Tag: <span>Gerry Rardin</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1998: Massillon 7, Walsh Jesuit 34

Walsh Jesuit gains its revenge

No. 1 ranked Warriors hand Tigers 34‑7 defeat

Independent Sports Editor

The post‑game team huddles told the story.

Walsh Jesuit coach Gerry Rardin was talking about taking it one week at a time while reminding his Warriors they are only half way home to their goal of a state championship
At the other end of the field, Massillon coach Rick Shepas was talking about focus and team and staying the course.

Final score Friday night in front of 9,266 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium: Walsh Jesuit 34, Massillon 7.

It wasn’t closer than the score­board indicated, either.

Walsh Jesuit, now 7‑0 and a good bet to retain its No. 1 rank­ing in the Division III poll, amassed 534 yards of total offense, 355 in the first half alone. Massillon managed but 100 yards of offense all night
The Warriors had the football for 31:37. The Tigers time of possession was about half of that – 16:23.

The visitors piled up 24 first downs to the hosts ‘7 first downs.

Walsh Jesuit scored on its first two possessions of the game, while Massillon’s first two series of downs netted 10 yards total.

Warriors quarterback Dan Larlham rushed for 103 yards in just 11 carries and passed for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

A year ago, Larlham was at the helm of a Warriors team that endured a 27‑14 Tiger victory. That made Friday night’s win that much better.

“We want everybody to know what we can do,” Larlham said afterward. “We want everybody around to know this is what we’re about … right here.

“Tonight we wanted to make sure we got on the board early and that we stayed after them in the second half after we got our Iead.

Rardin agreed the Warriors two quick scores set the tone and kept the Tigers from mounting
an upset bid.

“It was fortunate we jumped out quickly,” Rardin ‑said‑ “Had we not done that, I think it would’ve been a lot tighter. But we got a couple of quick ones and it seemed to help us.”

“We’ve come down here and played some really fine games. Last year we came down here and didn’t play very well, so this one feels really good. Our kids played a good game and we get out with a victory. We’ve come down here and played well before and just ended up on the short end. So it is a good feeling.”

Shepas was left searching for answers after the game, He was calm but obviously none‑too-­happy with his team’s third lopsided loss in four games.

“The bottom line is real sim­ple,” he said. “I’m going to come in here and do a good job for these kids. I’m going to start (Saturday) morning when we break down film. That’s basical­ly what I had to tell them after the game.

“I feel like I can be more effective with them in getting things across. It’s got to start with me. Everyone is disappoint­ed. Not too many people are happy. But I’ve got to take a look at what I’m doing in regard to getting some things across to this football team. I’ve got to start with myself. We have to keep teaching and keep going.”

Shepas acknowledged the los­ing is having an effect on the confidence of his charges.

They feel the pulse of a lot of things around here and there are a lot of things that distract them mentally ” Shepas said. “I feel to be effective I have to get the focus of this football team and I don’t believe I have that captive of an audience yet. I’m working on that but they hear so many things. And then if things don’t go well, they hear more things.

“This is a team game, a self­less game. It’s not a selfish I have a good idea of what I need to do here. I’m going to work hard to keep implementing that plan. I’m going to keep my focus and that’s the way it’s going to go.”

Walsh opened the game with a 35‑yard pass play that moved the football from the Warriors’ 36 to the Tigers 29. Two plays later, on third‑and‑10, Larlham hit diminutive tailback Mike Marotto with a pass along the left sideline. Marotto snared the ball at the 10 and jaunted untouched into the end zone. Jeff Andrea drilled the PAT and the Warriors led 7‑0 less than two minutes into the game.

Massillon’s first possession was doomed when quarterback Steve Eyerman was sacked by
.four Warriors on a second‑and-­10 play from the Tiger 26. Two snaps later Luke Shilling punted.

Walsh took over at midfield and moved the ball methodically toward the Massillon goal line. Fullback Dan Basch gained 24 yards in two carries, Marotto added eight and Larlham carried for six to set up first‑and‑goal from the Massillon 8. Larlham dropped back to pass, stood in the pocket as the pressure arrived and fired at the last possible moment. Tight end Bryan Biegie caught the ball at the 2 and fought his way into the end zone for the score. Andrea was true with the conversion kick and the Warriors led 14‑0 at the 6:45 mark of the first quartet.

