Tag: <span>JT Turner</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

Massillon and Mentor Eclipsed 100 Points in 2007 Game

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that this 6-4 Massillon team had put up 52 points on the eventual Division 1 state runner-up.  It’s also hard to believe that they also lost the game.  But the offenses prevailed in this one.  And if you weren’t a fan of either team, then it just might have been one of the most entertaining high school games you ever saw.  The final score was 56-52 in favor of Mentor.

Jason Hall’s Tigers entered Week 5 with a 2-2 record, having unexpectedly lost to both Solon and Parma Normandy.  Mentor, meanwhile, dropped their opener to eventual Division 4 runner-up Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, but stormed back to take the next three, beating Strongsville (44-28), Solon (27-0) and Cleveland St. Ignatius (38-17).  So there was no doubt that Mentor was the favored team.  Only the Cardinals have always struggled when playing in Tigertown and this one turned out to be no different.

The two teams lit up the scoreboard right from the onset, with Mentor taking a 21-17 lead after three possessions by each squad.  Following a 29-yard field goal by Steve Schott, KJ Herring scored from 50 yards out and then JB Price returned a fumbled punt 36 yards for a TD.

The onslaught continued right to halftime with 28 more points, 14 by each team, and Mentor holding onto a slim 4-point lead.  For the Tigers, it was two Devoe Torrence rushing touchdowns, from nine and one-yards out, finishing off a pair of 80-yard drives.  Could either team stop the other in the second half?  Not likely.

Each team scored once in the third quarter to set up a thrilling fourth.  Torrence had tallied his third from the nine yardline following a missed 49-yard field goal attempt from Schott.  So entering the fourth quarter, Mentor was up 42-38.

It was one of those games where the team that scored last was going to win.  It started quietly with a Mentor punt.  Then a 24-yard TD by Torrence with 7:25 remaining, gave the Tigers a 45-42 lead.  Mentor answered with a 2-yard TD with 4:01 to play, completing a 16-play methodical drive.  Now it was Massillon’s turn.  JT Turner returned the kickoff to the Mentor 49, with a 15-yard Cardinal penalty tacked on, placing the ball at the Mentor 34.  From there, it took just eight plays, with big Steve Yoder bulling his way up the middle for 21 yards and the score, seemingly carrying half the Cardinal defense on his back.  Schott’s kick was good and the Tigers were up 52-49.

But scoring was not the intent on that play and the TD came too early, leaving 1:52 on the clock.  Too much time for the high-powered Mentor offense.  And they did just what they were expected to.  The winning 8-yard scoring pass came at the end of a 10-play, 79-yard drive, leaving a mere 24 seconds on the clock.  Not enough time for Tigers to pull it out.

Massillon finished with 498 yards, rushing for 433 and passing for another 65.  Chris Willoughby was 6 of 17.  Devoe Torrence rushed 36 times for 283 yards and four touchdowns and KJ Herring added another 109.

Mentor rolled up 588 yards, rushing for 289 and passing for 299.  Bart Tanski was 25 of 38.  Tom Worden rushed 27 times for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns.

So how could a Massillon team that had been basically written off a week before do this to a Mentor team that was destined for greatness?  Simple.  Pure effort and intensity.  And they kept that up for the rest of the season.  Although they dropped a decision to Cleveland St. Ignatius the following week, the Tigers finished strong, winning their final four games and posting a winning record.



2008: Massillon 17, Canton McKinley 0

Tigers unrelenting in The Game

The Independent


If a piece of meat is dangled in front of a hungry tiger, that tiger is sure to pounce on it. Likewise, the Massillon Tigers were hungry for a trip to the playoffs as they walked into Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Seeing the opportunity for just such a trip, the Tigers pounced on it, and in the process tore apart archrival McKinley as well.

With a nasty defense setting the tone, and J.T. Turner continuing his strong season-ending push, the Tigers rolled over the Bulldogs 17-0 in front of 16,935 fans at sun-splashed Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Saturday.

It is Massillon’s first shutout of McKinley since a 7-0 win in 1982, and the first shutout in the series by either team since 1996. The Tigers have also won four straight against McKinley, matching the sixth-longest win streak by a team in the series.

“It’s just a ton of pressure taken off your chest,” Tiger outside linebacker Brian Arelt said.

That win, coupled with Lorain Admiral King’s win over Lorain Southview, pushed Massillon into the playoffs after a one-year absence. The Tigers – 6-4 on the season – will now prepare for a trip to North Canton next Saturday evening to meet Hoover in the first round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs.

“Knowing that if we win, we’re in the playoffs, it put an extra chip on our shoulders for McKinley just to go out there and rock some heads,” Tiger junior tackle Jeff Myers said.

Myers and his offensive line mates certainly did just that, as they controlled the line of scrimmage and allowed J.T. Turner to rush for 208 yards on 28 carries. It was Turner’s only touchdown of the afternoon – a 26-yard run with 7:38 remaining – which salted the game away and sent most of the red-clad portion of the crowd toward the parking lot.

“It was special,” said Turner, who had a first-quarter touchdown run negated by penalty. “Every time I score a touchdown, they usually take it back. I saw that the first time, and then I got in there the second time, and I knew it was a rout from there.”

Of course, it wasn’t so much Turner’s running and it was his hitting which set the tone for Saturday’s game. On three of McKinley’s first four plays, Turner delivered the blow to the Bulldog ballcarrier, forcing a punting situation.

When McKinley tried to fake the punt, it was Turner there again, blowing up the play and forcing a five-yard loss. That gave Massillon the ball at the Bulldog 31, field position it turned into a 3-0 lead on a 33-yard Jeremy Geier field goal with 1:57 left in the first quarter.

