Bengals Claw Mansfield For 7th Win
Blitzing Defense Limits Tygers To 84 Yards
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
The late Al Jolson had a pet phrase, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” The Massillon faithful in the group of 13,539 fans who sat in on the Tigers’ seventh game of the season Friday night at Tiger stadium found out Jolson had something there.
The contest was complete with the Tigers’ greatest defensive show of the season, some weird fumbles, side-of-the-foot punts, the Bengals behind for the first time this season, the unveiling of a toe the likes of Lou Groza and one of the oddest touchdowns in a long time.
For the fourth week in a row the Bengals stopped a here-to-fore undefeated and ranked team. This time it was Mansfield which felt the claws of the Tiger, 34-6.
It could have been an even higher score but for some breaks which didn’t go Washington high’s way. As Coach Leo Strang said, “We were bound to have a night like this one of these times.”
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ALSO HAD Massillon been able to crack its offense into high gear in the first half, the story would have been different. “Our offense was rusty and listless,” said Strang. “Our timing was off, and we bobbled the ball all over the place.”
“Part of our touble stemmed from their stunting,” the Tiger pilot continued. “They seemed to be jumping into the right spots. It took us time to adjust to this, but when we did, we broke through well.”
In commenting on his defense Strang said, “It certainly helped make our touchdowns.” The Massillon defenders set up four of the five TD’s. “Red Dogging,” or crashing linebackers the Bengals held Mansfield to 84 yards on the ground and nothing in air. The Tygers had a minus five yards rushing in the second half. Massillon intercepted two of Mansfield’s five aerials and 62 yards on the ground caused the Tygers to lose.
While this was going on Massillon rolled to 321 yards rushing and 19 passing for 340 yards on offense. Quarterback Jim Alexander wasn’t as sharp as usual, completing only two of seven passes.
Part of Alex’s trouble was in the Tyger’s rushing him consistently and covering the deep receivers well. Outstanding defenders were the “floater” or “monster,” Jim Wareham, Middle Guard, Ron Keplinger, End Wendell Bell and Safety Bill Mitchell.
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THE TIGERS rushing of passers was a sight to behold. They covered receivers well. No single man was responsible for the fine defensive showing. They all helped out. The Bengal blitz also stopped many runs before they got started.
In all fairness to Quarterback Don Cole it must be mentioned that his favorite target, End Elroy Allen, was hobbled with an injured leg. Allen, had caught nine TD passes before Friday’s game. But with the rush the Tigers had on and their coverage of receivers, it is doubtful that even had Allen been in top condition, that this would have made much difference.
Mansfield got into Massillon territory early four times during the game, twice in the first quarter and twice in the second. They were stopped at the 47 once, the 33 and the 24-yard line.
The other invasion was when speedster Henry Weaver ran the opening kickoff back for the game’s first score. Showing why he was the state 100-yard and 180-yard low hurdles champ last spring. Weaver grabbed Co-Captain Ken Ivan’s second boot (the first went out of bounds) on the Tyger 12 and cut to his left down the sideline, outdistancing Massillon defenders, who underestimated his speed, for the score with only 15 seconds gone in the game. Wareham’s kick for the conversion was no good.
Tom Henson kicked off for Mansfield, making the third such boot in such a short time, something rarely seen. But for a fumble on the return, an even odder situation would have cropped up.
Bob Baker gathered in the ball on his 15 and started up the right side. He had clear sailing for a score. However, he was bumped hard at the Massillon 48 and the ball squirted out of his hands and across the sideline.
The Tigers got their first touchdown six plays later when Alexander passed to Ivan on the down-and-out pattern from the Mansfield six at 10:06 to put the cap on a 52-yard drive.
Fullback Fred Philpott paved the way for the score with a 35-yard jaunt around left end from the 45 to the 10. A last minute shove by Don Cole, who alternated with Mitchell at safety, knocked Philpott out of bounds.
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IT LOOKED as if trouble was brewing when Co-Captain Charlie Brown picked up only five yards on the next three plays. But Alexander and Ivan teamed up for the fourth down TD pass and the score.
Junior Will Paisley booted the first of four extra points for the Tigers to put Massillon in the lead 7-6. The kick was from the 15 due to a delay penalty.
Mansfield appeared to be off to the races again. Bill Mitchell, another speedster grabbed Ivan’s kickoff on the 14 and lugged the ball to his 22.
Weaver took off around right end with a pitchout and raced 26 yards on the next play for a first down. This was his next to last big run of the night. By the second half the Massillon defense had worn him to a frazzle.
Allen punted when Mansfield was halted three plays later, and Massillon took over on its 18. A 49-yard drive in nine plays and two first downs took the Bengals to the Tyger 33. A fourth down play failed to click and Mansfield took over.
The Tygers controlled the ball for two series during which Weaver had a fine 12-yard run off tackle, and Mansfield employed the “shotgun” or spread offense to no avail. The Tygers tried this maneuver several other times but could generate nothing off of it.
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RON SCHENKENBERGER, usually very sticky fingered, suffered the first of three fumbles, two of which proved costly, when Allen punted on fourth down. Schenk bobbled on his 21 just after the second period had started, but recovered and ran to the 27.
When this series fizzled on the 42, Alex dropped back to punt, but hit the ball with the side of his foot. The pigskin went out of bounds on the Mansfield 36.
