Tag: <span>Akron Central Hower</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1985: Massillon 17, Akron Central Hower 7

No masterpiece Win not pretty, but Tigers down Central-Hower 17-7

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ You want masterpieces? See you at the art institute.

You want wins? Meet you at Tiger Stadium.

The Massillon Tigers, playing like angry bulls but missing the matador fairly often, ran their record to 3‑1 Friday night by outlasting Akron Central‑Hower 17‑7 before 9,200 in P.B.’, Big House.

“It may not have been pretty,” John Maronto said. “But it was a win.”

Right on, coach.

Program Cover

The Tigers haven’t been especially pretty in any of their wins; yet, they’ve survived the early part of the season with hopes of getting better and making the playoffs.

The offense had its moments Friday but came away up feeling like a lotto player who keeps picking two out of three.

The Tigers continued their season-long syndrome of getting to the end zone without getting in. It was the factor that put Central‑Hower in position to repeat its dirty deed of 1984, when it came into the game with an 0‑2 record but knocked off the Tigers 20‑18.

In the first half, the Tigers had drives on which they pushed the ball to the 20‑ and 3‑yard lines without scoring.

They settled for a 10‑0 halftime lead.

Then the Eagles made things unsettling.

A 20‑yard touchdown pass from Eric Hill to Humphrey Hopson and a PAT kick made it 10‑7 with 4:30 left in the third quarter.

Then, when the Tigers fumbled at midfield on their subsequent possession some bad dream deja vu crept in.

Central‑Hower was in position to come from behind for a win, as Akron Garfield had two Fridays earlier against the Tigers.

The Eagles punched the ball to the 11 on a 12‑yard run by sophomore Dwight Twitty.

On third and 10, a pass bounced off Hopson’s chest in the end zone. David Jones lined up for a 27‑yard chip shot that would tie the game. He hooked it wide left.

The Tigers played inspired defense after that and were never threatened again.

This time Central-Hower left town with an 0‑3 record.

“We kept our poise,” Maronto said. “We’ve been in situations this season when we didn’t score and it looked like the team was disappointed. That didn’t happen tonight.When it counted, we jelled.

“(Linebackers) Todd Perdue and Jerrod Vance were really tough down there. And the leadership of the captains, Wes Siegenthaler, Duane Crenshaw and Mark Harder was evident.”

Siegenthaler said the Tigers lost none of their fight when Central‑Hower was driving for a go-ahead score.

“All we were thinking about was stuffing ’em,” Siegenthaler said “The defense really came together tonight.”

“We never gave up,” added senior Ettore Scassa, who played a good game at nose guard. “I don’t think we ever will.”

It was pointed out to Central-Hower head coach Mike Kossuth that the Tigers might come in far criticism over having a tough time whipping an 0‑2 team.

“I don’t put any validity in that.” Kossuth said, “They’re a veteran team and we’re a young team. But we’re a good team. We just do the thing young teams do … make mistakes.

“Give Massillon credit. They’re a very, very aggressive team. They have a chance to be right up there with the state powers.”

The Tigers were on the verge of putting together that one strong game against a decent opponent. They dominated the first half, out-gaining the Eagles 152 yards to 69.

Mike Norris, getting his first start at tailback, was a horse, breaking loose for 76 yards in five carries.

The Tigers slipped in the second half, when they were out-gained 69 yards to 50. Norris slowed down, getting six more carries but only five more yards.

The Tigers had to be content escaping with the win.

Now they face a Saturday night test against Barberton (4‑0 after a 26‑18 win over Akron Firestone) in the Rubber Bowl.

“The road trip will be good for us.” Maronto, whose four games as the Tigers head coach have been at home. “Barberton has a very highly rated quarterback. Any team that’s unbeaten at this point of the season has to be doing something right.

“As for us, we’re building a foundation. All we have to do is rise from there.”

