Tag: <span>Seth Blankenship</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2015: Massillon 43, Toledo Bowsher 13

Tigers snap 3-game skid in return home

By Chris Easterling
Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON It might not have been the most aesthetically pleasing game in the history of Massillon’s football program. It was, though, just the salve the Tigers needed Friday night.

Massillon returned home for the first time since Week 2 and was able to put to bed its three game losing streak by routing overmatched Toledo Bowsher 43-13.

“We came out and we took care of business the way we wanted to,” Massillon coach Nate Moore said. “We sputtered a little bit in the second quarter. All in all, we handled that game the way it was supposed to be handled.”

The Tigers improved to 2-3 with the win. The Rebels went home with a 1-4 record.

Massillon will look to get back to the .500 mark Friday when it travels to meet 3-2 Austintown Fitch.

“Now we have to put (the win) behind us and move on and get ready for Week 6,” Moore said. When one is stuck in a losing streak the way Massillon was during the previous three games, the quality of the win isn’t something to necessarily quibble over. The Tigers certainly were far from flawless on this night, but the result on the scoreboard was more than enough to make  those things secondary.

The game started out almost exactly how Massillon would have scripted things. Three possessions by the Tigers led to three touchdowns and a 20-0 lead with 4:52 left in the first quarter.

Two of the three Massillon scores came on Foster Jones receptions. Jones, who had six catches for 70 yards, had touchdown catches of 13 and 24 yards from quarterback Seth Blankenship.

Massillon hit a bumpy patch late in the first quarter and start of the second. The Tigers threw an interception, missed a 30-yard field goal and then threw an interception that Delonte Brown returned 74 yards for Bowsher’s lone first-half score, making it 20-6 Tigers.

That pick-6 – the fourth such one by a Massillon opponent this season – seemed to be the slap to the face that woke the Tigers back up.

After that Bowsher score, Massillon scored on its final four possessions of the half to take a 43- 6 lead into the locker room at the break.

“I think it was a little bit of a wake-up call,” Moore said. “They may have started feeling a little good about themselves.”

Keyshawn Watson – who had his third 100-plus-yard rushing performance with 149 yards on 27 carries – scored twice on those final four drives. He had a 1-yard run to make it 34-6, then added a 22-yard scoring reception from Seth Blankenship to make it 43-6.

Mike White also scored in that stretch, a 2-yard run to make it 27-6. Brian Corbin also hit a 20-yard field goal to make it 37-6.

The field goal was both Corbin’s first of his career and the Tigers’ first of the season. They hadn’t even attempted one until the first quarter Friday.

Meanwhile, Massillon’s defense came to play from the start. In the first half alone, the Tigers limited Bowsher to minus-14 yards rushing on 11 attempts, while the Rebels completed just 2-of-15 first-half passes for 14 yards.

Bowsher had just 33 total yards for the game. The Rebels finished with minus-52 rushing yards.

In fact, Bowsher completed as many passes in the first half to Massillon players – Dillon Delong and Kordell Ford had interceptions – as it did to its own players. Ford and Andrew Creger both had second-half interceptions for the Tigers, who picked off four passes.

“I thought our guys in the secondary played really good,” Moore said. “We were able to get some heat on the quarterback and force him into some bad throws. That’s how it’s supposed to work.”


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2015: Massillon 21, Steubenville 48

Mistakes costly in loss to D-IV No. 1 Big Red

By Chris Easterling
Independent Sports Editor

STEUBENVILLE You can’t make mistakes and expect to beat most teams. Make mistakes against a very good team, and you’re giving yourself no chance to win.

Massillon made mistake after mistake Friday night at Steubenville. The result was exactly what one would expect it to be, as the Tigers were beaten 48-21 by Big Red – the No. 1-ranked Division IV team – in front of a near-capacity crowd at Harding Stadium.

“We just couldn’t get out of our own way tonight,” said Massillon coach Nate Moore, whose team falls to 1-3 with a home game against Toledo Bowsher on Friday. “We just couldn’t do it.”

The Tigers turned the ball over five times on the night, including four in the first half alone.

The last of those first-half giveaways was a 58-yard interception return by Steubenville’s Jeremy Blue that gave Big Red a 35-7 halftime lead.

It’s the largest halftime deficit for Massillon since it trailed St. Ignatius 49-0 in Week Six of the 2008 season.

That was one of two pick-6s for Steubenville. Dujuan Jones had a 67-yard return that made it 42-7 Big Red with 1:07 left in the third quarter.

