Tiger Gridders Smash Mansfield 41-7
Massillon Team Turns On Steam To Whip Old Rival For 19th In Row
By LUTHER EMERY
Unleashing its most devastating attack of the season, the Washington high school football team surprised its strongest supporters Friday evening as it turned back Mansfield high 41-7 before the largest crowd to attend a football gathering here this season – 16,496 fans.
It was the Tigers’ 19th victory in a row and their 14th over Mansfield in the series of 18 games played since the teams opened modern relations in 1936. Mansfield has won one game (1949) and has tied the Tigers three times.
The victory likewise set the stage for next week’s high school battle of the year here between powerful and undefeated Warren high which last night smashed Cleveland Benedictine’s long undefeated streak of 21 games by a score of 34-13.
The Tigers were terrific last night.
Playing a team that had lost only to Warren and that game by the slim margin of a point, they did everything right, were sharp and we hope will be able to take off against Warren next week where they left off when Coach Chuck Mather yanked them out of the game in the third quarter.
* * *
CHUCK didn’t want the team to get stale nor sustain any injuries for next week’s contest.
Some bruises were showing up on players after the game, but none appeared to be serious.
The victory got the second half of the schedule off it a rip-roaring start.
Mansfield was supposed to have tested the Tigers. It poured out what looked to be a better team than the score indicated. Some of the 3,500 visiting fans seemed to think their team suffered from stage fright, caused by the big crowd – and was playing in the shadow of the lopsided record Massillon holds over Mansfield teams.
Bet that as it may Mansfield also ran into the best performance put up by the Massillon team this year. The Tigers were a threat every time they carried the ball as evidenced by their long runs and passes for touchdowns, and the mountain of yardage they piled up during the game.
Johnny Francisco went 93 yards for one and 15 for another. Homer Floyd raced 20 for one and 54 for another, while Johnny Traylor went 42 yards for one and caught a pass from Roy Johnson for 29 and another.
The Tigers gained 607 yards, 131 by passing, while holding Mansfield to 240 yards, 90 by passing.
Most of the visitors’ yardage was made when Massillon second and third stringers were in the game.
In fact, we were fearful of what the score would have been had not Mather substituted so freely the last two periods.
First downs were 21 to 11.
* * *
THE RUNNING of Floyd was one of the big features of the evening. He legged it well through the visiting team, which appeared unaware of his ability.
The Tigers started off by sweeping the Mansfield flanks with wide end runs, particularly deep pitch-outs. Floyd had the speed to get around and was supported by some fine blocking.
Best blocking of the evening, however, was that turned in by the left side of the Massillon line on Traylor’s 42-yard T.D. The boys just pinned the visitors to the ground while Traylor legged it fast around his left, into the open and was gone like a jack rabbit.
Jack rabbit did we say? We should have saved that term for the 93-yard flight of Francisco. He did a lot of nifty dodging as he came out of the pack and was away with a couple of Mansfield players pursuing him to the end. All were out of wind including Francisco by the time pay dirt was reached.
When the big three of the Tiger backfield retired, Billy Stone took over. He got away for some good jaunts even though he had second and third stringers in front of him.
* * *
MANSFIELD had its backs too. Jim Thompson, Ed Avery, Wilmer Fowler and Willie Mack showed they had the speed, but their line was neither strong nor fast enough to get them into the open very often. They had few long gains.
Mansfield fans we talked to had words of praise for the Tigers. Most of them figured they would get beat but not by as heavy a margin.
Coach Bill Peterson was complimentary to the Tigers and told Mather he had a very fine team.
The Tigers broke the visitors’ spirit quickly.
They stopped Mansfield after the opening kickoff and got the ball for the first time in a punt on their 49-yard line. They never stopped until they had seven points.
It was Francisco 11 yards in two attempts, Floyd 20 on a pitchout to the left and 20 more and a touchdown on a pitchout to the right – just like that, with Tom Boone kicking the extra point.
They fizzled out on their second ball carrying series but when they got to a third time they drove into pay dirt again. They started from their own 46 with Floyd racing for 13. Francisco added a yard, and Floyd, running on that pitchout again, flew 25 yards to the Mansfield 15. Francisco went around his right end for the touchdown and again Boone booted the extra point.