Tigers senior Julian Miller electrified the home crowd with a stunning 80 yard kickoff return that began at the Massillon 10 and ended at the Walsh 10. Miller made two fine cuts, one at his own 35 and another near midfield that left the Warriors clutching thin air.

From the 10, the Tigers ran twice up the middle for no gain and threw an incompletion on third down. A field goal try was wide left and the momentum Miller had provided disappeared like the autumn leaves on a windy day.

Walsh put together a drive of seven plays covering 77 yards for its third score of the evening. Larlham hit wideout Aaron Moll with a 9‑yard touchdown pass but the big play of the march was a 44‑yard dash around left end by Marotto who finished with 192 yards on 22 carries.

Shilling’s 67‑yard punt set the Tigers up with good field posi­tion late in the first half. Massillon, taking over at the Warriors 44, got a 14‑yard Eyerman to Marc Cleveland completion on the first snap of the series. Then Cleveland picked up seven yards on a draw play and nine more on a sweep round right end to move the all to the visitors’ 11. On second‑and‑one, the senior tailback took the football on the draw play and juked his way to pay­dirt.

Brett Marshall converted the PAT kick and the Tigers hall time deficit was 21‑7.

Massillon got the second half kickoff and a grabbing the face­mask penalty against Walsh helped the Tigers move to the Warrior 40. But the drive stalled.

In fact, the Tigers were able to generate just 25 net yards of offense the second half as Walsh did what Glen Mills had the week before ‑ dominate at the line of scrimmage.

The good news for the Tigers? Only five penalties and just one turnover. But it wasn’t enough to avoid their fourth loss in seven starts.

“Massillon is going through a rough time but I’ve always had a lot of respect for the community down here and I’m sure they’re going to continue to support these kids,” commented Rardin. “The one thing that looked a lit­tle bit different is the past Massillon teams have the big play guy, the one kid who is going to bust it. They don’t have that this year, the one kid who can get them over the hump.

First downs rushing 4 15
First downs passing 2 8
First downs by penalty 1 1
TOTAL first downs 7 24
Net yards rushing 66 354
Net yards passing 34 180
TOTAL yards 100 534
Passes attempted 23 17
Passes completed 4 10
Passes intercepted 1 2
Punts 9 4
Punting average 41.4 38.5
Fumbles/Lost 0/0 0/0
Penalties 5 6
Yards penalized 59 61

WALSH 14 07 00 13 34
MASSILLON 00 07 00 00 07
W ‑ Marotto 29 pass from Larlham (Andrea kick)
W ‑ Biegie 7 pass from Larlham (Andrea kick)
W ‑ Moll 9 run (Andrea kick)
M ‑ Cleveland 1 1 run (Marshall kick)
W ‑ Marotto 62 run (Andrea kick)
W ‑ Marotto 9 run (Kick failed)


Massillon rushing:
Cleveland 7‑31,
Miller 6-­19,
Stanke 1‑15,
Lynn 1‑3.
Walsh rushing:
Marotto 22‑192,
Larlham 11‑103,
Basch 9‑34.

Massillon passing:
Eyerman 4‑22‑34 1 INT.
Walsh passing:
Larlham 10‑17‑180 2 1NT, 2 TDs.

Massillon receiving:
Allman 2‑6,
Buckosh 1-­14,
Cleveland 1‑14.

Marc Cleveland

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1996: Massillon 34, Walsh Jesuit 10

Tigers put it together vs. Walsh

Independent Sports Editor,

All week long, Jack Rose said it was time for the Massillon Tigers to put it all together; that they needed solid performances in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams to beat Walsh Jesuit.

Rose got exactly that from Ohio’s No. 1 ranked Division I team as the Tigers laid a 34‑10 shiner on the Warriors, in front of 12,811 fans at Paul Brown Ti­ger Stadium, Friday.

The Massillon offense racked up 340 total yards, including 309 on the ground and a 6.4 yards per rush average.

Program Cover

The Massillon defense blank­ed Walsh in the second half, coming up with three interceptions and surrendering less than 60 yards to the Warriors after the band show.

