Tag: <span>All-American Conference</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1970: Massillon 36, Alliance 12

Tigers Down tenacious Alliance 36-12

Independent Sports Editor

Massillon’s No. 1 ranked Tigers Friday night won a game where it’s often most important – in the trenches.

Behind superb blocking again by “The Iron Curtain,” Washington high backs ran with authority, picking up 366 net yards on the ground, as the Tigers (3-0) beat Alliance (1-2) 36-12 at muggy Hartshorn stadium in the Carnation City before an estimated 10,000.
* * *
WHILE SENIOR tailback “Mailman Mike” Mauger did the largest share of the work, scoring four touchdowns and picking up 188 net yards in 22 attempts, senior fullback and co-captain Tom Cardinal and juniors Don Perry (fullback) and Larry McLenndon (tailback) also picked up a lot of yardage.

Particularly effective were off tackle plays – both from handoffs and pitchouts.

Program Cover

But while passing out orchids for the Tigers’ effort which put them into a three-way tie for the All-American conference head, it must also be pointed out that those “colossal mistakes, as Coach Bob Commings terms them, cropped up again, costing the Orange and Black two TDs and opening the door for one of Alliance’s six-pointers.

On the other side of the ledger, the Aviators played their usual tenacious game, never giving up, although taking a physical beating from the heavier WHSers. Alliance made Massillon fight for every inch of ground gained.

First year Aviator Coach Gene Nara also got some fine running – from senior fullback Lloyd Gray and 145-pound sophomore tailback Dan Contrucci.
* * *
“IT WAS a hard-hitting game, typical of the All-American conference,” said Nara, former Tiger aide. “I’m not ashamed of them. Other coaches can put their head down. I’m going to bring this team back. I knew what I was getting into when I came here. I knew there wasn’t much back.”

He added, “They wiped us out off tackle on the pitches.”

Commings was pleased with the game, saying, “It was good for us. We matured. Alliance was real spirited. Our kids had to go the route. We pressed ourselves and we learned a valuable lesson. You must also be poised. We weren’t in the first half. We all seemed to be tight, including the coaches. I thought we loosened up in the second half.”

A second period fight robbed both teams of key personal. The Tigers’ Cardinal and Aviator middle guard Jim Hancock were ejected. Fortunately, Perry filled in well at fullback for “The Red Bird” and senior John Nussbaumer, at linebacker.

But Nara had centered a special new defense around Hancock, whom he termed his best and quickest man and had no one else to fill the gap.
* * *
THE TIGERS started out as if to score right after the opening kickoff, but Cliff Jones picked up Mauger’s fumble on the Massillon 46. The Aviators lost the ball on downs on the Massillon forhty-yard line as “The Attack Pack” held. Jones’ field goal attempt was wide right.

Then came an 80-yard, 11-0lay Massillon scoring jaunt, featuring the running of Cardinal and Mauger. A 16-yard screen pass scamper by the former and a 30-yard, pass-run from quarterback Denny Franklin to the latter, with the run 21 yards, were the highlights.

Mauger’s touchdown came off right tackle on first down from the one with the clock malfunctioning. Franklin’s pass to split end Willie Spencer misfired on the conversion try.

Early in the second period, John Sims stole a Gray fumble on the Massillon 30. However, Franklin later fumbled on the Aviator six, recovering the ball, but losing to the 15 and missing the score.

Mauger’s 11-yard punt return started WHS on the way to a five-play, 51-yard TD drive, aided by a 13-yard romp by Franklin and capped by Mauger’s 17-yard, first down run around left end after the tackle hole had closed. Franklin converted on a bootleg run to the right.
* * *
EARLY IN the third quarter, the Tigers scored on a 55-yard, five-play drive, featuring a 14-yard, pass-run from Franklin to wingback Bernard Sullivan, “Sullie” running for four and Mauger’s 49-yarder on a pitch right. Tim Ridgley threw a key block and Mauger carried Jones into the end zone with 8:27 left. Franklin converted on a keeper to the right.

Alliance got into the scoring column when the Tigers failed to contain punter Chuck Larsuel after a bad snap from the Alliance 15. On first down from the 20, Gray got a pitch to the left, cut back to the right and was away for the score. Willie Spencer threw quarterback Randy Hunt on the conversion try.

