Tigers Beat Alliance In Final Minute
Martin Gugov Plunges For Clincher With 57 Seconds Left To Play
By JIM QUILTY
“I’ve been coaching for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of wild games. But that’s the wildest.”
And not one among the 10,464 paid fans who jammed Hartshorn stadium in Alliance could disagree with victorious Coach Leo Strang’s summation of the 14-10 Washington high school victory Friday night.
The triumph established the Tigers as the team to beat in their defense of the Ohio scholastic football crown. It was their fourth victory of the season and 17th in succession over three years.
The winning score came with 57 seconds remaining when Martin Gugov climaxed a 65-yard drive crashing off tackle from two yards out.
Only the clock prevented the Aviators from a possible score as they moved to the Tigers’ 10 before time ran out.
An exhausted Strang said the Aviators of Mel Knowlton were “the best team I’ve ever coached against.”
* * *
STRANG was still very much upset in the Tiger dressing room about an official’s call which gave the Aviators a two-point, 10-8, lead and possession off the ball in the closing moments of the third period.
Bob Baker intercepted Aviator Quarterback Bob Wallace’s pass intended for Charley King near the goal line. King then tackled Baker in the end zone. The officials ruled Baker had caught the ball on the field of play, then went into the end zone. The safety gave the Aviators a then commanding lead.
“That call could have meant the state championship,” a still hazy Strang stated.
A free kickoff from the Washington high 20 following the safety was brought back to the Tigers’ 37 by the Aviators.
The Tigers who managed only one cohesive drive over the first three periods – that one netted the first score – were far from finished.
Taking over after an Alliance four and 14 yards to go attempt failed on the Tigers’ 35, the locals drove the 65 yards in 17 plays, all on the ground chewing up nearly seven minutes to push the deciding tally across.
* * *\
ART HASTINGS carried the ball seven times, Ken Dean, the bulldozing fullback, four times, Gugov another four times and Larson twice.
Larson ticked off seven yards on the first attempt, then whipped around end for nine to the Aviator six for the first down on a quarterback keeper.
Four plays later, after Hastings had churned to the two behind the Tigers’ forceful line, Gugov sliced between inside and outside tackle on the right side of the line for the touchdown.
But, had it not been for the goal line stance by the Tigers defensive unit midway through the third period, the complexion of the game would have been entirely altered.
The Aviators, following King’s 31-yard gain to the Tiger eight, moved to the two in two downs. King then attempted to skirt his left end on a pattern, which had been working fine. But Hastings busted up the interference this time tossing King down on the 10.
* * *
THE SPEEDY half, who figured in all 10 of the Aviators’ points, picked up seven yards on the next play to the Tiger three falling short.
That was only one of three occasions when the Tigers held inside their 25. The yardage came easy for the Aviators until the final few. There the Tigers held every time but once.
The first Bengal touchdown came without apparent effort. After Gary Wells pounced on an Aviator fumble to curtail the first Alliance drive on the locals’ 28, the Tigers moved 72 yards in seven plays. The longest gain was a 40-yard aerial from Larson to Ken Ivan.
Ivan grabbed the ball in the left secondary on Washington high’s 45 and raced to the Alliance 29 before King tripped him up. Five plays and two penalties later, five yards against the Tigers for offside, half the distance against Alliance for unsportsmanlike conduct (the call moved the ball from the eight to the four), Hastings cracked through the center for the score.
Dean, who reeled off 26 yards in the drive, plunged for the two-point conversion with 3:21 remaining in the first period.
The Aviators marched to the Tiger 18 after taking the ensuing kickoff before an incompleted pass on a third down and two to go and Wells’ tackle of Hugh Wilson on the 20 gave the Tigers possession.
After picking up a lone first down, Hastings’ fumble was recovered by Dave Trief on the Washington high 45.
The Aviators, with Wallace directing the attack around King and Wilson, scored in 11 plays. Wallace’s pass to King covered 12 of the yards.
He again hit King after a deft bit of ball handling had thrown the Tiger defenses off the tying
Two-point conversion with 2:24 remaining in the half.
