McKinley 40, Massillon 17 (Oct 30-2010)

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McKinley 40, Massillon 17 (Oct 30-2010)

Post by The Bulldog » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:14 am

McKinley 40, Massillon 17 (Oct 30-2010)
Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Massillon


Here is some highlight footage from yesterday's game....

Marc Givler


McKinley wears down Massillon for victory
Josh Weir
Updated: Saturday, October 30, 2010

McKinley's Freddie Burton rode the victory bell as his teammates pulled it around the Paul Brown Tiger Stadium turf. The Bulldog cheerleaders followed behind, rhythmically chanting, “They don't wanna hit, they don't wanna hit."

One thing is for sure: They weren't talking about the McKinley High School football team.

"We like to hit a lot," junior safety Ruben Burrows said. "We're real physical."

After a sloppy, penalty-filled first half by both teams, McKinley muscled up on Massillon on both sides of the ball to dominate the second half and pull away for a 40-17 win Saturday afternoon in the 120th meeting between the rivals.

A crowd of 17,794 saw the Bulldogs rush for 357 yards and five touchdowns, while a hard-hitting defense contained Massillon's explosive passing game and picked off the Tigers three times.

"It's exhilarating," said Burrows, the author of one interception and several bone-jarring hits Saturday. "It's one of the best feelings in the world to beat Massillon here. Now we're going to the playoffs and playing at Fawcett (Stadium)."

According to, the Bulldogs (8-2), winners of six straight, earned the No. 1 seed in Division I, Region 2 and will host Medina next Saturday. Massillon (7-3), which has lost two of its last three games, is the No. 6 seed and will travel to Toledo Whitmer. Official playoff pairings will be announced today.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to go on the road, get a win and get a rematch with them (eventually)," Massillon head coach Jason Hall said.

Which is what happened last year, when the Tigers avenged a loss in Week 10 by beating McKinley in a regional final.

If they meet again, Here's hoping there's not as much yellow laundry on the field.

The two teams were penalized a combined 21 times for 238 yards Saturday. The first half featured a combined nine personal fouls, with five on Massillon. The second half saw McKinley flagged three times for personal fouls and once for unsportsmanlike conduct.

In a rivalry game, it's a thin line between utilizing emotion, or it working the other way.

"We want to make sure we keep our composure, but we still want to play on the edge, too," McKinley head coach Ron Johnson said. "We want to be physical. we've just got to take the knucklehead things out.

"It was on both sides. That's just the nature of this great game. And if you came out here and it was just all flag-football, we wouldn’t be happy. it's football."

Whether it was Sa'Veon Holloway or Elijah Farrakhan on the perimeter, quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky attacking the middle or Taron Montgomery running out of the Wildcat, McKinley had its way.

"We planned to pound the ball all game long," Farrakhan said. “The linemen did what they've done all year. They couldn’t stop it, so they kept on feeding us."

Farrakhan carried 14 times for 139 yards. Ohradzansky ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Holloway had 80 yards and two TDs on 16 carries, while Montgomery added a 38-yard TD run on the game’s opening possession.

“They’ve got some weapons. We know that," Hall said. "... They were able to get a balanced attack.

"They're a team you have to force into some third-and-long situations. Early on, we did a good job of that. But in the second half, we really didn't."

Ohradzansky, who completed 5 of 11 passes for 70 yards and a 19-yard TD to Malcolm Robinson, played his usual heady game. He said his offensive line, “played out of their minds."

A personal-foul facemask and deadball late hit were called on Massillon on Montgomery's TD run, setting the tone for the entire game.

Soon, with the help of a McKinley personal foul, Massillon was in Bulldog territory. Kyle Kempt hit Devin Smith for 33 yards to convert a third-and-10, leading to Jake Reiman’s 1-yard TD run.

Smith, an Ohio State recruit, caught seven passes for 135 yards, while Pittsburgh recruit Justin Olack was limited to two receptions for 38 yards.

Kempt was 15-of-35 passing for 189 yards and two picks. He entered the game with one interception in 139 attempts.

Massillon took a 10-7 lead on Anthony McCarthy’s 37-yard field goal, but this only after an offensive pass interference penalty stalled the drive.

McKinley answered with a heavy dose of Holloway and Farrakhan. A Massillon penalty converted a fourth-and-10. Holloway scored on a 6-yard TD run after another Massillon personal foul.

McCarthy missed a 25-yard field try shortly before half, after Tyler Robinson dropped a TD pass and Burrows separated Smith from another ball that had 6 written on it.

“He’ll throw his 145 pounds around like nobody’s business, man," Johnson said of Burrows. McKinley went to half up, 14-10.

Jermaine Edmondson picked off Smith on a Wildcat pass early in the third quarter. A 44-yard run by Farrakhan set up Ohradzansky’s 24-yard TD run.

The Bulldog defense seemed to gain steam. Se'Von Pittman dropped Smith for a 4-yard loss on fourth down.

Edmondson picked off a tipped ball for his second interception.

Three plays later, Robinson got behind the secondary and made a great catch in the back of the end zone.

Mr. Pittman will be coming back in 2011

Todd Porter: McKinley follows its emotional leader, Farrakhan, to victory
Todd Porter
Updated: Saturday, October 30, 2010

It seemed like the season was over before it really got started. That's what it looked like almost two months ago when Elijah Farrakhan lay on the turf at Fawcett Stadium staring at the stadium lights shining down on him and what looked like the end of his career.

That night at the end of the first quarter in the first Federal League game of the season against Lake, Farrakhan tore the PCL in his left knee. McKinley lost that night. They lost the next week.

The season reached its low point.

Then Saturday afternoon at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, the season reached its pinnacle. There was Farrakhan on the field running, maybe for the first time since his injury, like he ran before he was hurt.

He told his teammates Saturday morning to follow his lead, and they did.

The Bulldog offense kept going and going.

There was nothing Massillon's defense could do about it. By the time McKinley's party on Massillon's field ended, Farrakhan had 139 yards rushing on just 14 carries, and the Bulldogs rode the victory bell out of the stadium and back to Canton with a 40-17 win.

The Pups offense racked up 357 yards rushing and 427 total.

“Let me tell you, Elijah Farrakhan is a warrior," McKinley quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky said. “He’s such a great leader for us."

Farrakhan didn't score, but boy, did he break the Tigers’ backs. In the third quarter after a Massillon interception, Farrakhan took a counter play, cut back and down the sideline for 45 yards to the Massillon 27. Three plays later, McKinley scored and took a 20-10 lead.

The game started to slip away from Massillon at that point. If it wasn't gone then, it was shortly after Farrakhan touched the ball again.

He broke off a 23-yard run to the Massillon 19. That set up a Ohradzansky touchdown pass and a 27-10 Pups lead.




“He’s a good football player," Massillon head coach Jason Hall said. “He’s the emotional guy for them. He's who they look up to. Fortunately for him, they have a combination of weapons back there and you can't just stick your eyes on him."

When it was over, Farrakhan was still all business. His left knee no longer hurts. Not during, nor after games. He looks people in the eye. His handshake is firm. Even after the biggest win of the season, he doesn't smile much.

"I'm over the pain part," Farrakhan said. “The trainers got me in the weight room and worked me real hard. I lifted a lot and worked to get to this point."

Four weeks ago, against GlenOak, Farrakhan made it back on the field. But he didn't start running with confidence and trust in his knee until maybe the Hoover game. And he didn't run over and through opponents with as much ease until Saturday. He lit up Massillon's defense for 10 yards a carry.

“Initially, when he was hurt, I didn't know if he’d be back," McKinley head coach Ron Johnson said. “With those kinds of injuries, you never know. But Here's what I did know: I knew if there was anyway possible for him to play, he would be back, because That's the kind of kid he is."

Johnson calls Farrakhan a great leader of young men. In all seriousness, no one may have a better grasp and control on McKinley's locker room than Farrakhan. He speaks. They listen.

"That's been ingrained in me since I was little growing up," Farrakhan said. “I’ve always been like that ... vocal. If my team needs picked up, then I'm going to pick them up."

Farrakhan has a younger brother, Sherrod. He's an eighth-grader at Crenshaw Middle School.

"I tell him what to do," Farrakhan said. "I show him what's wrong and what's right and how to make those decisions."

Farrakhan woke up at 6 Saturday morning -- two hours before his alarm clock was set to go off.

"That's when I knew," he said.

That's when he knew a special day was in the making.

"I just had this focus," he said. "I couldn’t sleep (Friday) night. I spoke at our McKinley dinner and I just told them all to come locked in and focused. When I woke up, I felt that vibe."

