Tag: <span>Abe Bryan</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1971: Massillon 26, Steubenville 0

Tiger tailbacks, defense keys to rout

Independent Sports Editor

It was a nice try, fellows – sliding the Tiger down a wire just prior to the kickoff, to be cremated by flames from the scoreboard horse’s mouth – but it wasn’t about to turn out that way.

The Orange and Black had a terrific Friday night! In fact you might say it was devastating!
* * *
AN ESTIMATED crowd of 10,000 saw the Tigers boot the “House of Horrors” myth right out of Harding stadium and into the Ohio River which surges by Steubenville.

Of the 26-0 victory over the Big Red, Washington High Assistant Coach Nick Vrotsos said, ‘This was the most gratifying of any here since I joined the staff.” The native of Martins Ferry – just down the stream a bit – has seen seven since he came to Massillon in 1958.

When going over the latest list of Tiger assets, you could mark them off as follows:
Item 1 – Tailbacks Willie Spencer and Larry McLenndon gaining 352 of the Orange and Black’s 378 net rushing yardage. Spencer, the All-American conference’s leading rusher and scorer, gaining 193 yards in 20 carries – including 114 in 10 lugs in the first half – and tallying two touchdowns; McLenndon picking up 159 yards in nine tries and two TDs; both boys doing this while playing a lot of defense along the way.

Item 2 – An offensive line, led by guards Bruce Christoff, Randy Heck, Dan Guiffre and Scott Graber and center Steve Studer, snaring the opposition slicker than a mousetrap pinions an unsuspecting rodent – a tribute to the coaching of Vrotsos.

Item 3 – An all-around defense tighter than the purse strings on Jack Benny’s pocketbook, resulting in the Tigers’ fourth shutout in six tries and only 126 total yards for the Big Red.
* * *
“USING TWO TAILBACKS certainly helped us, our line blocked well, we defensed them real well and I thought quarterbacks Scott Dingler and Kevin Westover looked good,” head Coach Bob Commings said. “We had more depth and that hurt Steubenville.”

By winning the Tigers moved to a 5-1 season record and took over third place in the All-American conference at 1-1. The defending league and Ohio Class AAA state champions should have picked up valuable ground in both the Associated Press poll and the Ohio High School Athletic association’s computer ratings.

While handing out praise for top performances, a great deal should go to 139-ound Steubenville senior quarterback-defensive back Mike Mavromatis. He perhaps more than any other epitomized the courage and guts of a team which took an unmerciful pounding, but time and again came back for more.

“He’s a great kid! A real competitor!” said Commings. Mavromatis was about the hardest guy to bring down the Tigers have run up against this year, but men like end Bob Stephan and linebacker Mike McGuire were equal to the task.

There were no scores in the first quarter even though both teams got close with the Tigers’ effort dying on the Steubenville 18 after Spencer had landed on a first play Big Red fumble on the Steubenville 32. An offside penalty and a fumble on a pitchout set the Tigers back to the 33.

A 25-yard pass-run from Mavromatis to halfback Herm Davis on the ensuing series didn’t help the Big Red as Mavromatis was thrown from the Tigers four to the 19 on fourth down by Spencer who then took off over right tackle for 43 yards to the Steubenville 46 to start an 81-yard, five-play drive. After offside and motion penalties – the last of which nullified his TD – Spencer went over left tackle from the 21 on second and 14 with 8:54 left in the second canto.
* * *
DINGLER’S KICK was wide right.

Davis intercepted a pass on the Steubenville six and Hannon picked off a Big Red aerial on the Massillon 28 to thwart further first-half scoring.

Hannon ran back the second half kickoff 24 yards and McLenndon set sail over right tackle on the next play for 57 yards and a TD with the help of a downfield block by McGuire. The score came with 11:26 left and Spencer followed around with a right end for two more counters.

Willie got the next score with 6:54 left in the fourth quarter, capping a five play, 70-yard drive with a 38-yard jaunt over right tackle, breaking a tackle in the process. A 17-yard, pass-run from Dingler to Thompson down the center after a motion penalty set the stage.

Spencer missed the conversion over left tackle.

The Tigers took over on the Big Red 46 after a short punt. Westover unloaded a 30 yarder to McGuire who jumped up between two men on the 15 along the left side, grabbed the ball and continued to the four. McLenndon traversed right tackle with 4:22 remaining for six points.
* * *
HANNON DIDN’T make the end zone for the conversion but two minutes later hauled in a pass from his 22 to his end zone to kayo Steubenville’s final threat.

Commings had yanked the first team but put them back in again, drawing the ire of Steubenville fans. However, he instructed his team not to call time with the clock running out and the Tigers on the Big Red 10 after McLenndon had raced 64 yards around left end to the Steubenville 17.
With state championships decided on polls, the shutout is a necessity.

“It went pretty much as we expected as far as Massillon’s aggressiveness and power was concerned,” Steubenville Coach Abe Bryan said. “They just handled us out there. We made some mental mistakes, but hit well. We went away from our game plan in the first quarter and really blew it badly. Then we had to play catch-up football. They have a fine team. We are not physical enough and must eliminate mistakes with our size if we are to beat the good teams.”

