Bulldogs Beat Tigers 13-7 On Breaks
Two High Passes Give Canton 2 Touchdowns And Likely State Title
By LUTHER EMERY
The Washington high school Tigers “passed” the state championship eight miles eastward Saturday afternoon when they handed the Canton McKinley Bulldogs a 13-7 victory before a chilled crowd of 21,000 fans.
Two high passes from center that went over the Massillon punter’s head, enabled McKinley to score its two touchdowns. One was covered in the end zone, the other only required a three-yard effort to get the score.
The Tigers got their touchdown the hard way – a 79-yard drive. They made more first downs, 12-4 and gained twice as many net yards, but lost the game.
In short, they beat the Bulldogs everywhere but on the scoreboard. But it is the score that counts and in years to come, the score, not the statistics will be remembered.
The Canton victory narrows Massillon’s edge in the 60-game series to three games. The Tigers have won 29, the Bulldogs 26 and five have ended in tie scores.
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THE TRIUMPH brought Canton its first undefeated season since 1934 when a Bulldog team coached by Jimmy Aiken whipped Massillon 21-6 to hang up a string of 11 wins for the season which entitled it to a just claim to the state title.
McKinley was highly elated over its victory and had every reason to be. It was the first time the Bulldogs had beaten the Tigers since 1947, and the victory will undoubtedly gain them the state title.
The counting of ballots cast in The Associated Press poll tonight should only be a mere formality since the game was billed as one in which the state title was to go to the winner. As a result the Hall of Fame trophy, which Massillon has won the last seven years, will likely be awarded to Canton McKinley.
There’s a possibility a campaign by a couple of other undefeated teams will wrest some ballots from the Bulldogs.
Two out-of-town reporters with ballots in their pockets, who had watched the game on the television screen, indicated to us Sunday they were going to desert the Bulldogs and cast their votes for one of the other undefeated teams because of Massillon’s superior showing in statistics.
However, we cannot see their logic in denying the Bulldogs the title in that none of the other undefeated teams has played a comparable schedule or has beaten Massillon, the defending champ.
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WE SHALL VOTE for Canton, although we shall do so with tongue in cheek, believing the Tigers are as good if not the best in the state.
But their 8-1-1 record is against them in the poll. We don’t know where they will finish in this week’s balloting.
Some writers may seize the opportunity to knock the local team far down in the ratings, particularly in view of the clamor for first place.
The Massillon gridders had nothing to be ashamed of Saturday and that helped to temper the loss. Our only criticism, and about the only criticism we heard of Massillon’s play, was a bit of dilly-dallying in the huddle in the last three minutes of the game. It took them 35 seconds to get off next to the last play of the game.
The game, which was supposed to have been a tremendous offensive contest, actually resolved itself into more of a defensive game, and the Tigers had nothing to be ashamed of.
They were superior to McKinley on both offense and defense.
The locals who rolled to nine first downs the first half only got three the second half, but still out-gained McKinley in net yardage from running and passing plays the last two periods, 54 to 52.
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CANTON McKINLEY’S vaunted offense, which had been rolling along at an average of over 400 yards a gained, was held to a net gain of 62 yards, while the Tigers rolled up 194 net yards rushing and passing. Deduct 52 yards on two passes from center that went over the punter’s head and you still have 142 net yards from scrimmage to the Bulldogs; 69 – and Canton called the game a defensive victory for the Bulldogs.
Actually the victory was a gift to McKinley for both touchdowns were donated. No blame should be placed on the centers responsible for the passes. Both felt the world had fallen in on them at the end of the contest. It should be pointed out that they were handling a slippery ball and that a center in modern T football has little opportunity to actually pass the ball 10 yards or more under game conditions.
They practice it often but get little actual game experience because the Tigers seldom punt more than once or twice.
In fact, we saw two poor center passes, one of which resulted in a blocked kick, in a recent professional football game.
The breaks just came at inopportune moments and although the decision of the contest rode on them we haven’t heard anyone criticize either player.
Furthermore, an examination of movies of the game failed to substantiate a report that on both occasions a McKinley player had bumped the ball or put pressure on the centers. McKinley in no way contributed to the play.
The first touchdown was presented in the opening period of play with the Tigers in possession of the ball on their own 36-yard line, fourth down and nine to go.
Dave Archibald dropped back to punt and Tom Spicer’s pass from center soared over his head. Archibald took after the ball and it rolled to the three-yard line before he could get on it.
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IT TOOK NAP Barbosa three whacks at the line to get over but he made it on the third attempt and Nate Harris kicked the extra point to put McKinley ahead 7-0.
The Tigers tied it up by taking the kickoff and gallantly marching 79 yards on 18 plays to score. While doing so they were helped along by 20 yards in penalties which actually were more than nullified by 25 yards in penalties assessed against them.
Don Duke scored the T.D. from the two-yard line with eight minutes and 10 seconds remaining in the second period John Kasunick kicked the extra point a high boot that tied the score at 7-7.
The Bulldogs got their second touchdown without effort in the second minute of the fourth quarter. The Tigers had gotten themselves into a hole when Ivory Benjamin fumbled a punt and Canton covered it on the Tigers’ 45.
Dave Archibald got the ball back for Massillon when he intercepted a Barbosa pass and was downed on the 20.
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THROWN BACK a yard by the Bulldgos in three downs, Archibald again tried to punt. This time Jim Dowd was centering the ball. His pass, like that of Spicer’s was high and soared over Archibald’s head and into the end zone. Archibald dove for the ball and so did two Canton players. Bill White got on it for a touchdown. Harris missed the extra point and that ended the scoring.
Except for the Tigers’ long touchdown drive, neither team threatened seriously from scrimmage.
