Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Long Gainers Push Tigers Past Benedictine

30-6 WIN IS NO. 5

Sparma-Herring Pass, Big Gallops By Wood, Hastings Repel Benies


That Massillon Tiger trademark of yesteryear – the long, explosive type play that can take the starch out of the opposition in a jiffy – again held forth at Tiger stadium Friday night and the orange and black knocked off the invading Cleveland Benedictine forces, 30-6, before 11,920 fans.

The Tigers used three of the long gainers as a spring-board to their fifth consecutive victory of the season and the win over the big, determined but outclassed Benies coupled with Warren Harding’s reversal of form undoubtedly will provide the Leo Strang-coached gang with a tighter grip on their No. 1 state ranking.

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Warren, upset by East Liverpool, 14-13, has been Massillon’s arch rival for the top spot in the Associated Press poll. Now it seems as though Springfield, Lorain or Toledo DeVilbiss will assume the runner-up role.

The Panthers can’t be counted out. The season is far from being over and a Tiger loss will send their hopes for that elusive crown right down the drain.

THE GAME of the year still looms for Friday the night of Oct. 30.

* * *

BEFORE WARREN comes Mansfield (next Friday night at Tiger stadium) and Coach Strang will be happier if the Bengals can present a more consistent attack against the Mansfielders.

“I’m glad it’s over,” Strang said over telling locker room well-wishers about a “frustrating” night.”

“It went about the way I expected …we would have to go from a long way out and that’s what we did.”

“It was as frustrating ball game as we’ve played, mainly because we did not move the ball consistently. Of course, we should give credit where credit is due. They had me worried and we had our hands full trying to block them,” he commented.

He said that several of his players told him that a few of the Benie linemen ‘had to be held” – they couldn’t be moved to either side of the hole.

“We knew Benedictine had a tough team and would come down here all hopped up. They have my respect. And you can ask the boys, they rate on a par with Alliance or Steubenville,” Strang said.

The Benie pilot, a downcast Auggie Bossu, was reluctant to talk but claimed the Tigers are a good ball club – “as good and probably better than your teams of the past few years.”

“Yes, it was a good game…for Massillon. Yes, we played hard…but we didn’t win,” the usually mild-mannered mentor rasped before excusing himself to see about an injured player.

* * *

BOSSU POINTED out that his team’s best runner last night, Joe Miano, previously was a second stringer. And he said that his punter, Bob Jambor, was averaging 42 yards per kick, going into last night’s game.

Against the Tigers, Miano averaged over five yards a carry with his longest jaunt of 30 yards setting up Benedictine’s only touchdown. Stocky Paul Rini showed ability to gallop in the open field at times.

On more than one occasion the ball carrier had found a hole at the line but it was quickly closed by Massillon’s linebackers and deep backs.

The Benies took to the sky 13 times but only four made connections and three were intercepted.

However, the Tigers’ inability to muster a sustained drive and Jambor’s amazing punting (an average of 47.2 yards for five kicks) made it a pretty dull affair except for the long striking plays.

The long gainers were turned in by Art Hastings, on a dash of 62 yards which set up the Tigers’ second touchdown, a 41-yard pass play from Joe Sparma to Bob Herring and a
69-yard sprint by Jim Wood.

These crowd-pleasing antics helped the Orangemen out gain the visitors by 339 yards to 182. Massillon netted 257 yards on the ground to 136 for the Benies.

* * *

NEITHER TEAM’S passing attack was nowhere near sensational but the aerial game was real prominent for the hometown lads.

The talented Sparma was right on the button with his fling to Herring which paved the way for the third TD of the evening and the defensive backs hauled in no less than three Benie forwards.

An interception by Martin Gugov, who incidentally started his second game on offense as Lefthalf Bill Finney was kept out of uniform due to an injury, put the Tigers in position for their first score. Prior to the Sparma-Herring payoff pitch-catch it was Herring who intercepted a pass.

Nick Daugenti, the defensive back and punt return specialist, made the first interception on the third play of the encounter but his effort went for naught as the Tigers were forced to punt. Daugenti, who did not play the second half because of a sprained ankle, caught the ball after it was deflected by Art Hastings.

The first time Daugenti returned a punt he wheeled from the end zone out to the 20 and Massillon was on the move in a hurry. Sparma threw down the middle to Wood who made a diving catch at the Benie 39 but four plays later End Tony Palmieri recovered a fumble by Gugov. However, the latter made amends when he intercepted a toss by Dennis Andrews and from the Benie 24 the orange and black reach pay dirt in four plays.

Gugov picked up six and Hastings four before Gugov added two. Then Hastings slicked off the left side and went in standing up. Gugov bulled across for two more points and the Tigers led 8-0 with 16 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Four plays into the second period Herring returned a Benie punt seven yards to the 25 and Hastings had the Tiger fans emitting superlatives on the very first play from scrimmage. He hit off left tackle, did a tight-rope act down the west sidelines and aided by a beauty of a block by Virg Bukuts, zipped 62 yards to the Clevelanders’ 13. On the next play Gugov barreled through right tackle for six, Wood swept end for the PAT and it was 16-0 at 9:36.

