Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers Beat Garfield 19-0 In Heavy Rain
Six Ram Fumbles Help Bengals Square Record For the Season At 5-5-


Fumbles are rarely things to be happy about. But they certainly brought smiles to the faces of Massillon football fans Friday night.

Their Tigers recovered all six of the Akron Garfield Golden Rams’ miscues at Tiger stadium and went on to a 19-0 victory over The Rubber City eleven before a rain-drenched crowd of 6,600.

The Bengals converted two of the Rams’ miscues into touchdowns, almost got another
six-pointer on a third bobble but fumbled in return, set the stage for one of the miscues which resulted in a touchdown with a fourth recovery and stopped a scoring threat with a fifth pick-up.

Four of the fumbles came in the second half when the Tigers had switched to what Coach Leo Strang called his “mud defense.” It employs a blitzing eight-man line. The Washington high school defenders hit Garfield quarterback Jack Hannig before he could hand off to cause the miscue.

Less the fans think the steady downpour was a key factor in the fumbling, it must be pointed out that the Rams fumbled only twice in the first half before Strang switched defenses.
* * *
BOTH STRANG and Garfield Coach Dan (Babe) Flossie agreed that the fumbles were the difference in the game. They also agreed that the loss of quarterback Tom Valatka, a senior, in the first quarter hampered the Garfield defense.

This was the third quarterback we had hurt this year,” Flossie said, “Hannig was in tonight for the first time since he broke an ankle in the second game.” Flossie paid the Tigers a compliment, “They played their typical hard-hitting game. We’re looking forward to meeting them in the Rubber Bowl next year.” Flossie was also unstinting in his praise of the “usual fine treatment we got from Massillon.”

Strang commented that “Flossie had done his usual fine job of coaching the Rams.” The Tigers’ skipper also pointed out, “Anything can happen on a night like this and almost did in the first half. The weather was a tremendous equalizer.”

He had a compliment for the fans. “These were the true fans who were out there tonight.”

The Bengals tried their old 1958 offense, a pro-type T spread, for the first half, but went back to the regular unbalanced wing-T after the intermission. The spread is geared for passing, and it was too wet to do that effectively, witness the completion of only two of 10 passes for 29 yards. Garfield hit on one of six for 10 yards.
* * *
THERE WAS QUITE a bit of difference in rushing yardage thanks to the Tigers’ blitz. Massillon had 196 net yards, Garfield 63. The Bengals had their troubles running, losing 40 yards while Garfield dropped 24.

All of the scoring was done in the second half, 12 points coming in the third quarter. Senior quarterback Mike Koenig scored two of the three touchdowns, going through the center from one yard out on both. Sophomore fullback Jim Lawrence went through the center from eight yards away.

The first touchdown was set up by two fumbles. On the second play after the second half kickoff, Garfield fumbled with Tiger senior Co-Captain Ben Bradley getting his second recovery of the night on the Rams’ 39. The Orange and Black ran out of gas at the Garfield 20.

Lightning struck on Garfield’s first play after taking over. Junior wingback Bill Blunt fell on the ball for the Tigers at the 17. WHS then got its first score in seven plays.

With Koenig carrying on four of the plays and the Bengals using through-the-middle football, the score came on a third down play with four minutes remaining in the quarter. Davis tried off tackle for the conversion but missed.

Two plays after the kickoff the Tigers were on their way again. Sophomore left end Wes Goodnough leaped on a Garfield fumble on the 26. Lawrence’s score came in four plays. He set up his own TD with a 19-yard run from the 27 to the eight on sweep of left end from a pitchout on third down. He scored on the next play with the same maneuver . There were 37 seconds left when Lawrence hit pay dirt. He tried the same play for the third time on the conversion but missed.
* * *
SENIOR Will Paisley’s next kickoff sailed over the head of Rams’ safetyman to the four. Halfback Jon Butash picked it up, but senior (Silky) Sullivan and sophomore Tom Whitfield brought him to earth in a hurry.

Garfield ran one play and the quarter ended. On the first play of the last canto, sophomore Dennis Morgan recovered a fumble on the five. In three plays the Orange and Black were on the one. But a fumble stopped the threat.

Garfield got nowhere on the next series. Sophomore Henry Malone went back to the one to punt, kicked the ball straight up into the air and it came down on the 23. The Tigers took over, ran one play, got set back for holding and couldn’t get any further than the 34.