The Tigers came out like Larry Holmes in his prime. They began with the ball on their own 38 after taking the kickoff and Norris immediately went 15 yards over the left side.

On the next play, Paul Fabianich tossed a bomb to the right sidelines which Siegenthaler turned into a pretty, diving 35-yard reception at the 12.

But the Tigers stalled there, and on fourth and three from the five, Maronto opted to go for three. Todd Manion, seeing his first action at place-kicker after recovering from a baseball injury, drilled a 21-yarder, and it was 3-0 at 9:32 of the first quarter.

Matt Swank’s hit and Hoagy Pfisterer’s fumble recovery gave the Tigers the ball on Central-Hower’s 31 moments later. But they stalled at the 20 and Manion was wide right on a 37-yard field goal try.

The Eagles went one-two-three-punt, and the punt traveled only four yards, setting up the Tigers at the Eagles’ 29. The Tigers drove to the 2, where it was third and goal. On the next play, fullback Derick Newman lost the ball on the exchange, and Central-Hower’s Willie Jennings recovered on the 1.

The Eagles punched it out to the 21 before having to punt. The Tigers got good field position again when Bart Letcavits returned the boot 15 yards to the Eagles’ 36.

On fourth‑and-one from the 26, Newman bulled for the first down to the 25. On the next play, Norris got some earth‑mover blocks up the middle, made three crowd‑pleasing jukes in the open field and raced to­ward the left corner of the end zone, where he landed on the dive for a score.

Manion’s PAT kick made it 10-0 Tigers at 6:21 of the second quarter. That was the halftime score.

Early in the third quarter, Cen­tral-Hower linebacker Willie Johnson recovered a Norris fumble at the Tiger 25. On third‑and‑five, Hill dropped back in shotgun formation and popped a quick to Hopson, who streaked into the end zone untouched and then danced half way to Navarre.

Jones’ kick made it 10-7.

The Tigers took over after the ensuing kickoff with great field position as Jerome Myricks’ returned to the 43. But Fabianich lost the handle on the snap three plays later, and the Eagles got the ball back.

After the missed field goal attempt, the Tiger, stalled.

Ken Hawkins’ punt bounced in front of Steve Gray, who tried to field it on the bounce but fumbled it away to the Tigers’ Ron Patt at the Central‑Hower 21.

The Tigers ran out of downs at the 6.

Moments later, Lance Hostetler put a heavy rush on Hill, forcing a misfired pass that was tipped to Pfisterer.

The intercept gave the Tigers possession on the 21 and set up Newman’s five-yard TD smash. Manion’s kick gave the Tigers their 17-7 bulge at 1:46 of the fourth quarter, and the game was history.

No, it wasn’t a masterpiece.

Maybe the Tigers are saving one of those for the Barberton Magics.


First downs rushing 9 5
First downs passing 1 2
First downs by penalty 0 0
Totals first downs 10 7
Yards gained rushing 165 126
Yards lost rushing 13 16
Net yards rushing 152 110
Net yards passing 50 28
Total yards gained 202 138
Passes attempted 9 10
Passes completed 2 4
Passes int. by 0 2
Times kicked off 3 3
Kickoff average 52.0 48.0
Kickoff return yards 75 31
Punts 3 5
Punting average 38.7 30.4
Punt return yards 25 1
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 4 5
Fumbles lost 3 2
Penalties 4 4
Yards penalized 50 40
Touchdowns rushing 2 0
Touchdowns passing 0 1
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 51 40
Time of possession 22:54 25:06
Attendance 9,200

MASSILLON 3 7 0 7 17

Duane Crenshaw
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 18, Akron Central Hower 20

Tigers lose 3rd straight

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Ugh! What next?

It seems the Midas Touch has left the Massillon Tiger football camp these days.

Rather than turning to gold, things have been going so poorly in Tigertown that … well, everything is turning to rust.

They don’t talk defeats around here, but lately there hasn’t been much else to discuss over supper.

