Tag: <span>Harding Stadium</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2015: Massillon 21, Steubenville 48

Mistakes costly in loss to D-IV No. 1 Big Red

By Chris Easterling
Independent Sports Editor

STEUBENVILLE You can’t make mistakes and expect to beat most teams. Make mistakes against a very good team, and you’re giving yourself no chance to win.

Massillon made mistake after mistake Friday night at Steubenville. The result was exactly what one would expect it to be, as the Tigers were beaten 48-21 by Big Red – the No. 1-ranked Division IV team – in front of a near-capacity crowd at Harding Stadium.

“We just couldn’t get out of our own way tonight,” said Massillon coach Nate Moore, whose team falls to 1-3 with a home game against Toledo Bowsher on Friday. “We just couldn’t do it.”

The Tigers turned the ball over five times on the night, including four in the first half alone.

The last of those first-half giveaways was a 58-yard interception return by Steubenville’s Jeremy Blue that gave Big Red a 35-7 halftime lead.

It’s the largest halftime deficit for Massillon since it trailed St. Ignatius 49-0 in Week Six of the 2008 season.

That was one of two pick-6s for Steubenville. Dujuan Jones had a 67-yard return that made it 42-7 Big Red with 1:07 left in the third quarter.

“Everybody’s making mistakes,” Moore said. “Attention to detail has to be better.”

In the last three games, the Tigers have turned the football over 13 times. In the last two games, Massillon has seen five of its turnovers turned into opposing points.
The interesting thing was, it was a 14-7 Big Red lead midway through the second quarter after Keyshawn Watson took a pass and outran the defense for a 59-yard catch-and-run from Seth Blankenship. That score was set up when Jeff Koch stepped in front of a Steubenville pass in the end zone for an interception.

That was one of the few big plays Massillon’s offense could muster. The Tigers, after posting 548 yards on 90 plays in a 48-41 loss to Warren Harding last week, finished with 366 yards on 61 plays Friday night.

Watson also had an 18-yard touchdown run with 10:19 left to make it 42-14. Austin Jasinski also caught a 70-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth to make it 42-21.

Big Red responded after the Tigers pulled within seven in the second quarter with a quick four play drive, the final 46 of those coming on a Dimitri Collaros-to-Niko Petrides touchdown pass to make it 21-7 with 6:28 left in the ‘half. Petrides got behind the Tiger secondary and ran essentially untouched into the end zone.

It was one of two such scoring catches for Petrides in the first half. He scored Steubenville’s first touchdown on a 20-yard catch on post pass on its first drive,
Petrides had all six of his catches for 124 yards in the first half.

Collaros hooked up Charles Reeves for a 53-yard touchdown to make it 28-7 Big Red with 1:17 remaining in the half. That score was set up after Steubenville recovered a Tiger fumble at the Big Red 18.

Collaros finished the first half with 253 passing yards, completing 15-of-25 attempts. For the game, he was 16-of-26 for 264 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.

Steubenville finished with 436 total yards. Johnnie Blue, who had a 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for a 14-0 Big Red lead, finished with 167 rushing yards on 21 carries.

“They were close to 50-50 (run-pass coming into the game),” Moore said. “I thought we were a little better in the run game than we have been in the past. That was probably a factor.”

Steubenville also recovered a squib kick that hit the back of a Massillon player after Reeves’ touchdown. That drive was stopped on downs at the Tiger 37, but Big Red would get the pick-6 to change the scoreboard right before half.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2013: Massillon 37, Steubenville 21

Tigers handle adversity to escape Death Valley

Independent sports editor

STEUBENVILLE Massillon had plenty of reason to feel like things weren’t going to go its way in Friday’s visit to Steubenville’s Harding Stadium.

The Tigers battled turnovers. They battled a rugged Big Red team. They fought the flags.

Yet, when push came to shove, Massillon shoved the hardest. And that’s why the Tigers picked up their first win at Steubenville since 1977 – with a 29-year hiatus in there – with a 37-21 win over Big Red to improve to 5-0 on the season.

“It’s crazy; it’s a beautiful thing,” Massillon running back Lyron Wilson said. “We’re the first team to beat them in how long? … It was a great game for us.”

And that great game for the Tigers was in large part because of Wilson’s running. The senior rushed for 234 yards on 24 carries, and scored three times, the last with 3:54 remaining after a crazy a sequence.

“We handled adversity,” said Wilson, who also credited fellow running back J.D. Crabtree, who ran for 55 yards and a score on eight carries. “We scored down there three times, and they called all but one of the touchdowns back. We just fought and kept running; the line blocked their tail off. I just ran for everything.”

That third score came after the Tigers had two other scores or near scores called back by penalty. After the second, it sent head coach Jason Hall into near-hysterics on the sideline, as he rushed at the officials.

Hall’s frustration arose from a night where the Tigers had 14 penalties for 92 yards. Five of those came on that final scoring drive.

“I just told our kids to keep playing,” Hall said. “We had to handle some adversity. They just kept playing. I may have lost my cool a little bit.”

The Tigers found themselves in a dogfight until the fourth quarter because of those flags, which self-destructed several drives. They also turned the ball over three times. Massillon only led 16-14 at halftime, and just 23-21 entering the fourth quarter.

