Tag: <span>Steve Hymes</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2003: Massillon 34, Findlay 17

Second half again belongs to Tigers

Joe.Shaheen @ IndeOnline.com

For the second week in a row, the Massillon Tigers turned it up a notch in the second half, enabling them to roll past the Findlay Trojans 34‑17 in a match‑up of 2002 Division I state semifinalists witnessed by 8,644 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Friday.

Program Cover

Massillon, now 3‑1, was clinging to a tenuous three‑point halftime lead despite being on the short end of every first‑half statistic, including a time of possession disparity of 18:16‑5:44.

The Tigers were a different team after the band show, marching 64 yards in 11 plays on their first possession to take a 10‑point lead, then going 81 yards in 13 plays to jump out by 17 points.

Findlay, which falls to 2‑2, rallied with an 80‑yard touchdown drive of its own but Massillon took advantage of some favorable field position thanks in part to a 43‑yard Max Shafer punt than pinned the Trojans deep in their end ‑ to put the game away with a 29‑yard scoring possession midway through the fourth quarter.

“They waxed us in the third quarter and we couldn’t stop them,” said Findlay head coach Cliff Hite. “That was the whole thing right there. We couldn’t stop their offense. They were quicker than we were. We didn’t tackle well. They executed brilliantly.

“They are the best team we’ve played by far. By far. They were bending but they didn’t break. They kept us out of the end zone better than anybody in a long time.”

“We didn’t start off as good as we can but we had a lot of leadership in the locker room at halftime and we took it out on the field in the second half,” said Tiger co‑captain Billy Relford. “We had a lot of guys step up. Steve (Hymes) stepped up at quarterback in the second half and drove the team down the field. Max (Shafer) stepped up in the kicking game. Brock (Hymes) stepped up at linebacker.

“When Steve stepped up at quarterback, it rubbed off on other people. It was like ‘I’m going to step up. I’m going to step up.’ We just started playing well as a team.”

Hymes hit on two long passes in the opening drive of the second half, connecting with Ryan Schindler for 30 yards on a third‑and‑eight play, then finding Brad Hauser for 22 yards on a third‑and‑14 situation. Five plays later, Tuffy Woods dove into the end zone behind left guard Tim Dewald and left tackle Vince Volpe to put the Tigers up 20‑10.

Findlay responded, moving from its 20 to the Massillon 11 in eight plays. But on the ninth play of the drive, Tiger sophomore lineman Dirk Dickerhoof made a diving interception of a pass in the right flat to repel the Trojan incursion.

“I just saw the quarterback fake, the running back come out and I just dove and got it,” Dickerhoof explained. “It swung the momentum.”

“That was the play of the game,” said Tiger coach Rick Shepas. “They were on a good drive and then Dirk intercepts that pass and that really took a lot of air out of their sails at that point.

“When you watch Dirk play basketball, he’s kind of a garbage man. He’s rebound after rebound. He’s junk point after junk point, and that’s kind of the way he plays for us on defense. He’s always where he’s supposed to be and he keeps playing hard. When you’re consistent like that and play like that, good things happen to YOU.”

After the turnover, the Tigers went to their ground game, as Woods and Ramon Kelly took turns gouging out real estate against the tiring Findlay defense. Hymes sustained the drive when he hit Eric Copeland for 16 yards on a third‑and‑seven play. Another pass to Wayne Gates got the ball inside the Trojan 10, and Hymes then went back to Copeland for an 8‑yard touchdown with :12 remaining in the third quarter.

Shafer’s kick put the Tigers up 27‑10 and although both teams would find the end zone once more, that tally all but sealed the deal for Massillon.

Hymes finished with 58 yards rushing to go with 191 yards passing, 106 of which came in the second half.

“Steve was sick all week,” noted Shepas. “He got bit by the flu bug.

“We woke him up a little bit at halftime. It was just a little extra. A little extra. That’s him getting better and coming into his own. We just had to rattle him up and little bit and get his attention and then he focuses a little better.”

“We just kept pushing it and pushing it,” Hymes said. “We wouldn’t let up on them. I made sure I told the guys ‘Don’t let up. Don’t let up. We’re not finished yet.’

“We were just too powerful. Too powerful.”

Massillon scored the first time it touched the football after forcing Findlay into a three‑and‑out off the opening kickoff.

Taking over at the Findlay 43, Steve Hymes kept the ball on an option play, galloped through a gaping hole over his left guard and into the Trojan secondary. The elusive senior then cut toward the right sideline and went untouched for a 43‑yard touchdown run.

