Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo



Believing that the early bird catches the worm, Coach Elmer McGrew, of Washington High, unleashed his tigers in the Mount Union stadium Saturday afternoon with strict orders to cross the goal line of the Red and Blue of Alliance at the earliest opportunity.

And they did just that thing and thereby won their first game of the Stark county series by beating Alliance 13 to 0. Just how obedient those boys wearing the orange and black were can be seen from the fact that they took the kickoff and marched 70 yards down the field for a touchdown.

That was the first score, and the six points looked bigger and bigger to Alliance fans as the game progressed, and smaller and smaller to Massillon fans when the red and blue began an offensive in the last period that threatened the local team’s goal.

In fact Alliance threw such a scare into the hearts of the youthful tigers in the last 10 minutes of play that they went out and produced another touchdown in order to make their score secure. However the same touchdown would not have been necessary to insure victory, because the final gun cracked while Schnierle was racing toward the red and blue’s goal line, and the last seven points were of no good other than making the local team’s score look more impressive.

The game was a splendid one from start to finish. It proved quite emphatically that McGrew’s gridders found themselves in the fracas with Wooster a week ago, and provided enough thrills to satisfy the 3,000 lovers of football, who filled the stands.

One thrill came when George Hess stepped away for a 30-yard run on the third play of the game. Another came when John Kester got off a beautiful punt that went 60 yards against the wind, and still another resulted when Keefe, flashy Alliance quarter, dashed away for a long gain after taking a lateral pass. But the best apples grow on the end of the limb, and so the most spectacular and unusual play of the game came in the last few seconds when Schnierle raced 35 yards from the line of scrimmage for a touchdown, the gun cracking when he had traveled but half the distance.

Had it not been for the whirlwind attack of the youthful tigers in the opening minutes of the game, the result might have been a scoreless tie, for after the first six points were produced the red and blue braced and turned back every other scoring threat. Had it not been that the local team was leading by six points with only a few seconds of the game remaining to be played, it is doubtful if the orange and black would have scored its second touchdown, for Quarterback Keefe took one desperate chance to score, and tossed a forward pass from his own 35-yard line which was grounded, giving the local team the ball. Schnierle’s long run for a touchdown and the end of the game came on the next play.

The way the orange and black tore the Alliance line to pieces on its opening march for a touchdown gave evidence that the game would be a one-sided contest, but the Alliance line braced suddenly and stopped the plunging Massillon backs. The Massillon attack showed itself at other stages of the game, but lacked the consistency necessary to score touchdowns. A penalty also ended one scoring threat of the youthful tigers.

Alliance showed a plucky team. Its forward wall stood up well under the battering of the Massillon backs and the ends appearing exceptionally strong in turning in runs around the flanks. The red and blue’s six first downs were made largely as a result of end runs and several forward passes.

The Alliance gridders wanted to win the game badly. Coach George Wilcoxen, before the game, declared that if his eleven could take the measure of the local gridders he believed that the victory would provide the necessary confidence to make the team a winning one for the remainder of the season. Such was the case a year ago, when Alliance, after beating the orange and black, went out and defeated everything in sight with the exception of Canton McKinley. In fact it was over-anxiety that partly contributed to Wilcoxen’s defeat Saturday, for his team was penalized six times for being offside, and several of these penalties stopped threatening Alliance offensive drives. A few aided the orange and black in its goalward march. The two penalties, however in the latter instance only helped out by a few yards for a play by play account of the game shows that in one case the Massillon back had plunged for four yards, which were given up for the five-yard penalty, while the other penalty helped but little, for it came just before George Hess got away for his long run of 30 yards. Alliance also received two penalties for not completing two consecutive forward passes, and twice suffered reverses of 15 yards for holding. All told the red and blue was set back a total of 70 yards, while the youthful tigers lost 35 yards in penalties.

In first downs the local team excelled its rivals, making the necessary yardage on 12 occasions, while the red and blue could make the distance but six times.