The vibe never left.

Farrakhan played his best game of the season when it meant the most. And he did it with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament.

They say football is a game of inches. For Farrakhan, it was less than that. The PCL is about a half-inch wide. It is stronger than the ACL, the knee ligament most often torn.

But because Farrakhan’s was partially torn, he had a choice.

“The doctors told me I could have surgery or I could try to play with a brace," Farrakhan said. "I chose the brace."

Smart move.

Farrakhan may not even need surgery after the season.

When you're a player at McKinley and you're looking into those lights in pain, you think about Massillon. You think about Massillon even though it's seven weeks away.

“There was no way I wasn't gonna be on the field today," Farrakhan said. "I wanted this a lot. This was my last Massillon-McKinley game. We don't want to see them again, and That's why I think you saw us play like that. We came out and played like we're capable."

McKinley did more than that.

They played with courage and heart. They played with emotion.

They did what great teams do.

They followed their leader.


McKinley keeps bell with 40-17 win over Massillon
The Independent
Posted Oct 30, 2010 @ 09:05 PM
Last update Oct 30, 2010 @ 09:14 PM
—The little things can seem so insignificant when looked at individually. A missed tackle or a dropped pass or a missed assignment or a penalty, all can be looked at as mere bumps in the road for a football team.

On Saturday afternoon, those little things added up quickly for the Massillon Tigers. The sum of those little things was a 40-17 beating at the hands of the archrival McKinley Bulldogs in front of 17,794 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

"I thought they executed and we didn't," said Tiger coach Jason Hall, whose team will take a 7-3 record into next Saturday's Division I Region 2 quarterfinal, expected to be at Toledo Whitmer (9-1). "We missed tackles. ... We shot ourselves in the foot. You can't have (five) turnovers, which can be put on a lot of things. You can't take field position. You can't have personal fouls. You can't have all the little things that just build up."

Those little things began to really cause Massillon problems in the second quarter despite its possession of a 10-7 lead on an Anthony McCarthy 37-yard field goal.

With McKinley (8-2) eyeing a fourth-and-10 situation from the Massillon 28, the Tigers were flagged for pass interference to give the Bulldogs new life. On the next play, Massillon was hit with its second straight penalty -- this one a personal foul -- to put McKinley at the Tiger 6.

Those two Tiger penalties were among the nine they were flagged for in the game, for 95 yards. McKinley, meanwhile, was flagged 12 times for 143 yards.

After the two penalties, Sa'Veon Holloway ran it in from there to give McKinley a 14-10 lead -- post point-after try -- with three minutes left in the half.

Massillon would drive down to the McKinley 8 on its next possession. However, three straight incompletions -- including two drops -- and a missed field goal left the Tigers with no points to show for it.

"We missed two consecutive big plays down in the end zone, two opportunities to score," Hall said. "We miss a field goal. No matter what, you want to put some points on the board in that situation."

McKinley's defense harassed the Tigers in five turnovers on the afternoon, but none were bigger than Jermaine Edmondson’s two third-quarter interceptions for the Bulldogs. Both turnovers would end up as Bulldog touchdowns -- one on a Kyle Ohradzansky 24-yard run; the other on a 19-yard Ohradzansky-to-Malcolm Robinson pass -- to put McKinley up 27-10 with 4:17 left in the third.

“The coaches always tell me to be there at the right time," Edmondson said. "I just jumped on the ball and got the interception."

The turnovers spoiled what started out like a good day for the Tiger offense. After McKinley scored on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead, Massillon marched right back down the field to match the score with one of its own on a 1-yard Jake Reiman run.

Massillon came out running the Wildcat formation with Devin Smith lined up at quarterback for the first three plays, gaining 30 yards on Smith runs to move to the McKinley 34. Smith, who added 135 yards on seven catches, also had a 33-yard reception on the drive to put the Tigers at the Bulldog 4.

"We've been practicing that," Hall said of the Wildcat. "We'll mix that in every once in a while. We haven't used that a lot, but I thought it was time to let him run around."

The Tigers came into the game knowing they had to shuffle some things around up front due to another injury -- or in this case, illness -- situation. Kyle Belak, who moved from guard to center in Week Seven due to injury, was lost to a case of mononucleosis in the middle of the week.

Craig Kircher then moved from left tackle to center, while Brian Robinson moved from right guard to left tackle. Tim Dimitroff then moved into the right guard spot.

That line was faced with the challenge of dealing with a highly-regarded McKinley defensive front, led by ends Steve Miller and Se'Von Pittman. Early on, they did just that, as Massillon gained 184 yards in the first half.

The problem, though, was that as the second half went on, the Bulldogs began to get more and more pressure on sophomore quarterback Kyle Kempt. By the fourth quarter, they were able to pin their ears back and really get to the Tiger passer, as they finished with three sacks, all in the second half.

"We just kept playing hard and kept rushing the passer," Miller said. "We just kept rushing the quarterback and having fun."

McKinley, meanwhile, began to have some fun rushing the football. The Bulldogs finished with 357 rushing yards for the game, with a pair of 100-yard rushers in Elijah Farrakhan (136 yards on 14 carries) and Ohradzansky (101 yards on 15 carries).

Ohradzansky’s second scoring run may have been the dagger, a 36-yard touchdown run on the second play of the fourth quarter to give McKinley a 34-17 lead. That came on the Bulldogs' subsequent possession after Massillon had found new life -- so it thought -- on Reiman’s second 1-yard touchdown run of the game to pull within 27-17.

"It was huge," Ohradzansky said of the scoring run. "It really killed their momentum. It really allowed us to say, ‘Hey, we're going to take this thing over and we're going to end it right now.' And That's what we ended up doing."


McKinley runs wild in win over Massillon
The Independent
Posted Oct 31, 2010 @ 10:30 AM
—Two years ago, Kyle Ohradzansky was running for his life at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The then-sophomore McKinley quarterback was facing a deluge of Massillon pass rushers, a deluge that eventually washed both he and his Bulldog teammates away in a Tiger shutout.

On Saturday afternoon, Ohradzansky was running toward daylight at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, helping his Bulldog teammates run away with a 40-17 win over the Tigers.

“Obviously, it feels a lot better," Ohradzansky said. "It feels a lot better. Our guys played so hard. You can't say enough good things about them. They really played awesome."

Few, though, played as “awesome” as Ohradzansky. But it wasn't in the way many would expect from a senior quarterback.

Ohradzansky’s passing numbers were relatively pedestrian -- 5-of-11 for 70 yards, although he did hit Malcolm Robinson for a 19-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to give the Bulldogs a 27-10 lead. It was his running numbers which helped McKinley keep the Victory Bell in its possession.

The 6-foot-1, 213-pound senior finished with 101 yards on 15 carries. He ran for a pair of scores, including a back-breaking 36-yard run early in the fourth quarter to give the Bulldogs a 34-17 lead.

“Their quarterback played an excellent game," Massillon coach Jason Hall said. “He’s a senior, three-year starter. He's been-there, done-that. He really did a good job of leading that team."

The thing was, it wasn't just Ohradzansky who was hurting the Tigers with his legs. McKinley finished with 357 rushing yards for the game, and had two 100-yard rushers as Elijah Farrakhan gained a game-high 139 yards on 14 carries to join Ohradzansky in the century club.

Farrakhan never officially reached the end zone -- he had a touchdown run called back due to holding in the first quarter. Still, he helped set up a pair of third-quarter scores with big runs.

His 45-yard scamper on McKinley's first second-half play moved the ball to the Massillon 27, three plays before Ohradzansky ran for a 24-yard score to put the Bulldogs ahead 20-10. He added a 23-yard scoot to put the ball at the Tiger 19, two plays ahead of Ohradzansky’s touchdown pass.

"We can hit them out of any look that we want," Farrakhan said. "We can't be stopped. there's more than one weapon on this team."

The third member of McKinley's potent running game was Sa'Veon Holloway, who finished with 80 yards on 16 carries and the final score on a 1-yard plunge. Receiver Taron Montgomery also gained 64 yards out of the Wildcat formation, including a 38-yard touchdown on the game’s first drive to give McKinley an early 7-0 lead.

"I think we had seven guys carry the football today," McKinley coach Ron Johnson said. "A bunch of guys had balls thrown at them. We spread it out and just take what they give us."
Copyright 2010 The Independent. Some rights reserved


Flags fly for Massillon, McKinley
The Independent
Posted Oct 31, 2010 @ 11:00 AM
—The day of the Massillon-McKinley football game is always one full of color.

