Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo

Tigers maul game Barberton 52-0

Independent Sports Editor

Cliff Wilson sounded as if he were still in the coaching ranks.

“Boy! That score doesn’t tell half the story of the game!” Washington high’s first year principal said as he made his way down the sideline toward an exit.

Massillon’s Tigers mauled Barberton’s inexperienced Magics 52-0 Friday night in a
non-league before 10,120, the season’s smallest crowd at Tiger stadium, but the Ohio’s
No. 1 team knew it had been in a battle. The Orangemen came out with assorted bumps and bruises administered by the hard-hitting Summit Countians who hung on tenaciously although out of the game by halftime.
* * *
IT WAS Massillon’s sixth straight win and third straight shutout – fourth of the season.

The Tigers’ “Attack Pack” has gone 16 consecutive quarters without allowing a
touchdown – 14 without giving up a score. Niles scored a second quarter field goal three weeks ago.

Barberton out-gained the Tigers 97-95 on the ground in the first half, but a 42-0 advantage in the air gave Massillon a 137-97 overall advantage. The Magics led in first downs 8-6.

The Tigers had a clear statistical edge in all departments, except first downs, by the game’s end. The margin here was only 16-14.

Barberton moved the ball about as well as any team has against the Tigers, rolling up 30 more plays. This could be explained in part by the fact that the WHSers scored very quickly each time they got their hands on the ball.

First-year Coach Ron Fenik mixed his plays well, junior quarterback Bob Gleichert dazzled the Tigers with his slight-of-hand and was hard to contain. Senior halfback John Yarsa and junior fullback Ed West appeared to be the most effective runners as the Magics gave the Orangemen some of their own medicine with counter criss-cross and power pitch plays.
* * *
THE ORANGE and Black had trouble getting under way, but really moved after the intermission. The county’s and All-American conference’s leading scorer, tailback Mike Mauger, tallied two touchdowns and two conversions to lead the parade.

Quarterback Dennis Franklin continued to menace the opposition, scoring one touchdown, passing for one and a conversion. Wingback Larry Harper, caught one TD pass and two PAT tosses – one from Mauger.

The Tigers’ new play, which was tried twice successfully, should make the opposition more cautious. Franklin ran well outside a couple of times from another new wrinkle, the power formation.

Mauger, Franklin and Harper each added to possible All-Ohio credentials as did
Co-Captain Tom Cardinal with steady play both ways.

The “Iron Curtain” of Co-Captain Steve Luke, Willie Spencer, Tim Ridgley, Kirk Strobel, Pete Jasinski, Dave Kulik and Steve Studer, provided more good running room.
* * *
THE TIGERS didn’t score until 5:08 of the first quarter. Cardinal powered over tackle for 55 yards after a punt. Franklin tossed to Harper for two more points.

Spencer blocked a punt to give the Tigers’ possession on the Barberton 40-yard line. Eight plays later Franklin boot-legged end from the 10 with 10:17 left in the second stanza. Mauger went off tackle to make it 16-0.

With Cardinal on the sideline nursing a painful, but not serious shoulder injury, Barberton drove 68 yards, after the kickoff, scored a TD on Gleicherts pass to sophomore halfback Rick Lay, but was set back to the 18. On fourth down, junior cornerback Art Thompson intercepted a Gleichert aerial and ran 78 yards for a score, the longest such run in the county this season and the third longest in Tiger history. With 4:48 left, Mauger again blasted over tackle, for a 24-0 count.

With fourth down five, on his 44, a third of the way through the third canto, Gleichert ran from punt formation, but was stopped on the 45. Six plays later Mauger went over tackle from the two on first down, with 6:04 left, for his first TD. He had two chances to kick a PAT, thanks to an offside penalty, but missed both.

Spencer recovered a fumble on the Magics’ 31 shortly after the kickoff. Eight plays after, Mauger just made the end zone over tackle on fourth down from the two. With 45 seconds showing he hit Harper just inside the right end zone corner for two more points.

Barberton punted from the end zone early in the goodbye period and Harper ran back from the 38 to the 31. Then Franklin, eluding tacklers, sprinted toward the sideline and threw to Harper who made a diving catch between two foes for a TD with 10:39 left. Scott Dingler, a junior quarterback, threw the conversion aerial over Spencer’s head.

Bernard Sullivan made a 30-yard extra-effort punt runback to set the stage for the final six-pointer. Two plays later, Thompson scored from 32 yards away on the counter
criss-cross with 7:40 left. Dingler bootlegged the conversion.

Barberton held the ball, thereafter, until the four-second mark, consuming seven minutes, 32 seconds.
* * *
“THEY PREPARED for us well,” Bob Commings, the Tigers head coach said. “They played a nice game, they got outside of us a couple of times and I don’t think we were quite ready for those do-dads which Gleichert had in there. We knew he was a good player.”

Commings was not happy with the first half attitude, feeling his charges fiddled around too much.

“We moved the ball a little bit on them,” Fenik said. “We knew they had a good team when we came down here. We just made some bad mistakes.”

This was to be expected of the underclass-studded lineup.

“We think Gleichert will be a good player one day,” Fenik continued. “He’s a heckuva kid!”
First downs – rushing 13 11
First downs – passing 3 1
First downs – penalties 0 2
Total first downs 16 14
Yards gained rushing 222 155
Yards lost rushing 5 36
Net yards gained rushing 217 119
Net yards gained passing 73 31
Total yards gained 290 150
Passes completed 3-7 4-13
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 78 0
Kickoff average yards 8-47.9 1-27.0
Kickoff returns yards 9 95
Punt average, yards 2-43.5 6-26.3
Punt returns, yards 47 0
Had punts blocked 0 1
Lost fumbled ball 0-1 1-1
Yards penalized 4-60 5-46
Touchdowns – rushing 5 0
Touchdowns – passing 1 0
Touchdowns by interception 1 0
Total number of plays 40 70

Official:Tigers can’t play
post-season tilt

COLUMBUS (AP) – Top-ranked Massillon and No. 2 Upper Arlington will have to wait until a regular season 1972 meeting to settle their differences.

The Ohio High School Athletic association, the governing body of the state scholastic sports, ruled Thursday a proposed charity game between the two Class AAA powers after the season was out.

A group had wanted to match the two in a Thanksgiving Day game in Bowling Green for the benefit of the Wichita State University airplane crash fund.

“THE ONLY way they could play the game was if both schools would drop one of their regular season games,” Commission Harold Meyer said. “Massillon and Upper Arlington both played 10 games this fall. That’s the limit under the OHSAA constitution.

Massillon, top-ranked in the Associated Press’ Class AAA state poll and Upper Arlington, in second place are not regularly scheduled until 1972 at Upper Arlington.

The OHSAA again sanctioned the Ohio North-South basketball Classic at Marion in June and tabled a proposal by cable television representatives to telecast state high school sports events on a delayed basis.

Steve Luke