The Massillon special teams produced a blocked punt that was turned into a Tigers’ touch­down and served as the final nail in the visitors’ coffin.

At the end, Walsh Jesuit head coach Gerry Rardin was im­pressed.

“I’ll tell you what,” Rardin exclaimed, “they are a great football team. They are ex­tremely physical, they’re big, and they have great skill players.”

Once again, Christian Mor­gan was too much to handle. Massillon’s junior tailback rushed 23 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns.

“Morgan’s a great back and he has a powerful, quick line up in front of him, too,” Rardin said.

Rose agreed.

“Christian’s a big‑timer,” Rose said. “He can play. He’s a very good back.”

Morgan was hardly a one ­man show on offense. Once again, fullback Jared Stefanko kept the defense from keying on his backfield mate, gaining 55 yards on just four carries. Eli­jah Blake came off the bench to rush for 59 yards on just three totes.

Throughout the week, Rose was confident the Tigers would prevail, despite the fact they struggled the week before at Austintown Fitch and were going against the No. 7 ranked team in Division III.

“I thought our offensive line could move them off the ball,” he explained. “I felt very confi­dent we could do that.”

Walsh drew first blood, mar­ching from its 20 to the Tigers 13, before the defense stiffened. The Warriors broke on top 3‑0 when Jeff Endress hit a 30‑yard field goal with 8:18 left in the opening period.

Massillon came right back, as Morgan broke off a 44‑yard run on the Tigers first play from scrimmage. Stefanko gained nine more on the second play and Massillon was in business at the Walsh 22. Three snaps later,, Morgan found a hole between­ right guard and tackle for a two yard touchdown. Josh Hose hit the PAT and Massillon led 7‑3 with just over two minutes to play in the first.

The Tigers turned the ball over on a fumble deep in Massil­lon territory on their second possession. Walsh struck quick­ly as quarterback Chris De­nholm hit Brian Willmott on a sideline pattern at the Massil­lon 1. Jon Subity powered in from there and the extra point made it Walsh 10, Massillon 7 with just 17 seconds elapsed in the second period.

Massillon appeared ready to strike back, driving from its 33 to the Walsh 6 on seven plays, highlighted by Stefanko’s 34-­yard bolt over right guard and tackle. But the Warriors’ de­fense stiffened and a 23‑yard field goal attempt hit the right upright and bounced back.

The game turned on the War­riors’ next possession. They moved the ball from their 20 to the Massillon 40, but the Tiger defense forced a punt. Walsh’s Tom Lopienski, trying to angle ­for the right sideline, shanked the ball badly. It sliced out of bounds at the Tiger 38, a punt of just two yards.

Ben Hymes zeroed in on De­vin Williams for 15 yards on first down to cross mid field. Three plays later, Walsh was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct to move it to the War­riors’ 21. Morgan did the rest, finding a huge cavity over right guard, breaking to the sideline and sprinting into the end zone for the touchdown with only 1:08 left in the half. Hose’s kick made it 14‑10 and Walsh never recovered.

“Those two events really swung the momentum and you don’t want that to happen against a team as good as Mas­sillon,” Rardin said.

Following the second half kickoff, Massillon marched 59 yards in nine plays to build on ­the momentum swing it achieved just before halftime. Morgan carried on seven of those plays, including the final four. He scored on a two‑yard plunge off right guard with 9:07 left in the third. Hose converted to make it a 21‑10 game.

It appeared Walsh was going to retaliate. The Warriors, moved from their 21 to the 39 on four plays. But on second and five from that mark, Denholm tried to pass the ball over the middle. Tigers’ safety Josh Kreider stepped in for the interception at the 41.

The Tigers offense struggled on their next two possessions, both of which ended with punts. Walsh Jesuit did not fare any better, Punting away the ball once. The second time the War­riors weren’t as fortunate. On fourth‑and‑21 from their own six, Lopienski’s punt was blocked by Tigers linebacker Josh Hill. Dusty Limbach corralled the bouncing ball in the end zone for six points. Hose’s PAT made it 27‑10 with less than 10 minutes to play.

Massillon closed the scoring on its next Possession. Blake bolted 50 yards up the middle, finally being dragged down at the one‑yard line. The speedy senior tailback found paydirt on the next play. Hose tacked on the conversion kick at 6:49 of the fourth quarter.

