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WHS bests strong Ursuline team 6-2 amid TD-touchback controversy

By Chuck Hess Jr., Independent Sports Editor

You’ll never convince Youngstown Ursuline fans, coaches and players that the Massillon Tigers beat the Fighting Irish 6-2 before 11,723 Friday night at Tiger Stadium. But don’t try to tell Tigertowners that, because their charges played terrific defensive football for the second consecutive week to offset another siege of offensive problems and an equally outstanding defensive job by Ursuline to win the non-league tilt which was married by a lulu of a rhubard with two minutes left.

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Tiger Middle guard Allen Lemon had tossed Ursuline substitute quarterback Mike Fagert for a 10-yard loss to the Massillon 47. Mike Tamburino punted, Mark Streeter touched the ball at the 10 and it appeared Ursuline’s Joe Gaetano recovered near the five and advanced to the one where Tim Gutshall hit him and the ball bounced loose, rolled into the end zone where several players fell on it and Massillon’s Charles Danzy was ruled in possession for a touchback.

However, the ruling from Massillon’s Clyde Shankle, the back judge, and Youngstown’s Dr. Larry Glass, the field judge, was that nobody had gained possession of the muffled punt which ended up in the end zone.

“The impetus that put the ball into the end zone was from the kick,” said referee Jim Keefer of Youngstown. “The fact that the Massillon boy muffed the ball on the field of play had no bearing on the play. The ball continued on into the end zone and as soon as it touched the ground or anything else in the end zone the ball was automatically dead and it was a touchback.”

Ursuline coach Jim Maughan complained, “Our boy had possession of the ball. It’s a live ball. If they recover it, it’s a touchback, if we recover it, it’s a touchdown – which we did.” Tiger coach Bob Cummings commented, “If I were in coach Maughan’s shoes, I’d be upset. There’s no other way to play football but with the officials. We’ve had them go that way against us. That’s football. I couldn’t see the ball, I have to agree with the officials called.”

But Commings agreed that his defense had “risen to the occasion in each and every case. I think that Gary Waldrop came up with the offensive play of the season. It was just an old fashioned trap.” Waldrop broke through the left side of the line on the last play of the third quarter and raced 64 yards to the Ursuline one where he was hit and the ball bounced from his hands and over the sideline. Two plays later quarterback Greg Wood sneaked in from the one with 11:53 left in the fourth quarter.

Alan Binks’ conversion attempt was blocked by Glen Herchik who played one tough game as a fullback and linebacker. He picked up 97 net yards in 24 carries losing only four, and enabled Ursuline to lead to first downs 10-8. Danzy collected 91 yards without a loss in 23 tries.

“Herchik is a very courageous kid,” Commings said. “Their whole football team is. It’s the second week in a row we’ve had a team come in and fight us to the wire. We’re not pleased with our showing. But we have to be objective enough to give the opposing coaches and their kids a lot of credit.” The Tigers had two other opportunities to score. They lost the ball on downs at the Ursuline four early in the second quarter. Later in the stanza Binks’ field goal try from the 19 was wide right.

The Irish got out of their territory once in the first quarter. Strong safety Denny Gutshall intercepted a pass on the Massillon 30 in the second period to stop another attempted invasion. Ursuline got to the Tiger 18 in the fourth stanza with Herchik doing the bulk of the ball carrying, but end Leon Rolland brushed off two blockers and dropped tailback Dave Hodge for a two-yard loss to the 20 where the Orange and Black took over.

Cornerback John Mayor intercepted a pass at the Massillon 16 on the final play. Ursuline scored its safety with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter when punter Todd Keller was forced to fall on a bad snap at the foot of the goal post. The Tigers had had fourth down on their 14.

The Irish used a 6-3 defense which Commings said confused his team. So did an unbalanced Ursuline offensive line.

Ursuline – 2

Ends — Williott, Deiter, Darby, O’Neill.

Tackles — Tamburino, Tomko, David, Donlea, Rice, Alexander.

Guards – Murtha, Hunsberger, Lowery.

Center – Porter.

Quarterback – Fagert.

Halfbacks – Hernan, Hodge, Rebraca, Gaetano, Fontanarosa.

Fullback – Herchik

Defensive halfbacks – Dastoli, Flanagan, Vario.

Massillon – 6

Ends – Huffman, Gutshall, T. Lemon.

Tackles – Lee, Csonka, Chapman, Rich, Nicewander.

Guards – Schumacher, Fenton, Schumacher.

Quarterback – Wood.

Halfbacks – Danzy, Streeter, Henderson

Fullbacks – McGuire, Waldrop’

Defensive Ends–Roland, DiLoreto.

Middle Guards – A. Lemon.

Linebackers – T. Gutshall, Graber, Venables.

Defensive halfbacks – Mayor, Pifer, D. Gutshall, Herring, Dailey.

Punter – Keller.

Placekicker – Binks.


M–Greg Wood 1 run (kick blocked); U Safety, ball snapped out of end zone.


Referee Jim Keefer; Umpire Ted Deutsch; Head Linesman Henry Mastriann; Field Judge Dr.Larry Glass; Back Judge Clyde Shankle.

Stats M U

First downs, rush. 8 8

First downs, pass. 0 1

First downs, pen. 0 1

Total first downs 8 10

Yards gained rush. 212 152

Yards lost rush. 36 18

Net yds. gained rush. 176 134

Net yds. gained pass. 4 29

Total yds. gained 180 163

Passes completed 1- 4 3-7

Passes intercepted by 2 0

Yrds on passes int. 10 0

Kickoff average 2-54 1-55

Kickoff returns 32 17

Punt Average 6-36.7 6-31.6

Punt returns yd. 19 17

Fumbles lost 3 (1) 5 (2)

Yards penalized 5-46 4-31

Total no. plays 54 55

Jeff Huffman