Orange. Black. Red. And on Saturday afternoon, yellow.

In fact, that proved to be the predominant color as the Tigers and Bulldogs met for the 120th time at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

McKinley didn't just win on the scoreboard, claiming a 40-17 win, but also in the penalty column. The Bulldogs were flagged 12 times for 143 yards in the game.

Massillon, though, wasn't too far behind. The Tigers were hit with nine penalties for 95 yards.

“From that standpoint, it was a sloppy game," Tiger coach Jason Hall said. "I would say (McKinley coach) Ron (Johnson) would probably say the same thing. We were both probably a little embarrassed about the some of our kids handled themselves at the end of plays."

Both teams had scoring drives aided by penalties. McKinley took the lead for good in the second quarter in part because of consecutive Tiger penalties, including a pass interference flag on a fourth-and-10 incompletion.

The Tigers, meanwhile, cut it to 27-17 in the third quarter on a drive which had two personal foul penalties against McKinley.

The penalty du jour on this day was the personal foul. In the first half alone, the Tigers were flagged four times for personal fouls, while the Bulldogs were hit with three personal fouls.

There was one offsetting personal foul situation in the first half as well.

"We want to play on the edge, we want to be physical," Johnson said. "We have to take the knuckle-head things out of it. It was on both sides. Jason’s probably has the same comment. That's just the nature of this great game. If you came out here and it was just flag football, we wouldn’t all be happy. it's football."

In totality, McKinley was hit with six personal foul penalties. Massillon was flagged for three personal fouls.

“These are teenagers, and this is a high-emotion, energized game," Hall said. “Right now, it's our job to talk to them about how they respond to those situations. That's the teaching part of it. We’ll address them, and we've already addressed some of them. The key is, do they learn from it. If it's still going on next week, then those kids won't be able to play."
Copyright 2010 The Independent. Some rights reserved


Bulldogs' second-half defense tames Tigers

By George M. Thomas
Beacon Journal sports writer

POSTED: 08:12 p.m. EDT, Oct 30, 2010

The 120th edition of the Canton McKinley-Massillon grudge match won't get much credit for style points.

Ultimately, however, the Bulldogs (8-2) won't remember how sloppy Saturday's game was. They will remember that they won the game 40-17 with a dominating second-half performance.

It was Canton McKinley's defense that spearheaded the Bulldogs in the second half, consistently putting their offense in position to score.

The Bulldogs held the Tigers (7-3) to 289 yards of total offense and had three interceptions. Canton McKinley accumulated 427 yards of offense, including two 100-yard rushing performances. Quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and running back Elijah Farrakhan rushed for 141 yards on 14 carries.

''We said we should do what we did all year,'' Farrakhan said. ''They couldn't stop it so we just kept pounding the ball out. They kept on feeding [me], so I kept getting as many yards that I could.''

Canton McKinley coach Ron Johnson praised his defense.

''I thought we played great on defense and in pass defense,'' he said.

Coming in as winners in five of the last six meetings, the Tigers found themselves in precarious situations primarily because of that defense.

Twice in the third quarter, Bulldogs defensive back Jermaine Edmondson victimized the Tigers with interceptions that swung the momentum in McKinley's favor.

''Our coaches always told me to be there at the right time,'' Edmondson said, ''and I just broke on the ball and got the interception. I try to go all out.''

The first interception, which came early in the third quarter, gave the Bulldogs the ball on their own 28 and moments later Ohradzansky, on third-and-7, dashed 24 yards into the end zone for the score.

Three possessions later, Edmondson grabbed a deflected pass and tried his best to tip-toe the sideline to the end zone. Instead he stepped out at the McKinley 42. Minutes later, Ohradzansky found wide receiver Malcolm Robinson, who made a spectacular effort to catch up to a pass that looked to be overthrown, for a 19-yard touchdown that put McKinley ahead 27-10 after the extra point.

That should have put the game away for the Bulldogs, but the problem that plagued both teams continued. On the Tigers' next possession, they marched down the field on an eight-play, 66-yard drive to make the score 27-17 with the fourth quarter still to play. Almost half of the yardage on the drive came courtesy of two 15-yard penalties on McKinley -- one for a personal foul and another for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The two teams combined for 21 penalties for 238 yards.

Johnson considered it part of the game.

''We want to make sure we keep our composure, but we want to play on the edge; we want to be physical,'' he said. ''It's just the nature of this great game. If you came out here and it was just all flag football then we all wouldn't be happy.''

Farrakhan, who was bruising out of the backfield, agreed.

''We heard that they didn't like to get hit that much,'' Farrakhan said. ''Every play we set out to punish them, every down and take their heart away.''
George M. Thomas can be reached at Read the high school blog at Also on Twitter at

MASSILLON: The 120th edition of the Canton McKinley-Massillon grudge match won't get much credit for style points.

Ultimately, however, the Bulldogs (8-2) won't remember how sloppy Saturday's game was. They will remember that they won the game 40-17 with a dominating second-half performance.

It was Canton McKinley's defense that spearheaded the Bulldogs in the second half, consistently putting their offense in position to score.

The Bulldogs held the Tigers (7-3) to 289 yards of total offense and had three interceptions. Canton McKinley accumulated 427 yards of offense, including two 100-yard rushing performances. Quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and running back Elijah Farrakhan rushed for 141 yards on 14 carries.

''We said we should do what we did all year,'' Farrakhan said. ''They couldn't stop it so we just kept pounding the ball out. They kept on feeding [me], so I kept getting as many yards that I could.''

Canton McKinley coach Ron Johnson praised his defense.

''I thought we played great on defense and in pass defense,'' he said.

Coming in as winners in five of the last six meetings, the Tigers found themselves in precarious situations primarily because of that defense.

Twice in the third quarter, Bulldogs defensive back Jermaine Edmondson victimized the Tigers with interceptions that swung the momentum in McKinley's favor.

''Our coaches always told me to be there at the right time,'' Edmondson said, ''and I just broke on the ball and got the interception. I try to go all out.''

The first interception, which came early in the third quarter, gave the Bulldogs the ball on their own 28 and moments later Ohradzansky, on third-and-7, dashed 24 yards into the end zone for the score.

Three possessions later, Edmondson grabbed a deflected pass and tried his best to tip-toe the sideline to the end zone. Instead he stepped out at the McKinley 42. Minutes later, Ohradzansky found wide receiver Malcolm Robinson, who made a spectacular effort to catch up to a pass that looked to be overthrown, for a 19-yard touchdown that put McKinley ahead 27-10 after the extra point.

That should have put the game away for the Bulldogs, but the problem that plagued both teams continued. On the Tigers' next possession, they marched down the field on an eight-play, 66-yard drive to make the score 27-17 with the fourth quarter still to play. Almost half of the yardage on the drive came courtesy of two 15-yard penalties on McKinley -- one for a personal foul and another for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The two teams combined for 21 penalties for 238 yards.

Johnson considered it part of the game.

''We want to make sure we keep our composure, but we want to play on the edge; we want to be physical,'' he said. ''It's just the nature of this great game. If you came out here and it was just all flag football then we all wouldn't be happy.''

Farrakhan, who was bruising out of the backfield, agreed.

''We heard that they didn't like to get hit that much,'' Farrakhan said. ''Every play we set out to punish them, every down and take their heart away.''

George M. Thomas can be reached at Read the high school blog at Also on Twitter at


McKinley runs past Massillon
Bulldogs rush for 357 yards and score 33 of game's final 40 points in 40-17 regular season-ending victory.

Saturday, October 30, 2010
By: Mitch Stephens |

Kyle Ohradzansky and Sa'veon Holloway rushed for two touchdowns apiece and Elijah Farrakhan ran for a game-high 139 yards as McKinley (Canton, Ohio) powered past Washington (Massillon, Ohio) 40-17 in the 120th meeting between the two squads on Saturday.

The Bulldogs rushed for 357 yards on 54 carries while finishing the regular season at 8-2.

Washington, which was outgained 427-280, finished 7-3.

Both squads will advance to the Division I-2 playoffs next week.

Considering one of the nation's top rivalry games, the Bulldogs broke open a close game by outscoring the Tigers 26-7 in the second half. Washington didn't help its own cause with five turnovers.

Ohradzanky scored both his touchdowns in the second half on runs of 24 and 36 yards. He also completed a 19-yard scoring strike to Malcolm Robinson.

Holloway finished off the win with a 1-yard TD plunge with 1:19 to play.

The game figured to come down to McKinley's running game against Washington passing game and indeed it did.

