TIGER GRIDDERS DEFEAT SHARON 37-20 IN THRILLING GAME MASSILLON’S PASSES BEWILDER OPPONENTS
Aerial Fireworks Save Game For Local Team; There Will Never Be Another Like It, 10,000 Fans Say Today
By LUTHER EMERY
A courageous band of Washington high school Tigers, wrote pigskin history with skill and speed before 10,000 people Friday evening as they raced through the fog at Sharon to a
Ox cannot lick Tiger, the old adage goes and history repeated itself last night in one of the finest football games anyone could ever hope to witness.
Best Game in Tiger History
There have been none like it in Washington high school history and you may never see another. There have been sensational finishes such as the 7-6 triumph over Shaw in 1922, but never have four quarters been packed with more offensive football and thrills than the 48 minutes of last night’s game.
The Massillon Tigers won because they had a passing attack, knew how and when to use it and out-smarted their opponents. Using brains and speed to overcome a tremendous advantage in weight, they came back fighting after two bad breaks, to wrest victory out of turmoil that completely exhausted both teams.
So tired were both elevens that they went through their maneuvers in “slow motion” fashion the last few minutes of the game. Roscoe Clendening looked line a 10-second man among the tiring players when he replaced Zimmerman in the fourth quarter. Yet he is one of the slowest of the backfield squad – but a honey in a pinch.
It was an offensive game from the start, beginning like the big game with Canton in 1934, but maintaining the pace throughout the four periods.
Neither Team Would Quit
The elevens tossed touchdowns at each other with reckless abandon. The Tigers picked off two before the teams had hardly got warmed up, only to have Sharon make the most of two breaks and the score at 13-13 in the second quarter.
The blow was enough to crack the heart of any player but the Massillon eleven struck right back in the dying minutes of the first half with two passes, shoved over a third touchdown to flaunt a 19-13 lead at the intermission.
The third period began right where the second left off. Some 2,000 Massillon fans who went by auto and special train to Sharon, were fearful lest their team fade in the third quarter as it had done on three previous occasions this year. But the Tigers quickly relieved their apprehensions and struck back with another scoring march that hoisted the lead to 25-13.
That gallant Sharon team wouldn’t give up, however. Harold Matthews, had not yet done what he wanted to do to close his athletic career in a blaze of glory. Hs turn was coming and he found it in a hole in the right side of the Massillon line though which he raced 54 yards to Sharon’s third and last touchdown of the game. It and the following point after touchdown narrowed the margin to 25-20 and again made Massillon hearts pound, but the Tigers struck right back as only a good ball team can and chalked up two more touchdowns to shove their margin of superiority to 17 points.
Thanks For Passing
Massillon should give thanks for its passing attack. Without it the score might have been different. Anyone who saw the game can tell you. They saw how the smaller Tiger gridders had to virtually block their opponents to the ground to gain yards from scrimmage. They saw Fred Toles snare two consecutive passes, one an almost impossible catch to wipe out the 13-13 tie. They saw Horace Gillom go high in the air to pull down another behind the goal after Sharon had crept dangerously close in the third quarter. They saw Ray Getz haul down another to put the ball in position to score.
Without a passing attack to keep the Sharon secondary from crowding the line of scrimmage, the Tiger ball carriers would have had an even harder time of it. But George Slusser’s accurate right arm kept the Pennsylvanians on the alert and the Tiger backs were able to pick up three and four yards before they could meet up with the play.
“Massillon has a great team,” said David B. Stewart, smiling through disappointment after the game. “Your team can do anything and that’s what licked us. It was an excellent game.”
Paul Brown, who played quarterback for Washington high when Stewart coached here 13 years ago, was pleased with the courageous spirit of the team. “You could see for yourself we were badly outweighed. We had to knock them down to get anywhere. They were two tired teams when that final gun popped. Did you ever see such a game before. I didn’t.”
