Tigers Crush Warren 31-0
Massillon Gridders Beat Rival By Biggest Point Margin In Last 10 Years
By LUTHER EMERY
Little Bob Misere got out of his sick bed Friday evening to pass and guide the Washington high school Tigers to their most important victory of the season, a 31-0 triumph over Warren Harding high school’s tough Panthers witnessed by 15,798 fans in Tiger stadium.
It was Bob, ill with the flu the last three days, who pitched the ball for the first and last touchdowns and otherwise handled the ball well from his quarterback post.
He had Capt. Bob Khoenle and Sam Williams on the receiving end of his touchdown passes and he completed 50 percent of 10 throws for 130 yards.
And right behind Misere as an offensive standout came little Johnny Traylor, who twice raced to two touchdowns and had his greatest effort of all – a 63-yard run – called back because of illegal formation.
In front of them, performing like demons was the big Tiger line which protected Misere, opened holes for Traylor and his halfback running mate, Johnny Francisco, and battered Warren to a standstill most of the game.
Give the Tiger defense a lot of the credit for the victory. Not once did Warren move the ball through its own efforts inside the Massillon 40-yard line. It got into Tiger territory three times by covering Massillon fumbles, but was never closer than 27 yards to the goal.
It was a hard fought contest.
Warren came to Massillon to win and tackled viciously, but was fortunate to escape without more points being scored against it.
Not only was Traylor’s long T.D. run of 63 yards called back, but the Tigers had what appeared to be a first period touchdown in the making when they lost the ball through a fumble on the Warren 14-yard line.
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THEN TOO, the locals gave the ball away to the Panthers three other times on fumbles to halt offensive marches.
Not once did the Tigers punt the entire game. On several occasions they had to go for yardage on fourth down, but they made it every time with but two exceptions, one being stopped on a mix-up in plays.
The loss was only Warren’s second of the season. The Panthers came here boasting victories over Collinwood, Canton McKinley, Campbell, Mansfield and Cleveland East Tech. Their lone loss was to Cleveland Benedictine, which Dick Olmstead, Warren Tribune sports editor, says couldn’t begin to match the Tigers.
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THE 31-POINT margin of victory was the biggest spread of points between the two teams in the last 10 years of competition.
The margin of victory over an opponent as strong and reputable as Warren should help convince the pollsters who have been participating in the weekly balloting to pick the leaders in the Ohio high school race.
Warren ranked ninth in the pool the past week, was among the leaders in the last year’s balloting and was the only team to defeat the Tigers in 1951. Were it not for that loss the Massillon gridders would now own a string of 31 victories.
The Tigers probably had that in mind when they turned on the steam last night.
They had to turn it on to overcome the series of disheartening breaks that beset them the first half. Coach Chuck Mather substituted freely in the later stages of the game. He used 26 players in all as he gave a flock of juniors a chance to see more action.
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MATHER was jubilant, and there was a bigger crowd and more rejoicing in the dressing room after the game – indicative that the Tigers had won the big one.
Gridiron music reached our ears as we walked into the dressing room and we even looked around to see if Ernie Godfrey, Ohio State’s assistant coach and noise maker, had brought along the record player he used to key the Bucks for their win over Wisconsin. However, we found the Tigers had their own chairman of noise, who took over in the equipment room.
It all was good.
It’s just as we said – the big one was in the bag.
There are three more to go – Toledo Waite, Youngstown South and Canton McKinley, none as powerful as Warren, but any one capable of doing things when it is up and the opponent down. The Tigers cannot afford to be down from here on in.
All of the Tigers’ five touchdowns came like bolts out a starry sky. The teams had battled through a scoreless first quarter and a third of the second quarter had gone by when the orange and black found itself with the ball, fourth down to go, on Warren’s 10-yard line and three yards needed for a first down. Cooly, Quarterback Misere stepped back, flipped the ball to Capt. Khoenle who went right on over for the first touchdown of the game.
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THE PERIOD was two-thirds gone when Warren’s Dave Preston punted the ball to the Massillon 13. The Tigers drove for two first downs to their own 44, where Traylor broke up through his left tackle and supported by some very fine blocking, went 56 yards to score the second touchdown of the game.