He concluded, “Spencer played a great game and broke an awful lot of tackles when we had clean sweeps.”

Ends – Stephan, Matie, McGuire, D. Edwards, Bodiford.
Tackles – Heath, Weirich, T. Peters, Green, Shumar.
Guards – Christoff, Heck, Graber, Guiffre, Mayles, Vogt, Keller, Balizet, Bash.
Centers – Studer, Allman, Cocklin, McCabe.
Quarterbacks – Dingler, Muhlback, Westover.
Halfbacks – W. Spencer, McLenndon, Thompson, T. Edwards, Nussbaumer, Wonsick, Jackson, Weise, Christie.
Fullbacks – Perry, Hannon, Wood.

Ends – Gilliam, Hill, Sims, Warren, Jarvis.
Tackles – Kalifut, Bougard, Markakis, Hargrove.
Guards – Holmes, Dorsey, Embry, Fahay.
Centers – Medley, Nixon.
Quarterbacks – Mavromatis.
Halfbacks – H. Davis, Snyder, Alfred, Johnson, R. Snyder.
Fullback – Gray.

MASSILLON 0 6 8 12 26

M – Spencer, 21 run (run failed);
M – McLenndon, 57 run (run)
M – Sepncer, 38 run (run failed)
M – McLenndon, 4 run (run failed).

Referee – Milo Lukity.
Umpire – Dr. Henley Freeman.
Head Linesman – Sam DiBlasi.
Field Judge – Jim Murray.


First downs, rushing 16 7
First downs, passing 2 1
First downs, penalties 2 1
Total first downs 20 9
Yards gained rushing 408 151
Yards lost rushing 30 54
Net yards gained rushing 378 97
Net yards gained passing 70 29
Total yards gained 448 126
Passes completed 4-7 2-13
Passes intercepted by 2 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 0 0
Kickoff average (yards) 5-49.0 1-42.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 25 97
Punt average (yds.) 2-36.5 6-35.3
Punt returns (yds.) 10 4
Fumbles (lost) 3(1) 1(1)
Yards penalized 7-55 3-25
Total number of plays 54 55

Steve Studer
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1970: Massillon 40, Steubenville 0

Tigers’ awesome display routs Big Red

Independent Sports Editor

Two “Big Red Machines” have screeched to halts this week. The Baltimore Orioles took care of one, the Massillon Tigers, the other.

Combining their most awesome offensive display with another devastating effort by the “Attack Pack,” the Washington high gridders pulverized Steubenville 40-0 Friday night at Tiger stadium. The season’s biggest crowd, 13,861, watched the home coming massacre.
* * *
THE TIGERS, No. 1-ranked in Ohio by the Associated Press, stretched their win streak to six and took over first place in the All-American conference by one-half game. Defending champion Canton McKinley (5-0) can throw the race into a tie again with a win tonight at Niles.

Steubenville (3-3) dropped into solo occupancy of the cellar.

The Tigers got over another big hurdle in their effort to regain the Ohio toga, shed after two straight titles, in 1966. But that the Orangemen should run up as many points was surprising.

Even though Steubenville lost the AAC’s second leading passer, Jeff Spahn, with concussion in the second quarter and two-way outstanding end Les Washington via the same type of injury in the fourth, Coach Abe Bryan refused to put the blame there.

“We were outplayed, out hit and out coached,” he said, “Massillon is a fine team,
well-coached in its techniques, has a lot of spirit and a lot of pride.”
* * *
“WE DIDN’T think it would be that bad,” he said. “I knew we were making mistakes, but I didn’t think we were that poor.”

Commings didn’t think it was any easy game for the Tigers.

“Our kids did what they were supposed to – took it to them,” he explained. “They were well prepared for us and defensed us perfectly. However, our kids blocked well. We didn’t expect to score 40 points. It was a pretty complete game (good in all aspects).”

The Tigers got tremendous second-effort running from tailback Mike Mauger and Larry McLenndon, fullback and Co-Captain Tom Cardinal and quarterback Dennis Franklin. Commings was unstinting in his praise of each.

Franklin has his best aerial effort with seven completions in 10 tries for 156 yards, passing for two touchdowns and a conversion. He also scored a conversion.
* * *
MAUGER DELIVERED the mail twice to the Big Red end zone. Both are gaining impetus in their drive for All-Ohio honors.

The “Iron Curtain” provided spacious running room again, firing off the ball with devastating results. A couple of the “Magnificent Seven,” two-way tackles Kirk Strobel and Tim Ridgley, got ratings of “great” from Commings.

Guards Pete Jaskinski and Dave Kulik continued to spearhead the pulling and trap blocking. It appears the entire line is vying for All-Ohio honors.

“The secondary was all over their receivers like glue,” Commings said, “but when you play that good, it’s got to be a team effort.”

