Alert Tigers Turn Back Warren
Fumble Recovery Halts Late Panther Drive; Massillon Wins 16-12
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
It was a couple of days early for Halloween but the Massillon faithful must have had the biggest scare Friday night since the “Headline Horseman” spooked Ichabod Crane out of Sleepy Hollow and into limbo.
But just when things looked the gravest, Tiger senior defensive tackle Dick Hartley became the “Wizard of Oz” for the Bengals, breaking the spell of the “Wicked Witch of the East.” Big No. 74 pounced on a Warren fumble, which hopped loose on an attempted second down reverse play on the Massillon 10, and stopped what looked like a winning touchdown drive for a tremendous Warren Harding Black Panther squad.
Hartley’s recovery gave the Washington high eleven a 16-12 victory at Tiger stadium. That play may have won the state championship for the Tigers and lost it for the Panthers as the season’s biggest crowd 19,567, looked on.
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WARREN FANS will probably discuss Friday’s game as long and loud as they debated the famous “clock contest” which Massillon won here 20-14 in 1957. Two Warren coaches came charging onto the field after referee Bud Shopbell following his ruling that Massillon recovered the key fumble but there was no doubt or hesitation on Shopbell’s part.
Warren fans might debate their Coach Bill Shunkwiler’s reverse call. But as Massillon mentor Earle Bruce said, “It worked before but I can’t say it was the wrong call…I don’t know his club. I’m glad he ran it, though.”
When asked whether he thought Hartley had recovered the fumble, “Bruce said, “No. 74 was on the ball. That was the only thing I saw all night.”
It was top-ranked Masillon’s eighth straight victory of the season, 26th in a row, 21st straight at home and Bruce’s 41st consecutive win, counting the August high school all-star game. It was the first loss in 8 games for the third-ranked Panthers.
Massillon has now won 30 of 41 games played against Warren. One ended in a tie.
Shunkwiler had no comment afterward but it was certain he was not happy with the officiating.
Bruce, on the other hand, had plenty to say. First he praised his opponent highly. “Warren did a great job. They had some real clutch plays. They have a great passer in Wireman (Vern) and an outstanding receiver in Franklin (Marv). Wireman hurt us on his bootleg passes.”
Then the “Earle of Tigertown” turned to his own team. “We ran well but did nothing else well. Our pass defense was the worst it’s been all season. The play of the secondary was not good. I thought for sure it (the multiple win string) was gone tonight.”
WARREN had the best of it statistic-wise but not on the scoreboard where it counts. The Tigers out-rushed the Panthers 233-176 but Warren out-passed Massillon 144-0, completing 7 of 10 to the Tigers’ none for 2. Total yardage was 320-233 in Warren’s favor. The Panthers had 17 first downs to the Obiemen’s 12 although the Bengals’ first downs by rushing were 10 to Warrens’ 12.
It was a game of breaks for both sides. There were other fumbles besides the key fourth quarter miscue along with intercepted passes and penalties, which played a part in the outcome.
The Tigers have to be given a pat on the back for winning 4 games such as they have been called on to win during the last quartet of weeks. It isn’t often that a team beats three of the first five teams in the state and the best in Pennsylvania, all undefeated, one right after the other. It would be little wonder if the Orange and Black were exhausted physically.
Massillon scored only once in the first half but had several opportunities short-circuited on fumbles and intercepted passes. The first time the Bengals got their hands on the ball they drove from the Warren 46-yard line, following Dave Sheegog’s 14-yard punt runback, to the Panthers’ 38. But junior Frank Thomas recovered a fumble on the Panthers’ 33.
The Bengals forced the Panthers to punt and followed with their first score after fumbling Allen Anderson’s punt. It took the Obiemen only 9 plays to cross into pay dirt.
FULLBACK Will Foster had the big play a 50-yard romp through the center to Warren’s 17. Halfback Cesar Aulizio made a desperation tackle.
Foster then took a pitch to the left and rolled to the 5. Walter Lemon rammed to the one and Foster took the pigskin over after a fake to Lemon with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter. Sheegog tossed to “Sweet Walter” on a corner cut to the left for the conversion.
Following the kickoff, Warren moved to Massillon’s 34 but was forced to punt. Anderson got a bad snap from center, had to run and didn’t make it.
The Tigers went on the prowl again but with first down on Warren’s 30, the picture changed abruptly again as a Sheegog pass was intercepted by Nelveton Butler on the 4.
Bruce said of this pass, “They crashed 2 guys from the outside on us. We probably shouldn’t have thrown that one. Sheegog tried to hit his secondary receiver.”
Warren drove to its own 46-yard line with the help of 9 and 18-yard off-tackle runs by left halfback Jimmy Hill and a 10-yard off tackle slant by right half Anderson.
Then came the Panthers’ first score on a play as weird as some Halloween costumes. Wireman running to his right with his receivers covered, attempted to toss to Franklin. Tiger safety Rick Paige hit Franklin on what was adjusted interference.
