By CHARLES HESS, JR.
The Evening Independent
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY STADIUM, COLUMBUS – Cincinnati Princeton high school defeated Massillon’s Washington high school Tigers 17-14 here today before about 30,000 fans and moved into the finals of the Ohio AAA high school championship football playoff.
Princeton will meet the winner of this afternoon’s Warren Western Reserve-Toledo Scott game in the Akron Rubber Bowl next Saturday evening.
* * *
IT WAS A case of the Tigers’ defense being put under extra pressure after the Orange and Black jumped off to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.
However, the pendulum swung in Princeton’s favor in the second half as the Vikings rallied off a 14-3 halftime deficit. They scored the game-clinching touchdown with 8:01 left in the game when left halfback Mike Gayles took a pitch out and went around his left end from nine yards out and quarterback Guy Wright kept for the extra points to complete the scoring.
Princeton thwarted Massillon’s last gasp big with 1:55 left in the game when Neal Turner intercepted a Kevin Westover pass at the Princeton 11. Massillon completely dominated the first half of play just as Princeton did the second half.
Massillon struck with lightning when on the game’s second play from scrimmage tailback Tom Hannon took a pitch out around his right end and raced 64 yards for a touchdown. Hannon easily scored the extra points on a left end sweep.
Massillon knocked at the door twice more before scoring, having been stopped at the Princeton 39 and 10-yard lines.
Massillon moved 54 yards for its second TD, which came with 1:54 left in the second quarter when Westover showed his composure when he was chased, but yet completed a 20-yard toss over the middle to Terry Edwards and Edwards broke away from three would be tacklers to reach pay dirt. Don Muhlbach’s point after placement hit the right crossbar upright and bounced off.
* * *
PRINCETON’S first three points came on the first-ever field goal attempt by 6-5,
205-pound senior end Rick White when he split the uprights from an amazing 47 yards out as time expired in the first half.
Princeton made it 14-9 at 9:25 of the third quarter when Gayles slipped around his right end and sailed 55 yards to pay dirt. Charles Danzy broke through to abort Wright’s PAT placement attempt.
Hannon and Gayles put on quite a show of precision running. Hannon netted 160 yards in 22 carries and Gayles cleated 185 in 38 lugs.
The loss was the Tigers’ first of the season. They swept through their regular schedule with 10 victories and were accorded the top place in the polls of the Associated Press and United Press International. The game officially ended the local team’s 1972 season.
* * *
INCLUDED in the crowd of 30,000 were perhaps 10,000 Massillonians who wore their “beat Princeton” straw hats.
“We love the Tigers” and “Win the 500th” were the messages on the hoop through which the Tigers ran as they came onto the field for the opening kickoff. They were greeted by several hundred orange and black balloons as they came out after completing pre-game warm-ups.
The Tiger Swing Band was given a resounding ovation.
Following is the action as it happened play by play.
Massillon won the toss. Princeton kicking from north end (closed end) of Ohio stadium. White kicked off to Muhlbach who picked up the bounding ball at the 20 and returned to the 35.
Hannon went through left tackle, one-yard (Forte tackled).
Hannon took a pitch at right end from Westover and went 64 yards for a touchdown. Time 11:18. (Massillon called time out before trying conversion). Hannon easily scored extra point around left end. Massillon 8, Princeton 0.
* * *
Muhlbach’s kickoff taken at 20 by Jones who returned to the 33 (tackle by Dan Gutshall). Princeton first down at 33.
Gayles up the middle for four yards (Tim Gutshall tackled).
Gayles up the middle. Darius Edwards recovered fumble at Princeton’s 47.
* * *
Massillon first down 47.
Westover passed to Sullivan, dropped at 10.
Charles Danzy up the middle six-yard gain.
Hannon pitch right end, three-yard gain (Turner tackled).
Hannon right tackle and was shy of first down (Borden tackled).
* * *
Princeton first down at 39.
Wright’s pitch went out of bounds, lost eight yards.
Gayles pitched right end, run out of bounds by Swann.
Wright passed to Jones for no gain, tackled by Tim Gutshall.
Wright’s punt rolled to the Massillon 10.
* * *
Massillon first down at 10.
T. Edwards around left end, one-yard gain.
Hannon tried to go off tackle, lost one-yard (tackle by Webster).
