As Massillon coach Mike Currence watched Akron St. Vincent’s Dave Bittner line up to try a game‑winning field goal Friday night, he refused to ask for help.
“I’ll thank the Lord if he misses, but I’m not praying that he does,” Currence said later about what he was thinking just before Bittner barely missed a 30-yard attempt with 24 seconds left that preserved Massillon’s 9‑7 victory before 12,069 In Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
“Somebody upstairs likes me,” Currence added. To which junior high coach Dave Slinger pitched in: “He owed us that one.”
Whatever the forces and reasons were that determined the outcome of this well‑played game, it was certainly the Tigers’ biggest victory of the season as they handed the previously undefeated Irish their first loss.
And while it was a game that St. Vincent could just as easily won, Massillon outplayed the Irish. They outgained them in yardage 333‑169 and only the Tigers chronic failure to score from inside the five yard line (twice) kept them from having an easier time of it.
Most of the Tigers’ yardage came on the arm of senior quarterback Rick Spielman, who played perhaps his finest game of the season. Spielman hit 9 of 16 passes for 202 yards and the Tigers’ only touchdown.
He admitted afterwards to being emotionally pumped up for the game.
“They came in here undefeated and we were coming off a really discouraging loss,” he related. “We had to prove to the people we wouldn’t die; that the Massillon Tigers never die.”
Spielman was also the Tigers second leading rusher with 39 yards, and he said his running helped open up the passing game.
“I ran more to bring the halfback up. When I run the ball it helps the passing game. We worked a lot on our passing game this week to give me some confidence in throwing the ball and my receivers confidence in catching it,” Spielman explained.
The extra practice paid off, as the Tigers’ run‑and‑shoot offense had plenty of shoot for the first time in five games. “Rick’s starting to come around a little bit,” Currence noted “He had a hell of a night. That’s what we expect out of the run-and-shoot.”
Outside of the missed field goal by Bittner (who also missed an earlier attempt from 35 yards), the key plays of the game were a 64‑yard touchdown pass from Spielman to George Roknlch and a 20‑yard field goal by Greg Radtka.
Roknich’s TD came at the 5:44 mark of the second quarter. He broke a tackle at the Irish 39 and scooted down‑the‑right‑sideline‑to‑give‑Massillon a 6‑0 lead (Tim Manion’s kick was wide right).
Massillon fumbled on its first play of the third quarter and Dan Donovan recovered for the Irish at the Tiger 21. Six plays later quarterback Steve Stams sneaked over from the one and Bittner’s boot gave the Irish a 7‑6 lead with 8:57 on the third‑quarter
The Tigers then drove from their own 27 to the Irish three, and Radtka booted what proved to be the winning field goal with 4:57 to go In the third quarter.
A key play in that drive, was a 43‑yard pass from Spielman to junior wide receiver Gary Conley that carried to the Irish 30. On fourth‑and‑10 from the 30 Spielman hit ‑ Larry Newman with a 12‑yard pass for a first down at the 18. A pass to Conley picked up 14 more to the four. The Tigers settled for a field goal, but two potential TD passes were dropped in the end zone.
St. Vincent mounted its final drive late in the fourth quarter when it drove from its own 30 to the Tigers’ 13 in eight plays. With no time outs left, the Irish went for the field goal on second down and Bittner’s kick was barely wide left.
“Our defense did a great job,” Currence said, “They are a great team running the ball, and we made them look average. But when it comes right down to it, we had some luck.”
Perhaps some of that luck came with a former Tiger star who was at the game and gave the Tigers a little pep talk during halftime.
Steve Luke, who starred on the Tigers last state championship team, in 1970 before going on to a fine college career at Ohio State and a six‑year stint with the Green Bay Packers, “gave ’em some words” before the 71 Tigers came out for the second half.
The Tigers certainly gave an all‑out effort, and the win keeps alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the computer playoffs for the third straight year.
Currence gave a lot of credit to the defense, and defensive coordinator Jim Letcavits and linebacker coach Dale Walterhouse both said a switch the Tigers made to counteract St. V’s unbalanced line was the key.
With middle guard William Askew out, Charles Calhoun and Brian Schodorf alternated in the middle, while linebacker Tim Manion and Gary Wells joined Rick Heather opposite the Irish’s wide side of the line.
Manion was basically playing as a monster back at the end position, while Wells was inserted between the hose guard and Heather. Mark Haubert played Manion’s linebacker position.
“They had two big tackles on one side so we thought we’d put our big kids on their big kids,” Letcavits said, “It worked great.”
Heather is 6‑3, 230, and Wells, a backup offensive lineman, is 6‑1, 270.
“Haubert came off the bench and did a whale of a job,” Walterhouse added.
Irish coach John Cistone said he expected the Tigers would go with that kind of defense.
“We knew they were strong, but we felt we had to establish the running game,” he said. St. Vincent had been averaging 27.5 points per game behind a strong running attack, but gained only 118 yards on the ground against the Tigers.
Massillon had 131 yards on the ground, with Newman getting 44 in seven carries. Roknich had 16 in seven carries and caught two passes for 81 yards. Newman caught three aerials for 44 yards and Conley had two for 57.
“It was a good football game, period,” Cistone said. “They’re a good team. Their 4‑2 record (5‑2 now) doesn’t indicate the kind of team they have.