* * *
THAT ENDED the scoring for the first quarter. Mansfield worked the ball into Tiger territory early in the second period but was forced to punt. Floyd took the ball on a handoff after the punt from behind his goal and only because of his speed and some fine chopping of tacklers by teammates was he able to avoid a safety and get out to his three. Traylor moved the ball up four yards and Francisco busted out of nowhere for his brilliant 93-yard run. Boone again kicked the extra point and it was 21-0.
The fourth touchdown came quickly. Stopped on the kickoff the visitors punted to the 40. Floyd lost two when he slipped on a pitchout but Traylor tore around his left end to score. Boone missed the kick.
Mansfield struck back with its best attack of the half. Starting with the kickoff on their own 41 the visiting Tygers began tossing short passes with Pudge Henkel doing the pitching. He hit Avery for 11 yards, Fowler for three, Mack for eight, and Morton for three. With some runs mixed in the visitors got down to the one yard line and had three chances to put it over. Fowler first tried to dent the Tiger wall and failed. Then Henkel tried a keep play and was thrown back. Lastly Thompson was hurled at the line and he too was stopped, so the Tigers took over.
* * *
THE LOCALS scored quickly in the second half. Getting the ball on the 32, Traylor and Francisco moved it up to their 46. There Floyd was sent up the alley on a quick opener and he came through as though shot out of a cannon to go all the way, 54 yards and a touchdown. Boone kicked this point too.
Mansfield was stopped after the following kickoff and forced to punt, the Tigers getting the ball on their 25.
Francisco in two plays went to his 44, but a 15-yard penalty after a completed pass to Chuck Lentz didn’t help matters any. Carl Porter then whipped a 42-yard beauty to Francisco who got all the way to the 29, Johnson went in to throw one and throw it he did, a perfectly timed ball that Traylor took over his shoulder in the end zone while on the dead run.
This time the boys muffed the ball on the try for point, so Porter picked it up and ran it over for a counter. It turned out to be the Tigers’ last points of the game but only because the Tigers lost the ball on a fumble on the one-yard line. After that Mather filled his ranks with rookies.
Mansfield got its only T.D. in the fourth quarter after getting a Tiger punt on the latter’s 38. Mack on a deep reverse picked up 11 and went to a first on the 13 only to be penalized 15 on a personal foul. A well-aimed pass, Henkel to Avery, made up for the penalty loss and brought a first down on the two-yard line. Thompson shot around right end for the T.D. and Jerry Lorenz kicked the extra point.
ENDS – Boone, Letcavits, Lorch, Lentz, Canary.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Williams, Woolley, Hill.
GUARDS – Agnes, Eaglowski, Shilling, Gardner, Fletcher, Holloway, Maier.
CENTERS – Fisher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter, Johnson.
HALFBACKS – Francisco, Traylor, Byrd, Stavroff, Fromholtz, Yoder, Longshore, Duke.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Stone, Boekel.
ENDS – Groves, Morton, Shoylaya, Smith, Yoha, Philpot.
TACKLES – Cook, Elliot, Fisher, Neston.
GUARDS – Elmas, Moore, G. Yoakam, Senohozlieff, Komjanovich.
CENTERS – Armstrong, Danals.
QUARTERBACK – Henkel.
HALFBACKS – Mack, Fowler, Avery, Bair, Jones, Wilson.
FULLBACK – Thompson.
Score by periods:
MASSILLON 14 13 14 0 41
MANSFIELD 0 0 0 7 7
Massillon – Floyd 2; Francisco 2; Traylor 2.
Mansfield – Thompson.
Point after touchdowns:
Massillon – Boone 4 (placekicks). Porter (carried).
Mansfield – Lorentz (placekick).
Referee – Smith (Elyria).
Umpire – Walker (Columbus).
Head Linesman – Machock (Wooster).
Field Judge – Moore (Wooster).
First downs 21 11
Passes attempted 9 24
Passes completed 3 8
Had passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 131 90
Yards gained rushing 476 150
Total yards gained 607 240
Yards lost 24 17
Net yards gained 583 223
Times kicked off 7 2
Average kickoffs (yards) 41 48
Yards kickoffs returned by 31 96
Times punted 3 6
Average punt (yards) 28 37
Yards punts returned by 9 21
Times fumbled 5 1
Lost ball on fumbles 3 1
Times penalized 5 5
Yards penalized 45 55