Westover pass complete to D. Edwards down left side to 19 and Edwards ran to the 26 for first down.
Charles Danzy tried to go up middle, no gain.
T. Edwards slipped behind line of scrimmage on a reverse at 24. Princeton penalized 15 yards for grabbing face mask. First down at the 39.
Hannon pitch out left end to the 44, but Tigers were called for holding. First down and 23 at the 26.
Westover passed to Sullivan over the middle at the 36 and Sullivan fought his way to the 40.
Hannon up the middle, five-yard gain.
Westover rolled left, chased by three Vikings and ran to the 46 after reversing his field. Off-setting penalties – Massillon clipping, Princeton offsides.
Hannon took a pitch out at left end to the Princeton 24, a 31-yard gain. Key blocks were thrown by Mayles and Westover. First down.
Sullivan jumped offsides, Tigers penalized five yards for illegal procedure. First down and 15 at the 29.
Charles Danzy dive over left tackle for a four-yard gain.
Hannon took a pitch out around right end to the 18 for a seven-yard gain.
Hannon took a pitch out at right end and was hit hard, losing one yard (Williams tackle).
T. Edwards upended at line of scrimmage, but Princeton was offsides. First down at the 14.
T. Edwards to the 13, one-yard gain.
Westover tossed a screen pass to Charles Danzy who went to the one, but Massillon was penalized for clipping. Second down and 19 at the 23.
Hannon threw a pass intended for T. Edwards at the 10, almost intercepted by Turner.
Westover tried to pass, all receivers covered and ran to the 14, a nine-yard gain.
Hannon took a pitch out at right end and fumbled, Princeton recovering.
* * *
Princeton first and 10 at its 15.
Gayles up middle, three-yard gain, as quarter ends. Massillon 8, Princeton 0.
Williams went up the middle and was tackled on his 20 by Balizet and Geiser.
Gayles fumbled on a draw and lost two yards. (Charles Danzy tackle).
Wright’s punt downed on the Princeton 47, a 29-yard punt.
* * *
Massillon first and 10 at Princeton 47.
Westover threw as he was hit and his pass was short for Sullivan.
Westover threw a screen pass to Alex Wood who ran to the 27, a 20-yard gain and a first down.
Hannon went around right end, where he was tackled by Williams on the 14, a first down.
A. Wood went up the middle for a two-yard gain.
Hannon went off left tackle for a five-yard gain.
Hannon went off left tackle for one yard (Fieler tackle).
Fourth and two on the six. T. Edwards tried left end and fumbled. Porter recovered on the six for Princeton.
* * *
Princeton first down on its 6.
Gayles took a pitch at left end, where he was tackled by Danny Gutshall for a two-yard gain.
Gayles went up the middle, tackled by Charles Danzy and Tim Gutshall for a seven-yard gain.
Gayles tried to go off right tackle where he was met by Tim Gutshall, a one-yard gain for a first down at the 16.
Princeton called time out at 5:54.
Borden went over right tackle and was stopped by Balizet for no gain.
Gayles went off left tackle for a five-yard gain. He was tackled by Tim and Dan Gutshall.
Gayles went off right tackle for two-yards and was tackled by Balizet and Green.
Wright’s punt on fourth-and-four was taken by Hannon on a fair catch at Massillon 46, a 31-yard punt.
* * *
Massillon first down at its 46.
Westover’s pass to T. Edwards was incomplete.
A. Wood went up the middle for a five-yard gain.
Hannon went around his right end and fumbled, he recovered for a gain of three yards.
Hannon went off right tackle, for six-yards and a first down on a fourth-down play.
Westover’s pass to Sullivan was incomplete at Princeton 28.
Westover chased left and threw over the middle to Terry Edwards at the 29 and he broke away from two would-be tacklers for a touchdown. Time 1:54. Muhlbach’s kick for the extra point no good after it hit the right upright and bounced off. Massillon 14, Princeton 0.
Muhlbach’s kickoff was taken on the Princeton 16 by Jones who returned 14 yards to the 30. Gayles tried left tackle but had to go up the middle, for a five-yard gain. He was tackled by Perry and Dan Gutshall.
Princeton called time out at 1:07.
Gayles took a pitch off left tackle, for an 11-yard gain and a first down. He was tackled by Tim Gutshall and Bodiford.
Princeton called time out at 1:01.
