Tigers Beat Alliance 48-14 Before 15,604
Massillon Gridders Superior On Ground, Weak On Pass Defense
By LUTHER EMERY
That a good running attack is still superior to a good aerial barrage was demonstrated before 15,604 touchdown thirsty football fans in Tiger stadium Friday evening when the Washington high school Tigers downed the Alliance Aviators 48-14 in a game that was closer than the score indicates.
The victory avenged a 14-0 defeat sustained at the hands of Alliance last year, the only blemish on the 1948 schedule. It was the fifth of the year and the 10th in a row for the local team.
It was a hard fought contest with players of both sides bruising each other as evidenced in the locker rooms after the game.
The Tigers came out with one casualty, Don James, who sustained a possible separation in the left shoulder, which may bench him for a period. Ronald Patt rammed a tooth almost through his lip, but the injury was not of the type that should keep him out of uniform.
Hard, clean football, you can call it, and while Tiger backs got away for a number of long runs, the major credit should go to the line and in particular to Jim Reichenbach, junior guard, who played a whale of a game and who had the wind knocked out of him on one occasion doing it.
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THE LINE ripped apart the Alliance forward wall to get the Tiger backs away to touchdown runs and did a pretty good job of stopping the Aviator backs.
But don’t be surprised if future Tiger opponents try to shell the locals with footballs. Alliance found a weakness in the Massillon pass defense tossed the ball twice for touchdowns and gained 196 yards in that matter.
Not every team, however, will have a thrower like John Borton, the cool Aviator junior quarterback who took his time picking his receivers, was accorded good protection and hit the bull’s-eye on virtually every occasion.
That Borton did not complete more than 14 passes out of 31 attempts can be attributed principally to inability of his receivers to hang on to the ball. On at least six occasions, Alliance boys dropped passes right in their arms which would have been good for yards.
But the Tigers’ running attack was superior to the Alliance running attack and therein is the reason for the Aviators’ defeat.
Ace Crable’s crazy legs propelled him to three long touchdown dashes of 31 yards, 28 yards and 38 yards respectively. Clarence Johnson carried over for two touchdowns, Dick Jacobs for one and Crable passed to Don Slicker for 41 yards and another.
Long plays for touchdowns do not figure as first downs, which is the reason Alliance outdid the locals in this department of the statistics, 18 to 11. But the Tigers had the most net yards gained from scrimmage, 401 to Alliance’s 152.
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AS EXPECTED, the Tigers found Alliance to be the toughest opponent they have met this season and as a result Coach Mather played his first team the greater part of the game. Only 26 local players saw action as compared with the three or more teams that have been competing in previous games.
Fumbles hurt the Alliance cause, three costing them the ball and one giving the Tigers a first down on the six-yard line, and eventually leading to their third touchdown.
Coach Chuck Mather was quite elated with the victory, but warned his players after the game that next Friday they have Mansfield to play here, a team that beat Alliance 28-14. Last night’s game and victory was his first in the northern Ohio Scholastic conference, which began operations this year.
While Tiger ball carriers were frequently stopped, they likewise often got away to sizeable gains, particularly on end sweeps where the blockers threw everything but the goal posts at their opponents.
In fact one of the finest runs of the evening, though not for a long gain, went for naught when a Tiger player was charged with clipping. The Massillon fans booed the decision lustily for they thought it a clean block, the last of a series that had set Crable free when he reversed his field after being bottled up, and kept him from being thrown for a terrific loss.
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THE GAME was not very old until you could see which was the better team. The Tigers were out-charging the Alliance linemen. The local team received, gained 25 yards on an exchange of punts when Jacobs kicked beautifully 50 yards to the six-yard line where the ball rolled dead. Alliance’s return kick went out on its 31, and on the very first play Crable broke through for a touchdown and Krisher kicked the seventh point.
A 65-yard drive after getting the ball on a punt produced the locals’ second touchdown, Johnson nosing it over from the one foot line and Krisher again booting the extra point. Score 14-0.
