LINEMEN SHOW GREAT COURAGE
Break Visitors’ Morale In First Period Goal Line Stand; None Expected So Large A Score
By Luther Emery
The heralded invasion of Alliance’s red and blue Aviators crashed in Tiger Stadium Friday evening and the explosion was still reverberating throughout Ohio today. Not only were the Wingmen downed, but they were grounded with a force that surprised even the most optimistic Massillon fan – 46-6.
When 20,000 fans leaned back amazed at the strength of the Massillon forward wall as it twice weathered goal line stands in the early minutes of the final quarter, they never believed that the game eventually would turn into a rout that at one time reached the fast pace of three points a minute.
Same Margin As Last Year
The Tigers were magnificent, and the margin of superiority over their stubborn foe of many years was exactly the same as last year – 40 points.
Who would have thought it when the first period ended in a scoreless tie, and the half only 6-0 in the Massillon eleven’s favor?
But the Tigers came out a new ball team in the second half, marching the kickoff right back 58 yards for a touchdown, and broke the spirit of the visiting team.
The Aviators appeared to quit then and there, and that is something new for a team coached by “Dutch” Hoppes. The loss of a couple of injured players, key men so to speak, may have started it, and there was little left in the way of opposition to the Tigers from there on in.
They shoved four more touchdowns over the Alliance goal in the third period, pushed two across in the fourth, and cleansed the bench of substitutes as all had an opportunity to play.
It was an improved Massillon team that chalked up the 37th consecutive victory for Tiger Town last night. The same hard blocking that featured the 39-0 defeat of Cathedral Latin high a week ago was there, and there were passes to help split the secondary and keep paths open for ball carriers. The forward pass was a potent weapon in Tiger hands for the first time this season, produced one touchdown, helped set the stage for another and produced 104 yards.
More remarkable than the increased offensive power was the defensive demonstration in the first few minutes that developed into one of the most courageous bits of line play ever seen here.
Twice the Tiger forwards threw back the visitors in the shadow of their goal posts, pushing them back from the four to the five-yard line on one occasion after they had had four downs to put it over.
You can hardly get an argument anywhere now but that this line is the best defensive high school line in years. All season it has been throwing opponents backward and seldom yielding an inch of ground. Why in 24 rushes at the Tiger forward wall last night, Alliance could gain but a net of 17 yards. You have John Hill, Joe De Mando, Dave Miller, Carl Paulik, Don Fuchs, and Vernon Weisgarber to thank for that, especially De Mando and Hill. Wonder how many times last night Alliance ball carriers wished Hill and De Mando had never learned to play football?
Toss Opponents Backward
The two boys tackled viciously and time and again crashed through to throw Alliance players for losses. They had a lot to do with limiting the visitors to five first downs, most of which were from passes and gave them the small net gain of 17 yards.
The same line also beat down the visitors offensively, blocking and cutting paths for Fred Blunt, Bob Graber, Dick Adams, Chuck Holt, and Junior White. It was through its efforts that the backs were able to roll up net gains of 418 yards from ball carrying.
Their only fault was inability to hold out the opposition in the early minutes of the game when two blocked punts by Earl Branfield put the Tigers’ in the hole. But their goal line stands made up for it all.
The Tigers were decidedly the better team the first two periods even though the 6-0 halftime score does not show it that way.
The blocked punts at the start got them in a hole and penalties at inopportune times also hurt. In fact, all but 30 second of the entire first quarter were played in Massillon territory, and it was not until three plays before the end of the period that Fred Blunt was turned loose on a brilliant 47-yard dash through left tackle that the orange and black managed to take the leather into the Aviator’s back yard.
That was the first flash of an offense that began reeling off yards as you would run clothes through a ringer.
Long Runs Feature
The Tigers didn’t get a touchdown on this attempt but they pushed it over the next time they laid their hands on the ball and followed with others that stabbed the Aviator line with lightning rapidity. Once Blunt raced 70 yards to score, again Junior White pranced 66 yards into the promised land and then there was a 20-yard touchdown pass hurled by Adams to Don Armour, who played himself a fine game.
None the less startling was the perfect peg from Alliance’s Dick McClure to Captain Joe Rogel, a 16-yard toss, for the Aviators only touchdown.
Alliance crossed up the Tiger secondary on that one. With only a yard to go, the second line of defense was expecting a line plunge. The long count in the Alliance huddle was a tip-off that something else was being cooked up, and Rogel got behind the defenders to make a good catch of McClure’s toss.
Aviators’ Offense Weak
The Aviators manufacture little in the way of offense. Their net gain of 17 yards describes their running attack, but they managed to pick up 89 additional yards on six completed passes.
The Aviators had a couple of light, but speedy backs in McClure and “Bud” Howell, but their linemen couldn’t turn them loose. McClure barely scales 140 pounds, and looks smaller than that in the dressing room.
“The only way to beat you fellows is to get faster boys,” was Coach Hoppes’ comment after the game. “I can’t figure it out – how a team that would hold an opponent to six points the first half could collapse so completely the second.
A lot of other fans couldn’t understand it either, but a survey of the visitors’ dressing room after the game was enough to show that the red and blue took a physical beating as well as a trimming in points. The boys appeared tired, despite their apparent good condition. None was believed seriously injured, though Harry Geltz, a substitute halfback, may have sustained a fractured rib.
An occasional limp was also noticeable in the Tiger dressing room. Don Fuchs, first string center, was among them. Bob Kanney, substitute guard, had a swollen eye, the result of a hard bump he received in the face late in the game.