The Tigers had 273-20 net yards rushing and 17-0 first downs advantages after the first half. Mauger had gained 102 of his 108 yards and carried the ball 17 of his 19 times. He got a rest most of the second half because he’s been playing on a gimpy ankle since the Niles game and didn’t practice much this week.
* * *
FINAL READINGS showed Massillon ahead 416-75 in net yards gained and 26-5 in first downs. Steubenville got into Tiger territory once – shortly after getting their initial first down with 10:29 left in the third quarter. The “Attack Pack” then stopped the Steubens on the Massillon 47 on fourth down by a gnat’s eyelash.

Larry Harper got the Tigers off and winging with a 24-yard runback of the opening kickoff and just missed a six-pointer on a first play bomb. Seven plays and one face mask call later, Franklin hit tight end and Co-captain Steve Luke on the one with a third down,
36-yarder and Luke carried in, while juggling the ball, with 9:47 left. Split end Willie Spencer couldn’t hold Franklin’s conversion pass.

A Big Red series later, the WHSers took off on a 16-plan trek with Mauger barreling off tackle from the two on second down with 1:05 left. This time Franklin and Spencer found the right combination for two points.

The Tigers put together an eight-play drive after the next Steuben series. But the penetration went only as far as the Steuber 24.

Two plays later, Ridgley jumped off Jeff Spahn’s bobble to give the Massillon’s possession on the River City 37. Mauger carried on five of the next eight plays as the scoreboard lights blinked some more.
* * *
“THE MAILMAN” picked up 16 yards in the last four plays himself, blasting over from the one on third down with 2:49 left in the second canto. Franklin bootlegged the extra two points.

After the next Steuber series, on third down from the Tiger 42, Franklin hit Harper on the 10. “The Scooter” carried the rest of the way to stop the clock at 0:52. McLenndon ran the end for the conversion, but the Orangemen were called for clipping. Franklin tried to find Harper, but “The Meance’s” pass fell incomplete in the end zone.

Harper got off a nifty 52-yard TD jaunt early in the third period only to have a holding penalty kill his effort. Later in the stanza, Bill Luke picked off a fourth-down, punt formation pass from the 50, ran back 20 yards to the Big Red 44 and another TD was in the making.

Eight plays, a 17-yard pass-run from Franklin to Spencer and a piling penalty later, the WHS team had its fifth TD, coming back from an illegal use of the hands penalty en route. Cardinal got his first counter of the season on a trap through the middle on third down from the five with 10:20 remaining in the game. Mauger’s kick went under the crossbar.

Two series after, Art Thompson scampered 25 yards with a punt to start a 36-yard,
eight-play jaunt. McLenndon ended the scoring from nine yards out off tackle with 1:34 left. Tim Willoughby was brought down short of the conversion.

Shortly thereafter, Thompson ran an interception back 27-yards to the Steuber 33, but the Tigers roughed the passer. He ran another back 17 yards to the Massillon 43 to end the game.

Ends – Washington, McCaluslen, Simon, Chorba.
Tackles – Moncilovich, Stasiulewicz, Bougard.
Guards – Hargrove, DiBacco, Bauman, Stefanidis, DeFrancis.
Centers – Cohen, Christian, Hindman.
Quarterbacks – Spahn, Mavromatis.
Halfbacks – Brown, Davis, Young, Johnson, Dryden, King.
Fullbacks – Grey, Cara, Livingston.

Ends – S. Luke, Spencer, Stephan, McGuire, Clary.
Tackles – Ridgley, Strobel, Janikis.
Guards – Kulik, Jasinski, Sims, Marsh, Groff, J. Nussbaumer.
Centers – Studer, Gaddis.
Quarterbacks – Franklin, Dingler.
Halfbacks – Harper, Sullivan, Pattinson, B. Luke, Wonsick, Mauger, H. Nussbaumer, McLenndon, Thompson.
Fullbacks – Cardinal, Perry, Willoughby, Fletcher.

MASSILLON 14 14 0 12 40

M – S. Luke, 37 pass-run from Franklin (pass failed);
M – Mauger, 2 run (Spencer, pass from Franklin);
M – Mauger 1, run (Franklin run);
M – Harper, 58 pass-run from Franklin (run nullified by penalty, pass failed);
M – Cardinal, 5 run (kick failed); McLenndon, 9 run (run failed).

First downs – rushing 20 3
First downs – passing 5 1
First downs – penalties 1 1
Total first downs 26 5
Yards gained rushing 292 74
Yards lost rushing 32 6
Net yards gained rushing 260 68
Net yards gained passing 156 19
Total yards gained 416 75
Passes completed 7-10 3-11
Yardage on passes intercepted 2-44 0
Kickoff average (yards) 7-46.9 1-48
Kickoff returns (yards) 22 125
Punt average (yards) 0 4-28.7
Lost fumbled ball 1-1 1-3
Yards penalized 5-75 3-35
Touchdowns – rushing 4 0
Touchdowns – passing 2 0
Total number of plays 67 43

Referee – Milo Lukity.
Umpire – Dr. Larry Glass.
Head Linesman – Tom Ascani.
Field Judge – Ed Steinkerchner.
Back Judge – Dr. Henley Freeman.

ATTENDANCE – 13,861.

Steve Luke