Massillon & Louisville Have Similarities in Playoffs!
Originally Published in: THE HELLERVILL NEWSPAPER
By Jared Heller
The Louisville Leopards and Massillon Tigers both have traditional winning football teams. However, neither have ever met in a game (at least their varsity squads have not). Louisville and Massillon have shared similar playoff experiences over the years as well.
Each of Louisville and Massillon’s playoff games in the Regional Semifinals were similiar in 2002 and this past weekend. On Friday, Louisville forced a fumble against Dublin Scioto to secure a 28-23 win. Massillon also made a goalline stand against Findlay as time expired in a 27-20 win. Louisville’s game was at Lexington and Massillon’s game was at Mansfield, neighboring schools.
On November 9, 2002 Olmsted Falls took a 21-20 lead on Louisville with less than 1:30 left on the clock. Louisville came down the field and attempted a field goal which was blocked and they lost 21-20 to the Wildcats. On November 10, 2002 (yes the very next day), Perry took a 21-20 lead on Massillon with less than 1:30 left in the contest. Massillon drove down the field and attempted a 35-yard field goal in the final seconds to and it went through giving the Tigers a 23-21 win over the Panthers. Both games were played at Fawcett Stadium, both were Regional Semifinal games, and both were pretty much the exact same game except that Massillon made their buzzer beating field goal and Louisville didn’t.
The next week of the 2002 season, Massillon traveled to Mansfield and beat the Pickerington Purple Tigers 14-0 in the Regional Final. In 2003, Louisville played Pickerington in the first round of the Division II playoffs, because Pickerington’s school district split the school into two and thus dropped down a division. The Leopards also beat Pickerington in a thrilling 35-34 victory. Ironically, Massillon played in Mansfield against Findlay this past weekend as well.
Also in 2002, Louisville lost 21-20 to Olmsted Falls because a last second field goal was blocked. Massillon lost in the state semifinals in 2002 by the same score of 21-20. At the Rubber Bowl, Massillon’s overtime extra point kick against Warren was also blocked. Ironically Louisville is playing Canfield at Warren Harding’s Mollenkopf Stadium on Friday.
In both 2002 and 2005 Louisville had an undefeated regular season. In both 2002 and 2005 Massillon beat the North Canton Hoover Vikings in the first round of the playoffs 31-0 in 2002 and 45-14 in 2005. Louisville also beat Hoover both years 21-20 in overtime in 2002 and 35-29 in 2005.
As I said at the beginning of the article Louisville has never played Massillon’s varsity team, but the have played the Massillon Reserves. Louisville holds a 3-0 series lead against them, so you can say that Louisville is undefeated against Massillon.
Louisville-Massillon Tiger Reserves Series:
1929 – Louisville 20, Massillon Reserves 13
1930 – Louisville 7, Massillon Reserves 0
1931 – Louisville 6, Massillon Reserves 0
Total Points: Louisville 33, Massillon Reserves 13
Average Score: Louisville 11, Massillon Reserves 4.3