Kreider credited the defen­sive line with his two picks.

“The defensive line just had a tenacious pass rush tonight and the DBs were on their receivers like flies on you‑know‑what,” Kreider said. “We just wanted to find a way to get the offense back on the field.

“We knew Walsh was going to come to play and to challenge us. So we came out to play as well as we could. Even though we’ve been having a few in­juries in the defensive back­field, we are pulling together each week and doing the best we can until we get everybody back.”

Hill, who followed a two‑sack game against Austintown Fitch, with a sack and that blocked punt, says the Tigers are sending a message.

First downs rushing 13 5
First downs passing 2 5
First downs penalty 4 1
Total first downs 19 11
Net yards rushing 309 102
Net yards passing 31 95
Total yards gained 340 197
Passes attempted 8 20
Passes completed 3 7
Passes int. 0 3
Times kicked off 6 3
Kickoff average 47.2 38.3
Kickoff return yards 36 105
Punts 2 5
Punting average 38.0 20.8
Punt return yards 12 6
Fumbles 2 0
Fumbles lost 2 0
Penalties 4 9
Yards penalized 36 82
Number of plays 57 55
Time of possession 24:10 23:50
Attendance 12,816

WALSH 3 7 0 0 10
MASSILLON 7 7 7 13 34

First Quarter
WAL ‑ Endress 30 FG
MASS ‑ Morgan 2 run (Hose kick)

Second Quarter
WAL ‑ Subity 1 run (Endress kick)
MASS ‑ Morgan 21 run (Hose kick)

Third Quarter
MASS ‑ Morgan 2 run (Hose kick)

Fourth Quarter
MASS ‑ Limbach fell on blocked punt in end zone (kick fail)
MASS ‑ Blake 1 run (Hose kick)


Morgan 23‑142.3 TDs;
Blake 3‑59;
Stefanko, 4‑55;
Hodgson 5‑19;
Brad­ley 6‑13;
Danzy 3‑10;
Hymes 3‑17;
Autrey 1‑4.
Lopienski 17‑100;
Subity 8‑16, 1 TD

Hymes 3‑8‑31
Denholm 7‑20‑95‑3.

Williams 2‑31,
Morgan 1‑0.
Willmott 4‑60, Powers 2‑27,
Subity 1‑8.

Paul Salvino


1993: Massillon 20, Walsh Jesuit 30

Walsh Jesuit holds on: Massillon finishes 10-2

Independent Sports Editor

Jack Rose knew 16 points would not be enough to beat the Massillon Tigers.

And he told his team that at halftime of Saturday’s Division I regional championship game against Walsh Jesuit at the Akron Rubber Bowl. The Tigers trailed the Warriors 16-0 at the time.

With 8:48 left in the contest, Rose looked like a prophet as Massillon had pulled to within 23‑20 on a 55‑yard touchdown bomb from Mike Danzy to Lonnie Simpson.

At that point, not only were the Tigers believers, so was Walsh Jesuit head coach Gerry Rardin.

“I was thinking, ‘We can’t let this happen again,”‘ confided Rardin after the game. “I was. I’ll admit it now.”

Rardin had seen Massillon come from behind to defeat his team in the 1989 playoffs and last year during the regular season. This time, however, Walsh Jesuit was able to hang on for a 30‑20 victory and a berth in the state semi-finals against Cleveland St. Ignatius on Dec. 4 at Fawcett Stadium.

The Warriors cemented the win with a clutch seven‑play, 48‑yard touchdown drive following Simpson’s TD catch. It was set up when Matt Lloyd gave his team superb field position with a hard‑driving 39‑yard kickoff return.

After quarterback Todd Riddle started things off with a 22‑yard strike to Brock Kreitzburg that moved the ball to the Massillon 26, Lloyd finished the Tigers off the way he does all of his rushes. The senior tailback carried on four of the next five plays, scoring on a two‑yard smash into the middle of the line with 4:38 to play.

“Matt Lloyd’s a great kid. Matt Lloyd’s an outstanding tailback,” Rardin said, “He just runs with a great deal of heart and determination.”

