Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers Roll Over Steubenville 46-13
Long Runs By Traylor And Nussbaum Sparkle Offense Of Massillon


Steubenville’s Big Red wave was only a ripple today, calmed by the 46-13 lasing meted out by Washington high Friday evening as the 1951 titans of Ohio scholastic football clashed before 14,536 fans in Tiger stadium.

The Tigers stood the test, a double test in fact and gave every reason why they should stay at the top of the Associated Press poll another week in the 1952 title race.

Program Cover

Steubenville was adjudged the team that would test the caliber of the Massillon eleven this fall. The way the Tigers walloped their visitors, should leave no doubt in the minds of local fans but that Coach Chuck Mather has assembled another fine eleven. The proof was doubled in the manner in which the team struck back after tailing for the first time this season and after being scored on for the first time.r

The touchdown, coming after Steubenville covered a Massillon fumble on the 21-yard line early in the game served to arouse the Tigers. They countered with a fury greater than anyone had expected to gain the lead in five minutes and pile point on point the rest of the way.
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THAT WAS the big test we have when waiting for – to see if the team would fold when behind. It didn’t.

Instead, the linemen and blocking backs shook little Johnny Traylor loose for two touchdowns the first quarter, Lee Nussbaum for two in the second quarter, and from then on it did not matter that Traylor and Nussbaum each scored again and John Francisco added another.

Four of those touchdowns came on long runs with Francisco handing off to Traylor on a punt return for 74 yards; Johnny going 65 on an off tackle play; Nussbaum doing a tight rope walk down the sidelines on a pitchout for 41 yards, and breaking through center for 32 yards and another beauty.

But when you are looking over Nussbaum’s ball carrying efforts you have to mark down as his hardest bit of work, a jaunt of 14 yards, a hard running, individual effort on fourth down that brought a first down on the 14-yard line in the Tigers’ initial touchdown march.
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AND WHILE credit is being passed out for ball carrying, the efforts of Benny Bunch, the Big Red’s great little fullback should not be overlooked. He scored seven of Steubenville’s points and not only shined offensively but defensively as well.

However, reports that the Big Red were as good as last year, were an inflation that burst with the Steubenville bubble. The visitors did not have a Calvin Jones at tackle, a Gilliam on end or a Pumpkin Vincent to team with Bunch in the backfield.

They had a good football team, but a far cry from that of last year which was beaten out 13-6 by the Tigers in the last 10 seconds of play.

For a few minutes of the first period there were indications that maybe the folks were right about the Big Red’s ability. They pushed the Tigers over the field and scored their first touchdown with ease in the first four minutes of play.

Points were hard to get after that. Once they banged their way down to the two-yard line where Bunch fumbled and Massillon recovered. In the third period they turned a blocked Massillon punt into six points.
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WHILE A fumble and a blocked punt helped the Big Red to its scoring efforts, a couple of penalties for roughing the kicker also proved costly to Steubenville and contributed to Massillon’s scoring. Twice the Big Red had Massillon marches stopped, and twice the team was penalized for roughing Johnny Traylor when he was punting on fourth down. On each occasion the Tigers took occasion of the new lease on life to march on to touchdowns.

Thus both teams sort of helped each other to score two touchdowns, and each fumbled away an opportunity. Bunch losing the one already mentioned on the two-yard line and Johnny Traylor dropping the ball after a very fine run that went to the Steubenville seven. The ball rolled back to the two where Steubenville covered it.

So you can count the breaks about even which would leave the score as it should be.

First downs again belie the difference in the two teams. Each eleven made the yardage 10 times but the yards gained column tells a different story. The Tigers had 362 net to Steubenville’s 152 and that does not include the 74-yard punt return by Traylor.
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THE TIGER passing attack still isn’t the sharpest in the world. Two of eight were completed for 64 yards. The Big Red completed two of nine but also had two intercepted by Tom Boone who is getting quite adept in that department.

Best catch of the night, however, a one-handed effort by Bob Khoenle that would have been good for 40 yards, wasn’t allowed because Massillon was offside on the play.

Coach Mather used 28 players in the game but did most of his substituting on defense.

The Tigers used a 5-4-2 defense last night to cope with Steubenville’s offensive weapons. At times it faltered, but in the main succeeded.

Nobody knew who had the ball when Nick Medvis, Steubenville quarterback hurled a pretty 43-yard pass to Bill Fields in the third quarter. Fields and Boone both went up after the leather and came down together, but Fields had a little the better grip and managed to wrestle it away from Tom. It produced a first down on the 10-yard line, but the Big Red could go no furt6her and was thrown back to the 26 where it lost the ball.

The game maintained Massillon’s superiority over Steubenville on the gridiron. The Big Red last beat the Tigers in 1931 by a 67-0 score, a total that has not been excelled. The teams didn’t meet again until 1937 and the Tigers had won every game since save for a 7-7 tie in 1945.
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MAYBE IT was because he was playing folks not far from his old home town of Hopedale that gave Johnny Francisco the jitters early in the game. He twice fumbled the kickoff which put the Tigers back on the seven at the start of the game. Then after the locals had earned a hard first down, Johnny again bobbled the pigskin and this time Bunch pounced on it on the Massillon 21. On the first play, Fed Hudson smashed through to the Tiger eight. Four plays later Bunch bounded over the goal line – or did he? Fans in the position to see said he did not get over, but the referee, Dan Tehan, called it, so the six points went up on the scoreboard.