The ball deflected off Franklin on the Massillon 45 and into the hands of junior Tom Daily, playing his first game on offense, and Daily raced to the promised land with 5:20 remaining in the second quarter. Wireman failed on a conversion run to the right.
Massillon came back strong again. Sheegog contributed a 31-yard kick runback to his 39. Lemon added a 10-yard end scamper to the Warren 46. Tommy Jones went off tackle for 7 to the 39. Then disaster reared its ugly face again as if there were goblins afoot.
ANOTHER Tiger fumble occurred, this one on the 32. Thomas was there again and Warren was on its way to its second score.
Wireman ran 15 yards around right end. Hill danced off right tackle for 18. Binko careened through the center for 14 yards and a first down on the Massillon 14. Wireman tossed to Daily on the one and scored with 37 seconds left. Binko tried the center for the conversion but failed and the Tiger Towners were behind by the longest margin of the season.
After a 20-yard kick runback by Sheegog, he tried a pass on second down from his 34. The ball was batted into the air. Tony Capers intercepted on the Massillon 39. But before he could try a field goal on the next play, the block ran out.
The drives of both teams had wiped many minutes off the clock in what was developing as a game of who could control the ball the longest
The second half saw Massillon control the ball most of the third quarter and Warren the majority of the fourth.
The Tigers drove to their 43 with the third period kickoff. Rick Healy punted and 3 plays later the Tigers had the ball back when Co-Captain Dave Whitfield recovered a fumble on Warren’s 38.
The Obiemen took 11 plays, survived a motion penalty from the 3 on a score by Foster and got the benefit of a personal foul call from the 7 before finally securing the winning TD with 2:19 remaining. Foster tallied his second 6-pointer of the night, again from the one, but over left tackle this trip. Sheegog went around left end after a fake to Foster to make it 16-12.
Massillon had the ball for 8 minutes of the period then it was Warren’s turn to control the clock, taking 6:55 off the ticker while reeling off 13 plays. After Daily’s 12-yard, kickoff runback, Warren began to mix passing with running. Anderson got 8 yards on one aerial, right end Greg Seagraves 13 yards on another.
A clipping penalty set the Panthers back to the Massillon 40. But Wireman threw to Franklin for a first down on the 11. Then Wireman was thrown for a 10-yard loss by Foster. Two plays later Paige intercepted Wireman’s throw from the 19 on the one and returned to the 13.
A motion penalty forced Healy to punt out. Warren started to move from its 33 with 4:55 remaining. Had the Tigers been able to hold the ball here, the dramatic finish might not have materialized.
Nine plays transpired before Hartley’s fumble recovery. Anderson got most of the yardage on the final drive, both on the ground and in the air. He picked up 21 yards in 3 running plays and 10 on a pass. Seagraves also got 17 yards on pass which gave Warren first down on Massillon’s 13. On the second play of this series, the big fumble occurred.
The Tigers ran out the clock.
WARREN – 12
Ends – Seagraves, M. Franklin, A. Franklin, Ingram, Daily, Metro.
Tackles – Capers, Clark, Yendrick.
Guards – Schumacher, Kermode, Camerino, Toda.
Center – Angelo.
Quarterbacks – Wireman, Thomas.
Halfbacks – Hill, Anderson, Aulizio, Butler, Perry.
Fullback – Binko.
MASSILLON – 16
Ends – Paige, McGuire, Healy, Griffin.
Tackles – Hartley, Neago, Petroff, Campbell, Sherrett.
Guards – Whitfield, Richards, Rose, Kraft, Zorger.
Centers – Marks, Ehmer, F. Williams.
Quarterbacks – Sheegog, Doolittle.
Halfbacks – Lemon, James, McFadden, Smith, Muhlbach, McLendon.
Fullbacks – Foster, Reed, Manson.
Score by quarters:
Warren……………… 0 12 0 0 – 12
Massillon…………… 8 0 8 0 – 16
Massillon – Foster 2 (one-yard runs).
Warren – Daily 2 (54-yard, pass-run play and 28-yard pass).
Massillon – Lemon 2 (pass from Sheegog); Sheegog 2 (run).
Referee – Bud Shopball (Canton).
Umpire – Harold Rolph (Ironton).
Head Linesman – Mickey Earenfight (Canton).
Field Judge – Joe Romano (Mansfield).
First downs—rushing 12 10
First downs—passing 0 6
First downs—penalties 0 2
Total first downs 12 17
Yards gained rushing 237 191
Yards lost rushing 4 15
Net yards gained rushing 233 176
Net yards gained passing 0 144
Total yards gained 233 320
Passes attempted 2 10
Passes completed 0 7
Passes intercepted by 1 2
Yardage on passes intercepted 13 0
Times kicked off 3 3
Kickoff returns (yards) 68 68
Kickoff returns (yards) 68 68
Times punted 2 2
Punt average (yards) 31.5 37
Punt returns (yards) 13 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 4 2
Lost fumbled ball 2 2
Penalties 4 2
Yards penalized 20 20
Touchdowns rushing 2 0
Touchdowns passing 0 2
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Miscellaneous 0 0
Total number of plays 47 57