Tag: <span>Mike Scott</span>


1984: Massillon 6, Canton McKinley 17

Determined Tigers beaten back by Bulldogs

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Decals, magic potion and a lucky penny weren’t enough.

McKinley’s Bulldogs were simply too much for Massillon Saturday afternoon before 17,926 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Not even record setting performances by Massillon’s Bruce Spicer and Mike Scott were enough to stave off a determined bunch of “Mad Dogs.”

When the final gun went off the scoreboard read: McKinley 17, Massillon 6.

And it wasn’t a game that could’ve gone either way. Massillon’s lone score occurred with a scant 32 seconds remaining, the Tigers’ fate already sealed.

Program Cover

Although the Bulldogs (7‑3) finished with a slight 296‑284 edge in net yards, the Tigers (6‑4) led in just about every other statistical category.

Statistics, though, are among the greatest half‑truths in the universe.

Massillon held a 20‑12 edge in first downs. The Tigers possessed the ball longer, and ran off a whopping 21 more offensive plays.

But the Bulldogs led in the two area, that counted the most ‑ big plays and total points. In both categories the Tigers lacked.

“That’s what wins big games for you,” Massillon defensive tackle John Kroah said. “We couldn’t stop theirs, and they didn’t make any mistakes. Maybe we just underestimated them.

“Personally, don’t think there was the same kind of intensity that we had for the Perry game.”

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1984

The strike‑it‑rich‑quick preference by the Bulldogs paid off handsomely to the tune of 17 points. Here’s the reasons why:

‑ Flanker Jeff Smith catches a 28‑yard touchdown pass with less than a minute left in the first half;
‑ Smith, also a safety, intercepts a Scott pass in the endzone to thwart a Massillon score;
– Tailback Chris Clax bursts 80 yards for a TD 36 seconds into the second half;
– Sophomore Mark Smith, with the wind at his back, drills home a 45‑yard fourth‑quarter field goal at the 7:55 mark to give the Dogs a 17‑0 lead.

Truly, McKinley was a rags to riches story this season. They were 1‑3 at one point. They unearthed their biggest treasure with Saturday’s win.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1984

After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers had a chance to draw first blood. But Todd Manion’s wind-aided 54‑yard field goal attempt fell well short of the intended mark.

Before setting up for the three-point try the Tigers used two time outs. That would come back to haunt them later in the period.

Taking over at their own 20, the Bulldogs went 80 yards in eight plays behind the throwing of junior quarterback Brian Chaney.

Chaney hit six of seven passes in the drive for 78 yards, the finale being a 28‑yard strike to Smith over the middle. Smith’s point‑after was good, and McKinley held a 7-0 lead with 59 seconds remaining in the half.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1984

Massillon, with no time outs left, promptly took the ball from its own 34 following the kickoff and marched to McKinley’s 9‑yard line behind Scott’s pin‑point passing, Scott hit Derrick Newman for 19 yards, Cornell Jackson for 23 and Spicer for 14 more.

Faced with a first down from the Bulldog 9, Scott sought Newman in the end zone. The pass was intercepted by Smith instead.

Mr. Momentum remained in the Bulldog locker room at halftime, joining the team minutes later on the field of play when Clax burst 80 yards to paydirt just 36 seconds into the half.

In the span of 95 seconds, the Bulldogs had pulled off three big plays. Three more than the Tigers had all game.

Twice in the third period the Tigers, who had pour field position for the bulk of the game, were within striking distance. Both times, though, they were denied entry into the end zone.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1984

Massillon had the ball once at its own 45, but had to punt three plays later. The same fate befell them on their next possession, taking the ball at McKinley’s 47 and punting three plays later again.

McKinley threatened to break the ballgame wide open on its ensuing set of downs, driving to the Tiger 27 where they were faced with a fourth‑and‑2. Clax took off with the ball to his right, but Massillon defensive end Chris Slinger put the stopper to him short of the yard stick.

With the distinct possibility of being shut out for the first time in the series since 1973, the Tigers got the ball back for the final time at their own 13 with 3:19 remaining.

Scott, who had a sterling first half, was off to a retched second‑half showing, completing just four‑of‑19 passes before the final drive.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1984

But the senior dug down and went work. He hit Spicer for a pair of 11‑yard gains. Irwin Hastings for nine more, and Spicer again for eight. Wes Siegenthaler then caught a pass for 12 yards and Spicer another eight yarder.

Hastings was found open once again, this time for a 14‑yard gain to McKinley’s 14. Two straight passes then fell incomplete when Scott connected with Siegenthaler for a first down at the Bulldog 2.

On the ensuing play, Hastings swept the left side for a long‑awaited but way too little TD. Only 32 seconds showed, and the subsequent onside kick attempt was recovered by the red and black.

On this sunny day not even the decals that equipment manager Keith Herring purchased and then applied to the front of each player’s helmet worked.

Not even the “win potion” of assistant coach Butch Hose could do it’s thing.

And not even the “lucky penny” assistant coach Keith Dewitz found outside the coach’s door nine days earlier could come through.

It just wasn’t meant to be.

It’s back to the
drawing board
for Currence, staff

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON There will be no grace period for Mike Currence this year. Canton McKinley saw to that Saturday afternoon.

In front of 17,926 spectators at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, the Bulldogs gave Thom McDaniels his first win in three outings against Massillon with a 17‑6 decision.

“I won’t be celebrating (this) week,” Currence, Massillon’s head coach of nine years, said. “I’ll be working. We’ll start a week early on next year’s game.”

“The big run killed us,” Currence said of Chris Clax’s 80‑yard run to paydirt on the first play from scrimmage to open the second half. “That put us down two, and now we really had to start playing catch up.

“I don’t know how many they had,” he said of the Bulldogs’ big plays, “three, four, five, six, seven or eight. They made a lot of them, and we didn’t get any big plays.

“I think we were up, but I don’t think we played as well as we could’ve. We had them several times, but we just didn’t cash them in.

“We used a few different formations and alignments, but it didn’t bother them. The formations and plays didn’t stop them from winning.”

Currence admitted his club aired the ball much more than they wanted to against McKinley’s seasoned secondary. The Tigers put the ball in the air a team record 49 times.

Although the Tigers dropped to 6‑4 with the loss, Currence wasn’t totally dismayed.

“We started out with a very young team,” he noted. “We have a lot to be proud of. We certainly aren’t proud of losing the last one, though.

“The senior never gave up, and I’m certainly proud of them.”

Massillon got off to one of its worst starts, saddled with a 1‑3 record after just four weeks. Then the Tigers started to put things together, stringing five consecutive wins before Saturday’s swan song.

And how does McKinley rate with Massillon’s other nine opponents this season?

“I think they are the best team we’ve played,” Currence said.

But there will be little time for reflection.

On Friday, the head coach received some bad news. His father-in‑law had passed away. Today Currence and his wife Joan are in Maryland, where funeral arrangements were taking place.

Tiger‑Bulldog gridstick


First downs rushing 5 4
First downs passing 7 15
First downs by penalty 0 1
Totals first downs 12 20
Yards gained rushing 213 63
Yards lost tasting 18 29
Net yards rushing 195 34
Net yards passing 101 250
Total yards gained 296 284
Passes attempted 14 49
Passes completed 8 23
Passes int. by 2 0
Times kicked off 4 2
Kickoff average 46.5 32.2
Kickoff return yards 16 1
Punts 4 6
Punting average 30.3 32.2
Punt return yards 23 15
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 1 0
Fumbles lost 0 0
Penalties 1 2
Yards penalized 13 20
Touchdowns rushing 1 1
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 51 72
Time of possession 23:31 24:29
Attendance 17,926

MCKINLEY 0 7 7 3 17
MASSILLON 0 0 0 6 6

Mck ‑ Jeff Smith 28 pass from Brian Chancy (Mark Smith kick)
Mck ‑ Chris Clax 80 run (M. Smith kick)
Mck ‑ M. Smith 45 FG
M ‑ Irwin Hastings 2 run (pass failed)

Scott, Spicer stand out
For Tigers
in face of defeat

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Personal accomplishments lose their shine in the face of defeat.

Bruce Spicer and Mike Scott know that all too well.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s disheartening 17‑6 loss to Canton McKinley at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Massillon’s S & S combination was, needless to say, distraught.

Spicer, a senior wide receiver, set three Tiger pass receiving records. Scott, a senior quarterback, established two passing standards.

Entering the McKinley game, Spicer already owned the single game receiving mark with nine. He bettered that by two with his 11 receptions for 104 yards.

On the first play from scrimmage, Spicer caught a 10-yard pass that gave him the regular‑season reception mark with 46. Marty Guzzetta had held the record with 45.

Guzzetta’s all‑time single season record of 50 catches was knocked down a notch. Spicer finished the year with 56 receptions.

In his career Spicer caught 66 passes, which rank him third on the all time list behind Curtis Strawder (68) and Guzzetta (69).

Those 56 catches by Spicer netted him 583 Yards, putting him in second place behind Guzzetta’s 706 total in 11 games.

“I got a pretty good end, don’t I?” Tiger head coach Mike Currence said of Spicer.

“The records didn’t mean a lot because we didn’t win the game,” a subdued Spicer said. “I think we hurt ourselves. We made a lot of mistakes and had a lot of letdowns here and there.

“The win over McKinley is what everybody wanted.”

Spicer said the 80‑yard touchdown run by McKinley’s Chris Clax to open the second half took the wind out of the Tigers’ sail.

“It was like the bottom fell out,” he said. “It was something that happened that you didn’t think could happen.”

Scott bounced back from a preseason back injury to certify himself as one of the all‑time top Tiger passers.

Despite missing nearly four full games, Scott pushed his name into third place in the single-season attempts chart. His 178 throws this year trailed only Brian DeWitz (181) and Brent Offenbecher (182).

Scott also ranks fourth on the career most attempts list with 190. His 1,208 passing yards this year rank him sixth on the all‑time career chart, and his 244 yards passing against McKinley put him fourth in the single‑game books.

Against McKinley, Scott heaved a yeoman‑like 48 passes to surpass his own record of 32 set earlier this year against Stow. The senior signal caller also completed 23 attempts to better his standard of 19, also set against Stow.