While McKinley averaged 6.4 yards per rush and controlled the ball, Washington quarterback Kyle Kempt struggled, hitting just 15 of 35 attempts for 189 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Devin Smith's only passing attempt was also intercepted.

Jermaine Edmondson had two of the interceptions for McKinley and Ruben Burrows added one.

McKinley need just more than two minutes to take a 7-0 lead on a 38-yard run by Taron Montgomery. But Washington recorded its first and last lead by scoring the next 10 points on a 1-yard TD run from Jake Reiman and a 37-yard field goal by Anthony McCarthy midway through the second quarter.

McKinley took the lead for good on a 6-yard run by Holloway with 3 minutes left in the first half, capping a 10-play, 76-yard drive.

When Ohradzansky opened the second half with his 24-yard TD jaunt, McKinley was off and running. Literally.

It took McKinley just four plays to go 72 yards and the Bulldogs were in complete control the rest of the way.

Reiman scored his second touchdown of the game, a 2-yard run late in the third quarter to cut the lead to 27-17, but McKinley responded right back going 80 yards in six plays capped by Ohradzansky's 36-yard TD run.

McKinley's defense was led by Freddie Burton and Burrows with 6.5 tackles each. Steve Miller added a pair of sacks and Don Davidson also had a sack.

For Washington, Clayton Mattox had 9.5 tackles and Aaron Robey added nine.

Despite the loss, Massillon still leads the series 64-51-5.

The teams split a pair of games last season, with McKinley beating the Tigers 35-21 in the regular season finale and Washington evening the score with a 10-7 victory in the Region 2 championship.

McKinley is a 10-time state champion -- including seven poll titles prior to a state playoff system -- while Washington has claimed 22 state titles, all coming before the advent of playoffs.

McKinley 40, Washington 17

McKinley 7 7 13 13 - 40
Washington 7 3 7 0 - 17

MCK -- Montgomery 38 run (Lioi kick)

W -- Reiman 1 run (McCarthy kick)

W -- FG, McCarthy 37

MCK -- Holloway 6 run (Lioi kick)

MCK -- Ohradzansky 24 run (run failed)

MCK -- Robinson 19 pass from Ohradzansky (Lioi kick)

W -- Reiman 2 run (McCarthy kick)

MCK -- Ohradzansky 36 run (Lioi kick)

MCK -- Holloway 1 run (kick failed)
McKinley High School teammates Kyle Ohradzansky (left) and Elijah Farrakhan celebrate Taron Montgomery’s first-quarter touchdown run against Massillon. The Bulldogs won, 40-17.
McK-Mass-Ohradzansky-Farrakhan.jpg (148.29 KiB) Viewed 3203 times
Massillon's Jake Reiman is upended by McKinley's Ruben Burrows during the second half of Saturday's game.
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Photo by Jason Heffran
Somehow Montgomery kept his feet as did McKinley.
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Taron Montgomery scored first TD on 38-yard run.
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McKinley's Elijah Farrakhan ran for game-high 139 yards.
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Malcolm Robinson (81) and Zach Sweat (17) lead McKinley onto the field for a Week 1 game against Gallatin (Tenn.). The Bulldogs roll into Massillon knowing a win will secure a first-round home playoff game — possibly against the Tigers. REPOSITORY JULIE VENNITTI
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Devin Smith (9) and Justin Olack lead Massillon’s receiving attack, as the two seniors have combined for almost 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns.
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Kyle Kempt
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Kyle Kempt
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McKinley defensive end Se'Von Pittman pressures Boardman quarterback Ryan Pollifrone during their Week Nine game.
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Massillon coach Jason Hall talks to senior quarterback Anthony McCormick during the Tigers' Week Nine win. PHOTO BY KEVIN WHITLOCK/THE INDEPENDENT
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McKinley quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky
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Re: McKinley 40, Massillon 17 (Oct 30-2010)

Post by The Bulldog » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:21 pm


McKinley surging into Massillon game
Josh Weir
Updated: Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The long road that is the high school football regular season is coming to an end for the McKinley Bulldogs.

The final stop in this journey is at Massillon, where the Bulldogs and Tigers meet on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the 120th time.

McKinley has won five straight games to secure a playoff spot in Division I, Region 2. A win on Saturday gets it a home game next week.

"I think we're playing well," McKinley head coach Ron Johnson said. "We're finding different ways to win each week based on the challenges presented us. Our guys are playing well and playing as a team right now."


The only potholes the Bulldogs hit were in Weeks 3 and 4, when McKinley lost 21-14 at home to Lake and 24-21 at Fitch in a game it led 21-7 midway through the third quarter.

"We personally didn't play very well," McKinley senior quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky said of the two losses. "But with not playing very well, we were still one or two plays away from winning the game. ... We watched the tape and we understood the only people who were responsible for that loss were ourselves. We made mistakes and we had to get better."

It looks like the Bulldogs have accomplished that mission.

McKinley's calling card is its defense, where it is led by a massive line. Ends Steve Miller and Se'Von Pittman go 6-foot-4, 242 pounds and 6-5, 235 pounds, respectively. Miller is headed to Ohio State next year, while Pittman, a junior, has an offer from Alabama and is on the radar of many other colleges. Tackles Eric Snow (6-1, 276) and Terris Daniels (5-10, 288) are strong and sturdy in the middle.

"I don't think people are rushing the football on them at all," Johnson said. "We've given up some points, but I think They're really dominating the line of scrimmage and making people do things left-handed to score on us."

Opponents average just 2.7 yards a carry and 86.4 rushing yards a game on McKinley.

Chad Fite, Bergen Brown, Mike Aylward and Freddie Burton bring speed and aggressiveness at linebacker.

“Those guys have all made significant plays this year," Johnson said.

Corners Jermaine Edmondson and Johnny Duncan and safety Ruben Burrows make up the secondary. Edmondson has a team-high four interceptions.

Johnson loves versatility on offense, and right now the Bulldogs are at their versatile best.

It begins with Ohradzansky, who has thrown for and ran for career-high yardage in consecutive weeks. Johnson said Ohradzansky’s playing as well as any quarterback he has coached.

The three-year starter brings a hard-nosed mentality to the QB position, especially when he tucks the ball on draws and end runs by plowing through tacklers. At 213 pounds, he packs a wallop.


Elijah Farrakhan and Sa'Veon Holloway have developed into a tough combination at running back, combining for 1,060 yards and 18 touchdowns.

"If you remember back when we really got on a roll last year, it was Bryce (Wilder) and Elijah playing really well," Johnson said. “Having two guys in there and keeping fresh legs has been real good."

McKinley will switch from the shotgun spread to the I at times, putting the 276-pound Snow at fullback.

"That's the Blizzard package," Johnson explained, "Because you're going to get a whole lotta Snow."

McKinley's line -- Jacob Williams, Skyler Parks, Chris Moore, Philleano Kennard, Kevin Mills and Scott Pittman -- has been a steady force all season.

The Bulldogs have hit on big plays by putting Taron Montgomery and Tyler Foster in a Wildcat look, which McKinley calls its Switch package.

Montgomery is the Bulldogs' top pass catcher in a deep receiving corps that includes Foster, Malcolm Robinson, Tyler Carney, Christian Thompson and Zach Sweat.

The Bulldogs don't drop back into traditional punt formation. Rather, Ohradzansky stands in a quick kick look, which he has handled beautifully. He averages 39.5 yards a punt. McKinley also has converted for first downs eight of 10 times in the formation, according to Johnson.

McKinley played the first three weeks without a place-kicker. Enter James Lioi from the soccer team. He made his first 18 PAT tries before missing his first attempt off grass last week.


Massillon has its eye on the prize for McKinley game
Todd Porter
Updated: Wednesday, October 27, 2010

There is a look Jason Hall gets in his eyes. It is the same look the Massillon head coach hopes his team plays with every week. Hall’s mind ponders the question and his eyes pierce through you.

Is a token, a symbol such as the victory bell, important to the victors in the Massillon-McKinley game?

“Go into our weight room and look at the picture hanging at the top of the wall," Hall said.

There it is. About 50 feet above all the weights, machines, ropes and pulleys to build muscles is Massillon's motivation. It is a picture of the victory bell painted in McKinley's red and black and on display at McKinley High School.

For the first time as Massillon's head coach, Hall lost to the Bulldogs in the regular-season finale a year ago. McKinley took back the bell.

Never mind that Massillon won three weeks later in the playoffs.

