Tigers Smash Alliance Aviators 28-6
Massillon Gridders Excel In Blocking And Tackling
By CHARLIE POWELL
Most football games are won by superior blocking and tackling.
Last night the Massillon Tigers did a jolly good job of pasting Alliance and in doing so should have made believers out of themselves – that they can get the job done by throwing their weight into those fundamentals that are as old as the game itself.
They did not dallying, either in opening up wide paths for a classy corps of ball carriers or jamming a monkey wrench into the Alliance offense. They were determined to win and win they did, 28-6, sending the Aviators down to their first defeat and hiking their own stock in Ohio pigskin circles.
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EVEN BEFORE the 15,762 fans saw a minute of action at Tiger stadium; even before the season began, this one loomed as a paper-thin issue. There were many possibilities and even without the assumptions and the intangibles the game figured to be pretty bloomin’ close
But much to Massillon’s joy, it wasn’t. How much more lop-sided can you get?
The Tigers had a first period bid thwarted but then tuned up with a safety and a touchdown in the second quarter, added six more points early in the third period and on the first play of the final stanza the orange and black had a total of 21 points while the stunned Aviators still had a great big zero to show for their efforts.
Lee Tressel’s boys stood out like a walrus at a goldfish ball.
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THEY SPLURGED to 21 first downs. On land and in the air they accumulated 387 yards, 338 by rushing. A defense as tough as a two-bit steak made the vaunted Aviator running game as tame as a kitten.
Fullback Chuck Beiter played his best game of the young season and the halfbacks, Ivory Benjamin and Gene Stewart, popped through and around the Alliance line with reckless abandon. This trio alone accounted for 286 yards and Benjamin and Stewart divided the four touchdowns.
Bob Getz, the stocky senior, moved in at quarterback midway in the second period and the Tigers then started the massacre but both Mark Anthony and Joe Sparma gave tidy, if not spectacular, performances.
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UP FRONT there were a lot of stouties…the job of pointing out one or two “stars” will be left to the foolhardy. The situation was the same on defense. All played hard, heads-up ball. But to overlook the work of Linebackers Beiter and Roger Reese and flanker Leaman Williamson would mean an apology or two. They were outstanding, to say the least, but their tasks were softened by their hustling teammates.
One good thing about Alliance was its linebackers, Harry Angle, Tom Goosby and Les Traver. They did most of the tackling for Mel Knowlton’s team, a team that could do little right against this fighting gang of Tigers.
Coach Tressel was “real pleased” with his boys.
“They hit hard. They wanted to win and I guess desire always counts.”
“We maintained possession of the ball and that helped our defense,” he said.
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FOR THE RECORDS, the Tigers had the ball for 64 running and passing plays. Alliance had it for 32 plays.
Tressel also praised the defensive stalwarts who limited the enemy to six first downs (four by passing) and a net of 44 yards. The opposition has yet to score on the ground against Massillon.
“All the quarterbacks looked good although Getz was probably the best tonight. Mark wasn’t too sharp at the beginning because the Alliance boys were yelling and drowning out his signals.”
“Several times the ball was snapped on the wrong count,” he added.
Tressel is never one to go completely overboard.
“The season is still young and we don’t want to make the mistake of looking too far ahead. We play Steubenville next week and we should take them one at a time,” he said.
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STEUBENVILLE got back on the victory trail by walloping Youngstown Rayen 53-7 last night. Steuber scouts here last night asserted that the Big Red outplayed Weirton last week but that a couple mistakes gave the West Virginians a one-point decision.
Apparently Alliance geared its defense to stop Beiter and Benjamin but both boys had a big hand in the mop-up. Beiter averaged six yards per try and Benjamin, who now has scored seven touchdowns, averaged five.
Stewart, however, bore the brunt of the ground work. He carried 14 times and gained 109 yards – that’s almost eight yards a crack – with his 45-yard foray on the first play of the final quarter giving the Tigers plenty of steam.