Charles Danzy broke through and caught Gayles for a seven-yard loss back to the Princeton 41.
Wright’s pass to White was incomplete.
Massillon was penalized 15 yards for defensive pass interference giving Princeton a first down and 10 at Massillon 44.
Wright rushed and his pass to White was incomplete at the Massillon 13. Massillon penalized 15 yards for roughing passer. First down at Massillon 29.
White lined up for a field goal, the ball was spotted at the 37. He kicked the 47-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. Massillon 14, Princeton 3.
Massillon kicked off, defending the north goal. Charles Danzy’s kickoff was taken on the 31 by Williams and returned to the 35 and fumbled. Jones recovered the fumble.
Princeton first down at its 35. Gayles went through the middle for a seven-yard gain and was tackled by Darius Edwards.
Gayles took a handoff up the middle for a one-yard gain and was tackled by Muhlbach, Charles Danzy and Tim Gutshall.
Gayles took a handoff up the right tackle for a two-yard gain and was tackled by Tim Gutshall after picking up a first down at the Princeton 45.
Bash broke through and tackled Jones for a seven-yard loss.
Gayles took a pitch out around right end and ran 55 yards for a touchdown at 9:25. Wright’s placement try for the extra point was blocked by Charles Danzy.
Massillon 14, Princeton 9.
* * *
White’s kickoff bounced around at Massillon 32 and rolled out of bounds. Tigers given possession at their 40 under federation rules.
Massillon was penalized five yards for illegal procedure. First and 15 at the Tigers’ 35.
Hannon went off right tackle for a two-yard gain.
Hannon carried up the middle for a three-yard gain.
Terry Edwards went around.
Westover punted and the ball went off the right side of his foot and sailed into the Massillon bench.
* * *
Princeton first down at its 47.
Jones carried off left tackle for three yards.
Gayles took a pitch out over right tackle for a five-yard gain. Tackle made by Tim Gutshall and Bash.
Gayles almost fumbled the ball as he went around his right end for five yards and first down at the Massillon 43. Charles Danzy knocked him out of bounds.
Bash and Darius Edwards caught Gayles for a two-yard loss.
Gayles carried off right guard for two-yard gain and was tackled by Charles Danzy.
Wright passed complete to Williams for 12-yard gain to the Massillon 30 for a first down.
Jones carried over center for a two-yard gain. Bash made the tackle.
Gayles took a pitch off left guard for a two-yard gain.
Gayles broke over the middle and cut to his left and ran to the Massillon 12 for a 13-yard gain and a first down. Geiser and Green made the tackle.
Gayles took a pitch off right tackle for a six-yard gain. Muhlbach and Bash made the tackle.
Princeton penalized five yards for illegal procedure. Second down and nine at the 11. Princeton called time out at 2:28.
Gayles took a pitch around his left end for a four-yard gain.
Gayles started to his right and cut back over the middle for a two-yard gain. He was stopped by Bash and Tim Gutshall.
Borden tried to go over the middle, but was stopped by Gutshall and Balizet on a fourth down and two situation.
* * *
Massillon first down at its four.
Hannon around right end for a three-yard gain.
Hannon tried to his right end, but had to cut back to the middle and lost a yard when tackled by Harvey.
Westover passed from his end zone. The pass was intended for Alex Wood at the nine, but it was knocked down by Webster.
Westover punted from deep in his end zone and the ball rolled and went out of bounds on the Princeton 49. Massillon 14, Princeton 9.
First down Princeton at its 49.
Gayles went over right tackle for a two-yard gain and was tackled by Dan Gutshall.
Princeton was penalized five yards for illegal procedure. Vikings moved back to their 46 for second down and 13.
Gayles went through the middle for a four-yard gain and was tackled by Balizet and Dan Gutshall.
Wright faked to Gayles and kept around his left end to the Tigers’ 32 where he was stopped by Swann after an 18-yard gain and a first down.
Gayles broke over right tackle for an 11-yard gain and a first down and again Swann stopped him.
Gayles went around left end on a pitch out from Wright for a touchdown. Time 8:01. Wright went off right tackle, faking to Gayles through the center, fumbled in the end zone but had already scored the extra two points. Princeton 17, Massillon 14.
White’s kickoff bounced at the Tigers’ 30 and was picked up at the 23 by Muhlbach. He returned the ball to the 30.