“I knew we had to get the ball down there some way and score, but I didn’t do it,” Scott said about his abundance of aerial attempts. “After a big score like that (Clax’s 80‑ yard run) everybody is down on themselves and we knew we’d have to come back and score.

“We were trying to get a good (big play) touchdown for ourselves in order to get back in the game. They were jumping most of our primary receivers and we had to go to our secondaries.”

There was nothing secondary about the performances turned in by the S & S duo. Though it will take some time for their deeds to sink in, they can hold their heads high.

Mike Scott and Bruce Spicer will long be remembered as two of Massillon’s finest.

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 10, Massillon Perry 0

Tigers humble Panthers With 10-0 win

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Keith Dewitz had a premonition about Friday night’s game.

Thursday afternoon Massillon’s running back coach was shuffling toward the coaches room outside of Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Well, there’s nothing unusual to report about that.

But Dewitz happened to glance down just before entering the door. He bent down and picked up a penny. A lucky penny, as it turned out.

Program Cover

Dewitz still had that penny in his pocket when the Tigers took the field Friday night against Perry before 14,862 frenzied fans.

It’s doubtful that the penny really had anything to do with Massillon’s 10‑0 win over the then once‑beaten Panthers, but why ruin a good story line?

Actually, the Tiger coaches are turning into a superstitious lot these days. Receiver coach Butch Hose believes in his one‑of‑a‑kind “win potion.” Better yet, so do the players.

What did figure in the victory was a tenacious defensive effort by the Tigers. That and an unexpected field goal and a broken play that went for a touchdown.

“The defense really played a great game,” said a pleased Tiger head coach Mike Currence. ”I talked to the coaches before the game and they felt that Perry’s defense wasn’t getting enough credit; that’s what really makes them such a good ballclub.

“Our defense was just better.”

Although the Tigers (6‑3) totaled 253 yards in offense as opposed to Perry’s 148, each inch was hard earned. Nothing came easy in this defensive straggle.

Handed a copy of the game’s final statistics, Currence slapped a finger to the computer print out.

“That’s the story right there,” he said while pointing to Perry’s average gain per rush, which was 3.2 yards.

Entering the game the Panthers generated early 300 yards per game rushing. They left the fray with their lowest total of the year, just 96 yards on 30 carries.

So tenacious was the Tiger defense that it did not permit Perry past midfield until late in the third period. Only once did the Panthers threaten to get on the board, that on a drive inside Massillon’s 10‑yard line.

That threat, aided by a nearly costly face mask penalty, was aborted when the Panthers saw a fourth down pass slip through the fingers of Archie Herring.

As rugged as Massillon’s defense was, so it was too for Perry. The Panthers bent somewhat, but other than a 30‑yard field goal by Todd Manion and a 31‑yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Scott to Derrick Newman on a busted play, Perry was equally up to the task.

The Panthers dodged a bullet early in the contest when they muffed a punt return, the Tigers’ Chris Alt recovering the loose ball at the Perry 14 with 2:59 left in the opening period.

Given a golden opportunity, the Tigers let the chance slip away on four incomplete passes. An illegal block on Massillon didn’t help any, and put the offense out of field goal range to boot.

But the Tiger defense set the tone early, holding Perry to just six plays and seven yards in the opening stanza.

Perry picked up its initial first down of the game when Jeff Clark broke several tackles for a 23‑yard gain, but as they did an their first two drives, the Panthers were then forced to punt the ball away.

Massillon drove for a first down at the Panther 34. Three plays later the Tigers were faced with a fourth‑and‑inches at the 24. A quarterback sneak by Scott, though, was stopped short by surging Panther defense.

Three plays later, and the Panthers had to punt the ball back once again.

With just 1:30 remaining in the half, the Tigers mounted a drive behind the passing of Scott. The senior signal‑caller hit three different receivers to give Massillon a first down at the Panther 13.

Scott tried to hit Newman in the end zone, but the ball was batted away. With just 14 seconds left the Tigers lined up for a field goal, but holder Paul Fabianich’s pass attempt fell incomplete.

On the next play the Tigers went for the three‑pointer in earnest, and Manion did not disappoint the home crowd as his 30‑yarder was high and far enough. It was Manion’s first varsity field goal, and only the second one attempted by Massillon this year.

In the first half, the Tigers held Perry to just one first down and only 34 yards in offense. The Panthers ran off just 15 plays, punting four times, and holding the ball for less than 10 minutes.

While Perry’s first three drives of the second half ended with punts, the Tigers put some insurance points on the board on their second possession.

Taking over on their own 31 following Tracy Seery’s sixth punt of the night, the Tigers went 69 yards in five plays to paydirt.

Scott hit Bruce Spicer for five yards. Fullback Duane Crenshaw ran for three yards, and Scott hit Spicer again for nine more yards before Crenshaw took a pitch out and rambled 17 yards to Perry’s 31.

On the next play, Scott fought off a heavy pass rush and found Newman on the right side of the field. The junior halfback then cut against the grain and waved goodbye to Perry’s pursuit. Dan Kozma’s PAT made it a 10‑0 game with 2:40 left in the third period.

The Panthers took the ensuing kickoff and rambled into Tiger territory for the first time when Herring carried for a 5‑yard gain on the last play of the quarter.

Perry, on the first play of the final quarter, lined up in punt formation for the eighth time. This time, though, they tried a bit of trickery as Wally Buzinski took the snap and ran seven yards for a first down. An incomplete pass on fourth‑and‑9, however, stymied the Panthers.

After holding the Tigers, the Panthers received a bit of a scare when they once again fumbled a punt. This time Perry’s Ted White recovered the loose ball, giving the visitors a first down at their 32 with 7:32 still left.

An illegal block on Perry made it first‑and‑28 but the Panthers, behind the arm of quarterback Mike Laubacher, managed the first down on passes of 21 yards to Clark and 11 yards to tight end Chris Strobel.

The Tiger defense dug in once again, but the Panthers converted on fourth‑and‑1 when Laubacher gained 17 yards on a keeper. A face mask penalty helped push the ball to Massillon’s 16.

Staying on the ground, Laubacher gained seven yards and Clark two more before Laubacher was tossed for a two-yard loss by defensive end Chris Slinger. On fourth down, Laubacher’s pass from the 9‑yard line slipped through Herring fingers

The Tigers then controlled the ball for the remainder of the game, although a roughing the punter penalty with 1:09 left secured the win for Massillon.
Spicer moved into second place on the single‑season Tiger record for pass receptions. The senior split end hauled in seven passes and now totals 45, five back of Marty Guzzetta’s record of 50 set back in 1979. Guzzetto’s mark occurred in 11 games.

Spicer now has 55 receptions for his career, third best on the all‑time Tiger chart behind Curtis Strawder (68) an Guzzetta (69).
Tiger middle guard Scott Byelene had some added motivation against Perry. His uncle, Mike, was in attendance. Mike played under Paul Brown at Massillon. He is a retired school teacher now living in Marion, Ind.
Sunday will be “Obie Picture Day” at the stadium from 1 to 3 p.m., rain or since. Come on out and snap some photos with Obie the XV.

Another surprise visitor at the Perry game was a guy who made No. 33 synonymous with Tiger football.That’s right, Massillon’s Chris Spielman sat in on the game.

Spielman, bothered by nagging ankle injuries, did not make Ohio State University’s trip to Wisconsin today. He indicated he is making a slower recovery than he had expected and is not sure when, or if, he will return to action.
Area prep gridsticks

First downs rushing 6 4
First downs passing 6 2
First downs by penalty 2 0
Totals first downs 14 6
Yards gained rushing 80 114
Yards lost rushing 9 18
Net yards rushing 71 96
Net yard passing 182 52
Total yards gained 253 148
Passes attempted 30 16
Passes completed 17 8
Passes int. by 0 0
Yardage on pass int. 0 0
Times kicked off 3 1
Kickoff average 54.0 50.0
Kickoff return yards 13 61
Punts 5 6
Punting average 32.8 30.5
Punt return yards 3 8
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 0 2
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 9 3
Yards penalized 96 49
Touchdowns rushing 0 0
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 57 46
Time of possession 22:49 25:11
Attendance 14,862

MASSILLON 0 3 7 0 0
PERRY 0 0 0 0 0

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 28, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 21

Tigers stun St. Vincent Behind big play attack

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ There were no smiling Irish eyes in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Friday night.

Oh, there was The Eye of the Tiger. And it was smiling. Boy, was it ever.

That’s because Massillon’s football‑playing Tigers applied a 28‑21 shiner to visiting Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary before 10,342 screaming fans.

“The guy upstairs was sitting on our side of the field,” Massillon head reach Mike Currence told one of his aides after the game.

St. Vincent entered the game with a 6‑1 record. They were second in their region of the computer poll and fourth in the UPI wire‑service poll.

The Irish left with an empty feeling.

Program Cover

“The two quick touchdowns got us. What can you do?” said a beleaguered St. V head coach John Cistone. “It was just one of those things. You have to give them credit for making those big plays. They’re a good football team.”

The entire game’s complexion changed in a matter of 77 seconds. Actually there was a 15‑minute break between the two lightning-quick Tiger scores that altered the outcome.

Holding a 14‑7 lead late in the first half, the Irish (6‑2) looked as if they were going to knot things, Faced with a first‑and‑goal from the Tiger 6, St. V called on halfback Henry Henderson to get them six points.

And six points did go up on the board, but it went up on the Massillon side. Henderson hit the line, fumbled and linebacker Pete Johnson alertly speared the ball in midair and rambled 95 yards to paydirt.

Instead of tieing the game up at halftime, the Irish went into the lockeroom trailing 21-7.

Stunned as they were, the Irish were hardly ready for what transpired shortly after intermission.

Enter Cornell Jackson.

Jackson, who didn’t start the game, took the second handoff of the second half and burst 76 yards to paydirt with just 46 seconds gone in the period. Dan Kozma, putting his best foot forward this season, booted his fourth straight point‑after, and the Tigers owned a surprising 28‑7 advantage.

