Seaman Says ‘Wait Until Next Year’
McKinley Wins; Bengals Have Losing Mark
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor
Fans of the old Brooklyn baseball Dodgers had the right idea at a time like this: “Wait until next year.”
Washington high Coach Bob Seaman had his own version: “We’ll be back next year and should have a heck of a team.”
The error-pocked and anguish-filled 1966-football season is history. The final chapter was penned Saturday in a bruising 25-16 Tiger stadium loss to Canton McKinley in the 71st annual inter-city classic.
For the first time since 1931 the Bengals ended below .500 with a 4-5-1 record. There have been only 4 other seasons of 8 or more games since 1894, which have ended below the
The only consolation for Seaman was that he has a lot of company among first-year coaches who have lost to McKinley. Seven other mentors, including Paul Brown, either lost to or were tied by the Bulldogs in the first or only year those coaches were here.
McKinley ended a 9-year famine in wining and assured itself of a winning season under Ron Chismar with a 6-4 record. The Bulldogs also dropped the defending champion Tigers into a cellar tie in the All-American High School football league at a 1-3 ending.
Niles won the title with a 3-0 record, Steubenville finished 2-1, Warren 2-2.
Massillon’s play, at times Saturday, resembled the zany Dodgers referred to above. Maladies, which have plagued them all-season burst out in full bloom – inability’s to handle kicks and fumbles. Three McKinley touchdowns happened because of miscues on handling kicks. The fourth resulted from an inability to stop a punt return.
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SOME SAY the Pups didn’t deserve the win but they were a good enough team to capitalize on the breaks and reverse the script of the past 2 seasons when the Tigers bounced back to win after half time deficits.
The contest started as if it were to be a high-scoring affair with both teams scoring in the first one minute, 54 seconds of play. McKinley went over on the first play from scrimmage after Bengal sophomore Marc Malinowski attempted unsuccessfully to return George Fronimo’s stocking footed, soccer-style kickoff which rolled pass Malinowski to the 5-yard line. End Henry Lewis recovered a fly ball fumble on the 9.
Quarterback Milford Lucius passed to halfback Leroy Wilder, who was to score twice more, on the 5 with Wilder carrying the rest of the way. Fronimo’s boot made it 7-0 with 11:32 remaining.
Halfback Tommy James got the Obiemen to their 38 with a 29-yard runback of the next kickoff. On second and 4 from the 44, fullback Will Foster cut through the center and back to the right for the Tigertowners’ longest run from scrimmage this season at 11:26. Quarterback Craig Maurer hit James in the right corner of the end zone to make it 8-7 in Massillon’s favor.
Massillon scored again in the first quarter but not before squandering a first and 10 at the Bulldog 18 after a pass interception by Foster with a fumble by James recovered by halfback Ted Bowersox.
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LINEBACKER Hoyt Skelton pilfered again on the Pups’ 40. Four plays later, Maurer took off from 26 yards out on first and 10 and scampered into pay dirt on a counter keeper to the left at 3:55. He hit James with another right corner end zone pass for a 16-7 score that was the Bengal fans’ last cause for joy.
McKinley missed an opportunity after Jim Krenzer’s punt was blocked by one of his own men at the beginning of the second stanza. George Austin recovered on the Massillon 25.
On third down Clayton grabbed a pass on the 25, ran to the 17, was pushed out of bounds and into the east track seats. A 15-yard personal foul infraction was called during the melee and Chismar rushed onto the field to engage in a violent argument with head linesman Joe Romano.
McKinley was set back to the 30. Linebacker Ron Ertle intercepted a pass on the next play to halt the drive.
Massillon was forced to hold on again later in the period when Bulldog linebacker Jerry Hontas recovered Foster’s fumble on the Tigers’ 24.
Fronimo’s bad-snap punt following the first Bulldog series of the second half grazed Tiger junior Trevor Young; subbing for James, who was injured earelier. Pete Coleman’s recovery gave the Bulldogs a life on the Tigers 34.
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EIGHT PLAYS after a 12-yard run by Lucius and an 11-yard scamper by fullback Larry Clayton, who broke tackles numerous times during the afternoon, Wilder scored around the left side on a pitchout at 4:21. Lucius was halted short of conversion territory as the scoreboard showed Massillon with a 16-13 lead.
