1937: Massillon 0, New Castle, PA 7
NEW CASTLE ENDS TIGER UNDEFEATED STREAK AT 26
FORWARD PASS GIVES VISITORS 7-0 VICTORY
Massillon Eleven Out Charged and Out Smarted by Pennsylvania’s Red Hurricane; 10,000 Attend Feature Contest
By LUTHER EMERY
A Red Hurricane from Pennsylvania struck Massillon field in all its fury Friday evening, ripped open the orange and black wave and ended Washington high school’s undefeated football streak at 26 games before a crowd of 10,000.
The final score was New Castle 7, Massillon 0. A second period pass, Lindy Lauro to Ed. Sovesky, turned the trick and with New Castle stacking up an impregnable defense, one touchdown was all that was needed.
Injuries Hurt Tigers
Torn by injury and illness, the Massillon eleven was not at its best, while the Red Hurricane, in the words of its Coach Phil Bridenbaugh, never played a better football game.
“We did not expect to win,” Bridenbaugh said after the game, “But our team played fine ball and of course I am very happy. No doubt you missed Snavely. We had picked him as your No. 1 player.”
And the Tigers did miss Snavely and Junior Anderson and Warren Wyatt. The veteran trio composed the entire right side of the Massillon line and none was able to play last night.
Wyatt cracked a bone in his leg in the Alliance game and is hobbling about on crutches. Snavely injured a knee in practice Tuesday. He was in uniform last night and warmed up once with the intention of stopping the New Castle touchdown thrust, but before he could get into the game, Lauro had found a good receiver in Sovesky and Snavely went back on the oak.
Anderson took ill with influenza Friday and spent the night in bed.
Coming as they did, the injuries not only weakened the Tigers physically but mentally. They had two days in which to plug the hole left by Snavely’s injury but when Anderson took sick Friday and most of the players knew nothing about it until they came to the field to dress – that was the last straw.
New Castle Inspired
But with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, New Castle would have been hard to beat last night. The Hurricane played with a spirit seldom seen on the gridiron and the longer the game went the tougher they grew.
Give Lauro, Sovesky and Micaletti credit for a good offensive performance, but heap praise on the New Castle line. It was the Hurricane forward wall that won it the victory. It out charged the Tiger line, stopped virtually everything Massillon sent its way and opened holes for the ball carrier to cut through.
Joe Picutta and Eddie Dombroski, the visitors’ guards were in the Massillon backfield most of the evening and with their teammates stopped all Tiger offensive maneuvers after the first period. Not a first down did they give Massillon the second half and they only yielded one in the second period.
All of the Tigers’ offense was packed into the first period when they twice carried the ball inside the New Castle 15-yard line.
A 15-yard penalty hurt plenty on one occasion and it would have been first down on the seven-yard line, had not the Tigers failed to stop on their shift.
Again they missed their first down by two yards after carrying the ball to the 11-yard stripe.
Recovered fumbles had given the Tigers their two chances. They carried the kickoff back to the 30-yard line where Glass punted over the goal line on fourth down.
On the third play Micaletti fumbled and Bud Lucius came up with the ball on the 28-yard line. A 14-yard gain by Zimmerman on the weak side and a couple of bucks by Glass put the ball on the 11-yard line, but there the visitors held. They only ran off two plays, however, before Lauro fumbled and Lucius again came up with the ball on the 18-yard line.
Glass tossed a pass to Red Snyder for six yards and Zimmerman gained three more. Slusser sneaked through to what would have been a first down on the seven-yard line but the shift was declared illegal and a 15-yard penalty put the Tigers back. Another pass to Snyder gained 10 but the ball was lost on the 13-yard line and that ended Massillon’s offense for the day.
New Castle Scores
Early in the second period the Tigers tried to start another march from midfield but Joe Gender came in on the run to spear one of George Slusser’s passes and race back to the
20-yard line before being downed.
It was New Castle’s first threat. Snavely ripped off a sweat jersey and began warming up his injured knee on the sidelines. Sovesky tried to circle his right end and though he ran the width of the field, only got a yard.
Coach Brown was giving instructions to Snavely when the ball was passed to Gender. He slipped it to Lauro, who whirled and shot the ball to his left. Sovesky, cutting to his left through the Tiger secondary, caught the ball on the three-yard line with no one near to stop him. Roussos kicked the extra point in what looked like a line drive, but it was over and between the bars and good for the seventh point.
The Hurricane never yielded after that. What hope Massillon had of tying the score was blotted out by brilliant line play and excellent ball hawking in the secondary. The visitors allowed the Tigers but one first down thereafter and Eddie Dombroski’s educated toe kept the Massillon eleven out of New Castle territory, kept them out in fact until the closing minutes of the fourth quarter when Dombroski’s punt was blocked and recovered by Lucius on the Hurricane 33-yard line. Bob Glass tossed one long pass that barely missed its mark, way down at the goal line, but when he tried two more he was struck down for consecutive losses of 10 yards before he could get the ball away.