“For the first time this year, we got some breaks,” Currence said. “This is a nice thing to happen for the team. When you lose three games like we have and then you come up and beat one of the best teams in the area, it’s a big game for the coaching staff and the players.”

Leading by 21 points, the Tigers (5‑3) were given a most definite scare in the second half by the never‑say‑die Irish.

St. V, which won the statistical battle, cut Massillon’s lead in half with 43 seconds left in the third period when Henderson punched it in from five yards out. Ted Fundoukos added the PAT.

The Irish defense stiffened and forced the Tigers to punt for its second time. Taking over at its own 35, St. V went 65 yards in 12 plays with Unaitis sneaking over from a yard out with 6:28 showing.

Needless to say, it was anybody’ game for the taking at this point.

St. V’s Steve Englehardt then intercepted a tipped Mike Scott pass on the first play following the kickoff, giving the Irish the ball at the Tiger 43.

Sensing a fierce comeback, the Irish stormed down to the 12 in five plays for a first down. Fullback Jim Fedrick picked up two yards when Tiger sophomore Lance Hostetler made the biggest play of the game with an 11‑yard sack of Unaitis.

On the next play a Unaitis pass fell incomplete, and on fourth down from the 21 a screen pass netted just five yards. The Tiger Claw had held its own.

But, nearly three minutes still remained. And anything could happen.

Massillon picked up one first down, but eventually had to punt the ball with 1:12 remaining. Tiger punter Scott Byelene, who was shaken up earlier in the period, lofted a kick that went nearly straight up, covering just 13 yards. St. V took over at its own 47.

Two straight Unaitis completions moved the ball to the Tiger 41. On first down the Irish, with no time outs left, went to the air. The pass was completed again, only it went to Massillon’s Jeff Smith at the 10. Victory was saved.

“At the first of the year there was no way we could’ve beaten St. V,” Currence said. “It’s through dedication and hard work that we are where we are. I was real pleased with the emotion of the team right from the beginning. We won it with emotion.”

Massillon opened scoring on its first possession, driving 80 yards in nine plays with Derrick Newman hitting paydirt from four yards out.

Biggest play in the march was a 32‑yard pass from Scott to Wes Siegenthaler on third‑and‑10, catching St. V in a blitz. Irwin Hastings’ downfield block allowed Siegenthaler to gain most of his yardage.

The Irish stormed right back and tied the score when Henderson, who finished with 118 yards on 26 carries, tallied from five yards out.

Scott was intercepted in the end zone on Massillon’s next possession by Greg Littler. Jackson, the game’s leading rusher with 165 yards on 10 carries, was wide open in the end zone, but the ball was under thrown.

Massillon scored the next time it had the ball, marching 62 yards in seven plays with Scott hitting Bruce Spicer from four yards out. A 33‑yard punt return by Siegenthaler helped set things up, and a 25‑yard run by Jackson put the ball at the 3 where the Tigers scored three plays later.

Undaunted by Massillon’s 14-7, the Irish were rolling, moving all the way to a first‑and‑goal at the 6 when Johnson made his big‑play touchdown on the fumble return.

“We had to get on the board before they did,” Cistone, alluded to Jaskson’s long TD run, “If we do it’s 21‑14 and we’re in the ballgame.”

The Irish held a commanding 21‑11 edge in first downs, and an even bigger edge in time of possession, 31:18 to 16:42. St. V also held a slight 332‑265 edge in total yards gained.

Scott finished the night by completing 8‑of‑14 passes for 100 yards. He hit six different receivers with Newman and Spicer both catching two aerials.

Unaitis (his name’s spelled different than Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas) threw for 138 yards on 13‑of‑21.

The game was virtually penalty free as only one flag was thrown, that being a five‑yarder on St. V for a delay.

The Tigers, working on a four game winning streak, will now take on Perry (7‑1), 70‑0 winners over Marlington, next Friday night.


First downs rushing 7 13
First downs passing 4 8
First downs by penalty 0 0
Totals first downs 11 21
Yards gained rushing 192 195
Yards lost rushing 27 11
Net yards rushing 165 184
Net yards passing 100 138
Total yards gained 265 322
Passes attempted 14 21
Passes completed 8 13
Passes int. by 2 1
Times kicked off 5 4
Kickoff average 45.6 53.8
Kickoff return yards 69 92
Punt 3 3
Punting average 28.0 37.3
Punt return yards 41 13
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumble 0 1
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 0 1
Yards penalized 0 5
Touchdowns rushing 2 3
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 39 67
Time of possession 16:42 31:18
Attendance 10,342

ST. V‑ST. M 7 0 7 7 21
MASSILLON 7 14 7 0 28

M ‑ Derrick Newman 4 run (Dan Kozma kick)
S ‑ Henry Henderson 5 run (Ted Fundoukas kick)
M ‑ Brian Spicer 4 pass from Mike Scott (Kozma kick)
M ‑ Pete Johnson 95 fumble recovery (Kozma kick)
M ‑ Carroll Jackson 75 run (Kozma kick)
S ‑ Henderson 5 ran (Fundoukas kick)
S ‑ Mark Unaitis 1 ran (Fundoukas kick)

Massillon’s long TD plays
Enough to outlast St. V-M

By Roland Queen
Beacon Journal staff writer

For most of this season, Massillon coach Mike Currence has had more reasons to cry than laugh.

It has been an uncharacteristic football season for one of the most successful high school teams in Ohio.

But Currence was sporting his biggest grin of the season Friday night in the Tigers locker room after his team defeated powerful St. Vincent‑St. Mary 28‑21 before a crowd of 10,342 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

For the Tigers (5‑3), it was a night of big plays as the Fighting Irish (6‑2) won the statistical battle but came up short on the scoreboard.

“I’ll tell you,” Currence said, “to lose three ballgames like we did early in the season then come up with a big win like this over one of the best teams in the area is a great feeling.”

The two biggest plays of the game for the Tigers came just before and just after halftime.

With Massillon leading 14-7 late in the second quarter, St. V-M drove 66 yards in seven plays and had a first‑and‑goal on the Massillon 6‑yard line.

On the next play, St. V‑M’s outstanding tailback, Henry Henderson, took a handoff from quarterback Mark Unaitas on a counterplay off tackle. But jut as Henderson got to the line of scrimmage, he was hit by Massillon senior linebacker Pat Spicer. The ball popped straight up, and Tiger linebacker Pete Johnson caught it in the air and raced 95 yards for the touchdown just 31 seconds before halftime.

Instead of a 14‑14 tie at the half, the Tigers were in command 21-7 after Dan Kosma’s second of four extra‑point kicks.

Johnson said be was only thinking of one thing after the big fumble nestled in his arms and an open field loomed ahead of him.

“All I was thinking was touchdown,” said Johnson, a senior. “I could smell the goal line. I had intercepted a pass earlier this year like that and I got caught on the 7‑yard line. This time, I wanted it. I wasn’t about to let that happen again.”

After the Tigers received the second‑half kickoff, it took two plays before senior halfback Cornell Jackson (10 carries, 165 yards) broke through a big hole off tackle and raced 76 yards down the sideline for the eventual game‑winning touchdown with 11:14 left in the period.

“It was a big‑play game,” Currence said. “Both teams moved the ball well in the middle of the field. But when you come right down to it, the big plays won the game for us.”

Holding a 21‑point lead, Currence admitted the Tigers became “too conservative.”

The Fighting Irish then put together a furious comeback that fell just short of being successful.

Behind the passing of Unaitis and the running of Henderson, St. V‑M drove 56 yards in nine plays late in the third period. Key plays in the drive were 13‑yard passes from Unaitis to tight end Steve Englehart and split end Bill Clevenger. Henderson ran the final 5 yards and the conversion by Ted Fundoukos (his second of three) made the score 28‑14 with 43 seconds left in the period.

Everyone in the stadium knew the momentum had shifted to the Irish. The Tigers were forced to punt on their possession following Henderson’s touchdown and St. V‑M had the ball on its 35.

The Irish drove the 65 yards in 12 plays with Unaitis going over from the 1. And St. V‑M had 6:28 left to finish its comeback.

On the first play from scrimmage following the Unaitis’ touchdown, Currence said he decided to forget being conservative and Tiger quarterback Mike Scott dropped to pass.

But Scott’s pass bounced off the hands of split end Wes Siegenthaler and was intercepted by Englehart who returned it 13 yards to the Massillon 43.

As the Tiger fans held their breath, St. V‑M drove to a first‑and‑10 on the Massillon 11 behind runs of 9 and 15 yards by Henderson, who finished the night with 118 yards on 26 carries.

But instead of staying with his premier runner, St. V‑M coach John Cistone said he tried to catch the Tigers off guard with a first‑down pass. Unaitis was sacked for a 10‑yard less. It was the key play of the drive as Massillon held on downs and took possession on its 20 with 2:54 to play.

St. V‑M got the ball back with less than a minute left at the Massillon 47, but Unaitis first‑down down pass from the 41 was intercepted by Jeff Smith with 30 seconds to play.

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 25, Barberton 6

Defense makes strong case
Tigers whip Barberton

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Mike Currence made a plea for the defense Friday night.

“The defense hung in there, and that was important,” he said following the Tigers’ hard‑earned 25-6 win over Barberton at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“We wanted a shutout. We came close, and I’m proud of the way they came back,” the Tiger head coach said, alluding to last week’s wild 38‑31 affair against Stow, a game where the defenses rested their cases

Program Cover

“You can’t blame our defense for their (Barberton) score. If we don’t make the mistake we get the shutout,” Currence said.

The miscue Currence referred to happened in the second quarter when Jeff Smith failed to find the handle on a Barberton punt, the Magics’ Roy Fez Ferguson recovering at the Tiger 14.

Five running plays later and the Magics (0-6) scored when quarterback Joe Underation snuck over from less than a yard out with 1:26 left in the half.

By the time the Magics got on the board, they were faced with an 18‑0 deficit as the Tigers (4‑3) struck early and often.

Massillon, which has now won three straight, put it to the Magics right out of the starter’s gate as quarterback Mike Scott came at throwing.