The Tigers came within striking distance on only two other occasions. The first time they got the ball in the second half they worked to the Bulldog 32-yard line where they surrendered the pigskin to Canton on a fourth down incompleted pass.
McKinley and Massillon both got into each other’s territory in the second period.
The advances were the result of good punt returns. Benjamin ran brilliantly to the Canton 39 before being knocked out of bounds but a 15-yard clipping penalty put the ball way back on the Massillon 31, an actual loss of 30 yards and a real blow to the Tigers who were hot at the moment for it was the first time they had gotten the ball after scoring their touchdown.
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EVEN SO they marched with it from their own 31 back to the Canton 35 where with two yards to go and fourth down coming up they punted.
Ike Grimsley, returned brilliantly, lugging the ball back to the Massillon 47. Two five-yard penalties against the Tigers and a six-yard gain by Don Garman produced a first down on the 31. Barbosa passed seven yards to Jackson, who fumbled when hit hard by Bob Tracy and Dave Schumacher pounced on the ball for the Tigers on the 24.
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CANTON MADE one other effort the last time it had the ball in the game. The Bulldogs aided by a 22-yard run by Barbosa, the best Canton gain form scrimmage, worked the ball into Massillon territory but lost it on downs on the 27.
Charlie Brown, Tiger safety man, had a possible opportunity to tie the score on this series when he almost intercepted a pass by Barbosa with what appeared to be a clear field ahead of him. He juggled the ball while going full steam ahead and dropped it.
That just about sums up the offensive maneuvers of the day.
The Tigers succeeded in stopping the highly vaunted McKinley offense with a special defense cooked up for the game.
They called it an eagle defense. The three men in the center of the five-man defensive line had the responsibility of taking care of five men in the McKinley line, tackle to tackle. Bob Cocklin, who has been a linebacker, and Jim Houston, who has been the defensive left end, changed positions. Tracy’s assignment was also switched. The ends and the two wing linebackers had the responsibility of holding in Bob Williams and Herman Jackson, the Bulldog ends, and they did a good job of it. McKinley didn’t dare to try its end around stuff and the ends had difficulty getting downfield for passes. Only three were attempted. One was intercepted, one was almost intercepted and the receiver fumbled the only one completed when tackled.
Likewise the three men in the middle of the line did excellent work. Ken Fisher started on defense as a linebacker for the first time this season but was knocked out in the second quarter and didn’t play any longer. He was replaced by Jack Butcher who played well.
Fisher was taken to the Massillon city hospital where he has recovered from a slight concussion and was to be released today.
His experience undoubtedly was missed by the Tigers offensively in the second half.
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THE TIGER DEFENSE stopped Ron Carnahan, the Bulldogs’ leading ground gainer for the season, with a net loss of nine yards for his ball carrying efforts.
They had all the other backs bottled up until late in the third period when Barbosa began running from short punt formation. He gained 61 of McKinley’s 78 yards rushing.
His longest run of 22 yards was exceeded only by a 26-yard dash reeled off in the first period by Willie Long in the process of the Tiger’s touchdown drive.
Top ground gainer of the day, however, was Duke with 66 net yards on 20 carries.
The Bulldogs actually got off only 21 running plays, three pass plays and three punts from scrimmage (exclusive of penalty plays) during the game, while the Tigers got off 54 running, three pass and four punt formation plays.
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CHIEF REASON for McKinley failing to get off more plays was inability to move the ball the first half and the Tigers controlling the ball for 10 minutes and 14 seconds while marching to their only touchdown.
In that drive they got the ball through a punt on their own 20. Brown made two yards and Duke four. McKinley drew a 15-yard penalty which put the ball on the 41. Brown hit for seven, Duke one and Long picked up five yards for a first on the Canton 48. Duke made two and James, running on an option, raced 13 yards to a first on the 33.
The Tigers were penalized five yards back to the 38 for offside. Long made two yards and the Tigers drew a 15-yard clipping penalty. A four-yard pass to Brown gained four yards but another five-yard penalty was slapped on the Tigers for offside, moving the ball back to midfield. There Long, running from fullback, sent 26 yards and Archibald in a two-yard plunge made it a first down on the 22.
Archibald carried two more times in a row, getting four yards on each try and putting the ball on the 14. The Tigers drew a five-yard penalty when Jim Houston jumped offside on the next play, but got it right back when a delay of game penalty was slapped on McKinley for a substitution.
Duke plunged to a first on the 11 and James went seven yards to the four.
Duke in two tries went over for the touchdown, getting two yards each time.
The play on which James did his running in this series was especially cooked up for the game. He flared out as though to pass but had the option of running if the defense dropped back. He gained 56 yards in the game and lost 15 for a net of 41.
The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Canary, Houston, Welcher, Cockling, Nagle.
TACKLES – Graber, Maier, Whitfield, Schumacher, Hofacre, Allen.
GUARDS – Fisher, Roan, Ertle, Tracy, Kasunick.
CENTERS – Spicer, Dowd, Gentzler.
QUARTERBACKS – James, Brenner.
HALFBACKS – Brown, Duke, Long, Radtke, Butcher, Benjamin, Washington.
FULLBACKS – Archibald.
ENDS – Williams, Jackson, Jack, Bryant.
TACKLES – Patterson, Rocknich, Infantides.
GUARDS – Clawson, Bell, Martin, Bender.
CENTERS – Perdue, White.
QUARTERBACKS – Barbosa, Grimsley.
HALFBACKS – Carnahan, Garman, Phil Martin, Martins, Fontes.
FULLBACKS – Harris.
Score by quarters:
Massillon 0 7 0 0 7
McKinley 7 0 0 6 13
McKinley – Barbosa, White.
Massillon – Duke.
Points after touchdown:
McKinley – Harris (placekick).
Massillon – Kasunick (placekick).