Tag: <span>Rocky Dorsey</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1999: Massillon 35, Massillon Perry 14

Perry has ‘Rocky’ time against Tigers
Dorsey’s two TD receptions are key

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers and Perry Panthers battled it out Friday night and they did it the right way, without the involvement of lawyers, judges or athletic association commissioners.

Program Cover

Massillon and Perry, embroiled in a months­ long recruiting controversy that remains in litigation, waged a spirited and well-played football game in front of 14,185 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. When the final whistle sounded the Tigers were still undefeated, securing a 35-14 victory over their neighbors to the east.

While the game was crisp and clean on the field, there were post-game developments that underscored the lingering hard feelings be­tween the two programs.

Tigers coach Rick Shepas was not happy that his counterpart, Perry mentor Keith – ­Wakefield, avoided him as the teams shook hands. “Coach Wakefield is an outstanding coach,” Shepas said afterward. “I developed a respect for him when I was a player back in Youngstown and he was (coaching) at Austintown Fitch. “I’m very disappointed he wouldn’t shake my hand after the game.”

While Wakefield declined comment after the contest, he was overheard chastising Perry athletic director Frank Gamble for signing the two-year contract to play Massillon on the gridiron. Gamble, a former assistant for Wakefield, responded angrily as the two retreated into the visitors’ locker room.

On the field, Tigers senior Rocky Dorsey snared touchdown passes of 22 and 43-yards from quarterback Dave Irwin as Massillon pulled away from a 7-7 halftime tie to win go­ing away. It is Massillon’s seventh victory in as many starts.

Dorsey’s first scoring reception capped a six-play, 59-yard drive. The two-year starter was well covered but out-fought a Perry defender to secure the football in the end zone in what appeared to be a jump-ball situation.

“We talked about making plays for the football,” said Shepas. “Dave is going to make some great passes but he’s not going to make a per­fect pass on every down. So our receivers have to go up and make a play on the foot­ball every now and then and we have guys – like Rocky Dorsey – who can do that.”

Irwin also had praise for his receiver’s spectacular catch. “Rocky made a great play on that pass,” Irwin recalled. “The ball was kind of slippery and I underthrew him. All of our receivers are aggressive. They’ll go up and get the foot ball.”

Dorsey’s first TD made it 21-7 Massillon with three minutes left in the third quarter. But Perry battled back behind the hard­nosed running of junior fullback Jordan Henning, who rushed for 102 yards in 19 carries on the night.

Henning keyed a 14-play, 74-yard drive with four carries that garnered Perry first downs. Junior quarterback Matt Miller put the score on the board, after faking to Henning and going around right end from a yard out.Joe Shimek’s kick cut the Tigers’ advantage to 21-14 with 8:36 still to play.

Massillon, however, put the game away in short order. The Tigers got the football near midfield after a facemask call on Perry on the kickoff return. Three plays later, an Irwin pass hit Dorsey in stride down the left sideline for a 43-yard touchdown aerial. Brett Marshall’s kick made it 28-14 and while there was over seven minutes still to play, the Pan­thers were unable to respond.

Shepas indicated there was no panic in the Tiger locker room, despite the 7-7 half­time deadlock. “We didn’t make many ad­justments because we didn’t have that many touches of the ball in the first half,” he explained. “So we took a calm, cerebral approach in the locker room at halftime. We let the kids tell us what we should do. We went out and did that. “But give Perry credit. They really did move the football on us. They pos­sessed it on us. They have tough kids.”

Massillon came out of the halftime break and pieced to­gether an 11-play, 55-yard march that took just 3:57 off the clock. A 13-yard Irwin to Jeremiah Drobney completion erased a third-and-10 situa­tion and set the Tigers up with first-and-goal at the Per­ry 5. From there Jesse Scott took a handoff and skirted right end for the touchdown, that put the orange-and-black ahead for good.

Irwin then connected with Dave Bumgarner for the two ­point conversion and it was Massillon 15, Perry 7 with eight minutes remaining in the third.

The first half was contest­ed on even terms. Perry took the opening kickoff and moved from its 29 to its 48-yard line on six consecutive running plays but was forced to punt. Massillon opened things up from the get-go as quarter­back Dave Irwin found se­nior wide-out Joe Price along the left sideline for 19 yards on first down.

Scott, who’s transfer from Perry to Massillon sparked the recruiting charges, against the Tiger football program, picked up nine yards over left guard and tackle on the next snap to move the ball across mid­field. Irwin hooked up with Price for nine yards to the Perry 32 and the duo repeated their act as the Tigers moved to the 13.

Then Irwin found tight end Anthony Battle with a quick pass to the 5 and the senior fought his way to the 1. On first and goal from there, Scott dove over his left tackle and into the end zone. Marshall’s conversion kick made it 7-0 Massillon at 4:13 of the first quarter. The ten-play, 74-yard march only took 2:13 off the clock.

Perry went three-and-out on its next possession. Massillon managed one first down after receiving the panthers punt but its drive quickly stalled and the Tiger punt rolled into the end zone for a touchback.