And you can forget the dessert, Tigertowners. Massillon has lost another one, this one a 20‑18 setback to visiting Akron Central‑Hower Friday nigh at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Program Cover

The defeat was the third straight for the Tigers, who haven’t tasted victory since a 12-0 opening night win over Akron North.

Not since 1966 has Massillon had to go longer than two weeks without a win. Not even, the newly‑installed “Tiger Stripe” could help lift the spirits of the players and fans alike.

Things got so bad against Central-Hower that the Tigers saw a 12-0 advantage turn into a 20‑12 deficit. At that point, the stands began to empty.

Even Tiger head coach Mike Currence was at a loss for words to explain what happened.

“I really don’t have any comments,” the disgruntled veteran coach of nine years said in the hosts’ grim locker room. “I don’t have any answers. We need some time to re-group.”

And with that Currence closed the post‑game interview. He was not a happy man, and in no mood to share his thoughts with anybody but his players and coaching staff.

For the second straight week the Tigers held the upper hand in the game’s statistics, holding a 21‑9 edge in first downs and a 404‑314 edge in total yardage.

And for the second straight week, you couldn’t buy the paper the statistics were printed on. The one figure that counted the most – found on the scoreboard – told the sad but true tale.

Things started out regally enough for Tiger fans as the hosts took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in six plays to pay dirt, Derrick Newman following a convoy of blockers to the end zone from 12 yards out.

Big plays in the drive were, a 37‑yard run by newly‑installed fullback Duane Crenshaw and a 13‑yard gain on third and four by Newman.

However, the first of two missed extra-point kicks, one by Todd Manion and another by sophomore Mike Norris, would come back to haunt the Tigers.

The Eagles (1‑2) then strung together a 13‑play drive of their own, but the march was stopped when John Fresh recovered a fumble caused by the tackle of teammate Darren Radtke.

Both teams took turns punting on their next possessions, with the Tigers taking over on their own 31 following a 15‑yard return by Wes Siegenthaler, the starting quarterback.

Massillon chewed up over five minutes of the clock and despite three 15‑yard penalties drove 69 yards to the end zone, scoring on an eight-yard run by Siegenthaler. The extra point kick this time sailed wide left.

Siegenthaler, who completed nine of 13 passes on the night for 61 yards, hit his favorite target ‑ Bruce Spicer ‑twice for long gains in key situations on the drive.

With 7:11 remaining before halftime, the Tigers held a 12‑0 lead and the fans were whooping it up.

Central‑Hower took over the ball on its own 17 following a fine open field tackle by Ed Wentzel on the kickoff.

The Eagles, running out of a wishbone offense, gained one yard on two running attempts when halfback-turned‑quarterback Verdell Rice (remember his name) found tight end Mike McMullen on a 23‑yard gain. McMullen did a juggling act on his reception.

On the ensuing play, Steve Martin gained eight yards then Rice, who would gain 206 yards on 19 carries, turned a quarterback keeper into a 53‑yard touchdown ran down the left sidelines. Kelly Clark added the first of two extra‑point conversions.

Massillon was forced to punt on its next set of downs, Hower taking over at the Tiger 45. Seven plays later, the Eagles lined up for a 42‑yard field goal by Clark with 40 seconds left. Clark never got a chance, as the visitors tried a bit of trickery with the holder throwing an incomplete pass.

After an entertaining halftime show by the Tiger Swing Band, the Eagles took the second‑half kickoff and found themselves faced with a fourth and one at their own 40.

Confident they could get the necessary yard, Rice promptly ran the bootleg 60 yards down the right sideline to paydirt. Clark added the point after, and Central‑Hower led 14‑12 with less than three minutes elapsed in the third quarter.

Once again both teams exchanged punts, and on Massillon’s second possession of the half the Tigers took over on their own 45.

Crenshaw, who rushed for 121 yards on 14 carries, picked up 30 yards to the Eagle 25. Two more runs pushed the ball to the 18 where Massillon was faced with a third and three, but the Tigers were guilty of illegal procedure.

