Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo



With the alertness and craftiness of the famous jungle cat the Washington high school Tiger sneaked through the traps that had been set for it at Canton Saturday afternoon, clawed the turf four times behind the Bulldog goal line and roared out of Lakeside stadium with a 31-6 victory, the greatest score that has ever been rolled up in a Canton-Massillon high school football clash.

The real Obie could not be captured like the paper Mache Tiger that was taken from the clubhouse last week and returned to the school Saturday. It would not be captured, and though 11 fighting Bulldogs tried every known bit of strategy to subdue the orange and black terror, the Tiger was still on the field as the sun began to sink in the west and the Bulldogs were cooped up in their kennel and the door locked for another season.

Fought With Vengeance
“Canton – why did you steal Obie? It wouldn’t have been so bad – but you stole Obie.” Those words created a laugh in the stands when uttered by an enthusiastic Massillon fan, but they emphasized the spirit of vengeance with which the Massillon gridders split their traditional rivals asunder in the third and fourth periods Saturday afternoon.

Striking as swiftly as a tornado, the whirlwind offense found its golden gate in sight shortly after the start of the third period and swept through it to victory with a suddenness and power that not only shocked the Canton spectators but left the Massillon fans gasping.

An intercepted forward pass did it, and it changed defeat into victory so quickly that the morale of the McKinley players was broken and the fighting spirit lost.

Trailing 6-3 at the half, none but the Tigers and probably their coach were confident of victory when the teams took the field after the rest recess. A bit of hard luck gave Canton the ball on its 40-yard line. But just when Massillon fans were looking on with abated breath for fear McKinley would get away with another of these passes such as scored a touchdown in the second period, Blatz came out of no where to spear Hartsel’s wild heave and sprint 60 yards for a touchdown. All the Massillon tackle had to do was run and that he did and what McKinley players remained in his path were blocked out of the way by the orange and black interference that was mustered together quickly to produce the decisive score of the day. Clendening kicked the extra point from placement, and Canton was whipped. But the Tiger wasn’t through. It came back to score three more times in the fourth quarter on offensive drives that left no doubt as to which was the better team on the field.

Crafty And Alert
The Tiger was alert Saturday, following the ball continually and getting nearly all the breaks. And it was crafty, deceiving the red and black defenders time and again with reverse and spinner plays executed through the good judgment of Quarterback John Kester. The deception of the Tiger attack was most plainly noticeable on the try for point on the last touchdown, when the entire McKinley team rushed to knock down an expected placekick while Williams waltzed through the line for the extra marker. Again the craftiness of the Tiger came to light when the star of the game won the game by not carrying the ball. “Watch Clendening”. Those two words were drilled into the red and black nightly for the past two weeks and the Bulldogs were so intent upon watching the orange and black shadow that they forgot that Massillon had three other ball carriers who could plunge for gains.

Used For Deception
Realizing that Clendening, his star open field runner, would be trailed like a criminal Saturday, Coach Elmer McGrew built his running attack around Kester, Williams and Getz, and left Clendening to take carrying the ball on reverse and spinner plays. In the first half of the game Clendening carried the pigskin but a few times and being watched so closely gained only a few yards but when the red and black began to pay less attention to him in the latter part of the game, Kester gave him the ball and he got away for several nice runs, scoring one touchdown.

Backfield Worked Smoothly
But Clendening was only one of a quartet of backs who performed like a machine, Saturday. Williams’ hard smashes left an impression every time he collided with the Canton line and Kester’s off tackle dashes cut the red and black line to pieces. Getz, playing his second game in the backfield, made several neat gains and played a great defensive game as did the entire Massillon line; Lewis, Williams and Houriet outstanding. But to Blatz goes the glory of turning the tide of battle and upsetting the spirit of the Canton team.

The Tigers were first to score. After passing up two opportunities in the first period, the orange and black, early in the second quarter got the ball on the 24-yard line as a result of a poor punt by Fehn. Kester immediately smacked left tackle for seven yards. Williams added two more and Getz made it first down on the 11-yard line. Clendening failed to gain more than two yards in three plunges and with the ball on the nine-yard line, the colored flash dropped back to the 20-yard stripe and with Kester holding the pigskin, applied his educated toe to the leather for a field goal, giving the orange and black three points.

McKinley Scores
But the lead was short lived, for after the kickoff there was an exchange of punts, which would up with Kester getting a bad pass and juggling the ball which kept him from getting away his punt on the fourth down, McKinley gaining the leather on its 33-yard line. A four-yard plunge and a short pass gave the red and black a first down on the 23-yard line, and after Plaver had plunged for a two-yard gain, Hartsel stepped back and tossed a long pass to Smith who had slipped from his right end over to the left side of the field unnoticed to take the ball and scamper for a touchdown. Rich’s attempted kick was low.

