Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo


Approximately 9,000 Fans See Bob Graber And Keve Bray Pace Massillon Eleven In 49th Combat Without A Defeat

By Luther Emery

The Washington high Tigers played their poorest football of the season before 9,000 fans at Mansfield Friday evening and were paid the highest possible compliment for it.

They sputtered and they fumbled, and as they walked off the field with a 32-0 victory, their 49th game without a defeat, some Mansfield fans rejoiced, for they had expected to be beaten by as many as 72 points. No greater honor could be bestowed upon any team than to be a moral loser on 32 points.

Revamped Lineup

The Tigers were not at their best but neither were they their strongest. Their blocking quarterback, Fred Cardinal, sat on the bench the entire contest, two of the players, Don Willmot and Barney Wallace, were working on their nerve, and Tom Jasinski was put out in the second period for exchanging blows with a Mansfield substitute.

What the score doesn’t show is a touchdown that was not allowed because of the above mentioned fisticuffs, and the loss of six more points on a fumble at the goal line in the last 15 second.

But Mansfield has had a habit of winning its victories from Massillon the moral way and last night’s was no exception. It’s largely because the Tigers have entered every Mansfield game the heavy favorite only to find the Richland county team geared to top pitch, and ready to play its best brand of football for the season.

Only Team To Tie Tigers

Two of these so-called moral victories were credited to Richland county pigskin history in 1937 and again in 1941 when Mansfield tied the Tigers and on each occasion put a crimp in Massillon victory streaks. In fact Mansfield is the only Ohio eleven to get that near the Tigers since Canton McKinley whipped the local team 21-6 in the last game of the 1934 season.

In 1940 the Massillon eleven traveled to Mansfield, the favorite by 60 points, and wound up
in the 30’s just as it did last night. The Tyger fans rejoiced that their team had held Massillon to its lowest score thus far that season. Snyder had cooked up a right smart defense that foiled the best efforts of the great array of Tom James, Fred Blunt, Ray Getz, and Horace Gillom for the greater part of the first half.

Mansfield was riding in the clouds again last night and during the greater part of the first quarter it was the Tygers not the Tigers who were doing most of the ground gaining.

But lightning split the clouds in the form of Keve Bray ere the first quarter was about to end without a score, and the Tiger halfback raced 46 yards after taking a lateral pass, for a touchdown and Chuck Holt slam-banged his way over for the extra point that showed who was going to set the pace the rest of the game.

It took sensational ones like that to get scores last night – there was no fooling around with this Mansfield team, and the latter probably said the same about the Tigers when midway in the second period, Bob Graber dropped back into punt formation on third down with 15 to go, tucked the ball under this arm and ran 37 yards for a touchdown.

18 Points Last Half

That was enough for the half and the third quarter was well along before another 33-yard run by Graber was followed by a 14-yarder by Bray for the third touchdown of the game.

Fireworks were touched off to set up the fourth score as Bray lugged an intercepted pass 46 yards to the 19-yard line, from which it was put over in two plays with Chuck Holt carrying the ball.

The only forward pass completed by the varsity all evening, a 31-yard toss, Graber to Willmot, set up the final score of the game, with Bray lugging the leather the last five yards to the goal line.

Fumbles and interception of passes made the Tigers look bad. They lost the ball six times on fumbles and had two passes intercepted, which is kicking away a good many scoring opportunities. Since Mansfield also lost the ball several times on fumbles and pass interceptions it appears a wet ball may have been responsible for the loose ball handling. Though the field was not muddy and did not even appear soggy to the fans, it was like a sponge. Players had a hard time getting good footing, and this helped to throw off their timing.

The Tigers sought to split Mansfield with a series of quick opening plays the first half but found the Tygers a stubborn outfit, hard to run through and hard to throw against. They kept five men deployed in their secondary and Graber wasn’t pitching accurately.

Carried Ball Well

The Tiger halfback was running hard, however, and time and again got loose for long gains. It was largely a case of long gains or none. You sat with your chin in your hands when two cracks at the line failed to dent the Mansfield forward wall, but the next moment you were on your toes, when somebody broke loose for 35 yards. Then perhaps all went for naught when the ball was lost on a fumble.

That in brief, was the trend of most of the game, though the Tigers managed to hang on to the leather sufficiently to cross the goal five times, and succeeded in keeping Mansfield behind the 40-yard line.

Long runs do not make a showing in first downs but they account for yardage in the statistics. That’s why the Tigers only made 10 first downs to Mansfield’s six; but on the other hand they had a net total of 300 yards from rushing and 87 more from passing against Mansfield’s net rushing gains of 103 yards and eight yards from passing.

Roland Schmidt, a sophomore halfback, who runs fast and with knees high gained most of Mansfield’s yards in the first quarter and gave the left side of the Tiger line and the backer uppers a series of headaches, before they finally got next to stopping him. He carried the ball for three first downs in three different series of plays the opening period, getting away once for a run of 17 yards. He didn’t do much the last three periods.

