1961: Massillon 36, Warren Harding 0
Tigers Plow Through Warren 36-0
Bengals Roll Up 476 Net Yards On Ground In Winning 8th Game
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
It was like a wild horse stampede at Tiger stadium Friday night. The Massillon Tigers galloped up and down the turf like a herd of stallions on some western prairie before 16,443 fans, the second largest crowd of the season.
They ran roughshod over the Warren Black Panthers to the tune of 36-0, gaining revenge for last year’s 19-18 upset. When the final whistle sounded, the Tigers had eaten up 479 yards of real estate. They lost only three yards all night, giving them a net rushing total of 476, the highest yet this season.
In gaining their eighth straight victory without a loss, the Bengals got all of their yardage on the ground. Senior Quarterback Jim Alexander was knocked on the head near the end of the second period and missed two-thirds of the third quarter. But their ground game was so successful the Tigers didn’t need any air relief.
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THE BENGALS threw only once during the first half. Bob Baker, another senior signal caller, who filled in well for Alex, tried on late in the second period. It missed connections. Sophomore Ron Swartz also threw a pass near the end of the first half and two near the end of the game. Ron Schenkenberger, senior wingback, tried one at the end of the game. All were incomplete except one of Swartz’s, which was intercepted.
The Bengals got most of their yardage in the second half. The Washington high eleven gobbled up 299 yards in that segment of the game. The Tigers might have gotten more in the first 24 minutes except Warren had the ball for 34 plays, including two long possession drives. Massillon ran 27 plays, scoring twice but did not hold on to the ball as long.
In the second half Warren had 27 plays and Masisllon 26, but the Panthers turned the ball over four times after the intermission to three in the first half and had no long drives as in the first two periods.
Even though the Tigers ground game was terrific, there was one position they couldn’t run from. That was the fullback spot. Coach Leo Strang said, “We could break their keys but couldn’t break our fullback loose. They were just keying too strongly on Philpott (Fred).”
Being unable to get possession in the first half hurt. “We knew we could move the ball from the first play,” Strang said, “We picked up their keys and defensive philosophy. But we couldn’t get the ball.”
Strang said that Warren Coach Ben Wilson used pretty much the same theory on defense in Friday night’s game as he did last year in the Trumbull county city.
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ONE REASON the Tigers couldn’t get the ball the first half is that the Panthers were trapping substitute defensive tackles Charlie Whitfield and Ed Radel. Both were last minute replacements for Larry Strobel and Jim Ehmer. Strobel had a bad ankle, although he played some offense. Ehmer was out with the flu.
Whitfield and Radel both are normally linebackers. Whitfield played some tackle last week. However, Mansfield didn’t trap as much or as well as Warren did.
By making some adjustments at halftime, the Tigers got their defense going again. They switched from an 8-3 to a 5-4-2 shooting a linebacker through to stop the effectiveness of the Panthers’ trap plays. Likewise they discarded the partial blitz and either all charged or no one charged.
Overall Tiger defenders did extremely well again. They held Warren to 189 yards on the ground, threw them for a loss of 11 yards, and permitted only 15-yard via the air route for a total of 193. The Panthers, however, gained the most yardage of any Bengal opponent this season.
Junior Wil Paisley kicked four more conversion, making eight out of eight in two weeks.
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THE BENGALS scored in every quarter. This was five of the eight times which they handled the ball.
The Tigers won the toss for the first time since the Alliance game, the final Friday in September. Alexander ran five of the first six plays, four down the center and one around the right end. This made Warren switch its normal 5-2-4 to an eagle 5-2-4 putting the linebackers between the tackles and ends, instead of on either side of the middle guard, thus loosening up the middle.
The Bengals carried from their 25, for the first score, in 10 plays with five first downs. Alex got two of them. With 7:10 seconds left, Brown carried through the center from the one for the touchdown. He had set up the score with a 12-yard run from the 15-yard line to the three.
Paisley kicked his first conversion.
Warren took the kickoff 45 yards, from its 30 to the Massillon 17, the Panthers’ longest march of the night. There the Tigers held on fourth down. Outstanding in this series as he was all night, was left halfback Wendell Smith. The speedy Panther picked up crucial yardage, aided by some fine blocking and good ball handling by Quarterback Bart Wilson.
Then the Tigers had what looked like another scoring drive coming up but ran afoul of a holding penalty and got no further than their 32.
In the next series, the first of the second stanza, Warren right halfback Frank Calvin went 36 yards for a touchdown between his right tackle and right guard. But a holding penalty nullified the score.