“Well, yeah, it's important," Hall said. "It's important to both communities, to the kids and the schools. The school that has the bell ... it's right at the entrance of the school as you walk in. it's a symbol of your town. it's bragging rights and all that."

Massillon players haven't been able to get rid of that picture of McKinley's victory bell. it's in the locker room. it's in the weight room.

If the Tigers want to host a first-round playoff game, They're going to have to beat McKinley. Otherwise, a loss could mean the two teams play again in week 11 at Fawcett Stadium.

“This game ain’t about the playoffs. it's not about your record. it's not about their record," Hall said. “This game isn't about anything but two football-rich communities wanting to beat the other one. ... You go around this county, and people are either for Massillon or for McKinley. there's no in between. You go to the hospitals right now, and you'll see people wearing their McKinley gear or their Massillon gear."


Hall’s team has taken an unusual journey to this game. The Tigers lost the first game of the year, 29-13 to Buchtel. They turned the ball over seven times. Then Massillon found a way to come back and beat GlenOak, 28-27. That started a string of six straight wins before Massillon lost at Warren Harding.

Hall said his team was shell-shocked in the first week. Some things have made a difference, though.

The Tigers switched quarterbacks, and sophomore Kyle Kempt has limited turnovers. In fact, He's thrown just one interception in six games and that was a heave toward the end zone before halftime against Mentor.

Another change is running back Kentrell Taylor’s emergence to go along with Jake Reiman and Alex Winters. Combined, the three have 923 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Massillon, though, makes its living through the air. Devin Smith and Justin Olack are the go-to receivers. Smith is bound for Ohio State after this season. Olack is going to Pittsburgh. Together, they have nearly 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns.

"We've matured," Hall said.

There have been times when Hall has wanted his team to play tougher.

they've learned that. But still, this may be the most laid-back Massillon team He's coached.

“They don't get too flustered," Hall said. "I challenge them to be tough, both mentally and physically. ... Football is about adversity. You either have the mental toughness to handle that, or you don't."

Even the coach has to work on that. Hall is as stubborn as he is competitive. Losses, especially the one That's almost a year old, still stick with him.

Losing this game is almost personal.

“This game sticks with you, win or lose, for a whole year," Hall said. "I bet if you talk to them, they talk about losing in Week 13 to us. We talk about losing to them in Week 10. Any time you lose to the opposing team in this rivalry, it doesn't sit well with you.

"I don't get over any loss. That's very hard for me. It will probably give me a heart attack one of these days. it's probably my biggest weakness. I have a hard time letting go. I still think about things that happened in that Week 10 game last year."

He’ll think about it up until kickoff. Then Massillon will try to erase its demons.


Week 10 preview: McKinley at Massillon
Updated: Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TIME 2 p.m., Saturday

SITE Paul Brown Tiger Stadium

RECORDS McKinley 7-2, Massillon 7-2

LAST WEEK McKinley 27, Boardman 20; Massillon 55, Avon Grove, Pa. 17

LAST MEETING Massillon won, 10-7, in the playoffs last year.

The outcome of this game for McKinley will hinge on QB Kyle Ohradzansky. He is a veteran QB and this will be his fourth start against Massillon. When Ohradzansky is at his best, he is keeping the middle of the defense guessing because of his ability to run the ball between the tackles and run over linebackers. He has rushed for at least 89 yards in three of the last four weeks. What is deceptive is Ohradzansky’s ability to throw the ball. He is much better through the air than he is given credit for. He has thrown just two interceptions this year and completed 92 of 159 passes for 1,267 yards. He will be a challenge to the interior of Massillon's defense and to the back half of the secondary. Massillon NG Tim Dimitroff, along with ILBs Clayton Mattox and Aaron Robey, have to play assignment football. Cheat the pass and Ohradzansky will run the ball for 10 yards. The Tigers can't afford to give McKinley WRs too much of a cushion, because the Pups will run short routes underneath. At the same time, Massillon has to respect their big-play ability. Taron Montgomery has the longest catch this year, and that was a short curl route in which he slipped a tackle and turned it into a 92-yard TD. If QB Kyle Kempt has time to throw, the Bulldogs' defense will be in trouble. Kempt is a heady player who doesn't seem worried about the magnitude of this game. He has thrown just one interception since taking over at QB. McKinley has given up yards through the air. Massillon WRs Devin Smith and Justin Olack are matchup problems for anyone. They are game-breakers. Look out for Smith on special teams as well. Tigers head coach Jason Hall has developed a liking for RB Kentrell Taylor this season. The big sophomore packs a load to bring down at 240 pounds. This is an interesting game, because McKinley's strength is running the ball and That's Massillon's defensive weakness. Conversely, Massillon's strength is throwing it and That's McKinley's weakness.


McKinley quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky talks about Massillon rivalry
Josh Weir
Updated: Monday, October 25, 2010

For the fourth time in three years, Kyle Ohradzansky preps to start a McKinley-Massillon game.“Has it been that many?" the Bulldogs' senior quarterback asks with a laugh.

Video: See Ohradzansky & McKinley Highlights in "Week 9: Under The Lights"

Ohradzansky has experienced it all, from the high of last year's McKinley win in the regular season -- a game that barely got the Bulldogs into the playoffs and snapped a four-game losing streak to Massillon -- to the lows of a regular-season loss in which the Tigers totaled seven sacks his sophomore year and last year's Massillon win in a brutally physical regional final rematch.

As usual, this year's game goes beyond bragging rights. A Week 11 home game might be on the line as the two teams meet for the 120th time in the 116-year history of this rivalry. McKinley goes to Massillon on Saturday. Kickoff is 2 p.m.

Ohradzansky shared his thoughts on the rivalry and other topics in a Q&A with the Repository.

Rep: How would you describe the game to someone who is unfamiliar with the rivalry?

Kyle Ohradzansky: "It's really hard to describe, to be honest. it's the biggest game I’ve ever been a part of. You really have to treat it with the respect it deserves. There are so many great players that have come before you. There are so many great games between the teams."

Rep: You came to McKinley your sophomore year. Did you know what to expect in the Massillon-McKinley game?

KO: “There’s really nothing that can prepare you for that game. it's something you really have to play in to understand. it's really unique and really special."

Rep: what's your favorite part of the rivalry, outside of the game?

KO: “The whole week in itself is pretty cool. All the signs in school. The dinners. The breakfast. The city really just stops for a week."

Rep: Do you have a favorite event?

KO: “Does the game count? ... The Beat Massillon dinner is really cool. there's a lot of former players and coaches that come to the dinner and speak. It really shows you the passion and the history of the game."

Rep: what's your favorite McKinley-Massillon moment?

KO: “When we played them here last year (a 35-21 McKinley win), seeing all the seniors and their first time winning the bell. Seeing the emotion come out of them, knowing they had got it done. It was really cool. And running over to get the bell and ringing it. You can't even describe the feeling."

Rep: Your least favorite?

KO: “In the playoffs last year (a 10-7 Massillon win). We were so close. We had it. It was just one play here or one play there."

Rep: what's something about this game that people might not realize?

KO: "You always give everything you've got, but it's just amazing how much more you get out of people in this game. You play at a completely different level that you didn't even know you had. After the two games last year, I watched myself on film and I thought, ‘I didn't even know I had that.' "

Rep: what's the craziest thing a Massillon fan has said to you that is printable?

KO: “My sophomore year, we go over there and people were telling me and my dad (McKinley defensive coordinator Mark Ohradzansky) to go back to Avon, that we shouldn’t be a part of this, that we're not welcome here."

Note: Ohradzansky’s family lives in Avon while he and his dad stay in the area.

Rep: what's the craziest thing a McKinley fan has said to you that is printable?

KO: “They told me how much they hated me my sophomore year and how much they loved me my junior year. I don't really have an exact quote, but that was coming from the same people."

Rep: Being the quarterback at a school such as McKinley, you get critiqued and analyzed more than most players. How difficult is it to handle that as a teenager?

KO: “At first, I didn't know how to handle it. But after sitting down with the coaches here, you learn how to handle it and block it out. Once you play in these big games, you learn how to get yourself in a mindset where you don't hear it. But I’ve always been more critical of myself than anybody could be."

Rep: What do you think of Massillon this year?

KO: "I think They're a good football team. they've got a lot of skill on the outside. I know we're going to have to bring our A-game if we want to win. But I think we're going to have some answers for them. If we go out and do what we need to do, I think we’ll be OK."

Rep: McKinley has won five straight games. How do you think your team is playing?