Halfback Jerry Allen came into action late and averaged over eight yards a try as he toted five times.
On the other hand Alliance’s touted runners, Gary Wilson, Bob Brown and Dick Plummer (with pre-game averages of 5.2, 8.0 and 8.6, respectively), made little headway against the swash-buckling Tiger defenders. Wilson carried five times for 18 yards, Brown 10 times for 20 and Plummer four time for nine.
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AFTER AN EXCHANGE of punts in the initial round, the Bengals gave an idea of things to come.
Srarting from their own 23, they stuck to the ground with Anthony in the pilot’s position to control the ball the rest of the period.
Anthony, Beiter, Benjamin and Stewart handled the running chores and the locals carved out four first downs to reach the Alliance 27. But after Benjamin made three, a holding penalty put them back on the 39 and the drive fizzled out. There was no hole on the right side and Benjamin made only three and on fourth down Anthony had to “eat” the ball as he went back to pass.
On the first play of the second canto the Tigers punted but Alliance was forced to kick back after a holding penalty set the blue-shirted team back to its own four-yard line. End Roy Allen’s kick was grounded on the Massillon 42 and the first two Tiger points were not long in coming. At the Alliance 43, the Bengal attacked stalled and lanky Clyde Childres punted again. The ball soared to the one where it was fielded by Brown, who was trapped in the end zone by Guard Pete Heimann. As he was tackled Brown fumbled and the ball squirted into the arms of another Alliance player who was immediately tackled by Al Slicker and with 8:22 remaining in the half it was 2-0.
And so Alliance had to kick off from its own 20. Beiter returned 12 yards to midfield and the Tigers started clicking again, digesting a holding penalty on the way. Beiter ran twice for a total of 10 before Benjamin whizzed for 12, then 10, then another 12. The Tigers were pounding at the 18 but then Beiter fumbled after barreling to the nine and Tackle Archie Joseph grabbed the ball out of the air and Alliance had the oval at its own 10.
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THE AVIATORS ran seven plays before Allen, who did a terrific job punting (but his were only slightly better than Childer’s booming boots), kicked dead at the Massillon 49. This time the Tigers were not to be stopped.
After Benjamin gained a yard, Stewart winged one of his long ones. Benjamin caught the ball on the Aviator 40, hurdled one would-be tackler and twisted away from another before they managed to bring him down on the nine. The play was good for 41 yards and was the big play the Tigers needed. Beiter got one and Benjamin two before the latter tallied on a dandy play.
Getz, who had replaced Anthony after the punt, beautifully faked a give to Beiter who in turn faked a thrust off tackle. Alliance converged on the big boy but he didn’t have the ball. Ivory did, though, and his six-yard run was fairly easy. Sparma came in to try the extra point, his kick was blocked, and it was 8-0 with only 40 seconds remaining in the half.
On the ensuing kickoff Wilson fumbled and Williamson, a boy who kept gumming the works for Alliance all night, recovered at the Aviator 35. With 35 seconds left, Getz passed but the ball wound up in the possession of Angle who returned to the 21 before he lost the ball. However, a teammate recovered and the visitors kept for one more play. On a double reverse Brown appeared to be off to the races but slipped as he cut the corner and had to settle for a yard.
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IN THE SECOND half Alliance picked up only a total of one yard on the ground and the first time Knowlton’s crew had the ball they finished minus two yards before Allen had to punt.
A fine return by sub halfback Jim Snively set the stage for the Tigers to make it 15-0 with only four minutes gone in the third period.
Allen, aided by four cracking blocks, returned from 39 to the Alliance 43 and in six plays the Tresselmen had their second TD. The big play was Benjamin’s 13-yard drive off tackle and the next play saw Stewart bang off the opposite side for the last four yards – carrying a defender into the end zone – and Sparma’s placement made the score read 15-0.