Terry Edwards went around left end for a two-yard gain and was run out of bounds by Borden and Reisenfeld.
Hannon went off left tackle for three yards.
Charles Danzy through the center of line for a five-yard gain and first down at the Massillon 40.
Hannon went around his right end for a two-yard gain.
Westover tried to hit Terry Edwards at the Princeton 45, but the pass was overthrown.
Terry Edwards tried to go left on a double reverse and lost one yard.
Westover’s punt taken on the Princeton 16 by White and returned to the 24 where he was tackled by Charles Danzy.
Princeton first and 10 at its 24 (5:15) left.
Gayles tried to go through the center and fumbled, but Gayles had been ruled stopped, nullifying a recovery by Bash. Gayles gained one yard.
Gayles went off right tackle for two-yard gain.
Gayles went off right tackle.
Gayles went through the middle to the 33 for a six-yard gain, but Princeton was penalized 15 yards back to its 19 for clipping to make it third down and 15.
Gayles went up the middle on a draw for a three-yard gain.
Wright’s punt was taken by Hannon on a fair catch at the Princeton 48 with 2:47 left in the game.
* * *
Massillon first and 10 at Princeton 47.
Westover threw down the left sideline to Sullivan for a 10-yard gain and first down. He was bumped out of bounds by Risenfeld.
Westover fired to the right side for Darius Edwards, but Edwards slipped and the ball went over his head.
Westover dropped back and threw a screen pass to the left for Charles Danzy, but the ball bounced in front of Danzy, leaving a third down and 10.
Hannon took a pitch out from Westover around his right end for an 11-yard gain and a first down with 2:18 left.
Westover dropped back and overthrew Terry Edwards in the end zone with White and Turner defending.
Westover’s pass intended for Columbus Danzy at the nine was intercepted by Turner at the nine and returned to the Princeton 11 with 1:55 left.
Princeton first down at its 11. Massillon called time out with 1:35 left.
Borden went up the middle for a six-yard gain. He was tackled by Bash and Charles Danzy. Massillon called time out with 1:23 remaining.
Borden went through the center for a six-yard gain and a first down at the Princeton 24 where he was tackled by Balizet and Green. Massillon called time out with 1:11 left.
Borden again carried over the middle this time for a three-yard gain. He was tackled by Darius Edwards. Massillon used the last of four allotted time outs with 59 seconds left.
Gayles went around left end for no gain. He was stopped by Balizet and Charles Danzy.
Gayles carried around right end and fumbled but he recovered his own fumble at the Princeton 26 as time expired.
Cincinnati Princeton 17, Massillon 14.
End – McCauley, D. Edwards, Bash, Sullivan.
Tackles – Lee, Geiser, Green.
Guards – Mayles, Guiffre.
Center – Cocklin.
Quarterback – Westover.
Halfbacks – Hannon, T. Edwards.
Fullbacks – Charles Danzy, A. Wood.
Middle Guards – Balizet, G. Wood.
Linebackers – T. Gutshall, Ahlstom.
Defensive Backs – Jackson, Muhlbach, Christie, DiLoreto, Swann.
Ends – White, Williams, Porter, Graham.
Tackles – Turnbow, Webster, Harrison.
Guards – Ulliman, Owens.
Center – Lyman.
Quarterback – Wright.
Halfbacks – Gayles, Jones.
Fullback – Borden.
Middle Guard – Fieler.
Linebackers – Williams, Borden.
Defensive Backs – Reisenfield, Turner, White, Harvey.
MASSILLON 8 6 0 0 14
PRINCETON 0 3 6 8 17
M – Hannon, 64 run (Hannon run);
M – T. Edwards, 29 pass from Westover (kick failed).
P – White, 47-yard field goal;
P – Gayles, 55 run (kick blocked);
P – Gayles, 9 run (Wright run)
First downs 12 14
Yards rushing 203 247
Yards passing 101 28
Total yards gained 304 275
Yards lost 4 28
Net yards gained 300 247
Passes 5-16 3-3
Passes intercepted 0 1
Fumbles (lost) 1(1) 3(1)
Yards penalized 6-70 5-45
Punt average 3-31.3 4-33.2
Pair of injuries tell tale
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor
A probable cracked bone and a broken bone which a couple of Tiger football players received last Saturday at Ohio stadium in Columbus tell more of a story than is really apparent.