Those same remarks would apply to more than one Tiger on what turned out to be a disappointing evening. Danzy showed enormous heart in rallying his team in the second half with a 68-yard touchdown run on an option keeper and the lone bomb to Simpson. The 5‑7, 165‑pound senior was a heavyweight this day with 120 yards and 107 yards passing.

Ali Dixon and Courtney Herring played key roles also. Dixon breathed life into the running game in the second half while, Herring’s two‑way play at tailback and linebacker belied his lack of experience.

The Massillon defense, despite Walsh Jesuit’s 30 points, hung in against a well‑balanced Warrior attack. It forced and recovered two fumbles in the third quarter to get the comeback started. The second one, recovered by Chris Porrini, led to Jake Laughlin’s 3‑yard touchdown dive that made it 16‑7 with 3:39 to go in the third period.

Walsh Jesuit countered with an eight‑play, 78‑yard touchdown march. Lloyd personally accounted for 71 of those yards (54 rushing, 17 receiving) and put the points on the board with a 28‑yard scoring run on a counter gap play over the Warriors’ right side. The PAT made it 23‑7 with :07 to go in the third.

Massillon showed why if is appropriately dubbed the City of Champions by fighting right back. Danzy electrified the crowd of 11,765 with his 68‑yard TD scamper on the option keeper. His conversion pass failed but it was 23‑13 with just under 11 minutes still to play.

The Tiger defense made another stand on Walsh’s next possession, forcing the Warriors into a three‑and‑out sequence by sniffing out a screen pass to Lloyd on third down.

After the punt, Massillon had it first‑and‑10 at its own 45. Danzy rolled right found Simpson wide open along the right sideline at the ­Walsh 25 and put the pigskin on the money. Simpson did the rest, outrunning the secondary to the end zone to make it 23‑20 with just under 9:00 to go.

That’s when Lloyd and the Warriors put together their final scor­ing march, drawing the curtain down on a fine comeback season for the Tigers.

“It was a heck of a season,” a disconsolate Rose said softly in the empty Massillon locker room. “Going 10‑2 isn’t too shabby, coming back from a 5‑5 season.

“We’ve got a real nice junior class coming back and we should have another real fine season in 1994.”

Rose cited two factors contributing to the Walsh Jesuit victory; third‑down efficiency and pass protection.

“They did a real nice job on third down,” he noted. “They converted a lot of third down plays. They had to have a great percentage, (56 percent for the game) especially on that first drive when they got the field goal.

“Riddle is a strong kid. He can shake off a guy. They did a good job of protecting him and he really threw the ball (12‑for‑20, 173 yards). He was on. He can throw the ball well.”
Unlike the week before against McKinley, Walsh Jesuit was not able to be one‑dimensional on offense. The Warriors went to the air early and often – Riddle was 8 of 12 for 127 yards in the first half alone – to keep the Tigers defense off balance.

“We felt we would have to mix it up a lot more to keep them­ honest,” Rardin said: “The kids executed a lot‑of‑things well, even when it got tough and they were stuffing us. They kept their poise and they continued to execute. That was the difference.”

First downs rushing 10 10
First downs passing 3 3
First downs penalty 0 0
Total first downs 13 18
Net yards rushing 236 203
Net yards passing 108 173
Total yards gained 338 355
Passes attempted 13 20
Passes completed 3 12
Passes int. by 1 0
Times kicked off 4 6
Kickoff average 45.5 58.0
Kickoff return yards 54 83
Punts 3 1
Punting average 35.0 28.0
Punt return yards 2 3
Fumbles 2 3
Fumbles lost 2 2
Penalties 2 1
Number of plays 44 59
Time of possession 18:41 29:19
Attendance 11,765

WALSH JESUIT 3 13 7 7 30
MASSILLON 0 0 7 13 20

Mark Fair
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1991: Massillon 28, Walsh Jesuit 7

Tiger’s whip Walsh

Tigers rewarded With 2nd win

Independent Sports Editor

A night of penalties held re­wards enough for the Massillon Tigers.

