Benedictine Overpowers Tigers 13-7
By CHARLIE POWELL
Mix speed and power and you have George Sefcik. For more power there’s Gary Hansley. Add a big, strong line that just wouldn’t quit and have the ingredients of a mighty fine gridiron team, possibly the best in the state of Ohio.
This team, the Benedictine high Bengals of Cleveland, ambushed the football fortress of Massillon before 14,488 fans in chilly Tiger stadium Friday night.
In beating the orange and black 13-7, on the strength of a 45-yard drive to pay dirt in the final period, here is what the giant-sized Benedictine high bunch accomplished.
Their first victory ever over a Massillon team; their fifth straight win of the current season; and at least runner-up ranking in the state poll.
Benedictine just might find itself perched atop the heap at the season’s close. If it doesn’t make the top, rest assured this history-making array will not be far off.
Right now many, many Massillon fans will agree that it is the cream of the crop. It beat a good ball club last night.
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THE WORLD isn’t going to come to an end nor are the Tigers about to give up the game because of the loss which snapped a four-game winning streak. Not yet anyway, the season is not a complete failure. The Tigers have five to go, with Mansfield here next, followed by front running Warren, and they will have a few chances to salvage a great deal of satisfaction from all their efforts.
We are all hoping they will be in better physical shape than they were last night. The flu bug made its presence felt and our heroes had a number of bad “breaks” but certainly nothing is to be taken away from Benedictine.
On paper and on the field the team coached by Augie Bossu was in supreme command. The Tigers lost to a good team and they’re going to hit some more good ones before the finish. They should realize by now that any team on the schedule is capable of yanking the rug from underneath them.
Nobody was more upset over the defeat than Coach Lee Tressel, whose team appeared headed for the state’s showdown scrap against Warren.
Yes, quite a few things caused the Tigers’ downfall but Tressel wasn’t offering any excuses. He called the Clevelanders “big and strong with two fine backs and lots of determination,” and he told them so in their dressing room when he congratulated them immediately after the game.
“They had the desire to go along with all that equipment. We had a tough time trying to move them when we had the ball. They closed the holes fast. When we were on defense we were getting moved around by those big boys and there wasn’t much we could do.
“The tackling wasn’t good but I guess one reason for that was because they were so good,” he said.
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TRESSEL didn’t bring up the physical condition of his charges but the Tigers were definitely sub-par.
Regular defensive end Bill Zorn was sidelined because of an injury suffered two weeks ago…Joe Brownlee, regular defensive tackle and Harold Slabaugh, regular offensive tackle, practiced only once all week because of illness, flu and a bad case of tonsillitis, respectively and yesterday afternoon Clyde Childers, the offensive left end and kicker, was sent home because of illness.
Brownlee and Childers were “in and out” most of the game while Slabaugh, apparently weakened by his illness, went most of the way on offense. To make mattes worse, an injury slowed up hard-nosed Chuck Beiter.
As we pointed out before, the ball took a couple of bad bounces against the Tigers and probably the toughest breaks were the fumble and the clipping penalty that thwarted a bid in the second period. After Benedictine went ahead in the first session the Tigers went on their prowl from their own 29. Beiter, Ivory Benjamin and Gene Stewart hammered at the enemy line to reach the Benedictine 25.
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WITH TIGER rooters begging for a score, it was third down and one at that point. However, the ball was fumbled and when the whistle blew, Quarterback Bob Getz had covered the pigpelt at the 27. Hopes rose as Stewart flipped a running pass to Benjamin who raced 12 yards to the Benedictine 15. It looked like the Tigers were going all the way but a “hankie” was down on the grass and the clipping call ended that. Mark Anthony replaced Getz at quarterback and hit Benjamin with a short pass but Benedictine ganged up on the swivel-hipped star and the play netted only six yards, 14 short of a first down.
Had Benedictine not had runners the likes of Sefcik and Hansley the Clevelanders might have been easy pickin’s for the Massillon team. This pair gave the 1956 Tiger team fits but they were mild compared to the latest ones.
