Tigers Show Power As They Crush Lincoln Lions 29-0
Zorger Sparkles Behind Brilliant Line Play And Fine Downfield Blocking
By LUTHER EMERY
A snarling Washington high school Tiger met a vicious Canton Lincoln Lion before a record throng of 24,000 people in Fawcett stadium, Canton, Friday evening and the Tiger won 29-0, after 48 minutes of the roughest football that has been played on a Stark county gridiron in a long time.
The Tigers ended Lincoln’s undefeated string at 16 games, while chalking up their first victory of the season, but they lost the services of two quarterbacks; Chick Cary and Al Brown, for possibly one or more weeks and had two other players jolted out of their senses.
It was give and take all the way with both teams doing plenty of both, the Tigers winning the ball game but sustaining more casualties for their efforts.
The victory was important from a Massillon standpoint. The Tigers needed it to bolster their own morale as well as that of their public after suffering their first defeat in an opening game in 16 years to Cathedral Latin last week.
Lincoln wanted a victory as the 17th link in its undefeated chain and to press its claim for another state championship which it had a hand on last year.
That’s why the game meant much to both teams and that’s why it turned out to be the kind of hard-fought battle everyone expected — a revival of the old knock’em down, drag’em out contests of the roaring ‘teens.
The Tigers surprised the most optimistic of their followers. Few conceded them more than seven points in the betting, but they won by 29, through spirited line play and excellent down field blocking.
The Massillon linemen tore up the Lincoln forward wall like the best teams did in the Tigers’ state championship years, and it has been a long time since fans of either school saw blockers cutting down would-be tacklers in the open field like the Tigers did last night. They saw their men quickly and got them.
The score does not tell how thoroughly Lincoln was outplayed. Neither does it give any hint of the general roughing both teams handed out to each other.
Massillon’s superiority can be found in the statistics: 14 first downs to the Lions’ eight; 335 net yards gained to the Lions’ 133 and one blocked Lion punt.
It was evident from the first couple of minutes of play that the game would be rough and that Massillon had the heavier wallop.
On second down of the first series of Massillon plays, Cary was forced out of the game with a puffed right knee, and Brown took his place.
Brown did an excellent job of calling plays until an injured right ankle put him on the bench with a third of the second period remaining to be played. Dan Byelene, himself suffering from injuries sustained last week, finished the game at the signal barking post.
Looking like an entirely different team from the one that faced Latin last week, the Massillon gridders scored in every period. From the T or the single wing, it made no difference, the ball carriers raced to long gains, but it was a 52-yard return of a punt for a touchdown by Gene Zorger that really brought the spectators to their feet and put a sprag in whatever hopes Lincoln had of keeping pace with the local team.
A safety in the first period and a touchdown by Zorger from the five-yard line combined with a placekick by Brown for the point after touchdown, had the Tigers leading 9-0 when Ray Keck booted the ball to the Massillon 48. The ball was rolling dead, and Byelene was making no effort to pick it up. Neither were two Lincoln players who were standing behind it as it rolled slowly toward the Massillon goal. Then up came Zorger to gamble on a running scoop up of the ball, right from under the noses of the two Lincoln players. He had tried the same stunt against Latin on the Tiger five-yard line last week and almost got away with it. Last night it worked. Zorger’s teammates immediately sensed their duties. As the Tiger halfback raced laterally in the field, his blockers went to work. They cut down Lincoln tacklers and Zorger reached the goal without a hand being laid on him. It was a great run and the suddenness of it all left the spectators gasping in just as much surprise as the Lincoln players.
It was the best of several runs turned in by Gene last night, his greatest night as a Washington high football player. Once he broke through from scrimmage to race 69 yards to the Lincoln 11 before being downed. On another occasion he was away to what would have been another touchdown dash, but his blocker missed the last Canton tackler who had a chance to get him and get him he did.
But while Zorger’s long runs stood out offensively for the local team, the Massillon eleven as a whole from end to end and from back to back played hard-nosed football.
