Tag: <span>Josh Kreider</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1997: Massillon 24, Cincinnati Moeller 28

Tigers falter in 4th

Independent Sports Editor

Afterward, Moeller coach Steve Klonne talked like some who had dodged a bullet, while Massillon’s Jack Rose had the look of someone who’d stopped one.

Moeller had just rallied from a seemingly insurmountable 24-­7 fourth quarter Massillon lead to hand the Tigers a devastating 28‑24 set back at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Saturday. The Crusaders lingered on the field for a half hour following the game, reveling in their victory.

The Tigers sat stunned in their locker room, physically and emotionally spent from the drastic turn of events that saw them on the verge of upsetting the state’s No. 3 ranked Divi­sion 1 squad only to see the game and a strong shot at the playoffs slip away.

The turning point, in Klonne’s eyes, came when his offense went to a three wide receiver, set and spread out the Massillon defense.

“We’re down 24‑7 and things aren’t looking very good,” Klonne said. “We got in trips and the two‑minute offense right away. The game came down to trips and our running backs running the football a little bit. We were fortunate to complete some passes and get into the end zone.”

From Rose’s perspective, the Tigers lost the game much ear­lier, when they failed to capital­ize on scoring opportunities in the first three quarters.

“We had our chances to blow the game wide open,” he said. “But those dropped balls … .”

“When you play a team like that you don’t feel comfortable with a 17‑point lead even in the fourth quarter because they have the ability to make the big play. The difference in the game was … except for one pass play where we make the big play, they have two or three plays that they make big plays out of and we didn’t.”

Massillon trailed 7‑6 at half­time, thanks to a 21‑yard Ryan Cooper to Casey Clark pass early in the second quarter. The Tigers came within a missed extra point of tying the score when Christian Morgan capped off a five‑play, 80‑yard drive by sweeping right into the end zone from three yards out with eight minutes until the band show. Two 25‑yard Tip Danzy to Dave Hodgson pass plays set up the score.

But the Tigers could have owned a one or two touchdown advantage at that point, if not for eight penalties (five for ille­gal procedure) and a couple dropped passes deep in Moeller territory.

“At halftime, I told the guys ‘Catch the hall. Just catch the football,”‘ Rose said. “We had played good defense except for the one pass play they popped on us.

Massillon owned the third quarter, as Morgan steamed 80 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage after taking a pitch from Danzy around his left end. Danzy scored the two‑point conversion and the Tigers led 14‑7 before the fans had settled back into their seats.

The Tigers marched 80 yards in 11 plays on their second pos­session of the half, keyed by two long Hodgson runs on draw plays. Danzy put the fin­ishing touches on the drive when he lofted a perfectly thrown 28‑yard pass into the right corner of the end zone that Tyrie Clifford snagged for a touchdown with 1:38 left in the third period. Hose hit the PAT and it was 21‑7 Tigers.

Hose extended the lead to 24-­7 when he split the uprights with a 36‑yard field goal at 9:11 of the fourth quarter, but the lead began to crumble on Moeller’s next possession.

After Hose’s deep kickoff pinned the Crusaders at their 6‑yard line, the hosts went to a three wide receiver set. Moeller gained a first down on a Cooper scramble to the 23. From there, the senior quarter­back hit 210‑pound tailback Grant Crosthwaite with a swing pass on the right sideline and he did the rest, breaking two tackles and sprinting 77 yards to paydirt.

Tom Pucke’s conversion kick made it 24‑14 at 8:30 of the fourth.

“They had the long end of the field,” Rose observed. “They throw it to their back and we have him pinned on the side­line. But our DB doesn’t follow through with the tackle and knock him out of bounds. He bumps him. You can’t do stuff like that against a team like Moeller. It will get you beat every time.”

