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Repository sports staff report Damont Skanes compiled 122 yards to lead Walsh's Maroon team to a 35-0 victory over the Gold team in the final college spring football game for the Cavs. Skanes had 122 yards on 17 carries and scored on a 27-yard reception. Ron Messer added two touchdowns for the Maroon team and finished with 50 yards rushing. Quarterback Matt Jenson tossed for 121 yards in an 8-for-12 performance. Adam Steiner and Chris Ulrich hauled in three receptions to lead the Maroon team. Brian Farrar had two interceptions to lead the defensive charge.

from the "Canton Repository" May 3, l998
Walsh names captains NORTH CANTON -- Walsh University head football coach Jim Dennison has announced the team's captains for the 1998 season. The Cavaliers selected seniors Dave Clarkson, Ryan Dutton, Phil Marquart, Ron Messer and Damont Skanes as captains. Walsh finished its third season of intercollegiate football with a 7-3 record.

.....from the "Canton Repository" August 23, 1998.......
NORTH CANTON -- The first team offense and defense were dominant in Walsh University's first football scrimmage on Saturday. Senior tailback Ron Messer scored on touchdown runs of 28 and two yards for the Cavaliers, and finished with 81 yards rushing on eight carries. Senior tailback Damont Skanes led all rushers with 89 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Matt Jenson threw a pair of touchdown passes to sophomore wide receiver Ron Winphire and was 8-for-13 for 184 yards. One of Winphire's TD receptions was a 52-yarder. Senior Adam Steiner led the Cavs in receiving with six catches for 109 yards. Walsh's first team defense also did not allow a score.

.....from the "Canton Repository" August 26, 1998.......
Walsh tickets on sale NORTH CANTON -- Season tickets for the upcoming Walsh University football season are now on sale. The Cavaliers will play seven home games, all at Fawcett Stadium, beginning with a Sept. 5 visit from Union College. Walsh offers three ticket packages: general public, $24; senior citizens, $12; and the family plan, $50 for the entire family. Only family members living at home are eligible for the family plan. To order any of these packages, contact Jim Clark at 490-7017.

.....from the "Canton Repository" August 31, 1998.....
Walsh welcomes first senior group By MIKE POPOVICH Repository sports writer NORTH CANTON -- Head coach Jim Dennison calls Walsh University's original seven, "the leadership nucleus." Bob Berwald, Dave Clarkson, Michael Flaherty, David Grimm, Don Patterson, Alberto Villaluna and Matt Wood all came to Walsh in 1994, a year before the Cavaliers played their first varsity football game. They were committed to Dennison's program when it did not have helmets, jerseys or shoulder pads. They unloaded equipment from trucks. They even built the locker room when Walsh needed one. "They came here when we had nothing," Dennison said. They also hope to leave in style. Walsh's original seven, and the 17 freshmen who joined them in 1995, have led the Cavs to 20 victories in three seasons. The experience and leadership that Walsh's 24 seniors bring to the team may help the Cavs improve upon last year's 7-3 record. No matter what happens, Walsh's program has come a long way in a short time thanks to a special group of seniors who were committed to building it. "I'm real proud of them," Dennison said. "You won't find too many programs across the country that have 24 seniors, especially at a private school where academics are real tough." You also won't find too many tailback combinations like Walsh's Damont Skanes and Ron Messer. Skanes, a first team All-NAIA selection, rushed for more than 1,000 yards (1,229) for the third straight season last year. Messer led the Mid-States Football Association in scoring with 17 touchdowns. "We're going to try to split them up as equally as we can," Dennison said. "In fact, we have a couple of formations where both of them are going to be in the ballgame at the same time." Don't be surprised if you see Skanes' role increase this season. The Cavs may use him as a defensive back, the position at which he was recruited, on some coverages. Skanes also may return kicks on special teams. "He is a good athlete," Dennison said. "We probably are going to utilize him on every one of our units." Quarterback Matt Jenson threw for 1,135 yards and seven touchdowns for Walsh last season. Jenson also almost cut his interception total from 14 in 1996 to seven last year. Two of Jenson's favorite targets are split end Adam Steiner (team-high 24 receptions in 1997) and tight end Chris Ulrich (team-high 440 yards receiving). Sophomore Jason Cunningham, a Lake High graduate who was the Cavs' primary return man a year ago, also is a threat. Berwald, Clarkson and second team All-MSFA Mideast League pick Phil Marquart are among the returning offensive linemen who will protect Jenson and open holes for backs such as Skanes and Messer. Walsh returns nine starters on defense. But the Cavs' depth at linebacker and in the secondary concern Dennison. They lost linebacker Jake Shocklee and defensive back Nate Falvo, their two leading tacklers. Shocklee and Falvo transferred to Walsh in 1995 and were seniors last season. But Jason Tomci, who led the Cavs last year in tackles-for-loss with eight and sacks with 4 1/2, is back at linebacker. Dan Yaceczko (70 tackles in 1997) and second team All-MSFA Mideast League selection Bryan Hanlin (49 tackles) also are back at linebacker. Ron Carlson registered 64 tackles from his free safety position last season. Junior strong safety Sean Ring and cornerback Brian Farrar led Walsh in interceptions with five and four, respectively. Farrar also was the first team All-MSFA Mideast League punter. He averaged almost 40 yards per punt. Wood, a second-team, All-MSFA Mideast League nose guard, and tackle Ryan Dutton, another Lake graduate, anchor a defensive line that has size and speed. Tomci also may switch from linebacker to the line from time to time. The Cavs have enough experience and talent to compete for the MSFA's Mideast League championship this season. They also have a favorable schedule: seven of their 11 games will be played at Fawcett Stadium. But Dennison says the team's primary goals are to play one game at a time, maintain consistency, and win with a positive mental attitude. "You have to be a little bit realistic, too, because we play in a real good league," Dennison said. "Everybody is decent. But if we can stay consistent and not make a lot of mistakes, we should be OK."

