Tag: <span>Larry Kempe</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2017: Massillon 42, Youngstown Ursuline 13

Tigers air it out for third consecutive win

Chris Easterling – The Independent
Sep 15, 2017 10:32 PM

MASSILLON – Massillon had won behind a punishing running game over a modest two-game winning streak. To make it a three-game win streak, the Tigers decided to show they could throw the ball as well.

Sophomore quarterback Aidan Longwell looked anything but like a sophomore has he lit up the Ursuline defense to the tune of 324 yards and five touchdowns as Massillon rolled to a 42-13 win Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Game Action vs. Yo. Ursuline

“Aidan had a great game,” Massillon coach Nate Moore said after his team improved to 3-1. “You have to give credit to Ursuline; they did a great job up front. Their defense gave us tough sledding running the football, which is what we had been good at. We needed to go to the air, and Aidan threw great balls and made great decisions; our receivers caught the ball well. That was really the difference for us.”

If there was a black cloud to come over the night, it came late in the third quarter when Longwell was hurt on a second-down play. Longwell, who was 11-of-17 passing for the game, was walking without an apparent limp during the postgame handshake line, but Moore wouldn’t state for certain the true extent without speaking to the trainer.

The tone of the night was set early by the Tiger quarterback, who was making just his fourth career start. After sandwiching two incompletions around a 10-yard completition to start, he would complete nine of his next 13 passes – four of which went for touchdowns – for 283 yards to help Massillon open up a 28-7 halftime lead.

Longwell was 10-of-16 for 293 yards with the four scores in the first half alone. To put that in perspective, in the Week 3 win at Warren Harding, he was 8-of-11 for 120 yards and two touchdowns for the whole game.

By the end of the first quarter against Ursuline, Longwell had completed 7-of-11 passes for 156 yards and two scores, both to Austin Kutscher. Kutscher had a 39-yard scoring catch on a second-and-25 play to give Massillon a 7-0 lead on its opening drive, then caught a 34-yarder from Longwell on third-and-8 on the second possession for a 14-0 lead.

Game Action vs. Yo. Ursuline

“He throws a wonderful ball,” Ursuline coach Larry Kempe said of Longwell. “He throws a good ball. He’s smart enough to get rid of the ball very quick. I think he’s going to be a real, real nice player.”

Longwell and Kutscher would hook up against on Massillon’s first play after stopping Ursuline on downs at the Tiger 31. The 69-yard strike marked the seventh time this season the two had connected for scores, this time giving the Tigers a 21-7 lead just under three minutes into the second quarter.

Kutscher finished with 198 receiving yards on seven catches. He added a 31-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter which made it 35-7.

“He’s a great player,” Moore said of Kutscher. “He’s one of our captains tonight. Nobody works harder than Austin. He’s very skilled, very savvy as a receiver.”

Aydrik Ford became the first Massillon player to catch a touchdown pass other than Kutscher when he brought in a 47-yard pass from Longwell on third-and-9. The play made it 28-7 with 3:01 left in the half.

All of the passing proved to be somewhat necessary, as Ursuline was doing its part to not allow Massillon to go to its bread-and-butter, the power running game. Jamir Thomas’ 10-yard run on the fourth play of the Tigers’ second second-quarter possession alone proved to more than double the team’s first-half rushing totals.

Massillon went into halftime with just 19 net rushing yards on 13 attempts, a number only slightly skewed by a pair of kneel-downs to end the half. The Tigers would finish with 117 rushing yards, 71 by Zion Phifer who scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter to make it 42-13.

“On film, we saw what they were trying to do with the running game,” Kempe said. “We had three different plans of attack that worked very well for us. Truth be told, for the first time in four weeks, played with great passion.”

Ursuline, meanwhile, was moving the ball consistently on the ground. The Irish, though, struggled to finish off drives.

The first-half drives for Ursuline all reached at least the Tiger 37. However, only the Irish’s second possession reached the end zone, on Joe Floyd’s 7-yard run to pull them within 14-7 with 2:55 left in the first quarter.

Ursuline punted from the Tigers 40 and 39, while being stopped on downs at the Massillon 29 and 16 in the first half. The Irish also had second-half drives reach the Tiger 1 and 34 without scoring.

The Irish, who had 215 rushing yards in the first half, finished with 269 on the ground. They would add a 4-yard touchdown run by Floyd to make it 35-13 with 7:10 remaining.

Floyd rushed for 132 yards on 35 carries for Ursuline. Quarterback Jared Fabry added 113 yards on 17 attempts.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2014: Massillon 14, Youngstown Ursuline 23

Ursuline uses strong running game to stop Massillon

Chris Easterling

YOUNGSTOWN The more physical team always was expected to be the team to emerge from Friday night’s showdown between Massillon and Ursuline with the win.

The Irish were the more physical of the two teams on this night inside Youngstown State University’s Stambaugh Stadium. That fact was reflected on the scoreboard, which read Ursuline 23, Massillon 14.

And no one was disputing that fact less than Tiger head coach Jason Hall, whose team dropped its second consecutive game – both to Youngstown area teams – to fall to 5-2.

“We got beat physically,” Hall said. “It is what it is. Their defense beat us up physically. There you go. We all got to look in the mirror.”

Massillon’s only two scores were set up by short fields. One came after a shanked punt set up their first possession at the Irish 26; the other after Jeff Koch’s interception started their final possession of the first half at the Ursuline 37.

Both ended with J.D. Crabtree touchdown runs. The first put Massillon ahead 7-0; the second gave the Tigers a 14-13 halftime lead.

Other than that, Massillon found next-to-nothing consistently go right for it against a stout Irish defense. The Tigers had their first drive of the second half end with a blocked 22-yard field goal, and their final drive of the game end with a 41-yard field goal go wide right.

Massillon’s running game was limited to a net of 77 yards, although Crabtree did run for 105 yards on 18 carries. The Tigers put the ball up 37 times, completing 14, for 223 yards.

“They got movement,” said Hall, whose team also was hurt by eight penalties. “They were able to get some penetration. It really cut off our cut-backs and our seams.”

The Tigers did have two other drives reach Ursuline territory, one to the Irish 39 and the other to the Irish 37. The first ended in a punt after the drive was short-circuited by a first-down sack in the second quarter; the latter saw the Tigers lose 31 yards on a bad punt snap to put the Irish in business at the Massillon 27 late in the third quarter.

The second one would set up Ursuline’s 26-yard field goal with 10:04 remaining. That gave the Irish the lead for good at 16-14.

“We’re growing up as a football team,” Ursuline head coach Larry Kempe said after his team improved to 5-2. “I’ve always liked our physicality defensively. We’re starting to understand that offensively up front, too.”

That was evident in the Irish’s patience with the running game. Of their 63 offensive plays, 60 were rushes, netting a total of 274 yards.

For the second week in a row, Massillon allowed a pair of 100-yard rushers, with one of those two being the opposing quarterback. This time, it was Irish quarterback Vito Penza leading all rushers with 168 yards on 27 carries and three touchdowns.

Penza’s 32-yard run on the Irish’s second possession pulled them within 7-6 of the Tigers. His 1-yard plunge with 9:05 left in the second quarter gave Ursuline a 13-7 lead after the PAT.

His final score – a 55-yard run with 8:33 remaining – made it a two-score game at 23-14.

“We knew we had to play Ursuline football, Youngstown football,” Penza said. “We played really well as a team.”

Kimauni Johnson also topped 100 yards rushing for Ursuline, gaining 106 yards on 27carries