“I just knew I had to lead this team to victory,” Turner said. “Everybody was on my shoulders, so I just led the team to victory. And we were able to come out with a 17-0 victory.”

The Tigers’ first scoring drive may have also set the tone for the kind of game it was offensively for Massillon, one which was mired with penalties and turnovers. An illegal procedure penalty on a second-and-1 play from the Bulldog 2 pushed the ball back five yards, and eventually led to the Tigers having to kick the field goal.

Massillon had another promising drive short-circuited by what amounted to a 22-yard illegal block penalty, one of five penalties for 70 yards in losses for the Tigers. That doesn’t account for the four turnovers as well, two of which came on fumbles immediately after the Tigers had regained possession from McKinley, once on an interception and another time on a punt.

Those self-inflicted wounds were a big reason why Massillon was only able to take a 10-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, a lead it gained when Bo Grunder caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Robert Partridge with 6:48 left in the half.

“We were a little disappointed, because I thought we weren’t able to take advantage of all of our opportunities,” Tiger coach Jason Hall said. “We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times. I think walking off the field at halftime, I thought we took control of the game.”

And the Tigers can thank their defense for that fact. With the front seven providing the pressure, McKinley was unable to consistently get anything going on offense, a fact reflected by the 97 total yards it mustered in the game.

“We were just going to make a point that they can’t do anything on us,” Tiger defensive end Matt Rose said. “We just bowed up and showed them what we’re made of.”

A big reason for that was the aforementioned pressure Massillon was able to get on Bulldog quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky, who regularly found himself ducking and dodging Tiger defenders when he dropped back to pass. Ohradzansky was sacked six times on the afternoon, three of those in the fourth quarter.

By the end of the day, the beating he was taking was starting to show on the sophomore quarterback, who took longer and longer to get up off the ground with each hit.

“Personally, at the end of the game, I felt bad for him a little bit,” Arelt said with a smile.

But not bad enough that Arelt and his teammates weren’t celebrating another win over McKinley – as well as a return to the playoffs.


Massillon 17,

McKinley 0
at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium

McKinley 00 00 00 00 00
Massillon 03 07 00 07 17

Mas – Geier 33 FG
Mas – Grunder 26 pass from Partridge (Geier kick)
Mas – Turner 26 run (Geier kick)

Mas McK
First downs 10 16
Rushes-yards 45-50 48-287
Att.-Comp.-Int. 7-10-1 3-5-1
Passing yards 47 48
Fumbles-lost 3-3 4-3
Penalty yards 8-50 5-70




Turner 28-208 TD;

Roberson 9-44;

Partridge 7-23;

Reiman 3-10;

Clark 1-2


M. Williams 31-97;

Wilder 4-10.



Partridge 3-5-48 TD, INT.


Ohradzansky 7-10-47 INT.



Grunder 1-26 TD;

Mattox 1-16;

Clark 1-6.


Morrow 2-17;

Shepherd 1-9;

Wilder 1-9;

Powell 1-8;

Farrakhan 1-7;

M. Williams 1-(-3).


Massillon 6-4;

McKinley 6-4.

Tiger defense makes a big impact, early and often

The Independent


It didn’t take long for the Massillon Tiger defense to announce its presence in Saturday’s 117th renewal of the Massillon-McKinley rivalry at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Actually it only took the first few plays of McKinley’s opening series, when Massillon senior cornerback J.T. Turner came up and laid consecutive loud hits on McKinley tailback Monterae Williams. The tone had been set and the Tigers followed Turner’s lead by swarming to the ball and attacking relentlessly in what was an eventual 17-0 victory over their archrivals.

“Justin set the tone early with a couple big hits,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “It looks like (Williams) might have some room to run and then, bam, Justin comes in with a big hit. Stuff like that really sparks a defensive group and I was a defensive guy, so I’m jumping around on the sidelines after that.”

Added safety Cooper Ivan, who summed up McKinley’s first series pretty succinctly: “We tried to come out and smack them in the mouth on the first play of the game and that’s what we did. It helped set the tone for the game.”

By no means was keeping McKinley off the scoreboard an easy task for the Massillon defense, as the Tigers had to contend with sudden changes in momentum after their four turnovers. Each time, though, Massillon was able to find a way to repel the Bulldogs by making a big play when it was necessary.

“That’s always one of our goals: No touchdowns in sudden change situations,” defensive coordinator Steve Kovacs said. “That’s something that you work on and you try to prepare for them as best you can. McKinley’s a good football team and they had some guys who we were worried about getting loose. They just weren’t able to get loose today.”

Turner kept up the heat early by following up his big hits with a rush that led to McKinley’s punter being tackled for a loss, helping to set up an early field goal. Turner then stripped the ball from McKinley’s Alaun Morrow following a short reception, a turnover that led to Massillon’s first touchdown of the game and a 10-0 lead.

But Turner was far from the only Tiger doing damage on defense.

Ivan flew around the field with his usual reckless abandon, in the process notching a pair of sacks and a forced fumble. If Ivan wasn’t getting to the quarterback on safety blitzes up the middle, then Jamison Heath-Gates or Matt Rose or Brian Arelt or another Tiger was making life miserable for McKinley sophomore quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky.

“The best pass defense is pressure, so every game we go into, regardless of who the quarterback is, we’re going to find ways to pressure him,” Kovacs said. “Our guys did a good job and we’ve got some good quickness up front.”

Once one Massillon player got his name in the sack column, it appeared to be an open race to see who would be the next Tiger to take down Ohradzansky. The McKinley quarterback become the Tigers’ own personal chew toy in the second half, as he was sacked six times for 46 yards in losses while also absorbing countless other hits from rampaging Massillon defenders.

