Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

11,000 See Tigers Defeat Alliance 27-21
Massillon Gridders Win Dizzy Game From State’s Seventh Ranking Eleven


If you are dizzy today you must have been one of the 11,000 fans who saw a dizzy football game Friday evening in Mt. Union stadium, in which the Washington high Tigers shaded the Alliance Aviators 27-21 in a thrilling game that had everything including:

Two consecutive kickoff returns for touchdowns, one the season’s longest run, 104 yards by John Francisco, the other a 77-yard effort by Lee Nussbaum.

Two passers completing 50 per cent of their tosses.

The losing team making 16 first downs to the winner’s 11 and gaining exactly the same net yardage from scrimmage.

It was a thriller-diller of a contest with Alliance playing inspired ball, throwing and completing passes all over the gridiron to control the leather, but never able to regain the lead after dropping it in the second period.
* * *
THE AVIATOR fans were so jubilant after the contest that they did much of the horn blowing. Most of them expected to see their team beaten by three touchdowns, and were happy that they had been treated to as close a score.

Coach Chuck Mather and his Massillon crew, on the other hand, were not so happy. Remembering a couple of fumbles and intercepted passes that gave the ball back to the Aviators, they seemed to think they had not played a particularly good game. But in their disappointment at not having rolled up a larger score they apparently forgot that they were playing the No. 7 team in the state and one that we believe deserves an even higher ranking. Futhermore, the Aviators had six regulars back for their offensive team; the Tigers none.

Rarely will you see a team return two consecutive kickoffs for touchdowns and yet only win by six points. That’s the kind of dizzy game it was, and that’s why the Tigers are still undefeated today.

Thus Francisco and Nussbaum emerged the heroes of the contest, but only because they had some excellent blocking in front of them.
* * *
JOHN in particular received able support. The Tigers were leading 14-7 when they lined up for the kickoff at the start of the second half. Burwell Baddelely’s kick bounced on the 15 and over the arms of Francisco when he tried to take it. Most people thought it hit John, and thought that was the reason why he picked up the ball then hesitated four yards behind the goal, before running with it.

“I was just trying to decide what to do,” said John, when asked after the game the reason for the temporary pause.

Maybe the pause threw the Aviators off guard, but whatever it was, Johnny ran right out through them while his blockers chopped down tacklers. One Tiger peeled off three at a time. We combed the locker room after the game, but none took credit. John Tasseff got one tackler, Andy Fabianich two, and Sam Williams cut down two as Francisco bolted out of the end zone and headed up field.

Bill Burger of Alliance took after him at the 30 but neither Francisco could gain nor Burger close the gap in the race for the goal line. A Tiger blocker had in mind throwing a block on Burger at midfield, but did not have good position and surely would have clipped had he attempted it. Francisco with a five-yard lead outdistanced his pursuer the last 15 yards and could hardly stand up from exhaustion after he got into the end zone.
* * *
THE TOUCHDOWN would have caused many an opponent to have blown sky high, but not Alliance, for the Aviators were waiting for this game and it wasn’t long before they had another touchdown for themselves on a well aimed 28-yard pass from strong-armed Len Dawson to End Ray Olds.

That brought the Aviators up to within striking distance again, 20-14, but only for a moment, for next time they kicked off, Nussbaum gathered in the leather on the 23 and went 77 yards to score. He was through the whole Alliance team in a jiffy, and there was never any doubt once he got going that he would out run’em all.

Touchdowns on consecutive kickoffs!

We haven’t heard of that in a long time, but it still didn’t kill off Alliance. The Aviators had a great passing weapon in Dawson and some smart receivers and they just kept throwing until three completions took the ball to the eight from which the Aviators hammered it over with Dawson sneaking through from his quarterback spot for the last six inches.
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TIGER FANS were mighty happy Alliance didn’t get the ball anymore, and to keep them from it the locals had to make a desperate play on fourth down with seven to go to control the leather. They succeeded and were marching toward the Alliance goal for what might have been another T.D. when the game came to an end.

That accounts for the second half scoring.

What went on to the first half was almost as startling except that it was at the beginning instead of toward the end of the game.

Alliance, after recovering a Massillon fumble on the Massillon 29, was first to score. A
24-yard pass, Dawson to Olds produced it, the latter going up in the air to take the ball right out of the arms of a Massillon defender in the end zone.

