MASSILLON TEAM SHOWS PROMISE
Hard Blocking And Tackling Testifies To Training; Players Escape Serious Injury; Weirton Coming Next Week
By Luther Emery
Set it in big type – tell the boys in camp – the Tigers are going to be tough again this year – that you can count on them and George Bird’s band to do their part in keeping up the morale at home.
Both organizations demonstrated it Friday evening before 13,532 fans in Tiger Stadium – the Tigers, by defeating Cathedral Latin 38-0, and the band, by giving a superior exhibition complimentary to any professional organization. There is none other like it.
Score On Ground
Cutting down Latin tacklers with vicious blocks, the Massillon gridders laid a well planned ground attack to snare the Cleveland Lions and scored all six touchdowns by carrying the ball across the Latin goal.
It was the blocking of the Massillon team that signaled it as a possible future powerhouse. Linemen stood up the Latin defense while the backs romped through the holes. Out in the open, they were supported by blocks that sent the visitors tumbling backward, out of the path of the ball carrier.
Three complete teams were tossed at the visiting eleven by Coach Elwood Kammer, and only for the fact that second and third teams played the entire fourth quarter, the score would have been larger.
Latin battled hard all the way, but was outcharged and overpowered by the local team, which earned every touchdown it made. Most sensational of all was the last of the game, when Tyre Gibson, substitute right halfback, running from the position that Pokey Blunt made famous last year, maneuvered around like a jeep until he beat the last Latin tackler to the goal.
The others were obtained the hard way. They smashed 70 yards with Bob Graber knifing through right tackle for the last four to get the opening score. The second came on a 36-yard drive that ended with Chuck Holt banging his way over from the two-yard distance. A 92-yard march got the third, with Holt picking up the last seven yards.
The fourth was produced by the Wallace brothers, Bob blocking a Latin punt and Barney scooping it up and dashing 18 yards to the promised land. The fifth followed an 80-yard drive with Keve Bray the contributing factor and he carried it the last 25 when he roamed through a big hole Don Willmot and Dave Edwards had opened for him at left tackle.
The Tigers clicked as well as they have in any opening night performance. Maybe it was because Latin wasn’t too strong – that at least had Coach Kammer wondering. “I’m not too sure,” he said. “We looked pretty good, but Latin didn’t look so good to me in spots either. Maybe that is why we looked good. Anyway, don’t judge Weirton, our next week’s opponent, by Latin. You are going to see a toughie when these West Virginians come to town and I want my boys to realize it.””
There were no serious injuries John Mazurowski, Latin center, suffered the only blackout, but even he recuperated in time to get back into the game the second half.
Kammer surveyed his players after the game and did not find any unusual bumps or bruises. These frequently do not show up for one or two days and the Tiger coach will know more Sunday just how well his team survived its opening duel.
Fortunately, those players who entered the game with old injuries, appeared to have come out of it in good condition. In fact, from the way they played no one could have guessed how much they have been babied in practice this season.
The big gamble of the Massillon coaches worked to success. To scrimmage or not to scrimmage was the question that confronted them at the start of the practice season. They chose the latter – a radical departure from the procedure of former years when a player who emerged from the first practice session without a black eye or skinned nose was considered some sort of a sissy.
The Tigers practiced hard in their pre-game preparations for Latin – got in a lot of leg and machine work, and held light scrimmages – but nothing of the actual combat variety.
They got their first taste of action last night and liked it. It was the go signal for Coach Kammer, and if they block like that without body contact in practice, what will they do with more experience?
The tackling was good enough too. Few were missed – otherwise Latin would not show more yards lost than gained by rushing.
The visitors had a couple of backs in Raymond Rakar and Joseph Petkovic who might have done some good if the Lions line had been able to shake them loose, but they had to fight their way lone handed for the few yards they did manage to move beyond the scrimmage line. Between them they shared most of Latin’’ burden.
Gained with Passes
What ground Latin gained was covered in an aerial blitz the last period, that failed to produce anything more than 36 yards and a couple of first downs. The Lions tossed 11 of them, completed three and had two intercepted.
The Tigers aerial attack sputtered badly, but Bob Graber and Henry Mastriann managed to get four to receivers for 54 yards. Ten were grounded and three intercepted.
It was on the ground that the local team was best, despite the fact that Latin was using a tight defense, with a seven-man line and three backer uppers who sometimes worked only a yard behind the tackles and center.
