PREP PREVIEW Friday night football
FITCH (3-1) vs. MASSILLON (3-1)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. at Falcon Stadium.
Last meeting: Massillon beat Fitch last year in Massillon, 54-14.
Notebook: Fitch has won three games in a row, including last week's 28-14 win over Canton GlenOak. Massillon's unbeaten streak was stopped last week by Cleveland St. Ignatius, 29-21. QB Jason Aikens led Fitch's rushing attack against GlenOak with 130 yards while FB Mark Matzye and RB Davanzo Tate contributed 70 apiece. C Ryan Betts turned in his third straight outstanding game while LB Robert Hill had 12 tackles and DT Lloyd Greenwald collected six and applied defensive pressure on the QB. Punter Shea Stewart, the brother of Youngstown State kicker Jake Stewart, averaged about 36 yards. Mike McGlynn (6-6, 310), a senior OL and DT committed to Pitt, broke a bone in his foot against GlenOak. He will yield to senior Shawn Mackos (6-0, 245).
Radio: WNIO-AM 1390.
LIBERTY (3-1, 1-0)vs. HUBBARD (4-0, 1-0)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. at Hubbard Stadium.
Last meeting: Hubbard beat Liberty, 28-6, in 2001.
Notebook: Liberty beat Champion, 21-16, last week when Bradley Fletcher ran for 127 yards and scored a touchdown. Mike Marvin and Steve Patterson also scored for the Leopards. Fletcher is one of Liberty's top threats. After beating Newton Falls, 41-21, Hubbard is outscoring opponents, 116-47. QB Gabe McKee is the triggerman in the backfield with TB Shaun Lane and FB Chris Buccilli. Helping keep the lid on opposing offenses are defensive linemen Ben Lane and Paul Toth (tackles) and Tony Frazzini and Vince Carter (ends). Right behind are inside linebackers John Dominic and Ryan Jankowski and outside linebackers David Phillips and Jon Fakner. Hubbard coach Jeff Bayuk is cautioning his players against giving up the big play against the Leopards. He's making them cognizant of Liberty's team speed and asks that his Eagles don't over-commit one way or another. Ball security and missed assignments are issues of concern for Bayuk and his staff, but the chances of dodging the bullet diminish as the weeks unfold.
CHAMPION (2-2, 0-1) vs. NEWTON FALLS (3-1, 0-1)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. at Newton Falls High Stadium.
Last meeting: Newton Falls won 22-21 last year.
Notebook: Each team will try to bounce back from losses in its Trumbull Athletic Conference opener. Champion lost a close game to Liberty, 21-16, while Newton Falls lost to TAC heavyweight Hubbard, 41-21. Brian Smith scored on two runs for the Golden Flashes. Newton Falls' defense must improve on stopping the run. Last week, the Tigers allowed Hubbard RB Shaun Lane to rush for 300 yards, including TD runs of 75 and 80 yards. Newton Falls RB Matt Gillespie ran for 94 yards and a TD last week before cramping up in the fourth quarter. He is set to go against Champion. Newton Falls is 10th in Division V, Region 17 of the playoff computer rankings.
-- Vindicator staff reports