Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo


Unleashing the fourth quarter of an attack that had in it all the fury of the elements that raged over a water-covered gridiron, football warriors of Washington high school last Saturday afternoon carried to victory on Massillon field the orange and black standard of the local school by defeating New Philadelphia high school 6 to 0 in a game that was played under the worst conditions imaginable. The touchdown that brought victory to Coach David B. Stewart’s warriors was made by “Cannonball” Kammer, the Massillon mud horse, after the local team had carried the ball 80 yards through mud and water in an unbroken march.

About 2,000 fans, nearly half of them from New Philadelphia, stood out in a drenching rain for nearly two hours to see that battle and its climax, which came early in the fourth quarter when the orange and black, seemingly possessed with new fighting spirit, began to rip the tough Tuscarawas county eleven to shreds and plow to victory through water that became deeper and deeper as the rain continued steadily to fall and fall. Marred as it was by Nature’s unrelenting attack of rain and wind the game was an intensely interesting affair that might have developed into a highly spectacular battle had it been staged on a dry field with favorable weather conditions.

Football games may have been played in some parts of the country Saturday under worse conditions than the contest here but surely no worse gridiron battle in Massillon’s history was fought out in any worse weather than that contest here Saturday. A drenching downpour that started hours before the battle continued to fall steadily through the entire afternoon, soaking to the skin spectators and players alike. It might truthfully have been called the pneumonia battle for everyone who braved the elements to witness the contest took his or her life in hand and trusted to luck that Sunday morning they would not be frantically calling for a physician.

But even though the rain fell in torrents and was blown across the field in bold, penetrating waves by a stiff gale from the south about 2,000 fans were huddled around the field attired in slickers, gum boots and other apparel calculated to keep out the rain, but for all their preparations none escaped being drenched.
Spectators and players, mud bespattered and water soaked, crawled off the field after the game thankful that at last it was over and made all haste homeward where a hot bath and for those fortunate enough, a nip of something stronger than ginger ale, was called into service to restore circulation in chilled and water soaked bodies.

The weatherman has been most unkind to football teams and fans this fall and any one familiar with the condition of Massillon Field in previous games played there his year need not be told that Saturday it was far from being a parade ground. Soaked by the heavy rain it was soon churned into a quagmire once the game started. Water stood on it in most places several inches deep and to this was added that which fell during the game, the rain at times sweeping over the field in torrents, the drops stinging one’s face as they were driven onward before a sweeping wind.

For three quarters the water soaked gridiron enemies battled and tussled through the muddy lake in a vain but valiant effort to score. With the weather against them they seemed to be waging a losing fight and when the fourth period opened the best that any one looked for was a scoreless draw. In fact it seemed almost without the range of human endeavor for either team to gather any points except through the luckiest of breaks.
But, the fourth quarter had hardly got under way when the rain soaked fans were brought to life as the orange and black, gaining possession of the ball on its own 20-yard line began charging through the mud, ever driving before them a fighting but fast tiring New Philadelphia opponent, until a few minutes later they crashed over the visitors’ goal line for the only touchdown of the game, winning from an enemy that was game to the last ditch but was not able to stand up under the battering and adverse weather conditions as well as its Massillon rivals.

If water soaked reportorial notes and an over taxed memory can be taken as accurate the fourth quarter opened with New Philadelphia in possession of the ball inside Massillon’s 25-yard line. The visitors, held in check, decided to try for a field goal in a desperate effort to score. But the water soaked ball refused to go more than 10 feet off the ground and rolled over the goal line. Captain Vince Define, Massillon safety man, wisely let it roll, thus bringing it out to the 20-yard mark.

Then on the very next play Kammer tucked the oval under his arm and steamed around New Philadelphia’s right end and down the field, finally being stopped with a splash after a 25-yard cruise, the longest gain of the game. That marked the opening of Massillon’s victory march. Thirteen plays later Kammer smashed through the line and tugged the ball over New Philadelphia’s goal line by inches for the score, completing the 80 yard unbroken march during which the orange and black made six straight first downs, more than both teams combined had made in the first three quarters.