“The entire defensive line, it was just like we weren’t going to let him get the ball off,” Rose said. “We all just wanted to punish him when he dropped back to pass. We just wanted to show him what Massillon Tiger football was like.

“We had him dazed and wondering where it was coming from there at the end. They were pretty confused about where the rush was coming from and all our blitzes were working.”
Hall chalked up McKinley’s general confusion on offense to Massillon’s ability to hide its defensive schemes for the most part.

“The defensive game plan that Steve and the staff put together, they did a great job disguising a lot of things,” Hall said. “I don’t think their quarterback could figure out what we were doing. We’d disguise some of our blitzes and we got some free hits today. Anytime you can do that, then the quarterback is thinking about where it’s coming from.”

The pressure not only resulted in four McKinley turnovers and the first Massillon shutout of McKinley since 1982, but also put the Bulldogs in numerous long-yardage situations on second and third down. McKinley was 1-of-12 in third-down situations.

“Not many offenses, at any level, are going to be good when it’s third-and-10 or third-and-15 all game long,” Hall said. “I thought our defense did a great job all game making them fight out of a hole from a down and distance standpoint.”

Tigers KO Pups, now look to playoffs

The Independent


Like a boxer, the Massillon Tigers have been knocked to the mat more than their share of times over the last 10 weeks.

They have taken body blows, and haymakers; uppercuts and jabs. They have stood on legs of jelly and have looked out of eyes swollen and bruised.

Yet, they managed to get back up on their feet. Their most faithful fans never counted them out. And on Saturday afternoon, the referee lifted the Tigers’ hand in victory.

Despite all of the punches the Tigers have taken, all the stumbles to the mat, they have emerged on top. It may not be the mountaintop, but they can at least see it from where they stand now.

For the Tigers find themselves with a chance to play for the championship, a chance to put together five more weeks of inspired football. Seven days ago, that chance was on life support; on Saturday, after delivering a 17-0 knockout punch to archrival McKinley, that chance is beating strong as ever.

A team that couldn’t seem to shake .500 for most of the season has done just that, and finds itself in the playoffs.

“We just bounce back every week, win or lose,” senior safety Cooper Ivan said. “It’s Massillon-McKinley and it’s always going to be a good game. I love playing football with these guys.”
The memories of questionable officials’ calls and disheartening losses are just that now – memories. They now serve as a foundation from which the Tigers can build to be a stronger football team as they prepare to take that next step, which is the playoffs.

“You have to handle adversity when you play football,” junior linebacker Spencer Leno said as his teammates celebrated with family and fans after the game Saturday. “It’s all about how you handle it and how you bounce back.”

The Tigers handled it by not falling apart, not pointing fingers or fracturing the locker room. They pulled even closer together.

The team that found itself in a literal fight at a camp at end of the summer showed the figurative fight of a champion at the end of the season.

“We have that team now,” senior outside linebacker Brian Arelt said. “We’ve been missing that the past couple of years. We just have that close bond where we’re one big happy family most of the time.”

Even within Saturday’s game, the Tigers didn’t let the events on the field tear them apart. When the defense found itself on a number of occasions having to go right back out onto the field after one of the four Massillon turnovers, there was no complaining or criticizing.

Instead, the defense just took its intensity up another level, ratcheting it up another octane, as each minute ticked off the clock. By the end of the game, that defense had beaten McKinley into a state of confusion.

Yet, there was no confusion on the Tiger sideline. Only celebrating and congratulating among teammates, among a band of brothers who were reaping the rewards of months of work, months of blood and sweat and tears.

“Our team is close together,” said J.T. Turner, who rushed for 208 yards on Saturday, while adding a fumble recovery and at least seven big hits on defense. “We’ve been with each other since December, so we’ve just been rolling together. We proved it today.”

And like the triumphant boxer, the Tigers stood at the end of the day with their arms raised to the sky, pointing the way to the top. Now, they get to take the next step in the journey to get there.



2008: Massillon 30, Warren Harding 7

Tigers start streak at right time
Massillon improves to 5-3 with first victory at Harding in 22 years

The Independent

Warren, OH –

The Massillon Tigers couldn’t have picked a better time to put together their first two-game winning streak of the season. And it didn’t hurt that they snapped a 22-year winless drought in the process.

With their playoff hopes riding on just about every game from here on out, the Tigers went into Warren’s Mollenkopf Stadium on Saturday night and emerged with a 30-7 win over the Warren Harding Raiders.

The victory marked the first time this season the Tigers – now 5-3 – have posted consecutive wins. They also won in Mollenkopf Stadium for the first time since 1986.

Massillon arrived in Warren knowing it needed a win to buoy its tenuous playoff position, as it entered the weekend ranked 13th in Division I Region 2. The exact effect the win over the 4-4 Raiders will have on the Tigers’ standing remains to be seen, but it certainly will provide a boost going into huge point games this Friday at 7-2 Mentor and in next week’s season finale against 5-3 McKinley.

“Everybody knew what we had to do,” said Tiger tailback/cornerback J.T. Turner, who rushed for a career-high 213 yards, while also intercepting a pass. “Every game from here on out is a playoff game. We just knew we had to go out here today and play a great game against a great team.”

The Tigers did just that, and did it in all three phases of the game – special teams, offense and defense.

It was Massillon’s special teams which helped stake it to a 10-0 first-quarter lead, thanks to a 30-yard Jeremy Geier field goal and a 62-yard Bo Grunder punt return for a score. Grunder’s punt return may have been the play which completely altered the game, although even Tiger coach Jason Hall admits he would have preferred the junior had gone about it a different way.

