Tag: <span>Mansfield Senior</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2004: Massillon 58, Mansfield Senior 20


The seven-game losing streak that dated back to last year and the 0-2 start to the 2004 season are distant memories for the Massillon Tigers, who devastated the winless Mansfield Tygers 58-20 to right the ship in front of an estimated 7,500 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Friday night. The Tigers did it with a two-pronged running game that featured Caleb White and Ramon Kelly, and a passing game triggered by quarterback Quentin Paulik that accounted for 208 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone.

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The Massillon defense did its part as well, limiting the Mansfield offense to one first down and minus-6 yards rushing in the first half. The swarming Tiger defense caused six first-half fumbles and recovered four, repeatedly giving the offense a short field with which to work.”These are great kids and we’ve been struggling with injuries,” said Tiger coach Rick Shepas. “I think a lot of guys came out tonight and played motivated football. We got that from Caleb White and Ramon Kelly.

They bothran very hard and our offensive line got a little bit better.” Quentin Paulik really showed his toughness today. He made some great throws. He managed the team really well.”While Shepas sang the praises of an offense that racked up 372 total yards, he acknowledged the tone of the game was established by the Tiger defense, which limited Mansfield’s offense to 2.5 yards per snap.”We came out tonight and really hit people,” Shepas said. “It’s a good shot in the arm for our confidence. We’re going to get one week better and just go one week at a time.” No Tiger team had ever began the season at 0-3, but that’s what Massillon faced had it not tamed the Tygers.”The way we played against Buchtel and Benedictine was uncharacteristic for the type of kids that we have,” Shepas said. “You saw that when they came out tonight and played so aggressively.”

Can they build on the win with their first road trip of the season set for next Friday at Findlay? “We’ll see,” Shepas responded. “We have a long way to go but it’s up to them.” Massillon’s first two touchdowns of the night were set up by the defense. Junior middle linebacker Robert Morris recovered a Tyger bobble on Mansfield’s second possession of the game at the Mansfield 9. Two plays later, Kelly went over right tackle for a one-yard touchdown at 6:02 of the first quarter. Steve Schott’s point after made it 7-0 Massillon. Not to be outdone, Tiger sophomore Andrew Dailey recovered another fumble at the Mansfield 33 on the visitors’ very next possession. Five plays later, on third-and-two from the 10, Kelly went over right tackle, bowled over a Tyger defensive back at the 5, and rolled into the end zone for Massillon’s second score of the night. Schott’s kick made it 14-0 at 2:47 of the first quarter.The Tigers got excellent field position to begin the second quarter following a Mansfield punt and Troy Ellis’ nifty return. On second-and-three from the Tyger 31, Paulik threaded a pass between two defensive backs and into the waiting arms of Dustin Jarvis, who needed just one stride to reach paydirt. Schott’s kick made it 21-0 Massillon at 11:04 of the second quarter. On Mansfield’s next possession, Tiger linebacker Paul Pribich stripped away the football from a Tyger ball carrier and Massillon was in business at the visitors’ 29.

On third-and-10 from there, Paulik rolled left and hooked up with Dailey inside the 5-yard line and the sophomore turned and carried it into the end zone. Schott’s kick made it 28-0 Massillon.A 40-yard Paulik to Wayne Gates pass and run set up the Tigers’ fifth first half touchdown, a two-yard Kelly run at 6:53 of the second quarter. Schott’s boot made it 35-0.An 11-play Massillon drive, extended by a fake punt that turned into a 21-yard Gates to Ellis pass play, was capped by Schott’s 29-yard field goal to close the first half scoring at 38-0 with less than a minute remaining until the band show.It only took the Tigers two plays to open the second half scoring after Massillon defensive tackle Ladrekus Burford recovered yet another Mansfield fumble. Kelly’s 11-yard run set up White’s first touchdown of the game on a pitch play around left end that covered two yards. Schott’s PAT made it 45-0 at 10:32 of the third quarter.Alex Dahlquist blocked a Mansfield punt on the Tygers subsequent possession and Dirk Dickerhoof fell on the loose ball in the end zone for the touchdown. Schott made it 52-0 at 8:25 of the third quarter.It was mop-up time after that as most Massillon starters went to the bench in favor of their backups.


Kurt Jarvis

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2003: Massillon 35, Mansfield Senior 12

Blown away
Tiger storm quicky inundates Mansfield

William.Sanderson @ IndeOnline.com

All the controversy over the David Phillips recruiting scandal seemed to make very little difference to the Massillon Tigers on Friday night.

Right from the get‑go, Massillon dominated both sides of the ball in an impressive 35‑12 victory at Arlin Field in Mansfield.

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Mansfield Senior was minus its starting quarterback Deonte Weatherspoon due to a dislocated thumb suffered against Lexington last week, and the Tyger offense never got on track. After the first, half, Massillon led 23‑0 and Mansfield had only 11 net yards to its credit.

As far as the person at the center of the controversy, Phillips was held to a modest 41 yards on 25 carries.

Massillon coach Rick Shepas didn’t allow the Phillips situation to be a distraction.

“There are no distractions in our locker room from beginning to end with anything surrounding the Phillips situation,” Shepas said. “It’s an unfortunate situation, but we’ve moved on.”

Quarterback Steve Hymes echoed his mentor’s sentiments.

“We know Phillips is a good running back,” Hymes said. “That was an issue we had to deal with, but that’s over. It’s ancient history.”

The Tigers took an early lead mainly on the strength of Hymes’ arm.

After turning back Mansfield Senior on the game’s opening possession, Hymes twice found Eric Copeland. The second time was good for 10 yards and a touchdown to make it 6‑0 Tigers at 8:15 of the first quarter.

“I was rolling out,” Hymes recounted. “Eric got open and I threw it in there.

“My receivers did a great job tonight. They did their thing and all I had to do was throw it to them.”

A few minutes later it was Brett Huffman’s turn to be on the receiving end. First came a 24‑yard toss over the middle. On the next play, Huffman twisted around a Tyger defender to haul in a 22-yard throw by Hymes for the touchdown.

Max Shafer’s kick made it 13‑0 Massillon at 6:29 of the first quarter.

“It was a great throw,” Huffman said. “I just did that up‑and‑under move that we practice every day and it fell right in.”

Hymes finished the game with 24 completions on 33 attempts for 316 yards and the two touchdowns.

Anticipating a physical battle with Mansfield Senior, Shepas wanted to get off to a good start with the passing game.

“We just wanted to open the game up,” Shepas said. “Mansfield is physical and we wanted to keep them spread out. We picked our places to close it down as well.”

As if to show it didn’t need to simply pass the ball, Massillon ground out a 16‑play drive that covered 68 yards before Shafer booted a 22‑yard field goal to make it a 16‑0 Tiger lead at 10:11 of the second quarter.

Shepas was particularly pleased with the offensive line.

“Jason Reinmann was out sick,” Shepas said. “He didn’t even come on the trip. I thought our offensive line coaches did a nice job adjusting things. We played a lot of guys up front. David Portello got some playing time. Lashawn Edge started at a tackle. All in all, we’re pretty pleased.”

Matters only got worse for Mansfield. Not only could its offense not sustain a drive against the Massillon defense, but a special teams mistake paved the way for a Tiger touchdown.

Midway through the second quarter, a snap sailed over the head of the Tyger punter. The ball finally rolled dead at the Mansfield one-yard line, where the punter downed it instead of kicking it into his own end zone for a safety.

Instead of two points, the Tigers took another six when Hymes ran it in at 6:57. The Shafer kick made it 23-0 Tigers.

Massillon (4‑1) had a chance to make it more before the half, but fumbled the ball inside the Mansfield 20 with a couple of minutes left in the second quarter. It also narrowly averted a last‑second disaster when Tim Dewald made a touchdown‑saving tackle on Mansfield’s Rashad Jones on an interception return.

The Tigers kept their foot to the accelerator to start the third quarter. After stopping Mansfield Senior’s first drive of the half, the Tigers drove 49 yards for another Shafer field goal. His 37‑yarder made it 26‑0.

The drubbing continued when Tuffy Woods broke in from one yard out for a touchdown that was set up by a 36‑yard throw from Hymes to Wayne Gates. The kick failed and the score was 32‑0 with 4:43 left.

