Harmon paces Tigers over Alliance
Scores 3 touchdowns picks up 140 yards
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor
Chuck Shuff unleashed the behemoth and “Grendal” did his job well Friday night behind some outstanding blocking – especially in the interior line – to lead the Tigers to a 39-12 victory over the Alliance Aviators.
Junior fullback Bill Harmon (6-2, 237) picked up 140 yards in 13 carries for a 10.8 average, scored three touchdowns and also contributed some fine blocking to pace the Orange and Black to their fifth victory in nine outings. Alliance lost its eighth straight contest after losing its opener.
THE GAME was an All-American Conference affair with the Tigers’ record jumping to
2-2 and the Aviators’ state falling to 0-4.
Another pleasing aspect to the game was that Tiger quarterback Greg Wood hit on six of nine pass attempts for three touchdowns, one to tailback Mark Streeter and two to split end Eddie Bell. The Tigers added 102 air yards to go with 349 net rushing yards for a 451 total.
Alliance, out-manned but sticking in there all the way, scored twice via the airwaves – once with the Tigers’ second defensive unit in with 51 seconds left in the game – and added 177 yards overhead (eight for 14) to 143 net on the ground for a 326 total.
The Aviators got their hands on the ball nine more times than the Tigers did. The Orange and Black scored two quick touchdowns after a pass interception and a fumble.
“I thought our blocking was great end to end,” Shuff, the Tigers’ head coach said. “Bill really bulled up in there with his runs and our passing game was the most effective it has been this season.”
HARMON WHO picked up his nickname “Grendal” from his teammates who figure he resembles the monster of the Beowulf epic, commented, “For the first time tonight I saw my blockers in the secondary. I had been running outside a lot before.”
Harmon scored all three of his touchdowns in the first half and picked up 85 of his rushing yards prior to the intermission. He capped an 85-yard first quarter drive, on which he carried five times for 34 yards, with a three-yard blast off guard.
Streeter’s 42-yard option run to the Alliance 19 set up the score and Harmon took three plays to finish the job. Bill threw a big block to get “Streets” around the end, Streeter picked up 82 yards in five carries for a 16.4 average on the night.
Keith Herring recovered a second quarter fumble on the Alliance 32 and took off over guard on the next play for the score.
Chris Rich knocked a ball loose later in the period and Jeff Lab pinned it to the ground on the Alliance nine. Harmon ran the next two plays and bulled over the middle from the three for the score. Tailback Tommy Grizzard ran the conversion over tackle.
HARMON RAN the ball on the Tigers’ first three plays in the second half and Shuff decided “The Big Bear: had had enough. He picked up 23, 27 and five yards and got the Tigers off on a 92-yard TD drive.
Four plays later Wood sprinted right from the 11 and hit Bell who made a nice catch in the corner. Dave Dowd kicked the only other conversion scored and the Tigers’ scoring was finished.
Shuff started putting the reserves in with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
Bell’s other score came in the second quarter after he had intercepted a pass on the Alliance 45. Wood hit Eddie on the 22 on the next play and Bell carried it in.
The Tigers drove 59 yards for a second quarter score after Mark Pifer’s 20-yard runback Grizzard added 14 and 10-yard drives and then Wood, passing from the 11, found Streeter on the three and Mark leaped over a man into the end zone for the score. Mark ran from the swingback slot.
“I THOUGHT our receivers ran good patterns tonight and the protection was good, “Wood said.
The Tigers came close to a score at the beginning of the second quarter, but a fumble and a holding penalty intervened and Tim Gutshall’s 34-yard interception return was wasted.
After the Tigers’ fourth touchdown, Alliance moved the ball 78 yards for a score, following sophomore Dick Scott’s 15-yard punt return. The TD was set up by Scott Distefano’s 33-yard pass to senior end Joe Gaffney and his 21-yard pass to sophomore end Brad Jae.
Distefano went overhead again for the score, from the five, with junior end Brad Seifke making the catch. Streeter hit Distefano, causing his conversion pass attempt to Gaffney to miss its mark.
Gaffney also scored the Aviators’ final TD on 59-yard pass-run to Gaffney who gathered in the ball on the Tigers’ 40 and galloped the rest of the way.
“OUR BOYS” didn’t give up tonight and they haven’t given up all season,” Alliance head coach Don Graham said. “I was proud of the way Tremoulis came in in the second half to run the club after Distefano had suffered a head injury.”
It was later found that Distefano, the AAC’s leading passer, has a slight concussion.
The stage is now set for the big one next Saturday afternoon at Tiger Stadium when the powerful Canton McKinley Bulldogs come in for the traditional season ender. The Pups knocked off the Tigers in the 1973 finale, keeping them out of the playoffs. The Tigers hope to repay the compliment this year.
MASSILLON – 39
Ends – Lemon, Bell, Gutshall, Bammerlin.
Tackles – Rich, Nagle, Matie, Lauber, Drobney, Rich, Goff, Glick, Rambaud.
Guards – Christoff, Schumacher, Parrish, Lightfoot, Dowd, White, Snell, Wilson.
Centers – Studer, Mitcheal.
Quarterbacks – Wood, Keller.
Halfbacks – Streeter, Grizzard, Pifer, K. Harmon, Herring, Hughley, Simpson, Dorsey, Stewart, Arner.
Fullbacks – B. Harmon, Lab, Waldrop, Martin
First downs – rushing 14 7
First downs – passing 4 6
First downs – penalties 1 0
Total first downs 19 13
Yards gained rushing 361 166
Yards lost rushing 12 23
Net yds. gained rushing 349 143
Net yds. gained passing 102 177
Total yards gained 451 320
Passes completed 6-9 8-14
Passes intercepted by 2 0
Yardage on passes intercepted 34 0
Kickoff average (yards) 7-50.4 3-38.7
Kickoff returns (yards) 34 98
Punt average (yards) 4-38.8 3-38.3
Punt returns (yards) 9 40
Lost fumbled ball] 0 2-2
Yards penalized 4-50 1-5
Touchdowns rushing 3 0
Touchdown passing 3 2
Total number of plays 46 55
Possession time 20:21 27:39