“It was a dumb play, actually,” Hall said. “That’s a situation where Bo was being a great athlete. But it was also a situation where it could have turned ugly. I know what Bo’s doing, and obviously it sparked us. I wasn’t mad at him, but I just told him he better never do it again.”

What Grunder did was wait for the punt to roll to a stop at the Tiger 38, then – with two Raider defenders around the ball – pick it up and start running up field. He then cut across the field at about the Warren 40 and raced untouched from there into the end zone for a touchdown with 4:43 left in the first quarter.

“I already knew it was a questionable call,” Grunder said. “It was a gutsy call, but it worked out. I’m glad I did it.”

The offense would take over from there, especially Turner, who surpassed his previous career best of 192 yards he set in Week Five against Garfield. He now has 946 rushing yards on the season with two games remaining.

“My line was creating great holes,” said Turner, who put the game away with fourth-quarter scoring runs of 2 and 38 yards. “It was open, so I took them. My offensive line rewarded me with touchdowns.”

But it wasn’t just running the ball where Turner did his part in lifting the Massillon offense. He also led the team in receiving with three catches for 57 yards – all on a second-quarter drive which gave the Tigers a 17-0 lead on an 8-yard Robert Partridge touchdown run.

Partridge had his best game by far at quarterback, completing 7-of-14 passes for 137 yards. His 58-yard strike to Grunder in the fourth quarter help set up Turner’s 2-yard scoring run.

The Tiger defense, meanwhile, was on top of its game from the very start, swarming the Raiders’ running game on seemingly every carry. Massillon limited Warren to just 48 rushing yards on 36 carries, almost daring the Raiders to put the ball in the air.

“We wanted their quarterback to beat us,” Hall said. “They really like to run the ball with the two athletes they have (Mike Dorsey and Aunre’ Davis). They’re good athletes, and we knew that coming in. Obviously we wanted to try to make them one-dimensional. To be honest with you, they made some plays passing. … But still, all in all, I thought we did a good job of not letting them really be consistent.”

Warren had few scoring opportunities, advancing inside the Tiger 30 just twice all evening. The Raiders reached the Massillon 19 in the first half, but was turned away on downs.

The Raiders did break into the scoring column with 7:30 remaining when Davis hit Sergio Allen in the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-17 play. That momentarily cut the deficit to 17-7, although Massillon would score on its next two possessions to put the game away.


Massillon 30,
Warren Harding 7
at Mollenkopf Stadium

Massillon 10 7 0 13 30
Warren Harding 0 0 0 7 7

M – Geier 30 FG
M – Grunder 62 punt return (Geier kick)
M – Partridge 8 run (Geier kick)
WH – Allen 25 pass from Davis (Montecalvo kick)
M – Turner 2 run (Kick failed)
M – Turner 38 run (Geier kick)

Mas WH
First down 15 12
Rushes-yards 32-235 36-48
Comp-att.-int. 7-14-0 15-29-1
Passing yards 137 155
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalty yards 8-60 6-39



Turner 20-213 2 TDs;

Grunder 1-13;

Partridge 4-11 TD;

Nalbach 2-5.

Warren Harding:

Dorsey 14-30;

Hymes 7-19;

Penman 2-6;

Taylor 1-2.



Partridge 7-14-137.

Warren Harding:

Davis 15-29-155 TD. INT.



Turner 3-57;

Grunder 1-58;

Zimmerman 1-14;

Adkins 1-5.

Warren Harding:

Williamson 7-66;

Bruner 2-35;

Bland 2-265;

Allen 1-15 TD.


Massillon 5-3;

Warren Harding 4-4.

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2008: Massillon 7, Cleveland St. Ignatius 49

Iggy passes by Tigers
Wildcats jump out to 49-0 lead at half, cruise to 49-7 win

The Independent


The St. Ignatius Wildcats spent the first half of Friday night’s game at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium putting on a clinic. Unfortunately for the Massillon Tigers, they were on the other end of the Wildcats’ demonstration.

St. Ignatius jumped out to a 49-0 halftime lead and never looked back in posting a 49-7 victory over the Tigers in front of around 8,000 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. It is the worst defeat the Tiger program has suffered since a 46-0 loss to Alliance in 1962.

“They came out and executed, and we buried ourselves in a hole defensively and offensively right off the bat,” Tiger coach Jason Hall said. “We were just never able to … we were just almost shell-shocked. That’s the feeling I saw and I felt with our kids. They’re a good football team. Do I think they’re 49-7 better than us? No. We made some mistakes in all phases of the game. It’s just a situation where we have to keep working.”

The loss dropped Massillon to 3-3 on the season, and 1-11 all-time against the Wildcats. The Tigers will step out of the country next Friday when Brantford (Ont.) Collegiate Institute visits.

The Wildcats, who led 35-0 after one quarter, scored on all five of their first-half possessions, and added a pair of interception returns for scores in building up their seven-score edge at the intermission.

“Mainly the message was like anything else,” Hall said of the halftime talk. “I told them it’s a life lesson. Winners fight and losers quit.”

St. Ignatius, which has won five in a row since dropping their season opener to Glenville, was led by the precision passing of quarterback Andrew Holland. Holland, who played only in the first half, completed 10-of-11 aerials for 262 yards with three touchdowns.

By the end of the first quarter, Holland already had 229 yards through the air, and all three touchdown passes.

“Quarterback presence really was what you saw tonight,” St. Ignatius coach Chuck Kyle said. “When he felt the pressure from the outside, he did a very good job of stepping up into a seam and still looking downfield. A lot of quarterbacks will step up, but they look down to see where they can run. But he was still looking up for where he could throw, and that paid off.”

