Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers Turn Back Akron Central 13-7 In Muddy Battle


Don McGuire Does Good Job Of Tossing Aerials As 16,000 Brave Rain To See Rubber Bowl Clash; Wildcats Tally On Pass Late In Game


Mired in the mud and set back on their haunches by a determined and plucky foe when within sight of pay dirt in the first half, the Washington high school Tigers Friday night unleashed sufficient power in the last 2 periods to tally twice to conquer the Akron Central Wildcats in a rain-soaked battle in the Akron Rubber Bowl. And it’s a good thing Coach Elwood Kammer’s warriors managed to smash into the Promised Land twice because the never-say-die Rubber City lads uncorked a spectacular aerial attack in the dying minutes of the combat to score. The final count was 13 to 7 in favor of the orange and black.

Playing in the rain and on a muddy, slippery field for the first time this season, the Tigers, by dint of hard plugging, emerged triumphant in their ninth combat of the 1944 campaign and come up to their final battle of the season with Canton McKinley here next Saturday with a record of 7 wins against 2 losses.
Second Tiger Teams to Play In Bowl
A crowd of more than 17,000 persons braved threatening weather and then sat through a hard downpour during the second period and part of the halftime intermission to watch the Tigers and Wildcats stage their ding-dong battle and to cheer the Akronites for the determined and plucky fight they waged against the Massillon invaders.

It was the second time a Washington high school team has played in Akron’s spacious Rubber Bowl. In 1940 the Tigers walloped Alliance’s Aviators on the Rubber City battleground before more than 26,000 spectators.
Wildcats Prove Tough
Although they out-gained their opponents by a wide margin and held command of the battle at all stages with the exception of the brief point-producing flurry the Wildcats uncorked near the close of the game, the Tigers found it mighty hard to cover ground once inside Akron Central’s 20 yard line and not until the third quarter were they able to carry the ball across the Wildcats’ goal line.

Twice Co-Captain Glenn Keller planted the ball behind the Wildcats’ goal line once in the third period and again early in the fourth quarter. Both times he negotiated the scores on wide sweeps around his left end.

Akron Central’s touchdown came late in the game on a forward pass from Drumm to Liddle from the 1-yard line after 2 brilliantly executed aerials had taken the ball from Massillon’s 42 to the 5 with the Akronites uncorking the touchdown pass on fourth down with a yard to go.

The crowd was the largest ever to see an Akron high school football team perform in Akron and the fans, particularly those from the Rubber City, had plenty to cheer about as the Wildcats turned back all Tiger scoring attempts in the first half and then came back with a drive of their own in the closing minutes that produced Central’s lone touchdown and made the duel a much more closely contested affair than most of the fans thought they would see when they braved last night’s inclement weather to journey to the Rubber Bowl.

Rolling up 11 first downs to 4 for the Akronites, Coach Kammer’s lads held a wide edge on the Wildcats in ground gained. The Tigers had a gross yardage of 226 with a loss of 14 for a net of 212 yards. They rolled up 148 yards in the first half but never got nearer to scoring than the 12 yard line. Akron Central had a gross yardage of 107, with a loss of 24 for a net of 83 yards.

In forward passing the Wildcats amassed more yardage than the Tigers, completing 6 tosses out of 11 for 72 yards. The Massillonians tried 8 aerials, completed 5 for 58 yards and had on intercepted.

Despite the muddy field and wet ball, fumbles were not numerous, the Tigers dropping the leather 4 times and recovering 3 of their bobbles, while Akron fumbled but once, the Tigers recovering.
Darrah Replaces Bonk
A last-minute switch in the Tiger lineup because of the inability of Fred Bonk, regular orange and black center to play, forced Coach Kammer to send Merle Darrah, a sophomore, in at center and the youngster turned in a fine job after a rather wobbly start. He played a bang up defensive game and his passing from center improved steadily throughout the combat.

The Tiger line outplayed the Akron Central forward wall consistently, particularly when the local team was on defense, halting most of Akron’s ground gaining attempts but on offense the orange and black forwards were bothered quite a lot by the determined fight put up by the Wildcats.

Offensively Glenn Keller and Bert Webb carried the mail for the Tigers with the big Massillon co-captain doing an exceedingly good job of advancing the ball for long gains on wide sweeps around the Akron flanks. Webb also flashed to some good yardage on end sweeps. Don McGuire showed improvement in tossing forward passes and was on the starting end of several well executed Massillon aerials.

Charles Drumm, Akron Central’s All-Akron halfback and one of the team’s veteran backfield aces, was the standout performer for the Wildcats. He did a good job of plowing through the mud and was on the pitching end of Central’s aerial attack that gave the Wildcats their lone touchdown.

The Tigers twice were turned back in the first half when it seemed they were bound for touchdowns. In the first quarter Keller punted to Drumm who fumbled and Bill Gable and Bob Heltzel pounced on the ball on Akron’s 35. Keller and Webb lugged the ball to the Akron 12, Keller making 20 on an end sweep but there the Massillon attack bogged down and the Tigers surrendered the ball.
Tigers Checked On 12
Getting the ball on the Akron 46 after Joe Bearer had punted for Central, the Tigers started another march late in the first quarter and early in the second period were again on the Akron 12 but once again they were destined to lose the ball when the Wildcats dug in and stopped Keller inches short of a first down.

