Tigers Defeat Canton Lincoln 26-13
Lions Give Orange And Black Terrific Game Before Bowing
By CHARLIE POWELL
Over 13,000 fans came to Tiger stadium last night expecting to take in a whale of a football game.
They weren’t let down. Massillon’s Tigers and Canton Lincoln’s Lions saw to that. Nobody, nay nobody, felt the Hammering in his heart east up until the clock showed only a little over two minutes remaining and the Orange and Black out front by 13 solid points, 26-13.
As the rain, which fell intermittently for about 46 minutes, started to pelt down the teams were going through the motions – Massillon awaiting the final second and a celebration marking its second straight victory, the Lions beaten but far from being stung to the quick.
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THE TIGERS topped a big strong and speedy ball club. A club that doesn’t give up ship is always hard to beat and Lincoln was just that.
There were times when it looked like Massillon was about to break the contest wide open. Especially when Mike Hershberger, the foot-loose and fancy free halfback scatted 79 yards on a kickoff return to put the Tigers ahead 20-13 late in the third period. But did Lincoln fold? It did not. In fact the Canton combine came battling back, drummed up two more threatening gestures and was only a fallen foe after its second big gamble of the night failed to pay off.
It was a ball game, which might very well have gone either way. Fumbles and penalties gummed the works for both sides and in the long run the Tigers’ ability to get their
post-haste leather luggers in the open field overcame a Lincoln attack featuring powerized smashes and a surprise pass play.
Down-field blocking certainly was a rose to Massillon but there are still loop holes which must be sewed up pronto. The Tigers have another mean enemy, Alliance, due next Friday night and the belief is that if the Orange and Black takes the Aviators – usually more dangerous on their home field – into camp they may well be on their way to many more happier hours.
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COACH LEE TRESSEL wasn’t beefing about much after the smoke of battle cleared last night. He noted the improvement in the blocking, plugged the running ability of Hershberger, hurrying Ivory Benjamin and fullbacks Chet Brown and Chuck Beiter, and then in the same breath paid tribute to the hard-fighting Lincoln team.
“They surprised us with some of their new offensive plays. Their line was pretty big for our kids to handle. That kid Cosentino (Don) showed more speed than we expected.”
Tressel’s next statement will probably find most Tiger supporters agreeing with him: “I feel we have a good bunch of scrappers. That’s what it takes.”
Massillon HAD to scrap. The Lions, with possibly their best outfit since the 1945 team that held Massillon to a scoreless deadlock, had the most first downs (15 to 12) and the most yardage by passing and running (295 to 217). The breaks were just about even, consequently desire probably made the difference.
Lincoln fumbled six times, Massillon recovering four times while the Lions jumped on all four Tiger bobbles. The penalty marker also was a thorn fly in the ointment for both.
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IN ALL PROBABILITY the most disheartening bits of bad luck for either side was the fumble which snafued a Lion bid after the Tigers wiped out a deficit and took a 7-6 lead in the opening quarter and the penalty which deprived Lincoln of a TD after Hershberger’s run. Lincoln grabbed the bull by the horns and rolled 57 yards before Beiter pounced on Cosentino’s miscue at the three.
Then in the third period it was 13-13 after Hershberger electrified the crowd of 12,375 paid admissions with is 79-yard kickoff return. Clyde Childers kicked off to the invading crew and it was Cosentino’s turn to romp. He did…for 52 yards after fullback John Farrall returned the kick to his own 48. But a holding infraction cost the Lions the score with the penalty being the third one of three similar ones chalked up against the Lincoln array in the same period.
The Tigers had their flabbergasted moments too.
They digested two clipping penalties during the sortie, which led to their second touchdown of the night and in the third chapter a fumble led to Lincoln’s tying touchdown. But the toughest break came when the Tigers had a chance to sew it up earlier. On the third play of the last period Benjamin went lickity-split for 48 yards only to lose the ball when he was downed at the Lion seven.
Three of the four Orange tallies came on get up and go gainers with Hershberger reaching pay dirt after runs of 42 and 79 yards and Benjamin hot-footing it 38 for another. Ivory’s other second TD was made on a 13-yard run. Dave Richardson, the student manager with the blossoming toe, kicked two extra points. In his two other attempts he was hurried, the ball sailed low and right into Lincoln rushers.
The first of the fumbles came on the fourth play of the encounter. Chet Brown fumbled and Lincoln had its first break. From the Tiger 36 it required the Lions six plays to go the rest of the way. Cosentino, Farrall, and Capt. Ronnie Worstell carried to the 11 from where Cosentino hit off tackle for the touchdown and it was still 6-0 after quarterback Chuck Dinkins missed the kick.
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THREE PLAYS after the kickoff Lincoln had possession again. Quarterback Bob Rinehart threw a pass in the right flat but a fine leaping catch by end George Copeland put the Lions on the Massillon 32. However, three plays later Beiter’s catch of a Dinkins pass made the Tigers as active as a mouse in a cheese factory.
Chet Brown got the drive going with an 11-yard sweep from the 22 and he, Benjamin, Beiter and Hershberger advanced the pigskin to the Lion 42. After Brown out-foxed one defender and then bowled over another Massillon was penalized for clipping but Hershberger tallied the tying TD. Finding a hole at left tackle and aided by Benjamin’s block at the 15, Mike dashed 42 yards on a real heady job. Richardson split the uprights and with 1:52 left in the quarter the Tigers were ahead.