“Everybody’s making mistakes,” Moore said. “Attention to detail has to be better.”

In the last three games, the Tigers have turned the football over 13 times. In the last two games, Massillon has seen five of its turnovers turned into opposing points.
The interesting thing was, it was a 14-7 Big Red lead midway through the second quarter after Keyshawn Watson took a pass and outran the defense for a 59-yard catch-and-run from Seth Blankenship. That score was set up when Jeff Koch stepped in front of a Steubenville pass in the end zone for an interception.

That was one of the few big plays Massillon’s offense could muster. The Tigers, after posting 548 yards on 90 plays in a 48-41 loss to Warren Harding last week, finished with 366 yards on 61 plays Friday night.

Watson also had an 18-yard touchdown run with 10:19 left to make it 42-14. Austin Jasinski also caught a 70-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth to make it 42-21.

Big Red responded after the Tigers pulled within seven in the second quarter with a quick four play drive, the final 46 of those coming on a Dimitri Collaros-to-Niko Petrides touchdown pass to make it 21-7 with 6:28 left in the ‘half. Petrides got behind the Tiger secondary and ran essentially untouched into the end zone.

It was one of two such scoring catches for Petrides in the first half. He scored Steubenville’s first touchdown on a 20-yard catch on post pass on its first drive,
Petrides had all six of his catches for 124 yards in the first half.

Collaros hooked up Charles Reeves for a 53-yard touchdown to make it 28-7 Big Red with 1:17 remaining in the half. That score was set up after Steubenville recovered a Tiger fumble at the Big Red 18.

Collaros finished the first half with 253 passing yards, completing 15-of-25 attempts. For the game, he was 16-of-26 for 264 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.

Steubenville finished with 436 total yards. Johnnie Blue, who had a 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for a 14-0 Big Red lead, finished with 167 rushing yards on 21 carries.

“They were close to 50-50 (run-pass coming into the game),” Moore said. “I thought we were a little better in the run game than we have been in the past. That was probably a factor.”

Steubenville also recovered a squib kick that hit the back of a Massillon player after Reeves’ touchdown. That drive was stopped on downs at the Tiger 37, but Big Red would get the pick-6 to change the scoreboard right before half.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2015: Massillon 41, Warren Harding 48

Stopped Short

Chris Easterling
Independent Sports Editor

WARREN Three games into the season, Massillon coach Nate Moore is still waiting for a full four-quarter football game from his team.

The latest example came Friday night at Mollenkopf Stadium. Despite falling into multiple two-score deficits, the Tigers continued to fight back to take a lead at one point. They were also tied two other times in the second half.

The problem for Massillon was that the final counterpunch belonged to Warren Harding, which emerged with a 48-41 win to drop the Tigers to 1-2 on the season.

“We need to put a complete game together,” Moore said after his team saw a last-ditch attempt intercepted in the end zone by Warren with 45 seconds left. “You’ve got to tip your hat to Harding; they’re a good football team. They were the better football team tonight, the scoreboard shows that.”

The scoreboard showed that because Raider quarterback Lynn Bowden almost single-handily put his team on his shoulders in the second half. It was his 20-yard touchdown run with 3:04 remaining that broke a 41-41 tie.

Bowden, who rushed for 212 yards on 13 carries, scored all three Raider second-half touchdowns. One came on a 90-yard kickoff return 14 seconds after the Tigers had forged a 34-34 tie on a Seth Blankenship-to-Todd Fichter touchdown pass with about eight minutes left.

The transfer from Liberty finished with four touchdowns on the night, three rushing. He also threw a 31-yard scoring strike to Juwan Pringle to give Warren a 26-13 halftime lead.

“I would put him in the category of Mario (Manningham) and (Maurice Clarett),” said Warren coach Steve Arnold, whose team is now 3-0. “People who make plays and electrify the crowd.

Whatever adjective you want to use, he’s that. – He’s a fierce, fierce competitor.”

Twice Bowden hurt the Tiger defense by turning a broken play or a cutback into a long touchdown run. His 62-yard run that opened the game’s scoring in the first quarter came on a broken tackle, then a cutback against the grain.

His 63-yard run in the third quarter that gave Warren a 34-27 lead just over a minute after the Tigers had taken a one-point lead came on a broken play where he reversed field in the backfield and outran the defense.

“We knew what we were getting into going in,” Moore said. “He’s a very good player. He hurts us on a lot of broken plays.”