.....from the " Akron Beacon Journal" September 4, 1998...
Dennison, Walsh are ready for the big push to the top With 19 starters back, Cavaliers set to improve on last year's seven-win campaign and make run at title BY JASON BUTLER Beacon Journal staff writer The Walsh University football program is built on Thursday nights. Stellar recruiting in Northeast Ohio, the sweat-soaked grind of two-a-days, the insights of an experienced coaching staff -- they all have their place. But each Thursday evening during the season, the Cavaliers pull up their stools and gather around Coach Jim Dennison in the locker room for 10 minutes of life lessons. He believes they are more important than anything else to the team's success. ``I spend as much time (preparing) those 10 minutes as I do on the game plan,'' Dennison said. He pulls from Woody Hayes, Winston Churchill, George S. Patton, Vince Lombardi. His players listen. His players learn. They take in stories about heart, dedication, effort, about being the best you can be, and they show up Saturday ready to play football. In the three seasons of Walsh football, the Cavaliers have gone 20-11. Heading into their fourth, which starts tomorrow when the Cavaliers host Union, Dennison feels Walsh has outgrown its diapers, tossed aside its walker and climbed out of its crib. Truth is, the coach never let his players use training wheels. ``I've never looked at it as a new program,'' Dennison said. From the very beginning, when the school set out to compete in this football-crazed area -- which was already laden with small-school winners such as Mount Union -- Dennison saw no need for baby steps or kid gloves. He treated all his players like juniors and seniors, holding firm to expectations that everyone would fall in step with the program -- and do it fast. ``They found out right away that we weren't going to accept anything less than their best,'' Dennison said. These high standards are part of a guiding principle called Positive Mental Attitude that Dennison has preached for years. PMA was his calling card during his 13 years coaching at the University of Akron, and so it remains. ``Most people think it sounds like a bed of roses, but it's just the opposite,'' Dennison said. ``It's a nasty type of philosophy.'' It means getting back up after being knocked down. It means setting goals, and not making excuses if you don't fulfill them. It means doing everything you can to take advantage of your opportunity to succeed. With 19-of-22 starters returning from a 7-3 team, the opportunity the Cavaliers have this year is a good one. Pollsters think so, too. Walsh was ranked 14th nationally in pre-season voting. The Cavaliers' excellent backfield, veteran line, capable wideouts and battle-tested quarterback translate into a potent offense. Last year, Damont Skanes and Ron Messer led a rushing attack that ranked third in the 15-team Mid-States Football Association, which is among the elite conferences in the NAIA, with 2,511 yards. There's more of a question mark on the other side of the ball. The Cavaliers are solid on defense, but have to make up for the departure of their leading tacklers -- linebacker Jake Shocklee and safety Nate Falvo -- in addition to starting defensive end Paul Jacob. Nose guard Matt Wood and linebacker Dan Yaceczko and an experienced secondary will be counted on heavily to ensure that Walsh doesn't slip much from the 18.7 points per game it yielded last year. The novelty of this season is that Wood and Yaceczko aren't the only seniors -- far from it. There is a nucleus of 24 of them this year, seven of whom came to Walsh as recruits in 1994 and sat out a year waiting for the program to start. ``I think the seniors will make the difference,'' Dennison said. Not even half a decade old, this program has already forged a tradition of top-flight expectations and Grade A results. So the difference Dennison refers to might be turning a seven-win season into an eight-win season, or even nine. ``We're never happy here, and that's probably the reason we haven't had a losing season since the program started,'' he said. Dennison keeps pushing, and it works. His players have responded well to being pushed. When it comes to game day, they get the job done in arguably the toughest small-school conference in the country. But even before that, on Thursday nights, the winning begins.