The Tigers then ran out the first half clock.
* * *
FIRST half statistics gave Alliance a 97 to 76-yard rushing edge. The Tigers led in passing, 40 yards to 12. The Aviators had seven first downs, Washington high five.
Despite the statistics, Alliance had the invaders on the defensive most of the first half, aside from the Tiger scoring drive. Only once was Alliance outside Washington high territory. That was after a punt by Ken Dean bounced out of bounds on the Aviator 47.
The second half started the way the first ended with Alliance again threatening.
After King had returned Charlie Williams’ kick-off to the Aviator 26, the hosts put together three successive first downs moving to Washington high’s eight. The last first and ten came on King’s
31-yard sprint through the center of the Tigers’ defense. Ed Radel pulled him down from behind.
After the Tigers held, Dean pulled them from trouble with a 19-yard gain up the middle behind a blocking force led by Jay B. Willey and Ivan. A clipping violation two plays later and an incomplete pass ended the assault.
Dean’s punt went to King who returned it to the Alliance 46. In five plays the Aviators were again in scoring position on the Tigers’ 30.
Wallace then faded back, spotted King near the goal line and let fly. Baker grabbed it and was tackled in the end zone.
When Gugov scored to give Washington high the four-point edge, the decision appeared locked up.
* * *
BUT Wallace, King and Company, aided by a 15-yard penalty against the Bengals on the kickoff, marched from the Tiger 45 to the 10, Wallace connecting through the air to King twice and Marion ‘Plunky’ Young once. Time then clicked off as the Aviators were hurriedly lining up for another play.
Dean enjoyed his finest night of the season. The 190-pound junior rolled up 91 yards on 15 carries. Hastings added 45 yards on 17 as the two toted the ball over 75 per cent on the locals rushing plays.
* * *
“THE THING we have to look out for now is the letdown. We just can’t relax,” Strang said after the game.
Leo had special praise for his assistant coaches who did what he called “one fine job” on the last touchdown drive.
Walt Keller, team trainer, said the squad came out of the game in top condition. Only a few minor muscle injuries, similar to ‘charley-horses,’ cropped up with Dean and Hastings.
Washington high’s next start is at Tiger stadium Friday night against a reportedly strong Steubenville team. The Big Red bowed to Weirton, W. Va., 13-6, last week after opening with a
16-8 win over Cleveland Lincoln. Last night the Red and Warren battled to a 12-12 tie
ENDS – Royer, Ivan, Anzalone.
TACKLES – White, Spees, Crenshaw, Herbst, Brugh.
GUARDS – Houston, Willey ,Whitfield, Radel.
CENTER – Demis.
BACKS – Larson, Dean, Hastings, Baker, Gugov, Williams, Brown,
Kurzen, Schenkenberger, Snively, Null.
ENDS – Davidson, Lear, Longmire.
TACKLES – Tunelius, Caserts, Fraraccio, Knauf, Trieff.
GUARDS – Bard, Teeters, Crowder, Van Camp.
CENTER – Leasure.
BACKS – Wallace, King, Wilson, Young, Holmes, Babb, Russell.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Massillon 8 0 0 6 14
Alliance 0 8 2 0 10
Massillon – Hastings (2, run); Gugov (2, run).
Alliance – King (1, run).
Alliance Extra Points – King (pass from Wallace).
Alliance safety – King tackled Baker in end zone.
First downs – rushing 9 10
First downs – passing 1 3
First downs – penalties 0 0
Total first downs 10 13
Yards gained rushing 200 208
Yards lost rushing 1 19
Net yards gained rushing 199 189
Net yards gained passing 40 70
Total yards gained 239 258
Passes attempted 3 8
Passes completed 1 5
Passes intercepted by 1 0
Times kicked off 4 2
Kickoff average (yards) 30.7 41.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 10 40
Times punted 2 0
Punt average (yards) 26.0 0
Punt return (yards) 0 8
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 3 3
Lost fumbled ball 2 3
Penalties 6 3
Yards penalized 60 24