Fumbles, pass problems marr 46-0 rout over Magics in homecoming
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor
It was a lot easier than a lot of folks thought it would be Friday night, but there were sounded also a pair of sour notes.
The Massillon Tigers rolled over Barberton 46-0 before 12,524 at the rain-sprinkled Tiger stadium non-league homecoming, hanging up a 6-1 slate while handing Barberton its first loss in seven games. The Magics had tied once.
THEY HAD been touted as a dangerous ball club, but the Tiger defense dug in again when it needed to for its fifth shutout in seven tilts. The offense continued to gobble up yardage by the bags full.
The discords were sounded when Tiger backs lost the pigskin on four of five fumbles. It cost them because two of the bobbles occurred deep in Magics territory – probably preventing touchdowns – and the other brace came about the only times Washington high had the ball in the goodbye canto.
The Orange and Black passing game saw only one completion in seven tries as Tiger Coach Bob Commings got a 28-0 lead in the second quarter and got a chance for an extra sky route workout. Receivers couldn’t find the handle for quarterback Scotty Dingler.
Both the ball handling and passing headaches have caused consternation before and could be disastrous when the state’s top ranked Warren Harding Black Panther invade next Friday for an All-American conference affair.
“We’ll just have to concentrate on holding the ball,” Commings declared. “First things must come first. You have to get the ball and then go through the hole. I think our guys were trying to get down field without the ball.”
About the passing, he explained, “It was off, but it was not the quarterback. When he puts the ball in there and they can’t catch it, it’s not his fault.”
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COMMINGS SAID the Tigers’ offensive line did a fine job and liked the way in which the Orange and Black got a lot out of the “I” formation with senior Willie Spencer in the tailback slot. The WHSers had shown a couple of plays from that set last week at Steubenville and used it almost the whole first quarter Friday night.
Commings didn’t use the “I” in the second half with Spencer sitting on the bench, suffering from the effects of the muggy weather. He had gained 124 yards – losing none in 12 first half carries and scored two touchdowns.
Tailback Larry McLenndon, also played at right half, which Don Perry in the lead running slot and tallied once. Defensive halfback Tom Hannon put six points on the scoreboard as did wingbacks Art Thompson and Terry Edwards.
The other two points came in the third stanza when defensive end Todd Cocklin tackled junior quarterback Doug Huffman in the end zone for a safety as Huffman faded from the nine.
The Tigers took the opening kickoff, after a 19-yard runback by Hannon and scored in 10 plays, covering 67 yards, with Spencer and Perry carrying the pigskin. Spencer tallied on third down from the one over right tackle with 7:23 on the clock.
Dingler kicked conversion.
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THE GROOVY HIPPED Hannon ran a punt back 44 yards for a TD with the help of end Mike McGuire’s two man block as the time lights stopped at 2:20.
Dingled added a point.
Tom Jackson, like Hannon, Cocklin and Edwards a promising junior, knocked down Doug Huffman’s second quarter fourth down pass to end Jim Bauschlinger in the end zone, to give Massillon the ball on its five. Spencer flew through left tackle on the next play and picked up 15 more yards on a face mask call to give the Tigers first down on their 26.
An eight-play 95-yard drive had started and Spencer also ended it with a four-yarder through the center after Thompson had charged 51 yards over left guard on third down from the WHS 49 after a motion penalty.
With the clock reading 5:25, Dingler put the ball through the uprights.
Thompson got off another scintillating run on fourth down, after a holding penalty and raced 56 yards for the last counter of the first half, reversing field nicely and breaking a couple of tackles. Halfback Larry Young tried to stop “Gritz” with a desperation tackle, but only succeeded in giving him an extra push into pay dirt at 2:54.
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DINGLER’S PAT boot was good.
Hannon ran back a punt 22 yards and added 14 more yards through the center to get the Tigers off and winging for a 38-yard, five-play scoring offensive. McLenndon went in off right tackle on first down from the four with 5:24 remaining in the third period.
Hannon ran the conversion off a pitch over right tackle.
The final excursion to the Promised Land started after junior middle guard Alex Wood had recovered a fumble on the Magics’ 22. The tally came after four plays with Edwards clearing left tackle on first down from the six at the 2:33 mark.
Junior quarterback Kevin Westover found Edwards in the right corner of the end zone for a two-pointer.
The Tigers had the ball for only two minutes and 50 seconds in the fourth quarter as junior tailback Jim McKinnie picked up quite a bit of yardage and the Magics got to the Massillon 25 before losing the ball on downs as tackle Glenn Weirich and safety Hank Nussbaumer threw Huffman back 14 yards – with the aid of a fumble.
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BARBERTON WAS also stymied on fourth down at the five as McLenndon and McGuire hauled down McKinnie.
“They did a good job on what they were trying to do against us,” Commings said. “Some might have thought it was easy, but it wasn’t. They’re young like Akron East.”
“They beat us real good,” Barberton Coach Ron Fenik said. “They ran through us, over us and around us. There’s not much you can say.”
While McKinnie was a bright light the Magics’ first half running, senior tailback Bob Glenchert looked good before the intermission and seemed most effective when running from counter plays as the Tiger defense was angling the opposite way.
Commings called it running to daylight.
Junior wingback Rick Lay, both an outstanding runner and pass receiver, left with 7:35 remaining in the third quarter and was to have an ankle X-rayed. His absence hindered the Magics’ offense.
First downs, rushing 21 9
First downs, passing 0 1
First downs, penalties 1 1
Total first downs 22 11
Yards gained rushing 351 176
Yards lost rushing 8 53
Net yards gained rushing 343 123
Net yards gained passing 8 26
Total yards gained 351 149
Passes completed 1-7 4-12
Kickoff average (yards) 7-43.0 1-46.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 42 69
Punt average (yds.) 1-41.0 6-32.5
Punt returns (yds.) 65 2
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles (lost) 5(4) 5(3)
Yards penalized 4-50 3-25
Touchdowns rushing 0 0
Miscellaneous 1 0
Total number of plays 56 59