Where the Wildcats hurt the Tigers the most was with the deep post pattern. Connor Ryan had all three of his catches for 136 yards and two scores on that particular play.

Joey Parris added five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown.

While the Wildcat offense was clicking on all cylinders in the first half in racking up 373 yards, the Tigers were struggling to get anything going against a stout St. Ignatius defense. Massillon trailed 21-0 before picking up its first down of the game, and had just 22 yards on 23 first-half plays. The Tigers ran just two plays in Wildcat territory in the first half, both coming from the Ignatius 49 amd each resulted in lost yardage.

Massillon finished the game with 135 total yards.

“They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” Hall said. “They were being aggressive. We just couldn’t get anything moving up front.”

Adding to Massillon’s struggles was the fact two of its first four pass attempts were intercepted by St. Ignatius defenders and returned for scores. The first, a 25-return by Jake Ryan, made it 14-0 Wildcats, while Dan Fox brought one back 35 yards to make it 35-0 with 24 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Tigers’ first score didn’t come until J.T. Turner stepped in front of a pass in the third quarter and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown to make it 49-7 Ignatius.


St. Ignatius 49,
Massillon 7
At Paul Brown Tiger Stadium

St. Ignatius 35 14 00 00 49
Massillon 00 00 07 00 07

SI – C. Ryan 30 pass from Holland (Hennessey kick)
SI – J. Ryan 25 interception return (Hennessey kick)
SI – C. Ryan 68 pass from Holland (Hennessey kick)
SI – Parris 25 pass from Holland (Hennessey kick)
SI – Fox 35 interception return (Hennessey kick)
SI – Holland 1 run (Hennessey kick)
SI – Johnson 47 run (Hennessey kick)
M – Turner 60 interception return (Geier kick)

St. I Mas
First downs 15 9
Rushes-yards 35-145 32-78
Comp-att-int. 10-14-1 9-26-3
Passing yards 262 57
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-0
Penalty yards 59 35



Roberson 8-29;

Turner 10-27;

Reiman 6-19.

St. Ignatius

Johnson 18-129 TD;

Myers 3-19.



Partridge 9-21-57 INT;

Clark 0-5-0 2 INTs.

St. Ignatius

Holland 10-11-262 3 TDs;

Myers 0-2-0 INT;

Teresczuk 0-1-0.



Phillips 3-19;

Roberson 2-6;

Remark 1-10;

Adkins 1-8;

Grunder 1-7;

Price 1-7.

St. Ignatius

Parris 5-101 TD;

C. Ryan 3-136 2 TDs;

DeSico 1-17;

Johnson 1-8.


Massillon 3-3;

St. Ignatius 5-1.

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2008: Massillon 34, Akron Garfield 0

Tigers prove Ram tough
Massillon bounces back with win over dangerous Garfield

The Independent


There was no doubting the importance of Friday night’s game against Garfield for the Massillon Tigers. Sitting at .500 with games remaining against the likes of St. Ignatius, Warren Harding, Mentor and McKinley, it was safe to say there was plenty riding on it in terms of the Tigers’ playoff hopes

The Tigers, though, were more than up for the challenge.

With J.T. Turner giving the fans plenty to cheer about in the first half, Massillon jumped in front by 24 at intermission and cruised to 34-0 victory over the Golden Rams in front of about 8,000 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“Our kids work hard and they bring it to the table,” said Tigers coach Jason Hall, whose 3-2 team plays host to St. Ignatius next Friday. “They know what’s at stake. We have to play better football, and we did. I think what you saw was some kids playing with some passion. As coaches, we even challenged them on the field tonight when they were messing up. When they did, we challenged them to keep fighting and getting better.”

While Turner certainly provided the fireworks offensively – rushing for 127 yards and a pair of scores in the first half on his way to a career-high 192-yard night – it was the Tiger defense which stole the show against the 3-2 Golden Rams. Coming off a two-week stretch in which they surrendered 546 rushing yards to Normandy and Ursuline, the Tigers were more than equal to the task of slowing down Garfield and its explosive tailback, Tyson Gulley.

Gulley, who had over 660 yards rushing in the Golden Rams’ four games, could never find holes to run through as Massillon swarmed him on nearly every play. Gulley was held to just 69 yards, 27 of those in the fourth quarter while running against the Tiger reserves.

“Our game plan was to shut down the run,” Tiger linebacker J.B. Price said. “That’s what they’re really good at. (Gulley) was a really good back. We watched film every day. Just making adjustments at halftime helped us a lot. We just played hard. We had to prove ourselves from last week.”

As impressive as the performance was, it was made all the more impressive by the fact three Tiger starters – defensive end Matt Rose, outside linebacker Jamison Heath-Gates and cornerback Kyle Allman – were in street clothes due to injuries. All three, along with receiver Kyle Pizzino, are expected to play against St. Ignatius.

Quarterback Michael Clark also missed a series in the second quarter when he re-aggravated a finger injury. He returned in the second half.

On this night, it didn’t matter who was on the field for the Tiger defense, as Massillon stifled the Golden Rams on every play. Garfield finished with 132 yards of offense, and didn’t take its first snap in Tiger territory until the fifth play of the second half.

The defense also did its part to help change the score. With the Tigers up 10 after one quarter, Turner stepped in front of a pass tipped it in the air to himself and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown two plays into the second quarter for a 17-0 lead.

It was the Tigers’ first defensive score of the season.

“They said they were 92 percent run,” Turner said. “So when they passed it, I just knew I had to go break on the ball and make a play.”

