Tag: <span>Steve Trivisonno</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2017: Massillon 14, Mentor 49

Momentum Shift Buries Massillon In Opener

Chris Easterling
The Independent
Aug 25, 2017 10:48 PM

MASSILLON Things were going just fine for Massillon for a quarter in its season opener against Mentor at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The Tigers held the lead and were keeping the high-flying Cardinals out of the end zone.

Then, on Massillon’s second play of the second quarter, a tipped deep ball was intercepted by Mentor’s Billy Gorka – with Gorka lying on his back.

Almost like it was an omen, that play changed everything.

The Cardinals would score on their next seven possessions, turning a seven-point Tiger lead into a 49-14 Mentor opening-night rout.

“They played well,” a subdued Massillon coach Nate Moore said afterwards. “They’re really good offensively.”

Game Action vs. Mentor 2017

After being held to just 40 yards on 11 first-quarter plays, which ended with Massillon in front 7-0, the Cardinals would gain 413 over 29 plays in the next two quarters alone. They would lead 42-14 after three quarters, then make it 49-14 three plays into the fourth quarters.

Mentor finished the game with 501 yards. Massillon, which had 96 yards in the first quarter, ended things with 249 total yards.

Of those 249 yards, 66 came on a touchdown pass from Aidan Longwell to Austin Kutscher in the third quarter. That made it briefly 28-14.

Game Action vs. Mentor 2017

“We just needed to settle in,” Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno said. “They were really geared up, and probably too much. I tried to crack a joke, but it didn’t work. After that, we were a really good football team.”

The ending was such a far cry from the beginning, especially for the Tigers.

Massillon couldn’t have scripted a better start to the football season. A three-and-out by the Tiger defense on the first Cardinals possession led to great starting field position, at the Mentor 42.

A bad snap on first down, though, was followed by a 23-yard pass from Aidan Longwell to Austin Kutscher. The very next play, Marcellus Blake raced virtually untouched for a 21-yard touchdown run to give Massillon a 7-0 lead 94 seconds into the season.

“It was a good start,” Moore said.

Game Action vs. Mentor 2017

Blake, who finished with 10 yards on 47 carries, found himself in a featured role due to the absence of a pair of Tigers, Jamir Thomas and Louis Partridge. Both players did not play, according to Moore, due to internal matters he wouldn’t discuss further.

Compounding things, Blake left the game early in the third quarter with an injury on a punt coverage. His status for the Week 2 home game against GlenOak is unknown.

Mentor’s offense began to get going on the next two first-quarter drives, reaching Massillon’s 25 and 34, respectively. The first one, though, ended on a diving interception by Dyson Berry, while the second one was halted on a fourth-down incomplete pass in the end zone on the first play of the second quarter.

Gorka’s interception may have been the play that stood out the most as the momentum-changer, but it wasn’t the only one. Massillon’s second possession reached the Mentor 16, but the Tigers fumbled the ball away on first down.

“Not punching it in for a second touchdown also hurt,” Moore said. “If we stick that in, we go up 14-0. Obviously, that puts us in a much better position.”

That’s when the Mentor offense, which had been tuning up in the first quarter, hit the gear for which it’s become known. Three second-quarter possessions led to three second-quarter touchdowns for the Cardinals, who took a 21-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Outside of a Tiger personal foul flag on the first play of the first second-quarter possession and a Massillon offsides flag on the sixth play of the third, the three drives were textbook displays of crisp offensive football. A combined 23 plays over those three drives: 15 rushing plays for 103 yards, while 7-of-8 for 59 yards passing for quarterback Tadas Tatarunas.

All three scores were rushing for Mentor: 3-yard game-tying run by Chris Edmond; a 12-yard Tatarunas scamper for a 14-7 lead; and a 1-yard Nick Saginario plunge for a 21-7 lead.

Edmond finished with 111 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown run to make it 28-7 Mentor. Tatarunas rushed for 66 yards while completing 17-of-25 passes for 188 yards and two third-quarter touchdowns.

