Tigers Defeat Toledo Waite 21-0 In Snow
Massillon Gridders On Comeback Trail After Hard Earned Victory
By LUTHER EMERY
Toledo Waite and old man winter couldn’t keep the Washington high school Tigers off the comeback trail Friday evening and the local gridders proved themselves a team deserving the top rating in the Associated Press Ohio scholastic football poll, by smashing the Indians 21-0 before eight thousand shivering fans.
Playing in Toledo’s first snowfall of the season, the Massillon gridders held to a scoreless tie the first period, shoved over a touchdown in each of the last three quarters while continuing to keep Waite at least 22 yards away from pay dirt.
It was the Tigers’ seventh victory of the season, but more than that it was proof the local eleven had the necessary courage and strength to bounce back from defeat and start what we hope will be another victory string.
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IT WAS a hard earned victory. The Waite Indians, keyed up for the game and inspired by their best performance of the season a week ago, presented a defensive problem (or problems) for the Tigers. They met the local team with various types of defenses and their strong and heavy line was difficult for the Tiger forward wall to move, particularly on the slippery field.
Offensively, the Indians were no great problem. They had two good ball carriers in Buddy Peacock and Stan Sterger, but they found it difficult to make any great headway on the revamped Tiger defense. “Keep” plays were the Indians’ best weapon, but all of their passing and ball carrying failed to get them closer to the goal than the 22-yard line, and 15 times ball carriers were thrown for losses totaling 64 yards.
Ace Grooms and Tom Straughn were the Tigers’ leading ground gainers. They also scored all of the points; Straughn getting one TD and Grooms two and three extra points from placement.
Grooms rolled to 116 yards and Straughn for 88 while the other backs picked up 45.
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THE CONTEST was one of the hardest fought of the season from a standpoint of tackling by both teams. Tacklers hit ball carriers in waves and it was surprising there were only a few fumbles considering the hard tackling and slippery condition of the ball on the snow covered field.
Fumbles stopped two Tiger advances as the ball was muffed into the hands of Waite players, while the Indians managed to recover their own bobbles.
The Tigers, on the other hand, intercepted two Waite passes to make up for the muffs.
The passes were intercepted by Bob Khoenle and one was as clever a theft as you will see for a long time, as Bob jumped high to tip the ball with one hand into the other.
The Massillon gridders sought to open up the Toledo defense with forward passes in order to make their running attack more potent. They were successful in the second and third periods, but Waite ganged up on passer Paul Francisco in the fourth and tossed him for repeated losses. The locals were pushed back a total of 56 yards.
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WINNING THE TOSS, the Tigers started off as though they meant business when Grooms returned the kickoff from the goal line to his own 48. They got down to the 27 principally through a 19-yard pass from Paul Francisco to Bill Gable, but there the attack fizzled and Waite took over. Neither team threatened the rest of the period though the Tigers made a good defensive stand toward the close of the quarter after the Indians recovered a Massillon fumble on the latter’s 33. Four downs produced only one yard and the Tigers took over on their 32.
Chuck Vliet has the better of an exchange of punts as he bounced the ball over the Waite safety man’s head to the 12-yard line. Sterger was thrown for a 10-yard loss when he tried to circle his left end and Sam Williams punted out from behind his goal to midfield.
Paul Francisco found Bruce Brenner, in the open and hit him with a perfect pass for a first down on the four yard line. The Indians stopped John Francisco, but Straughn knifed his way through for the score and Grooms kicked the extra point with only three minutes of the half left to play.
Waite made its best bid at the start of the third period when the Indians using a draw, a keep play and a jump pass got down to a first down on the Tiger 31. Four downs netted only nine yards, however, and the Tigers stopped the threat on their 22.
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AN INTERCEPTED pass by Khoenle gained the locals the ball on the Waite 27, but with fourth down and three to go for a first down, Straughn fumbled on an end sweep and Waite covered for a loss of eight yards.
The period was two-thirds over when the Tigers got the ball on a punt on their own 44. Paul Francisco pitched to Bruce Brenner for nine yards. John Francisco barely made a first down on the Waite 46. Grooms ran to a first down on the 27 and went the rest of the distance into the end zone a pitchout. He kicked the extra point and the Tigers led 14-0.
The Tigers went half the distance of the field in the fourth quarter for their third and final touchdown. Straughn ground out 15 and Grooms 12 to put the ball on the 27. Straughn and Grooms gained three yards but Francisco was nailed for a 13-yard loss trying to pass. Lee Nussbaum pulled them out of a hole by driving hard on a statue of liberty for a first down on the 17. Grier and Nussbaum moved the ball forward four yards. Grooms went the last 13 around right end for the touchdown and then kicked the 21st point.
The Tigers almost got another TD in the closing minutes of the game when Francisco tossed a screen pass to Grooms who ran to the 27-yard line before being caught by the Waite safety man.
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SNOW handicapped both teams to a certain degree.
Oddly enough it did not begin snowing in Toledo until late in the afternoon. When the Massillon team arrived early in the afternoon the sun was trying to get through the clouds. Not a drop of rain nor flake of snow had fallen up to that time. But late in the afternoon the snow appeared, fanned by an icy wind and the temperature skidded downward until it hit a low of 16 during the night.
The Tiger defense looked better than it has at any time this season. Several offensive players doubled on defense, with Jack Strobel, right offensive tackle, playing the slot on defense, Brenner holding down an end, Frank Gibson a tackle, Grooms backing up the line and Grier playing safety on the first three downs of a series, and then exchanging with Khoenle.
The victory gave the Tigers a tie for first place with Warren in the Ohio Scholastic conference with three wins and a loss. It was the first conference loss for Waite which had won its two previous games.
The Tigers emerged from the game in good condition and remained in Toledo all night. Today they continued to Columbus where they will witness the Ohio State university-Northwestern game.
ENDS – Gable, Brenner, Keene, Tasseff, Corbett, Shilling.
TACKLES – Gibson, Strobel, Geiser, Kraus.
GUARDS – Tunning, Grunder, Climo, Snyder, Stewart.
CENTER – Roderick.
QUARTERBACKS – P. Francisco, Dommer.
HALFBACKS – Grier, Straughn, J. Francisco, Traylor, Khoenle, Nussbaum.
FULLBACKS – Grooms, Vliet.
ENDS – Galuzny, Helmke.
TACKLES – Pocse, Thomas, Williams,
GUARDS – Davis, Cummings.
CENTERS – Weinbrenner.
QUARTERBACK – Giroux.
HALFBACKS – Zunk, Peacock.
FULLBACK – Sterger.
Score by periods:
Massillon 0 7 7 7 21
Touchdowns: Massillon – Straughn; Grooms 2.
Points after touchdown: Massillon – Grooms 3 (placekicks).
Referee – Tony Pianowski.
Umpire – George Donges.
Head Linesman – Skibble.
Field Judge – Wisecup.
First downs 9 8
Passes attempted 10 8
Passes completed 4 3
Had passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 98 21
Yards gained rushing 241 165
Total yards gained 339 186
Yards lost 56 64
Net yards gained 283 122
Times kicked off 4 1
Average kickoff (yards) 35 55
Yards kickoffs returned by 43 31
Times punted 6 7
Average punt (yards) 33 36
Yards punts returned by 22 11
Fumbles 3 2
Lost ball on fumbles 1 0
Times penalized 1 3
Yards penalized 5 35