Meanwhile, the Tiger offense heeded the lessons from last week’s loss to Ursuline, as Massillon took it to Garfield at the point of attack. Of course, a big part of that was Turner, who was held to just 25 yards by the Irish.

It took him all of three carries to top that total on Friday night. By the end of the first quarter, he already had 96 yards and a 29-yard touchdown on just nine carries.

He would add an 11-yard scoring run with 13 seconds left in the first half to make it 24-0 Tigers.

“I couldn’t even sleep this week knowing I had a bad game last week,” Turner said. “I knew I had to just go out there today and put on a show.”


Massillon 34,
Garfield 0
At Paul Brown Tiger Stadium

Garfield 00 00 00 00 00
Massillon 10 14 07 03 34

M – Geier 26 FG
M – Turner 29 run (Geier kick)
M – Turner 41 interception return (Geier kick)
M – Turner 11 run (Geier kick)
M – Grunder 7 pass from Clark (Geier kick)
M – Geier 35 FG

Gar Mas
First downs 9 15
Rushes-yards 45-128 37-239
Comp-att-int. 2-5-1 3-13-0
Passing yards 4 45
Fumbles-lost 4-2 0-0
Penalty yards 0 25



Turner 22-192 2 TDs;

Reiman 2-17;

Clark 6-8;

Partridge 1-8;

Patterson 2-7;

Arelt 2-7.


Ty. Gulley 23-69;To.

Gulley 8-43;

Barnett 3-30;

Wells 4-10.



Clark 2-7-35 TD;

Partridge 1-5-10.


Martin 2-5-4 INT.



McCarthy 1-28;

Gaines 1-10;

Grunder 1-7 TD.


Barnett 2-4.


Massillon 3-2;

Garfield 3-2.

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2008: Massillon 13, Youngstown Ursuline 23

Ursuline rallies past Tigers
Irish post 17 points in second half to knock off Massillon

The Independent

Youngstown, OH —

For the first three games of the season, the Massillon Tigers have been a strong third-quarter team. On Friday night at Youngstown State University’s Stambaugh Stadium, they had the tables turned on them by the state-ranked and unbeaten Ursuline Fighting Irish.

Leading by seven at halftime, the Tigers saw the Irish outscore them by two touchdowns in the third quarter as Ursuline pulled away for a 23-13 win to drop Massillon to 2-2 on the season.
“Up front, I thought they did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage,” Tiger coach Jason Hall said. “That’s high school football. They won the battle up front.”

The Tigers were held to just 30 yards in the second half, after gaining 136 in the first half. Ursuline had 153 of its 340 yards of offense after halftime.

Massillon must now regroup quickly, as a tough Garfield team visits Paul Brown Tiger Stadium next Friday. The Golden Rams are 2-1 with a game today against Akron North (3-0).

“It’s like I told our kids, it’s a true test of character for everybody,” Hall said. “It’s not always going to be easy. That’s what’s going to determine the rest of our season.”

The first half was all about Massillon and the opportunities it was presented by Ursuline mistakes.

The Tigers took the ball away from Ursuline – the No. 2-ranked team in Division V – three times in the first half, not counting a kickoff that Massillon fell on before the Irish could. The Tigers converted those into 13 points as the they grabbed a 13-6 halftime lead.

“We put ourselves in a bad situation,” said Ursuline coach Dan Reardon, whose team is 4-0. “I think good football teams find a way to win when you put yourself in a bad situation. We were fortunate we were able to do that.”

The first two Ursuline possessions ended in fumble recoveries by Massillon. The first was recovered by J.B. Price, which he brought back inside the Irish 35. However, a clipping penalty against Massillon moved the ball back to its own 48. That drive would never get going, and the Tigers would punt it back to the Irish.

On Ursuline’s second possession, the Tigers forced a second fumble after an Irish reception and Brian Arelt fell on it at the Irish 45. Massillon would march down to draw first blood, with Price capping the 12-play drive with a 1-yard run at the 1:02 mark of the first quarter for a 7-0 Tiger lead after the extra point.

Ursuline answered on its next drive, marching from its own 37 into the end zone in 10 plays, with Allen Jones running it in from one yard out for the score. However, the Irish tried the swinging gate on the point-after try, with Dale Peterman taking the direct snap. But the Tiger defense was up to the task, and stopped the two-point try to keep Massillon ahead 7-6 with 8:11 left in the first half.

A third Ursuline fumble in the first half – at its own 47 – gave Massillon a chance to pad its lead right before the intermission. Aided by a 30-yard pass from Michael Clark to J.T. Turner, the Tigers moved just outside the Irish 11.

Clark and Turner would hook up to give Massillon a 13-6 lead with 1:08 left until the band show. This time, it was a 13-yard strike to a wide-open Turner in the end zone. The PAT bounced off the upright to keep it a seven-point lead.

Massillon would get the ball right back when Tyler Miller recovered the kickoff at the Ursuline 21 after the Irish failed to cover the kick. But the Tigers failed to convert when a 39-yard field goal went just left with 32 seconds left in the half.

“Not scoring at the end of the first half really hurt us,” Hall said. “Looking back on that, that was huge. We needed some points there.”

The Tigers, though, started the second half as generous guests. Peterman intercepted a Massillon pass and returned it to the Tiger 15.

“That was an emotional swing in the game, obviously,” Hall said.

Two plays later, Darrell Mason scored on a 7-yard run for the tying score – after the extra point – just 1:07 into the second half.