Mansfield Senior (2‑3) finally got on the scoreboard with 1:22 left in the third quarter. Justin Green threw up a long pass that bounced off both his receiver and the Tiger defenders before Josh Harkness was able to gather the ball in for the score. That made it 32‑6 Massillon.

Green, who replaced Weatherspoon, drew praise from his coach despite the loss.

“Not having (Weatherspoon) took away our option attack, but Justin played well,” Mansfield Senior coach LeRoy Smith said. “Justin is a sophomore and it’s tough to throw him in against a team like Massillon. Justin actually throws the deep ball better and we wanted to exploit that.”

Shafer would add another 23‑yard field goal before the final gun that made it 35‑6.

Mansfield would score a touchdown on an 11‑yard run by Phillips with no time remaining for the final score.

With the likes of St. Ignatius, St. Edward, Dayton Chaminade‑Julienne and Warren Harding coming up, it was a big win as far as Huffman was concerned.

“This game was important,” Huffman said. “It’s Week Five so this was the hump game. We wanted to win this to help carry us through the rest of the season. We were pretty focused this game and all week in practice.”

Massillon 35
Mansfield 12


Massillon 13 10 9 3 35
Mansfield 0 0 6 6 12

Mas ‑ Eric Copeland 10 pass from Steve Hymes (kick failed)
Mas ‑ Brett Huffman 21 pass from Hymes (Max Shafer kick)
Mas ‑ Shafer 22 FG
Mas ‑ Hymes 1 run (Shafer kick) Mas ‑ Shafer 37 FG
Mas ‑ Tuffy Woods 1 run (kick failed)
Mans ‑ Josh Harkness 38 pass from Greene (run failed)
Mas ‑ Shafer 23 FG
Mans ‑ David Phillips 11 run

Massillon rushing: Hymes 7‑45, 1 TD, Lanale Robinson 7‑23
Mansfield rushing: Tony Shaw 8‑52 Phillips 25‑59, 1 TD

Massillon passing: Hymes 24‑33‑316, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Mansfield passing: Greene 2‑10‑77, 1 TD, 1 INT

Massillon receiving: Huffman 7‑121, 1 TD, Copeland 5‑67, 1 TD, Wayne Gates 4‑61
Mansfield receiving: Josh Harkness 2‑77, 1 TD

Brock Hymes

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2002: Massillon 56, Mansfield Senior 0

It’s Tigers … spelled with an “I”
Mansfield’s Tygers are beaten in every phase of the game

Independent Sports Editor

Lennox Lewis over Mike Tyson.
Richard Nixon over George McGovern.
The German army over the French army.

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One‑sided victories all. But no more so than Massillon’s 56‑0 demolition of a Mansfield Senior team that was 4‑1 and ranked seventh in its computer region coming into Friday night’s game that was played in front of 7,538 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

It was one‑sided almost from the opening kickoff as Massillon’s defense pitched its second shutout of the season and permitted Mansfield just two first downs in the first half, which ended with the Tigers comfortably in front 35‑0.

“Massillon has a very good football team I and we have a very young football team,” said Mansfield coach Stanley Jefferson. “They were able to physically come out and hammer it to us and we couldn’t do anything to stop them on either side of the football.”

That is reflected in the statistics as Massillon compiled 446 total yards to Mansfield’s 184.

It looked like the Tiger team that decimated its first three opponents and dominated St. Ignatius for a half.

“We are a very good football team when our kids are in the right frame of mind,” said Tiger coach Rick Shepas. “They can’t been too high or too low. They have to be right in the middle with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder. And that’s really important. That’s why we have to sit on them like we do. The better these kids feel about themselves, the more they take for granted.

“It took us a little longer to get over the Ignatius loss. We were moping around and we were flat against Fitch.” The Tigers controlled the line of scrimmage all night long, rushing for over 330 yards and averaging over eight yards per running play.

“We had a good week of practice all week,” said Tiger offensive tackle J.P Simon. “We went extra hard every day. We’re trying to come off the ball and dominate. We just wanted to come out tonight and show everybody what we are about.

“Give the backs a lot of credit. They were breaking a lot of tackles and hitting the holes hard.”

Although he didn’t start the game, due to missing a practice this week, senior Ricky Johnson led the Massillon ground game with 111 yards and three touchdowns in only 12 carries.

Fellow senior Terrance Roddy was superb once again with 75 yards and a touchdown in only six totes.

“We got into a good flowing mixing up formations in the running game on them,” Shepas said. “I thought Matt Martin did a good job checking at the line of scrimmage and I thought we de a good job throwing as well.

“We didn’t make some plays in the pass game. As much as we throw it, we want to be better in that area.”

Just minutes after Massillon scored on a Steve Hymes to Brad Hauser three‑yard touchdown pass to close the scoring with 1:12 to play, the Tigers were doing what Shepas calls Green Bay conditioning drills in the middle of the field.

“Those are just a little reminder for people who aren’t giving effort or for penalties that might hurt us,” explained Tiger co‑captain Keith Wade. “We’re trying to eliminate that stuff and become a better football team.”

It’s hard to imagine a better team than Massillon showed in the first half against Mansfield. The Tigers scored on their second possession following a 24‑yard Mansfield punt.

On first down from the Mansfield 48, Roddy took a handoff from Martin and found an opening over right guard and tackle. Roddy broke it to the right sideline at the 45 and was off to the races, finally being dragged down at the 6.

Two plays later, Roddy went over right guard again for the touchdown from four yards out. Max Shafer’s kick made it 7‑0 Massillon at 5:25 of the first quarter.

Mansfield’s second possession was a three‑and‑‑out series that ended with a shanked punt that traveled just 14 yards.

“Our special teams have been sporadic all year,” lamented Jefferson. “You can’t do that against Massillon. They take advantage of that.”

A holding penalty on the Tigers negated an eight‑yard Roddy touchdown run following the punt, but Massillon scored two plays later when Martin completed a short pass to Roddy in the left flat, and the senior running back outran the pursuit to the end zone for the touchdown. Shafer’s point‑after conversion made it 14‑0 Massillon at 3:08 of the first.

Johnson was inserted in the game after Mansfield’s third punt in as many possessions gave Massillon the ball at midfield. On second‑and‑10, the 6 foot, 193‑pound senior skirted around right end for 36 yards to the Mansfield 15‑yard line.

Martin hooked up with George Pribich for 10 yards to the 1 and Johnson did the honors from there, bucking into the end zone at 11:15 of the second quarter. Shafer’s kick was true and the Tigers led 21‑0.

Once again Mansfield went three‑and‑out but an excellent punt forced Massillon to start at its own 23. A six‑play drive that included an 18‑yard inside run by Tuffy Woods was capped by a 32‑yard touchdown run by Johnson at 7:30 of the second quarter. Shafer’s point‑after made it 28‑0 Massillon.

Massillon’s final tally of the first half was set up when Michael White recovered a muffed punt at the Mansfield 25. Five plays later Johnson bowled over a Mansfield tackler at the one‑yard line and strode into the end zone for his second touchdown of the half. Shafer tacked on the conversion kick at 2:04 of the first half and it was a 35‑0 contest.

After a scoreless third quarter, Hymes found pay dirt on a 10‑yard bootleg run around left end at 10:28 of the fourth quarter.

Devin Jordan got into the act, hauling in a high‑arcing Hymes pass in the end zone just 12 seconds later after Massillon covered its own kickoff.

Massillon 56
Mansfield Senior 0
Mas Man
First downs rushing 15 7
First downs passing 3 2
First downs by penalty 2 0
TOTAL first downs 20 9
Net yards rushing 334 183
Net yards passing 112 1
TOTAL yards 446 184
Passes attempted 23 8
Passes completed 13 3
Passes intercepted 0 0
Punts 5 9
Punting average 33.6 32.7
Fumbles/Lost 1/0 3/2
Penalties 7 7
Yards penalized 68 60
Massillon 14 21 00 21 56
Mansfield 00 00 00 00 00


MAS ‑ Roddy 4 run (Shafer kick)
MAS ‑ Roddy 17 pass from Martin (Shafer kick)
MAS ‑ Johnson 1 run (Shafer kick)
MAS ‑ Johnson 25 run (Shafer kick)
MAS ‑ Johnson 3 run (Shafer kick)
MAS ‑ Hymes 10 run (Shafer kick)
MAS ‑ Jordan 26 pass from Hymes (Shafer kick)
MAS ‑ Hauser 3 pass from Hymes (Smith kick)


Massillon rushing: Johnson 12‑111 3 TDs, Roddy 6‑75 TD, Hymes 10‑68 TD,Woods 6‑61.
Mansfield rushing: Phillips 32‑149.

