Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers Roll Over Akron South 52-6
Bengals Play Versatile Football In Chalking Up First Win Of Season


They made the disbelievers believe!

Many of the fans who jammed the Tiger Booster club meeting last Monday came to unleash a blast at the Washington high school football team and Coach Leo Strang. This Monday they’ll be there to heap praise on Leo and his Bengals.

For the Tigers put on an awesome display of football Friday night at Tiger stadium. They scored by just about every means possible and displayed fine defensive play, too, while clobbering a hapless Akron South eleven 52-6 before 9,570 fans.

Until the second half when Strang had his second string in, the Cavaliers failed to get out of their own territory, getting no further than the 38-yard line. South was held to 22 yards rushing, 11 passing and one first down via an offside penalty.

Meanwhile in the first half the Orange and Black rolled up 236 yards on the ground, 88 in the air and 10 first downs. They had a 27-0 lead.

When the final report was in, the Tigers had rolled up 513 total yards – 331 on the ground and 182 in the air – and 21 first downs. South’s figures were 144 total yardage – 139 rushing and five passing – and nine first downs.
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HOWEVER, lest Massillon fans get too carried away with their team’s first victory, it must be said that South was not a good team. There are tougher ones on the list for the next nine games.

As Strang said, “When South gets organized; it will be a good team. I liked the looks of that sophomore halfback Taylor (Sterling).” Taylor gave the Orange and Black reserves fits running kicks back and sweeping the ends in the second half. He had a 22-yard and a 38-yard runback.

Since three of the Tigers’ eight six-pointers were scored via the airwaves and about a third of their yardage picked up that way, Strang was asked if he would continue throwing. “If the defense gives us the opportunity to do so, we will,” he said.

The Tigers scored the first time they got their hands on the ball. Junior Tailback Tom Pope ran the opening kickoff back 17 yards. The Bengals moved from the 27 to score in 10 plays and three first downs.
The fast, shifty back, playing his first high school game – the Cavaliers, showed in a preview last week – also draw a lot of praise from his coach, Ted Osborn. “He’s got all the makings of a good one,” Osborn said.

Osborn commented on his team’s showing thusly: “I was pleased with their effort. We were ready for Massillon defensively but couldn’t handle them. We are about a month behind them offensively. We put in half of our offense just this week.”

Strang was happy about the victory in that it did his charges “a lot of good after last week’s loss.” He thought all of his work on blocking this week was time well spent since a lot of big holes were opened in the South line and downfield defenders felled.
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“I THOUGHT our three quarterbacks did a fine job, especially Ron Swartz,” Strang added. Swartz, a junior, saw more action than either senior Mike Koenig or junior Tom Gatsios. Koenig did not play much of the second half since the second-stringers were in. All three quarterbacks figured in the scoring. Koenig passing for one touchdown, Swartz for two and Gatsios running for another.

In re-capping the scoring, the play chart shows the Tigers scored eight of the 12 times they got their hands on the ball. Junior wingbacks Bill Blunt and Graydon Eckard and Senior Fullback John Kanney each scored twice and sophomore Tailback Jim Lawrence once besides Gatsios’ score.

Key plays in the series were a 26-yard run around right end by Koenig when a pass play misfired and a 21-yard run by Blunt on a counter play off an inside trap. Kanney ultimately slashed off left guard for the score with 7:51 remaining in the initial period. Wil Paisley provided the conversion.
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AFTER FORCING South to punt, Massillon took over on its 22. On the second play Kanney took off around right end on a sweep and romped 72 yards to pay dirt at 4:03, getting a key block from short side End Bob McAllister, a junior, in the process. Paisley added his conversion.

After another South punt, the Orange and Black had the ball on the Cavalier 46. The Tigers were set back 15 yards for holding, and on a second-and-20 situation from their 44, Koenig connected with Blunt for WHS’ next score. “The Rabbit” got a good block from junior long side End Mike Jones to help him reach touchdown land at 1:06. Paisley made his third PAT.

Shortly after the second quarter had started, Massillon took over on its 44 following a punt. Eight plays and four first downs later the score was 27-0. The big plays in the series were a 12-yard keeper by Swartz and nine yards off tackle by Lawrence as Strang started to clean the bench.

Lawrence made this score, through the center from the three at 8:35. Paisley missed the conversion this time.