Ursuline’s next possession – helped out by an 18-yard run on a fake punt – moved to the Massillon 5, where it was fourth-and-2. Dawalyn Harper managed to pick up the first down with a two-yard run, then scored from a yard out two plays later to give the Irish their first lead of the game at 20-13 with 48 seconds left in the third quarter.

Kevin Patrick added a 20-yard field goal with 5:50 left in the game for a 23-13 Irish lead.


Ursuline 23
Massillon 13
At Stambaugh Stadium

Massillon 07 06 00 00 13
Ursuline 00 06 14 03 23

M – Price 1 run (Geier kick)
U – Jones 1 run (Run failed)
M – Turner 13 pass from Clark (Kick failed)
U – Mason 7 run (Patrick kick)
U – Harper 1 run (Patrick kick)
U – Patrick 20 FG

Mas Urs
First Downs 9 18
Rushes-Yds 29-69 53-223
Comp-Att-Int 8-17-3 7-9-0
Passing Yards 97 117
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 6-4
Penalty yards 35 0



Clark 14-34;

Turner 12-25;

Patterson 2-9;

Price 1-1 TD.


Harper 10-71 TD;

Mason 14-55 TD;

Jones 16-48 TD;

Irizarry 7-47.



Clark 8-17-97 TD, 3 INTs.


Kempe 6-8-110;

Harper 1-1-7.



Turner 3-42 TD;

Adkins 3-39;

Patterson 1-10;

Gaines 1-6.


Turner 2-18;

Peterman 2-16;

Jones 1-56;

Stevens 1-19;

Cole 1-8.


Massillon 2-2;

Ursuline 4-0.


2006: Massillon 10, Toledo Whitmer 14

End of the line

Tigers don’t capitalize on scoring opportunities in loss to Whitmer
Division I Region 2 Semifinal


The Massillon Tigers figured if they held Toledo Whitmer to just a pair of touchdowns, chances were good they would find themselves back in a regional championship game for the second year in a row.

Massillon was able to do just that, but will still be putting the equipment away this week after it suffered a 14-10 defeat at the hands of the Panthers in a Division I Region 2 semifinal on a cool, rainy Saturday night at Parma’s Byers Field.

Two old, familiar problems showed up to sabotage the Tigers’ dreams of matching last year’s magical playoff run – a dangerous running quarterback, and the lack of big plays on offense.

“Their quarterback is a good player,” said Tiger coach Tom Stacy, whose team bows out at 7-5. “We knew that coming in, and he ran the ball well. But it was our inability to finish on offense that really hurt us. When you give up 14 points in the playoffs, you should win. We just didn’t do enough on offense to get it done.”

Whitmer’s quarterback-in-a-fullback-body, Donnie Dottei, hurt Massillon with 113 yards rushing on 23 carries, including a third-quarter score that put the Panthers on the board for the first time. Many of those runs were on designed quarterback counter plays similar to the ones which caused the Tigers so much trouble in a loss to Mentor earlier in the season.

“We never saw that tape, but we knew that Mentor had a good game plan also out of the spread offense,” said Whitmer coach Joe Palka, whose team will take a 9-3 record into this Friday’s regional final against McKinley at Byers Field. “We knew that the quarterback run could give them problems.

“Fortunately today, it worked well for us. Donnie is one of our best runners, so it worked out good.”

Dottei also hurt Massillon with his arm – somewhat. It was his 24-yard touchdown strike to tight end Kevin Koger, a ball Koger made a nifty adjustment on to grab behind a Tiger defender, which provided the winning points with 8:22 remaining in the game.

The Tigers did enough to jump in front 10-0 in the first half, even with all-state tailback Brian Gamble limited to just defensive duties for much of the game due to an ankle injury. Massillon scored on its first possession of the game – a drive that started at the Whitmer 47 following a punt – when junior K.J. Herring ripped off a 37-yard touchdown run with 9:54 remaining.

Herring and sophomore J.T. Turner picked right back up where they left off a week ago in the win over Perry, when they combined for 96 yards rushing. In fact, they bettered those numbers as Turner finished with 117 yards on 18 carries, while Herring ran for 99 on 16 totes.

“They did a good job,” Stacy said of Herring and Turner. “They did a good job. Still, when you lose an all-state tailback, it’s big. He does so much for us, not just running the football, but catching it also. But the two young guys did a nice job.”

Massillon’s second – and final – score came on the Tigers’ first drive of the second quarter. Starting at its own 20, Massillon methodically drove the ball to the Panther 10, but stalled. Facing a fourth-and-6 situation, Steve Schott was called on to kick a 27-yard field goal, which he did to make it 10-0 Tigers with 3:55 left until halftime.

It would be the final time the Tigers would change the number on their side of the scoreboard this season.

The Tigers were able to eliminate the turnovers for the third straight game.

But they did set up Whitmer’s first score with a bad snap on a punt which moved the ball from the Panther 39 to the Massillon 17. Two plays later, Dottei was in the end zone to make it 10-7 Tigers with 8:54 remaining in the third quarter.

Massillon had its share of chances throughout the game, snapping the ball 30 times on Whitmer’s side of the 50 on the evening. Every second-half drive by the Tigers reached at least the 50, and three of the four possessions moved at least to the Whitmer 39.

But none of those drives could produce points, not even a last-ditch drive which reached the Panther 20 following a 37-yard Turner run. Three incomplete passes, as well as an 8-yard loss on a screen pass, sealed Massillon’s fate.

“We had a lot of opportunities to make plays tonight, and we didn’t make them,” Stacy said. “It’s really a hard thing to explain. We didn’t protect (quarterback Bobby Huth) very well, again. That was really disappointing. We just didn’t make plays when we had to, to win.”

