Tigers Roll Over Alliance High 26-0
Tight Bengal Defense Limits Aviators To 44 Net Yards Rushing
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Massillon’s terrific Tigers had the “Keys to the Kingdom” Friday night at Tiger stadium. And they unlocked another door in the path to a third straight state high school football championship for Leo Strang’s charges.
The Benglas shut out previously undefeated Alliance 26-0 before the largest crowd of the season. Some 91,319 fans sat in on the slaughter of the hapless Aviators, who have never won a game at Tiger stadium.
“We must have read a 100 keys out there,” said a jubilant Strang. He was referring to the method by which defenders can diagnose the direction and type of play coming at them. They watch certain key players for the tipoff.
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BY DOING THIS expertly and wheeling and pealing, blitzing from and eight-man defensive line and pursuing plays doggedly the Tigers held the Aviators to a mere 44 net yards rushing. The Bengals completely smothered Alliance’s heretofore explosive attack. They were thus the first to stop the deadly Alliance sweep play. The vaunted “Pony Backs” – Marion Young, Glenn Hill and Larry Grimes, never had a chance. Quarterback Jim LaFountain got few passes away. The ones he connected on netted Alliance only 10 yards. When he did pass, the Tiger secondary covered receivers like a glove, allowing Mel Knowlton’s boys to complete only one of nine aerials.
“This was the best defensive effort I’ve ever gotten from a team playing an opponent the caliber of Alliance,” Strang said. He meant not only at Massillon but in his entire coaching career.
An effort like the one the Bengals made Friday night has to be a tribute to a great coaching staff. A fine job of scouting plus utilization of the reports to the utmost resulted in the Tigers’ fourth straight and most impressive win of the season.
“We, the coaches, put in long sessions this week, staying up to midnight and 1 a.m. studying the Alliance offense and how to defense it correctly,” Strang said. “I’m dead. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a week,” he added
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A DEJECTED KNOWLTON said, “I have no alibis. We were lousy in all departments. But don’t get me wrong,” he added, “I’m not taking anything away from Massillon. That’s a great team.”
The contest was marred by a free-for-all at the contest’s conclusion. Massillon’s Bob Baker and Alliance’s Marion Young had a difference of opinion in the middle of the field during the last play. Then both benches emptied. Fists were swinging and helmets flying. But most of the uproar was a lot of pushing.
Both Strang and Knowlton, right in the middle of the melee, said, “We tried to break the thing up. But as quickly as one fight was stopped, more got started. This is an awful thing to have happen.” Actually, there weren’t as many boys fighting as it seemed, but it was enough to ruin an otherwise fine night of football. The altercation was stopped after about five minutes.
It would be unfair to single out any Bengal for fine play offensively or defensively because all did such a tremendous job. But it must be mentioned that Fullback Ken Dean scored three of the Tigers’ four touchdowns.
It appears that Dean, who reported about 40 pounds overweight last month and is now down to a trim, for him, 218, is back on the beam. His old speed and power, which brought him All-American honors in 1960, appear to have been recovered.
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“IT SURE FELT great out there,” the big guy said, “but please give the whole gang credit. They gave me the opportunities.”
One of the guys who was instrumental in Dean’s TD romps was Ron Schenkenberger. He caught two key passes that set up two six-pointers. The little wingback also set up another score by Fullback Fred Philpott.
Passing was all important to the Strangmen. They opened up the middle by throwing to unstack the Aviators’ five-four and four-five defenses which jammed up the Tigers’ ground game down the middle.
It looks like Philpott and Dean will be the big yardage boys from now on. Philpott did the open field running and Dean got the short yardage in tight.
“That’s the way I’ll use them the rest of the season,” Strang said.
The Tigers won the toss for the first time this season. But it didn’t do them any good. On their first play from scrimmage, the Bengals fumbled on their own 42. Jim Fraraccio recovered for Alliance.
The Aviators drove to the Massillon 24, their deepest penetration of the night. On a first down play, Alliance fumbled, and Steve Garland hopped on the errant pigskin.
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IT COULD BE that this fumble broke the spirit of the Aviators for they never got going again. Had they gotten an early score, the game might have been tighter.
This could also have been what the doctor ordered for Massillon. The Bengals were certainly keyed up for the entire 48 minutes.
The Tigers got only four yards during their first series. But that was the only time they didn’t get more than one first down when they had the ball in their hands.
The Airmen, on the other hand, got only one other drive going the entire night, and they lost the ball on downs on the Massillon 26 on that one, which occurred in the last period.
Quarterback Jim LaFountain punted on fourth and two on the Massillon 42 in the second Alliance series. Schenkenberger, attempting the runback, gave the hometown fans a fright when he fumbled on his 12. He recovered, however.
