Tigers Defeat Akron Garfield 39-0
Crowd of 10,370 Sees Massillon Gridders Get Off To Winning Start

By LUTHER EMERY

A sick, Washington high school football team slapped down Akron Garfield 39-0 before 10,370 fans in Tiger stadium Friday evening to begin defense of the state championship crown it has worn the last five yards.

With half the squad suffering from the stomach-ache, the Tiger gridders made many mistakes, but once they become better coordinated, they will be a tough customer for anyone to handle.

Fortunately their opponent last night was Garfield, a good and willing football team, but not as experienced and as sturdy as some of the future foes on the orange and black’s schedule.

“I don’t know what it was,” Coach Chuck Mather, said after the game. “Maybe it was just nervous stomachs from the first night performance.”

Whatever the reason, about half of the team complained throughout the game of aching and sick stomachs. That was one reason why Mather moved several players in an out of the contest so many times. All told, he used 32 players.
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THE SCORE was below the advance prediction of most fans. A stubborn Garfield team that battled right up to the end was one of the reasons for it being so. Also holding down the total were 100 yards in penalties and the loss of the ball three times on fumbles.

“We will look a lot better when we get more coordinated,” Mather said after the game. “We need to improve our downfield blocking. We could have had a couple more touchdowns with better blocking.” The Tiger coach singled out Halfback John Francisco for special praise for his hard running.

The Tigers scored in every period, getting two touchdowns in each of the second and fourth quarters. Garfield threatened but once, completing a pass to within two yards of the Tiger goal only to have the ball called back on a penalty.

Mather’s reference to lack of coordination shows up better in the yards gained column than on the scoreboard.
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THE TIGERS gained 499 yards, 108 through passing. That kind of offense usually produces more than six touchdowns, especially when there’s a cheap one in the group.

However, penalties and fumbles at the wrong time helped to nip touchdown bids.

Because of the penalties and the great amount of substitutions, the game was slow from a spectators’ standpoint, and large portions of the crowd began to leave early in the fourth quarter, knowing the Tigers had the game in the bag. As a result they missed a couple of the best runs of the game.

Though Mather complained of his blocking, some good ones were thrown during the course of the evening. Johnny Traylor tossed a beauty once for Francisco and we saw Ronnie Dean take two men out of a play on one occasion.

The Tigers completed five of 12 passes and the percentage would have been higher had the receivers done a better job of holding the ball. Three were dropped, that should have been caught – all deep in enemy territory.

Not a Massillon pass was intercepted, while Garfield had three taken away by Tiger secondary men. The visitors threw 11 and completed two for 11 yards.
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THE MASSILLON defense on the whole was good enough. Not only was the pass defense operating well, but the line playing against a single wing offense with which it was not too familiar, held the visitors to a total of 80 yards gained and threw them for 54 yards in losses, leaving them a net gain on the ground of only 25 yards.

Top scorer of the evening was Traylor with three touchdowns. Aside from throwing some good blocks he also punted well, getting off one 48-yard beauty that rolled dead on the
two-yard line.

Hardest runner was Francisco who squirmed his way for a lot of fine gains. His first effort and incidentally it was the Tigers’ initial play from scrimmage was a 66-yard sprint to the three-yard line where he stumbled and fell in the open after being knocked off balance.

Traylor had set him free around the 20 with a beautiful block.

Traylor in two plays went over for the score, the first of the game.

That was all for the quarter that ended 6-0.

The second period was almost two-thirds gone before the locals scored again. It was a cheap one.

Willie Longshore gained position for the points when he covered a Garfield fumble on the one yard line.
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FRANCISCO went over on the first play but the ball was called back and the Tigers penalized five yards for being in motion. Crescenze was tossed on the nine for a three-yard loss, but he hit Boone with a pass in the corner for the score. Boone missed the uprights on the extra point attempt.

The next points came quickly as Billy Stoner returned an Akron punt to his 41. In two plays the Tigers were over, Homer Floyd touring right end to the 19 and Traylor coming around the left for the T.D. Another missed kick and the score stood at 18-0 at the half.

Massillon received to open the third period and never gave up the ball until it was over the Akron goal. Starting from the 35, Traylor went around left end for 20. Francisco whirled for five but a 15-yard penalty for clipping shoved the leather back over the midfield stripe. Traylor made up for it on the next play by tearing to the 32, and Crescenze went around end to the 10. Francisco took the ball over in two plays and Boone kicked the extra point to make the score 25-0. That’s where it stood until the fourth quarter, when Boone intercepted a Garfield pass and scampered back to his 27. A couple of well executed passes, one to Traylor and another to Floyd took the ball into Akron territory.

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THE LAST T.D. came with 50 seconds to play. The locals had backed Garfield to its own
six–yard line and the punt out was none too good, going only to the 28. Dick Fromholtz made six yards on a reverse and Francisco on a quickie raced to the two-yard line. The honor of going over was given to Floyd and he barely made it in a plunge at the middle, Boone kicked this one too and the game was over two plays later with Andy Stavroff intercepting an Akron pass and running all the way to the 13 before being tackled.

While the Tigers’ play still has many shortcomings, one obvious weakness was in the kickoff. The ball was short on most occasions which results in a gift of from 15 to 30 yards to the opponent. Garfield brought one kickoff back to its 49, another to the 44, others to the 38, the 35 and 36. The only two good kickoffs were stopped on the 24 and the 16.

Garfield’s offense was centered largely in a speedy halfback, Richard Gibson, who gained most of the visitors’ yards.

MASSILLON
ENDS – Lentz, Letcavits, Lopez, Boone, Canary, Lorch.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Williams, Woolley, Hill.
GUARDS – Agnes, Eaglowski, Shilling, Gardner, K. Kisher, Holloway, Maier.
CENTERS – T. Fisher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, Francisco, Fromholtz, Stone, Longshore, Duke.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Archibald, Stavroff, Boekel.

GARFIELD
ENDS – Olenick, Williams, Parks, Bolender.
TACKLES – Vance, Fink, Compton, Bridges.
GUARDS – Cox, Williamson, Zoval.
CENTER – Kirk.
QUARTERBACKS – Quintrell, Brittson.
HALFBACKS – Gibson, Marts, Miller, Amedeo.
FULLBACKS – Tunstall, Mobley.

Score by periods:
MASSILLON 6 12 7 14 39

Touchdowns: – Traylor 3, Francisco, Boone, Floyd.

Points after touchdown: – Boone 3 (placekicks).

Officials
Referee – Rupp.
Umpire – Klocker.
Head Linesman – McPhee.
Field Judge – Don Hamilton, Jr.

STATISTICS
Mass. Garfield
First downs 15 6
Passes attempted 12 11
Passes completed 5 2
Had Passes intercepted 0 3
Yards gained passing 108 32
Yards gained rushing 391 80
Total yards gained 499 112
Yards Lost 11 54
Net yards gained 488 58
Times punted 2 8
Average punt (yards) 44 27
Times kicked off 7 1
Average kickoff (yards) 40 45
Times fumbled 5 5
Lost ball on fumbles 3 1
Times penalized 12 7
Yards penalized 100 55

Jim Lectavits