Tag: <span>Reggie Rogers</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2013: Massillon 27, Austintown Fitch 30

Tigers battle back, but run out of time

AUSTINTOWN In the end, there just wasn’t enough time for Massillon to complete the comeback.

Facing the largest deficit of the season and on the road against the state’s No. 4-ranked Division I team, the Tigers came close to pull ing out a memorable win on Friday night at Austintown Fitch. Instead, the time literally ran out on Massillon as it fell 30-27 to the Falcons in front of about 8,000 at Falcon Stadium.

“We’re extremely proud of the kids for the effort,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said after his team fell to 6-1. “They handled a lot of adversity in the game. With five minutes to go in the game, it just started clicking for us. We started doing some of the things we know we can do.”

The Tigers trailed 30-14 with 4:45 remaining after Fitch quarterback Antwan Harris scored his third touchdown of the game, a 1-yard plunge. But two Danny Clark-to-Reggie Rogers touchdown passes – an 80-yarder with 4:30 remaining and a 72-yarder with 2:41 left – pulled Massillon to within three points.

After forcing a three-and-out, the Tigers got the ball back with 1:06 remaining at their 35. Six
plays later, they were at the Fitch 10, then the 5 after a penalty on the Falcons.
On second-and-goal from there, Clark hit Whitfield on a pretty strike just over the goal line for
what appeared to be the go-ahead touchdown with 14 seconds remaining. But a illegal
formation flag wiped that out, moving the ball back to the 10
“Danny’s the reason we got back in this game,” Hall said of Clark, who was 16-of-23 for 358
yards on the night. “He’s a 15-year-old kid who brought the Tigers back with five minutes in
the game. He really made one of the best throws I’ve seen any quarterback I’ve ever had make
(on the Whitfield touchdown that was nullified).”

An incompletion made it third down with 10 seconds remaining. On the next play, though, the Falcon defense forced a scramble, which they tackled inbounds to close the game out.

“They got their money’s worth tonight,” Fitch coach Phil Annarella said after his team improved to 7-0. “My hat’s off to Massillon. What a great comeback. They didn’t quit. ”

Just to get to that point took quite an effort from the Tigers, who spent much of the game playing from behind. In fact, five plays into the contest, they were down 7-0 after Harris — the Fitch quarterback — took off for a 60-yard touchdown run.

The last time the Tigers would even the score up came on their subsequent drive, when Lyron Wilson capped the nine-play march with a 5-yard touchdown to make it 7-7 with 5:53 remaining. By the time Massillon would score again, on J.D. Crabtree’s 38-yard on the fourth play of the second half, it was in a hole it could never completely climb out of.

Massillon set up Fitch’s second score when it failed to convert on a fake punt attempt on fourth down from the Tiger 31. It was compounded by a late hit penalty on Massillon on the Falcons’ subsequent possession, which moved the ball to the Tiger 12, where it was fourth-and-1.

“They typically bring a lot of pressure all the time,” Hall said of the fake punt. “So we tried to bring two people from inside-out down the hashes, and they did a good job covering it. … We got them stopped (then) on third-and-long, it’s going to be fourth and at least 10, and we get a personal foul. It becomes fourth-and-1, and they get a touchdown on that.”

Harris picked up that and more, ripping off a 12-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7 Falcons with 8:36 remaining in the half. The junior quarterback, who was injured on the Falcons’ final offensive play of the game, rushed for 147 yards on 27 carries, including 102 yards in the first half.

The Fitch passing game, which has been called inconsistent by Annarella this week, provided the next score. Harris hit Joey Harrington for a 34-yard touchdown catch-and-run to make it 21-7 with 5:26 remaining in the half.

Massillon tried to cut into that before the half, reaching the Fitch 28. But a 45-yard field goal was blocked, leaving the Falcons ahead by 14 points.

