Tigers Gain Prestige By Blasting Alliance
Punt Returns By Bill Blunt Set Up 28-0 Victory For Bengals
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Oh how sweet it is!!!
The Massillon Tigers waited a long time for this one 365 days to be exact. But they got their revenge.
The Washington high school team shut out Alliance 28-0 before the season’s largest crowd at Tiger stadium Friday night. Handing the No. 2-ranked team in the state its first loss in four games before 16,932 fans is sure to give the fifth-ranked Bengals’ stock in the race for the state championship a big boost.
The Bengals (3-1) proved that when the chips are down you don’t bet against them, for there’s nothing as ferocious as an aroused Tiger.
The statistics may not show much difference between the teams. But cold figures can’t measure team spirit and desire. And the Orange and Black put forth a tremendous team effort to put the Tigers ahead in the scoring column where it counts.
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ALLIANCE can have some solace, however, in the fact that it out rushed Massillon 139-121 in net yardage. But the Bengals got 49 yards through the air, completing four of six passes. The Aviators collected only nine yards through the air, connecting only one of five passes.
Coach Leo Strang of Massillon was all smiles as he praised the Tigers’ team effort. He especially patted senior wingback Bill (Rabbit) Blunt and junior lineman Larry Larsuel on their respective backs. “Didn’t Blunt run well,” he said, “and that Larsuel, he played guard, linebacker and middle guard and did a tremendous job at all three spots.
Blunt was the leading ground-gainer for the Tigers, with 38 yards rushing and 124 on two punt runbacks, one for a touchdown and the other almost for a score. “We worked like heck on those kick returns,” Strang said, “and it paid off.”
He commented on his team’s pass coverage, saying that he was very happy with the way his three deep men, Blunt, senior Floyd (Duke) Pierce and either senior Tom Gatsios or senior Grady Eckard, depending upon the rotation, kept the Aviators from uncorking the bomb.
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ALLIANCE coach Mel Knowlton had his comments on his passing game. “We don’t have any real good receivers so we can’t rely on our passing game too much. Leo knew this and defended us accordingly.”
He felt that Massillon had “too much overall speed for his team.” He said, “We had boys in the open several times but just couldn’t spring them loose.”
He was happy with the way a reverse play was working all the time, enabling senior wingback Win Young and senior left halfback John Blaser to eat up a lot of yardage. Senior quarterback Doug Wade handled the ball nicely, faking well to the first man and handing to the second one through to fool the Tigers for quite awhile.
Blaser picked up 89 yards in 10 carries, Young 73 in 21.
Orange And Black Takes Kickoff, Marches To T.D.
Massillon got into the scoring column quickly, taking the opening kickoff and marching 65 yards for the score. The drive used 15 plays. There were four first downs.
Tailback Terry Getz capped the drive with 5:11 remaining in the first quarter, going off tackle from inches away. Wingback Bill Blunt missed the conversion.
The Orange and Black had moved all the way on the ground with the exception of one
left-handed pass from Getz which short side end Pierce couldn’t hold while out in the clear.
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BLUNT CONTRIBUTED two fine runs, one on the reverse. He moved 17 yards from the Alliance 42 to the 25 and 19 yards from the 22 to the nine.
Three plays later Getz had his score. A half-the-distance penalty for offside put the ball with the nose almost touching the goal line on third down after two quarterback sneaks had failed.
Near the end of the period, Alliance halfback John Blaser got hit hard on his 40, fumbled and Gatsios, a Tiger cornerback, hopped on the ball at the 39. Seven plays and two first downs later it was touchdown again for the Tigers.
Lawrence dived off tackle with 35 seconds remaining. Getz threw to Blunt to make it 14-0.
Two big pass plays were the keys in this drive. Swartz tossed to Blunt on a play covering 20 yards from the Alliance 39 to the 19. Swartz connected with Pierce for 11 yards from the 17 to the six four plays later.
Alliance Holds Ball Most Of Second Quarter
Alliance had the ball for almost the entire second quarter except for four plays just after the 7:48 mark. The Tigers had moved from their 35 where an Aviator drive stalled thanks to a fourth down pass being knocked down by linebacker Ken Swisher.
But on fourth down on the Alliance 43, guard Ray Ketler stole the ball from Lawrence and raced back to the Massillon 31. Alliance moved to the six in 10 plays with two first
downs – a distance of 26 yards. There another fourth down pass was incomplete thanks to a good rush by the Tigers.
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KNOWLTON considered this the turning point of the game. He felt that if his charges had been able to score here, they might have been able to come back.