Then Bearer got away a beautiful quick kick which sent the ball back to Massillon’s 28 but once again the Tiger offense functioned and the Bengals moved back deep into Akron territory. This advance was featured by a 20 yard dash by Webb and a 19-yard Cary to Gable pass that put the ball on Central’s 22. Don Sedjo clipped off 5 to the 16 but time expired before the Tigers could get any farther.

It did not take the Massillonians long to smash into the scoring column in the third period. After an exchange of punts the Tigers took the ball on their 43 yard line. Webb skirted left end for 7 and the Tigers picked up 15 additional yards when Central drew a penalty for unnecessary roughness, putting the ball on Akron’s 36. From here Coach Kammer’s lads began an unbroken march that was to produce their first touchdown in 10 plays.

McGuire dashed around right end for 3 and then tossed a pass to Sedjo for 11 yards. Keller and Sedjo picked up 8 yards in 3 plays and then Webb breezed around left end for a first down to Akron’s 12. Sedjo made a yard on a line plunge but was injured and replaced by Junie Pedrotty. A McGuire to Keller pass picked up 6 yards and put the leather on the Akron 5. Pedrotty went off left tackle for a yard and Keller, running wide at left end, steamed across the goal line for Massillon’s first points. A McGuire to Pedrotty pass brought the additional point.
Keller Scores Again
The second Massillon touchdown came much more quickly, only 2 plays being required to carry the ball across from the 20 yard line. Bearer punted from behind his goal line and Webb took the ball on Akron’s 40 and lugged it back to the 20 on a neat return. McGuire again unlimbered his pitching arm and tossed a pass to Webb, good for 9 yards and on the next play Keller tucked the ball under his arm and sprinting wide around left end never stopped until he had battered his way across the Wildcat goal line. Keller’s attempted placekick failed.

Thirteen points behind and with time running out fast, the Wildcats continued to battle with all they had and their plucky fight finally was rewarded with a touchdown.

When Jim Widican intercepted a McGuire pass on the Massillon 42 the stage was set for Central’s touchdown drive. Drumm flipped a pass to left end Jim Dyer for 8 yards and Bearer smashed through the line for a first down. Then the Wildcats who had flashed tricky offensive formations several times during the game, uncorked their best scoring threat of the contest. Drumm took the ball from center and fading back, very cleverly pulled the entire Tiger team to one side of the field. While this was going on quarterback John Stierl slipped far out into the open on the opposite side of the gridiron and Drumm heaved a long aerial that nestled in his arms. With a clear field ahead of him Stierl set out for the Massillon goal line but was finally overhauled on the 5 yard stripe. The aerial was good for a 25 yard gain and put the Wildcats in scoring position for the first time during the battle.

Three plunges into the line took the ball to the 1 yard line and then Drumm uncorked a nigty pass which Liddle snared behind the Tiger goal line for Central’s set of counters. Drumm added the extra point on a successful placekick.

The game ended a few seconds later with Massillon in possession of the ball on the Tiger 45.
Bulldogs Next
Massillon, 13 Pos. Central, 7
Gable LE Dyer
Ielsch LT Simpson
Heltzel LG Buehrle
Darrah C Jacquet
Cicchinelli RG Fletcher
Krisher RT Warren
Luke RE Liddle
Keller QB Stierl
Cary LH Drumm
Webb RH Haury
Sedjo FB Bearer

Score by quarters:
Massillon 0 0 7 6 13
Central 0 0 0 7 7

Massillon – Keller 2.
Central – Liddle.

Points after touchdowns:
Massillon – Pedrotty (pass).
Central – Drumm (placekick).

Massillon – Pedrotty, fb; Brooks, rg; Gibson, rt; McGuire, lh; Green, lt; Edie, qb; Waltz, rg.
Central – Widican, re; Theurerkauf, le; Fahrer, re; Weber, c.

Referee – Boone.
Umpire – Long.
Head Linesman – Rupp.
Umpire – Graff.
Mass. Cen.
Total first downs 11 4
Yards gained by rushing 168 35
Yards lost by rushing 14 24
Net yards gained rushing 154 11
Forward passes attempted 8 11
Forward passes completed 5 6
Yards gained by passing 58 72
Total net yardage,
rushing and passing 212 82
Passes had intercepted 1 0
Number of punts 3 8
Average distance of punts 39 29
Number of kickoffs 3 2
Average distance kickoffs 35 26
Number of fumbles 4 1
Times ball lost on fumbles 1 1
Number penalties against 4 3
Yards lost by penalties 20 25

Game A Sellout

Here’s a bit of information for football fans who would like to see next Saturday’s Tiger-Canton McKinley Bulldog game at Tiger stadium and as yet have no ticket.

It will do you no good to go to Tiger stadium next Saturday. The ticket windows will not be opened because there will be no tickets to sell. All ducats for the game were sold 2 weeks ago and every available inch of seating space is gone. The only chance you have to see the game is to pick up a ticket from someone who, at the last minute, will be unable to attend.

All service men and women in uniform will be admitted free. They are to enter the stadium at gate 2.

Incidentally, Faculty Athletic Manager E.S. Ackley and Faculty Ticket Manager Russell B. Zepp are going to have pretty much of a holiday next Saturday for the first time this fall. With no tickets to sell they will have the afternoon to themselves and hope to be able to see a game from start to finish, something that happens only once in a long time.

Glen Keller