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PREVIEW: Massillon vs. McKinley (OH)

October 24, 2012

Tiger Stadium in Massillon, Ohio will be the site of the 122nd meeting between the Massillon Tigers and the McKinley Bulldogs. None as the “War of 1894”, this annual showdown is one of the most historic and reveled rivalries in the nation. The Bulldogs won last season’s game 23-20 but trail in the all-time series in victories, 64-52. The rivalry, which started in 1894, features 2 of the most winningest high school football programs in America. Massillon is currently in 4th and McKinley is in 7th on the all-time wins list. The teams fight for the right to paint the coveted “Victory Bell” their school colors upon winning. Massillon has not possessed the “Bell” since 2009.

The 2011 Bulldog team finished with a 9-3 record and suffered a loss to Whitmer in the quarterfinals of the OHSAA Division 1 playoffs. Head Coach Todd Filtz has brought the multiple offense look to the Bulldogs in his first year with the program. Sophomore Eric Glover-Williams leads the Bulldog offense at quarterback. Glover-Williams is a dual-threat QB who will primarily run the ball, he has over 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground this season. Junior Jarrod Smith will be the featured running back with Senior Jeff Richardson seeing some carries as well. Richardson has established himself as a force in the passing game with over 300 yards and 7 touchdowns. Senior Terrance Burt is also a threat in the passing game at wide receiver. Senior Xzavier McAllister will anchor the offensive and defensive lines, along with Antoine Miles on the D-line. Miles will also lineup as the tight end on offense. The secondary will be led by senior Akinola Gonzalez at defensive back. The Bulldogs enter Saturday’s battle with a 7-1 overall record. With last weekend’s victory over Boardman, the Bulldogs have claimed their 4th Federal league championship since 2005.

The Massillon Tigers went 7-3 in 2011 and just narrowly missed the playoffs after the heartbreaking loss to the Bulldogs to end their season. The Tigers have 14 seniors starting including Kyle Kempt at quarterback. Kempt, a University of Cincinnati commit, will lead the up-tempo, no-huddle offense. Kempt has passed for 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns on the season. Lining up behind him at running back is Ryne Moore. Moore rushed for 176 yards and 2 touchdowns in last weekend’s win over St. Vincent St. Mary. Lyron Wilson, Ernie Baez and Kentrell Taylor will all see carries as well. Gareon Conley, Marcus Whitfield, Zach Volzer and Brody Tonn will all look for passes from Kempt at the wide receiver positions. Defensively, Kentrell Taylor, Dillon Cowan and Devon Ingram will man the linebacking unit. Leslie Dudley and Chris Arndt will anchor the defensive line. The secondary will be led by JD Crabtree, Ernie Baez and Brody Tonn. The Tigers enter Saturday’s game with an 8-1 record. They will be going to the playoffs but the only thing on their mind is vengeance against the Bulldogs.

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