Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Record Turnout Sees Akron South Win Big Grid Tussle

Outsmarted and outplayed from start to finish by an opponent that had speed to burn and was exceedingly wise in gridiron strategy, the orange and black football team of Washington high school last Saturday afternoon ran into its first defeat of the campaign when it was vanquished 7 to 0 by the powerful and undefeated South high eleven of Akron. The contest was played on Massillon field which had been turned into a veritable sea of mud and water by recent rains. The contest attracted a crowd of at least 6,000, the attendance being nearly on an equal with that of the annual battles between Massillon and Canton.

Only because of the fighting spirit of Coach David B. Stewart’s warriors was an even worse defeat averted. Had the local lads been less courageous Akron South probably would have won by a much bigger margin for practically all of the battle was waged in Massillon territory and twice the local warriors came through with game exhibitions of skill, holding the invading rubber city gridders on their one-yard line when it was fourth down and goal to gain.

Two great scholastic football machines tangled in that muddy encounter Saturday and the best team came off the field victorious. South clearly outplayed Massillon from start to finish, making 14 first downs to three for Massillon. It presented a well drilled, smart football machine and its speed was not hampered a bit apparently by the ankle deep mud for the Akronites out-charged the Massillon forwards and plowed their way through the orange and black line of defense with the ease which water goes through sieve.
It was a big disappointment to the local team and its followers that it should be conquered by Akron South but the defeat was not a disgraceful one. Coach Stewart’s warriors have the satisfaction of knowing that they went down to their first reverse fighting gamely to the last ditch and the defeat, coming after the sensational victory of a week ago over Erie Academy high, should be beneficial. If nothing else it should serve to spur on the Massillonians to greater efforts in their remaining games on the schedule.

What would have been the outcome of the game had it been played on a dry field is a matter of conjecture. But from the style of game Akron South played Saturday it probably would have defeated the local team by a far greater margin. Coach Smiley Weltner of Akron South had his charges well pointed for the Massillon fray. He wanted to win and so did his boys and atone for the defeat Massillon handed South a year ago. South would have been a mighty hard team for Massillon to stop last Saturday under any circumstances and therefore to them must go credit for winning a splendid football victory through the medium of playing a better brand of the autumnal sport than their adversaries.

A well executed triple pass brought victory to South, resulting in the only touchdown of the game after a gain of 31 yards. South used this triple pass but once, but once was enough to spell defeat for the orange and black. The play came in the second quarter just a few minutes after the local team had made its first gallant stand in defense of its goal line, holding the visitors on the one-yard line.
Massillon’s vaunted offense was stopped in its tracks by the fast charging South forwards. The orange and black could not gain on line plays, end runs or through the air. The South gridders scrambled over the sloppy field like ants and were everywhere, busting through the Massillon line continually and stopping Massillon’s backs before they got started.

On offense South was well drilled, it was good on the running game, line smashes and forward passes. It had excellent interference and in Hench, Kroah and Arnette had a trio of backs that were versatile to say the least. They could run or plunge as the occasion demanded. Aultman at quarter was the brains of the visiting machine and a steady little field general he was. He was continually outsmarting Massillon; pulling a line play when an end run was expected or heaving a pass when some other form of attack was looked for.

But one of the biggest stars on the Akron team was right end, K. Sweet, a tow-headed lad, who was a bear on defense and a shining light on offense. South’s forward passes generally traveled from one side of the line across to the other side and it was generally Sweet’s job to get from his end, through the squirming mass of players to the opposite side to take Aultman’s passes and he generally did, getting away with one for a 42-yard gain, only being stopped from scoring a touchdown by Smith.
Because of the fact that it was up against a superior team and was taking a drubbing, Massillon’s team as a whole did not show up very well Saturday. Nothing like it did in the first three starts when victory perched on the shoulders of the local warriors but there was one lad in the Massillon lineup Saturday who came out of the tussle just a short time before it ended covered with mud and glory. That was Leo Kelly, right guard. Had every man on the Massillon line played in the same smashing manner that Kelly did a different story might be told.

He was easily Massillon’s hero. He outshone all of his teammates, towering head and shoulders above them by his brilliant defensive work. But the terrific game Kelly played began to tell on him in the fourth quarter and Coach Stewart finally relieved him. He same plodding off the field nearly exhausted and fell in a heap in front of the Massillon bench but he had acquitted himself nobly, played so splendidly in fact that Akron South’s players congratulated him for his work.

Coach Weltner had his men well trained to stop Kammer, Define and the other Massillon backfield stars. South played such a rushing game that it was on the Massillon backs before they could lift their feet out of the mire. The orange and black never launched one serious threat to score in the entire game, seldom being able to get the ball in Akron territory. Massillon never was within South’s 30-yard line and play in the fourth quarter was almost continually inside Massillon’s 30-yard line with the local team being called upon to batter down and turn back repeated onslaughts of the Akron team.

South complete six out of 12 passes for a total gain of 103 yards. Four of its passes failed and Massillon intercepted two. The local team worked three passes for 27 yards, failing in three others and having Akron intercept three.