Benedictine gained 262 yards on land and in the air and Sefcik and Hansley accounted for 233 yards.
Sefcik, besides being a fast and shifty runner, is a deadly passer and long-distance punter. He carried the oval 20 times and gained 82 yards, hit on three of four passes for 32 yards, caught one pass himself for 14 yards and averaged 40 yards on three runs. Partner Hansley, a tank-like half-back, toted the mail 22 times and carved out 105 yards. And he caught the three passes thrown by Mr. Sefcik, who was paraded on the shoulders of happy teammates after the game was over.
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THE BIG Benedictine line, which did a great job of containing theTiger attack except for some sensational runs by Benjamin, gave up 187 yards on the ground. Standouts of this line were Tackles Ron Skufca, 235, and Ted Zmarzly, 205 and End Stan Sczurek.
Benjamin almost drove the visitors crazy. In a truly outstanding performance, he ran like a man possessed, blocked well and was all over the field on defense. He personally accounted for all but 26 yards the locals made on the ground.
It was his tremendous 50-yard sprint in the third period that produced the lone Massillon six-pointer. He carried the pigskin 22 times and twisted and fought his way for 161 yards. He also caught a pass good for six yards.
Only other Tiger ground gainer of any degree was Gene Stewart who made 21 yards in seven trips. Because of his injury and the fact that Benedictine was “laying” for him, Beiter did not occupy too many ball carrying roles.
The team from the lakefront gave an early example of its blocking and running abilities.
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THE FIRST time they had possession, the Bengals marched 67 yards to touchdownland. They digested two offside penalties, but got an assist from the identical penalty against the Tigers.
After the opening kickoff the Tigers had to punt from their own 41 and Childers, hurried on the play, booted out of bounds at the Benedictine 33. A penalty was called against the invading team after Sefcik had gained seven and three plays later he was forced to punt from the 47. The punt rolled dead on the four but Benedictine was able to keep the ball because the Tigers were off-side on the play.
Then Benedictine shifted to high gear. Sefcik and Hansley picked up 13 before Sefcik hit Hansley on an option pass for 13 and the blue-shirted boys were on their way.
Massillon stubbornly gave ground and after Benedictine reached the three, Sefcik hit the right side, did a dive and scored with 2:47 remaining in the quarter. His placement on the extra point try was blocked by line-backer Roger Reese but Benedictine led 6-0 as the Tigers were scored on first for the third straight game.
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LOCAL FANS expected their favorites to come right back and they did only to see the penalty take the sting out of the attack.
The kickoff was returned to the Tiger 29 and on the last six plays of the first period the Orangemen advanced to the Benedictine 43. In the last minute of the second frame Benjamin darted around the right side twice for 17 and Stewart gained on to make it third and one at the 25. Then came the fumble, and the clipping penalty which combined to stall the Tiger attack.
Benedictine made only one first down in that second period as Massillon controlled the ball, thanks to the nifty running of Benjamin.
However, the Tigers couldn’t uncover a payoff punch.
Midway in the quarter Benjamin got loose for 25 yards after regaining his balance just past the line of scrimmage. He and Stewart took the oval to the Benedictine 29, and Tiger fans were calling for a tying TD but Benedictine braced and held, throwing Tiger runners for two losses totaling nine yards in the process.
A minute later the Clevelanders had to punt with Sefcik’s kick from the Tiger 39 rolling out of bounds at the 10. From the nine Benjamin again got on his horse, this time whizzing 45 yards before Jim Kubinski, Bengal end, who had a good angle, came in to make the stop at the Benedictine 42. However, Getz was thrown for an 11-yard loss and two more maneuvers designed for long-distance gains failed to change the score before intermission. Getz’s sideline pass to Beiter was good for nine yards and on the last play of the half the visiting team’s line was not caught by surprise and Benjamin, on a draw play, was downed after a yard gain.