KO: "I think we have some room for improvement, but I think we're peaking at the right time. We hit that rough patch earlier in the year, but our guys are mentally tough. Our guys want to learn, want to work. they've embraced the challenge of getting better every day."

Rep: How much confidence are you playing with right now?

KO: "A lot. The more and more reps you take the better understanding of what you're doing you gain. You always play fastest when you know what you're doing and you're confident in what you're doing. A lot of the confidence comes from the guys around me and the high level They're playing at."

Rep: you've had a lot of success running the ball. You seem to enjoy dropping a shoulder into a tackler as much as you do throwing the ball.

KO: “Well, my dad was a linebacker. I have some of that mentality in my blood. My younger brother (Cory) plays linebacker. But obviously I'm not big enough to play linebacker. ... I like doing whatever helps us to win football games. If That's dropping a shoulder into somebody or dropping back 40 times and taking shots down field, I’ll do whatever it takes to helps us win football games."


McKinley duo is on Massillon's mind
Chris Easterling
Updated: Monday, October 25, 2010

There have been plenty of challenges presented this season to the Massillon Tiger offense, especially along the line of scrimmage. However, few that have faced the Tigers thus far may match the one awaiting them on Saturday afternoon in the 120th meeting against archrival McKinley.

That challenge would be the highly-touted Bulldog defensive end tandem of senior Steve Miller and junior Se'Von Pittman.

Miller, a 6-foot-4, 242-pound senior, has already elected to continue his playing career collegiately at Ohio State. Pittman, a 6-5, 235-pound junior, has college coaches at almost every major program, including Alabama, Florida and Ohio State, knocking down his door for his services.

Of course, most of the high school coaches in the area already knew the abilities of both. That goes especially for the coaches at Massillon, which are preparing to face Miller for the fourth time in his career, while it will be the third time the Tigers have faced Pittman.

“They obviously got a whole another year of experience under their belts, which is a big difference from last year to this year," Tiger offensive line coach Matt Leisure said Monday evening. “They have more time together and more experience as a defense. Across the front four, They're the biggest challenge we've faced all year. we've been tested week-in and week-out by some different teams, which has helped us prepare for this point, but obviously nothing can mimic what those guys can do."

What those two talented Bulldogs can do from opposite defensive end spots in wreak havoc on opposing offense. Pittman has already notched over 10 tackles for loss this season, while Miller is also closing in on double figures in that category.

That doesn't even count the number of quarterbacks they pressure into making quick throws, bad throws or turnovers.

"They're very good, obviously, on pass rush," Tiger coach Jason Hall said. “They do a really good job of getting off blocks and making tackles. They both run to the ball really well. Not only are they big, physical kids, but they can both run well. They're very impressive-looking kids who are good football players."

And every game, they are players which can force offenses to change things up -- drastically at times -- in order to account for them.

“You’d like to be solid at every position and stress an offense and limit their opportunities or potential choices as to what to do," McKinley coach Ron Johnson said. "I think our defensive front does that. They are very solid, They're very active. they've been playing very well right now."

There have been questions regarding Miller’s status for Saturday's showdown at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium due to an elbow injury he sustained in the second defensive series of McKinley's win at Boardman last Thursday. Miller did return to the field after sustaining the injury, but was clearly favoring the arm and was largely ineffective because of the injury.

Johnson, though, downplayed Miller’s injury.

“He’s in great shape," Johnson said. “He’s good."

Then again, there is no such injury issue with Pittman, who is having the kind of break-though season which has put him high on the wish lists of coaches like Nick Saban and Jim Tressel. The junior has thrived in powering in off the edge with a speed rush, often leaving opposing linemen’s heads spinning.

The difference between Pittman as a sophomore in 2009 and him as a junior this year has been obvious to his opponents.

"I think it's the same kind of jump that Miller made and a lot of your kids make from their sophomore to their junior year," Leisure said. "You kind of spend more time in the weight room, your body changes a little bit. You put on a little bit more weight. You have plenty of time to work on more techniques and you understand the game better by playing in it."

The challenge for the Tigers is to try and limit what that pair can do against their offense, especially when it comes to the passing game. Adding to the challenge is the fact a majority of the Massillon line has never had to face either one in a game, as both tackles -- Craig Kircher and Tim Busson -- are first-year starters in those spots.

"You can't mimic what those guys can do," Leisure said. "All you can do is talk about their strengths and what they like to do. That's just more from us doing film study and saying, these are some of the favorite moves they like to do, these are some of the favorite stunts. But obviously in this game, you've stored up special things for this game to make a difference. We’ll have to be able to adjust and we’ll have to talk about that to our kids, like ‘This is what we're expecting, but if they change, we have to be ready to adjust as well.’"

What Massillon also must concern itself with is the rest of the Bulldog defensive line as well. Defensive tackle Eric Snow can plug things up in the middle with his 6-1, 275-pound frame, while Terris Daniels is also quite effective in stuffing the run as well.

"All those four of those guys present you with a challenge," Leisure said. “You’ve got Pittman and Miller on the edge which draw your attention, then you have Snow inside. You can only double-team or block so many of them. they've got a strong linebacking crew behind them. You just can't depend on blocking the front four. you've got seven guys in the box who can make plays at all times."

And the Tigers know they have to keep them from doing just that if they hope to prevail on Saturday afternoon.


Archrivals' showdown is tale of two Kyles at QB
Chris Easterling
Updated: Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A sophomore named Kyle, who was a newcomer not just to his own program, but to the whole state, lined up at quarterback inside Paul Brown Tiger Stadium ready for his first taste of the Massillon-McKinley rivalry.

Two years ago, that sophomore quarterback was McKinley's Kyle Ohradzansky. On Saturday, that sophomore quarterback will be Massillon's Kyle Kempt.

Whichever Kyle can prove to be the most efficient and effective quarterback on Saturday will go a long way toward determining whether it will be the Tigers or the Bulldogs who will emerge victorious in the 120th meeting between the two rivals.

Two years ago, Ohradzansky, who spent his freshman year at a boarding school in Indiana before transferring to McKinley as a sophomore, didn't get much of a chance to enjoy his first experience in the game. Facing pressure from a constant Massillon pass rush, he was sacked six times and pressured four other times, while throwing for just 47 yards with an interception in a 17-0 Tiger win.

"I remember seeing him our sophomore year," said Tiger senior cornerback Tyler Miller, who intercepted Ohradzansky twice in last year's regional championship win for Massillon. "I could tell he had some talent, but he really hadn’t matured yet. I remember we sacked him that game probably over 10 times. He kept getting up. I know He's a fighter. I have respect for him."

Two years later, Kempt now finds himself in the same position Ohradzansky was in 2008. An Oregon transfer, Kempt is going to get his first crack at the Bulldogs, although, unlike Ohradzansky, he does so with only six games of prior starting experience compared to a full season’s worth as his McKinley counterpart did that season.

Still, Kempt’s teammates see a quarterback ready to tackle the big-game pressure that comes with the rivalry.

“Kyle’s been in a couple of big games already," Tiger two-way lineman Brian Robinson said. "We threw him into the Mentor game (Kempt’s first start in Week Four), so He's kind of used to getting thrown into some situations. I think he’ll be all right."

Both quarterbacks have played well for the most part this season. Ohradzansky has led the Bulldogs to a 7-2 record, while the Tigers -- also 7-2 overall -- are 5-1 with Kempt as the starter.

Ohradzansky has completed 92-of-159 pass this season for 1,267 yards. He has tossed five touchdowns, while throwing a pair of interceptions, one in Week Five against Jackson and the other in Week Seven against Perry.

"I think just like anybody, the more experience you have, the more comfortable you are in the situation," Massillon coach Jason Hall said of Ohradzansky. “Obviously, he knows that offense inside and out. I think he does a great job of recognizing coverages. He doesn't make tons of mistakes.

“He’s protecting the ball and doing all those little things. ... I think just his experience alone, being a three-year starter there, is huge for them."

Maybe one of the most underrated aspects of Ohradzansky’s arsenal, though, may be his ability to tuck the ball and run. For the season, he has gained 463 yards and six touchdowns on a team-high 126 carries.

Last week at Boardman, the 6-foot-1, 213-pound senior rushed for 101 yards on 21 carries.

“He’s a big kid," Miller said. “He’s about 215, 220 pounds. He likes to run the ball right up the middle, taking it out of the gun and run power. It definitely helps their offense, his ability to do that."

Kempt, meanwhile, has completed 79-of-139 passes for 1,148 yards with 12 touchdowns and just one interception. That one pick came in his first start at Mentor.