South began to show its power late in the first quarter when Aultman heaved a pass to K. Sweet for a 20-yard gain. Then Aultman came back with a heave to Arnette for 12 yards and the ball was on Massillon’s 20. Steady hammering at the line brought a first down and carried the oval to the eight-yard line. Three plays had been run off when the quarter ended and South had lugged the oval to the one-yard line with goal to gain on the first play in the second quarter. The orange and black was fighting desperately to stem the Akron tide.

Then as the second quarter opened the local team gave its first great exhibition of gameness by stopping Akron on its one-yard line. Hench carried the ball on a line smash. He hit the line with all his power but gained nary an inch. Smith immediately punted out of danger, the little Massillon kicker giving a good exhibition of punting on a muddy field.
But South was not to be denied. Getting the ball on Massillon’s 31-yard line Aultman began to open up. His first attempt to K. Sweet failed. Then he gave the signal for the triple pass, evidently worked out especially for the Massillon game. Snap, snap went the ball as it passed from the center to Aultman and then to Hench. Hench started out as if he was about to dash around Massillon’s right end. But instead he stopped, wheeled and heaved the ball over the tussling warriors into the waiting arms of Aultman who had dashed down the right side of the field. There was no one between Aultman and the Massillon goal except Captain Vince Define. The Massillon leader nailed Aultman as he reached the line and brought him to earth but the Akron quarterback was over and the game won for Akron.

Between halves both teams shed themselves of as much excess mud soaked rainment as possible. The Massillon backs came out attired in rubber pants while Coach Weltner had all his players remove their stockings, playing in bare legs. Both coaches wanted speed and the only way to get it was to lighten the equipment the players were carrying.

It was late in the third quarter that South made its next threat to score a touchdown. Play had been mostly in midfield until South secured the ball in the middle of the field on a punt. Then once again Aultman opened his aerial attack and heaved a pass to K. Sweet who snatched the water-soaked ball out of the air and ran 42 yards before being dropped on Massillon’s seven-yard line by Smith.

Massillon was then called upon to give another exhibition of gameness as Akron began to hammer away at the line in an effort to drive through for a touchdown. Three plays took the ball up to the one-yard line as the quarter ended. Massillon was giving up ground but not without a terrific battle.

On the first play in the fourth quarter Akron started another line play but the ball slipped out of Hench’s fingers and Dommer shot though and pounced on it on the five-yard line, averting a touchdown. Then came a punt and an intercepted pass by Smith to give Massillon the ball to midfield. Here the orange and black in a last desperate effort to score opened up with passes but after making a first down Kammer fumbled on of Brown’s passes long enough to let K. Sweet intercept. McCoy then slipped around end for 20. A bad break for Massillon came a moment later when Define fumbled Aultman’s punt on his 10-yard line, Akron covering. But once again Massillon was able to stave off the visitors and after four plays had failed Massillon got the ball on its eight-yard line. The rest of the battle was fought out inside Massillon’s 40-yard line with Akron making a drive toward the local goal in the closing minutes when Arnette and Hench in two plays carried the ball from midfield to Massillon’s 10-yard line. But South was stopped on the three-yard line as the game ended.
Every available inch of seating space and all the standing room around Massillon Field was filled Saturday with spectators. Akron said it was going to send at least 1,000 to the game and from all appearances it did. The Akron South high band was on hand. The visiting rooters had a section on the east side of the field. The contest attracted one of the largest crowds in the history of scholastic athletics.
Nothing can be said for the condition of the field. It was a mass of mud and water which was soon churned into a sloppy mess after the first few plays. The contesting warriors were hardly distinguishable after the first few downs.
Massillon Field is not equipped with any underground drainage on the playing sector but it has a good base of gravel and sand which affords good drainage. The water which collected on the top of the field was surface water and probably would not have been carried away by underground tile. The surface was soft and slippery but the base was firm and the players did not sink very deep.
Sad But True
Massillon – 0 Pos. Akron South – 7
Gump LE Hirsman
N. Harris LT Douglas
Crone LG Stahl
Price C Meidert
Kelly RG Ports
W. Harris RT N. Sweet
Thomas RE K. Sweet
Smith QB Aultman
Kammer LHB M. Kroah
Laughlin RHB Arnette
Halpin FB Hench

Score by quarters:
Akron South 0 7 0 0 7

Massillon – Define for Halpin, McConnell for Laughlin, Storrie for N. Harris, Brown for Smith, Smith for Define, Halpin for McConnell, Dommer for Crone, Storrie for Gump, Define for Halpin, Agler for Storrie, Storrie for Dommer, McConnell for Smith.

Akron – Sirela for H. Sweet, Popeka for Stahl, McCoy for M, Kroah.

Touchdown – Aultman.

Points after touchdown – Aultman.

Referee – Shafer, Akron.
Umpire – Kester, Mount Union.
Head Linesman – Bast, Massillon.

Time of quarters – 15 minutes.

Paul Browne