Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo


Presidents Unable To Withstand Battering Of Great Massillon Line and Hard Hitting Backs; Bands Stage Spectacle


The Warren Presidents are no longer candidates for the state high school championship. Their ambitions were smothered under a deluge of five touchdowns Friday evening as the Washington high Tigers pounced into Harding high stadium to extend their victory streak to 16 games and strengthen their position in 1939 Ohio football circles.

The score was 33-0, but the score does not tell the kind of game it was, a rough and tumble affair that had the overflow crowd of 9,000 fans, the largest that has ever attended a football game in Warren, seething with excitement for the first three periods of the game.
Touchdowns Hard to Get
Though the Tiger was superior throughout, touchdowns were hard to get and it was
slam-bang for two and one-half periods before the Warren Presidents finally wilted under the terrific hammering and did not choose to run any longer.

The Tigers, who had scored one touchdown in the second period to lead 6-0 at the half, piled two more on top of them in the last five minutes of the third period and made a complete run-a-way in the fourth as the local eleven’s superior condition had the Warren players dragging.

The charge of the line was terrific. Even though outweighed, the Tiger forwards moved the Warren linemen backward and opened huge holes for the backs to romp through.

And defensively – well, it can be best summed up by saying the Presidents might just as well have thrown their forces against the Maginot line as to have tried to pierce the Tiger forward wall last night, their net gain was five yards.
Games are won and lost on the line, so they say and Messrs. Ray Getz, Gil Pedrotty, Jim Russell, Earl Martin, Gene Henderson, John Swezey and Horace Gillom, gave a remarkable exhibition. Most fans watch the ball carrier, but the ball carriers, can’t move without a charging line and good blocking in front of them.

Ex-Local Coach
Praises Tigers

Sidney Jones, former Washington high school football and basketball coach and now probate judge of Trumbull County, of which Warren is the county seat, was among the 9,000 spectators who saw the Tigers run rampant over the Warren Harding Presidents last night.

And Judge Jones really was impressed.

“Massillon had the greatest high school football team I have ever seen,” said the judge, following the game.

“We all thought we had a great team in Warren. We do but that Massillon team really has what it takes.”

Judge Jones coached at the local school back in 1912 and 1913 when scholastic football was far from being the sport it is today.

Vicious Blocking
The Tigers had both last night. The blocking was vicious, Warren newspaper reporters commented on it after the first couple of plays and the ball carriers plunged and sidestepped with more than ordinary ability.

Heading the scoring was George Slusser and Red James, each with two touchdowns. Fred Blunt also reached the Promised Land in the short time he played.

It was long runs by Slusser, one for 71 yards and James, one for 32 yards, with surprise sneaks by Bob Foster and some hard plunges by Roscoe Clendening that finished the fireworks for Massillon fans. Prettiest of all, was a brilliant 75-yard return of a punt by Red James that was not allowed because Referee Russell Rupp called unnecessary roughness on Capt. Martin.

There was more drama in the game than most of the fans could appreciate. Only the players knew what was going on. They knew the importance of the game and its bearing on the state championship and they knew that each team had been pointed to the limit to win.

The Presidents went into the melee keyed to the limit and made a hard fight of it for two and one-half periods, only to wilt before superior conditioning. Save for an injured ankle suffered in the second period by Bill Zimmerman, the best ground gainer in the early minutes of the game, the local squad emerged unscathed and raced to the bench when removed for substitutes in the third and fourth quarters.

On the other hand, the Warren gridders, beaten and bruised, limped to the sidelines, disappointed, but not disgraced for fans knew they were beaten by a superior team.
Tigers Superior Every Way
Yes, the Tigers had all the better of it in virtually every department of the game, 15 first downs, to Warren’s two. They completed three of seven passes for 29 yards and intercepted one of Warren’s five attempts.

They gained 409 yards by rushing to Warren’s 27 and they finished with a net offensive gain, passing and ball carrying of 418 yards to Warren’s five yards.

They stopped Mackey Johnson, ace ball carrier of the Presidents and Tom Decavitch, a quick cutting runner, in their tracks. Give Horace Gillom a lot of credit for keeping Mackey behind the line of scrimmage. When all figures are added up, Mackey lost three more yards than he gained. He carried the ball six times, gained six yards and lost nine.

The Tigers in one department, forward passing, failed to function as they have in previous games. Warren met them with a 6-2-2-1 defense. The Presidents line up with a five-man line, but hopped a sixth into the expected point of combat. The Presidents covered Tiger pass receivers closely and only short tosses into the flats worked.

Not only did the Tigers out-man the Presidents, but they also out-smarted them. They gambled and won. Take the closing minutes of the first half as an example. It was fourth down with 18 yards to go and the ball on the Warren 44-yard line. Gillom dropped back to punt, but around came James to take the ball off his back stretched hand and race to a first down on the Warren 21-yard line. The gun stopped the Tigers’ on the five-yard line in this touchdown bid or they might have had a more comfortable lead at the end of the first half.
First March Fails
The Tigers made a touchdown bid after the opening kickoff. They lugged the ball from the 20-yard line to the Warren 18, Zimmerman missing a first down by inches. Warren came back to gain 12 yards in two attempts and one of its two first downs of the game. It got the other on a penalty.

