1926: Massillon 0, Canton McKinley 0
WASHINGTON HIGH BATTLES CANTON M’KINLEY TO SCORELESS TIE
OLD RIVALS GET EVEN BREAK IN THRILLING DUEL
COMING through with the greatest exhibition of fighting spirit it has shown all season Coach John H. Atkinson’s orange and black eleven of Washington high school last Saturday afternoon held the powerful red and black aggregation of McKinley high, Canton, to a scoreless draw in their annual battle on the snow-covered gridiron at Massillon Field. About 8,000 spectators, the largest crowd to ever witness a scholastic football duel in Massillon, were on hand to see the fall classic and were treated to a spectacular contest in which both teams distinguished themselves by their hard but clean playing.
And once again the old dope bucket was given a wallop in the solar plexus. Entering the fracas as the under dog with Canton McKinley ruling the favorite because of a long string of impressive victories behind it, Coach Atkinson’s boys flung back at their critics the charges that they lacked fighting spirit and uncovering as much grit and courage as any Massillon eleven in the past, came within one yard of scoring a touchdown that would have brought victory over their ancient rival.
Only a desperate fighting Canton eleven, that was battling with all its strength to stave off defeat, kept Massillon from shoving across a touchdown in the third quarter when two blocked Canton punts, the first to be flocked on the east enders this year, gave Massillon the ball deep in Canton’s territory. The last blocked punt gave Massillon the ball on Canton’s four-yard line but four smashes into the line failed to take the oval over, although the orange and black had lugged the ball to Canton’s one-yard line before fourth down.
It was the best chance either team had to score. Canton launched its strongest attack in the first half and in the second quarter twice advancing the ball inside Massillon’s 20-yard line but was never equal to the task of pushing back a determined orange and black eleven that bristled with courage and gameness when its goal line was in danger. Massillon held the upper hand throughout most of the second half, throwing more than one scare into the hearts of Canton rooters.
Nine of the eleven Massillon players who started the game were still in the lineup when the final whistle blew. Massillon made but two substitutions, Dave Smith replacing Mauger in the line in the first quarter and Easterday going in for Spencer in the last few minutes when the big guard was injured after playing a whale of a game throughout. Injuries couldn’t keep the Massillon regulars out of the contest. Several of them were hurt and had to take time out but not a one of them would give up. All of which indicates that the orange and black Saturday had plenty of fighting spirit and physical fitness, the two things which worried local fans considerably before the game.
Canton sent quite a number of players in to the game. At the start of the third quarter Coach Peabody had three fresh halfbacks and two new ends in the lineup, saving his regulars for a late spurt. But the regulars did not get much of a rest. They were rushed into the battle again in a hurry after Massillon had blocked two of Holmes’ punts and was driving through the Canton eleven toward the east enders’ goal line. Only Peabody’s quick action in jerking his replacements kept Massillon from scoring.
Snow fell during most of the game. Both teams were hampered by the wet condition of the field. A slippery ball made it difficult for both teams to do much with the aerial game, although Canton uncovered quite a puzzling forward pass attack that succeeded in registering numerous gains.
So far as ground gaining was concerned Canton held a big edge on the Massillon lads making 11 first downs to one for Massillon but while Canton could gain on passes and end runs in midfield it never was able to do much against the fighting orange and black eleven once it had worked the ball into Massillon territory.
Despite the slippery condition of the ball fumbles were very scarce. Both teams played cleanly throughout and few penalties were inflicted by the officials.
FOX, BENSON, PRICE STAR
Massillon’s line came through in great shape, Saturday, every lad on the forward wall giving a good account of themselves but the heroes of the conflict were Sam Benson, center, and Fox, left tackle. Both played brilliant defensive games and it was their hard charging that enabled them to burst through the Canton line at the start of the third quarter and block two of Holmes’ punts.
Fox, a lad who has played a steady game all Fall, rose to heights of greatness Saturday by his wonderful performance. He was in practically every play, tackled hard and blocked the punt that gave Massillon the ball on Canton’s four-yard line. Benson also distinguished himself by his playing. The Massillon center was pitted against Ballard, captain of the Canton team and one of the best lineman the east end school has ever had but he met more than his match Saturday in Benson and was badly outplayed by the Massillonian. It was Sam who crashed through the Canton line to block a punt in the third quarter, gaining the distinction of being the first player of the year to block a kick on Holmes, the Canton punter.
Assisting Benson and Fox in their star defensive game was Captain Bill Price, the Brewster Welshman. Price’s work in the secondary defense was brilliant throughout. He was all over the field and tackled like a demon. Dave Smith, Ott and Spencer also played good games. Gump and Fulton on the ends had a busy day as Canton depended a great deal on end runs for its gains. They had difficulty stopping the Canton charges in the first half but both played strong games in the last two quarters.
Massillon’s offense, however, was not equal to its defense. This was largely due to the strong defensive games played by Canton. The best offensive game was played by “Whitey” Laughlin who never failed to gain a yard or two on his smashes into the Canton line. Courtney Smith also played well but McConnell and Price had difficulty gaining. Canton knew the ability of both of these lads and watched them closely. McConnell, however, got away for the longest gain of the game at the start of the third quarter when he went through Canton’s left tackle for 28 yards, having cleared the entire visiting eleven except Holmes, the safety man, who brought him down on Canton’s 22-yard line.
