Steubenville keeps its win streaks alive; Big Red dominates Massillon

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Steubenville got past Massillon 13-3 Friday in an epic matchup

After a 31 year hiatus, Ohio powerhouse
programs Massillon Washington and Steubenville met on the football field
Friday. It may be another 31 years before they do it again. It might take
Massillon that long to heal.


STEUBENVILLE – After a 31 year hiatus, Ohio powerhouse
programs Massillon Washington and Steubenville met on the football field
Friday. It may be another 31 years before they do it again. It might take
Massillon that long to heal.

Before a raucous, sellout crowd at Harding Stadium, aka
Death Valley, Big Red wrote another chapter in its lengthy history by
manhandling the Tigers 13-3 during a steady drizzle. The victory extended
Steubenville’s home win streak to 58 games (a string that dates back to 2001)
and kept alive the possibility of a seventh consecutive undefeated regular
season. Big Red has won 67 straight regular season games.

The bigger Tigers – both physically and classification-wise
(Division I) – were thought to be arguably Big Red’s biggest hurdle during its
home and regular season win streaks.

Think again.

This game was dominated by one team. The home team.

“I told the kids, we’ve had many great teams come through
these halls and these locker rooms and we’ve had many great players come
through these halls and these locker rooms, but tonight was their night,”
Steubenville head coach Reno Saccoccia said. “It was their legacy that they’re
leaving here and this was their addition to the tradition.”

“This is the best team we’ve played this year,” Massillon
head coach Jason Hall said. “Hands down. Just their overall athleticism is the
best we’ve seen this year.”

The Tigers took defending D-I state champion and top-ranked
Cleveland St. Ignatius down to the wire last week.

This one wasn’t as a dramatic.

Defensively, Massillon couldn’t handle the onslaught and
options of Big Red’s ground game. Steubenville dominated time of possession and
limited Massillon’s touches while maximizing its own.

Steubenville quarterback Dwight Macon, who committed to
Central Michigan on Thursday, threw two touchdown passes – one each to Anthony
Pierro and Trey Wiggins – and running backs Shaq Petteway, Jesse Birden and
JoJo Pierro gutted out enough yardage to lead Steubenville on lengthy, clock-crunching
drives (one of which ended with a fumble in the end zone that Massillon
recovered).

The Tigers didn’t have similar success.

Massillon had the ball just three times in the second half
and two series ended in three-and-outs. This followed a first half in which the
Tigers generated just four first downs and 83 total yards.

“They were able to run the ball and we couldn’t get anything
going,” Hall said. “They won the line of scrimmage and they won the game. They
did a god job of executing. It doesn’t matter what level of football you play,
if you can’t keep your defense off the field your not going to win. I don’t
know off hand (how many we had), but we didn’t have many snaps tonight.”

“It’s not even about defending our home turf,” Saccoccia
said. “These kids earned this game tonight.”

The victory for Steubenville was just its fourth over
Massillon in a series that dates back to 1930. The Tigers still hold a
commanding 37-4-2 series lead over their former All-American Conference foes,
but this one stings. And will for a while. Say 31 more years?

“It doesn’t matter how old you are,” Hall said. “You hate
losing.”

Said Saccoccia: “All victories are great, but this one ain’t
bad.”

 

 

 

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