Late in the quarter, Perry’s 22-yard trek aided a drive, following a punt, which put the ball on the Alliance 10 on first down. Mauger fumbled on the one on the next play, the ball rolled into the end zone and was finally collared by Alliance’s Jim Brocklehurst near the end line.

After a fourth quarter punt, Massillon marched 56 yards in nine plays to pay dirt, aided by a personal foul penalty as the Orangemen had been on their second TD drive Mauger rammed off right tackle on first down from the four with 5:41 left. Franklin hit Spencer in the left end zone corner for the conversion.

Alliance got possession on its 40 when Mauger’s kickoff traveled out of bounds and Contrucci proceeded to reel off two runs of 12 yards each, caught a 14-yard pass from Bill Anderson, subbing for the injured Randy Hunt and then ran over center and back right on second down from the 22 for six points with 4:33 left. A conversion pass fell incomplete.
* * *
THE TIGERS finished the scoring after Ridgley had fallen on an onside kick at his 48. Six plays later, Franklin hit Spencer from 10 yards out off a bootleg with 1:57 remaining.

“Dennis the Menace’s” conversion pass to Co-Captain and tight end Steve Luke was incomplete.

The drive featured McLenndon’s 16-yard scamper, some hard running by Perry and Franklin’s 20-yard forced run.

Ends – S. Luke, Stephan, McGuire, Spencer.
Tackles – Strobel, Ridgley, Weirich.
Guards – Kulik, Jasinski, Sims, Nussbaumer, Graber, Groff.
Center – Studer, Chovan, Gaddis.
Quarterbacks – Franklin, Dingler, Schultz.
Halfbacks – Mauger, Sullivan, McLenndon, Thompson, Wonsick, Weise, B. Luke.
Fullbacks – Cardinal, Perry.

Ends – Paina, Danesi, Lightner, Brockett, Cameron.
Tackles – Randy Kuceyeski, Ron Kuceyeski, Addams.
Guards – Andreani, Messenheimer, Lugenbuhl, Penturf.
Centers –Jones, Mergenthaler, Dwyer.
Quarterbacks – Hunt, Anderson, Davis, Haidet.
Halfbacks – Larsuel, Sloane, Snodgrass, Contrucci, Brocklehurst, May, Lloyd.
Fullbacks – Beckwith, LeNave, Hancock.

MASSILLON 6 8 8 14 36
ALLIANCE 0 0 6 6 12

M – Mauger, one-yard run (pass failed);
M—Mauger, 17-yard run (Franklin run);
M – Mauger, 49-yard run (Franklin run);
A – Gray, 80-yard run failed);
M – Mauger, four-yard run (Spencer, pass from Franklin);
A – Construcci, 22-yard run (pass failed);
M – Spencer, 10-yard pass from Franklin (pass failed).

Referee – Nick Frascella.
Umpire – John Dalrymple.
Head Linesman – Len Batcha.
Field Judge – Hal Schumacher.


Mauger tops AAC,
county in scoring

Massillon Washington high’s Mike Mauger continues to set the pace in Stark county and All-American conference scoring derbies.

He also is the highly-touted AAC’s No. 1 rusher, cleating 505 yards for 12.6 per lug mark.
* * *
MAUGER HOLDS lofty leads in AAC rushing and scoring and has a 21-point margin over Minerva’s Jess Lowry in a bid to unseat Hartville-Lake’s Brian Bowers as Stark county’s premiere score of 1970.

Mauger’s nearest rival in AAC scoring is Artis Zachary of arch foe Canton McKinnley with 30 points. Alliance’s Lloyd Gray is nearest to Mauger in AAC rushing with 279 yards and a 4.7 per try.

Massillon’s game Saturday will send the AAC’s top passer (Tiger Denny Franklin) against the No. 2 passer (Niles’ Alan Ciminero).

Franklin has hit 12 of 29 tries for 289 yards, five TDs; Ciminero shows 13-for-28 and 265 yards. He also has tossed for five six-pointers, but has had three of his aerials picked off, while but two of Franklin’s attempts have been pilfered.

Tiger Bernard Sullivan ranks second in AAC receiving with five grabs for 112 yards and three TDs. Niles’ Jim Stringer is the No. 1 receiver, snaring four of Ciminero’s aerials for 119 yards and three TDs.