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2016: Massillon 31, Mentor 57

Tigers gut through humbling opener

Chris Easterling
Independent sports editor

MENTOR Mentor’s running game against Massillon’s passing attack. Just like everyone would’ve thought it would have been entering Friday night’s opener.

That Cardinal running game – as well as too big a hole to crawl out of – proved to be too much for the Tigers to overcome in a 57-31 loss to Mentor at Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium.

“We got started too late,” said Massillon coach Nate Moore, whose team trailed 36-7 with 9:28 left in the third quarter before cutting the deficit to as close as 12 in the fourth quarter. “That’s a really good football team. … We just took too long to get things going.”

Much of the attention around Mentor’s high-powered offense had centered around its passing game. Quarterback Tadas Tatarunas was coming off a sophomores season where threw for over 2,900 yards.

Gone from that offense was a 1,900-yard rusher in Alex Matthews. Apparently, no one told the Cardinals that was supposed to mean they couldn’t run the football.
Mentor jumped out to a 13-7 lead just 2:05 into the season in large part because Matthews’ replacement, Isaiah Gullick, rushed for 113 yards on his first four carries. That included a 2-yard scoring run on the fourth play of the first drive of the season, and a 78-yard touchdown scamper on the second play of the second drive.

Gullick would finish with 238 yards on 21 carries. He added a pair of fourth quarter touchdown runs and a touchdown on a screen pass.

“I told you he was pretty good,” Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno said of Gullick. “… You’ve got to bide your time. He didn’t complain (waiting to play) and he worked hard.”

In between Mentor’s first two scores of the night was Massillon’s biggest first-half offensive highlight: a 73-yard touchdown pass from Seth Blankenship to Austin Jasinski on the Tigers’ first play. That, following Nate Gregg’s point-after kick, gave Massillon a 7-6 lead just 1:28 into the season.

That was the teaser to a spectacular night for Jasinski, who finished with 222 receiving yards and three scores on 15 catches. He also helped key Massillon’s rally from 36-7 down to within 36-21 with just under four minutes remaining in the third with two interceptions.

“If there’s a silver lining, Austin played an unbelievable game,” Moore said.

Just as big was the fact the Tiger offense gift-wrapped a pair of first-half Mentor scores. The first came directly when Will Laganke picked up a Massillon fumble and raced 65 yards for a touchdown and a 20-7 Cardinal lead with 4:18 remaining in the first quarter.

The second was more indirectly: Laganke’s interception on the second play of the second quarter brought the ball back to the Massillon 5. The Tiger defense was able to bow its back, but Mentor still ended up kicking a 22-yard field goal for a 23-7 lead with 9:50 left in the half.

“The turnovers hurt us,” Moore said.

That defensive effort was indicative of the way the Tigers were able to settle in after the initial two drives for much of a stretch between Mentor’s initial two drives and the fourth quarter.

Massillon, after giving up 140 yards on the first six Cardinal plays, limited them to just 66 on the next 17.

Tatarunas, the highly-touted junior, was held to just 2-of-10 passing for 16 yards in the first half. However, there is a caveat to all of that.

On its final first-half play, Mentor picked up 90 yards on a Logan Shea-to-Ryan Hagan scoring pass. Shea took a reverse handoff and hit the wide-open Hagan for a touchdown – on 3rd-and-15 – for a 29-7 lead with 1:14 remaining in the half.

Shea would then make it 36-7 with a 47-yard catch and run after Massillon missed a tackle. That helped Tatarunas finish with 137 yards on 5-of-16 passing.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2010: Massillon 26, Mentor 21

Tigers send message with big victory over Mentor

The Independent

MENTOR, OH — The Massillon Tigers boarded the buses to go to Mentor on Friday carrying a massive chip on their shoulders. They were a team disrespected, in their eyes, and they had ideas of rectifying the situation.

