Tag: <span>Ace Grooms</span>

Massillon vs. McK - Throwback (Large) History

1951: Massillon 40, Canton McKinley 0

Tigers Defeat Canton McKinley 40-0
Local Gridders Roll Up Biggest Score In Their Many Years Of Rivalry


The dye has been cast.

The ballots will be counted tonight, and Tuesday we will know who will be recognized as the Associated Press state high school football champion for 1951.

The Washington high school Tigers wound up their campaign for the title Saturday afternoon with a convincing 40-0 victory over a hard-hitting young Canton McKinley team which had to be beaten down before it would yield multiple touchdowns to the Tiger crew.

In so doing, the Tiger team:
Won its ninth victory in 10 games this season

Rolled up the highest total made against a Canton McKinley team in the 56-game
series which started back in 1894.

Gave Massillon a 26-25 edge in the series, the first time the Tigers have held the
upper hand in games played with the Bulldogs. Five ended in tie scores.

The victory was Coach Chuck Mather’s fourth in a row over McKinley and left him with the fine record of 37 victories in the 40 games played by the local team since he took over the coaching chores here in 1948. His 1950 team was undefeated. His 1948 and 1949 teams dropped one game the same as this year’s team. Oddly enough all three losses were to fellow members of the Ohio Scholastic conference. The Tigers finished the season tied with Warren for the conference championship.

Whether the Tigers are recognized in the AP poll as champions, as they have been the last three years, will depend on the results of the balloting of sports writers and radio commentators.

The local team led the poll all year until last week when Steubenville, largely on the basis of having beaten Warren, the team that defeated Massillon, was voted into first place, three slim points ahead of the Tigers who dropped to second after squeaking through with a 6-0 victory over hitherto undefeated Barberton.
* * *
SPRINGFIELD, the No. 3 team last week and Hamilton the No. 4 team both finished their seasons with nine victories and a loss each. Springfield barely getting by Mansfield 7-0 Friday evening and Hamilton winning a close decision from Middletown 14-6 Saturday. Steubenville defeated Weirton, W. Va., an out-of-state foe, 41-0, Friday evening.
Those who had worried that McKinley’s new found spirit last week might inspire it to unprecedented heights, capable of scoring an upset, had their fears allayed early in Saturday’s game when it became apparent to everyone of the some 16,000 fans present that the Tigers had too much power for the lighter Bulldogs.

There was no denying the McKinley spirit had its effect, for Canton fans who have followed the Bulldogs all year said they never saw their team hit as hard or as full of pep as it was Saturday afternoon. It was still fighting at the end of the game, when it made its best offensive efforts of the day by twice moving inside the Tiger five-yard line. The Massillon gridders stopped them the first time, and had held them on two plays on the one-yard line the second when the gun ended hostilities for the day.
* * *
THIS DISPLAY of grit, coupled with the enthusiasm generated by students for a team that had previously won but two games out of nine, was a credit to McKinley high.

The Tigers had too much of everything for the Bulldogs as reflected in the statistics as well as the score.

The locals made 18 first downs to the Bulldogs’ five, and scored 476 net yards from scrimmage to McKinley’s 92. Only in passing were the locals stymied. They completed but one toss in 12 attempts while McKinley completed one in three.

Better receiving would have helped the Tiger pass offense, but on the other hand had the team stuck to the ground, it might have scored more touchdowns, for in every series in which the Tigers lost the ball, an incompleted pass or penalty appears.

Even so, the Massillon gridders might easily have won by two more touchdowns in addition to the points scored. They lost one when a pass was dropped in the end zone with no McKinley player in sight and another when a fine 32-yard punt return for a touchdown by John Traylor was nullified by a clipping penalty.
* * *
THE TIGERS scored the first time they came in possession of the ball. Bob Grier, going over from 10 yards out after a drive of 72 yards.

The half was within two plays of completion before they could score again. Grier running 34 yards to the 11 from which point Henry Grooms, went over for the score.

That started a string of five consecutive touchdowns which would have been stretched to six had not clipping been called on a T.D. punt return.

The Massillon offense really rolled in the third period when the locals looked like the steamrollers of old as they scored the first three times they came into possession of the ball; Grooms running 44 yards for one; Grier going 11 for another; and Tom Straughn 16 for the third.

Then came the fourth quarter and the Tigers continued their onslaught again scoring when they got the leather, Bobby Joe Johnson running 37 yards on the slickest dash of the day.
* * *
THE LOCAL team would have made it five T.D.’s in a row had clipping not been called on John Climo on Traylor’s punt return. The 15-yard penalty followed by Willard Grimsley’s pass interception got the Tigers into a hole form which they were unable to crawl out the rest of the game. Grimsley got clear back to the Massillon 21 before he was tackled and the Bulldogs successfully used a reverse to get a first down on the eight. A five-yard penalty on Massillon for delay of the game gave McKinley a first down on the three but it couldn’t penetrate pay dirt in four downs and surrendered the ball.

The Tigers got partially off the spot but lost the ball on their own 29 when they decided to complete the game without punting and failed to make three yards on fourth down.

The Bulldogs tried another reverse. Got as far as first down on the one-yard line, ran two plays, couldn’t get over and then the gun sounded.

The two goal line stands were shades of the goal-line defenses thrown up against Barberton the previous week when the Tigers successfully protected a 6-0 lead.

Coach Mather did not spare the horses for his final game of the season. He gave 35 players a taste of competition including 22 seniors who were wearing the orange and black of Massillon for the last time.
* * *
WHILE the gridiron was in better condition than most folks had expected to find it, the footing was slippery and there were many soft spots. Tiger players wore their long spikes which reduced slipping but also cut down on a gridder’s speed. The last period was played in a snow flurry so intensive that at times the players were barely visible from the press box.

We thought the officials had pulled a boner in the fourth quarter and had given McKinley five downs instead of four. However, after talking with them after the game we found the boner was on Chuck Vliet, Tiger co-captain, who took a five-yard penalty in preference to a down after a Bulldog had been thrown for a five-yard loss. In the heat of the game Chuck became a bit confused. The referee did not step off the five yards since the penalty would have placed the ball exactly where the McKinley player had been tackled. As a result everyone was confused – PA announcer included.

There was no particular celebration in the Tiger dressing room after the game. The boys appeared more concerned as to whether the score would get them any more votes in the football poll, but Coach Chuck Mather was quick to tell them that regardless of how the poll went, he personally considered them the top team in Ohio.
* * *
CANTON’S HOPES were given a shot in the arm at the very start of the game when Goodrich returned Grooms; opening kickoff 38 yards to his 47 before he was brought down to earth.

McKinley might have driven to a first down on its first series had an offside penalty not set the Bulldogs back and forced them to punt the ball rolling dead on the Tiger 28.

The Massillon team immediately launched its first touchdown drive.
Grooms carried on the first three plays and hit for two first downs on the 39 and 50. Grier hit for six and Grooms overcame a five-yard penalty to carry the ball to a first down on the Canton 39. The Tigers’ only completed pass, Paul Francisco to Dave Gable, advanced the ball another 18 to the 21. Grier and Straughn hit for a first on the 10 and Grier ripped through right tackle for the last 10 yards. Grooms kicked the extra point and it was 7-0.
* * *
THE NEXT TIME the Tigers got the ball they moved from their own 44 to the six but a clipping penalty set them back 15.

They would have made it up had Bruce Brenner, playing with a sprained ankle, been able to hold Francisco’s pass in the end zone. The ball hit him on the chest and bounced off and the Tigers forfeited on downs. To spectators it looked like an easy catch, but old football players will tell you it is one of the most difficult.

Willie Keen got the locals the ball shortly thereafter when he covered a McKinley fumble on the Bulldog 40. The Tiger wasted two downs on incomplete passes in this series and lost the ball on downs.

A five-yard penalty stopped the Tigers on their next attempt and again they forfeited the ball on downs to McKinley. They forced the Bulldogs to punt, blocked it and got the ball on the Canton 37. Again a five-yard penalty helped stop the locals causing them to lose the ball on downs.
* * *
THE SECOND period was practically over before they could get the leather again, and lost no time going the distance. They started from their 44, as Grier on first down ran to the McKinley 11, and Grooms negotiated the rest of the distance through left tackle. McKinley only had time to run one play after the kickoff.

The Bulldogs kicked to the Tigers to start the second half, Vliet being downed with the ball on his 32. Grooms rolled to his 45, Straughn carried twice for gains of two and four yards and Grier made it another first down on the Canton 44. Grooms broke through the line for a 44-yard run for the touchdown.

Holding Canton after the kickoff, Traylor was downed with Ramsayer’s punt without return. Grooms went around his left end for 26 yards and a first on the Canton 36. Straughn hit for three and Grooms for six before Grier wheeled his way through for 16 and a first down on the Bulldog 11. He went around right end on the next play for six points. Grooms missed his first kick of the game after the touchdown but the Bulldogs were offside and he made good on the second chance.

A 15-yard penalty on McKinley for roughing on the try for point, put the Bulldogs in the hole on the following kickoff and they only got out to the 10. Traylor returned Ramsayer’s punt nine yards to the Bulldog 42 and the Tigers were in motion again. Straughn hit for six, Grier for four and a first down on the 32. It was Grooms for three and one, Grier four and Grooms a first down on the 17. Grier made a yard, and Straughn the last 16 on a pretty run.

Joe Sapia gave the Tigers their next scoring opportunity when he hopped on a Canton fumble on the Bulldog 39 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Bob Johnson and Francisco moved the ball up seven yards but it came back to the 37 on a five-yard penalty which nullified a first down by Grooms. Bobby Joe cut loose, however, dashed through a hole, wheeled to the left and outraced everyone for the touchdown which proved to be the Tigers’ last.

The local team came out of the game in good condition with the exception of Dave Gable, who sustained a shoulder separation early in the contest. He was treated at the Massillon city hospital.

The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Keen, Shilling, Gable, Brenner, Sweasey, Climo, Tasseff.
TACKLES – Geiser, Rubio, Gibson, Strobel, Takacs, Kraus, Younkers.
GUARDS – Sapia, Stewart, Tunning, Grunder, Snyder, Moyer.
CENTERS – Fabian, Roderick.
QUARTERBACKS – P. Francisco, Dommer. R. Johnson.
HALFBACKS – Longshore, Khoenle, Traylor, Grier, Straughn, Williams, Nussbaum, Bob Johnson.
FULLBACKS – Grooms, Vliet.

ENDS – Gelal, Sheeler, Carter.
TACKLES – Barber, Ruble, Baren, Cole, Posey.
GUARDS – Fach, Umbles, Wilds.
CENTERS – Noel, Chezzi, Edwards.
QUARTERBACKS – Ramsayer, Albert.
HALFBACKS – Goodrich, Howard, Good.
FULLBACKS – Burke, DeYarman, Bedmarczyk.

