Tigers Whip Steubenville 34-21
Massillon Gridders Stave Off Late Surge By Big Red Gridders
By LUTHER EMERY
MASSILLON 34, STEUBENVILLE 21!
Read it, thank your lucky stars it ended that way and give Chuck Mather’s Tigers and Howard Brinker’s Big Red boys a pat on the back for having played one of the finest offensive football games seen in Tiger stadium in many a moon.
It was a game long to be remembered, a battle of touchdowns, with both teams too strong offensively for the other’s defense and each ready to take advantage of every break and scoring opportunity.
Steubenville showed its power in the first two minutes by marching the ball from kickoff to the Tiger goal line, and the Tigers let the Big Red know they were not to be trifled with by tying up the count two minutes later.
That’s the kind of football you read about in story books and seldom see. But it was on display in real life before 18,000 fans in Tiger stadium Friday evening and what a game it turned out to be.
The Tigers were the better team on the field, on the scoreboard and statistically, but they were playing with dynamite when with a 27-7 lead they gave the Big Red an opportunity to light their fuses in the fourth quarter. The latter exploded with two touchdowns within four minutes of each other that had everyone on the seat’s edge wondering what was coming next.
* * *
IT WAS one of those games in which anything was apt to happen at anytime with breaks playing an important part in the scoring. Each team fumbled five times and only one of the 10 fumbles was recovered, that by Massillon. The visitors had their butter fingers the first half and the Tigers made the most of every break. In the last two periods it was the Massillon team that couldn’t hold the ball and the Big Red who seized the opportunity to turn the bobbles into touchdown drives.
Had the breaks only gone Steubenville’s way, the Tigers could easily have been the loser, for the Big Red was strong at the tackles and had speed and deception in the backfield of a caliber good enough to defeat most of its opponents this season.
However, the Tigers, despite a series of bad breaks which cost them two certain touchdowns, got help on a couple of others and emerged on the long end of the score.
We believe the Tigers the better team, possibly by as much or more (unreadable….) between the two scores, but we also are certain that no one can toy with Steubenville this year and get away with it.
No one visioned a possible 28-17 Steubenville victory on the scoreboard anymore than did Massillon’s Chuck Mather after the Big Red had scored its third touchdown with five minutes of the game remaining to be played.
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MATHER, with a 27-7 lead built up in the first two periods, was playing the part of a good fellow and allowing as many members of his team as possible to get in a period or two of football for experience which would also apply toward that letter M which is the goal of every varsity player. He used 25 in all and had quite a patched up lineup in the ball game when lightning struck twice within four minutes and the Big Red crept up to within six points of his team. There were long seconds and dark moments until Mather’s regulars could again take over and surge to their fifth touchdown and put the game on ice.
It takes a good team to do that and the Tigers’ comeback attests to the quality of the team even more than the 34-21 margin of victory.
Massillon fans were proud of their team for that. They liked the way their Tigers came right back after being swept off their feet to match Steubenville’s first period touchdown and make the visiting fans swallow their cheers and they liked the way they retained their fourth period calm when, with but a six-point lead and the possibility of another disastrous fumble turning victory into defeat, they drove 71 yards for their fifth and last touchdown.
It was considered a test game for the Tigers and they passed the examination by a sufficient margin so as to convince the skeptics of their ability.
Regardless of breaks, any team that can roll up 27 points on Steubenville in two periods this year is a good football team and we have an idea no other will bag that many against the Big Red in two consecutive periods the remainder of the season.
* * *
THE TIGERS were hitting and running hard. To pick out an outstanding performer from just watching the game would be an injustice to any boy. We’ll let Chuck Mather decide that from the pictures. All members of the starting backfield, Jack Hill, Clarence Johnson, Irvin Crable and Capt. Al Brown, ran well and each had a part in the scoring, while the line ripped openings in the Steubenville forward wall that the backs poured through for long gains.
They rolled up 489 yards from scrimmage which is more yards than any Massillon team has made in a single game since the middle of the 1943 season. Their improved passing attack gained 138 of these yards for them, while they got the remaining 351 on running plays. Steubenville made 322 yards, of which 80 were on passes and 242 on ball carrying. First downs were 18 to 12 in the Tigers’ favor.
Between them, Clarence Johnson of the local eleven and Gino Leilli, of Steubenville kicked seven off eight attempted goals which is some placekicking for high school boys. The only miss was Johnson’s second of five attempts. The ball went wide of the uprights.
The Steubenville backs, Harry Thompson, Nick Tsangeos, Bob Jones and Waddell Snyder, caused the Tigers no little trouble and Robert Beattie with a little better receiving would have had a good percentage of pass completions. He can toss the ball well and several of his pegs marked down as pass failures went directly into the arms of teammates.
The Steubenville ball carriers in fact caused trouble the very first time they came into possession of the ball. They brought the kickoff back to the 35-yard line and on the first play of the game exploded a bomb in the Massillon line that permitted Snyder to run to a first down on the Tiger 48. Next time he carried he made it to the 36 and just when it appeared the Tigers would stop this first threat, Beattie dropped back and fired a 27 yarder to Tsangeos for a touchdown. Leilli added the extra point and there was great joy on the Steubenville side of the field.