The Tigers struck back, starting with the kickoff on their 39 and marched to a touchdown. They wouldn’t have made it, however, had Steubenville not drawn a 15-yard penalty for roughing Traylor when he punted on fourth down. The penalty took the ball to the Big Red 42. Traylor made five yards and Nussbaum six for a first down on the 31. The Big Red braced and held the Tigers to three yards on the next three downs, but Nussbaum came through with his hardest run of the game, a pitchout around left end that brought a first down on the 14.

Francisco picked up four and Traylor went the remaining 10, juggling the ball, but hanging on to it as he was tackled while crossing the goal line. Boone kicked the extra point.

The Tigers forced Steubenville to punt after the kickoff and Francisco made a running catch of the ball on his 26-yard line. He headed for the sideline, handed the ball off to Traylor who caught the Big Red flat-footed and ran 74 yards to score.

Maybe that one should not have counted. Francisco appeared to hand the ball illegally forward to Traylor. It he did, he fooled the officials who counted the six points. Boone kicked the extra point and that ended the scoring for the first period.
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THE PRODUCTION of points was turned over to Nussbaum in the second period. It had hardly gotten under way until Lee tucked a pitchout under his arm and behind a terrific block by Khoenle, went 41 yards for six points, threading his way into the open along the sideline.

He scored from 32 yards out next time the Tigers got the ball, breaking out through the middle and cutting to the sideline behind good blocking.

Nussbaum made it three in a row as he scored the first points of the third period on a pitchout from the two yard line. Khoenle made it possible, however with a brilliant shoe-string catch from Misere for a gain of 39 yards and first down on the two.

Steubenville staged a little offensive thrust that took the ball to the 10 and then went backward to the 26. The Tigers were also thrown back and Traylor tried to punt. Bunch blocked the kick and Pilya scooped it up and went over for a touchdown. Bunch ran the extra point over and that ended the Big Red scoring for the night.

The Tigers got another in the third quarter on Traylor’s 65-yard jaunt and came back in the fourth period to score again. Francisco going over from the four-yard line after a drive of 92 yards. A 16-yard pass caught by Sam Williams and a 55-yard run by Francisco ate up the biggest hunks of yardage.

Coach Mather was obviously pleased with the showing of his team and his players who emerged from the game without serious injury. A couple of substitutes who might have gotten into the contest were kept on the bench last night as a portion of disciplinary action taken against them for keeping after hours at Cincinnati last week. Mather left it up to the squad to decide the punishment. The members voted 80 laps around the field for the pair next week.

The Tigers have their weak spots, most noticeable of which to fans are in the kicking department. Geiser is having difficulty getting distance on the kickoffs and Traylor isn’t given good protection punting. All season he has been barely getting the ball away.

Three In A Row

ENDS – Williams, Khoenle, Longshore, Crone, Letcavits.
TACKLES – Younkers, Geiser, Schram, Gumpp, Rubio, Dean.
GUARDS – Fabianich, Kraus, Clinage, Agnes, Shilling.
CENTERS – Corral, Kimmins.
HALFBACKS – Francisco, Traylor, Tasseff, Porter, Millar, Boone.
FULLBACKS – Nussbaum, Stewart, Stone.

ENDS – Thomas, Fields, StarliPer.
TACKLES – R. Conkel, Snyder, Underwood.
GUARDS – Baldwin, Kerr, Bickerstaff.
CENTERS – Amick, Moncilovich.
HALFBACKS – Clowers, Hidson, Wickham, Johnson, Baker, Ray, Whaley, Giannamore.
FULLBACKS – Bunch, Carney, Pilys.

Score by periods:
Massillon 14 13 12 7 46
Steubenville 6 0 7 0 13

Massillon – Traylor 3; Nussbaum 3; Francisco.
Steubenville – Bunch, Pilya.

Points after touchdowns:
Massillon – Boone 4 (placekicks).
Steubenville – Bunch (carried)

Referee – Tehan.
Umpire – Holzbach.
Head Linesman – Schill.
Field Judge – Shopbell.

Mass. Steub.
First downs 10 10
Passes attempted 8 9
Passes completed 2 2
Had Pases intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 64 54
Yards gained rushing 332 140
Total yards gained 396 194
Yards lost 34 42
Net yards gained 362 152
Times kicked off 7 4
Average kickoff (yards) 35 35
Yards kickoffs returned by 12 43
Times punted 2 5
Average punt (yards) 16 32
Had punt blocked 1 0
Yards punts returned by 78 12
Times fumbled 6 6
Lost ball on fumbles 4 1
Times penalized 4 6
Yards penalized 30 60

Bob Khoenle