Gateway football will play national power Massillon next fall

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Saturday, February 16, 2019 | 1:25 PM


There is another WPIAL school that will be following Penn-Trafford to Massillon, Ohio this upcoming football season to play the Washington High School Tigers.

Gateway will be playing the Tigers on Oct. 11. It will replace a matchup with Albert Gallatin, which withdrew from the WPIAL in football to play an independent schedule. Penn-Trafford is playing the Tigers on Sept. 20.

The announcement came Saturday from Gateway athletic director Randy Rovesti.

“We looked at different opponents,” Gateway coach Don Holl said. “We contacted two Erie schools who had open dates — McDowell and Erie High School — and couldn’t come to an agreement. We also contacted Linsly School in Wheeling, W.Va. and St. Frances Academy in Baltimore.

“We wanted to find a 5A or 6A opponent, and Massillon became a good fit. We’re excited about playing them. It’s certainly going to be a challenge.”

Massillon and Gateway are similar in many ways. Both schools are close in size and have rich football tradition.

Baby boys in Massillon receive an orange and black football in their cribs, and the Tigers play in Paul Brown Stadium. They regularly draw more than 10,000 fans per game.

When they played in the state championship game this past fall against Akron Bishop Hoban, more than 26,000 fans attended at Canton McKinley Stadium.

Albert Gallatin announced in October it wouldn’t play WPIAL football this fall, which left its opponents scrambling to fill a schedule. Former conference foe Connellsville was the only team Albert Gallatin agreed to play in Week 9.

McKeesport announced this week it will host to Cathedral Prep on Sept. 6, and Latrobe is traveling to Middleburg in Snyder County in District 4 in Week 8 (Oct. 18).

North Catholic, which played Albert Gallatin in a nonconference game in Week Zero, will now scrimmage Seton La Salle.

Franklin Regional athletic director Zack Kessler said he’s trying to finalize his schedule with either Unionville from District 1 near Philadelphia or Dover High School from New Philadelphia in Ohio. The game will be played in Murrysville on either Sept. 27 or 28.

Plum and Armstrong also are looking for games to fill out their schedules.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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