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THAT WAS THE LAST time Warren got near Massillon territory until the final series of the game when the Bengals intercepted a pass on a first down play on their 27. With Wilson playing with a jammed thumb, re-hurt early in the game, the Panthers were able to go to the air only three other times.
Coach Wilson said, “That lost score took all the steam out of the boys. If we had made that touchdown, things might have been different.”
Massillon ran three plays after the Warren drive bogged down. Alexander ran through the center from his 38 to the Panther seven on the first play. Then Brown ran two plays, the second for a score at 4:01 from the one.
Paisley booted conversion No. 2.
The Tigers took over after a poor 30-yard punt in the third canto and went 70 yards for another score. In five plays and two first downs it was 20-0 at 6:42. Bob Baker burst through the center from 58 yards away, almost getting tripped up twice but following through nicely for the score.
Paisley came onto the field. But Strang changed his mind and Brown swept right end for two points.
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THE TIGERS’ forced a punt again on the next series, moving the ball from their own 49, for the score in six plays and three first downs all in succession. Brown picked up two running from the Warren 44 to the 36 and 18 to the eight. Baker ran the other.
Dean swept left end at 1:25 diving on the goal line flag for the six-pointer. Paisley kicked conversion No. 3.
The final score came at 6:57 of the last quarter. Again the Bengals took over after a poor punt by Jim Levero, this one going only 12 yards. Massillon moved from its 43 to the touchdown in 10 plays and three first downs. There were runs of 21, 17 and 16 yards to help the cause, two by Brown and one by Schenkenberger on a reverse.
Brown got his third TD of the night, between the outside tackle and long side end, again from the one. Paisley converted for the fourth time.
The Tigers almost had a sixth touchdown, Schenkenbergers pass to short end Larry Ehmer during Massillon’s last scrimmage was just beyond Ehmer’s outstretched fingertips on the two.
After the game, Warren mentor Wilson described his boys as “shell-shocked”. He said, “We played good but not good enough to beat a really fine Massillon team.”
Strang praised the Warren squad. He said, “They were really fired up. They have a rough team. Their backs ran harder than at anytime we’ve seen them this year.” He also hastened to add, “Our boys were hungry for this one. They were higher for this game than any other this season.”
Toledo Libbey comes in for the Bengals’ final home game of the season next Friday. Now over the big hump in quest of a third straight state championship, the Tigers can breathe easier for awhile.
Victory No. 8
Ends – Ferance, Hammond, Williamson, Lawrence, Snyder and Shannon.
Tackles – Chickerneo, Kearny and Franklin.
Guards – Jamison, Peterson, Windie and Cohen.
Centers – Sanfrey and Kosiraho.
Backs – Wilson, Mancinelli, Smith, Calvin, Levero, Shinn, Thomas and Zupancic.
Ends – Ivan, Ehmer, Garland, Pierce and Dewald.
Tackles – Maglischo, Spees, Paisley, Mercer, C. Bradley, Clendening and Profant.
Guards – Clendenin, Whiftield, Matecheck, Radel, Relford, Poole, Mickley,
Migge and Caldwell.
Centers – B. Bradley, Strobel, Heine and Heckathorn.
Backs – Alexander, Schenkenberger, Brown, Philpott, Baker, Swartz, Jarvis,
Dean, Snively, Davis, Blunt and Kanney.
Score by Quarters
Massillon 7 7 15 7 36
Touchdowns – Brown (three one-yard runs); Baker (58-yard run);
Dean (eight-yard run).
Conversions – Paisley’s 4 (placekicks); Brown 1 (run).
Referee – Bud Shopbell.
Umpire – Bob Harman.
Head Linesman – Ron Dolson.
Field Judge – Any Chiebeck
First downs – rushing 16 10
First downs – passing 0 1
First downs – penalties 0 0
Total first downs 16 11
Yards gained rushing 479 189
Yards lost rushing 2 11
Net yards gained rushing 476 178
Yards gained passing 0 15
Total yards gained 476 193
Passes attempted 6 4
Passes completed 0 1
Passes intercepted by 0 1
Times kicked off 6 1
Kickoff average (yards) 46.5 52.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 17 93
Times punted 1 4
Punt average (yards) 34 22
Punt return (yards) 0 0
Had punts blocked 0 1
Fumbles 1 0
Lost fumbled ball 0 0
Penalties 4 2
Yards penalized 40 30