Tag: <span>Kyshad Mack</span>


2018: Massillon 41, Wadsworth 19

Kickoff return keys Massillon’s return to the state semifinals
Nov 16, 2018 10:39 PM
Chris Easterling

NORTH CANTON Massillon was looking for something to help it get a little separation.

Almost two full quarters into Friday night’s Division II Region 7 championship game against Wadsworth, the Tigers were locked in a tie game. Every time they would seem to grab a bit of momentum, the Grizzlies had the answer.

That is, until the final three-plus minutes of the first half. That’s when Massillon grabbed the separation it needed to send it to its second consecutive regional championship with 41-19 victory in front of a capacity crowd at North Canton Memorial Stadium.

“I knew it was a big key in the game,” said senior Kyshad Mack, whose 82-yard kickoff return with 3:12 remaining in the first half gave the Tigers the lead for good at 17-10. “I went out and made a play for my brothers.”

Mack’s kickoff return was one of two Tiger touchdowns in the final 3:12 of the half. The other was a 12-yard Aidan Longwell-to-Jamir Thomas’ scoring pass with 17 seconds remaining, giving Massillon a 24-10 halftime lead.

The Grizzlies, who bow out at 12-1, would get no closer than 12 the remainder of the game. The Tigers, meanwhile, would use Mack’s return to key a 31-9 game-ending burst.

“The kickoff return was huge,” said Massillon coach Nate Moore, whose team now has the best start in school history at 13-0. “Then, to drive down the field and get a score there to push it to two scores there was big.”

Massillon’s state-semifinal matchup won’t be official until the Ohio High School Athletic Association announces it on Sunday afternoon. However, based upon the results of Friday’s Division II regional finals, it sets up the extreme likelihood of two rematches from a year ago in the final four, with the Tigers facing Winton Woods and three-time state champion Hoban meeting Avon.

Moore, whose team tied the 2005 state runner-up team for most wins in school history, wasn’t prepared to focus too much on the next opponent.

“I have a feeling how it’s going to go,” said Moore, whose team lost to the Warriors in last year’s state semifinals. “I think we’re going to have to wait and see what the OHSAA decides.”

With just under four minutes left in the first half on Friday, Massillon couldn’t afford to look ahead to the state semifinals. At that point in time, it was just trying to shake a very good Wadsworth team.

Massillon took leads of 7-0 and 10-7 in the first half thanks to a 53-yard Longwell-to-Jayden Ballard touchdown pass and a 32-yard Alex Bauer field goal. Wadsworth, though, would get a Trey Shaffer-to-Tyler Montgomery 20-yard pass and a 25-yard Blake Turano field goal to twice square the game.

Wadsworth finished the game with 394 total yards, the second-highest total of the season against Massillon. That included 244 rushing yards, 109 of those by Dom Loparo.

Brock Snowball added 91 yards on the ground for the Grizzlies.

Wadsworth, though, couldn’t get the game tied for a third time. After Mack’s return, the Tigers tried a pooch kick which they recovered, but were called for illegal touching to give Wadsworth the ball at the Massillon 46.

Four plays later, the Grizzlies faced a fourth-and-6 from the Tiger 9 and attempted a field goal. The kick fell short, giving Massillon the football back at its 20.

Ten plays later, the Tigers – who had 403 total yards – had the two-score lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Compounding the issue for Wadsworth was the fact its first second-half possession was stopped on downs at the Massillon 1.

“That was the plan,” Wadsworth coach Justin Todd said of making it a one-score game out of the half. “That’s what we needed to do. We needed to come out in the second half and we had to score. Unfortunately, we didn’t punch it in.”

The Grizzlies would get a safety on the subsequent play after the goal-line stand to pull within 24-12. However, their next drive was snuffed out by a Dean Clark interception at the Massillon 22.

The Tigers would turn their next two possessions into points, essentially removing all doubt. They would get a 33-yard Bauer field goal for a 27-12 lead, followed by a 24-yard Longwell-to-Clark pass for a 34-12 edge.

Longwell, who missed the last three quarters of the regional-semifinal win over Whitehall-Yearling with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, showed no ill effects. The junior was 17-of-25 for a career-high 306 yards with four touchdowns.

“He played pretty well,” Moore said of Longwell. “He made a lot of good decisions out there and threw a lot of good balls. I’m proud of him.


Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE


2018: Massillon 45, Columbus Walnut Ridge 14

Massillon pulls away in fourth to bury Walnut Ridge
Nov 02, 2018 10:35 PM

MASSILLON Kameron Simpson took the pass out of the air and took off running. By the time the senior linebacker crossed the goal line, he and his Massillon teammates were well on their way to Week 12.