Crabtree’s scoring run to open the second half pulled Massillon to 21-14. But there would be no scoring until the Fitch defense recorded a safety against the Tigers with 10:20 remaining to make it 23-14.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2013: Massillon 28, Akron Firestone 14

Tigers struggle, but top Falcons to keep unbeaten season intact

Independent sports editor

MASSILLON Jason Hall has experienced his share of tough, kick-in-the-gut-type of wins in his time at Massillon. And even after the roughest of losses, he has found plenty to say about what transpired in the 48 minutes of football.

But after Hall’s Tigers improved to 6-0 on Friday night with a lackluster 28-14 win over winless Firestone at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, the sixth-year coach found himself at a loss of words.

“I want to say this the right way,” Hall said, choosing each word carefully. “I expect great senior leadership out of the team. I didn’t think we had that tonight. I’m a guy who’s a very honest evaluator. I’m not happy with our staff; I’m not happy with our seniors. Firestone came in and their kids played hard, but if we play like that (next Friday), we might as well not drive to Fitch.”

The Tigers came into the game off of an emotional win at Steubenville, the program’s first win there since 1977. And all week, the state’s No. 1-ranked Division II team had heard about how Friday’s game with Firestone was merely a warm-up act for next week’s showdown at undefeated Austintown Fitch, the No. 4-ranked Division I team.

But Massillon, despite opening up a 28-0 halftime lead thanks to a three-touchdown second quarter, spent much of the night shooting itself in the foot with various mistakes and sloppy play. One week after a 14-penalty performance at Steubenville, the Tigers were flagged 10 times for 105 yards, including two penalties that were marked off on the kickoff following touchdowns.

Hall wouldn’t say if his players had come into the game overlooking a Firestone team that hadn’t scored more than 12 points in any game this season.

“I don’t know, because that’s not how I act,” Hall said. “I don’t know how people like that act.

You’d have to ask them. I don’t act like that. … Winners practice. I was just telling my daughter this the other night, winners don’t practice because they like to practice. Winners practice because they like to win. That’s the message our kids need to get.”

Friday’s game, though, followed a script that the previous four meetings between the two teams had followed. Firestone hangs around early before Massillon catches fire long enough to open up a multi-score lead.

In this instance, the Tigers led 7-0 after the first quarter behind a 14-yard Marcus Whitfield run on their first possession of the game. Whitfield’s 65-yard catch-and-run from quarterback Danny Clark helped give Massillon a two-score lead at 14-0 with 7:53 left in the first half.

Devon Ingram picked up a Firestone fumble a returned it 55 yards for a score with 4:48 left in the half to make it 21-0. After another Falcon fumble, the Tigers made it 28-0 when Clark found Malik Dudley with 40 seconds remaining before the intermission for a 14-yard touchdown.

“We love coming down here,” Firestone coach Tim Flossie said after his team fell to 0-6. “Our big problem is we don’t catch the ball. We dropped five or six balls tonight. We fumble the ball for a touchdown. Massillon’s good, and you don’t do that against a good team.”

But Flossie’s team continued to be a difficult out in the second half. The Falcons intercepted a pass on the first play of the fourth quarter, one play before they broke up the shutout with a 7-yard touchdown run by Brennan Williams.

Firestone added a 55-yard Louis Christian touchdown run with 1:03 remaining.

The Falcons, who had scored just 14 points in the previous four games combined, outgained Massillon 267-252.

The Tigers went to their reserve offensive players on the last series of the third quarter, which ended with them holding a 241-146 yards edge.

“We actually got some offense going,” Flossie said. “It could’ve been more if we had caught the ball. I was happy with that. We’ll be OK.”


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2013: Massillon 35, Warren Harding 14

Quick strike gives Massillon momentum to down Harding

Independent sports editor

WARREN Massillon had seen a two-touchdown lead completely disappear in the second quarter of its first road game of the season on Friday night at Warren Harding.