....from the "Akron Beacon Journal" September 4, 1998
....KEYS TO THE SEASON Walsh OFFENSE QUARTERBACK: Matt Jenson (Barberton) is a senior whose experience should provide a steady hand on the wheel. With so much talent in the backfield, his arm will probably be called upon to be precise, rather than a top-flight weapon. His backup is junior Chris Pullen, an Ellet graduate. RUNNING BACKS: Damont Skanes' All-American ability is even more amazing, considering he'd never carried the ball before college. Ron Messer's 17 TD and 5.4-yard average fill out this potent 1-2 punch. Tim Leszynski, Ben Spillar and Copley's Adam Maurer will rotate at fullback. RECEIVERS: Jenson will spread it around to Adam Steiner (Cuyahoga Falls), Jason Cunningham (Lake), Nick Kovach (Stow) and Ron Winphrie, who's back from injury. They will need to complement an excellent running game. Dennison calls TE Chris Ulrich (Norton) one of the MSFA's best. OFFENSIVE LINE: At a healthy average weight of 253, this veteran group is physically stronger than in years past. They've come a long way in their four years. Senior captains Dave Clarkson (Stow) and Phil Marquart (Green) will help open holes for Skanes, Messer & Co. DEFENSE DEFENSIVE LINE: North Canton's Matt Wood is a standout at nose guard. He will combine with Ryan Dutton (Lake) to fortify the interior. Rob Allen is the third full-time down lineman, and he will be joined at times by Jason Tomci (Stow). Dutton's brother, Darren, might play some as a freshman. LINEBACKERS: This spot is a question mark after the loss of defensive stalwart Jake Shocklee, whose 99 tackles were by far the most on the team last year. Expected to help carry the load are Tomci, Dan Yaceczko (Cuyahoga Falls), Dru Rhodes (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Eddie Pryor. SECONDARY: The only freshman penciled into the Game 1 starting lineup is safety Mack Mitchell, a Floridian who draws Dennison's praise. The other first-teamers -- who fill out a defense with improved speed -- include Green's Ron Carlson, Don Patterson and Brian Farrar. SPECIAL TEAMS KICKING: Blake Hutchinson, a junior out of Cuyahoga Falls, gets the nod over GlenOak product Bryan Baugher. PUNTING: The multi-talented Farrar earned all-league honors last year. Interestingly, he's backed up by Ring at cornerback and punter. RETURN TEAMS: Cunningham and Skanes are capable kick returners, and it's nice to have Winphrie healthy for punt return. PREDICTIONS WALSH WILL GO 8-2 IF: The passing attack can keep defenses honest, and the Cavs find some depth on defense, especially in the secondary. WALSH WILL GO 5-5 IF: The MSFA passes a new rule prohibiting Skanes from averaging anywhere close to the absurd 6.9 yards-per-carry he did last year. TWO-DEEP CHART OFFENSE QB: Matt Jenson (6-2, 196, Sr.), Chris Pullen (5-11, 200, Sr.) TB: Damont Skanes (5-10, 178, Sr.), Ron Messer (6-3, 208, Sr.) FB: Tim Leszynski (5-11, 212, Sr.), Adam Maurer (5-11, 211, Jr.) SE: Adam Steiner (6-0, 160, Sr.), Lamont Evans (5-11, 173, So.) FL: Jason Cunningham (6-2, 175, Fr.), Ron Winphrie (5-8, 163, So.) LT: Phil Marquart (6-3, 245, Sr.), Robert Rowland (6-5, 305, So.) LG: Jon Court (6-2, 240, Jr.), Travis Ellyson (6-1, 255, Fr.) C: Dave Clarkson (6-1, 246, Sr.), Tony Ventura (6-3, 260, So.) RG: Doug Popek (6-0, 246, Sr.), Frank Gant (6-1, 276, Jr.) RT: Bob Sullivan (6-5, 287, Sr.), Brian Farmer (6-3, 294, Sr.) TE: Chris Ulrich (6-2, 209, Sr.), Josh Wehring (6-4, 234, Sr.) PK: Blake Hutchinson (5-9, 198, So.), Brian Baugher (6-2, 185, Fr.) DEFENSE LOB: Brian Hanlin (6-1, 218, Jr.), Michael Flaherty (6-0, 211, Sr.) DE: Robert Allen (6-1, 230, Jr.), Darren Dutton (6-1, 280, Fr.) NG: Matt Wood (6-3, 255, Sr.), Josh Zimmerman (6-3, 247, So.) DT: Ryan Dutton (6-0, 260, Sr.), Eric Walters (6-2, 269, So.) OLB: Jason Tomci (6-4, 220, Sr.), Bryan Register (6-1, 211, Jr.) LB: Dru Rhodes (6-0, 219, So.), Mark Shelly (6-0, 230, So.) LB: Dan Yaceczko (6-2, 225, Sr.), Eddie Pryor (5-11, 235, So.) SS: Ron Carlson (6-1, 190, Sr.), David Grimm (5-10, 167, Sr.) LCB: Don Patterson (6-0, 170, Sr.), Jon DeWitt (5-10, 148, Sr.) FS: Mack Mitchell (6-0, 178, Fr.), Jay Schill (5-10, 180, So.) RCB: Brian Farrar (5-10, 175, Sr.), Sean Ring (5-10, 194, Jr.) P: Brian Farrar (5-10, 175, Sr.), Sean Ring (5-10, 194, Jr.) RETURNING STATISTICAL LEADERS RUSHING NAME ATT YDS AVG LONG TD DAMONT SKANES 178 1,252 6.9 84 8 RON MESSER 151 835 5.4 68 15 ANTHONY GOLDYN 59 199 3.4 14 1 PASSING NAME ATT COMP PCT YDS TD INT MATT JENSON 177 80 45.2 1,135 7 8 CHRIS PULLEN 15 5 33.3 76 1 2 RECEIVING NAME REC YDS AVG LONG TD ADAM STEINER 24 286 11.9 53 1 CHRIS ULRICH 23 440 19.1 51 3 JASON CUNNINGHAM 12 222 18.5 36 2 RECAP OF 1997 SEASON WALSH 37 Union 0 WALSH 38 Mt. Senario 20 WALSH 55 St. Xavier 21 Olivet Nazarene 41 WALSH 34 Geneva 41 WALSH 7 WALSH 49 Tiffin 7 WALSH 18 Urbana 6 Westminster 17 WALSH 14 WALSH 14 Malone 6 1998 SCHEDULE Sept. 5 Union, 11 a.m. Sept. 12 Manchester, 1 p.m. Sept. 19 West Liberty, 11 a.m. Sept. 26 at Opwa Wesleyan, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at Tiffin, 2 p.m. Oct. 10 Urbana, 11 a.m. Oct. 17 at St. Francis, 2 p.m. Oct. 24 Malone, 1 p.m. Oct. 31 at Tri-State, 2 p.m. Nov. 7 McKendree, 1 p.m. Nov. 14 Geneva, 11 a.m. TV/RADIO TICKET INFORMATION RADIO: All games broadcast on WCER (900-AM). TV: None. TICKETS: General admission $4, seniors $2. Compiled by Jason Butler