.Everyone picked us to lose, said senior receiver Justin Olack, after Massillon rallied for a 26-21 win over the Cardinals at Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium. .Everybody expected us to lose. Even our fans expected us to lose, and that’s not right. Massillon fans should always expect us to win. We showed them tonight that we were going to win no matter what.

Olack’s 45-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter gave Massillon the lead for good at 20-14. He then threw a 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to Tyler Miller on a gadget play for a 26-14 advantage.

For the Tigers, it was a message sent to the critics.

.They prejudged us, that’s what I told our kids,. said Tiger coach Jason Hall after his team improved to 3-1. .We don’t want to be prejudged. We’re Massillon. You better give us a 50-50 shot every time we step on the field. That’s probably what (ticked) us off tonight.

In taking out their frustration Friday night, Massillon dipped into the bag of tricks. Both Olack and Devin Smith threw touchdown passes on the night – Smith’s a 32-yarder to Montel Harrison in the first quarter to give the Tigers a 12-7 lead.

.We work it all the time in practice,. said Smith, who added 127 yards on eight catches. .They tell us to be ready just in case we get to run them in the game. It just worked perfectly. We executed it perfectly. You saw that me and J.O. can throw the ball.

Of course, the guy the Tigers were interested in seeing throw the ball on Friday night was sophomore Kyle Kempt, who made his first start of the season. Kempt handled himself well, completing 16-of-26 passes for 196 yards with a pair of touchdowns – one to Tyler Robinson in the first quarter and the one to Olack in the third quarter.

Kempt, the highly-touted transfer from Oregon, did throw an interception in the end zone in the third quarter. He was also sacked five times, but Hall said he expects his quarterback to get better.

.He made some good plays and he made some bad plays,. Hall said of Kempt. .We have to keep coaching up all our quarterbacks. I think we have to keep working on our consistency, keep looking at reads and we have to get better..

The Tigers have also improved their running game, as evidenced by their 119 yards on 30 carries, many of those draw plays which went for big gains by Jake Reiman. Reiman finished with 122 yards on 16 carries.

We were mixing it up enough to keep them off-balanced,. Hall said.

Mentor’s running game gave the Tigers plenty of headaches, especially over the first 24 minutes of the game. In the first half, quarterback Colton Wallace and Mike Korecz were able to hit the Massillon defense on some big plays, which helped the Cardinals take a 14-12 halftime lead.

Korecz rushed for 89 of his game-high 128 yards in the first half, scoring on a six-yard run in the second quarter before adding a 13-yard burst in the fourth quarter. Wallace, meanwhile, gained 52 of his 84 yards prior to halftime, and gave Mentor a 7-0 lead on its first possession with a 1-yard run.

The Cardinals rushed for 157 yards in the first half. They were held to 87 yards in the second half, when they found themselves faced with a number of second-and third-and-long situations they couldn’t overcome.

We did a good job of that,. said Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno, whose team is now 1-3. Then in the second half, every time we did it we got a holding call and it brought us back. All of a sudden, you’re way back out of the way..


Massillon 26

Mentor 21

at Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium

Massillon 12 0 8 6 26

Mentor 7 7 7 7 21


Men – Wallace 1 run (Klisuric kick)

Mas – T. Robinson 5 pass from Kempt (Kick blocked)

Mas – Harrison 32 pass from Smith (Kick blocked)

Men – Korecz 6 run (Klisuric kick)

Mas – Olack 45 pass from Kempt (Roberson pass from Kempt)

Mas – Miller 17 pass from Olack (Pass failed)

Men – Korecz 13 run (Klisuric kick)

Mas Men

First downs 17 23

Rushes-yards 119 244

Comp-Att-Int 18-28-1 9-15-1

Passing yards 245 113

Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1

Penalties-yards 7-52 7-77

Records 3-1 1-3



Massillon – Reiman 16-122; Winters 1-20; Roberson 2-19.

Mentor – Korecz 31-128 2 TDs; Wallace 18-84 TD.


Massillon – Kempt 16-26-196 2 TDs, INT; Smith 1-1-32 TD; Olack 1-1-17 TD.

