Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Second Half Splurge


Washington High Football Team Scores Victory In First Game of 1943 Season Before Surprisingly Large Crowd Of Over 13,000

By Fred J. Becker
Independent Sports Editor

Rolling again are those Tigers of Washington high school. Kept away from pay dirt during the first two periods and rather badly jolted by a determined enemy offensive in the opening minutes of the battle, Coach Elwood Kammer’s young orange and black warriors came surging back in the final two periods Friday night at Tiger stadium to roll up two touchdowns, a point after touchdown and an automatic safety through the medium of a blocked punt to defeat a hard-fighting, courageous Canton Lincoln high team 15 to 0 in their opening combat of the 1943 scholastic football season before a crowd that passed the 13,000 mark.

Program Cover

It was a victory No. 1 in a string which Massillon’s young Tigers hope to roll up to 10 before the end of November and the start of a new series of triumphs which they hope will erase the memory of the Canton McKinley defeat last November when a Massillon streak that had mounted to 52 games without a defeat was snapped by a 35-0 Bulldog triumph.

Hard Fought Ball Game

It was a tough ball game from start to finish. Both teams put everything they had into it and not until the fourth quarter was well under way did the Tigers hold the upper hand and a margin sufficiently large to permit their supporters to take a free and easy breath. It was a well deserved victory for the Tigers and a defeat without disgrace for Junie Ferrall’s Lincoln Lions.

The lads from the city which annually produces Massillon’s biggest gridiron rivals fought their hearts out and the local lads will not meet many teams during the next two months able to match the Cantonians in defensive ability. A brick wall wouldn’t be much harder to dent than the defense which the Lions showed last night.

Those who witnessed the game know now that Coach Kammer was not just doing a lot of talking when he said the Lions would be about the toughest foe any Tiger team had ever been called upon to face in an opening engagement. The Lions proved Friday night that every word Kammer said was true.

Tigers Rough In Spots

They were hard to beat – mighty hard, in fact, and in chalking up a 15 to 0 triumph over the east enders the Tigers are deserving of a lot of credit. Only a hard-driving physically fit team could have turned the trick and the Tigers were that kind of a ball club last night. Sure they made mistakes, sure they didn’t complete one pass all night and both on offense and defense they were rough in spots but always remember that the Tiger team last night was one of the youngest to ever represent Washington high school, but they are youngsters with a mighty fine fighting spirit and now that they have had their baptism of fire they’ll be a better ball club and some of the mistakes made last night will not occur next week or in the weeks to come.

The Tigers very definitely have possibilities and they’ll get better as the season grows older.

A surprisingly big crowd, one which surpassed even the expectations of the Tigers’ most optimistic supporters, sat in on last night’s engagement and were treated to a really fine football game, a contest that was interesting all the way and a battle royal from the opening kickoff to the final blast of the referee’s whistle.

Two beautiful runs of 21 and 29 yards respectively by Romeo Pellegrini, a swarthy hard hitting junior, aided and abetted by splendid interference, brought home the bacon for the Tigers. Another two points were added on an automatic safety when quarterback Glenn Keller blocked a Canton punt, driving the ball back beyond the end zone.

There were no outstanding stars on the Massillon team last night. Every boy gave the best he had while he was in the game. The Tiger line acquitted itself in fine shape. It had a hard customer to handle in Captain Mike Rejina of the Lions, a big, bruising back who could run and plunge and around whom the Canton offensive was built but they stopped Mike before he got too troublesome, even though in addition to his running ability he proved himself to be a capable southpaw passer and kicker.

Pellegrini Shines On Offense

Pellegrini spearheaded the Massillon attack. He got away for a lot of fine gains and his two touchdown gallops were beautiful to watch. Defensively such boys as Capt. Bob Wallace, Bob Williams, R.C. Arrington, and Henry Mastriann performed in a highly creditable manner.

Although its forward passing attack failed to click, not one in seven attempts being good, the Tigers held a 12 to 6 advantage over the Lions in first downs. The Tigers gained a total of 203 yards while the Lions were held to 146 yards. Lincoln completed four passes out of 11 for 59 yards and had one intercepted. The Tigers fumbled five times, and recovered two.

