Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

A Battle Royal at the High School Saturday. 0 – 0 IN FAVOR OF MASSILLON

The Local Team Carried the Ball to the One-Yard Line, but Was held by Opponent Erb Saved the Day A Large Crowd Present

In perhaps the greatest game of high school football Massillon ever saw, the local unconquered aggregation rushed the strong Akron team to the limit of its skill and endurance to save itself from defeat on the high school grounds Saturday afternoon.  After forty-five minutes of terrific contest the game ended with the ball near the middle of the field and with a tally for neither team. Although the final score as it stood was immensely satisfying to the Massillon camp, the fact that the ball was not shoved over the goal from the one yard line is a disappointment no less bitter because it was so near.

It was in the second half that Massillon in five straight line bucks had torn the Akron line to shreds and advanced the ball to the one-yard line.  It was third down and the goal to go.  A hurried consultation was called and a silent signal decided upon.  Without a word the ball was passed to Sonnhalter who waded headlong into Massillon’s right side.  Akron’s defense was massed in a tangled heap behind the play and Massillon was held for downs.  In two downs Akron carried the ball through Massillon’s disorganized defense to the center of the field.  On the third play Massillon, enraged at the turn of affairs, was again on the job with its stonewall defense and smothered the play behind the line before it had started.  At this time Massillon again returned to form, and began to shove Akron back again but nothing was accomplished before the half ended.

Perhaps the most spectacular play of the game was Erb’s fling tackle from the rear, which brought Ross to the ground and saved the game and Massillon’s inviolable goal line.  Ross had broken through Massillon’s line, cleared the backfield and was off like a shot for the goal, fifty yards away, through a clear field.  Massillon’s heart dropped, until Erb gave chase.  The big tackle gained all but ten feet on the Akron back and then left his feet, covering the remaining distance with a long dive, which landed on Ross at the knees.  Aside from this Massillon’s goal was threatened but once and then only at a distance of fifteen yards.

Akron, evidently judging from last year’s score, expected something on the order of a
walk-away.  Mass received on the kickoff and it took about six seconds of smashing, crashing football to disabuse the visitors of this idea.  When Massillon started in on its heavy interference formations and tricks, Akron realized that they were up against it for fair, and acted accordingly.  From this time on it was nip and tuck from start to finish.  Massillon played a slow but terrific offense, which tore through Akron’s line time and again for consistent gains.

Akron played a whirlwind offense, which would have carried a less experienced team off its feet, but Massillon was Johnny on the spot and ready to deliver the goods at all hours of the day and night.  At times Akron gained through Massillon’s line, and once in a great while broke around end, but all in all, Massillon’s defense was invulnerable.  Akron played a wide open defense with ends back, calculated to catch all forward passes, and open playing.  For this reason Massillon was able to hammer the line in great shape.  Aside from straight football Akron had especially two plays which were foolers until Massillon got wise.  One was a backward pass on an end run, and the other a forward to the right half.  The first worked several times and the latter but once.  Massillon soon got next to the first, and followed the second close, but not in time to stop it, the only time it worked successfully.  Although Massillon was outweighed considerably it played by far the heavier game.  Akron played a fast game but were not as quick individually as the Massillon team.

Heyman did Massillon’s punting until he was removed at the end of the first half on account of injuries received two weeks ago.  Blackburn booted the leather thereafter and covered Heyman’s distance but without Fritz’s elusive spiral.  The Akron punter had a good spiral but was out-punted by both of Massillon’s kickers.  Much of Blackburn’s kicking was blocked on account of advancing too near the line before kicking.

Massillon’s team played individually like an aggregation of all stars and collectively like a clock.  Blackburn played everywhere all the time. He punted, carried back punts and tore large gaps in Akron’s line as big as a barn through which he played for gains.  Once after a punt of forty yards he went down the field and dropped the runner in his tracks.  Sonnhalter played his usual plunging game at full and was in for the obituary on all of Akron’s attempted forwards.  The backfield played well together.  Atwater mixed up  the signals well and kept Akron guessing on most of  the plays, beside playing a general all round game otherwise.

Massillon’s line was alive and kicking from the word go.  The three guards, Heyman, McConnell and Zintsmaster, played hard and aggressive ball without a relapse.  Wagner and Erb, at tackles, were towers of strength on either side of the line and at times carried the ball for considerable gains.  Miller, at left end, put up a fast and speedy game at all times, and Ellis, at right end, played a crashing defensive game that was death to interference.

Leahy, at center, backed up the line in great shape and managed to land in the center of every play that was made, often breaking through and blocking one behind the lines.

The line-up and summary:

Massillon —  0                 Pos.               Akron – 0
Miller                                le                 Williams, Sisler
Erb                                    lt                 Baer
Zintsmaster, Heyman         lg                 Saalfield
Leahy                                c                 Walsmith
McConnell                        rg                 Foltz, Doyle
Wagner                             rt                 Crisp
Ellis                                   re                 Zook
Atwater                            qb                Weeks
Wells                                lh                 Zollinger (capt.)
Blackburn                         rh                 Ross
Sonnhalter                         fb                 Criss

Time of halves:  25 and 30 minutes.

Referee and umpire, alternating – Merwin and Ambel.
Head Linesman – Bast.
Timeskeeper – Vogt.