The point‑after was no good but Massillon was up 6‑0 at 10:11 of the first quarter.

Findlay took the lead on its third possession of the game after Massillon failed to convert a fourth‑and‑four at the Trojan 35. It appeared the Massillon defense had forced its second three‑and‑out but Findlay faked the punt on fourth down, and instead completed a 15‑yard pass that produced a first down at the Tiger 43.

One play later, Baker hit Brady Schneider on a post pattern at the 10‑yard line and the Trojan bounced off two shoulder tackles and into the end zone for a 43‑yard touchdown. Mark Snodgrass converted the point‑after kick and Findlay was up 7‑6 at 2:45 of the first quarter.

Snodgrass then capped a 16‑play drive for Findlay with a 24‑yard field goal with 5:45 left in the first half to put the Trojans up 10‑6.

The Tigers hit the Findlay defense with a lightning bolt on their ensuing possession.

On third‑and‑12 from the Massillon 38, Hymes took the shotgun snap and threaded the needle to Relford at he Findlay 40. Relford ran through one tackle as he sprinted left to right across the field, then simply ran away from the Trojan pursuit for a 62‑yard scoring play with 4:51 remaining until half.

Shafer was true with the point‑after kick and Massillon carried a 13‑10 edge into the locker room. It was a lead they would build on to ensure their third victory in four starts.

Massillon 34
Findlay 17


Findlay 7 3 0 7 17
Massillon 6 7 14 7 34

M ‑ Steve Hymes 43 run (Max Shafer kick failed)
F ‑ Schneider 43 pass from Baker (Snodgrass kick)
F ‑ Snodgrass 23 FG
M ‑ Billy Relford 62 pass from Hymes (Shafer kick)
M ‑ Woods 2 run (Shafer kick)
M ‑ Copeland 7 pass from Hymes (Shafer kick)
F ‑ Almond 31 pass from Baker (Snodgrass kick)
M ‑Ramon Kelly 1 run (Shafer kick)

Massillon rushing: Hymes 10‑58, 1 TD, Kelly 7‑35, 1 TD, Woods 13‑24, 1 TD
Findlay rushing: Almond 9‑39

Massillon passing: Hymes 11‑23‑191, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Findlay passing: Baker 25‑45‑311, 2 TDs, 1 INT

Massillon receiving: Copeland 3‑29, 1 TD, Relford 2‑78, 1 TD
Findlay receiving: Curtis 18‑144, Almond 4‑64, 1 TD

Brock Hymes

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2003: Massillon 23, Akron Buchtel 12

Poised precision Steve Hymes quarterbacks Tigers past Griffins in debut as starter

By Chris Easterling

The Buchtel Griffins were supposed to be the ones with a poised quarterback and experience all over the field. Somebody must have forgotten to tell the Massillon Tigers.

Program Cover

Led by the steady hand of first-year starting quarterback Steve Hymes, as well an opportunistic defense, the Tigers opened the season with a thrilling 23-12 victory over Buchtel at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“This was very big,” said Hymes, who put Massillon up for good with a 27-yard run with 4:42 left. “We weren’t going to be nothing. I think our guys took that in.”

The deal was wrapped up until Tiger cornerback Billy Relford grabbed an overthrown pass at the Massillon 11, cut to the left and outran the Buchtel offense down the sideline for an 89-yeard touchdown with 27 seconds left. It was the fourth turnover the Tiger defense forced on the evening.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” Relford said. “I didn’t start out very good. But when it came down to it, I stepped up.”

That defense found itself getting tested in the second half by a Griffen offense that all but scrapped the passing game while keeping it on the ground with Ohio State-bound tailback Antonio Pittman and hard-running fullback Anthony Norman. After being held to just 40 yards on 13 first-half carries, Pittman gained anther 134 yards and scored on the Griffins’ first two second-half possessions. Norman would chip in 50 yards on 13 carries, with all but two of those yards coming in the second half.

Massillon’s defense was only on the field for four possessions in the second half. However, three of those four were substantial drives by Buchtel, with two resulting in touchdowns.

We’re just a bunch of hard workers,’ Tiger cornerback Mike White said.”We already knew coming into this game that they were a running team. We just decided to keep on hitting them and we thought that if we did that, they were going to give up.”

Still, it was the play of Hymes that stole the show for the Tigers, and may have stole the show for the Tigers, and may have stole the game away from Buchtel. While only completing 7-of-19 passes for 130 yards, the Massillon senior showed off the running ability that made him a threat a year ago by rushing the ball 13 times for 72 yards.