* * *

A MOMENT later the Tigers were penalized for illegal substitution but the ball was placed at the original spot after a hurried discussion by the officials. After the kickoff Massillon defensive subs took the field…all nine of them. The penalty was stepped off, then retracted, because it was not a case of substituting. Everything was “jake” after two more players entered the lineup and the defense forced Benedictine to punt.

The ball changed hands in a hurry. Gugov lateralled as he was tackled and Sparma and Palmieri wrestled for possession. Palmieri had the final say at the Tiger 25. With second and 14, Andrews’ pass was intercepted by Herring at the 15 and he got out to the 37.

Hastings pounded 22 yards in three tries before Massillon scored again.

From the Benie 41, Sparma hit Herring who had slipped behind the secondary at the Benedictine five. The mite halfback snagged the ball, was hit, but fell across the zero stripe. Gugov’s run was short but the Tigers led 22-0 and that’s the way it was at intermission.

Midway in the third round Halfback Tom Kosewic recovered a Tiger fumble at the Massillon 29 but the Tigers held and took over at the 31 as Captain “Sluggo” Bednar batted down a fourth down aerial.

The most peculiar play of the night resulted on the first Tiger try from scrimmage.

Sparma went back to pass, was hit, and the ball floated out to the 35 where big Tony Gibbons, a tackle, cradled it and churned goalward. Gibbons, however, coughed it up as he was tackled and Tiger tackle Don Appleby recovered at the 29.
After Gugov gained two, Wood winged 69 yards to put the Massillonians ahead by 28. The speedy halfback went through the left side, found himself in the clear at the 40 as the Benies looked around for the guy with the ball, and outran Rini to the end zone. Sparma passed to End Bob Zumbrunn in the end zone for two more markers.

Early in the final heat Jim Houston, Tiger guard, recovered a fumble at the Tiger 49 but aftre Wood wheeled 22 yards the attacked bogged down.

Benedictine, playing against a sub-studded lineup, marched 79 yards for its only
six-pointer in a dozen plays.

* * *

ON THE FIRST play Miano scatted 31 yards and three plays before the TD, a pass, Joe Bujak to End Al Grigaliunas, resulted in a 24-yard gain. On third down at the one, the Massillon defense ganged up at the middle but Miano hit off the left side all by his lonesome and it was 30-6 at 1:55 with 1:55 remaining. The same Miano was stopped short on the PAT attempt.

Benedictine had the ball for 54 plays as compared to Massillon’s 42 tries but the long strikes and the Tiger defense (led by Bednar, Hase McKey, Houston, Gary Wells, Frank Midure, Jay Willey and Don Appleby) proved to be more than enough.

Outside of Miano’s 24-yarder in the final quarter, the blue’s biggest rushing gain amounted to only eight yards.

In the third frame the Tigers had the ball for only four running plays but with the help of Wood’s 69-yard effort, netted 82 yards.

Hastings, the workhorse of the attack, twisted and fought his way for 130 yards in 13 carries while Wood made 96 yards in seven trips and Gugov gained 30 in eight tries.

The loss was the second in five starts for the Benies who now trail the Tigers in the series, 4-1.

A Jim-Dandy

ENDS – McKey, Barkman, Zumbrunn, Bodiford, Oliver, Royer.
TACKLES – Appleby, Bukuts, Wells, Haines, Herbst, Herndon, Paul.
GUARDS – Willey, Bednar, Midure, Houston, Brugh, Anzalone, Crenshaw, White, Whitfield.
CENTERS – Snodgrass, Snyder, Demis.
QUARTERBACKS – Sparma, Larson, Null, Smith.
HALFBACKS – Finney, Wood, Daugenti, Gugov, Herring Kurzen.
FULLBACKS – Hastings, Hershberger, Dean, Toles.

ENDS – Grigaliunas, Forgach, Watson, Torda.
TACKLES – Phile, Jason, gibbons, Zahorsky.
GUARDS – Marcin, Tyrdik, Palmieri, Janiak, Wojas, Labuda.
CENTERS – Siath, Kestner.
QUARTERBACKS – Bujak, Andrews, Kolenich.
HALFBACKS – Rini, Malinak, Farro, Kosewic, Brock, Jambor.
FULLBACKS – Miano, Tollis, Schepis.

Scoring by quarters
Massillon 8 14 8 0 30
Benedictine 0 0 0 6 6

Massillon – Hastings (12, run); Gugov (13, run); Herring (41, pass); Wood (69, run).
Benedictine – Miano (1, run).

Extra points: Massillon – Gugov (run); Wood (run); Zumbrunn (pass).

Referee – Andy Moran.
Field Judge – Andy Lindsey.
Head Linesman – Harvey Hodgson.
Umpire – Horace Rainesberger.

Mass Bene.
First downs – rushing 9 6
First downs – Passing 2 2
First downs – penalties 0 0
Total first downs 11 8
Yards gained rushing 265 145
Yards lost rushing 8 9
Net yards gained rushing 257 136
Yards gained passing 82 46
Total yards gained 339 182
Passes attempted 13 13
Passes completed 3 4
Passes intercepted by 3 1
Times kicked off 5 2
Kickoff average (yards) 35.8 33.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 43 57
Times punted 3 5
Punt average (yards) 29.3 47.2
Punt returns (yards) 68 21
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 3 4
Lost fumbled ball 3 2
Penalties 0 4
Yards penalized 0 20

Joe Sparma