Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo


(Special to The Evening Independent)

ERIE, Pa., NOV. 16 – A scrappy Erie East high band of Warriors gave the highly-touted championship Massillon Tigers quite a “surprise party” here Saturday afternoon. But the Ohioans managed to eke out a 13 to 6 decision on a snow-covered field before a scant gathering of 6,000 fans.

It was as close a call to defeat that the Tigers have had since they began their streak in 1937 that has seen them go through 52 games without a defeat, although a Mansfield tie mars the 1941 season.

There was a reason why they should enjoy only a seven-point advantage when hostilities were ended on Saturday.

There were seven good reasons – the East high forward wall, which consistently broke through the Massillon offense to spill ball carriers for sizable losses.

Tigers Have Edge In Statistics

However, class told and the Tigers held a decided edge in ground gaining. The Ohio backs being especially adept at skirting the ends. In the net yards rushing department the Tigers picked up a total of 156 yards as compared to 31 for East.

And speaking of statistics they pretty well tell the story.

The Tigers rang up 11 first downs against nine for the Warriors. They batted .500 in pass completion’s, connecting on four out of eight attempts for 80 yards, while Warrior passes were the rule rather than the exception as the Hydemen tossed 19, completing only five for a gain of 78 yards.

But of course, there is a story behind the story buried deep down in the statistics. There you’ll find that Massillon fumbled on six occasions – and on six occasions there was a Warrior atop the ball when the pileup was finally untangled.

And you’ll find also that East’s John Swanseger, complied a punting average of 43 yards against a 39-yard average by Massillon’s Romeo Pellegrini, and to make the story complete it should be added that one of Swanseger’s punts that rolled out of bounds on the Tiger four-yard line set the stage for the East score.

Those two items were the factors chiefly responsible for the surprising showing of the Hydemen, who were supposed to be just another team with eleven guys named “Joe” in the lineup. Then too, it was figured that East would be a good game to rest up the regulars for the coming Canton McKinley clash this weekend. East didn’t like that idea and put up a battle.

Tigers Score Early

The two touchdowns by the Massillonians came before East shook off a bad case of what appeared to be stage fright or a recent accurate facsimile.

The first one came about three minutes into the first canto—in fact it was on the sixth offensive thrust of the game.

An exchange of kicks that saw the Warriors finally wind up with the ball in their possession set the state indirectly.

Several running plays failed to solve the Massillon defense and Swanseger faded back of the 50-yard line and chucked one downfield only to have it intercepted by Fred Cardinal, Massillon quarterback, who returned it to the East 30.

The Tigers tried a pass that was grounded. Then Pellegrini, sophomore flash, who was one of the game’s offensive stars, lost four yards at right end. On the next play he dropped back and tossed a pass to Fullback Charles Holt that was good for 24 yards, when Holt reversed his field on the East 13 and romped over. A sneak through the line from place kick formation was smashed by the Warriors as the Tigers strove for the point after touchdown.

Steals the Ball

A smart play by Karl Paulik, Massillon right tackle, set up the Tigers’ second touchdown. Paulik “stole” the ball from the grasp of an East runner on the Warriors’ 29-yard line and after a Pellegrini to Willmot pass had picked up nine yards, Holt went into action.

Aided by an eight-yard jaunt by Keve Bray, Holt moved the ball up to the one-yard stripe and it was only a formality for him to smack the line for the score.

Cardinal sent a placement kick through the uprights for the extra point.

(Next line unreadable)

The recovery of a Massillon fumble by Frank Barnowski, East right end, on the Tigers 10-yard line, set in motion the Warriors’ touchdown drive in the second period.

A five-yard penalty and a grounded pass stalled the Warriors before they even got started. But (name unreadable) dropped back and tossed a pass to Klimow, who ran to the Massillon 15 for a first down. Grunzel lugged the leather to the 10 on the next play. However, a five-yard penalty set the Hydemen back again.

But Dellnski was still in the game as the Tigers found out a moment later when he ripped around right end behind perfect blocking and shook off a couple tacklers. (unreadable text) Then Klimow pranced across the goal for the score on the next play. (try for extra point text unreadable)

That’s the story of the scoring but there was plenty of action in this ball game beside the touchdown moments.

Lose Ball On Fumbles

For instance in the third stanza with the aid of a 15 yard-penalty the Tigers marched to the East 28, but there Pellegrini fumbled and Klimow pounced on the leather for the Warriors, who also aided by a 15-penalty for Massillon drove to the Massillon 36 where the attack stopped when Bray intercepted an East pass.

After one of Swanseger’s punts had rolled over the goal line later in the third period, the Tigers started on their 20 and using power alone, as only the Tigers can, battered their way to the 30 as the period ended.

Several seconds later Bray fumbled and the Warriors covered on the East 31.

The rest of the game was a see-saw affair with the Warriors countering almost punch for punch with the Tigers.

The halftime show by the Massillon band was featured by the Tigers’ strip tease routine as the band provided a musical backdrop.

This alone would have brought down the stadium roof with applause if stadiums had roofs.

Not Comforting

Massillon – 13 Pos. East – 6
Willmot le Santi
Edwards lt Perantoni
Bob Wallace lg Katoski
Williams c Kelleher
Weisgarber rg Mahon
Paulik rt Burek
Kanney re Baruowakl
Cardinal qb unreadable
Pellegrini lh Swanseger
Bray rh Dellnsky
Holt fb Grunzel

(Rest of information here unreadable)

East Massillon
First Downs 9 11
Yards Gained Rushing 78
Yards Lost Rushing 17
Net Yards Gained Rushing 31 156
Forward Passes Attempted 19 8
Forward Passes Completed 5 4
Forward Passes Intercepted 0 2
Yards Gained by Forward Passing 78 80
Lateral Passes Attempted 0 1
Yards Gained by Lateral Passes 1 0
Punting Average (from scrimmage) 43 39
Total Yards Kicks Returned
Fumbles 1 6
Own Fumbles Recovered 0 0
Rest of information is unreadable

Chuck Holt