One Play Away From Perfect Year
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
“Only one play away from an undefeated season.”
As one looks back today on the 10 games which the Washington high grid team played this year and also contemplates the final Associated Press poll due Tuesday, Tiger Coach Bob Seaman’s words sum it up pretty well.
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EVEN WITH the Tigers’ 20-15 victory over Canton McKinley at rain-pelted Fawcett stadium last Saturday afternoon before a full house of 20,500 to write a 9-1 finish to the 1967 season, it’s not likely to be enough to bring the Bengals a state championship.
Undefeated Upper Arlington (10-0) will probably be the King-pin come Tuesday as the result of that fourth and 7 counter play recalled by Seaman after the victory over McKinley. It was that strategy which led to Arlington’s 7-6 win over the Tigers.
But “Operation Comeback ‘67” can still be rated a success in the minds of the fans of the Orange and Black. For their team has bounced back from a 4-5-1 season to probably second place in the state and the championship of the All-American Football Conference.
The last win came every way but easy. The Tigers shot out to a 12-0 first period lead but barely got out of the game alive against an outstanding Bulldog eleven coached by Ron Chismar. Only a last-minute pass interception by junior Halfback Bert Dampier staved off disaster.
The Pups had the ball on the Massillon 14-yard line, third and 7 after a 51-yard pass-run play from Quarterback Ted Bowersox, who had previously scored twice, to Wingback Gerald Davidson. His 33-yard run after the catch found him going out of bounds on the 17. Bowersox tried to hit Davidson again in the end zone but Dampier came down with the pigskin for a touchback and Massillon ran out the clock.
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IT WAS THE Bengals defense which did the job as the offense never really got going after the first quarter. One drive in the second quarter got as far as the McKinley 35 but Bowersox intercepted a pass on the 30 to stop the threat.
The Tigers had the ball for 6 series in the second half, not counting the final one when they ran the clock out. The WHS eleven got only one first down and that was via a personal foul penalty.
The Bulldogs outstanding job of pursuing led by Middle Guard Gaylord Sweat, effectively throttled the Seaman-men. Seaman said McKinley did a “good job of getting to the ball.” Chismar said his charges did a “great job. It’s a shame they couldn’t have won.”
The Tigers were paced by a superlative defensive secondary, which allowed the Bulldogs to complete only 6 of 24 passes. Dampier, besides his game saving interception, also aborted a McKinley drive with an interception on his 15 in the third period.
Manson was in the game due to a first quarter ankle injury suffered by Co-Captain and Quarterback Trevor Young. Junior Marc Malinowski was forced to vacate his safety spot to do the signal calling and showed promise for next year. However, Young’s absence affected the offensive timing.
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THE BENGALS’ other co-captain, Linebacker Ron Ertle, was all over the field again. Both ends, Tim Richards, and Russ Fenton, did a good job of containing Bowersox.
Linebacker Hoyt Skelton recovered a fumble on the Bulldog 38 in the third quarter. But the Tigers couldn’t move the ball.
Shortly thereafter, Tom Houser downed a Malinowski punt on the 3 to put McKinley into a
deep hole. On the third down in the ensuing series, Bowersox faded to the end zone from the 5, and hit End Jim Iams in the flat. But “Monster” Larry Shumar, weighing only 152 pounds, decked the 175-pound end for a safety, one of several nifty plays by the diminutive junior during the afternoon.
Junior Tailback Jim Smith led the offense by scoring one of the first period touchdowns and collecting 99 net yards in 18 tries for a season’s total of 1,011. Art Hastings’ 1,274 in 1969 marked the last time a Tiger had over 1,000 yards.
Malinowski got the other welcome frame tally.
But the most spectacular score was Mark McDew’s 90-yard runback of the second half kickoff for the Tigers’ third touchdown behind some fine blocking. Only 10 seconds ticked off the clock. Smith missed on the conversion run.
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SMITH’S SCORE came over left guard on first down from the one with 6:05 left in the first quarter. The 75-yard drive took only 5 plays. Smith set up his own score with a
54-yard blast through the center which put the ball on the one. McKinley Co-Captain Ron Martin made the tackle.
