Mansfield Power Plays Stop Tigers 14-6
Penalties, Injuries Slow Massillon; Hershberger Tallies On 83-Yard Scamper
The bubble burst out at Mansfield last night.
And having yielded to a five-and-dime Mansfield team – a determined Mansfield team which had a one-track mind – the Tigers of Massillon today looked forward to salvaging some glory out of the season with the big catch being, of course, Canton McKinley’s Bulldogs.
That 14-6 defeat was a stunning blow but Massillon teams have been beaten before, then roared back to finish at the top of the heap.
Tigers fans are only hoping it will happen again.
* * *
THEY’LL BE RE-PLAYING last night’s scuffle for many a moon. We can talk about the penalties, the gainers that just missed by inches, the tackles that came a yard too late, the injuries – anything – but in the final analysis we must all agree – Mansfield had a mighty good football team on Arlin field, which was jammed to overflowing by around 13,000 fans.
The Tygers ability to control the ball probably proved Massillon’s downfall.
When the final gun sounded, Mansfield had possession of the pigskin for 75 plays, Massillon had it 34 times.
Massillon out-gained the sky-high host crew, 312 yards to 292. The Tigers out-passed them. But as everyone knows for sure, statistics don’t win ball games.
Of course these statistics do not include the 27-yard pass play that clicked for a second quarter touchdown that was nullified by a backfield-in-motion penalty nor the fourth down gain of four yards scooter Ivory Benjamin made which would have given the Orangemen a first down at the Mansfield 15 a few moments after the TD was wiped out.
Nor do the figures show a couple of almost-but-not-quite cases where Massillon needed only one more block or one more step to go all the way.
Penalties hurt the Orange – without a doubt – but Lee Tressel, who saw his personal winning streak come to an end at 39 straight, offered no excuse as he sadly recalled the turn of events after the battle.
“WE COULDN’T stop those hard-running backs. They were making one and two yards after they were hit and we couldn’t do much about it.
“We were weak physically. Especially Meldrum (Tom) and Whitfield (Dick). Some of the other boys weren’t able to go at full steam. We made mistakes – we were just beaten,” Lee said.
The hard-running backs Lee was talking about were Jim Lutz, the tank-like fullback, and halfbacks Pistol Pete Zivkoff, high-stepping “Chuck” Taylor and speedy John White.
Stopping these charges was like trying to knock over the Bank of England. The
piston-legged Lutz found his way for 97 yards in 16 tries, Zivkoff raced 94 in 19 carries, Taylor punched for 53 in 10 and White gained 37 in 10.
* * *
THE MANSFIELDERS, who thus beat a Massillon team for the second time in
history – and the victory set off a major display of frolicking in the Richland county
seat – were generalized by Jack Ward, who tried only one pass and didn’t complete it.
The Tigers, who gained 259 yards on the ground as compared to Mansfield’s 292, were sparked by spunky Mike Hershberger who picked his way for 143 yards in seven trips and Benjamin, who lugged six times for 53 yards.
Hershberger, who was virtually out on his feet at the final gun, got loose on an 83-yard jaunt for the Tigers’ only touchdown early in the final period.
Mansfield threatened only twice and the Bob McNea – coached boys cashed in both times.
Massillon was deep in Mansfield territory twice in the second stanza and once more after Hershberger’s scintillating spring in the fourth. But it just wasn’t Massillon’s night.
Hershberger banged for 12 yards on the first play following the game-opening kickoff, returned by Benjamin from the nine to the host 49 after Ivory got out of a trap at his own 20. But a holding penalty messed things up. Mansfield jammed up two plays at the middle, a Bob Rinehart toss was too far and Hershberger kicked into the end zone.
Mansfield marched all the way in 20 plays with Zivkoff, White and Lutz toting. It was on the Massillon seven at the end of the period and on the first play of the second panel, Zivkoff smacked across, Ward booted the point and the Red and White led 7-0 with five seconds gone.
The Tresselmen came storming back. They threw everything but the bench at the Tygers but their efforts went for naught as the little red flag was down on three of eight plays it required them to go from their own 32 to the Mansfield 24.
* * *
ON THE FIRST play there was an in-motion penalty. Then the Tygers were caught flat-footed. Hershberger went to his left on an apparent reverse but he stopped and threw deep to lanky Clyde Childers, who got behind the secondary at the Mansfield 46.
Childers was hauled down after a 46-yard gain and the Orange was knocking on touchdown door. Childers snagged another pass for a touchdown on the next play. Gene Stewart was sent in to replace Benjamin and the Tigers pulled the same play, only Gene reversed to his right. Childers made a beautiful catch in the end zone but Massillon was called for backfield-in-motion – much to the chagrin of Tiger followers – and six points went with the wind.
Chet Brown was thrown for a loss of a yard on a trap play, Hershberger was stopped by his own teammate at the line of scrimmage before the Rinehart-Hershberger combo clicked for 15 yards to the 19.