On the Panthers’ ensuing possession, Henning gained 12 yards on two carries for a first down. Two plays later, Miller found Brian Janson open for 15 yards to midfield. A pass interference call and an encroachment penalty against the Tigers moved the ball to the Massillon 30. Three snaps later, Henning went over his left guard for nine yards and the Panthers had a first-and-goal at the Massillon 9.

A holding call against Per­ry appeared to have stalled the visitors’ drive. But on third and goal from the 22, Miller threaded the needle with a pass to Joe Bailey at the 5-yard line. Wakefield called timeout and decided to go for six. Miller dropped back, got solid protection from his line, and found senior tight end Joe Croston open in the left corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Shimek booted the extra point to cap off the 13-play, 80-yard march and knot the score at 7-7 with 6:43 left in the first half.


First downs rushing 6 11
First downs passing 13 3
First downs by penalty 1 1
TOTAL first downs 20 15
Net yards rushing 94 180
Net yards passing 279 62
TOTAL yards 373 242
Passes attempted 25 13
Passes completed 18 6
Passes intercepted 2 1
Punts 2 5
Punting average 30.5 22.6
Fumbles/Lost 0/0 0/0
Penalties 6 6
Yards penalized 59 61

MASSILLON 07 00 14 14 35
PERRY 00 07 00 00 14


M – Jesse Scott 1 yard run (Brent Marshall kick)
P – Joe Croston 6 yard pass from Matt Miller (Joe Shimek)
M – Scott 6 yard run (Dave Bumgarner pass from Dave Irwin)
M – Rocky Dorsey 22 yard pass from Irwin (Kick failed)
P – Jordan Henning 1 yard run (Joe Bailey kick)
M – Dorsey 43 yard pass from Irwin (Marshall kick)
M – Joe Price 9 yard pass from Irwin (Marshall kick)


Massillon rushing: Scott 11-55, Perry James 10-48.
Perry rushing: Henning 19-102, Doug Hutchison 8-39, Miller 11-17.

Massillon passing: Irwin 18-25-273 3 TDs, 2 INTs.
Perry passing: Miller 5-8-63 1 TD, Shimek 1-5-20 1 INT.

Massillon receiving: Dorsey 3-101, Price 6-68, Anthony Battle 3-38.
Perry receiving: Bailey 2-29, Brian Janson 2-12, Hutchison 1-15.

Dan Studer

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1998: Massillon 9, Clovis West, CA 21

Picked off!

Interceptions turn tide against the Tigers

Tigers fall in Shepas debut

Independent Sports Editor

The first game of the Rick Shepas era at Massillon began on a positive note but a pair of third quarter interceptions were fatal to the homestanding Tigers who fell to Clovis West of California 21‑9 in front of 13,147 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Friday.

Program Cover

The Tigers, unveiling Shepas’ multiple pro offense, jumped out to a 7‑0 lead late in the first quarter and held that advantage at halftime. But the Tigers threw an interception inside the Clovis West 10‑yard line which turned the tide late in the third quarter and the visitors never let Massillon regain momentum.

“We hung tight at the begin­ning of the game,” observed Clovis West coach Randy Blankenship. “Massillon plays good defense.”

“But we wear people down. We just keep pounding and find the right combinations and we wore them down. We didn’t make any adjustments at half’ time. We just talked about getting our pads down and hitting ­somebody. They started to get tired if we got any more than four offensive plays in a row.”

“That interception after a good defensive stand was huge,” said Shepas. “Our offense and defense need to feed off each other. When the defense does a good job, the offense needs to kick it into gear. That’s what this program needs to work on. It is hinging on those important things taking place.”

It appeared Clovis might jump out early, stopping Massillon inside its 5‑yard line on the Tigers initial drive. After a nice punt return gave the Eagles pos­session at the Tiger 26, the visi­tors marched to the 6, but were stopped on downs by a swarm­ing Massillon defense.

Massillon stopped Clovis West’s second possession when Alex Borbely fell on a fumble at the Tiger 23.

The Tigers launched their first sustained drive of the game, moving 77 yards in 11 plays. Tom Fichter hit Neil Buckosh for 11 yards and then found Rocky Dorsey along the right sideline for 11 more to move the ball to the Massillon 45. Three plays later Marc Cleveland burst off right tackle for 14 and the Tigers were in business at the Eagles’ 28.

After an incompletion, Fichter hooked up with Dorsey along the left sideline at the Clovis West 10. The junior wide out made a leaping catch, then turned to find nothing but green between him and the end zone as the Tigers drew first blood.

Brett Marshall tacked on the extra point and Massillon led 7‑0 at the :12 mark of the first quarter.

Massillon mounted another sustained drive late in the first half, moving from its 20 to the Clovis West 20 as Fichter went 4 of 5 through the air. The senior hit Marcus Simpson for 17 yards to the Massillon 38 on the second snap of the drive, then connect­ed with Jason Clemens on a third‑and‑10 play for 19 yards to the Clovis West 43.

