Tigers Beat Cincinnati Elder 27-12
Massillon Gridders Win Fourth Straight In Spite Of Mistakes
By CHARLIE POWELL
It was a good thing our Tigers weren’t playing Canton Lincoln or Alliance – and we’ll throw in power-laden McKinley – last night.
They simply had too many weapons for a big and stubborn Cincinnati Elder team, which put up a ding-dong scrap for almost three-quarters. They dominated the statistics and impressed with three long touchdown drives but there were too many mistakes in that
It was Massillon’s fourth straight triumph of the season and marked the second year in a row that Elder became a cropper to the locals, who won’t get the chance to play the Panthers the next couple of years.
With the clock reaching zero for the last time of the chilly evening, the two-year contract with Elder had elapsed. It is a fact that Massillon wants to continue playing the club from the Queen City but they are having trouble getting together on dates.
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ALTHOUGH ELDER fared badly in the second and third periods and didn’t score its second touchdown until after the Tigers had four, it was anybody’s ball game until the last 12 minutes.
This might be hard for some people to believe but the Tiger coaches and the players themselves realize probably more than anybody that the performance wasn’t as sharp as it might have been. Too many times the ball carrier was afforded little in the way of blocking, too many times the defense appeared sluggish and all in all there were just too many of those little mistakes that could ruin you against tougher opposition.
Looking at the situation from another angle, it was the opposition, which slowed up the Tigers at times. The Panthers, backed vocally by their band and about 200 fans, were a pretty tough nut to crack.
Pre-game dope had it that Elder was big, rough and ‘higher than a kite” for Massillon, and the scouts were right again.
Virgil Scardina thought his charges might have played better ball but wasn’t taking anything away from the boys. He had a big line, which the locals had a rugged time moving on occasions, and his backs, especially fullback Ronnie Reisz, weren’t spectacular but they could get the job done.
In the Tiger dressing room after the game there wasn’t too much celebrating, Apparently the Tigers were in opinion that their play wasn’t up to par.
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COACH LEE TRESSEL was relaxed after experiencing some pre-game nervousness. Lee doesn’t get jittery, usually, but last night was an exception.
“It was an easier one (meaning Lincoln and Alliance were more formidable) but we never had much of a chance to let up” he said after it was all over.
The Tiger coach opined that Elder’s defense was a rugged one and this fact, along with the two fumbles which Elder recovered, and some missed assignments, slowed his team up. Defensively the Tigers were “a little better,” according to Tressel.
The Tiger relied on their running game and again Ivory Benjamin, Mike Hershberger, Chet Brown and “Chuck” Beiter gave the enemy fits.
Brown, the big boy with the odd gait who really roars once he gets warmed up, and Hershberger, who does everything well, scored two touchdowns apiece and the latter, after little Davie Richardson got banged on the head following the initial Tiger tally, took over the place-kicking duties and toed three straight conversions between the uprights.
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BROWN LUGGED the leather seven times and averaged over 15 yards a trip with his touchdowns being chalked up on neat 27 and 38 yards runs. Benjamin, who averaged eight yards for 15 carries, set up Chet’s 38-yarder with a scoot of 22 and Brown’s other
six-pointer climaxed a 94-yard march.
Hershberger capped drives of 58 and 78 yards with one-yard blasts. Mike carried 15 times and averaged over four yards a crack (he hit the middle more than anybody) and his punting was again nothing short of terrific. He kicked twice, once for 51 yards and another time for 50 but the latter punt actually went 29 yards officially because it rolled into the end zone.
All this running accounted for a net of 314 yards on the ground and Massillon gained 31 more yards on three completions in six attempts while Elder came out of it with a net of 75 yards rushing and 60 on three-for-12 in the air game. The Orange line, anchored by Tom Heine, Tom Meldrum, Dick Whitfield and Jim Mercer with some good end play from Chet Brown, tossed Elder backs for losses totaling 51 yards. The Tigers also had 16 first downs to the losers’ 10.
Hershberger’s first punt, which barely rolled into the end zone, came on the 10th play of the encounter (played to 9,758 paid fans) and after the two clubs exchanged fumbles. The ball was brought out to the 20 and Elder took on the appearance of an array to be reckoned with. The Panthers went all the way but they had to get a “break” on a fumbled hand-off.
After they made one first down to the 35, an errant pitch-out, with the ball striking the shoulder of halfback Jim Vogt, set the visitors back on the 23. A pass was incomplete and quarterback Paul Umberg booted. Benjamin grabbed the ball on the Massillon 40 but it was dropped as he attempted to give it to Dick Brenner. And Elder had possession on the Massillon 39 as tackle Ray Herzog covered the pigskin.
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ELDER MOVED for a first and 10 on a pair of six-yard runs by Ron Wainscott and Dave Wittrock and Vogt and Reisz carried to the 18. With a fourth and one situation, Reisz drove behind a wedge at the right side, slipped past the line of scrimmage, twisted out of the grasp of one defender and much to the surprise of just about everybody (it looked like he was a dead duck at the 15) zipped past the final stripe. Guard Frank Koehne’s placement was wide but Massillon was behind.
