Tag: <span>Bill McGee</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1985: Massillon 6, Akron Garfield 14

Akron Garfield beats Tigers on home turf

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Around the U.S.A., Garfield is known as a funny cartoon strip.

Around Tigertown, Garfield is known as a bad summer rerun.

Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Akron Garfield High gave the Massillon Tigers the summertime blues for the third straight year, stealing away with a 14‑6 victory before 10,901 sweat‑soaked fans in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Two summers ago, the Tigers had Chris Spielman, but the Rams had Charles Gladman and won 14‑10. The defeat kept Massillon out of the playoffs.

Program Cover

Last year, the Rams rubbed it in but good, winning 29‑12. The game sent the Tigers reeling to a 6‑4 record.

This time, Garfield scored twice in the fourth quarter, seizing control of the game after looking lost on offense for the longest time.

These games against the Rams just haven’t been any fun at all.

“This is a great feeling,” said Garfield head coach Bill McGee. “I don’t think any team has ever beaten Massillon three times in a row on its own field.”

McGee was wrong there. McKinley beat Massillon 11 straight times from 1894‑1906, according to research done in the wee hours this morning by statistician Tom Persell. But it’s been a while, folks.

Rubbing salt into the wound was the fact Garfield prevented the Tigers from reaching their 600th victory, a national high school football landmark.

John Maronto, the Massillon mentor, is one of those coaches who would prefer a sharp stick in the eye to a defeat. He was very unhappy.

“We got our (posteriors) kicked,” he said. “We were out‑coached and out‑played.”

The outcome left both teams with 1‑1 records.

None of the Tiger players thought it left them with another season ruptured by the Rams.

“We can’t give up,” defensive tackle Duane Crenshaw said. “We don’t want another 6‑4 season. We want to go 9‑1, and that’s gonna take a lot of work.”

“We have to learn a big lesson from this,” said Wes Siegenthaler, who accounted for the Tigers’ points with an 83-yard punt return. “We’ve gotta show a lot of character.

“Losing tonight is the worst feeling in the world. It’s hard to accept. We’ve worked harder than any team in the state.”

“We’re not giving up now,” linebacker Hoagy Pfisterer said. “This just means we’ll have to work even border.”

Bill McGee said his team has worked pretty hard. He helped by doing his homework.

The plays that forged the victory revolved around some tricky fakes which had the Tigers, who played well on defense most of the night, tackling the wrong guy.

Before Garfield’s first touchdown, the Rams were going nowhere. Their longest “drive” through three quarters was 22 yards.

The Tigers, on the other hand, plowed to Garfield’s 3‑yard line on their first two possessions. But neither possession brought any points; first, the Tigers ran out of downs, then they missed a field goal.

Maronto, who spent 11 years as the head coach at De La Salle High in the Detroit area, was mystified over the squandered opportunities.

He said his De La Salle teams scored 29 of 30 times in similar situation s.

”We have to evaluate why we didn’t put it in,” he said.

Siegenthaler eased the frustration with his graceful run. He fielded Don Edwards’ 40‑yard punt near the right sideline, picked up two key blocks and outran everybody Mike Norris’ PAT try sailed wide right and it was 6‑0 with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Tigers came close to putting away the game in the third quarter. They began an their own 45 after a short punt, got a first down on a pass interference call, then faced fourth and five from the Rams’ 40. The Tigers lined up to punt but the snap was whipped to Derrick Newman, who made it only to the 38.

The Massillon crowd enjoyed the gamble and gave the Tiger punting team a loud ovation as it left the field. But Garfield had the ball.

Sophomore quarterback Todd Johnson, who by this point was making the Tigers guess whether he bad the ball or had given it to a running back, went 17 yards on a keeper to the Massillon 42 as the third quarter ended.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Tiger defense again bit on the wrong ball carrier, and 5‑foot‑4 fullback Terrick James squirted 17 yards to the 25. The quarterback then kept again and went 13 yards to the 12.

