AKRON EAST SCORES SAFETY TO BEAT WASHINGTON HIGH 2-0 IN OPENING GAME
CONSECUTIVE BREAKS COSTLY; OFFENSE OF LOCAL TEAM IS WEAK
Safety brings its rewards. It saves lives, and property and—it wins football games.
By the score of 2 to 0 did the orange and black tigers of Washington high school fall before East high of Akron at Massillon Saturday afternoon in the opening game of the gridiron season, and those two points were the only ones scored during the entire 48 minutes of play.
Safely and safety, with a few other words linked between, tell the story in short order. The Akron punter kicked the ball safely out of danger to the Massillon safety man who failed to play it safely and was tackled behind his own goal line for a safety.
It all happened so quickly that even the Akron East fans in their surprise did not applaud the scoring of two points that won the football game for their team. Neither did the followers of the orange and black feel downcast for few thought that two points would decide the football game. But as some one rightfully said on the bench between halves, “two points are pretty handy things to have,” and they were extremely valuable Saturday.
A warm September sun, a crowd of 2,000 or more, two bands, and a “peppy” student body, made a colorful setting for the game. The rooting section sensing the handicap under which the team was playing, with two veterans on the bench through injuries, kept up a lively din during the afternoon and went down cheering as the team went down fighting.
An old, old story was retold in East’s victory only it was lengthened somewhat Saturday afternoon. Instead of a break it was a couple of breaks that decided the game. True the breaks were evenly divided between the two teams, but the rubber city gridders were fortunate enough to get two breaks in a row and that produced their victory. The first break, a recovered fumble, gave East the ball. While the second, a muff by Schnierle, and a little thoughtless playing when, in an effort to return the punt he stepped and was tackled behind his goal line, gave Akron its two points.
One wouldn’t be fair if he didn’t say that Akron deserved to win, but one also wouldn’t be doing justice to the strong defense of the local gridders if he didn’t add—but by no more than two points.
The score just about revealed the relative merits of the two teams. East made three first downs to the youthful tigers’ one, one coming as a result of a forward pass. Akron ball carriers found it impossible to gain ground as did the Massillon gridders. Neither team failed to register two consecutive first downs. These two statements tell what a defensive battle was staged on Massillon Field Saturday afternoon. But it speaks better for Massillon than it does for East for Akron had a veteran backfield while Massillon’s was green.
Three of the backfield men on the Akron team were veterans of last year, and Pokorosky, the captain, is looked upon as the best ball carrier in all six of Akron’s high schools. Thus the Summit county school was considered as having a great offensive team. The quartette looked worthy of the reputation when it lined up and ran off plays rapidly, but the fast charging Massillon line broke up the plays before the ball carrier could get underway and that took the punch out of the Akron offense. Even the highly touted Pokorosky found out at the close of the game that he had lost more yards than he had gained during the afternoon.
With Coach Elmer McGrew’s defense looking the strongest the school has had in three years, encouragement is given to the hope that this year’s football team will become a winner as the season progresses.
The offense, hampered by inexperience and stage fright, should function better as the season advances. Where East had three veterans of last year in the backfield, Coach McGrew did not have a regular backfield man in the game. Schnierle, a letterman, alternated at end and halfback last year, while George Hess was a substitute in 1926. Houriet, was on the squad last fall but only played a few minutes. Kester and Don Hess, the other youths used Saturday are sophomores and last year played at Longfellow and Lorin Andrews junior high schools respectively. With additional experience the backfield should develop on a par with the defense.
If there was an individual star in the game it was Buttermore who played a combination tackle, guard and end position on the left side of the line. Buttermore repeatedly dived over the line of scrimmage and picked off the runner for a loss of several yards. His 200 pounds could be found anywhere on the ground, under, or near most every play.
The fact that the game was a defensive battle wiped away most of the thrills usually accorded an evenly fought gridiron game, but other features during the day’s play were Kester’s long punts and Morgan’s run of 40 yards before being tackled by Kester on the seven-yard line.
