Tigers Nip Mansfield 2nd Half Surge, 16-6
Baker, Hastings Tally In 20th Straight Win
By JIM QUILTY
Call it luck if you like, but Washington high school’s injury riddled Tigers are still undefeated and well on their way toward a second successive Ohio scholastic football championship.
The Tigers proved once again Friday night, before over 12,000 fans at Arlin stadium, Mansfield, why they remain No. 1 week after week as they turned in a 16-6 victory over Mansfield’s Tygers, the 20th win in a row over a three-year period and seventh straight.
It took 48 minutes to decide the issue, but two key plays, one early in the first period, the second late in the third stanza, are what the fans recall most.
The first was Tiger Bob Baker’s 77-yard punt return for a touchdown, after he had fumbled the ball and picked it up, at the 9:30 mark of the opening quarter.
The second was Joe Snively’s recovery of Tyger Henry Weaver’s fumble on the locals’ four, moments before the end of the third period.
Had Baker not gone the distance and had Weaver not fumbled, Washington high would have had to rally to pull the decision out. It was hard enough as it was.
Coach Leo Strang summed up the Tigers’ situation precisely with a, “I don’t know who to play.”
Strang’s problems became compounded early last night when Linebacker, kickoff man and punter Ken Dean was injured on the kickoff following Baker’s scoring run. Dean didn’t play the rest of the first half.
Then Martin Gugov, after clicking for 26 yards on two carries in the second Tiger touchdown drive, re-injured his right knee. He didn’t play the rest of the way.
Trainer Walt Keller upon examining the knee after the game, said it didn’t appear to be too bad.
In the Mansfield dressing room, Bill Doolittle, in his first year at the Tyger helm, sized up his team’s performance as one in which “we learned a lesson.”
“We played one good half of football,” Doolittle said. “Against a team like Massillon, you have to play the whole game.”
“A few new wrinkles in our offense helped. Our second half defense was great,” Doolittle added.
What did he think of Washington high’s team?
“Massillon has a good club,” he replied. “That Hastings is a terrific player.”
That Hastings, to whom the Mansfield mentor referred, is Art, the big gun in the Tigers’ lagging offensive punch last night.
Playing possibly his best game of the year, the speedy fullback lugged the ball 25 times, picking up 133 yards. An eight-yard shot around his short side end on the opening play of the second period and his successful conversion gave the Tigers a 16-0 cushion with nearly the whole three quarters remaining.
Mansfield’s touchdown was only the fourth scored against the locals’ defense in seven games. It came on one of the weirdest plays of the season.
After Mansfield had drive to the Tigers’ 15 mid way through the third period on the running of Halfbacks John Brooks and Weaver and a 15-yard personal foul call, Dean busted through from his linebacker slot and dropped Quarterback Art Rainey on the 19. A sweep by Weaver around the left end netted a single yard for a third and 13.
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RAINEY THEN, after a fake to Weaver up the middle, handed off to Fullback Harold Phillips. Phillips, however, was trapped by Jim Houston behind the line. While under tackle he attempted a lateral to Brooks, following the play. The ball hit the ground, then bounced a couple of times right into Brooks’ hands. The scatback then continued around the right side and swept home for the touchdown. Over seven minutes still remained in the third period.
The conversion attempt by Weaver on a sweep to his left was broken up by Ken Ivan.
After Hastings returned Lee Beer’s kickoff to his own 41, the Tiger offense failed to move. Dean then booted to Mansfield’s 21 where Halfback Don Cole scooped the ball in and scooted to his 38.
Aided by a 35-yard pass play from Rainey to End Bob Norris, the hosts moved to the Massillon 15. A sweep to the right by Brooks moved the Tygers to the three with a first down.
* * *
HERE THE TIGERS rose up, with the middle of the line smacking Weaver as he churned through. He fumbled and Snively dived over his teammates, recovering the loose ball on the Tiger four.
It marked the second time in the last two games in which the Orange has recovered an opponent fumble inside the five-yard line to curtail a scoring threat.
Mansfield netted only four yards on three tries after taking Dean’s kick on their own 45 to open the battle. Elroy Allen then booted to Baker.
Baker, who later bobbled three others, losing one, played with the ball from the 20 to 23 before finding the handle. Then, behind a perfect wall of blockers, the speedy Tiger safety stepped untouched 77 yards down his right sideline for the score.