....from the "Canton Repository"...September 4, 1998....
Union (Ky.) at Walsh n SITE: Fawcett Stadium, 11 a.m. n TICKETS: Adults $4, seniors $2, Walsh students free with a valid ID, other students $2. Apples Supermarkets also are selling two for one tickets for $4. n BROADCAST: WCER-AM 900 with Jim Clark and Todd Bell. n 1997 RECORDS: Union 2-8; Walsh 7-3. n LAST MEETING: Walsh won 37-0 last season in the only other meeting between the two teams. n WHAT TO WATCH: The Cavaliers, who return 24 seniors and 25 starters, enter this season ranked 14th in the nation. Tailbacks Damont Skanes and Ron Messer give Walsh one of the strongest backfields in the NAIA. Skanes led the Mid-States Football Association in rushing with 1,229 yards and was an NAIA All-American last season. Messer led the MSFA in scoring with 15 touchdowns. Quarterback Matt Jenson, who threw for 1,135 yards and seven touchdowns last year, is coming off a great preseason. The return of wide receiver-kick returner Ron Winphrie gives the Cavs more speed and skill. He suffered a broken ankle in last year's opener at Union and missed the rest of the season. Senior linemen Matt Wood and Ryan Dutton lead Walsh's defense. Union returns 11 starters, including seven on offense. Sophomore Chris Harris starts at quarterback for the Bulldogs.


