MANSFIELD ENDS STRING AT 21 GAMES VISITORS NEARLY WIN GAME IN LAST SECONDS
Tigers Encounter Unexpected Opposition and Are Fortunate to Escape With 6-6 Tie; Undefeated in 22 Games
By LUTHER EMERY
The first shock over, Coach Paul Brown and his Tigers settled down today to see what they can do about preventing a repetition of Saturday’s 6-6 tie game with Mansfield high.
Massillon was gloomy Saturday evening. The victorious winning streak had come to an end at 21 straight games. Fans trudged away from the park and slowly shook their heads. “What was wrong?”
Mansfield Happy Over Result
A dripping ran fell at the right time to form an appropriate setting for the dismal picture, but it did not dampen the ardor of the Mansfield supporters. They took the tie score as a matter of victory and had every reason to rejoice, for their team was the first to tie Massillon in two seasons.
What was wrong?
The truth is there wasn’t much of anything wrong. The Tigers admittedly are not as strong or as versatile a ball club as that of last year. There were instances of poor judgment and a noticeable lack of drive but most of all they were up against a heavier and smart ball team that quickly adjusted itself to the Tiger offense and played inspired football.
Though Coach Brown shows signs of pessimism before all ball games, he honestly feared the outcome Saturday, but could not get his players to take the game seriously.
“Now you see what happens when everybody is telling them they will win by 20 or more points,” was his first comment after the game.
Tigers Still Undefeated
But the first shock is over and with the passing of that shock comes the happy realization that the Tigers still are undefeated. With the sting of the tie score prodding them, they can go to work this week fully aware that they are not invincible and that they must be at their best if they are to beat Warren Friday evening.
No team was ever nearer losing its undefeated record than Massillon was Saturday. In fact had not a Mansfield player bumped Johnny Hallabrin, flashy halfback, just as he was regaining his balance, the visitors would have snatched victory out of the dampness in the closing seconds of the ball game.
It was a spectacular finish to a fine game. The Tigers had succeeded in advancing the ball past the middle of the field on two first downs, the only ones of the second half and Bob Glass selected a pass in a desperate effort to win for Massillon its 22nd game in the last 30 seconds.
Glass pitched and Johnny Hallabrin reached in the air to intercept the ball on his 30-yard line. Back the field he came and a wave of interference formed in front of him. He was by the middle of the field in no time and Massillon tacklers were being mowed down. At the 30-yard line a Massillon player got a hand on him near the sideline. Hallabrin whirled but the tug of the boy in orange threw him off balance and he staggered forward. He was just beginning to right himself when one of his interference, jammed in by another unsuccessful Tiger tackler, bumped him and knocked exhausted Johnny to the ground on the 20-yard line. Before the ball could again be put in play, the gun cracked, the game was over and Tiger fans, they eyes still bulging, were glad of it. For the first time in two years they had feared defeat.
A Well-Earned Tie
Mansfield was delighted over the result. Fans blasted their horns and cheered as they streamed out of the city. They had a right to be proud, for their team had earned nothing short of a 6-6 tie and had shown Massillon two of the finest ends that ever played on Massillon field.
Russ Murphy, the Tyger coach, was more than happy. He didn’t do any boasting nor say much about his team save that it is the best since 1931, which numbered Inwood Smith and Frank Fisch, ex-Ohio State stars on its roster. Murphy had much to say of Massillon and the treatment recorded him here, however. “I like to play Massillon,” he said. “They play clean, hard football here and they have the right spirit. I like it. Sorry I’ve got to help Dials into the shower room.” And he grabbed his fine end who towered a head above him and poured words of praise into his ears so long that he walked into a shower himself.
Out of the shower room again, Murphy was asked whether his strategy in the second half was to play a defensive game and hold the Tigers’ to a tie score. His team had shown great success with the forward pass the first half, but only threw one pass in the third period which was intercepted.
“No sir,” was his reply. “We were out to win that ball game. I instructed my team to pass, but after the interception at the start of the second half, the boys were afraid. I even sent word to them to pass but they didn’t pitch until right at the end.”
The Mansfield-gridders played smart football. They adjusted themselves to the Tiger offense after yielding a touchdown the first quarter and they stopped the Massillon eleven cold the last two periods.
Not until the last minute of the game did the local team make a first down in the second half. Then Glass in two plays went 12 yards and a five-yard penalty produced another on the following series.
Mansfield likewise had little in an offensive way.
Hallabrin Fine Back
The Tygers had a halfback in Johnny Hallabrin who would make most any opponent jealous, but only once did he get away to a run of any distance from scrimmage and that was in the first period when he dashed 24 yards to carry the ball into Tiger territory. A pass to an ineligible receiver gave Massillon the ball and ended that threat.
The visitors, however, used their passes smartly and tossed the ball into the flats which were left unguarded by the Tiger 7-1-2-1 defense.
