Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers Crushed 46-0 By Superb Alliance
Bengals Suffer Worst Defeat In 31 Years As Aviators Dazzle Fans


The stony post-game silence in the Massillon Tigers’ dressing room Friday night was a reminder of the awful nightmare that had occurred on the Hartshorn stadium turf the past 48 minutes before 9,344 dripping fans.

The Washington high school football team had received its worst beating in 31 years. Alliance high school had pounded the Bengals 46-0 on its home field.

Not since Steubenville had shellacked WHS 68-0 in 1931 had the Tigers absorbed a worse beating. Dayton Steele beat the Orange and Black by an identical score in 1921. A 59-0 loss to Barberton in 1912 made Friday’s defeat the third worst in the Bengals history.

Program Cover

It was Leo Strang’s worst setback in 13 seasons of coaching.
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NOT SINCE 1932 when one of Paul Brown’s teams, quarterbacked by Alliance Coach Mel Knowlton, was beaten 30-6 by the Aviators and in 1921 when Dave Stewart was shut out 25-0, had Alliance beaten the Tigers so badly. The last whitewash by Alliance was over Chuck Mather 14-0 in 1948. The last defeat by the Aviators was 9-7 in 1954 over Tom Harp, both losses administered by Knowlton.

The Orange and Black’s season record now stands at 2-2. The last time a Massillon team lost two games in a season was when Lee Tressel was coach in 1956. The last shutout was 6-0 by Warren in 1958, Strang’s first year.

The faces of the Bengal coaches and players were grim after Friday’s game, grim with the determination to prove to the fans of Massillon that the Tigers will come back, that the old Tiger spirit is still there.

With the loss went any hope the Bengals’ might have had of going on to win their fourth straight state championship. But the victory could be the incentive to spur Alliance on to its first since 1958.
* * *
HOW DO YOU explain a night like this? What happened? Both Strang and Knowlton said it was a game when everything went right for Alliance and all wrong for Massillon. As both coaches said, Massillon would start its defense one way, and Alliance would be going the other.

To say that things went wrong for WHS is a gross understatement. There was almost no blocking, no tackling. Pass defenders couldn’t stay with receivers. The latter ailment can be partially blamed on the rainy weather which turned the field into a muddy mess. With the Tigers playing all men close to the line in order to try to stop Alliance sweeps early, Bengal defenders were unable to get their footing well enough to drop back quickly.

On the other hand, the Aviators came through with a terrific line job. Alliance Linemen continually got the jump on the Tigers, both offensively and defensively. As a result Aviator backs found plenty of holes while Tiger runners were hit before they got to the line.

Knowlton got tremendous running from Chet Bryant, Win Young and Larry Grimes. Quarterback Doug Wade did some tremendous passing. Ends Tom Greene, Captain Tom Barany and Henry (Skip) Waters did some fine receiving.

When it was all over, Bryant had scored three touchdowns and a conversion. Grimes’ two touchdowns, Young one, Waters one and a conversion. It was the biggest victory for Knowlton in his 17 seasons at Alliance, he said.

Statistics showed that Alliance had 18 first downs. The Aviators picked up 32 net yards on the ground and 125 in the air, losing only three yards all night. Total yardage was 447.

While he was happy with his whole team’s performance, Knowlton was especially pleased with the performance of Waters, “the best player I’ve ever had,” and Guard Dave Cade, one of “the best blockers and tacklers of the night.”
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“WE WERE REALLY prepared for this one,” said Knowlton, “as well as we’ve ever been for any game since I’ve been here. This was just the reverse of last year. That one really stuck in my craw.” He added, “I got a real effort from varsity, reserves and coaches.”

When asked if he had been saving Wade for Massillon since the junior signal-caller hadn’t thrown much in Alliance’s previous three games, Knowlton replied an emphatic no. He was happy that Wade had come along well to open up the ground game for his “great
one-two attack of Bryant and Grimes.

“Knowlton cautioned the Massillon fans not to get on Strang or the players much. A game like this can happen to the best of them, and Massillon isn’t that bad,” he said.

For Strang’s part, he said, “Mel has done a heck of a job of coaching with his boys. They were the best team in the state out there tonight. We were the worst.”

Both of Massillon’s ends, Will Perry and Bob McAllister, were lost due to injuries in the first quarter. With the Bengals already crippled by other injuries and forced to use a number of younger players it hurt. “The younger players couldn’t adjust to their gaming defense,” Strang said.
* * *
PERHAPS an omen of things to come was Young almost taking the opening kickoff back 94 yards for a touchdown. He slipped on the wet turf at the Alliance 35-yard line and went down, however.

Alliance got nowhere on its first series, the only time it failed to score when given the opportunity all night, except on the final few plays of the game. The Aviators punted to Massillon.