But instead of allowing the momentum to continue to move away from them, the Tigers took all of one play to swing it back in their favor. Buoyed by the late first-half score, the Tigers put their foot on the accelerator coming out of the half to run away from Warren 35-14 at Mollenkopf Stadium.

The Tigers, who were tied with the Raiders 14-14 with 3:41 remaining in the half, scored just 10 seconds after Warren had tied the game on a 32-yard Danny Clark to Reggie Rogers touchdown pass. They then scored on their first two second-half possessions to pull away to improve to 3-0 on the season.

“I knew right away that I wanted to come right back after they had a good little drive there and tied it up,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “We got that good return (by Marcus Whitfield). It was definitely a chance to come out and take the home-run shot to Reggie. … It was a good play.”

Clark, making his second start of his career, finished the game 8-of-13 for 145 yards with the one score. He didn’t attempt a pass in the fourth quarter after the Tigers took the 21-point lead.

After the touchdown pass, Warren — which was playing as the “Panthers” on this night in honor of the former Warren Harding teams — only threatened one other time, reaching the Massillon 1 midway through the fourth quarter. But by that point, the game was all but decided.

Warren, now 1-2, was also hurt by a pair of second-half turnovers, including a Mike Smith interception at the Warren 43 that turned into the Tigers’ final touchdown, a 7-yard run by J.D.

Crabtree with 5:21 remaining in the third. Lyron Wilson also had a 16-yard scoring run in the quarter.

“We got that 14-0 lead in the beginning, and they came back,” said Crabtree, who scored three times on the night. “We made a few mistakes. We came in at halftime and we really made some adjustments and came out and we were ready.”

Massillon came out of the chute determined to take command of the line of scrimmage. And that’s just what the Tigers did on their first drive, marching 62 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead when Crabtree powered in from a yard out with 8:56 left in the first quarter.

The third Massillon drive ended the exact same way, with Crabtree going in from a yard out to close out a four-play, 30-yard possession. The second Andrew David point-after kick gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead with 2:38 remaining in the half.

“They (the coaches) were really rough on them the whole week,” Crabtree said of the Massillon line, which helped the Tigers rush for 147 yards on 29 carries. “They were in full pads. I have all the respect in the world for them. We couldn’t make plays without them.”

Keemari Murry got loose to get Warren back into it, scampering for a 34-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Murry, a sophomore tailback, had 82 second-quarter rushing yards and 107 yards on the ground in the first half.

Murry finished the game with 193 yards on 34 carries with the one score.

“You have to take your hat off to them,” Hall said. “They ground and pound it a little bit in there.”

Warren tied the game up at 14-14 by showing just how valuable the return of Lamar Carmichael at quarterback is to the offense. Carmichael, hampered by a foot injury the first two games, eluded the Tiger pass rush and found Nate Walls for a 16-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-6 with 3:41 remaining in the half.

That led to Whitfield’s big kick return to the Warren 32, which led to the touchdown pass that gave Massillon the lead for good.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2013: Massillon 23, Canton Glenoak 20

Triple OT
Massillon outlasts GlenOak for second victory

“Take your hat off to GlenOak; they had a great defensive game plan. They just brought the house at us all night.” MASSILLON COACH JASON HALL

Independent sports editor,

MASSILLON Massillon’s season opener against Perry last week had its share of miscues, penalties and turnovers. But the Tigers were able to overcome those to still run away with the win.

The second time Massillon took the field this season was filled with more of the same as it welcomed nemesis GlenOak to Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Thursday night. And once again, the Tigers were able to overcome all of that to get the win.

This time, though, it was no rout. Instead, it was a nail-biting, breath-taking rally that gave Massillon a 23-20 triple-overtime win over the Golden Eagles.

“I happy with it, but at the same time, I’m really disappointed with the way we played,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said after his team moved to 2-0 thanks to a 20-yard Andrew David field goal in the third overtime, followed by a fourth-down stop from his team’s own 1. “Take your hat off to GlenOak; they had a great defensive game plan. They just brought the house at us all night. We didn’t do a great job. We have to get back to fundamentals.”