On fourth‑and‑two, Johnson faked to James, who was creamed at the line as Johnson skirted the left side and ran into the endzone untouched. Fred Wolfe’s PAT kick split the uprights and it was 7‑6 Garfield with 9:05 left in the game.

Now the Tigers had to move.

As they awaited the kickoff, the stats sheet showed their second‑half running plays netting gains of 1, 3 and minus‑1 yards. The passing game yielded gains of 8 and 6 yards and three incompletions. That’s 17 yards.

The Tigers started from their 30 and made a first down to the 42 on a Paul Fabjanich pass to Siegenthaler. But on third‑and‑five, another pass went to Siegenthaler, who straggled mightily to spin past the first‑down marker. As he wriggled, the ball popped loose. Garfield’s Dave Whiddon snatched it out of the air and advanced it to the Tiger’s 35.

Now the Tigers were wary of Johnson’s runs to the outside. That may have helped leave the middle wide open for running back Paul Brown to ramble 26 yards up the middle to the 5. Two plays later, James smashed in from the one. Wolfe’s kick made it 14‑6 with 3:10 left in the game.

Now the Tigers were thinking touchdown, two‑point conversion and overtime. They started on their own 37 and drove to the Rams’ where it was second‑and‑seven. Fabianich lofted a pass toward the right corner of the end zone, but Garfield field’s Steve Fowler stepped in front of Bart Letcavits to make an interception with 1:19 left.

The Rams sat on the ball deep in their own territory and ran out the clock.

“The key to the game was our defense,” said McGee, whose Rams held the Tigers to 198 yards ‑ Garfield field amassed 247 yards.

“They did a good job of preparation for us,” added McGee. “They pulled out all the stops.”

Area prep grid stats

First downs rushing 2 10
First downs passing 6 1
First downs by penalty 1 1
Totals first downs 9 12
Yards gained rushing 67 233
Yards lost rushing 1 5
Net yards rushing 66 228
Net yards passing 132 19
Total yards gained 198 247
Passes attempted 21 8
Passes completed 11 2
Pass int. by 1 1
Times kicked off 2 3
Kickoff average 48.0 34.7
Kickoff return yards 23 21
Punts 2 4
Punting average 38.0 29.5
Punt return yards 84 9
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 3 4
Fumbles lost 2 1
Penalties 2 4
Yards penalized 10 40
Touchdowns rushing 0 2
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdown 1 0
Number of plays 46 49
Time of possession 19:30 28:30
Attendance 10,901

GARFIELD 0 0 0 14 14
MASSILLON 6 0 0 0 6

M ‑ Wes Siegenthaler 83 punt return (kick failed)
G ‑ Todd Johnson 4 run (Fred Wolfe kick)
G ‑ Terrick James 1 run (Wolfe kick)

600th win is worth savoring

MASSILLON ‑ The year was 1899. Football coaches weren’t talking in terms of having enough horses to win. They were hoping for enough horses to get the play to the games.

A fellow named Bill McKinley was calling the shots in Washington. He’d not been around long enough to have a high school named after him.

George Washington had paid his dues, and the high school in Massillon took his name. Football was a strange new sport at the high school. Some townsfolk knew not what to make of it. Imagine, an alley fight in broad daylight.

In 1899, winning wasn’t everything. It wasn’t anything.

Going into the last game of the ’99 season, Washington High had never won a game. Not that, many folks cared.

The ’99 campaign brought losses of 26‑0 to Wooster and 34‑5 to Claytown. If there were thoughts of salvaging the season, they were all directed toward the next game, the third game, which also happened to be the last game.

The opponent for the ’99 finale was Massillon Business College, where they knew nothing of E.F. Hutton, but knew something about running the football.

In a real war, the high school team ran up a 30‑0 lead then held off the college team to win 35‑34.

All of the players from the ’99 squad have departed to the Great Gridiron in the Sky.

None of the players on the 1985 squad came into the world until about 70 years later.

But now there is a link between the players from those two different teams.

The boys of ’99 got No. 1. The boys of ’85 bagged No. 600 Friday night, putting it to Warren Harding, 34‑0.

