Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Passes Overcome Unorthodox Alliance Defense After Tigers Are Behind at End of Half for First Time in Three Seasons


The Washington high Tigers took the lead in the race for Stark county scholastic football honors before 5,000 fans here last night but not until after Alliance had given them one of the worst scares they have had in three seasons.

The end of the first half found the orange and black behind 6-0. Not since the memorable Massillon-Canton game of 1934, have they been in that position.

Game Not in Bag Until Fourth Period
It was not until the third quarter was well underway that the Tigers succeeded in taking the lead and they were not sure of victory until the middle of the fourth period was reached.

Then with a final burst of offense the Massillon gridders plunged and passed their way to a final 39-6 triumph which is just about the score many optimistic fans had figured they would win by.

But it was a costly victory, in that Warren Wyatt, Tiger guard and one of the six veterans on the team may not be able to play for another month.

Wyatt cracked a bone in his right leg, just above the ankle and will be out indefinitely, Coach Paul Brown said today. He was injured on the seventh play of the third quarter, in the midst of the Tigers’ first touchdown drive. X-ray pictures revealed a cracked bone, not a break, Coach Brown said.

However no chance will be taken on aggravating the injury and Wyatt will be given a complete rest until pronounced physically able to return.

Unorthodox Defense
As expected Dr. George Wilcoxon, Alliance coach made life miserable for the Tigers the first half with a cockeyed defense which consisted of an eight-man line. The Aviators lined up on defense with six men on the forward wall and hopped two additional men in from the secondary at the expectant point of attack just as the ball was snapped.

With the exception of the early minutes of the first quarter when a 15-yard penalty stopped the Tigers in what looked like a touchdown drive, the Aviators had the Massillon offense completely bottled up.

The eight-man line halted the running attack and so rushed George Slusser that he was unable to pass. Save for their one long march at the start of the first quarter that took the ball to the Alliance 32-yard stripe, the Tigers were unable to penetrate into Alliance territory and only made three first downs in the two periods.

The Aviators on the other hand struck suddenly and successfully in the middle of the second quarter when John Gainor brought Bob Glass’ punt back 12 yards to the 34-yard line, moved it 14 yards nearer on a surprise dash around end and pegged a pass straight over the center to August Palozzi who scampered across the Tiger goal. Gainor’s attempted kick for the extra point was wide of the posts but the six points looked big to both Alliance and Massillon fans.

Tigers Take Lead
The Tigers snapped out of their lethargy in the third period however, grabbed the kickoff and marched 64 yards to a touchdown.

Dr. Wilcoxon’s defense strategy which completely stopped the Tigers the first half, reacted against him the last half as Slusser and Glass uncorked their throwing arms.

With only three men in the alliance secondary, Coach Brown ordered his boys to pass and they did.

A long peg took the ball over the middle of the field to the Alliance 34. The visitors became pass conscious and Glass and Zimmerman hammered for a first down. When the Aviators again closed in to try and halt the Tiger running attack, Glass fired a pass to Slusser who gathered in the leather and went down to the five-yard line. Glass only required one play to get it over and tie the score. He kicked the extra point from placement and the Tigers went into the lead.

Passes again opened the way for the second touchdown in the closing minutes of the third quarter. Don Snavely picked one of Gainor’s passes out of the air on the Alliance 44. Glass moved it down to the 24-yard line and when the Tigers were penalized five yards for offside, Glass again stepped back and fired to Slusser for a first down on the six yard stripe. He went over for a touchdown on the first play, but missed the try for the extra point.

Touchdowns came easier in the fourth quarter.

Power Plays Get Points
The Tigers had the ball in their possession on the Alliance 45-yard line when the third period ended and directed a relentless drive at the Alliance line.

Only one pass, an eight-yard toss, Glass to Snyder was mixed in with the running attack, for the Tigers by this time had opened the red and blue secondary and the ball carriers were able to go places. With Zimmerman doing some nifty plunging the orange and black smashed to a first down on the one-yard line and Glass plunged the ball across. Slusser tried to buck the extra point but failed.

There was joy in the visitors’ hearts a little later when Gainor kicked a beautiful punt into the coffin corner on the five-yard line.

The Tigers did not give the ball away, however, but gambled on their ball carrying ability and reeled off three successive first downs that took the pigskin to the Alliance 44. Slusser got loose on a delayed buck and moved it on to the 29-yard line where Glass pegged a
28-yard pass to Don Snavely who stepped out of bound inches short of the Alliance goal. Zimmerman lugged the ball over. Glass’ kick was low.

Howard Snares Alliance Pass
The next score followed in 30 seconds. The red and blue received and on the first play Bob Howard intercepted Gainor’s long pass in midfield and dashed back to the two-yard line before alliance could down him. Slusser sneaked across for the touchdown and Glass kicked the extra point that swelled the total to 32.

Another interception by Howard stopped an Alliance passing threat in midfield. Glass shook himself loose for a dash to the 14-yard line and aided by a five-yard penalty on Alliance for offside, the Tigers drove the remaining nine yards with Glass carrying the ball into the Promised Land. He kicked the 39th point and a flock of Massillon substitutes carried on the last three minutes.

Save for their second period touchdown, Alliance threatened on but two other occasions. With the Tigers leading 19-6, two successive passes advanced the ball to the Massillon
37-yard line where the locals held and forced the red and blue to punt. In the first period Streza intercepted Slusser’s pass on the 32-yard line, but the Aviators could only advance the ball four more yards before they lost it on downs.

Statistics were entirely in Massillon’s favor. The Tigers made 19 first downs to five for Alliance and gained a total of 383 yards to the Aviators’ 126 yards.

Sixteen of Massillon’s first downs were made in the last half, 11 in the fourth period.

The Alliance and Massillon bands kept warm between halves by drilling on the field.

The lineup and summary:
Massillon Pos. Alliance
Howard LE Clark
Peters LT Carli
Houston LG Purdy
Martin C Kloetzer
Wyatt RG Zupanic
Anderson RT Taylor
Snavely RE Palozzi
Slusser QB Gainor
Glass LH Schwartzhoff
Snyder RH Koch
Zimmerman FB Streza

Score by periods:
Massillon 0 0 13 26 39
Alliance 0 6 0 0 6

Substitutions: Massillon – Doroslov, qb; Lucius, rg; Fabian, fb; Lechleiter, le; MacMichael, lt; harsh, rt; Hout, c; Croop, rt; France, re; Toles, lh, Sandy, rh.
Alliance – Dawson, c; McPhail, rh; Hume, qb; Artino, hb; Boyd, rt; Chernikovich, rg.

Alliance – Palozzi.
Massillon – Glass 4; Zimmerman; Slusser.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Glass 3 (placekicks).

Referee – Lobach (F. & M.)
Umpire – Jenkins (Akron).
Head Linesman – Boone (Canton).

Bob Glass