Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tiger Passes Beat Benedictine 22-0
Bengals Take To Air When Bennie Hold Them On The Ground


There are three basic methods by which a football team can move the pigskin and ultimately score. You either go over, around or through an opponent.

The first and last methods were very much in evidence at Tiger stadium Friday night. The Massillon Tigers chose the air route. The Cleveland Benedictine Bengals decided on the
pile-driving variation.

The result was another one of those intense gridiron battles that have become commonplace for the Washington high eleven during the latter half of this season.

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The Tigers shut out Benedictine 22-0 to ring down the curtain on an undefeated home season; stretch their winning streak to seven and make their 1963 record 8-1 thus far. The victory also gave the Orange and Black revenge for a 27-14 loss to Benedictine here last year and completed their slate of vengeance.

The stage is now set for what should be a terrific battle in the annual season-ender with Canton McKinley at Fawcett stadium in Canton one week from today.
* * *
THE TIGERS, held to a mere 100 net yards on the ground – one of their lowest totals of the season – struck through the air for two of their touchdowns and two conversions. They completed eight of 14 passes for 205 yards and a total of 305.

Benedictine out rushed Massillon. The Bennies got 156 net yards on the ground and completed five of 13 passes for 48 yards and a 204 total.

First downs were in WHS’ favor 13-11. However, Benedictine got nine rushing to the Tigers’ five. Massillon got seven passing to the Bengals’ two and added one via the penalty route.

Benedictine used a good blitz and fine line pursuit to stall the Tigers’ ground attack. For the second straight week Bill Blunt was denied a touchdown because of a penalty. He also lost the ball to Benedictine twice by fumbles.

But as his coach, Leo Strang said, “Everybody’s entitled to a bad night.”

Meanwhile Benedictine used a quartet of backs, seniors Bob Zelina and John Sanders and juniors Greg Betts and Greg Marn to pound relentlessly at the Orange and Black line, especially the left side, using up the clock in the process.
* * *
WHILE the Massillon defense could not keep Benedictine bottled up in its own territory, the Tigers stopped five forays into their territory when the going got the roughest.

To hand a powerful team like Benedictine its first shutout of the season is quite a feat.

The Bennies are 5-2-1 overall and hadn’t been shut out since St. Ignatius turned the trick 6-0 in the Cleveland title game last November.

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There was no scoring until the second quarter was about over. With less than a minute left, the Tigers uncorked for the “long bomb” on first down from their 23-yard line after a Benedictine punt.

Quarterback Ron Swartz faked a handoff to fullback Jim Lawrence who in turn faked beautifully into the line. Swartz then let fly with all his might behind beautiful protection.

Long side end Will Perry, running with everything he had, out-distanced the Bennies’ secondary, grabbed the ball over his shoulder on the Benedictine 40 and raced the rest of the way. The score came with 37 seconds left.

Blunt added the conversion off the right side.
* * *
BENEDICTINE had had the ball for most of the first half. They didn’t do anything on their first series of the night. However, on Massillon’s first play, Swartz’s handoff never got to Lawrence, while Sanders, who recovered two Tiger fumbles during the night, hopped on the ball at the Tigers’ 44.

The clock showed 10 minutes, three seconds left in the first quarter. Four minutes, 33 seconds and 11 plays later the WHS eleven finally got the pigskin back after end Butch Hose and cornerback Tom Gatsios had thrown Sanders for a 10-yard loss to the Tigers’ 39.

One play earlier Zelina had scored up the middle from the 17. But the Bennies were in motion and lost the TD.

After a futile series, safety Floyd Pierce intercepted a Frank Fink pass on the Massillon five and ran it back to the Massillon 29. With one minute, 50 seconds remaining in the initial stanza, the Tigers displayed some ball control of their own.

They held on until the 7:03 mark of the second period, an interval of eight minutes, 53 seconds. They ran 11 plays during that time, including Blunt’s only long romp of the night, around right end from the Massillon 47 to the Benedictine 19, a distance of 34 yards.

The Orange and Black ultimately scored on second down from the one but was in motion. Massillon then lost the ball on downs on the five.
* * *
BENEDICTINE ate up another 3y minutes with seven plays, turned the ball over to Massillon and the Tigers promptly fumbled it right back two plays later as Blunt lost control of the pigskin. Ed Mazel came up with the errant ball on his 37 but the Bennies could do nothing with the opportunity.

Then came Massillon’s first touchdown after which Benedictine managed to get the ball to the Massillon 38 as the half ended.

