1958: Massillon 0, Warren Harding 6
Warren Overcomes Tigers In 6-0 Battle
First Defeat Of Year Is Also First Failure To Score In 101 Games
By CHARLIE POWELL
The one, only and true difference between a winner and a loser in any sport is the final score.
Despite any second-guessing, anything that is said or done, it was Warren 6, Massillon 0.
It was 6-0 last night, it’s 6-0 today and it will be 6-0 as long as football is played.
The Tigers, try as they did – and that little, three-letter word cannot be overworked – just weren’t meant to bring home the spoils of victory. As a result they tumbled from the ranks of the undefeated, lost the big chance to virtually put the lock and key on the state championship and became the first Washington high school grid team to be held scoreless in over nine years.
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THEY DID MAKE one score – on the sensational first play of the battle as speedy, spunky Jim Snively went all the way, 90 yards, but it didn’t count and thereafter the Bengals had their backs to the well-known wall.
Four times the ever trying orange and black had the Black Panthers on the ropes. In every quarter the Bengals displayed an effective attack and a tough-skinned defense. They won the struggle of statistics, including 15 first downs to Warren’s 10 and a net 285 yards to Warren’s 189.
But – and there is another “big little word” – the kayo punch never came.
The Panthers, avenging the 1957 setback and obliterating just about all thoughts of the upset at the hands of Central Catholic marched 83 yards for the only touchdown, made on a spectacular 26-yard pass completion at 8:36 of the second period, and when the final second ticked off they had truly earned the coveted victory.
The sweet smell of success touched off one of the biggest athletic celebrations ever seen in the home of the Panthers.
Bedlam reigned, with hundreds of wild Warren followers swarming onto the field to shake hands, pound backs and in general, explode with pent-up emotion. It was a mighty big moment. And justly so as the Panthers rocked state football circles and re-kindled their own flame of hope for a proud procession to the throne room.
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,500 fans jammed every nook and cranny of the Warren field to see the battle of the titans. There were 8,200 tickets sold but a number of people reportedly “crashed” the gate through counterfeit tickets and there were several hundred fence – climbers. Most everyone came expecting to see a thriller and they were not let down.
* * *
WARREN DESERVES all that is to be accorded a giant killer.
However, Massillon did everything but score and she too must be given due recognition. Let it not be said the Tigers were any Little Sisters of the Poor.
Leo Strang’s eleven fought just as hard as Warren. They hit just as hard and if you don’t believe there was some rockin’ and reelin’ socking during those hectic 48 minutes of action you should ask some of those boys who saw stars once in a while. No less than 10 time-outs were taken because a player had the wind knocked out of him. Warren alone had seven injury time-outs.
The hard-to-swallow loss came after the Bengals had cast aside five opponents and tied Alliance. Warren, ranked fourth in the state following the loss to Central, now owns a 5-1-1 mark, with Sharon, Pa., Lorain and Youngstown South remaining on its schedule.
Massillon has Barberton, Akron Garfield and Canton McKinley left and if the Tigers are successful the rest of the way, the results could make it a close fit at the wire.
It will take an upset or two, probably, to keep the 1958 state champion from being an undefeated team. With last night’s Warren win the stock of Cleveland Cathedral Latin, Alliance and Marion Harding should take a jump but the Panthers of Gene Slaughter will be right in there.
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BEATING A Massillon team for the first time since 1951, the Panthers also became the first team to shut out the Tigers since 1948. That year Len Dawson and his cohorts from Alliance turned the tide, 14-0. Until last night, the Tigers had scored in 100 straight games. The 1945 Tiger-Panther argument ended in a scoreless tie, while the last Warren goose-egg job over Massillon was 12-0 in 1932.
The series now stands at 25 wins for Massillon, and eight for Warren and the one tie.
For those of you interested in figures, the orange limited the hosts to seven first downs and an average of 3.8 yards per play on the ground. Warren’s touchdown pass was the only serious maneuver against the Tigers in the air.
The Panthers, on several occasions, stopped the Tiger attack on crucial plays. On other occasions the Tigers had very little luck riding with them – because a clipping penalty erased a touchdown on the opening kickoff, two passes flicked off the fingertips of intended receivers at the goal line and another was tripped by a defender he had “beat.” Add the fact that Jerry Mitchell got behind his defender in the end zone and then saw his fine, diving effort go for naught as the ball just escaped his outstretched hands by inches.
The Tigers had the outstanding runners too, since Snively, swivel-hipped Art Hastings and the redoubtable Dave Dean each made more yardage than any single Warren runner.
Hastings gained 80 yards in 15 tries, Dean 70 yards in 14 trips and Snively 64 yards in 10 attempts. Joe Sparma made 31 in eight tries.
But the Warren backs, showing speed and elusiveness, kept the invading orange on its toes.
Nimble-footed Paul Warfield with 50 yards in 14 carries, led the Panther infantry. Fullback Bob Sims carried eight times for 44 yards and Halfback Willie Jones made 20 yards in nine trips with the pigskin. Quarterback Joe Malone, pushing the buttons in adept fashion, gained 11 yards in five carries while sub Paul Provitt, replacing Jones who was injured after being tackled on the second half kickoff, ran three times for seven yards.
Now for some of the particulars.