.....from the "Canton Repository"....Sunday September 6, l998....

Winphrie's big plays help Walsh roll past Union By MIKE POPOVICH Repository sports writer CANTON -- Ron Winphrie calls himself "the shocker" in Walsh University's offense. "I'm the quiet one," said Winphrie, a sophomore wide receiver from Youngstown. "When you least expect it, here I come." The Cavaliers, who averaged 375 yards of total offense and 31.5 points per game last season, became a quicker, more skilled team when Winphrie returned to the field for Saturday's season opener against Union (Ky.). His 22-yard touchdown run on a reverse in the second quarter was one of many highlights in Walsh's convincing 40-6 victory over the Bulldogs at Fawcett Stadium. This was a big day for Winphrie. He undoubtedly will remember this year's game against Union more than the one that was lingering in his mind through a long recovery period. Winphrie suffered a season-ending ankle injury in last year's opener at Union while trying to field a punt. It was a big blow for the 5-foot-8, 163-pounder, who finished second in the Mid-States Football Association in kick returns in 1996. Winphrie also returned two kicks for touchdowns that season. Winphrie did not return a kick Saturday. But in a game Walsh dominated from start to finish, that was not important. Winphrie's ability to return to the field after an injury that wiped out an entire season is more significant. "It means a lot to me," Winphrie said. "I'm just happy I can come back and help my team out." Winphrie's touchdown run with 6:48 left in the second quarter gave the Cavs a 19-0 lead. It was set up by senior cornerback Don Patterson, who returned an interception to the Union 34-yard line. "Ron is a force," Walsh head coach Jim Dennison said. "He is a game breaker. We put that reverse in with him and he made it look easy. It's not that easy. But he just ran away from people." Walsh only led 6-0 after one quarter. But the Cavs were able to pull away from the Bulldogs by scoring three second-quarter touchdowns. Tailbacks Damont Skanes and Ron Messer scored two touchdowns apiece for Walsh. Skanes rushed for over 100 yards for the 17th time in his career and ended the day with 121 yards rushing on 24 carries. Messer's second TD was a 57-yard reception from quarterback Matt Jenson. Jenson also threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Chris Ulrich and finished 9-for-13 for 128 yards. "Our guns -- Matt, Damont and Ron -- they all did a nice job," Dennison said. "If we would have left the first-stringers in, we would have had 50 or 60 points. But that's not the name of our game." The Walsh defense, led by Patterson's 10 tackles, held Union to a pair of field goals and 236 total net yards. One field goal was set up when the Cavs turned the ball over deep in their own territory. Senior tailback Dayna Overton, who played at San Diego State at one time, led the Bulldogs in rushing with 73 yards on 13 carries. The Cavs have held Overton to 117 yards rushing in two games. "I thought we did an excellent job defensively," Dennison said. "They have a lot of skill and speed, but have not been in our end zone for two years now. I'm proud of that."