Massillon passing: Martin 11‑21‑83 TD, Hymes 2‑2‑29 2 TDs.
Mansfield passing: Molyet 3‑8‑1.

Massillon receiving: Jordan 2‑31 TD, Ashcraft 3‑23., Roddy 1‑17 TD, Woods 2‑13.
Mansfield reveiving: Greer 1‑3

Shawn Crable
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2001: Massillon 17, Mansfield Senior 14

Tiger defense comes To the rescue
Massillon wins mistake filled 17-14 verdict over Mansfield

Independent Sports Writer

The Massillon Tigers beat the Mansfield Tygers at their own game Friday night.

Bolstered by a superb defensive effort, the Tigers edged the Tygers 17‑14 before an announced crowd 11,276 at Arlin Field.

“Our defense played four good quarters of football, “said Massillon linebacker Tony Graves. “They were a good team.”

Massillon didn’t secure its fifth victory against one loss until cornerback Brian Hill picked off a Mansfield pass intended for wide receiver Jeff Montgomery near the Tigers ‑ 40‑yard line with 22.4 seconds left in regulation.

“We work hard on defense,” said Massillon head coach Rick Shepas. “The. kids are starting to understand the scheme and they’re doing a better job of executing it.

“Mansfield has a well balanced offense. To hold them to 14 points is a credit to our defense.”

With tackle Dan Speicher controling the middle, Graves and fellow linebackers Brock Hymes and Andy Alleman filling the gap, and 190‑pound defensive back Markeys Scott hitting with the ferocity of a player 60 pounds heavier, the Massillon defense limited Mansfield to only 46 rushing yards on 25 attempts.

“We knew we had to stop the run and we knew we had to play four quarters of defense,” Graves said. “We did both.”

In the second half, the Tigers also established a running game that helped keep their defense off the field.

After being held to a paltry two rushing yards in 11 carries the first half, Shepas switched from a one‑back formation to a two‑back set. Robert Oliver, the starter, was joined by Ricky Johnson in the backfield. The tandem combined to rush for 128 yards on 22 carries during the final two quarters.

Mansfield played a lot of nickel defense on us, so we decided to go with the two backs,” Shepas said. “Both ‘of those backs ran hard.”

Johnson a 6‑foot, 211‑pound junior, scored Massillon’s lone second‑half touchdown on a 2‑yard sweep to the right at the 3:29 mark of the third quarter. That touchdown capped a nine‑play, 81‑yard drive that was aided by a costly pass interference penalty against. Mansfield.

With Massillon facing a third‑and‑14 from its 15, the Tigers fired a quick out. Mansfield was flagged for pass interference, giving Massillon an automatic first down at the 30.

Justin Zwick and wideout Devon Jordan teamed up for 16 yards, moving the ball to the 50.

Then it was back to the running game. Johnson picked up nine yards off right tackle. Oliver took a handoff from Zwick and raced 25 yards to the 16.

With Mansfield focusing on the run, Zwick hit tight end A.J. Collins on a crossing pattern for 14 yards. One play later, Johnson scored.

While the Massillon defense played a strong game, the special teams struggled. The Tigers missed a short field goal, fumbled away a punt, had a punt blocked and allowed a long kickoff return following Johnson’s touchdown.

Marcus Davis took the ensuing kickoff at the Mansfield 10, cut to the right and found a hole at the 20. He motored down the right side and was hauled down at the Massillon 39.

Mansfield needed eight plays to score. The big play of the drive was a 29-yard pass play from Georg Andress to wide receiver Dane Greer, who made a leaping catch at the Massillon 1. One play later, Andress sneaked over from left guard. Hollister Histed’s conversion kick cut Massillon’s lead to 17-14 with :43.8 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers had a chance to tack on an insurance touchdown late in the game, but fumbled the ball out of the end zone for a touchback.

Hill’s interception, however, denied Mansfield any hope of a dramatic victory.

Massillon’s first touchdown was set up by its defense. Alleman intercepted a pass at the Mansfield 42 and returned the ball six yards before he was brought down.

Operating on a short field, the Tigers put together a six-play, 36-yard drive. Zwick and Jordan teamed up on a curl route for 15 yards, moving the ball to the 20.

Mansfield held Massillon to five yards on two plays before Zwick hooked up with Stephon Ashcraft for nine yards and a first down.

On one of the few successful first-half running plays, Oliver swept the right side and scored. Abdul’s extra point made it 7-0 at the 6:35 mark of the first quarter.

The Tigers made it 10-0 when Abdul booted a 54-yard field goal at the 2:59 mark of the first quarter, a kick that cleared the uprights at the west end of the field by five yards.

Massillon then fumbled away a punt at its own 43 late in the first quarter. On Mansfield’s first play following the turnover. Andress hit Montgomery on a deep post at the Massillon 10 and the wide receiver broke free for a touchdown.

Mansfield had a chance to tie the game late in the first half. Mike Donaldson, a 6-6, 320-pound tackle, gave the Tygers the ball at the Massillon 45 by blocking a punt. The Tigers tried to quick kick on third down, but the strategy backfired.

After the Tygers were stalled at the Massillon 29, they tried a 46-yard field goal. The attempt sailed wide to the left and the Tigers held a three-point lead, one they also had at the end of game.

First downs rushing 6 6
First downs passing 13 5
First downs by penalty 2 0
TOTAL first down 21 11
Net yards rushing 124 46
Net yards passing 231 157
TOTAL yards 355 203
Passes attempted 37 29
Passes completed 24 14
Passes intercepted 0 2
Punts 6 4
Punting average 32 25.8
Fumbles/Lost 3/2 0/0
Penalties 7 4
Yards penalized 60 50

MASSILLON 10 0 7 0 17
MANSFIELD 7 0 7 0 14

M – Robert Oliver 6 run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ David Abdul 54-yard field goal
Man – Monigomery 43 pass from Andres (Histed kick)
M – Ricky Johnson 2 run (Abdul kick)
Man – Andress 1 run (Histed kick)

Massillon rushing: Oliver 20-98, Johnson 9-47.
Mansfield rushing: Phillips 7-22, Perdue 7-12.

Massillon passing: Zwick 24-37-231.
Mansfield passing: Andress 14-29-157 1 TD, 2 INT.

Massillon Receiving: Jordan 11-106, Collins 4-52, Williams 4-32, Oliver 1-19.
Mansfield Receiving: Montgomery 6-78, Davis 5-48.

Justin Zwick

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2000: Massillon 27, Mansfield Senior 7

Massillon, Perry on a collision course
Tiger running attack and defense spark 27-7 victory over Mansfield

Independent Sports Editor

The Mansfield Tygers had an invitation for Massillon offense and the Tigers accepted, utilizing the running game more than at any time previously this season to post a 27‑7 victory in front of 9,422 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Friday night.

Program Cover

Massillon rushed the football for 182 net yards and got a key interception in the early stages of the second half from senior cornerback Matt Shem that led directly to a back‑breaking touchdown, in remaining undefeated in four starts this fall.

“Mansfield wanted us to run the football,” observed Tiger coach Rick Shepas moments after the game ended. “They came out and played a nickel alignment with three down linemen and four linebackers and four deep.

“They played clock management offense just to keep the ball out of our hands. Then they tried to force us to run the football. They knew we were going to score some points but they wanted to stop the big points.

“If that’s what they’re going to give us, that’s what we’re going to take.”

Perry James was the focal point of the Massillon attack against the Tygers, who were 3‑0 and ranked No.9 in Ohio coming into the game. The 6‑foot, 211‑pound senior toted the football 26 times for 180 yards, including a long run of 37 and a touchdown in the early stages of the second half.

That score came after Shem picked off a Mansfield pass at the Tyger 42‑yard line and ran it back to the 2. Two plays later James went off right tackle for the score. A Justin Zwick to James aerial added two points and Massillon was up 21‑7 with 9:33 left in the third quarter.