The mishaps point out the type of dedication which this Washington high team had – the type of thing which brought Massillon (10-1) a 13th Associated Press state championship as well as the top spot in the other wire poll, a 25th first in the Tigers illustrious career and their sixth All-American conference championship.
Senior strong safety Don Muhlabch may have received a cracked navicular bone on the left wrist – the same type of injury which fullback Alex Wood was saddled with several weeks ago but continued to play with. Muhlbach, according to trainer Bill Meier, was injured on the game’s first play but continued in action for the remainder of the defensive assignment.
* * *
WITH HIS arm in a splint and sling, Muhlbach will be absent for awhile from his basketball guard slot. The Tigers will be in the Ohio Big 8 preview Tuesday night at Alliance high school.
Shortly before the game ended at Ohio stadium in Columbus before 25,000 fans last Saturday, senior tight halfback Terry Edwards, dove for a pass in the end zone, got sandwiched between two defenders, broke his right arm between the elbow and shoulder but stayed in for one more play. His arm is also in a sling.
Terry had injured a right leg and ankle three times in three weeks during the last half of the season, according to Meier, but also gritted his teeth and stayed in there. It was this type of heart which gave Tigertown maybe the guttiest, most dedicated group of players they’ve ever had.
But maybe slugging it out in there week after week finally took its toll. Maybe the pressure was put on the defense once too often by an offense which was to score more than twice only three times in 11 games and just didn’t get enough yardage in the big stadium enough times.
Commings vows to return
“We’ll be back here again next year,” Tiger Coach Bob Coming said outside the dressing room after the game.
And when the Tigers return, they should have that 500th win they were denied plus nine more if the 1973 group continues to play with that famous ‘Tiger Pride.’”
THERE CAN be little doubt that reverse momentum helped Cincinnati Princeton (11-0) greatly last Saturday in beating the Tigers 17-14.
Senior Viking end Rich White (6-5, 200) kicked the first field goal ever of his career – a 47-yarder on the last play of the first half after the Tigers had been stopped earlier in the period on the Princeton six-yard line.
“It you had gotten in there, it would have been a real tragedy,” Princeton Coach Pat Mancuso, who claimed this reporter’s “Beat Princeton” hat for his trophy room, said, “It would have been 21-3 at halftime.”
White had never before attempted a field goal during a game, but had been given three kicks from the 35-yard line each Thursday during practice, according to Mancuso. White thought Mancuso might ask him to try the field goal and figured he would make it if he hit it dead center – which he did.
“The big thing was we got three points on the scoreboard,” Mancuso said. ‘That’s a big thing in high school football. Then we got that quick third quarter TD. We said we could do it and we did.”
Commings concurred that getting the field goal fired up the Vikings.
PRINCETON HAD been behind Cincinnati Moeller 14-8 at halftime in the season opener and had also come back to win.
When reminded that he had beaten the Washington high team with a couple of power pitch plays to a fine tailback, Mike Gayles – the play which Mancuso had called Commings last summer to check on how to run – Mancuso replied, “It worked pretty good didn’t it?”
“He knew how to run it,” Commings agreed.
Howard Converse, Princeton’s defensive coordinator, said he made some adjustments at the point of attack for the second half to hold the Tigers to 47 yards compared to 253 in the first half. Princeton, meanwhile, went from 49 to 198.
He said the Tigers were shutting the Vikings off real good in the defensive pursuit department in the first half. But that Princeton got the right pursuit lengths in the second half.
“We figured if we could come back in the second half it would take the pressure off of us and put it on them,” he said.
HE HAD told safety Neal Turner not to panic after Turner had dropped two interceptions earlier in the game and he intercepted a Westover pass to Edwards at the Princeton 11 with 1:35 left – after Edwards had been hurt – to insure the Vikings would move into Saturday’s title tilt at 7:30 p.m. at Akron’s Rubber Bowl against Warren Western Reserve, also 11-0.
The Raiders beat 8-1-1 Toledo Scott 23-15 with a second half, second game comeback after bringing down a Scott punter deep in his territory in the fourth quarter and scoring for a 16-15 lead.
Converse called Hannon a great runner and Mancuso said Massillon execution is the best he’s seen in a high school team.
“We had our opportunities and didn’t win,” Commings said. “When you’re leading 14-3 at halftime and don’t win it, you don’t deserve to win. They just played better than we did in the second half.”