The Orange and Black got its only good drive of the night going. In 10 plays with four first downs, the Tigers had reached the Alliance 30. Then a mix-up in the backfield cause a fumble, Waters recovered, and the Tigers never threatened again.

They had two other brief sorties into Aviator territory. One came late in the second quarter when Massillon got to its opponents’ 46-yard line. The other trip stopped at Alliance 44 in the final canto.

After Waters had recovered the first period fumble, the Aviators drove 74 yards in 14 plays with four first downs for their initial score. The Orange and Black had Alliance stopped on its 37 with a fourth down but jumped offside. The penalty gave the Aviators a first down and continued the drive.
* * *
GRIMES and Bryant picked up most of the yardage, as they did all night, first hitting one side of the line then the other, and then around end. But it was Young, the junior right halfback, who finally went over around end with 10:10 left in the first quarter. Grimes missed the conversion run.

He had a 20-yard touchdown romp called back during this drive due to an illegal motion penalty.

Alliance forced Massillon to punt again shortly after the second period had begun. Taking over on their 11-yard line the Aviators marched the distance in 10 plays with three first downs.

Grimes went around end at 4:53. He missed the conversion try. Wade passed to Waters for the conversion after a motion penalty had nullified Grimes’ run.

Grimes scored the next TD at 2:01. Massillon gambled on a fourth-and-four situation from its 42 but didn’t make it. Alliance got the ball on the 35. Two plays later Grimes went off guard from the 16 for the tally.
* * *
THE AVIATORS went 86 yards on their next drive after a Bengal punt in the middle of the third stanza. On the third play after Alliance had taken over, Bryant went off tackle for 75 yards with Waters coming over from the opposite side of the field to lead the blocking. The time was 6:21. Wade’s pass to Bryant for the conversion was incomplete.

Near the end of the period Alliance took over after another Orange and Black punt. The drive was 39 yards in nine plays and one first down. Wade tossed to Waters with the senior end making a tumbling catch near the end line at 11:53 of the last quarter. Young scored the conversion on a pitchout to the right. But Alliance was called for illegal procedure. A pass on the second try was incomplete.

Bryant had an 18-yard score called back during this drive because his mates were offside.

Seconds later Waters intercepted a Bengal pass on the Massillon 40 and raced to the 20. Bryant went off guard at 11:02 for the tally. He missed on the conversion run.

Alliance’s last score was a two-play job after another Massillon punt. On the second play after taking over on the Massillon 47, Grimes cut off tackle and back through the middle for the score at 5:11. The TD run was a 45-yarder. Bryant went off right tackle for the conversion.

Massillon had only eight first downs. The Tigers picked up 98 net yards on the ground, losing 25. They gained 31 yards via the aerial route. The total was 129.

The Tigers return home next week to face the tough Steubenville Big Red, winners of four straight contests.

Hard To Believe

Ends – McAllister, Perry, Franklin, Jones, Hose and Alexander.
Tackles – Clendening, Profant, Miller, Tarle and Fabianich.
Guards – Ehmer, McDew, Swisher, Mathias, Geckler, Castile and Morgan.
Centers – Bradley, Scassa, Rambaud and Paisley.
Backs – Gatsios, Swartz, Rink, Kanney, Davis, Blunt,
Eckard, Getz, Thomas and Lawrence.

Ends – Bareny, Greene and Waters.
Tackles – Woods, Fetters and G. Freraccio.
Guards – Cade, Hairston, M. Freraccio and Allen.
Centers – Felice, Dicken and Shilling.
Backs – Wade, Grimes, Bryant, Young, Holmes and Blaer.

Massillon 0 0 0 0 0
Alliance 6 14 6 20 46

Alliance – Grimes 3 (5, 16 and 46-yard runs); Bryant 2 (75 and 20-yard runs); Young 1 (10-yard run) and Waters 1 (27-yard pass from Wade).

Alliance – Waters 1 (pass from Wade) and Bryant 1 (run).

Referee – Fritz Graf (Akron).
Umpire – John Holzbach (Youngstown).
Head Linesman – Bill Holwarth (Louisville).
Field Judge – Carl Spessard (Cuyahoga Falls).

Mass. Opp.
First downs – rushing 5 12
First downs – passing 2 4
First downs – penalties 1 2
Total first downs 8 18
Yards gained rushing 123 325
Yards lost rushing 25 3
Net yards gained rushing 96 332
Yards gained passing 31 125
Total yards gained 129 447
Passes attempted 12 7
Passes completed 4 4
Passes intercepted by 0 1
Times kicked off 1 8
Kickoff average (yards) 55.0 47.1
Kickoff returns (yards) 105 30
Times punted 4 1
Punt average (yards) 12.6 13
Punt returns (yards) 0 29
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 2 1
Lost fumbled ball 2 0
Penalties 2 8
Yards penalized 20 50

Ben Bradley