Steubenville also helped, with three turnovers of its own. Both teams also gave the other team good field position with bad punt snaps.

Massillon, which had first-half leads of 2-0, 9-0 and 16-7 before a late first-half score by Steubenville, took control of the game on the first play of the fourth quarter. Facing fourth-and 1 from the Big Red 4, freshman Danny Clark play-faked and then spun around to the left and hit Beau Huffman for a four-yard touchdown and a 30-21 lead.

The Tigers scored on three of its four meaningful second-half possessions, prior to three kneeldowns at the end of the game. Crabtree had a 5-yard scoring run on the first drive of the second half for a 23-14 lead, a five-play, 45-yard march that was all runs by the Tiger running back.

“That’s just how we do it,” Wilson said. “That’s how we do it. That’s exactly how we do it.”

Steubenville, which scored on a 1-yard Robert Hayden run and a 10-yard Mandela Lawrence Burke to Kair McClurg pass in the first half, scored its final touchdown on a 10-yard Dimitri Collaros-to-Lucas Herrington pass to make it 23-21 with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2011: Massillon 7, Steubenville 24

Tigers’ six-game win streak snapped

Chris Easterling

STEUBENVILLE The last time the Massillon Tigers ventured into Steubenville’s infamous Death Valley, they struggled to match Big Red’s physicalness in a 10-point loss. Friday night, they traveled back down to the Ohio River looking to show things were going to be much different on this trip.

Instead, it was Steubenville that once again proved to be the aggressor for much of the game, sending the Tigers home with a 24-7 defeat in front of a sellout crowd in Death Valley.

“They outplayed us on the offensive and defensive line,” said Tiger coach Jason Hall after his team saw its six-game win streak snapped as they fell to 7-2.

“They hit some big plays, which affected us. It seemed like every time we did something, we would do something to shoot ourselves in the foot. We didn’t play a consistent football game. Offensively, we didn’t do anything tonight.”

The Tigers held to just 106 total yards on 39 plays, and just five first downs for the night. Where it was even more pronounced was in the running game, where Massillon was held to just eight yards on 18 carries.

“To beat somebody who’s as tough as you, you have to come out and fight them,” said Steubenville coach Reno Saccoccia, whose team improved to 9-0 as he picked up his 300th career win. “That’s what I tell our kids. You have to be able to go toe-to-toe, nose-to-nose with them. We couldn’t out-athlete them tonight. We couldn’t do that. … Our game plan against a team better than us is we have to be tough.”

That showed itself most dramatically in the fourth quarter, when Steubenville turned a 10-7 lead into a 24-7 advantage with a pair of long scoring drives. The first drive, a 14-play, 78-yard drive, was capped with JoJo Pierro’s 2-yard plunge at the 5:50 mark of the fourth quarter.

On the subsequent kickoff, Big Red recovered the kickoff at the Tiger 47. This time, it took seven plays to grind out the score, with Pierro’s 3-yard scoring burst making it a 17-point Steubenville edge with 2:27 remaining.

Massillon would run just five plays in the fourth quarter, and none until the 2:26 mark of the quarter.

A year ago, Steubenville’s six turnovers helped give Massillon a big 21-point win. In Friday’s rematch, an early Tiger turnover helped put Massillon in an early hole.

On the third play of the game, Big Red’s William Houst bull-rushed his way in to wrap up the quarterback. As he was making the tackle, he managed to strip the ball away as well to give Steubenville the ball at the Massillon 31.

“He didn’t have a lot of big plays, but he had a lot of pressure plays,” Saccoccia said of Houst.

Six plays later, Big Red had the lead as Marcus Prather hit Najee Murray perfectly in stride on a slant pattern for a 15-yard scoring strike. The point-after try gave Steubenville a 7-0 lead about four minutes into the game.

The ability to keep the Big Red defenders out of the backfield played a huge role in why the Tigers were unable to get a consistent offense going, especially in the first half. Massillon’s first two possessions were derailed by sacks, while even when it was able to get a pass play off, its quarterbacks endured a pounding.

“They got consistent pressure on us, and we didn’t capitalize on any of it,” Hall said. “They had a gameplan to put pressure on us. They were successful.”

On the Tigers’ lone scoring play, Kyle Kempt was hit as he delivered a 13-yard touchdown pass with 1:32 left in the half. Harrison had to make a slight adjustment against the defender in the end zone in order to come back for the football and the catch.

Harrison’s scoring catch, though, only put Massillon in a 10-7 deficit. Big Red had taken a 10-0 lead just about two minutes into the second quarter on a 28-yard Luke Smith field goal.

Massillon’s ability to force turnovers in the first half helped it to keep the Big Red offense from adding to its lead. The Tigers managed to record a pair of fumble recoveries prior to the half, once at the Massillon 11 and another at the Tiger 43 after a reception.

For the game, Steubenville would finish with 367 total yards. Of that, 176 would come on the ground.

Now, Massillon must turn its attention right away to another team clad in red and black, archrival McKinley. And all that game may hold is the Tigers’ playoff chances.

“We’ve got to refocus and get ready for a big game next week,” Hall said.