Score by periods:
Massillon 7 7 20 6 40

Massillon – Grooms 2; Grier 2; Straughn; Bob Johnson.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Grooms 4 (placekicks).

Referee – Rupp.
Umpire – Tobin.
Field Judge – Smith

Mass. Canton
First downs 18 5
Passes attempted 12 3
Passes completed 1 1
Had passes intercepted 1 0
Yards gained passing 18 3
Yards gained rushing 461 129
Total yards gained 479 132
Yards lost 3 40
Net yards gained 476 92
Times kicked off 7 1
Average kickoff (yards) 42 30
Yards kickoffs returned by 2 98
Times punted 0 8
Had punts blocked 0 1
Average punt (yards) 0 25
Yards punts returned by 18 0
Times fumbled 2 3
Lost ball on fumbles 0 2
Times penalized 7 3
Yards penalized 55 21

Individual Massillon
Player Times Yards Yards Net
Carried Gained Lost Gained
Paul Francisco 1 3 0 3
Bob Grier 19 111 3 108
Tom Straughn 12 65 0 65
Henry Grooms 20 215 0 215
Lee Nussbaum 4 26 0 26
Bob Johnson 2 41 0 41

Individual McKinley
George Ramsayer 2 0 15 -15
John Goodrich 12 60 0 60
Otis Howard 12 40 23 17
Pat Burke 12 29 2 27

Ace Grooms
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1951: Massillon 6, Barberton 0

Defense Stops Barberton As Tigers Win 6-0
Great Goal Line Stands Thwart Five Magic Bids Inside Five-Yard Line


The Washington high school Tigers gave Barberton a lesson in goal line defense Friday evening and only for that reason are they still a leading contender today for the Ohio high school football championship.

Seldom has a team won a ball game that has been whipped so badly in the middle of the field. The Tigers were the victors 6-0, and the touchdown represents their only threat of the evening. On only one other occasion were they ever in Barberton territory, that coming on the first play of the game, when Gene Kapish fumbled the initial kickoff and the Tigers covered on the 33. But the local gridders gave it back to Barberton on a fumble on the very next play and, save for their touchdown drive, were shut up in their own back yard for most of the remainder of the game.

Program Cover

Barberton on the other hand was knocking – knocking – knocking all night at the Tiger goal. Five times the Magics were inside the five-yard line, only to lose the ball. The Tigers stopped them on four occasions, the timekeeper’s first half gun on the fifth. Once they were over the goal, but a five-yard penalty for backfield in motion ruined the bid.
* * *
NEVER HAVE we seen so many scoring thrusts turned back in one game. Two were stopped after the Magics had made first downs on the two-yard line, another was turned back after a first down on the four, and another ended inches short of the goal after a first down on the nine.

The heroic goal line stands of the Tigers were hardly understandable considering the way the same players yielded ground in the middle of the field. Their gallantry was the opposite of the offensive showing of the local team which was beaten at every turn save for the one touchdown effort. The difference was that the Tigers had sufficient punch to push over the score, while Barberton, lacking men fast enough to go to the outside had to rely on inside plays and didn’t have t he power inside the shadow of its goal when it faced an eight-man line with a secondary virtually piled in on top of it.

The Tigers’ winning touchdown drive began with the interception of a Barberton pass by Bob Khoenle in midfield and raced back to the Magics’ 22 before they caught him.

Ace Grooms, who had offense trouble all evening, got two yards at left tackle and Lee Nussbaum rammed the same spot for five. Bob Grier missed a first down by a yard but Nussbaum got it by inches on the 11 when he hit off tackle again.
* * *
IT WAS Bobby Grier’s turn to lug the leather. He was sent through right tackle on two consecutive plays. The first time he hit for two, the second for nine and a touchdown. He went over with room to spare. Grooms’ attempted kick for the extra point was low of the cross bar.

That’s the ball game as far as the scoring goes, but there’s a lot more to the story of how the Tigers eventually beat the Magics at their own specialty – defense.

It was Barberton’s first loss of the season. The Magics had previously beaten eight
teams – none by impressive scores, but the eleven was appraised after the game by its coach. Junie Ferrall, as “the most underrated team in Ohio.”
* * *
KEENLY disappointed over the loss, Ferrall said the Barberton team was one that would not roll up a score on opponents. “The boys would get a couple of touchdowns and be satisfied with the score. They liked to play football so well, they didn’t want anybody taking their places in the lineup, so they just kept the score down themselves, so I wouldn’t substitute,” he said.

Ferrall and his team had their eyes set on winning the game and with it the Ohio high school championship. They came so close several times, but missed out by inches. They had pointed for the contest all season. It was the last game, the big game on their schedule and they wound up their final week of practice by eating and sleeping football together and rehearsing in secrecy.

They had scouted the Tigers thoroughly all season and we learned that they had also been given some tips on how to stop Massillon by another rival.

They succeeded so well that they beat the Tigers in every department of the statistics except points and loss of the ball on fumbles.
* * *
THE MAGICS ran up 15 first downs to the local team’s five, and gained 262 net yards to the Tigers’ 104. They completed 11 of 23 passes to the local team’s one pass in six attempts. But the Tigers scored the six points on the scoreboard despite giving the ball away four times on fumbles while Barberton had two muffs covered by Massillon.

The visitors had Ace Grooms, the local team’s leading ground gainer, stopped most of the evening. None of the other backs had any better success.

Coach Chuck Mather visibly worn and pale after the game paid respects to the goal line stands made by his team, but said he was disappointed with its offensive showing. He had expected it to do better.

So had most fans, who should share the blame for the near tie or loss because of their complacent attitude this fall. The general pep and spirit that has helped build championships in this city has been lacking this season, possibly brought on by the fact that the collapse of Canton McKinley has taken away the climatic touch of a goal to shoot for in the crucial finals of the year.
* * *
COACHES have found it difficult to fire their Tiger team for 48 minutes of solid football and it took goal line stands to bring out the best that was in the boys last night.

The first of these came in the opening quarter after Barberton had covered a Massillon fumble on the Tiger 48. With Ed Zalar and Gene Neely driving hard, the Magics hammered the Tiger line until they smashed to a first down on the 16. Here the Tigers took time out, talked it over then braced, finally taking the leather away from the Magics on the nine.

Early in the second period Barberton got the ball on a punt on the Tiger 47.

Running from single wing, the Magics banged and banged at the Massillon line, not for long gains but for three and four at a time, enough to make three consecutive first downs to take the ball to the 13. Here the Tigers stood firm and gave but one yard on three downs, but on fourth, Tom George flicked a pass to Gene Kapish who was tackled as he caught the ball inches short of a first down on the three and one-half-yard line.

The Tigers fumbled on the first play, however and big Bob Carbaugh covered for Barberton on the two. Time was fleeting. The Magics ran two plays with Zalar carrying the ball both times, gained a total of one-half yard and the gun cracked with third down coming up and the pigskin a yard and half short of the Tiger goal.
* * *
ONCE in the third period Barberton got to Massillon’s 20-yard line but here the Tigers took over and stopped the threat.

The fourth period was a nerve tingler all the way, as Barberton always knocking, found the door shut to the Tiger goal.

The Magics’ first effort in the final period followed the covering of a Tiger fumble on the 50. The Magics unleashed a passing attack that had the locals dizzy and wound up with George throwing 12 yards to Bob Newell for a first down on the nine. Zalar took the ball three straight times and was only a foot short of the goal on his third attempt. Neely was given the leather on fourth down and the Tiger line rose up and smote him down.

The Magics didn’t yield yardage to the Tigers who had to punt out to their 33. George again began throwing. One found the arms of Neely for nine yards. Two more were broken up, and just when it appeared the Tigers had the series stopped, interference was called on a fourth down pass on the two-yard line. Paul Walker, field judge, said a Massillon player had shoved the intended receiver on the back.
* * *
THE HARRIED Tiger team dug in again. Zalar was given the ball. He wound up under a pile without gain. He tried to hammer his way through again but got only a yard. A third straight time Zalar was given the leather. He got half the (REST OF ARTICLE IS MISSING).

Mass. Barb.
First downs 5 15
Passes attempted 6 23
Passes completed 1 11
Had passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 9 145
Yards gained rushing 101 130
Total yards gained 110 275
Yards Lost 6 13
Net yards gained 104 262
Times kicked off 2 1
Average kickoffs (yards) 34 49
Yards kickoffs returned by 16 8
Times punted 7 4
Average punt (yards) 39 36
Yards punts returned by 0 47
Times fumbled 4 3
Lost ball on fumble 4 2
Times penalized 2 7
Yards penalized 10 35

Ace Grooms
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1951: Massillon 21, Toledo Waite 0

Tigers Defeat Toledo Waite 21-0 In Snow
Massillon Gridders On Comeback Trail After Hard Earned Victory


Toledo Waite and old man winter couldn’t keep the Washington high school Tigers off the comeback trail Friday evening and the local gridders proved themselves a team deserving the top rating in the Associated Press Ohio scholastic football poll, by smashing the Indians 21-0 before eight thousand shivering fans.

Playing in Toledo’s first snowfall of the season, the Massillon gridders held to a scoreless tie the first period, shoved over a touchdown in each of the last three quarters while continuing to keep Waite at least 22 yards away from pay dirt.

It was the Tigers’ seventh victory of the season, but more than that it was proof the local eleven had the necessary courage and strength to bounce back from defeat and start what we hope will be another victory string.
* * *
IT WAS a hard earned victory. The Waite Indians, keyed up for the game and inspired by their best performance of the season a week ago, presented a defensive problem (or problems) for the Tigers. They met the local team with various types of defenses and their strong and heavy line was difficult for the Tiger forward wall to move, particularly on the slippery field.

Offensively, the Indians were no great problem. They had two good ball carriers in Buddy Peacock and Stan Sterger, but they found it difficult to make any great headway on the revamped Tiger defense. “Keep” plays were the Indians’ best weapon, but all of their passing and ball carrying failed to get them closer to the goal than the 22-yard line, and 15 times ball carriers were thrown for losses totaling 64 yards.

Ace Grooms and Tom Straughn were the Tigers’ leading ground gainers. They also scored all of the points; Straughn getting one TD and Grooms two and three extra points from placement.

Grooms rolled to 116 yards and Straughn for 88 while the other backs picked up 45.
* * *
THE CONTEST was one of the hardest fought of the season from a standpoint of tackling by both teams. Tacklers hit ball carriers in waves and it was surprising there were only a few fumbles considering the hard tackling and slippery condition of the ball on the snow covered field.

