Tag: <span>Tim Flossie</span>

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

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.”


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1982: Massillon 7, Akron Central Hower 3

Tigers nip Central‑Hower 7‑3
Emotions run high after Tiger defense rises to new heights

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ An emotional win does different things to different people.

Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, the locals remained unbeaten by downing a stubborn Akron Central‑Hower squad 7‑3. A big factor in the contest was senior defensive end Derrick Johnson, who twice broke through the offensive line to record sacks late in the game while the visitors attempted a final surge towards the Tiger goal.

Afterwards, friends surrounded his locker, squeezing the big senior with bearhugs of joy. But Johnson was too emotionally spent to laugh or talk or celebrate. All Johnson could do was sit and cry tears of joy.

Program Cover

There may not have been a lot of scoring in the contest, but the 8,114 fans who sat through four quarters of a chilly autumn rain didn’t feel cheated, and certainly didn’t exit until the final gun assured Massillon of victory.

The rain certainly had an effect on the game, but it certainly wasn’t the deciding factor.

“Basically, we lost to a very good team tonight,” said Ram coach Tim Flossie, whose squad drops to 1‑2 on the year after going 10‑1 last season. “I thought both teams did an excellent job under the conditions; had the weather been ideal it just would have meant both teams would have been a bit more effective offensively,” insinuating that the Tigers would have won no matter what was failing out of the sky.

“We threw the ball well tonight, but the rain caused us to drop some passes we may have caught,” said Tiger head coach Mike Currence. “Of course, the wet field caused our running backs to lose their footing several times, too.

“But in the end, everyone did their job tonight. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have won.”

It was a battle of the trenches from the beginning. The Tigers took the opening kick but had to punt. The Rams then used up most of the first quarter with a 14‑play drive that went 46 yards before the Tigers stopped Eric Mosley inches short of a first down on the Massillon 34‑yardline on a fourth down option pitchout from the quarterback. Earlier, the Rams had proved their intentions of gaining victory at all cost by going for the first down on a fourth‑and‑one situation on their own 34 and making it.

The Tigers then reciprocated with a drive to the C‑H 33 that ended when Brian DeWitz endzone bomb was intercepted by the Rams Paul Miller. But the Rams’ gave the ball back moments later when the Rams’ wishbone offense stumbled at an inopportune moment ‑ an option pitch was fumbled and recovered by Tiger linebacker Chris Spielman after an eight‑yard loss on the Ram 29.

Massillon capitalized on the break with the only touchdown of the night. The seven-play drive saw Spielman tote the final 14 yards on three consecutive carries, the capper a six‑yard run with 6:04 remaining in the half. Bronc Phsiterer’s kick was good for a 7‑0 lead.

it appeared that the Tigers might score again before the half. A beautiful coffin corner punt by DeWitz bounded out of bounds at C‑H’s 2, where they were stymied and had to punt ‑ a short boot that the Tigers took over on the Ram 26 with about two minutes remaining.

The Tigers soon found just three yards short of paydirt with 51 seconds remaining. But two cracks into the line failed, and on fourth down, an incompletion gave the ball back to C‑H.

Most of the fans were wondering why the Tigers didn’t stop the clock and try the field goal ‑ what they didn’t know is that the Tigers were out of time outs, their final clock‑stopper having been used without official notification to the pressbox or stands.
Tigers stay perfect!
“I used the last time out to attempt to save time for us,” explained Currence. “I thought for sure that we’d be able to punch it in in one or two cracks, and I was stunned when we didn’t; we had been blowing them out at the line. But one thing they did was move 205‑pound Troy Rackley over from defensive end to tackle when we weren’t expecting it, and he really plugged the hole.”

The Rams actually switched a lot of personnel around for the game, including switching 220‑pound Destin Scott to the middle guard spot, when the Tigers were expecting a 160‑pounder there!

“We had been preparing for this game for two weeks,” admitted Flossie. “The defensive switches worked well for us; I was especially pleased with the play of our interior linebackers.”

The second half was more great defense on both sides. The Rams almost broke the opening kickoff, returning it to the C‑H 42, and proceeded to drive to the Tiger eight, where it was second‑and‑seven.

But Ram quarterback Ray Jackson was hit for a two‑yard loss on the next play, followed by a great defensive play by the Tigers’ Marcell Stephens, the 160‑lb. defensive back, who stopped an endzone pass with a great hit.

“The play was a tight end out cut, and I was back‑peddling on the coverage,” said Stephens. “The footing was terrible and I lost my balance momentarily, but I caught the ball out of the corner of my eye and regained my balance to stick him good just as the ball arrived.”

The Rams then had to settle for a 26‑yard field goal by Kelly Clark with 5:58 left in the third quarter, cutting the Tiger lead to 7‑3. The scoreboard never changed again.

The Rams threatened again when Miller grabbed his second interception and returned it to the Tiger 18.

“The receiver broke the pattern; it was supposed to be a curl and he decided to change it. If the quarterback had been able to read the move it might have gone for a long‑gainer, but it was too late and only the defensive back ended up where the receiver was supposed to be.”

But the defense stiffened, regaining possession on the 18 when a pass was overthrown into the endzone. The Tigers then moved 67 yards themselves before losing the ball on downs at the Ram 18. A key play in the clock‑eating march was a 41‑yard pass play from DeWitz to senior receiver Jim Geiser on a third‑and‑12 situation.

“I told the coach I could beat the guy deep, and he, ‘let’s take the risk, “‘ reported Geiser, the team’s leading receiver on the year.

“That was a great catch,” added Flossie. “Our guy was right there, but it was just a great catch.”

After the Tigers’ drive ended, the Rams had two more chances to score. The first possession ended in a punt after a clipping call and a sack by the Tigers’ Junior Neff forced the boot.

Central‑Hower’s final chance saw Johnson’s fierce rush put the final icing on what was hardly a piece of cake.

Statistically, Massillon outgained C‑H 230‑119, including a 126‑0 advantage in the air. DeWitz completed 9‑of‑19 tosses on the night, with Spielman catching four passes for 26 yards and Geiser three passes for 63 yards. Spielman led the Tiger ground attack with 20 totes for 95 yards.

“Massillon jut didn’t make mistakes, they’re a helluva team,” concluded Flosie, who might have been beaten but left Massillon with the respect of all who watched his team.

M 0
First downs rushing 8 8
First downs passing 5 0
First downs by penalty 0 1
Totals first downs 13 9
Yards gained rushing 131 156
Yards lost rushing 27 37
Net yards rushing 104 119
Net yards passing 126 0
Total yards gained 230 119
Passes attempted 19 4
Passes completed 9 0
Passes int. by 0 2
Yardage on pass int. 0 17
Times kicked off 2 2
Kickoff average 55.0 54.0
Kickoff return yards 22 32
Punts 2 3
Putting average 32.5 26.0
Punt return yards 18 0
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 1 2
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 3 2
Yards penalized 35 25
Touchdowns rushing 1 0
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 57 51
Time of possession 25:14 22:42
Attendance 8,114

Cen‑Hower 0 0 3 0 3
Massillon 0 7 0 0 7

M ‑ Spielman 6‑yard ran. (Phisterer kick)
CH ‑ Clark 26‑yard field goal.

Jeff Boerner