The Lions, fortified by three practice games with other schools, began to get troublesome right from the opening kickoff and threw a big scare into the orange and black camp before being halted on the Massillon 10.

Early Lincoln Splurge

The visitors received, Arrington kicking out of bounds with the Lions putting the ball in play on their 35.

Right away Capt. Rejina and Jim Watson began to make life miserable for the Tigers and in a series of end sweeps and line smashes carried the ball deep into Massillon territory. It looked quite dismal for the Tigers for a few minutes but they managed to pull themselves together and repel the invaders on the Massillon 10 yard line. Then the Tiger offensive began to move and three first downs in succession carried the ball to Massillon’s 45 yard line.

Here the march slowed down and Pellegrini attempted a pass. It was intercepted by Watson on the Lions’ 35. This time, however, the Tigers stopped young Mr. Rejina and he was forced to punt soon after the second quarter began. His kick went out on the Massillon 34 but the Tigers couldn’t go anywhere and Tom Jasinski booted one to Rejina who was downed on his 44. Once again the Tigers held and when Cheyney attempted a pass Don Willmot snared it on his 27.

Here it was that young Pellegrini shifted into high and turned loose an exhibition of running that before the evening was over was destined to bring victory to the Tigers.

Lugging the leather on smoothly working reverses around his right side, Pellegrini stepped off gains of 14, nine, 15, and 18 yards to carry the ball to Lincoln’s 12 yard line. Here the Tiger march bogged down and was wiped out completely when Glenn Keller fumbled and a flock of Lions covered the ball on the visitors’ 17. After making a first down Rejina was forced to punt and once gain the Lions got a break when Pellegrini fumbled the kick and Bill DeGarmo recovered for Lincoln on the Massillon 30. Massillon, however, held and took possession of the ball a few seconds before the second quarter ended.

Pellegrini Hits Pay Dirt.

Massillon received to open the third period and after an exchange of punts set in motion the offensive thrust that produced the first Tiger points. Rejina punted out of bounds on the Massillon 47. Mastriann hit the line for four, then made it a first down. Keller made two and Wallace one before Pellegrini set sail for six before being forced out of bounds. Mastriann made it a first down on Lincoln’s 21. Here the Lions took time out to talk it over but on the next play Wallace flipped the ball to Pellegrini on another reverse and the Tiger halfback, with good blocking ahead of him raced around Canton’s left end for 21 yards and into the promised land. He scored the extra point on a dash through the line and Massillon fans began to breathe easier and tell each other that it was a pleasant evening after all, even though a bit chilly.

The touchdown put new confidence into the Tigers and they began to smack Mr. Rejina around quite lustily, so much in fact that he began to lose some of his effectiveness. A fumble by Vic Turkall gave Lincoln the ball on its 21 but set the stage for the safety. Rejina lost 10 on a bad pass from center and when he attempted to punt his team out of danger, Glenn Keller broke through and blocked the kick, sending the ball beyond the end zone and giving Massillon two points on an automatic safety.

Canton kicked from its 20 and Turkall brought the ball back to the Lions 45 as the period ended. With Pellegrini, Mastriann, and Wallace sparking the Tigers in a steady march toward the Canton goal the Massillonian’s soon were within striking distance of another score shortly after the fourth quarter opened. But with their goal line threatened the Lions put on a brilliant stand that shattered the Tiger march inches away from the goal line.

With the ball on Canton’s seven yard line, Mastriann plunged to the one-yard marker. He was stopped inches away from the goal on his next try only to see the ball go back to the six because the Tigers were offside. Wallace was tossed for a one yard loss but Mastriann made two on his next try and Pellegrini drove to the one yard line with fourth down coming up. Mastriann tried for the score but was smothered without gain by the aroused Lincoln Lion line.

