sweet 16 gif

The 16 Biggest Wins In Our Football History

This list is speculation only and done for entertainment purposes, Charlie Bowersox along with Michael George had given me their input of games to consider. I have made changes as I deem necessary. If you would like to add to this list, please feel free to e-mail me at

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Canton McKinley’s ‘Sweet 16’

The All-Time Biggest Wins In Bulldog History

#1, November 24, 1934. Week 11 of the regular season, Massillon Field

McKinley 21, Massillon Washington 6

"The Classic's All-Time Classic"

The ground-work for traditions and championships for all McKinley-Massillon games that follow after this one are owed to two famous coaches and friends, Jimmy Aiken and Paul Brown. Both teams enter contest undefeated and untied, ‘perfect’ for the very first time in the series. McKinley took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards to start the scoring and it represented the first time the Tigers allowed any points through the first nine games. Bulldogs are pronounced State and National Champions finishing season at 11-0-0. Counterfeit tickets were printed and the crowd swelled past 20,000 for the first time.

#2, November 28, 1981. Week 13, Division I Championship at The Rubber Bowl, Akron

McKinley 13, Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller 0

"Another One Bites The Shut-Out Dust"

McKinley captures its first state playoff tournament championship win, capping a ‘perfect’ 13-0 season. Moeller entered the game ranked #1 in USA and Ohio by the AP Poll riding a 35-game winning streak. McKinley had a fierce defense that recorded nine shutout wins (school record) and allowed 32 points all season against them. The first football playoff title comes to Stark County before 24,000.

#3, November 21, 1942. Week 10 of the regular season at Tiger Stadium, Massillon

McKinley 35, Massillon Washington 0

“A McKinley First In Tiger Stadium”

The Tigers enter the contest as defending state champions with a state record at the time, 52-games without a loss streak. McKinley dominated start to finish and the win snaps a seven-year losing streak to the Tigers as the Bulldogs return home to Canton as state champions!

#4, November 22, 1997. Week 13, State semifinal at The Rubber Bowl, Akron

McKinley 20, Cleveland St. Ignatius 19

“McKinley’s Miracle”

With 0:54 seconds remaining and 52 yards to go with no time outs to fall back on and down on the scoreboard 19-14, Ben McDaniels threw a pass towards Mark Curry and had the ball bounce off his helmet and land into the hands of McKinley’s Fred Wilcox who turns and races 35 yards to the Wildcat two yard line. DeMarlo Rozier scores winning TD with 0:13 seconds left and sends Ohio's top ranked and USA Today’s #1 team to Championship game after trailing 19-6, 19-8 and 19-14 all in the fourth quarter before 27,000 frozen fans, over half of the McKinley fans were on their way home when the comeback took place.

#5, November 31, 1998. Week 13, State semifinal at Dix Stadium, Kent State University

McKinley 31, Cleveland St. Ignatius 24

"A Game of Inches"

20,000 plus see McKinley lose leads of 14-0 and 31-14 as it all came down to the final play, which Mike Doss saves the Bulldogs win by knocking out a Wildcat receiver who catches a pass on last play of game just as he was about to fall into the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game, but Doss knocks him out of bounds, six inches short of goal line as the clock shows 0:00. McKinley advances to the next week to play for and win a third state title in Massillon over Cincinnati St. Xavier.

#6, November 29, 1997. Week 14, Division I State Championship

at Tiger Stadium, Massillon

McKinley 31, Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller 16

"One Shoe Off, The Other In The End zone"

Demarlo Rozier has an epic 88 yard touchdown run with just one shoe on to put the Pups up 31-16 as win completes first 14-0 season and gives McKinley the wire-to-wire USA Today National Championship. The Bulldogs began the year as Ohio's #2 team but defeated #1 St. Ignatius earlier in the season to take the top spot and claim Ohio’s Division 1 Championship in front of 18,500 plus. The game went into history as the first time that a championship was sold out.

#7, November 78, 1956. Week 10 of the regular season at Tiger Stadium, Massillon

McKinley 34, Massillon Washington 7

“20 Straight Wins, Two Consecutive State Titles”

Phil Martin had three touchdowns by halftime and McKinley never looked back in winning its second straight state championship. Wayne Fontes and Ike Grimsley both had touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Head Coach Wade Watts remains to this day the only coach to earn back-to-back State Championships at McKinley.