It was just what the doctor ordered after an unevenly played first half that saw Massillon turn the ball over twice in the second quarter and take a tenuous 13‑7 lead into the locker room.

For Shem, it was his fourth interception in two games.

“The ball pretty much just stuck to my hands,” Shem explained in the Tiger locker room. “I didn’t see it until the last moment.”

Despite generating four takeaways for the Tiger defense in the last two games, Shem was not completely satisfied with his game.

“There were a couple of opportunities I missed today ‑ a couple of picks I should’ve had but I’m feeling pretty good right now,” he said. “We’re playing really good right now. I’m really excited about our defense.”

Shepas was a bit more effusive about Shem’s key interception and return.

“That was awesome,” the third year Tiger mentor exclaimed. “Matt Shem had three last week for great returns, then he gets that one for a great return and we were able to get a quick score on the board just at the right time.

“Our defensive effort against Buchtel was very good but this one was great because we gave up no points on the defensive side of the ball. It was an outstanding job by defensive coordinator Chris DiLoreto.”

After sniffing out a fake punt by Mansfield, Massillon put the game away with a 10‑play, 61‑yard drive, culminated by a 5‑yard Zwick to Jeremiah Drobney touchdown toss. The Tiger quarterback, facing third‑and‑goal from the 5, rolled left and lofted a perfectly thrown lob pass to his tight end in the back of the end zone to make it 27‑7 with 2:01 left in the third period.

While Zwick and Drobney collaborated on the TD, it was James who made the drive, carrying the ball or catching a pass on eight of the ten plays in the game‑clinching march.

“I give all the credit to my line and the wide receivers,” James said. “They did a good job blocking.

“I had a good week of practice and that’s part of the reason I got the ball so much tonight.”

The Tigers took a six‑point lead into the halftime locker room but it very easily could’ve been a 14‑13 Mansfield advantage.

With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, the Tigers faced a second‑and‑18 play from their own 11 following an offensive pass interference penalty.

Looking for the screen pass to beat the Mansfield blitz, the Tigers threw into coverage.

The ball bounced into and out of the hands of Tyger linebacker Maurice Bradley, who had nothing but green between himself and the end zone. Had Bradley caught the ball cleanly, he would’ve been gone for a touchdown.

Instead, the Tigers retained possession and punted the ball away one play later, preserving their six‑point cushion at the break.

The teams exchanged punts on their initial possessions of the game but Massillon got all the better of the field position, taking over at the Mansfield 43 after the Tygers were unable to move.

Zwick found James with a swing pass for seven yards. Then, with Mansfield in a blitz, James got the handoff and slashed for 13 more to the Tyger 22.

After a holding penalty pushed Massillon back to the 37, Zwick looked long. With the rush in his face, the junior lofted a high arching ball into the end zone where Jesse Robinson patiently waited for the sphere to come back to earth. It did and Robinson cradled the ball in his arms for the touchdown.

David Abdul drilled the point after kick and Massillon was up 7‑0 at 5:34 of the first quarter.

The Tiger defense forced Mansfield into its second straight three‑and‑out possession and the Tyger punt went out of bounds at their own 45.

Zwick found Robinson in the right flat for six yards on first down. Then James picked his way for five more and a first down. Two Mansfield encroachment penalties resulted in another first down at the 23.

Drobney caught his first pass of the game on a curl pattern that picked up 13 yards to the Mansfield 10. James got it down to the 3 on a draw play, and two plays later Zwick rolled right and hit fullback Terrance King for the touchdown.

The PAT failed and it was 13‑0 Massillon at 1:39 of the first quarter.

After an exchange of punts, Mansfield took over at its 10 and marched to the Massillon 35 on six running plays. The Tiger defense stiffened and the Tygers punted but the hosts failed to field the ball cleanly, losing ground to the Massillon 9.

After a Tiger first down, a holding call pushed the ball back to the 10‑yard line. Two plays later, Mansfield’s Tarek Berry picked off an overthrown pass and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. Holister Histed hit the point after kick and it was a 13‑7 game with 2:49 in the half.

That would be as close as Mansfield would get, thanks to an interception the Tygers didn’t get and one that Massillon did get.

First downs rushing 7 5
First downs passing 8 0
First downs by penalty 1 1
TOTAL first downs 16 6
Net yards rushing 182 155
Net yards passing 132 0
TOTAL yards 314 155
Passes attempted 27 12
Passes completed 17 2
Passes intercepted 2 1
Punts 5 7
Punting average 29.2 29.6
Fumbles/Lost 2/1 1/0
Penalties 7 8
Yards penalized 65 40

MASSILLON 13 0 14 0 27
MANSFIELD 0 7 0 0 7

Mas ‑ Zwick 36 pass to Robinson (Abdul kick)
Mas ‑ Zwick 4 pass to King (Kick failed)
Man ‑Berry 27‑yard interception return (Histed kick)
Mas ‑ James 1 run (Zwick pass to King)
Mas ‑ Zwick 5 pass to Drobney (Kick failed)

Massillon rushing: James 26‑180, King 1‑3, Hill 1‑1.
Mansfield rushing: Taylor 11‑63, Bradley 13-53, Stanford 3‑39.

Massillon passing: Zwick 17‑27‑132 3 TDs, 2 INTs.
Mansfield passing: Andress 2‑12‑0 1 INT.

Massillon receiving: James 5‑25, Robinson 3‑48, Jordan 3‑16, Drobney 2‑18, Watkins 1‑8, Corsale 1‑8, Williams 1‑5, King 1‑4.
Mansfield receiving: Basilone 1‑7.


Kreg Rotthoff

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1999: Massillon 24, Mansfield Senior 7

Massillon’s defense carries the day

Independent Sports Editor

Chalk one up for the defense. The Massillon Tigers, saddled with injuries to three starters on offense, turned in a defensive performance worthy of its Black Swarm nickname to hand the Mansfield Tygers a 24‑7 defeat in front of 10,041 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Friday.

Program Cover

The final score is somewhat deceiving in that the only score Mansfield managed was on a fumble recovery the Tygers returned 43 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter.

“The defense had an outstanding week of preparation and I really felt they were ready for whatever Mansfield threw at them and they showed that tonight,” said Tigers coach Rick Shepas. “If we hadn’t fumbled the ball on offense, we would have pitched a shutout. We want to make sure the people know that we played that well on defense. It was an offensive turnover that gave them seven.”

In one first‑half Mansfield offensive series, Tigers defensive lineman Mike Mattox made three consecutive tackles for losses to force a punt. It was typical of his play all night long. “They weren’t really pass blocking that great and I was coming in unblocked practically every time,” Mattox explained. “I really wanted to beat these guys bad. We wanted the shutout but the offense let them score seven points.”

“Mike is outstanding at that position,” added Shepas. “He is so quick off the ball and against those big offensive linemen he did the job.” One reason Mattox was so effective was Mansfield was paying a great deal of attention to his running mate, Ellery Moore. Despite that, Moore also was a force on defense with several tackles behind the line of scrimmage against the frustrated Tyger attack.

“We pitched a shutout,” Moore said. “We stepped it up for the offense and was patient with them because they had some adversity. But we’re used to adversity. We’ve been going through it since December. So we’re ready for that.”

And Moore echoed Mattox’s sentiments that last year’s 21‑0 defeat at Mansfield was a motivating factor. “Payback was on our mind from jump street,” Moore exclaimed. “We knew we had to come in and play hard . We knew they were going to play hard. It’s a rivalry now. We’re loving it.”

While Massillon (4‑0) dominated the game statistically ‑ the Tigers owned an advantage in total yards of 357‑134 ‑ things were a little dicey for the locals for much of the second half after Mansfield (2‑2) cut the lead to 10‑7 on the fumble recovery and runback for a touchdown.

The Tigers finally got some breathing room mid‑way through the fourth quarter when quarterback Dave Irwin found junior wide receiver Jesse Robinson running free in the Mansfield secondary.

Irwin was on target with his pass and Robinson pulled away from the defense after gathering it in for a 64‑yard scoring play. Brett Marshall’s point‑after kick was true and the Tigers had the cushion they needed at 17‑7 with 7:28 to go.