“Nor I,” piped up Hugh McGranahan, assistant coach, who himself went into action in the third period when a spectator edged in on the Massillon bench and took a swing at Pizzino, a sub-fullback. “P, (P is for Paul), you can send me away scouting after this. I won’t be able to stand another like that.”
And McGranahan expressed the sentiments of practically every Massillon fan there.
Both teams were so “high” that neither would quit under pressure that would make most elevens surrender.
They had seasonal and traditional records to preserve and gave every effort toward that end. Today the Tiger record of having lost but one game in 34 still existed, but Sharon’s string of 15 straight was broken. It was the Pennsylvanian’s first loss in 19 games.
Statistics Favor Tigers
Not only the score but the statistics in general were with Massillon. The forward pass made the difference.
The Tigers rolled up 13 first downs to Sharon’s four and not one did the latter team get in the last half.
The local eleven made 191 yards rushing to Sharon’s 174 and gained 123 yards passing to none for Sharon.
The Pennsylvanians had a slight edge on running back punts and kickoffs and owned a margin in punting. Penalties were the same.
To pick out an outstanding player would do an injustice to other members of the Massillon team. From end to end and throughout the backfield each individual gave everything he had.
The same can be said for Sharon, though the defensive playing of O’Brien and Wolansky and Matthews’ ball carrying ability demanded attention.
Two Tiger players went out with injuries. Jim Russell, who injured an ankle in practice Wednesday evening, was forced out early in the first half and was replaced by Red Henderson, sophomore, playing his second game. Henderson was hurt in the McKeesport game and had not played since. Bill Zimmerman aggravated an ankle injury in the second half but hobbled around on it for 10 minutes before he got another bump that put him out. Clendening took his place.
The game was packed with the unexpected, recovery of fumbles, long runs for touchdowns and sensational passes.
Tigers Score Early
Joe Cvelbar fumbled on the second play of the game and the alert Freddie Toles flopped on the ball on the Sharon 37-yard line. There began your first touchdown drive. Red Snyder ripped through for nine yards at right tackle and Ray Getz cut through left tackle for a first down on the 21-yard line. Snyder and Slusser running hard made it first down on the seven-yard line. Snyder moved the ball three yards nearer the goal, but a stubborn Sharon defense, ganged up on Fred Toles when he tried to circle on an end around play and Wolansky tossed him for an 11-yard loss. On the very next play, Getz swept the left flank and carried to the two-yard line before being downed. With fourth down and two yards needed for a touchdown, Capt. Snyder, head down, smacked the center of the line and went through standing up. Getz kicked the extra point and it was 7-0.
Sharon received and when three downs lacked a yard and a half of a first down, Wolansky punted to Capt. Red Snyder. The red head caught the ball on his own 20-yard line and almost doing a tight wire act as he raced along the line, ran straight up the field 80 yards for a touchdown without a hand being laid on him.
The play came so fast that few saw Snyder’s interference form as a screen between the Sharon players and the Massillon ball carrier. Little blocking was needed for before the Sharon gridders could get to him, Snyder was past them and traveling at top speed in midfield. Massillon fans were hilarious. It was the signal for a rout and would have resulted in just that were it not for the stout hearts of Dave Stewart’s boys. They fought back after Getz missed the extra point from placement, took the kickoff and worked the ball to midfield where Freddie Toles intercepted Cvelbar’s pass to give Massillon the ball.
Sharon Scores After Fumble
Both teams stopped each others’ scoring efforts until early in the second quarter when Wolansky got off a good punt which bounded in front of Capt. Snyder. Red tried to pick it up on the 15-yard line but the ball rolled out of his hands and Cvelbar recovered for Sharon on the Tiger one-yard line. On the first play Wolansky crashed through center for the touchdown and Cvelbar kicked the extra point. It was a tough break for Massillon and Shaorn made the most of it.
