Tiger Defense Sparkles In 3rd Victory 26-0
Line Holds Mansfield Offense To 46 Yards
By STEVE HAPANOWICZ
A sparkling defense that held the Mansfield Tygers to a total of 46 yards while its offense sputtered along gave the Massillon Tigers a 26-0 victory before 9,500 fans at Mansfield’s Arlin field Friday night.
The Tigers’ third straight victory belonged mainly to the defensive line which bottled the Mansfield running attack, holding it to a minus 5 yards rushing and gave quarterback Kerry Dean little time to find and hit his receivers. The Mansfield quarterback threw 8 passes and completed only 3.
Massillon coach Earle Bruce could find little fault with his offensive line, which opened up large and frequent holes in the bigger Mansfield defensive line only to have the backs fail to hit the hole. The Tiger backfield also had problems hanging onto the ball, fumbling 5 times. On 4 of those occasions the Tigers lost the ball and had a drive stopped.
However, the backs did something right as the score indicates. Mostly they ground out yardage behind a line that fired out into a bigger opponent. The Tiger line earned the praise of Mansfield Coach Jim Dougherty who liked its blocking and speed.
THE TIGERS didn’t score until the second quarter after the first period saw them lose the ball on a fumble at the Mansfield one-yard line after Tiger tackle Jim Binge recovered a Mansfield fumble on the Tyger 8. With the ball on the 1, Mansfield picked up 2 yards into the line. On second down Dave Hutchins, who punted 6 times for a 34-yard average,
quick-kicked to Massillon’s 47 from the 3. Five plays later the Tigers gave up the ball on downs.
With a first and 10 on his own 31, Hutchins fumbled with guard Tom Whitfield recovering on the Mansfield 32. In 2 plays Massillon moved to the 20 as the quarter ended. On the first play of the second quarter, the Tigers fumbled and Mansfield recovered on its own 20.
With first and 5, after a Massillon offside, the Tygers were offside on the following play, the ball going to the 20. Following a 3-yard gain the Tygers decided to quick-kick on second down. Hutchins booted the ball but it struck his center who had backed up, the ball going 16 yards. Dougherty called this the turning point in the game.
With Edgar Herring, Jim Lawrence and Bob Hewitt taking short hunks of yardage the Tigers moved into the 2 in 7 plays from where Hewitt went over right guard for the score with 7:09 remaining. The extra point try failed as quarterback Steve Kanner was downed after a mix-up in the Massillon backfield.
Hutchins made a 46-yard kickoff return to the 50 and Mansfield moved to the Massillon 25 with the aide of a 15-yard roughing the kicker penalty. With fourth and 11 on the Tiger 25, Mansfield tried to pass but Dean was thrown for an 11-yard loss.
HERRING MADE a first down in 2 carries and with first and 10 picked up 20 yards on a double reverse to the 29. Here the Tigers got a break when Mansfield was called for piling on after Herring had gone out of bounds. The 15-yard penalty moved the ball to the 14. Three plays took it into the 4, from where with 4th and goal, junior quarterback Dave Sheegog sprinted around his right end for the touchdown making the score 12-0. The extra point try by Herring failed. The score came with 1:46 left in the half.
In the third quarter Massillon got to Mansfield 28 but fumbled away its first drive. The next time the Tigers got the ball the Tigers got to the Mansfield 18 on a 23-yard pass from Kanner to Herring but were called for clipping and lost the ball on a fumble on the next play.
The third time Massillon got the ball in the third quarter it started an 11-play, 56-yard drive that went into the fourth quarter for a score. Junior fullback Terry Manson had the longest run of the drive, an 11-yard gain. The score came on a 4-yard run by fullback Jim Lawrence for his first touchdown of the night. Manson scored the Tiger’s only extra points on a burst into the line.
The Tigers forced Mansfield to kick from its own 40. Hutchins lofted a 34-yard kick to Sheegog who with some tricky running returned to the Mansfield 29 for a 45-yard punt return. The last man between him and the goal tripped the shifty Sheegog.
On the first play from the 29, Kanner fired a strike to end Rick Paige in the end zone, but Paige in full stride, couldn’t hang onto the ball. He kept on going until he fell over a fence enclosing the end zone. Luckily, he wasn’t injured. Lawrence and Herring then drove the ball into the 3 from where Lawrence went inside his left end for the score. Paul Marks tried to kick the extra point, but the ball was partially blocked and didn’t have the distance.
MASSILLON safety man John Frieg intercepted a Mansfield pass on the Tyger 44 to give the Tigers another opportunity to score, but after picking up a first down, the threat ended with Hutchins intercepting a Massillon pass in the end zone on a 4th and 7 situation.
“The punt return was our best offensive weapon,” Bruce said half dejectedly after the game. And it was, with Sheegog getting off returns of 30 and 45 yards. “The defense played a great game,” the Tiger boss said singling out end Ed Franklin, for handling the Mansfield dealing defense, and brothers Tom and Dave Whitfield, Tom for his rushing the passer and Dave for his play, especially blocking on punt returns.
Mansfield coach Dougherty called the Tigers a “great team” because the “line fired out; they block well and have good speed.”
“That Muhlback is a heck of a ball player,” said Dougherty, shaking his head admiringly. “We played pretty good defense, but we couldn’t get our offense to move.”
Massillon had the edge statistically, getting 17 first downs to Mansfield’s 3 and gaining 276 yards to the Tygers’ 46.
MASSILLON – 26
Ends – Garcia, Franklin, Williams, Paige, Goodnough, D. Whitfield.
Tackles – Binge, Morgan, Hartley, Croop.
Guards – Larsuel, D. Whitfield, Richards.
Centers – Muhlback, Rambaud, Biddle.
Backs – Kanner, Sheegog, Pribich, Frieg, Manson, Lawrence,
Hewitt, Herring, Conti, Shanor, Marks, James.
MANSFIELD – 0
Ends – Gonzales, Westerfield, Swarn.
Tackles – Williams, Stehle, Bautz, Harpster.
Guards – Palm, Jameison, Dworski.
Centers – Horvath, Coe.
Backs – Dean , Schnuerer, Earick, Parr, Hutchins, King.
Massillon………….. 0 12 0 14 – 26
Mansfield …………. 0 0 0 0 – 0
Touchdowns – Hewitt (2 yard run); Sheegog (2 yard run);
Lawrence 2 (runs of 4 and 3 yards).
Extra points – Manson 2 (runs).
Jim Langhurst (Williard) referee.
Dom Ruggerio (Gibsonburg) umpire.
John Mickley (Mt. Vernon) head linesman.
Bill Holsworth (Louisville) field judge.
First downs—rushing 15 0
First downs—passing 2 2
First downs—penalties 0 1
Total first downs 17 3
Yards gained rushing 261 36
Yards lost rushing 8 41
Net yards gained rushing 253 -5
Net yards gained passing 23 51
Total yards gained 276 46
Passes attempted 6 8
Passes completed 2 3
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 0 0
Times kicked off 5 1
Kickoff average (yards) 50.2 46.9
Kickoff returns (yards) 33 126
Times punted 1 6
Punt average (yards) 40 34
Punt returns (yards) 102 6
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 5 3
Lost fumbled ball 4 2
Penalties 5 4
Yards penalized 45 30
Touchdowns rushing 4 0
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Miscellaneous 0 0
Total number of plays 67 37