“I don’t feel we have to be ashamed. We played a good football game. It was just as much ours as theirs,” he added.
Except for a few inches on Bittner’s field goal attempt, he was right. A few inches for which Currence and his Tigers are quite grateful.
MASSILLON 9 St. VINCENT 7 M V First downs rushing 7 6 First downs passing 8 3 First downs by penalty 1 4 Total first downs 16 13 Yards gained rushing 147 128 Yards lost rushing 16 10 Net yards rushing 131 118 Net yards passing 202 51 Total yards gained 333 169 Passes attempted 16 17 Passes completed 9 6 Passes int. by 0 1 Yardage on pass int. 0 15 Times kicked off 3 2 Kickoff average 57.3 46.0 Kickoff return yardage 26 33 Punts 3 6 Punting average 38.0 34.5 Punt return yardage 12 5 Fumbles 2 1 Fumbles lost 2 0 Penatlties 6 3 Yards penalized 59 15 Touchdowns rushing 0 1 Touchdowns passing 1 0 Number of plays 58 59 Time of possession 22:08 25:52 Attendance 12,069
St. VINCENT 0 0 7 0 7 MASSILLON 0 6 3 0 9
MASS – George Roknich 64‑yard pass from Rick Spielman (kick failed) St. V ‑ Steve Stams 1‑yard run (Dave Bittner kick) MASS ‑ Greg Radtka 20 FG
Tigers, McKinley remain unbeaten Second-period spree propels Massillon’s 68-7 rout of St. V.
By LARRY NEELEY
Exploding for five touchdowns in the second quarter, the Massillon Tigers clobbered Akron St. Vincent 68-7 Friday night before 9,207 fans at Tiger stadium.
“Now we’ll go underground a little bit,” said pleased Tiger boss Bob Commings, indicating that the Tigers will hold some closed practices in preparation of Saturday’s clash with Canton McKinley. * * * “I’M GLAD it (the St. Vincent game) is over,” Commings said, “and I’m glad we didn’t get anyone hurt.”
“Our kids have taken every game seriously. This is why we did it (9-0 mark),” he said. “We were tired of hearing about a letdown before McKinley.”
Commings played every boy who dressed Friday, he said and the Tigers gained 437 total yards to 83 for the Irish, who stand 2-7.
Tailback Mike Mauger galloped for 115 yards in 13 carries, which included four touchdown jaunts. Wingback Larry Harper scored three times.
The Tigers were jolted to find themselves down 7-6 at the end of the first quarter and burst loose for scores each time they got the ball in the second period.
The Obiemen used only 23 plays in the first half to register a 42-7 margin – an average of 11.7 yards per play. St. Vincent had the ball for 32 plays. * * * JOHN CISTONE, Irish coach complained about the officials’ action on the third play of the second quarter.
Tigers Tom Cardinal had carried on a fourth and three situation and the officials ruled a first down on the Irish 41, after bringing in the chain.
“We stopped them…he (an official) slid the ball up and they made it by inches,” Cistone said.
“We had momentum at the time and were up 7-6,” he added. “I think that was the turning point.”
“I think the officials ruined a good ball game…I won’t say we would have beat them (Massillon). They’re a real fine football team – one of the best – but not 60 points better.
Asked later to comment on the ruling, Commings retorted: “We called it a first down as soon as it hit the ground.” * * * THE VICTORY extended the Tigers’ win string to nine games and set the stage for another classic battle of unbeaten and state-ranked Massillon (No. 1) and arch-rival McKinley (No. 3) here next Saturday. The clash will have added spice in that Bulldog Coach John Brideweser was an assistant last year here under Commings. Furthermore, former Tiger star Jim Reichenback is Brideweser’s defensive coordinator.
Friday night’s Tiger stadium turnout brought the total attendance at all Tiger contests this year to 104,842. Season attendance in 1969 (10 games) was 124,807.
Game action began with the Tigers kicking off to the Irish, who were able to move only 17 yards – to their 46 – before punting.
The Tigers started from their own 23 and moved 77 yards in seven plays for their first score. The push was keyed by a 35-yard scamper by Mauger and a rollout for 24 yards by Franklin. Mauger scored from the two with 5:45 left in the first quarter.
Franklin was stopped short of the goal on conversion run.
Kickoff returns were some of the best plays St. Vincent had against the Tigers and the ensuing return went 28 yards from the Irish 18 to the 46.
ON THE second play from scrimmage, tight end Tom Enright got a step on a Tiger defender and gathered in a Tom Flege pass good for 36 yards.
Aided by a Tiger penalty that gave them a first down, the Irish scored in nine plays. Flege passed eight yards over the middle to Enright for the payoff.
Junior halfback Tim Bialy’s kick put Massillon down by one point with 0:50 left in the first quarter. The shock may have been all the Obiemen needed.
Commings’ crew had the ball on its 49 as the busy second quarter started. After Cardinal’s run for a first down – disputed later by Cistone – the Tigers scored in four plays. Wingback Larry Harper carried the final 31 yards untouched, on a reverse. Cardinal ran for the two points.
The Irish were unable to move after the kickoff and punted to Harper. Massillon was spotted clipping and the Tigers had to start from their 20.
