Fired-Up Tiger defense stops GlenOak 16,359 see Massillon win
By STEVE DOERSCHUK Independent Sports Editor
You didn’t read it here, but the Massillon Tigers heard it somewhere that their defense was a chunk of Swiss cheese headin’ for a raging kiln.
They took it personally.
When it got out that somebody was picking us to give up 34 points in our home opener, it fired us up,” said Massillon linebacker Craig Turkalj.
The defense was superb in a 16-6 victory over GlenOak before a Paul Brown Tiger Stadium mob of 16,359, which probably will stand as the best crowd in Ohio this opening weekend of the high school football season.
“We showed the people saying how bad we are that they’re wrong,” said Turkalj, whose team out-gained the Golden Eagles 331-123 in total offensive yards.
“They got one score, but it was a cheapie.”
GlenOak took a 6-0 lead after the Tigers fumbled on their first play from scrimmage, setting up a 15-yard Eagle scoring drive.
The point-after kick failed, allowing the Tigers to take a 7-6 lead with a touchdown midway through the second quarter.
Ryan Sparkman scored from a yard out, following a wall of blockers packed so tight it looked as if they were making sure no one would get left out of a photograph. Tiger fans, remembering last year’s troubles on conversion attempts, cheered loudly when Gary Miller connected to make it 7-6, Massillon, with 6:28 left in the first half.
A bone-jarring tackle by Tiger end Mike Martin created a safety and a 9-6 lead at 8:23 of the fourth quarter.
Tight end Doug Harig out-maneuvered a pack of defenders to catch a 17-yard touchdown pass from Lee Hurst in the corner of the end zone with 1:35 left.
“I made what Coach (Tom) Stacy calls a sight adjustment,” said Harig, who caught a touchdown pass in last year’s season-ending overtime win over McKinley. “Their guy jumped too soon and Lee put the ball in a perfect spot.”
Miller, who has a set of goalposts in his yard at home, connected again to close the scoring. GlenOak never got in the same zip code as the end zone after its first scoring, taking no drive further than the Massillon 41-yard line.
“We’ll have to see how good Massillon is going to be,” said GlenOak head coach Bob Commings, who was gridmaster at Massillon from 1969-73. “They looked awfully good to me tonight. Their defense played extremely well.”
The physical contest took a toll on the Eagles, who already have lost all-county tailback Kenne Boyd to grades but now face at least three weeks without Boyd’s heir as featured ball carrier, Brian Frenz, who suffered a separated shoulder in the first half.
Frenz rushed eight times for 38 yards before getting hurt.
Todd Dean, GlenOak’s best receiver, kept playing despite being noticeably slowed by a sprained ankle suffered during the game.
Dean’s replacement as the go-to ball carrier, 140-pound sophomore Reggie Brown, got a rude introduction to Division I varsity football. Tiger defenders left no room for Brown to get started in holding him to two yards in 10 carries.
The game was supposed by some to become a shoot-out between teams with talented, experienced offenses. It turned into a defensive struggle.
“I didn’t anticipate that we would have to play such great defense and that our offense would put us in such a hole because of turnovers and poor execution,” said Massillon head coach Lee Owens.
Owens said Tiger fans shouldn’t fret over the offense.
“It will get there,” he said. “I’m sure it will.”
The defense, riddled by All-Ohio Akron Buchtel back Rickey Powers in a scrimmage last Friday, was there when the bell rang against GlenOak.
“We said all week that the films of the Buchtel scrimmage looked better than the live action, and that there weren’t major causes for concern,” Owens said. “I think some people found out tonight that we have one of the quicker defenses around. That’s its strength. Quickness.”
“We weren’t worried about the Buchtel scrimmage,” Turkalj said. “We didn’t show our whole defense against them. Our guys were confident we could do the job. When Coach Commings said GlenOak has one of the area’s best passing offenses, we wanted to show we could stop it.”
Commings has been a “running coach” through most of his GlenOak career but notes he passed 50 percent of the time in the 1960s at Struthers.
On Friday, GlenOak tried 23 passes and 22 runs.
Quarterback John Vesley, a returning starter, completed nine of 22 passes for 82 yards. He also was victimized by two key second-half interceptions by Joe Pierce and Keith Rabbitt at times GlenOak was only a big play away from taking the lead.
Hurst connected on 11 of 18 passes.
