Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers Defeat Steubenville 19-7
Snively Sparks Drive As Bengals Score Twice In Last Seven Minutes


Dr. L. J. Snively, Massillon dentist, was far away from the tools of his profession. He was in the stands rootin’ while his eldest son Jim, down on the gridiron, did the yankin’.

He yanked victory right out of Steubenville’s grasp by virtue of a scintillating 74-yard kickoff return that brought the Tigers out of the hole and paved the way for a thrilling 19-7 triumph over the invading Big Red at Tiger stadium last night.

Around 13,000 fans (12,835 paid) either had a re-birth of spirit or died a thousand deaths as the Steubers, decisively out-played for three quarters, barged back to take a 7-6 lead at 7:18 in the final period.
* * *
THERE WERE all kinds of pyrotechnics in that last cliff-hanging session but the biggest blast of all, the turning point of battle, was the run by young Jim Snively, 146-pound senior who, in starting his first game of the year, celebrated a birthday a few hours prematurely.

Today is his 17th birthday – and Steubenville probably is thinking he was born several years too soon.

After falling behind as Steubenville capitalized on an 89-yard drive, an eight-yard pass for the score and Tom Cunningham’s perfect placement, the Bengals got the lift they needed from the dentist’s son.

The kick by Halfback Wally Neel went down to the Tiger 15 where it was taken by Snively. Within a few seconds the ball was resting down at the Big Red 11. Jim flew up an alley in the middle, sidestepped two would-be tacklers, then shook another with a quick change of direction and was free wheeling after a change of pace at the Steuber 40, another veer left another tackler picking up grass. The time he took in order to steer away from his opponents was enough for a couple of Steubenville players to finally make the tackle after a heart-pounding dash.
* * *
OF COURSE, Snively had to have some help and he got it…with Co-Captain Dave Dean and then the fiery Gail Karrenbauer throwing scythe-like key blocks.

A little over a minute later the same Snively, getting fine blocks by End Bob Vogel and Tackle John Donat, sailed into the end zone from seven yards out and the Tigers were in business.

The Big Red hit for a 14-yard pass play but subsequent aerials failed and with 3:30 remaining, Leo Strang’s comeback kids started driving for some extra room enroute to their third victory.

Sparma, whose running helped keep the Big Red defense honest all night, got all a
28-yarder and Massillon moved 50 yards before Dean, piling through left guard, tallied with only 17 seconds of action remaining.

The clock got into the act here. Before the previous play, in which Snively gained a yard at right tackle, the scoreboard time piece showed 33, seconds left and after the play was completed, it still read “0:33.”

The referee apparently had not given the timer a signal to start the clock and before the touchdown play, the “ref” had him run off a few seconds.
* * *
THE CLOCK did not figure in the outcome, only the final score. If the Tigers hadn’t scored (the TD came on a third down smash), the Steubers would have faced a virtually insurmountable task.

The Tiger task was spearheaded by Snively and Art Hastings, ultra-promising sophomore, who entered the game midway in the first quarter – and proceeded to earn himself a carload of plaudits.

Hastings, working from fullback and left half, carried 22 times and gained 170 yards to more than out-gain the entire visiting team. He did not hit pay dirt but a 55-yard jaunt set up the only touchdown until the final round and he also was very prominent in other drives. He averaged 7.7 yards a trip.

Besides his great kickoff return, Sniverly toted 17 times from scrimmage. He gained 75 yards for an average of 4.4 yards per try.
* * *
THE REST of the orange and black attack was comprised chiefly of more running by Dean and Sparma. Dean averaged 4.1 yards a try with a pickup of 50 in 12 attempts and Sparma, despite a leg injury, which handicapped him in the second half, went 36 yards in four carries.

They had better blocking than at any other time. Defensively the Bengals, their tackling vicious at times, allowed the river front team only 109 yards on the ground – an average of three yards per try.

