Semifinal Playoff Preview: Anderson Versus Massillon Washington
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Anderson (13-1) and Massillon Washington (14-0) have both had great seasons that have had them on this path of an epic collision course. This is a game between two programs with strong football tradition. Anderson has been to multiple and…
Anderson (13-1) and Massillon Washington (14-0) have both had great seasons that have had them on this path of an epic collision course. This is a game between two programs with strong football tradition. Anderson has been to multiple and looks for their first state title since 2007. Massillon’s tradition goes all the way back to Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown, yet they are still looking for their first state football championship in the modern playoff era. Today I share my evaluations of some of the players to watch in this game, and there are many!
2024 RB5’11 190- The Columbia University is a huge weapon for the Raptors. He’s a big threat who can hurt you rushing the ball or line up at the receiver position. He’s a combo of power and athleticism. He can put his shoulder down and get-tough yards and he can make guys miss.
2024 TE6’6 230- Sammarco will lineup at both tight end and on the defensive line. He’s a huge target in the passing game. When he lines up at defensive end, he’s a handful for opposing offensive lines to try and block. He uses his length and power well to get penetration.
2024 DB6’0 180- Nelson is a rock in Anderson’s backfield. He’s a versatile safety who can defend the pass but isn’t shy about coming up in run support. He plays fast and physical. Nelson is committed to Bowling Green State University.
2025 TE6’4 230- Piening is a versatile and talented tight end. He will be a TE that can line up inside or outside at the next level and be a factor. Caden is an athletic receiver who runs good routes and has the hands to make the tougher catches. In the run game he’s a violent blocker who fan finish with the best of them. Piening has P5 offers from the ACC, SEC, and the Big Ten.
2025 QB6’0 175- Burnam is a talented quarterback who has had Anderson’s offense playing at a high level all season. He fearlessly attacks opposing defenses at all three levels. He can make the tight window throws in the short game. When he stretches the field vertically, he does a great job of putting the ball where only his man can get it. Burnam is also a threat to pick up big yards on the ground either in the zone read game or when pressure breaks the pocket.
2025 WR6’3 190- Jallick is Burnam’s number 1 target, as evidenced by his nearly 100 receptions and 1,000+ yards on the season. He’s a field stretcher who is a really good at making the contested catch. He does a great job of reading covrage and adjusting his route to get himself open. Combine all of that with his length and, he’s a hard ask to cover 1 on 1.
2027 DB5’10 160- It’s rare that a freshman would play let alone start for a big school state semifinal team, but here we are, and the Raptors have two. Alston is a super talented corner who plays well beyond his years. He’s got the speed to run with pretty much any receiver and he has a fantastic break on the ball. This is not your normal freshman. Alston has all the feels of a big-time Power 5 player.
2027 LB. 6’4 190- Like with Alston you watch Higgins and you just don’t see a player who looks like a freshman. At 6’4 190 pounds and a well put together frame he shows uncanny explosiveness and athleticism for a player of his age. He’s already making big time plays for the Raptors. It will be fun to watch him take on a physical and talented Tigers offense. I also expect Higgins to get Power 5 interest and offers this upcoming offseason.
2024 QB6’1 205- Owens has been a total game changer for the Tigers. He has an absolute cannon that he uses to stretch the field vertically. On one play this year he dropped back and uncorked a 55 yard throw in the air, and on the mark. He executes the zone read well. With the ball in his hands, he’s dynamic threat who has the ability to take it to the house at any time. He’s fought through some personal adversity of having to sit for a few games, to lead this team to the state semifinals.
2024 DL6’4 255- The NC State commit passes the look test. He has a combination of size, strength, and athleticism that are a lethal combination at the high school level. He is explosive off of the snap and has a nice dip move he uses to shoot the gap. He also plays with heavy hands and can rock blockers with his punch. Bond will look to put pressure on Anderson’s quarterback and passing attack.
2024 LB6’0 220- Pringle is a physical force on the Tigers defense. Quite simply, he loves to blow stuff up. Pringle lines up at outside linebacker for the Tigers. He has the strength and attacking mentality to set the edge and the speed and athleticism to get to the quarterback in a hurry.
2024 DB6’2 220- Fair is an old school linebacker. He plays downhill and when he hit’s a player they stay hit. He plays downhill and loves to strike. Cody has a tremendous motor and never gives up on a play. He’s a great cleanup guy.
2025 OL6’6 260- Davenport lines up at left tackle for Massillon Washington. He’s a dominating blocker in the run game. He wins with his size and strength. He has the feet and athleticism to get to the second level and carry out blocks. Davenport has a
2025 DL6’0 280- Wright has been a dominant player on the interior of the Tigers defensive line. He has a really compact build and carries his weight well. He has an explosive get-off that he can win with on that alone. He has exceptional footwork. He can move laterally in a way that makes it hard for opposing blockers to stay in front of him. An interesting note is that Wright is also used as a lead blocker in the run game at times and he’s a devastating blocker. He has a chance to blow up on the D1 scene this offseason.
2025 RB5’10 180- Gamble is a shifty running back who possesses great long speed. He goes zero to hundred in the blink of an eye. Along with Owens, Gamble is one of the potential home run hitters on this offense. He’s also used as an outlet on passing plays. The Tigers will look to get Gamble the ball in space to see what damage he can do.