An Alliance fumble, covered by Ronnie Agnes on the Tiger 48, was the start of the local team’s first touchdown drive which was scored principally through the Alliance specialty – forward pass. Bob Misere began pitching and hit Capt. Bob Khoenle twice for 27 yards and 14 yards. That got the ball down to the 11 where Traylor shot around his left end for the points. Tom Boone’s kick tied it up 7-7.
* * *
THE NEXT ONE came cheap for the Tigers, thanks to their defensive unit. They got to breaking through on Dawson, tossed him for a couple of losses and when he dropped back close to his goal line he was rushed so badly he was unable to get the ball away.

The Tigers took over on the two but were forced back to the six when Misere couldn’t find anyone to hand off to. He hit Khoenle, however, with a pretty jump pass over center that Bob took in the end zone for six points. Boone made it 14.

It appeared as though that Tigers had the Aviators at the breaking point when they marched down to the Alliance 16 next time they got the ball, but they lost it there on a first down fumble and the Aviators took over.

It wasn’t difficult to pick out the Alliance star. Dawson was the individual. Not only did he complete 16 of 32 passes for 220 yards, but he also punted, kicked the three extra points, passed for two of the touchdowns, scored the third himself and kicked off part of the time. Without him Alliance would not have too much armor. The Aviators appear only to be able to run because of Dawson’s threat as a passer. They have a hard-hitting back in Homer Young, who did most of the ground work, scoring principally on a short pitch on an end sweep.
* * *
DAWSON was not at his best physically for the game either. He injured his left shoulder last week which kept him out of practice the first two days of the week according to Alliance newspapermen.

While Misere of the Tigers did not throw nearly as passes, he had the same percentage of completions. In fact, Bob had the better of it the first half when he completed four of six while Dawson was completing seven of 12.

The Tigers tried only two passes the second half, and did not complete either. One was intercepted.

Yardage of the two teams was the same, the Massillon statistician showing both teams with a net 234.

The Aviators actually gained the most, 334, but they also lost 100 when Tiger tacklers broke through to smear Dawson while attempting to pass or to nail Young on pitchouts.

The local team made 179 yards on the ground and 69 through the air for a total of 248, but only lost 14 from scrimmage, giving the same net gain from scrimmage as Alliance 234 yards.

The Tigers ran 22 plays from scrimmage the second half. You don’t run a lot of plays and gain a lot of yardage from scrimmage when you return kickoffs for touchdowns. However, if you add the kickoff returns to yards gained from scrimmage you have 429 for the Tigers to 303 for Alliance. After all, that yardage represents the difference.

The Tigers emerged from the game in fairly good condition with the exception of Traylor, who aggravated a leg injury.

The play of the Alliance team was a fine tribute to Mel Knowlton, native Massillonian and former junior high and high school coach here, and Julius Tongas, another Massillon man and assistant to Mel.

Mel really had his team riding high for the contest. It was the third straight week the Tigers have been called upon to face a team in which a former Massillon man was a member of the coaching staff.

Two weeks ago the Tigers played Steubenville coached by Ray Hoyman, ex-Massilonian. Last week they played Barberton where Fred Cardinal, ex-Massillonian, helps out. Next week they meet Mansfield where Bill Peterson, another ex-Massillon assistant coach, is head mentor.

The line-ups and summary:

ENDS – Crone, Khoenle, Williams, Letcavits.
TACKLES – Schram, Geiser, Younkers, Dean.
GUARDS – Clinage, Kraus, Fabianich, Agnes.
CENTER – Corral.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, Francisco, Tasseff. Climo, Boone.
FULLBACKS – Nussbaum, Stewart.

ENDS – Aton, Olds, Giovanatto.
TACKLES – Galehouse, Fucci, Kracker, Deack, Jones.
GUARDS – Stanish, Stranges, Tasker, Zavarelli.
CENTER – Feller.
HALFBACKS – Burger, Davis, Baddeley, Hawkins, Boring.

Score by periods:
Massillon 7 7 13 0 27
Alliance 7 0 7 7 21

Massillon – Traylor; Khoenle; Francisco; Nussbaum.
Alliance – Olds 2; Dawson.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 3 (placements).
Alliance – Dawson 3 (placement).

Referee – Tobin.
Umpire – Russ.
Head Linesman – Lindsay.
Field Judge – Holzbach.

Mass. All.
First downs 11 16
Passes attempted 8 32
Passes completed 4 16
Had passes intercepted 2 0
Yards gained passing 69 220
Yards gained rushing 179 114
Total yards gained 249 334
Yards lost 14 100
Net yards gained 234 234
Kickoffs 5 4
Average kickoff (yards) 47 43
Yards kickoffs returned 195 69
Punts 2 4
Average punt (yards) 15 32
Yards punts returned 0 0
Fumbles 2 3
Lost ball on fumbles 2 1
Times penalized 6 5
Yards penalized 40 32

Bob Khoenle