Another break went to Sharon after the following kickoff. The Tigers marched the ball to midfield where Slusser was tackled hard while attempting to pass. He fumbled the ball and O’Brien recovered for Sharon on the Massillon 31.
The Tigers apparently stemmed the attack until a five-yard penalty for offside moved the ball up for Sharon to third down on the 26-yard line. Wolansky and Matthews made a first down by inches on the 21.
There Matthews was turned loose and he carried one tackler after another until he was finally downed with six on his back on the 14-yard line. Wolansky, Matthews and Izenas got a first down on the nine-yard line and here Sharon was faced with a problem. The big Pennsylvania backs had to fight for every yard. In three downs they got to the one-yard line. Matthews was given the ball on fourth down. He moved forward, the lines piled high, but the officials found the ball had gone over by a few inches. There was tumult in the Sharon bleachers. The score was tied 13-13. Wolansky tried to sneak the extra point over but was met by a fast charging Massillon line.
Only two minutes of the half remained when Wolansky kicked off to Gillom. He got back 11 yards to his 41 when downed. Slusser dropped back and protected this time by his fellow backs fired a long pass to Freddie Toles. A Sharon player was there to get it but Freddie went over his head to pull down the ball o n the Sharon 30. Back Slusser dropped for another pass. This time Toles cut diagonally across the field, snared the all on the
10-yard line and went over. The touchdown came so quickly that 10,000 spectators watched in silence a moment, then let loose with a terrific blast of groans and cheers.
Getz’s attempt to kick the extra point was wide of the uprights but the Tigers were ahead 19-13 and Sharon could run but one play before expiration of the first half.
Another March Begins
Both teams came out strong the third quarter and neither threatened until mid-way in the third period when Snyder on a 10-yard return of a punt was forced out of bounds on his own 40-yard line. The local eleven didn’t look particularly dangerous then, but quickly launched its longest offensive of the evening.
Stopped on a sweep around right end, Slusser hurled a long pass to Gillom for a first down on the Sharon 43. A pass to Getz was a little too high and Slusser and Getz moved the ball within a foot of a first down. Snyder banged through for extra yards and a first down on the 31.
There the Massillon eleven pulled the old Michigan Statue of Liberty out of the bag. With the ends crashing in to block Slusser who dropped back to pass, Getz circled behind him took the ball off the palm of his hand and pranced to a first-down on the Sharon 20. Slusser hit for seven yards, but after Getz was thrown for no gain, Snyder tore through center and ran to the three-yard line before being downed. On the next play he plunged for the touchdown, Getz’s kick was wide of the post.
That hoisted the Massillon margin to 25-13 and it looked safe enough until Sharon took the kickoff, moved up the field to its 46-yard line where Matthews found a hole in the left side of the Tiger line and ran 54 yards for a touchdown. Cvelbar placekicked the extra point and the score in two minutes had changed to 25-20.
Sharon was too close so Slusser began throwing again after the kickoff. He fired a long one to Getz who caught the ball on the Sharon 30 and ran to the 18-yard line before being tossed out of bounds. Two line plays only gained two yards and Slusser’s pass to Getz on third down dropped into the end zone. With fourth down and eight to go, Slusser dropped back for another pass. He looked toward Toles cutting diagonally across the field, then turned and fired to Gillom who was moving diagonally the other way. It was a wobbly pass but Gillom sprang into the iar at the right time and hauled down the ball behind the goal line while a Sharon player made a frantic effort to block it.
Slusser tried to carry the ball over for the extra point this time but was stopped.
Clendening Starts Drive
Both teams were tiring rapidly as the fourth quarter began to wane. Then Clendening, sent in to replace the injured Zimmerman, took Wolansky’s punt and ran hard down the east side line to the Sharon 22-yard line. He did not know he stepped out of bounds on the 22 and raced on across the goal with tackler after tackler bouncing off him.
Snyder found a hole at right guard and ran to a first down on the two-yard line. Slusser went through the same spot for the sixth and final touchdown. Again the kick for the extra point was wide.
