Canton McKinley 49 - Hoover 14
October 24, 2004
McKinley keeps rolling
Chris Beaven, Canton Repository
CANTON — 2004 Hoover vs Canton McKinley Game Summary.
The rampage through the record books ended — for one night at least — for Ryan Brinson.
The McKinley High School senior tailback did not break any records for the first time in three weeks Saturday at Fawcett Stadium.
McKinley’s winning streak, though, continued just the same.
The Bulldogs won their fourth straight, beating North Canton 49-14 in front of 4,400 fans. They had their best passing game in three years and relied a little less on Brinson, at least as a running back.
That’s not to say Brinson was not a big factor. He had 244 all-purpose yards, scored a season-high four touchdowns and moved closer to a couple of records.
But unlike the last three weeks — when Brinson shattered records and dominated things on the ground with 927 yards — the Bulldogs spread the wealth around a bit more.
Senior quarterback Mike Shaffer threw for a career-high 121 yards, twice hitting Brinson on long scoring passes. Senior fullback-linebacker Theo Goodright played his usual solid all-around game. Junior cornerback Brian Williams added a 75-yard TD on an interception return, as the Bulldogs continued their strong defensive effort of late.
“I’m just happy we were able to come out with a victory,” McKinley coach Brian Cross said. “I’m happy our passing game showed improvement. And it was good to see a little bit of a spread offense (from North Canton) because we know we’ll see that next week.”
Oh yes, next week, Massillon Week. The Bulldogs travel to Massillon on Saturday afternoon for the 112th meeting in the series.
McKinley (6-3, 5-2) got ready by ensuring it would finish no worse than second in its first year in the Federal League.
“What a great job Coach Cross and his staff have done the last two years,” said North Canton coach Don Hertler, Jr., whose own team is 1-8 after winning the league a year ago. “From where they were early last year to where they are now, Brian’s done a fantastic job. They’re very well coached, and they run and hit you.”
McKinley outgained North Canton 385-206 with its passing game making a sizable contribution.
“Everyone knows we can run the ball,” Cross said. “What we tried to establish is that we can throw, so people will have to defend all phases.”
McKinley’s passing game got going in the second quarter when Shaffer hit Kellen Showes and Mark Jackson with some short passes. It took off when Shaffer found Brinson on two deep balls later in the quarter.
“We had to throw the football for the confidence of our quarterback, our offense and the team,” Cross said.
First, Brinson caught a 51-yard TD pass on a wheel route out of the backfield to the right. He did a nice job of keeping his feet in bounds, before taking off after making the grab near the 20.
A few minutes later from the North Canton 29, Shaffer lofted a well-thrown ball to the left. Brinson ran under it in the end zone for a 35-7 halftime lead.
Brinson did his damage early in the running game, moving to within 118 yards of McKinley’s single-season rushing record. Already the holder of single-game and career rushing marks, he has 1,482 yards this season. He also is within five TDs of passing DeMarlo Rozier as the school’s all-time leading scorer.
“He’s like a couple of guys we had last year,” Hertler said. “He elevates everyone around him. I don’t think there’s any question he’s the best player in the area.”
Brinson ripped off a 33-yard run on McKinley’s third play and scored from 29 yards out through the left side two plays later.
Two series later, after North Canton fumbled a punt return at its own 47, Brinson got loose again. He went for 27 yards to the left. Goodright, who recovered the fumble, scored on a 20-yard run through the middle for a 14-7 lead. Goodright also recovered another fumble, tipped the pass that led to Williams’ interception, and made a number of tackles.
The Vikings, moving the ball at times with quick passes, had scored with 3:43 left in the first on a 7-yard pass from Josh Nettleton to Grant Keeney. Nettleton went 6-for-7 on the drive. Making his first varsity start, Nettleton threw for 188 yards in place of the injured Jason Foote.
McKinley pulled away in the second quarter. Williams returned his interception 75 yards down the right sideline to open things up.
“I saw a lane and took it,” Williams said. “It felt great to score the first defensive touchdown of the year. I was in the right spot at the right time.”
Brinson then caught his two TD passes before adding his final score within the first minute of the fourth, on a 9-yard run. Back-up quarterback Kalvin Martin later tacked on a 34-yard TD run on a naked bootleg around the left end.