That ended the scoring for the first half and Blatz’s sprint of the day in the early minutes of the third period has already been described. While the Tigers’ second touchdown was not scored until the fourth period it was in the making in the closing minutes of the third period. The drive started when the Tigers got the ball in midfield on a punt. A running attack carried the pigskin to the eight-yard line as the quarter ended. On the second play of the fourth period, Kester lugged the ball across, and Clendening kicked goal. Getting the ball in the center of the field the orange and blacks a few minutes later again hit their stride, rushing the leather to the 17-yard line where Rich, Canton end, was caught slugging and a 15-yard penalty was inflicted on the red and black. Williams went through for the touchdown and Clendening kicked goal. Hartsel fumbled the following kickoff and Houiet recovered on the 26-yard line. Clendening and Kester carried the ball to the one-yard line where Clendening took it across. Williams plunged over for the extra point.

Tigers Excel in Every Way
The orange and black was superior in every department of play, making 17 first downs to Canton’s seven, and averaging 48 yards on punts to Canton’s 34 yards.

The Tigers completed on pass in five attempts for a gain of 20 yards. McKinley completed five passes in 18 attempts for a gain of 37 yards. Four passes were intercepted by the local team.

The crowd was small compared to the usual Massillon-Canton gathering, officials estimating the size at 5,000. The McKinley band which drilled gaily between halves when winning, left the field before the end of the game as did about half the red and black spectators.

Canton’s main threat was Hartsel and he played his head off during the day, being identified in three out of every four plays run off by the red and black. He was over worked to such an extent that he could barely stand on his feet at the end of the game. Mottice and Rich were the main defensive threats of the Canton gridders.

First Quarter
Following the raising of the colors, McKinley which had won the toss, elected to receive at the south end of the field. Willison kicked off to Plaver who returned 13 yards to the 28-yard line. Hartsel failed to gain, and Lewis intercepted his pass on the next play on the 43-yard line. Clendening and Williams made seven yards. Fife, McKinley fullback, was hurt on the play and was replaced by Fehn. Williams went through for a first down on the 31-yard line. Kester struck for five yards and Canton was offside on the next play giving the Tigers another first down on the 22-yard line. Williams hit for three yards, but Kester failed to gain. Kester hit right tackle for four yards on the next play. On a fake placekick formation, Williams failed to make first down by less than a yard, Canton getting the ball on the 13-yard stripe. Hartsel hit for eight yards, but Fehn lost one. Hartsel moved the ball up two yards more and Fehn made it first down on the Canton 25-yard line. A trick lateral pass lost eight yards for Canton. When Hartsel could gain but a yard, Fehn punted to the Massillon 35-yard line where Rich downed the ball. Williams plunged for two yards but Getz lost the same amount. Kester punted back to the Canton 20-yard line. Houriet tossed Hensel for a four-yard loss. Getz covered Fehn’s fumble on the 20-yard line. Kester waded through for a 10-yard gain, but fumbled, McKinley recovering. Hartsel and Plaver made a first down in three plays on the 28-yard line. A reverse play failed but Hartsel slipped through his left guard for five yards. His pass was grounded and Fehn was called upon to punt. He booted the ball to the 45-yard line. Williams and Getz could gain but a yard and Kester returned the kick to the Canton 15-yard line.

Second Quarter
Hartsel’s pass was grounded and Lewis was hurt on the play. Snodgrass replaced Willison and the latter went to center. Hartsel was stopped after a one-yard gain and Fehn got off a poor punt, the ball going out of bounds on the 24-yard line. Kester hit center for seven yards. Williams and Getz made it a first-down on the 11-yard line. Clendening made three yards in as many line plunges but standing on the 20-yard stripe, kicked a field goal from placement with Kester holding the ball, placing the Tigers in the lead, 3-0.

Willison kicked off to Ross who returned 25 yards to the 30-yard line. Schott was hut on the play and after making menacing threats at Pfister, continued in the game. Hartsel slipped through for a seven-yard gain at left tackle. On the next play he made a first down on the Canton 40. A Canton pass was grounded but Massillon was found guilty of being offside and was penalized five yards. A pass, Hartsel to Rich gained yard, while another pass lost two yards. A third pass was batted down. Kester returned Plaver’s punt from the 20 to the 37-yard line. Williams made a yard and Kester two yards. A flock of McKinley players broke through and blocked Kester’s punt, Canton recovering on the 33-yard line. Hartsel made four yards and Canton took time out. A short pass, Fehn to Hartsel gained six yards and a first down on the 23-yard line. Plaver made two yards and Hartsel passed 21 yards to Smith for a touchdown. The attempted kick was low. Score: Canton, 6; Massillon 3.

Two kickoffs for Canton went offside and the Tigers were given the ball on their own
40-yard line. A pass was incomplete, but Canton was penalized five yards for offside, Williams made the other five yards and a first down in two plunges in midfield. Kester got two yards Houriet stumbled as he was about to take Kester’s pass and the ball was grounded. Kester on a fake reverse play to Clendening ran 15 yards to the 35-yard line. Clendening lost three yards, and Getz’s pass was grounded. Kester made two yards and then punted out of bounds on the 10-yard line. Hartsel gained seven yards on two plays before the end of the period.