This opened the way for passing but the throwers had difficulty getting the ball to the receivers and the latter sometimes had a hard time shaking themselves loose to get out in the secondary at all.
Tiger ball carriers lugged the leather 417 yards against the Lions, which is a good sized total in any man’s game. Their efforts at running and passing produced 16 first downs to Latin’s six, and their only punt was called back when Latin was offside.
Speaking of punting, Dick Brown, of the visiting team, showed how a football should be kicked. He laid his foot against the leather several times with tremendous force that sent the ball spinning for long distances. His best punt was 61 yards.
Quick Kicks Blocked
The visitors had a quick kick play that would have worked had its line not been badly outcharged. As it was, two of these were blocked, and one recovered by the Tigers.
It is too early to pick a star and not always the best policy. There actually wasn’t a one last night. Bray looked far better at right half than he did in the spring exhibition game, and appeared to get up more steam the longer he played. Where he hesitated the first couple of periods, he ran over them the third.
Pinch hitting for Bob Williams, regular center, who watched from the sidelines because of illness last week, Barney Wallace not only scored a touchdown, but knifed in several times to spill Latin ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage.
The peppy performance of the second stringers and the rapidity with which they shoved over a touchdown, was plenty pleasing to the Massillon fans, who are accustomed to seeing spirited performances by their teams.
The varsity maintained an old Massillon tradition the first time it laid hands on the ball by marching to a touchdown. After stopping Latin on the kickoff and getting the ball in midfield as a result of high punt, the Tigers went to work for the fans. It was what all had been waiting for. Bray and Graber lugged the leather 12 yards in two attempts and it was Capt. Holt the rest of the way. He powered his way for 16 yards in one effort to the four-yard line and Graber took it over.
Holt had two chances to kick it over, but missed both. The score mounted to 12-0 a couple of minutes later when Graber pulled in one of Rakar’s passes and ran back to the Latin 36 before Petkovic got him down. Cardinal gained nine by grabbing a pass in the flat and Holt banged through to the 17. Holt took it the rest of the way, a five-yard penalty helping and a pickup of Bray’s fumble moving the ball to the four-yard line, where the captain took it over.
The first quarter ended with the score 12-0 and it wasn’t long until the locals got in motion again. Frustrated once on the 12 by penalties, the Tigers roared back with a successful 92-yard march the next time. It was hard going most of the way, with a 17-yard dash by Graber, the feature number. Holt plunged over and kicked the 19th point. Tiger seconds played the remainder of the second period.
There was a lot of scoring the third period. Barney Wallace starting it when he scooped up a loose ball after brother Bob had blocked Brown’s punt, and ran 18 yards to score. Holt got the ball between the uprights on another placekick and it was 26-0.
The very next time the Tigers got the ball they maneuvered for a touchdown. The drive began on the Massillon 32, and a pass from Graber to Willmot, good for 17 yards helped to advance the pigskin. Bray applied the finishing spark when he raced 25 yards through the left side of his line, to score.
The last touchdown was Gibson’s scintillating run of 90 yards. Dallas Power convoyed him through the Latin line and T.Y. with the aid of some timely blocking did the rest.
A Real Start
Massillon Pos. Latin
Willmot le Brown
Edwards lt Rigof
R. Wallace lg Weimals
B. Wallace c Mazurowski
Weisgarber rg Marolt
Paulik rt Boerem
Jasinski re Patrizi
Cardinal qb Zoller
Graber lh Rakar
Bray rh Cousineau
Holt fb Petkovic
Scores by periods
Massillon 12 7 19 0 – 38
Substitutions: Massillon: Pellegrini, lh; Gibson, rh; Power, fb; Kanney, lg; Yelic, rt;
Profant, c; Oberlin, le; Bamberger, rg; Mastriann, fb; Schuler, rg; Ilsch, rg; Belch, lt; Berger, lt; Tongas, g; Adams, qb; Kiefer, fb; Keller, e; Richards, g; Cicchinelli, g;
Luke, e; Parsettie, hb; Turkall, hb; Gable, re.
Latin: Wagner, re; De Grandis, qb; Seavers, hb; West, rg.
Touchdowns: Graber, Holt 2, B. Wallace, Bray,
Points after touchdown – Holt 2 (placekicks)
Referee – Earl Gross.
Umpire – Carl Brubaker.
Headlinesman – Paul Harlow
Field judge – Nathan Lippie.