On a night when history was being made with Danny Clark becoming the first freshman to ever start at quarterback for Massillon, a different kind of history was seemed possible as well. Outside of McKinley, no other Stork County team ever had beaten the Tigers in three consecutive meetings, but such an opportunity was there for GlenOak after taking the 2011 and 2012 contests.

It was nearly there, but GlenOak – which led 10-6 in the fourth quarter, as well as 20-13 in the second OT – couldn’t convert a fourth-and-goal from the Tiger 1 in the third overtime. Mike Smith came up to stop Jason Simon for a loss to preserve the win. The stop capped a night in which Massillon, despite a 288-152 edge in yards and an 18-8 first-down edge, shot itself in the foot over and over again. The Tigers turned the ball over five times, missed an extra point and three field goals, allowed GlenOak to pick up six recorded sacks in the game and missed onmultiple opportunities in Golden Eagles territory in the first half.

“We just kept battling and battling,” Hall said. “We didn’t play our best game.” as for Clark, there were times where he looked like exactly what he was, which is a freshman. Yet he gave Massillon a 13-10 fourth-quarter lead when he hit Marcus Whitfield on a 10-yard touchdown strike with 4:46 remaining, then helped send the game into a third OT with a 21 yard TD pass to Reggie Rogers.

Clark finished the game 14 of 24 for 170 yards with three touchdowns, two of which went to Rogers. The two also hooked up for an 18-yard score with 9:31 remaining in the first quarter to give Massillon a 6-0 lead.

“Danny’s a tough kid,” Hall said. “He’s going to learn from this. We’re going to learn from this.” GlenOak would rally twice. Simon’s 2-yard touchdown with 3:44 left in the first half gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead. They would then march down for a game-tying 31-yard field goal with 17 seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime tied at 13-13.

Both teams missed field goals in the first overtime session. Massillon’s was pushed wide left, while GlenOak’s was blocked.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2013: Massillon 35, Massillon Perry 7

Massillon’s “Black Swarm” Defense leads way in win over Perry

Independent sports editor

MASSILLON Much has been made of Massillon’s offensive capabilities. The Tigers boast a massive line and a deep pool of skill players.

Yet, somewhat quietly, they’ve also put together a defense that has a chance to be pretty good as well.

And Thursday night, it was that defense that helped set the tone for Massillon as it opened the season with a 35-7 win over neighboring rival Perry in front of a large crowd inside Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“We just read our guards, followed our keys and made plays,” said Tiger junior linebacker Danny Robinson, whose 23-yard fumble return for a touchdown gave Massillon an 8-0 lead — following the two-point conversion — it would never relinquish.

The Tiger defense lived up to its “Black Swarm” monicker — even while clad in orange and white – by flying to the football on nearly every play. Massillon would limit Perry, which was making its debut in Keith Wakefield’s second tenure as head coach, to just 205 total yard while forcing a pair of turnovers.

“Three fumbles, turnovers,” Wakefield said. “Guys can’t line up right. … That (stuff) ends tomorrow.”

Even on a night when the defense held the key to Massillon getting off to the fast start, the offense became the talk of the town thanks to the debut of not one new quarterback, but two.

Andrew David earned the start after a preseason-long competition, and was 7-of-10 passing for 59 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Rogers that made it 22-7 with 2:13 remaining in the first half.

That score came just over two-and-a-half minutes after Perry’s lone touchdown, a 5-yard Braxton Berry score that cut it to 15-7. That score came after the Tigers fumbled a punt at their own 11.

However, David would suffer a severe leg cramp right before attempting the second-half kickoff. That would open the door for highly-touted freshman Danny Clark to take the reins in the second half.

“We have confidence in all our quarterbacks who run our system,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “The offense didn’t change because Danny Clark came in the game.”

