1941: Massillon 32, Canton McKinley 0
DEFEAT CANTON BY 32-0 SCORE
Bulldogs Speared With Passes As Tigers Record New Margin of Victory Over Ancient Foe And Boost Record to 43 Games Without Defeat
By Luther Emery
Orchids to Bud Houghton and his Washington high Tigers.
The team that didn’t have a chance at the start of the season is still champion of Ohio, and you can write it in the records—seven consecutive state titles—undefeated in 43 games.
While 25,000 fans blinked with amazement the Tigers blasted their way to the seventh title in Fawcett stadium, Canton, Saturday afternoon, to knock Canton McKinley out of the picture with a 32-0 triumph, the largest margin of points on record for a Massillon team in a game with Canton.
Passes Baffle Bulldogs
Stunned by the suddenness of an unexpected aerial assault, the Bulldogs were never able to recover long enough to organize a protection against the Massillon air forces.
They had concentrated on stopping the Tigers by land and sea as evidenced by their refusal of the tarpaulin, but their gamble that Massillon could not use the air, backfired and the strategy went out with the exhaust.
Tiger coaches had anticipated it. They knew in their own hearts that the Massillon passing attack had not looked good all year, so they set out the past two weeks to improve it, did, and when the bulldogs tossed an eight-man line against them on the first play, and crowded the three-man secondary against it, the Tigers had the necessary weapons to fight with.
Passes Did It
Tail-backs Bob Graber and Dick Adams, just rared back and let fly, and far out in the Bulldog secondary, the receivers bobbed up to haul in the ball with little or no interference.
It was Graber to Fred Blunt for 37 yards and a near touchdown; Graber to Keve Bray for 12; Graber to Blunt for 36 and a touchdown; Adams to Bray for 32; Graber to Joe De Mando for 44; Adams to Bray for 34; Graber to Bray for 49; Adams to Fred Cardinal for 22; and Adams to Tom Jasinski for five.
There you have the list that shows the potency of the Tiger attack, nine completed passes in 17 attempts for one direct touchdown and 271 yards. While passes only accounted directly for one touchdown, they set up all the others and might have produced two more scores, had not the receivers lost their balance after working themselves in the clear in tremendous efforts to catch the ball.
That is one-half of the passing game.
The other half is the defense set-up by Houghton and his staff to stop the Bulldogs in the air. The Massillon coaches, using a 6-3-2 defense instead of their usual seven diamond, guarded the secondary carefully. They were willing to give the Bulldogs from two to three yards on the line as long as they could prevent any long shots. The strategy was successful. Canton hurled 27 passes but only completed 10, and only one of the 10 gained any great distance. Four passes were intercepted. The Bulldogs did gain considerable yardage on the ground, but only once did they get within scoring distance, that effort coming in the last minute when they lost the ball on downs on the nine-yard line.
The Tigers were in the pink. Smartly quarterbacked from the opening minute to the final gun; they surveyed their opponents’ weaknesses, and struck at the opportune moment.
Sweeps Bring Touchdowns
They showed no mercy with a vicious running attack once passes had placed them in a position to score, and in powerful sweeps, Keve Bray, John Hill, Joe De Mando, and Fred Cardinal would lead Graber, Blunt, and Adams to touchdowns. One by one, you could see the Bulldog ends and secondary chopped down as Tiger blockers cleared the way for their ball carrier.
Sweeps were the only weapon the Massillonians had on hand. The Bulldogs had so thoroughly concentrated on the off-tackle and spinner plays, that Capt. Fred Blunt, Chuck Holt, and Bob Graber found it next to impossible to move. Blunt, who has been the big ground gainer all season, was virtually stopped all afternoon, but he did get loose for one of the touchdown sweeps.
The Tigers, in their new defensive setup, prepared especially for this game, found Tom Harris, but Bulldog fullback, the hardest of the Canton ball carriers to bring down. Canton built its whole attack around him. He carried the leather 19 times and tossed most of the 27 passes. A spinner with Dominick carrying the ball was the red and black’s best ground gainer.
The Bulldogs used three different defenses going from an eight to a seven to a six-man line, but the Tigers outguessed them most of the way and tossed passes when the secondary was least protected.
You will be looking for heroes, but you need not hunt. Take all 11 of them into your arms. The linemen from tip to tip played fine football and every member of the backfield put in his contribution.
Bray’s Greatest Game
Don’t overlook Keve Bray; who played his greatest game; and don’t forget little Dave Miller, the 140-pounder who went in when Bob Wallace came out with an injury. The way he submarined when the Canton power drives were turned loose through center was terrific. Only a stout heart could do it. That’s it! That was Houghton’s first comment after being carried to the dressing room by his players. “They were a great bunch of goys. They fought their hearts out this afternoon.”
