AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Massillon outscored Fitch in the fourth quarter, 14-0, to win a hard-fought matchup – 31-21. The Tigers improve to 4-2 while Fitch falls to 3-2.
After holding the Tigers to a punt on their opening drive, the Falcons began their first possession on their own 1-yard line. Ninety-nine yards later, Cam Smith raced into the end zone to give Fitch the early 7-0 lead. The drive was highlighted by Jayden Eley’s long catch from Devin Sherwood to give the Falcons some breathing room.
Following a Tyler Evans interception, Fitch needed to go just 41-yards to get to the end zone. Sherwood took it in from 20-yards away on the first play of the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead.
After a fumble deep in Fitch’s territory that was recovered by Massillon’s senior linebacker Nathan Depuy, the Tigers cashed in a 15-yard touchdown toss from Jalen Slaughter to Ardell Banks to cut the lead in half (14-7).
Shane Rue booted a 42-yard field goal through the uprights late in the second quarter to slice into Fitch’s lead even more at 14-10. The Tigers’ featured a pair of significant plays on the drive – a run by Camden Beasley and a catch by Austin Brawley.
On the ensuing drive, Sherwood found Tyler Evans on a 72-yard catch and run but Tiger defensive back Ryan Zentkovich tracked down the Falcon receiver to pop the ball out of the end zone for a touchback.
Then, Slaughter found Brawley on a 50-yard pass to place the Tigers into Fitch territory. From there, Banks caught a 30-yard Slaughter-offering for his second score of the day to give Massillon their first lead, 17-14.
To open the second half, Fitch scored on a 26-yard pass from Sherwood to Tyler Evans – who made a fantastic grab to haul in the catch in the back corner of the end zone. Sherwood converted three 3rd down plays during the drive. Two were picked up runs by the quarterback. Then, the 3rd-down touchdown catch to take the 21-17 advantage.
Nate Watkins came off the edge to sack Sherwood on a 4th down play on the Tigers’ 45-yard line in the fourth quarter. The next play, Slaughter found Brawley on a 45-yard pass play which put Massillon inside the red zone. Two plays later, Beasley carried the ball into the end zone from 4-yards out to take the lead back for the visitors (24-21) with 8:36 remaining.
On the next drive, Sherwood was picked off by Tigers’ sophomore linebacker Maverick Clark inside the Falcons’ 10-yard line. Slaughter once again found a fellow-Tiger receiver, this time in Riley Campbell on a 7-yard touchdown strike to extend the lead to 10-points (31-21).
Massillon will play next week at home against Euclid. Fitch will meet Canfield on the road.
Massillon, 31-21 (F)
F – Cam Smith, 2-yard TD run (Josiah Berni kick), 2:50
F – Devin Sherwood, 20-yard TD run (Berni kick), 11:51
M – Ardell Banks, 15-yard TD catch from Jalen Slaughter (Shane Rue kick), 8:43
M – Rue, 42-yard FG, 4:02
M – Banks, 30-yard TD catch from Slaughter (Rue kick), 2:29
F – Tyler Evans, 26-yard TD catch from Sherwood (Berni kick), 8:25
M – Camden Beasley, 4-yard TD run (Rue kick), 8:36
M – Riley Campbell, 7-yard TD catch from Slaughter (Rue kick), 7:44
Get updated scores throughout the playoffs on the WKBN scores page.
Watch interviews and get player profiles for some of the best players in the Valley – visit the WKBN Big 22 page.