Tigers fumble to 23-12 loss at Warren
AAC race now has a three-way deadlock
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
When you fumble the ball away against a good football team, you’re bound to be in trouble.
Such was the case Friday night with the Massillon Tigers as Warren Harding’s Black Panthers picked off all five of Washington high’s bobbles – three by tailback Jim Smith – and went on to a 23-12 victory before 10,000 fans at Mollenkopf stadium in Warren.
Even though Co-Captain George Whitfield picked off three of five Harding fumbles and Kim Cocklin nabbed another, the Tigers’ miscues negated that effort.
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INABILITY TO stop Warren from moving the ball didn’t help either. Tiger Coach Bob Seaman’s pre-game prediction that possession ball might be the key came back to haunt him.
The outcome left both teams with 6-2 records, threw the All-American conference race into a three-way tie and obliterated Massillon’s slim state title hopes.
The Panthers became the second team to outgain the Orange and Black this season. Mentor turned the trick in the opener.
Harding shocked the WHS eleven with two quick touchdowns in the first quarter.
“That put the pressure on us,” Seaman said.
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BOTH OF Warren’s early TDs came as the result of Coach Bill Shunkwiler picking on the Tigers’ Achilles heel – pass defense.
The Panthers marched 63 yards after the opening kick-off with quarterback George Cooley combining with end Ron Cambridge on a 17-yard, fourth down, pass-run play with 7:37 left. Halfback Jerry Hall bulled through the center for two more points.
The Tigers looked as if they were going to come right back, but Smith fumbled on his 48 with Ed Exler recovering. One play later Gerald Wesley rolled to the 18 on a 25-yard hand-back trap to the left.
Cooley found end Chuck McIntyre in the end zone at 4:30 two plays later and hit Hall on a sprint-out pass for two more points.
Early in the second quarter, Cocklin recovered a fumbled punt on the Warren 36, but on a first down play from the 25, Smith fumbled again and Rick James recovered.
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BEFORE THE period was over, Smith fumbled a third time, Co-Captain Larry Shumar intercepted a pass, Whitfield had two fumble recoveries and the Tigers lost a pass via an interception.
Although neither team got anywhere for most of the second quarter, the Tigertowners got one of their TDs near the end of the stanza. Mark McDew almost ran a punt back for a score but was stopped after 29 yards on the Warren 26. Smith blasted off right tackle for 17 more to the nine.
This was one spot where the Tigers picked up yardage consistently all night thanks to the blocking of Gary Harig, Rick Laase, Tom Engler, and Tom Robinson.
Malinowski went over on a keeper from the six shortly thereafter but the Orange and Black were in motion. However, he hit McDew in the end zone from the 11 with 28 seconds remaining. Smith slipped trying to skirt right end for the conversion.
Early in the third quarter came what Seaman termed the turning point when the Tigers drove from their 43 to the Warren 20, losing the ball on downs.
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THE TIGERS had another pass picked off in this period. Darnell Streeter fumbled with John Harkins recovering on the Warren 41, canceling a 26-yard romp around right end by Smith after Whitfield’s third fumble recovery on the Massillon 30.
Warren scored its final six pointer on the drive following the fumble recovery, aided by Exler’s 14-yard jaunt through the center and 12-yard trek to the left on the handback trap. He also made the TD from six yards away over right tackle with 8:17 remaining in the game.
Paul Metzendorf booted the extra point.
The Tigers drove 65 yards after the kickoff to end the night’s scoring. A Gary Herring to Bert Dampier 12-yard screen and a fourth down “M & M Special” (Malinowski to McDew pass) were key plays.
Malinowski hit McDew in the end zone form nine-yards out with 3:55 left and missed on another to McDew on the conversion attempt.
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“THEY DID a good job moving the ball,” Seaman said. They have good backs and a good all-around team.”
“Our kids were wonderful in the first quarter,” Shunkwiler said. “Our plan going in was to keep the ball. Massillon has a heckuva offense. When they had the ball, we were in trouble.”
As to his team’s success running over the right side of Massillon’s defensive line, Shunkwiler said, “We just picked something up. As far as I’m concerned, it dies with us.”
Smith had his normal 100-yards plus night with 133 net in 25 carries. Hall tried 22 times for 110.
Shunkwiler has now taken two of three from Seaman and the Tigers have lost five of the last six games at Warren.
MASSILLON – 12
Ends – Dampier, Engler, Robinson, Conley, Cline,
Dorman, Jackson, James.
Tackles – Laase, McGeorge, Midgley, Harris, Doll.
Guards – Whitfield, Harig, Couto, Hout, Indorf, Arnott.
Center – Cocklin.
Quarterbacks – Malinowski, Herring, Fromholtz, Lombardi.
Halfbacks – J. Smith, McDew, Shumar, Hodgson, Stoner,
McLin, Gamble, Sheaters, K. Autrey.
Fullbacks – Streeter, M. Autrey, Johnson.
WARREN – 23
Ends – McIntyre, Cambridge, Beach, Myhand, Metzendorf,
Ryder, G. Smith.
Tackles – O’Donnell, Larata, Kollar, Baughman, Harkins, Helman.
Guards – Dyer, Kittie, Moran, DeJacimo, Antenucci, Mix, Burin.
Centers – McCreary and Wallace.
Quarterbacks – Cooley, Bohyer, Jerina.
Halfbacks – Hall, Turner, Wesley, Paully, Exler, Vilcek, Cooks.
Fullbacks – Simmons and James.
Massillon 0 6 0 6 – 12
Warren 16 0 0 7 – 23
Player Att. Net. Ave.
Malinowski 3 2 0.7
Streeter 8 26 3.3
Autrey 5 29 5.8
Smith 25 133 5.3
McDew 4 -1 0
Player Att. Net. Ave.
Cooley 8 1 0.1
Hall 22 40 1.8
Wesley 5 40 8
Exler 7 34 4.8
Cooks 8 31 3.9
First downs –rushing 9 14
First downs – passing 3 4
First downs – penalties 1 0
Total first downs 13 18
Yards gained rushing 207 248
Yards lost rushing 16 6
Net yards gained rushing 189 242
Net yards gained passing 50 59
Total yards gained 239 301
Passes completed 3-14 4-7
Passes intercepted by 1 2
Yardage on passes intercepted 12 14
Kickoff average (yards) 3—44.0 4-28.8
Kickoff returns (yards) 13 27
Punt average (yards) 3-41.3 4-33.2
Punt return (yards) 35 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Lost fumbled ball 3-5 4-5
Penalties 2 4
Yards penalized 20 60
Touchdowns rushing 0 1
Touchdowns passing 2 2
Total number of plays 62 64