Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo


A gallant-little band of grid warriors of Washington high school withstood the thrusts of a powerful Akron East team, and earned a well deserved 6 to 6 tie in a rather slow game on Sieberling Field, Akron, Saturday afternoon.

Outplayed in the first half and trailing 6 to 0, the youthful Tigers lashed back with a determined attack in the third quarter, and swept the surprised Akron gridders off their feet until they reached the 10-yard zone where the rubber city crew rallied sufficiently to turn back the onslaught of the Massillon backs led by Captain Laughlin.

But the local gridders undaunted by their failure to cross the goal line, made two more attempts to tie the score, pushing the ball across on the final opportunity just as the gun ended the period.

It was a rejuvenated Massillon team that entered that second half. Battered badly during the latter part of the first and most of the second quarter, and outscored four to one on first downs, Captain Laughlin led his warriors into a terrific attack that not only tied the score but piled up a total of eight first downs to Akron’s two for the third and fourth periods of play. Reading the running story of the game as it was taken down, play by play, it is easily seen that Massillon outplayed Akron more decisively in the last half than the rubber city crew did the locals in the first and second periods.

Akron was making a final attempt to win the game when the gun cracked, ending the contest on the 16-yard line, the ball being placed in that position through a 20-yard pass, the only one completed during the day, and several line plunges. It was third down and nine to go when the referee’s signal sounded. Those two first downs were the only ones East could make in the last half of the battle. The orange and black had the ball practically all the time during the third period, and the greater part of the fourth and it was not until the last few minutes in the final quarter that East could again get its offense working.

Keeney, Akron’s four-year quarterback, and Earl Foster, Washington high halfback, made the only sensational runs of the day. Kenney’s was good for a touchdown and the stocky signal barker stepped 28 yards behind perfect interference for his team’s only points. Foster’s run came at the end of the second period and was the only flash of offense the local team showed during the entire first half. The small halfback, on a quarterback sneak, stepped 20 yards through the secondary defense, placing the ball in the middle of the field just as the half ended. That run undoubtedly put confidence in the Massillon crew for the determined drive in the following quarters. At least it proved that the Akron defense was not impregnable, and could be battered down with a little more exertion.

Although the game was slow, with few exciting moments, it was well played considering it was the opener of the season for both teams. There were few injuries and few penalties and this hustled it through in “jig” time.

Massillon’s touchdown was helped considerably by a penalty, Captain “Squirt” Kenney of East being guilty of dirty playing in a critical moment of the battle when he came in with a hit on Paul Briggs after the latter had already been downed and the referee’s whistle sounded. When Kenney resorted to these tactics to stop the threatening Massillon score, the orange and black had the ball on the 10-yard line. The result was that the locals were given the ball within the one-yard of the East goal, Briggs taking it across on the second play. However the orange and black might have pushed the ball across without the assistance of the penalty for the offensive machine was working smoothly when Kenney used his feet too freely.

Both teams were evenly matched. If there was an edge, Massillon had it in view of the fact that it made nine first downs to East’s six, which alone shows a better offense and defense.

The number of first downs were held low because of the strong defensive playing of both teams and because both teams, with few exceptions, resorted to nothing but straight football. Only three passes were tried, one by Massillon and two by East. The local school’s only attempt was a wild heave that was grounded while East completed both of its throws. One was good for 20 yards and the other for three, but the latter was not counted in the game since Massillon was offside on the play and was penalized five yards.

As expected, Reese Price, veteran tackle, left the game in the second quarter with his “pet” leg injured again. It looks as though he will be of little value to Coach Atkinson this year. Anthony took his place and played a good game until put out towards the close of the battle for roughing it.

In weight, the teams were nearly matched. From tackle to tackle, Akron was heavier but its ends did not possess as much weight as the Massillon wingmen. The backfields probably weighed about the same.

Coach Atkinson’s team looks good and should develop into a smooth running machine by the end of the season. However, the attack Saturday did not appear varied enough and Briggs called but once for a forward pass, while few end runs were attempted.

Foster held his own with Keeney in punting, his kicks, averaging about 35 yards. However, unless Earl can put more yardage on his boots, the local team will be handicapped no little when it bumps up against a punter who can boot the ball 50 yards.

Foster does not claim to be a champion kicker, but he is the best man Atkinson has in the backfield for booting the ball and he at least gets this kicks away in time not to be blocked.

The local team made a fine appearance as it trotted down the field in new uniforms of orange with a large black “M” on the front. The jerseys have leather elbow guards and are very attractive.

Probably one of the biggest surprises of the afternoon was the large crowd that turned out from Massillon. With schools not yet in session and the general high school “pepper” not revived, few expected to see so many Washington high students and older fans in the bleachers. They made themselves plainly heard, the 1,500 who were there, when the second half offensive got underway. Akron also had a large delegation at the game.

It was Akron’s greatest wish to win the game Saturday and do what no other school has been able to do in recent years, beat Massillon high in two consecutive seasons. The rubber city crew won the opening game 6 to 0 here in 1926 and was out to make it two in a row Saturday but the close of the game found the local school still holding its record.

True, Youngstown South claims two consecutive victories over Massillon but the second was a tainted one and was secured only through a forfeit when former Coach David B. Stewart took his team off the field after he saw it was impossible to win the game with the partial officiating.

Here’s the way the opening game was played:
Dommer kicked off to Keeney who was downed on the 30-yard line. Averitt made two yards and Keeney three more. Pokorosky lost the ball on a wild pass from center but recovered for a 15-yard loss. Keeney punted to Briggs who was downed on his own 35-yard line. Dommer waded through for four and made two more on his next attempt. Briggs added another yard and Foster then punted to the Akron 30-yard line. Averitt made eight yards on two plunges while Pokorosky made it first down on the 38-yard line.