Mentor – Trubisky 7-11-89 INT; Wallace 2-4-24.


Massillon – Smith 8-127; Olack 3-47 TD; Reiman 2-9; Roberson 2-8; Harrison 1-32 TD; Miller 1-17 TD; T. Robinson 1-5 TD.

Mentor – Cade 5-58.

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2009: Massillon 28, Mentor 20

Tigers clear big hurdle with win over Mentor

The Independent

Before the Massillon Tigers could turn their attention to their archrivals in Canton, they had to take care of the Mentor Cardinals. And Mentor made sure they had the Tigers’ attention for the full four quarters Friday night.
Despite taking Mentor’s best shot, the Tigers cleared the tricky Week Nine hurdle, and head into McKinley Week on the heels of a 28-20 win over the Cardinals in front of 5,940 soaked fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“I think we learned our lesson with that earlier in the year, midseason,” Tiger coach Jason Hall said. “We have to come and prepare week-to-week with our schedule, especially the second half. Mentor is a great football team. … They fought and you have to take your hat off to (Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno) and his guys. When it was crunch time, we had to run the clock out to win the game.”

Massillon heads into the final week of the regular season with a 7-2 record. Awaiting them is a McKinley team that knocked off Boardman on Friday night to improve to 5-4.Mentor falls to 5-4 on the season.

With a slick turf, both teams stuck to the ground for much of the first quarter with varying degrees of success. Mentor, however, was able to make the most of its rather limited successes in the quarter, ending it with a 51-yard Greg Klisuric field goal for a 3-0 lead.

Breaking the scoreless deadlock was like opening a valve as both offenses came to life in the second quarter.
Massillon scored on its first two possessions of the quarter and had a score on its third drive called back due to an illegal hands to the face penalty. The first – a 26-yard Robert Partridge-to-Devin Smith scoring strike – made it 7-3 Tigers 1:31 into the second quarter.

The second touchdown – a 10-yard run by Alex Winters, who had 118 of his 176 rushing yards in the first half – gave Massillon the lead back at 14-10 with 5:27 remaining in the half.

“I think Alex, after those two games (against St. Ignatius and Steubenville), we challenged him and he’s really stepped it up,” Hall said. “He’s really lowered his shoulders and delivered punishment instead of take it. That’s kind of a progression of a young running back. Sometimes I forget he’s just my baby running back. He’s a 10th-grader, but he didn’t play like a 10th grader.”

In between those scores, Mentor put together its own touchdown drive, creasing the Tiger defense with both the run and the pass. Cardinal quarterback Sam Mayse was 3-for-3 on the drive for 48 yards, while tailback Mike Korecz ran five times for 13 yards – including a 1-yard touchdown – and Ricky Hanzlik added a 19-yard run.
Korecz gained 82 yards on 14 first-half carries. He finished with 110 yards.

Partridge and Smith hooked up for a second touchdown with 4:18 left in the third quarter. Partridge dropped back from the Mentor 4 and lobbed a fade pass to Smith, who leaped and made the catch for the touchdown. Jeremy Geier’s point-after made it 21-10 Tigers.

Partridge finished the game 14-of-20 for 233 yards. He threw three touchdown passes, all to Smith, who had four catches for 144 yards.

“Rob’s been sick with the flu,” Hall said. “He had a slow start, but he really battled through some adversity. He’s really under the weather and it took him about a quarter to get going.”

Aided by a roughing the passer penalty on a 41-yard pass play, the Cardinals drove to the Massillon 11. After a procedure penalty moved the ball back to the Tiger 16, Mentor ran an endaround to Graeham McKnight, who pulled up and threw a 16-yard touchdown strike to a wide-open Marcus Cade in the end zone. Klisuric’s PAT made it 21-17 Tigers with 2:05 left in the third quarter.

Partridge and Smith hooked up a third time with 7:47 left in regulation, this time a 67-yard strike to make it 28-17. The play came right after a Bo Grunder interception, the second pick of the game for Massillon.