The Line Was The Difference
The difference in the teams to a great extent was the Tiger line. From the time the Tiger forwards rose up to smite down Ray Keck’s attempt to punt from behind this own goal, blocked the ball and gathered two points on an automatic safety, the Massillon linemen were charging and ripping the Lion forward wall to pieces. It was the kind of charge Massillon fans used to smile at with satisfaction in the state championship years and the kind that makes an offense and a ball carrier look good.
The players showed the effects of it too. Julius Wittmann, starting his first game at right tackle, got such a wallop on the last play of the first half that he passed out in the dressing room and was out cold for 45 minutes. It was late in the fourth quarter before he completely regained his equilibrium.
His mother couldn’t have done a better job with a paring knife than a Lincoln gridder’s shoe did in taking the skin off Jim Young’s nose.
Three of the four members of the Tigers’ starting backfield were knocked out of the game. First came Cary, then Brown and finally Junior Pedrotty got such a wallop that he went haywire for a moment and began swinging at members of his own team. Zorger was the only backfield starter to come out unscathed.
Lincoln had its casualties too and its great little halfback, Ray Keck, who was forced to run laterally most of the time last night because of the charge of the Tiger line, was knocked out of the ball game on one occasion but, like Pedrotty, reentered following a rest.
Despite the roughing, only one player was tossed out of the game. Gordon Young, Lincoln right end was caught taking a swing at Pedrotty in the fourth period and was sent to the bench. His team was penalized half the distance to the goal line but it only meant five yards for the Tigers were within 10 yards of a touchdown when the fisticuffs occurred.
All in all, the Tigers scored a safety, four touchdowns and three points after touchdown. Quick on the takeoff, they were penalized many times for being offside or in motion, and that’s just as good as it is bad, for it indicates the anxiety to get the jump on the opposition. They lost 50 yards on penalties to Lincoln’s 40.
The Tigers scored their first two points on a safety in the first five minutes of the game.
Score On Safety
Neither team gained on the first exchange. The locals, in fact, wound up with fourth down coming up and 19 yards to go when Zorger was called to punt for the first time in his life. He got a good one off to the Lincoln 18-yard line, and it was here the Massillon line stepped into the cage in the role of Lion tamer. Keck carried twice and wound up 13 yards back of where he started. He dropped behind his goal line to punt and the Tiger line crashed through, Eberhardt knocking the ball before it went over the end zone for an automatic safety for Massillon.
Pedrotty brought the following free kick back to the Lions’ 45-yard line and the Tigers took off on a 55-yard touchdown march and had to overcome four different five-yard penalties to do it.
Brown hit right tackle for six and Zorger broke through for 18 more only to have the ball called back and a five-yard penalty inflicted for offside. It didn’t discourage the Tigers however and after Brown’s pass to Giloff traveled over the latter’s head. Zorger was again turned loose for a first on the Lion 32. Giloff made nine yards at guard and on a second attempt chalked up what would have been a first down on the 15, but again the Tigers were set back five yards for being in motion on the play.
Zorger Goes Over
That didn’t stop them, however, for on the next play, Brown tossed a lateral to Zorger who swept his left end for a first down on the 15. Pedrotty bucked through to the six and Brown was held for no gain but again the Tigers lost five yards for being offside. It didn’t stop them though, for Zorger banged his way through to within a foot of the goal. Brown went over but Massillon was called again for being offside and the ball was put in play on the five-yard line. Giloff picked up two yards and Zorger finally took the ball over for a TD that couldn’t be denied. Brown placekicked the extra point to put the Tigers ahead 9-0.
The Tigers’ second touchdown came in the opening minutes of the second quarter on Zorger’s long runback of Keck’s punt, the story of which has already been told. The Lions had the ball on their own 31 when they kicked it to Zorger who picked it up on his own 48 and reeled off 52 yards. Again Brown placekicked the extra point.