Bowden’s big night overshadowed Keyshawn Watson’s breakout performance at running back for the Tigers. Watson, who had lined up at receiver in the first two games, started at running back and finished with 239 yards on 37 carries.

Watson scored twice. His 1-yard run – plus Brian Corbin’s point-after kick- put Massillon ahead 27-26; his 2-yard run plus the PAT tied the game at 34.

“We thought he was a dynamic player and we needed to put him in the backfield where we could get him more touches on the football,” Moore said.

Massillon had plenty of chances in the game, reaching Warren territory on 11 of 13 possessions. However, only six of those results in scores.

The Tigers also turned the football over four times – including three interceptions – with two of those being turned into Warren touchdowns.

“We had opportunities,” said Moore, whose team travels to meet unbeaten Steubenville next week. “We just have to put a game together. That’s it.”


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2015: Massillon 41,  Massillon Perry 37

Tigers survive after Panthers storms back in wild second half

By Chris Easterling
Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON Nate Moore had the look of a football coach who had been through a half-dozen games Thursday night. For the Massillon coach, his debut was only one game.

Even if in the course of the Tigers’ 41-37 come-from-ahead-and-then-from-behind win over neighboring rival Perry at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium had the feel of two games in one.

Just more than 13 minutes into the season, Massillon was the owner of a 27-0 lead after Mike White’s 3-yard scoring run. With 5:17 remaining in the game, Perry found itself in possession of a 37-34 lead thanks to Drew Waggoner’s 21-yard field goal.

Dakota Dunwiddie, who scored the first touchdown of the game, also scored its final one. His 2-yard run with 3:34 remaining pushed the Tigers in front for good.
“What a ballgame; we played a great team,” Moore said after his first win as Massillon’s coach and the program’s 850th win. “Hats off to them. A lot of teams could’ve folded there at halftime, and they came out and they put it to us. You’ve got to give them credit.”

The Tigers came out firing on all cylinders. Three first-quarter drives all ended in three first quarter touchdowns, giving them a 20-0 lead after 12 minutes.

Dunwiddie capped the first march with a 6-yard plunge 2:17 into the game. Lee Hurst II ran for a 16-yard score to end the second one with 6:01 left in the quarter. Seth Blankenship then hit Keyshawn Watson for a 52-yard scoring strike with 33 seconds left in the quarter.

Blankenship and Hurst alternated possessions at quarterback throughout the game. Hurst rushed for a team-high 109 yards on 15 carries; Blankenship threw for a game-high 188 yards on 15-of-20 passing with two scores.

“Quarterback is no different than most positions as far as who’s going to play,” said Moore, whose offense gained 407 total yards. “That’s a position where there’s a lot of competition between two players. Going into this week, that’s what we thought gave us the best chance to win.”

What gave Perry its best chance to win was a steady dose of Keishaun Sims and Tevion Cleveland. That was especially true in the third quarter, which was when the game went from a Tiger rout into a incredible Panther comeback story.

After Massillon went ahead 34-6 after turning a recovered squib kick into a Blankenship-to Austin Jasinski touchdown, Perry came to life. Sims, in particular, led the way.

The senior running back gained 136 of his game-high 229 yards in the third quarter. He scored three rushing touchdowns in those 12 minutes, including a 45-yarder with 1:42 remaining in the third to tie the game at 34-34 after Drew Waggoner’s point-after.

Of Perry’s 432 total yards, 219 came in the third quarter.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Moore said. “We played great defense and everyone’s fitting where they’re supposed to and things are happening the way we want them to happen. Then all of the sudden, we get a little success, we lose our mind; one guy makes a mistake and everybody starts to overcompensate.”

Sims also had a fourth touchdown in the quarter when he intercepted a pass and returned it 34 yards for a score.

Meanwhile, Cleveland – who scored Perry’s first touchdown on a 39-yard reception from Max Baker in the second quarter – provided just the right counter to Sims.
Of his 124 rushing yards, 73 came in the third quarter.

However, after Sims’ 31-yard burst on Perry’s opening drive of the fourth quarter, the Panthers didn’t have rushing plays more than 10 yards. The only other run for 10 yards or longer was on their next-to-last play, when Sims gained 10 to set up fourth-and-7 from the Perry 35 with less than 2:30 remaining.

The Tigers got a sack on the next play to essentially seal the win.

“We have to finish,” Perry coach Keith Wakefield said. “That’s what it’s all about. That’s what you have to do and we couldn’t do it.”