You would have thought that would have finished the Sharon team, but Stewart coached teams are typically courageous elevens and Izenas, sub-fullback, took the kickoff and ran to the Massillon 22-yard line where he was tackled from behind by Getz after being out in the clear. The Pennsylvanians in four downs only advanced the ball three yards and the Tigers took the pigskin and kept it until the game ended, three plays later.
The two elevens dragged themselves off the field and the Massillon gridders were too tired to rejoice over their victory. The 10,000 spectators flooded the gates, piled into their autos and immediately there was a traffic jam.
Massillon fans who drove to the game feared a heavy fog on their way home. It was already descending on the field in the third quarter but apparently centered on the hill top. Little fog was encountered elsewhere until Canton was reached.
It was a fine night for the return trip. A bright moon made driving easy and fans who had expected to grope their way in fog were treated instead to a brilliant display of the Aurora Borealis.
The special train which conveyed the band and 200 fans to the game arrived in Sharon ahead of schedule and reached home shortly after 2 a.m.
And did the Massillon band click! Sharon has no small band, it won the state championship last year. Sharon sports writers were unusually enthusiastic over the performance put on by the Massillon musicians. “Why that’s better than you see in most of the big universities,” they said. “Boy how they can swing it.”
The bands appeared simultaneously on the field. The Sharon musicians wearing orange and black cadet uniforms took position on the field and the Massillon band marched through the ranks both playing in unison.
The Massillon spectators took big appetites with them. The “sold out” sign was hung up in many restaurants. Schoolboys were sitting three deep on the stools in one hamburger shop.
Miss Margaret Busse, Massillon’s acrobatic cheerleader, covered up last night. It was a bit too frosty for the tights. The drum major lassies strutted as usual but made good use of blankets when off the field.
Occasionally fists flew in the stands and police found it necessary to escort a fan to the gates now and then, but all in all this crowd was unusually orderly, especially considering how tense the game was and Massillon people returned home praising the sportsmanship of fans and police of the Pennsylvania city.
One In A Million
Massillon Pos. Sharon
Toles LE Wild
Lucius LT Dunn
Russell LG Bruno
Martin C Sasala
Houston RG Lysohir
McMichael RT Kalwarski
Gillom RE Colclaser
Slusser QB Wolansky
Getz LH Marstellar
Zimmerman RH Matthews
Snyder FB Cvelbar
Score by periods:
Massillon 13 6 12 6 37
Sharon 0 13 7 0 20
Massillon – Henderson, lg; Clendeing, rh.
Sharon – Izenas, fb; Brickley, le; O’Brien, lt.
Massillon – Snyder 3; Toles; Gillom; Slusser.
Sharon – Matthews 2; Wolansky.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Getz (placekick).
Sharon – Cvelbar 2 (placekick).
Referee – Allison (Beaver).
Umpire – Gross (New Philadelphia).
Head Linesman – Landis (Cleveland).
First downs 13 4
Passes 8 2
Passes completed 5 0
Passes intercepted by 1 0
Passes incomplete 3 1
Yards gained passing 123 0
Yards gained rushing 191 174
Total yards gained 314 174
Yards lost rushing 11 18
Net yards gained 303 156
Punt, kickoff returns 174 189
Kickoffs 7 4
Average kickoffs 42 37
Punts 4 6
Average punts 28 34
Fumbles 3 2
Lost ball on fumble 2 1
Times penalized 3 3
Yards penalized 25 25
INDIVIDUAL BALL CARRYING
Player Times Yds. Ave.
Snyder 20 98 4.9
Slusser 9 33 3.6
Getz 13 60 4.6
Toles 1 11 0.0
Wolansky 3 4 1.3
Matthews 14 96 6.8
Marstellar 19 40 2.1
Cvelbar 5 16 3.2
Izena 2 0 0.0