Canton South’s Dave Pellegrini is Stark county’s No. 3 scorer after three games with 44 points – four less than Lowry and four more than Bowers.
Mike Mauger, Massillon 69; Artis Zachary, Canton McKinley, 30; Alex DiMarziio, Canton McKinley, 28; Jim Stringer, Niles McKinley, 26; Bernard Sullivan, Massillon, 18; Anthony Brown, Warren G. Harding, 14; Dean Young of Steubenville; Dennis Franklin of Massillon; Lloyd Gray of Alliance and Mike Cara of Steubenville, 12 each.
Mauger, 505 yards, 12.6; Gray, 279 yard, 4.7; Arnold Johnson, Steubenville, 232 yards, 5.7; Zachard, 188 yards, 4.6; Brown, 178 yards, 6.3; Stringer, 159 yards, 5.5; Eric Kirksey, Warren G. Harding, 129 yards, 6.1; Cara, 111 yards, 3.9; DiMarzioi, 109.

Steve Luke
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1963: Massillon 22, Warren Harding 8

Tigers Beat Stubborn Warren 22-8
Visiting Panthers Put Up Great Fight Before 13, 861 Crowd


When two members of the jungle feline family want the same thing badly enough, they become highly aroused and engage in a ferocious battle. And that’s what happened at Tiger stadium Friday on homecoming night.

The Massillon Tigers and Warren Harding Black Panthers both wanted a victory in the worst way. So they bared claws and fangs and staged a good old-fashioned donnybrook with the Washington high eleven coming out on top 22-8 before 13,861 fans.

The series between Massillon and Warren since Coach Leo Strang took over the Tigers’ reins in 1958 is now even at 3-3. Both teams have won only at home.

The Orange and Black got its sixth victory in a row and seventh in eight games. Warren stands 4-3.

Program Cover

This was also Massillon’s second straight in the new All-American High School Football league. This was Warren’s first circuit outing.
* * *
TWO THINGS prevented the Tigers from getting a higher score. They had three scoring drives go awry because of a combination of red flags and their own mistakes. The WHS team was unable to get the ball often enough because of Warren’s tough possession game.

The Bengals did move the ball well when they had it.

Strang put it this way, “The kind of team like Warren is rough on you. They three-four and five-yard you to death. And they took so long between plays. Penalties and mistakes stopped us on three good scoring chances. They played a good game and hit us on a mediocre one.”

The guy who did most of the killing was a 5-7, 178-pound senior fullback Sam Pagano. Unofficially he gained 68 yards in 23 attempts – almost three yards per try. He also got Warren’s only touchdown.

Massillon’s senior tailback Bill Blunt carried nine times for 41 yards or about five yards per trip. He scored one conversion. His yardage was all up the center. He came close to going all the way several times. As Strang said, “Warren’s defense was stacked to prevent Blunt running the ends.” The Panthers played wide repeatedly.
* * *
BEN WILSON, head man at Warren, said, “We played our best game tonight. The boys gave it a good fight. I’m proud of them. Massillon has a fine team. Its speed and reaction was too much for us.”

When asked if he planned to play possession ball to keep the score down, Wilson’s answer was a definite, yes. He added, “We had to. We have power this year and lack experience.”

The statistics indicate the closeness of the game. Massillon had 15 first downs, Warren
13 – the difference being two by penalties for the Bengals. Massillon had 149 net yards rushing, Warren 92. The Panthers completed seven of 16 passes for 135 yards, the Tigers eight for 13 for 121 yards. Total yardage for the Orange and Black was 270, for Warren 227. The Trumbull county team lost 16 yards rushing to WHS’ nine.

The Tigers’ initial score came when Blunt ran back a first quarter punt 10 yards to the Warren 47. Six plays and two first downs later fullback Bob Hewitt raced over through the short side of center from the 18-yard line with 1:41 remaining. Blunt converted over right tackle after running four of the plays in the drive.
* * *
A PASS from quarterback Ron Swartz to wingback Grady Eckard, from the 26 to the
16-yard line for a first down set up the touchdown.