WALSH--Messer 3 run (kick failed), 6:44
WALSH--Skanes 1 run (kick failed),13:21 WALSH--Winphrie 22 run (Baugher kick),6:48 WALSH--Ulrich 2 pass from Jenson (Baugher kick),2;19 UNION--FG Bergman 26, :03
UNION--FG Bergman 35, 12:43 WALSH--Messer 57 pass from Jenson, 8:47 WALSH--Skanes 11 run, 6:48

first downs1326
return yards11134
time of possession28:2631:34








"box scores" compiled from information contained in the "Canton Repository" newspaper



....from the "Canton Repository", 9/11/98......Manchester at Walsh
n SITE: Fawcett Stadium, Canton, 1 p.m. n TICKETS: Adults $4, seniors $2, Walsh students free with a valid ID, other students $2 n BROADCAST: WCER-AM 900 with Jim Clark and Todd Bell. n RECORDS: Manchester 0-0; Walsh 1-0. n 1997 RECORDS: Manchester 6-4; Walsh 7-3. n LAST WEEK: Walsh 40, Union 6. n LAST MEETING: Walsh won 21-13 in 1995 in the only other meeting between the two teams. n WHAT TO WATCH: Walsh won its third straight season opener last week. It also was the third straight time that the Cavalier defense did not allow a touchdown in its first game. The Cavs are expected to face a bigger challenge this week when they face senior quarterback Josh Crick and the Manchester offense. In his first season as a starter last year, Crick set a single-season Manchester passing record with 1,819 yards and 20 touchdowns. Walsh quarterback Matt Jenson was 9-for-13 for 128 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions against Union. He completed passes to six different receivers. Cavs senior tailback Damont Skanes finished 121 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns. It was Skanes' 17th 100-yard rushing game at Walsh.

.....from the ..."CANTON REPOSITORY"...September 13, 1998

Walsh strikes fast in 38-7 win over Manchester By MIKE POPOVICH Repository sports writer CANTON -- Walsh flanker Ron Winphrie burned the Manchester defense on the first play from scrimmage. Suddenly, the race to 2-0 was on. The 58-yard reception by Winphrie, which set up a field goal, was one of several big plays made by the Cavaliers in Saturday's 38-7 win over Manchester College at Fawcett Stadium. Most of them came in the first half when Walsh opened up a 24-7 lead. Junior fullback Ben Spillar's 68-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter also thrilled most of the 3,002 fans. Head coach Jim Dennison said this probably was going to be the football program's most exciting year because Walsh has its first full senior class. Together, the seniors have helped lead the Cavs to a pair of decisive wins. "We're senior dominated and have a chance to be a good team," Walsh cornerback Brian Farrar said. "Our offense is explosive. All the defense has to do is keep (opponents) off the scoreboard." The Walsh defense forced three Manchester turnovers and took advantage of two them. Farrar, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior, ended the Spartans' first possession by returning an interception 44 yards to the Manchester 9-yard line. Tailback Ron Messer scored off left tackle on the next play to put Walsh on top 10-0. Farrar's interception surprised the Spartans. Quarterback Josh Crick, who set Manchester single-season records for passing yardage and touchdown passes last season, spotted intended receiver Darin Holsopple open near the Spartan sideline. But Farrar was able to pick off Crick at the last second. "I just disguised it," Farrar said. "I was back about 10 yards and read (Crick's) shoulders. I slowed down, not thinking he was going to throw it. But I just broke as soon as he turned and threw it. He hit me right in the chest." The Spartans also watched a promising drive fall apart with 6:29 left in the second quarter when Cavs defensive end Eric Walters recovered a fumble at the Walsh 10-yard line. Three straight carries by Cavs tailback Damont Skanes, including one that went for 47 yards, gave Walsh a first down on the Manchester 26-yard line. Messer scored his second touchdown on the ensuing play increased the Cavs' lead to 17-0. A 43-yard touchdown run over left tackle by Manchester's Lance Vanvekoven with 2:33 left in the second quarter cut Walsh's lead to 17-7. But the Cavs quickly regained the momentum with a 5-play, 76-yard scoring drive. Skanes' nine-yard touchdown run with 52 seconds left gave Walsh a 24-7 lead. "They couldn't stop us offensively," Dennison said. "Our offense came to play and made big plays." The Cavs finished with 455 total net yards, including 323 yards rushing. Skanes carried 21times for 139 yards and scored two touchdowns. It was the 18th time the 5-10, 178-pound senior rushed for at least 100 yards in a single game. The only bad news to come out of Saturday's game was an injury suffered by Messer late in the second quarter. Messer, who led the Mid-States Football Association last season, was shaken up after a 6-yard gain and had to leave the game. "It's a rib (injury) and we'll have it X-rayed on Monday," Dennison said. "We're very concerned about that. He fell on the football and hit the turf."