The Steubers, despite the absence of speedsters Cunningham, whose one effort gave his club the 7-6 lead, and Ed Weinman, hard-hitting fullback, were dangerous from the word go. They gained 66 yards through the air. On the ground Neel, Rufus Simmons and Bob Crossley kept the Tigers worried. But quick reaction and quick thinking by the Bengal defenders prevented the visitors from getting off any long-distance specials.

The longest Big Red gain by rushing totaled 11 yards.

Steubenville’s defense plus a few missed assignments on the part of the orange, kept the score close for three quarters.
* * *
MASSILLON, running 17 plays in the first period and two at the outset of the second frame, had a drive terminated by a pass interception. This march featured short yardage efforts by Dean, Hastings and Snively. On third down at the 12, Sparma threw to Vogel in the end zone and the big end tried his best to break the ice. He dived and got his hands on the ball as he was coming down but just as he hit the grass, the pigskin escaped him. On the fourth down Sparma was rushed and his toss to the right was intercepted by Steuber linebacker Jim Staib at the nine and he ran out to the 15.

Steubenville had to kick from its 37 and the Tigers, starting from their 11, went for the works. At the 31 Hastings hit off left tackle, showed a nice change of pace and broke into the clear at mid-field. He was tackled after a 55-yard run at the enemy 14. Then Snively, with Tiger fans roaring, went wide to the right and darted into the end zone,just managing to stay inbounds before hitting the final stripe. Corky Pledgure, running to his left, tried to make two points. As he was tackled at the seven, he lateralled to Sparma who was stopped short but it was 6-0 at 4:08.

On the first play after the kick-off the alert Vogel pounced on a fumble at the Steubenville 28. Snively rambled for nine and Hastings for 12 before a clipping penalty put the locals back to the 17. Hastings, fighting for every inch, gained 12, but Steubenville took over after holding Snively for two and the same boy without gain.

At halftime the Tigers had clicked off 197 yards with Hastings responsible for 107 and Snively for 68.

In the third stanza another Massillon bid was thwarted. After a Big Red punt, the Strang gang went from their own 25 to the opponent’s 14 before losing the ball on a fumble. This march included a 17-yard gain by Hastings. Twice the Tigers kept moving on a
fourth-and-one situation.

The red-uniformed team, with Neel doing the running and Roach passing to End George Milosevich for 38 yards, finally got up a head of steam.

The drive was climaxed when Crossley, clear at the goal line, took a pass from Roach on an eight-yard scoring play. It came on fourth down at 7:14 and Cunningham came off the bench to make the count 7-6.
* * *
STEUBENVILLE fans were still whopping things up when Snively whizzed back on the kick-off. From the Big Red 11, Hastings made four in two plays before Snively tallied on a pitchout. His run for the extra points was shy but Massillon had regained the lead role and as it turned out, for keeps.

With 3:30 remaining the visitors had to relinquish possession as three passes following a run by Crossley went for naught. Two of them were off the fingertips of the intended receivers.

Sparma, wriggling out of the grasp of two Big Red boys, picked up 28 yards before Snively, Hastings and Dean took the leather to the two. Then Dean scored and it was all over for all rhyme or reason.

First Downs – Rushing 16 4
First Downs – Passing 0 2
First Downs – Penalties 0 3
Total First Downs 16 9
Number of Rushing Plays 58 42
Yards Gained – Rushing Plays 334 109
Yards Lost – Running Plays 1 13
Net Yardage – Running 333 96
Passes Attempted 3 11
Passes Completed 0 3
Passes Had Intercepted 1 1
Yards Returned –
Intercepted Passes 0 6
Yards Gained – Passing 0 60
Total Net Yardage –
Running and Passing 333 156
Number of Kickoff Returns 2 4
Yardage – Kickoff Returns 74 52
Average Length of Kickoff
Returns 37 13
Number of Punt Returns 3 0
Yardage – Punt Returns 4 0
Average Length of Punt
Return 1.3 0
Number of Punts 1 3
Total Yardage on Punts 41 132
Average length of Punts 41 44
Number of Penalties 5 3
Yards Lost on Penalties 35 25
Number of Fumbles 2 3
Own Fumbles Recovered 1 2
Ball Lost on Fumbles 1 1

Bob Vogel