After hitting the halfway mark of the season, two of Division 2s best squared off on Friday night. As Region 5s Austintown Fitch Falcons traveled down to historic Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in a battle with Region 7s Massillon Washington Tigers.
Fitch, after a win against last year’s state runner-up for New York Lewis J Bennett Tigers, was riding into Week 6 with a lot of momentum after a 5-0 start to the season. However, Massillon Washington was coming off a Week 5 victory over St. Ed’s (Number 1 ranked team in Ohio) and playing with an all-time confidence. Never a boring matchup, everyone was in store for a fun football game.
That is exactly what they ended up getting, with The Tigers taking it right down the field on Fitch to score after forcing a Falcon punt. Austintown was able to respond with a connection from DeShawn Vaughn Jr. to Jayden Eley for the game tying touchdown. Both teams proved to have potent offenses, exchanging scores before half, but a missed extra point attempt by Fitch resulted in a 21-13 Massillon lead at the half.
Out of halftime, The Tigers were slated to open up with possession, a missed onside kick recovery attempt by Fitch ensured Massillon Washington’s possession in the third. Promptly scoring while controlling the ground game and game clock simultaneously. Fitch was able to strike on some quick scores, highlighted by phenomenal plays from The Falcons junior quarterback. Despite the quick drives by Austintown, Fitch seemed to have no answers on defense for Washington’s offensive line and Willtrell Hartson, who accumulated 287 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on the night.
Burning the clock away with each impending possession, The Tigers were able to whittle the clock away to nothing, clinching a 49-28 victory over Fitch. The win will keep The Tigers (5-1) at home in Week 7, as they welcome Middletown, Delaware (2-1) to town. Coming off the loss, Fitch (5-1) will now have a week to prepare to hit the road again, this time to do battle with The Strongsville Mustangs (2-4) in Week 7.
Scoring by Quarter
Q1: Fitch 7 – 7 Mass.
Q2: Fitch 6 – 14 Mass.
Q3: Fitch 0 – 7 Mass.
Q4: Fitch 15 – 21 Mass.
Final: Fitch 28 – 49 Mass.
D.J. Williams: 8 ATT, 26 YDS.
DeShawn Vaughn Jr. : 5 ATT, 20 YDS, 1 TD.
Jamell James: 4 ATT, 3 YDS.
DeShawn Vaughn Jr. : 16/23, 266 YDS, 3 TD.
Jayden Eley: 6 REC, 143 YDS, 1 TD.
Dan Evans III: 6 REC, 47 YDS.
Dominic Perry: 1 REC, 57 YDS, 1 TD.
Jamell James: 1 REC, 10 YDS, 1 TD.
Cam Smith: 1 REC, 9 YDS.
DeShawn Vaughn Jr. : 10 TAK, 1 INT.
Davion Pritchard: 5 TAK, 1 INT.
Cam Smith: 13 TAK.
D.J. Williams: 11 TAK.
Josiah Berni- 3/4 XP.
Stats (Massillon Washington)
Wiltrell Hartson: 40 ATT, 287 YDS, 4 TD.
Dorian Pringle: 10 ATT, 78 YDS, 3 TD.
Peytton Mitchell: 10 ATT, 41 YDS.
Jalen Slaughter: 2 ATT, 14 YDS.
Jalen Slaughter: 6/9, 39 YDS, 2 INT.
Ardell Banks: 2 REC, 15 YDS.
Braylyn Toles: 2 REC, 5 YDS.
Willtrell Hartson: 1 REC, 11 YDS.
Kyler Wiggins: 1 REC, 8 YDS.
Dorian Pringle: 4 TAK, 2 TFL.
De’Airre Pringle: 6 TAK.
Zachary Liebler: 3 TAK.
Jaden Welch: 3 TAK.
Cody Fair: 3 TAK.
*Contributed By YSN’s Ty Bartell