However, Strang felt that the Tigers’ recovery of Alliance’s first period fumble enabling Massillon to get two quick touchdowns in succession fired up his boys for the victory.
The Tigers scored once in the third quarter and almost made pay dirt twice. Alliance took the kickoff which started the period and started a drive from its 29. However, successive offside and holding penalties set the Aviators back to their 40. Wade stepped back to punt.
His boot carried to the Massillon 25. Blunt picked it up and set sail for the south goal line. He cut to the west sideline, picked up his blocking nicely, ran about 20 yards, cut back to the middle and was gone for the score like an orange whirlwind. His interference was terrific, bowling Aviators over like ten pins.
Swartz missed Blunt on a conversion pass. The score was 20-0 with 8:21 remaining.
Kanner Gets Off Long Punt
To The One Foot Line
On the third play after Dave Paul’s left-footed kickoff, Tom Gatsios intercepted a pass on the Alliance 41. The Tigers moved to the 25 but Swartz was thrown for a 12-yard loss to the 37. Kanner made his only punt of the night.
The Alliance secondary let the pigskin roll. Guard Clyde Castile tipped the ball on the one. Blunt fell on it on the one-foot line to put the Aviators in a real hole.
However, they were able to move the ball out to the 17 thanks to the elusive running of Young and Blaser. A five-yard delay penalty put the ball on the 22, setting the stage for Blunt’s second electrifying runback as Wade booted again.
Blunt let the ball roll on his 42, picked it up and ferreting out his blockers again expertly, took off along the west sidelines, getting to the Alliance seven as the quarter ended.
Four plays later Massillon had its final six-pointer with 10:38 left in the game. Getz blasted through the center on fourth and two. Gatsios passed to Pierce for the extra two points.
Young and Blaser took over again after the kickoff and moved the ball from the Alliance 29 to the Massillon 43 before being stopped on downs. They took 4:19 to accomplish this.
There were 6:05 left when the Orange and Black got its hands on the ball again. In nine plays with three first downs, Massillon got to the Alliance five. Twenty and 12-yard passes to Pierce from Swartz and Gatsios and successive runs of eight and 10 yards by Getz helped the march.
But Swartz was thrown for a seven-yard loss to the 12 and the clock ran out on the Bengals who had no timeouts left.
The WHS eleven will take off on its second road trip next week, going south to Steubenville to open play in the new All-American High School football league.
ALLIANCE – 0
Ends – Dawson, Cundiff, Doty, Yukick and Ross.
Tackles – G. Fraraccio, Beal and Shonk.
Guards – M. Fraraccio, Ketler, Cindio and Irwin.
Centers – Fugatt, Allen and Shilling.
Quarterback – Wade.
Halfbacks – Young, Blaser, Connell and Spivey.
Fullbacks – Rasile, Woolpert and Penturf.
MASSILLON – 28
Ends – Pierce, Perry, Hose, Goodnough, Jones, McAllister and Gilmore.
Tackles – Tarle, Miller, Lash, Paul, Morgan, Binge and Passalacqua.
Guards – Castile, Larsuel, Rivera, Swisher, Mulhbach, Roderick, Paflas, Mathias and T. Whitfield.
Centers – Scassa, Frank and Rambaud.
Quarterbacks – Swartz, Gatsios, Kanner and Frieg.
Halfbacks – Blunt, Getz, Rink, Eckard, Schenkenberger and Marks.
Fullbacks – Lawrence and Hewitt.
Score by quarters:
Massillon 14 0 6 8 28
Alliance 0 0 0 0 0
Touchdowns – Getz (one-foot and two-yard runs); Lawrence (three-yard run); Blunt (75-yard run).
Points after touchdown:
Pierce (passes from Getz and Gatsios).
Referee – Bud Shopbell (Canton).
Umpire – Pete Lannigan (Columbus).
Head Linesman – Bill Shaughnessy – (Akron).
Field Judge – Tony Grant (Loudonville).
First downs, rushing 7 7
First downs, passing 4 1
First downs, penalties 0 0
Total first downs 11 8
Yards gained rushing 144 155
Yards lost rushing 23 16
Net yards gained rushing 121 139
Yards gained passing 49 9
Total yards gained 170 148
Passes attempted 6 5
Passes completed 4 1
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Times kicked off 5 1
Kickoff average (yards) 49.0 45.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 20 60
Times punted 1 2
Punt average (yards) 35.0 35.0
Punt returns (yards) 124 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 2 2
Lost fumbled ball 1 1
Penalties 1 5
Yards penalized. 5 41