“He’s a guy who can throw it out there and let those guys (Massillon's receivers) go make plays," McKinley coach Ron Johnson said.

Since assuming the starting job in Week Four, the sophomore has completed 73-of-128 passes for 1,074 yards with 11 touchdowns and the one interception.

“He’s one of those quarterbacks that get better each and every week," Tiger senior receiver Devin Smith said. “The coaches helping him, me and Justin (Olack) and the receiving corps are helping him. He's progressing each and every single week."

Now, Kempt gets to see how far He's progressed by challenging himself in the biggest game on the schedule. Just like another Kyle did two years ago, only for the Bulldogs.

"I would expect him to take it in," Hall said of Kempt. "I would expect him to enjoy it. ... I think in general, these are the games you want to play in. This is why you do it."


Initial Massillon-McKinley experience memorable for players
Chris Easterling
Updated: Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The refrain is almost always the same, regardless of which side of the rivalry they were on. Both Massillon Tigers and McKinley Bulldogs can agree on one thing, that there's is nothing quite like the first time they step out onto the field to play in arguably the most storied rivalry in high school football.

“You’re going to come into the game and you're going to have some butterflies and everything," Tiger fullback/linebacker Clayton Mattox said this week. “You’re going to be emotional. After the first couple of plays, you just have to get it under control and know you just have to go out there and beat McKinley."

For more than a few players on both sides, Saturday afternoon’s 120th meeting at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium will mark their first chance to be a part of the rivalry. For the coaches, there is little they say to those new to The Game to get them ready for the experience.

“The best teachers are the guys who live it," McKinley coach Ron Johnson said. “Our upperclassmen, I’ve talked about their maturity and their leadership, they handle that. They're between the white lines and they know. They do a great job of setting the stage for the younger guys that are going to have an impact."

But even those experienced in the game can find it hard to come up with the words to describe what will be awaiting a newcomer on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

"You really can't prepare for it," Tiger two-way lineman Brian Robinson said. "You just have to go in there. After the first couple of plays, you're good to go. You get used to the atmosphere. it's just getting used to the atmosphere around the game."

That atmosphere doesn't just start on Saturday, it can occupy the entire week. That includes events like this morning’s Prayer Breakfast involving both teams at the Canton Baptist Temple, as well as Friday’s pep rally and parade for the Tigers.

It is those things which can often trip up many players unaccustomed to preparing themselves for playing a significant role in the game.

"You just have to be mentally focused throughout the week," Tiger running back/linebacker Seth Nalbach said. "You can't be distracted by all the other things that are going on. You just have to prepare mentally."

Even those who feel they have done just that, who have put the time in throughout the week, can often be left feeling they haven't done enough prior to kickoff in their first game.

"I felt that I was mentally prepared, but in the back of my mind, there was that doubt that I said I didn't think I practiced as hard," Massillon receiver Devin Smith said. “This year, I'm making sure that I practice as hard as I can. You never take time off. You work on your plays, study your plays and take coaching like a sponge. That's one thing that I'm doing this year."


Massillon QB Kempt no stranger to competition
Todd Porter
Updated: Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last year, Kyle Kempt probably couldn’t have found Massillon, Ohio, on a map. He was a freshman quarterback at a suburban high school in Oregon. At 6-foot-5 and a rifle for a right arm, Kempt was noticed mostly because Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh offered the eighth-grader a scholarship.

But to say Kempt doesn't know the first thing about the Massillon-McKinley game wouldn’t be accurate. He knows precisely the first thing.

"We're competitive people," Kempt said. "I'm going to compete against them. I hate them. That's just how it is. A lot of people grow up in Massillon, and they just know some stuff is deeper than blood. I'm coming in here to compete my (butt) off against them.

"I wouldn’t say this game is intimidating. I’d say it's downright exciting. Ever since I got here, people have been telling me about the Massillon-McKinley rivalry and how big it is. All that adrenaline is going to channel into how we play."

Kempt doesn't need a map to find Massillon now. He has been driving the Massillon offense for the last six weeks. Kempt’s family has been in Ohio since his father, an executive for Diebold, was transferred here. Tigers head coach Jason Hall made Kempt his starting quarterback four weeks into the season.

An offense that had thrown eight interceptions the first two weeks of the season has been picked off just once with Kempt. And that one pick was a prayer that wasn't answered before halftime of the Mentor game.

In six games as a starter, the young QB has thrown for 1,148 yards and completed 79 of 139 passes. His efficiency rating is 153.26.

“The thing about Kyle is He's very smart," Hall said. "He got three McKinley films, plus the two we have on them last year and he took those home and by Sunday afternoon, he’d watched all of them. ... The kid has got the three Cs, probably a little too much. But He's calm, cool and collected. Not much rattles him."

For 15 years old, Kempt is a very intelligent kid. you're just as likely to find him watching McKinley game film as you are studying poetry in the library. Hall found him reading poetry once.

"He throws it out there and lets his guys go get it," McKinley head coach Ron Johnson said. “Any time you have two BCS wide receivers on the same high school football team, That's quite a challenge."

Kempt isn't just tossing the ball in the air and letting Ohio State-bound Devin Smith and Pittsburgh-bound Justin Olack run under it. He is reading double teams well and finding the empty pockets in zone coverage.

"I wish it was that easy ... as throwing the ball out there," Hall said. “Kyle has to manage the offense. He has to read blitzes and he has to look at double coverages."

But this week, he has never played in a game like this. Football, Kempt would admit, is different in the Midwest.

Still, the Kempt family knows how to compete. Kyle’s older brother, Cody Kempt, initially went to Oregon but left the Ducks for Montana State. Both of Kempts parents, Mychel and Marlene, were athletes at Montana State. Competition is in their blood.

“He’s been built around sports," Hall said. "I think Kyle keeps everything in perspective and he works his tail off to put his team in the best possible position. There no doubt everyone around him knows He's prepared."


Similar emotions for coaches who played in 'The Game'
Chris Easterling
Updated: Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The loss sticks in Dave Weber’s mind to this day. When you're a Massillon Tiger, you never forget your first McKinley game, and you especially don't forget the first time you have to walk off on the losing end of the scoreboard to the Bulldogs.

Never during a junior high career playing Lehman, Crenshaw, Souers or Hartford, nor as a freshman or sophomore, nor as a Tiger varsity player in 1982 and ’83, did Weber lose to McKinley. Never during a coaching career at Lorin Andrews, nor as an assistant coach back at his alma mater since 2007, had his team been on the wrong side of the score when it came to playing against Canton.

Until, that is, last year's 35-21 Tiger loss at Fawcett Stadium in the regular season finale.

“When I saw my wife, I couldn’t control my emotions after the game," said Weber, now the Tigers’ inside linebackers coach. “I’d never experienced that. It is the worst."

Weber’s feelings aren’t unique, nor are they the only ones on the Tiger coaching staff. When Massillon meets McKinley in Saturday's 120th installment of The Game at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, he will be one of four Massillon assistants who also played in the rivalry.

Safeties coach Dan Hackenbracht and quarterbacks coach Tim Menches both have suited up for the Tigers as players before coming back to coach. Offensive line coach Matt Leisure, meanwhile, saw the rivalry from the other side of the field as a member of McKinley's 1996 and ’97 teams.

"It feels the same," Hackenbracht said earlier this week. "It feels absolutely the same as it did when I was in high school. it's a big game. It just never loses its luster. it's always a big deal."

it's just the deal is a little bit different now for the ex-players who are now coaches.

“Your preparation is totally different," said Leisure, who was teammates at McKinley with current Bulldog assistant DeMarlo Rozier. “As a player, you're used to the coaches coming in and saying, ‘This is our game plan; this is what we need to do to win.' Now you're on the other side. you're watching all the film and breaking everything down. Now you're coming up with the plan.

"I think it's more stressful as a coach, because now the focus is on you to come up with the right scheme and the right plans to win the game. As a player, you kind of got a chance to relax a little bit once you got into the game and go with it. As a coach, play after play, you're looking to take advantage of it somehow."

Of course, they knew that before they got into coaching, especially at their current place of employment. Therein lies a major advantage that the four who have played in the game hold over another assistant coach who may have never experienced this game before at any level.

Experience in this game is nothing new for any of the Massillon staff, which has been together for the most part throughout Jason Hall’s three-year tenure, if not well before. Tiger defensive coordinator Steve Kovacs has spent time in both programs, while cornerbacks coach Spider Miller was a longtime McKinley assistant under Thom McDaniels before spending three years as the head coach.

Still, there's something to be said for having not just been on the sideline, but also on between the lines in arguably high school football’s greatest rivalry.

