Tigers Defeat Akron East 42-16
Outgained By Orientals, Bengals Capitalize on Fumble, Interceptions
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
The Massillon Tigers are one up on Christopher Columbus. He never had the chance to meet any Orientals on his historic voyage 470 years ago. He discovered America on Oct. 12 instead.
However, the Washington high school football team not only met, but conquered a band of Orientals – Akron East high school – Friday night at Tiger stadium. The score was 42-16.
The win enabled the Bengals to even their season’s record at three wins and three losses. East lost its second game in five outings.
Although the statistics were in East’s favor 134 yards to 114 rushing and 120 yards to 114 passing, the alert Tiger defense took the ball away three times on pass-interceptions and once on a fumble, each break proving to be a key one. Two of the interceptions and the fumble recovery set up Massillon touchdowns. The other interception prevented an enemy score.
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TWO OF MASSILLON’S interceptions came in the second quarter. The first one, by junior left Tackle Tom Miller, was picked by East Coach Dom Patella as the turning point. “We were only one touchdown away then,” said the dejected mentor, “It looked lie we were on our way.”
A jubilant Massillon Coach Leo Strang felt that the pass interceptions and fumble recovery were “key situations and gave us a sorely needed boost.” He added, “The kids have more confidence now. This victory really helped us.”
Strang explained the reason for East’s superiority in the yard department. “They gained most of that yardage in the second half when we had a lot of reserves in. We were trying to keep the key boys out part of the time to rest them and to make sure no one else was injured.” He added, “Some of our reserves who started will be playing reserve ball against Alliance tomorrow, which was a factor also.”
Patella was happy with his charges’ second half play. “That was more typical East football,” he said. “We were scared during the first half.”
Strang commented on the play of sophomore Fullback Jim Lawrence. The skipper felt that Lawrence had his best running night of the season. Strang was also happy with the play of juniors Tom Roderick and Ken Swisher at the line-backing spots, in the first half. The combination was broken up in the second half when Strang started going to his bench. Swisher subbed for injured Ron Davis.
Senior Tailback John Kanney looked good again for the second week in a row, scoring three touchdowns, all in the first half. Wingback Bill Blunt caught some very important passes.
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IRONICALLY though, the Bengals might have had a couple of other scores if pass receivers had been able to hold on to aerials when they were in the open. The Orientals had the same trouble. Massillon completed only six of 15 passes and East five of 19. Jitters played a big part in this department on both sides.
Massillon scored the second time it got its hands on the ball. The Tigers’ safety man, Terry Getz, ran a punt back from his 45-yard line to the East 47. The Orange and Black had a score eight plays and two first downs later.
With Kanny and Lawrence taking turns running through opposite sides of the line the Tigers moved the ball well. Lawrence had a big 18-yard run which set the TD up by putting the ball on the four.
Kanney ultimately went over, inside long side end with 5:14 left in the first period. Swartz didn’t get into the end zone for the conversion, however.
Three plays after the ensuing kickoff East fumbled, and Roderick hopped on the errant pigskin at the Orientals’ 15. Lawrence went off tackle to the nine and then the seven.
Kanney scored again at 2:50. Swartz passed to Blunt for the conversion.
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EAST CAME RIGHT back to score on a 76-yard drive on its next series. The drive included eight plays and three first downs. Also thrown in were a 41-yard pass play from senior Quarterback Bill Shuman to Junior Fullback Chester Millirons, an 18-yard end run by senior halfback Ralph Sanders and a 12-yard end run by senior Halfback Ted Becton.
Then the Sanders- Millirons duo teamed up for what was to be the first of two eight-point maneuvers. Sanders scored the touchdown around left end at 11:15 of the second stanza. Millirons skirted right end on a pitchout for the conversion.
The Bengals came back with three scores in less than three minutes near the end of the period. Miller came up with his interception on the Akron 42. Then the Orange and Black ground out the yardage with Lawrence and Kanney handling the running.
Nine plays and three first downs after the interception Kanney scored his third six-pointer of the night from six yards out off left guard at 2:30. Blunt tried to skirt left end on a pitchout but missed the conversion.
