Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers Win First Game In Three Years From Akron South


That old adage “the third time’s the charm: has once more withstood the attack of the unbelievers. Eleven husky boys wearing the blue and white of Akron South, tried vainly to break down the reliability of the old saying Saturday afternoon and now the Washington high gridders are gloating over their 10 to 6 victory, the first registered over a South high team in three years.

But the Akron team was not charmed into a mystic state of coma Saturday afternoon. In fact it was very much awaken, so much so that the Cavaliers dug their cleats into the turf of Massillon Field and played their best football of the year. This will be attested by Akron fans.

Tigers Score Early
Uncorking a fierce offense with the initial kickoff, the Tigers swept 38 yards down the field for a touchdown before four minutes of the game had expired. It was an inspired Massillon team that lined up for the kickoff after that sudden rush and another drive began for the opponent’s goal. It was then that the unexpected happened and the luckiest break that is possible in football today gave Akron a touchdown. A Massillon man fumbled on the Akron 38-yard line, and Akron player grabbing it before it touched the ground and racing unmolested 54 yards across the local team’s goal line.

The break awakened the spirit of the Rubber City gridders and they came back to put on a great battle and display their best football of the season. Had they not had that stimulant it is altogether probably that they would have been swamped under a heavy score by the orange and black.

With a team equally as heavy if not a little more so than the Massillon eleven. Doc Wargo brought his Cavaliers to this city Saturday hoping for a victory. Smarting under a defeat handed it by Wooster high the previous week the Akron aggregation was primed to the limit for Saturday’s battle with the Tigers. But the Washington high team tossed a monkey wrench into the Akron machinery right off the bat when it recovered the fumbled kickoff on the Akron 38-yard line and then waded through for a touchdown which added to the extra point, would have been sufficient to have beaten the blue and white.

15 First Downs
Offensively “Doc” Wargo’s team had nothing. It scored two first downs in the first period after the grand awakening but from then on found its plays smothered by Tiger linemen with very few yards gained. On the other hand the local team showed sufficient offensive strength to score three or four touchdowns, producing 15 first downs, four of which were registered in each of the first, second and fourth periods and three in the third.

Though the local team crossed the Akron goal line but once it was within the shadow of the visitors’ cross bar on two other occasions, a fumble spoiling one chance to score and the final gun, another.

An October sun that penetrated the jerseys of the athletes and a screen of dust that gathered in clouds over the field made playing and visibility difficult. As a result time was called out Saturday more frequently than usual for injuries and brief rest intervals.

The Washington high band appeared in uniform for the first time this season, and drilled on the field between halves with the Akron South band. The local band still lacks sufficient uniforms to pass around to all its members.

Attendance Poor
Saturday’s attendance was not up to expectations. Akron was not accompanied by a very large delegation which is probably due to the fact that the Rubber City team has not gone very far on the gridiron this fall. However, the turnout of Massillon fans also was small, probably no more than 1,500 attending.

Akron’s touchdown came as a result of the luckiest possible break. A fumble this year is dead at the point where the opposing team recovers the ball, providing the ball touches the ground before recovered. It is only on rare occasions that a fumble is caught in mid air, but such was the case Saturday when the ball flew into Hickman’s arms, and with the Massillon team massed on the right side of the line, he had a clear field ahead for a touchdown.

The touchdown gave the Akron team more fight and the addition of Huth, playing with a broken nose to the center of the line, strengthened the visitors defense and gave the Tiger ball carriers more than a battle.

First Quarter
Massillon kicked off to start the game, but South fumbled and a Massillon player recovered on the 38-yard line. Toles was injured when he was caught under a pile of Akron players when diving for the free ball. He had to be carried from the field. Getz took his place, Williams and Kester hit for nine yards. A Massillon pass was incomplete but South was penalized five yards for being offside giving the locals a first down on the 24-yard line. Williams hit for seven yards, and Clendening failed to gain at right end. Williams slipped through for a first down on the 13-yard line, Kester reeled off five yards at right end and Williams followed through with a plunge to the one-yard line. He went across on the next play. Clendening kicked goal with Kester holding the ball. Score: Massillon 7; South 0.

Gabalac kicked off to Blatz who returned to the 42-yard line. Williams plunged for a first down on the Akron 46-yard line in two attempts. On the next play a Massillon man fumbled after crossing the line of scrimmage and Hickman grabbed the ball before it could reach the ground and raced 54 yards for a touchdown without a Massillon player laying his hand on him. Keller’s attempted forward pass for the extra point was incomplete. Score: Massillon 7; Akron 6.