After two more completions to Dorsey moved the ball to the Clovis 20, a 15‑yard offensive pass interference call stalled the drive.

Clovis took the second half kickoff and moved the ball from its 28 to Massillon’s 26 on eight consecutive running plays, but the Tiger defense stiffened an the Eagles turned the ball over on downs after failing to convert on fourth‑and‑two.

“The defense played a good, solid game,” said Shepas. “That’s a good Wing‑T team we faced. A good executing team we faced. With a little more offensive productivity they get less chances to touch the foot­ball and that makes it easier on our defense.”

Massillon and Clovis exchanged punts following the Tigers defensive stand, setting up the game’s turning point. Following a 10‑yard punt return by Dorsey, the Tigers took over at their 49 and Cleveland imme­diately made a big play, spinning off a hit in the backfield to pick up 21 tough yards around his right end.

“Our offense and defense need to feed off each other. when the defense does a good job the offense needs to kick it into gear” ‑ Rick Shepas,

The senior running back, added 14 more yards, carrying the ball on each of the next three snaps. Then on second‑and‑eight from the Clovis 16, Massillon tried a quick pass to the left sideline. Clovis West’s Perron Wiley stepped in front of the throw and returned the ball 54 yards to the Massillon 36.

On the very next play, Sean Soares hit into the middle of the line and burst free for a 36‑yard touchdown run. The conversion kick tied the game at 7‑7 with 3:57 left in the third quarter.

“That interception was huge,” Blankenship said. “That was really big. The kid who made the play wasn’t able to play last year and I was really happy for him.

“Massillon threw some outs on us. I’m not worried about teams throwing outs because if you make a mistake you’re going to get it picked off. It’s a matter of time and being patient. We were just inches away (from intercep­tions) a couple of times.”

The Tigers appeared to be ready to strike back when Cleveland ran 17 yards on Massillon’s first snap after the ensuing kickoff. But three plays later, Clovis West’s Brandon Gonzales stepped in front of an out pattern to the right sideline, made the interception and sprinted untouched 38 yards to pay dirt.

The point‑after made it 14‑7 in favor of Clovis West with 1:53 to play in the third.

An illegal participation penal­ty and a sack doomed Massillon’s next drive and the Eagles took over at their own 37 following a punt. Two illegal pro­cedure penalties moved the visi­tors back to their 27, but on first‑and‑20, Soares hit into the middle of the Massillon line and came free. The 6‑foot‑1, 199 ­pound.senior turned on the jets and outran the Tigers defense for a 63‑yard touchdown that seemed to seal the outcome with 9:32 to play.

Massillon moved to the Clovis 33 on its next possession, but consecutive penalties ended the threat.

The Tigers last gasp came when Clovis snapped the ball out of its end zone on a punt for a Tiger safety with 4:06 left. But on Massillon’s first play after the Eagles’ free kick, the Tigers took an 11‑yard sack to turn out the lights.

“We had a couple holding penalties and the procedure penalties are frustrating,” said Shepas. “Those came from our wide receivers, not our interior lineman. It changes the play call when you go from second‑and­-six to second‑and‑11. The play call you send in has to change.”

“But we have to continue to believe in what we’re building here. We’re a football program that’s only four months old. I think we improved again. The thing is we’re still in an infancy state on offense and we may have to simplify more and more.”

Cleveland certainly did his part in the opener. The 5‑9, 186-­pound senior toted the football 19 times for 97 yards, impress­ing Shepas along the way.

“Marc Cleveland pours his heart and soul into the football game,” Shepas said.

First downs rushing 11 8
First downs passing 0 8
First downs by penalty 0 0
TOTAL first downs 11 16
Net yards rushing 237 88
Net yards passing 0 158
TOTAL yards 237 246
Passes attempted 7 27
Passes completed 0 13
Passes intercepted 0 2
Punts 5 9
Punting average 26.2 40.3
Fumbles/Lost 2/1 1/0
Penalties 3 10
Yards penalized 15 80

CLOVIS 0 0 14 7 21
MASSILLON 7 0 0 2 9

M ‑ Dorsey 28 pass from Fichter (Marshall kick)
C ‑ Scares 36 run (Potteroff kick)
C ‑ Gonzales 43‑yard interception return (Potteroff kick)
C ‑ Scares 72 run (Potteroff kick)
M ‑ Safety, Clovis snap rolls out of end zone


Massillon rushing:
Cleveland 19‑97,
Miller 7‑33,
Radich 5‑9,
Burrigarner 2‑8.
Clovis rushing:
Scares 14‑162,
Chayly 2-26.

Massillon passing:
Fichter 8‑18‑2 107,
Eyerman 5‑9‑0 51.

Clovis passing:
Elbert 0‑7‑0 0.
Massillon receiving:
Dorsey 7‑104,
Clemens 1‑19,
Simpson 1‑17,
Buckosh 1‑11.

Marc Cleveland