Three Sophomore Backs

Three members of the Mansfield backfield were sophomores, which looks as though Coach Snyder’s strategy is to come up with a good team once every three years. He started that way four years ago and wound up with last year’s Mansfield team. He has a flock of sophs and juniors on his squad this season.

One thing about the rules of football, a player can’t defend himself from the rage of an opposing player without being put out of the game.

A good example happened last night and because of it Bray is not credited with a 55-yard touchdown sprint, which would have been the longest run of the game.

While Keve was loping along near the 20-yard line, Jasinski removed the last possible obstacle from his path by nearly knocking Joe Parry, Mansfield guard, into the stands with a vicious shoulder block. Parry was first to swing and Jasinski punched back, and in so doing punched himself right out of the game.

The touchdown was not allowed. The ball was brought back to its original position on the Massillon 45-yard line and both players were put out of the game.

Both teams were equally guilty as far as the rules are concerned, but the penalty governing this type of infraction is far from being equal. The Tigers lost a touchdown, and one of their regular players. Mansfield’s only loss was a substitute player.

Fumble Costs Touchdown

The Tiger second team only played a few minutes last night, and a fumble robbed the youngsters of an opportunity to score. Two passes thrown by Romeo Pellegrini, one for 35 yards to Bill Gable and another for 14 yards to Henry Mastriann, put the ball on the five-yard line. Mastriann plunged to within a yard of the goal, but the ball was lost on a fumble on the next play and Mansfield recovered. The game ended before the Tygers could get going.

The first quarter was almost over and the Tigers found themselves being pushed around by Mansfield, when they cut loose with their first touchdown effort. Starting from his own 20, Graber raced 34 yards around his right end to he Mansfield 46. It looked as though he was loose for a touchdown, but a Mansfield player managed to tag him on the heel causing him to lose his balance and fall. On the very next play, Bray wheeled around his left end behind fine blocking, to pick up the remaining 46 yards and Holt plunged for the extra point.
On the second series of the second quarter, Bray made his fruitless touchdown run, and the ball was restored to the 45. Graber picked up 23 yards to take the ball to the 32, and when two more plays resulted in a net loss of five yards through a penalty, he dropped into punt formation. Instead of punting he ran hard to his right, then cut back to his left and crossed the goal with ease. Holt kicked the extra point and the score was 14-0 at the half.

The Tigers threatened once in the third quarter when they blocked a Mansfield kick on the 20-yard line but they only moved up a yard in four attempts and lost the ball. They stopped Mansfield, too, and Graber brought Lewis’ fine punt back to the Tyger 47. Grabbing a lateral pass he raced around end to the 14-yard line, for a dash of 33 yards, and Bray on the next play was turned loose through left tackle for the remaining distance. Holt missed his attempted kick for the extra point.

Three fumbles and two intercepted passes later, and the Tigers were in position to score their fourth touchdown. Bray grabbed Schmidt’s pass after the Tygers had reached the Massillon 40-yard line and raced to the 19 before he was thrown out of bounds. He turned end to the one yard line on the following play and Holt banged through for the touchdown, but missed the kick for the extra point.

A 29-yard pass from Graber to Willmot planted the ball on the 10-yard line and set up the last score. Power sneaked for five yards and Bray took it over. Holt’s attempted kick was wide of the posts.

Good Enough

Massillon Pos. Mansfield
Willmot le Burrage
Edwards lt Snyder
R. Wallace lg Geattle
B. Wallace c Snowland
Weisgarber rg Hatler
Paulik rt Guy
Jasinski re Lewis
Power qb Rachel
Graber lh Schmidt
Bray rh Zivkoff
Holt fb Boyce

Score by periods:
Massillon 7 7 6 12 – 32

Substitutions – Massillon: Gable, re; Williams, rt-c; Gibson, rh; Bray, le; Oberlin, le; Pellegrini, lh; Mastriann, fb; Schuler, rg; Kanney; Keller; Tongas; Bamberger; Profant; Yelic.
Mansfield: D. Musille, fb; Parry, lg; Zeller, qb; Miller, lt; McBride, Schafer.

Touchdowns – Bray 3, Graber, Holt.

Points after touchdowns – Holt 2, (plunge and kick).

Referee – Gross.
Umpire – Long.
Headlinesman – Boone.

Tigers Mansfield
Total First Downs 10 6
Yards Gained by Rushing 316 107
Yards Lost by Rushing 16 4
Net Yards Gained by Rushing 300 108
Net Yards Gained by Passing(a) 87 8
Forward Passes Attempted 11 7
Forward Passes Completed 3 2
Passes Had Intercepted 2 2
Times Ball Lost on Fumbles 6 4
Number of Penalties Against 2 2
Yards Lost by Penalties 10 20

Chuck Holt