They did. They carried out the promise made by Capt. Blunt as he dashed out of the pre-game huddle and ran to the Massillon bench while his teammates took their positions on the field. “Don’t worry coach, we’re going to lick them this afternoon. We’ll win this one for you,” he said, and how!
How the Massillon passes clicked. Fans who had seen the Tiger aerial game sputter all season couldn’t believe their eyes. All efforts to jam in the Tiger backs and receivers and keep them from getting into the open, failed, and you must give the linemen, Don Fuchs, Vernon Weisgarber, Karl Paulik, and Bob Wallace, plenty of credit for keeping the Canton linemen from sifting through while Graber and Adams picked out their receivers. The latter had plenty of time to throw, something they have lacked all year, and they tossed the ball as though they were shooting a rifle. And the receivers held on to it.
There was no dropping the pigskin. Everything that was close was caught and in most instances the receivers were beyond the secondary when they took the leather.
Because the passes were completed for long gains, the first down total is not commensurate with the 32 points. Each team made 11. Yardage gained tells the story better, 431 to 109.
The Tigers gained 189 yards on the ground and lost 29 for a net total of 160. Leading ground gainer for the Tigers was Dick Adams who gained 113 of the 189 yards himself. He made the longest run of the game, 59 yards and was hauled down from behind. He raced 26 yards for a touchdown on another occasion.
Great Punting Exhibition
And while you are still thinking in terms of heroes, don’t overlook the tremendous punting of Graber, especially the 51-yard boot from his nine-yard line that took the Tigers out of a hole early in the third quarter. Graber actually was behind his goal line when he kicked the ball. It soared 60 yards over the McKinley secondary.
The average of 43 yards per punt would be a compliment to any college kicker.
The Tigers scored in all but the third period. They got their first touchdown in the middle of the opening quarter, as you would expect by now – through passes, two of them in a row, a 12-yarder to Bray and a 36 yard toss to Blunt, who raced across the goal with no one near him. Graber was the thrower.
They scored two touchdowns in the second period. A 44-yard peg from Graber to De Mando took the ball to the Canton 15. Big Joe could have made the rest of the distance had he not lost his balance reaching out to catch the ball. He stumbled along for 10 yards before he finally went down in a heap. But it only took one play to get the remaining 15. Bray, Hill, and Cardinal blasted the right flank of the Bulldogs to pieces as Graber swept his end for the score.
Dick Adams’ 34-yard pass to Bray, set the stage for the third with a first down on the nine-yard line. And again Adams circled the right end for the touchdown while his teammates threw everything but the goal posts at Canton tacklers to clear each and every one out of Dick’s path.
Tigers Score Two More
The fourth touchdown came early in the fourth quarter after Canton had had a bit of an edge in the third period. A 49-yard peg from Graber to Bray produced a first down. The Tigers powered their way the rest of the distance through the most determined resistance put up by the Bulldogs all afternoon. Chuck Holt smashed his way for a first down on the one-yard line, but he couldn’t get it over in three attempts and came up fighting once when everyone piled on. It was left to Capt. Blunt to score and with everyone expecting another smash by Holt, Blunt circled his left end behind the same great blocking that had accompanied Graber and Adams and crossed the Bulldog goal.
The extra point that had previously been missed through two kicks from placements and an attempt to carry the ball, was made good this time by Graber who hammered his way through right guard.
The final Massillon score followed two completed passes, a 22-yarder from Adams to Cardinal, and a five-yard toss to Jasinski that took the ball to the 26-yard line. There Adams struck through a hole at right tackle opened by De Mando, Blunt, and Cardinal and behind fine blocking led by Hill and Holt, stepped 26-yards to the promised land. Holt went over for the 32nd and final point of the game.
The Bulldogs got on the march twice, once at the end of the first half, and once at the end of the game.
In their first half effort they moved the moved the ball from their 35 to the 18 where the gun ended play with fourth down coming up and a foot needed for a first down. Passes gained 19 of the yards.
At the end of the game they marched the kickoff back from their 36 and aided by a 38—yard pass, Tom Harris to Pickard, planted the ball on the 12-yard line for a first down. Four plays only gained three yards from there on, however and the leather was lost on the nine-yard line.
The game was officiated better than any we have seen this season including Big Ten contests. Dr. David Reese and his officials kept the contest moving, called only two penalties both against Massillon for being in motion. Canton took five yards on the one but refused the other penalty and accepted the down.
The game brought to a close the first year of Houghton as coach, and he did what none at the start of the season expected him to do, retain the state title for Massillon a seventh straight year.