If you closed your eyes, maybe a chill ran up your spine. Maybe you heard the hollow echo of the clapping of the ghosts who found their way to the sidelines Friday night.

Six‑hundred wins.

Roll that around on your tongue for a while because it’s worth a savor.

Consider this: No other high school football team in the country has rolled up 600 wins.

Six hundred wins … that’d be 10‑0 for 60 years.

Six hundred wins … that’s more Paul Brown and Leo Strang and, yes, Mike Currence than you can shake a stick at.

Six hundred wins.

That’s something to be proud of.

Cincinnati Moeller has The New Dynasty. It doesn’t have 600 wins.

Canton McKinley has that state playoff title. It doesn’t have 600 wins.

Texas and California have some high school football teams whose fans say are good enough to make the Ohio powers look silly. Tell ‘em to come on over and play the team with 600 wins some year when the Tigers are loaded.

Enrollment has toppled. The economy stinks. But, hey, there are those 600 wins, and there’s John Maronto, the coach who says he wants to make it so folks in Texas and California learn all over again that Massillon is the town where the best program is.

Now, that’ll be one tough nut to crack.

“Paul Brown can’t do one thing for us tonight,” John Weider, the timekeeper for the last 11 years, was saying at halftime of Friday night’s game. “It’s great to have tradition, but it comes down to those players who are down there tonight having to do it for themselvers.”

They’ve been doing it pretty well, even in the absence of state championships for pretty many years now.

“When Paul Brown was here, the population of Massillon was 29,000, and the high School enrollment was 1,800,” John Weider said. “Now the population is 32,000, but the high school enrollment is 1,200. Earle Bruce was talking not long ago about bumping into former Ohio families who are living in the south now.

“Our town’s getting older. We have fewer boys. But I wonder if there’s any other town of 32,000 that has done as consistently well as we’ve done over all these years. I think we’ve got a tremendous record.”

The timekeeper spoke wisely.

Duane Crenshaw
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1984: Massillon 12, Akron Garfield 29

Rams rush past Tigers 29-12

Independent dent Sports Editor Editor

MASSILLON – How good is Akron Garfield’s football team? Nearly 12,000 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium found out Friday night for themselves.

The Golden Rams rammed the football down Massillon’s collective throats en route to a 29‑12 win. Head coach Bill McGee’s squad gained all of its 348 yards on the ground.

So effective was Garfield’s rushing attack that the Rams attempted only one pass and that was intercepted! However, that play turned out to be one of the game’s biggest.

Program Cover

Garfield, which ventured to the Division I state finals a year ago, literally dominated the game ‑ save for a few moments in the second period when the Tigers took a 12-7 lead following a 62‑yard touchdown run by junior Cornell Jackson.

Although the Rams held a slim 19‑16 edge in first downs, the Akron visitors owned the ball for over nine more minutes than Massillon in terms of possession.

Garfield gained 6.2 yards every time it rushed with the ball, and they carried the pigskin 55 times for 348 yards. Bruising fullback Eric Finn totaled 142 yards, quarterback John Oster added 105 and tailback Nate Winfield chipped in with 83 more.

Obviously, there was no secret as to what Garfield would do with the ball ‑ run, and then run some more. When the going got tough, the Rams simply got tougher.

The 17‑point deficit was the second worst defeat suffered by a Mike Currence‑coached Tiger squad during the regular season. Back in 1981 Massillon dropped a 24-6 decision to Cincinnati Moeller.

And the 29 points were the most surrendered by a Currence team in regular season play as well. For that matter, there have been 11 Tiger teams who gave up less than 29 points in a season!

Garfield (2‑0) struck first in the opening quarter when Oster, who also handled all of the kicking duties, scampered five yards to paydirt to culminate a nine‑play, 74-yard march following a Tiger punt. Oster added the extra‑point kick at the 3:29 mark.

Massillon, which failed to sustain anything resembling a drive during its 12-0 opening-season over Akron North, came roaring right back on its next possession.