Massillon’s loss brings an end to the Tiger careers of 27 seniors, including the likes of Gamble, Huth, Andrew Dailey, Trey Miller, Antonio Scassa and Emery Saunders. It was those players Stacy was thinking about most as he stood outside the same locker room from which the Tigers emerged following their historic win over St. Ignatius just a year earlier.

“I just feel bad for our seniors,” Stacy said. “It’s a great group of kids. They took us to the state championship game last year. I just feel bad for them. The Gambles and Daileys and Saunders. They’ve done so much for our program the last three years, I just feel really bad for them.

“We have a lot of guys hurting in there. They’ve invested a lot of time and effort into the program. You lose a game like this, you’re hurting. We have a lot of guys hurting in there right now.”

Massillon 7 3 0 0 10

Whitmer 0 0 7 7 14


M ‑ K.J. Herring 37 run (Steve Schott kick)

M ‑ Schott 27 field goal

W ‑ Donnie Dottei 7 run (TreCaris kick)

W ‑ Kevin Koger 24 pass from Dottei (Caris kick)


Massillon rushing: J.T. Turner 117; Herring 16‑99 TD; Gamble 3‑14; Tommy Leonard 3‑8.

Whitmer rushing: Dottei 23‑113 TD; Dewayne Frazier 11 ‑42; Jeremy Jones 1‑0.

Massillon passing: Bobby Huth 7‑16‑67.

Perry passing: Dottei 2‑9‑41 TD.

Massillon receiving: Andrew Dailey 2‑17; Josh Cross 1‑32; Bryan Sheegog 1‑15; Giorgio Jackson 1‑8; Trey Miller 1‑3; Brian Gamble 1‑(‑8).

Whitmer receiving: Koger 2‑41 TD.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2006: Massillon 65, Cincinnati Western Hills 6

One win and Tigers are in

Only thing standing between Massillon and postseason is nemesis McKinley


Normally, conversation about the McKinley Bulldogs must wait until the Massillon Tigers have finished off their Week Nine opponent.

So, exactly when did the McKinley talk begin for the Tigers on Saturday night?

Program Cover

“Pretty much after I came out of the game after halftime,” said senior linebacker Antonio Scassa after Massillon dispatched of overmatched Cincinnati Western Hills 65‑6 in front of 6,641 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Saturday. “Everybody was talking about getting the Bulldogs.”

If the Tigers can get the Bulldogs ‑ who are 9‑0 for the second straight year ‑ this Saturday afternoon at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, they can punch their ticket into the Division I playoffs for the second year in a row. Massillon, which improved to 5‑4 with the win over the Mustangs, is expected to jump back into the top eight in Region 2 when the computer rankings are released Tuesday.

A win over McKinley could not just secure the playoff spot, but just might be enough to catapult the Tigers all the way into the top four in the region. According to a popular web site which projects the rankings, Massillon was ranked No. 6 in the region as of Sunday morning.

“We have to have the best week of practice we’ve had all season,”

Tiger coach Tom Stacy said. “We’re playing obviously a great opponent, an undefeated team. We probably have to win to get into the playoffs. It’s on the line for us. This will be the first week of the playoffs for us. It’s started.

“We can accomplish every goal we set out for, except an undefeated season. All of our other goals which we have up on our board in the locker room are attainable. Our kids know that. It’s obviously going to take a great effort against a great team a week from (Saturday) to get a win.”

The Tigers didn’t need a great effort to dispatch of Western Hills last Saturday. Still, Massillon was more than efficient in dissecting the Mustangs, who fell to 3‑6.

Ten of the Tigers’ 17 first‑quarter plays either picked up first downs or touchdowns as Massillon opened up a 21‑0 lead after one quarter. Two came on Bobby Huth touchdown passes ‑ one to Brendon Baker and the other to Tommy Leonard ‑ while K.J. Herring also ran for a score.

Huth added two more touchdown passes, to Baker and Giorgio Jackson, to push Massillon’s lead to 35-0 at halftime. Huth finished 14‑of‑18 for 169 yards and four touchdowns.

“We just came in thinking we can’t lose any more,” said Jackson, who caught three passes for 51 yards, including a touchdown. “We just consider every game like it’s the state championship game. Every game is like the last game we’re playing. We just have to keep on doing that.”

By the midpoint of the third quarter, the Tigers were liberally substituting on both sides of the football. The only question was whether or not Massillon would get the shutout, which was broken up by a 68‑yard David Shavers run on the option with 6:08 left in the third, a score which cut the Tiger lead to 38‑6.

All of this was accomplished without the services of All‑Ohioan Brian Gamble, who sat out the game with an ankle injury. Stacy said Gamble could have played if needed, but will definitely return for McKinley.

“If he had to play, we could have played him,” Stacy said of Gamble.

In Gamble’s absence, Herring and J.T. Turner split the tailback duties, and did so with solid results, finishing with 146 yards on 19 carries, and a pair of second‑half touchdowns, while Herring ran for 84 on 11 carries with a score.

When it was over, Massillon had scored on nine of its 12 possessions in the game. The Tigers also came up with a defensive score when Jeff Combs returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown with 5:55 left to make it 58‑6.

Combs finished with a pair of interceptions, which was half of the Tigers’ total as a team on the night. Corey Hildreth and Cody Colly also had picks.

About the only thing which really had Stacy upset afterward was two Tiger fumbles in the first half, which raises the team’s turnover total to 21 on the season. Both came on Western Hills’ side of the 50 and spoiled potential scoring chances.

“We can not turn the ball over next week or we will not win,” Stacy said. “We have no chance if we do that. Other than that, I thought our kids played well out there. We did some good things.”