After Kammer’s 25-yard dash Define plowed through right tackle for 12 yards. Kammer next tested the stout New Philadelphia line and shoved it back three yards. Brown called for a pass but McConnell missed his toss but the orange and black came back and executed as pretty a triple pass as has been seen all season for a gain of 15 yards. Brown took the ball, passed to Kammer who in turn passed to Storrie and the Massillon end sailed around the visitors’ left wing for 15 yards, putting the ball on the 35-yard mark before being sunk.

Kammer once more cut loose and drove off left tackle for 10 yards, this gain being followed by a double pass, Brown to Define, with Define skirting left end for 12 more. By this time the ball was on New Philadelphia’s 13 yard line. Kammer smashed through right tackle for three and then dented left tackle for four. Define made one at the line. Then Kammer made it a first down, taking the ball to the four-yard line. Here New Philadelphia braced but Kammer shot over the goal line on the next play only to be called back when both teams were offside. On the next attempt Kammer toted the ball to the one foot line and then mashed his way over for the score. The attempt to kick goal failed.
By that final desperate drive Massillon came off the field holding a decided edge over the visitors in ground gained although outplayed up to the start of the final period. Massillon made nine first downs to two for New Philadelphia. Coach Stewart’s boys tried seven forward passes, working one and having one intercepted. New Philadelphia attempted nine, none of which were completed and one being intercepted by Massillon.
To the punting ability of Glenn Smith, more than anything else, must go the credit for keeping New Philadelphia in the game. Massillon thinks it has a great little kicker in Paul Smith and it does, but few ever saw a better exhibition of punting under such conditions as existed Saturday, than that given by the New Philadelphia Smith. He clearly out kicked Smith and Define, who did Massillon’s booting, gaining from 20 to 30 yards on every exchange of punts, many of which he got away after taking bad passes from the center, and it was this remarkable exhibition of kicking that made New Philadelphia a dangerous contender during the first three quarters and kept the ball most of the time in Massillon territory.

During the entire first half, play was almost entirely in Massillon territory. New Philadelphia made one first down in the second quarter. Massillon did not make a first down until the start of the third quarter when it ripped off two in quick succession but its spurt was soon checked. Because of the rain and mud it was extremely hard to handle the ball and fumbles occurred frequently but none of them gave either team a chance to get in a position to score.

On such a day as Saturday when one would expect the breaks to be the deciding issue in settling the combat it was rather remarkable that the only points scored should come through the medium of hard driving football, the kind that Massillon put on tap in the fourth quarter.

But Massillon’s victory was almost snatched out of its grasp in the closing minutes by a rather poor play. An attempted forward pass with the ball being thrown to the backfield that had been sent far out on the end nearly spilled the beans. It gave Jenkins, a
red-headed New Philadelphia end, sent into the game in the last period, a chance to distinguish himself and nearly break away for a touchdown. He flashed through the mud to intercept Brown’s pass and carried the ball from his own 25-yard line back to midfield before being tackled by Kelly. Massillon fans breathed easier when they finally saw Jenkins flopped in the mud still many yards from Massillon’s goal line.
What A Game!
Massillon – 6 Pos. New Philadelphia – 0
Gump LE G. Smith
N. Harris LT Melsey
Tipton LG Haney
Fricker C Gardner
Washlick RG Douglas
Dommer RT Gilgen
Agler RE Cale
P. Smith QB Enold
Kammer LHB Ladrich
Define RHB Winspear
Laughlin FB Maloney

Score by quarters:
Massillon 0 0 0 6 6

Massillon – Price for Fricker, McConnell for Laughlin, Kelly for N. Harris, Brown for McConnell, Storrie for Gump, Thomas for Agler, W. Harris for Tipton, Singer for Dommer, Crone for Washlick, McConnell for Smith, Spencer for Singer, Laughlin for Kammer, Gump for Storrie, Spuhler for McConnell, Williams for Define, N. Harris for Spencer, Fricker for Price.

New Philadelphia – Lafferty for Malone, Jenkins for G. Smith, Mathias for Cale.

Touchdown – Kammer.

Referee – Maurer, Wooster.
Umpire – Bletzer, Mt. Union.
Head Linesman – Shafer, Akron.

Time of quarters – 13 1/3 minutes.

Paul Brown