Reisz scored with 2:25 remaining in the period and it didn’t take the locals long to tie it up. Benjamin, Brown and Hershberger accounted for 18 yards before the initial quarter came to a close and Benjamin’s 10-yarder featuring a nice stop-and-go overture by the trick junior halfback, came on the opening play of the second panel. Hershberger gained seven in two tries at left tackle before Rinehart hit Benjamin with a pretty running pass. Ivory was downed after a 12-yard pick-up to the one and on the next play Hershberger banged through right tackle to make it 6-6 at 10:36. Richardson was hit hard after his boot went low of the posts.
There wasn’t much to write home about until the first half was almost over. An Umberg punt was grounded at the Tiger 40 from which point Benjamin, on a double reverse,
high-tailed it 22 yards to the Elder 38. Then Brown, racing into the clear at the 20, lumbered the rest of the way untouched. Hershberger’s kick put the Tigers in front 13-6 with 2:30 remaining in the half.
After Hershberger got off his 51-yard punt early in the third quarter, Umberg retaliated with a 42-yarder and Massillon started clicking from its own 23.
Before the end of the quarter the Orangemen had tacked up five more first downs. It was Hershberger, then Benjamin, Hershberger then Benjamin for a total of nine plays, which netted 60 yards. The Tigers decided to go to the air on the first down at the 17 but a Rinehart pitch was dropped in the end zone and on the last play of the period Brown fought his way for 15 yards.
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WITH THE OVAL on the two, Hershberger’s off-tackle slant put it a yard away on the first play of the final canto and on the second the same hustler hit the same spot for Massillon’s third touchdown of the night. He converted to make it 20-6 at 11:26.
Two penalties helped stymie Elder after the kickoff but Larry Washington, the alert defensive halfback, hurt the Panthers more. He intercepted Umberg’s toss at the Tiger 35 and dashed to the Panther 46.
However, the Tigers were penalized for illegal use of the hands and on the next play were assessed 15 additional yards, this time for holding. The ball was back on the six but the Tresslemen had another touchdown in them.
Brown bolted off tackle for 19 and Beiter, who had broken into the starting lineup for the first time, returned to gain 11 yards on a sweep. Attempting to pass, Rinehart was nailed for an eight-yard deficit but still the locals moved. Beiter got seven and then Hershberger 12 before Mike hauled in a Rinehart aerial for 12 yards to the 35. Washington ran once for four, ditto for Benjamin and from the 27 Brown saw to it that the drive wasn’t going to be in vain. He found a hole at the middle, veered to his left and chugged to pay dirt unmolested. Hershberger again split the uprights. Thus the score was 27-6 with four minutes and 10 seconds of play remaining.
Elder took the kickoff at its 32 and went on to score a second time. Passes to Wittrock and sub Jerry Drew were the chief gainers to the Tiger 36. From that point Umberg threw again. Drew again was the receiver, taking the oval on the 15 and going in standing up. Dan Bushman tried to run across the extra point but was stopped short.
Elder tried an onside kick but the ball was covered only five yards away and on the second kick-off Beiter returned eight yards to the Orange 38. Rinehart lost four attempting to pass after a delay-of-game penalty and then end Jim Mullin intercepted a Rinehart pitch at the Tiger 39 and raced to the five before he was flopped by Rinehart. Wittrock ran for four and that was it.
The Tigers came out of the fray in good shape, except for a few cuts and bruises. Elder lost sub center Bob Maegley in the second half and six stitches were required to close a wound over an eyebrown.
MASSILLON – 27
ENDS – Brenner, Elavsky, Walls, Mays, Childers, Hagan.
TACKLES – Whitfield, Mercer, Slaybaugh, Halter, Ortiz, Brownlee.
GUARDS – Meldrum, B. Brown, Heine, Heimann.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger, Swartz.
QUARTERBACKS – Rinehart, Stewart.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Hershberger, Richardson, Washington, Pledgure, Bivings, Lawson.
FULLBACK – Beiter, C. Brown, Reese.
ELDER – 12
ENDS – Roth, Mullin, Reinstartler, Ludwig, Wegman, Flanigan.
TACKLES – Herzog, Farrell, Worss, Marx, Halloran.
GUARDS – Lebring, Brown, O’Neill, Nethaus, Keehne.
CENTERS – Maegley, Jertvorth, Westendorf.
QUARTERBACKS – Umberg, Bushman.
HALFBACKS – Luenberger, Wittrock, Wainscott, Carmisino, Vogt, Drew.
FULLBACK – Reisz.
Scoring by quarters:
Massillon 0 13 0 14 27
Elder 6 0 0 6 12
Touchdowns – C. Brown 2 (runs of 38 and 27 yards); Hershberger 2 (two 1-yard plunges).
Extra points – Hershberger 3 (placements).
Touchdowns – Reisz (run of 18 yards); Drew (pass play covering 36 yards).
Referee – Paul Robin Tobin.
Umpire – Earl Schreiber.
Head Linesman – Walter Grysks.
Field Judge – Harvey Hodgson.
First downs rushing 15 8
First downs passing 2 2
First downs by penalties 0 0
Total first downs 17 10
Yards gained rushing 333 126
Yards lost rushing 19 51
Net yards rushing 314 75
Passes attempted 6 12
Passes completed 3 3
Yards gained passing 31 60
Net yards gained 345 135
Times kicked off 5 3
Average kickoff return 6 18
Yards kickoffs returned by 18 89
Times punted 2 5
Average punts (yards) 40 42
Yards punts returned by 0 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Total fumbles 3 3
Times lost ball on fumbles 2 2
Penalties 4 3
Yards penalized 40 35