Tigers ‘scoot’ past Panthers 33-14
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor
The football was pitched as successfully Friday night at Tiger stadium as a winner’s horseshoe in a championship match.
The scoot play, as Coach Bob Commings calls it, was the key ingredient in the Washington high offensive grid recipe as the Tigers pummeled Warren Harding 33-14 before 10,223.
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IT WAS Massillon’s sixth win against a loss and a tie while Harding slipped to 3-5. The Tigers moved up from fourth to third in the All-American conference standings.
Steubenville took over first place with a 20-14 win over previously undefeated Canton McKinley which dropped to second. The Bulldogs are 3-1 while the Big Red are 2-0-1.
Not only did the power pitch to backs Darnell Streeter, Mike Autrey, and Mike Mauger work well, but the Tigers added some screen passes to Autrey and sideline tosses to wingback Larry Harper for a well-rounded offensive effort.
“All of our backs were really running,” Commings explained. “We blocked a pretty good football game and got a good game out of quarterback Gary Herring again.”
Herring threw the majority of the 10 completions in 15 attempts for the Tigers’ 153 yards passing. Streeter picked up 128 of the Orange and Black’s 275 net rushing yards in 13 carries while the other half of the WHSer’s one-two punch, Autrey, gained 73. Mauger iced the cake with 44.
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HARPER CAUGHT four passes to add 52 yards to his league-leading total.
“One of the biggest things we’ve got going for us right now is that we have a lot of offense,” Coming commented. “They took away our trap so something else worked. Our power pitch is one of our better plays. It worked so we stayed with it.”
The Tigers’ five touchdowns found Mauger and Streeter with two each and Autrey, whose TD jaunts seem to draw more red flags than picnic food does flies – one.
Herring and Autrey combined for a 65-yard screen pass score near the end of the second quarter. But an illegal use of the hands penalty on the 20 nullified Autrey’s great run.
A 15-yard penalty was tacked onto the bench and Commings rushed onto the field as if shot out of a slingshot, but did not incur a third long-distance step-off.
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ANOTHER POTENTIAL touchdown was lost on a fumble.
Streeter got the game off to a breathtaking start when he took a pitch to the left, cut back and raced the tacklers on a 67-yard route to the two on the first play from scrimmage. His run featured a fine escape move on the 20.
Two plays later Mauger slipped between end and tackle for the score with 10:40 left in the initial stanza and Mauger booted the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
The next time the Tigers got possession, an 80-yard, 10-plays drive got them their second counter. Thirteen and 16-yard Herring-to-Harper aerials were key plays.
Autrey blasted through the middle from the 15 on the first down for the score with 3:06 left in the first quarter. A good head-first second effort at the one helped. Herring’s keeper scamper made it 15-0.
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WARREN COUNTERED with a 70-yard, 13-play scoring trek with fullback Marv Simmons and tailback Tyrone Cooks doing most of the carrying on power stuff. Simmons dove over from the one on first down with 9:46 left in the second stanza, but failed on the conversion run.
It was the only long drive of the night for Warren and consumed 5:14.
With three seconds left in the third quarter, Massillon counted again, moving 43 yards in seven plays after a short punt. Streeter charged over from the half-yard line, but Harper couldn’t catch Herring for two more points.
Diminutive cornerback Doug Miller intercepted a pass on the Warren 25, returned eight yards and another Tiger TD was in the making. On fourth down from the 24, Herring rolled left, threw across field to Streeter on the 15 and “The Bopper” made a determined run for pay-off land, leaping over one prostrate Black Panther and racing by a couple of others.
His score came with 10:10 left in the goodbye canto. Autrey’s conversion run on the pitch was short by a gnat’s eyelash.
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THE TIGERS took over on their 17 after a punt and 17 plays and 83 yards later Mauger took a pitch and raced over on third down from the four. His kick was low and the score was 33-6 with 47 seconds left.
He helped his own cause with a 17-yard pitch run while Harper chipped in with a 12-yard double reverse.
Cooks ended the game with as thrilling a run as Streeter had opened the evening. On the first play after the kickoff, quarterback George Jerina faded from the 27, found Cooks on the 44 and he was touchdown bound. Jerina’s pass to halfback Gary Pestrak ended the scoring with 14 seconds left.
First downs – rushing 15 7
First downs – passing 9 2
First downs – penalties 1 2
Total first downs 25 11
Yards gained rushing 279 128
Yards lost rushing 4 23
Net yards gained rushing 275 105
Net yards gained passing 153 106
Total yards gained 428 211
Passes completed 10–15 5–11
Passes intercepted by 1 0
Yardage on passes intercepted 13 0
Kickoff average (yards) 6–47.8 3–39.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 32 102
Times punted 0 4
Punt average (yards) 0 32
Lost fumbled balls 1–2 0–1
Yards penalized 5–45 2–6
Touchdowns rushing 4 1
Touchdowns passing 1 1
Total number of plays 66 50
Att. Net. Avg.
Streeter 13 128 9.8
Autrey 22 73 3.3
Mauger 8 44 5/5
Att. Net. Avg.
Simmons 16 63 3.9
Cooks 12 32 2.6