Faced with a third and eight now, a Siegenthaler pass was incomplete. On fourth down, Norris tried a 40‑yard field goal that fell way short of the intended mark.

But, the Tigers were given new life when a Central‑Hower punt on the following set of downs traveled just 13 yards, putting Massillon on the Eagle 38.

Crenshaw ran twice for 10 yards and a first down. Newman picked up seven more to the 21. Crenshaw’s number was called again, and the braising runner‑blocker picked up six yards when he fumbled the ball away, Central‑Hower’s three‑year starter Raheem Reid pouncing on the loose pigskin.

Again the Tiger defense held its ground, forcing another weak Central‑Hower punt. With 8:58 remaining in the final quarter, Massillon had the ball at the Eagle 43.

Three straight runs put the Tigers into a fourth‑and‑one situation where Crenshaw was knocked off his feet at the line of scrimmage by Reid.

Seemingly inspired by the linebacker’s alert defensive play, Rice shook off three tacklers on the ensuing down and scampered 66 yards to the end zone. Clark’s kick was wide right, but the Eagle, owned a 20‑12 advantage.

Then the excitement began.

With Siegenthaler taking to the air, the Tigers moved from their own 20 to a first down at the Central-Hower 28 in seven plays, aided by a 15‑yard unsportsmanlike penalty on the Eagles.

On first down, Siegenthaler launched an apparent TD pass to Newman. But the junior couldn’t find the handle on the throw as he crossed the goal‑line. Siegenthaler was then intercepted by Greg Chatman on the next play.

The Tiger defense again held Hower to three runs and a punt, with the offense getting the ball back at the Massillon 30. Enter Mike Scott as the quarterback.

Scott, who had been banged up with a back injury, hit Spicer on three straight pass, for 11, 10 and nine yards. He the, found Cornell Jackson downfield on 35‑yard pass play to the Eagle four where Newman went over left tackle two plays later for a touchdown.

Just 1:18 was left and the Tigers had to go for two points and the tie. Scott took the snap and pitched to Jackson, who in turn tried to hit Siegenthaler. But Jackson was swarmed under and his pass fell harmlessly to the ground.
The Tigers attempted a halfback pass earlier in the game. That time the pass was intercepted by Hower’s Willie Jennings in the first quarter.
Rice may have gained 206 yards, but three of his runs totaled 178 yards and three touchdowns.

First downs rushing 12 8
First downs passing 7 1
First downs by penalty 2 0
Total first downs 21 9
Yards gained rushing 294 309
Yards lost rushing 17 18
Net yards rushing 277 291
Net yards passing 127 23
Total yards gained 404 314
Passes attempted 18 7
Passes completed 13 1
Passes int. by 2 0
Times kicked off 4 4
Kickoff average 48.3 58.8
Kickoff return yards 20 42
Punts 2 5
Punting average 32.0 31.6
Punt return yards 28 0
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 1 2
Fumbles lost 1 1
Penalties 7 6
Yards penalized 75 76
Touchdowns rushing 3 3
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 63 50
Time of possession 21:40 26 20
Attendance 9,641

CENTRAL‑HOWER 0 7 7 6 20
MASSILLON 6 6 0 6 18

M ‑ Derrick Newman 11 run (kick failed)
M ‑Wes Siegenthaler 8 run (kick failed)
C ‑ Verdell Rice 53 run (Kelly Clark kick)
C ‑ Rice 59 run (Clark kick)
C ‑ Rice 66 run (kick failed)
M ‑ Newman 1 ran (pass failed)

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1983: Massillon 48, Akron Central Hower 6

Dewitz returns in conquest Ball control key to Tigers’ rout

Independent Sportswriter

MASSILLON – When an offense holds the ball for 11:17 of 12 first-quarter minutes its bound to tuck away an early victory.