Scott, who last week threw for 302 yards, attempted eight passes in the opening drive. For that matter, the senior put the ball in the air on the first four plays.

The Tigers easily marched into Barberton territory as Scott hit Bruce Spicer twice for 15 and 14 yards, Wes Siegenthaler for nine, and Irwin Hastings for 17 more.

The 14‑yard pass to Spicer came on a fourth and four from the Magic 20, and led to halfback Derrick Newman’s 6‑yard touchdown jaunt behind the blocking of fullback Duane Crenshaw and guard Jared Mayle.

After stopping the Magic on three downs, the Tigers took over on Barberton’s 49 following a poor 27‑yard punt for their next possession.

And if the passing game highlighted the first score, it was the running attack that was featured on the next TD drive, a six‑play, 49-yard march on the ground.

Newman, playing with a soft cast to protect a broken wrist he suffered two weeks ago, ran over and through several Magic defenders on a 23-yard scamper. Crenshaw then tacked on runs of 8 and 9 yards to give the Tigers a first-and-goal inside the 10.

Newman, who finished with 68 yards on 11 carries, then ran for four more yards before Crenshaw added two stripes to set up the second of three Newman TDs, this one from 3 yards out on the heels of a crunching Crenshaw block. A subsequent two point conversion pass failed.

It didn’t take the Tigers long to strike again as the ensuing kickoff eluded Barberton’s Mike Fields, ending in the arms of Chris Singer at the Magic 38.

Scott, ala Green Bay Packer great Bart Starr, went deep right away, connecting with Siegenthaler on an apparent 38 yard TD strike. An illegal procedure call on the Tigers nullified the score, albeit temporarily.

With the ball now nestled on the 43, Siegenthaler went 15 yards for a first down on a reverse. Crenshaw, the game’s leading ground gainer with 69 yards on 10 carries, then rambled for 14 more before Hastings was thrown for a yard loss.

Faced with a second-and-11 from the Magic 15, Scott rifled a frozen rope to Hastings over the middle with 1:43 left in the quarter for an 18‑0 lead. Another two point conversion pass was thwarted.

With their backs firmly planted against the wall, the Magics set out to do something about it.

Aided by a pass interference call and two key first downs on third‑and‑nine and fourth‑and‑three, the Magics found themselves with a first‑and‑goal from the Tiger 5. On their third crack into the Massillon defense, fullback Pat Boone fumbled after a vicious hit, the orange and black’s John Kroah recovering at the goal line.

Still, the Magics trailed just 18‑6 at intermission as they took advantage of a fumbled Tiger punt return.

If the first half belonged to Massillon, then the third quarter was strictly Barberton’s as the Magics had the ball for all but three minutes.

Following the band shows, it looked as if the Magics were going to make a game of it as they chewed more than six minutes off the clock on the second half’s opening drive only to come away empty-handed.

After then forcing a Tiger punt, the Magics promptly moved deep into Massillon territory once again. This time Brian Miller came up with the big play, intercepting Underation at the 1‑yard line.

“You can’t score if you don’t get the ball,” Currence said of the Tigers’ second‑half showing. “They kept us off balanced.”

Miller returned the ball 15 yards, and the revitalized Tiger offense went back to work, moving 84 yards in 12 plays with Newman scoring on a 3‑yard run. Big plays were third down passes for first downs to Spicer and Siegenthaler. Dan Kozma added the point‑after try and Massillon had its margin of victory in front of 8,681 fans.

The final minutes of the game found the Tigers substituting freely.

And now the Tigers must prepare for the home stretch against Akron St. Vincent‑St. Mary (6‑1), Perry (6‑1) and Canton McKinley (4‑3) in subsequent weeks.
It was announced that former Tiger Craig Johnson, now a member of the Michigan State Spartans, has reached the final 50 in Wheaties’ Search for a Champion II. Johnson and the rest of Tigertowners will have to wait until December 31 to find out if he made the final six, which would put him on the cover of the cereal’s box.

Johnson is being backed by CAATS (Concerned about All Tiger Sports), just like Chris Spielman was a year ago.
Tiger cheerleader Meg Arciello was named Homecoming queen prior to the game.
Don and Anita Barnes were in attendance. They came all the way from Juneau, Alaska, The Barnes’ were in town for a 35th reunion and were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bonk. Mr. Bonk was the captain of the 1945 Tiger team that went 5‑0‑5, and he caught a touchdown pass in front of 60,000 fans in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium that year to tie Cathedral Latin.
The Tiger Booster Club honored M.C.A. Sign Company at halftime for 48 years of service. M.C.A. has promoted enthusiasm among Tiger fans by printing and handing out lapel stripes for free.

In 1937, the late Alvin “Dutch” Wampler founded the program, and it’s been going strong ever since. Booster Club president Bob Bushaman presented Paul Stoner, vice president of M.C.A. with a plaque.
Another former Tiger is doing well on the collegiate level. Steve Walterhouse was named defensive captain of the University of Pennsylvania’s freshmen team Friday. The cornerback sparked the Quakers to a 31‑14 win over Brown in an Ivy League meeting.

Prep gridsticks

First down rushing 8 8
First downs passing 9 4
First downs by penalty 1 2
Totals first downs 18 14
Yards gained rushing 172 132
Yards lost rushing 2 8
Net yards rushing 170 124
Net yards passing 143 67
Total yards gained 313 191
Passes attempted 24 24
Passes completed 12 8
Passes int. by 1 0
Times kicked off 5 2
Kickoff average 42.4 54.0
Kickoff return yards 33 74
Punts 3 3
Punting average 38.0 33.3
Punt return yards 5 12
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 3 3
Fumbles lost 1 3
Penalties 7 5
Yards penalized 55 36
Touchdowns rushing 3 1
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 53 59
Time of possession 20:19 27:41
Attendance 8,681

MASSILLON 18 0 7 0 25
BARBERTON 0 6 0 0 6

M ‑ Derrick Newman 5 run (kick failed)
M ‑ Newman 3 run (pass failed)
M ‑ Irwin Hastings 15 pass from Mike Scott (pass failed)
B – Joe Underation 1 run (kick failed)
M – Newman 3, (Dan Kuzma kick)

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 38, Stow Lakeview 31

Tigers win wild one 38-31

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ You’ve no doubt heard about the famed shootout at the OK Corral.

Well, that was nothing compared to what transpired Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium when Massillon outscored Stow 38-31 before 9,561 awe-struck fans.

A total of 912 yards in offense was generated, 577 of that coming on the passing arms of Massillon’s Mike Scott and Stow’s Pat Williams.

It was a blitzkrieg that left old, timers shaking their heads in disbelief. For the young of heart it was New Wave football at its best.

Program Cover

The aerial display left Stow head coach Gary Mattes staring into the empty stands afterwards. He couldn’t believe what took place.

Not even a 19 point Tiger lead entering the final quarter was safe. Not with a football in Williams’ hands.

The common belief among the fans was that whoever had the ball last would win … and Massillon had the ball last.

Not since a 68‑7 win over Akron St. Vincent in 1970 have the Tigers, now 3‑3 on the year, been involved in a game in which so many points were scored.

“If it’s all right with you,” Tiger head coach Mike Currence chided his offensive coordinator Nick Vrotsos, “I’d rather not see another offensive game like that.”

They both smiled at one another, because they liked what they had just witnessed on the field of play.

One person not smiling after the game was Mattes.

“I’m drained,” he said. “We did not expect the game to be as high scoring as it was. I think the fans more than got their money’s worth.

“I guess it was just one of those ballgames.”

Stow came into the game having permitted just 35 points in five games. They left wondering if they had any defense left at all.

But the same could be said of the Tiger defense, which has now given up 105 points. Not since the 1921 team gave up 140 points has a Massillon team yielded that many points after six outings.

And in a game dominated by the offense, it took a pass interception by Tiger safety Antwan Jones to seal the victory in the final minutes.

Scott’s numbers were awesome. The senior completed 19 of 32 attempts for 302 yards and two touchdown. He was not intercepted.

Williams was also up to the task. The Bulldog senior went to the air 24 times and completed 15 for 253 yards and four touchdowns.

With those kinds of numbers, someone at the receiving end was bound to post impressive numbers of their own. And the duo of Tiger Bruce Spicer and Bulldog Cyle Feldman did.

Spicer hauled in eight passes for 133 yards and one score. Feldman was on the receiving end a like number of times for 147 yards and three TDs.

Did someone mention a running game? It was there and in full force for the Tigers as well.

Massillon somehow came up with 231 rushing yards on 45 carries Fullback Duane Crenshaw had 72 yards, Cornell Jackson 71 and split end Wes Siegenthaler reeled off 64 on an end around reverse en route to a third-quarter score.

All told, the Tigers generated 24 first downs, and 533 yards. A big part of their success was an uncanny ability to convert third downs into first downs. That they did 12 of 18 times.

Massillon was the first to draw blood, scoring with 3:01 left in the opening period when Irwin Hastings ran in from five yards out. Dan Kozma added the first of his two point-after kicks.

The biggest play in that opening score was when George Olshawsky recovered a Jackson fumble at the Stow 36.

Stow (4‑2) came right back to even things up when Williams hit Feldman on a 45‑yard scoring strike 69 seconds later. Williams then added the PAT.

Following a 22‑yard punt return by Siegenthaler, the Tigers marched 55 yards in eight plays to paydirt when Duane Crenshaw went over from nine yards out. Kozma added the PAT.

Then things started to heat up in earnest.

First, it was Stow’s turn. The Bulldogs want 66 yards in nine plays with Mike Braccio punching in from a yard out. A big play was a Feldman pass ‑ he did a little of everything – to Braccio for 23 yards.

Now it was Massillon’s turn to score on the ensuing set of downs when Scott found Spicer on a 41‑yard TD pass down the right sidelines with 3:43 still left. The two connected earlier on a 14‑yard pass on a third‑and‑nine situation.

But, Stow wasn’t through yet. The Bulldogs lit the scoreboard up with 1:32 left in the halt when Williams hit Mike Tersigni from 22 yards out to culminate a nine‑play, 74‑yard drive.

Entering halftime, the Tigers were clinging to a 20‑19 lead.