Fumbles stopped two Tiger advances as the ball was muffed into the hands of Waite players, while the Indians managed to recover their own bobbles.

The Tigers, on the other hand, intercepted two Waite passes to make up for the muffs.

The passes were intercepted by Bob Khoenle and one was as clever a theft as you will see for a long time, as Bob jumped high to tip the ball with one hand into the other.

The Massillon gridders sought to open up the Toledo defense with forward passes in order to make their running attack more potent. They were successful in the second and third periods, but Waite ganged up on passer Paul Francisco in the fourth and tossed him for repeated losses. The locals were pushed back a total of 56 yards.
* * *
WINNING THE TOSS, the Tigers started off as though they meant business when Grooms returned the kickoff from the goal line to his own 48. They got down to the 27 principally through a 19-yard pass from Paul Francisco to Bill Gable, but there the attack fizzled and Waite took over. Neither team threatened the rest of the period though the Tigers made a good defensive stand toward the close of the quarter after the Indians recovered a Massillon fumble on the latter’s 33. Four downs produced only one yard and the Tigers took over on their 32.

Chuck Vliet has the better of an exchange of punts as he bounced the ball over the Waite safety man’s head to the 12-yard line. Sterger was thrown for a 10-yard loss when he tried to circle his left end and Sam Williams punted out from behind his goal to midfield.

Paul Francisco found Bruce Brenner, in the open and hit him with a perfect pass for a first down on the four yard line. The Indians stopped John Francisco, but Straughn knifed his way through for the score and Grooms kicked the extra point with only three minutes of the half left to play.

Waite made its best bid at the start of the third period when the Indians using a draw, a keep play and a jump pass got down to a first down on the Tiger 31. Four downs netted only nine yards, however, and the Tigers stopped the threat on their 22.
* * *
AN INTERCEPTED pass by Khoenle gained the locals the ball on the Waite 27, but with fourth down and three to go for a first down, Straughn fumbled on an end sweep and Waite covered for a loss of eight yards.

The period was two-thirds over when the Tigers got the ball on a punt on their own 44. Paul Francisco pitched to Bruce Brenner for nine yards. John Francisco barely made a first down on the Waite 46. Grooms ran to a first down on the 27 and went the rest of the distance into the end zone a pitchout. He kicked the extra point and the Tigers led 14-0.

The Tigers went half the distance of the field in the fourth quarter for their third and final touchdown. Straughn ground out 15 and Grooms 12 to put the ball on the 27. Straughn and Grooms gained three yards but Francisco was nailed for a 13-yard loss trying to pass. Lee Nussbaum pulled them out of a hole by driving hard on a statue of liberty for a first down on the 17. Grier and Nussbaum moved the ball forward four yards. Grooms went the last 13 around right end for the touchdown and then kicked the 21st point.

The Tigers almost got another TD in the closing minutes of the game when Francisco tossed a screen pass to Grooms who ran to the 27-yard line before being caught by the Waite safety man.
* * *
SNOW handicapped both teams to a certain degree.

Oddly enough it did not begin snowing in Toledo until late in the afternoon. When the Massillon team arrived early in the afternoon the sun was trying to get through the clouds. Not a drop of rain nor flake of snow had fallen up to that time. But late in the afternoon the snow appeared, fanned by an icy wind and the temperature skidded downward until it hit a low of 16 during the night.

The Tiger defense looked better than it has at any time this season. Several offensive players doubled on defense, with Jack Strobel, right offensive tackle, playing the slot on defense, Brenner holding down an end, Frank Gibson a tackle, Grooms backing up the line and Grier playing safety on the first three downs of a series, and then exchanging with Khoenle.

The victory gave the Tigers a tie for first place with Warren in the Ohio Scholastic conference with three wins and a loss. It was the first conference loss for Waite which had won its two previous games.

The Tigers emerged from the game in good condition and remained in Toledo all night. Today they continued to Columbus where they will witness the Ohio State university-Northwestern game.

ENDS – Gable, Brenner, Keene, Tasseff, Corbett, Shilling.
TACKLES – Gibson, Strobel, Geiser, Kraus.
GUARDS – Tunning, Grunder, Climo, Snyder, Stewart.
CENTER – Roderick.
QUARTERBACKS – P. Francisco, Dommer.
HALFBACKS – Grier, Straughn, J. Francisco, Traylor, Khoenle, Nussbaum.
FULLBACKS – Grooms, Vliet.

ENDS – Galuzny, Helmke.
TACKLES – Pocse, Thomas, Williams,
GUARDS – Davis, Cummings.
CENTERS – Weinbrenner.
HALFBACKS – Zunk, Peacock.
FULLBACK – Sterger.

Score by periods:
Massillon 0 7 7 7 21

Touchdowns: Massillon – Straughn; Grooms 2.

Points after touchdown: Massillon – Grooms 3 (placekicks).

Referee – Tony Pianowski.
Umpire – George Donges.
Head Linesman – Skibble.
Field Judge – Wisecup.

Mass. Waite
First downs 9 8
Passes attempted 10 8
Passes completed 4 3
Had passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 98 21
Yards gained rushing 241 165
Total yards gained 339 186
Yards lost 56 64
Net yards gained 283 122
Times kicked off 4 1
Average kickoff (yards) 35 55
Yards kickoffs returned by 43 31
Times punted 6 7
Average punt (yards) 33 36
Yards punts returned by 22 11
Fumbles 3 2
Lost ball on fumbles 1 0
Times penalized 1 3
Yards penalized 5 35

Ace Grooms


Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1951: Massillon 13, Warren Harding 19

Fighting Warren Team Defeats Tigers 19-13
20-Game Victory Streak Snapped By Panthers In Battle Before 12,000


The invincible Washington high school football team is no longer invincible.

The Tigers, winners of 20 consecutive games were defeated 19-13 by a deserving Warren team Friday evening before a crowd of 12,000 fans who packed every inch of Warren stadium.

All good things come to an end and so did the Tigers’ long victory streak which began back in the middle of 1949 when Mansfield upset the local team in Tiger stadium.

There was nothing lucky about the Warren victory. As Coach Chuck Mather said after the game, “We were beaten by a team tonight that plays better ball than we did.”
* * *
THE STATISTICS of the game bear out the statement for Warren gained more first downs, made more yardage on the ground and in the air, out-punted and out-kicked the Tigers.

The Panthers were high for the game. Rattling with an eagerness that sensed victory the longer the game progressed, they played a hard game. They were good enough to convert three breaks that came their way into touchdowns and were strong enough offensively to hold the ball a goodly portion of the game.

When you can’t get the ball, you can’t score touchdowns – and that was the Tigers ‘chief difficulty.

The Warren running attack built around Fullback Dave Rogers, the hardest running leather lugger the Tigers have faced this season rolled up 303 yards on the local team to retain possession of the pigskin for long periods at a time. Considering this fact and that of the Tigers losing the ball four times on fumbles and again on an intercepted pass, you can well understand how the locals had a hard time getting anywhere with the ball. In fact they ran but four-plays from scrimmage the first quarter; lost the ball on a fumble on one and had a pass intercepted on another.
* * *
THE TIGERS found it difficult to cope with the Warren offense, and all types of defenses were used in a vain effort to check the Panthers.
Warren scored first on a forward pass, after the Tigers had given it the ball on a fumble. Then the Panthers intercepted a Massillon pass, and staged a drive that consumed all of seven minutes in going the length of the field for a touchdown.

The Tigers proved themselves a great ball team in the second period when they marched to two touchdowns and tied the score at 13-13.

That took courage and there were signs of Warren fading when the locals ripped to a first down after taking the kickoff at the start of the second half. But the Panthers covered a Massillon fumble, on the second play from scrimmage and shoved over their third touchdown, which proved to be the winning points.

The Tigers made on great effort after that to tie the score and carried the ball to the
four-yard line where with fourth down and a foot to go they tried an end run with Bobby Grier carrying the ball and were shoved out of bounds short of the required yardage. The chances of at least a tie or a possible victory went glimmering on that play.

An analysis of the Warren victory tends to show that the Panthers were better coordinated than the Tigers last night. Just when the locals seemed in the midst of an offensive maneuver they were set back with penalties, principally for offside, largely because of their own eagerness to win. Two clipping penalties and the rare calling of interference on the offensive team on a forward pass also helped to stymie the locals on two marches.
* * *
WARREN had its share of bad breaks too, losing the ball three times on fumbles and dropping a forward pass in the end zone at the end of the first half which would have been another touchdown.

Offensively, the game for the most part resolved itself into a duel between Rogers and Ace Grooms, Tiger back. Rogers had the better of the advantage in total yards, but Grooms’ the higher average per try. Rogers carried 27 times and gained 162 net yards while Grooms carried 18 times and gained 121 net yards.

The Warren ball toter was a hard runner who bulled his way through tacklers and rarely did one Massillon player bring him down. Usually it required two and three.

The Panthers scored quickly. They received the kickoff and got to the Massillon 45, where they lost the ball on downs. Ace Grooms, got a first down on the play but the Tigers were offside and were penalized. On the next play Grier fumbled and John Krafcik covered for Warren on the Tiger 37. Bill Reed and Rogers made it a first down on the 25 and Don Seem threw a touchdown pass to Roger Bryant. Only three minutes of the game had expired. Pesanelli’s foot made the score 7-0.
* * *
THE TIGERS took the kickoff and in two plays were on the Warren 41, but Reed intercepted Grooms’ long pass on the goal line and got back to the 33 before being downed.

The interception set Warren in motion again and Rogers was unstoppable as he tore off yard after yard. Once he ran 22 yards to the Tigers’ 20 but a five-yard penalty nullified the effort. He came right back to rip and plow, however, and soon was again digging his feet into pay dirt. The ball was driven to the seven-yard line where Rogers circled end for the touchdown. The attempt for the extra point was blocked and Warren led 13-0.

The Tigers proved themselves a great team after the following kickoff when they started from their 25 and drove the length of the field. They had to overcome two penalties en route. Once Grooms had a first down on his 35 but a penalty put the locals back on the 23. Grier made up for it by running to his 48. The Tigers moved on to a first down on the Warren 38 but another five-yard penalty sent them back over the middle of the field. Grooms and Grier took the leather to another first down on the Warren 41. From this point Paul Francisco fired a pretty pass to Bruce Brenner who took it over his shoulder while running hard and crossed the Warren goal. Grooms kicked the extra point and the Tigers trailed 13-7.
* * *
WARREN came right back with the kickoff and advanced the ball with Rogers again doing most of the lugging to the Massillon 39. Bob Kraus popped on a fumbled lateral from Seem to Rogers and gained the leather for the Tigers on the 35. Little Johnny Francisco was the hero of this march as he ran 19 yards to the 11, and then scored on a seven-yard run around his left end. Warren blocked Groom’s attempted placekick for the extra point and the score was tied at 13-13.

