Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers Defeat Garfield 32-6
Stout Defense Plays Prominent Role In Bengals’ Second Win


There’s an old adage, “The best offense is a good defense.” That statement was never proved more convincingly than at Tiger stadium Friday night before a crowd of 12,904 fans.

The Washington high Tigers sprung a blitzing defense on Akron Garfield that had the
two-time defending Akron city champions completely befuddled and demoralized. The hard-charging defense, outweighed by Garfield, wore the fleece of the Golden Ram down to fuzz. Its horns were dulled to a nubbin.

The result was a 32-6 victory for Massillon, the second win of the season, and the ninth straight triumph over Garfield.

It was an outstanding Garfield team that invaded the stadium, hoping to upset the Tigers and go on to a state championship. But the Bengals out after a third title in a row were not to be denied.

“Garfield has a fine team,” said Tiger Coach Leo Strang amid the happy post-game scene in the Bengals’ dressing room. “We just caught them by surprise with out changing defenses and never let up.”

Program Cover

* * *
IT WASN’T only the line and line backers’, that did an outstanding job, the secondary’s coverage of pass-receivers kept the Rams on the ground. Quarterback Denny Boothe was unable to throw with the result he was tossed for losses several times by Tiger defenders. Unable to loosen up the defense by occasional passes, the Rams’ ground game suffered.

Leading the hard-charging Tigers were Willie Poole and Charlie Whitfield. Joe Snively, Bob Baker and Charlie Brown did the covering of the pass-receivers.

Strang gave his coaches who did the spotting from the press box and scoreboard a big pat on the back for their fine work. They had Garfield pegged to a T both offensively and defensively. Nick Vrotsos, Nick Coso and Jack Robb were in the press box. Frank Domokos was in the scoreboard.

The Tiger offense had Garfield guessing all night. The Presidents played a wide 6-2-2-1 most of the time. This left the middle open and it was here that the Bengals made the most of their yardage.

However, when the Rams closed up the center, Strang had his backs sweeping the ends. Garfield just couldn’t adjust to the changes.

“You just can’t make mistakes against a team the caliber of Massillon.” Garfield Coach Dan Flossie said. “We did and it cost us.” Flossie added. “The Tigers are a great team and they play good, clean, hard football.”

* * *
WHEREAS the Tigers threw a lot last week, this time they stuck to the ground, gobbling up 313 yards to Garfield’s 48. Garfield out passed the Bengals 73-39. Total offense was 382 to 121.

The Tigers gained 15 first downs to Garfield’s two on the ground each had three in the air. Totals were 18 and five.

Freddie Philpott for the second straight week, showed real stuff from his fullback spot. He scored two touchdowns and gained 154 yards in 13 tries for an 11.8 average.

Charlie Brown scored one TD. Ron Schenkenberger one and short side Guard Bob Clendenin one on a fumble-recovery.

The Tigers had trouble scoring conversions again. Ron Davis scored the lone two-pointer, after the second TD.

* * *
FOR THE SECOND straight week the Tigers lost the toss and were forced to kick. Garfield ran two plays, after Dave Mosely had run the kick back 11 yards from his 30. Then Boothe fired down the middle to End Mike Yovanovich, who grabbed the ball on the Massillon 25 and raced 14 before being tackled.

Here the Rams lost a fine opportunity to score. A fumble on the first play of the second series was recovered by the Tigers.

The Bengals then moved to their 49 in 11 plays, picking up two first downs in the process. They took a daring gamble with fourth and one on their 23. Ken Dean, playing his first game, went through the middle for six yards and the first down.

Two plays later Brown picked up six yards on a third-and-three situation from the 36 with a sweep to the right to keep the Tigers in possession. But the Bengals weren’t destined to score during their first series. They ran out of gas on the 49 and Jim Alexander punted to the Garfield 13.

The Rams went into a T spread on the first play. Boothe fumbled, Ed Radel, also in his first game, came charging through from his linebacker’s spot and recovered on the 11.

It looked like a sure score for the Bengals coming up. However, they lost the ball on downs on the five.

* * *
GARFIELD had one series, punted and Massillon took over on the President’s 40. Philpott burst through the middle on the first play and with the aid of a fine block by Clendenin, scored with 26 seconds remaining. Dean tried the middle for two more points but missed.

Then came Garfield’s lone TD. Tony Besesi grabbed Charlie Williams’ kickoff on the Rams’ 22 and ran it back to the Massillon 47. On the next play Ray Matthews, the Presidents all-everything back, swept left end for 32 yards to the Tiger 15 as the first quarter ended.