The Tigers were flagged for a Warren Mollenkopf Stadium­ like 100 yards in penalties but roared for a 466‑130 edge in total offense Friday night in repell­ing the Walsh Jesuit Warriors 28‑7. A crowd of 13,273 watched on a clear night with a moody summer sunset in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Program Cover

“We’ve got to work on that,” Tiger head coach Lee Owens said of the trouble with yellow hankies.

He said it with a smile on his face. The Tigers did plenty of good things in improving their record to 2‑0 against a game Walsh team that fell to 1‑1.

The bag of goodies included:

* A Massillon record 154 receiv­ing yards (on eight catches) by senior flanker Marc Stafford.

* Triple figures from two run­ning backs: Travis McGuire (22 carries for 117 yards) and Falando Ashcraft (20 for 105, two touchdowns).

* Quarterback Nick Mossides completed 14 of 26 passes for 217 yards.

* Fabulous defense against a traditionally strong running team with an outstanding full­back, Kevin Rottinghaus. Walsh rushed for a net two yards in the first half, a net minus‑two in the second.

Even so, Walsh made it in­teresting.

The Warriors cut a Tiger lead to 14‑7 midway through the second quarter; then, a would ­be 77‑yard touchdown pass from Mossides to McGuire was called back by a blocking­-below‑the- waist penalty: Back Judge John Evans and line judge Charlie Williams, two re­spected veterans, saw the in­fraction and both threw flags. Owens said it was a fair call.

“It got to be gut check time along about then,” Owens said. “We get a long one called back and then they wind up with the ball in our territory.”

Turned out the Tigers had iron in their guts. They took con­trol of both lines of scrimmage the rest of the way.
With the score still 14‑7 late in the third quarter, Walsh faced fourth‑and‑eight from the Tiger 16. That field possession was set up by Stafford’s only miscue of the night, a fumble on an end­around.

Walsh’s junior cornerback, Matt Smith (9‑for‑23, 120 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception) threw into the corner of the end zone, where Tiger defensive backs Dana Wofford and Ron Rober­son smothered Warrior end Mike Carroll, and the ball.

From there, the Tigers drove 84 yards in 10 plays. McGuire took advantage of good trap blocking and made a number of impressive runs. Ashcraft smashed through the line for 12 yards and a touchdown. Jason Brown’s kick made it 21‑7 with 11:29 left in the game.

Ashcraft scored from six yards out with 4:40 left to put the game on ice.

Walsh Jesuit head coach Ger­ry Rardin was upbeat after­ward.

”I’m convinced we’ll be back,” he said. “We got beat by a very fine team. They have a lot of guns they can fire on offense and they’re very quick on defense.”

Top gun this night was Staf­ford, one of the few high school “speed receivers” who also happens to bench press 300 pounds.

His 154 yards passed the school record of 133 set by Cur­tis Strawder against Jackson in 1978.

”Nick threw the ball ex­tremely well,” Stafford said. “All I had to do was catch it. We’ve been working hard and it all jelled for us.

“When it was 14‑7, we just had to reach down and keep playing hard.

The Tigers were playing with­out senior captain Chris Dotta­vio, who faces a one‑year re­habilitation after successful knee surgery Wednesday. Dr., Robert Erickson said Dottavio’s four‑hour operation is called “the terrible triad,” but that it went well and Dottavio has a chance to try for college foot­ball if that is his wish.

Juniors Mark Miller and Brandon Jackson alternated at the tackle spot. Miller played part of the second quarter after someone stepped on starter Scott Charlton’s ankle. Charl­ton returned in the second half.

“We dedicated the game to ‘Dot.’ We just went out and tried to play well,” said senior guard Ryan Orr. “It was a little diffe­rent not playing beside ‘Dot’ be­cause we’ve been together since the ninth grade. Mark and Brandon did a good job, though.

“In the fourth quarter, we started coming off the ball better.” Added McGuire, also a co-captain, “We lost one of our best linemen, and we started a little slowly. The line picked up the blocking in the second half.”

“They were stunting a lot and we started picking that up bet­ter. We played pretty well, but we’ve got to get better.”
On defense, the Tigers did get better. Tailback Andrae Martin and the fullback Rottinghaus, who had rushed for 250 yards last week against Garfield Trin­ity, combined for 14 yards in 13 attempts against the Tigers.