Another noticeable factor of the afternoon was the wonderful condition of both teams for the opening game of the season. Time out was called but once for both sides and the injuries were of such a minor nature that both players resumed play and apparently were not slowed up by the bumps.
The orange and black scored its only first down during the last minute of play, when the quick calling of signals caught the Akron gridders off balance and produced 28 yards on four cracks at the Akron line, the longest run being a 17-yard off tackle dash by Schnierle. This sudden spurt of offense might help the backfield to find itself in the game with Lorain next week.
The aerial game of the local team was somewhat disappointing. Hollwager, who showed fine ability at receiving forward passes in scrimmage sessions last week, evidently was struck with a bad case of stage fright, and dropped one ball that might have resulted in a touchdown for the local team. The youthful tigers on one other occasion at the start of the second half caught the Akron gridders asleep and might have scored a touchdown had the pass to Houriet been more accurate. As it was, the local team failed to complete a single pass in six attempts, one of which was intercepted, while East completed two passes for a gain of 16 yards, four attempts being batted to the ground by Washington high backs.
East lost more ground than the orange and black on penalties, being set back a total of 40 yards while Massillon was penalized but 10 yards. A 15-yard penalty on one occasion spoiled an Akron scoring opportunity.
The game got underway on scheduled time, Capt. Potts winning the toss and electing to receive the ball and defend the south goal. Fontaine kicked to Buttermore who returned from the 33 to the 38-yard line. Schnierle made three yards at left tackle but G. Hess lost four yards when the line failed to hold. Schnierle then got off a beautiful kick that was downed by Massillon on East’s one-yard line. Pokorosky returned the punt to his own 31-yard line. George Hess hit center for three yards, but Schnierle’s pass to Hollwager was high. Houriet got two yards at center and Schnierle’s pass to Hollwager was high. Houriet got two yards at center and Schnierle’s pass to Hollwager was batted down, giving Akron the ball on its own 26-yard line. Ostravich slipped through for a gain of five yards and Fessler picked up two more, but when Ostravich failed to gain on his second attempt, Capt. Pokorosky punted out of danger to Massillon’s 48-yard line, Schnierle returning to the Akron 45-yard line. Houriet fumbled on the first play and Tayman recovered for East. Pokorosky gained two yards and Ostravich made four through the left side of the Massillon line. Pokorosky gained another yard and on the next play punted to Massillon’s 14-yard line. Hollwager dropped Schnierle’s pass, losing a wonderful chance for a long gain and a possible touchdown. Schnierle punted to the Akron 48-yard line. Ostravich gained two yards and Pokorosky another. Fontaine’s pass was batted down by Houriet, and East was penalized five yards for the backfield being in motion on the play. Pokorosky got off a nice kick to the Massillon 16-yard line, Schnierle returning five yards. Houriet made three on an end run and Schnierle got off a poor punt that went out of bounds on his own 43-yard line. Ostravich gained four yards as the quarter came to a close.
Buttermore tossed Pokorosky for a five-yard loss. East was offside and was penalized five yards. Pokorosky punted to the Massillon five-yard line. Schnierle got off another poor kick, the ball going out of bounds on his own 14-yard line. Fessler made but three yards on two attempts and Morgan gathered in but one yard on an end around play. Pokorosky’s attempted dropkick rolled on the ground and Washington high was given the ball on its own 20-yard line. Kester entered the game and immediately punted to the Akron 40-yard line. Morgan picked up three yards on an end around play but G. Hess tossed Pokorosky for a one-yard loss. A pass Fontaine to Pokorosky brought the first down of the game, the latter being tackled on the Massillon 33-yard line. Fessler picked up two yards through center and Morgan failed to gain on a triple pass. Pokorosky missed his field goal, Massillon being given the ball on the 20-yard line. Schnierle gained one yard in two attempts after which Kester punted to Ostravich in midfield, who fumbled the ball when tackled, Houriet recovering on Akron’s 44-yard line. Houriet gained two yards on a run around right end. Schnierle gained three more but the orange and black was penalized five yards for the backfield being in motion. G. Hess failed to gain and Walker covered Houriet’s fumble on the next play. Fontaine was thrown for a 10-yard loss on an end around play. Pokorosky gained a yard. Pokorosky punted to Schnierle who dropped the ball near the 18-yard line, the latter chasing the ball back to within a yard of his own goal line, where he picked it up while on the run and was tackled back of the goal line giving Akron a safety.