Franklin then flipped an aerial which an Irish defender tipped into the hands of Harper. Out running four men, the swift senior made the play cover 80 yards. Franklin kept for the two-pointer and the Tigers were up 22-7. The Irish began the ensuing series on their 10. On the second play, senior Tiger tackle Roger Groff pounced on a St. V. fumble on the 12.
Cardinal blasted for two yards and then Mauger carried it in. On the conversion try Willie Spencer went high for a pass from Franklin which was ruled complete (sufficient possession) and the Tigers led, 30-7.
TIGER DON PERRY nearly stopped the Irish single-handedly after they received the next kickoff. On the next play from scrimmage he threw quarterback Flege for a 13-yard loss and on the next play he cracked into Bialy for a loss of four more.
With a third down and 27 situation for the Akronites on their own three-yard line, sophomore left half Greg Thurmond got eight yards to the 11. Then Flege’s punt was partially blocked.
Tiger defensive back Art Thompson gathered in the short boot on the Irish 14 and scored. A conversion run failed.
After the Tiger kickoff, St. Vincent failed to move again and punted from about its 13. Harper returned three yards to his own 47.
Because the half was ending, Franklin stayed in the air and scored after five pass plays.
He was aided by a rare double penalty on the Irish for roughing the passer and unsportsmanlike conduct – on the same play.
IN THE series, Franklin’s aerials were caught by Spencer, Harper, Mike McGuire and then Harper again from six yards out for the touchdown. A fling to Spencer for the two-point try fell incomplete and the Tigers went to their dressing room with a presto-produced 42-7 lead.
St. Vincent kicked off to start the second half and the Tigers returned to their 27. After three carries netted 12 yards, a personal foul call against St. V moved the ball to the Irish 44. After an incomplete pass, Mauger burst into the open and broke sophomore safetyman Dan Gleespan’s last-ditch tackle to score. A conversion attempt pass failed and Massillon led, 48-7.
The Irish lost two yards in three plays the next time they got the ball and punted to Harper on the Massillon 40. He returned 28 yards, St. Vincent was called for a personal foul and the Tigers had the ball on the Irish 17.
Harper gained 11 on a double reverse, Cardinal lugged twice for three and then Mauger scored from three yards out. Tailback Hank Nussbaumer ran for the points after and the score read 56-7.
After the kickoff, the Akron visitors were able to control the ball for 16 plays and move 60 yards to the Massillon seven. The Tigers helped, committing personal foul, interference and holding infractions.
In the next four plays, however, the Irish lost 19 yards and the Tigers took over on their 26. Scott Dingler was the new quarterback as the third quarter ended. Aided by 10-yard runs by Perry and Thompson and three Irish penalties, Massillon moved in to score in 10 plays.
Dingler, hiding the ball well on a bootleg, went the final eight yards to make it 62-7. A conversion pass failed.
The Tigers got their final TD, after Bernard Sullivan intercepted a St. Vincent pass on his 40.
In nine plays with an all-substitute unit, the Orange and Black ground it out via the land route. Tim Willoughby went the final two yards. A run for the PAT’s failed, making it 68-7.
SCORING M – Mauger, 2 run (run failed); SV – Enright, 8 pass from Flege (Bialy kick); M – Harper, 31 run (Cardinal run); Harper, 80 pass from Franklin (Franklin run); M – Mauger, 10 run (Spencer, pass from Franklin); M – Thompson, 14 punt return (run failed); M – Harper, 6 pass from Franklin )pass failed); M – Mauger, 44 run (pass failed); M – Mauger, 3 run (H. Nussbaumer run); M – Dingler, 8 run (pass failed); M – Willoughby, 2 run (run failed).
OFFICIALS Referee – Jack McLain. Umpire – Harrold Rolph. Head Linesman – Tony Pianowski. Field Judge – Henry Mastrianni. Back Judge – Octavio Sirgo.
THE GRIDSTICK M SV First downs – rushing 20 2 First downs – passing 4 4 First downs – penalties 4 3 Total first downs 28 9 Yards gained rushing 304 60 Yards lost rushing 6 40 Net yards gained rushing 298 20 Net yards gained passing 139 63 Total yards gained 437 83 Passes completed 5-7 5-16 Passes intercepted by 1 0 Yardage on passes intercepted 14 0 Kickoff average yards 11-48.7 2-46.5 Kickoff returns yards 44 182 Punt returns, yards 50 0 Lost fumbled ball 0-1 1-2 Penalties 7 7 Yards penalized 72 66 Touchdowns – rushing 7 0 Touchdowns – passing 2 1 Total number of plays 50 58
Tigers Beat St. Vincent’s 21-0, Prepare For Buldogs Massillon Gridders Win Sixth Contes On Long Touchdown Runs
By LUTHER EMERY
Having defeated Akron St. Vincent’s 21-0 to end a three-game losing streak and annex their sixth victory of the season, the Washington high Tigers today began preparations for the 52nd game between Washington high school and Canton McKinley which will be played Saturday afternoon in Fawcett stadium before a capacity throng of some 25,000 people, Massillon has won 22, McKinley 24 and five ended in a tie.