Alliance then took to the air and two straight pegs by Walt Zingg gained 30. But then two running plays made only two yards and once again Alliance was forced to punt. Massillon punted back after one first down on a 13-yarder by Stewart and Allen punted again after Zingg was caught twice attempting to pass. Benjamin returned the last punt to the Aviator 49 and on the next play, with Anthony at the throttle, another touchdown was registered by the Tigers.
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STEWART caught the Aviators flat-footed as he cut around left end and got into the clear at the 34. He wriggled out of the grasp of one Alliance player at the 15 and went across standing up. Sparma’s kick was blocked but it was 21-0 and the Bengals had it iced.
The Aviators, although it was too late, struck back quickly. The kickoff was returned to the Aviator 37 and Zingg passed to Brown for 16 yards, then the same duo clicked for a touchdown strike. Brown got behind the defense, caught the ball on the run at the nine and trotted past the final stripe to complete a 47-yard scoring play. Jerry Quick’s placement was low and it was 21-6 at 11:15.
Apparently this only riled the Tigers.
They took the following kickoff and marched 65 yards for another insurance TD. Allen fought his way for 14, Beiter used his blocking to advantage for 15 and Getz passed to Allen for eight yards to help move the pigskin to the three from which point Benjamin tallied on a sweep. Hase McKey kicked the 28th point.
Alliance punted after making six yards in three plays and the Bengals went to work again, only to have time run out on them. A roughing penalty against Alliance plus runs by Allen and Stewart advanced the ball to the 12 with eight seconds remaining. Sparma’s pass was too far for Benjamin but there was time for one more play after the Aviators were penalized to the seven for encroachment. On the last play of the game Reese became a ball carrier. He hit off the right side and was stopped only inches short of pay dirt.
End Bobo Hagan of the Tigers did not play because of an injury and a sprained ankle sustained in practice Wednesday confined Al Pierce to limited duty. During the game Bill Zorn, continuing to improve as a defensive end, suffered a badly sprained ankle.
ENDS – Childers, Williams, Mitchell, Steele, A. Pierce, Snavely, Zorn.
TACKLES – A. Slicker, Slabaugh, Halter, Bordner, Brownlee, Donat.
GUARDS – B. Kasunick, Heimann, Heine, McKey, J. Kasunick, Taylor, Cook.
CENTERS – Williamson, Swartz, Reese.
QUARTERBACKS – Anthony, Getz, Sparma.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Stewart, Allen, Pledgure, Snively, Clark.
FULLBACKS – Beiter, Kanney.
ENDS – Traver, Allen.
TACKLES – Johnson, Oprandi, Joseph.
GUARDS – Goosby, Coldsnow, Quick.
CENTERS – Furcolow, Giesse.
QUARTERBACK – Zingg.
HALFBACKS – Wilson, Brown, Venables.
FULLBACKS – Angle, Plummer.
Score by quarters:
Massillon 0 8 7 13 28
Alliance 0 0 0 6 6
Massillon Touchdowns – Benjamin 2 (runs of 6 and 3 yards); Stewart 2 (runs of 45 and 4 yards);
Massillon Extra points – Sparma (placement); McKey (placement), safety.
Alliance Touchdown – Brown (pass, 47 yards).
First downs, rushing 18 2
First downs, passing 2 4
First downs, penalties 1 0
First downs, total 21 6
Yards gained, running plays 353 58
Yards lost, running plays 15 14
Net yardage, running plays 338 44
Passes attempted 4 7
Passes completed 2 4
Passes had intercepted 1 0
Yards returned, int. passes 0 4
Yards gained passing 49 93
Total yardage, running, passing 387 137
Number of kickoff returns 3 5
Yardage, kickoff returns 35 50
Number of punt returns 4 1
Yardage, punt returns 40 2
Average length of punt returns 10 2
Number of punts 4 7
Average length of punts 38.2 39.5
Number of penalties 3 6
Yards lost on penalties 35 65
Number of fumbles 4 6
Own fumbles recovered 3 4
Ball lost on fumbles. 1 2