Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo


With five minutes to go and Conneaut backed to its goal line, the orange and black tigers of Washington high finally pulled themselves out of the mud on Massillon Field, Saturday, made one desperate effort and pushed across a touchdown that brought a 12 to 6 victory over the invading gridders from the northeastern Ohio city.

Conneaut, woefully weak on offense, made up for its failure to carry the ball by standing firmly on its own soil and battling viciously when the Massillon tiger threatened to cross its goal line. Within the shadow of its goal posts, Conneaut was shoved back a half a dozen times, but the game little band of blue clad warriors refused to yield and turned back the thrusts of the Massillon backs time after time to take possession of the coveted pigskin and boot it safely out of danger.

Scoring on a break in the first few minutes of play when Coach Elmer McGrew’s sophomores and juniors were on the field of duty, the Conneaut gridders made a determined stand until the middle of the second period when the Massillon eleven scored its first points. But even so, the blue clad gridders did not falter for a tie score would be more than satisfactory for them and much better than they had even dreamed of earning. So they dug their cleats into the soggy turf, matched their fight against the weight of the Washington high line and almost accomplished their purpose. In fact the stand of the Conneaut team threw such a scare into the Massillon bench that Buttermore, giant tackle, with one hand in splints and swathed in bandages, rushed into the fray to wipe out part of the defense of the visitors and drill holes for the Massillon backs.

Conneaut nearly accomplished its purpose, a tie score, and might have done so, had it not been for John Kester snatching a punt out of the air on his own 37-yard line and dashing to within five yards of the Conneaut goal before being forced out of bounds. Five minutes were left to play when Kester made his run and he followed it up with two plunges into the Conneaut line which carried him across the goal for the winning points of the game.

Sharing honors with Kester in scoring for the orange and black was “Chippy” Hollwager, tall and slender, who tore the center of the Conneaut line to pieces to register the local eleven’s first touchdown of the game.

The touchdown followed a determined drive of the youthful tigers from mid-field. Carrying the ball to the 15-yard line on line bucks and end runs with all the Massillon backs participating, but stopped momentarily by the sturdy defense of the Conneaut gridders, a substitute was shot into the ranks of the youthful tigers. A whispered order, “Give the ball to Chippy,” must have been issued for five times in succession. Hollwager took the pigskin and at the end of his fifth plunge he was across the Conneaut goal line. The fact that the youthful tigers failed to score more than 12 points, indicates that both attempts to score touchdown by line bucks were frustrated.

Conneaut’s touchdown came as a result of a break in the game. A long punt by Hamilton, the ruthless clipping of a Massillon player which brought the ball back to the local team’s one-yard line, and a bad bounce following one of Kester’s punts were largely responsible for the points.

To start with, Hamilton punted from his own 20-yard line past John Kester to the Massillon 20-yard line. When a Massillon man was caught clipping illegally on the punt, the ball was taken back to the one-yard line.

Kester immediately attempted to punt it out of danger. His kick went away all right. The ball sailed through the air to the 35-yard line before hitting the ground, but it rebounded with one of those boomerang bounces, and before the local team could down it it had rolled back to the 15-yard line. Then came Conneaut’s only offensive and only first down of the day. Two cracks at the line gained eight yards but the visitors were offside and were penalized five yards. Not discouraged, Samppi, quarterback, called for a lateral pass, took the ball, flipped it to Hamilton, who skirted the Massillon right end for a touchdown. The try for the extra point was low.

That was the only splurge of offensive strength that Conneaut could muster and it came at the right time. McGrew’s shock troops were on the field at the time and they were quickly replaced by the seniors who for a time failed to make any better impression with the handful of fans who stood in the stands because Jupiter Pluvius arrived first at the field and drenched the bleachers.

Thirteen first downs were rolled up by McGrew’s warriors to Conneaut’s single 10-yard gain, and the ball was continually in Conneaut territory, not because of Hamilton’s punting, for outside of his team’s defense, his kicking was the next best feature of his team, but largely because the local team picked up 10 to 15 yards every time it was in possession of the ball, and with Kester punting every bit as good as Hamilton, the visitors thus were unable, except on the one occasion, to come out of their own territory.

Forward passes were a joke Saturday. The water soaked ball on every occasion refused to fall into the hands of its intended receiver with the result that three Massillon passes were incomplete and one was intercepted, while a Conneaut pass was intercepted. Conneaut suffered many penalties for being offside, largely as a result of Maney’s over eagerness to tackle the Massillon ball toter. Seven times the visitors were set back for this offense, and coupled with a 19-yard penalty for tripping, it cost them 54 yards during the afternoon. Massillon was penalized 37 yards.

The failure of the local eleven to score more than 13 points against Conneaut, however should not be too severely criticized.

Although the visitors were expected to be easy, due to the fact that they hadn’t won a game this season and tied but one team, yet they never have been trampled over by their opponents. Conneaut has not bowed to any team this year by as large a number of points as the youthful tigers have been defeated by, and the game played by the northeastern Ohio team Saturday was its typical 1928 brand, weak offensively, but strong on the defense.

Lineup and summary:
Massillon Pos. Conneaut
Willison LE Hirsimaki
Maier LT Maney
Herman LG Lyons
Potts C Zumpft
Pfeister RG Maukonen
Goodman RT D. Mosher
Houriet RE J. Mosher
Lewis QB Samppi
D. Hess LH Mumalainen
Worthington RH Hamilton
Kester FB Cantlin

Score by periods:
Massillon 0 6 0 6 12
Conneaut 6 0 0 0 6

Massillon: Schnierle, lh; Hollwager, rh; Blatz, rg; Slinger, lt; Fisher, lg; Francis, lh; Buttermore, rt; Mann, lt; Watkins, le; Malone, re; Worthington, lh; Minger, rg,
Conneaut – Brewster, lt; Ritari, lh.

Touchdowns – Hamilton, Hollwager, Kester

Time of periods—12 minutes.

Henry Potts