Tigers Defeat Stubborn Benedictine 20-6
Bengals’ Unexpected Strength Surprises Massillon Gridders
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Someone once said, “The football bounces in strange ways.” Whoever it was had something there.
How do you explain Cleveland Benedictine losing, 40-0, last week and playing vastly better Friday night?
Massillon Coach Leo Strang had one answer after his charges had defeated the fired-up Benedictine eleven 20-6 Friday night at Tiger Stadium. “Benedictine was probably looking toward us last week. We were looking ahead to next week and Alliance. You can take 20 points off a team’s total when this happens.”
Benedictine veteran mentor, Auggie Bossu, had his explanation, “We were fighting for our life in there. We had to be up for the game and were. This is the first time in a long time that we’ve been in a contest right up to the end. I’m proud of our boys showing.”
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THERE’S ALSO a third possibility. There’s a jinx that seems to dog the Tigers. Whenever Massillon has been written up in national magazines or filmed for national presentations, they’ve had a tough time in the next game.
A television film crew from the National Broadcasting Company’s “Today” show was on hand Friday night. The films will be shown on the program Monday morning from 8 to 8:30. The crew plans to return for the traditional game with McKinley in November.
Whatever the reason was, the Tigers got their third straight win of the season and Strang and his lieutenants breathed a lot easier after the final whistle had sounded.
There were several factors in Benedictine’s fine showing. One was the play of its defensive line. Another was Quarterback Ron Boruszkowski’s running of the option play. A third was the fine pass defense thrown up by the Bengals.
Bengal defensive linemen were charging hard and low with good results so its secondary was able to play deep and had Tiger receivers well covered. Boruszkowski, playing with a stoved thumb and after having missed several days of practice in the last two weeks, ran his team well. He gained a lot of yardage around end.
The Tigers also defended well, both up front and in the deep positions, although they gave up the most yardage of their three games this season last night.
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MASSILLON gobbled up a lot of ground yardage around the middle of the line once again, but it was their lowest total to date. The Tigers led the Bengals 265-104. Washington high also was on top in the air 42-31.
Massillon Quarterback Jim Alexander completed two of four passes. Boruszkowski connected on two of seven.
It was a battle of unbalanced wing-T’s, Massillon stuck to offense to the right. Benedictine varied its attack with its offense swung both ways.
Fullback Fred Philpott was a multiple scorer again. He tallied two times. Left Half Ken Dean got his first score of the season. Quarterback Jim Alexander scored a conversion.
Benedictine’s lone score tally was by halfback Jim Kucera.
It took the Tigers nearly the whole first period to engineer their initial score. The Tigers lost the toss for the third straight week and kicked from the north goal for the third time.
Benedictine drove to the Massillon 34 on its first chance with the pigskin. Taking over on their own 39-yard line, the Bengals covered 27 yards in the next six plays and two first downs before Bob Baker intercepted a pass on the Tiger 28 to stop the drive.
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MASSILLON came back with a 72-yard trek for the first score of the game. The drive took 12 plays. The Tigers garnered four first downs in the process.
The Tigers ground out the yardage via short gains, the longest being a 16-yard effort by Ron Schenkenberger from his own 42 to the Bengal 42.
The play that brought the Tigers to pay dirt was a sweep of left end on first down from the 16 by Philpott. Alexander went down the middle for two more on the keeper. The score came with 2:37 left in the period.
The two teams battled on even terms until midway in the second stanza. The Bengals took over after a Massillon punt on the hosts 47 and went all the way for the score.
It took Benedictine seven plays. Kucera and Boruszkowski took turns running the ball around the ends or off the left side of the line. Tom Kucera took it over at 7:31, sweeping the left side. Boruszkowski failed in his effort to get two more points, and the score stood
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BOTH TEAMS had one more chance in the second period. Benedictine got stalled on the Massillon 42. The Tigers were on the verge of scoring when time ran out.
They had been put back in a big hole by a long punt by Boruszkowsi to the three. In nine plays and three first downs the Tigers had moved to the Benedictine 45. With third and 10, Alexander passed to Schenkenberger down the middle. The play carried to the Benedictine 15 but the first half had ended en route.
Massillon scored the first time it got its hands on the ball in the third period. Taking over on its own 33 after the kickoff, the Tigers moved 67 yards in nine plays with three first downs.
A big play was Brown’s sweep of right end for 19 yards from his 43 to Benedictine’s 38.
The scoring play was a 22-yard blast down the middle on second and seven with 7:05 remaining. Schenkenberger tried to sweep right end for the score but missed.
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BENEDICTINE had one more scoring opportunity at the end of the third period and beginning of the fourth. After a Massillon punt, the Bengals got rolling from their own 46. They got as far as the Massillon 34 in the next seven plays but were forced to punt after a holding penalty had set them back.
Massillon scored its final TD late in the fourth period. The Tigers forced Benedictine to punt and got the ball at mid field.
Strang’s charges reeled off nine plays in three first downs and tallied at 1:21. Dean shot through the middle from the two on second down. Philpott’s sweep was short for the conversion.
Brown had two big gainers of 10 and 13 yards during the drive, the last setting up the score.
Next week the real meat of the schedule starts. The Alliance Aviators come in for a battle of the undefeated. It’ll be a lot of hard work from now on, as the Tigers try for their third straight state championship.
Victory No. 3
Ends – Marcoguiseppe and Klaff.
Tackles – Porowski and Piazza.
Guards – Zummo, Gad and White.
Center – Bilek.
Backs – Boruszkowski, Chorba, Kucera and Zelina.
Ends – L. Ehmer, Ivan and Pierce.
Tackles – Strobel, Spees, Maglischo, Pierce and Mercer.
Guards – Clendenin, Whitfield, Poole, Migge, Radel, Relford, and J. Ehmer.
Center – Bradley.
Backs – Snively, Alexander, Philpott, Brown, Dean, Davis and Baker.
Score by quarters
Benedictine 0 6 0 0 6
Massillon 8 0 6 6 20
Touchdowns – Kucera (17-yard run).
Conversions – none.
Touchdowns – Philpott (16 and 22-yard runs).
Dean (two-yard plunge).
Conversions – Alexander.
Referee – Steve Bernardic.
Umpire – Harold Rolph.
Head Linesman – Octavio Sirgo.
Field Judge – Pete Lanagan.
First downs – rushing 15 7
First downs – passing 2 1
First downs – penalties 0 0
Total first downs 17 8
Yards gained rushing 278 131
Yards lost rushing 13 27
Net yards gained rushing 265 104
Yards gained passing 42 31
Total yards gained 307 135
Passes attempted 4 7
Passes completed 2 2
Passes intercepted by 1 0
Times kicked off 4 2
Kickoff average (yards) 26.2 35.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 49 26.0
Times punted 3 5
Punt average (yards) 27.3 39.2
Punt return (yards) 11 3
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 1
Lost fumbled ball 0 0
Penalties 4 6
Yards penalized 40 70