While the Tigers were having a difficult time measuring the so-called in-and-out St. Vincent’s team Saturday afternoon, the Bulldogs warmed up for the contest by whipping Lakewood 20-6 in a mud battle in the northern Ohio city. The victory was the eighth in nine games for the Bulldogs who have been beaten only by Canton Lincoln high.
Coaches “Bud” Houston of Massillon and “Bup” Rearick of McKinley, won under wraps and both substituted freely, though the lead over St. Vincent’s did not reach the point of sufficiency early enough to permit the Tiger coach to send in substitutes in wholesale numbers as he had hoped to do.
As a result, quite a few of the boys will undoubtedly finish the season without having participated in a single game.
The smallest crowd of the season and one of the smallest to see a home game since the Tigers rose to power 13 years ago was scattered through the stands for the St. Vincent’s game.
It is doubtful if the figure reached 4,000.
The outcome was a duplicate of the Barberton-Massillon game to reverse. * * * ST. VINCENT’S which pushed the Tigers over the gridiron a considerable portion of the afternoon, had momentary lapses that Massillon gridders took advantage of and romped to three touchdowns.
The first was a 73-yard return of an intercepted pass by Dick Jacobs which ended an Irish scoring threat and the other two were jaunts by Halfback Al Brown, a 91-yard runback of the St. Vincent’s kickoff that opened the second half and a 28-yard fourth quarter jaunt that buttered the bread with more points. Gene Schludecker booted all three extra points from placement and that briefly tells the story of the scoring.
Although from a spectator’s standpoint the Tigers appeared the stronger team and looked like the usual Massillon team the week before a Canton McKinley game when more attention is focused on the Bulldogs than the opponent at hand, play from a standpoint of offense was fairly equal. The Irish gained more first downs, eight to five and gained within two yards of the local team on the ground and in the air. Total offense was 157 yards for Massillon and 155 for St. Vincent’s while net offensive was 143 to 108 respectively.
The Irish came out with a lot of fancy plays from their T and double wing-back systems and many were executed with precision timing to the delight of the spectators. * * * WHILE the visitors never got close to the Massillon goal, they took the center of the Tiger line apart frequently and worked a number of nifty passes between the 30-yard markers.
Once they marched from their own 15 to the Tiger 24, a distance of 61 yards which stopped with Jacobs snaring one of Johnny Cistone’s passes in the flat and scampering 73 yards for his first period touchdown. Jake roared through with the ball at top speed and surprised many Tiger fans with his fast footwork as he hoofed it for the goal line.
The visitors got inside the Tiger 30 again in the third period but lost the ball on a fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter. Except for these two occasions, the Irish seldom got by midfield.
The Tigers had troubles of their own moving the ball which helps account for the Irish getting more first downs than the local team. Eight passes were thrown, but only one of the eight hit its mark. Not all were the fault of the passers, however. There were two occasions when the receivers should have caught the ball.
St. Vincent’s followers seemed to think after the game that their team had one of its better afternoons. The Irish have been in-and-outers this season and have played a lot of good football. They had a little more success with their forward passes than did Massillon, completing six of 16 for 52 yards.
While Brown was the Tigers’ out-standing offensive star by virtue of his two touchdown runs, the defensive burden was born by Julius Wittmann, who has played a whale of a lot of football the past three weeks. Defensively, he several times stopped St. Vincent’s ball carriers before they could get started and occasionally tossed them for losses. * * * IN MARKED contrast to the small crowd that saw the Massillon-St. Vincent’s game, the largest crowd ever to see a Massillon-Canton McKinley contest will turn out for this week’s game in Fawcett stadium. The regular and temporary seating capacity of the stadium is being augmented this week by additional seats from Massillon which will be erected in front of the southwest stands.
Whatever strategy the coaches of the two teams have devised from scouting reports as a means of beating each other will be passed on to their respective squads this week.
Both teams will practice through Thursday, hold a brief warm-up Friday and then settle down to await the opening kickoff.
Canton McKinley by virtue of its better record and especially because of its one-sided victories over Warren and Steubenville, is favored to win. The Bulldogs whipped Warren 32-7 and Steubenville 48-6, while Warren beat Massillon 20-13 and Steubenville gave the Tigers the hardest kind of a scrap before bowing 13-12.
However, players have a habit of rising to great heights in Massillon-Canton games to play their best of the season and hopes for a Massillon victory ride with this kind of performance. The McKinley record isn’t sufficiently impressive to scare anyone, for the Bulldogs were beaten 7-6 by Canton Lincoln which was defeated 13-7 by Massillon, and both teams played an almost identical game with Alliance, the Tigers winning 20-6 and McKinley 20-7. Sixth Victory MASSILLON – 21 POS. AKRON ST. VINCENT’S – 0 E. Johnson LE Wahl Eberhardt LT Cox Williams LG McGrath Olenick C Costello Houston RG Goehler Wittmann RT Blanco Roderick RE Haas Hill QB Brown Jacobs LH Pitts Brown RH Goyle C. Johnson FB Halamay
Points after touchdown: Massillon – Schludecker 3 (placekicks).
Referee – Slutz. Umpire – C. Rupp. Head Linesman – Rainsberger. Field Judge – Lobach.