The Orange and Black took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched for a score in seven plays, using up five minutes, 16 seconds. Passes to Pierce and Perry, with some runs by Blunt thrown in, accounted for the drive.

Perry capped the drive by catching a 21-yard pass on third down in the center again. This time Blunt did the faking to catch the Bennies off guard. Swartz passed to Perry in the center for the third time for the conversion.

After the kickoff Benedictine reeled off eight plays on a 34-yard drive from the Bengals’ 34 to the Massillon 33 following a 19-yard runback by Sanders. The clock ticked off 3‚ minutes this time.
* * *
IN THE FOURTH quarter the Tigers stopped Bennie drives which took the Clevelanders to the Massillon 46 and 23. The latter march started on the Massillon 44 after Blunt had fumbled and Sanders had recovered again.

This time Benedictine took to the air with a little more than five minutes left, hoping to avert a shutout.

Penalties played an important part in the remainder of the game. After the second Benedictine offensive had failed, Massillon picked up a 15-yard face mask walk-off and a pass interference call on another ‘long bomb” to Perry down the middle, putting the ball on the Bennies’ 14.

After an incomplete pass to Pierce, Blunt raced around the left side on the “Statue of Liberty” for a score. But the Tigers were called for clipping.

Fink intercepted a Massillon pass on the 10 on the next play. He was grabbed by the face mask when tackled and the 15-yarder put the ball on the 28.

A pass was incomplete on first down. Then Pierce intercepted his second aerial of the
night – this one on the Benedictine 40 – and raced to the 20.
* * *
SWARTZ missed hitting Perry. On second down he found Pierce in the end zone but Duke couldn’t hold on as he was interfered with. The Tigers got the ball on the one, first down.

Terry Getz bowled over with 32 seconds remaining. Getz’ pass to Pierce for the conversion was incomplete.

Sanders ran the kickoff back 23 yards to his 47. Benedictine got to the Massillon 20 as time ran out.

After the game Strang said, “Benedictine proved again that it is a rough, hard-nosed team. Its backs are the hardest running we’ve seen all year. I never thought we would hold them scoreless. They really put on the heat with those blitzes. We had hoped to hurt their halfbacks with drop-back passes but never had time to throw them. All of our passes came off play action.”

Benedictine’s Augie Bossu said, “We stopped Blunt but not the passes. Perry’s first half touchdown shook us up a little, because we had played a good half until then. We didn’t let down, however, and played a good second half.”

When asked why he had held his leading scorer, Marn, out until the third quarter, Bossu said, “He had an injury and I didn’t think he was ready. But he seems to have recovered nicely.”

Ends – Yacknow, Herzog and Braschwitz.
Tackles – Koprowski, Pozar and Petrus.
Guards – Goilesz, Mazel and Triplett.
Center – Torda.
Quarterbacks – Fink and Palagyi.
Halfbacks – Betts, Marn, Sanders, Wolski, Dienes and Novak.
Fullback – Zelina.

Ends – Perry, Pierce, Hose, Jones, McAllister and Goodnough.
Tackles – Miller, Tarle, Binge, Morgan and Lash.
Guards – Larsuel, Castile, T. Whitfield, Muhlback, Swisher, Roderick and Rivera.
Center – Scassa.
Quarterbacks – Swartz, Gatsios, Kanner and Frieg.
Halfbacks – Blunt, Eckard, Getz, Rink Schenkenberger and Marks.
Fullbacks – Lawrence.

Massillon 0 8 8 6 22

Perry 2 (77-yard and 21-yard passes from Swartz) and Getz (one-yard run).

Points after touchdown:
Blunt 2 (run); Perry 2 (pass from Swartz).

Referee – Bobby Brown (Parma).
Umpire – Brenton Kirk (New Philadelphia).
Head Linesman – Andy Chiebeck – (Louisville).
Field Judge – Hal Lebovitz (Cleveland).

Mass. Opp.
First downs, rushing 5 9
First downs, passing 7 2
First downs, penalties 1 0
Total first downs 13 11
Yards gained rushing 128 181
Yards lost rushing 28 25
Net yards gained rushing 100 156
Yards gained passing 205 48
Total yards gained 305 204
Passes attempted 14 13
Passes completed 6 5
Passes intercepted by 2 0
Times kicked off 4 1
Kickoff average (yards) 43.0 30.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 9 72
Times punted 3 5
Punt average (yards) 24.0 37.1
Punt returns (yards) 53 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 4 0
Lost fumbled ball 3 0
Penalties 2 5
Yards penalized. 20 45

Bill Blunt