In fact Mansfield’s only offensive effort of the day was its touchdown march in the second period and passes were largely instrumental in producing the score.
Two of the Tygers’ three first downs were made in this march and they didn’t make a one thereafter. Massillon made eight first downs.
The Tigers scored the first time they came into possession of the ball and their pile driving offense caused everyone to believe the score would be something like what it was last year. Perhaps the players became imbued with the same feeling. At any rate they had a hard time gaining ground thereafter.
Massillon Scores Easily
Mansfield received and when three plays lacked a foot of a first down, Hallabrin punted out of bounds on the Tiger 37. There Massillon launched its drive. Wyatt carried the first two times and gain4ed eight yards and Glass went through for a first down on the Mansfield 44-yard line. Glass tossed a long pass that Toles dropped so he turned to running again and carried the ball to a first down on the 22-yard line.
On the next play Elmer Dials, No. 47 to you, began to figure out how to stop Glass and tossed him for a yard loss. Bob got by on a delayed buck and carried to a first down on the nine-yard line.
The going was hard from there on. Wyatt made three yards at center and Glass a yard. Glass smacked again and put the ball on the yard line. The center of the Tygers’ wall was pushed back on fourth down and Glass went over. His kick was wide.
The local team launched another drive from midfield in the closing minutes of the quarter and aided by a 35-yard pass to Don Snavely carried the ball to the two-yard line, where on fourth down. Glass chose to pass to Howard in the end zone. The Tiger end was boxed-in, however and could not get out in time to get the ball.
Mansfield Picks Up
It was the turning point of the ball game. Mansfield played inspired football after that. Following an exchange of punts, the Tygers came into possession of the ball on Massillon’s 45-yard line. A five-yard penalty for too many times out sat them back to midfield, but Hallabrin more than made it up when he tossed a pass to Majoy for a gain of 23 yards and a first down on the Massillon 27, Hallabrin tried to carry the ball but couldn’t gain so he stepped back and fired another pass to Majoy in the flat. Snavely tackled the receiver so hard that he turned a complete somersault and was knocked out as he landed on his back. He resumed play however and a pass to Bailet produced a first down on the Tiger
There the Massillon team dug in. Kinkle carried three yards on one attempt and moved it a foot nearer a second time. Hallabrin banged into the line and lost a foot. Fourth down coming and less than a yard to go; Hallabrin knifed through his left side for the score. He barely reached the goal line.
The placekick, which at the time didn’t appear so important but which in the end would have defeated the Tigers had it crossed the bar, struck the left upright slightly above the cross bar and bounded back.
That was the visitors’ only offensive maneuver and they didn’t come close again until the last play of the game when Hallabrin intercepted Glass’ pass and nearly got away for a touchdown.
The Tigers received and in a drive that netted two first downs, marched the ball up to the visitors’ 41-yard line where the gun stopped them.
The second half was a defensive battle from start to finish with neither team getting anywhere in its efforts.
Dials Outstanding End
Dials, who was replaced by Luckie when injured the first half, got back into the ball game in the second half and gave the greatest exhibition of end play ever seen here.
He stopped everything the Tigers shot to the right and got around to lend a hand in many plays directed to the left side of the line.
Glass saved his team a lot of trouble at the start of the third period when he intercepted Hallabrin’s pass. The Tygers were afraid to throw after that and only tossed two more passes, completing one for a gain of six yards.
Save for the one 36 yard toss to Snavely, Massillon’s forward pass was a useless weapon. Five passes were incomplete, two intercepted and on numerous occasions receivers were so bottled up that Glass had to run with the ball after signaling for a pass.
The Massillon line played a fine defensive game but was out-charged much of the time when on offense.
Mansfield has a big ball team. One look at the visitors in the dressing room was sufficient to convince you they were heavier than the Tigers. They employed a 6-3-2 defense.
A penalty cut short what may have been an offensive bid on their part in the fourth quarter. A 15-yard pass was completed to Majoy that would have given the visitors a first down on the 35-yard line, but a Mansfield lineman was offside on the play and the Tygers were forced to punt.
The game will be replayed at a meeting of the Tiger Booster club in Washington high school tonight. Coach Brown will lead the discussion and tickets for Friday night’s game at Warren will be placed on sale.
The lineup and summary:
Massillon Pos. Mansfield
Howard LE Stehle
Peters LT Heiser
Houston LG Adams
Martin C Ziegler
Greenfielder RG Rupp
Anderson RT Horvath
Snavely RE Dials
Snyder QB Majoy
Glass LH Hallabrin
Toles RH Linta
Wyatt FB Bailet
Massillon – Lucius, lg.
Mansfield – Nagle, c; Banks, rh; Luckie, re; Kinkle, hb.
Massillon – Glass.
Mansfield – Hallabrin.
Referee – Lobach (Franklin and Marshall).
Umpire – Graf.
Head Linesman – Bechtel (Wittenberg).