An 11‑yard Irwin to Rocky Dorsey scoring pass with 2:08 to play closed the scoring, but the Massillon defense had to rise up once again in the final moments to keep Mansfield out of the end zone. As was true throughout the game, the Black Swarm was equal to the task.

“Massillon’s defense gave us some problems,” admitted Mansfield coach Stanley Jefferson.”They definitely created some problems. It was difficult for us to get our zone schemes going. We couldn’t move the ball in a consistent manner. “They controlled the line of scrimmage in terms of us trying to zone block and that created some problems.”

Mansfield also hurt itself, getting flagged 13 times for 125 yards in penalties, a statistic that bothered Jefferson. “I’m not allowed to speak on it,” he said afterward. “If I speak on it … I, um, I can’t speak on it. It’d be best for me not to say anything about some of those penalties.”

Massillon was flagged 10 times for 74 yards. The game began as it was going to be a long night for the Tigers, who were without starting linebacker and tri‑captain Dan Studer and leading ground gainer Jon Stanke, both of whom were out with injuries.

Things went from bad to worse almost immediately when starting center Seth Stefanko went down with a severe knee injury on just the fifth play of the game. Stefanko’s absence was often magnified because the Tigers utilize the shotgun formation in which the center must snap the ball three to four yards back to the quarterback.

The senior’s absence was felt on Massillon’s second series, which ended when Mansfield recovered a fumbled snap. But the Tigers persevered, thanks to their defense which forced Mansfield into punts on each of its first three possessions.

Massillon’s first scoring drive of the evening began on its 37 yard line but appeared to be over when Mansfield intercepted the ball on third‑and‑seven from the 40. But the Tygers were flagged for roughing the passer and the locals took advantage of the break.

On first down from midfield, Stanke’s replacement senior Dave Bumgarner got the football on a fullback counter and rumbled 39 yards to the 11. Two plays later, Irwin rolled to his left and, with a Mansfield defender in his face, tossed the ball to tight end Jeremiah Drobney at the 5. Drobney carried a Tyger defender into the endzone for the game’s initial touchdown at 8:47 of the second quarter. Brett Marshall’s conversion kick was good and the Tygers led 7‑0.

Mansfield looked as if it was going to retaliate, running the football for two first downs on the first three snaps of the ensuing possession.
But Mattox took over and almost single‑handedly stopped the march. The 6‑1, 213‑pound senior tripped up Mansfield’s Maurice Bradley for a loss of three yards on first down, then recorded back‑to‑back sacks of Tygers QB Kris Kline on second and third downs for a total of 18 negative yards.
Massillon then launched a 12‑play drive from its own 15. It ate up all but 14 seconds of the final five minutes of the first half. Perry James gained 17 yards to move the ball to the 43, then consecutive completions to Drobney and Bumgarner advanced the ball to the 24. Three snaps later, Marshall was perfect on a 37 yard field goal to make it 10‑0 at halftime.

Mansfield failed to penetrate deeper than the Massillon 38 in the first 24 minutes of play. It would be that way all night long.


Mas Man
First downs rushing 8 4
First downs passing 7 3
First downs by penalty 5 0
TOTAL first downs 20 7
Net yards rushing 134 52
Net yards passing 223 82
TOTAL yards 357 134
Passes attempted 22 12
Passes completed 15 7
Passes intercepted 0 1
Punts 4 8
Punting average 35.8 34.5
Fumbles/Lost 3/2 0/0
Penalties 10 13
Yards penalized 74 125

MASSILLON 00 10 00 14 24
MANSFIELD 00 00 07 00 07


Mas ‑ Drobney 8 pass from Irwin (Marshall kick)
Mas ‑ Marshall 37 field goal
Man ‑ Berry 43 fumble recovery return (Wolf kick)
Mas ‑ Robinson 64 pass from Irwin (Marshall kick)
Mas ‑ Dorsey 11 pass from Irwin (Marshall kick)


Massillon rushing: Scott 9‑56, Bumgarner 6‑51, James 9‑31.
Mansfield rushing: Berry 8‑31, Bradley 5‑20, Dandy 3‑14.

Massillon passing: Irwin15‑22‑223 3 TDs.
Mansfield passing: Taylor 5‑9‑80, Kline 2‑3‑2 1 INT.

Massillon receiving: Bumgarner 5‑39, Drobney 4‑70, Hendricks 2‑4, Dorsey 2‑37, Robinson 1‑64, James 1‑9.
Mansfield receiving: C. Smith 4‑64.

Dan Studer

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1998: Massillon 0, Mansfield Senior 21

Tigers run into a buzzsaw at Mansfield
Massillon never gets offense untracked against the Tygers

Independent‑Staff Writer

A quick and athletic Mansfield Senior football team dominated visiting Massillon for four quarters Friday night en route to 21-0 whitewashing of the Tigers.

Some 8,317 fans watched at Mansfield’s Arlin Field as the host Tygers scored a touchdown in each of the first three quarters to remain unbeaten after the first four games of the season.

Senior quarterback Jeremy Butts scored on a 2-yard scamper in the first quarter and tossed scoring strikes of 9 yards and 18 yards to senior tight end Jermaine Bradley in both the second and third periods to hand Massillon its second loss in four outings.

“Mansfield did an outstanding job offensively. They mixed up their plays well,” said Massillon coach Rick Shepas after the game. “Their quarterback ran their option well and made good decisions when he had to. Their offense keep us off-balance.

“But once again, we shot ourselves in the foot at the most inopportune times.” Added the Tigers’ first-year coach. “We weren’t effective through the air and Mansfield has a lot of team speed on their defense. But we just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that we had. We have to create points to get some life on this team.”

The statistics show how dominant Mansfield was in the 45th renewal of the battle of the Tigers. The host ran 75 plays compared to Massillon’s 47, and accumulated 359 total yard to the visitors’ 191.

The closest Massillon got to scoring came late in the first quarter when the Tigers reached the Mansfield 11. But a delay of game penalty and an incomplete pass forced Massillon to attempt a field goal from 32 yards away. Brett Marshall’s kick sailed “wide right, leaving the Tigers empty-handed despite a 10-play drive.

Massillon’s only other legitimate scoring threat came late in the fourth quarter when the Tigers drove from their own 20 to the Mansfield 18. But senior tailback Marc Cleveland was stopped short on a fourth-down run, effectively ending Massillon’s attempt to avert the shutout.

Despite the loss, Cleveland turned in another solid game. The 5-foot-9, 186-pound senior gained 122 yards on 19 carries for a 6.4 average. His longest run was 26 yards.

However, Cleveland’s teammates failed to produce similar numbers. Senior quarterback Tom Fichter completed just 1-of-7 passes for 24 yards before leaving the game with a knee injury near the end of the second quarter.

Fichter’s replacement junior Steve Eyerman, fared a little better, completing 4-of-6 passes, but for only 18 yards. The Tigers also lost two fumbles and were penalized 10 times for a total of 109 yards.

“This was a big win for us,” said Mansfield coach Stanley Jefferson. “In fact, it was just one year ago that we went 2-8 and lost to Massillon 42-0. Not many people realized it at the time, but we started six sophomores and had 10 first-year juniors on last year’s team. That experience is paying off for us now.

“Although we beat them tonight, we respect Massillon and their tradition,” Jefferson added. “I respect very much their rich tradition and their 700 wins. To beat a Massillon team you just don’t fluke one out. Their program is just too good to fluke out a win.

“We had to play a great game to beat them, and our kids rose to the occasion. Our kids have worked exceptionally hard to get where they are at right now.”

Mansfield’s first score came midway through the first quarter. The Tygers drove 52-yards in six plays, capped by a 2-yard scamper around right end by Butts.

Mansfield’s second TD followed a fumbled snap midway through the second quarter. This time, the Tygers drove 40 yards in eight plays. The touchdown came on a 12-yard toss from Butts to Bradley, but only after the Tygers’ QB ducked an on rushing Massillon defender to get rid of the ball.

Mansfield’s final TD came midway through the third period. The Tygers took the second-half kickoff and drove 75 yards in 13 plays. The touchdown came on another toss from Butts to Bradley. Place kicker Nick Shasky added his third PAT kick to make the score 21-0.