On one of the rare occasions, the Tigers stopped Warren after the kickoff and forced the Panthers to punt. Bob Khoenle fumbled the ball when he was tackled just as he caught the pigskin and Warren recovered with 45 seconds of the half remaining. Seem hurled a pretty fourth down pass to Rogers who had the ball first on his finger tips then lunged at it again as it rolled off, and barely missed catching the leather in the end zone.

Press box chatter between halves was to the effect that if Massillon could march the kickoff at the start of the third period to a touchdown, it would win the game. Grooms got back with the ball to the 25 where he was tackled viciously. He plunged for seven and Grier had what would have been a first down save for a fumble that Warren covered on the 35. Rogers in two plays was on the Tiger 15. Here a five-yard penalty on Massillon for delay of the game put the ball on the 10-yard line first down and five to go. Rogers went to the three on the first play, and circled left end untouched for the touchdown on the next. The Tigers blocked the kick – and few thought the 19-13 score would stand up the rest of the way.

But it did. The Tigers got the kickoff and John Francisco was downed with it on his 17. Grooms made it 16 yards and a first on the 33, and picked up eight more on another sweep but a 15-yard penalty stopped the threat and the Tigers were forced to punt. Three plays later the Tigers had their big opportunity when they covered Seem’s fumble on the Warren 25. Grooms made six and John Francisco went to the 13. Grooms in three plays gained nine and one-half yards. It was fourth down on the four and Grier was sent around right end. Warren anticipated a right end sweep and got massed for the play driving Bobby out of bounds for a two-yard loss and took over the ball.
* * *
ROGERS carried out of the hole for Warren as play entered the fourth period with the ball on the Massillon 39. The Panthers got down to the 20 where on fourth down Grier knocked down a pass in the end zone intended for Bryant.

The Tigers carried all the way back to the 33, but a 15-yard clipping penalty set them back. Francisco then tried a long pass to Bruce Brenner but the official charged offensive interference claiming the Massillon receiver pushed the Warren defender, and as a result the locals drew another 15 yards, plus loss of the down. A five-yard penalty for delaying the game shoved the Tigers back another five, forcing Vliet by this time to punt.

He got off a good one to the nine-yard line. Warren got up to its own 28 where Seem fumbled and John Traylor covered to give the Tigers their last chance. John Francisco made a yard at left end. A pass into the end zone rolled off Brenner’s finger tips. Grooms was thrown for a loss on a right end sweep and a pass to Brenner on fourth down failed to gain enough yardage.

Warren had the game by this time. Rogers kept the Panthers in possession by ripping through the Tigers at will for first downs on the 38, the 47 and Massillon’s 35 and the game ended with the Panthers holding the pigskin.

While the loss was a disappointment, it did not necessarily knock the Tigers out of the state championship race, but it will scramble the voting, with the scribes the judges and plenty of them now getting in a lick for their favorite team in the Associated Press poll.

Warren has lost two games to Collinwood and Mansfield, and has an easy game with Erie Academy which hasn’t won a game, next week, before taking on Steubenville, one of the state’s best, in two weeks.

The triumph was Warren’s first over Massillon since 1947. The Tigers won the last three years.

The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Keen, Sweasey, Brenner, Gable, Shilling.
TACKLES – Geiser, Chapman, Gibson, Strobel.
GUARDS – Kraus, Sapia, Tunning, Grunder, Snyder.
CENTERS – Stewart, Roderick, Climo, Fabianich.
QUARTERBACKS – Traylor. P. Francisco, Dommer.
HALFBACKS – Williams, Khoenle, Grier, J. Francisco, Nussbaum, Johnson.
FULLBACKS – Vliet, Grooms.

ENDS – Bryant, Vair, Martin, Buxton.
TACKLES – Nicula, Marco, Louma.
GUARDS – Simone, Krafcik, Brangham, Yenchocik.
CENTERS – Groff, Preston, Principi.
HALFBACKS – Reed, Williams, Merolla, Leigh, Gear, Venetta.
FULLBACKS – Rogers, Pesanelli, White.

Score by periods:
Warren 7 6 6 0 19
Massillon 0 13 0 0 13

Warren Mass.
First downs 17 10
Passes attempted 6 7
Passes completed 3 3
Had Passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 75 45
Yards gained rushing 303 225
Total yards gained 378 270
Yards lost 10 12
Net yards gained 368 258
Times kicked off 4 3
Average kickoff (yards) 54 37
Yards kickoffs returned 53 73
Times punted 1 2
Average punt (yards) 45 41
Yards punts returned 4 0
Fumbles 5 5
Lost ball on fumbles 3 4
Yards penalized 55 76

Ace Grooms
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1951: Massillon 54, Mansfield 0

Tigers In High Gear Defeat Mansfield 54-0
Defense Shares Honors With Offense As Local Team Wins 20th In Row


It had to come!

The Washington high school offense which has sputtered frequently this fall, rolled into high gear Friday evening in Tiger stadium before 16,127 fans and crushed the challenge of Mansfield high 54-0.

It was the Tigers’ sixth straight triumph of the season, their 20th victory in a row and their 13th in the 16-game series with Mansfield that began in 1936. Two games in the series ended in tie scores and Mansfield won once.

It was the first time this season that the Tigers revealed their potential strength. They spit the bit from their mouths and unbridled by a flock of substitutions, ran almost as they pleased against the visiting Richland county team.

Their defense was on a par with the offense and maybe more so, for it was the vicious tackling of members of the defensive platoon, that caused Mansfield backs to fumble the ball that set the Tigers off to their first three touchdown marches.

It was a big night for the defensive platoon, which gave a far better performance than at any time this season.

The backs were running too, with Bobby Grier coming into his own for the first time this season and playing the kind of game that had been expected of him. He scored three of the Tigers’ touchdown. Bruce Brenner, who is rapidly developing into one of the best ends turned out at Washington high, snared three touchdown passes, and Ace Grooms scored two on long runs.

Whatever hopes Mansfield had of winning last night’s game were crushed under the drive of the Massillon linemen who limited Mansfield to 56 net yards from scrimmage on the ground and 117 through the air.

The visitors tried to pass their way to victory, but did not have the kind of attack unleashed by Alliance last week and likewise faced a better Massillon defense. Bob Khoenle, back at the halfback, made a couple of interceptions, batted down several others, and the boys on the line continually tormented the Mansfield passer.
* * *
IN SCORING 54 points, the Tigers gained more ground than at anytime this year and their net total was among the highest in years. They gained 165 yards by passing and 405 carrying the ball for a total of 570 yards gained. Deducting 33 yards lost from scrimmage left them with a net of 537 for the evening. And that’s over a quarter of a mile.

With Mansfield’s 5,000 fans providing the first air of rivalry in the stadium this season, a tension gripped the stands the first period and a half of the game. By the time the Tigers had scored their third touchdown, however, it was evident that Mansfield was in for a bad evening and that victory for the visiting team was out of the question. Fans by half-time were asking themselves how big would the score be. The answer was “double,” for the local team scored 27 points in each half.

Mansfield lost the ball four times on fumbles, had two passes intercepted and handed the leather over to the Tigers on a couple of other occasions when it was unable to pick up the necessary yardage on fourth down. You can’t give the ball away that many times without losing the game.

While the Tigers asserted their superiority early in the game they were unable to score until near the end of the first period. The winning touchdown followed an earlier frustration when Mansfield’s defense rose to the occasion to stop a Massillon drive that had reached the 10.
* * *
JOHNNY TRAYLOR covered a Mansfield fumble on his own 47 to touch off the works. In their march goalward the Tigers had to overcome a five-yard penalty for delay of the game. Aided by a fancy jump pass from Paul Francisco to Dave Gable and some good runs by Grooms and Tom Straughn, they got the ball to the three where Grier took it over for the six points.

Before the quarter was over, Grier was on the spot to gather in another fumble on the Mansfield 46. Francisco hurled a 35-yard beauty to Brenner for a first down on the 11 and on the first play of the second period, Grooms went for a touchdown with Frank Gibson throwing the key block.

The third Massillon touchdown came the next time the Tigers got their hands on the ball. It was Traylor who got the pigskin for them by covering a Mansfield fumble on the Tygers’ 41-yard line. That set the stage for Francisco to shoot the works to Brenner and he did it with a 41-yard toss.

Bobby Grier provided the spark for the fourth touchdown and what a pretty run it was down the sidelines as he threw off four tacklers, then came to the fore where Grooms tossed in a bock that set him free for the last few of the 35 yards traveled.

Those who attached the luck of the breaks to the Tigers’ first half touchdowns, had a rude awakening after intermission when the local eleven went to work with a methodical offense that ground up yards and chewed turf until it had gone 80 yards for a touchdown, overcoming a 15-yard penalty for clipping enroute. Tommy Straughn and Greier did most of the ground gaining until the Tigers reached the visitors’ 30. They were then within gunshot of the goal and Francisco fired a bulls-eye to Brenner for the six points.
* * *
THE TIGERS had to score two touchdowns to get one before they could get credit for another six points. It came late in the third period when Khoenle snared a Mansfield pass and went 60 yards for a T.D. that was not allowed because of a quick whistle off his 49. The bugle blew when it appeared that he would be stopped, but he burst right out of the arms of two Mansfield tacklers and continued on his way. On the scoreboard it made no difference except that the six points were credited to Grooms who on the next play galloped 51 yards to score. The third period expired while he was on his way.

The Tigers scored the next time they got the ball and on the first play at that when Francsico rifled the leather to Brenner for 52 yards.

The locals likewise had to score twice to get their last touchdown of the game. Bobby Grier went 62 yards for the first one but a disputed clipping penalty was called which pushed the Tigers back 15 yards. It made no difference as Grooms wheeled end for 54 yards and a first down on the 15. Grier was given the opportunity to take it the rest of the way. He did!

Mansfield never seriously threatened to score. Only a couple of times did the visitors get into Tiger territory and then no nearer than the 35-yard line, until the very end of the game when they got down to the six.
* * *
CHUCK VILET and big Jim Geiser were two of the reasons why Mansfield never got close to the Tiger goal. They were smacking the opposition all night. Bob Kraus likewise got in on some good tackles.

Leading ground gainer was Grooms who carried the ball 13 times and gained a net of 184 yards. Grier gained 85 yards in five trips with the ball and Lee Nussbaum gained a net of 18 in three attempts. Straughn gained a net of 36 in nine carries, a 13-yard loss on a reverse cutting down his average. John Francisco carried nine times and gained 54 yards.

