Tag: <span>Louis Partridge</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2016: Massillon 45, Akron Firestone 14

Massillon makes it five straight with win over Falcons

Chris Easterling
Independent sports editor

MASSILLON Nate Moore cautioned anyone who would listen that Firestone wasn’t Bowsher.

He told everyone that a ridiculously-overmatched opponent wasn’t what was coming in to Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Friday night.

The Falcons lived up to the Massillon coach’s advance warnings. Yet, the threat put up by Firestone wasn’t enough to derail the Tigers, who were able to pull away for a 45-14 win.

“You have to compliment their team and their coaching staff,” said Moore, whose team has won five in a row to improve to 6-2. “I thought they did a great job tonight and they had their kids prepared to play. We made some mistakes in the first half; we just have to play a little better.”

The Tigers, who saw a 17-7 halftime lead cut to 17-14 two plays into the second half, scored the game’s final 28 points to pull away.

Massillon will try to ride that momentum into next Friday’s home game against St. Vincent-St. Mary, which has won three in a row over the Tigers, all at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Friday marked the first game in a Massillon uniform for highly-touted lineman Thayer Munford, who had to sit out the first seven games after transferring from Cincinnati La Salle in the spring. Munford’s debut, though, didn’t come on offense, but on defense as he started at defensive tackle.

“I have to take a look at the film, but it seemed from the sideline that he blocked well,” Moore said of Munford, who changed numbers from No. 64 to No. 73 in the second half. “He seemed effective at defensive tackle. It looked like he played good, but we’ll have to grade the film and see.”

After Munford and the rest of the Tiger defense stopped Firestone on its initial drive, the Massillon offense – with Munford at left tackle – proceeded to take the lead for good on its first drive. Methodically marching 80 yards in 10 play, Louis Partridge gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard run on fourth-and-1 with 6:03 remaining in the first quarter.

That was one of three touchdowns on the night for Partridge, who continues to get better each week for Massillon. A week after rushing for what was a career-high 137 yards in a win over Beechcroft, the sophomore topped that with 143 yards on 24 carries against Firestone.

Partridge had 123 yards on 18 first-half carries. His 17th carry – a 6-yard run – gave the Tigers a 17-0 lead with 5:12 remaining in the half.

“He’s getting better,” Moore said of Partridge. “I saw him hit a nice A-gap seam down there. He’s getting better, which is what we ask all the kids to do.”

In between Partridge’s two first-half scores, Nate Gregg added his seventh field goal of the season, a career-long-tying 32-yarder. That gave Massillon a 10-0 lead.

While Partridge continued his growth, Ethen Jefferson found his first extensive carries to his benefit. Jefferson rushed for 136 yards on 18 and scored two key second-half scores that helped provide the Tigers with the necessary cushion.

“I thought Ethen ran really well,” said Moore, whose team gained 501 total yards, 280 on the ground. “I’m really proud of him. He’s just a tough kid; lunch-pail guy who comes to practice every day and practices his tail off.”

Firestone put together three drives in the first half alone that reached Tiger territory, including a 14-play drive that pulled it within 17-7 at the half. Jordon Jones hit Justin Moore on a 3-yard scoring pass with 20 seconds left in the half.

It became 17-14 just 39 seconds into the second half. Massillon fumbled the kickoff and Firestone fell on it at the Tiger 14.

Two plays after that fumble – the second of the game for the Tigers after four consecutive turnover-less games – Joshua Mitchell scored from a yard out for Firestone. The Falcons finished with 248 total yards, 222 of those through the air.

That, though, would be answered by a Massillon scoring drive. Jefferson’s 6-yard run closed that seven-play, 64-yard drive out to make it 24-14 with 8:30 left in the third.

“It was really important,” Moore said of the quick response. “We had to do that and respond on offense and answer with a touchdown. It was good that we did that.”


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2016: Massillon 38, Austintown Fitch 21

Tigers ditches Fitch
Strong second half helps Massillon snap three game skid vs. Falcons

By Chris Easterling
Independent sports editor

MASSILLON The power of three.

Massillon came into Friday night’s home game against Austintown Fitch looking for their first three-game win streak since the first half of the 2014 season. To achieve that feat, however, the Tigers were going to have to take care of another three-game win streak.

The Falcons’ three-game win streak over Massillon.

Nobody said accomplishing that feat would be easy. But the Tigers were able to do it, scoring the game’s final 21 points to rally for a 38-21 win over Fitch.

“We have great kids who play hard,” Massillon coach Nate Moore said. “That’s really the bottom line there. They played hard tonight for 48 minutes and came out with a win against a good team.”

The Tigers are now 4-2 on the season. Massillon will look for its first four-game win streak since starting the 2014 season 5-0 next Friday night when it plays host to undefeated Columbus Beechcroft.

If there was one major concern to emerge from the game, it was the health of two key players: Jamir Thomas and Malcolm Robinson. Thomas suffered a leg injury late in the first quarter and didn’t return, while Robinson appeared to injure his ankle with less than two minutes left.

Moore didn’t know the extent of their injuries beyond Friday night.

In Thomas’ place stepped Kordell Ford and Louis Partridge, both of whom were huge in the second-half rally after Fitch went ahead 21-17 with 8:47 remaining in the third quarter. Partridge’s 2-yard run with :28 left in the third gave Massillon the lead for good at 24-21.

That run was set up when Jesse King recovered a Fitch fumble at the Tiger 32. It was one of two Falcon turnovers.

Ford then scored on fourth-quarter runs of 44 and 5 to help provide a cushion for the Tigers. He would finish with a team-high 88 yards on 14 carries.

Partridge had 77 yards on 18 totes. The Tigers rushed for 285 yards as a team on 51 attempts.

Massillon’s first drive was virtually a thing of perfection, giving it a 7-0 lead. The Tigers used 13 plays to go 68 yards, capping the drive with a 1-yard Thomas touchdown run with 6:54 left in the quarter.

The Tigers had a 77-yard fake-punt touchdown by Austin Jasinski negated by a personal foul flag on their next drive. They would still get to the Fitch 2, but lost a net of 13 yard on the next three plays to settle for a 32-yard Nate Gregg field goal for a 10-0 lead with :32 left in the first quarter.

The change of quarters seemed to change both team’s fortunes. Fitch would get a pair of stops while adding two Randy Smith 2-yard touchdown runs for a 14-10 lead with 3:58 left in the half.

The Falcons, who had minus-3 net offensive yards in the first quarter, had 146 second quarter yards on 15 plays. That includes 6-of-8 passing by Nate Fowler in the quarter for an even 100 yards.

Fitch finished with 284 yards. One thing the Falcons did well for the first three quarters was catch Massillon adjusting defensively by breaking the huddle with less than :15 on the play clock and sprinting to the line and snapping the ball.

Once the Tigers started to neutralize that over the last quarter or so, they were able to slow down the Falcon momentum.

“We just kind of simplified everything,” Moore said. “We were having a little trouble with as fast as they were going from huddle to the line of scrimmage to the snap. We basically just simplified some things.”

It would be a Fitch mistake that would help give the Tigers a 17-14 halftime lead. A roughing the passer flag against the Falcons on a third-and-9 incomplete pass put the Tigers on the Fitch 41.

Five Partridge runs – the last a 5-yarder – would put Massillon into the end zone with :51 left in the half. Partridge, who came on with 7:47 left in the second quarter after Thomas left with the injury, rushed for 64 yards on 10 first-half carries.

Fitch took the lead at 21-17 when it marched 55 yards in eight plays on the first possession of the second half. Smith’s third touchdown run, a 5-yarder, provided the margin.