And on his first play as the Tiger quarterback, on his first pass, he lofted a perfect pass down the left sideline to Rogers, who ran for the rest of the way for a 59-yard touchdown and a backbreaking 28-7 Massillon lead midway through the third quarter.

“I can’t stop thinking about it,” said Clark, who was 4-of-5 in his debut for 76 passing yards, while adding a 25-yard run. “It was crazy. I wanted to go in there and just stay calm. That was my biggest thing, just staying calm.”

Staying calm may have been the Tigers’ biggest problem, especially early on. Massillon — despite finishing with 416 total yards, including 281 rushing yards, 120 by J.D. Crabtree — was hurt by nine penalties for 70 yards.

The Tigers turned the ball over twice. They also had a couple of misplayed kicks that could’ve been troublesome.

“I think offensively, we were just sporadic,” said Hall, whose team closed out the scoring with a 74-yard Crabtree run in the fourth quarter. “We shot ourselves in the foot with penalties. Then we had penalties and a muffed punt that didn’t. We really have to be more consistent going into next week.”

Massillon will play host to GlenOak next Thursday. Perry travels to Central Catholic next Friday.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2012: Massillon 62, Akron Firestone 27

Massillon offense shines in 62-27 rout of Firestone

Chris Easterling
The Independent

MASSILLON – It was a memorable defensive effort that helped carry Massillon to a big win over Steubenville last week. On Friday night, it was the Tigers’ offense that carried the day as they cruised to their fourth win in a row.

The Tigers scored on nine of their first 10 possessions – all touchdowns – as they rolled up a 62-27 win over visiting Firestone at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Massillon improves to 5-1, but the task figures to get much, much tougher next Friday night, when state-ranked and undefeated Austintown Fitch comes to town.

“I thought offensively, we played well,” Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “It seems like we either play really good offensively, or really good defensively. Next week’s game, if we don’t come out and play a complete game, we’re not going to put ourselves in a position to be successful.”

No doubt the Tigers would love to bottle up a little bit of the offensive fireworks they put on display against the Falcons of Firestone when they go up against the Falcons of Fitch.

By halftime, Massillon had rolled up 281 yards of offense and had turned a close game into a rout. What was a 15-13 Tiger lead with just less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half after turned into a 36-13 advantage by the time the bands hit the field for intermission.

Massillon finished the game with a season-best 585 yards of offense.

The catalyst for Massillon was a familiar face. Senior quarterback Kyle Kempt completed 15-of-17 passes in the first half alone – with four of those going for touchdowns – and had 194 yards through the air.

Kempt finished the night 20-of-25 for 313 yards with five touchdowns. Two of those went to Gareon Conley, while Zach Volzer, Ryne Moore and Marcus Whitfield each caught one.

“Kyle has been a consistent football player for us all year,” Hall said. “That’s what we expect out of him. He’s a captain; he’s a leader. He’s a Division I football player. Kyle Kempt managed the offense, like he always does. I thought we did a great job of spreading the ball around. You couldn’t ask for much more offensively.”

Conley finished the game with eight catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns – six for 120 and both scores came the first half. The 176 receiving yards were second-most in a single game in school history.

But Kempt also showed off a little bit of his scrambling ability. The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder helped to open up the lead with a 16-yard run that put Massillon in front 22-13 with 8:27 left in the first half.

That score broke the dam wide open for the Tigers, who outscored Firestone 28-7 in the second quarter. They added a 20-7 third-quarter explosion.

Firestone may have come into Friday night’s game with only a 2-3 record and an offense that had scored more than 13 points just once in its first five games, but the Falcons also boasted some big-play ability behind a Division I college running back in Jerome Lane Jr. and a Nebraska recruit in wide receiver Kevin Gladney.

And thanks to two big plays, Firestone found itself within two points with just under 10 minutes left in the first half.

