St. Ignatius rides defense to decisive win over Massillon Washington

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St. Ignatius 27, Massillon 0
Defense was the story of the game Saturday at Byers Field as Cleveland St. Ignatius hosted Massillon Washington. As the game went on, it was the Wildcats of St. Ignatius who put together enough big plays on offense, while the defense was nearly impenetrable, en route to a 27-0 shutout victory over the Tigers.


PARMA – Defense was the story of the game Saturday at Byers Field as Cleveland St. Ignatius hosted Massillon Washington. As the game went on, it was the Wildcats of St. Ignatius who put together enough big plays on offense, while the defense was nearly impenetrable, en route to a 27-0 shutout victory over the Tigers.

The Wildcat defense bottled up Ohio High’s co-No. 1 player in the state, Devoe Torrence, holding him to only 3 yards rushing on 13 carries. Massillon only managed 76 total yards of offense and 13 yards rushing, the majority coming after the game was decided in the second half. When the teams went into the locker room at halftime with Ignatius leading 13-0, the Tigers had -31 rushing yards and -4 total yards of offense.

After the game, Ignatius head coach Chuck Kyle raved about the way his team performed.

“I’m very proud of our defense,” Kyle said. “This was a benchmark game. A couple weeks ago after we lost to a great Mentor team, we needed a lot of growing up and play well in some big games and we answered the call tonight. That’s a very physical team and we were able to match it.”

Along with stopping the Tiger rushing attack, the Ignatius defense caused havoc for Massillon quarterback Chris Willoughby all night, sacking the senior five times.

“We (Ignatius) thought our major challenge was to keep them from pounding the football,” Kyle said. “We thought they would pound, pound, pound, and our offense would never get on the field. We were able to force them into third and longs instead of third and ones, and when they tried to pass we were able to get pressure.”

The Wildcat offense did get on the field, but it was not easy going. Massillon’s defense was able to contain Ignatius’ feature back, Michael Anter, only allowing one rush over 5 yards long in 20 carries for Anter.

Good field position led to Ignatius’ first score of the night. Starting from their own 49, Junior Quarterback Andrew Holland scrambled for a 15 yard gain, helping set up Nick Yako, who made a 42 yard Field Goal, giving Ignatius the 3-0 lead. Yako would later add another field goal from 49 yards out before halftime.

Coach Kyle mentioned how fortunate he is to have a weapon like Yako.

“(Yako) is very important for us,” said Kyle. “It gives us confidence that we can get points whenever, and it also puts it in their minds that whenever we get across the 50, we’re gonna score.”

In addition to his two field goals, Yako also put all six of his kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks.

Midway through the second quarter, leading 3-0, Ignatius finally found a way around the Massillon defense. Holland connected with Connor Ryan on a short pass, but one broken tackle later, Ryan turned it into a 51 yard play going down to the one yard line. Emmett Lydon rushed it in the end zone on the next play giving Ignatius a 10-0 lead. Yako’s 49 yard field goal stretched the lead to 13-0 at Halftime.

On the first drive of the second half, St. Ignatius suffered a scare, when after a 10 yard rush, Holland took a hard hit and had to leave the game. Fortunately, the Wildcat faithful breathed a sigh of relief when Holland was able to re-enter the game in the fourth quarter, and lead the Wildcats on another touchdown drive.

Joseph Parrish ran a reverse 22 yards to the six yard line. 3 plays later, Lydon rushed in his second touchdown of the night making the lead 20-0.

With Massillon running out of time, the Ignatius defense put the icing on the cake, when Bryan Conway intercepted a Willoughby pass and take it back for a touchdown to seal the win at 27-0.

Ignatius improved to 5-1 on the season and will travel to take on Warren Harding next week. The Massillon Tigers drop to 2-4 and return home for a 3 game home stand, starting next Friday with Akron Buchtel.

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