And if play in the first half wasn’t enough for the fans to chew on during intermission, they were in for a double treat by each school’s band show.

Following a stimulating halftime show, the third period belonged strictly to the Tigers as Stow ran off just five plays.

The Tigers took the opening kickoff of the second half and promptly marched 75 yards in 12 plays, eating up nearly six minutes. The prolonged drive was capped by Crenshaw’s 2‑yard run.

But there were key plays galore in that drive, all pass plays from Scott. The first was a 14‑yard toss to Siegenthaler, the next a 27‑yard pitch to Hastings and the third an 11‑yard gain to Spicer. All three passes came in third‑down situations.

Massillon’s defense ‑ believe it or not! ‑ then set up the next Tiger score on a Pete Johnson fumble recovery. A shanked 7‑yard punt set up the second.

Johnson’s recovery gave the Tigers the ball back one play after Crenshaw’s score. Massillon then went 43 yards in six plays with a 10‑yard TD pass from Scott to Hastings capping things.

The shanked punt gave the Tigers the ball at their own 36. One play later and the Tigers caught the Stow defense off guard as Siegenthaler was off to the races on an end around reverse for 64 yards, with Scott throwing a key block down field.

Siegenthaler’s TD made it a 38‑19 score with less than a minute remaining in the third period.

A Tiger victory was assured, right? I mean, didn’t Ed Wentzel then recover a fumbled kickoff to give Massillon great field position again? Yes, but no to the assured win.

“We just seemed to lose our concentration,” said Currence about Stow’s belated rally in the final period. “We relaxed, and you can do that against a good team.”

Three plays after Wentzel’s fumble recovery, the Tigers returned the favor. And it didn’t take Stow long to take advantage of the miscue.

Williams made it a 38‑25 game when be hit Feldman from six yards out, The two‑point conversion was intercepted by Johnson in the end zone.

Once again the Tigers turned the ball over, this time two plays later with Feldman pouncing on the loose sphere near midfield.

Four plays later and Williams hooked up with Feldman again, this time from 40 yards out. Another two‑point pass play was intercepted, this one by Brian Miller in the end was.

With a shade more than six minutes still to go, it was suddenly anyone’s game with the Tigers holding a not‑so certain 38‑31 lead.

Massillon then drove for two first downs before punting the ball into the end zone, giving Stow the ball at its own 20 with 3:26 remaining.

On Williams’ arm, the Bulldogs drove to the Tiger 42 in five plays. The sixth play turned into Jones’ interception at the Massillon 12, and saved the day for the Tigers.

Still, the Tigers had to move the ball in order to kill off the clock and destroy the effectiveness of Stow’s remaining time outs.

Faced with a third‑and‑eight with 1:14 left, the Bulldogs used their last time out. The Tigers had to make a first down, or risk giving the ball back to the strong arm of Williams.

Scott, who surprised everyone, want to the air and launched a bomb down the right sidelines to Spicer, who made the catch in fount of Currence for a 30‑yard gain. That sealed the victory.
Tiger sophomore Lance Hostetler made his presence known in the game, blocking one of Williams’ PAT tries.
It was Junior High Football Night at Tiger Stadium and the young lads were treated to one of the most thrilling games at home in a long while.

Area prep gridsticks


First downs rushing 11 7
First downs passing 13 11
First downs by penalty 0 1
Total first downs 24 19
Yards gained rushing 251 112
Yards lost rushing 20 9
Net yards rushing 231 104
Net yards passing 302 275
Total yards gained 533 379
Passes attempted 32 25
Passes completed 19 16
Passes int. by 0 1
Times kicked off 7 6
Kickoff average 42.9 43.7
Kickoff return yards 83 116
Punts 2 4
Punting average 38.5 28.5
Punt return yards 26 8
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 4 2
Fumbles lost 2 2
Penalties 8 3
Yards penalized 67 31
Touchdowns rushing 4 1
Touchdowns passing 2 4
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 77 50
Time of possession 28:24 19:36
Attendance 9,561

MASSILLON 7 13 18 0 38
STOW 7 12 0 12 31

M ‑ Irwin Hastings 5 run (Dan Kozma kick)
S ‑ Cyle Feldman 44 pass from Pat Williams (Williams kick)
M – Duane Crenshaw 9 run (Kozma kick)
S ‑ Mike Bracchio 1 run (kick failed)
M ‑ Bruce Spicer 40 pass from Mike Scott (kick failed)
S ‑ Mike Tersigni 22 pass from Williams (kick failed)
M ‑ Crenshaw 2 run (kick failed)
M ‑ Hastings 10 pass from Scott (pass failed)
M ‑ Wes Siegenthaler 64 run (pass failed)
S – Feldman 6 pass from Williams (pass failed)
S ‑ Feldman 39 pass from Williams (pass failed)

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 27, Cleveland St. Joseph 7

Tigers’ 27-7 win ‘a big one’

Independent Sports Editor

EUCLID ‑ Ahhh. That’s a little more like it!

Massillon snapped out of a three‑game losing streak Saturday night at Euclid Stadium by swamping host Cleveland St. Joseph 27‑7 before a boisterous Tigertown following.

To say the victory was one of the biggest for the Tigers in recent year may net be true. But it was darn close.

“It’s a big one,” said a jubilant and much‑relieved head Tiger football coach Mike Currence. “You never know until you lose three in a row how big that next one is.

“We’re back on a row now, I hope.”

The victory lifted the Tigers to a 2‑3 record, and now they’ll return to home turf for the remainder of the season. St. Joseph, playoff participants a year ago, dropped to 1‑4.

“I told the kids that this was a real personal victory for me, because I had coached up here for five years,” Currence, who had head coaching stints at Westlake and Lakewood St. Edward before joining the Tigers in 1976 said.

“I thanked them personally after the game.”

Keys behind the Tiger success were a diversified offensive attack and a hard‑hitting defense that stopped the Vikings cold following the game’s opening set of downs.

The offense seemingly put it all together with senior quarterback Mike Scott at the helm. Scott, who suffered a fractured vertebra on Aug. 18 in a scrimmage against Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, hit on 11 of 24 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown ‑ the first through the air for the Tigers this year.

Scott, who had at least a half‑dozen passes dropped, had excellent pass protection throughout the game. He had to break out of the pocket only occasionally, and once took a solid hit by a St. Joe defender when forced to scramble.

“We got him back and now we want to keep him healthy,” said Currence, who had his offense line up in an I‑formation. “We wanted to give Mike Scott as much protection as we could get him.

“My line did just a great job,” the veteran coach noted. “I’m really proud of them for doing that. I think he (Scott) means a lot in terms of leadership to the ballclub.”

With Scott at quarterback, the Tigers moved Wes Siegenthaler to a split end. The move paid off as the junior caught five passes for 52 yards and dazzled the crowd with his acrobatic leaps for slightly over thrown passes.

And while the passing game was clicking, the Tigers rushed for 166 yards on the ground as well on 31 carries.

Nonetheless, the Tigers were given a scare by St. Joseph in the early going.

The Vikings took the opening kickoff and marched 73 Yards in 11 plays to paydirt when quarterback Robert Duffy hit tight and Tom Barni from eight yards out. Mike Oliver added the point‑after to give the Vikings a 7‑0 lead at the 6:29 mark.

Massillon aided the Viking drive with three penalties, one an encroachment call on third‑and‑two.

For that matter, the Tigers were penalty riddled throughout the contest. They were called for 12 infractions for 123 yards, twice being flagged for having too many players on the field on punt returns.

“We were trying to get into so many defensive formations, and we had people on the field who had not been there before,” Currence analyzed. “The nice thing is that it didn’t hurt us tonight.”

One of those illegal participation calls took away a fine 36‑yard punt return by Siegenthaler in the opening period and gave the hall back to the Vikings.

The first period was one the Tigers would rather forget. They ran off just six plays, recorded but one first down and saw junior halfback Derrick Newman suffer a possible fractured wrist after taking a jarring tackle on a pass reception.

But good things befall those who wait patiently.

If the first period was a lost cause, than the second 12 minutes more than made up for it as the Tigers scored twice to take a 14‑7 lead at halftime.

Massillon’s first score came just two plays after Newman was hurt when Scott hit a wide‑open Irwin Hastings over the middle far a 65‑yard score. Hastings, playing by far and away his best game, broke a tackle on his TD jaunt.

And for the first time this season, the Tigers convened an extra‑point try as Dan Kozma booted the first of three straight PATs. His fourth try was blocked later in the game.

The Tigers played the role of opportunists on St. Joe’ near possession when Chris Slinger pounced on a loose ball, giving Massillon field position at the Viking 45.

Eight plays later the Tigers found the end zone as fullback Duane Crenshaw exploded 12 yards with 6:57 remaining. Key plays in the march were a 5‑yard run by Hastings on third‑and‑two and a 15‑yard pass from Scott to Siegenthaler an fourth‑and‑five from the Viking 27.

Massillon nearly had another six points tacked to the scoreboard later in the period when Siegenthaler appeared to have returned a punt 86 yards. He stepped out of bounds, though, at midfield.

Both teams punted on their first two possessions of the third quarter, but the Tigers worked things out on their third set of downs.

After a Scott Byelene punt buried St. Joe at its 13-yard line, the Tigers took over at the Viking 42 following a 27‑yard punt.

This time the Tigers marched 58 yards in nine plays with Hastings plowing over from two yards out with three seconds left in the period. Twice Scott found Hastings on third-and‑long situations with screen passes for first downs to keep the drive alive.

Massillon closed out its scoring at the 6:32 mark of the final period when Jackson cut back and then sprinted past a host of defenders 35 yards to paydirt. Again, it was Hastings who had the big play with a 33-yard gain on a reverse.

St. Joe had three cracks at the Tiger defense in the final quarter, once reaching the Massillon 36 and another time the 22. Interceptions by Brian Miller and Antwan Jones stopped two of those marches.

“It was a team effort all the way,” Currence said. “The line did well, the backs ran well and the defense did another solid job. It turned out to be as exciting a game as if we were both 4‑0.”