Herman Robinson, one of two regulars left from last year, who suffered an injured knee the first day of practice, put on his uniform for the first time last night, but he will be unable to play for several weeks. The cast was only removed from the knee Friday.
Knowlton Sees Game
Mel Knowlton, who was an assistant Washington high coach for several weeks this spring before accepting the head job at Steubenville, had his entire staff in the stands to watch the game. “This years team is faster than that of last,” Mel contented after the game. “I don’t know what we can do to stop you next week.” The Tigers play at Steubenville next Friday.
The game had its freak plays, one of which you may not see again in 1,000 football games – a passer completing a pass to himself. It occurred in the second half. Bob Graber threw the ball, a bullet pass that struck an Alliance player and bounced right back into his arms for a four-yard loss.
Getting back to the game, the hair-raising first quarter created a need for better protection for the punter. The Tigers moved the ball well the first time they got it and were inches short of a first down in three attempts. They decided to punt rather than chance a mishap on their own 17, but they had the mishap just the same. The left side of the Alliance line came a busting through as Branfield blocked the ball. Massillon recovered but it was Alliance’s ball on the Tiger 37. Two five-yard penalties for offside gave Alliance a first down and Howell’s dash around left end produced another on the 35-yard line. The Tigers stopped the threat on the 18-yard line when Graber tried to punt out safely. Branfield crashed through again to block the ball and Alliance got it on the nine.
A five-yard penalty for offside on the next play put the leather just four yards short of the goal with four downs to make it in.
Here the Tigers again rose to the occasion just as they did against Weirton and Marblehead. “Red” Artino hit for a yard. McClure failed to gain at right tackle. De Mando broke through and tossed McClure for a three-yard loss and the threat ended when a pass was grounded behind the Tiger goal.
Dick Adams was sent in to punt for Massillon but he wasn’t needed. Blunt made nine, Holt plunged for a first down on the 20.
Holt and Blunt picked up seven more and Blunt shook himself loose for a dash to the Alliance 25-yard line. Though you wouldn’t have said so then, when you look over a play-by-play account of the game, it was the beginning of the end. An incomplete pass and a fumble ended the threat on the 25-yard line and McClure punted back to the Tiger 48.
Tigers Get Touchdown
This time the Massillon eleven was not to be denied. Blunt and Holt, running fast and hitting hard moved to the 15-yard line. Holt fumbled a reverse, but Adams scooped it off the ground and dashed to the 10-yard line before going down. Blunt circled left end for the touchdown. Adams’ attempted kick for the extra point failed.
Fumbles and penalties slowed the game the rest of the second quarter, a 15-yard verdict for holding nullifying a fine 20-yard run by Blunt.
The second half was nothing but a touchdown parade. It stated with a 38-yard march after the kickoff featured by Graber’s 20-yard pass to De Mando for a first down on the 10-yard line. It took Blunt only one play to smash through for the touchdown. Holt kicked the point.
Howell fumbled on the first play after the kickoff and Dave Miller was Johnny on the spot for Massillon on the Massillon 48. Blunt and Adams lugged the leather to a first down on the Alliance 23 and Adams tossed a beauty to Armour for the touchdown. Adam’s kick was wide.
Held after the next kickoff, McClure punted to the Massillon 34. On the very next play, White running heard and fast circled his left end for 66 yards and a touchdown. Not a hand touched him. Adams missed the kick and the score was 26-0.
Alliance connected on a 31-yard pass after the next kickoff to advance the ball to the Tigers’ 35-yard line. Hill tossed McClure for a 10-yard loss, but another well executed pass to Fritz and Artino’s plunge brought a first down on the Massillon 26. McClure passed to Branfield for nine yards and on fourth down tossed to Rogel for a touchdown. Branfield’s attempted kick for the extra point was blocked.
Alliance kicked off to Holt who came hard from the goal line to his own 30. On the first play Blunt came around the weak side on a reverse for a 70-yard touchdown dash. The try for the extra point was blocked and the score was 32-6.
Early in the fourth quarter, a 39-yard pass from Graber to De Mando put the ball on the five-yard line. Joe was sent over the goal on an end around play, but the ball was called back and the Tigers were penalized five. Graber took it over and Holt kicked the extra point that made it 39-6.
Holt pulled down an Alliance pass after the kickoff and ran the ball back from his 25 to the Alliance 48. Graber’s pass to Blunt brought a first on the 25. Holt and Graber took the ball to the one-yard line where Graber lugged it over and Holt kicked the extra point.
Second and third teams finished the game for Massillon, Adams, jitterbugging his way at one time to his eight-yard line only to be set back on a 15-yard clipping penalty. There was no further scoring.
Armour LE Fritz
Paulik LT Andreannl
Miller LG Bard
Fuchs C Ruff
Hill RG Maniho
Weisgarber RT J. Habien
De Mando RE Branfield
Cardinal QB McClure
Graber LH Howell
Blunt RH J. Rogel
Holt FB Artino
Scores by periods
Massillon 0 6 26 14 – 46
Alliance 0 0 6 0 – 6
Substitutions: Massillon – Adams, lh; White, rh; R. Wallace; Oberlin; Edwards;
Frazer; Berger; Profant; Gibson; Stout; B. Wallace; Dolmos; Power; Kanney;
Willmot; Heskett; Bamberger; Williams.
Touchdowns – Blunt 3, Graber 2, White, Armour, Rogel.
Points after touchdown – Holt 3 (placekick), Adams (placekick).
Referee – Gross.
Umpire – Graff.
Field judge – Hudson.
Headlinesman — Boone