Near Riot Stopped
The last tackle nearly precipitated a riot. Glass and Picutta came up fighting. New Castle fans were already beginning to pour out of the bleachers and several Massillon substitutes ran out on the field but were hauled down by Coach Brown and sent back to the bench.
The officials took command in time, put Glass and Picutta out of the ball game, called it no play and put the ball back to the place of the previous down. The game ended two plays later.
Save for its one touchdown march, New Castle was never particularly dangerous. Their only other threat came in the middle of the fourth quarter when they marched the ball from midfield to the Tiger 17-yard line where on fourth down Roussos’ attempt field goal was low.
The Red Hurricane outplayed the Tigers in practically every department as the statistics will show. They made six first downs to the Tigers’ three and gained a net total of 79 yards from scrimmage to Massillon’s 75 as well as 33 yards in passing to Massillon’s 16. They averaged 39 yards on punts to Massillon’s 36 yards. Throw out the blocked punt when figuring the punting average and you get an average of 47 yards per punt which is computed from the line of scrimmage, not from the point where the ball was kicked. Not a punt was returned, whereas Massillon’s punts were returned a total of 17 yards.
In outdoing the Tigers offensively and defensively the Hurricane stopped Glass. On only two occasions did he get away to a substantial gain. On the second play after the kickoff, he ripped off 28 yards to lug the leather into New Castle territory and on the last play of the first half he carried the ball 15 yards on a mousetrap play to midfield.
Glass carried the ball 17 times for a new average gain of two and one-half yards. Bill Zimmerman carried it 12 times for an average gain of 3.3 yards and Slusser carried six times for an average gain of one-half yard.
Loss of Snavely, Anderson and Wyatt, crippled the Tigers offensively as well as defensively. Lucius, Bill MacMichael and Kasper Lechleiter did the best they could but none had the experience of the three veterans and experience was needed last night with New Castle keyed up and pointed.
Defeat can not be blamed on them. The entire Tiger team as a whole was not on its toes and was both out charged and out smarted.
But all things have an ending and since defeat had to come some time, there was no disgrace in losing to an eleven that played the brand of football put up by New Castle.
Lucius did a good job of ball hawking and covered two New Castle fumbles and the blocked punt.
The crowd was the largest to attend a game here this season. Approximately 10,000 witnessed the game.
The New Castle band gave a flashy performance between halves. Wearing their new uniforms for the first time this season, the young visiting musicians marched down the field in triumph at the end of the game to herald the accomplishment of their team in ending the Tiger undefeated string of 26 games that began back in the opening game of 1935.
Prior to the game the New Castle musicians had dinner at the Y.M.C.A. Members of the Washington high band took pains to add color and a warm welcome to the reception. They decorated the dining room with Massillon and New Castle colors and made little favors, paper footballs reading “Welcome to Massillon”, that were placed at every plate.
The Tiger band also accorded the visitors another friendly gesture when they turned over the entire intermission between halves to the New Castle band. The local musicians did their drilling before the game and joined New Castle in its triumphant march after the final gun.
The visitors were enthusiastic over the welcome and their enthusiasm was kindled with victory. It evened the score with the Tigers and preserved a New Castle record that goes back 15 years. Not in that time has any opponent outscored the Red Hurricane in games.
The celebration lasted into the wee hours of the morning. Some fans probably remained the night, but for the most part they returned home amidst a blaring of horns.
The lineup and summary:
Massillon Pos. New Castle
Howard LE Nocera
Peters LT Roussos
Houston LG Picutta
Martin C Updegraph
Luciius RG Dombroski
MacMichael RT MacNeill
Lechleiter RE Carey
Slusser QB Gender
Glass LH Sovesky
Snyder RH Micaletti
Zimmerman FB Lauro
Score by periods:
New Castle 0 7 0 0 7
Massillon – Greenfelder, rg; Toles, re; Fabian, lb.
New Castle – Kulnis, lg.
Touchdown: New Castle – Sovesky.
Point after touchdown: Roussos (placekick).
Referee – Lobach.
Umpire – Wallace.
Mass. New C.
Yards gained rushing 101 32
Yards lost rushing 26 13
Net yards gained 75 79
Yards gained passing 16 33
Total yards gained 91 112
First downs 3 6
Passes attempted 12 7
Passes completed 2 3
Passes intercepted by 2 2
Passes incomplete 8 2
Punts 7 6
Average punts (yards) 36 39
Punts blocked 0 1
Punts – returned yards 0 17
Average return punts 0 2
Kickoffs 0 3
Kickoffs returned yards 62 0
Average return 21 0
Fumbles 0 3
Lost ball on fumbles 0 2
Penalties 2 4
Yards penalized 20 31
Plays from scrimmage 54 47