The first was a 58-yard touchdown pass to Gladney that pulled the Falcons within 8-6 with 4:12 left in the first quarter. Gladney simply beat the Tiger defender on a post pattern, caught the ball in stride and ran untouched into the end zone for the score.

The second was a 40-yard scoring strike to Reggie Rogers that once again cut it to a 15-13 Tiger lead. That Firestone score was set up by an interception on a screen pass by Falcon defensive linemen Brennan Williams, the only time in the first half Massillon did not score when it had the football.

“We had a good game in the first half,” Firestone coach Tim Flossie said. “The second half, we just fell apart. (Massillon) did a nice job. They found a way and just kept going to it.”

Despite the lopsided result on the scoreboard, the Falcons still rolled up 474 yards, 227 of those in the first half. They added a 26-yard scoring pass to Lane with less than 90 seconds left in the game to provide the final margin.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2011: Massillon 27, Akron Firestone 13

It wasn’t pretty, but Massillon moves to 4-1

Chris Easterling
The Independent

MASSILLON – At the end of the night, the Massillon Tigers emerged with a 4-1 record. But that doesn’t mean the Tigers are satisfied.

On Friday night, the Tigers had to overcome a choppy performance to hold off the Firestone Falcons, 27-13, in front of 6,486 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

It was Massillon’s third straight win, all of which have come by double figures. However, the most recent win no doubt left head coach Jason Hall grinding his teeth at some of his team’s own struggles to find the consistency he has emphasized.

“We didn’t play a really good game,” Hall said. “We played obviously good enough to win. We had, offensively, a lot of negative plays. … It is what it is.”

Massillon finished with 293 yards of offense, with 194 coming in the first half as the Tigers opened up a 13-0 lead. However, there were very few sustained, efficient drives for the Tiger offense.

The most efficient drive for Massillon came on its first drive, when it marched 82 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead just 1:43 into the game.

The Tigers were 4-of-5 for 72 yards passing on the drive, while Alex Winters capped the drive with a 1-yard run.

After that, the Tigers spun their wheels often, even when they picked up quality field position.

Three times in the first half, Massillon reached the Firestone 30, but only mustered a pair of long field goals by Andrew David for the 13-point lead at the half.

“They came out in a six-man front,” Hall said of Firestone’s defense. “We just didn’t adjust to some of their pressures. Our quarterbacks were taking some hits. It’s things we have to correct.”

Massillon was able to grab a three-score lead when Kyle Kempt capped a 66-yard, seven-play drive with a 1-yard plunge to make it 20-0 with 2:53 left in the third. The Tigers also scored on a 14-yard Winters run with 9:16 left for a 27-7 lead.

“It’s nice to get that cushion,” Hall said. “It’s nice to see us hit two long field goals tonight.

We’d like to see us when we get into that red zone not get negative plays and put us in that situation. Anytime you get that bonus score in the fourth quarter, a little security blanket, it’s nice.”

Maybe the nicest thing for the Tigers on this night was their defense. Despite a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns by Firestone – one which pulled the Falcons to within 20-7 with just over five minutes left – Massillon allowed its guests few sustained drives.

A big reason for that was the Tigers’ ability to come up with the takeaways when they needed it. Brody Tonn intercepted a pair of passes for Massillon, while both Garrett Kreiger and Gareon Conley also picked off Falcon passes.

“We gave up those two red-zone passes, which are things we have to correct,” Hall said of his defense, which ultimately allowed 211 total yards on the night. “In the course of the game when it was crucial, our defense came out and responded. They were able to make some big plays.”

Massillon was playing short-handed, due to a handful of players being suspended due to violating team and school rules. That number included at least three starters.

Hall wouldn’t say what the status of those players would be for next week’s game against winless Hoban at InfoCision Stadium.

“Right now, they’re being dealt with for breaking school and team policy,” Hall said. “The total discipline hasn’t been determined. There’s not much else to say.”