Averitt carried the ball twice again making five yards. Keeney then punted to the Massillon 35-yard line. Laughlin made two and Briggs one, but Foster attempting to punt, fumbled the ball and recovered on his own 30-yard line. He then punted on the next play to Pokorosky who returned from the 40-yard line to midfield.

Three plays netted a first down as the quarter ended.
East was given possession of the ball on the Massillon 28-yard line. Pokorosky failed to gain, but on the next play, Kenney stepped through right tackle behind perfect interference for his team’s touchdown which later proved to be its only points. He missed his attempted dropkick, the ball going wide of the bar.

Kenney kicked off to Briggs on the Massillon 25-yard line, Briggs returning to the 32-yard line. Laughlin failed to gain after which Foster punted to Akron’s 40-yard line. Price was hurt on the play and Anthony took his place. Averitt made three yards, but time was taken out when it was found he was injured on the play. He continued, however, and went through for eight yards and a first down on the next play. Morgan made three and Keeney and Averitt each two yards. With fourth down and three to go Keeney punted to Foster on the five-yard line. Foster immediately punted back to his own 45-yard line. Keeney returning 10 yards, but East was penalized 15 yards on the play placing the ball on its own 45-yard line. Keeney ripped around left end for 15 yards. Averitt made a yard while Pokorosky was held without gain. Pokorosky then passed three yards to Averitt but the play was called back when it was found that a Massillon player was offside. Keeney then punted to Laughlin on the 10-yard line. Briggs punted 20 yards, the ball rolling out on his own 30-yard line. Keeney made three yards and Pokorosky five, but Keeney was tossed for a three yard loss on the next play by Anthony. He then punted over the goal line. The orange and black was given the ball on its own 20-yard line. Laughlin got a bad pass from center and lost 10 yards. Foster punted to the 45-yard line; Polorosky fumbling, but recovering. Keeney made a yard and then punted to Briggs on his own 27-yard line. Foster then showed the only flash of offense for Massillon in this half by carrying the ball to midfield on a sneak play. Dommer failed to gain as the half ended.
Keeney kicked off to Briggs on the 30-yard line, Briggs returned to the 40-yard line. Laughlin drove through for 11 yards placing the ball in midfield. He carried the ball a second time for nine yards and then smashed through for 11 yards and another first down on the 30-yard line. Briggs made three yards and Laughlin made it first down on the 20-yard line. Briggs made four and Laughlin two more, but with the ball on the 14-yard line. East held Foster for no gain and Briggs’ pass was grounded. East took the ball on downs, Keeney immediately punting back to his own 38-yard line. Foster returning to the 30-yard mark. Laughlin made four yards and Briggs two. In two more attempts Laughlin made nine yards and a first down on East’s 16-yard line. Briggs made a yard and Laughlin five more, but the Massillon gridder fumbled on the play, Shanabrook recovering on the 11-yard line Briggs and Laughlin failed to gain in two cracks at the line, East getting the ball on its own 11-yard line. Anthony tossed Keeney for a four-yard loss. Averitt was held without a gain. Keeney then punted to Briggs on the 27-yard line, Briggs returning the ball to the 21-yard line. Briggs made three yards and six more on the next play. Laughlin bucked the ball over for a first down on the 11-yard line. Briggs made a yard and Keeney jumped feet first on the pile of players, drawing a penalty for his action. The referee gave Massillon the ball on the Akron one-yard line. Laughlin failed to gain, but on the next play made a hole for Briggs who scored the touchdown just as the quarter ended. Foster failed in attempted dropkick.
East kicked off to Briggs who received the ball on his 20-yard line carrying it back three yards. Laughlin made a yard but Briggs slipped through for seven more. He then made a first down on the next play on the 33-yard line. Laughlin bucked…..SOME COPY MISSING ….yard line the orange and black elected to punt and Foster booted the ball to Keeney on the latter’s 40-yard line. Averitt made seven yards on two plays and Pokorosky lost two. Keeney then booted the ball to Massillon’s 20-yard line. Dommer made four while Briggs added two more. Briggs lost three on the next play. Foster punted to Pokorosky on the 43-yard line. Pokorosky failed to gain. Keeney then dropped back and passed 20 yards to Pokorosky who was dropped on the orange and black’s 23-yard line. Anthony was put out for roughing it, Garland taking his place. Keeney slipped through for six yards and Averitt made five more for a first down on the 12-yard line. Potts went in for Garland. Keeney made three yards but the play was called back and East penalized five yards for offside. Keeney then made two yards on an end run as the game ended.
A Good Start
Massillon – 6 Pos. Akron East – 6
Straughn LE Fela
Fox LT Bell
Henderson LG Gilbert
Evans C Sheppard
Mauger RG Walker
Price RT Growdon
Schnierle RE Kinney
Briggs QB Keeney
Foster LHB Pokorosky
Laughlin RHB Averitt
Dommer FB Morgan

Score by periods:
Massillon 0 0 6 0 6
Akron East 0 6 0 0 6

Massillon – Anthony for Price, Shanabrook for Schnierle, Garland for Anthony, Potts for Evans, Evans for Garland.

Touchdowns – Keeney, Briggs.

Referee – Michaels (Goodyear).
Umpire – Kester (Mt. Union).
Head Linesman – Thomas (Penn U.)

Time of periods – 12 minutes.

Earl Straughn