The Bengals almost had another score before the half ended. The Orange and Black took over on a punt and carried to the South 17 on the first play as Swartz tossed to Jones for 32 yards. Three plays later from the nine, junior Fullback Terry Getz tried to throw to Jones after a pitch-out, but the pass was just knocked from his hands in the end zone. The Tigers lost the ball on downs.
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TOUCHDOWN NO. 5 came in the middle of the third stanza. The Tigers got the ball via a touchback when a South punt carried into the end zone from the Bengal 39 on the Cavaliers’ first trip out of their own territory. Four first downs and seven plays later the score came.

The big plays were runs of 16 yards each by Blunt on the counter and Statue of Liberty and Koenig’s 11-yard keeper around right end. Blunt went in on the counter with 5:34 remaining. Koenig’s pass to McAllister for the conversion was incomplete.

Then came the Cavalier’s lone score. Taylor took off on his 38-yard kickoff return. In six plays and two first downs, South moved from its 43 for the score. Taylor’s sweep of right end 27 yards was the key play. Fullback Bob Culver scored from the 13, going off right tackle at 2:17. Taylor tried to sweep again for the two extra points but failed.

The Tigers scored three six-pointers in the last canto, two in the last minute and a half. The Orange and Black started a drive after South’s TD as the third quarter was coming to an end.

Eckard started things off with a 14-yard kick return. This was their hardest drive of the night, taking 13 plays and four first downs. The important play in the series was a 34-yard pass from Swartz to Blunt.

Swartz passed to Eckard to the sixth score with 9:31 remaining on a fourth-and-four situation from the 10. Paisley’s kick was no good.

South got only one drive going in the last period – two lost fumbles stifled others. After the Cavaliers’ lone push from their nine to the Massillon 48, the Tigers took over on their 48. Swartz connected with Eckard again, with Don Alexander, junior long side end providing a nice block, and the Orange and Black had a TD on its first play. The time was 1:26. Paisley booted the conversion.

Alexander’s twin brother Ron got into the act to set up the Tigers’ last score. The junior short side end recovered a South fumble on the Cavaliers’ 17. Gatsios went in on the first play at 0:31, shaking off a couple of would-be tacklers in the attempt. Paisley missed the PAT.

The Right Way

Ends – Patterson, Griffin, Kyle, Stormer, DeRoss and Liggens.
Tackles – Beach, Johnson, Williams and McAdams.
Guards – Pearson, Leathers, Harper, Joseph, Hopkins and Williams.
Centers – Grey and Shaw.
Backs – Marsh, Ellis, Horton, Ford, Kerney, Foster, McCombs, Johnson, Tyson, Taylor and Culver.

Ends – McAllister, Perry, Franklin, Jones, R. Alexander and D. Alexander.
Tackles – Mercer, Clendening, Profant, Fabianich, Lash, Frank, Morgan,
Tarle and Miller.
Guards – Ehmer, McDew, Castile, Randles, Roderick, Swisher, Paflas,
Geckler, Mathias, and Rivera.
Centers – Bradley, Scassa and Bash.
Backs – Koenig, Kanney, Toles, Blunt, Gatsios, Swartz, Sullivan,
Thomas, Pope, Rink, Eckard, Gamble, Davis, Gets,
Lawrence and Hill.

South 0 0 6 0 6
Massillon 21 6 6 19 52

Massillon – Kanney, 2, (3 and 72-yard runs); Blunt 2, (55-yard pass from Koenig, 22-yard run); Eckard, 2 (10 and 52-yard pass from Swartz); Lawrence (3-yard run); Gatsios (17-yard run).
Akron South – Culver (13-yard run)

Massillon – Paisley 4 (kicks)

Referee – Pete Lanigan (Columbus)
Umpire – Andy Moran (Berea)
Head Linesman – Chuck Hinkle (Canton)
Field Judge – Williams Darenfight (Canton)

Mass. Opp.
First downs – rushing 16 8
First downs – passing 5 0
First downs – penalties 0 1
Total first downs 21 9
Yards gained rushing 340 154
Yards lost rushing 9 15
Net yards gained rushing 331 139
Yards gained passing 182 5
Total yards gained 513 144
Passes attempted 13 8
Passes completed 6 1
Passes intercepted by 0 0
Times kicked off 9 2
Kickoff average (yards) 49.8 43.5
Kickoff returns (yards) 30 159
Times punted 1 6
Punt average (yards) 33.0 35.8
Punt returns (yards) 7 6
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 6
Lost fumbled ball 0 2
Penalties 3 4
Yards penalized 25 20

Ben Bradley