That’s exactly what the Massillon Tigers did Friday night in their 48-6 shellacking of Akron Central Hower, at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The Eagles ran but three offensive plays – two of them giveaways on fumbles – the entire first quarter. By the time Central-Hower’s offense was on the field for as many as two consecutive plays the Tigers had a 20-0 lead.

Program Cover

In the bruising first quarter, Craig Johnson carried nine times for 83 yards and Chris Spielman nine times for 48 yards.

“We were hot,” said Massillon head coach Mike Currence. “Brian (quarterback Brian Dewitz) carried us back. He really inspired us. Having him back intensified the entire team.”

Dewitz was back at starting quarterback, after a two week layoff with a knee injury. Wearing a knee brace, the senior signal caller engineered three first-quarter touchdown drives with seasoned precision.

Starting at their own 26-yard line after the opening kickoff, the Tigers drove 76 yards in 11 plays, Spielman going around right tackle from one yard out for the score.

On the Eagles’ first play after the ensuing kickoff Tiger senior Robert Neff recovered an Eagle fumble at the visitors’ 38-yard line.

Four plays later Johnson scooted in from 15 yards out on a draw play. Johnson got excellent blocking from the right side of the line, Dave Morelli, Kirk Harper, and Darrell Strickling.

“That was an excellent draw play,” said Central-Hower head coach Bill Skeggs. “We should have stopped it. We knew they were going to do it. Everyone knew they were going to do it. I was disappointed we couldn’t stop it.”

When Central-Hower got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff it was déjà vu. The Eagles fumbled on the first play and Tim Sampsel recovered at the Eagle 27-yard line.

Dewitz proceded by firing a 27-yard scoring strike to split-end Paul Briggs on the first play. Bronc Pfisterer, as he did on the previous score, kicked the extra point giving the Tigers a 20-0 lead.

“Getting all those opportunities that early helped our defense a lot,” said Dewitz. “You can’t turn the ball over two times in the first quarter and expect to win – against anybody. That gave our defense enough rest to play a good ball game.”

The onslaught continued in the second and third quarters. Johnson scored on a five-yard run with 4:57 remaining in the half to give the Tigers a 27-0 halftime lead.

With the first unit still on the field the second half, Dewitz fired a 25-yard touchdown pass to Spielman. Three minutes later Johnson ran his third touchdown in from 17 yards out.

“We didn’t leave the first team in to run up the score,” Currence explained. “We haven’t been playing too well in the third quarter all season. We wanted, for the first time, to carry over the good play we had in the first half into the second half.

“We don’t want to make a fuss about it, but we wanted to be sure Brian was back. We wouldn’t have been sure until we’ve seen a good third quarter from our offense. We did that to discipline our offense to play good third-quarter football, he continued.

“You can’t give the opponent a good ball game just because your second team is in there. Brian in there gave us the spirit we needed. Our offense hasn’t played flawless ball like this before.”

Skeggs concurred Currence on that point.

“They needed to get things together,” he said. “I would have done the same thing if my quarterback was out two weeks. I know they didn’t want us to score, but we were able to do that.”

The Eagles got their sole score when Tiger Jeff Smith intercepted a pass, but fumbled it back on the runback, the Eagles taking possession at the hosts’ two-yard line after the double turnover.

Steve Martin scored on a two-yard run with 38 seconds left in the game.

With seven seconds left sophomore Cornell Jackson dashed 60 yards for the final Tiger score of the evening.

Johnson gained 129 of the Tigers’ 304 rushing yards.