Statistics Mass. Akron First downs 5 8 Passes 8 16 Passes completed 1 6 Had passes intercepted 2 2 Yards gained passing 9 52 Yards gained rushing 148 103 Total yards gained 157 155 Yards lost 13 47 Net yards gained 144 108 Times punted 4 7 Average punt (yards) 35.2 33.8 Times kicked off 4 1 Average kickoff (yards) 44.2 51 Yards punts returned 21 12 Yards kickoffs returned 91 61 Total kicks returned 112 73 Times fumbled 1 2 Lost ball on fumbles 1 0 Yards lost penalties 42 17
Orange And Black In Great Reversal of Form And With Deadly Passing Attack Smashes To Third Triumph And Biggest Win Of Season
By FRED J. BECKER Independent Sports Editor
The only Tigers four-legged variety we know about are those we’ve seen in a circus menagerie. They’re big, power looking beasts arrayed in a sleek coat of orange and black with a ferocious twinkle in their eyes. They’re nice to look at but we have always been glad a sturdy cage of steel bars has separated us. We have never had a yearning to meet one out in the open.
Now Massillon is the habitat of another type of Tiger – two-legged variety – commonly known as the Football Tiger. They turn him loose about once a week each fall on what they call a gridiron and brother, when he’s in the mood he’s just as ferocious as the four-legged variety must be when he’s roaming the jungles. If you don’t believe it drop a note to Akron St. Vincent’s high school where you probably will be quickly informed that the only safe place for any Tiger – four-legged or two-legged – is behind steel bars, at all times.
Irish Are Badly Mauled
And they should know for they tangled with the two-legged Tiger as recently as Friday night out at Tiger stadium and the boys who tried to stop him will be a long, long time recovering from the artistic mauling they took. The scars of their wounds will leave an imprint on the pages of football history for years to come.
All of the above is a preamble to the statement that the Tigers of Washington high school, in a blood thirsty, savage mood, last night, ripped apart what had been touted as a sturdy, formidable Akron St. Vincent’s football team 46 – 0 in an almost unbelievable display of football ability that left a great gathering of at least 15,000 frenzied fans pop-eyed and pinching themselves when it was over to make sure that what they had just witnessed had been real and not a dream.
Third Straight Win
It was Massillon’s third straight victory of the 1943 campaign and the biggest crowd of the season sat in on the kill. The two previous Tiger victories had not been impressive or inspiring. They had been achieved in a more or less ordinary manner by what appeared to be an ordinary football team. The impression prevailed that if those Tigers ever really got in the mood to go places they could.
Well the impression was quite correct for last night the Tigers were in that kind of a mood and the manner in which they manhandled the green and white clad Irish of Akron must strike terror in the hearts of the opponents still remaining on the Massillon schedule.
Those Tigers have everything it takes to be a mighty fine football team. They showed it last night and when the chips are down they’ll do to string along with.
And after that convincing triumph is there any one round brave enough to say that scholastic football as played in Akron has any right to be compared with that played in Massillon? The Tigers Friday night certainly made monkeys of we typewriter jockeys and a lot of others who for a week had been predicting that St. Vincent’s had at least an even chance of winning. But we don’t mind. The Tigers, by their none too impressive showing in their first two games had paved the way for those predictions and then thoroughly aroused that such a situation could exist went out and showed what they really could do when faced with a possible defeat and the shattering blow to Tiger prestige which would follow such a defeat.
Brilliant Passing Attack
The Tigers last night looked and acted the part of a great football team. They did everything and did it right. Offensively they smashed through the sturdy St. Vincent’s line and skirted the ends almost at will and they had something else – a forward passing attack that clicked with amazing regularity and precision.
Up until last night the Tigers aerial attack had been almost nil. They had completed but one pass in two games and that brought them exactly nothing. But it was a different story Friday night –quite a different story.
Seven touchdowns were rolled up by Coach Elwood Kammer’s amazing lads and forward passes set up or were directly responsible for four of them. Two sets of counters were made on aerial heaves, two others were made possible by successful passes, one came through rushing, one an intercepted pass and a blocked punt paved the way for the other.
Defensively the Tigers were supreme. The invading Irish were inside Massillon’s 20 yard line only twice, getting the ball to the 15 in the second 2quarter by recovering a Massillon fumble and in the fourth quarter getting as far as the nine yard line through the help of a long forward pass.
For two weeks Massillon fans have been waiting for Captain Bob Wallace to take off the wraps and go to town. Bob this fall was moved from the line to a backfield post and in the first two games the Tiger leader’s offensive playing left a lot to be desired. But last night young Mr. Wallace really took off the wraps and proved that the Tiger coaches were right when then decided to shift him to the backfield. On the strength of his showing last night Wallace is a pretty fair man in a ball totin’ job. The Massillon captain ran the ends for big gains, caught passes, and played quite a defensive game, blocking two punts, one setting up a Massillon touchdown.
Tigers Perform Well
But don’t forget the other three boys in the Tiger backfield – Romeo Pellegrini, Henry Mastriann, and Glenn Keller. They did all right – quite – all right. Pellegrini, who sparked the Tigers in their first two games by his long runs, went to pitching forward passes in a big way last night and he tossed plenty of strikes into the waiting arms of Tom Jasinski, Don Willmot and Wallace. Mastriann played his usual steady game, smashing through the Akron line for numerous gains and Keller was in there all the way doing a good job of blocking on offense and a fine piece of work on defense.