Moeller got the ball back with 5:32 to play after a Massil­lon punt rolled dead at the 3. But Cooper hit Brad Murphy for 57‑yards on the second play of the series then found Clark for 13 more on the next snap to move the hall to the Tiger 27-­yard line. Six plays later, Crosthwaite found a gaping hole over right guard and scored from three yards out to make it a 24‑21 game at the 3:21 mark.

Then came the back breaker as Pucke executed the onside kick to perfection with the Cru­saders recovering the ball at the Massillon 30. Four running plays later, Chris Wiet­marschen went in from the 5 and the Tigers were history.

“Our kids were spent on defense,” Rose said. “We don’t have a lot of depth and we were rushing Cooper and chasing him around all night.

“We left our defense on the field the fourth quarter.”

Klonne tipped his hat to the Massillon defense afterward.

“We could not run the ball at all against Massillon,” he said. “Their front is physical and fast. They play some great defense.

“Our guys are cardiac arrest every week. But somehow they find a way to win.”

Mo Ma
First downs rushing 9 9
First downs passing 9 6
First downs by penalty 0 1
TOTAL first downs 18 16
Net yards rushing 141 193
Net yards passing 291 150
TOTAL yards 432 343
Passes attempted 17 24
Passes completed 12 8
Passes intercepted 0 0
Punts 4 5
Punting average 39.8 36.6
Fumbles/Lost 2/2 3/1
Penalties 2 11
Yards penalized 22 73

MOELLER 0 7 0 21 28
MASSILLON 0 6 15 3 24


Mo ‑ Clark 21 pass from Cooper (Pucke kick)
Ma ‑ Morgan 3 run (Kick failed)
Ma ‑ Morgan 80 run (Danzy run)
Ma ‑ Clifford 28 pass from Danzy (Hose kick)
Ma ‑ Hose 36 field goal
Mo ‑ Crosthwaite 77 Pass from Cooper (Pucke kick)
Mo ‑ Crosthwaite 2 run (Pucke kick)
Mo ‑ Wietmarschen 4 run (Pucke kick)


Massillon rushing:
Hodgson 16‑121,
Mor­gan 6‑118,
Danzy 6‑4.
Moeller rushing:
Crosthwaite 15‑71,
Cooper 22‑78,
Wietmarschen 6‑20.

Massillon passing:
Danzy 8‑24‑150 1TD
Moeller passing:
Cooper 12‑17‑291 2 TDs.

Massillon receiving:
Clifford 3‑55,
Hodgson 2-49,
James 2‑36,
Venables 1‑10.
Moeller receiving:
Murphy 4‑119,
Crosth­waite 3‑93,
Clark 3‑38,
Brandt 1‑29,
Ryan 1‑

Moeller storms back
to beat Massillon 28-24

Crusaders score
three touchdowns
in final 8:30

Enquirer contributor

Moeller scored three touch­downs in the final 8:30 to come from behind and score a 28‑24 victory over Massillon Saturday night at Nippert Stadium.

Moeller’s winning touchdown was set up by an onside kick with 3:29 left in the game that the Crusaders’ Matt Edwards recovered at the Massillon 30. Five rushing plays later, Chris Wietmar­schen scored on a five‑yard run to give Moeller its first lead since halftime.

Massillon had one final chance beginning at its own 34 with 1:23 left in the game. The Tigers faced a fourth‑and‑15 at their own 29, but a sack by Moeller’s Joe Schulte ended the threat.

Moeller had cut the lead to 24‑20 when Grant Crosthwaite scored on a 77‑yard pass reception with 8:30 to play, then followed with a two‑yard run with 3:29 left.

A crowd announced at 5,074 watched as two of the state’s greatest traditions met in game filled with playoff implications. Moeller (7‑1) came into the game ranked No. 3 in Ohio Division 1, while Massillon (6‑2) was ranked No. 16.