With Massillon leading 13-0 at the half, the teams throttled each other’s scoring efforts in the third period, the Tigers messing up one of their own opportunities by the illegal formation on which Traylor had crossed the goal after a 63-yard run; the fanciest bit of footwork of the game.
The fourth period was less than half a minute old, however, before the Tigers struck for the third time, and again it was a quickie with Traylor scooting for 33 yards to climax a drive that began when Warren lost the ball on downs on its own 28.
Khoenle furnished more fireworks four minutes later when Warren’s Jim Seem got off a wobbly pass when he tried to throw while being tackled. Bob gathered it in on his 45 and set free with a fine block by John Climo, went 55 yards for the Tigers fourth touchdown.
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THE LAST POINTS rode in one the arm of Misere to the waiting hands of Sam Williams, who pulled in the leather near the goal line and went over for a net gain of 45 yards.
The longest pass of the game did not count, a 49-yarder in the first period that Misere threw to Traylor which would have provided the Tigers with a first down on the Warren 14-yard line. But Johnny fumbled when tackled and Warren recovered.
While the Tiger offense rolled to 31 points, 17 first downs, and 363 net yards from scrimmage, its defense was putting up its best exhibition of the season.
Mather used a defense with quick changing variations designed to confuse the Panthers. It succeeded and the visitors were bumping their heads into Tigers all evening. They gained but 68 net yards rushing and were held to five first downs. Not since the 1942 team beat Warren 32-0 has there been as big a spread of points in a Massillon-Warren game. Closest to it was in 1948 when the Tigers won by a 25-point margin.
Warren’s defensive ends, Jack Vair and Phil Reed throttled most of the Tigers’ end sweeps last night. “We just couldn’t handle then,” Mather said after the game. “I thought their work was outstanding.”
Because of the defensive ability of this pair, Fullback Lee Nussbaum was given a rough evening and practically got nowhere on his runs from a pitchout.
While Warren backs did little running from scrimmage, the way they returned kickoffs was evidence of what could have happened had not the Tiger line and linebackers kept Jim Rogers, Salvi Merolla and Bob Barbutes bottled up on the line of scrimmage. The Panthers returned kickoffs for 28, 21, 33, 19, 15 and seven yards ,or a total of 123 yards, and almost got away a couple of times for touchdown runs.
The line-ups and summary:
ENDS – Williams, Khoenle, Letcavits, Crone,
TACKLES – Schram, Geiser, Dean, Gumpp.
GUARDS – Clinage, Kraus, Agnes, Shilling, Fabianich.
CENTER – Corral.
QUARTERBACKS – Misere, Crescenze.
HALFBACKS – Francisco, Traylor, Boone, Tasseff, Floyd, Longshore, Stone, Climo, Millar.
FULLBACK – Nussbaum.
ENDS – Vair, Sibera, Kelly.
TACKLES – Tayala, Baker, Simmons, Nagy, Luoma.
GUARDS – Riffle, Simone, Bowen, Canzonetta.
CENTER – Pincipi.
QUARTERBACKS – Seem, Preston.
HALFBACKS – Barbutes, Merolla, Venetta, Smith, Maniatis.
FULLBACKS – C. Rogers, Reed, Dubasik.
Score by periods:
Massillon 0 13 0 18 31
Massillon – Khoenle 2; Traylor 2; Williams.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone (placekick).
Referee – Jack McPhee.
Umpire – John Russ.
Field Judge – Irvin Shopbell.
Head Linesman – Andy Lindsay.
First downs 17 5
Passes attempted 10 14
Passes completed 5 4
Had Passes intercepted 1 2
Yards gained passing 130 31
Yards gained rushing 248 98
Total yards gained 378 129
Yards lost 15 30
Net yards gained 363 99
Kickoffs 6 1
Average kickoff (yards) 50 55
Yards kickoffs returned by 20 123
Punts 0 5
Average punt – 32
Yards punts returned by 8 –
Times fumbled 7 6
Lost ball on fumbles 4 2
Times penalized 4 3
Yards penalized 20 25