The same was true of the line. The forward wall ripped huge holes in the Irish defenses for the Massillon backs to ramble through and on defense they completely smothered Akron’s attempts to gain. A lot had been said about the speed of John Schlosser and Jim Wilhite, Akron’s two standout backs, once they got by the line of scrimmage.
Well maybe that’s true but last night the Tigers didn’t give them a chance to turn loose their speed. The Akronites were generally smothered long before they ever had a chance to get out in the open.
That sturdy Tiger line did its job in a most effective manner from Jasinski on the one flank to Willmot on the other. The Tiger ends really showed their worth last night. They got out in the open to receive Pellegrini’s accurate passes and their defensive performance was fine. Dick Arrington and Bob Belch and Larry Berger on the tackles, Julius Tonges and Bill Gable on the guards and Bob Williams at center were just too many Tigers for the Irish to handle.
It has always been said that Pellegrini could toss passes if he was afforded the right kind of protection and the receivers got out where they should be. Well Pellegrini got the right kind of protection last night and the receivers were where they should be and Romeo had himself a great time pitching strikes.
Tigers Score In Every Quarter
Massillon scored on touchdown in the first quarter, three in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth. Statistics readily show the Tiger superiority. Massillon made 15 first downs to seven for St. Vincent’s. The Tigers completed seven of 15 passes for 156 yards, two of which were good for touchdowns. Akron tried 16, completed five for 83 yards. Massillon intercepted four Akron passes while one Tiger aerial was intercepted by the Irish.
The Tigers had a net gain of 402 yards from all types of plays while Akron had only 83.
It took the Tigers a little better than eight minutes to ring up their first set of counters. Massillon received but was forced to punt and Schlosser reeled off a first down in three plays. Bill Latham, however, lost 15 on a bad pass from center and Russ Smith, St. Vincent’s little southpaw passer and kicker and a mighty game little kid, lost seven more on another bad pass. Then Wallace busted through to block Smith’s punt, the ball going to Massillon on Akron’s 17. The Irish once again checked the Tigers and held for downs, taking the ball on their 15. A 15-yard penalty for holding took the ball back to St. Vincent’s 3 and then Smith punted from behind his goal line to the Irish 43-yard line.
Mastriann Scores First
Here the Tiger machine began to function. Pellegrini swept around right end for nine, Mastriann plugged the line for six and a first down. He rambled through the Akronites for 11 more on the next play to put the ball on the 17. Again Mastriann hit for five and Pellegrini went for two. The Tiger fullback on a spinner drove to the Akron four yard line but the play was called back and a five yard penalty on Massillon for offside took the ball back to the 12. With second down and seven to go Pellegrini flipped a pass to Jasinski who was downed on the Akron one-yard line. Mastriann plunged once and it was a Massillon touchdown. He place-kicked for the extra point.
Early in the second quarter Mastriann fumbled and Akron covered on the Tiger 15-yard line. The Irish threat, however, was soon erased. The visitors could get nowhere, either by running or passing and Massillon took the ball on downs on its 15. Mastriann and Pellegrini engineered two first downs on line plunges and end sweeps and then Wallace took off the wraps and began to run. With the ball on Massillon’s 40, Wallace dashed wide around end and when he was brought down he was 20 yards closer to Akron’s goal, the ball resting on St. Vincent’s 40. Mastriann hit for nine and once again Wallace found a big opening at left tackle and scampered 23 yards to Akron’s seven before being halted by Smith. Once more Wallace hit the left side and this time he was stopped two feet from the goal line. On the next play he went over for Massillon’s second touchdown. Pellegrini passed to Willmot for the extra point.
Kammer began to send in some of his reserves but the Tigers were traveling under a full head of steam by now and there was no stopping them.
Akron received and on the first play after the kickoff Glenn Keller intercepted a pass from Schlosser in midfield and dashed 50 yards down the west side of the field on a beautiful run for the third Tiger touchdown. Pellegrini and Gable were among the Tigers who blocked out Akronites who might have stopped Keller’s goalward dish. Mastriann’s place kick was wide.
A 15-yard penalty for offensive interference cost Massillon a chance for another touchdown a bit later and Akron gained the ball but was forced to punt. By this time Kammer was sending in a steady stream of substitutes and at one time Wallace was back on the line with Williams shifted from center to tackle, but when Willmot intercepted Wilhite’s pass on the Massillon 20 the Tiger team went back to its original lineup. Pellegrini hit for 10 as the quarter ended and Mastriann opened the fourth with an eight-yard gain on a spinner. Wallace raced around right end for 18 to Akron’s 45. Mastriann hit the line for six but Pellegrini was tossed for a nine-yard loss. Then the Tigers dusted off the old Stature of Liberty play and Wallace grabbed the ball and raced wide around left end for 14 yards and a first down on Akron’s 34. A five yard penalty on Akron for delaying the game put the ball on the 29 from where Pellegrini and Jasinski again teamed up for another Massillon touchdown.
Jasinski and an Akron player made a bid for Pellegrini’s pass and the ball bounded into he air but when it came down Tom was there to grab it and scampered 15 yards for thescore.