After Moeller held a 7‑6 half­time lead, Massillon stunned Moel­ler on the opening play of the second half. Tailback Christian Morgan, who had been held to 13 yards on seven carries in the first half, took a pitch left, cut back into the middle and went 80 yards for a go‑ahead score. Quarterback Tip Danzy’s two‑point run put Massil­lon ahead 14‑7.

Massillon put Moeller in a two‑touchdown hole late in the third quarter after a long Moeller drive resulted in a missed field goal. Starting at its own 20, Massillon took 11 plays to move downfield.

The touchdown came on fourth­-and‑14 from the Moeller 29. A Moeller blitzer came through clean on Danzy, but just before he made the hit, Danzy launched a high‑arc­ing pass towards the corner of the end zone. Massillon’s fastest play­er, wideout Tyrie Clifford, ran un­der the ball and made the catch, putting Massillon ahead, 21‑7.

After Moeller turned the ball over on downs in its own half of the field early in the fourth quarter, Massillon added to its lead, moving to a 24‑7 edge on Josh Hose’s 36‑yard field goal.

Moeller finally got back on the scoreboard when quarterback Ryan Cooper found Crosthwaite on a dump pass on the sideline and Crosthwaite danced around a pair of defenders, then went 77 yards for a TD. That cut the Massillon lead to 24‑14 with 8:30 to play.

Both teams turned to the air to find offense – and points – in the first half.

Moeller struck first at the 9:46 mark of the second quarter, when Cooper hit receiver Casey Clark on a short curl‑in pattern and Clark weaved through traffic into the end zone for a 21‑yard TD that put Moeller up 7‑0.

Moeller had only eight yards offense prior to the drive. The drive’s key play was Moeller’s first completed pass of the night, a 48‑yarder from Cooper to Brad Murphy to the Massillon 33‑yard line.

Massillon 0 6 15 3 24
Moeller 7 0 0 21 21

Moe ‑ Clark 21 pass from Cooper (Pucke kick)
Mas ‑ Morgan 3 run (Kick wide)
Mas ‑ Morgan 80 run (Danzy run)
Mas ‑ Clifford 29 pass from Danzy (Hose kick)
Mas ‑ Hose 36 FG
Moe ‑ Crosthwaite 17 pass from Cooper (Pucke kick)
Moe ‑ Crosthwaite 77 run (Pucke kick)
Moe ‑ Wietmarschen 5 run (Pucke kick)

Records Mas 6-2, Moe 7-1

Jared Stefanko

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1997: Massillon 41, Canton Central Catholic 6

Tigers unveil aerial attack

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers accom­plished three things with Satur­day’s 41‑6 dismantling of the Central Catholic Crusaders in front 11,350 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Program Cover

First, they improved to 6‑1 on the season, leaving the door open for their fourth post‑season playoff berth in the last five campaigns.

Second, Massillon won its 700th game in the storied histo­ry of America’s most famous high school football program.

Third, by flashing an effec­tive passing game to go along with their already established running attack, the Tigers gave Cincinnati Moeller something else to think about as they pre­pare for a showdown of Ohio gridiron giants this coming Sat­uday at Nippert Stadium in the Queen City.

Massillon generated 365 yards of total offense against Central Catholic, 130 of that through the air. Starting quarterback Tip Danzy completed 10 of 17 aerials for 120 yards and a touchdown as the Tigers had their first proficient pass­ing game of the 1997 campaign. Another TD pass was dropped in the end zone.

“They threw it better than we’ve seen them throw it all year,” said Crusaders head coach Lowell Klinefelter.

Danzy deferred the praise for his big night to his receivers and the Massillon coaching staff.

“Coach told us we were going to throw the ball,” Danzy said afterward. “They called the pass plays, I did my best to go Out and execute them and the receivers did a good job of catching the ball tonight.”

“We threw ball better tonight,” understated Tigers coach Jack Rose. “We’re trying to loosen up the defense. We wanted to throw a couple deep balls on them early. We wanted to hit them and more important to get them back off the line of scrimmage.”

