Tiger Gridders Beat Benedictine 34-7
Massillon Team Rolls Up 20 Points In First 10 Minutes of Contest
By LUTHER EMERY
You explain it. We can’t figure it out.
For 10 minutes Friday evening the Washington high school football team ran wild through Cleveland Benedictine to score three touchdowns and lead 20-0 going into the second period.
Then Benedictine braced, yielded but two more touchdowns, one in the last 22 seconds of play and scored one itself. The final was 34 to 7.
The score is bigger than many had expected it to be over the previously undefeated Cleveland team, but the point that had fans wondering is what happened to fire up the Bengals in the second half and what cooled the Tigers off.
It was Massillon’s fifth victory in six games and should look good to the pollsters, considering status.
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THERE WERE all kinds of explanations after the game, for the second half lapse. Each of the 10,150 fans probably had an opinion.
Many thought Benedictine was scared at the start of the game.
Certainly the Benglas looked like anything but a football team the first quarter. Their offense was impotent; their defense inadequate and they bobbled the ball, which cost them a lot of breaks.
The Tigers on the other hand ran around at will. They drove from their own 39-yard line for their first touchdown, scoring after an exchange of fumbles on the three with Homer Floyd going across with six minutes and 45 seconds left to play. Two minutes and 22 seconds later Floyd caught a punt and raced 64 yards for another touchdown. In another two minutes Ken Lorch was on top of a Benedictine fumble on the 27 and Ronald Boekel was skirting end on a pitchout for the score.
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BENEDICTINE showed signs of bracing after that point and it took the Tigers most of the second period to score another. They consumed 10 minutes driving from their own 19 to the two-yard line where Boekel bucked it over.
And it was even tougher the second half.
Coach Tom Harp thinks his team relaxed with a 27-point lead and couldn’t get back on its game the last two periods.
At any rate Benedictine played the Tigers on even terms in the scoring columns those two quarters and out-gained the locals in yardage.
“I’ll be anxious to get a look at the movies and see just exactly what did happen,” Harp said in the locker room after the game. “The defense we were playing should have stopped them. If someone wasn’t carrying out his assignment, then we will have to make the necessary corrections.
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BENEDICTINE came out all fired up for the second half and completed a 31-yard pass from Quarterback Mel Smolik to Fullback Chuck Piazza for a third period touchdown while checking all Massillon scoring efforts until the last 22 seconds of the game when Floyd broke away for a 50-yard T.D. run.
Where the Tigers gained 172 yards to Benedictine’s 30 the first half, the latter gained 171 yards to Massillon’s 106 in the second half and 50 of the 106 came on Floyd’s jaunt.
We are inclined to believe there was both opening nervousness on the part of the Tigers after the latter rolled up 20 points so quickly.
Coach Harp experimented with some new formations after gathering the 20 points which also slowed up his offense.
After all, the Benedictine team of the second half was the kind of team we had expected to see at the start. It has been gaining quite a reputation in Cleveland the last few years and had a three-won two-tie record when it came here last night.
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THE LOCALS had the better of the statistics for the total game, making 266 net yards to the Bengals’ 184 and that does not include Floyd’s 64-yard touchdown punt return. The Tigers also registered 14 first downs to the Bengals’ eight.
Had the locals’ passing been better they could have moved easier, too, as the visitors at times threw virtually a nine man line against them. Six of 16 were completed for 86 yards, while Benedictine completed six of 13 for 81 yards.
Floyd stole the show.
The slippery halfback did some fine running. His break away on the 64-yard punt return was a beauty and he was accorded some great assistance by blockers after he raced over the midfield stripe.
His last T.D. was almost as fancy. He struck through tackle then cut sharply to the right to run around his foes while his teammates walled off the sideline.
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THE TIGERS received a lot of hard bumps and bruises in the game, but none appeared seriously hurt with the possible exception of big Bob Williams, who got a hard jolt in the second period. With him unable to placekick, the Tigers ran their last two points after touchdown, Floyd getting both of them.
Recovered fumbles and intercepted passes caused the ball to change hands 11 times. These stopped drives of both teams throughout the game.
The Tigers, in fact, fumbled in their first touchdown drive on the three-yard line and Benedictine recovered. But the Bengals obliged by immediately fumbling and Massillon recovered at almost the same spot where it had previously lost the ball. This time it continued on for the T.D.
The victory was Massillon’s fifth in six games. Next Friday the local team travels to Warren to meet the Panthers, who rolled over Youngstown Chaney last night 48-6.
The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Houston, R. Williams, Canary, Lorch.
TACKLES – B. Williams, Hill, Moore, Graber, Schumacher.
GUARDS – Holloway, R. Maier, Barrett, Tracy.
CENTERS – Rohrbaugh, Morrow, Roan.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, James.
HALFBACKS – Floyd, Yoder, Stavroff, Fomholtz, Brown Stephens.
FULLBACKS – Boekel, Archibald, Cocklin.
ENDS – Lewandowski, Reynolds.
TACKLES – Brown, Filakosky, Tirpak.
GUARDS – Palenchar, Ranallo, Pussteri, Cira, Locker, Coppola, Hidiak, Leopold, Pezak, Canzoni.
CENTERS – Kestner, Rakosky.
QUARTERBACKS – Smolik, Fruscella.
HALFBACKS – Kubinski, Mastandrea, Yarris.
FULLBACKS – Piazza, Paci.
Score by period:
Massillon 20 7 0 7 34
Benedictine 0 0 7 0 7
Massillon – Floyd 3; Boekel 2, Benedictine – Piazza.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Williams 2 (placekicks),.Floyd 2 (carried),.Benedictine – Cira (placekick).
Referee – Shaffer (Ottawa).
Umpire – Lymper (Mansfield).
Head Linesman – Wisecup (Cleveland).
Field Judge – Walker (Columbus).
First downs 14 8
Passes attempted 16 13
Passes completed 6 6
Had passes intercepted 2 3
Yards gained passing 86 81
Yards gained rushing 192 120
Total yards gained 278 201
Yards lost 12 17
Net yards gained 266 184
Times punted 3 5
Average punt (yards) 23 31
Yards punts returned by 64 15
Times kicked off 6 2
Average kickoff (yards) 42 27
Times fumbled 4 3
Lost ball on fumble 3 3
Times penalized 3 7
Yards penalized 38 55