Hastings finished as the Tigers’ leading ground gainer with 52 yards on file carries. He also added 103 yards on four pass receptions.

The Tigers will host Stow on Friday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in an 8 p.m. game.

Area prep gridsticks


First downs rushing 8 7
First downs passing 6 5
First downs by penalty 0 3
Totals first downs 14 15
Yards gained rushing 175 164
Yards lost rushing 9 19
Net yard, rushing 166 145
Net yards passing 174 93
Total yards gained 340 238
Passes attempted 24 18
Passes completed 11 7
Passes int. by 2 1
Yardage on pass int. 15.8 13.3
Times kicked off 5 2
Kickoff average 50.2 31.0
Kickoff return yards 5 90
Punts 4 5
Punting average 41.5 36.0
Punt return yards 47 2
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 0 2
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 12 4
Yards penalized 123 47
Touchdowns rushing 3 0
Touchdowns passing 1 1
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 55 62
Time of possession 21:35 26:25

MASSILLON 0 14 7 6 27
ST. JOSEPH 7 0 0 0 7

SJ ‑ Tom Barni 8 pass from Robert Duffy (Mike Oliver kick).
M – Irwin Hastings 65 pass from Mike Scott (Dan Kozma kick).
M ‑ Duane Crenshaw 13 run (Kozma kick)
M ‑ Hastings 1 run (Kozma kick).
M ‑ Cornell Jackson 34 run (kick blocked)

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 18, Akron Central Hower 20

Tigers lose 3rd straight

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Ugh! What next?

It seems the Midas Touch has left the Massillon Tiger football camp these days.

Rather than turning to gold, things have been going so poorly in Tigertown that … well, everything is turning to rust.

They don’t talk defeats around here, but lately there hasn’t been much else to discuss over supper.

And you can forget the dessert, Tigertowners. Massillon has lost another one, this one a 20‑18 setback to visiting Akron Central‑Hower Friday nigh at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Program Cover

The defeat was the third straight for the Tigers, who haven’t tasted victory since a 12-0 opening night win over Akron North.

Not since 1966 has Massillon had to go longer than two weeks without a win. Not even, the newly‑installed “Tiger Stripe” could help lift the spirits of the players and fans alike.

Things got so bad against Central-Hower that the Tigers saw a 12-0 advantage turn into a 20‑12 deficit. At that point, the stands began to empty.

Even Tiger head coach Mike Currence was at a loss for words to explain what happened.

“I really don’t have any comments,” the disgruntled veteran coach of nine years said in the hosts’ grim locker room. “I don’t have any answers. We need some time to re-group.”

And with that Currence closed the post‑game interview. He was not a happy man, and in no mood to share his thoughts with anybody but his players and coaching staff.

For the second straight week the Tigers held the upper hand in the game’s statistics, holding a 21‑9 edge in first downs and a 404‑314 edge in total yardage.

And for the second straight week, you couldn’t buy the paper the statistics were printed on. The one figure that counted the most – found on the scoreboard – told the sad but true tale.

Things started out regally enough for Tiger fans as the hosts took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in six plays to pay dirt, Derrick Newman following a convoy of blockers to the end zone from 12 yards out.

Big plays in the drive were, a 37‑yard run by newly‑installed fullback Duane Crenshaw and a 13‑yard gain on third and four by Newman.

However, the first of two missed extra-point kicks, one by Todd Manion and another by sophomore Mike Norris, would come back to haunt the Tigers.

The Eagles (1‑2) then strung together a 13‑play drive of their own, but the march was stopped when John Fresh recovered a fumble caused by the tackle of teammate Darren Radtke.

Both teams took turns punting on their next possessions, with the Tigers taking over on their own 31 following a 15‑yard return by Wes Siegenthaler, the starting quarterback.

Massillon chewed up over five minutes of the clock and despite three 15‑yard penalties drove 69 yards to the end zone, scoring on an eight-yard run by Siegenthaler. The extra point kick this time sailed wide left.

Siegenthaler, who completed nine of 13 passes on the night for 61 yards, hit his favorite target ‑ Bruce Spicer ‑twice for long gains in key situations on the drive.

With 7:11 remaining before halftime, the Tigers held a 12‑0 lead and the fans were whooping it up.

Central‑Hower took over the ball on its own 17 following a fine open field tackle by Ed Wentzel on the kickoff.

The Eagles, running out of a wishbone offense, gained one yard on two running attempts when halfback-turned‑quarterback Verdell Rice (remember his name) found tight end Mike McMullen on a 23‑yard gain. McMullen did a juggling act on his reception.

On the ensuing play, Steve Martin gained eight yards then Rice, who would gain 206 yards on 19 carries, turned a quarterback keeper into a 53‑yard touchdown ran down the left sidelines. Kelly Clark added the first of two extra‑point conversions.

Massillon was forced to punt on its next set of downs, Hower taking over at the Tiger 45. Seven plays later, the Eagles lined up for a 42‑yard field goal by Clark with 40 seconds left. Clark never got a chance, as the visitors tried a bit of trickery with the holder throwing an incomplete pass.

After an entertaining halftime show by the Tiger Swing Band, the Eagles took the second‑half kickoff and found themselves faced with a fourth and one at their own 40.

Confident they could get the necessary yard, Rice promptly ran the bootleg 60 yards down the right sideline to paydirt. Clark added the point after, and Central‑Hower led 14‑12 with less than three minutes elapsed in the third quarter.

Once again both teams exchanged punts, and on Massillon’s second possession of the half the Tigers took over on their own 45.

Crenshaw, who rushed for 121 yards on 14 carries, picked up 30 yards to the Eagle 25. Two more runs pushed the ball to the 18 where Massillon was faced with a third and three, but the Tigers were guilty of illegal procedure.

Faced with a third and eight now, a Siegenthaler pass was incomplete. On fourth down, Norris tried a 40‑yard field goal that fell way short of the intended mark.

But, the Tigers were given new life when a Central‑Hower punt on the following set of downs traveled just 13 yards, putting Massillon on the Eagle 38.

Crenshaw ran twice for 10 yards and a first down. Newman picked up seven more to the 21. Crenshaw’s number was called again, and the braising runner‑blocker picked up six yards when he fumbled the ball away, Central‑Hower’s three‑year starter Raheem Reid pouncing on the loose pigskin.

Again the Tiger defense held its ground, forcing another weak Central‑Hower punt. With 8:58 remaining in the final quarter, Massillon had the ball at the Eagle 43.

Three straight runs put the Tigers into a fourth‑and‑one situation where Crenshaw was knocked off his feet at the line of scrimmage by Reid.

Seemingly inspired by the linebacker’s alert defensive play, Rice shook off three tacklers on the ensuing down and scampered 66 yards to the end zone. Clark’s kick was wide right, but the Eagle, owned a 20‑12 advantage.

Then the excitement began.

With Siegenthaler taking to the air, the Tigers moved from their own 20 to a first down at the Central-Hower 28 in seven plays, aided by a 15‑yard unsportsmanlike penalty on the Eagles.

On first down, Siegenthaler launched an apparent TD pass to Newman. But the junior couldn’t find the handle on the throw as he crossed the goal‑line. Siegenthaler was then intercepted by Greg Chatman on the next play.

The Tiger defense again held Hower to three runs and a punt, with the offense getting the ball back at the Massillon 30. Enter Mike Scott as the quarterback.

Scott, who had been banged up with a back injury, hit Spicer on three straight pass, for 11, 10 and nine yards. He the, found Cornell Jackson downfield on 35‑yard pass play to the Eagle four where Newman went over left tackle two plays later for a touchdown.

Just 1:18 was left and the Tigers had to go for two points and the tie. Scott took the snap and pitched to Jackson, who in turn tried to hit Siegenthaler. But Jackson was swarmed under and his pass fell harmlessly to the ground.
The Tigers attempted a halfback pass earlier in the game. That time the pass was intercepted by Hower’s Willie Jennings in the first quarter.
Rice may have gained 206 yards, but three of his runs totaled 178 yards and three touchdowns.

First downs rushing 12 8
First downs passing 7 1
First downs by penalty 2 0
Total first downs 21 9
Yards gained rushing 294 309
Yards lost rushing 17 18
Net yards rushing 277 291
Net yards passing 127 23
Total yards gained 404 314
Passes attempted 18 7
Passes completed 13 1
Passes int. by 2 0
Times kicked off 4 4
Kickoff average 48.3 58.8
Kickoff return yards 20 42
Punts 2 5
Punting average 32.0 31.6
Punt return yards 28 0
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 1 2
Fumbles lost 1 1
Penalties 7 6
Yards penalized 75 76
Touchdowns rushing 3 3
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 63 50
Time of possession 21:40 26 20
Attendance 9,641

CENTRAL‑HOWER 0 7 7 6 20
MASSILLON 6 6 0 6 18

M ‑ Derrick Newman 11 run (kick failed)
M ‑Wes Siegenthaler 8 run (kick failed)
C ‑ Verdell Rice 53 run (Kelly Clark kick)
C ‑ Rice 59 run (Clark kick)
C ‑ Rice 66 run (kick failed)
M ‑ Newman 1 ran (pass failed)

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 6, Warren Harding 18

Seven turnovers undo Massillon
Harding stuns Tigers

Independent Sports Editor

WARREN ‑ It was a game of give and take Friday night at Mollenkopf stadium.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, Massillon did most of the giving and Warren Harding the taking.

Seven times the Tigers played the role of gracious guests. Five Massillon passes were intercepted and two fumbles were lost.

The muscle, added up to an 18-6 setback for the Tigers, the first time since 1976 that a Massillon team has lost two games in a row.

It was also the first time since 1977 that Harding came away a victor against the Tigers.

It was a night worth forgetting for Massillon fans as the Tigers fell to 1-2.

Program Cover

“The turnovers killed us,” said a subdued Tiger Head Coach Mike Currence. “We were searching for something out there and we had to take some chances, and sometimes when you take a chance …

“I don’t know what it is,” he continued. “I was at a dilemma in the third period. I just didn’t know what to do, but we’ve got to find some answers real soon.”