Taking over at their own 23, the Tigers drove 77 yards in 14 plays when junior fullback Derrick Newman bulled over from a yard out. Dan Kozan’s kick at the 11:18 mark of the second period was wide.

All of Massillon’s yardage during the march was generated on the ground with quarterback Wes Siegenthaler netting 28 yards on four carries, twice converting on third‑down situations.

The Tiger defense dug in on Garfield’s ensuing set of downs, holding the Rams to seven yards and forcing them to punt for the only time in the game.

With the ball nestled deep in their own territory, the Tigers picked up a first down behind two Siegenthaler carries to the 38. Then, Jackson broke free on his 62‑yard jaunt, highlighted by a wicked stiff‑arm of a Ram defender near the 12‑yard line.

With 8:35 remaining in the half, the Tigers went for two points. Siegenthaler, though, was knocked out of bounds at the one, but Massillon was on top, 12‑7.

Needing another stout effort by the defense, the Rams proved to be just too much in marching 62 yards on 10 plays. This time Finn crossed the goal line from a yard out with 3:32 showing in the half. Oster added a two‑point ran for a 15‑12 lead.

Despite trailing by three points at intermission, the Tigers had shown they could move the ball on Garfield’s defense. But the Rams also displayed the same tenacity on offense.

The third period belonged to Garfield as the Tigers ran off just four plays to the Rams’ 20.

Garfield took the opening kickoff and drove 70 yards in seven plays with Finn bulling his way in to paydirt from 10 yards out. A 27‑yard run by Oster on a keeper moved the ball from Ram territory into Tiger land. Oster added the kick‑after to put the visitors up 22‑12 with 8:58 left.

The Ram defense then held Massillon to minus yardage before getting the ball back on their own 40 following a 40‑yard punt by Scott Byelene.

This time the Rams moved 60yards in 13 plays, with Winfield scoring from three yards out. The key play, and the biggest of the game, occurred when Oster was forced to pass for the first time when Garfield was faced with a fourth and seven from the Tiger 26.

Oster’s pass was intercepted by Jeff Smith, who took off to his right with the errant throw. With running room and some blockers in front of him, he was hit from behind and lost his grip on the ball.

A Garfield lineman pounced on the ball, giving the Rams renewed life and a first down at the Tiger 21.

Six plays later Winfield scored to make it 29‑12 with 37 seconds left in the third period.

If the Tigers were to make a comeback, they had to do it the next time they had the ball. And they did, driving from their own 21 to a first and goal at the Garfield seven after converting three third down plays into first downs.

Two running plays kept the Tigers at the seven. An incomplete pass in the end zone followed before Siegenthaler was stopped at the two, turning the ball over to Garfield with 5:44 left. The Rams chewed up the remainder of the clock.

For Massillon, Jackson finished with 95 yards on 11 carries while Siegenthaler added 53 on 11 totes. Siegenthaler completed six of 12 passes for 50 yards.

Siegenthaler was knocked silly late in the third period and sat on the sidelines gathering his wits for six plays while junior Paul Fabianich took over. Fabianich attempted only one pass.
Rudy Sutter celebrated his 89th birthday Friday. He hasn’t missed a home Tiger game since 1941.
Ron and Marilyn Wright entertained fans as they entered the stadium with their traveling calliope, which was perched on the back of their newly‑acquired pick‑up truck. Their son, Ron Jr., played on the 1978 Massillon team.

Prep gridsticks

First downs rushing 11 19
First downs passing 4 0
First downs by penalty 1 0
Total first downs 16 19
Yards gained rushing 201 356
Yards lost rushing 28 8
Net yards rushing 173 348
Net yards passing 70 0
Total yards gained 243 348
Passes attempted 14 1
Passes completed 7 0
Passes int. by 0 1
Times kicked off 3 5
Kickoff average 45.0 44.0
Kickoff return yards 77 49
Punts 3 1
Punting rules 37.0 41.0
Punt return yards 0 17
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 4 2
Fumbles lost 1 0
Penalties 2 1
Yards penalized 20 15
Touchdowns rushing 2 4
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 49 56
Time of Possession 19:24 28:36
Attendance 11,666