This brought up a fourth and one situation and Benjamin easily made it (he gained about four) but again the penalty flag put a crimp in Massillon plans. This time the Tigers were penalized because of an offside call. The drive ended as Rinehart’s pass was a shade too far for Benjamin at the 15.
An exchange of punts followed and with two minutes left in the first half the Orangemen were in business again.
From the 24, Benjamin wriggled for 22 yards on a double reverse. That put the oval on the 46. Hershberger, running to his left on the reverse, picked up a couple of nifty blocks and high-tailed it 37 yards to the Tyger 17.
* * *
RINEHART INTENDED to go to the air for two plays but both times he couldn’t locate a receiver ran instead, and had to be content with two yards. On the last play of the half, Benjamin out to his right and wheeled to the six before being grassed.
Mansfield struck for its second touchdown after receiving at the start of the second half. Zivkoff returned to the 35 and in 11 plays the Tygers reached pay dirt.
Taylor came in to help Lutz, Zivkoff and White carried the mail with the biggest gain being a 15-yarder by Taylor. From the four the same lad blasted through right tackle for another six, Ward again split the uprights and Massillon trailed 14-0 at 5:50 in the period.
Benjamin stepped for 21 yards after “Chuck” Beiter returned the kickoff to the 42 and the only boy that had a chance to stop Benjamin did just that. But the Tiger attack stalled and Hershberger had to kick. Mansfield drove again with their movement carrying over into the final quarter.
After Mansfield advanced to its own 44 it had to punt with Ward’s boot being returned 30 yards by Hershberger. From the 17 Mike then found a hole at left tackle and was gone – 83 yards. He was past the Tyger secondary defenders before they knew it. Mike outran them but only after a bit of labor.
* * *
A TIRED Hershberger attempted the extra point but his kick was too low and the scoreboard read Mansfield 14, Massillon 6 with 10 minutes remaining.
After the kickoff was brought back to the 26, the hosts netted a first down as Lutz zipped for 27 yards (the hard-nosed Hershberger kept him from going the distance) and they gambled after gaining eight more yards to the Tiger 34.
Massillon came up with an 18-karat stand. Zivkoff was held at the line of scrimmage, ditto Lutz, and the Tigers took over at the 34.
The Tresselmen weren’t about to say uncle. They gave it another giant effort. In trying to pass Rinehart ran for six, then was dropped for a four-yard deficit before he twirled to Hershberger for 11 yards.
Chet Brown, in one of the few times he carried, steamed around left end for 30 yards to the Mansfield 23 but the Tigers stalled. Hershberger made three but Rinehart lost one. In came Jimmy Bivings and he got five. On the next play Bivings was thrown for a yard loss but might have raced to pay dirt had he received one or two key blocks.
So Mansfield had the ball again. The Tygers made two first downs and with seconds left the Tigers’ Jim Mercer recovered a fumble at the enemy 35. There was time for one play and Rinehart kept for nine yards.
That was it. The Tigers suffered their first loss in six games.
The defeat will probably cost the Orange and Black second place in the state scholastic poll and undoubtedly Mansfield, previously rated 10th, will climb a few notches.
MASSILLON – 6
ENDS – Childers, Elavsky, Brenner,Hagan, Wells.
TACKLES – Whitfield, Mercer, A. Slicker, Slabaugh, Brownlee, Bixler, Halter.
GUARDS – Meldrum, B. Brown, Heine, Kasunick.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger.
QUARTERBACKS – Rinehart, Reese.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Hershberger, Pledgure, Bivings, Garcia, Stewart, Washington.
FULLBACKS – C .Brown, Beiter.
MANSFIELD – 14
ENDS – Horsman, Ackerman, Bell, Hunter.
TACKLES – Franta, Henkel, Bernat.
GUARDS – Roth, Hood, Kolb, Bauman.
CENTERS – Groves, Mathews.
QUARTERBACK – Ward.
HALFBACKS – Zivkoff, Taylor, White, Balcolm.
FULLBACKS – Lutz, Tanner.
Scoring by quarters:
Massillon 0 0 0 6 6
Mansfield 0 7 7 0 14
Touchdown – Hershberger (run, 83).
Mansfield scoring: Touchdowns – Zivkoff (run, 7); Taylor (run, 4).
Extra points – Ward 2 (placements).
Referee – Don McPhee, Youngstown.
Head Linesman – Carl Spossard, Cuyahoga Falls.
Umpire – Bob Walker, Youngstown.
Field Judge – Clint Emmerish, Cuyahoga Falls.
First downs rushing 7 16
First downs passing 2 0
First downs by penalties 0 0
Total first downs 9 16
Yards gained rushing 255 295
Yards lost rushing 15 3
Net yards gained rushing 240 292
Yards gained passing 72 0
Total yards gained 312 292
Passes attempted 6 1
Passes completed 3 0
Passes intercepted by 0 0
Times kicked off 2 3
Kickoff average (yards) 42.5 41.3
Kickoff returns (yards) 69 35
Times punted 2 3
Punt average (yards) 44 40.3
Punt returns (yards) 12 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 2
Lost fumbled ball 0 1
Penalties 5 2
Yards penalized 45 20