All three Harding (2‑1) scores were the direct result of Tiger breakdowns, one by the defense, another by the punt team and the third by the offense. It was three-ring circus, but only the Panther faithful were entertained.

Harding rolled to an 18‑0 lead bef­ore the Tigers averted being shut out for the first time since a 1979 state playoff loss to Parma Padua (12‑0).

When fullback Derrick Newman capped a 14‑play, 80‑yard drive by scoring from a yard out, the scoreboard showed just 3:54 re­maining in the final period.

By then, though, the damage had run its course. The Tigers self destructed much earlier.

Given good field position at the Harding 38 following a 19‑yard punt, the Tigers turned the ball over on downs when they failed to convert on a fourth and five as quarterback Wes Siegenthaler was stopped a yard short on a keeper.

Harding then rolled up three first downs to the Tiger 35 when quarter­back Harley Kellar was sacked for an eight‑yard loss by middle guard Tom Whitfield.

However, a personal foul was cal­led on the Tigers. So, the Panthers had a second down at Massillon’s 27 rather than at the 43.

On the next play Whitfield stopped fullback Willie Perez for a loss, but the Tiger junior was called for a face mask penalty much to the chagrin of the Massillon coaching staff.

The face mask call was very questionable,” Currence said. “I’ll have to see the films on that one.”

With a first down on the Tiger 14, Perez took the next handoff and scooted to paydirt with 4:04 remain­ing in the opening period.

Two big defensive plays by the Ti­gers, ones that may have put Hard­ing out of scoring position, turned into big Panther plays, And, as they would do later on, the Panthers capi­talized on them.

Harding’s defense then forced a Tiger punt. Scott Byelene’s boot was fielded by Perez at his own 22. He didn’t stop running until he crossed the goal line.

“We just broke down on our coverage,” Currence said. “It was set up and executed well by them.”

Entering the second quarter, the Panthers found themselves atop the scoreboard by a 12‑0 count.

The second 12 minutes was a study in who wanted to keep the ball the longest as their were four turnovers, three coming on consecutive possessions.

Massillon, which started three of its seven first‑half drives well inside Panther territory, could not capital­ize on its opportunities.

The comedy of errors continued into the third period when Siegenthaler was intercepted on the third play following the kickoff by David Arnold, who returned the ball 25 yards to the Tiger six.

From there, Perez notched his third TD of the night on the ensuing play. Less than two minutes into the second half, the Panthers owned a commanding 18‑0 advantage.

Midway through the third period, the Tigers were given a golden opportunity to get back in the game when a Perez fumble was recovered at the Panther 23. Two plays later, though, Massillon turned the ball back over when Kellar came up with the fourth Harding interception at the three.

Turnovers continued to plague the Tigers early in the final period when a Panther punt was bobbled and then recovered by Harding’s Derrick Goliday at the Massillon 28.

The Tiger defense, which yielded just 104 yards, stiffened and a 42 yard field goal try by the Panthers was way short of the intended mark.

Finally, the Tigers hit paydirt when they marched 80 yards in 14 plays. Cornell Jackson gained 35 of the yards on three carries, and Mas­sillon converted three third‑down plays.

But, it was too little too late.
Of the five passes Harding picked off, four came off the arm of Siegenthaler and the other with Mike Scott at the helm. Scott, making his first appearance of the year, entered the game at the 4:42 mark of the second period. Scott, nearly connected with Siegenthaler on a 24‑yard TD pass.
The Tigers came up with a pair of interceptions of their own. The cul­prits were Brian Spicer and Clay Spangler. Harding’s interceptions were turned in by Kellar (2), Reuben Osborne (2) and Arnold.
Massillon used three quarter­backs in an effort to find a spark that world ignite the offense. Siegenthal­er started but was replaced by both Scott and Paul Fabianich at various times.

Warfield has special night;
Thomas gets ‘biggest win’

Independent Spans Editor

WARREN ‑ For all Massillon cared, it might as well have been Gungo Din Night.

As it stood, though, it was Paul Warfield who came back home to the school where he first made his mark as a football player.

Warfield, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was saluted Friday night prior to the Massillon-Warren Harding game at Mollenkopf Stadium.

It was at Harding that Warfield made his name known, rushing for 2,103 yards and catching passes for 356 more yards. He led the Panthers to two wins in three years over Massillon as well from 1957 to 1959.

Warfield, who was a high school All‑American, went on to star at Ohio State University where he became a college All‑American under Woody Hayes.

In pro ball he played for the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and the Memphis Southmen of the now defunct World Football League.

Hayes and Warfield’s high school coach, Gene Slaughter, now the head coach at Capital University, were both present at the pre‑game ceremonies.

Warfield was presented with a proclamation by the Warren School Board of Education.
Warren Harding football coach Frank Thomas, who served as a defensive coordinator for the Massillon Tigers for five years before heading off for Niles McKinley and then Harding, was one happy man following his team’s 18‑6 defeat of the Tigers.

“Without a doubt, it’s my biggest win,” Thomas, who is in his third year at the Panther helm, said. “Any win is an important one, especially coming off a loss and playing Massillon.

“When you beat Massillon, it’s like putting a feather in your cap,” he said.

Did the Paul Warfield Night inspire his troops to greater heights?

“It was a combination of things, really,” Thomas said. “We had a big spirit rally at school, Paul talked to the kids before the game and told them to give 110 percent and to believe in your fellow teammate.

“All of that was important, and playing Massillon was equally important.”

The Harding defense came up with seven turnovers, five on interceptions, to snuff out nearly all of Massillon’s drives before they got started.

“We went an awfully lot to man‑to‑man coverage, much more than usual,” Thomas acknowledged. “We went out with the idea that defensively we would come after them and make same things happen. Every time they tried to beat us deep, we intercepted them.

“I felt we set the tone defensively. We did not sit back and wait,”

One of the biggest plays in the game was Willie Perez’s 78‑yard touchdown on a punt return in the first quarter. That TD gave the Panthers a lightning‑quick 12‑0 lead before the Tigers knew what hit them.

“Being up 6‑0 is one thing, but then ‘bam,’ we went up 12‑0 on the punt return,” Thomas said. “It takes a lot of wind out of your sails when something like that happens.

“You know, this is a funny game. Last week we gave up 10 first downs on third‑down and long plays. That was the exact same defensive backfield we had in last week (a 14‑12 loss to Youngstown East).

“Who can figure it out? One week everything works for you, and the next it doesn’t.

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 12, Akron Garfield 29

Rams rush past Tigers 29-12

Independent dent Sports Editor Editor

MASSILLON – How good is Akron Garfield’s football team? Nearly 12,000 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium found out Friday night for themselves.

The Golden Rams rammed the football down Massillon’s collective throats en route to a 29‑12 win. Head coach Bill McGee’s squad gained all of its 348 yards on the ground.

So effective was Garfield’s rushing attack that the Rams attempted only one pass and that was intercepted! However, that play turned out to be one of the game’s biggest.

Program Cover

Garfield, which ventured to the Division I state finals a year ago, literally dominated the game ‑ save for a few moments in the second period when the Tigers took a 12-7 lead following a 62‑yard touchdown run by junior Cornell Jackson.

Although the Rams held a slim 19‑16 edge in first downs, the Akron visitors owned the ball for over nine more minutes than Massillon in terms of possession.

Garfield gained 6.2 yards every time it rushed with the ball, and they carried the pigskin 55 times for 348 yards. Bruising fullback Eric Finn totaled 142 yards, quarterback John Oster added 105 and tailback Nate Winfield chipped in with 83 more.

Obviously, there was no secret as to what Garfield would do with the ball ‑ run, and then run some more. When the going got tough, the Rams simply got tougher.

The 17‑point deficit was the second worst defeat suffered by a Mike Currence‑coached Tiger squad during the regular season. Back in 1981 Massillon dropped a 24-6 decision to Cincinnati Moeller.

And the 29 points were the most surrendered by a Currence team in regular season play as well. For that matter, there have been 11 Tiger teams who gave up less than 29 points in a season!

Garfield (2‑0) struck first in the opening quarter when Oster, who also handled all of the kicking duties, scampered five yards to paydirt to culminate a nine‑play, 74-yard march following a Tiger punt. Oster added the extra‑point kick at the 3:29 mark.

Massillon, which failed to sustain anything resembling a drive during its 12-0 opening-season over Akron North, came roaring right back on its next possession.

Taking over at their own 23, the Tigers drove 77 yards in 14 plays when junior fullback Derrick Newman bulled over from a yard out. Dan Kozan’s kick at the 11:18 mark of the second period was wide.

All of Massillon’s yardage during the march was generated on the ground with quarterback Wes Siegenthaler netting 28 yards on four carries, twice converting on third‑down situations.

The Tiger defense dug in on Garfield’s ensuing set of downs, holding the Rams to seven yards and forcing them to punt for the only time in the game.

With the ball nestled deep in their own territory, the Tigers picked up a first down behind two Siegenthaler carries to the 38. Then, Jackson broke free on his 62‑yard jaunt, highlighted by a wicked stiff‑arm of a Ram defender near the 12‑yard line.

With 8:35 remaining in the half, the Tigers went for two points. Siegenthaler, though, was knocked out of bounds at the one, but Massillon was on top, 12‑7.

Needing another stout effort by the defense, the Rams proved to be just too much in marching 62 yards on 10 plays. This time Finn crossed the goal line from a yard out with 3:32 showing in the half. Oster added a two‑point ran for a 15‑12 lead.

Despite trailing by three points at intermission, the Tigers had shown they could move the ball on Garfield’s defense. But the Rams also displayed the same tenacity on offense.

The third period belonged to Garfield as the Tigers ran off just four plays to the Rams’ 20.

Garfield took the opening kickoff and drove 70 yards in seven plays with Finn bulling his way in to paydirt from 10 yards out. A 27‑yard run by Oster on a keeper moved the ball from Ram territory into Tiger land. Oster added the kick‑after to put the visitors up 22‑12 with 8:58 left.

The Ram defense then held Massillon to minus yardage before getting the ball back on their own 40 following a 40‑yard punt by Scott Byelene.