MASSILLON…………16 GLENOAK……………. 6
Tiger-Eagle grid lineups Here are the probable starting lineups for tonight’s game between the Massillon Tigers and GlenOak Golden Eagles. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
TIGER OFFENSE Quarterback – No. 15 Lee Hurt, 6-3, 180, Sr. A-back – No. 44, Lamonte Dixon, 5-9, 185, Sr. B-back – No. 34, Ryan Sparkman, 5-8, 175, Sr. Flanker – No. 8, Troy Manion, 6-0, 180, Sr. Wide receiver – No. 21, Rameir Martin, 6-4, 170, Sr. Tight end – No. 83, Doug Harig, 6-2, 195, Sr.; No. 87, Steve Brown, 6-5, 195, Jr. Center – No. 57, Nick Hill, 5-10, 165, Sr. Guards – No. 65, Mike Silverthorn, 6-1, 230, Sr.; No. 60, Jim Goff, 6-0, 180, Sr. Tackles – No. 74, Ray Kovacsiss, 6-4, 265, Sr.; No. 66, Tom Menches, 6-0, 240, Sr.
TIGER DEFENSE Tackles – No. 80, Chris Roth, 6-6, 225, Jr.; No. 77, Brent Bach, 6-1, 225, Jr. Ends – No. 94, Jeff Perry, 6-1, 180, Jr.; No. 95, Mike Martin, 6-1, 185, Jr.; Inside linebackers – No. 37, Craig Turkalj 6-2, 206, Sr.; No, 55, Mark McGeorge, 5-8, 205, Jr.; So. Eric Wright. Outside linebacks – No. 9, Joe Pierce, 6-2, 190, Sr.; No. 22, Kevin McCue, 6-3, 167, Sr. Backs – No. 20, Keith Rabbit, 6-4, 170, Sr.; No. 5, Chad Buckland, 6-0, 185, Jr.; Eddie Williams, Sr.; No. 23, Don Blake, 6-1, 165, Jr.
GLENOAK OFFENSE Quarterback – No. 14, John Vesley, 5-7, 155, Jr. Running backs – No. 40, Brian Frenz, 6-0, 205, Sr.; No. 44, Mike Williams, 5-11, 217, Sr. Split ends – No. 11, Mike Herman, 5-11, 165, Sr.; No. 13, Todd Dean, 5-9, 155, Sr.; No. 15, John McMullan, 5-10, 173, Sr. Tight end – No. 17, Cory Jackson, 6-3, 189, Jr.; No. 48, Glen Hartman, 5-11, 195, Sr. Center – No. 53, Brian Villono, 5-11, 230, Sr. Guards – No. 64, Dave Halter, 5-11, 190, Sr.; No. 67, Jeff Mathot, 6-1, 220, Sr. Tackles – No. 72, Scott Esporite, 6-3, 235, Sr.; No. 74, Tom Hawthorne, 6-3, 225, Sr.
STATISTICS M G First downs rushing 7 3 First downs passing 9 4 First downs by penalty 3 1 Total first downs 19 8 Yards gained rushing 177 53 Yards lost rushing 31 12 Net yards rushing 146 41 Net yards passing 185 82 Total yards gained 331 123 Passes attempted 19 23 Passes completed 12 9 Passes int. by 2 3 Times kick off 3 2 Kickoff average 48.7 44.0 Kickoff return yards 30 58 Punts 3 4 Punting average 32.7 34.3 Fumbles 3 0 Fumbles lost 2 0 Penalties 4 8 Yards penalized 36 42 Number of plays 64 46 Time of possession 25:03 22:57 Attendance 16.359
Glenoak 6 0 0 0 6 Massillon 0 7 0 9 16
G – Williams 1 run (kick failed) M – Sparkman 1 run (Miller kick) M – Safety (Vesley recovers fumble in end zone) M – Harig 17 pass from Hurst (Miller kick)
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS Rushing (M) Dixon 15-60, Sparkman 23-107. (G) Frenz 8-38, Williams 3-0, Brown 10-2.
‘Bobby C’ makes history Tigers nipped 9‑7 by revamped GlenOak gridders
By STEVE DOERSCHUK Independent Sports Editor
MASSILLON ‑ Darn it, that “Bobby C” always did know how to win a game in Tiger Stadium.
Darned if he didn’t win another one last night. And darned if he didn’t have old friends wearing orange jackets coming up one by one to slap him on the back. Even though that back is now covered with green. Even though this win nudged the foundation of the grand old ball yard just a bit.