Then came the conversion keeper on which Young got hurt.
McKinley fumbled on its 40 while driving after the kickoff McDew recovered and the Orange and Black had its second TD 6 plays later with 2:40 left. Malinowski ran off left tackle on a keeper on third and 4 from the 10 after bobbling the ball and crossed into pay dirt. Twelve and 14-yard runs by Malinowski and Smith had set up the score.
A pass fell incomplete on the conversion try.
Junior Tackle Jon Brandyberry recovered a fumble on the Tiger 44 and 11 plays later the Pups were on the scoreboard with 4:35 remaining in the second quarter. An 8-yard run by Bowersox, a 10-yarder by Martin and 6 and 9-yard passes for Bowersox to Davidson and Iams set up the 6-pointer, the latter coming on fourth down from the 14 and giving the Bulldogs a first down on the Bengal 5.
Bowersox scored through the center on third down from the one and then kicked the conversion. On the Tigers’ first try after the kickoff, Bowersox recorded his interception on the McKinley 30 to stop a drive highlighted by sophomore Darnell Streeter’s 23-yard kick return and Smith’s 18-yard romp off right tackle.
McKinley’s other score came with 4:45 left in the game. The Bulldogs drove 78-yards following a Tiger punt in the dying seconds of the third quarter. The push took 17 plays.
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THE BIG maneuvers were a 21-yard pass-run combination from Bowersox to Davidson’s 4-yarder which netted a first down on the one by a gnat’s eyelash.
Bowersox scored on the next play through the center and passed to Davidson to make it 20-15.
MASSILLON – 20
Ends – Dampier, Houser, Richards, Twiggs.
Tackles – Snowball, Ricker, Laase, Snyder.
Guards – D. Gipp, Ertle, Whitfield, M. Cardinal, Doll, Harig, Russell.
Centers – B. Moore, Skelton.
Quarterbacks – Young, Malinowski, Shumar.
Halfbacks – Smith, McDew, Fenton, Staples, Evans, Hodgson, Manson.
Fullbacks – R. Moore, Streeter.
McKINLEY – 15
Ends – Lewis, McDonald, Iams, Dubose, Roman, Gallus, Duckworth.
Tackles – Milan, Mancini, Brandyberry, Hoskins.
Guards – Roose, Sweat, Shimek, Harris, Gibbons.
Centers – Downing, M. Bush.
Quarterback – Bowersox.
Halfbacks – Davidson, LeFlore, Truitt, Rich, Walker, Martin.
Fullbacks – Tibbs, Haines.
Massillon 12 0 8 0 20
McKinley 0 7 0 8 15
Massillon – Smith (one-yard run); Malinowski (10-yard run); McDew (90-yard kickoff return).
McKinley – Bowersox 2 (one-yard runs).
Massillon – Shumar (tackled Iams in end zone).
Extra points: McKinley – Bowersox 3 (kick and run).
Player Att. Net. Ave.
Smith 18 99 5.5
Young 2 3 1.5
McDew 5 17 3.4
Moore 4 14 3.5
Malinowski 14 25 1.8
Player Att. Net. Ave.
Bowersox 14 36 2.6
Martin 9 31 3.4
Tibbs 6 17 2.8
Referee – George Ellis.
Umpire – Chuck Lorenz.
Head Linesman – Jack McLain.
Field Judge – Tom Ascani.
First downs – rushing 8 8
First downs – passing 0 4
First downs – penalties 1 1
Total first downs 9 13
Yards gained rushing 183 140
Yards lost rushing 25 15
Net yards gained rushing 158 125
Net yards gained passing 6 89
Total yards gained 164 214
Passes completed 1-3 6-24
Passes intercepted by 2 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 15 13
Times kicked off 4 4
Kickoff average (yards) 49.8 43.5
Kickoff returns (yards) 139 81
Punt average 7-35.4 6-39.3
Punt return (yards) 6 6
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 2 3
Lost fumbled ball 1 2
Penalties 5 5
Yards penalized 32 65
Touchdowns rushing 2 2
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Miscellaneous 1 0
Total number of plays 53 72