“Any time you capitalize, it’s big,” Hall said. “The one, they’re driving and we get that pick and we come right back and throw that ball. Rob did a good job of recognizing cover-3 and he went for the home run ball.”

But Mentor drove down the field, reaching the Tiger 7. After a pair of incomplete passes, Klisuric was called on to boot a 25- yard field goal, which made it 28-20 Tigers with 4:49 left.

With 1:22 remaining, the Tigers iced the game when Patridge scrambled for a nine-yard game on a fourth-and-seven on the Mentor 27.


Massillon 28
Mentor 20

Mentor 03 07 07 03 20
Massillon 00 14 07 07 28

Men – FG Klisuric 51
Mas – Smith 26 pass from Partridge (Geier kick)
Men – Korecz 1 run (Klisuric kick)
Mas – Winters 10 run (Geier kick)
Mas – Smith 4 pass from Partridge (Geier kick)
Men – Cade 16 pass from McKnight (Klisuric kick)
Mas – Smith 67 pass from Patridge (Geier kick)
Men – FG Klisuric 25
Men Mas
First downs 18 19
Rushes-yards 36-189 41-194
Comp-Att-Int 13-23-2 14-20-0
Passing yards 211 233
Fumbles-lost 4-1 0-0
Penalty yards 5-35 6-49
Records 5-4 7-2
Massillon – Winters 29-164 TD; Partridge 8-31.
Mentor – Korecz 24-108 TD; Hanzlik 7-60.
Massillon – Partridge 14-20-233 3 TDs.
Mentor – Mayse 12-22-195 2 INTs; McKnight 1-1-16 TD.
Massillon – Olack 6-49; Smith 4-144 3 TDs; Allman 1-16;
Winters 1-12.
Mentor – Rowe 7-115; Cade 4-82 TD; Hanzlik 1-9; Korecz 1-5.

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2006: Massillon 7, Mentor 19

Mentor stymies Massillon


Six plays into the second half, the Massillon Tigers had grabbed control of the momentum and the lead in its game Friday night at Mentor. By the time the third quarter ended, the lead – if not the momentum – had shifted to the Cardinals.

Five plays into the fourth quarter, a Tiger fumble left little question who held the momentum. That momentum eventually carried itself over into a 19-7 Mentor win over Massillon in front of approximately 9,500 at Jerome T. Osbourne Sr. Stadium.

Program Cover

“We score a touchdown, and we think the game’s over,” said Tiger coach Tom Stacy, whose team falls to 3-2. “It’s like we stopped playing. I don’t know what the problem is. We have to look at the tape, see what the problem is and get them corrected.”

After both teams failed to mount any sort of scoring threat in the first half, the third quarter turned into a shoot-out. It started when the Tigers’ Chris Thornton recovered a pooch kick at the Mentor 35.

Six straight carries by Brian Gamble put Massillon into the end zone, the last of which covered three yards. Steve Schott’s extra point with 9:24 left in the third quarter gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

Gamble – who finished with 115 yards on the night – looked like he was venting some of the pent-up anger he had from the first half. He was screaming into the air as he walked off the field at halftime, part of it due to an official’s negation of an apparent Tiger touchdown.

“I thought he played well,” Stacy said of Gamble. “I can’t fault the kids’ effort. I thought we played hard. They just made more plays than we did.”

Bobby Huth appeared to hit Giorgio Jackson on a 50-yard “Hail Mary” pass on the final play of the half. However, the official behind the play came in and ruled the pass incomplete.

Television replays appeared to back up Massillon’s contention. Still, the ruling stood, and it was 0-0 at the intermission.

“They said he rolled over and didn’t have the ball,” Stacy said.

After Gamble’s touchdown, the Tigers didn’t have the ball much more in the third quarter. That’s because Mentor would chew up 79 yards on 15 plays on its subsequent possession, taking off over five minutes of clock time before Bart Tanski hit Brandon James on a 7-yard touchdown strike with 3:54 left.