GARFIELD 7 8 14 0 29
MASSILLON 0 12 0 0 12

G ‑ John Oster 5 run (Oster kick)
M ‑ Derrick Newman 1 run (kick failed)
M ‑ Cornell Jackson 62 run (run failed)
G ‑ Eric Finn 1 run (Oster run)
G – Finn 10 run (Oster kick)
G – Nate Winfield 3 run (Oster kick)

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1983: Massillon 10, Akron Garfield 14

No joy in Massillon Tigers upset by Garfield, 14-10

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON – There was no joy in Massillon Friday night

Visiting Akron Garfield put an early crimp in the Tigers drive toward a state playoff berth with a 14-10 win at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The Rams, a serious contender for their City Series League title, dominated the game in most areas.

Program Cover

Head coach William McGee’S 2-0 squad outgained the Tigers by a wide 238-151 margin in total offense. More telling, though, was the time of possession, which showed Garfield with more than a nine-minute edge.

Garfield’s defense – well-rested in the second half – proved a stingy lot, holding Massillon’s Mr. Versatility, Chris Spielman, to just 18 yards rushing on eight carries.

The one-two punch of Garfield’s Charles Gladman and Eric Finn accounted for 196 yards rushing offense. Gladman finished with 105 on 24 totes and Finn with 91 on 23.

“I’m still sore,” Gladman said. “I didn’t care if I got 50 yards so long as we won. We can’t be beat now.”

Mistakes proved the culprit for Massillon as an interception by Garfield’s Rickey Morse on the game’s third play led to a one-yard TD plunge by Finn. The PAT was wide right and the Rams led, 6-0.

Massillon (1-1) came storming right back, mounting a seven-play, 64-yard drive that culminated in a 20-yard TD run by Craig Johnson, who finished the game with 78 yards on 13 carries. Bronc Pfisterer added the PAT for a 7-6 lead.

The Tigers averted what appeared to be sure trouble when Spielman intercepted a pass at the Massillon two-yard line in the second period.

Entering half time the Tigers held a slight 7-6 edge, but the Rams took the second half kickoff downfield, scoring when Finn bulled over from the one to cap a 10-play, 63-yard drive. A fake kick for the extra point ended in a two-point play when Morse caught a pass from Mike Beane.

On Garfield’s drive the key play of the game surfaced when Massillon head coach Mike Currence was assessed a penalty for being on the field of play.

“That was the biggest play of the game,” a subdued Currence said. “No one heard a whistle. I went out for an official’s conference and he threw a flag on me.”

“How can I get his attention? Hell, there’s 14,000 people out there and how can I hear him?” Currence said.

The play in question centered around an apparent fumble by Gladman. The “loose ball” was picked up and rambled to pay dirt by a Massillon player.

However, the play was ruled dead by the game’s officials.

Right after Garfield made the score 14-7, the Tigers came roaring right back. Massillon drive down to the 19-yard line, but when faced with a third-and-three play they were called for encroachment, pushing the ball back five yards where Currence’s squad failed to get the first down on a pass play.

The Tigers scored early in the final quarter when Pfisterer drilled home a 21-yard field goal, but Massillon would run off only seven plays in the final eight minutes to 21 for Garfield.

“It’s never easy,” said McGee. “I stand aside, you have to talk to these (the Rams’ offenseive and defensive coordinators) guys.”

“I don’t know what the stats were, but they were lopsided in the number of plays in the second half,” said Ram offensive coordinator Ron Amedeo.

“We just played our basic defense. We didn’t change one bit,” said defensive coordinator Mardeo Rossi. “We felt our speed could match up with theirs.”

The playoff picture may have been clouded somewhat for the Tigers, but Currence isn’t about to throw in the towel.

“We have to lose another one to be out of it,” Currence said. “We just have to get ready for the next game and come back.”

The Tigers will host Warren Harding next Friday night for their next game.


