Tigers Beat Stubborn Central 28-0
Baker’s Fancy Runs Spark Bengals’ Play; Alliance Is Next Foe
By JIM QUILTY
It was billed as an Alliance tune-up. But it turned out to be Washington high’s stiffest test of the young football season.
The defending state football champions, slowed to a turtle’s pace by the crunching Columbus Central ground attack, reacted like champions to a pair of first period breaks which resulted in touchdowns, then relied on a staunch defense deep in home territory for the most part of three periods to preserve a 28-0 decision Friday night.
The triumph was the Tigers’ 16th in succession, third without a loss this year, and came before 9,944 fans under ideal weather conditions.
Even before the end of the first period Coach Leo Strang began inserting his entire second offensive unit. He was forced to retreat somewhat later in the period to repulse a Central scoring bid on the Tiger eight-yard line.
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BUT the final score meant little to Ohio’s top ranked grid power. Central had given a much stronger performance than expected by the locals. Yet, the decision was never contested after the Tigers exploded into a three-touchdown lead less than three minutes into the second period.
Bob Baker, making a habit of coming up with the big plays, sprinted 83 yards for a touchdown after intercepting a Central pass midway through the first period, then added the final score of the game on a 43-yard punt return with 1:39 remaining.
Sharing the glory with Baker were Jim Houston and Art Hastings. Houston chopped down a pair of Central boys with one block on Baker’s first run, that nearly broke a Columbus lad in half with a crushing block on a 20-yard spurt by Hastings.
Art followed his tremendous performance in the Cleveland Benedictine game with an equally convincing job. He picked up 93 yards net in 13 carries and terrorized attempted sweeps around the right side by Central.
The 186 yards gained rushing was the most yielded by the Tiger defense this year. Most of it came through Charles Glover who carried the ball 30 times.
Central, after returning the opening kickoff to its 35, managed a pair of first downs while parading to the Tigers’ 30. Switching to a single-wing from the unbalanced line
“winged-T” attack used exclusively until then, Glover tossed, under a fierce Tiger defensive charge, into the waiting arms of Baker.
The speedy left safety picked his spot straight up the east sideline and raced unmolested 83 yards for the score. Ken Dean added the two-point conversion off his short side guard and end for an 8-0 Washington high lead at 7:35.
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MAINTAINING, the constant pressure on the Tigers, Central advanced to the host’s 43 before Gary Wells led a defensive surge which knocked the ball from Glover’s hands, Jay B. Willey recovering.
Five plays later Hastings winged around his long side end and slipped into the west corner of the end zone for the second touchdown. His run for the PAT made it 16-0.
A John Larson to Ken Ivan pass covering 25 yards and 13 and 12 yard runs by Hastings set the ball in scoring position.
The Tigers’ second unit, paced by Jack Lash’s 22 yards in two carries, drove 50 yards to Central’s 10 early in the second period. Bob Herring, regular wingback, then took a deceptive handoff from Quarterback Dave Null and whipped nearly unseen past the goal for the third Tiger score in less than 11 minutes.
The PAT run failed as the Tigers led 22-0.
Pulling a bit of trickery on the statue of liberty punt play, the Columbus eleven moved to Washington high’s 41 on the next series of downs, one yard short of a first down.
John Potts grabbed a Charles Williams fumble on the Tigers’ first play giving the invaders possession on the Washington high 45.
Ten plays later, the Central boys had driven to the Tiger eight only to have a stiffened defense and a pair of incomplete passes stymie the drive.
A 17-yard run by Herring and another of 14 by Hastings gave the Tigers breathing room by the half.
After Central kicked off, the locals failed to move at the start of the third quarter. On a fourth and eight on their own 31, Dean went back to punt but was trapped on the 21 by a host of pursuers and dropped.
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WITH CENTRAL threatening, the Tiger defense was again put to the test. Only an illegal receiver down field on a Steve Tweedy to Glen Carr completed pass in the end zone stopped the drive. The 15-yards set Central back to the 24 as the drive died.