The Massillon team lined up for a free kick on the 20-yard line, Kester booting the ball to Morgan who carried the ball back to the Massillon 18-yard line before being tackled. Ostravich picked up four yards through left tackle, but failed to gain on his second attempt. Morgan made but one yard on an end around play and the half ended with the ball on the orange and black’s 11-yard line.
Fontaine kicked to Schnierle on the 20-yard line who returned the ball 10 yards before being tackled. An attempted pass to Houriet was out of the latter’s reach, which had he caught might have resulted in a touchdown. Houriet failed to gain, and Kester punted to the Akron 30-yard line, East fumbling and Massillon recovering on the 25-yard line. George Hess made five yards but the orange and black was penalized five yards for being offside. Hess made another five yards, but Schnierle failed to gain. On the fourth down Kester attempted a drop kick which went into the hands of Ostravich who returned to his own 28-yard line. Ostravich made seven yards on a sneak play. Pokorosky picked up another but the East team was penalized 15 yards for not stopping on the (missing text–shift). Pokorosky then missed a field goal by a foot.
Massillon again gained the ball on her own 20-yard line. Schnierle made two yards through left guard. Kester punted to the Akron 48-yard line. Morgan made five yards on a double pass and Ostravich slipped through for the longest run of the game, a 40-yard dash to the Massillon seven-yard line where he was thrown by Kester, safety man. Ostravich lost one yard. Fessler made two yards placing the ball on the six-yard line. Morgan lost a yard and Pokorosky failed to gain, but officials again declared the Akron backs failed to stop on the shift and penalized the team 15 yards. An attempted pass was grounded and the orange and black took the ball on the 22-yard line. Schnierle lost 12 yards on a fumble. Kester punted high to his own 35-yard line as the quarter ended.
Morgan lost five yards on an end run and fumbled, Pokorosky recovering. Ostravich made two yards after which Pokorosky punted to the Massillon 12-yard line. Houriet lost four yards and Kester kicked back and out of bounds in midfield. Shaffer lost a yard on a guard around play. An Akron pass was incomplete and a second pass, Pokorosky to Morgan gained a yard. Pokorosky punted to Massillon’s 10-yard line. Schnierle made three yards and Kester booted the ball out of bounds on Akron’s 37-yard line. Pokorosky gained four yards, Ostravich failed to gain and Fessler picked up two more. Pokorosky kicked to the Massillon 22-yard line. Schnierle and Houriet failed to gain and a pass was grounded. Kester punted to the Akron 45-yard line. Ostravich made three, and Buttermore tossed Pokorosky for a three-yard loss. Morgan was pushed back three more yards and East was penalized five yards. Pokorosky punted to Kester who was downed on the 33-yard line. Kester rammed center for four yards. Schnierle hit through left tackle for 17 yards and Massillon’s first down on East’s 46-yard line. Kester bucked the line for three yards and Schnierle picked up four more as the gun cracked ending the game.
Akron East—2. Pos. Massillon—0.
Fontaine LE Geis
Kinney LT Buttermore
Shaffer LG Mann
Tayman C Lewis
Thomas RG Blatz
Gilbert RT Garland
Morgan RE Hollwager
Pokorosky QB Schnierle
Ostravich HB G. Hess
Fessler HB Houriet
Walker FB D. Hess
Score by periods:
Akron 0 2 0 0 2
Substitutions – Akron East: Taylor for Gilbert; Massillon: Kester for D. Hess, Goodman for Mann, D. Hess for Houriet.
Safety—Schnierle (tackled by Morgan).
Time of periods—12 minutes. Officials—Referee: Howells (W. Va. Wesleyan); Umpire: Barrett (Westminister); Headlinesman: Jenkins (Akron U.).