Tigers, Griffins meet again

Tigers, Griffins meet again

Published Aug. 23, 2012 1:48 p.m. ET

Massillon is looking to open up the offense and Buchtel is trying to keep things traditional. So it should be an interesting matchup to start the season Thursday, when the two teams meet in the FOX Sports Ohio game of the week at 7:30 p.m.

Let’s start with host Massillon. The Tigers, who finished 7-3 last season, have instituted a spread offense and are aiming for a quicker pace. Think the Indianapolis Colts with Peyton Manning. Except in this situation, the quarterback is Kyle Kempt and the main target is Gareon Conley.

Kempt is headed for the University of Cincinnati and Conley to Michigan. So it’s pretty clear the two know what they’re doing. And the worse news for opponents is that coach Jason Hall’s team has plenty more to offer.

Ryne Moore, Kentrell Taylor and Ernie Baez form a dangerous trio at running back, with Brody Tonn, Zach Volzer and Damion Smith more than capable as complementary receivers.

Now for Buchtel. The Griffins finished 6-4 last season -- finishing 6-0 in the City Series, but failing to win a game outside of league play. Since Massillon is a non-league opponent, the Griffins will be attempting to change last year’s trend right from the beginning.

Leading coach Ricky Powers’ Griffins are the likes of quarterback Chris Davis, receiver Elijah Bell and receiver/kicker Marty Drummond. Defensively, Charles Coleman and Ali Grose are considered two of the best linebackers in the City, and will be counted on to slow the Tigers’ fast-paced attack.

As for history, Massillon owns a 10-2 advantage in the all-time series, including a 31-6 win last year. Moore rushed for 102 yards for the Tigers in that game. Meanwhile, the Griffins’ Davis struggled, completing just two of seven passes for 10 yards. So you can bet both he and the Griffins defense will be looking to avenge things.

The Tigers hit the road for three straight games after tonight, beginning next Thursday’s at GlenOak. Meanwhile, this is the first of four straight road games to open the year for the Griffins. It doesn’t get any easier, as they’re at Lakewood St. Edward a week from Saturday.