Butts finished with 11 completions in 24 attempts for 155 yards and no interceptions. The Tygers’ leading ball carrier was senior tailback Littleton Lloyd, who gained 162 yards on 25 carries. His longest run was 27 yards.

“I felt we did a good job adjusting at the half. But the kids just didn’t execute well,” said Shepas. “We had a good game plan, but Mansfield has a good solid football team.

“I told the kids that a loss like this is supposed to hurt,” Shepas added. “The only thing that can make the hurt go away is our next game seven days from now.”

Fichter sidelined

Independent Correspondent

The Massillon Tigers might have lost more than just a football game Friday night against Mansfield Senior at Arlin Field. They also might have lost their starting quarterback for a while.

Senior signal caller Tom Fichter suffered an injury to his right knee in the 21-0 loss to the Tygers when he was sacked by Mansfield linebacker Jeremy Haynes at the Massillon 26-yard line with 2:37 remaining in the first half.

The severity of the injury was not immediately known but Fichter is scheduled to undergo an MRI on the knee this weekend.

Tigers coach Rick Shepas said Fichter’s status for next week’s game at Austintown Fitch is questionable at this moment contingent on the results of the tests on the knee.

Fichter was rolling to his left on a third-and-10 play in order to avoid the oncoming rush when Haynes grabbed him by his jersey and threw him to the turf. Fichter’s cleats caught in the turf as he went down awkwardly, twisting his knee. He was writhing on the ground in obvious pain when the Massillon trainers got to him, but after a short while managed to get up and walk off under his own power.

Junior Steve Eyerman, who had been locked into a heated battle with Fichter for the starting job throughout two-a-days, replaced Fichter for the remainder of the game. He completed four-of-six passes for 18-yards while also being sacked once for a 10-yard loss.

Meanwhile, starting senior defensive tackle Alex Borbely will have to sit out next week’s game against Austintown Fitch due to a state mandated suspension after he was ejected from the Mansfield game with 45 seconds remaining for taunting the referees.

Man Mas
First downs rushing 13 7
First downs passing 1 2
First downs by penalty 4 0
TOTAL first downs 24 9
Net yards rushing 204 149
Net yards passing 155 42
TOTAL yards 351 191
Passes attempted 24 14
Passes Completed 11 5
Passes intercepted 0 0
Punts 2 3
Punting average 27.5 42.7
Fumbles/Lost 3/1 2/2
Penalties 9 10
Yards penalized 67 109

MANSFIELD 7 7 7 0 21

Man Butts 2 run (Shasky kick)
Man Bradley 9 pass from Butts (Shasky kick)
Man Bradley 18 pass from Butts (Shasky kick)

Marc Cleveland

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1997: Massillon 42, Mansfield Senior 0

Massillon puts it all together

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers started off Friday night’s game against the visiting Mansfield Tygers as if it was going to be a repeat of last week’s turnover marred­ performance against Akron Garefield.

Program Cover

Massillon lost a fumble on its first possession, threw an interception the second time it had the football, and you could almost hear the crowd saying, “Here we go again.”

But the Tigers ‑ feeding off the emotion of a big hit and fumble recovery by injured co-captain Jared Stefanko ‑ scored twice in the second quarter and put the game away with a three­ touchdown barrage in the third period in securing a 42‑0 victo­ry at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“We needed this,” said a relieved Tigers coach Jack Rose. “The way it started out I didn’t know if it was going to be our best performance of the season. We made those turnovers at the beginning of the first half and you can’t do that if you expect to win.”

Massillon got its offense on track early in the second quarter following a 16‑yard punt return by Josh Kreider that set the Tigers up with a first down at midfield. Tailback Christian Morgan, running with more authority than at anytime during the season, gained 15 yards around left end on first down. One play later, the senior took a pitch from Tip Danzy and gained eight around right end.

After Seth Stefanko fell on a Tigers fumble, Kreider got the football on a flanker reverse and picked up 14 yards around right end to the Mansfield 9. Dave Hodgson bulled through the middle of the Tygers line for the touchdown on the next snap. Josh Hose hit the PAT and Massillon led 7‑0 at 8:36 of the second quarter.

“We’ve been practicing that play for a while,” Kreider said. “The line blocked well and did a good job and when that hap­pens, we’re going to have a successful play.”

Kreider forced a Mansfield fumble on the Tygers ensuing possession and Jamie Allman recovered at the visitors’ 35 to give Massillon the short field once again.

After a holding penalty against the hosts, Morgan ‑ who finished with 179 yards rushing in 18 carries ‑ picked up 15 yards around left end. Three plays later, Tip Danzy kept the ball and swept around right end for 11 yards to the Mansfield 9. Morgan found paydirt on the next play, getting a huge hole over his left guard.

Hose’s conversion made it 14-­0 at 5:59 of the first half.

“Our offensive line is step­ping up its game,” remarked Danzy. “They’ve been working hard the past couple weeks and the coaches have been getting on them, so they’ve got to do their thing.”

“As long as I pitch the ball to Christian, I know he’s going to get his yards.”

Mansfield came out with renewed vigor in the second half, moving from its 23 to the Massillon 30 on just four plays. But on second and 10, Mansfield quarterback Jeremee Butts was pressured by Massillon’s Chris Turner and threw an interception to safety Bud Kraft at the 19‑yard line.

Three plays later, on third and one from the 28, Hodgson ran the trap up the middle and exploded into the clear. A Mansfield defensive back tried to steal the ball away at the 35, but Hodgson stiff‑armed him away and galloped the rest of the way, into the end zone for a show‑stopping 72‑yard touch­down.

Hose’s conversion kick at 9:23 of the third period made it 21‑0 Massillon.

Rose called that series of plays the game’s turning point.

“The way things have been this year, yeah, I had some anx­iety when Mansfield got those big plays at the beginning of the second half,” he said. “But were turned the turnover into a touchdown, and instead of it being possibly 14‑7, now they’re down 21‑0. That’s a 14‑point swing and I think it took them out of their game plan.”

The Massillon defense forced Mansfield into a three‑and‑out on its next possession, and the Tigers took over at midfield fol­lowing a 12‑yard punt return by Kreider. On second and six from the Mansfield 48, Morgan found a gaping hole over left tackle and sprinted 32 yards to the Tygers’ 16.

Danzy picked up 11 yards around right end on second down and scored a touchdown two plays later on a sneak from the 1. Hose made it 28‑0 at 5:09 of the third.

After another Mansfield series went nowhere, the Tigers mounted their third scoring drive of the third period.

It began with a 12‑yard B.J. Burick keeper around right end that moved the ball from the Massillon 23 to the 35. Three plays later, Morgan took a pitch around right end and raced 53 yards untouched for the score. Hose’s kick at 3:12 made it 35‑0 Massillon.

“We made two adjustments at halftime with the blocking on the two plays we broke for touchdowns,” Rose reported “We were getting out on the perimeter with the ball a little more tonight and they gave us a couple things inside on certain sets that we took advantage of. Our fullback broke the play up the middle there. Establishing him in there helped.”

“I think in the first half we came out a little rusty, worried about turnovers and all of that,” Danzy said. “The second half we came out and came together. We played hard and just turned it around.”

While the Massillon offense came up with the spectacular plays, the defense set it up by limiting Mansfield to just over 100 yards total offense in the second half.

“We’ve been expecting this kind of game defensively for three or four weeks,” Kreider noted. “We finally accom­plished what we’ve been work­ing for. We got some guys back and it seemed like we were real­ly clicking out there tonight.”

One of the returnees was Jared Stefanko, who didn’t play in the second half because of some soreness in his injured right knee.

“He’ll be back,” Rose said. “He just had a little slippage in there and it got sore on him. They told him that would hap­pen from time to time.

“But Jared made a couple of good plays in there. He’s really an impact player. He’s really something else. It’s just a shame (the torn knee ligament) happened to him. He’s a terrific player.”

Marc Cleveland closed the scoring with a 13‑yard touch­down run that included second and third effort.

So, have the Tigers turned the corner?

“Time will tell,” Kreider said. “We have to come out and prac­tice hard every week. We have to play as a team and prepare to win.”

“I think next week you’re going to see a better Massillon team than you have up to this point this season,” Danzy promised.