Others may claim it. Martins Ferry, Mansfield, Toledo Libbey, but none has beaten the champ and if they analyze the record, they will join in the admission that Massillon is still on top.
Never before has a Massillon team beaten McKinley by as many points as Houghton and his Tigers rolled up on Saturday. Last year’s previous margin of 28 points was topped by four. Canton still has the high score for the series, however, a 43-0 walloping handed the Massillon team in 1907. The Bulldogs likewise have an edge in the series that began way back in 1894, but the Tiger team has whittled it down to a game now. Canton has won 22. Massillon 21 and three have ended in tie scores.
You could go on and on writing about the game, but why use all the metaphors this year. Seven of the 11 starters will be back next season. None was seriously injured.
Bray LE Parks
Paulik LT Parshall
B. Wallace LG Zimmer
Fuchs C Cook
Hill RG Schuster
Weisgarber RT Smith
De Mando RE Pickard
Cardinal QB Williams
Graber LH Dominick
Blunt RH J. Harris
Holt FB T. Harris
Score by periods
Massillon 6 12 0 14 – 32
Substitutions – Massillon: Willmot, rg; Adams, lh;
Miller, lg; Power, qb; Edwards, rt; Dolmos,lt; Stout,c;
Gibson, fb; Jasinski, re; Robinson, le; White, rh;
McKinley: Haverstock, le; Jordan, rt; Lombardi, lt;
Coulas, rt; Wernet, c; Simms, rh.
Touchdowns – Blunt 2, Graber, Adams 2.
Points after touchdown – Graber, Holt (carried)
Referee – David Reese (Dayton)
Umpire – Earl Gross (New Philadelphia)
Headlineman – A.B. Long (New Philadelphia)
Field Judge – Titus Lobach (Akron)
Boosters Have Open Meeting
Do you want to celebrate Saturday’s 32-0 triumph over Canton McKinley high school?
Then turn out at Washington high school tonight, Booster member or not, and let off steam. The club is holding an open meeting tonight to give every Massillon citizen, men and women, boys and girls, an opportunity to celebrate. The program starts at 7:30 p.m.
MASSILLON’S TIGERS turned Ohio’s most famous high school football rivalry into a shambles Saturday afternoon when they handed Canton McKinley’s Bulldogs a pitiless
32-0 larruping before 20,000 not too astonished customers at Canton’s Fawcett stadium.
The defeat was the seventh straight the Bulldogs have absorbed at the hands of their deadliest rivals. McKinley last whipped the Tigers in 1934 and recently they haven’t even been able to make it close in this traditional battle.
The triumph yesterday merely continued the amazing saga that is Massillon’s. The Tigers now have gone through 43 successive games without tasting defeat, their last setback having come at the hands of New Castle, PA., in 1937.
For William “Bud” Houghton the decisive Massillon triumph meant a great season in his first year as Paul Brown’s successor. The youthful Tiger mentor took a green eleven at the start of the current campaign and wielded it into a machine that won nine of 10 games. Mansfield tied the Tigers, 6-6, although badly outplayed by Massillon.
Yesterdays’ game was decided in the air, for on the ground, the Bulldog line showed up surprisingly strong.
But McKinley had no semblance of defense against the passes of Bob Graber and Dick Adams. The two Massillon passers had all the time they needed to get set and their receivers found no trouble at all in eluding the McKinley secondary defense.
The Tigers pitched 17 passes and completed 10 of them for the amazing total of 266 yards. To appreciate just how helpless the Bulldogs actually were against the Massillon passes, one had to see the game. Mere words won’t describe it.
On the ground, the Tigers had far too much speed for their rivals. The crisp, deadly blocking which has always marked Massillon play was still there, especially on two of the touchdown gallops.
McKinley equaled the Tigers in rolling up first downs, each team making 11, but still the Bulldogs failed to make a serious threat. McKinley outgained the Bengals rushing, 187 yards to 128 and completed eight of 24 passes for 69 yards.
McKinley put itself in a hole right at the start when its two safety-men played far too shallow on a punt by the Tiger’s Bob Graber. The boot went over their heads with the Bulldogs finally winding up on their seven-yard line.
MASSILLON VS. CANTON
First downs 11 11
First downs rushing 4 7
First downs passing 7 3
First down penalties 0 1
Net yards rushing 128 187
Yards gained passing 266 69
Total yards gained 394 256
Passes attempted 17 24
Passes completed 10 8
Passes intercepted by 2 3
Number of punts 5 8
Average of punts 43 31
Number of kickoffs 5 3
Fumbles by 2 1
Opponents’ fumbles recovered 1 1
Yards lost by penalties 5 0