First downs rushing 14 4
First downs passing 7 3
First downs by penalty 0 2
Total first downs 21 9
Yards gained rushing 316 91
Yards lost rushing 12 4
Net yards rushing 304 91
Net yards passing 156 67
Total yards gained 460 158
Passes attempted 22 13
Passes completed 12 5
Passes int. by 3 0
Yardage on pass int. 20 0
Times kicked off 8 2
Kickoff average 45.0 36.5
Kickoff return yards 19 100
Punts 2 3
Punting average 24.0 36.7
Punt return yards 22 0
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 2 2
Fumbles lost 1 2
Penalties 6 8
Yards penalized 86 78
Touchdowns rushing 5 1
Touchdowns passing 2 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 63 43
Time of possession 27.10 20.50
Attendance 8,675

MASSILLON………….. 20 7 14 7 – 48
CENTRAL-HOWER…… 0 0 0 6 – 6

Chris Spielman
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1982: Massillon 7, Akron Central Hower 3

Tigers nip Central‑Hower 7‑3
Emotions run high after Tiger defense rises to new heights

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ An emotional win does different things to different people.

Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, the locals remained unbeaten by downing a stubborn Akron Central‑Hower squad 7‑3. A big factor in the contest was senior defensive end Derrick Johnson, who twice broke through the offensive line to record sacks late in the game while the visitors attempted a final surge towards the Tiger goal.

Afterwards, friends surrounded his locker, squeezing the big senior with bearhugs of joy. But Johnson was too emotionally spent to laugh or talk or celebrate. All Johnson could do was sit and cry tears of joy.

Program Cover

There may not have been a lot of scoring in the contest, but the 8,114 fans who sat through four quarters of a chilly autumn rain didn’t feel cheated, and certainly didn’t exit until the final gun assured Massillon of victory.

The rain certainly had an effect on the game, but it certainly wasn’t the deciding factor.

“Basically, we lost to a very good team tonight,” said Ram coach Tim Flossie, whose squad drops to 1‑2 on the year after going 10‑1 last season. “I thought both teams did an excellent job under the conditions; had the weather been ideal it just would have meant both teams would have been a bit more effective offensively,” insinuating that the Tigers would have won no matter what was failing out of the sky.

“We threw the ball well tonight, but the rain caused us to drop some passes we may have caught,” said Tiger head coach Mike Currence. “Of course, the wet field caused our running backs to lose their footing several times, too.

“But in the end, everyone did their job tonight. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have won.”

It was a battle of the trenches from the beginning. The Tigers took the opening kick but had to punt. The Rams then used up most of the first quarter with a 14‑play drive that went 46 yards before the Tigers stopped Eric Mosley inches short of a first down on the Massillon 34‑yardline on a fourth down option pitchout from the quarterback. Earlier, the Rams had proved their intentions of gaining victory at all cost by going for the first down on a fourth‑and‑one situation on their own 34 and making it.

The Tigers then reciprocated with a drive to the C‑H 33 that ended when Brian DeWitz endzone bomb was intercepted by the Rams Paul Miller. But the Rams’ gave the ball back moments later when the Rams’ wishbone offense stumbled at an inopportune moment ‑ an option pitch was fumbled and recovered by Tiger linebacker Chris Spielman after an eight‑yard loss on the Ram 29.

Massillon capitalized on the break with the only touchdown of the night. The seven-play drive saw Spielman tote the final 14 yards on three consecutive carries, the capper a six‑yard run with 6:04 remaining in the half. Bronc Phsiterer’s kick was good for a 7‑0 lead.

it appeared that the Tigers might score again before the half. A beautiful coffin corner punt by DeWitz bounded out of bounds at C‑H’s 2, where they were stymied and had to punt ‑ a short boot that the Tigers took over on the Ram 26 with about two minutes remaining.

The Tigers soon found just three yards short of paydirt with 51 seconds remaining. But two cracks into the line failed, and on fourth down, an incompletion gave the ball back to C‑H.

Most of the fans were wondering why the Tigers didn’t stop the clock and try the field goal ‑ what they didn’t know is that the Tigers were out of time outs, their final clock‑stopper having been used without official notification to the pressbox or stands.
Tigers stay perfect!
“I used the last time out to attempt to save time for us,” explained Currence. “I thought for sure that we’d be able to punch it in in one or two cracks, and I was stunned when we didn’t; we had been blowing them out at the line. But one thing they did was move 205‑pound Troy Rackley over from defensive end to tackle when we weren’t expecting it, and he really plugged the hole.”