Prize Play Of Game

Then Rejina punted from behind his goal line and here came the prize play of the game and Massillon’s second touchdown. Taking the ball on Canton’s 29, Pellegrini twice eluded tacklers who had a hold of him but couldn’t floor him. Then the Tiger speedster set sail to his left, racing toward the sideline as a wall of interference, that formed, as if by magic and which must have included every member of the Tiger team, completely blotted out the white jerseyed Lions and permitted Pellegrini to scamper the remainder of the distance unmolested for the touchdown. Wallace’s attempted place kick failed.

With practically all Massillon second stringers in the lineup the hard-to-beat Lions made one more serious threat to score late in the quarter. It came when Rejina tossed a long pass to Lessig who was pulled down on the Massillon 40 after an overall gain of 40 yards. Kammer rushed his first stringers back into the battle and on the first play Willmot intercepted a Rejina pass to erase the Canton threat. The game ended shortly after with Lincoln again in possession of the ball but not going anywhere.

There may have been some of us in Massillon who thought the Tigers would be a better club with more speed but Junie Ferrall, the Lincoln coach, thinks they have plenty of speed. Chatting in the Canton dressing room after the game Ferrall declared the Tigers were faster than any team his Lions played last year, even faster, he said, than Lorain, the only outfit to halt the Lions in 1942.

Calls Local Team Fast

“That Massillon team looked awfully good out there tonight,” he said. “They handled the ball exceptionally well and they were plenty fast.”

None of his boys sustained any serious injuries. They were a bit downcast because they had their hearts set on whipping the Tigers.

Over in the Tiger dressing room a jubilant scene was taking place as the happy Tigers celebrated their initial triumph.

Of course Kammer was not surprised at the fight put up by the Lions. He had seen just that kind of a game coming up for the past two weeks and he was glad his boys were able to emerge on top.

“You kids played a credible game tonight,” he told the boys, “but you need lots more work. We didn’t complete a pass and we need a passing attack that will function if our ground offense is going to get anywhere. Your good physical condition was a big factor in your victory.

Victory No. 1

Massillon – 15 pos. Lincoln
Willmot L.E. Lessig
Arrington L.T. Wilkins
Tongas L.G. Manly
Williams C DeGarmo
Gable R.G. White
Berger R.T. Robertson
Jasinski R.E. Heckaman
Keller Q.B. Martelli
Pellegrini H.B. Watson
Wallace H.B. Cheyney
Mastriann F.B. Rejina

Score by quarters:
Massillon 0 0 9 6 – 15

Touchdown: Pellegrini, 2

Points after touchdown: Pellegine, (plunge)

Safety: Keller

Referee: Gross; Umpire: Graf;
Headlinesman Long; Field Judge Rupp.

Substitutes: Massillon – Profant, Heltzel, Belch, Turkall, Luke, Parsittie, Sedjo, Pedrotty, Clark, Green, Richards, Cicchinelli, Ielsch.
Lincoln – Beatty, P. Permar, Hartline, J. Permar, Shriver, Hayden, Pelligrino, Kendig, Oberlin, Miller, Latimer.

Tigers Lincoln
Total first downs 12 6
Yards gained by rushing 232 87
Yards lost by rushing 32 28
Net yards gained by rushing 210 59
Forward passes attempted 7 11
Forward passes completed 0 4
Yards gained by passing 0 59
Total net yardage rushing &
passing 210 118
Passes had intercepted 0 1
Number of punts 5 7
Average distance of punts 34 28
Punts blocked 0 1
Number of kickoffs 3 2
Average distance of kickoffs 24 32
Number of fumbles 5 0
Times ball lost on fumbles 2 0
Number of penalties against 2 2
Yards lost by penalties 20 20

Open Meeting For Tiger Fan

The Massillon Tiger Booster club will
hold its second meeting Monday evening
at 8 o’clock in the auditorium of
Washington high school. It will be another
open meeting and all Massillon football fans,
men and women are invited to attend.

Because the Tigers won the opening game
against Canton Lincoln 15 to 0 Friday night,
the Booster club gathering will have cause for
celebration and a rousing meeting is in prospect.

Coach Elwood Kammer will be on hand to
give the fans a detailed report on the opener
and to tell them something about the team’s
plans for the Akron West game here next Friday.

R.C. Arrington