Warren got the ensuing kickoff with 1:31 seconds left in the period and held onto it until its score with 5:09 remaining in the second quarter, a span of six minutes and 40 seconds. Chuck Williams ran the ball from the 13 to the 31, a distance of 18 yards and from there it was practically all Pagano, hitting the middle.

The drive took 17 plays with four first downs. Pagano carried on 10 of the plays and went over through the center from the three on fourth down. A face guard penalty had given the Panthers the ball on the three two plays earlier. Chuck Williams converted over right tackle.

The Tigers’ tie-breaking score was started by Bobby Hewitt’s 17-yard runback of Warren’s purposely short kickoff to keep the ball out of Blunt’s hands. Hewitt returned from the Massillon 40 to the Warren 43.

Then with the junior fullback carrying on four of the next five plays, Massillon had manufactured a second down on the 19. Swartz hit long side end Will Perry over the middle on the next play for the second score at 2:18. Hewitt ran the conversion through the middle to put the Tigers back in a lead which they never relinquished.
* * *
THE FINAL score came after a Warren punt in the third canto. The Tigers drove 52 yards in nine plays with two first downs.

Eckard made a sensational diving catch of a third down, eight-yard pass by Swartz in the right corner of the south end zone at 4:02 for the touchdown. He just managed to grab the pigskin inbounds at the last minute. Blunt missed the conversion on a run.

A motion penalty had set the Tigers back to the eight on the play before. Another motion penalty killed a 78-yard drive, highlighted by Frank Scassa’s recovery of a punt fumble on the 34, in the last period. Quarterback Tom Gatsios ran from the Warren 18 to the two on a fine rollout. But the Tigers got set back to the 23 and couldn’t make a first down.

A pass interception by halfback Charles Rounds knocked off a 52-yard Massillon drive at the 10 in the third stanza. A fumble on the 15 kayoed still another invasion in the first period – this one of 51 yards. End Chuck Miller recovered the ball for Warren on this one.

The only period in which Massillon failed to score was the fourth. Warren had the ball for five minutes and 20 seconds, moving from its 17 to the Massillon 17, a distance of 66 yards. The drive started at 7:20 and ended at 1:52.

The Tigers came close to scoring when a 41-yard pass was just out of the hands of short side end Bob McAllister in the closing minutes. A motion penalty on this play was refused by Warren.

Ends – Johnson and Miller.
Tackles – Florea, Fender and Hlaudy.
Guards – Johnson, Tabacca and hood.
Center – Shively.
Quarterbacks – Stredney and Brewster.
Halfbacks – Williams, Grisham, Owends and Rounds.
Fullbacks – Pagano and Howard.

Ends – Pierce, Perry, Hose, Jones, McAllister and Goodnough.
Tackles – Lash, Miller, Tarle, Binge and Morgan.
Centers – Scassa and Muhlback.
Quarterbacks – Swartz, Getz and Kanner.
Halfbacks – Blunt, Eckard, Getz, Schenkenberger and Rink.
Fullbacks – Hewitt and Lawrence.

Warren 0 8 0 0 8
Massillon 8 8 6 0 22

Massillon – Hewitt (17-yard run); Perry (19-yard pass from Swartz); Eckard (eight-yard pass from Swartz).

Warren – Pagano (three-yard run).

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Blunt 2 (run); Hewitt 2 (run).
Warren – Williams 2 (run).

Referee – Bud Shopbell (Canton).
Umpire – Edmund Corsi (Cleveland Heights).
Head Linesman – Pete Lanigan (Columbus).
Field Judge – Steve Bernardic (Cleveland).

Massillon Opp.
First downs, rushing 6 6
First downs, passing 7 7
First downs, penalties 2 0
Total first downs 15 13
Yards gained rushing 158 108
Yards lost rushing 9 16
Net yards gained rushing 149 92
Yards gained passing 121 135
Total yards gained 270 227
Passes attempted 13 16
Passes completed 8 7
Passes intercepted by 0 1
Times kicked off 4 2
Kickoff average (yards) 47.0 34.5
Kickoff returns (yards) 39 19
Times punted 1 4
Punt average (yards) 31.0 39.7
Punt returns (yards) 34 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 2 4
Lost fumbled ball 2 2
Penalties 3 5
Yards penalized. 13 45

Bill Blunt