On the first play following the kickoff, Shuman tried a pass to Saunders. It tipped off his hands and into the arms of Getz. The little junior raced down the east sideline from the 25 to the two.
He was given the honor of scoring the TD, which he did on the first play via the wedge. Swartz passed to Blunt for the PAT’s.
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WITH TIME running out in the half, East missed on a fourth down pass play with 12 yards to go on its 24. The Tigers capitalized on the opportunity to score in three plays at 0:38. Swartz tossed down the center to Blunt on the 15 and “The Rabbit” scored with the aid of a big block by junior short side End Ron Alexander, who started his first game. Lawrence wedged in the conversion for 36-8 score.
Alexander was hurt on the touchdown play. He received a bruised back and left the field for the night.
The only scoring in the second half came in the third canto. The Orange and Black moved 70 yards after a punt for their final score at 4:36. It took them nine plays and two first downs to tally.
Blunt had a big “Statue of Liberty” play after a holding penalty that put WHS back on its own 37, second and 26. He gained 17 yards to the Akron 46.
Then Swartz handed the ball to Kanney as he went into the line, pulled the pigskin back and let fly to Lawrence who gathered the ball in one the 43 and scampered down the west sideline to score. Paisley’s attempted kick for the conversion was no good.
Immediately thereafter East scored again. Taking the kickoff, the Orientals moved from their 22 for the score in eight plays and four first downs at 0:29.
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EAST GOT its passing game going as Shuman threw to 6-6 junior End Huston Breedlove for 27 yards and 21 yards. Senior Halfback Earl Jackson ran for 14 yards through the center to help out.
Sanders went around left end from the six for the score. Millirons went off tackle for the conversion.
The Orientals’ last effort came with about 2:50 left in the game. They took over on their 44 after a punt and moved to the Tiger seven in eight plays with three first downs. Again passes to Breedlove, covering 14 and 18 yards, helped get the ball deep into Massillon territory.
With first down on the seven, Shuman threw two passes to Breedlove and one to Becton, with no results. The first one to Breedlove was incomplete in the end zone. The next was incomplete in the flat. The last was intercepted by Roderick in the end zone.
Massillon had one drive going in the last quarter only to run afoul of a penalty and two fumbles, the last of which was recovered by East on the WHS 40.
The Tigers will now play two straight games on the road. Next week they will journey to Mansfield, the following week to Warren, returning home Nov. 2 against Cleveland Benedictine.
MASSILLON – 42
Ends – Jones, R. Alexander, McAllister, Franklin, Hose and Goodnough.
Tackles – Clendening, Profant, Mercer, Fabianich, Miller, Frank, Morgan and Tarle.
Guards – Castile, Geckler, McDew, Roderick, Swisher, Paflas, Mathias and Rivera.
Centers – Bradley, Paisley and Scassa.
Backs – Swartz, Kanney, Lawrence, Eckard, Blunt, Getz, Sullivan, Toles, Hewitt, Thomas, Pope and Rink.
East 0 8 8 0 16
Massillon 14 22 8 0 42
Massillon – Kanney (three, seven and six-yard runs); Getz (one-yard run); Blunt (24-yard pass from Swartz); Lawrence (46-yard pass from Swarts.
East – Sanders (three and six-yard runs).
Massillon – Blunt 2 (passes from Swartz) and) Lawrence (run).
East – Millirons 2 (runs).
Referee – Jack McLain (Columbus).
Umpire – Tom Bender (Fostoria).
Head Linesman – Don Elsass (Columbus)
Field Judge – Andy Chiebeck (Louisville)
First downs – rushing 8 8
First downs – passing 6 4
First downs – penalties 0 0
Total first downs 14 12
Yards gained rushing 163 148
Yards lost rushing 34 14
Net yards gained rushing 129 134
Yards gained passing 114 120
Total yards gained 243 254
Passes attempted 15 19
Passes completed 6 5
Passes intercepted by 3 0
Times kicked off 7 3
Kickoff average (yards) 55.7 45.6
Kickoff returns (yards) 44 110
Times punted 3 4
Punt average (yards) 35.3 24.2
Punt returns (yards) 23 4
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 3 2
Lost fumbled ball 1 1
Penalties 3 4
Yards penalized 22 23