The extra point kick was wide right, and Massillon kept the lead at 7-6. But not for too long.

“After nearly shutting them down in the first half … obviously they just executed better than we did,” Stacy said. “We scored, and it’s like it lit a fire under them.”

Massillon would go three-and-out on its next possession, and punt it to the Cardinals at their own 49. It would take only six plays for Mentor to march over that distance, thanks to a 30-yard quarterback keeper by Tanski to the Tiger 12.

Bill Deitman would give Mentor the lead for good, bull-rushing his way in from two yards out with 1:40 left in the quarter. The PAT pass was no good, keeping the Cardinal lead at 12-7.

“I think after that (Tiger touchdown) drive, we challenged our team on the bench,” said Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno, whose team is 4-1. “We felt we were a little soft on that series. After that, I thought we controlled the game real well.”

The Tigers would put together one final legitimate scoring threat in the game, starting after Deitman’s run. From its own 35, Massillon moved down to the Mentor 15 – with help from a big 31-yard Huth-to-Gamble strike on the final play of the third quarter.

However, the drive – and most likely the Tigers’ hopes – would end when the Cardinals’ Shane Molder popped the ball loose from the Massillon ballcarrier and Nate Wilson fell on the ball for Mentor at its own 5.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Tiger coach Tom Stacy said. “We killed ourselves with penalties. We put the ball on the ground. We shot ourselves in the foot. Supposedly we didn’t catch the ball in the end zone at the end of the half, I don’t know. We just didn’t make any plays. They made more plays than we did.”

The final nail would be driven in the Tiger coffin with 1:58 remaining as Tanski capped a short four-play, 19-yard scoring drive with a 3-yard run. Kevin Harper’s PAT provided the final margin.

Not that the Tigers have long to dwell on the setback.

“We better get back to work, because we’re playing a better football team next week,” Stacy said, referring to next Friday’s home game with St. Ignatius. “It doesn’t get any easier.”

Mentor 19

Massillon 7

Massillon 0 0 7 0 7

Mentor 0 0 12 7 19


Mas – Brian Gamble 3 run (Steve Schott kick)

Men – Brandon James 7 pass from Bart Tanski (Kick failed)

Men – Bill Deitman 2 run (Pass failed)

Men – Tanski 3 run (Kevin Harper kick)


Massillon rushing: Gamble 26–115, K.J. Herring 4-29, Tom Leonard 1-1.

Mentor rushing: Deitman 19-78 TD, Tanski 19-75 TD

Massillon passing: Bobby Huth 13-30-108

Mentor passing: Tanski 11-18-102 TD

Massillon receiving: Bryan Sheegog 4-27, Andrew Dailey 3-21, Gamble 2-36.

Mentor receiving: James 4-33 TD, Mike Popelas 3-51.


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2005: Massillon 31, Mentor 10

Tigers still perfect


Say this for Troy Ellis. The young man has a flair for the dramatic.

Massillon’s senior cornerback came up with an interception in the shadow of the Tiger end zone to quell a Mentor drive midway through the third quarter, just when it looked like the Cardinals were going to make a game of it.

Program Cover

The Tigers then embarked on a nine-play, 70-yard scoring drive that put Mentor away as Massillon stayed undefeated with a 31-10 victory in front of 8,578 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Friday.

“That’s huge. That’s huge,” Tiger quarterback Bobby Huth said of Ellis’ pick. “We count on our defense. We know they’re going to make a play. Troy is great. What can I say?”

It was Ellis’ seventh interception this season and it came with Massillon leading 17-3 but Mentor clearly owning the second-half momentum. The turnover couldn’t have come at a better time for Tiger head coach Tom Stacy.

“Oh, it was big,” Stacy said. “It was big. Troy Ellis is a heck of a football player.

“I felt like our defense played really well. They had the one drive but they’re going to get that. They scored 35 on St. Ignatius. They’re a good offensive football team.”