The Rams actually switched a lot of personnel around for the game, including switching 220‑pound Destin Scott to the middle guard spot, when the Tigers were expecting a 160‑pounder there!

“We had been preparing for this game for two weeks,” admitted Flossie. “The defensive switches worked well for us; I was especially pleased with the play of our interior linebackers.”

The second half was more great defense on both sides. The Rams almost broke the opening kickoff, returning it to the C‑H 42, and proceeded to drive to the Tiger eight, where it was second‑and‑seven.

But Ram quarterback Ray Jackson was hit for a two‑yard loss on the next play, followed by a great defensive play by the Tigers’ Marcell Stephens, the 160‑lb. defensive back, who stopped an endzone pass with a great hit.

“The play was a tight end out cut, and I was back‑peddling on the coverage,” said Stephens. “The footing was terrible and I lost my balance momentarily, but I caught the ball out of the corner of my eye and regained my balance to stick him good just as the ball arrived.”

The Rams then had to settle for a 26‑yard field goal by Kelly Clark with 5:58 left in the third quarter, cutting the Tiger lead to 7‑3. The scoreboard never changed again.

The Rams threatened again when Miller grabbed his second interception and returned it to the Tiger 18.

“The receiver broke the pattern; it was supposed to be a curl and he decided to change it. If the quarterback had been able to read the move it might have gone for a long‑gainer, but it was too late and only the defensive back ended up where the receiver was supposed to be.”

But the defense stiffened, regaining possession on the 18 when a pass was overthrown into the endzone. The Tigers then moved 67 yards themselves before losing the ball on downs at the Ram 18. A key play in the clock‑eating march was a 41‑yard pass play from DeWitz to senior receiver Jim Geiser on a third‑and‑12 situation.

“I told the coach I could beat the guy deep, and he, ‘let’s take the risk, “‘ reported Geiser, the team’s leading receiver on the year.

“That was a great catch,” added Flossie. “Our guy was right there, but it was just a great catch.”

After the Tigers’ drive ended, the Rams had two more chances to score. The first possession ended in a punt after a clipping call and a sack by the Tigers’ Junior Neff forced the boot.

Central‑Hower’s final chance saw Johnson’s fierce rush put the final icing on what was hardly a piece of cake.

Statistically, Massillon outgained C‑H 230‑119, including a 126‑0 advantage in the air. DeWitz completed 9‑of‑19 tosses on the night, with Spielman catching four passes for 26 yards and Geiser three passes for 63 yards. Spielman led the Tiger ground attack with 20 totes for 95 yards.

“Massillon jut didn’t make mistakes, they’re a helluva team,” concluded Flosie, who might have been beaten but left Massillon with the respect of all who watched his team.

M 0
First downs rushing 8 8
First downs passing 5 0
First downs by penalty 0 1
Totals first downs 13 9
Yards gained rushing 131 156
Yards lost rushing 27 37
Net yards rushing 104 119
Net yards passing 126 0
Total yards gained 230 119
Passes attempted 19 4
Passes completed 9 0
Passes int. by 0 2
Yardage on pass int. 0 17
Times kicked off 2 2
Kickoff average 55.0 54.0
Kickoff return yards 22 32
Punts 2 3
Putting average 32.5 26.0
Punt return yards 18 0
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 1 2
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 3 2
Yards penalized 35 25
Touchdowns rushing 1 0
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 57 51
Time of possession 25:14 22:42
Attendance 8,114

Cen‑Hower 0 0 3 0 3
Massillon 0 7 0 0 7

M ‑ Spielman 6‑yard ran. (Phisterer kick)
CH ‑ Clark 26‑yard field goal.

Jeff Boerner