#8,November 19, 1994. Week 12, Division I Region Championship

at The Rubber Bowl, Akron

McKinley 27, Massillon Washington 20

“Win the 1-0-1 That Counts”

A jam-packed 34,208 set a OHSAA playoff attendance record for a single game on a clear, crisp night in a rematch of the Pups and Tigers that two weeks earlier played to a 42-41 Massillon win in overtime (Game #100). McKinley wins the back and forth game and captures the regional title and goes into State ‘Final Four’ gaining sweet revenge over the Tigers

#9, November 4, 1933. Week 7 of the regular season at Lehman Stadium, Canton

McKinley 7, Steubenville 0

"The First Big One"

In what many have called Canton McKinley's first ever ‘big game win’ in history, the Bulldogs were led on the field by head coach, Jimmy Aiken as an over flow crowd of over 10,000 greeted the two undefeated teams. McKinley had not defeated the ‘Stubbers’ in eight previous attempts and finally broke the string with a win. In 1934, McKinley won at the Big Red 33-0 before another sold out stadium down in the valley.

#10, November 1, 1974. Week 9 of the regular season at Fawcett Stadium in Canton

McKinley 19, Warren G. Harding 6

“#1 vs. #2 before 19,000 fans”

#1 McKinley and #2 Warren Harding both enter game 8-0-0 as the Bulldogs end up celebrating a win over the Panthers in this All-American Conference thriller. After the loss to the Bulldogs, Harding went on to advance to win their first state playoff title as highly favored McKinley was upset in Massillon the next week to finish the season at 9-1 and wasn’t able to advance to the postseason. New Philadelphia captured the playoff berth in front of McKinley this season as only the region champion advanced in the football tournament during this era of the playoffs.

#11, October 29, 2011. Week 10 of the regular season at Fawcett Stadium, Canton

McKinley 23, Massillon Washington 20

“A Classic, Explanation Point”

On hand are 19,500 to witness a game for the ages. McKinley and Massillon trade scoring four touchdowns in the fourth quarter erasing a 10-7 Bulldog lead as the quarter begins. Alex Winters 43 yard run with 1:13 to play put Massillon up 20-16 and things did not look good for the Pups. Alas a never say die attitude took over the McKinley sideline and in dramatic fashion with nine seconds left to go, Tyler Foster gave the games final points and the Bulldogs the win 23-20 from four yards out. Former McKinley head coaches Thom McDaniels and John ‘Spider’ Miller were assistant coaches for the Massillon Tigers while Ron Johnson eliminated Massillon for the first time in the rivalry from postseason play in week 10 and advanced to the postseason for the fourth straight season.

#12, October 11, 1997. Week 7 of the regular season at Fawcett Stadium, Canton

McKinley 35, Cleveland St. Ignatius 32

"Instant Classic Part I"

USA Today’s #1 and Ohio’s AP Poll #2 McKinley hosts Cleveland St. Ignatius the state’s top ranked team before 24,000 fans as both match up identical 6-0-0 records. McKinley comes away with win as the Bulldogs held the line for a valiant fourth quarter defensive stand to hold back the Wildcats. McKinley led the game 35-17 in third quarter. It was the first of two ‘Instant Classics’ to be played by the two teams in 1997.

#13, December 5, 1998. Week 14, Division I State Championship

at Tiger Stadium, Massillon

McKinley 33, Cincinnati St. Xavier 10

"Back To Back"

McKinley becomes the first Division I public school to win back-to-back state titles in the playoffs. Mike Doss scores four touchdowns to tie a Division I title record (which still stands today). Head Coach Kerry Hodakievic wins a title in his first year going 12-1, Ben McDaniels ends his quarterback career at McKinley going 37-3-0, with two state titles. Game was played in front of standing room only crowd.

#14, November 19, 1955. Week 10 of the regular season at Fawcett Stadium, Canton

McKinley 13, Massillon Washington 7

”The Snow Bowl”

On a very muddy field after a 7-7 halftime tie, it was Bill White for McKinley who recovered a wild pass from the Massillon center that was fumbled in the end zone that gives the Bulldogs the win. Both teams enter contest undefeated (Tigers with 1 tie). In fact it was two errant center snaps by the Tigers that led to both Bulldog scores that snapped a seven game losing streak to Massillon in a snow-filled game.

#15, November 27, 2004. Week 14, Division I State Semifinal at Tiger Stadium, Massillon

McKinley 20, Cleveland Glenville Adademic Campus 17


After starting the season with a 2-3 record, the Bulldogs are faced against a Tarblooder team loaded with speed and future Division I college players who defeated in straight weeks, Austintown Fitch (who beat McKinley 22-0 in week 5), Lakewood St. Edward and Cleveland St. Ignatius. An interception by Mark Jackson in the Bulldog endzone with 00:59 left sealed the win before 18,500.