Massillon fans saw the Tigers in a new alignment for the first time last night. Coach Mather experimented with Nussbaum at right halfback. With the latter, Grier and Grooms in the game, he had three 190-pound backs to carry the ball.

The Tigers emerged from the contest in good condition even though the game did get rough in spots.

Joe Sapia was knocked out in the third period but was O.K. at the end of the game. He caught a foot while blocking.

Tonight the sophomores play at Carrollton high school, and the Tiger swing band is going along to help furnish the entertainment.

The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Tasseff, Keen, Gable, Brenner, Sweasey.
TACKLES – Chapman, Geiser, Bigson, Strobel, Rubio.
GUARDS – Kraus, Climo, Snyder, Tunning, Grunder, Moyer, Sapia.
CENTERS – Roderick, Fabian.
QUARTERBACKS – P. Francisco, Dommer.
HALFBACKS – Khoenle, Traylor, J. Francisco, Straughn, Nussbaum, Grier, Williams, Milneck.
FULLBACKS – Vilet, Grooms, Stewart.

ENDS – Luckle, J. Diemer, Truax, Ackerman, Rimblert, Frye, Yoha.
TACKLES – Gouge, Kleer, R. Diemer, Guy, Steele, Ford.
GUARDS – Wilson, Welker, Esbenshade, Eliot.
CENTERS — Yarger, Armstrong.
QUARTERBACKS – Carbetta, Mathews.
HALFBACKS – Shesky, Auer, Glover, Shaluder, Jones, Huber.
FULLBACKS – Brickley, Zeigler, Kline.

Score by periods
Massillon 7 20 14 13 54

Massillon – Grier 3; Grooms 2; Brenner 3.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Grooms 6 (plackekicks).

Referee – Brubaker.
Umpire – Schill.
Head Linesman – Jenkins.
Field Judge – Lobach.

Mass. Mansf.
First downs 10 10
Passes attempted 12 25
Passes completed 5 10
Had passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 165 117
Yards gained rushing 405 79
Total yards gained 570 196
Yards lost 33 23
Net yards gained 537 173
Times punted 2 5
Average punt (yards) 36 35
Yards punts returned by 36 6
Times kicked off 9 1
Average kickoff (yards) 39 40
Yards kickoffs returned by 0 95
Times fumbled 2 7
Lost ball on fumbles 1 4
Times penalized 9 3
Yards penalized 115 35

Ace Grooms
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1951: Massillon 34, Alliance 21

Tigers Beat Scrappy Alliance Team 34-21
Massillon Gridders Win But Are Given Scare By Fine Passing Aviators


Pride cometh before a fall, they say, and it wouldn’t have taken much Friday evening for the Washington high school Tigers to have tumbled from the ranks of the undefeated.

The Massillon gridders teetered and tottered, but they had a little bit more of everything than Alliance, and came out on top 34-21.

It was one of those nights when the impossible could have happened and might easily have occurred when you look back over the game.
* * *

Program Cover

ONE OF THE scrappiest teams we have seen in years, the Alliance players, several of them with injured legs, ran around on the “stumps” to the very gun, scoring the last touchdown of the game and always threatening with a high-powered aerial attack.

The largest crowd of the season, 13,158 fans followed the proceedings with mixed emotions. Many Massillon fans though wanting their Tigers to win, applauded the Aviators’ gallant efforts and even pulled for them on their scoring opportunities. They were pleased with the score because they prefer the tighter type of game. Others criticized the Massillon team for what they considered a shoddy performance.

Coach Chuck Mather was not at all pleased and was in a more serious mood after the game than we have seen him in a couple of years.

“Things didn’t go right defensively,” he said, and most everyone agreed that the Massillon eleven has been watching the scores of opponents too closely and has become too self-satisfied with its own position. Unknowingly so, because the squad has worked hard in practice.
* * *
AS ONE OF the officials said after the game, “You need one like this to awaken you.” If so, it’s time for the awakening, for five games remain to be played and all should be just as tough if not tougher than Alliance.

Statistically, the Tigers were superior in the matter of gaining ground, because most of their touchdowns came on long drives – but their defense didn’t get them the ball enough. Alliance in fact had the pigskin many more plays, which accounts largely for Massillon’s low score and Alliance’s three-touchdown total.

The Tigers in fact only had the ball three times the first quarter. They scored the first time they got it and fumbled it away on second down on each of the other two occasions, allowing the Aviators to monopolize the ball practically the entire first period.

Though the Tigers rolled up 427 net yards to Alliance’s 239, it was one of those games which could easily have resulted in an upset. With Leonard Dawson throwing strikes at his receivers, the Aviators were always dangerous and once in the first and again in the second period lost the ball on downs inside the 10-yard line largely because of being set back by penalties for offside.
* * *
HAD THE Aviators scored on either or both of those occasions we shudder to think what might have happened.

As it was the visitors scrapped until they had little left to fight with and were wore down at the end of the game, with several of their members extending themselves to the limit of their physical endurance.

The defeat did not come at all as a disappointment to Alliance fans. They, in fact, were proud of the performance of their team and were happy to have scored more points against Massillon than any other opponent has scored since Chuck Mather began coaching here in 1948.

As expected the game was a test of ground forces against the air and the Tigers’ running attack proved superior in point making to Alliance’s aerial game.

The visitors’ air raid did not come as a surprise to the Tigers but the latter were never able to assemble a network of defense to stop the assault.
* * *
FOR ONE THING, Dawson has an extremely good arm – and he had all night to throw the ball and Massillon didn’t have big Jim Geiser to rush him. Jim was side-lined with injuries.

Dawson threw every conceivable pass at the Tigers, completing 17 of 30 tosses for 195 yards. Only once did he fail to get the ball away. His best weapons were short pitches between the linebackers and secondary and a screen pass into the flat which worked consistently all night.

Passes paved the way for two of Alliance’s touchdowns, advancing the ball to where Dawson could buck it over from the one yard line. The third Alliance touchdown and the last score of the game, was a 71-yard kickoff return by Homer Young, an end, who first fumbled the ball, then picked it up and broke through the middle of a group of Massillon tacklers to out-distance everyone in the race for the goal line.

Massillon’s best weapon was Henry “Ace” Grooms who started off to have a bad night by fumbling the ball to Alliance the first two times he got his hands on it. He made up for the muffs, however by racing 84 yards for the Tigers’ second touchdown and rolling up 185 yards in 13 carries.
* * *
THE OTHER BACKS did not carry as often. Lee Nussbaum, carried but once and got 18 yards on the play. Bobby Joe Johnson gained 41 yards in three attempts. Bob Grier 28 yards in three, Tom Straughn 26 yards in five, John Francisco 42 yards in four, John Mlincek 21 yards in two, John Traylor three yards in one and Paul Francisco seven yards in three.

Alliance only gained 51 yards and lost seven, carrying the ball. The visitors missed the services of their big tackle, Ferdinand Maccioli, on whom they depend for a lot of blocking and tackling. He didn’t dress for the game because of a broken bone in his right foot.

It was evident on the first play after the opening kickoff that the Tigers were in for an air bombardment. Dawson tossed to Burwell Baddely for a gain of nine yards, but a fumble gave the Tigers the ball on the 28 and John Francisco went the last 24 on a right end sweep for the first score of the game before three minutes of the contest had expired.

Dawson came right back pitching but the Aviators were forced to punt and Kintz booted the ball out on the Tiger 32.
* * *
A 24-YARD PASS to Dave Gable advanced the ball to the Aviator 45 but Grooms fumbled and Alliance recovered on it 48. Dawson’s passes found receivers and he finally hit Kintz for what would have been first down on the two had not Alliance been offside on the play. The penalty helped the Tigers stop the drive on the 11. On the second play Grooms, again fumbled and Alliance covered on the Tiger 13.

The visitors plunged to what would have been a first down on the one yard line but were again offside on the play and again the penalty helped the Tigers stop them on the nine.

Grooms advanced the ball seven yards and then tore loose on an 84-yard dash around his right for the second touchdown of the game. He was supported by fine blocking but made a run of it the last 15 yards.

Neither team threatened the rest of the second period until toward the close of the half Bob Johnson aided by a key block by Jack Strobel got away on a 31-yard run that took the ball deep into Alliance territory. The Aviators tightened their defense, however and held for downs on the seven-yard line.
* * *
ALLIANCE traveled 33 yards to score the first time it got the ball in the second half. The flight started when William Burger intercepted Paul Francisco’s pass on the Tiger 33. Dawon tossed to Gray for seven and Burger and Gray made it first down on the six. Burger lugged the ball up to within a yard and half of the goal and Dawson nudged it over in two attempts.

The Tigers showed their own courage by taking the kickoff on the 21 and marching it right back 79 yards to score. Straughn carried twice and made a first down on his 42 and Bob Grier carried twice and got down to the Alliance 40. A five-yard penalty and a seven-yard run by Bob Johnson put the ball on the 28. Then Grooms took over to lug the ball twice for gains of 21 yards and a first down on the seven. Grier went over for the T.D. and the Tigers led 20-7.

Alliance struck back to complete three passes for 40 yards and gain a first down on the Tiger 15, but here Gray fumbled and the Tigers recovered. The locals fumbled right back, however, and Alliance got the ball on the Tiger 22. Weldon Younkers intercepted Dawson’s pass and got back to his 29 before being downed. Grooms was set loose on another excursion. In two attempts he lugged the leather to the Alliance 42. Straughn got a couple of yards and Grooms moved the ball down to the 20, where John Mlincek broke through the left side of his line to score his first touchdown of the season.
* * *
THE TOUCHDOWN brought the score to 27-7 but in no way discouraged the Alliance players. A 13-yard pass to Young, a 12-yarder to Gray, an eight-yard peg to Kintz and a 10-yard toss to Young gained a first down on the nine. It took three plays to get it over, Dawson pushing the ball across.

The Tigers followed it by scoring another T.D. in a couple of minutes. On the first play after the kickoff, Grooms tossed 37 yards to Brenner for a first on the 25. Nussbaum, carrying for the first time in the game went 18-yards to the seven. John Francisco put the ball on the one and brother Paul nosed it over.

Alliance still was not finished. Though tiring badly, the Aviators had one surprise package left and Young pulled it out as he picked the kickoff off the ground, fumbled the ball, picked it up again and headed for the goal. The fumble seemed just enough to divert the attention of the Massillon tacklers and Young was through them again before they knew what had happened. Bob Khoenle tried to give chase but Young had position and beat him to the goal after a run of 71 yards.

Brenner almost got away on the following kickoff. Gray bumping him out of bounds after he had gotten all the way back to the Alliance 30.