On the first play of the second period, Jim Sims blasted off right guard for the score with only five seconds gone in the quarter. A pass to End Dick Byerly on the try for the conversion failed.

Massillon came back after the kickoff, following Brown’s 21-yard return to the Tiger 43, for its second marker. In nine plays covering 57 yards and three first downs, the Bengals led 12-6,

The Tigers almost missed this score. Philpott blasted through the middle from the seven on second and three, was hit on the two and fumbled. The ball squirted into the end zone. Clendenin jumped on it for the score at 7:34. Davis swept right end for the 13th and 14th points.

* * *
MASSILLON’S next TD came near the end of the half. The Tigers stopped Garfield on the Bengal 28 after Byerly had recovered a Massillon fumble three plays earlier on the 36.

In a 72-yard drive covering six plays and three first downs, the Bengals had scored again. The TD was set up on a 38-yard pass play, Alexander to Wingback Ron Schenkenberger on a ride action with a hook pattern to Schenkenberger.

On the next play Brown swept around right end for the score with 31 seconds remaining. A repeat effort failed to score the conversion.

The Tigers’ fourth score came on the first series following the half time intermission. Schenkenberger took Matthews’ kick on the 17 and returned to the 40. Six plays, 60 yards and two first downs later the Bengals hit play dirt again.

Once more it was Philpott lugging the pigskin. He went through the middle from the 28 on third and nine with 9:17 showing on the clock. Brown missed the conversion, trying to go over right tackle.

* * *
THE TIGERS missed another opportunity in the third canto. They took over on the Garfield 33 when the Rams gambled on fourth and one and lost. However, the Bengals were unable to go further than the 30 in four plays.

The Rams got a long drive going at the end of the third period and beginning of the fourth to dent Massillon territory for the only time during the second half. The feat was accomplished only four times during the night. Garfield was in control for 12 plays covering 57 yards to the Tiger 15. The drive included four first downs. An incomplete pass on fourth down put an end to the Rams’ efforts for the night.

Massillon’s last score came right after the turnover. The Bengals rolled 85 yards, utilizing 14 plays and getting four first downs in the process.

Alexander passed to Schenkenberger down the middle on an out-and-in pattern from the 17 on fourth and 10. Alex tried to hit Larry Ehmer for the conversion but couldn’t connect.

The Tigers got over their first big hurdle Friday night, but there are nine more facing them before another state championship is theirs.

Good Defense

Ends – Price, Yovanovich and D. Byerly.
Tackles – Postiach, Dyser, Kovacevich, Zeh and Bodash.
Guards – Breitenbach, Buchanan and Gaines.
Centers – Kiggans and Romacae.
Backs – Matthews, Sims, Boothe, Butash and Mosely.

Ends – Ivan, Ehmer, Garland, McDew and Pierce.
Tackles – Spees, Strobel, Brenneman, Mercer, C. Bradley, Dekan and Profant.
Guards – Clendenin, Whitfield, Relford, Radel, Poole and Migge.
Centers – B. Bradley, Heine and Heckathorn.
Backs – Alexander, Philpott, Schenkenberger, Davis, Brown, Snively, Baker
Getz, Jarvis, Lash, Dean, Kanney and Franklin.

Garfield Scoring
Touchdowns – Sims, 13-yard run.

Massillon Scoring
Touchdowns – Philpott, 40 and 28-yard runs;
Clendenin, fumble recovery;
Brown, five-yard run;
Schenkenberger, 17-yard pass from Alexander.

Conversions – Davis

Referee – Andy Moran.
Umpire – Frank Westfall.
Head Linesman – Tom Bender.
Field Judge – George Donges.

Mass. Opp.
First downs – rushing 15 2
First downs – passing 3 3
First downs – penalties 0 0
Total first downs 18 5
Yards gained rushing 324 66
Yards lost rushing 11 18
Net yards gained rushing 313 48
Yards gained passing 69 73
Total yards gained 382 121
Passes attempted 7 6
Passes completed 3 2
Passes intercepted by 0 1
Times kicked off 4 2
Kickoff average (yards) 38.5 36.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 35 126
Times punted 2 2
Punt average (yards) 36.0 37.0
Punt return (yards) 4 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 4 5
Lost fumbled ball 1 2
Penalties 9 2
Yards penalized 55 10

Charlie Brown