Tigers Make It 19, Nip Bacon, 8-0
Hastings’ 3rd Quarter Score Breaks Rugged Defensive Grid Battle
By JIM QUILTY
Washington high school’s Tigers did it again.
The opportunist band of scholastic football precisionists converted an early second half recovered fumble into the lone touchdown of the game, then forced invading Cinncinnati Roger Bacon to fumble on the Tigers’ three, again pouncing upon it, for a scrambling 8-0 victory at Tiger stadium Friday night.
The largest crowd of the season 12,797 (paid), cheered wildly as Art Hastings slithered home for the decisive touchdown of the defensive struggled from a yard out, then circled his short side end for the two-point conversion midway through the third period.
Bacon’s Coach Bron Bacevich, envisioning a possible state title for his club saw the illusion whisked away early in the fourth period.
After rugged 6-2, 200-pound Tackle Bob Steltenpohl furnished the Spartans with their “break” by busting past the Tiger defense to block Ken Dean’s punt, the Bacon Quarterback Jim Swagart fumbled on the second play following with Bengal Linebacker Ed Radel gathering it on his three.
* * *
THE SOUTHERN Ohio power never threatened seriously again.
The triumph, Coach Leo Strang’s 19th in succession and 24th in 26 starts since taking over in 1958, was indeed sweet. But his praise of the Bacon team and Bacevich was high.
Summing it up, Leo started slowly and precisely: “They have a real good ball club.”
The sweetness of the victory stemmed from the issue at stake. Stark county’s reputation as the focal point of high school football was maintained. However, and Strang will be the first to agree, it was the narrowest of margins.
A proud, though understandably disappointed Bacevich was “very pleased” with his team’s performance.
“I talked to Leo before the game,” Bacevich said, “and we both knew we were in for a real battle. It was a tough one for either team to lose.”
“We thought we should have had a tie. But the difference was they took advantage of their break and we didn’t. The fumbles also hurt us.”
Hundreds of an estimated 1,500 Bacon rooters, who made the trip by bus, car or any other available transportation means, heaped congratulatory wishes upon Bacevich and his squad while filing past the visitor’s dressing room.
With the Bacon game now history, the Tigers open their only extended road trip of the season in Mansfield next Friday. The Friday after that, the state’s No. 1 ranked football power battles always dangerous Warren.
* * *
IT DIDN’T take long for the opposing grid giants to establish the setting for the entire Friday night encounter.
After the Bengals grabbed the opening kickoff, they failed to move and punted.
Bacon could manage only one first and ten of its own before booting back to the locals 24.
With Hastings and Martin Gugov combining, the Tigers managed their first, first down. The drive bogged down quickly on the 43 with Dean kicking out of trouble to the Spartans 35.
Scatback Jim Mahon scooted to mid field but Safety Bob Baker rapped him from behind forcing a fumble, recovered by Hastings on the Washington high 49.
Charlies Brown, then Gugov, Ron Schenkenberger and Hastings picked up a pair of first downs to the Bacon 24. Gugov chopped for three more, Hastings was stopped without a gain and Brown moved to the 19. Then on a fourth and five, Quarterback John Larson overshot Hastings as the Spartans took possession on downs.
The invaders then reeled off four successive first downs with bruising fullback Mel Anthony and Mahon dividing the ball carrying chores.
The drive chewed up nearly seven minutes of the second period but finally fizzled when Swagart was tossed down by Radel, Joe Snively, and Baker on the Tigers’ 31.
* * *
AFTER Charlie Williams’ second half kickoff was returned by John Voss to Bacon’s 40. Swagart and Center Tom Kearns had another mix-up, which gave a huge profit to the Tigers. Linebacker Dean and Middle Guard Lawson White were there as the ball squirted from Swagart’s fingertips. One of them pounced on the loose ball at the 41.
After Hastings was stopped on the first play, Schenkenberger swept his short side end after a reverse handoff from Larson to the Spartans’ 28.
Gugov, Hastings, then Dean ripped through small holes at the outside tackle, inside tackle and short side guard slots to the Bacon one on nine more plays.
Hastings then rammed home for the score with 5:32 showing in the third quarter. The conversion was on a sweep around the short side left) end.
Bacon wasn’t fried yet. Anthony returned Dean’s kickoff to his 35. Then he, Mahon and John Schroder combined for a pair of first downs to the Tigers’ 35.
With a fourth and eight, the Spartans’ Swagart punted out of bounds on the Tiger 15-yard line moments before the conclusion of the period.
After two running plays and an incompleted pass had netted only three yards, Dean stepped back to punt. But Steltenphol, who had been just missing all night, rushed through on Dean’s kicking foot and caught the ball flush on his chest. The loose ball rolled crazily to the seven when Steltenpohl and a host of teammates scooped it in.
* * *
SWAGART called on Anthony who, after a fumble and recovery, ended u on the two. Swagart then fumbled. This time Radel was there.
Again the tenacious Bacon defense thwarted the Bengal running game. With Dean in punt formation again, spectators and coaches alike were sensing the worst. This time Ken booted the ball high and far to his own 42. Coupled with a 15-yard clip against Bacon, the boot covered 43 yards from the 10 to the Bacon 47.
The never-say-die Cincy eleven stormed right back to the Washington high 34 before Charlie Whitfield broke up a fourth down toss by Swagart.
Swagart had two long near bulls-eyes as the game closed with the locals taking over on downs on Roger Bacon’s 48.
The entire defensive squad of both clubs fashioned the pattern of the contest. Bacon’s line limited the Tigers to six first downs and 133 yards rushing with the longest gain of the night being the 13-yarder by Schenkenberger.
Most of the night, the invaders were in an 8-3 defense with the safeties less than five yards back. It proved successful as Quarterback Larson attempted only four passes, each going astray.
Led by White and Tackles Wally Brugh and Gary Wells, and Radel, the Tiger middle was nearly impregnable most of the night.
Anthony, the strongest runner Washington high has met this year, clicked off 15 yards on one play late in the game and 14 yards earlier.
The one statistic, which counted, other than the final outcome, was fumbles. The Tigers didn’t fumble. Bacon dropped the ball five times, managed a recovery only twice.
19th In A Row
Ends – Ivan, Royer, Anzalone.
Tackles – Wells, Crenshaw, Spees, Herbst, Herndon.
Guards – Houston, Willey, Whitfield, Radel, White.
Center – Demis.
Backs – Larson, Hastings, Gugov, Brown, Baker, Snively,
Null, Schenkenberger, Williams, Kurzen.
Ends – Kaiser, Teed, Voss, LeVasseur, Ginn.
Tackles – Steltenpohl, Fein, Ruberg, Pendrix.
Guards – Workman, Norton, Frey.
Center – Kearns.
Backs – Swagart, Anthony, Mahon, Schroeder, Crowe, Wolf.
Massillon 0 0 8 0 8
Touchdown – Hastings (1, run).
Conversion – Hastings (run).
First downs – rushing 6 6
First downs – passing 0 3
First downs – penalties 0 0
Total first downs 6 9
Yards gained rushing 137 134
Yards lost rushing 4 13
Net yards gained rushing 133 121
Yards gained passing 0 27
Total yards gained 133 148
Passes attempted 4 11
Passes completed 0 5
Passes intercepted by 0 0
Times kicked off 2 1
Kickoff average (yards) 33.1 26
Kickoff returns (yards) 5 26
Times punted 5 2
Punt average (yards) 29.8 26.5
Punt return (yards) 0 10
Had punts blocked 1 0
Fumbles 0 5
Lost fumbled ball 0 3
Penalties 1 2
Yards penalized 5 20