High school football Division I regional final/Toledo Whitmer 49, Massillon 16: Tigers stopped short of state final four

Beacon Journal staff report

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Toledo Whitmer scored 35 unanswered points in the first half and went on to a 49-16 victory over Massillon in a Division I regional final Saturday at Arlin Field in Mansfield.

After spotting Massillon a 7-0 lead, Whitmer (13-0) steadily pulled away.

The Tigers (11-2) scored on the second play of the game when quarterback Kyle Kempt connected with receiver Gareon Conley for a 54-yard touchdown.

Things began to unravel for Massillon after the Tigers forced Whitmer to punt.

The Tigers fumbled the punt near their own goal line and the Panthers’ Keith Howell recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.

Whitmer then executed an onside kick and quickly struck again. Whitmer quarterback Nick Holley ran 34 yards to set up Me’Gail Frisch for a 5-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7.

Then Tre Sterritt took over.

Sterritt capped a 7-play, 55-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, the first of his three first-half touchdowns, to make it 21-7 and then scored on a 12-yard run on the first play of the second quarter to make it 28-7.

After Massillon cut the lead to 28-10, Sterritt capped a 12-play, 60-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown to make it 35-10.

After a scoreless third quarter, Whitmer extended its lead to 42-10 when Nick Holley connected with Nate Holley on a 5-yard touchdown pass to cap an 80-yard drive early in the fourth quarter.

Kempt and Conley connected again for Massillon’s second touchdown, an 11-yard pass midway through the fourth quarter. The 2-point conversion failed and Whitmer led 42-16.

Whitmer capped the scoring on Frisch’s second touchdown run, a 6-yarder with five minutes to go.

Kempt, a University of Cincinnati recruit, completed 18-of-31 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns. He threw one interception.

Conley caught six passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns for Massillon.

Nick Holley rushed 21 times for 116 yards and completed 10-of-17 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown for Whitmer.

Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps.

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