Mass. Alliance
First downs 12 14
Passes attempted 8 30
Passes completed 2 17
Had passes intercepted 1 3
Yards gained passing 61 195
Yards gained rushing 371 51
Total yards gained 432 246
Yards lost 5 7
Net yards gained 427 239
Times kicked off 6 4
Average kickoff (yards) 37 42
Yards kickoffs returned by 96 118
Times punted 1 1
Average punt (yards) 39 31
Yards punts returned by 0 7
Times fumbled 3 4
Lost ball on fumbles 3 3
Times penalized 4 5
Yards penalized 30 25

Ace Grooms
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1951: Massillon 13, Steubenville 6

13-6 IN LAST 10 SECONDS 88-Yard Drive Produces Winning Touchdown


Unless you are breathing in puffs and your heart pounding at the rate of 220 beats a minute, you can’t appreciate this story for you were not one of the 2,000 Massillon fans who saw victory snatched from the embers of a Big Red fire in Steubenville Friday evening that left 10,000 spectators gasping in their seats and wondering if what they had seen had really happened.

The score was 6-6 and 10 seconds, only 10 seconds remained to be played when Referee Titus Lobach raised his hands signaling that Henry “Ace” Grooms, big Tiger fullback, had lunged over the goal line for the winning touchdown of the game. It mattered not that Jim Rubio kicked the extra point to make the final score 13-6, for Steubenville didn’t have a chance to run a play after the following kickoff.

What a game!

It will go down in history as one of the fiercest fought, one of the best “timed” in the history of Tiger football, taking its place with the never-to-be forgotten 7-6 triumph over Cleveland Shaw in the last 27 seconds of play in 1922.

Brother, pass the aspiring – and an orchid for Grooms and a crown for Chuck Mather which could just as easily have been a fool’s cap, had his daring not paid off in the Tigers’ final victory march.

You can write off the rest of the game as a brilliant battle between the defenses of an inspired Steubenville team and a tenacious Tiger eleven.

Both were supposed to be coping with high-geared offenses last night. They were geared to the occasion – they yielded ground stubbornly – Steubenville enough to let Massillon score in the second quarter – Massillon enough to allow Steubenville to tally in the third period.

The teams were headed for an unexpected 6-6 tie when in the middle of the fourth quarter Bill Kerr of Steubenville got off a beautiful punt that put the Tigers in a hole, deep in their own territory and on their own 12-yard line.

The best local fans could hope for at that stage of the game was a couple of first downs that could get the orange and black out into their front yard where a fumble would not be so dangerous or where they could punt back into Stubber territory.

The Tigers had different designs. Aroused, they began a march that went 88 yards for a touchdown. The distance actually traveled was 98 yards because two five-yard penalties had to be overcome in the drive.

Yards came hard, but everyone counted. Eight times Grooms carried the ball in the effort. He was a demon to the Big Red as he gained on every play.

He hit for four yards, Bobby Grier for three and Bobby Joe Johnson for seven to gain a first down on the Massillon 26. A five-yard penalty set the Tigers back to their 21, but they came smashing back with Grier hitting for six, Tom Straughn for seven and Grooms for 16 and a first down on the Big Red 48.

The pounding which the Tigers had been giving the Big Red line all evening finally began to tell. Grooms took the ball two more times, made seven yards, then three for a first down on the 38. Grier smashed through for 15 and another first down on the 23 with two minutes and 59 seconds left to play.

Mather pulled Grooms out of the line-up to give him a few instructions. Straughn made three yards in two attempts and Grooms was sent back into the game. The fans groaned as the referee stepped off a five-yard penalty . . . the Tigers had already consumed their allotted times out.

Instead of it being third down and seven to go, it was now third and 12. But Mather had gambled and won.

Those who would have jumped all over him today, for the substitutions and penalty, were singing his praise, for Grooms carried out instructions and ran hard to his right for 16 yards and a first down on the nine.

It was Grooms again, this time to the left, and he got as far as the three-yard line. He smashed through for another yard, and on third down, ran hard to his right to go down beneath a pile of humanity at the point where goal line meets side line. When the last body was extricated, Ace was found clinging tightly to the ball, half-an-arm length over the goal line.

A look at the clock showed only 10 seconds remaining of the game. Rubio kicked the extra point and the Tigers just had time to kickoff to the Big Red. The game ended before they could put the ball in play again, and the Tigers had their third victory of the season, and their 17th in a row since they were last defeated by Mansfield in the middle of the 1949 season.

Grooms gained 55 yards in the surge to victory.
* * *
UP TO THE TIGERS’ final drive, the game was virtually even, with each team having gained approximately the same number of yards and defense outshining offense on both sides.

Deduct the 98 yards from the 248 made from the scrimmage by the Tigers and the latter would be left with 150, just 16 more than the yardage gained by the Big Red.

While Massillon fans celebrated the victory, keen disappointment filled the Steubenville dressing room, for the touchdown blow snatched fame away from Ray Hoyman, a former Massillon man who has done a great job of coaching in Steubenville in the three seasons he has been there. It’s too bad it had to happen to as fine a fellow. While praise does not produce points, let it be said for Ray, that every Massillon fan expressed admiration for the battle put up by his team, and we heard nothing but compliments for his Big Red from Steubenville fans.
* * *
THE TIGERS were lucky to win, if you call winning with 10 seconds to go – luck. Had not Grooms gone over when he did, the game would probably have ended before the Tigers could have again got off a play from scrimmage – in which case they would have been unlucky. How you look at it is all a matter of 10 seconds.

You can give the defense credit for playing the game last night and if you want to single out a few boys for praise in this department, give Jim Geiser and Chuck Vilet a big pat on the back, and don’t spare the praise for the other members of the defensive platoon, mainly John Tasseff, Weldon Younkers, Joe Sapia, Alex Matie, Dave Gable, Terry Snyder, Bob Khoenle, John Traylor and Willie Longshore. And don’t forget big Frank Gilliam, and Calvin Jones of Steubenville. Both were knocked out in the touchdown drive.

Massillon’s Snyder did double duty, playing left guard on offense, a position new to him and backing up the line on defense. His work was deserving of special praise.

It was evident early in the game that the Tigers were dealing with a team that had the will to be their master. Yards were lost on the first play from scrimmage and the locals were forced to punt. They got a big break after stopping Steubenville when Kerr, back to punt received a poor pass from center lost 19 yards as he ran back to pick up the ball and was dumped on the 11 by Tasseff. The Big Red dug in and stopped the Tigers, taking over on the two.
* * *
A SHORT PUNT that went only to the Big Red 41, started the Tigers on their first successful touchdown march. Grier plunged for five yards and Straughn whirled to a first down on the 27. Grooms made two at right end and Straughn on two plays went to a first down on the 15. Grier made eight yards and Grooms lunged through center for a first down on the four-yard line. It took four plays to get it over, with Grier finally plunging across on the second play of the second period. Rubio’s kick for the extra point went wide of the uprights.

The teams battled through the rest of the quarter with neither threatening to score and Vilet having the edge in the punting duel.

Neither team made any progress the second half until Jim Prayso intercepted Paul Francisco’s pass on the Tiger 35 and was downed in his tracks as he caught the ball.

Halfback Clarence Lawson carried twice and got a first down on the Tiger 24. He was made the work horse of the Big Red as he smashed three more times in a series of four plays for a first down on the Tiger 10.

There Prayso crossed up the Tigers. He darted off tackle, saw the hole blocked and scooted along the side, to circle right end and score for Steubenville.
* * *
WITH THE SCORE tied at 6-6 the try for extra point was an important one. You felt as though you could reach out and strum the tension and make it ping like a violin string, so taut was the crowd as Howard Linn lined up his kick. The ball was wide of the uprights, however, and Massillon fans breathed easier.

There was nothing else to write home about until the fourth quarter got under way and the Tigers staged their victory march.

Only because of this drive, the Tigers were able to show a substantial advantage in the statistics – 10 first downs to five, a net of 227 yards gained to 105 yards for Steubenville.

Neither team had anything to blow about in the way of passing. It was virtually a useless weapon.
* * *
THE TIGERS completed the only one of the night out of five attempts for 27 yards. Steubenville tried six passes and its only catch was the interception of a Massillon aerial.

The Tigers played over three quarters of the game without the services of Glenn Tunning, veteran left guard, who was removed early in the first period with an injured leg – a charley horse.

Grooms likewise did not try to kick the points after touchdown because of a charley horse.

In addition to Grooms ‘ 107 yards, other Massillon backs gained ground as follows: Grier 49 yards in nine carries; Straughn 42 yards in 15 carries; Nussbaum 15 yards in five; Johnson seven in one and Paul Francisco one in one.

ENDS – Shilling, Brenner, Taseff, Matie.
TACKLES – Gibson, Strobel, Geiser, Younkers, Kraus.
GUARDS – Tunning, Grunder, Snyder, Gable, Moyer, Stewart.
CENTERS – Roderick, Sapia.
QUARTERBACKS – P. Francisco, Longshore, Dommer.
HALFBACKS – Grier, Straughn, Johnson, Khoenle, Traylor, J. Francisco, Milncek.
FULLBACKS – Nussbaum, Grooms, Vilet.

ENDS – Gilliam, Fields, Pilya, Thomas
TACKLES – Yohn, Linn, R. Conkel
GUARDS – Jones, Kerr, D. Conkel
CENTERS – e. Locust, Amick.
QUARTERBACKS – Medves, Vincent.
HALFBACKS – Prayso, Lawson, Dixon, R. Locust, Stinson.

Score by periods:
Massillon 0 6 0 7 13
Steubenville 0 0 6 0 6

Massillon – Grier; Grooms.
Steubenville – Prayso.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Rubio (placekick).

Referee – Lobach.
Umpire – Boone.
Head Linesman – Jenkins.
Field Judge – Shopbell.

Mass. Steub.
First downs 10 5
Passes attempted 5 6
Passes completed 1 0
Had passes intercepted 1 0
Yards gained passing 27 0
Yards gained rushing 221 134
Total yards gained 248 134
Yards lost 21 29
Net yards gained 227 105
Times punted 5 8
Average punt (yards) 33 31
Yards punts returned by 49 19
Times kicked off 3 2
Average kickoff 36 46
Yards kickoffs returned by 40 13
Times fumbled 2 3
Lost ball on fumbles 0 0
Times penalized 8 3
Yards penalized 60 25

Ace Grooms
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1951: Massillon 42, Cincinnati Elder 6

Tigers Defeat Cincinnati Elder 42-6
Long Runs And Sharp Passes Produce 16th Straight Grid Triumph


Southern Ohio football was given a jolt before 13,005 fans here Friday evening when the Washington high school Tigers administered a 42-6 licking to Cincinnati Elder, 1950 champion of the Queen City.