#16, November 8, 1969. Week 10 of the regular season at Fawcett Stadium, Canton

McKinley 14, Massillon Washington 7

"Rocco Who?"

Before 20,200 shivering fan as tempetures dropped through the 40's and in high wind conditions, the lights of the stadium came on with 4:34 to play and the score all tied 7-7.
With 1:40 left, Rocco Rich intercepted a Massillon pass on the Tiger 47 yard line and a Joe Babics 11 yard run added by a Tiger face-masking penalty moves the ball to the Tiger 23 yard line. Three plays later the Pups face a 4th and 2 at the 14, and Babics runs an option to the left and twists and turns from a tackler at the 5 and runs out of bounds at the 2 yard line. After a run failed on first and goal, McKinley calls time-out with 0:22 left to play, then Joe Shimek hit Ed Floyd on a diving 3 yard TD reception for the winning points. Bulldogs end season 9-1 and #4 in AP Poll.

----------- Under The Sweet 16 (in no particular order) ------------

_McKinley 21, Massillon Washington 0_

(November 2, 1996) Week 10 of the regular season at Tiger Stadium, Massillon

Top Ranked Massillon (USA Today #6) can’t handle the combination of Ben McDaniels and Mike Doss while De’Andrea Jeter score twice to lead the upset before 19,647  

_McKinley 14, Massillon Washington 0_

(November 20, 1920) Week 8 at Central State Athletic Field, Massillon

“Hunk” Harmony’s six first downs rushing in the third quarter and two second half touchdowns lead McKinley to a perfect record, state title and allow zero points to be scored against them all season  

_McKinley 13, Canton GlenOak 10_

(October 12, 2013) Week 7 at Fawcett Stadium, Canton

With GlenOak driving inside McKinley’s 10 for a potential game-clinching score with less than four minutes left, the Golden Eagles coughed up the football. McKinley’s Darius Smothers scooped it up and ran 95 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Bulldogs’ deficit to 10-7 with 3:09 left. McKinley forced a quick three and out and got the ball back at its own 35 with 2:04 left. The Bulldogs drove to the GlenOak 16 with eight seconds left before burning their last timeout. Down 10-7, McKinley ran a fake field goal. Holder Chris Prowell-White rolled to his right and hit Nick Faulkner for a 16-yard touchdown pass as time expired to topple the rival Golden Eagles and keep the Bulldogs undefeated. The remarkable play snapped McKinley’s two-game losing streak to GlenOak and gave the Bulldogs — ranked fifth in the state in Division I — a win on a night Eric Glover-Williams and their offense were completely stonewalled by the Golden Eagles.   

_McKinley 20, Groveport Madison 15_

(November 8, 1986) Week 11 at Fawcett Stadium, Canton

Mark Smith’s school-record 99 yard pass play for a touchdown with no time remaining advances McKinley to the region final.  

_McKinley 24, Cleveland St. Joseph 0_

(November 21, 1981) Week 12 at The Rubber Bowl, Akron

Sid Lewis ‘skates’ his way to 200 plus yards rushing over a frozen turf in biting cold weather and the defense turns another game into a shut-out win in the Division I state semifinals  

_McKinley 20, Zanesville 16_

(September 27, 1985) Week 5 at Fawcett Stadium, Canton

Zanesville running back and future AP’s Mr. Football, Buster Howe is turned away from Canton with the Blue Devils first loss of the season as a key defensive stand late keys the McKinley win.  

_McKinley 38, Massillon Washington 8_

(October 29, 2005) Week 10 at Fawcett Stadium, Canton

Morgan Williams four touchdowns and 234 yards rushing set a school rushing record against Massillon as both teams meet undefeated and untied for the first time in 41 years.  

_McKinley 17, Huber Heights Wayne 14_

(Septembner 1, 2012) Week 2 at Heidkamp Stadium, Huber Heights

McKinley outlasted Huber Heights Wayne 17-14 at Wayne’s Heidkamp Stadium in a game that ended at 1:13 a.m. Sunday — the final play an untimed down — more than six hours after it started at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“We’ve been here awhile,” McKinley head coach Todd Filtz told WHBC a couple minutes after the game ended. McKinley trailed 7-6 when play was suspended in the second quarter.
“But it was all worth it. That was a great win for Canton McKinley.”