The Rams’ got nowhere again on the next series. Malone dropped back to the 24, punted, Blunt grabbed the ball on his 38 and ran it back to his 47. The clock showed 6:33 remaining when the Tigers took over. Their final score came at 1:25.

Strang put junior tailback Tom Pope in for a look see and got quite an eyeful. Pope carried on five of the nine plays in the scoring thrust, picking up valuable yardage.

A 15-yard personal four penalty also helped.

Koenig went over on third-and-one. Paisley kicked the conversion. But a player for each team was thrown out for battling with their forearms, offsetting penalties resulted and Paisley was forced to repeat the kick, making it good again.
* * *
GARFIELD got three plays after the kickoff, and the game was over.

The Golden Rams threatened only twice in the contest, both times in the first half. After Massillon was unable to move the ball following the opening kickoff, Garfield took over on a punt on its 24. After 13 plays of tackle-to-tackle football, which brought four first downs, the Rams appeared to be threatening on the Tigers’ 19, fourth-and-one.

Garfield made its first down only to run afoul of a holding penalty which set the Rams back to the 33, fourth and 15 yards to go. Valatka went back to punt, was rushed hard, got a bad snap, his foot missed the ball on the 44.

This was the play on which Valatak was hurt. He was carried off the field on a stretcher.

The Tigers used nine plays with three first downs to get to Garfield’s 14. Senior tailback Ron Davis carried five times for vital yardage. Lawrence also had a 19-yarder from the Garfield 45 to the 26.

A five-yard offside penalty hindered the drive. And Paisley tried a 32-yard field goal on fourth down, but the attempt was wide to the left.

Garfield got a break on its next punt when a Massillon fumble occurred. The Rams got the ball on the Massillon 45 as Butash recovered. He was hurt on this play and forced to sit out for awhile.
* * *
THREE PLAYS later Blunt intercepted a pass on his five and returned to his 37 only to have a clip called on the runback. The penalty set Massillon back to its 11.

The Orange and Black couldn’t move the ball past the 36. Paisley went back to punt, got a low snap, ran with the ball and was tackled on his 26. But Bradley took care of this threat by recovering a fumble on the seven, four plays later.

Massillon then got its longest drive of the night going, moving 51 yards to the Garfield 37 when time ran out in the first half. The drive took 10 plays. Davis had runs of 14 and 20 yards to help the cause.

The win put the Tigers back on an even keel again for the season. Their record stands at
5-5 with one game left to play with Canton Lincoln next Saturday afternoon at the stadium.

Garfield ended the season with four wins and five losses. It starts playoff action for the Akron city title next week.

Ends – Price, Young, Wright and Davis.
Tackles – Apely, Byerly and Kaludy.
Guards – Hollendoner, Sime, Brockett, Reiter and Quackenbush.
Centers – Kura and Hamic.
Backs – Valatka, Hannig, Watson, Carruthers, Bender, Malone,
Cianciola, Adams and Djurcic.

Ends – McAllister, Jones, Goodnough, Hose and Franklin.
Tackles – Profant, Mercer, Clendening, Miller, Frank, Morgan,
Binge and Harmon.
Guards – Castile, Mathias, Geckler, Swisher, Paflas, McDew,
Rivera, Whitfield and Larsuel.
Centers – Bradley, Scassa and Paisley.
Quarterbacks – Swartz, Koenig and Kanner.
Halfbacks – Davis, Blunt, Eckard, Getz and Pope.
Fullbacks – Lawrence, Toles and Sullivan.

Massillon 0 0 12 7 19

Massillon – Koenig (two, one-yard runs) and Lawrence (eight yard run).

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Paisley 1 (kick)

Referee – Tony Pianowski (Cleveland)
Umpire – Dr. Bob Schotz (Lorain).
Head Linesman – Jim Langhurst (Willard).
Field Judge – Al Franesconi (Akron).

Mass. Akron
First downs – rushing 11 4
First downs – passing 1 1
First downs – penalties 1 0
Total first downs 13 5
Yards gained rushing 236 86
Yards lost rushing 40 24
Net yards gained rushing 196 62
Yards gained passing 29 10
Total yards gained 225 72
Passes attempted 10 6
Passes completed 2 1
Passes intercepted by 1 0
Times kicked off 4 1
Kickoff average (yards) 50.0 36.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 12 59
Times punted 1 3
Punt average (yards) 35.0 22.6
Punt returns (yards) 11 -7
Had punts blocked 0 1
Fumbles 2 6
Lost fumbled ball 1 6
Penalties 3 4
Yards penalized 25 39

Ben Bradley