Freshman Football Takes Massillon to the Wire 36-34
Massillon 36, Louisville 34
The Louisville Leopards rallied back from a 20-point halftime deficit but were still edged by the visiting Massillon Tigers 36-34. With the loss, Louisville falls to 4-1 on the season.
Davis Burick finished with 280 all-purpose yards and scored 3 touchdowns to lead the Leopards. Burick had 202 yards and 2 touchdowns receiving and also ran in a score. Quarterback Colton Jones threw for 389 yards and 4 touchdowns for Louisville as well.
The Leopards trailed at the break 28-8 after the Tigers dominated first half action. Louisville began their rally on their opening third quarter drive. The 6 play, 64 yard march ended with Carter Rode catching a 28 yard touchdown pass from Jones. That chopped the Massillon lead in half at 28-14 with 6:11 left to play in the quarter. Rode would finish with 50 yards receiving for the evening.
On the next possession, the Leopards defense forced a turnover on downs on their own 39 giving the ball back to the offense. Nine plays later Burick slithered in from a yard out to cut the deficit to 28-20.
The Louisville defense came up big again forcing a three-and-out, but a booming Massillon punt pinned the Leopards back on their own 11 to start the next drive. The long field didn’t provide a problem for the Louisville offense though. Three plays into their drive Burick burned the Tigers defense for an 89 yard touchdown strike from Jones.
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On the conversion try, Jones broke a tackle and avoided another potential sack before flipping the ball to Wide Receiver Ryan Pukys on the far right side of the endzone. Pukys caught it and toe-tapped in bounds to knot the game at 28-28 with 8:11 left to play. Pukys finished with 128 yards receiving for the game and had the Leopards only first half touchdown on a 65 yard catch and run.
Louisville just missed recovering the ensuing onside kick that went out of bounds on the Massillon 44. The Tigers responded with an 8-play scoring drive that was keyed by a 4th-and-3 conversion on their first series of downs. Massillon snuck the two-point conversion pass in-between two Leopards defenders to pull ahead 36-28 with 5:24 left in the contest.
Louisville methodically traveled down the field on their next drive. Jones was a perfect 6 for 6 on the 69 yard scoring drive. He connected with Pukys and Rode twice each to start the march. He then hit Grayson Beamer near the sideline at the Tigers 18. On the next play Jones and Burick hooked up again for their second aerial score of the half to cut the lead to 36-34 with 2:56 left.
Unfortunately the streak of completions ended when the conversion try fell incomplete. The Leopards nearly recovered the onside kick attempt on the next play, but an offsides penalty forced a re-kick. Massillon recovered on their own 48.
After two stops for losses and a short gain, the Tigers faced a 4th-and-6. Massillon took a timeout and made the decision to go for it. The result was a game-clinching 13 yard reception for the Tigers. They ran the clock out from there.
This was the first known game between these two tradition-rich football communities since the Louisville Blue Raiders Varsity defeated the Massillon Tigers Reserves 6-0 back on October 29, 1931.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next host the Green Bulldogs on Thursday, September 29 at 5:00 PM.
Massillon – | LHS 0, WHS 8, 4:33
Massillon | LHS 0, WHS 16, 8:03
Massillon – | LHS 8, WHS 22, 5:16
Massillon – | LHS 8, WHS 28, 0:52
Louisville – Davis Burick 1 Yard Run (Run Failed) | LHS 20, WHS 28, 1:50
Massillon – | LHS 28, WHS 36, 5:24
Records: Louisville 4-1