CANTON, Ohio — The 130th edition of high school football’s greatest rivalry gave us one of its best matchups in years, and in the end, it was the favorites who came out on top.
The Massillon Washington Tigers overcame a second half deficit Saturday to defeat the Canton McKinley Bulldogs 24-14 at a packed Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The victory completed a perfect 10-0 regular season for the Tigers (their 21st straight regular season win overall), and was their fourth consecutive victory in the series.
Massillon trailed 14-10 late in the third quarter when running back Terrance Keyes Jr. took the ball 63 yards to the house. With just minutes remaining, McKinley drove to just 17 yards from the goal line, but was stopped on fourth down after passing up a game-tying field goal opportunity.
From there, the Tigers’ all-time leading passer Aidan Longwell put the game out of reach with a 79-yard bomb to Ohio State commit Jaydan Ballard. It was their second connection of the day.
The Bulldogs led 7-0 early on a 34-yard TD pass from Elijah Wesley to Xavier Black before Longwell hit Ballard from 12 yards away to tie it up. A 35-yard field goal by Alex Bauer gave the Tigers a 10-7 halftime lead, but Lameir Garrett would put Canton back ahead with a 48-yard scoring run on fourth down late in the third. However, his team would not score again.
Massillon had already clinched the No. 1 seed in Division II’s Region 5, and will take on either Willoughby South or Warren G. Harding in this Friday’s first round matchup at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Canton McKinley, the Federal League champion, falls to 8-2, but will still stay home for the first round when they take on fifth-seeded Solon in Division I, Region 1. It’s a rematch of last year’s opening round game that saw the Bulldogs defeat the Comets 28-15 on the road.