Massillon’s entire second team went into the game and Akron threatened when Gauthler grabbed a long pass from Longville and raced to Massillon’s 16, before being stopped by Don Stevens. The Tiger regulars were rushed back in and they checked the Irish, taking the ball on Massillon’s nine. Pellegrini clipped off a first down. Wallace raced around left end for 18 to his 41 and then Pellegrini passed to Wallace for 15 to the Akron 44. Another Pellegrini to Wallace pass was good for 29 and the ball was on Akron’s 15 from where Pellegrini raced around right end for the seventh and final Massillon touchdown.
Nearly every member of the Massillon squad got into the game and all of them came out in good physical condition. Mastriann sustained a slightly injured hip and Keller had a slight cut inside his mouth.
Happy Tiger Team
It was a happy Tiger team that romped in the dressing room after the game. And they had reason to celebrate.
Coach Kammer, while highly pleased with the job his boys had done, was already thinking about something else – that something being next Friday’s game at Steubenville.
“The kids did all right tonight, “ said Kammer, “but don’t forget next week comes Steubenville and that’s going to be something different.”
Over in the St. Vincent’s dressing room Eddie Wentz, capable and affable coach of the Irish, sadly shook his head and wondered what kind of a blitz had struck his team.
“Gosh, I thought we had a better ball club than that,” said the Akron coach. “Those boys of mine seemed to be pretty badly scared out there for some reason and nothing seemed to work right.”
Well, Eddie, those Tigers were torrid enough to frighten most any foe last night.
And Tigers, keep’em frightened, particularly in Steubenville.
What A Tiger!
Massillon – 46 Pos. St. Vincent’s Willmot LE Kil Arrington LT Sovach Tonges LG Williams C Gaffney Gable RG Belch RT Jasinski RE Gauthler Keller QB Smith Pellegrini LH Schlosser Wallace RH Wilhite Mastriann FB Latham
Score by quarters: Massillon 7 20 7 12 – 46 St. Vincent’s 0 0 0 0 – 0
Statistics Tigers Akron Total first downs 15 7 Yards gained by rushing 263 51 Yards lost by rushing 23 50 Net yards gained by rushing 246 1 Forward passes attempted 15 16 Forward passes completed 7 5 Yards gained by passing 156 82 Passes had intercepted 1 4 Total net yardage passing and rushing 392 83 Number of punts 1 6 Average distance of punts 14 23 Number of kickoffs 8 1 Average distance of kicks 28 35 Number of fumbles 3 2 Times ball lost on fumbles 1 Number of penalties 7 4 Yards lost by penalties 65 30
WASHINGTON HIGH SHOWS POWER IN CRUSHING AKRON ST. VINCENT’S 39-0 FORWARD WALL RIPS IRISH LINE TO BITS AS TIGER BACKS ROMP
By LUTHER EMERY
One for the money, two for the show, three to make ready and – whoopee! Three touchdowns in the last period. That’s the way it went for 5,000 fans last night when Washington high school’s 35 Tigers opened the 1933 football season in a very suspicious manner with a 39-0 victory over the fighting Irish of Akron St. Vincent’s high school. [ Scoring a touchdown in each of the first three periods, the Massillon team waited until the final quarter to make a complete route of it and then it was the second stringers and not the regulars that put the finishing touches to the crushing defeat.
Linemen Actually Won Game Though the backfield men showed their dash and color, football games are won and lost on the line and that’s where Friday evening’s victory was made possible.
Weighing 170 pounds from tip to tip and supported by two young giants at tackle, the forward wall was impregnable on defense and blasted big holes in the Saints line when the Tigers took the offense. The wave of interference that bowled over would be Irish tacklers was the finest Tiger fans have seen in a long time. The linemen and blockers opened wide paths for the ball carrier in off tackle smashes and threw everything but the goal posts at the ends when they circled the wings of the Irish line.
Without a line in front of him, a backfield man can do nothing. Henry Krier got nowhere as a ball carrier with last year’s light forward wall to support him, but he could not be stopped last night when the heavy Massillon boys cut him a path.
Tigers Too Heavy For Saints St. Vincent’s had a scrappy team but was out weighed eight pounds to a man. A good little man can frequently whip a big slow man but a good little man has little chance or no chance against a big fast man and that about sizes up the helpless condition of the Saints last night. The Tigers are not only big, but are fast. Their line averages 170 pounds and their backfield 166 pounds and Krier and McCants, the heavy weights of the raiding foursome can run neck and neck with Shrake and Shertzer, the smaller boys. Furthermore Steve Birkish, the heaviest man on the team, 207 pounds, surprised fans with his speed in the opening minutes of the game when he went down under the first punt to tackle the safety man just as he caught the ball.
A sweeping victory was just what the Tigers needed, in the opinion of the high school’s board of strategy for confidence is what an inexperienced team needs and five of the six players that started last night were playing their first varsity game. Furthermore, several of the substitutes looked every bit as good as their hand picked brothers that started the game and this will create greater rivalry within the team itself.