The Tigers grabbed their third score in the first minute of the second period when the Aviators’ Dolly Gray fumbled the ball and Patt recovered on the Alliance six. It took four downs to get it over, Jacobs finally diving the ball across and Krisher’s kick going wide of the uprights. Score 20-0.
Trailing 20 points, the Alliance aerial circus appeared and aided by some good running on the part of Larry Shells and Gray, took the ball to the six-yard line where on fourth down Borton tossed to Shells for six points and then kicked the seventh himself. Score 20-7.
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THE HALF was in its last minute before the Tigers could again score. They marched the ball 85 yards to the three where with time running out they didn’t take time to huddle on third down but went straight into the T and banged over the goal with Johnson lugging the leather across and Krisher again kicking the extra point. Score 27-7.
The third period was an even scrap with the Tigers scoring the only touchdown of the quarter after stopping a determined Alliance drive on the nine. Jacobs’ 19-yard run and tow long passes, a Jonson to Joe Gleason heave of 32 yards and a Crable to Don Slicker toss of 41 yards concluded a 91-yard drive. Again Krisher kicked the extra point. Score 34-7.
Alliance was well on its way to its second touchdown when the quarter ended however and on the third play of the period which incidentally was fourth down, Borton caught the locals flatfooted with a pass into the deep flat to Gray who raced over for the six points. Borton booted the seventh. Score 34-14.
The Tigers retaliated with two quick touchdowns. Don Slicker brought the kickoff back to his 45 and only two plays were required to score. Johnson reeled off 27 and Crable went the remaining distance. Krisher placekicked the following point. Score 41-14.
The Tigers kicked off to the Aviators and two plays later Gray fumbled and Massillon recovered on the Alliance 43. James was tossed for a 14-yard loss trying to pass but he got all of it and more back on a pitch to Gleason. Crable streaked through for the last 38. Score 48-14.
Thrice thereafter Alliance worked the ball deep into Tiger territory, losing it on the 15 when Dick Shine intercepted Borton’s pass and again on the nine where Ernie Russell intercepted another pass. They were the only passes intercepted by the Tigers all evening. The game ended with Alliance completing a long forward and again knocking inside the 15.
ENDS – SLICKER, GLEASON, Studer, Houston.
TACKLES – KRISHER, SCHUMACHER, Duke, Stanford, Gibson, Tunning,
GUARDS – SHINE, REICHENBACK, Laps, Grunder.
CENTERS – PATT, Turkal, Vliet.
QUARTERBACKS – JAMES, Close.
HALFBACKS – JACOBS, JOHNSON, Waikem, Lane, Russell.
FULLBACKS – CRABLE, Grier.
ENDS – SHELLS, KINTZ, Proctor, Slates, Alles.
TACKLES – SCHLOSSER, JACK, Ciatu, (unreadable), Groat.
GUARDS – YOUNG, G. NICHOLSON.
CENTERS – FOGOROS.
QUARTERBACKS – BORTON.
HALFBACKS – H. NICHOLSON, CARROLL, Anderson, Reynolds.
FULLBACKS – GRAY.
Score by periods:
Massillon 14 13 7 14 48
Alliance 0 7 0 7 14
Massillon – Crable 3; Johnson 2; Jacobs; Slicker.
Alliance – Shells; Gray.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Krisher 6 (placekicks).
Alliance – Borton 2 (placekicking).
Referee – Gross.
Umpire – Russ.
Field Judge – Hamill.
Head Linesman – O. Williams.
Statistics Of The Game
First downs 11 18
Passes attempted 6 31
Passes completed 4 14
Had passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 106 196
Yards gained rushing 328 152
Total yards gained 434 348
Yards lost 33 36
Net yards gained 401 312
Times punted 5 4
Average punt (yards) 37 27
Yards punts returned 20 21
Times kicked off 8 3
Average kickoff (yards) 47 42
Yards kickoffs returned 53 116
Times penalized 6 3
Yards penalized 40 15
Fumbles 3 4
Lost ball on fumbles 1 3