Photo Gallery : Massillon 21 - St. Edward 17
Nate Oliver, a top junior prospect in Ohio, returned the opening kickoff to start the game.
Oliver was the feature back for St. Edward because of the injury to Frank Edmonds, another junior.
He finished the game with 27 carries for 76 yards.
Joe Thomas, who's given a verbal commitment to Pitt already, anchors the Eagle offensive line at a tackle spot.
Quarterback Bobby Huth, who completed 14 of 20 passes for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns, got Massillon's offense offense to a great start.
Huth found Zack Vanryzin all alone in the secondary on a blown coverage by the Eagle defense for a quick 67-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Vanryzin had three catches for 82 yards in the game.
Brian Gamble had 62 yards on 14 carries in the game.
Because of the knee injury, Edmonds wasn't much of a factor on the offense but he will return for his senior season next year as one of state's top returning running backs.
Oliver is likely to be the top safety prospect in the state next year.
But he was pressed into extensive duty at tailback because of Edmonds injury.
Gamble plays equally well at both safety and running back for the Tigers.
Thomas can play a little defense also.
Andrew Dailey is a top safety prospect as a junior but could grow into a top linebacker prospect before he even leaves Massillon.
Brandon Frohnapple might not be a top prospect but he had a solid game completing 16 of 22 passes for 173 yards.
Oliver's second quarter, 7-yard touchdown run tied the score at 7-7.
Massillon head coach Tom Stacy
The Eagles averted a disaster when Frohnapple fumbled the football close to their own goal line right before the half.
Giving Massillon the ball another chance to score before the intermission.
Gamble did catch an apparent touchdown pass but it was called back because of a holding penalty and the score was even at 7-7 at the break.
St. Edward's offense had the momentum for much of the second half.
Ben Rios kicks a 38-yard field goal on this play to take a 10-7 lead with 2:31 left in the third period.
Senior Jeff Aerni hauls in this long pass for Ed's to help the Eagles move the ball in the fourth period. Aerni had 3 catches in the game for 60 yards.
Kyle Hubbard catches this 5-yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 17-7 lead with 7:02 remaining.
Hubbard had 6 catches for 60 yards.
With not much time left and trailiing by two scores, Huth went to work and on this long pass play...
...he just misses Mike Porrini in the end zone.
But on this play...
...he hits Gamble in stride on an 18-yard post pattern for a touchown to cut the lead to 17-14 with 5:21 left.
Dailey's crucial third-down sack of Frohnapple gave the Tigers the ball back.
Huth quickly had the Tigers on the march again.
Gamble, who had 5 cathes for 98 yards in the game, was his big-play man on the drive with first this big catch...
...and then this one for 35 yards on 3rd-and-30 to put the ball at the 15 yard line.
Two-plays later Gamble crashed over the goal line from 5 yards out to give Massillon the lead with 1:56 left in the game.
And when the time expired in the game the celebration began.
In his first year at the helm, Stacy led Massillon to the state finals.
Dailey says Massillon is number one. St. Xavier will contest them on that issue next week.
Gamble was the player of the game for Massillon...
...but the Tigers couldn't have pulled it off with out Huth.