‘Have to come back next week’ – Shuff
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor
Anytime you lose it’s tough to take. For Chuck Shuff it was 10 times as agonizing Friday night when he became the third first-year coach in the 80-yard history of Tiger football to lose an opener.
But Shuff may have had a harder task in winning than either John Atkinson or Elmer McGrew for Chuck had to pit his new system against a tough revenge-minded team in Youngstown Ursuline.
THE WORDS came hard as Shuff, slowly and softly following the Tigers’ 14-6 loss to Ursuline before 12,395 fans, recounted his post-game speech to his squad.
“We have to come back next week,” Shuff said. “We can’t drop our heads. We have to have a lot of Tiger pride. We have to put the pieces together. We have to re-evaluate some things.
“We must stick together as a family. One individual does not lose a ball game. The whole family loses the game.”
While the Tigers had the upper-hand in the statistics, that’s no consolation. They came out second best in a real head knocker between linemen, with Ursuline getting revenge for a 6-2 defeat administered here last year.
“When you bring in a new system, things are going to be a little different,” Jim Maughan Ursuline head coach said, remembering the 21-0 defeat administered his team here in 1972. “We felt if we had a shot at them this would be the time. Fortunately things worked out that way. It was a real team effort.
“THEY HAVE a fine team. They came back and had us on the ropes in the third quarter. I was really worried, but Lady Luck happened to be with us tonight.”
The Irish won the game with some outstanding interior line play which opened gaping holes in the Tigers’ defense in the first half for backs Larry Fontanarosa, Eric Darby and Pat Durina. Tackles Fred David and Jim Dunlea, guards Mike Cizmar and Tim Rice and center Dave Porter did the bulk of the work.
The Irish ran from 16 different sets, according to Maughan and threw in some misdirection tactics from the wing-T which could have contributed to the Tigers’ woes.
“In the second half we weren’t doing anything differently defensively,” Shuff said. “We had a little more pursuit. I felt our kids were awfully tight at the beginning of the game and that’s when you make a lot of fundamental mistakes. Our offensive line looked better as we went along. Our defense improved but we couldn’t put it together.”
While Ursuline picked up 100 net yards rushing in the first half, the Irish got only 32 in the second half. The Tigers picked up 119 yards in the first half and 68 in the second half.
The Tigers moved the ball well but killed themselves at key times with fumbles – even the three of five which they didn’t lose.
IN THE first half Ursuline got some tremendous field position form kick and punt runbacks.
They tied the game on an eight play, 59-yard drive started by Durina’s 32-yard runback of the kickoff following the Tigers’ only touchdown.
Quarterback Mike Fagert went through the center from the two with 1:19 left in the first quarter. He tried to pass to end Gary Zamary for the conversion but threw the ball into the south stands.
Ursuline forced the Tigers into a punting situation, with Todd Keller booting from the north end zone in the second quarter. Darby ran the pigskin back 45 yards to the Massillon two and ploughed through the center on the next play for the TD with 1:44 remaining.
He tried to run the conversion, got hit, the ball popped into the air and Dunlea grabbed it in the end zone.
The Irish got deep into Tiger territory only one other time, but were halted on the Tiger six earlier in the second quarter by Tom Grizzard and Bill Harmon.
THE OBIEMEN’S lone score came after a first quarter punt on a seven-play, 70-yard drive highlighted by Harmon’s 42-yard jaunt around end to the Ursuline 24. But the Irish had “the big bear” in their sights the rest of the game.
Two plays later tailback Mark Streeter took a pitch from quarterback Greg Wood and skirted the right side from the sixth with 6:31 remaining. His attempted pitch to Streeter for the conversion hit an Ursuline player.
The Tigers took the second half kickoff and rolled 37 yards in nine plays to the Ursuline 19 for a first down, but junior fullback Jeff Lab lost the ball on a blast through the center and the Irish’s Dunlea recovered. Lab had started the drive by running kickoff back 24 yards to the Tigers’ 46.
In the fourth quarter the Orange and Black rolled from their 20 to their 46 in six plays following a punt, but Wood fumbled the snap and the Irish’s Sam Lamancusa recovered.
Then the Tigers nailed punter Fontanarosa on the Ursuline 28 following his snap fumble. However, a broken play killed their chances.
IF WHS quarterback Greg Wood can get improved protection, he and end Eddie “Tinker” Bell and wingback Mark “Midget” Pifer could become a good passing combination. One Tiger drive broke down in the second stanza when Wood, throwing under duress, couldn’t hit Bell on fourth down from the Ursuline 14.
A 32-yard kickoff runback by Streeter to the Massillon 46, Wood’s 14-yarder to Bell and junior tailback Tom Grizzard’s 21-yard, off-tackle run and a seven-play, 42-yard drive went for naught.
URSULINE – 14
Ends – Zamary, Jernan, Montana.
Tackles – Beshara, Cardon, Alexander, Dunlea, David.
Guards – Cizmar, Julian, Rice, Lamancusa, Cardarelli, Hunsbarger.
Centers – Davanzo, Porter.
Halfbacks – Rebraca, Darby, Durina, Joyce.
Fullbacks – Fontanarosa.
MASSILLON – 6
Ends – Lemon, Bell, Gutshall.
Tackles – Matie, Mike Lauber, Rich, Nagle.
Guards – Lightfoot, Bricker, Dowd, Christoff, Snell, Venables, Brand, White, Parrish.
Center – Studer.
Quarterback – Wood.
Halfbacks – Streeter, Grizzard, Pifer, K. Harmon, Dorsey, Stewart.
Fullbacks – B. Harmon, Waldrop, Lab, Hoffner.
Punter – Keller.
Ursuline 6 8 0 0 14
Massillon 6 0 0 0 6
M – Mark Streeter 6 run;
U – Mike Fagert 2 run;
U – Eric Drobney 7 run (Jim Dunlea fumble recovery).
Referee – Hugh Davis.
Umpire – J. Donald Miller.
Head Linesman – Fred Vicarel.
Field Judge – Ted Humphrey.
Back Judge – Chet DeStafano.
First downs – rushing 10 8
First downs – passing 3 0
First downs – penalties 1 1
Total first downs 14 9
Yds. Gained rushing 202 150
Uds. Lost rushing 39 18
Net yds. Gained rush. 163 132
Net yds. Gained pass. 24 19
Total yds. Gained 187 151
Passes completed 4-11 3-4
Passes inter. By 0 0
Ydge. On passes inter. 0 0
Kickoff ave. (yards) 2-49.0 3.39.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 70 73
Punt ave. (yards) 3.41.3 4-38.8
Punt returns (yards) 19 43
Had punts blocked 0 0
Lost fumbled ball 2.5 0.1
Yards penalized 4-30 5-25
TDs rushing 1 2
Total number of plays 49 45
Time of Possession 24.00 24.00