First downs rushing 7 10
First downs passing 2 2
First downs by penalty 0 0
Total first downs 9 14
Yards gained rushing 127 207
Yards lost rushing 10 12
Net yards rushing 117 195
Net yards passing 34 43
Total yards gained 151 238
Passes attempted 14 7
Passes completed 6 3
Passes int. by 2 1
Yardage on pass int. 56 0
Times kicked off 3 3
Kickoff average 48.3 43.3
Kickoff return yards 51 57
Punts 3 2
Punting average 36.7 18.5
Punt return yards 7 0
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 2 1
Fumbles lost 1 0
Penalties 6 3
Yards penalized 49 15
Touchdowns rushing 1 2
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 41 63
Time of possession 19.11 28.49
Attendance 14,171

GARFIELD 6 0 8 00 – 14
MASSILLON 7 0 00 3 – 10

Chris Spielman
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1981: Massillon 13, Akron Garfield 0

Tigers turn lights out on Garfield 13-0
Defense, Manion’s kicking leave Rams in dark

Independent Sports Editor

Just when things were looking dark for the Massillon Tigers, the lights went out altogether.

Good thing.

Under cover of near darkness, the Tigers got their act together and went on to a 13‑0 victory over an Akron Garfield team that is undoubtedly the best 0‑3 team in the state. The win raised the Tigers record to 3‑1.

Program Cover

The near darkness was caused when the mercury vapor lights on the west side of Paul Brown Tiger Stadium went out. It happened twice, once during halftime and again near the end of the third quarter.

Apparently, a temporary outage from somewhere outside the stadium was the problem. Once the lights go out they take almost 20 minutes to reach peak power again.

The lights weren’t the only thing that had trouble getting going again.

The Tigers, after an emotional 24‑6 loss to Cincinnati Moeller last weekend, had trouble putting their act together.

“I think we were a little flat,” Tiger coach Mike Currence said after the victory. “Losing to Moeller emotionally drained us a little bit. We just weren’t sharp.”

The Tigers won the game despite failing to convert on a single third‑down situation and amassing 75 yards in penalties, mostly on offense.

However, a defense that rose to the occasion when necessary ‑ by stopping the Golden Rams on a fourth down inside the Tiger 10, intercepting three passes and recovering one fumble ‑ and the foot of senior Tim Manion were the bright spots for the Tigers.

Manion booted a pair of field goals, including a school record 48‑yarder, and added the extra point kick following Greg Grimsley’s one‑yard touchdown run to give the Tigers all the offense they needed.

Manion’s 27‑yard field goal with 9:06 left in the first half had spotted the Tigers a 3‑0 lead.

Manion’s punting in the first half also kept the Rams in the hole, as he twice angled kicks which were downed inside the Garfield 20.

But the Rams came out in the third quarter thinking upset. Taking the second half kickoff, they drove from their own 20 to the Tiger 12, where they faced a fourth-and‑five situation.

The Tiger defense stopped quarterback Willie Davis at the eight, and Manion boomed a high 47‑yard punt to give Massillon some breathing room.

The Rams helped out with an illegal use of hands, penalty, and middle guard Sam Clark sacked Davis for a 17‑yard loss. But Davis lofted a long pass right into the hands of halfback Don White who couldn’t hang on in a crowd of Massillon defenders at the Tiger 35.

That’s when the lights went out. The game continued, and the Tigers made the most of the situation by driving 48 yards in seven plays, with Grimsley scoring at the 10:07 mark of the final period.

When the lights finally came on again. Clark sacked Davis for a 16‑yard loss, and Garfield turned the ball over on fourth down when punter Mark Thomas had to scramble to bring down a high snap for center.

The Tigers took over at the Garfield 39, and despite an offensive pass interference penalty, managed to get to the Ram 30 on an 11‑yard, third‑down pass from quarterback Rick Spielman to halfback Robert Oliver.

That’s when Manion came back on and booted his record three‑pointer with 5:29 to play, and the Tigers were out of trouble.

The kick eclipsed the record of 47 yards held by Keith Harmon, who did it against Warren Harding in 1975 in a 17‑0 victory.

