’69 Tigers’ task: bring bell back
Few bright rays in 26-6 defeat
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
The locomotive bell rests today at Canton McKinley high school – a symbol of one of the tasks that await the Washington high grid team in 1969.
Not many bright rays come out of a beating like the Massillon Tigers took last Saturday, but the realization that there is always a next year helps somehow to soften the blow.
Tigers fans know that the Orange and Black – like the fabled Phoenix bird – will rise from the ashes of defeat to begin anew when next September rolls around. The Tigers never stay down long.
There’s only one way to describe their 26-6 defeat before 22,300 at snowy Tiger Stadium. The Orange and Black were out manned – but not out fought.
The Tigers were unable to cope with the hard-firing Bulldog offensive line, the powerful rushes of juniors Rocco Rich and Rich Brown, fullback and halfback respectively. Another junior, wingback Ed Floyd, got timely big yardage on reverses.
The slight-of-hand of senior quarterback Mark Hontas and the pursuit and penetration of McKinley’s defensive line led by Jon Brandyberry, Lonnie Ford and Brown’s brother Mark were also factors.
Adding to their miseries, the Washington high eleven lost the services of senior tailback Jim
Smith, leading rusher and scorer in the All-American conference (AAC) in the first quarter via an ankle injury. Trainer John Whitmer called it a “freak muscle stretch” of a type he’d never seen before.
“It sure couldn’t help us,” Massillon coach Seaman said. “It had to hurt us.”
The loss of a great back like Smith is bound to hurt a team,” McKinley Coach Ron Chismar, said.
McKINELY HIT Massillon with two quick scores in the first quarter after capitalizing on a couple of breaks. A poor snap and a short punt gave McKinley the ball on the Massillon 46. Floyd and Rich combined 18 and 13-yard runs to set up the Pups’ first score.
Rich drove over right tackle from the one with 7:38 left. Hontas’ conversion-attempt pass to Rich was incomplete.
Another short punt following the kickoff put the ball on the 40. Floyd and Rich again combined their talents for 12 and 28-yard runs to set up the second score.
Rich went over left tackle – this time from the two – at 5:40. Brown ran the conversion through left tackle.
The Orange and Black’s only touchdown drive – a 64-yarder after Mark McDew’s 26-yard runback – saw the Tigers grind out the short yardage after Smith got hurt at the beginning of the drive. A 15-yard personal foul penalty and five-yard off side walk off were important.
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FULLBACK MIKE AUTREY scored around right end from 27 yards out, using the sideline like a tightrope and putting forth great second and third efforts. Malinowski’s attempted conversion pass to McDeew was broken up by Ed McMillan with the clock showing 1:14.
The Tigers never got out of their own territory after that.
Dave Couto and Chuck Stoner stopped a McKinley drive at the Massillon six and Bert Dampier hauled in a Bulldog pass on the Tiger 10 to stop another in the second stanza.
In the third period, Mosie Hunter nabbed a Tiger aerial at the McKinley 44 and added an 11-yard runback to the Massillon 45 to set up another Bulldog pay dirt trip. Aided by a personal foul step off and the running of Hontas, Brown and Rich, the Bulldogs made it
20-6 at 8:16 as Hontas scampered for four off right tackle.
The conversion attempt on a run by Brown off left tackle failed.
Rick Laase kayoed a McKinley drive in the third canto with a fumble recovery at the Massillon 36 shortly before Hunter’s interception.
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MASSILLON stopped a Bulldog march on the Tiger eight in the last period, but the Bulldogs got the ball right back on the Massillon 38 after a punt. A fourth down, 13-yard pass-run combination from Hontas to Floyd and a 19-yard romp around right end by Hontas after a fake set up the final Canton score.
Hontas rammed through the middle from the one with 2:13 left but missed around right end on the conversion attempt.
“Anytime you beat the Tigers, you’ve got to be happy because they have a great team,” Chismar said. “Our kids were great, I’m proud of them.”
He added, “Our backs were not fantastic, just strong. We didn’t run anything we hadn’t used before. Floyd got us yardage when we had to have it.”
Chismar praised Calvin Ellis, Hunter, McMillan and Monroe Jackson who, Chismar said, sacrificed themselves to play in the defensive secondary this year.
HE ALSO GAVE a pat on the back to backup quarterback Nick DeGregorio, first to jump up and congratulate Hontas after the game.
“They were a good team – one of the best I’ve seen since I’ve been here, if not the best,” Seaman said of McKinley. We played the biggest part of the game behind the 50. That was the game. I’d say we let them have the football too darn much. Hontas really hid the ball well.”
It was the second time in three years that Chismar had beaten Seaman – both times at Tiger stadium. McKinley (9-1) finished in a tie with Warren Harding for the All-American conference title, both with 4-1 league marks.
Massillon (7-3, 3-2) finished runnerup, only the second time the Tigers have ended out of the throne room in the loop’s six-year history.
McKinley 14 0 6 6 – 26
Massillon 6 0 0 0 – 6
First downs –rushing 2 17
First downs – passing 2 3
First downs – penalties 3 1
Total first downs 4 21
Yards gained rushing 81 206
Yards lost rushing 30 26
Net yards gained rushing 31 236
Net yards gained passing 29 37
Total yards gained 80 273
Passes completed 3-15 3-6
Passes intercepted by 1 2
Yardage on passes intercepted 0 23
Kickoff average (yards) 3-44.5 3-47.6
Kickoff returns (yards) 96 36
Punt average (yards) 6-27.3 2-36.5
Punt return (yards) 2 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Lost fumbled ball 0-1 1-2
Yards Penalized 4-40 2-20