Tigers outside game beats Bennies
Shaky start but the ending turns out okay
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor
The end was okay but the start was a little shaky Friday night at Tiger Stadium as the Tigers took step number one on their way back to respectability.
An uninspired Orange and Black team shut out an unusually poor Cleveland Benedictine team 24-0 before 8,989 fans, the season’s smallest crowd, to raise their record to 2-3 and break a two-game losing steak. Benedictine, defending Blass AA state champion, dropped to 1-4.
THE TIGERS had problems moving the ball in the first half and looked listless, but head coach Chuck Shuff had a few well chosen words for his crew at halftime and they played better football in the third quarter. The reserves were in for most of the fourth stanza.
“We told the fellows they had to go out and play better football,” Shuff said. “We were not up for the game and we played like we practiced. Our workouts were mediocre this week, not spirited. I would hope that we didn’t look at this game as one against a team with a 1-3 record because we were only 1-3.”
The Tigers were too quick around the ends for the Bennies with options and pitch sweeps. With Benedictine playing a 6-1 defense it opened the way for 34 and 32-yard pass catches by senior split end Eddie “Tinker” Bell and a 14-yarder by senior tight end Thee Lemon which set up two of the touchdowns and Lemon’s eight-yard touchdown catch.
“We had good sweeps and options tonight and hit Harmon inside a couple of times in the second half and kept them honest,” Shuff said. “With Benedictine playing six linemen and only one linebacker we wanted to try to get the ball in the air a little more. I thought we hit more than five of 13, but we got our highest yardage of the season.”
One of the things which made the option plays go so well was senior quarterback Greg Wood’s faking at attackers, springing senior tailback Mark Streeter and junior tailback Tom Grizzard effectively.
“OUR DEFENSE came along real well and held them to 118 yards on 46 attempts,” Shuff said. “That’s pretty good.”
Because the Tigers moved the ball so well, they had 18 more plays than the Bennies. That always helps.
Augie Bossu, veteran Benedictine mentor, agreed, “The Tigers were quicker than we were and hurt us around the ends. Harmon kept us honest up the middle. You also hurt us with your passes and were quicker than we were.”
Senior middle guard Gary Waldrop picked off a Benedictine fumble at the Bennies’
29-yard line in the first quarter and four plays later the Tigers had a TD, set up by Streeter’s 15 and 11-yard pitch runs. Junior fullback Bill Harmon bulled over the one but Dave Dowd’s conversion kick was wide.
Near the end of the quarter junior punter Todd Keller’s fumble gave Benedictine the ball on the Massillon 38. Two plays later senior line backer Tim Gutshall pounced on senior fullback John Colagiovanni’s fumble at the 40 and the Tigers were off for what looked like another TD drive.
STREETER GALLOPED 33 yards around end on a pitch to the Benedictine 33, but misplayed a pitchout from the seven on the first play of the second quarter, senior halfback Bruce Kniola recovered for the Bennies.
Bell intercepted a Herb Wilborn aerial on the Tigers’ 29 later in the second quarter to put the Orange and Black on the prowl again. In five plays the Obiemen had their second score as Bell and Lemon handled the aforementioned pass receptions and Wood added a 15-yard end run. Greg tried to hit junior swingback Keith Harmon for the conversion after Lemon’s TD catch but senior halfback Tome St. John knocked the ball down.
Lemon almost got the Tigers a TD on the final play of the first half when he intercepted a pass on the Benedictine 26 and run back to the one.
The Tigers took over on their 17 after a third quarter punt and in 11 plays had their third TD. Bill Harmon’s 17-yard run through the center and Bell’s 32-yard pass reception on the three were keys. Streeter scored three plays later from the nine after an offside penalty had robbed Harmon of a TD. “Streets’” run featured a beautiful second effort to him into the end zone on the pitchout.
St. John knocked down Wood’s pass for Lemon on the conversion try.
THE TIGERS gained possession later in the stanza after a poor punt gave them the ball on their 42. Harmon went off tackle for 18 yards to the 40 and Streeter 20 yards on an option during the seven-play drive. Wood sneaked in from the one for the score but Dowd’s kick attempt was wide.
In the fourth quarter senior linebacker Brandon White hopped on Wilborn’s fumble at the Benedictine 31. Six plays later the Tigers lost the ball on downs at the Benedictine eight.
The Tigers stopped a Benedictine threat at the Orange and Black 42 in the fourth quarter, Shuff put in the reserves with 9:30 left and that was it.
BENEDICTINE – 0
Ends – Washington, Davis.
Tackles – Adnrassy, Conwell, Farris, Stevelak, Glowik.
Guards – Singer, Cooper, Caputo, Berdysz.
Center – Gaines.
Quarterbacks – Wilborn, Kniola, Shults.
Halfbacks – St. John, Deininger, West, McCloy, Charles.
Fullbacks – Colagiovanni, Hill.
MASSILLON – 24
Ends – Bell, Lemon, Bammerlin, Conley, Coates, T. Gutshall.
Tackles – Matie, Lauber, Easter, Genet, Rich, Rambaud.
Guards – Parrish, White, Lightfoot, Bricker, Dowd, Snell, Schumacher, Christoff, K. Waldrop, Brand.
Centers – Nagle, Mitchael.
Quarterbacks – Wood, Keller.
Halfbacks – Pifer, K. Harmon, Streeter, Grizzard, Ellis, Simpson, Dorsey, Herring, Stewart, Robinson.
Fullbacks – B. Harmon, Lab.
Massillon 6 6 12 0 24
Benedictine 0 0 0 0 0
M – B. Harmon, 1 run (kick failed);
M – Lemon, 8 pass from Wood (pass failed);
M – Streeter, 9 run (pass failed);
M – Wood 1 run (kick failed).
Referee – Fred Vicarel.
Umpire – Bill Kulich.
Head Linesman – Jack Werkowitz.
Field Judge – Dick Creed.
Back Judge – Tim Murray.
ATTENDANCE – 8, 989.
First downs – rushing 16 4
First downs – passing 4 1
First downs – penalties 0 1
Total first downs 20 6
Yards gained rushing 316 94
Yards lost rushing 53 23
Net yards gained rushing 263 71
Net yards gained passing 106 47
Total yards gained 369 118
Passes completed 5-13 4-14
Passes intercepted by 2 0
Yardage on passes intercepted 31 0
Kickoff average (yards) 5-41.6 1-43.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 22 42
Punt average (yards) 3-38.3 6-36.8
Punt returns (yards) 35 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Lost fumbled ball 2-6 3-3
Yards penalized 4-40 3-31
Touchdowns rushing 3 0
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Total number of plays 64 46
Possession Time 24:58 23.02