There was no stopping the Massillon eleven last night and St. Vincent’s has only three fumbles and a penalty to thank that two or three more touchdowns were not scored against them. Once the Tigers fumbled ad lost the ball after Sharke had carried it to the five-yard line on a brilliant dash of 35 yards, the prettiest run of the game. He might have carried it over, for there was no one between him and the goal posts but he became overbalanced sidestepping the safety man and fell. On another occasion McCants raced 24 yards around right end and across the goal but the ball was brought back and Massillon penalized 15 yards for holding. On two other occasions the Tigers fumbled a triple pass within the 20-yard stripe after determined marching down the field.
Pass, Saints Only Weapon Where the Tigers relied on power plays and end runs for gains and tried but two forward passes one of which was completed for a gain of 34 yards, St. Vincent’s found the forward pass its only offensive weapon and pegged the ball 17 times. On five occasions the ball fell into the arms of a receiver for a total gain of 69 yards.
Massillon’s drive netted 18 first downs to seven for the Irish.
Most remarkable of all was the condition of the Massillon team. Only twice during the game was time taken out for a Massillon player, Krier and Shrake each having the wind knocked out once.
The Tigers let it be known from the start that they meant business. Shrake was downed with the kickoff on the 20-yard line and there the march got underway. Shrake made three yards at left end and McCants plunged for five. Krier made it first down on the Massillon 35-yard line. McCants failed to gain but Sharke hit through left tackle for seven yards and McCants picked up 11 more for a first down on the Saints’ 47-yard stripe. It was a spinner play. St. Vincent’s was penalized five yards for offside. McCants made three yards at left guard and then waded through a pileup for a first down on the Saints 31-yard line. St. Vincent’s took time out. Play was resumed with Shrake circling left end for five yards. He then came around left end on a reverse for a 14-yard dash to the 12-yard line. Krier hit right tackle for seven yards and made it first down with two yards to go. On the next play, McCants plunged through center for the first touchdown and Krier placekicked the extra point. That ended the scoring of the first quarter.
Krier Runs 25 Yards The last two plays of the first period paved the way for the second touchdown of the game. Porter was downed with a St. Vincent’s punt on the Saints’ 34-yard line. McCants tore through center for nine yards on a delayed buck. Here the period ended. With the ball on the 25-yard line, Krier circled right end for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. He also placekicked the extra point.
It was in this period that St. Vincent’s got nearest the Massillon goal. The Saints gained the ball through a fumble on their own 33-yard line. Aided by a 36-yard pass, Krasowski to Zeno, the ball was carried to the Tigers’ 11-yard line, where Zeno’s pass on the fourth down was wide and Massillon took possession of the ball. The half ended with the score 14-0 in favor of the Tigers.
Monrie and Lohr got the ball in position for the Tigers to score their touchdown of the third period when they blocked a punt on the Saints’ 35-yard line. The pigskin was no more than put into play until Krier again raced 35 yards on a reverse around right end for a touchdown. He was given excellent interference on this play, McCants alone seemingly mowing down half a dozen Akron players. Krier’s attempted placekick was wide. The third period ended with the score 20-0.
Subs Produce Points Touchdowns came in rapid succession in the fourth quarter, a steady stream of substitutes seeming to propel rather than retard the Massillon offense.
McCants on the opening play of the fourth quarter skirted right end for a touchdown but the ball was called back and Massillon was penalized 15 yards for holding. Back to the 40-yard line, the Tigers set out to make up the loss. Shertzer’s pass was wild but Shrake scampered around left end to the 20-yard line where he was downed out of bounds under a pileup of Irishmen. The Saints were penalized for this and the ball was put in play on the five-yard stripe. McCants went over on the first play for a touchdown and Krier placekicked the extra point.
With Mellinger downed with a punt on the Saints’ 45-yard line, Willie Hutsel, the smallest of the team broke loose for three runs that carried the ball to the 29-yard line. Mellinger made six on a double reverse and Mansbury took it to the 16-yard line for a first down. He made six more yards on a center plunge and on the next play went over on a spinner for a touchdown. A poor pass from center hurried his attempted placekick that was blocked by the Saints’ players.
Mellinger Returns Punt 30 Yards Mellinger’s 30 yard return of a punt placed the ball on the six-yard line in position for the sixth and next touchdown of the game. Mansbury went over on a plunge through center for the score. His attempted placekick was wide of the goal posts. Both coaches used every member of their squads in the game, Coach Paul Brown giving 35 players a chance to perform.
There was color and plenty of it last night and the remodeled stadium with its heavy green turf and painted bleachers brought forth words of praise everywhere. The finest high school field in this section was the usual comment, and that’s just what it is, barring none.
Never before has a Washington band been given an ovation like that accorded the local musicians when they swept by the Tiger stands dressed in their neat and flashy uniforms with a drum major at the head that many a college would like to have. The band played and played well, the fruit of many nights of “vacation” rehearsals.
The new turf, though torn up considerably will have three weeks to take root again, and groundskeepers are not worrying over its condition for the next home game Friday evening, Oct. 13 with New Philadelphia. The refreshment stand did a rushing business from its new location and the score board kept the crowd informed as to score, downs, minutes to play and yards to go.
The line up and summary: Massillon Pos St. Vincent’s Lohr LE J. Roach Birkish LT Sutter Porter LG G. Siegferth Monroe C Suscinski Snavely RG Ahern Buggs RT Yenchik Heisler RE Holt Shertzer QB F. Siegferth Krier LH Krasowski McCants FB Walsh Shrake RH Zeno