Apparently, the score was like a red flag to a bull. The Lions made 13 yards on the last three plays of the period (with a fourth down gamble paying off in a five-yard gainer by Farrall) and at the outset of the second stanza the Cantonians stayed on the ground to move to the three, only to see Cosentino fumble and Beiter recover.
It was the Tigers’ turn to roar. Benjamin swept end and ran 17 before slipping. Two clipping penalties hurt but a roughing call against the Lions and Rinehart’s pretty pass to Hershberger which picked up 12 helped and soon the Bengals were on the Lincoln 38.
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AT THIS POINT Benjamin, with a wave of blockers ahead of him, wriggled around right end, got loose at the 25 and sprinted past the final stripe. End Dick Brenner was shaken up on the play and as Tiger coaches were taking a look at him the teams lined up for Massillon’s extra point try – and the Tigers then were called for delaying the proceedings. Everybody had figured time was out and Coach Tressel had a chat with the ref but the penalty stood. Richardson went back further for the kick and it was low and flew smack into the back of a Lincoln boy. Cosentino returned the kickoff to the 31 and the half was all over.
Following the rest period the fans really got their money’s worth.
After an exchange of fumbles Lincoln got the ball on the Tiger 42. After three plays the Lions were faced with a fourth and four situation at the 35 and here they decided to gamble.
A double-reverse pass came off with Dinkins doing the tossing. End Larry Ellison was all by his lonesome at the 12. He caught the oval and carried to the four. Worstell gained one, then cracked the middle for a touchdown and when Farrall ran across the point-after, matters were all even with 4:10 remaining in the frame.
Copeland kicked off and Hershberger fielded the ball in front of the east stands on the 21. He cut to his left, then went back to the right, got a needed block from Jim Mercer and outran some enemies to the Promised Land. Richardson again converted and it was 20-13 at 4:03.
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COSENTINO got in the act with a 52-yard return but Lincoln was caught holding and Paul Dellerba’s team stayed in hot water after another holding penalty three plays later. The second penalty erased a 22-yard jaunt by the same Cosentino.
With fourth and 20 at the Tiger 44 the Lions gambled again and this time they didn’t hit the jackpot. The reverse pass play was called again on third down but Brenner came through, batting the ball down and on fourth down Dinkins’ shot intended for Ellison was way too short.
On the second play of the final round Hershberger punted to Worstell on the Lion 37 and the Lincoln halfback fumbled. The kid who kicked the ball dived on it at the Lincoln 45 but on Massillon’s first play from scrimmage, the Tigers relinquished possession again. Benjamin inserted a beauty of a run but fumbled when he was tackled and Ellison recovered on the seven.
Four plays later Cosentino made only one when the Lions needed three and it was Massillon’s ball on the Maroon 16. Hershberger got three before Benjamin scored. He cut around the right side and high-tailed it to the end zone as Hershberger and Beiter blocked nicely. At 8:02 Richardson’s kick was low but the Tigers had the clincher.
Lincoln gave it another whirl, moving from its own 42 to the Tiger 29 before the locals again took over on downs. Hershberger’s fumble was recovered by Ellison at the Tiger 19 and the visitors got to the three before time ran out.
MASSILLON – 26
ENDS – Brenner, Elvasky, Childers, Hagan, Geschwind, Wells.
TACKLES – Whitfield, Mercer, Brownlee, Bixler, Halter.
GUARDS – B. Brown, Meldrum, Heine.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger.
QUARTERBACK – Rinehart.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Hershberger, Pledgure, Richardson, Bivings, Washington.
FULLBACKS – C. Brown, Beiter, Reese.
LINCOLN – 13
ENDS – Ellison, Wetzel, Copeland, Zettler, Bennett.
TACKLES – Groetz, Thewes, Craddock.
GUARDS – DePasquale, Vogelgesang.
CENTER – Stroia.
QUARTERBACKS – C. Dinkins, T. Dinkins.
HALFBACKS – Cosentino, Worstell, Van Benthuysen, Ferry.
FULLBACK – Farrall.
Score by quarters:
Massillon 7 6 7 6 26
Lincoln 6 0 7 0 13
Touchdowns – Hershberger 2, runs 42, 79; Benjamin 2, runs 38, 13.
Extra points – Richardson, 2 (placements).
Touchdowns – Cosentino, run 11; Worsetll, run 3.
Extra point – Farrall (run).
Referee – Mack Schaffer, Ottawa.
Umpire – Leo Less, Youngstown.
Head Linesman – C.W. Rupp, Cuyahoga Falls.
Field Judge – Dick Klar, Dover.
First downs rushing 12 12
First downs passing 0 2
First downs by penalties 0 1
Total first downs 12 15
Yards gained rushing 235 246
Yards lost rushing 30 7
Passes attempted 2 6
Passes completed 1 2
Yards gained passing 12 56
Net yards gained 217 295
Times kicked off 5 3
Average kickoff return 41.3 19.2
Yards kickoffs returned by 124 96
Times punted 1 0
Average punt (yards) 25 0
Yards punts returned by 0 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Total fumbles 4 6
Times lost ball on fumbles 4 4
Penalties 6 4
Yards penalties 65 50