This time the Rams moved 60yards in 13 plays, with Winfield scoring from three yards out. The key play, and the biggest of the game, occurred when Oster was forced to pass for the first time when Garfield was faced with a fourth and seven from the Tiger 26.

Oster’s pass was intercepted by Jeff Smith, who took off to his right with the errant throw. With running room and some blockers in front of him, he was hit from behind and lost his grip on the ball.

A Garfield lineman pounced on the ball, giving the Rams renewed life and a first down at the Tiger 21.

Six plays later Winfield scored to make it 29‑12 with 37 seconds left in the third period.

If the Tigers were to make a comeback, they had to do it the next time they had the ball. And they did, driving from their own 21 to a first and goal at the Garfield seven after converting three third down plays into first downs.

Two running plays kept the Tigers at the seven. An incomplete pass in the end zone followed before Siegenthaler was stopped at the two, turning the ball over to Garfield with 5:44 left. The Rams chewed up the remainder of the clock.

For Massillon, Jackson finished with 95 yards on 11 carries while Siegenthaler added 53 on 11 totes. Siegenthaler completed six of 12 passes for 50 yards.

Siegenthaler was knocked silly late in the third period and sat on the sidelines gathering his wits for six plays while junior Paul Fabianich took over. Fabianich attempted only one pass.
Rudy Sutter celebrated his 89th birthday Friday. He hasn’t missed a home Tiger game since 1941.
Ron and Marilyn Wright entertained fans as they entered the stadium with their traveling calliope, which was perched on the back of their newly‑acquired pick‑up truck. Their son, Ron Jr., played on the 1978 Massillon team.

Prep gridsticks

First downs rushing 11 19
First downs passing 4 0
First downs by penalty 1 0
Total first downs 16 19
Yards gained rushing 201 356
Yards lost rushing 28 8
Net yards rushing 173 348
Net yards passing 70 0
Total yards gained 243 348
Passes attempted 14 1
Passes completed 7 0
Passes int. by 0 1
Times kicked off 3 5
Kickoff average 45.0 44.0
Kickoff return yards 77 49
Punts 3 1
Punting rules 37.0 41.0
Punt return yards 0 17
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 4 2
Fumbles lost 1 0
Penalties 2 1
Yards penalized 20 15
Touchdowns rushing 2 4
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 49 56
Time of Possession 19:24 28:36
Attendance 11,666

GARFIELD 7 8 14 0 29
MASSILLON 0 12 0 0 12

G ‑ John Oster 5 run (Oster kick)
M ‑ Derrick Newman 1 run (kick failed)
M ‑ Cornell Jackson 62 run (run failed)
G ‑ Eric Finn 1 run (Oster run)
G – Finn 10 run (Oster kick)
G – Nate Winfield 3 run (Oster kick)

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 12, Akron North 0

Massillon cashes in on Viking miscues
Tigers beat back North 12-0

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Mark Twain once wrote that there were three types of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.

And so it was Friday night when host Massillon blanked Akron North, 12‑0, to open its season at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium before 9,605 fans. A glance at the stats didn’t tell the tale.

The Vikings outgained Massillon in total yardage, 161‑133, but the Tigers played the role of opportunists to the hilt. When North made a mistake, Massillon was there to cash in.

Program Cover

Considering that North held a decided advantage in playing experience, 18 returning starters as opposed to Massillon’s two, the Tigers took the first step ‑ a big one ‑ in earning their stripes.

The first North mistake occurred midway through the first period when quarterback Charles Marquess had a pass intercepted by Tiger Pete Johnson.

Johnson, whose older brother Craig made his mark a year ago as a Tiger running back, returned the interception 38 yards to the North seven where Marquess dragged him down from behind.

Two rushing plays netted the Tigers four yards, but a delay of the game penalty pushed Massillon back to the eight. On third down, quarterback Wes Siegenthaler made like a belly‑dancer in finding his way into the end zone.

The kick after sailed low and lathe right, but the Tigers were on the board with a 6‑0 lead at the 4:00 mark.

Late in the second quarter, the Vikings committed their second miscue when Lawrence Moore fumbled when it appeared North was on its way to paydirt.

Moore’s bobble was pounced on by Bruce Spicer at the Tiger five yard line.

But the most damaging blow to North came at the start of the second half when Moore fumbled Todd Manion’s kick off. The recovery was made by Tiger Chris Slinger, and gave Massillon a first down at the Viking 24.

Tiger Cornell Jackson gained four yards on the first play following the turnover, and then was stopped for no gain. However, North was hit with a face mask penalty.

With the ball now on the 10, Jackson’s number was called again. This time he responded by following blocks by Jared Mayle and Jim Thorne to the end zone. Massillon’s bid for a two‑point conversion failed, but the Tigers led 12‑0.

North knocked at the door only twice, the first time Spicer closed it behind him with his timely fumble recovery. The second time was late in the third quarter when the Vikings did something neither squad had done up to that point ‑ mount a drive of any proportion.

Taking over at their own 39 following a 21‑yard punt return by Brian Sanders, the Vikings rolled up three first downs and found themselves at the Tiger 13.

A pair of running plays netted three yards and on third down Marquess went back to pass. He was greeted by a host of Orange and Black uniforms and was sacked for a seven‑yard loss. Marquess’ pass on fourth down fell harmlessly to the stadium turf.

As evidenced by the final score, neither team made much of an offensive showing. The Tigers had just six first downs, and converted on only one of 11 third‑down tries. The Orange and Black also completed just two of 10 passes for 24 yards, and the leading rusher was Siegenthaler with 40 yards on seven totes.

And the final stats were just as uninspiring on North’s part. The Vikings notched nine first downs, and also converted just once in 11 third‑down attempts. They fumbled six times, losing two.

A tell‑tale sign of ineffective offenses is the number of punts. In this case, both sides punted eight times.

Massillon returns to Tiger Stadium next Friday for a grudge match of sorts with Akron Garfield, the only team to beat the tigers a year ago.

Tiger ‘D’ earns its stripes

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON‑ The Tiger defense earned its stripes Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium before 9,605 fans who gathered together to usher in yet another season of Tigertown football.

Even long‑time Tiger rooter Cy Witmer had cause to smile following the 12‑0 blanking of visiting Akron North. Witmer’s been coming to Massillon home games since 1922, and the sparkle in his eyes gave away his pleasure with the outcome.

Opportunists, that’s what the Tigers were against North. An interception by Pete Johnson led to the game’s first score, and a fumble recovery by Chris Slinger opened the door to the second TD.

A second fumble recovery, this one by Brian Spicer, stopped a potential North scoring drive in the second quarter. The senior defensive back pounced on the loose ball at the Tiger five.

And then there was the gang-tackle turned in by the trio of Duane Crenshaw, Scott Byelene and Pat Spicer that tossed North’s quarterback for a seven‑yard loss when the Vikings had a third and seven at the Tiger 10 late in the third quarter.

Then, to top things off, there was the heads‑up play turned in by Tiger halfback Irwin Hastings, who took a Massillon fumble right out of the hands of a North defender on the third quarter’s final play. Had Hastings not come up with the play, the Vikings would’ve had a first down at Massillon’s 30.

Such was the play of the Tiger defense, which had come under a certain amount of criticism during the scrimmage season. Even head coach Mike Currence had said he expected opponents to score points.

But, against North, the defense was where it had to be at the right time.

“I was really impressed with our defense,” Currence said in the noisy locker room. “Also, I have to compliment our punter, Scott Byelene. We were in some situations where if he gets a real bad punt we were in trouble. It all comes together, the whole thing, the whole package ‑ a good punting game, a good kicking game and a good defense.

“I was really surprised and pleased,” Currence said when asked about the low score of the game. Many expected the scoreboard to change at a rapid‑fire pace.

“I thought they were a good enough offense to score, good enough with speed, a big enough line, but our coaching staff‑did a tremendous job. I think they are to be commended for shutting them out,” he said.

Against North, the Tiger defense truly rested its case. However, it was the offense which was expected to move up and down the field. They had done so in scrimmages, but the Vikings were a most formidable foe as they prevented Massillon from getting its highly‑vaunted speed around the corners.

“We would’ve been better off had we punted on first downs sometimes,” Currence said. “Here I am, I know we’re not throwing the ball well or catching it well and we had our backs to the goal line.”

Although Currence expressed some concern with the offense, he knew it had poor field position most of the night. The Tiger grid boss was pleased with poise shown by junior quarterback Wes Siegenthaler, a move‑in from Green High School.

“One thing he did tonight is that he may have lost some yardage, but he didn’t put the ball up for grabs. That could’ve won us the game. If he had put the ball up for grabs, with the field position we had most of the night …”

Currence didn’t finish the statement. He didn’t have to. That’s because the Tigers didn’t self-destruct. The victory may not go down as the most artistic success, but it was a win.

Considering the youthfulness of the squad, just two starters back from last year as opposed to 18 for North, it was a good feeling to get off on the right foot.

Next Friday is the biggie – Akron Garfield. Are your guys ready, coach?

For the first time since 1939, Russ Ramsey Sr. wasn’t at the game. The Tiger press box manager had his spot taken by his grandson Mike Ramsey. Russ is recovering from a heart attack he suffered while on a trip to California. Mike reports his grandfather is doing just fine.


First downs rushing 5 5
First downs passing 0 4
First downs by penalty 1 0
Total, first downs 6 9
Yards gained rushing 135 113
Yards lost rushing 26 37
Net yards rushing 109 76
Net yards passing 24 85
Total yards gained 133 161
Passes attempted 10 11
Passes completed 2 4
Passses int. by 0 1
Times kicked off 3 1
Kickoff 54.0 34.0
Kickoff return yards 6 47
Punts 8 8
Punting average 36.8 31.3
Punt return yards 10 39
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 2 6
Fumbles lost 1 2
Penalties 6 4
Yards penalized 43 35
Touchdowns rushing 2 0
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 41 51
Time of possession 19 48 28:12
Attendance 9,605

AKRON NORTH 0 0 0 0 0
MASSILLON 6 0 6 0 12

M ‑ Wes Siegenthaler 3 run (kick failed)
M ‑ Cornell Jackson 10 run (run failed)