As for Rose, well, he sees something in this year’s Tigers that reminds him of a past Massillon squad.

“This team reminds me a lot of the 1994 team,” he said. “I think it’s a team that will con­tinue to get better each week.”

Ma Mn
First downs rushing 21 4
First downs passing 0 7
First downs by penalty 2 0
TOTAL first downs 23 11
Net yards rushing 440 133
Net yards passing 5 142
TOTAL yards 445 254
Passes attempted 6 20
Passes completed 1 10
Passes intercepted 2 1
Punts 3 6
Punting average 28 38.2
Fumbles/Lost 2/1 4/3
Penalties 4 10
Yards penalized 24 85

MASSILLON 0 14 21 7 42
MANSFIELD 0 0 0 0 0

MASS ‑ Hodgson 9 run (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Morgan 9 run (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Hodgson 72 run (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Danzy 1 run (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Morgan 53 run (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Cleveland 13 run (kick good)


Massillon rushing:
Morgan 18‑79‑2,
Hodgson 15‑142‑2,
Danzy 4‑24‑1,
Cleveland 6‑51‑1,
Burrick 6‑17,
Kreider 1‑14.
Mansfield rushing:
Butts 10‑43,
Burdette 6‑31,
Lloyd 8‑26.

Massillon passing:
Danzy 0‑3 1 int.;
Burrick 1‑3‑5, 1 int.
Mansfield passing:
Butts 10‑20‑50‑1.

Massillon receiving:
Venables 1‑5.
Mansfield receiving:
Luttrell 3‑64,
Lloyo 3‑29.
Bradley 2‑16,
Jones 1‑18,
Davis 1‑15.

Jared Stefanko

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1996: Massillon 42, Mansfield Senior 28

Tigers win in spite of themselves

Independent Sports Editor

There is something about Massillon that seems to bring the best out of the Mansfield Tygers.

From Jack Rose’s perspective, it might seem there is something about Mansfield that brings the worst out of his Tigers.

Program Cover

Either way, it makes for competitive football and that’s just what 11,934 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium got for their money as the No. 1 ranked Tigers fought back from a 14‑7 deficit with 28 unanswered points to secure a 42‑28 decision, Friday night.

The win served as revenge for Mansfield’s 21‑20 upset of the then‑undefeated Tigers one year ago at Arlin Field in Mansfield. That loss helped keep Massillon from a third straight playoff berth.

Massillon opened Friday’s rematch as if it was going to run away and hide from Mansfield. The Tigers marched 71 yards on seven plays after the opening kickoff for a 7‑0 lead.

But Mansfield answered back with an eight‑play, 66‑yard scoring drive and followed that with a 50‑yard scoring strike and suddenly Massillon’s No. 6 national ranking looked a bit overstated.

Then the littlest Tiger took over. Devin Williams, a 5‑foot‑5, 130‑pound senior, took the ensuing kickoff the length of the field for a 90‑yard touchdown return that tied the game and sparked Massillon’s four touchdown rally.

Williams took the ball at the 10 and moved upfield toward the right sideline. At the 25, he broke a tackle and cut back left, leaving the Tygers grasping for air. Williams turned on the jets at the 50 and pulled away from his pursuers for the score.

”I just tried to go out there and change the tempo of the game because we looked a little flat,” Williams said. “I have to give credit to Elijah Blake. He gave me the final block to get me into the end zone. The whole team blocked well.”

Williams electrifying run back shot a spark into the Tiger defense. Mansfield had third-and‑one on its ensuing possession at its 42 yard line, when Milo McGuire, Jared Stefanko and Josh Hill nailed Tygers tailback Kenny Rife for a one‑yard loss that forced a punt.

Again Williams did his thing, fielding the punt on the Massillon 26 and juking one would‑be tackler to his knees. The diminutive one cut left across the grain and raced to the Mansfield 21 before running out of gas.

On the very next play from scrimmage, Christian Morgan found a gaping hole off right tackle and sprinted untouched into the end zone to give the lead to Massillon for good. Josh Hose drilled the extra point and it was Tigers 21, Mansfield 14 just six seconds into the second quarter.

“I have asthma and I ran out of gas on the punt return,” Williams said. ”Mansfield thought they could hang in the game with us. They tried but they couldn’t.”

Tygers coach Stan Jefferson cited three plays that cost his team victory and two of those were provided by Williams.

“The kick‑off return, the punt return and we’re going to score when we threw a screen pass that was intercepted (by Bud Kraft),” Jefferson recalled. ”Take 21 points off the scoreboard and its a different story.

“Don’t take anything away from Massillon. The Tigers are a very, very good football team. We played a very, very good football team and I told Coach Rose congratulations on the state rankings, but I look back and I see those three plays.”

For Rose’s part, he thought his charges were not up to the lofty standards they set for themselves in Weeks One, Two and Three.

“That was probably our worst game of the year, Rose said. “We were flat. I was disappointed.

“We had two starters (Eric Lightfoot and Dusty Limbach) out of the secondary. It was pretty glaring that we miss them. We didn’t play well. Our offense was sporadic. It was not very good.”

Morgan had another big night for Massillon, rushing 24 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He covered the final 24 yards on three totes on MassilIon’s opening drive, bursting into the end zone from the five at 10:00 of the first quarter. Hose hit the PAT to make it 7-0.

Mansfield responded with Leonard Alexander’s 20-yard burst off right guard on a fourth‑and‑one play. Nick Shas­ky hit the extra point and it was a 7‑7 contest at 6:12 of the first.

Consecutive illegal procedure calls against the Tigers doomed their second drive of the night, setting up a 50‑yard TD pass that began with a short slant from Jeff Soliday to Craig Montgomery. When two Tiger defenders crashed into each other, Montgomery was gone and it was 14‑7 with 2:01 left in the first.

Then Williams took over to turn things around.

Kraft, subbing for Lightfoot, recovered a Mansfield fumble after the Tigers took a 21‑14 lead. But Massillon gave it right back, fumbling the ball to the Tygers at the visitors’ 12­-yard line.

The Tigers offense continued to stumble until Milo McGuire’s interception of a Soliday screen pass at the Mansfield 35. Mor­gan then ran the ball on four straight plays to move it to the 5. From there, Ben Hymes fol­lowed his offensive line on a quarterback sneak and found the end zone to make it a 28‑14 count with less than a minute left in the first half.

Mansfield took the second half kickoff and drove it to the Massillon 7. Oil second and goal, Soliday rolled left and threw to Alexander, who tipped the ball in the air. Again Kraft was at the right place at the right time and secured the in­terception to quell the drive.

“It was the pressure from the defensive line oil both plays that caused those turnovers,” Kraft said. “I wouldn’t have got the fumble if one of the linemen didn’t strip it.

After Kraft’s pick, the Tigers got out of trouble when Hymes hit Brian Baer for 21 yards on a third‑and‑nine play from the Massillon 21. Three plays later, from the Mansfield 47, Stefanko took a handoff and burst through a gaping hole up the middle. The junior fullback shook off a clean hit at the 25 and dashed into the end zone at the 5:50 mark of the third period. Hose converted the PAT and the Tigers seemed to have things in hand at 35‑14.

Mansfield countered with a 15‑play, 65‑yard scoring drive, culminated by Soliday’s touchdown run on an option keeper from five yards out. The kick made it 35‑21 Massillon at the 11:25 mark of the fourth.

Mass Mans
First downs rushing 15 11
First downs passing 5 9
First downs penalty 1 0
Total first downs 21 20
Net yards rushing 306 201
Net yards passing 77 200
Total yards gained 383 401
Passes attempted 12 20
Passes completed 6 11
Passes int. 0 2
Times kicked off 7 5
Kickoff average 44.3 46.4
Kickoff return yards 139 89
Punts 1 3
Punting average 30.0 32.3
Punt return yards 59 0
Fumbles 1 2
Fumbles lost 1 1
Penalties 6 2
Yards penalized 34 11
Number of plays 56 62
Time of possession 21:50 26:10
Attendance 11,934

MANSFIELD 14 0 0 14 28
MASSILLON 14 14 7 7 42


First Quarter
MASS ‑ Morgan 5 run (Hose kick)
MANS – Alexander 20 run (Shasky kick)
MANS – Montgomery 51 pass from Jeff Soliday (Shasky kick)

Second Quarter
MASS ‑ Williams 90 kickoff return (Hose kick)
MASS ‑ Hymes 5 run (Hose kick)

Third Quarter
MASS ‑ Stefanko 47 run (Hose kick)

Fourth Quarter
MANS – Jeff Soliday 2 run (Shasky kick)
MASS – Blake 24 run (Hose kick)
MANS ‑ Montgomery 20 pass from Jeff Soliday (Shasky kick)


Morgan 24‑142, 2 TDs;
Stefanko 3‑68, 1 TD;
Childs 8‑44;
Blake 4‑27, 1 TD;
Hymes 4‑25, 1 TD.
Rife 17‑119;
Soliday 11‑43, 1 TD;
Alexander 12‑39, 1 TD;
Amadio ‑ 2‑0.

