Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

13,036 See Tigers Beat Alliance 33-7
Orange And Black Roll Up Winning Margin In First Half Of Contest


The Washington high school football team sputtered Friday night but still had enough to chalk up its fifth win of the season at the expense of a fighting Alliance high eleven before a crowd of 13,036 fans, largest turnout of the season.

The victory was the Tigers’ 18th in a row since they last tasted defeat in Warren in October, 1951.

The margin of victory was gained in the first half when the Tigers scored two touchdowns in each of the first and second quarters; scoring in the second half was equal, seven points for each teams.

The Massillon score might have been larger save for a pass interception on the goal line and several clipping penalties that helped throttle possible drives for points.

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The fact remained, however, that the Tigers were not sharp and were up against a spirited Alliance team that was scrapping with all it had.
* * *
THE TIGHTENING of the struggle in the second half was also revealed in the number of substitutions by Massillon Coach Chuck Mather. Where he had been using 40 or more players in previous games he used but 30 last night.

Likewise, it was the first time this season that the Tigers gained more yards passing than they made running the ball. They gained 205 yards and scored two touchdowns through the completion of five passes, while making 190 on the ground. Alliance completed only two of nine passes for 55 yards, one of which set up its only touchdown. It gained 148 yards on the ground. First downs were 15-11 in the Tigers’ favor.

While the game lacked some of the luster of previous Massillon-Alliance contests, it produced a lot of thrills for the spectators.

The biggest sensation was spoiled by a clipping penalty which took away yards but not the brilliance from a second period run by Johnny Traylor.

With the ball on the Massillon 22, the fleet Tiger halfback had set out around his left end only to find himself confronted by a swarm of enemy interceptors as he went three yards past the line of scrimmage. So he reversed his field, ran backward some 15 yards in a wide arc while his blocking began forming in front of him. Then Johnny sped forward along the sideline. His teammates began cutting down Alliance tacklers, as he went all the way to the 10 where he ran out of steam and was pulled down from behind. Clipping was called on the Alliance 41 and the Tigers were penalized 15 yards back to their own 44.
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TWO PLAYS LATER, more of the fancy stuff was produced. Rich Crescenze fired a long pass that Tom Boone made a great catch of on the Alliance 20. Two Alliance tacklers closed in on him and Boone lost his helmet in the fight for liberation. While an Alliance player dove for it, thinking it to be the ball, Tom went the remaining 20 yards for a touchdown. There was a 32-yard razzle dazzle to Bill Stone for a touchdown that did not count in the last minute of the half, because of a penalty, and there was a pitch to Johnny Traylor good for 54 yards and the Tigers’ only touchdown in the second half.

Francisco and Traylor each scored two touchdowns, and Rujay Jones got Alliance’s only one, though it was made possible by a long pass, Bill Offenbecher to Chester Kirksey, good for 33 yards that put the ball on the one yard line. He was tossed out in the coffin corner after it looked as though he would go over.

In Jones Alliance displayed a hard-running sophomore fullback who got away for several long gains despite the fact that he was pretty well bottled up by a hard charging Massillon line that messed up the Alliance offense much of the time.

In fact, Offenbecher usually had little time to pass the ball for someone was reaching out to haul him down most all the time. Alliance lost as many yards as it gained trying to pass.
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THE LINE also hurried Orlando Giovanatto so much in the first half that he had little time to punt. One was blocked and another only went 13 yards.

The Tigers punted but once, and that one went over the Alliance goal.
* * *
IT LOOKED like a scoreless first period before the Tigers began to roll, and only a minute and 31 seconds remained of the quarter when John Francisco went over from the four-yard line for the first points. The drive started in midfield with a 42-yard pass, Crescenze to Homer Floyd putting the ball in scoring position.

Interception of an Alliance pass by Bill Stone on the Aviators’ 42 made it possible to score on the first play of the second quarter. Francisco carried to the five-yard line on the last play of the first period and then went over as the second period got under way.

A blocked punt that gained Massillon the ball on the Alliance 40 was the starting point for the third T.D. A 24-yard pass from Crescenze to Jim Letcavits got the ball into scoring territory and after Francisco had narrowed the distance by six yards, Traylor circled his left end for the points.

Boone’s catch of a touchdown pass, already described, was the fourth and last T.D. of the half. The locals lost a fifth in the late minutes of the period when a 52-yarder from Crescenze to Stone took the bal into the end zone only to be called back because of a penalty on the Tigers.
* * *
ALLIANCE was first to score in the second half, though the Tigers were down to the
eight –yard line when an intercepted pass ended their drive.

Alliance came right back after the interception to drive the length of the field. Hard running by Jones produced first downs on the 48 and 36 and after Jones moved the ball up to the 33, Offenbecher passed to Kirksey who got within a foot of the goal before he was thrown out of bounds, Jones went over.

The Tigers took the kickoff on their 46 and in two plays had another T.D. of their own. Traylor failed to gain and Crescenze let fly to Traylor who outran the Alliance secondary to score. The play covered 54 yards.

The Tigers emerged from the game in good condition and Mather was glade to get it over with. “You always fear this kind of game,” he said after the contest. “The boys got the idea from fans that they have an easy touch and then go out to meet a fired-up opponent. That’s when they often get hurt.”

Most serious casualty last night appeared to be Boone who has been coming along fast in just about every department the last couple of weeks. He sustained a bruised hip that hurt him considerably after the game.

Sophomore members of the team didn’t get much rest last night. They had to report at 7:30 this morning for a trip to Mansfield where they play the Mansfield sophs today.

The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Boone, Letcavits, Lentz, Lorch.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Woolley, Hill.
GUARDS – Eaglowski, Agnes, Shilling, Gardner, Holloway, Maier, Williams.
CENTERS – Fisher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Grant.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, Francisco, Duke, Byrd, Longshore, Fromholtz.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Johnson, Stone, Boekel, Speck.

ENDS – Kirksey, Coldsnow, Giovanatta, Hariston.
TACKLES – Pucci, Egan, Kracher, Liber.
GUARDS – Thomas, Menechelli, Milovich, Peloso, Slusser, Giase.
CENTERS – Dietz, Adams.
QUARTERBACK – Offenbecher.
HALFBACKS – Plummer, Barnett, Wright, Long, Hawkins, Howard.

Score by periods:
Massillon 7 19 7 0 33
Alliance 0 0 7 0 7

Massillon – Francisco 2; Traylor 2; Boone.
Alliance – Jones

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 3 (placekick).
Alliance – Slusser (placekick).

Referee – A.N. Smith (Elyria).
Umpire – John Holzback (Youngstown).
Head Linesman – Andy Lindsay (Poland).
Field Judge – A.C. Grant (Loudonville).

Mass. Alliance
First downs 15 11
Passes attempted 16 9
Passes completed 5 2
Had passes intercepted 8 1
Yards gained passing 205 55
Yards gained rushing 190 148
Total yards gained 395 203
Yards lost 3 55
Net yards gained 287 148
Times kicked off 5 2
Average kickoffs (yards) 40 37
Yards kickoffs returned by 31 85
Times punted 1 7
Average punt (yards) 16 26
Yards punts returned by 3 0
Times fumbled 2 3
Lost ball on fumbles 1 1
Times penalized 9 4
Yards penalized 75 35

Jim Lectavits