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Written by: John Robbins on Sunday, October 24th, 2021
Massillon fans fill the away side in Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium in Canton, OH
The pomp and circumstance of a Massillon-McKinley game was on full display in the 132nd meeting between the two archrivals. The Massillon Tigers scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to beat their archrival McKinley Bulldogs, 35-13. To start the game, the Bulldogs started off firing on all cylinders.. They caused the Tigers to go three and out and punt. On the ensuing possession, the Bulldogs’ senior running back Khris Williams opened up the scoring with a 12 yard scamper into the endzone. Massillon’s senior wide receiver, defensive back, and field goal blocking specialist Austin Brawley blocked his seventh point after attempt of the season. That made the score 6-0 in favor of McKinley. Massillon responded on their next drive with a 51 yard touchdown run by junior running back Freddie Lenix Jr. to put them up 7-6 at the end of the first quarter.Both defenses came alive in the second quarter holding both teams to no score for the first 11 minutes of the quarter. McKinley was able to break the stalemate when senior quarterback Amarion Williams pushed in a touchdown to go up 13-7 going into halftime. Coming out of halftime, the Massillon Tigers brought in a senior captain and quarterback Darrius McElroy to lead the offense. McElroy and usual starting quarterback, freshman Jalen Slaughter, helped drive Massillon down the field. It resulted in a 4 yard touchdown run by McElroy to put the Tigers ahead 14-13. Brawley would make another huge play for Massillon as he returned an interception to the McKinley 8 yard line while carrying two Bulldogs on his back. McElroy finished the job with an 8 yard carry to extend the lead to 21-13 at the end of the third.Lenix Jr. opened the fourth quarter with a 68 yard run into the endzone to further push the lead to 28-13 for Massillon. For the game-sealing touchdown, Massillon called on senior Nathan Depuy who scored to put the Tigers up 35-13 at the final whistle. This victory put the Victory Bell in Massillon for the sixth consecutive year and the ninth time out of the last ten years. Darrius McElroy was named MVP by the Great American Rivalry Series as he led the Tigers to a 28-0 second half. Both teams are likely to host playoff games next weekend as the OHSAA Playoffs begin. Massillon will compete in the Division II, Region 7 bracket while Canton-McKinley will compete in the Division I, Region 1 bracket.
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