.....from the ..."AKRON BEACON JOURNAL"...September 13, l998

WALSH 38, MANCHESTER 7 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hapless Indiana visitor gets the Cavaliers' rush BY JOHN SEABURN Beacon Journal staff writer If history really does repeat itself, Coach Jim Dennison's Walsh Cavaliers are headed for another successful season. Ranked 14th in the latest NAIA national poll, the Cavaliers posted their second victory of the season with a resounding 38-7 win yesterday over Manchester (Ind.) before 2,945 fans at Fawcett Stadium. Walsh's 2-0 start is its second in the program's four-year history, and is reminiscent of 1997, when the Cavaliers opened with four straight wins. ``This was a pretty good second game for us,'' Dennison said, ``because Manchester was a team that really came after us. ``But in the second half, we came out and adjusted. They couldn't stop us offensively.'' Led by NAIA All-American Damont Skanes with 139 yards and two touchdowns, Ben Spillar with 83 yards and a touchdown and Norton product Ron Messer with 46 yards and two scores, Walsh shredded Manchester's (0-1) defense for 455 total yards, including 323 yards on 41 the ground. Meanwhile, the Cavs' defense stymied several Manchester drives by limiting the Spartans to just 17 yards through the air. Messer's status is questionable until X-rays are taken tomorrow. He left the game at 2:12 of the first half with a rib injury. Walsh had a 24-7 lead at halftime after getting off to a 17-0 start. The Cavaliers struck quickly, opening with a 58-yard Matt Jenson pass to Ron Winphrie on the game's first play, Winphrie going all the way to Manchester's eight. Walsh stalled, however, and Blake Hutchinson kicked a 24-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead just 90 seconds into the game. Lance Vanvekoven went 43 yards and Josh Hardman booted the point for Manchester's only points with less than three minutes to intermission. Walsh (1-0) will entertain Division II opponent West Liberty State in an 11 a.m. game Saturday at Fawcett.



WALSH..FG Hutchinson 24, 13:28 WALSH..Messer 9 run (Hutchinson kick),10:42
WALSH..Messer 26 run (Hutchinson kick),4:47 MANCHESTER..Vanvekoven 43 run (Hardman kick), 2:33 WALSH..Skanes 9 run (Hutchinson kick), :52
WALSH..Spillar 68 run (Hutchinson kick), 12:38
WALSH..Skanes 3 run (Hutchinson kick),12:19 A--3,002


first downs1818
return yards19691
time of possession35:1524:45








"box scores" compiled from information contained in the "Canton Repository" newspaper