* * *
THE MERRIMENT was soon dispelled; however, when on the first play after kickoff, Johnson whipped a “Long Tom” to Crable who went all the way to the Steubenville 13 before he was hauled down from behind. It was a 59-yard effort. Brown sliced to the eight, but two more attempts by Brown and Crable gained but a yard leaving fourth down and the ball still seven yards from the goal. Johnson was fired through left guard for the touchdown and he kicked the extra point from placement to tie the score.
The Tigers got the first break of the game when Snyder fumbled the opening play after the kickoff and Ray Lane, Massillon linebacker, pounced on the ball on the Stub 21. Johnson took a short lateral and circled his right end to the eight. On fourth down Crable went over on a double reverse. This time Johnson missed the extra point and the score stood at 13-7.
Another break set the Tigers up for their third touchdown when Bill Paul pounced on Tsangeos fumble on the locals’ 46. The goal was still 54 yards away, but Hill slipped a pass to Johnson for a first down on the 37 and another to Crable took the ball to the 17. On a delayed trap, Brown went to the four-yard line and hit off right tackle for the remaining distance.
Steubenville came back from the kickoff with a drive that got to midfield when Takacs covered Tsangeos’ fumble which rolled back to the Big Red 36. When two plays failed to gain, Hill rifled the ball to Crable. Beattie managed to get in the way and partially block it, but as the ball was falling to the ground, Crable dove for it and came up with the leather in his arms and a first down on the 16. Crable picked up three and when Hill was bottled up trying to pass, he ran for it and went over the goal standing up for the Tigers fourth touchdown of the half.
The locals were knocking again when the half ended and had the ball on the Big Red
Neither team scored in the third period but each had the ball too close to their opponent’s goal for comfort. Steubenville got in position by covering Brown’s fumble on the Tiger 19. The Big Red marched to a first down on the Tiger seven, but here the local team held and took the ball away after four downs on the four-yard line.
* * *
A PARTIALLY blocked punt by Ronald Patt, sub center, gained the ball for the Tigers toward the end of the period on the Steubenville 48. Crable took a pass from Hill for a first down on the 30 and the Tiger quarterback tossed one to Ben Roderick for what would have been a first on the one-yard line, but the Tigers were declared in motion and were penalized five yards.
A 30-yard run by Snyder that put the ball on the 15-yard line set up Steubenville’s second touchdown. A fourth down pass to Bob Turrnetine put the ball on the five and two plays later Snyder went over for the touchdown.
Crable’s fumble, which Nick Tsangeos covered on the locals’ 49-yard line started Steubenville off on its last scoring spurt. Snyder and Jones lugged the leather to the 14 and Beattie’s pass to Turrentine provided a first down on the one-yard line. Jones went over for the six points. Leilli kicked the 21st and both Massillon and Steubenville fans had visions of a possible Big Red victory.
Mather sent his regulars back into the fray and the offensive unit operated as though it had no knowledge of the score. The boys started with the kickoff on the 29 and Johnson bulled his way through to midfield. He hit for nine more and Brown ambled to the 21. Crable went to the 18, then to the six and fourth down Brown circled his right end for a touchdown with only 33 seconds remaining to be played. By controlling the ball the last five minutes the Tigers had not only saved their game but had increased their margin of victory.
For the most part, members of the team emerged from the contest unscathed, and should be in good shape for the next week’s hot contest at Alliance.
ENDS – SLICKER, HOUSTON, Streeter, Studer, Gleason.
TACKLES – KRISHER, TAKACS, Jones, Pizzino, Schumacher.
GUARDS – MORROW, PAUL, Reichenback, De Walt, Ebbert.
CENTERS – McVEY, Patt.
QUARTERBACKS – HILL, James.
HALFBACKS – JOHNSON, CRABLE, Roderick, Bush.
FULLBACKS – BROWN, Lane.
ENDS – TUREENTINE, FRALEY, Delave.
TACKLES – WICKHAM, MORATES.
GUARDS – D’ALFONSO, STACY, Bickerstaff.
CENTER – DUNCAN.
QUARTERBACKS – BEATTIE, Leilli.
HALFBACKS – THOMPSON, TSANGEOS.
FULLBACKS – SNYDER, Jones.
Score by periods:
Massillon 13 14 0 7 – 34
Steubenville 0 7 0 14 – 21
Massillon – Brown 2; Johnson; Crable; Hill.
Steubenville – Tsangeos, Snyder, Jones.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Johnson 4 (placekicks).
Steubenville – Leilli 3 (placekicks).
Referee – Rupp.
Umpire – Gross.
Head Linesman – Boone.
Field Judge – Jenkins.
Statistics Of The Game
First downs 18 12
Passes 13 13
Passes completed 6 5
Passes intercepted 0 0
Yards gained passing 138 80
Yards gained rushing 351 242
Total yards gained 489 322
Yards lost 20 7
Net yards gained 469 313
Times punted 1 3
Punts blocked 0 1
Average punt (yards) 36 10
Punts returned by (yards) 0 13
Times kicked off 6 4
Average kickoff (yards) 49 43
Kickoffs returned by (yards) 37 109
Times fumbled 5 5
Lost ball on fumbles 4 5
Penalties called on 9 1
Penalties refused by 0 1
Times penalized 8 1
Yards penalized 60 5