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THE PARTICULAR PLAY, naturally that had all Tiger fans buzzing, was the one that brought the crowd to its collective feet on the first whistle of the cool, crisp evening. Massillon won the toss and received with Snively grabbing the ball at his own 10. Immediately he set sail up the east sideline, got a couple of nifty blocks around midfield and sprung free at the Warren 30. He outran several opponents to the end zone and completed his 90-yard jaunt amid the cheers of Tiger fans.
But a “hankie” was dropped at the 30 and Massillon was set back to its 15 due to a clipping penalty.
Hastings went for eight and Dean seven before the ball was lost on a fumble and the Tigers were in trouble. Warfield swept the right side for 18 yards and Warren’s second biggest gain on the ground all night, but in the next four plays the hosts made only seven yards and it was Massillon’s turn to wax tenacious.
With Hastings twisting and fighting his way for a 28-yarder, Massillon stayed on the ground to move to the enemy 13. A faulty handoff cost it six yards and two running plays made three before Mitchell and a Warren boy got tangled up and Sparma’s pass was a shade too far deep in the end zone.
And it was Warren’s turn to go on the prowl. The last four plays of the quarter netted 20 yards and the Panthers were aided by an offside call against the orange. Warfield and Jones combined for 17 on the first four plays of the second panel and after Warfield dashed for 12 and Sims for three, Warren was at the Tiger 26.
One pass was short and Jones got zero on the left side but on fourth down and with seven to go, Slaughter’s outfit got the pay-off strike.
Malone passed straight down the middle. Jones snagged the oval on the dead run at the 12 and zipped into the end zone. Malone, passing from placement formation, then failed to hit the mark and it was 6-0.
After the kickoff the Bengals got two first downs but a penalty forced them to punt. Six plays later Warren gambling with fourth and a yard and a half to go at its own 45, failed and the Tigers threatened once again. After Sparma lost six on an attempted pass, he threw out to big Bob Vogel, parallel to the line of scrimmage and Vogel, in turn, fired a long crossfield pass toward Mitchell. The 55-yard pitch led Jerry by a step. With Warren looking for another pass, Sparma kept and got into the open on the right side but he was brought down after a 28-yard pick-up and time elapsed before another play could get under way.
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THE FIRST TIME the orange and black got possession in the third frame it fumbled and Warren recovered at the Tiger 14, but the defense stiffened, Massillon took over at the 22, and again got a sustained drive going.
Snively rumbled for 28 yards and he, Hastings, Sparma, Dean and Jerry Allen made four first downs to the Panther 13. On the last two plays of the quarter Massillon netted five. On the first play of the final round Sparma was tossed for a four-yard deficit and on fourth down, Pledgure tried a reverse pass. It lacked a foot from making connections to Mitchell who was diving in the corner of the end zone.
An intercepted pass and two booming punts by Sims, aided by the wind at his back and the hard turf which helped the ball bounce along, then held the Tigers at bay. After the second kick at 3:54, Sparma went to the air. He hit wingback Jim Wood for eight and then Snively for 20. The latter ran for six before Sparma fired to him again, this time the gain being 18 yards and 2:45 remained. But here it was not to be.
A Sparma pass was dropped before he was smothered on another potential pass play. On fourth down Sparma’s peg intended for Allen was broken up at the 10 and the handwriting was on the wall. After Sims banged for 23 yards, the Panthers stalled out the clock. Their fans went whoopee and after they finished their congratulating on the field, continued their celebration in the downtown business district.
Tough To Lose
Ends – Vogel, Mitchell, Zorn, Oliver.
Tackles – Donat, Bordner, Snodgrass, Appleby.
Guards – Karrenbauer, Slicker, Perry, Medure.
Centers – Shilling, Snyder.
Quarterback – Sparma.
Halfbacks – Snively, Wood, Clark, Radtke, Morrow, Allen, Pledgure.
Fullbacks – Dean, Hastings, McKey.
Ends – Tutich, Laraway, Imburgia.
Tackles – Perfetti, Minotti, Colllins,
Guards – Reiser, Thompson.
Centers – Rodosovich, Romig.
Quarterback – Malone.
Halfbacks – Warfield, Jones, Wesley, Provitt, DeCavitch, Brogdon, Howard.
Fullbacks – Sims, Getsay, Zalac.
Scoring by quarters:
Massillon 0 0 0 0 0
Warren 0 6 0 0 6
Touchdown: Warren – Jones (28-pass).
Referee – George Ellis.
Umpire – Fritz Graf.
Head Linesman – Irwin Shopbell.
Field Judge – Sam Hodnick.
First Downs – Rushing 13 7
First Downs – Passing 2 2
First Downs – Penalties 0 1
Total First Downs 15 10
Number of rushing Plays 58 48
Yards Gained – Running Plays 262 149
Yards Lost – Running Plays 23 14
Net Yardage – Running 239 135
Passes Attempted 10 8
Passes Completed 3 4
Passes Had Intercepted 1 0
Yards Returned – Intercepted
Passes 0 7
Yards Gained – Passing 46 54
Total Yardage – Running
and Passing 285 189
Number of Kickoff Returns 2 1
Yardage – Kickoff Returns 13 17
Average length of Kickoff
Returns 6.5 17.0
Number of Punt Returns 1 0
Yardage – Punt Returns 1 0
Average Length of Punt Return 1 0
Number of Punts 1 3
Total yardage on Punts 42 128
Average Length of Punts 42 42.6
Number of Penalties 3 3
Yards Lost on Penalties 25 15
Number of Fumbles 4 3
Own Fumbles Recovered 2 3
Ball Lost on Fumbles 2 0