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THE TIGERS then took off on an 88-yard touchdown romp, covering 15 plays and picking up five first downs along the route. Strang’s charges alternated between sweeps and plays up through the center on the drive.
Schenkenberger had two fine pass catches to help set up Massillon’s first score. The first was a 17-yarder on the down-and-out pattern from mid field to the Alliance 33. Quarterback Jim Alexander completed another from the 17 to the two with Schenk running the diagonal pattern.
Dean then came into the game and ran two straight wedge plays up the center, scoring from the one on the second run as the first period ended. Brown tried to go between the long side guard and inside tackle for the conversion but missed.
Another Alliance series followed. And LaFountain was forced to punt again. Schenkenberger fumbled and recovered again, this time at the Airmen’s 47. Had he not lost time on the bobble he might have scored for his path was wide open.
Cornerbacker, Floyd Pierce made a brilliant over-the-shoulder interception on the Aviators’ 29, to set the stage again.
Schenkenberger grabbed a button-hook pass on the next play and raced to the two from where Dean went over on the wedge a second time at 5:54. Alexander’s pass to Larry Ehmer misfired on the conversion attempt.
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LINEBACKER Charlie Whitfield put the Tigers back into business near the end of the period by recovering an Alliance fumble on the Aviators’ 41, but the Bengals failed to capitalize on the situation this time.
Massillon’s last effort of the half ended when a pass to Schenkenberger down the middle was knocked down by safety Tony King around the Aviator 10. He batted down two other potential TD aerials.
Both Strang and Knowlton heaped praise on King saying, “He did a tremendous job on defense.”
In the third period Massillon got its only TD coupled with a conversion. Again it was Dean, this time on what started with the big fullback cutting in between the tackles and then out to the sideline on the right side. He carried two players with him and finally fell on the goal flag for the score at 1:37. The run came from the five. Brown’s sweep of right end netted the conversion.
Massillon had taken over after an Aviator punt on the Tiger 49. Covering 51 yards ,the scoring march was completed in eight plays.
One of the really funny incidents of the night occurred in the third period. On another Aviator punt Schenkenberger and Baker each thought the other was going to catch the ball and it hit the former on the top of his head. Luckily the Tigers recovered.
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MASSILLON SCORED its last TD in the dying minutes of the game, showing once again that the Tigers know how to utilize the clock. The Tigers recovered a fumble on the Alliance 29 to set this one up.
In three plays it was 26-0 at 0:38. Schenkenberger caught a pass on the first play using the “banana” pattern, out and then looping in and down the center. The play carried to the 11. Brown swept right end to the one, and Philpott scored on the wedge. With Alexander holding, Co-Captain Ken Ivan attempted to kick a conversion for the first time this season. However, the ball hit one of the uprights and caromed back into the field, just missing going through by inches.
The Bengals’ now leave Tiger stadium until Oct. 20, playing at Steubenville next week and Cincinnati Roger Bacon, Oct. 12.
Strang set the tone for coming games with the statement, “I don’t know whether we can stay keyed up for the next five or six weeks or not.”
A Big Victory
Ends – King, Leaf, Crowder, Green.
Tackles – Admonius, Dunn, Woods.
Guards – Frearaccio, Long and Mallory.
Center – Stoops.
Backs – LaFountain, Grimes, and Young.
Ends – Ivan, L. Ehmer, Garland, Pierce.
Tackles – Strobel, Spees, Paisley, Mercer.
Guards – Clendenin, Whitfield, Poole, Migge, and Radel.
Center – Bradley.
Backs – Alexander, Schenkenberger, Brown, Philpott, Baker,
Dean, Snively, Davis and Williams.
Massillon – 6 6 8 6 – 26
Touchdowns – Dean 3 (one, two, five-yard runs);
Philpott (one-yard run).
Conversions – Brown (sweep).
Referee – Bud Shopbell.
Umpire – Jim Lymper.
Head Linesman – (unreadable)
Field Judge – (unreadable)
First downs – rushing 11 2
First downs – passing 4 1
First downs – penalties 0 2
Total first downs 15 5
Yards gained rushing 206 84
Yards lost rushing 9 40
Net yards gained rushing 197 44
Yards gained passing 103 10
Total yards gained 300 54
Passes attempted 14 9
Passes completed 6 2
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Times kicked off 5 1
Kickoff average (yards) 45.8 45
Kickoff returns (yards) 20 61
Times punted 4 4
Punt average (yards) 38.2 33.5
Punt return (yards) 17 14
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 2 4
Lost fumbled ball 1 3
Penalties 3 2
Yards penalized 35 10