.

ENDS – Boone, Letcavits, Lorch, Maier, Lentz, Lopez.
TACKLES – Dean, Schram, Williams, Hill.
GUARDS – Eaglowski, Agnes, Holloway, Gardner.
CENTERS – Fisher, Fletcher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter.
HALFBACKS – Francisco, Traylor, Longshore, Stavroff, Fromholtz.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Boekel, Stone.

ENDS – Lenhart, R. Tiller.
TACKLES – Cooper, Harter, Gallagher, Jones.
GUARDS – Amor, Pelter, White, H. Black.
CENTER – Goodeman.
QUARTERBACK – Houghtaling.
HALFBACKS – Whitcomb, Franks, Sewell, J. Tiller.

Massillon – Floyd 3; Letcavits; Crescenze; Boone.
Fremont – Franks.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 3 (placekicks).
Fremont – Whitcomb (placekick).

Referee – Pianowski (Cleveland).
Umpire – Pupp (Cuyahoga Falls).
Field Judge – Dunton (Warren).
Head Linesman – Lymper (Mansfield).

Mass. Fremont
First downs 13 11
Forward passes 7 12
Passes completed 2 5
Had passes intercepted 0 1
Yards gained passing 88 50
Yards gained rushing 237 128
Total yards gained 325 178
Yards lost 34 30
Net yards gained 291 146
Times kicked off 7 2
Average kickoff (yards) 44 18
Yards kickoffs returned by 0 112
Times punted 4 6
Average punts (yards) 36 26
Yards punts returned by 43 62
Fumbles 4 7
Lost ball on fumbles 3 4
Times penalized 3 6
Yards penalized 35 29

Jim Lectavits