McCONNELL OUT PUNTS HOLMES
It was in punting that McConnell did his best work, Saturday. His exhibition of kicking was one of the best of the season and he clearly out-punted Holmes, Canton’s backfield star, gaining considerable yardage for the orange and black by his long and well placed punts.
Canton as usual depended largely upon Holmes for its offensive strength but outside of several brilliant returns of punts the Canton quarterback was held in check. He tossed several neat forward passes but most of the Canton gains were made by Hodnick, Clark and Taubensee on plunges through the line or dashes around the ends.
Massillon received to open the game and punted on third down. Holmes immediately launched an aerial attack and after his first pass had failed, tossed to Ritterspaugh and Kaufman for gains of seven and 15 yards. Canton then shifted to line plays and end runs and worked the ball to Massillon’s 34-yard line where the orange and black held for downs and took possession of the leather.
Then followed an exchange of punts, before Hodnick went through the line for eight yards before being tackled by McConnell.
A 25-yard return by Holmes of McConnell’s punt gave Canton the ball on Massillon’s 45-yard line early in the second quarter. After three plays had failed Holmes skirted right end for 11 yards and a first down before being chased out of bounds by Fulton. This put the ball on Massillon’s 32-yard line. Holmes was hurt but continued in the game. Hodnick hit the line for three and Holmes then passed to Hodnick for eight.
This gave Canton a first down with the ball on the 19-yard line. Kaufman was stopped without gain but Taubensee and Hodnick made seven in two plunges. On fourth down Holmes passed to Hodnick but the Canton receiver caught the ball out of bounds and it went to Massillon on its 13-yard line. McConnell punted out of danger but Massillon was penalized 15 yards for holding and the ball was back on Massillon’s 22-yard line.
The orange and black, however was equal to the occasion and held the red and black getting the ball on its 15-yard line. McConnell again punted and Holmes brought the ball back to Massillon’s 35-yard line. Four plunges gave Canton a first down. Only a few seconds of play remained in the second quarter and Kaufman dropped back to the 32-yard line for a field goal but his kick was short.
Canton received at the start of the third quarter but after Goss had been tossed for a four-yard loss Holmes punted to midfield. Then McConnell ripped through Canton’s left tackle for 28 yards taking the ball to the Canton 22-yard line. Three attempts to gain netted only four yards and McConnell attempted a drop kick from the 30-yard line. The pass was low and his kick was blocked by Ritterspaugh who was downed on his 35-yard line.
Canton failed to gain and Holmes dropped back to punt. But his kick never got across the line of scrimmage. Big Sam Benson breezed through the line and threw himself in front of Holmes, blocking the punt. The ball rolled back toward the Canton goal line and McConnell fell on it on Canton’s 22-yard line. After two attempts at the line had failed McConnell passed to Price for five yards. He then attempted a pass to Smith but the ball was grounded and Canton took it on its 15-yard line.
Holmes dropped back for another punt but this time Fox crashed through and blocked the kick and Gump dropped on the ball on Canton’s four-yard line. Canton’s regulars were coming back into the game as fast as Coach Peabody could send them in.
That blocked kick gave Massillon its best chance to score. McConnell failed to gain at right tackle. Laughlin made two yards at the line.
Smith made yard, taking the ball to the one-yard line but on the next play McConnell failed to get through the line and Canton got the ball on its three-yard line. Holmes then punted from behind his goal line to Smith who was downed on Canton’s 37-yard line.
Holmes then intercepted McConnell’s pass and ran it back to Massillon’s 43-yard line. Holmes passed to Hodnick for 20 yards, putting the ball on Massillon’s 29-yard line but on the next play Hodnick fumbled and Fulton covered on his 23-yard line.
A 25 yard penalty in Canton territory at the start of the fourth quarter put the ball on Canton’s 11-yard line. After several exchanges of punts Massillon got a break when Holmes punted out of bounds on his 19-yard line. Laughlin and Price made five in two plunges and McConnell dropped back to the 25-yard line for another shot at the Canton goal posts. The pass, however, was low and McConnell ran around Canton’s right end to the 12-yard line before being pushed out of bounds.
On the next play he tried another drop kick from the 22-yard line but the ball went wide and Canton put it in play on its 20-yard line.
Canton then began a determined march up the field and made two first downs before Massillon held and took possession of the oval in midfield as the game ended.
A Good Finish
Massillon – 0 Pos. Canton – 0
Gump LE Ritterspaugh
Fox LT L. Miller
Spencer LG Spence
Benson C Ballard
Mauger RG Carnahan
Ott RT Esmont
Fulton RE Sheets
McConnell QB Holmes
C. Smith LHB Clark
W. Price RHB Hodnick
Laughlin FB Kaufman
Massillon – D. Smith for Mauger, Easterday for Spencer.
Canton – Taubensee for Clark, Samuels for Spence, D. Miller for Carnahan, Goss for Taubensee, Brinson for Kaufman, Wilgus for Hodnick, Taubensee for Goss, Kaufman for Brinson, Hodnick for Wilgus, Carnahan for D. Miller, Clark for Taubensee, Jurevoki for Ritterspaugh.
Referee – Lambert, O.S.U.
Umpire – Shafer, Akron.
Head Linesman – Barrett, Salem.
Time of quarters – 12 minutes.