You would have thought the blow severe enough to make the visitors holler, but they took the defeat gracefully, expressed their thanks for being able to play here, hoped they could be just as good a host when the Tigers go to Cincinnati next fall and departed with the words that they would be better competition in 1952.

Though they scored the same number of touchdowns a week ago in their opener against Toledo Libbey, the Tigers were a smoother football team last night and might have rolled up a considerably higher score had not Coach Chuck Mather substituted freely. He used 44 players, the equivalent of four teams, in an effort to give many of his younger players the benefit of game experience.
* * *
THREE of the touchdowns produced a bit of the sensational while two long passes helped to electrify the fans.

The cheering all came from the Massillon side of the field, for Elder, like Libbey, did not have a band and no more than a handful of rooters accompany it to Massillon.

It didn’t take the Tigers long to impress Elder with the style of football played in northern OhIo. Only four minutes and 34 seconds of the first period had expired when Ace Grooms raced 13 yards for the first score. An Elder fumble had given the locals the ball deep in Cincinnati territory.

From that point on the Tigers managed to shove over at least one touchdown a period. They got two in the second and fourth; while Elder’s lone score came in the last 32 seconds of play.

The Queen City Panthers had threatened on one other occasion, losing the ball on first down on a fumble in the first period on the Tiger 12-yard line.
* * *
THE VICTORY was the Tigers second of the season and their 16th of a string that started in the middle of the 1949 season.

From the score one would be inclined to believe that Elder had little in an offensive way, but the Panthers managed to roll up 13 first downs to the Tigers’ eight and push the locals back 240 yards from the line of scrimmage. The Massillon team gained 354 from scrimmage.

The Tigers altered their defense from time to time during each series in an attempt to confuse the visiting team, but for the most part tossed the equivalent on an eight-man line against the Panthers. Several times visiting backs broke through the forward wall, but the Tiger halfbacks and safety men are fast, and one of the three always managed to tangle the runner’s legs.
* * *
FANS will chuckle all week over the three long passes caught by the local players last night and the two long jaunts for touchdowns. They were the classics of the game. One of the pegs, a 30-yard throw by Paul Francisco to Bruce Brenner produced the first touchdown. Another 45-yard shot from Grooms to Brenner placed the ball in position for another score, and a 50-yard heave by Grooms to Alex Matie in the final seconds of the game was all for nought as time expired before the ball could be put into play on the 20-yard line.

The two best runs of the night also produced touchdowns. Grooms wheeled 53 yards for one and Bobby Joe Johnson 60 yards for the other. Lee Nussbaum had one called back, a fine jaunt of 20 yards around left end, because one of his teammates clipped on the play. Also bulling his way along for a fine punt return was Willie Longshore.

Grooms was easily the leading scorer. Not only did he lug the leather for two touchdowns, but he also kicked six for six from placement from touchdown.

A week ago the movies showed Grooms looking up as he kicked the ball, and the result was three for six. The error was called to his attention. Last night he kept his head down like a good golfer and it paid off. The first five were dead center, the sixth, low and wobbly, but with enough impetus to clear.

There probably would have been more passing in the second period had not the lights gone out on the west poles. Players had a hard time following the ball until repairs could be made.

As it was the Tigers completed three of seven, which isn’t too good a percentage, but the average in yards gained, 42 per pass, is unusually high.

A fumbled Elder lateral covered by the Tigers on the 17-yard line on the first series of plays of the game, got the locals in position for their first touchdown. They moved to the eight, but a five-yard penalty for being offside set them back to the 13. On the first down Grooms romped for six points.

Another touchdown drive was well under way before the period ended. It started when Bob Khoenle intercepted an Elder pass on the latter’s 30. On the first play of the second period Francisco tossed a beauty to Brenner who went all the way for the six points.

A 32-yard punt return by Longshore set up the second touchdown of the quarter. Tom Straughn, Bob Grier and Lee Nussbaum moved the ball to the one where Straughn knifed through for the six points.

The half ended with the score 21-0.
* * *
THE TIGERS scored but once in the third period, and that came on Grooms’ 53-yard run on the first play that followed the kickoff.

A 45-yard pass, Grooms to Brenner, put the ball on the 10 as the third period closed and enabled Bob Grier to lug it over for the fifth T.D. of the game.

The final Massillon score came on Johnson’s very fine 60-yard run.

The Tigers made a gallant stand in the fourth quarter in an attempt to keep their goal line from being crossed for the first time this season. It took the visitors four downs to get across from the four-yard line and then they barely got the ball into pay dirt.

They tried to kick the extra point but Chug-Chug Stewart, of all persons, broke through and blocked the ball.
16th In A Row
ENDS – Tasseff, Matie. W. Shilling, Brenner, Corbett, Keen, Tarrant, Allison, Sweasey.
TACKLES – Geiser, Kraus, Gibson, Strobel, Younkers, Takacs. Gumpp, Rubio.
GUARDS – Sapia, Khoenle, Tunning, Grunder, Stewart, Moyer, Crone, Snyder.
CENTERS – Roderick, Gable, Kinnins, Fisher, Fabinich.
QUARTERBACKS – Longshore, P. Francisco, Misere, Dommer.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, J. Francisco, Grier, Straughn, R. Johnson, Milncke, Williams.
FULLBACKS – Vilet, Nussbaum, Grooms.

ENDS – Bender, James, Kelly, Junker.
TACKLES – Albers, Knowerzer, Burkhart.
GUARDS – Griffin, Durbin.
CENTER – Schiller.
QUARTERBACK – Bockenstette.
HALFBACKS – Caruso, Grainger, James, Sabino.
FULLBACKS – Bachman.

Score by periods:
Massillon 7 14 7 14 42
Elder 0 0 0 6 6

Massillon – Grooms 2; Brenner; Straughn, Grier; Bob Johnson.
Elder – Bockenstette.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Grooms 6 (placement kicks).

Referee – Dan Tehan (Cincinnati).
Umpire – Dr. Fred Heinold (Cincinnati).
Head Linesman – Jack McPhee (Poland).
Field Judge – Clyde Moore (Wooster).

Mass. Elder
First downs 8 13
Passes attempted 7 14
Passes completed 3 2
Had passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 125 75
Yards gained rushing 229 165
Total yards gained 354 240
Yards lost 20 4
Net yards gained 334 236
Times punted 4 4
Average punt (yards) 32 29
Yards punts returned by 32 2
Times kicked off 7 2
Average kickoff 45 18
Yards kickoffs returned by 53 74
Times fumbled 0 3
Lost ball on fumbles 0 2
Times penalized 5 5
Yards penalized 40.5 35

Ace Grooms
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1951: Massillon 39, Toledo Libbey 0

Tigers Defeat Libbey 39-0 In Opening Game
Local Gridders Score 20 Points In Fourth Period Passing Attack


A fourth period passing attack that produced three touchdowns gave the Washington high Tigers an impressive start in defense of their state football championship Friday evening as they defeated Toledo Libbey high 39-0 before 12,0000 fans in Tiger stadium

Without the fourth quarter spurt the opener would not have been so impressive, but if Libbey is as good as it usually is the 39 points speak well for the Tigers and for future successes this season.

Program Cover

Nobody knows just how strong the Toledo school is this fall, for it was the opening game for the Cowboys, but we believe they will not lose many games, if any more, by 39 points this season.
* * *
LIBBEY tackled well, turned loose a set of fast backs, and was the victim of three fumbles which the Tigers turned into touchdowns.

The latter summary would tend to indicate Libbey a better team than the score indicates, but the visitors had their weakness too – pass defense, and not until the last period of the game – did the Tigers capitalize on it.

The Massillon gridders showed flashes of power. In fact their performance for the most of the night consisted of flashes. Their blocking was often crisp and sharp, but it was inconsistent, and one poor block can offset two or three good ones.

Coach Chuck Mather felt pretty good about everything except the tackling of his team. Many tackles were missed when opposing ball carriers could have been thrown for losses.
* * *
WHILE the Tiger offense did not mow the opposition down consistently, it was better in a yard gaining capacity than most fans realize.

The locals gained 478 yards from scrimmage to Libbey’s 197. The yardage included 226 yards gained by passing.

In fact it was the fourth period aerial bombardment of Libbey that provided most of the offensive fireworks of the game, including the longest touchdown, a 51-yard peg from Ace Grooms to Wesley Shilling, which the latter took on the 10-yard line and raced over for the touchdown.

While Mather had planned to use Grooms on defense, he showed enough last night on offense to convince most fans it will be hard to keep him out of the backfield.
* * *
ANOTHER PASS, even longer than the 51-yard peg, was dropped by Shilling in the end zone for what would have been a Tiger touchdown.

In his desire to give as many boys as possible a chance to play, Mather used 37 members of the squad in the game. Some of the younger players did not get into the tilt, but they will see action today in a pair of games arranged for them. The sophomores will play at Barnesville and the juniors at Newcomerstown.

The game was not without its accidents. Big Jim Geiser lost a front tooth when he was kicked in the mouth in the third quarter. He was shaken up earlier in the contest when he and John Climo bumped heads, putting both temporarily out of action. Climo got back into the contest before the end of the game.

It was one of those rate nights when the Tigers never punted. They either made their yards or lost the ball on downs when fourth down got around. Not once did anyone boot the ball which leaves unanswered the question who will be the kicker when Co-Capt. Chuck Vliet isn’t in the game. He didn’t play last night because of injuries.
* * *
IT ONLY took the Tigers four minutes and five seconds to score their first touchdown. The opportunity came when Libbey fumbled on the second play of the game and John Tasseff promptly flopped on the leather on the 27-yard line.

The going was hard as the Tigers ground out two first downs, but with the ball on the four, Bob Grier banged through for six points. Grooms’ attempted placekick was wide.

Libbey held the ball most of the remaining time in the period as it marched from its own 13 to the Tiger 14 where the locals held for downs and seized the pigskin.

There began a drive that continued into the second period and went 86 yards for a touchdown, the last two being made by hard running Tom Straughn, the right halfback. Grooms kicked this one and the score was 13-0.

It took seconds to get the next one. Libbey fumbled after the kickoff and Alex Matie was Johnny on the spot on the 26-yard line. Two plays gained three yards and Grooms, carrying for the first time went to the 12 for a first down. Grier picked up the rest of the distance. The extra point was lost when Paul Francisco fumbled the pass from center.
* * *
THE SCORE remained 19-0 throughout the third period in which Libbey staged its second threat, marching the ball to the Tiger eight before being thrown back on downs.

