Greatest Victories of All-Time – The 1890s to the 1920s

The 1920s

1st – 1925 – MASSILLON (3-1) vs. ALLIANCE (4-0) – 13-6

  • Coaches – Massillon: Dave Stewart; Alliance: Harry Geltz
  • Prelude – Massillon had won the past three meetings handily but Alliance saw a huge opportunity in front of them with their undefeated record and the Tigers having a loss.
  • The Game – Attendance: 5,000 in a drenching downpour at Mount Union Stadium.  Alliance was the bigger team, but the muddy field became the great neutralizer.  The game started with fireworks when the Aviators returned the opening kickoff 80 yard for a touchdown.  But that would be all they got.  Massillon immediately responded with Elwood Kammer (future Massillon coach) scoring from one yard out to go up 7-6 and then sealed the deal with Vince Define’s short scoring run in the fourth.
  • Postscript – Massillon would finish the season with an 8-2 record, which included a 6-3 loss to Canton McKinley.  For Alliance, it turned out to be their only setback of the year, in a season that included a 1-0 forfeit win against McKinley.  Stewart would later coach New Castle, PA, and defeat Paul Brown’s 1937 team.

The 1910s

1st – 1916 – MASSILLON (12-1) vs. CANTON MCKINLEY (???) – 16-9

  • Coaches – Massillon: John Snavely; McKinley: Harold Dunlap
  • Prelude – Massillon was bidding for an undefeated season and a second state title.
  • The Game – Attendance: 2,000.  McKinley scored first on a 5-yard run, which was set up by a 45-yard punt return.  But it turned out to be all the Bulldogs had in the tank for the rest of the game.  Massillon responded with 16 unanswered points in the second quarter.  First, Thomas scored from the four yard line to finish off a long drive.  After a Massillon punt to the five, the Bulldogs fumbled and the Tigers scored again, this time by McLaughlin, which gave the locals an insurmountable lead.  The final score of the first half came via a safety when McKinley’s punter fell on the ball in the end zone.  Neither team threated in the second half, although the Bulldogs did pick up a safety of their own.  But by then the game was well in hand.  McKinley managed just four first downs the entire game to Massillon’s nine in this defensive struggle, as the two teams combined for 23 punts.
  • Postscript – The win gave the Tigers an undefeated season, the Stark County title and its second state championship (popular acclaim).

The 1900s

1st – 1908 – MASSILLON (1-6) vs. CANTON MCKINLEY (???) – 12-6

  • Coaches – Massillon: Ralph Hall; McKinley: Curtis Bowman
  • Prelude – Massillon and McKinley (Canton Central) began their rivalry in 1894 and through the first of two meetings in 1908 the Tigers had yet to win a game, dropping twelve with one tie, including a 17-0 setback in the latest one.
  • The Game – Attendance: 1,000.  Massillon would finally take home a victory against McKinley.  The Tigers were behind 5-0 with five minutes to play and McKinley had the ball.  But luck was on the Tigers’ side.   The Bulldogs fumbled and after the ball was chased for several yards, Davis fell on it in the end zone to tie the score.  On McKinley’s next possession they were forced to punt.  But the punter fumbled the snap and the Tigers’ Blackburn scooped it up and raced 10 yards for the winning points with 1:13 to play.  A final desperation drive by the Bulldogs ended two feet from the goal line as time expired.  Coach Hall was jubilant after the game and felt that Massillon had finally come into its own.
  • Postscript – In spite of their 3-8 record, Massillon had finally defeated McKinley. The following year the Tigers would go undefeated and claim their first state championship. By 1950 Massillon would even the series record with the Bulldogs.

The 1890s

1st – 1893 – MASSILLON (0-0) vs. SALEM (0-0) – 16-6

  • Coaches – Massillon: unknown; Salem: unknown
  • Prelude – The first year of Massillon football was 1891 and three games were played.  But Salem was the first “high school” team they had ever faced.
  • The Game – The Quakers held a considerable size advantage, but the Tigers overcame that with better speed.  Massillon struggled to run the ball through the middle of Salem’s huge line, so they went to the perimeter where they found success.  Salem also had trouble up the middle, but they also struggled around end.  Touchdowns were scored by Roberts, Young and Hilton (5 points for a TD at that time.)
  • Postscript – Massillon’s final record is noted as 1-0, since no literature exists of any other games that year.