“He needed to get settled in and he needed to get a feel for how he was
going to handle game night as a starter,” Massillon coach Rick Shepas
said. “He really came alive. He plays with great confidence. He protected
the football.

“Our offensive line really did a nice job keeping them off Steve. I was kind of surprised they didn’t pressure them a whole lot.”

Twice, the Griffins grabbed the lead from Massillon in the second half. And twice, it was Hymes who gave the Tigers the lead back.

The first time came after Buchtel took the second-half kickoff and marched 86 yards on 11 plays to take a 6-3 lead on a two-yard Pittman run with 7:39 left in the third quarter. The extra-point kick sailed wide left.

But the Tigers answered by driving from their own 35 to the end zone in eight plays. Hymes was forced to complete a 24-yard pass to Brent Huffman on third-and-six, as well as pick up 26 yards on three totes on the drive.

Hymes would make it a 9-6 Tiger advantage when he fought his way into the end zone for a touchdown with 5:01 remaining in the third. Zack Smith tacked on the extra point for a 10-6 Massillon edge.

Buchtel answered to take a 12-10 lead by methodically going from its own 4 in 14 plays. Primarily keeping it on the ground, Pittman again powered his way in from two yards out for the score. The two-point conversion failed to keep it a two-point Griffen advantage with 10:25 showing in the fourth quarter.

The teams traded punts before Hymes guided the Massillon offense on what proved to be the go-ahead scoring drive. Starting at heir own 42, the Tigers kept the ball on the ground, alternation between Tuffy Woods who carried six times for 55 yards in the game – and Hymes.

“Coach just said we were going to go to ‘gun run’ and we were going to keep running it,” Hymes said. “Coach felt like they were getting tired. We just kept gassing them and gassing them, and after a while they were done.”

On third and four from the Buchtel 27, Hymes kept through the line of scrimmage, turned to the left and coasted into the end zone for the score. The two-point conversion failed, but Massillon was holding a 16-12 lead with 4:42 left.

That left it up to the defense. After Buchtel mover down to the Tiger 13 with just under 2:00 left, Massillon arched its back and stuffed Pittman on two straight rushing plays before Relford would get his chance to stamp his mark on the game and end the Griffins’ hopes.

“That was the first time we had called that coverage in the whole game,” Relford said, “It was ‘corner over.’ They came over with their two wide receivers and that was the first time they had done that the whole game.”

Defense was essentially the name of the game before halftime, with the Tigers halting Buchtel’s first possession when White broke on an under thrown pass in the end zone for an interception. White would have a fourth quarter interception called back due to a penalty.

“We wanted them to put the ball up in the air,” White said. “I feel we have the best secondary. As long as the line put pressure on the quarterback and makes him throw bad passes, that’s the key. It wasn’t the secondary, it was the linemen.”

It wasn’t until the third Massillon possession that the scoreless deadlock was broken. Thanks to a 27-yard Hymes-to-Ryan Schindler pass play and a 17- yard run by Lanale Robinson, the Tigers were able to move to the Buchtel 18. However, the drive stalled and Smith was forced to boot a 35-yard field goal for a 3-0 Tiger lead with 2:35 remaining in the first quarter.

That lead would hold up through the rest of the first half, but not without threats by both teams.

The Tigers would miss a pair of field goal attempts. One time, a bad snap prevented them from getting the ball off at all, while they also missed on a 52-yard attempt.

Buchtel failed to score on its final first-half possession after driving inside the Massillon 5. On third-and-goal from two, Buchtel quarterback Steve Walker tried a keeper to the right and dove for the goal line. However, the ball popped out of his hands and hit the pylon, giving the ball to the Tigers on a touchback with 43 seconds left.

“I was indifferent,” Shepas said of the precarious 3-0-halftime edge. “Sometimes you feel like you had some opportunities that you didn’t cash in. But at the same time, it was a great opportunity for our team to show what the were made up.”


M – Zack Smith 35 FG
B – Antonio Pittman 1 run (Kick failed)
M – Steve Hymes 8 run (Smith kick)
B – Pittman 2 run (Pass failed)
M – Billy Relford 89 interception return (Smith Kick)

Massillon rushing: Steve Hymes 13-72, 2 TD, Tuffy Woods 6-55, Lanale Robinson 6-20
Buchtel rushing: A Pittman 28-174, 2 TD.

Massillon passing: Steve Hymes 7-19-130.
Buchtel passing: S Walker 7-13-123 2 INTs.

Massillon receiving: Brett Huffman 3-46, Billy Relford 1-43-.
Buchtel receiving: V. Singfield 3-73.

Brock Hymes