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Tigers beat Trojans, eye Bulldogs dogs next
Massillon wins ninth straight by 31 ‑0 score

Independent Sports Editor

“The new season starts this week . . . again,” ‘Massillon coach Mike Currence said after his Tigers subdued the feisty Timken Trojans 31‑0 Friday night in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

“This is the only place I ever coached where you have two seasons. I think the kids will be ready. They’ve been waiting a long time,” he added.

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The Tigers had just won their ninth straight game of the season, but Currence was already looking ahead to the big one ‑ next Saturday’s clash with the Canton McKinley Bulldogs (7‑1‑1) in Fawcett. Stadium.

At stake for the Tigers is their first perfect regular season since 1972 and a possible spot in the Class AAA computer playoffs.

“The Pups are back,” Currence cautioned, noting they defeated a rugged Youngstown Chaney team (which had defeated Warren Harding 12‑7 earlier this season) 25‑0 Friday night in Canton.

“It will be a typical showdown. It’s going to be a Massillon‑McKinley game like you never saw before. They are never the same.”

As for his team’s performance against the Trojans, Currence admitted his team was flat.

“We didn’t have any emotion whatsoever tonight,” he said. “We got two (touchdowns) and started looking for the quick one, but the quick didn’t come. We got away from our game plan. We should have been satisfied with driving the ball. We should have stayed with that.

“They played well,” he said of the Trojans. “They hit us.”

Timken ‑ coach Charles “Sonny” Spielman wasn’t too happy about the outcome of the game, but he was proud of his players.

“I thought our defense did a hell of a job. It’s just that we lacked the total consistency of driving the football down to get the score.”

The Tigers scored on their first two possessions ‑ on touchdowns runs of 10 yards by Mike Jones and 1 yard by Bill Beitel ‑ to take a 13‑0 first‑quarter lead.

Timken’s defense then stiffened, but their offense suffered two crucial breakdowns in the second quarter.

On successive possessions, the Trojans had the snap from center go past their punter and out of the end zone for two safeties. Those mistakes gave the Tigers a 17‑0 halftime lead, and helped demoralize the Trojan offense.

“I felt that if we wouldn’t have had the bad snaps (the Trojans also had a bad snap in the fourth quarter on another punting attempt that led to the Tigers’ final touchdown), the score wouldn’t have been 31‑0.” Spielman said.

“But you can’t make big mistakes against a great football team like Massillon.”

Spielman said he thought his team moved the ball fairly well in the second half. The Trojans had a net total of minus five yards offense in the first half, and had a net total of 50 yards in the second half. They lost 59 yards on the three bad snaps, however, and lost a total of 77 yards during the game. They gained 113 yards rushing and only 9 passing.

“Our kids wanted the challenge of coming here and playing the number two team in the state (Associated Press poll). We hit them,” Spielman concluded.

He also noted the Tigers may have been a little flat for the game.

“This is probably a good time to play Massillon,” he explained. “Their big game is next week. Let’s be honest, they may have been a little flat.

“I look for a hell of a ball game next week. I’ll be there.”

The Tigers added second half touchdowns on a 5‑yard run by Beitel in the second quarter and a 5‑yard pass from Dave Eberhart to Dave Huth in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers’ third‑quarter score was set up by a pair of pass completions from Dave DeLong to Marty Guzzetta.

They were Guzzetta’s 5th and 6th receptions of the game, and they helped him break Curtis Strawder’s single season Massillon and All‑American Conference pass receiving marks.

He now has 43 receptions 0 the season for an unofficial 628 yards, another Massillon and AAC single‑season record.

DeLong had a good night himself, completing 9 of 14 for 114 yards.

Beitel also had a good game, scoring two TDs and gaining 72 yards on nine carries. His 54‑yard run to the one yard line preceded his first touchdown on the next play.

The Tigers’ scored their first TD off their opening possession when Jones went spinning and banging his way through the middle of the Trojan defense for 10 yards and the score. Jeff Fry’s kick made it 7‑0 with 6:18 to go in the first quarter.

The Tigers got the ball back at their own 45 following a Trojan punt, and Beitel swept left end for 54 yards, being dragged down from behind by Timken’s George Smith at the one yard line. He carried it in on the next play. Fry’s kick was good, but an offside penalty against Timken forced him to kick over, and this time he was wide right.

The Tigers then got two second‑quarter safeties on the bad Trojan snaps (on the first‑one the ball was on the 20 and on the second it was on the 15).

Safety Jamie Schlegel intercepted a Randy Troutman pass early in the third quarter and returned it from his own 16 out to the 24.

The Tigers, then drove 76 yards in 15 plays, with Beitel going the final five with 2:58 left in the third quarter, and Fry’s kick making it. 24‑0.

Guzzetta caught three passes in the drive. The first went for 13 yards and a first down at the Trojan 30. The second came on a fouth‑and‑11 play, and was good for 14 yards and a first down at the Timken 17 (that reception tied Strawder’s 1978 record of 42).

The third reception came on the next play, and was good for 12 yards and another first down at the five yard line. Ouzzetta received a standing ovation from the crowd of 9,641 when it was announced he broke the record.

The Tigers’ last score was set up by another muffed snap on a Trojan fourthdown punt attempt.

The Tigers drove 19 yards in six plays with Eberhart hitting Huth with 7:39 left in the game. Eberhart added the point after.

So now the Tigers’ second season ‑ or Beat McKinley Week ‑ is underway.

Despite a few injuries against the Trojans, Currence said he expects all of his players to be healthy.

McKinley coach John Brideweser and his Bulldogs will be out to break the Tigers’ three‑game winning streak in the ancient series. Currence is hoping to taste victory over the Pups for the fourth straight year.

The game will start at 2 p.m. Saturday in Canton’s Fawcett Stadium.

First downs:
Rushing 4 5
Passing 9 0
Penalty 3 3
Total 16 8
Yds gain rush 152 113
Yds lost rush 22 77
Net yds rush 130 36
Net yds pass 142 9
Total yds gain 272 45
Pass attempted 19 13
Passes completed 12 1
Pass int by 1 1
Pass int yds 13 13
Kickoffs 5 3
Kickoff ave 47.4 41.6
Kickoff ret yds 22 60
Punts 3 2
Punt ave 36.7 33.6
Punt ret yds 2 0
Punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 1
Fumbles lost 0 0
Penalties 10 6
Yds penalized 90 73
TDs rushing 3 0
TDs passing 1 0
TDs by int 0 0
Other TDs 0 0
No. of plays 55 42
Time of poss 27:13 20:49

TIMKEN 0 0 0 0 0
MASSILLON 13 4 7 7 31

Mass ‑ Mike Jones 10 run (Jeff Fry kick)
Mass ‑ Bill Beitel 1 run (kick fail)
Mass ‑ Safety (ball snapped through end zone)
Mass ‑ Safety (ball snapped through end zone)
Mass ‑ Beitel 5 run (Fry kick)
Mass ‑ Dave Huth 5 pass from Dave Eberhart (Eberhart kick)

Marty Guzzetta