That doesn’t mean Week 11 was as easy as Simpson’s 45-yard, game-sealing interception return for a touchdown on Friday. Yet, because of the Tigers’ ability to dominate the fourth quarter, they were able to pull away for a 45-14 Division II Region 7 quarterfinal win over Columbus Walnut Ridge at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“They say Week 11 is the toughest bump,” said Simpson, whose pick-6 with 19 seconds left assured Massillon its seventh running-clock finish in 11 games. “So, to go out here and grind it out with my brothers, and for all of us to do our jobs and keep it going, it’s a great feeling. Four more weeks until Week 15. We plan on winning it all.”

The Tigers, who are 11-0 for the first time since 1982, will continue their quest to “win it all” in a regional semifinal contest next week against No. 5-seeded Columbus Whitehall-Yearling at a site to be announced by the Ohio High School Athletic Association on Sunday. The Rams, 10-1 on the season, upset No. 4-seeded Dover 38-31 in another opening-round game on Friday.

Massillon, the region’s No. 1 seed, made sure it wasn’t a third top-four seed in the Region 7 to suffer a setback thanks to a 28-0 run over the final 16:24 of the game. That includes a 21-0 fourth-quarter burst which started with an Aidan Longwell 2-yard run on the first play of the quarter, and ended with Simspon’s touchdown return on its next-to-last play.

The Tigers only held a 112-90 edge in fourth-quarter yards, as they finished with 351 total yards to the Scots’ 256. However, Massillon’s 3-0 edge in scores was more than enough.

“We found a way to get the win,” Tigers coach Nate Moore said. “I’m proud of the guys for grinding it out. It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll certainly take it.”

Massillon won on a night where its vaunted running game was held to 134 yards on 34 rushing attempts, the second-fewest yards in a game this season (Louisville, 123 yards). Leading rushing Jamir Thomas was held to just 40 yards on 17 carries, although it was his 1-yard run with 4:24 remaining in the third quarter which started the Tigers’ game-ending run.

Zion Phifer led Massillon, which was held to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, with 85 yards on 13 carries. Phifer gave the Tigers the lead for good at 10-7 on an 8-yard run with 6:03 left in the second quarter.

“You have to give credit to those guys,” Moore said of Walnut Ridge, which led 7-3 early in the second quarter on a blocked punt it recovered in the end zone. “They’re fired up on defense. They were playing really, really hard. They were giving us some shifts and some overloads and what-not.”

Massillon’s passing game came through to pick up the slack for the running game. Longwell completed 21-of-33 passes for 216 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Ballard with 2:47 remaining for a 38-14 lead.

The gaps were filled in by the Tiger defense, which held Walnut Ridge to just 27 rushing yards, which was 194 yards below its season average. The Scots did throw for 229 yards, 56 of those on a Isaiah Murphy-to-Qian Magwood touchdown which pulled them to within 17-14 with 9:04 left in the third.

Massillon, though, countered Walnut Ridge’s one touchdown pass with two interception returns for touchdowns. Kyshad Mack gave the Tigers a 17-7 lead with 5:48 left in the first half on a 36-yard pick-6.

“The defense played well,” Moore said. “We put them in some bad spots. They bowed up and got some stops. I’m really proud of them for that.”


Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE


Coach Moore Names 2018 Tiger Captains

Six seniors and one junior comprise the list of position captains for this year’s football team.  All played significant roles last year in helping Massillon to a 10-4 record and a spot in the playoff state semifinals.  The players named are as follows:

Dean Clark – Defensive back.  Second on the team last year with 68.5 tackle points, including 44 solo tackles and 49 assists.  4.5 tackles for loss and one sack.  Also caught seven passes for 131 yards and one touchdown.

Justin Gaddis – Offensive line.  Returning starter anchoring a line that rushed for 2,353 yards and surrendered just nine sacks through 14 games.

Aidan Longwell – Quarterback.  Completed 166 of 282 passes for 2,423 yards and 21 touchdowns.  Threw just five interceptions.  His pass efficiency of 322 and yards per attempt of 19.1 against Youngstown Ursuline ranks first all-time.

Kyshad Mack – Linebacker.  Assumed the starting role midway through the season.  Sixth last year with 38.5 tackle points.  Three tackles for loss and one sack.  Will also play some wide receiver this year.

Tre’von Morgan – Wide receiver.  Caught 36 passes for 489 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game winner last year against Canton McKinley.

Jamir Thomas – Running back.  Rushed 349 times for 1506 yards, an average of 4.3 yards per carry.  Scored 21 touchdowns.  Set a new mark for total carries in a season, eclipsing the old one by 96 carries.  Third all-time in total yards for a season.  His 42 attempts against Canton McKinley is the second highest all-time.  Also played linebacker, recording 27 tackle points.  One interception.

Deon Williams – Offensive line / defensive line.  Returning starter on both sides of the line.  Last year recorded 23.5 tackle points and one quarterback sack.