The Tigers began throwing passes. Francisco tossed 26 yards to Bruce Brenner for the first touchdown. It followed a pass, Francisco to Shilling good for 58 yards. Them came Grooms’ 51-yard pitch to Shilling.

The final score came as the last seconds of the game were ticked off. Credit John Mlincek with getting the ball to set the Tigers in motion. He covered a Libbey fumble on the 30. Two plays had gained four yards when Francisco pitched to Bob Johnson for 26 yards and a T.D. Grooms’ attempted point was partially blocked and the game expired before the Tigers could kickoff to Libbey.

Next Friday the local team will entertain Cincinnait Elder here.

A Good Start
ENDS – Matie, Tasseff, Shilling, Brenner, Corbett, Keen, Clime, Sweasey.
TACKLES – Kraus, Geiser, Strobel, Gibson, Younkers, Chapman, Rubio.
GUARDS – Sapla, Snyder, Tunning, Grunder, Moyer.
CENTERS – Fabian, Roderick, Gable.
QUARTERBACKS – Longshore, Francisco, Dommer.
HALFBACKS – Williams, Traylor, Grier, Straughn, R. Johnson, Milncek, Millar, J. Francisco.
FULLBACKS – Nussbau, Grooms, Stewart.

ENDS – Domhoff, Manzy, Rowe, Bigelow.
TACKLES – Brown, White, Kelley, Heckhart.
GUARDS – McCarty, Kakela, Willey.
CENTERS – Smith, Hill.
HALFBACKS – Craig, Tucholski, Lochett, Haverman, Berning.
FULLBACKS – Russell, Boyd.

Score by periods:
Massillon 6 13 0 20 39

Touchdowns: Grier 2; Straughn; Brenner; Shilling; Johnson.

Points after touchdown: Grooms 3 (placekicks).

Referee – McPhee.
Umpire – Rupp.
Head Linesman – Grubbs.
Field Judge – Schaffer.

Mass. Libbey
First downs 15 10
Passes attempted 18 11
Passes completed 11 3
Had passes intercepted 1 0
Yards gained passing 226 30
Yards gained rushing 252 167
Total yards gained 478 197
Yards lost 21 12
Net yards gained 457 185
Times punted 0 5
Average punt (yards) — 31
Yards punts returned by 46 —
Times kicked off 5 1
Average kickoff 43 12
Yards kickoffs returned by 0 90
Times fumbled 1 6
Lost ball on fumbles 1 3
Times penalized 4 3
Yards penalized 20 15

Ace Grooms
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1951: Massillon 54, Akron South 13

Tigers Repel Akron South Invasion 54-13
Sophomore Back Scores Six Touchdowns As Local Team Wins 18th In A Row


The Washington high school Tigers found a new star Friday night as they rolled up their season’s largest score to smash Akron South high school 54-13 before 10,832 fans in Tiger stadium.

The new flash was Johnny Francisco, picked from the sophomore ranks, who raced to six of the eight touchdowns, with a brilliant bit of ball carrying.

His first score was a token one yard effort, but after that he delivered with runs of 22, 23, 8, 25 and 31 yards, to surprise even his sophomore teammates who had helped him dash his way to many touchdowns as a member of their team. He only carried the ball nine times – six touchdowns in nine runs – not bad. He also caught a 14-yard pass from brother Paul.
* * *
HIS PLAY in sophomore games earned him the honor of starting last night and he did so well the coaches just left him fill in for Bobby Grier, the regular left halfback, for most of the game.

Sharing the ball carrying spotlight with Francisco were Lee Nussbaum, fullback, and Tom Straughn. The former also became of age when he went 59 yards for one of the touchdowns and his 111 net yards represented the most made by any Tiger back. Francisco’s net total was 109 and that of Straughn 110.

Just as everyone had predicted and as the Tiger coaching staff had expected, South unleashed an aerial bombardment at the start of the game, that almost had Coach Chuck Mather calling out the civil air patrol to halt the invasion.

Certainly his Tigers had their troubles in a very exciting first half, when South twice led them 7-0 and 13-7. Only a gallant defensive stand kept the visitors from scoring a third touchdown in the second period which ended 27-13, while a fumble stopped them in the fourth quarter just a few yards short of the Tiger goal.

When a team’s passing attack is clicking there isn’t much you can do to stop it as the Tigers learned in the first half. Frequently they had good position on the South receivers, but football coaches will tell you a perfect pass can’t be stopped and that’s what happened.
* * *
THE VISITORS’ air raids were not nearly as effective the last two periods, however, largely because the passer was rushed and didn’t have the time to take the deadly aim with which he had previously hit his receivers.

All in all, however, South in rolling to two touchdowns and almost a couple more, gained 259 yards through the air, by completing 12 of 29 passes.

Fortunately the visitors were not nearly as effective on the ground, gaining but 40 yards in their ball carrying efforts.

It was in this department that the Tigers excelled although they too made use of the forward pass at times. They gained 409 yards carrying the ball and 116 with the pass.
* * *
THE SHARPEST blocking of the season made it easier for the ball carriers to gain around than in past games. Francisco, for instance, seldom had a hand laid on him, a tribute to the blocking and also to his ability to set up his blocks and thread his way through the open field. Nussbaum and Straughn both ran harder and shook off many tacklers in making their yardage.

The Tigers did all of their scoring in the first three periods, seven points in the first, 20 in the second and 27 in the third. They couldn’t get the ball over in the fourth when Coach Mather was filling his ranks with substitutes. He used 40 players in all, as far as we could count, and we may have missed one or two along the way.

The game had its misfortunes. Big Jim Geiser was carried off the field with a bruised back muscle and Willing Longshore sustained what may be a cracked collar bone on the last play of the game.

The victory was the Tigers fourth of the season and their 18th in a row. They were last defeated by Mansfield in the middle of the 1949 season.
* * *
THE TIGERS won without the services of two of their biggest men, Glenn Tunning and Henry Ace Grooms who were hurt in the 13-7 squeeze over Steubenville last week. Grooms got in long enough to toss two passes just before the end of the game. Some friends who drove all the way from Brownsville, Pa., went home disappointed at not having seen him play more.

South didn’t wait long to show the Tigers what a forward pass looked like. On the first play Larry Boyer hit Jerry Ford for a 40-yard pass and a first down on the Tiger 37. Tony Roppolo pegged to Halfback Jess Campbell for another on the 24 and then found Boyer in the flat for a pretty toss that went the rest of the distance. The game was only two minutes and 47 seconds old.

The Tigers lost the ball on a fumble on their first ball carrying efforts but they got it back when Roppolo gambled on fourth down and failed to make yardage on the 35. Then the Tigers struck, the big blow being a 58-yard pass from Paul Francisco to Bruce Brenner who went to the South four before he was caught. Two plays later Johnny Francisco was over the goal and the Tigers had tied it up at 7-7.

The touchdown by no means broke South. The visitors came right back with Jim Gleasten intercepting Paul Francisco’s pass on his 37 and Roppolo tossing a five-yarder to Ford and another in the flat to Jess Campbell who took the ball on the 50 and went the rest of the way. Roppolo kicked the extra point the first time he tried it but South was caught holding and was penalized 15 yards. He missed the second attempt and his Cavaliers led 13-7.
* * *
THE TIGERS’ offense began clicking after this one. They took the kickoff on their 37 and Straughn raced to the South 32.

He overcame a five-yard penalty to lug it to another first down on the 22 and John Francisco hit around his left end for the rest of the distance.

Rubio also missed the kick which left the score tied at 13-13.

Though the half ended 27-13, South gave the Tigers a score toward the end of the period by passing the ball from its own 31 to a first down on the Tiger four. Here the locals dug in and stopped four ball carrying efforts to regain the ball before the end of the half.

The third period was a nightmare of points for the Tigers as they crossed the South goal four times. First it was Nussbaum racing 59 yards to score. Then came Johnny Francisco to wind up a 64-yard march with a 25-yard dash into pay dirt. Next it was Paul Francisco bucking the ball over from the one yard line after Straughn had been denied a 37-yard T.D. jaunt because of a penalty. A 14-yard pass from Paul to John Francisco had put the ball on the one yard for the former to get his points.

The final score was made as the third period closed after Weldon Younkers recovered Boyer’s fumble on the South 22. Two plays lost nine yards but John Francisco more than made up for them as he was shaken loose for 31 yards and six points.

Two Tigers, Chug-Chug Stewart, and Bobby Joe Johnson were not permitted to dress last night for having missed practice without a legitimate excuse.

Today 35 members of the squad were taken to Columbus to attend the Ohio State-Michigan football game.

ENDS – Corbett, Keen, Gable, Brenner, Shilling, Climo, Sweasey.
TACKLES – Kraus, Youngers, Gibson, Strobel, Takacs, Chapman, Gumpp, Rubio, Geiser.
CENTERS – Roderick, Corral, Fabianich.
GUARDS – Milncek, Sapia, Grunder, Glinage, Moyer, Crone.
QUARTERBACKS – Longshore, P. Francisco, Misere, Dommer.
HALFBACKS – Khoenle, Traylor, J. Francisco, Straughn, Millar, Grier.
FULLBACKS – Vilet, Nussbaum, Grooms, Tasseff.

ENDS – Ford, Spicker, Johnson, Beesley, McLeod.
TACKLES – Litz, Carson, Vanatta, Skiles.
GUARDS – Robert, Anthony, Hickman, McGardy, Burton, Biettle.
CENTERS – Long, Sues.
QUARTERBACKS – Roppolo, Foster.
HALFBACKS – Boyer, Campbell, Williams, Gleasten, F. Ford, Sellers.
FULLBACKS – Doakes, Slappy, Gukic.

Score by periods:
Massillon 7 20 27 0 54
Akron South 7 6 0 0 13

Massillon – J. Francisco 6; Nussbaum; P. Francisco.
Akron South – Boyer, Campbell.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Rubio 6 (placekicks).
Akron South – Roppolo (placekicks).

Referee – C.W. Rupp.
Umpire – Tony Pianowski.
Head Linesman – Verlin Jenkins.
Field Judge – Joe Morbito.

Mass. South
First downs 9 15
Passes attempted 13 29
Passes completed 5 12
Had passes intercepted 1 0
Yards gained passing 116 250
Yards gained rushing 409 40
Total yards gained 525 299
Yards lost 30 44
Net yards gained 495 255
Times kicked off 9 3
Average kickoff (yards) 39 40
Times punted 1 5
Average punt (yards) 40 45
Yards kickoffs returned by 20 55
Yards punts returned by 77 5
Times penalized 5 6
Yards penalized 25 60
Times fumbled 4 3
Lost ball on fumbles 2 3

Ace Grooms