Massillon got the ball but once in the third quarter going nowhere.
With Fronimo punting on the second play of the final stanza, junior Tiger safetyman Kevin Henderson fumbled on the 5. Coleman recovered again – this time on the half-yard line.
Lucius sneaked through the center at 11:28 for the score. Fronimo tried to run the conversion after a bad snap, fumbled after a tackle. Bowersox recovered and ran over but the ball was ruled dead, giving McKinley a 19-16 lead.
Fronimo kept the Tigers in the hole with long punts in the second half and the Bulldog defense kept the Orange and Black there. On one of these frustrating occasions Krenzer punted to Wilder on the McKinley 42. A touchdown runback along the west-side line resulted at 4:21 with the help of a block by Paul Robinson at the 3.
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FRONIMO MISSED on the PAT. McKinley led 26-15 but the Tigers weren’t dead even though many fans started to exit.
The Bengals got back to the McKinley 4 after the kickoff to 8 and 20-yard passes to sophomore halfback Mark McDew and senior tight end Keith Griffin and 7-yard runs by Foster and Maurer. But the Tigers ran out of downs.
In the last minute of play, Maurer hit McDew for an 8-yarder and interference was called on a 24-yarder. It took several minutes to clear fans off the field in order to run the final play after the penalty, which had occurred as time lapsed. A pass into the end zone was incomplete.
Seaman agreed that the Tigers had been placed behind the 8-ball too many times by errors. “Each week we’ve done something wrong,” he said. “This time the specialty team hurt us.” Then he mused, “McKinley got a negative 3 yards in the last quarter and 3 touchdowns. We evened the battle of statistics.”
Chismar said, ‘It was a real great game. Our linebackers Hontas and John Patterson did as much as anybody to shut off their defense. But it was a team effort.”
The much-hearlded battle of fullbacks was a standoff. Clayton, who left the contest in the final quarter with torn ankle ligaments had 83 yards in 19 tries. Foster had 85 in 14.
McKINLEY – 25
Ends – Snell, H. Lewis, Iams.
Tackles – Austin, Adamski, Rushe.
Guards – Robinson, Sweat, Shimek.
Centers – Dowing, Coleman.
Quarterbacks – Lucius, Bowersox, Hontas.
Halfbacks – Wilder, B. Lewis, LeFlore, Fronimo.
Fullbacks – Clayton, Patterson.
MASSILLON – 16
Ends – Griffin, Moyer, Smith, Sterling, Richards, Liggett, Gallion.
Tackles – Houser, Campbell, Neago, Sherrett, Ricker.
Guards – Porrini, Russell, White, Hauenstein, Beiter, Ertle.
Centers – Senften, Kraft, Skelton.
Quarterbacks – Maurer, Henderson, Malinowski, Young.
Halfbacks – James, Simon, McDew, Fenton, Hannon, Staples,
Fullbacks – Foster, Moore.
McKinley 7 0 6 12 25
Massillon 16 0 0 0 16
Massillon – Foster (58-yard run); Maurer (27-yard run).
McKinley – Wilder 3 (9-yard pass run from Lucius, 3-yard run, 58-yard punt return);
Lucius (half-yard run).
Massillon – James 4 (passes from Maurer).
McKinley – Fronimo 1 (kick).
Referee – Tony Pianowski.
Umpire – Harold Rolph.
Head Linesman – Joe Romano.
Field Judge – Brenton Kirk.
First downs – rushing 5 5
First downs – passing 1 0
First downs – penalties 2 1
Total first downs 8 6
Yards gained rushing 168 124
Yards lost rushing 32 22
Net yards gained rushing 136 102
Net yards gained passing 35 19
Total yards gained 171 121
Passes attempted 11 9
Passes completed 4 2
Passes intercepted by 3 0
Yardage on passes intercepted 24 0
Times kicked off 3 5
Kickoff average (yards) 52.3 51.6
Kickoff returns (yards) 94 63
Times punted 6 5
Punt average (yards) 25.3 36.8
Punt return (yards) 0 85
Had punts blocked 1 0
Fumbles 8 3
Lost fumbled ball 5 1
Penalties 3 3
Yards penalized 32 35
Touchdowns rushing 2 2
Touchdowns passing 0 1
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Miscellaneous 0 1
Total number of plays 50 53