There is no doubt Devin Smith will have plenty to tell Urban Meyer at practice this week. On hand Saturday to watch his alma mater Massillon (Ohio) Washington play Canton McKinley in a Division I, Region 2 semifinal, the Ohio State wide receiver saw plenty in the 123rd meeting between the two longtime rivals in a game loaded with Buckeyes targets.
While all aren’t sure-fire possible pledges, Ohio State has some interest in McKinley quarterback Eric Glover-Williams and linebacker Jamal Davis as well as the Massillon quartet of cornerback Gareon Conley, offensive tackle Chase Lash, wide receiver Marcus Whitfield and offensive guard Nathaniel Devers.
What Smith saw even more was his Tigers one-up the Bulldogs 28-19 in a game that wasn’t that close. Massillon had 413 total yards of offense and held Glover-Williams to 30 yards rushing. Conley snared four passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.
“This one means a lot,” Conley said. “I’ve never felt this atmosphere before because I was never a football guy. It’s a new experience for me and I loved it. “
This one was revenge for last year. They kept us from the playoffs. This year, we knocked them out. Everyone says you never win twice, but we proved them wrong and it felt great to get this win.”
The Tigers beat McKinley twice this season, which is rare in a high school football rivalry that dates to 1894, one of the oldest in the country. Massillon vs. McKinley is a staple as the last regular-season game. They’ve met each other in the playoffs six times, but only once (Massillon, 2001) has a team won both games.
It’s a feeling the Tigers hope to take deep into the postseason as the storied program looks to win a state title for the first time since Ohio implemented a playoff system.
“It means a lot,” Whitfield said. “All the offseason workouts and things like that paid off. We really wanted this one.
“All the skeptics said that we beat them in the regular season, but wouldn’t in the postseason. It means a lot to prove everybody wrong.”