Massillon Rolls Over Alliance 26-8

Tiger Ground Game Pulverizes Aviators

By STEVE HAPANOWICZ

The Massillon Tiger ground game geared into high Friday night to crush the Alliance Aviators 26-8 before an estimated 12,000 fans at Hartshorn field in Alliance. It was the worst beating the Tigers have given Alliance on its home field since 1950 when Massillon won 29-7.

With halfbacks Bob Hewitt and Ed Herring darting and fullback Jim Lawrence battering through the Alliance line, the Tigers rolled up 271 yards and three touchdowns on the ground against Mel Knowlton’s game but outmuscled squad.

However, it was the Massillon air arm, which goes into action about as often as the Slobovian air force in an Al Capp comic strip, that came up with the key play of the game.

Trailing 8-6 in the second quarter with a 4th and 12 on the Alliance 17, quarterback Steve Kanner flipped a 14-yard pass to end Rick Paige. The lanky Paige gathered the ball in on the three and skip-stepped into the end zone for the score that put the Tigers ahead to stay. Jim Lawrence plowed over for the extra points making the score 14-8.

Massillon Coach Earle Bruce thought the pass, the first the Tigers tried last night, was the key play of the game. Knowlton, when asked if he felt the same, said, “It didn’t help things.”

THE MASSILLON defense, kept loose while looking for Alliance passes and sweeps, wasn’t as sharp as in previous games. But it did provide the Tigers with their first scoring opportunity early in the first quarter.

Alliance took the kick off to its own 38. Two tries at the Massillon line yielded no gain and with 3rd and 8 Bruce Robb, the dandy Alliance quarterback found his favorite target, end Jeff Zumbar, with a pass about the 30. However, linebacker and co-captain John Muhlbach took the ball from Zumbar’s hands and returned it to the Tiger 37.

Bob Hewitt, playing his best game to date, picked up 21 yards on a burst through the middle to the Alliance 16. Herring picked up 2 and Hewitt again scrambled through the Alliance line for 9 yards. He picked up another yard before Lawrence gunned over for the score from the 4. The Tigers had 6 points on the scoreboard 3:36 into the game. A run by Hewitt failed to net the extra points.

Alliance moved from its own 44 to the Massillon 35 with the aid of a 17-yard pass from Robb to zumbar before the drive ran out of downs. A 15-yard personal foul penalty and a 5-yard offside penalty stalled a Massillon drive and forced the Tigers to punt for the first and only time.

Alliance took the ball on its own 32 and started an 11-play, 88-yard touchdown drive
high-lighted by 30-yard pass from Robb to end Dave Wolpert and 28-yard run by Robb who took off when he couldn’t find an open receiver, getting to the Tiger 25. Halfback Gary Rasile picked up 13 to the 14-yard line and the Aviators wound up on the 13 at the quarter.

TWO PLAYS later Alliance was at the Tiger 2 from where Carl Dunn swept his left end for the touchdown tying the score. The Aviators went ahead on a pass from Robb to end Tom Offenbecher that went through the outstretched hands of Tiger safetyman Nick Pribich.

The Tiger ground game came into play as Massillon crunched out 43 yards to 9, with Hewitt getting 19 yards, Herring 22 and Lawrence 12. With 3 and 3 on the Alliance 9, Massillon was penalized 15-yards for holding, moving the ball to the 21 from the spot of the foul at the 6. Herring picked up 4, which left 4th and 17 and brought up the key Kanner to Paige touchdown pass and the lead again.

The Tigers took the second half kickoff and went 66-yards in 12 plays with Ed Herring’s 35-yard run to Alliance 19 high lighting the march. Paul Shanor, Hewitt and Lawrence moved the ball to the 7, Herring picked up 23 yards in 2 carries to the 3 from where Hewitt scooted over for the touchdown with 5:28 remaining.

