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TIGERS BEAT BULLDOGS 20-6 TO RETAIN STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
CANTON GIVES LOCAL TEAM HARDEST GAME

Bulldogs Threaten Upset By Scoring One Touchdown And coming Close To Another; Slusser And Gillom Shine For Massillon

By LUTHER EMERY

A fighting band of red and black grid warriors played their hearts out at beautiful Fawcett stadium, Canton, Saturday afternoon but bowed 20-6 before the lightning thrusts of the Washington high Tiger.

The victory kept the state championship and the Stark county title in Massillon a fifth straight year and extended the Tiger winning streak begun in 1937 to 23 games.
Hardest Fought Game Since 1935
While 22,000 fans filled every inch of the stadium and sat on the slope at the northwest end, the Tiger and Bulldog elevens waged their hottest duel since the terrific game of 1935 when a 6-0 victory started the string of five straight triumphs the Tigers have recorded against their Canton opponents.

Keyed with a new spirit and equipped with a new double wing-back offense, the Bulldogs tackled and blocked as they never did before this season and played a brand of football that would have sent them into the game an undefeated team.

It’s tradition that the underdog plays over his head and the favorite tightens up in a Massillon-Canton game and that was what took place Saturday.
The Bulldogs were over their heads compared with past performances this season, but perhaps they were only playing the brand of ball of which they were really capable to producing.
Canton Changes Strategy
They adopted a first half strategy of consuming as much time in the huddle as possible to purposely delay the game with the hope of keeping down the score and possibly capitalizing on a break.

But when George Slusser crossed the Bulldog goal from the one-yard line in the second quarter and tossed a 21-yard pass to Tom James for another the Bulldogs, trailing 13-0, changed their strategy at halftime and came out to shoot the works in a do-or-die attempt to win.

Massillon fans who had eased back in their seats at the start of the third period feeling perfectly secure on a 13-point lead, were struck speechless when like a bolt out of the sky, Andy Marantides, game little Canton halfback, shot a 20-yard pass to halfback Matt Brown, who caught the ball over George Slusser’s head and ran another 21 yards for a touchdown.

What was apprehension became downright fear for Massillon fans when the Bulldogs came right back with another rush in which officials and the Bulldog backs carried the ball to the Tiger 15-yard line. Here the local eleven held for downs, thanks to a great job of pass defense work by Halfbacks Bob Foster, who batted down what looked like another perfect touchdown pass from Marantides to Brown.

Taking the ball on their own 15-yard line, the Tigers roared back with a drive to their own 49. There the Massillon linemen blasted a big hole in the Bulldog forward wall and on the slickest play of the day and a consistent ground gainer, Slusser took the ball from Bill Zimmerman on a fake spin and ran 51 yards for a touchdown. He cut hard to his right as he crossed the line of scrimmage and circled Bill Goodman, the McKinley safety man.

The touchdown eased the tension of Massillon fans, but the Bulldogs were not yet beaten. They wouldn’t quit as so many teams have done in the face of the Tiger charge, but came back fighting with another touchdown bid that would have reached the two yard line had not Halfback Goodman stepped out of bounds on the 30. It was the last scoring threat of either team and the game ended with the Tigers moving forward with the ball in midfield.
Tigers Had Drive When Needed
The statistics which favor Canton in first downs and Massillon in yards gained from scrimmage show little difference in both teams. Yet that little difference amounted to a big difference – the Tigers could get yards when needed, while the Bulldogs as in so many games the past season, moved the ball between the 20-yard lines but lacked the drive to put it over.

With a few ifs Canton might have gotten a tie out of it. Had not Foster been alert and timed his leap to a split second to knock down Marantides’ pass to Brown on the two-yard line, the Bulldogs would have had another touchdown. And they might have scored a third, had not Goodman walked the sideline in the last period after taking a pass from Marantides.

It was in the air that Canton gained most of its distance and what yards it made on the ground were gained around the Tiger ends.

Coach Johnny Reed gave his team a new double wing back offense for the game, hoping to spread the Tiger defense with the extra wing back and run fast breaking plays through the center of the Massillon line.

John Swezey, Red Henderson, Gil Pedrotty and Jim Russell, rose to the occasion, however and bottled up the Bulldog backs, while Horace Gillom, playing his greatest high school game, backed up the line with tremendous power. Swezey was particularly outstanding and the Tiger coaches were loud in their praise of his work after the game.
Slusser Best Runner
Offensively, Slusser, was the shining light for the Tigers. He gained more ground than any other player on the field, carrying the ball 22 times for an average of 7.2 yards, scoring two touchdowns and tossing the pass to Tom James for the third.

James and Foster also played good ball and because of his all around judgment Saturday, James will be first choice at calling signals next year. Foster gave an outstanding exhibition of pass defense work and was in on many a tackle.

Gillom’s punting was on a par with his great defensive play. He averaged 40.6 yards from scrimmage on his punts and kicked one ball 60 yards on the fly.

The Tigers had a series of plays with Gillom carrying the ball. They tried one on the second play after the kickoff, but when Horace fumbled when tackled, it was decided to play safe and continue the ball carrying to boys who were accustomed to lugging the leather.

Big Nick Rotz was outstanding on the Canton line. He was almost too strong for end Ray Getz to handle. Marantides was outstanding in the Bulldog backfield, doing most of the running and all of the punting and passing.

Still Champions
Massillon Pos. Canton
Getz LE Ryman
Pedrotty LT Reale
Russell LG Mack
Martin C Haines
Henderson RG Sirk
Swezey RT Rotz
Gillom RE Dugger
Foster QB Chabek
Slusser LH Marantides
James RH Goodman
Zimmerman FB Brown

Score by periods:
Massillon 0 13 7 0 20
Canton 0 6 0 0 6

Substitutions:
Massillon – Clendening, fb; Croop, lt; Blunt, rh.
Canton – Inman, le; Rubin, rt; Ryman, fb; Williams, qb; Stillianos, lt; Kopf, le; Verheyen, rg; Papas, rg; Kessler, lg.

Touchdowns:
Massillon – Slusser 2; James.
Canton – Brown.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Getz 2 (placekick).

Referee – Jenkins.
Umpire – Gross.
Head Linesman – Bacon.
Field Judge – Lobach.

Game Statistics
Mass. Canton
First downs 9 11
Yards gained rushing 248 111
Yards lost rushing 11 24
Net gain rushing 237 87
Yards gained passing 51 164
Total yards gained 288 251
Passes attempted 8 23
Passes completed 2 11
Passes incomplete 6 10
Passes intercepted 0 4
Times penalized 4 3
Yards penalized 40 15
Times punted 5
Average punt 40.6 23.6
Punts returned yards 0 42
Kickoffs 4 2
Average kickoff 28 48.5
Kickoffs returned yards 36 10
Fumbles 2 1
Lost ball on fumble 1 1

INDIVIDUAL BALL CARRYING
Massillon
Times Yards Yards Av.
Player Carried Gained Lost Gain
Slusser 22 159 1 7.2
Zimmerman 9 39 0 4.7
James 8 28 7 2.6
Foster 3 19 0 6.3
Getz 1 2 0 2.0
Clendening 1 1 0 1.0
Gillom 2 0 3 -1.5
____ ____ ____ ____
Totals 46 248 11 5.2

Canton
Marantides 19 58 3 2.9
Goodman 10 34 21 1.3
Brown 8 17 0 2.1
Chabek 1 2 0 2.0
____ ____ ____ ____
Totals 38 111 24 2.3

George Slusser