Rose indicated a couple of the pass plays were ad libbed.

“We threw to a couple guys because they were uncovered,” he revealed. “We tell the quar­terback anytime he sees guys uncovered to get the ball out to them and let them do what they can.”

Of course, the Massillon run­ning attack was not ignored. The Tigers put up 235 net yards rushing, led by Christian Mor­gan’s 141 yards in 17 carries.

The senior tailback, who has rushed for 781 yards this sea­son, set the tone for the game with a 66‑yard touchdown run off an option pitch around left end on the hosts’ first play from scrimmage. Josh Hose’s con­version kick made it 7‑0 at the 10:43 mark of the first period.

“That play kind of took the wind out of our sails early,” Klinefelter said.

Actually, Central regrouped pretty well from the Tigers early strike, marching from its 34 to the Massillon 6 on 10 plays. But Josh Kreider killed the drive and dashed the Cru­saders hopes for an upset with an interception in the end zone at 6:25 of the first quarter.

Massillon got another big play early in the second quar­ter, this time from its special teams when Jamie Allman blocked a Central Catholic punt and recovered the ball at the Crusaders’ 25 yard line.

Mike James made a leaping catch of a Danzy pop pass over the middle for a first down at the Central 14. But the drive stalled and Hose ‑ after two consecutive false start flags ‑ boomed a 37‑yard field goal to make it a 10‑0 game at 8:01 of the second quarter.

Central couldn’t get anything going on its next possession and punted the ball away, the Tigers taking over at midfield. On the fifth snap of the drive, Danzy kept the football on the option around the right side and found a seam in the Cru­saders defense. He finally stopped running when he hit pay dirt 28‑yards later. Hose was true with the PAT and Mas­sillon led 17‑0 with 4:22 to go in the half.

“I prefer to run the ball and the cutback is my favorite move,” Danzy said. “There was nobody back there but the safety so I took the opportunity to get into the end zone.”

“Tip’s getting better,” Rose said. “And our offensive line is maturing and that’s giving him sonic opportunities to make some plays.”

Massillon polished up the passing game on its next pos­session, which began near mid­field. On a fourth-and six, Danzy rolled right and hit Clint Dean along the right sideline for 12 yards and a first down. On the next play, Danzy bootlegged left and hooked up with tight end Seth Venables for 13 more yards to the Central 18.

The senior signal caller com­pleted his next two throws, but penalties set up a first and goal from the Central 21. Danzy again ran the bootleg, this time to the right, and found Dave Hodgson at the 4. The senior fullback did the rest, running over a Central defender at the 1 for the touchdown. Hose’s kick made it 24‑0 Massillon with 1:20 to play in the first half.

Central Catholic came right back, just as Walsh Jesuit did the previous week, scoring a touchdown through the air in the waning seconds of the half. Mike Bajornas, who displayed a deft touch most of the evening when he had time to throw, found Jerrit Marsh at the goal line. Marsh came down with the ball amidst three Tiger defenders for the score and it was 24‑6 at the break.

Danzy scored again on a three‑yard run that capped an 8‑play, 62‑yard drive on Massillon’s first possession of the sec­ond half, effectively putting the game away at 31‑6 midway through the third quarter.

Hose’s 27‑yard field goal at 5:02 of the third and Ron Lynn’s 16‑yard interception return for a TD with just over three min­utes to play closed the scoring.

Rose was encouraged by the Tigers lack of turnovers (one interception, no lost fumbles), but was not pleased with his charges’ nine penalties for 80 yards. Two Massillon TD’s were negated by penalty flags.

“We have to play error free to beat Moeller,” Rose said. “We can’t have penalties like we did tonight. We’re taking care of the ball better now. We’re starting to demonstrate we can hold on to it. What worries me is the penalties are hurting us on big plays. This offense has big play potential but we can’t miss big plays due to penalties. It flattens us out.”

Jared Stefanko

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