Tigers Beat Warren In Fourth Quarter
Orange And Black Come From Behind To Defeat Spirited Panthers 12-7
By LUTHER EMERY
A fired-up Warren Panther gave the Washington high Tigers a terrific battle before 11,000 fans in its home den Friday evening, but had its prey snatched from it in the fourth quarter just when it appeared another autumnal upset was in the making.
The Tigers won, 12-7, but it took a great goal line stand to seal it.
It was a whale of a game, evenly played most of the way, but with Massillon having just a little more of what was necessary in the pinches to score and to keep from being scored on.
It was anybody’s contest from beginning to end.
Warren, all fired up at the start, took the play away from the Tigers, kept them in the hole the entire first half and never allowed them over the midfield stripe. The Panthers at the same time were stopped once on the one-half yard line in the first period and succeeded in pushing over a T.D. in the second to lead 7-0 at intermission.
Coach Tom Harp stoked his Tigers with enthusiasm between halves and they came out a different ball team the third quarter.
* * *
DENIED a touchdown in their first bid, they covered a Warren fumble on the 28-yard line and passed for a touchdown on the second play, Dick Crescenze to Dick Fromholtz. But Big Bob Williams’ attempt for the extra point was partially blocked and Warren still led
The Panthers were still in front going into the fourth quarter but the Tigers struck back with their best march of the night, a drive of 87 yards that actually amounted to 102 yards with a 15-yard penalty added, to score a second touchdown, which iced the game.
But the gate was not closed on the Panthers until the last half minute of the game. Then it was the Tigers stopped a belated Warren drive on the four-yard line, took the ball, and froze it to run out the clock.
What happened before that last Warren effort only prefaced the excitement that bubbled and gurgled from the stands as Warren urged its team to score and Massillon fans pleaded for their eleven to turn back the threat.
Everything was packed into the fourth period drama. The Massillon fans rejoiced when Jerry Yoder toured his left end for 19 yards and six points, to give the Tigers a 12-7 lead, and moaned when Williams’ second attempted kick went plenty high but just wide of the uprights.
There were moans and hurrahs when the Tigers’ following kickoff bounced through the hands of two Warren players to stop on the five-yard line.
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THEN WARREN set its sights on a winning touchdown and began to march. Once the Tigers seemed to have the Panthers stopped but that’s when John Theoharis stepped back and fired a 42-yard pass to left end Don Zerial. Homer Floyd and Andy Stavroff, Tiger defenders went up in the air trying to intercept the ball. All three seemed to hit it but it only made a more perfect catch for Zerial as it bounded into his hands while he was traveling full speed. Stavroff turned and went after Zerial. It was evident he couldn’t grab him around the legs so he made a desperate lunge, he caught hold of his shirt and down went Zerial for a first down on the 14, with only a couple of minutes left to be played.
Nate Reed, a substitute halfback, was turned loose twice and he picked up eight yards. With the ball on the six and only two yards needed for a first down, the Tigers showed their grit. They yielded a yard to Giles, but when Hamilton attempted to circle right end he was thrown for a yard loss and the Massillon gridders took over with only 30 seconds left to play.
Crescenze played it safe after that, carried two straight times, getting a first down on one carry and just dropping on a knee the second time to run out the clock and seal the Massillon victory.
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THE MASSILLON gridders were jubilant as the last shot was fired and the Tiger band took over the cheering. The victory was even more satisfactory to the local gridders when told that Coach Chuck Riffle of the Panthers was supposed to have said that Massillon was a first half ball team.
It wasn’t last night and because the local team took charge in the second half it still is a top contender for the state title along with Canton McKinley, which last night whipped previously unbeaten Alliance 26-6.
Maybe news of Canton leading Alliance at the half helped to fire the Tigers for their second half charge. Whatever it was they came out with a complete reversal of form, used the forward pass effectively for the first time this season in their two touchdown marches and kept Warren bottled up, save for that breath-taking last minute surge of the Panthers.
Statistically the Tigers had a little better of the argument too. They made 12 first downs to Warren’s 10 and gained 239 net yards to Warren’s 190. Each team completed four passes, the Tigers gaining 76 yards with passes and Warren 65.
Warren used a short pass over the line of scrimmage effectively the first half, but for some reason failed to use it the second half even though the zone was frequently unguarded.
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THE TIGERS not only passed to their first touchdown, but mixed three completed passes in the series of plays that led to the second T.D. One went to Robert Williams for 17 yards, another to Ken Lorch for seven and a most important one to Jim Houston for 23 that helped to overcome a 15-yard penalty.
The Tigers also moved the ball on the ground and the second half more than they did the first. They depended too much on Homer Floyd the first two periods, but used him as a decoy often in the last two periods in which Ronald Boekel and Yoder gained considerable yardage.
Warren threw a scare into the Tigers early in the game. The brimstone breathing Panthers kicked off to Massillon and smothered everything the locals tried on the first series of plays for a loss of eight yards.
Tom Stephens barely got his punt away to his own 38.
Running hard, they ripped off three straight first downs, the last on the seven-yard line. Here the Tigers braced and took it away from Warren on the one-half yard line.
Warren continued to play in Tiger territory and the Tigers in two punt exchanges couldn’t get the Panthers out of their yard. Then Warren struck from the Massillon 44, marched to three first downs with Giles going over on fourth down from the five-yard line. Jack Begala kicked the extra point and Warren led 7-0.
The Tigers could no nothing next time they got the ball and the half ended shortly thereafter,
* * *
WARRREN received to start the third period but was forced to punt, the Tigers getting the ball on their own 27. Floyd got off a 12-yard run and Boekel in two dashes went 54 yards for successive first downs on the Warren 27 and 15.
Warren braced and limited the next three Tiger chargers to seven yards. An attempted pass on fourth down was batted down by Giles and Warren took over on its eight.
The Panthers got out to the 28 where Holloway pounced on a fumble for the Tigers. On the first play Crescenze found Yoder open in the end zone but he dropped the ball. However, it would not have counted since the Tigers were offside and were penalized back to the 33. Using the same play with Dick Fromholtz now at the halfback spot, Crescenze whipped a beauty to him in the end zone. A chance to knot the score was missed when Warren blocked the extra point.
It was clear that the Tigers now had the power to move the Panthers on offense.
They forced them to punt after the kickoff and Trice got off a beauty to the Massillon 13. Here began the winning drive.
Boekel and Floyd only got three yards on the first two plays, so Crescenze whipped a pass to Bob Williams good for 17 and a first down on the 33. Floyd made six at right end and on a quick opener, being nabbed by the last defensive man after making a first down on the Warren 49. Crescenze pitched to Ken Lorch for seven and Floyd made a first on the 37.
Boekel rammed for a first but the Tigers were penalized 15 yards for an illegal play. Crescenze made up for it with a fine pass to Houston for 23 and on a keeper play went to a first down on the 23. Floyd made four at right end and on the next play Warren was completely fooled as Yoder came around his left end for 19 yards and the winning touchdown.
There followed Warren’s frantic drive and that was the end of it.
The Massillon gridders will meet Barberton here next Friday evening.
First downs 12 10
Passes attempted 8 5
Passes completed 4 4
Had passes intercepted 0 0
Yards gained passing 75 65
Yards gained rushing 173 136
Total yards gained 248 201
Yards lost 9 11
Net yards gained 239 190
Times punted 4 3
Average punt (yards) 36 37
Yards punts returned by 7 26
Times kicked off 3 2
Average kickoff (yards) 46 48
Yards kickoffs returned by 19 43
Times fumbled 2 2
Lost ball on fumble 0 1
Times penalized 3 3
Yards penalized 35 15