Gabalac kicked off to Williams who returned to the 45-yard line. Kester tried a long pass, Hickman intercepting on his own 30-yard line. Gabalac made a first down in three dashes. Stark went out of bounds after a two-yard gain. Gabalac failed to gain but Mihalic passed to Keller for a first down on Massillon’s 43-yard line. Gabalac made three yards, Feiling two and Stark bucked for three more but Gabalac lacked a foot of making a first down and the ball was surrendered to the Tigers on the 33-yard line, the nearest they ever came to the Massillon goal. Williams lost two yards but made it up on the next play. South partially blocked a Massillon punt but the Tigers recovered without gain. Kester then got off a good punt to the 32-yard line, where the Akron safety man signaled for a fair catch but was tackled by a Massillon player. A 15-yard penalty was the result. Gabalac lost two yards and Stark failed to gain. Kester intercepted Keller’s pass on the Massillon 48-yard line. Clendening made three yards and Kester slipped around right end for a first down on the Akron 40-yard line as the quarter came to an end.

Second Quarter
Clendening picked up three yards but failed to gain on a double pass. The play, however, was called back and South was penalized five yards twice on successive plays for being offside, giving the Tigers a first down on the 27-yard line. Williams made a yard and Kester three more at right end. Clendening broke through right tackle for a first down on the 14-yard line. Williams failed to gain on a spinner, and a double pass was fumbled on the next play. Mihalic recovering on the 20-yard line.

Sir Louis, who replaced Gabalac, lost two yards in two plunges and then punted to Clendening who was downed with the ball in midfield. Clendening lost two yards but came back to gain nine on the next play. After failing to gain, Kester punted over the goal line. The play, however, was called back and South penalized five yards for offside giving the Tigers a first down on the 38-yard line. Williams gained four yards in two plunges and Kester got two more on a lateral pass. Kester’s pass on the fourth down was incomplete and South took the ball on the 32-yard line. Sir Louis gained four yards and then was thrown for a two-yard loss. Feiling could get but two and Sir Louis punted to the 45-yard line. Clendening and Williams made six yards but a fumble resulted on the next play, Huffle recovering for Akron. Willison tossed Feiling for a seven-yard loss. Mihalic’s pass was grounded. He lost four yards on the next play, and Sir Louis punted out of bounds on the Massillon 45-yard line. Two plays gained but two yards as the half ended.

Third Quarter
South kicked to Blatz who returned to the 36-yard line. Rice picked up six yards, but Clendening lost two. Kester punted to South’s 22-yard line. Sir Louis gained six yards in two plays and then punted to Clendening on the Massillon 49-yard line. Williams made a yard and Clendening four more on a double pass. Kester carried the ball out of bounds after a gain of a yard. Kester made two yards, but Clendening lost it. Kester punted out of bounds on the 23-yard line. Sir Louis gained two yards but a penalty for offside set South back five yards. Sir Louis punted to Clendening on the 37-yard line. Clendening reeled off six yards and Rice got a couple more. Clendening then found his way through for a first down on the 27-yard line. Rice picked up four yards and Clendening carrying the ball three times in succession made it first down on the 15-yard line. He plunged for two more and Kester slipped through for three. Williams made two yards on a spin play. With the ball on the eight-yard line, Kester called for a placekick, and Clendening dropped back to boot the pigskin between the bars, the ball striking the crossbar but luckily bounding over. Score: Massillon 10; South 6.

Kester kicked off to the 13-yard line; Williams making the tackle. Stark lost two yards and the quarter ended with the ball on the 11-yard line.

Fourth Quarter
Feiling could gain but a foot. Gabalac punted to Clendening who returned to the 40-yard line. Kester made a yard but lost seven on an end play. When Clendening failed to gain; Kester punted out of bounds on the 21-yard line. Stark failed to gain. Gabalac failed to fain and punted out of bounds in midfield. Three plays netted the Tigers six yards and Kester kicked to the 19-yard line. Two plays netted South four yards and Gabalac punted to the 10-yard line, Clendening permitting the ball to roll, but suddenly grabbing it up and returning it to the 28-yard line. Williams hit for five and Rice made four more at left end. Williams plunged through for a first down on the 41-yard line. Kester gained four yards and Clendening slipped through for a first down on South’s 46-yard line. Williams and Kester worked together for another first down on the 36-yard line. Clendening pulled down four yards at left end and Kester got two and Williams made it first down on the 25-yard line as the game came to an end.

Line up and summary:
Massillon Pos. Akron South
Toles LE Amrein
Willison LT Hickman
Herman LG Vargo
Lewis C Eichalberger
Pfister RG Huffle
Blatz RT Zela
Houriet RE Keller
Kester QB Mihalic
Clendening LH Gabalac
Knowton RH Stark
Williams FB Feiling

Score by periods:
Massillon 7 0 3 0 10
Akron South 6 0 0 0 6

Massillon – Getz for Toles; Rice for Knowlton.
Akron South – Smith for Huffle; Sir Louis for Gabalac; Huth for Eichelberg; Howiler for Feiling; Popodide for Smith; Porter for Mihalic; Gabalac for Sir Louis; Feiling for Howiler; Huffle for Vargo; Kazac for Popodide.

Massillon – Williams.
Akron South – Hickman.

Point after touchdown:
Massillon – Clendening (placekick).

Field goal:
Massillon – Clendening (placekick).

Referee – Shafer (Akron).
Umpire – Gross (Marietta).
Head Linesman – Shearer.

Time of periods – 12 minutes.

Alfred Lewis