Central staged another two-pronged attack featuring John Darling and Glover early in the fourth stanza driving to the locals’ 12. Spearheaded by Houston, Ed Radel and Ivan, along with Lawson White and Duane Garman the thrust was repulsed.
Taking over on their own 14, the Tigers traveled 77 yards to the invaders’ nine before their attack sputtered. Sophomore Ron Davis, replacing Hastings, was the leading gainer.
Only two passes were completed by the combined offenses. Larson’s covered 25 yards while Tweedy picked up nine.
Strang had no excuses for the teams showing. It was evident, however, that preparations were already well underway for the Alliance game this Friday.
“We were good in spots,” Leo said, “and we were also bad in spots. It was the first time we ran into this type of offense and it kept us busy.”
What was the matter?
Strang answered: “The Alliance game must have been on most of the players’ minds. I know it was on ours all week.”
Strang was informed after the game that Bob Herring suffered either a torn or pulled cartilage in his left knee. The swelling surround the injury was too great for the team physician to get a good look. The extent of the injury will be known today.
The coaching staff faces a busy weekend with meetings planned today and Sunday to plot the Tigers’ course of action against Alliance. The Aviators stayed unbeaten in three starts with a narrow 18-13 victory over Cuyahoga Falls.
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COACH Frank Howe of Columbus Central was anything but displeased with his team’s performance. “We lost to a very good team,” was his comment.
Howe had the same thoughts about the game as Strang and hoped to capitalize upon them. “I thought they might be looking forward to the Alliance game which would have given us a much better chance.”
Appraising his team, Howe said: “Our defense is good. We showed that, and our offense has finally started to move. That was the first time this year we showed any offense.”
Howe received the bad news when a shoulder separation was reported to Glover. “It may not be too serious, we don’t know yet.”
“We ought to be in good shape for East next week. But we have to eliminate our mistakes. We just made too many,” he added.
Howe confided that his team may have been somewhat awed by the huge crowd. They had never played before more than 4,000 before.
He was also high in his praise of Houston.
Individually for the Tigers Dean gained 28 yards in six tries, Herring 27 in two, Larson 23 in three, Baker 12 in one (later lost 11 on a fumble play), Davis 33 in six, Charlie Williams three in one, Lash 22 in two, Heflin eight in two and Null six in one.
WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
ENDS – Royer, Ivan, Bodiford, Anzalone, Clendenin, Fuchs, Ehmer.
TACKLES –White, Crenshaw, Wells, Spees, Herbst, Garman, Herndon, Brennerman.
GUARDS – Houston, Willey, Radel, Migge, Whitfield, Poole.
CENTERS – Demis, Strobel, Bradley.
BACKS – Larson, Hastings, Herring, Dean, Baker, Null, Snively, Alexander,
Lash, Williams, Smith, Schenkenberger, Kurzen, Davis, Heflin, Brown.
ENDS – Gail, Massey, Pettit, Hartigan.
TACKLES – Moxley, Haynie, Bell, Smith, Blake, Poling.
GUARDS – Moody, Hitchcock, Eaves, Greene, Johnson.
CENTERS – Steward, Ash.
BACKS – Tweedy, Glover, Carr, Darling, Jennings, Griffin, Foster, Hairston,
Toland, Thompson, Potts, Scales, Jewell.
Washington high 16 6 0 6 28
SCORING – Baker 2 (83-yard pass interception, 43-yard punt return);
Hastings (9-yard run); Herring (10-yard run).
EXTRA POINTS – Hastings (run); Dean (run).
First downs – rushing 15 11
First downs – passing 1 0
First downs – penalties 1 2
Total first downs 17 13
Yards gained rushing 257 186
Yards lost rushing 28 24
Net yards gained rushing 229 162
Net yards gained passing 25 9
Total yards gained 254 171
Passes attempted 7 10
Passes completed 1 1
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Times kicked off 5 1
Kickoff average (yards) 38.8 43
Kickoff returns (yards) 12 71
Times punted 0 3
Punt average (yards) 0 27.6
Punt return (yards) 42 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 2 2
Lost fumbled ball 2 1
Penalties 4 1
Yards penalized 30 15