The Tygers had the ball for three more series before they failed to make a first down. Massillon ultimately took over on its 32.
Six plays and two first downs later it was TD No. 2 for the Bengals, even though they were set back 15 yards for an illegal shift along the way. They also picked up 15 via the personal foul route.
The score came at 4:20 when Schenkenberger scored on a reverse from a backs-over formation, going from short to long side. The run was 52 yards. Paisley’s boot was good, the ball sailing clear over the north end zone bleachers.
Mansfield had the ball for practically the rest of the quarter with two exceptions. The Tigers got the ball on the visitors’ 49 after a punt, but Brown fumbled on the next play. Schenk fumbled a punt on his 26. John Brooks recovered on the 29.
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COLE TRIED to pass on the next play. But the aerial was picked off and turned to the Massillon 41. An illegal shift penalty, caused by poor timing kayoed another drive as the first half ended.
The Tigers were unable to score on a 44-yard drive from their 31 to the Mansfield 25 following the second half kickoff. The drive was stopped after 10 plays and two first downs.
Massillon had two opportunities in the series that got sidetracked. Schenkenberger was all alone on a reverse on second down from the 28 when the ball popped out of his hands, the Bengals losing 10 yards in the process.
Two plays earlier Philpott went through the center on third down from the 47. He was just about in the clear when a Tyger on the ground reached a hand back over his head and just managed to trip the Bengals’ leading scorer up.
Mansfield had two series and Allen went back to punt with the ball snapped from his 26. Charlie Whitfield and Willie Poole broke through to bring him down on the 17, not giving Allen time to punt.
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MASSILLON HAD its third score six plays and a first down later when Brown shot between the outside tackle and long side end from the three with 1:38 seconds remaining in the third canto. Charlie failed to score the conversion with a run between the tackles.
Mansfield had three more plays before the period ended, the opportunities coming after the kickoff. But Weaver was on the wrong end of a bad handoff, the ball was bobbled, and Joe Snively recovered on the Tyger 43.
Massillon started another drive. But an illegal shit penalty cost them again. After driving to the 13 in 11 plays and two first downs, the Bengals failed to pause one second and suffered the consequences. Set back to the 28 on third down and needing 28 yards to score, Alex tried to hit Ivan in the end zone. But the short side end’s diving try for the catch of the overthrown pass was in vain. A fourth down run was short.
The march, which started near the end of the third stanza, carried to midway in the fourth. The Tigers’ next tally was set up by a pass interception.
Snively hauled in a second down aerial on the Tyger 45. Before he was tackled he got down to the 25. He almost got loose for a score.
On the first play sophomore Wingback Bill Blunt, playing his first game, scored on a reverse. The time was 3:21. Paisley’s boot made the score 27-6.
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BUT THE WIERDEST touchdown possibly ever scored at the stadium was still to come. Allen dropped back to punt from his two near the end of the contest. The snap was bad. Poole came charging in at Allen. The senior end’s punt went straight up into the air. As it came down, Jim Ehmer tipped it toward his cousin Larry and Ivan. After a struggle for possession between the two, Ivan finally ran the ball over from the three at 1:36.
Paisley’s kick raised the tally to 34 and sent the Dad’s night crowd home happy as the Tigers got their seventh straight win of the season.
Mansfield Coach Bill Doolittle commented on the Tigers thusly after the game. “They’ve got a tremendous team. It’s very well balanced. They’ve got good running and passing. This makes it difficult to defense them. They’ve got too many ways to hurt you. We just couldn’t contain them enough.”
Lucky 7th Win
Ends – Pratts, Allen, Beckwith, Bell and Baker.
Tackles – Russell and Shasky.
Guards – Atwater, bucher, Dunson, Henson, Potter and Winbigler.
Center – Keplinger.
Backs – Brooks, Cole, Mitchell, Phillips, Schroeder and Weaver.
Ends – Ivan, L. Ehmer, Garland and Pierce.
Tackles – Maglischo, Spees, J. Ehmer and Mercer.
Guards – Clendenin, Whitfield, Poole, Radel, Paisley and Migg.e
Centers – Strobel and Bradley.
Backs – Alexander, Schenkenberger, Brown, Philpott, Blunt, Toles, Swartz, Dean, Snively, Baker and Getz.
Score by Quarters
Mansfield 6 0 0 0 6
Massillon 7 7 6 14 34
Touchdowns – Weaver (88-yard run).
Touchdowns – Ivan (six-yard pass from Alexander);
Schenkenberger (52-yard run);
Brown (three-yard run);
Blunt (25-yard run);
Ivan (three-yard punt return).
Conversions – Paisley 4 (place kicks)
Referee – Bill Holzwarth.
Umpire – Clarence Rich.
Head Linesman – Jim Langhurst.
Field Judge – Russ Kemper.
First downs – rushing 12 6
First downs – passing 1 0
First downs – penalties 1 1
Total first downs 14 7
Yards gained rushing 330 146
Yards lost rushing 9 62
Net yards gained rushing 321 84
Yards gained passing 19 0
Total yards gained 340 84
Passes attempted 7 5
Passes completed 2 0
Passes intercepted by 2 0
Times kicked off 7 2
Kickoff average (yards) 45.0 44.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 47 129
Times punted 2 6
Punt average (yards) 26.0 27.3
Punt return (yards) 8 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 4 2
Lost fumbled ball 2 2
Penalties 5 5
Yards penalized 65 36