CROWD OF 3,000 SEES WASHINGTON HIGH BEAT WOOSTER IN OPENING GAME
TIGERS FLASH NEAT OFFENSE IN WINNING LEAGUE CONTEST 20-7
By LUTHER EMERY
A green but peppy Washington high football team, underwent its first test successfully at Massillon Field last night, when it turned back a formidable N.E.O. league threat in the form of Wooster high school and crashed through for a 20-7 victory.
They played football last night and for that reason all hats were off today to the Washington high school boys. The 3,000 Massillon fans who gained admission to the field one way or another saw more offensive football last night than they were privileged to witness in any single Washington high game last year with the possible exception of the final encounter of the season with Canton McKinley high.
Offense Is Deceptive
Working spinners, lateral passes, end runs and off-tackle smashes, the Tigers crashed through Wooster for 10 first downs. Wooster by adopting the forward pass occasionally made the yardage nine times. In only one department of play did the Massillon team appear weak and that was in the forward pass. The locals tried passes three times but all were grounded by the Wooster secondary.
Wooster on the other hand made gains of 102 yards by use of the forward pass, having but three grounded by the Massillon defense.
With seven green men in the lineup, four of whom had never played varsity football before and three of them only portions of a couple of quarters, the Tigers uncorked an offensive in the very first period that signaled spectators they were going to see more football this year than in recent years.
Scores on Blocked Punt
The Massillon eleven in fact showed more ground gaining ability in the first period and a few minutes of the last quarter than it did at any other time during the game. Though the first drive did not net a touchdown, it did place the ball in position for Birkish to contribute his first bit to the team by throwing himself against the ball as Starr attempted to kick out of danger, the blocked punt rolling back of the Wooster goal line where Brunker dove for it as through it were a $5 gold piece and gathered it in where no one could steal it.
The Tigers might have scored through straight football had not Andy Heben bobbled a pass from center just long enough to be tackled before he could get by the line of scrimmage on an end run.
An intercepted pass by Knowlton followed by a 35-yard run in which the little quarterback knifed this way by the Wooster secondary paved the way for the Tigers’ second touchdown, while the third was scored by “Bo” Kester after an advance of 27 yards in which Kester and Knowlton were important factors.
Wooster’s score came on a well executed pass with Starr hurling the ball to Mullen for 15 yards and the latter running 55 yards for the touchdown.
The head linesman blew his horn for offside just as the pass, was thrown and the Massillon safety man apparently heard the horn, and hesitated knocking down the pass.
Gun Ends Wooster Threat
Wooster was well on its way to score in the closing period and probably would have carried the ball over the goal line were it not for the timekeeper’s gun. Getting the ball on the Massillon 35-yard line, the visitors threw forward passes and an occasional line play carried it to the two-yard line with first down and goal to gain when the game ended.
Once in the second period the Wooster gridders also had the ball within four yards of the Massillon goal when they forfeited it to the local team on downs.
The Tigers, on the other hand, played much of the fourth period in Wooster territory, losing the ball several times within the 20-yard zone. This in fact appeared to be the only outstanding weakness on the part of the Massillon team – lack of punch at the goal line. The team does not have a plunger with the drive of Glenn Williams, fullback of the past three years, but someone may develop that punch within the next couple of weeks.
Many Substitutes Used
Coach Brown tossed so many substitutes into the game in the last half that it was difficult to keep track of all the players. It was the fist game of varsity football for all the subs and though they were weak in stopping Wooster’s passing in the last quarter, they offered almost as sturdy a forward wall as the starting linesmen.
Kester and Knowlton proved to be the best ground gainers for the locals last night. The locals made two first downs after taking the kickoff as a result of gains on end runs, one on a lateral by Kester. The first real drive, however, started about the middle of the period when the Tigers got the ball on a punt on their 42-yard line and carried it back to the three-yard line where it was lost on downs.
Knowlton was the chief factor in the advance, spinners, through the right side of the Wooster line enabling him to twice get away for gains of 10 yards. The advance had its effect on the Wooster team, however, for Birkish broke through to block Starr’s hurried punt and Brunker was on the ball immediately for a touchdown. Krier’s attempted kick from placement missed the posts.
Wooster showed its first offense in the second period when Taliaferro and Vitallo carried the ball from Wooster’s 45-yard line to the Massillon four-yard line where the ball was lost on downs. Massillon kicked back to the 26 and Wooster brought it back to the 15-yard line before again surrendering the ball on downs.
Knowlton gave the Tigers their second touchdown early in the third period when he snared Starr’s pass on the 35-yard line, midfield and cut to the east side, throwing the Wooster safety man off balance with a pretty side step as he raced over the goal. This time Krier’s placekick split the center of the posts for an extra point.
Wooster scored in the same period when Starr hurled a 15-yard pass to Mullen who took the ball on his own 45-yard line and ran 55 yards unmolested for a touchdown. Starr carried the ball over for another point. No more offense was shown by either team the remainder of the period.
Fourth Quarter Full of Action
The fourth quarter, however, was full of action, the Tigers once carrying the ball from their own 45-yard line to the Wooster 11-yard stripe and again advancing it another time from the Wooster 26-yard stripe to the six-yard line where a pass over the goal ended the threat.
Wooster’s last effort took the ball to the two-yard line with first down and goal to gain when the gun sounded. The Massillon ranks were filled with substitutes, however when this offensive was launched.
The attendance last night exceeded that of any home game last year. The bleachers were filled with spectators and a force of policemen kept the crowd clear between halves.
The Wooster band and the Washington high band were in the stands, while the drum and bugle corps of Massillon Post 221 drilled and played.
Lineup and summary:
MASSILLON Pos. WOOSTER
Lohr le Mullen
Birkish lt Campbell
Krier lg Drabenstott
Hoyman c Mathie
Schimke rg Sapp
Monroe rt Milham
Brunker re Fry
Knowlton qb Taliaferro
Kester hb Starr
Schrake hb Jolliff
Vitallo fb Foster
Score by periods:
Massillon 6 0 7 7 20
Wooster 0 0 7 0 7
Massillon – Amic, fb; Heben, hb; Snavely, lg; Scott, rg; Bray, lt; Keller, re; Mansbury, hb; Brinker, le; Hutsell; Ripple; Silvis; Chovan.
Wooster – Hinderman, Zebra, re; Falvo, qb; Capolla, hb; Stoneburner, re; Heckbert, rt.
Massillon – Brunker; Knowlton; Kester.
Wooster – Mullen.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Krier 2 (kicks from placement).
Wooster – Starr (line buck).
Referee – Jenkins.
Umpire – Wagner.
Head Linesman – Rang.