After an exchange of punts, Slusser recovered a Warren fumble in midfield and there, in the closing minute of the first period, began the first successful touchdown march. After James had lost a yard at end, Slusser picked up seven yards and Zimmerman plunged for a first down on the Warren 40. Slusser and Zimmerman in three attempts carried to a first down on the Warren 28. There little Red James set up the touchdown, racing around left end on a double reverse to the six-yard line. Zimmerman put the ball on the one yard line but Warren was offside and penalized five yards which took the ball to the same spot. Slusser hit his right tackle for the touchdown and Getz kicked the extra point.
Two plays after the following kickoff, Zimmerman was injured and removed from the lineup for the rest of the game. He was replaced by Clendening who did a great job of filling his shoes. An exchange of punts and Warren worked its best offensive maneuver of the game, an intended lateral pass, but the ball traveled forward instead of laterally and the play was not allowed. It would have gained 18 yards.

Taking the ball on their own 39-yard line, the Tigers launched another drive with Clendening plunging for 14 yards and James getting away for some fancy stepping off the fake kick formation, but with first down coming up and the ball on the five-yard line, the gun cracked, ending the half.

The third period was full of thrills. The Tigers were stopped in midfield after taking the kickoff and were forced to punt back to the Presidents. Warren opened up with laterals and passes but went backward. Decavitch hoisted a beautiful punt that James picked up near his goal and raced back through nearly the entire Warren team before being downed on the 24-yard line. It wasn’t allowed because of a roughing penalty and Warren got the ball on first down on its 47-yard line.

Gillom did his best to make up for it on the next play, however, when he leaped high in the air to intercept Decavitch’s pass on his own 40 and carry the ball back to the 44-yard line.

There another successful touchdown drive was launched. Foster fooled his opponents as he sneaked through guard and cut around the secondary for a 36-yard gain to the 20-yard line. Slusser on the next play smashed through to the 11 and James completely crossed up his opponents as he slipped around his left end for the 11 yards and touchdown. Getz’s
attempted placekick for the extra point was wide of the posts and the score was 13-0. That touchdown signaled the breaking point of the Warren morale and when after an exchange of punts, James romped 32 yards for his second touchdown of the game, the rout was begun. Getz kicked the point this time and the quarter closed after the following kickoff.
Warren Crumbles
Warren had little left the last period. It couldn’t gain ground and its defense crumbled before the Tiger charge. Failing to move the ball more than eight yards after the kickoff, the Presidents punted to the Massillon 24. Clendening moved the ball to the Massillon 29 and there Slusser on a cutback play ran 71 yards for a touchdown. Getz kicked the 27th point of the game.

Pokey Blunt was sent in and more trouble loomed for the Presidents. Getting the ball on a punt, the Tigers moved it up to the 15-yard line and there Blunt slipped around his left end and fought his way over the goal. Getz’a attempts kicked for the extra point was blocked and it was the signal for a complete new Massillon team to take the field. There was no further scoring, neither team as much as threatening.

Warren tried to work a fake kick in the remaining minutes but Price, the ball carrier, was tossed for an 11-yard loss.

The game was staged in a riot of color with the field completely surrounded with spectators. The Warren band with 32 majorettes and the Tiger band with eight majorettes, participated in a flag raising ceremony before the game. They were back again between halves, each with a fine show. The Tiger band gave a complete new performance that featured an Apache dance by Obie the Tiger and the “Alma Mater Massillon” ran across the field with spectators joining in the singing.

The Warren band formed a flag, with the 32 drum majorettes as the staff and while in this formation played “God Bless America.” A couple of the Warren majorettes gave a tap dance during another number on a platform beneath which was placed the microphone of the public address system.

Members of the bands renewed acquaintances prior to the game when entertained at dinner in Warren. Massillon musicians were loud in their praise of the hospitality they enjoyed in Warren.

The crowd was the largest that has ever attended a football game there. More than 9,000 were present, according to estimates. When no more could be accommodated the ticket booths and gates were locked. More than 2,000 Massillon fans were included in the group. Two thousand tickets were sold here and many more who were unable to buy tickets, went to Warren early and sat in the general admission section. Warren kept its promise and held the Massillon section for Massillon patrons. Massillon fans who rode the special train and there were 538 of them, found seats awaiting them when they reached Warren. They arrived in plenty of time for the game and praised the train as the finest ever provided for a football game.

Though the sky was overcast with clouds, not enough rain fell to dampen the sheepheads of the drums.

And that was a surprise to Massillon fans, particularly those who rode the special train. The train was in a downpour all the way from Barberton to Newton Falls, but by the time Warren was reached, the rain had stopped and the threatening skies only dumped a few buckets full during the last minute of the first half.

The game was originally scheduled for 8 p.m. was moved back to 8:15 by Warren officials.

You probably saw Coach Paul Brown and Coach Pierre Hill of Warren arguing between halves of the game. Brown insisted on using the brown ball, while Hill wanted to use the white ball the last half. Brown objected because Warren was wearing white jerseys.

Mackey Johnson, the Warren backfield ace wore a leather guard on his face. He had three teeth knocked loose two weeks ago.

A Real Victory
Massillon Pos. Warren
Getz LE Crognale
Pedrotty LT Hoffman
Russell LG Mrus
Martin C Canzeonetta
Henderson RG Deutsch
Swezey RT Dixon
Gillom RE Holmes
Foster QB Henry
Slusser LH Decavitch
James RH M. Johnson
Zimmerman FB Layton

Score by periods:
Massillon 0 7 13 13 33

Massillon – Clendening, fb; Kingham, qb; Fabian, lh; Blunt, rh; Pizzino, fb; Moody, re; Croop, rt; Cardinal, rg; Appleby, c; Broglio, lg; Wallace, lt; Kester, le.

Massillon – Slusser 2; James 2; Blunt.

Points after touchdowns:
Massillon – Getz 3 (placekick).

Referee – Rupp (Lebanon Valley).
Umpire – Jenkins (Akron).
Head Linesman – Ensign (Ohio Wesleyan).
Field Judge – Lobach (F. & M.)

George Slusser