Massillon was up 17-0 at halftime but Mentor got on the scoreboard with a field goal that capped a 14-play drive that opened the third quarter.

The Tigers were forced to punt after three snaps on their first second-half possession and Mentor was on the march again, moving from its 40 to the Tiger 9. On second-and-eight, Mentor quarterback Kellen Oleksak threw it to the right flat for Brand James but Ellis came up with the football and returned it 26 yards to break the visitors’ hearts.

“We were in a cover three,” Ellis said. “They were trying the flat all night and I saw it coming out and I was reading it. The ball was just thrown over his head and I just grabbed it.

“We saw it on tape and they were pounding the flats on us all night. We were trying to get to it and I finally got one. We definitely needed (a turnover). I didn’t know it was coming my way but I felt like the defense was going to get one.”

Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno called Ellis’ play the turning point.

“That hurt,” Trivisonno said. “That would have made it 17-10 at that point. That’s the whole ball game. We told them, “Let’s go into the fourth quarter 17-10.” That’s where we needed to be. But they got that turnover.”

After the pick, Massillon embarked on a nine-play, 70 yard drive – keyed by a 42-yard Huth to Zack Vanryzin bomb – to put the game out of reach. The drive bridged the third and fourth quarters and was capped by Brian Gamble’s one-yard burst into the end zone. The touchdown and Steve Schott’s conversion kick gave Massillon a 24-3 lead at 10:27 of the fourth quarter.

Massillon added a score when Huth completed a fade route to Ricardo Wells from 14 yards out to make it 31-3 with just over five minutes to play.

“Offensively we just weren’t in the normal synch,” Stacy said afterward. “I give Mentor credit. They played hard and took away a couple things we like to do and game-planned us pretty well.”

As has been the case in their first four games this season, the Tigers jumped out first with two Huth-to-Vanryzin aerials covering 71 yards. The first came on the opening play from scrimmage as the junior quarterback rolled right and dropped a pass over the shoulder of the Mentor defender and into Vanryzn’s hands for a 39-yard gain to the Mentor 41.

After Gamble picked up eight yards on a run up the middle, Huth dropped back and found Vanryzin open on a post pattern. The 5-8, 170-pound senior hauled it in at the 3 and stepped into the end zone. Steve Schott’s point after was true and Massillon led 7-0 at 10:58 of the first quarter.

“It’s kind of scary when you think about it,” Stacy said. “We talk about that all the time and we were able to do it again and then we stalled a little bit.”

The Massillon defense forced Mentor into four consecutive punts in the first half. The fourth one set up the Tigers’ second score of the night when a shank by the Cardinal punter gave Massillon the ball at midfield.

The drive began innocently enough and looked to be dead after three plays failed to net a first down. But on fourth-and-2 at the Mentor 41, Gamble went over his right tackle and wouldn’t be denied until he’d picked up the first down at the Mentor 37.

Two plays later, Robert Morris rumbled for eight yards to the 23 for another Tiger first down.

“I can’t say enough about how hard our running backs are running for us,” Stacy said. “They’re physical and finishing runs and holding onto the football. That’s really good to see.’

On second-and-eight, Huth faked a handoff, rolled to his right and hit Trey Miller at the 3-yard line. Miller did the rest and Schott’s conversion placement put the Tigers up 14-0 at 3:09 of the second quarter.

Mentor’s fifth punt of the first half gave the Tigers the ball at their own 43 after Troy Ellis’ eight-yard return.

Huth was sacked for an eight yard loss on first down but Gamble erased that with a 38-yard burst around the right end to the Mentor 27.

Two Tiger penalties set them back 10 yards but Huth hooked up with Brett Huffman on a short pass and the senior tight end carried the ball 20 yards to the 17.

Schott closed the first half scoring by drilling a 34-yard field goal with :04 until intermission to put Massillon up 17-0 at the break.

“I think the field goal right at the end of half was really big,” Stacy said. “You could see it lifted our kids back up offensively. It’s a good way to finish the half. It was a real key for us.”


Antonio James