...from the Canton Repository, Sunday September 20, l998...
Walsh stays undefeated By MARK CRAIG Repository sports writer CANTON -- No one will remember Matt Jenson's horrible third quarter. Or how his two interceptions turned Walsh University's 21-10 halftime lead into a 30-24 deficit entering the final period. They will remember -- or at least they should -- how the senior quarterback who has grown up alongside the Cavalier program rebounded to lead the 3-0 Cavaliers to a 38-30 victory over West Liberty State (1-2) in front of 3,401 fans at Fawcett Stadium on Saturday morning. "There's a game every season that shows a team's character, and I think this was our game," Walsh coach Jim Dennison said. "There were times when we didn't play particularly well offensively and defensively, but when we had to do what was needed to win, we did it." Take Jenson, for example. His third quarter ended with a lousy read and an even worse throw that linebacker Adam Beck of Wooster Triway returned 49 yards for a touchdown and West Liberty's only lead of the game. But Jenson's next pass was a perfect dart in the face of the heaviest Hilltopper pass rush of the day. "I never saw the completion," laughed Jenson. "I got hit pretty hard by two or three guys on that one." But the quick throw still went to tight end Chris Ulrich, another one of Dennison's 24 seniors, for 22 yards to the 50. Four plays later, Jenson faked to the fullback and hit an uncovered Ulrich in the back of the end zone for a 2-yard TD. Blake Hutchinson then kicked the point after with 12:45 left in the game. "That's Woody Hayes' belly pass," Dennison said of the touchdown. "Fullhouse backfield. Fake to the fullback. It's the oldest play in football, but it works." Walsh added another touchdown, but it was a weary Cavaliers' defense that shined in the final quarter. It forced two punts, notched an interception by safety Don Patterson and finally ended the threat with a sack by Bryan Register in Walsh territory as time expired. That's when a nervous Jenson finally relaxed, laughed and wiped his brow with an exaggerated motion. "On days like today, it helps to have 30 starts under your belt," he said. "When you've played that many games, it helps you forget a bad quarter like that third quarter, and look forward to the next series." Jenson also had a pretty good first half, leading Walsh to a 21-3 lead with 4:03 left in the second quarter. Of his three completions, two went for touchdowns, to Ulrich from 18 yards and Ron Winphrie from 23 yards. Running back Damont Skanes had 140 of his 254 yards rushing at the half. But two of his biggest runs, back-to-back carries of 29 and 14 yards, set up Walsh's winning score. Fullback Ron Messer added 65 yards and two touchdowns as the Cavaliers rolled for 363 yards on the ground. Receiver Jason Cunningham, a Lake High grad, at least delayed the Hilltoppers' tidal wave of points in the third quarter when he pulled in a 44-yard completion to set up a 30-yard field goal to make it 24-16, Walsh. "That was an illegal pick play," complained West Liberty coach Bob Eaton, who is 0-for-Stark County after losing to Malone and Walsh the last two weeks. "It's too bad it wasn't called because I really felt at that point (Walsh) was ready to lay down. One more defensive stop and I think we would have had them." Cunningham isn't so sure about that. "We have some great leaders on this team," he said. "Matt is one of them because no matter how bad things are going, nothing fazes him." NOTES: The Cavaliers lost senior defensive tackle Ryan Dutton, a Lake grad, to a knee injury in the second quarter. He will be out two or three weeks, Dennison said. Nose guard Matt Wood, a North Canton grad, played most of the game with a sprained ankle. ... Walsh went with six different defensive linemen Saturday. One of them was freshman Darren Dutton, the younger brother of Ryan. "We found some depth today that we didn't know we had," Dennison said. ... Safety Ron Carlson of Green High had an outstanding game with a team-high 11 tackles.

...from the Akron Beacon Journal, Sunday September 20, 1998...
Walsh rallies behind Jenson to win 38-30 From staff and wire reports Damont Skanes rushed for 254 yards and former Barberton standout Matt Jenson threw three touchdown passes as Walsh rallied in the fourth quarter to beat West Liberty 38-30 at Fawcett Stadium. The Cavaliers (3-0) built a 21-10 halftime lead on two touchdown passes by Jenson and a 1-yard run by Ron Messer (Norton). But the Hilltoppers (1-2) came back in the third quarter to take a 30-24 lead on Adam Beck's 49-yard interception return. Walsh regained the lead for good in the fourth quarter on former Norton star Chris Ulrich's second touchdown, a 2-yard catch, and a 5-yard touchdown run by Messer. Jenson completed 8-of-17 passes for 135 yards. The Cavs rushed for 363 yards.



WALSH..Ulrich 18 pass from Jenson (Hutchinson kick), 2:04
WEST LIBERTY..FG Tobin 34, 6:24 WALSH..Winphrie 23 pass from Jenson (Hutchinson kick), 2:15 WALSH..Messer 1 run (Hutchinson kick), 3:29 WEST LIBERTY..McConico 11 pass from Bolin (Tobin kick), 2:54
WEST LIBERTY..Briggs 22 pass from Bolin (run failed), :57 WALSH..FG Hutchinson 30, 2:38 WEST LIBERTY..Miller 20 run (pass intercepted) WEST LIBERTY..Beck 49 interception return (Miller rush),:47
WALSH..Ulrich 2 pass from Jenson (Hutchinson kick), 3:06 WALSH..Messer 5 run (Hutchinson kick), 2:53


first downs2022
return yards16294
time of possession25:3934:21








"box scores" compiled from information contained in the "Canton Repository" newspaper


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