Tigers Unleash Power To Humble Mansfield
Massillon Gridders Roll Up 33 Points In First Half And Win 40-0
By LUTHER EMERY
A band of aroused Tigers struck five times in the first half and once more in the second, Friday evening, t hand Mansfield its worst defeat of the season, a 40-0 licking in its own backyard, before an overflow crowd of 13,000 spectators.
Surprising even their most optimistic fans, the Massillon gridders opening up with a devastating attack from the first whistle, shoved over 33 points in two periods, and coasted in while Coach Chuck Mather tossed in 27 players against the hard pressed Mansfield team.
It was the first time this season that the Massillon eleven had tied into a foe as viciously as did the Tiger team last night. It had gotten into the habit of being beaten to the punch in the opening minutes and having to come from behind to gain the lead.
Not so last night. The Tigers not only flashed power and legged it for long touchdown runs but they played defensive ball, particularly in the first half when they only allowed the Mansfield eleven a net gain of 31 yards, while rolling up 194.
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JOHN FRANCISCO and Bob Khoenle emerged the heroes of the game. Hard running Johnny scored three touchdowns, one of them on a 34-yard run, while Capt. Bob intercepted three Mansfield passes to help the Tigers control the ball.
Playing without fleet Johnny Traylor, who injured a leg two weeks ago and hurt it again last week, the brunt of the offensive work was carried by Francisco and Fullback Lee Nussbaum, who seemed to hold the center of Mansfield attention. Between them they did most of the leather lugging, though John Tasseff, carrying the ball for only the third time this season, reeled off the Tigers last touchdown run with a power burst of speed for 56 yards, the longest jaunt of the game.
The visitors had Nussbaum’s end run plays well scouted. He lost about as much as he gained on them, though he did rip off a number of yards through other holes and scored once on a wedge power play from the six-yard line. Bob Misere tallied the sixth touchdown on a buck through center with the ball inches short of the goal line. Tom Boone kicked the four extra points and missed two others.
Coach Bill Peterson wasn’t at all complimentary after the game. He appeared to think Mather’s Tigers were too touchdown hungry and that Mather was trying to run his team out of the ball park. It looked that way the first half and the Tigers almost did, but the fact, that they scored but seven points the last two periods didn’t in any way soothe Bill’s soul.
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BETTER DEFENSIVE play on Mansfield’s part and considerable substituting by Coach Mather, held down the score the last two periods. The Tiger mentor used 27 players in the game putting in most of his replacements the last two periods.
Mansfield, in fact, played the Tigers on almost even terms the second half, making more first downs gaining virtually as many yards but failing to score.
Mansfield had few scoring opportunities. Only once did it get close, that coming right at the end of the second period on a pass interception on the Massillon 15-yard line. The gun cracked before the ball could be put in play. The Tygers penetrated their deepest toward the end of the game when they pushed through to a first down on the Massillon 31, only to have a pass intercepted by Khoenle on the next play.
Later on they managed to again cross the 50-yard stripe but when they reached the 40, they had another pass intercepted by Tom Boone and the game was over.
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FROM THE START it was evident that it wasn’t Mansfield’s night. The Tygers drew a 15-yard penalty on the first kickoff for being late on the field and though they managed to stop Massillon’s first offensive effort, they were found wanting the second time the Tigers got the ball.
Starting from their own 22, they overcame a five-yard penalty for being in motion as Nussbaum reeled off 16 yards and Francisco got loose for 45 and a first down on the eight.
John Climo got his chance and went for two and Francisco shot through right tackle standing up for the touchdown and first points of the game. Boone missed the attempted kick for the extra point.
Four minutes and 45 seconds of the period remained to be played and in that small space of time, the Tigers stopped a Mansfield offensive effort, took the ball on a punt and scored again. Francisco again angled the leather into position with a 24-yard return of a punt that put the ball on the 26. He moved it on up to the seven by catching a 15-yard pass from Misere and Nussbaum went over just as the period ended. Again Boone missed the try for the extra point and the quarter closed 12-0.
No one foresaw the rout of Mansfield in the second period.
This time it was Khoenle who got the ball for the Tigers through a pass interception and set them in position on the 32. A five-yard penalty took the leather back to the 37 but it mattered naught for Francisco bolted through for 34 yards and his second T.D. This time Boone kicked the extra point and made the score 19-0.
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IT WASN’T long until the point total ran up to 26, thanks to Khoenle again intercepting a Mansfield pass on his 28 and running it back to the 13. On the first play Francisco cleverly circled this right end for the score.
Climo furnished the next taste of poison for Mansfield when he pulled down a Tyger pass on the 28. A pass to Sam Williams got a first down on the 15 and another to Khoenle put the ball on the three. Nussbaum virtually laid it on the goal line from which spot Misere rammed over and Boone kicked the 33rd point.
Neither team threatened in the third period and the Tigers struck but once in the fourth when Tasseff got away to his 56-yard run.
The Tigers had another in the making when Jim Letcavits caught a fine pass from Misere and then fumbled, losing the ball on the 16.
Give Tackle Dick Guy (No. 44 to you folks who were at the game) a lot of credit for playing a good defensive game for Mansfield. Bobby Joe Johnson, breaking into the Tiger lineup for the first time this season probably wonders what he ever did to Guy to make him made at him. Bobby couldn’t even get his best foot forward before Guy would nail him.
John Climo, filling in for the injured Traylor, played the bulk of the game on both offense and defense and showed the scars of battle when it was over. His face was marred with bruises and a couple of times he had to take time out because of cramps in his legs. Otherwise the Tigers escaped without serious injuries.
The game went down as just another defeat for Mansfield in its long rivalry with Massillon that dates back to 1936. Only once has Mansfield beaten the Tigers, Augie Morningstar’s team doing it here in 1949. There have been three ties along the way, 1937, 1941, and 1948.
The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Williams, Khoenle, Letcavits, Longshore.
TACKLES – Schram, Geiser, Agnes, Younkers, Gumpp, Dean.
GUARDS – Clinage, Kraus, Fabianich, Shilling.
CENTER – Corral.
QUARTERBACK – Misere.
HALFBACKS – Francisco, Climo, Tasseff, Boone, Stone, Johnson, Floyd, Millar, Traylor.
FULLBACKS – Nussbaum, Stewart.
ENDS – Shasky, Fry, Smith.
TACKLES – Eliot, Guy, McGinty, Steele, Moore, Kirk.
GUARDS – B. Diemer, M. Rupp, G. Yeakam.
CENTERS – Garrett, Meane.
QUARTERBACKS – Carbetta, Henkel.
HALFBACKS – E. Mack, Jones, Todd.
FULLBACKS – N. Diemer, Shauck, Thompson.
Score by periods:
Massillon 12 21 0 7 40
Massillon – Francisco 3; Nussbaum; Misere; Tasseff.
Points after touchdowns:
Massillon – Boone 4 (placekicks).
Referee – Vogelgesang.
Umpire – Pasini.
Field Judge –Walker.
Head Linesman – Moore.
First downs 11 11
Passes attempted 9 19
Passes completed 4 4
Had passes intercepted 1 5
Yards gained passing 44 80
Yards gained rushing 319 132
Total yards gained 363 212
Yards lost 23 36
Net yards gained 340 176
Times kicked off 7 1
Average kickoff (yards) 47 27
Yards kickoffs returned by 7 68
Times punted 4 7
Average punt (yards) 32 34
Yards punts returned by 59 17
Fumbles 2 4
Lost ball on fumbles 1 0
Times penalized 7 6
Yards penalized 55 50