Gugov went in behind his outside tackle for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
Mansfield, which didn’t gain a first down until late in the second period, failed to move again after Dean’s boot. Allen punted, again to Baker. This time Bob dropped it, then picked it up but was stormed by a host of Tyger tacklers and fumbled again. He then recovered on his own 26.
* * *
WITH THE DEFT ball handling of John Larson and the running of Hastings spearheading the attack, the defending state champions marched 74 yards in 15 plays for the touchdown. The big yardage play was a 17-yarder by Gugov. Marty was then injured three plays later when he added the nine-yarder to Mansfield’s 41.
Hastings touchdown was his seventh of the year. He has now tallied 46 points. He finished with 86 last year.
After the next kickoff by Richard Crenshaw and punt by Allen when the Tygers failed to move, Baker fumbled again. This time Center Kay Hartman made the recovery for Mansfield on the locals’ 40.
Two plays later, however, Lawson White pounced on Brooks fumble to stop that abbreviated drive on Massillon’s 35.
* * *
AFTER HASTINGS returned Beer’s second half kickoff to Mansfield’s 46 from his own 23, three successive five-yard illegal motion penalties were marched off against the locals setting them back to their own 39. Larson brought it back to the Mansfield 49 before Dean punted out of bounds on the losers’ 22.
The hosts then moved for their lone touchdown of the game. Covering 83 yards, after a five-yard penalty, in seven plays.
It was Mansfield’s third loss against two wins and a tie on the season. In the series with Washington high, the Ashland county eleven has managed only two wins and four ties in 24 attempts.
The game was a pleasant change for Mansfield from the 70-0 route suffered during the fruitless 1959 season. The 16-6 final was the closest the Tygers have come to upending the Orange since 1956 when the won, 14-6.
In first downs the clubs were even with 11 apiece. Massillon managed 195 yards rushing and 29 passing for 224 while the hosts combined 114 on the ground and 63 through the air for 177 total yards.
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THE TIGERS went into the game with seven players out of uniform. Theo Bodiford came up with a fever during the afternoon and didn’t dress. Bob Herring indicated he was ready to go but Strang wasn’t taking any chances. Charlie Whitfield didn’t see any action.
Joining these were Virgil Bukuts, still out with the knee injury suffered before the start of the campaign. Sophomores Ben Bradley and Ron Davis, and Junior Quarterback Jim Alexander.
Strang hopes most of the injuries will be healed by next Friday when the Tigers journey to Warren for the final road game of the season against the up and coming Panthers. Two years ago, the Panthers ruined Massillon’s bid for the state championship with a 6-0 victory. Last year Washington high atoned for the loss with a 38-8 slashing of Paul Warfield and company.
Last night Warren posted its third straight victory, ripping New Castle (Pa.), 40-7.
Four More To Go
Ends – Royer, Ivan, Anzalone.
Tackles – Garman, Brugh, Wells, Crenshaw, Herbst, Spees.
Guards – White, Houston, Willey, Radel.
Center – Demis.
Backs – Larson, Hastings, Gugov, Schenkenberger, Null, Baker, Snively,
Kurzen, D. Smith, Dean.
Ends – Norris ,Nagle, Davison, Shrot, Kehr.
Tackles – Shasky, Welker, F. Beckwith, Minard.
Guards – Atwater, Beer, Reedy, B. Beckwith.
Centers – Hartman, Keplinger.
Backs – Rainey, Ott, Brooks, Cole, Allen, Phillips, weaver
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Massillon 8 8 0 0 16
Mansfield 0 0 6 0 6
Massillon – Baker (77, punt return); Hastings (8, run).
Conversions – Gugov (run); Hastings (run).
Mansfield – Brooks (18, run).
First downs – rushing 10 8
First downs – passing 1 3
First downs – penalties 0 1
Total first downs 11 11
Yards gained rushing 215 142
Yards lost rushing 20 26
Net yards gained rushing 195 114
Yards gained passing 29 63
Total yards gained 224 177
Passes attempted 5 4
Passes completed 2 2
Passes intercepted by 0 0
Times kicked off 3 2
Kickoff average (yards) 39.3 38.2
Kickoff returns (yards) 47 53
Times punted 4 5
Punt average (yards) 33.3 35.6
Punt return (yards) 96 17
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 3 3
Lost fumbled ball 1 2
Penalties 5 3
Yards penalized 35 15