Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers Beat Stubborn Warren 22-8
Visiting Panthers Put Up Great Fight Before 13, 861 Crowd


When two members of the jungle feline family want the same thing badly enough, they become highly aroused and engage in a ferocious battle. And that’s what happened at Tiger stadium Friday on homecoming night.

The Massillon Tigers and Warren Harding Black Panthers both wanted a victory in the worst way. So they bared claws and fangs and staged a good old-fashioned donnybrook with the Washington high eleven coming out on top 22-8 before 13,861 fans.

The series between Massillon and Warren since Coach Leo Strang took over the Tigers’ reins in 1958 is now even at 3-3. Both teams have won only at home.

The Orange and Black got its sixth victory in a row and seventh in eight games. Warren stands 4-3.

Program Cover

This was also Massillon’s second straight in the new All-American High School Football league. This was Warren’s first circuit outing.
* * *
TWO THINGS prevented the Tigers from getting a higher score. They had three scoring drives go awry because of a combination of red flags and their own mistakes. The WHS team was unable to get the ball often enough because of Warren’s tough possession game.

The Bengals did move the ball well when they had it.

Strang put it this way, “The kind of team like Warren is rough on you. They three-four and five-yard you to death. And they took so long between plays. Penalties and mistakes stopped us on three good scoring chances. They played a good game and hit us on a mediocre one.”

The guy who did most of the killing was a 5-7, 178-pound senior fullback Sam Pagano. Unofficially he gained 68 yards in 23 attempts – almost three yards per try. He also got Warren’s only touchdown.

Massillon’s senior tailback Bill Blunt carried nine times for 41 yards or about five yards per trip. He scored one conversion. His yardage was all up the center. He came close to going all the way several times. As Strang said, “Warren’s defense was stacked to prevent Blunt running the ends.” The Panthers played wide repeatedly.
* * *
BEN WILSON, head man at Warren, said, “We played our best game tonight. The boys gave it a good fight. I’m proud of them. Massillon has a fine team. Its speed and reaction was too much for us.”

When asked if he planned to play possession ball to keep the score down, Wilson’s answer was a definite, yes. He added, “We had to. We have power this year and lack experience.”

The statistics indicate the closeness of the game. Massillon had 15 first downs, Warren
13 – the difference being two by penalties for the Bengals. Massillon had 149 net yards rushing, Warren 92. The Panthers completed seven of 16 passes for 135 yards, the Tigers eight for 13 for 121 yards. Total yardage for the Orange and Black was 270, for Warren 227. The Trumbull county team lost 16 yards rushing to WHS’ nine.

The Tigers’ initial score came when Blunt ran back a first quarter punt 10 yards to the Warren 47. Six plays and two first downs later fullback Bob Hewitt raced over through the short side of center from the 18-yard line with 1:41 remaining. Blunt converted over right tackle after running four of the plays in the drive.
* * *
A PASS from quarterback Ron Swartz to wingback Grady Eckard, from the 26 to the
16-yard line for a first down set up the touchdown.

Warren got the ensuing kickoff with 1:31 seconds left in the period and held onto it until its score with 5:09 remaining in the second quarter, a span of six minutes and 40 seconds. Chuck Williams ran the ball from the 13 to the 31, a distance of 18 yards and from there it was practically all Pagano, hitting the middle.

The drive took 17 plays with four first downs. Pagano carried on 10 of the plays and went over through the center from the three on fourth down. A face guard penalty had given the Panthers the ball on the three two plays earlier. Chuck Williams converted over right tackle.

The Tigers’ tie-breaking score was started by Bobby Hewitt’s 17-yard runback of Warren’s purposely short kickoff to keep the ball out of Blunt’s hands. Hewitt returned from the Massillon 40 to the Warren 43.

Then with the junior fullback carrying on four of the next five plays, Massillon had manufactured a second down on the 19. Swartz hit long side end Will Perry over the middle on the next play for the second score at 2:18. Hewitt ran the conversion through the middle to put the Tigers back in a lead which they never relinquished.
* * *
THE FINAL score came after a Warren punt in the third canto. The Tigers drove 52 yards in nine plays with two first downs.

Eckard made a sensational diving catch of a third down, eight-yard pass by Swartz in the right corner of the south end zone at 4:02 for the touchdown. He just managed to grab the pigskin inbounds at the last minute. Blunt missed the conversion on a run.

A motion penalty had set the Tigers back to the eight on the play before. Another motion penalty killed a 78-yard drive, highlighted by Frank Scassa’s recovery of a punt fumble on the 34, in the last period. Quarterback Tom Gatsios ran from the Warren 18 to the two on a fine rollout. But the Tigers got set back to the 23 and couldn’t make a first down.

A pass interception by halfback Charles Rounds knocked off a 52-yard Massillon drive at the 10 in the third stanza. A fumble on the 15 kayoed still another invasion in the first period – this one of 51 yards. End Chuck Miller recovered the ball for Warren on this one.

The only period in which Massillon failed to score was the fourth. Warren had the ball for five minutes and 20 seconds, moving from its 17 to the Massillon 17, a distance of 66 yards. The drive started at 7:20 and ended at 1:52.

The Tigers came close to scoring when a 41-yard pass was just out of the hands of short side end Bob McAllister in the closing minutes. A motion penalty on this play was refused by Warren.

Ends – Johnson and Miller.
Tackles – Florea, Fender and Hlaudy.
Guards – Johnson, Tabacca and hood.
Center – Shively.
Quarterbacks – Stredney and Brewster.
Halfbacks – Williams, Grisham, Owends and Rounds.
Fullbacks – Pagano and Howard.

Ends – Pierce, Perry, Hose, Jones, McAllister and Goodnough.
Tackles – Lash, Miller, Tarle, Binge and Morgan.
Centers – Scassa and Muhlback.
Quarterbacks – Swartz, Getz and Kanner.
Halfbacks – Blunt, Eckard, Getz, Schenkenberger and Rink.
Fullbacks – Hewitt and Lawrence.

Warren 0 8 0 0 8
Massillon 8 8 6 0 22

Massillon – Hewitt (17-yard run); Perry (19-yard pass from Swartz); Eckard (eight-yard pass from Swartz).

Warren – Pagano (three-yard run).

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Blunt 2 (run); Hewitt 2 (run).
Warren – Williams 2 (run).

Referee – Bud Shopbell (Canton).
Umpire – Edmund Corsi (Cleveland Heights).
Head Linesman – Pete Lanigan (Columbus).
Field Judge – Steve Bernardic (Cleveland).

Massillon Opp.
First downs, rushing 6 6
First downs, passing 7 7
First downs, penalties 2 0
Total first downs 15 13
Yards gained rushing 158 108
Yards lost rushing 9 16
Net yards gained rushing 149 92
Yards gained passing 121 135
Total yards gained 270 227
Passes attempted 13 16
Passes completed 8 7
Passes intercepted by 0 1
Times kicked off 4 2
Kickoff average (yards) 47.0 34.5
Kickoff returns (yards) 39 19
Times punted 1 4
Punt average (yards) 31.0 39.7
Punt returns (yards) 34 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 2 4
Lost fumbled ball 2 2
Penalties 3 5
Yards penalized. 13 45

Bill Blunt