Neither team threatened until the closing minutes of the half when the Tigers drove 37 yards to the Lincoln 20.
The local eleven received the kickoff at the start of the third period and hammered its way 92 yards for a touchdown without surrendering the ball.
Giloff started with three yards and Zorger made it first on his 34. Byelene bootlegged for six yards. Zorger picked up three and Giloff made it first down on the Lincoln 46. Zorger went for nine yards at center and a five-yard penalty for offside moved the ball to a first on the Lincoln 32. Giloff made five at center and Zorger on a reverse ran to the 18. Byelene passed to Zorger on the goal line but the ball was called back and the Tigers were penalized five yards. Zorger and Giloff made it first down eight yards short of the goal. Zorger took the ball to the five-yard line but a five-yard penalty set the Tigers back on their heels again.
The Lincoln line appeared to brace as Giloff was held to two yards so Byelene tossed a well aimed pass to Zorger in the end zone for the Tigers’ third touchdown. This time t he ball was passed to Giloff who carried it over for the extra point.
The locals’ last touchdown came in the first five minutes of the fourth period. The quarter opened with the pigskin straddling the 50-yard line, and fourth down coming up for Lincoln. Keck punted and Zorger was downed on the 25. A five-yard penalty pushed theTigers back to their 20, and it was from this point that Zorger was turned loose for a dash to the Lincoln 11. He wheeled through left tackle, dashing forward for 15 yards before reversing his field and heading out to his right. He got by all the Lion players until Dwight Beatty hauled him down 11 yards short of a touchdown. Zorger made a yard at center, and Lincoln was penalized half the distance to the goal when its Gordon Young was caught taking a poke at Pedrotty. Byelene lost three yards, but tossed a strike to Jack Zeller on the next play for the final touchdown of the game. An attempted plunge for the extra point failed.
Lincoln’s two best offensive efforts came in the last period. The Lions shot the works after the kickoff as Beatty flipped a pass to Ted Resler who tossed a lateral to Ted (Thunder) Boldt, who raced 45 yards to the Tiger 16 before he was hauled down. The Lions only moved the pigskin three yards nearer the goal before the Tigers took it away from them on downs.
On the following series of plays, Ben Roderick, sophomore fullback got away for an
18-yard dash, but the Tigers lost the ball when Jack Stiner intercepted a Byelene pass on the Tiger 48. Lincoln managed to get back to the 14 before the game came to an end.
Massillon Pos. Lincoln
Zeller LE Mase
Young LT Seaman
Uliveto LG Little
Darrah C Gellenbeck
Brooks RG Rosenberry
Wittmann RT Rich
Eberhardt RE Young
Cary QB Mallett
Giloff LH Keck
Zorger RH Resler
Pedrotty FB Boldt
Score by periods
Massillon 9 7 7 6 29
Massillon – Yost, fb; Schludecker, re; Johnson, lg; Brown, qb; Angstadt, g; Roderick, fb; Dowd, c; Badarnza, lh; Farris.
Lincoln – Griffith, lg; Norris, fb; Wayne, rg; Beatty, rh; Frank, qb; Baxter, re.
Safety – Massillon
Massillon – Zorger 3; Zeller.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Brown 2 (placekicks); Giloff (carried).
Referee – Earl Gross.
Umpire – Verlin Jenkins.
Head Linesman – Augie Zimmerman.
Field Judge – Dwight Peabody.
First downs 14 8
Passes attempted 7 13
Passes completed 3 5
Had passes intercepted 1 0
Yards gained passing 27 79
Yards gained rushing 351 80
Total yards gained 378 159
Yards lost 23 26
Net yards gained 355 133
Times punted 2 6
Average punt (yards) 29 25
Returned punts (yards) 93 11
Had punts blocked 0 1
Times kicked off 5 1
Average kickoff 48.4 60
Yards returned kickoffs 6 80
Fumbles 2 1
Lost ball on fumbles 0 0
Times penalized 10 6
Yards penalized 50 40