“You’ve been through it once, you know what it's like," said Washington High athletic director Tim Ridgley, who played for the Tigers on their 1970 state championship team, then went on to coach at Massillon in the 1990s. "You know what to expect, what not to expect. I think that helps you. I think that would help anybody. Just like a kid who’s a junior who goes through all that stuff as a junior starter, I think it really helps him when he becomes a senior starter because he knows what to expect."

That includes what to expect of McKinley. Not just what to expect of McKinley the football team, but just the feelings which surround a former Tiger when it comes to the Bulldogs.

Those feelings never depart for Tigers, current or former.

“When I think of them as McKinley the entity, I hate them," Weber said. “Respect is something I definitely have. The years when McKinley was down a few years ago, it made me sick. For Massillon to be Massillon, McKinley needs to be McKinley, from what I grew up with. To have them back to the point where They're at as far as excelling, that makes this rivalry all the better.

“When I think of McKinley overall, I think I grew up and I never wanted to lose to them. When I lose to them, it's terrible until you get to that game again the next year. No matter what happens the rest of the year, it eats at you for the rest of the year."

Coaches being human, they also still bring those emotions into this week, especially when they've been a part of the game as a player. The key, though, is being able to channel those emotions into the right areas.

Football, by nature, is an emotional game. This game, in particular, is on emotional overdrive, from the pregame warm-ups to the postgame handshake.

That's where the coaches acknowledge they have to put their mindset as a player behind them.

“You’re on the other end now," Hackenbracht said. “You’re trying to get the kids relaxed and make sure They're focused on reading their keys and doing their jobs instead of getting all fired up and going out there and doing some things you shouldn’t be doing. it's a little different in that regard.

“There is that hatred," Hackenbracht added. "You have to bottle it and you have to turn it into intensity and you have to play with that bottled up hatred for four quarters. it's just got to be in there and burn inside of you."

And it still does for the former Tigers -- and one ex-Bulldog -- who will be coaching for Massillon on Saturday afternoon.


Consistency key for rivals Massillon, McKinley
Chris Easterling
Updated: Monday, October 25, 2010

Momentum is oh so fickle. When the football combatants are the Massillon Tigers and the McKinley Bulldogs, it can be even more fickle.

Oftentimes, though, momentum can turn into a snowball, careening down the mountainside.

There have been countless tales from over the course of the first 119 meetings between the two storied rivals of a team jumping out fast and riding that wave of momentum to a lopsided win. But as the two prepare for the 120th edition of The Game on Saturday afternoon at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, neither is focused so much on how fast they start as they are how well they start.

"I'm not so worried about the start as I am where we are at the end," McKinley coach Ron Johnson said Monday morning. "It's finish fast and finish under control. That's what we want to do."

For Massillon coach Jason Hall, the start isn't necessarily the end-all, be-all to deciding the outcome. That is, unless a team comes out and puts itself in a hole.

That, ultimately, is what he is stressing to his players as they prepare for Saturday's game.

"I think what's important is a good start without negative plays on either side of the ball," Hall said. "You don't want to give up field position or a big play defensively. You don't want any miscues special team-wise. At the end of the day, you want to start off from the beginning being consistent. it's four quarters of consistent football."

In the two meetings last season between the Tigers and Bulldogs, those words rang very true.

McKinley's 35-21 Week Ten win last season was highlighted by the Tigers’ inability to cash in on six different trips into Bulldog territory without points. The Bulldogs, conversely, jumped out a 14-0 second-quarter lead and never found their lead less than seven after that.

Massillon's 10-7 regional-championship win also featured the eventual winner getting off to a double-digit lead in the second quarter, as the Tigers led 10-0 with just over four minutes remaining in the half. Meanwhile, McKinley struggled to capitalize on its chances as it threw three interceptions, had a field goal blocked and was stopped on downs once in Tiger territory.

“Last year, they had a couple of big plays in the first half against us," Hall said. “In the second game, we were able to take the momentum in plays in that game. it's going to be a chess match."

It figures to be a chess match which brings with it plenty of momentum, some going the way of the Tigers, some going the way of the Bulldogs. It ultimately figures to be the team which can withstand the shift in momentum toward the other side and eventually get it back on its own side that will prevail in the end.

"I think handling momentum is huge," Hall said. "I think handling adversity is huge. there's going to be ups and downs for both teams in this game. How your kids fight through that, how they handle that, you have to be able to handle adversity in big games."

For Hall, he feels like his team has been prepared for that by a season’s worth of challenges. From the very beginning, the Tigers have had to battle momentum swings, both in games as well as their season as a whole.

“They went to Mentor and handled that, and they handled adversity in the GlenOak game," Hall said. “They handled the environment of the Steubenville game. we've been in big games, so it's really not that big a deal. I think it's more about executing and doing the things you have to do and being consistent.

"(McKinley has) played in big games, too. you're talking about two teams, we wouldn’t be as high as we are in the (computer) points if we didn't play tough schedules."


Massillon shifts mindset as McKinley Week arrives
Chris Easterling
Updated: Sunday, October 24, 2010

One of the RVs parked in the north lot adjacent to Paul Brown Tiger Stadium had the Christmas classic “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” playing for all to hear about 40 minutes or so after the Massillon Tigers had concluded their 55-17 win over Avon Grove (Pa.) last Friday night. It seemed fitting because, for most Tiger fans, the most wonderful time of the year had finally arrived.

McKinley Week.

With the easy dispatching of the guests from Pennsylvania, the Tigers ushered in the start of the biggest week of the season, the countdown to Saturday afternoon’s 120th meeting between the storied programs at Massillon and McKinley at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. That also brings about a completely different mentality for the players and coaches than they have had for any of the nine previous weeks.

“In both communities, the kids, it's just a totally different mindset because this is, from growing up, no matter who you are, people talk about this game," Tiger coach Jason Hall said after last Friday’s game. "It's always on TV, it's live. it's always at 2 o’clock. there's people from all over the county and the state who come and watch it. it's exciting. It means a lot to our town. It speaks for itself. we're excited about it."

Now preparing for his fourth game against the rival Bulldogs in his three-year stint at Massillon, Hall acknowledged that as special as the game is, and as well-known as it is, the full depth of the rivalry isn't something those from outside the two communities can fully comprehend.

"You really don't understand this game until you're a part of it," Hall said. “People hear about it and talk about it, until you're a part of it and you're in these towns -- Massillon and Canton -- and you're at that game, I believe there's a common respect but at the same time, there's a common hate. there's nothing better than when you're playing your rivalry game."

Of course, with that rivalry game comes a week unlike any other in Massillon. The electricity and excitement for the game is a constant crescendo until 2 p.m. on Saturday arrives.

Adding to the week -- and the stress level -- for the players and coach is the amount of non-football related activities which can pull them away from preparing for McKinley. There will be pep rallies, prayer breakfasts, luncheons and a parade, among other things, to take up time during the week.

“Now that you're going into your third year, we're prepared," Hall said. “I’ve already got the week planned out from all levels. we're ready. The kids, now they have the template down. there's going to be nothing unexpected. I think our kids are used to the format, I'm used to it.

"You just have to get through the wrinkles of the week, because there's a lot of stuff. That's what I talked to them about (after the Avon Grove game), about staying focused and limit distractions and at the end of the day, you're 100 percent focused on this game."

On top of all of that is just the general pressure which comes with the game. it's never easy to be a player at either program because of the weighty expectations which surround both based on their massive traditions.

But those expectations are multiplied with its the archrival on the other side of the field.

“What makes this week tougher than most is, when it comes to a rivalry game, there's so much at stake -- pride, bragging rights for the year," Hall said. “When you have two communities like ours that take so much pride in this game, we're representing the city of Massillon and we know that at the end of the day, how we play in this game affects a lot of people."

What this game isn't likely to affect is the playoff futures of either team. Both come into the game at 7-2, and with wins last week, likely locked up trips to the postseason.

It marks the first time since 2005 that both teams have pretty much assured themselves of playoff berths prior to kicking off The Game. Massillon needed wins in 2006 and 2008 to secure playoff bids, while McKinley needed to beat the Tigers last year in order to play in Week 11.

That doesn't mean there aren’t some playoff implications in the game.

"We still hopefully have a long season," Hall said. "I'm sure this game next week, besides being the McKinley game, we're probably playing for who’s going to have home-field advantage and who’s going to travel. there's a lot at stake with this McKinley game."

Not that there ever isn't. That's why it's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year for Tiger and Bulldog fans.

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