Alliance moved from its own 28 to the 45 with the aid of a 22-yard pass from Robb to Dunn before being forced to punt. Robb punted to Dave Sheegog on the 15 and the junior quarterback returned it to the 27 from where the Tigers went 73 yards in 11 plays.
Back-to-back runs of 16 and 20 yards by Lawrence and Herring, respectively, put the ball on the 14 at the quarter. Four runs put the ball on the 1, but Massillon was penalized to the 6 for being offside. Herring moved the ball to the 2 from where Hewitt scored through the middle for the final tally of the game.

Alliance came back with 5 first downs in 6 plays to move from its own 19 to the Massillon 12, but the Tiger defense took over, held two line smashes to no gain, gave up 6 to the 6 and then smeared Robb for a 9-yard loss on the 15.

The Tigers moved to the 32 where a Sheegog pass was intercepted. With 59 seconds left, Alliance tried to pass, but it was incomplete. Robb ran the ball to the 35, going out of bounds to stop the clock. Robb tried to run out of bounds again and did but was hit. This was a costly attempt for Alliance. Robb was hurt on the play and may be lost to the Aviators for a good while because of a damaged knee.

With 17 seconds left, the Aviators never got off another play. The Aviators may also lose first- string guard Mike Cindia with knee trouble. He was hit on a vicious block by Dave Whitfield on a kickoff play. Both boys were to be x-rayed today. Also out indefinitely with cracked ribs is end Jeff Zumbar.

Mel knowlton credited his team with fighting all the way. “We just weren’t big enough. Massillon’s going to be tough for anyone to beat,” said the veteran Alliance coach. “They’re very strong physically. They hit quick and are experienced.”
COACH EARLE BRUCE was pleased with the Tiger backfield. “They must have wanted to be back of the week,” he said, referring to last week’s game against Mansfield when no back was selected for the weekly honors because of 5 fumbles. Informed the Tigers hadn’t fumbled at all against the Aviators, Bruce grinned a happy “Wonderful.”

And that sums up the victory.

MASSILLON – 26
Ends – Franklin, Garcia, Paige, Goodnough, Williams, Gilmore, Hoffman.
Tackles – Morgan, Binge.
Guards – T. Whitfield, Larsuel, D. Whitfield.
Centers – Muhlbach, Biddle, Rambaud.
Backs – Kanner, Sheegog, Hewitt, Herring, Lawrence, Manson, Pribich,
Shanor, Schaar, Conti, Lemon, Marks.

ALLIANCE – 8
Ends – Zumbar, Wolpert, Offenbecher, Lloyd, Ross, Jenkins.
Tackles – Beall, Admonious, Hahlen.
Guards – Candusso, Lyons, Irwin, Cindia, Ramsayer.
Centers – Allen, Garns.
Backs – Robb, Rasile, Cundiff, Dunn, Codrea, Haskins, Bossert,
Penturf, Ross, Wright, Wood, Lear.

MASSILLON………… 6 8 6 6 – 26
ALLIANCE ………….. 0 8 0 0 – 8

Scoring – Massillon: Touchdowns – Lawrence (run, 4 yards);
Paige (pass from Kanner, 17 yards);
Hewitt 2 (runs, 3 and 2 yards).
Extra Points – Lawrence 2 (run).

Alliance – Touchdowns – Dunn (run, 2 yards).
Extra Points – Offenbecher 2 (pass from Robb).

Officials:
Nick Fracella (Akron), referee.
C.W. Rupp (Cuyahoga Falls), umpire.
Tony Grant (Loudonville), field judge.
John Holzbach (Youngstown), head linesman.

Statistics
M A
First downs—rushing 15 6
First downs—passing 2 8
First downs—penalties 0 0
Total first downs 17 12
Yards gained rushing 272 129
Yards lost rushing 1 23
Net yards gained rushing 271 106
Net yards gained passing 52 116
Total yards gained 323 222
Passes attempted 5 12
Passes completed 2 6
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 0 0
Times kicked off 5 2
Kickoff average (yards) 43.6 38.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 24 85
Times punted 1 1
Punt average (yards) 36 31
Punt returns (yards) 14 4
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 1
Lost fumbled ball 0 1
Penalties 4 1
Yards penalized 40 5
Touchdowns rushing 3 1
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Total number of plays 57 44

John Mulbach