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A PUNT that was fumbled and one that was blocked gave Massillon a pair of opportunities in the third period but after the first kick, the Tigers failed to move.
From his own 15 Childers punted (after Sefcik had booted one 51 yards following the kickoff) and two Benedictine players had their hands on the swinehide before Benjamin recovered at the Massillon 40. But four plays later Childers was called on to punt again with Sefcik returning the 38-yard boot 10 yards to his 34. Benedictine made two first downs before a holding penalty stalled the drive and from the Tiger 45, Sefcik went back to punt.
This time middle guard Hase McKey, who apparently played one of his better games, broke through and blocked the kick. Guard Tom Heine recovered at midfield and on the next play Benjamin cut the gap to 7-6.
Given a couple of nice blocks, Ivory got around the right flank and turned on the gas. At the 15 three Benedictine boys had a shot at him but he shot pass one, cut away from the other two and went in for the score at 1:25. Sub Halfback Jim Hershberger came off the bench and calmly split the uprights to deadlock the count.
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BENEDICTINE started from its own 43 after the kickoff and advanced 24 yards on the last three plays of the quarter.
On the first play of the final canto Hansley got off his longest jaunt, 23 yards, to place the ball on the Tiger 10. But the Tresselmen dug in and took over on downs at the four. Childers punted out on fourth down and Benedictine, starting from the Tiger 45, was not to be denied.
Hansley, the big gun once more, checked in a 22-yard foray for one of the three first downs and from the 13, Quarterback Ken Sprafka sneaked from two yards with his team needing at foot for a foot for a first down. Sefcik and Hansley carried to the one from where Sprafka sneaked across. Sefcik’s placement was on target and it was 13-7 with 4:37 remaining.
The Tigers gambled but their final series fizzled out at the 24 and Benedictine moved to the nine before time ran out.
Benedictine, using a nine-man line a good bit of the time limited the Tigers to a single first down during the second half. It came on Benjamin’s touchdown run.
ENDS – Childers, Williams, Hagan, Snavely, Mitchell.
TACKLES – Slabaugh, A Slicker, Halter, Donat, Brownlee.
GUARDS – Heine, Heimann, McKey, Bednar, J. Kasunick, Cook.
CENTERS – Williamson, Swartz, Reese.
QUARTERBACKS – Getz, Anthony.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Stewart, Pledgure, Clark, Allen, Hershberger.
FULLBACK – Beiter.
ENDS – Sczurek, Kubinski, Kozlowski, Marek.
TACKLES – Skufca, Zmarzly, Grucza.
GUARDS – Baumbick, Kucera, See, Liederbach.
CENTERS – Kozlevchar, Coufalik.
QUARTERBACKS – Sprafka, Kradisley, Kubinski.
HALFBACKS – Sefcik, Hansley, Knapik.
FULLBACKS – Davis, Jasinski, Blasé.
Score by quarters:
Massillon 0 0 7 0 7
Benedictine 6 0 0 7 13
Massillon Touchdown – Benjamin
Massillon Extra point – Hershberger (placement)
Benedictine Touchdowns – Sefcik, Sprafka.
Benedictine Extra point – Sefcik (placement)
First downs, rushing 6 11
First downs, passing 0 3
First downs, penalties 0 1
First downs, total 6 15
Yards gained, running plays 220 226
Yards lost, running plays 33 6
Net yardage, running plays 187 220
Passes attempted 4 8
Passes completed 2 4
Passes had intercepted 0 0
intercepted passes 0 0
Yards gained passing 15 52
Total yardage, running,
passing 202 272
Number of kickoff returns 3 2
Yardage, kickoff returns 51 32
Average length of kickoff
returns 17 16
Number of punt returns 1 1
Yardage, punt returns 5 10
Average length of punt
returns 5 10
Number of punts 4 3
Total yardage on punts 130 121
Average length of punts 32 40
Number of penalties 5 4
Yards lost on penalties 35 30
Number of fumbles 1 2
Own fumbles recovered 1 0
Ball lost on fumbles. 0 2