Garfield coach Bill McGee said the near darkness didn’t bother his team at all. At least not as much as the Massillon defense.

“They did a nice job pressuring us with their pass rush,” McGee said. “I thought their defense came of age last week against Moeller. They held them to 17 points,” he said, noting he didn’t consider Moeller’s one‑yard TD drive in the fourth quarter the defense’s fault.

“I was impressed with our defense, also. They did a nice job. Anytime you hold Massillon to one touchdown your doing a good job.”

Currence had praise for Garfield, and especially for McGee.

“I’ll tell you what, Bill McGee is one of the nicer coaches in the business,” Currence said. “Any other coach would have been mad (about the lights going out), but he just said let’s play it,”

Currence said he was getting worried because four of his defensive players had to leave the game with injuries. William Askew, who was playing middle guard, re‑injured his ankle, linebacker Tim Manion hurt his left knee, tackle Rick Heather hurt an ankle and tackle Joe Peters bruised his knee. Currence said he didn’t know how serious the injuries were, though several of the players did return to action, including Manion.

“Offensively, we were sporadic,” Currence said. “Tonight it seemed to be the penalties. But we got some breaks, and against a good team like Garfield you have to take advantage of them.

“We’re not satisfied at all with the way we played, but we played a very good ball club.

“They have a very good offense and they controlled the ball on us,” he noted. The Rams bad the ball for 27:36 compared to 20:24 for the Tigers. They also outgained Massillon 208 to 207 in total yards.

“Their running backs are as good as any team we’ll see,” Currence added.

Ram fullback Larry Gills gained 104 yards in 24 carries. He wore number 25 in the first half, and after having his Jersey torn came back in the second half wearing number 30.

Sophomore Charles Gladman gained 42 yards in 11 carries in his first start. In the Rams’ 21‑20 opening loss to Austintown Fitch, he ran a kickoff back 89 yards for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball.

“It’s tough breaking in against Massillon, but he’s going to be a great running back,” McGee said.

The Rams played without regular halfback Gary Dix, who found out on Thursday he had a cracked bone in his hand. He apparently suffered the injury two weeks ago.

“We’re real proud of the way we played,” McGee added. And he didn’t mind the fact the lights went out. “This is a great place to play and we’re always treated extremely well.”

Except by the Tiger defense, of course. Grady Robinson, Matt Hickey and Gary Conley each intercepted a Ram pass and Askew recovered a fumble to keep the powerful Garfield offense at bay.

Offensively, Spielman was 5 of 12 passing for 54 yards, and he had completions of 16 yards to Dan Ricker and 18 yards to Robert Oliver during the Tigers’ TD drive.

Grimsley led Tiger rushers with 37 yards in six carries, Spielman had 26 in four carries, Oliver had 24 in four carries and Jim Bushe had 24 in five carries.

“That’s a game that very well could have ended up 0‑0, or that we could have lost 7‑3,” Currence said.

“But the defense came up with the big play.”

And while Tiger fans may have had a dim view of their team’s play, there were enough bright spots to keep them happy.


First downs rushing 7 11
First downs passing 3 2
First downs by penalty 3 0
Total first downs 13 13
Yards gained rushing 159 206
Yards lost rushing 6 49
Net yards rushing 153 157
Net yards passing 54 51
Total yards gained 307 201
Passes attempted 14 13
Passes completed 5 5
Passes int. by 3 0
Yardage on pass int. 39 0
Times kicked off 4 1
Kickoff average 39.5 33.0
Kickoff return yardage 0 29
Punts 4 3
Punting average 31.8 30.3
Punt return yardage 56 1
Fumbles 1 3
Fumbles lost 1 1
Penalties 5 4
Yards penalized 75 57
Touchdowns rushing 1 0
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Number of plays 45 61
Time of possession 20:24 27:36
Attendance 10,129

GARFIELD 0 0 0 0 0
MASSILLON 0 3 0 10 13

MASS ‑ Tim Manion 27 FG
MASS ‑ Greg Grimsley 1‑yard run (Manion kick)
MASS – Manion 48 FG

Tim Manion