Walsh had to resort to a short passing game. The junior, Smith, handled the aerial effort fairly well, but he was fortunate that the Tigers’ one intercep­tion wasn’t more like four or five.

“I dropped two,” winced Ti­ger linebacker Eric Wright, like Owens smiling when he said that. “Overall, I thought we played better than last week. The defensive line played a good game. We tackled better. We have to keep getting better every week.”

Wright had a few more big hits to add to his growing high­lights reel.

“The whole defense played well,” Owens said. “I thought we swarmed to the ball. I think we’re starting to play the kind of defense Massillon people have been waiting a long time to see.”

The Tigers didn’t score until their third possession. They en­ded the lull in dramatic fashion when Stafford broke behind the defense and was wide open for a 46‑yard scoring bomb from Mossides.

Brown mis‑hit his point‑after kick attempt. It appeared the ball might have been blocked, but it was not touched, which is why a roughing‑the‑kicker penalty was allowed to stand. Ashcraft proceeded to run for the 1 1/2-yards that netted a two ­point conversion and an 8‑0 lead with 3:46 left in the first quarter.

It took the Tigers three more possessions before they scored again.

The defense held Walsh at bay, getting key plays like a sack from Joey Lococo, before the offense registered again.

Brown kicked a 22‑yard field goal with 4:43 left in the half to make it 10‑0.

It seemed a Tiger drive at the end of the half had stalled on a fourth‑down incompletion; however, a roughing‑the‑passer call kept Massillon in posses­sion of the ball and allowed Brown to boot a 29‑yard field goal on the final play of the half. That made it 14‑0.

Walsh Jesuit used the short passing game to drive 61 yards on its first possession of the second half. On second‑and-­long from the Tiger 39, Smith zipped a pass in the left flat to Carroll. Two Tiger defenders bumped into each other, giving Carroll room to wheel to the out­side and turn it into a 39‑yard touchdown play.

Pat Hyland’s P.A.T. kick made it 14‑7, but the Tigers re­grouped and went on to post an impressive victory.

Their next task will be a home game next Friday against Akron Garfield.

As for the penalties, Walsh had 39 yards worth, meaning the Tigers were penalized 61 yards more than the visitors.

Any fears Walsh might have had about getting “homered” on their first regular‑season trip to Tiger Stadium were allayed. The crew was led by Chet DeStefano, who has worked many college and profession­al games.


First downs rushing 16 0
First downs passing 8 7
First downs by penalty 2 1
Totals first downs 26 8
Yards gained rushing 238 23
Yards lost rushing 15 23
Net yards rushing 223 0
Net yards passing 243 130
Total yards gained 466 130
Passes attempted 26 26
Passes completed 14 10
Passes int. by 2 1
Times kicked off 5 2
Kickoff average 43.8 41.0
Kickoff return yards 8 67
Punts 3 6
Punting average 39.3 29.0
Punt return yards 21 17
Fumbles 1 0
Fumbles lost 1 0
Penalties 10 4
Yards penalized 100 39
Number of plays 73 43
Time of possession 27:02 20:58
Attendance 13,273

WALSH JESUIT 0 0 7 0 7
MASSILLON 8 6 0 14 28

M ‑ Stafford 46 pass from Mossides (Ashcraft run)
M ‑ Brown 22 FG
M ‑ Brown 29 FG
W ‑ Carroll 39 pass from Smith (Hyland kick)
M ‑ Ashcraft 12 run (Brown kick)
M ‑ Ashcraft 6 run (Brown kick)

Individual statistics

(Massillon) McGuire 22‑117, Ashcraft 20‑105, Mossides 1‑3, Stafford 2/‑2.
(Walsh) Martin 10‑9, Rottinghaus 3‑5, Smith 4/‑14.

(Massillon) Mossides 14‑26‑217. 1 TD, 1 int..
(Walsh) Smith 9‑23‑120, 1 TD, 1 int.; Evans 1‑3‑10, 1 int.

(Massillon) Stafford 8‑154, Merchant 3‑25, McGuire 1-9, Hawkins 1‑15, Ashcraft 1‑14.
(Walsh) Mason 3‑32, Carroll 2­49, Martin 2‑8, Rottinghaus 1‑17. Tyla 1‑14, Maruna 1‑10

Eric Wright