McGrew’s team improved greatly in one department Saturday and that was in the manner in which it intercepted and knocked down Alliance forward passes. Alliance tried to gain by the aerial route on 14 occasions. Three times it was successful, gaining 42 yards, but eight of the passes were knocked down, while three others were intercepted. The three aerial attempts of the orange and black were unsuccessful.

The long punting of Kester was one of the features of the local team’s play. Kester averaged nearly 50 yards on his boots, which not only were long but also high enough to permit the Massillon ends to camp under the ball when it came down. The ends, however, did not take advantage of the opportunity and although they slipped by the Alliance interference and got down on most of the punts, they usually failed to make the tackle and allowed Keefe to return the ball several times for substantial gains before being thrown. Kester’s first kick was the prettiest of the lot and when the ball twisted through the air it brought a sigh from the fans similar to that heard when a pretty sky rocket explodes in a fireworks celebration.

Saturday was migration day for Massillon fans, and approximately 1,500 from this city followed the local gridders to Alliance. The automobiles formed a long procession as the fans returned home, horns blowing and colors waving.

The high school band was taken to the game, and played frequently. Alliance’s band also made itself heard many times during the afternoon.

The Massillon fans were seated in the concrete bleachers until shortly before the start of the second period when they deserted their section because of a light rain, and made a rush across the field to the covered section on the opposite side.

The game was the first high school tilt played in the new stadium, and Alliance fans have yet to see their school or college teams score a victory on the new field. Mount Union met defeat at the hands of the University of Michigan’s second team when the stadium was dedicated a week ago.

Captain Potts was taken from the game in the fourth period when he was knocked out from a kick on the head. With the exception of a discolored face, however, the captain is O.K. and is ready for another melee.

It has already been told how the second Massillon touchdown was scored and here are the plays that led up to the first.

Watkins kicked off to Kester, who took the ball on the Massillon 10-yard line and returned to the 25-yard line. Schnierle failed to gain on a dash around left end, but Alliance was declared offside on the play and was penalized five yards. Kester plunged for a yard, and Hess then broke through right tackle for a run of 30 yards, carrying the ball to the Alliance 40-yard line. Had he not stumbled over his own feet, he might have slipped away for a touchdown. Schnierle picked up five yards and Hollwager plunged through for a first down on the Alliance 30-yard line. Hess made four yards and Hollwager two more after which Kester rammed through for a first down on the 20-yard line. Alliance took time out and talked things over. With the resumption of play, Hess was tossed for a one-yard loss. Hester picked up two yards and Hess made three more. Hollwager then pushed his way through for a first down on the 10-yard line. Buttermore was given the ball and rammed through for four yards, but Alliance was offside, and Captain Potts took the five-yard penalty in a preference to the gain. Hess made a yard and on the next play Buttermore rammed through for the touchdown. Schnierle missed his try for the extra point.

Alliance came nearest to scoring in the last period when two passes and end runs put the ball on Massillon’s 23-yard line. The chance to score was lost, however, when Keefe fumbled on an attempted pass, Blatz covering the ball which rolled backward to the 37-yard line.

Lineup and summary:

Massillon Pos. Alliance

Schnierle LE Curtis

Fisher LT Miller

Blatz LG Speidell

Potts C King

Goodman RG Clark

Slinger RT Hammontree

Houriet RE Battin

G. Hess QB Keefe

Hollwager LHB Watkins

Kester RHB Dann

Buttermore FB Windland
Score by periods:
Massillon 6 0 0 7—13

Substitutions: Massillon – Lewis, c; Minger, re. Alliance – Daly, le; Curtis, re.

Touchdowns – Buttermore, Schnierle.
Point after touchdown – Schnierle (dropkick).

Referee—Howells (Sebring).
Umpire—Barrett (Sebring).
Headlinesman—Clark (Kenyon).
Timekeepers—Whittacre (Alliance), Rider, (Massillon).

Henry Potts