Tigers Come From Behind To Beat Canton Lincoln 13-7
Forward Passes Turn Defeat Into Victory For Massillon Eleven
By LUTHER EMERY
Two frantic fourth period passes turned defeat into a 13-7 victory for Washington high school over Canton Lincoln here Friday evening and brought the Tigers their second triumph of the season.
The chips were down and the crowd of 16,000 was almost ready to concede the Lincoln Lions their first triumph in five years of Tiger competition when Sophomore Fullback Clarence Johnson stole the ball from Nelson Robertson, Lincoln fullback to give the Tigers the pigskin on the Lions 37-yard line.
Five minutes of the game remained and Lincoln was leading 7-6. Few in the stands expected the Tigers to come through for they had already passed up an opportunity to go ahead when they were thrown back after having a first down on the four-yard line.
The clock was clicking off precious seconds as Quarterback Jack Hill dropped back and fired a pass to End Ben Roderick who caught the ball on the 22-yard line and slipped to a knee just as he was about to break away.
Then came the payoff. Without hesitation, Hill called for another pass and picked out Al Brown in the end zone as the receiver. The Lions appeared to have Al well covered but he leaped high between two of them came tumbling down with the ball in his arms for the winning touchdown. Only four minutes and 15 seconds remained to be played and as it turned out it mattered naught that Gene Schludecker kicked the extra point from placement.
The pass brought a thrilling climax to a game that otherwise was very much on the dull side for all of three periods, since neither team up to that time had shown any great offense.
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THE PASS even sparked Lincoln to a new effort for it came back with the kickoff in an effort to ram a touchdown right down the throat of the Tiger and it looked as though it would succeed as the ball was marched back 57 yards to a first down on the 13. But Hill ended the threat when he intercepted Jack Christianson’s pass behind the goal for an automatic touchback that brought the ball into possession of Massillon on its own 20. The game ended one play later.
The best of the football game was packed into the last five minutes of competition, and save for a goal line stand by each team and a second period touchdown by each, fans on either side had little to cheer about, for the defense of both elevens outshone their offense, and that never makes for an exciting ball game.
Lincoln lost the game but beat the Tigers in the statistics. The Lions made seven first downs to Massillon’s four and gained the net total of 177 yards from scrimmage to the Tiger’s 149 yards.
The Tigers spent most of the evening trying to move the ball between the Lincoln tackles. They had very little success for the sum total of their efforts was 72 yards gained and nine lost. Not an end run was attempted. “Lincoln played its end too wide for us to try any sweeps,” Houghton said after the game. The Tiger coach was pleased with the sudden turn of events in the fourth quarter, saying “that will give Hill a lot of confidence in his passing.” He praised the Lincoln team for its defensive ability. “Lincoln was really keyed up,” he said. “And played a lot better brand of ball against us than it did against Canton Timken.” (The Lions beat Timken 13-12 two weeks ago in their opening game the only engagement played prior to last night.)
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THOUGH Lincoln’s hopes for registering its first victory over the Tigers in five years of competition were blasted, the Lions salvaged some consolation out of the contest, for it was the first time they had ever scored on the local team.
Hurled back once in the first period after covering a Tiger fumble on the three-yard line, Lincoln reached the Promised Land on the first play of the second period when Christianson fired a 30-yard pass that End Bruce Mase caught on the 10-yard line and raced over the goal. He also kicked the extra point and the visiting fans were delirious with joy.
The Tigers struck back with determination, however as Dick Jacobs returned the following kickoff 31 yards to the midfield stripe. Hill gained a yard on a sneak and then tossed to Jacobs for a first down on the 11. Brown tried right tackle for a yard and Hill only picked up a yard on a sneak. On third down he pegged the ball to Jacobs who took it in the end zone for the touchdown. The try for the extra point was missed when the pass from center was low and the ball dropped, before it could be put in position for Schludecker to kick.
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NEITHER team threatened thereafter until the third period when Julius Wittmann blocked Dwight Beatty’s kick and Morrie Eberhardt pounced on the ball on the Lions four-yard line. The blow from the ball forced Wittmann’s removal from the game. Mike Takacs plunged for two yards in a crack at the Lion nine, and through Clarence Johnson and Brown were both free the next two plays the passes to them in the end zone were a little off the mark, thereby spoiling an opportunity for a touchdown. Brown was thrown back trying to carry the ball on fourth down and the Lions took over on the three-yard line.
The goal line stand by Lincoln was almost identical to a similar stand made by the Tigers the first period, when big Tom Seaman pounced on John Badarnza’s fumble on the
three-yard line. Christianson made a yard at center and Robertson picked up another. Robertson tried again but Lincoln was offside and was penalized five yards. Beatty made two before being tackled by Jacobs and fumbled on fourth down, the Tigers taking over on the four-yard line.
While the Tigers were naturally happy over the sudden turn of events in the fourth quarter, the narrow escape is just another indication of the long road ahead of the team this season.
On the bright side of the ledger was the aggressive spirit of the players, their defensive ability and the improvement in their passing attack. They completed four of 10 for 86 yards and two touchdowns, whereas last week they failed to complete a pass.
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ON THE DARK side was the absence of deception and a solid running attack. Ball carriers were stopped time and again without gain and made but two first downs on the land. Lincoln too often out-charged the lighter Massillon line and the local team’s passing attack might have been even more successful had not the passer been rushed so badly at times.
The fanciest run of the game was Jacobs’ return of the kickoff that followed Lincoln’s touchdown. Taking the ball on the 19-yard line, he stepped along the west sideline to midfield before being downed.
The Tigers emerged from the game without any serious injuries, and it is well that they did for they have an even greater test coming up next Friday evening at Steubenville.
Massillon Pos. Lincoln
Johnson le Love
Jones lt Griffiths
Williams lg Seaman
Schludecker c Gellenbeck
Houston rg Manful
Wittmann rt Maggiore
Roderick re Mase
Resh qb Christianson
Jacobs lh Beatty
Brown rh Randall
Takacs fb Robertson
Score by periods
MASSILLON 0 6 0 7 13
LINCOLN 0 7 0 0 7
Massillon – Olenich, c; Badarnza, qb; Resh, rh; Farris, rg; Eberhardt, lt; Morrow, lg; Edie, rt; Hill, qb; C. Johnson, fb.
Lincoln – Miller, rg; Stephanic, qb; Neel, rh; Baxter, le; Means.
Massillon – Jacobs and Brown.
Lincoln – Mase.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Schludecker (placekick).
Lincoln – Mase (placekick).
Referee – Russell Rupp.
Umpire – V.P. Jenkins.
Head Linesman – O.V. Boone.
Field Judge – Ralph M. Shafer.
First downs 4 7
Yards gained rushing 72 127
Passes attempted 10 12
Passes completed 4 4
Passes had intercepted 1 1
Yards gained passing 86 61
Total yards gained 158 188
Yards lost 9 11
Total net yardage 149 177
Times kicked 3 2
Average kicks (yards) 45 49
Times punted 8 10
Average punts (yards) 30 28
Average return of kicks 25 12
Fumbles 1 2
Fumbles recovered 0 1
Fumbles lost 1 1
Times penalized 6 3
Yards penalized 40 22