Washington High School Defeats Warren Harding 23-6
Tigers Find Panthers Tough Defensively And Touchdowns Hard To Get
By LUTHER EMERY
Strange things happen in football, and because of the uncertainty Massillon fans for two periods Friday evening clung to the edge of their seats wondering if it was the night when one of those fearful upsets would blast their Washington high school Tigers out of the running for the state championship. But it turned out not to be so and the local gridders through a second half assault smashed their way to a 23-6 victory over a stubborn Warren Panther for their seventh straight triumph of the season.
All was not rain that dampened a large portion of the crowd of 12,571 fans who turned out for the spectacle. Those who sat under the roof, about 99 per cent of whom were Massillon fans, were wet from perspiration as they heaved and puffed with the Tiger football team as it tried to make headway on the visiting eleven.
As ‘twas said – strange things happened; from the first four plays of the game one would have expected the Tiger score to have approached three figures, so easily did Massillon register its initial touchdown. It took the Tigers just four plays to get over the Warren goal after the kickoff, Freddie Waikem getting the last 30 yards after only one minute and 27 seconds of the game had expired.
From there on the going was rough, brother, and you can say that again.
The touchdown represented the only score of the first half, and plenty of Massillon spectators were uneasy when the teams went to the dressing rooms at intermission. And to add to their worries, Tiger Drum Major Russell Mowery, missed catching his baton when he tossed it over the goal post (in itself an ill omen). The witches and bones trotted out in the band show helped to cast a spell over the minds of the skeptical who kept saying to themselves, “this is the night.”
The Tiger football team, however didn’t see what went on between halves. Members were too busy in the dressing room charting the weak spots in the Warren line for a second half assault, and when they came out for the third period, they smashed across for 10 points the first two opportunities they had to carry the ball. Fortunate they did, for Warren had one in the bag that turned out to be the most sensational play of the game, a pass into the flat from Don Stroup to Dennis Pardee who raced 72 yards down the sideline to score. He did it alone and it seemed as though every player in the Tiger lineup slid off his pants before he finally shook himself free.
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HAD THAT touchdown come at the start of the third period instead of the fourth there’s no telling how the game would have wound up. As it was it served no other purpose than to give the visiting rooters an opportunity to release some of their enthusiasm for the Tigers had the game pretty well sacked by that time.
As expected the Panthers threw up a stout defense against the Tigers. They fell apart only once – at the start of the game when the locals raced to their first score. Otherwise it was slam-bang all the way with a sturdy, hard charging line turning back several other Tiger bids to score and throwing Massillon ball carriers for a total loss of 60 yards. Howard Glover, end, and big Bob James were hard to move, the former giving Quarterback Freddie Close a hard time on several occasions when he attempted to pass.
Nevertheless the local team had the advantage in the statistics, marking up 14 first downs to Warren’s four and gaining a net of 322 yards to Warren’s 169 yards.
The visitors did not show any great amount of offense, their ground attack gaining only 87 net yards and their pass offense 82 yards. They might have shown to better advantage in their aerial game had the ball been dry. As it was the slippery leather made it tough on both passers and receivers.
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CLIFF STREETER for instance dropped a fourth period pass from Close that undoubtedly would have resulted in another Massillon touchdown. The ball skidded through his arms on the three-yard line.
On the other hand big Cliff made the catch of the evening in the second period when he hauled in a 51-yard pass from Bob Howe on the 17-yard line. It didn’t get the Tigers anything, however for Warren braced and threw the local team back to the 32.
The victory was not only the Tigers’ seventh of the season but was also their third straight Ohio conference triumph. They are the only undefeated eleven in the conference at the present time.
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THE TIGERS’ last touchdown was one too many for Jerry Krisher, place kicking artist of the local team. Jerry went into the game with nine in a row. He got the first two to make it 11 but the ball sailed wide of the uprights on his third attempt.
However, he kicked a field goal in the third period, the first that he has attempted and the first field goal scored by a Massillon team since Jack Clendening booted one against Akron South on Oct. 14, 1929. Freddie Close put the ball down on the 18-yard line for Krisher’s boot. Jerry now has kicked 33 points after touchdowns out of 38 attempts. He had kicked 26 of the last 27 before he missed last night.
The way the Tigers took off after the opening kick it looked as though they would have a field day last night.
Ernie Russell brought Santti’s kickoff back to his 28 and Waikem immediately took off for a 19-yard run. One more block and he would have traveled the distance. On the next play Russell went to the opposite side to sweep the left end for 21 yards and put the all on the Warren 32. Bob Howe tried a right end lateral but gained only two yards. The visitors evidently had marked him as the man to stop. On the next play Waikem went up the middle on a quick opener and was over the Warren goal before most fans knew who had the ball.
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NEITHER TEAM did much offensively the remainder of the period, though the Tigers twice got over the middle of the field only to be stopped by the Panther defenders.
Howe’s 51-yard peg to Streeter started a definite threat in the second period, but it ended with Russell being thrown for a six-yard loss and Waikem a 12-yard loss as Warren appeared to find a defense that could cope with the Massillon sweeps. Neither team threatened the remainder of the period.
After being dressed down by their coach between halves, the Tigers scored the first time they got their hands on the pigskin in the third period. They kicked off to Warren to start the quarter and forced the visitors to punt back, Pardee kicking out of bounds on the Massillon 37.
The local team overcame a five-yard offside penalty as it drove to a first down on its 48 with Howe doing most of the lugging. Howe and Russell picked up six and nine yards respectively to get the ball down to the Warren 37, where Waikem cracked for four, Howe for nine and Russell for eight. That put the leather 16 yards short of the goal and Howe made everybody from Massillon feel more comfortable when he circled his right end for the remaining 16. Krisher kicked the extra point and it was 14-0.
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WAREEN was stopped after the kickoff and a fine punt return by Russell put the ball on the 30, where the Tiger halfback needed some help by Jim Reichenbach, Jim covering Ernie’s fumble.
Close gambled and pitched the wet ball to Wilfred Brenner for a first down on the 13. When the next three plays gained but five yards, Krisher placekicked his field goal to put the local team ahead 17-0.
The fourth quarter was getting along toward the halfway mark when Stroup tossed a pass into the flat to Pardee. It almost amounted to a long lateral, and Pardee after shaking off two Tiger tacklers set sail for the sideline. He was hit time and again, but Tiger tacklers slid off and he went 72 yards for Warren’s touchdown.
Pesanelli who kicked a field goal last week to beat Alliance was sent in to try for the extra point but missed the conversion.
The Tigers received on their 38 and marched 62 yards for the final touchdown of the game with Waikem and Howe doing most of the ball toting, but Russell going over for the last two yards and the six points.
First downs 14 4
Passes attempted 8 12
Passes completed 3 3
Had passes intercepted 0 1
Yards gained passing 74 82
Yards gained rushing 306 97
Total yards gained 382 179
Yards lost 60 10
Net yards gained 322 169
Times kicked off 5 2
Average kickoff (yards) 51 47
Yards kickoffs returned by 29 108
Times punted 4 6
Average punt 9yards) 21 27
Yards punts returned by 21 6
Times fumbled 6 4
Lost ball on fumbles 0 1
Times penalized 5 3
Yards penalized 25 15