Hymes 6‑12‑77.
Jeff Soliday 11‑20‑200‑2, 2 TDs.

Baer 2‑27;
Morgan 2‑13;
Martin 1‑21;
Stefanko 1‑16.
Montgomery 4‑127, 2 TDs;
Jake Soliday 3‑26;
Luttrell 2‑20;
Cutliff 1‑15;
Alexander 1‑12.

Paul Salvino

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1995: Massillon 20, Mansfield Senior 21

This time the mistakes are fatal

Fumbles, penalties key in Tigers’ loss to Mansfield

Assistant Sports Editor

In the first three weeks, the Massillon Tigers won games by keeping their fans on the edge of their seats.

Friday night at Arlin Field, the Mansfield Tygers kicked Massillon off the throne and slapped the Tigers with a shot of Skin Bracer across the cheek.

Mansfield, a team averaging more than 100 yards a game in penalties, Was flagged just three times and didn’t turn the ball over to hand Massillon its first loss of the season, 21‑20, in front of about 9,100 fans.

Program Cover

“If this isn’t a wakeup call,” Massillon head coach Jack Rose said, ”I don’t know what it’s going to take. We told these guys before the game if we play­ed like we have been and let a team like that stay around, they’re going to gain confi­dence.

“For us, we’ve got to lick our wounds and we don’t have much time to do that. From me on down, everybody in this prog­ram is going to be held account­able for this.

“We’re going to find people who want to be in there. We didn’t coach them hard enough and they didn’t play hard enough. But we’ll bounce back.”

The win set off a wild celebra­tion on the grass at Arlin. The last time the Tygers beat Mas­sillon was in 1956, 14‑6. The Mansfield newspaper put the story on its front page.

“This is the biggest win in 40 years around here,” Mansfield fullback‑linebacker Marshall Levins said. “This is my senior year and I’ve played Massillon four times now. A win over them is the ultimate way to go out.

The two teams traded scores in the first half and went into intermission tied at 14.

Even after making its first blunder on a turnover in the third quarter, Massillon had a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter.

With 7:49 left in the game, the Tigers started what would be their final legitimate chance to score. Beginning from the Mas­sillon 40‑yard line, Whitfield and Turner drove the Tigers to the Mansfield 9 with under 5 mi­nutes to play.

On third‑and‑one, Turner powered his way for three yards to set the Tigers up with first‑and-­goal.

On the next play, Whitfield took the snap and fullback Nate Wonsick collided with him. The ball popped loose and Mansfield recovered.

“I don’t think George had a good handle on the ball when he took it out from under center,” said Rose, who added, “I’m real disappointed with our turnov­ers and penalties.

“Heck, Mansfield came into the game averaging 100 yards in penalties and turning the ball over a lot, and we’re the ones who had trouble with that.”

On Massillon’s second play from scrimmage in the second half, the Tigers fumbled the ball and Mansfield’s Lacario Tufts covered the ball at the Massil­lon 42.

However, the Massillon de­fense forced Mansfield to punt after three plays. On the second play of the second drive, Whit­field found Vaughn Mohler ­breaking open at midfield. Whitfield laced the needle and hit Mohler in stride for an 80­ yard touchdown pass.

As Mohler raced into the end zone, he raised his hands in the air. An official threw a ques­tionable flag, and conveniently called Mohler, who did not point at a Mansfield defender, for taunting.

The score counted, but the Ti­gers had to attempt the conver­sion from the 18‑yard line. A pass play failed.

Rose didn’t really want to comment on the play but offered, “That really takes the play out of your hands.”

The score gave Massillon a short‑lived 20‑14 lead.

On the Tygers’ ensuing drive, quarterback Jeff Soliday hit Levins on a screen pass. The 6­foot‑3, 230‑pounder rumbled 50 yards down the left sideline for the TD. Nick Shasky’s kick gave the Tygers a 21‑20 lead.

Then Massillon turned into Mansfield of the first three weeks.

On a third‑and‑two play from the Massillon 23, Whitfield ran around the left side on a keeper. He ran over a Mansfield defender for the first down, but an illegal procedure penalty nulli­fied the play and the Tigers ‑ eventually punted.

Late in the third quarter Mas­sillon shot itself in the foot again.

The drive started at Massil­lon’s 17. The Tigers went to a tight end screen, and Whitfield hit Chris Martin for a 15‑yard gain. Two plays later, Whitfield connected with Devin Williams on a fade route. The ball was placed so only Williams could catch it as Mansfield’s Michael Jackson provided step‑for‑step coverage.

Four plays later, Turner broke loose and got inside the Mansfield 5 yard line. Once again, though, the play was brought back because of an illegal procedure call. Instead of having the ball at the 3, Mas­sillon had it at the 18.

On fourth down, Levins blitzed Whitfield but couldn’t bring him down. Whitfield’s valiant pass, however, fell in­complete in the back of the end zone.

“I’m not upset with the way George played tonight,” said Rose, who noted the senior com­pleted 10 of 18 passes for 204 yards.

Mansfield made it clear from the get-go it was a better than its 1-2 record indicated.

The Tygers took the opening drive 75 yards and scored with 6:31 left in the first quarter when Soliday, hit as he released the ball by Eric Lightfoot, found Levins for an 8‑yard score.

Realizing it was in a game, Massillon took its first posses­sion 61 yards and scored in seven plays. Turner carried the ball on five of those plays and accounted, for 52 yards, includ­ing a 7‑yard touchdown run, which came after he ran over a Mansfield defender at the 1-­yard line.

Massillon ate up 5:02 on its final score of the first half, and again Turner did most of the work. Of the Tigers’ 11 plays, Turner carried eight times ‑ including the final six plays.

Turner, who gained 102 of his 164 yards in the first half, cap­ped the drive when he waltzed into the end zone untouched from 7 yards out. Josh Hose’s point‑after kick tied the game at 14 with 4:55 to play in the first half.

If there’s a bright spot in the dark cloud over the Tigers, it was Whitfield’s effort. Rose wanted a more balanced attack, and Whitfield came through with 204 yards passing.

Massillon outgained Mansfield 368‑249. However, the Ti­gers have given away the ball eight times and taken it away just three times this season.

“We’re going to find out what kind of team we are,” Rose said. “We’ll find out what we’re made of this week.”

M Man
First downs rushing 8 8
First downs passing 7 4
First downs penalty 0 1
Total first downs 15 13
Net yards rushing 164 152
Net yards passing 204 97
Total yards gained 368 249
Passes attempted 18 14
Passes completed 10 7
Passes int 0 0
Fumbles 3 2
Fumbles lost 2 0
Penalties 5 3
Yards penalized 45 15

MANSFIELD 7 7 7 0 21
MASSILLON 7 7 6 0 20

First Quarter
Man – Levins 6 pass from Soliday (Shasky kick)
M ‑ Turner 7 run (Hose kick)

Second Quarter
Man ‑ Soliday 1 run (Shasky kick)
M ‑ Turner 2 run (Hose kick)

Third Quarter
M ‑ Mohler 80 pass from Whitfield (pass failed)
Man ‑ Levins 49 pass from Soliday (Shasky kick)


Turner 26‑141 2 TDs
Rife 21‑86

Whitfield 10‑18‑0, 197, 1 TD.
Soliday 7‑14‑0, 97, 2 TDs.

Williams 3‑51;
Mohler 1-80, 1 TD.
Rife 4‑22

George Whitfield