First Playoff State Title, A Knight To Remember For Massillon

A season ended perfectly for the first time in the playoff era for the Massillon Tigers as they defeated the Hoban Knights 7-2 to win their first ever State Championship since the Ohio High School Athletic Association adopted the playoff format in 1972.

Linebacker Dorian Pringle, who returned from injury to play in the Division-2  State Title game, led a ferocious Tigers defense with 14 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and broke up Hoban’s potential game winning touchdown pass in the final minute to preserve the lead and bring home the hardware to Tiger Town!

Massillon’s only score of the game came in the second quarter following one of the many costly mistakes the Knights made in the game, as Hoban punter Ryan Burns, deep in his own territory, dropped the snap on a punt and then the Tigers Chase Bond blocked the kick. A few plays later running back Mylen Lenix would score the game’s only touchdown on a 6 yard run to put Massillon up 7-0.

Hoban would score it’s only points near the end off the half when they tackled Massillon quarterback DaOne Owens in the endzone for a safety.

The Knights had several drives into Tiger territory in the second half, but every time they threatened, the Tigers defense with Pringle, Michael Wright Jr., Ryan Page or Cody Fair seemed to rise to the occasion and get a stop or force a turnover.

The Tigers had been (0-6) in the playoff era in State Championship games losing to Cincinnati Moeller in 1980 and 1982, Cincinnati St. Xavier in 2005, Cincinnati LaSalle in 2019 and Akron Hoban in 2018 and 2020.

Now the Tigers, (16-0), can claim a “Playoff Era” State Title to go along with their previous 24 State Titles from the “Poll Era” dating back to 1909 when they won their first ever State Championship.

Tune in to Canton’s Morning News for a complete recap, audio and interviews Friday morning.  WHBC celebrates with Massillon!

Massillon head coach Nate Moore and the Tigers celebrate their State Title win over Hoban. (WHBC)
Tigers head coach Nate Moore hoists the 2023 D-2 State Championship trophy following Massillon’s 7-2 win over Hoban. (WHBC)

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