Third Quarter
McKinley kicked to Williams who returned from his own 10-yard line to the 45-yard line. Clendening failed to catch a pass that would have resulted in a touchdown. Williams and Kester made seven yards and Kester punted over the goal line. Canton, however, was offside on the play and was penalized five yards.

This gave the Tigers a first down, but on the next play they were penalized 15 yards, taking the ball back to the locals 42-yard line. A pass to Clendening gained 20 yards. A second pass was grounded. Kester, trying to punt, was tossed for a loss of 15 yards when he juggled a high pass from center. Hartsel failed to gain, but on the next play, Blatz intercepted Hartsel’s pass and ran 60 yards for a touchdown. Clendening placekicked the extra point. Score: Massillon, 10; Canton, 6.

Willison kicked off to Ross who returned to the 30-yard line. Fehn could not gain and Plaver lost a yard. Clendening returned Plaver’s punt 15 yards to midfield. Kester and Clendening got eight yards and Kester punted over the goal. Hartsel and Fehn negotiated a first down on the local’s 37-yard line. Hartsel made a yard but on the next play his pass was grounded. Fehn could not gain so he punted out of bounds on the 50-yard line. Kester got seven yards in two off tackle plunges and Williams made it a first down on the 34-yard line. Williams hit for three, Getz three and then Williams on two more smashes at the line brought a first down 22 yards away from the Canton goal. Kester struck through tackle for four yards and McKinley took time out; Williams made three yards and Kester got away for a neat gain, plunging for a first down on the eight-yard line as the quarter ended.

Fourth Quarter
Kester plunged to the one-yard line and took it over on the second play of the final period. Clendening placekicked the extra point. Score: Massillon, 17; Canton, 6.

Williams kicked off to Ross who returned 18 yards to the 28-yard line. Hartsel made two yards, but Williams pulled down Hartsel’s pass on the Canton 35-yard line. In three consecutive plays, Williams plunged for a first down on the 25-yard line. Clendening made a yard. Williams banged away for six but the locals were penalized five yards for being in motion. Clendening and Kester could get but six yards and the Tigers surrendered the ball on the 18-yard line. Plaver could not gain, and Hartsel lost five yards. Plaver lost two more yards, Fehn punted to midfield, Clendening fumbled, but Pfister recovered the ball. Massillon fumbled again, but Kester recovered after a five-yard loss. Canton was penalized five yards for being offside however, and Clendening on the next play broke away for a 15-yard run to the 35-yard line. Williams hit tackle for seven yards and Kester made it a first down on the 23-yard line. Williams hit for nine yards and Canton was penalized 15 more yards when Rich was caught using his hands too freely. With the ball on the two-yard line, Williams banged across for the touchdown, Clendening again kicked the extra point. Score: Massillon, 24; Canton, 6.

Willison kicked off to Hartsel who fumbled, Houriet recovering on the 26-yard line. Williams made a yard and Canton was penalized five yards for taking time out too frequently. Clendening made it a first down on the 17-yard line. Kester in two plunges made it first down on the eight-yard line and Clendening took the ball across in three plays. McKinley expecting another placekick rushed Clendening but Williams took the ball off tackle and walked through unmolested for the extra point.

McGrew then sent in his entire second team. Massillon kicked off to the 28-yard line. A pass gained 12 yards and a first down for the red and black on the 40-yard line. When passes failed to gain the Tigers took possession of the ball, Rice gaining a couple of yards as the game came to an end.

Line up and summary:
Massillon Pos. McKinley
Worthington LE Rich
Willison LT Hinton
Herman LG Niederhouser
Lewis C Mottice
Pfister RG Everett
Blatz RT Schott
Houriet RE Smith
Kester QB Ross
Clendening LH Plaver
Getz RH Hartsel
Williams FB Fife

Score by quarters:
McKinley 0 6 0 0 6
Massillon 0 3 7 21 31

McKinley – Smith.
Massillon – Blatz; Kester; Williams; Clendening.

Points after touchdown: Massillon – Clendening 3; Williams.

McKinley – Fehn for Fife; Crawford for Everett; Sleighter for Schott; Glaser for Crawford; Fife for Plaver; Benson for Sleighter; Davis for Mottice; R. Schreiber for Smith; E. Schreiber for Hartsel; Forsythe for Hinton.
Massillon – Williams for Lewis; Snodgrass for Willison; Lewis for Willison; Willison for Snodgrass; Hoyman for Lewis; Knowlton for Kester; Price for Herman; Mudd for Williams; Snodgrass for Willison; Singer for Lewis; Spencer for Pfister; Hoagland for Willison; Rice for Clendening; Beck; Myers; Monroe; Roderick; Shankling.

Referee – Shaffer (Akron).
Umpire – Morgan (Youngstown).
Head Linesman – Barrett (Sebring).

Time of quarters: 12 minutes.

Alfred Lewis