Commings shrugged after his GlenOak team beat the Massillon Tigers 9‑7 behind a long scoring drive and a blocked punt for a safety in the first quarter.
“Just another big win,” he said.
But his wry smile said it was more.
Massillon’s high school football team has been taking on Stark County opponents since 1894, and only two of them ‑ McKinley and Alliance had ever managed to beat the Tigers.
Now there are three. And GlenOak is the first one to come from the Federal League, which has been taking swings at the Tigers since 1978, and hadn’t connected until “Bobby C” showed up on a warm September Friday.
Commings, of course, used to stick around after the games. He amassed a coaching record of 43‑6‑2 with the Tigers from 1969‑73, before going to Iowa for a tough major college run that knocked him back to the high school ranks, with GlenOak.
“It’s a thrill when kids play with great courage in a community I dearly love,” Commings said after handing the Tigers their first loss in four games before a crowd of 12,780.
It was a clean win, nothing tricky ‑ witness GlenOak’s 245‑121 advantage in total yards and 12‑4 edge in first downs.
“All the credit goes to GlenOak and to Bob Commings,” Massillon head coach John Maronto said. “They blitzed us early and took it to us.
“We were ripe … a ripe tomato that became rotten.”
Commings knows about those tomatoes. His team sprouted an overgrown preseason reputation and promptly got blown out of the garden by McKinley and North Canton. But the Eagles made some key changes and planted Akron East 40‑3 last week.
There was a new attitude.
“We were getting all the preseason hype and it went to our heads,” said Mike Patt, probably GlenOak’s best lineman. “We finally realized we had to work for anything we got.”
The Eagles played a Massillon theme song, “Eye of the Tiger,” all week in practice.
“We got down to business,” said fullback‑linebacker John McLendon. “And we kept reminding ourselves the Massillon players are good, but they don’t dress in a phone booth.”
McLendon, whose father dressed in the Tiger locker room when he went to high school, was one of the changes. He moved from wingback, where he wasn’t getting loose on the option, to fullback, where he could use his speed and athletic skill to apply direct delivery. The other change was switching Otis Williams, a bigger man than McLendon at 210 pounds, from fullback to tailback.
The combination got a trial run against Akron East and ran like crazy against the Tigers.
McLendon gained 88 yards in 18 carries and was a nuisance all night on defense. Williams rushed for 92 yards on 18 carries.
Both were slowed as the game wore on. But they were deadly on the pivotal opening series.
GlenOak’s Matt McElroy returned the opening kickoff to the 24. Williams ran for six yards, McLendon cut loose for 13 on a misdirection play, then Williams ran for six. McLendon, a 6‑foot, 180‑pound senior, then got the ball on the next five plays, moving the ball from midfield to the Tiger 23‑yard line. Then Williams ran 15 yards for a first and goal.
But on third‑and‑goal from the 8, Williams was stuffed at the 6 and Commings sent in the field goal unit.
The holder was Rob Rastetter, a linebacker who opened the season as GlenOak’s starting quarterback but was beaten out by Jerry Chaney. Rastetter had to uncoil from his kneel to handle a bad snap and had no time to make the spot for placekicker Scott Glosser. In the face of a heavy rush, he flicked a pass to tight end Mike Mottice, who had broken wide open in the right corner of the end zone.
Glosser’s PAT kick made it 7‑0 with 5:00 left in the opening frame.
The Tigers started from their own 19 after the ensuing kickoff but moved only a yard in three plays. GlenOak played for the punt block and it worked. Three Eagles were breathing in Kenny Hawkins’ face as he tried to boot the ball, and one of them, McLendon, got both mitts squarely on the pigskin. The ball caromed 15 yards all the way out of the end zone for a safety, and GlenOak lead swelled to 9‑0 just 1:57 after its initial score.
It stayed that way until a booming Hawkins punt to the GlenOak 9‑yard line on the second play of the fourth quarter ignited the Tigers’ scoring sequence.
GlenOak’s first play was a botched handoff to McLendon that squirted to the 14. Senior linebacker Bob Foster pounced on the ball and the Tigers took over.
As Massillon’s fans rose in their biggest outburst of the night, the fired‑up Tigers opened holes for fullback Mike Norris, who battered three yards then seven yards to the 4. A penalty took the ball to the 2, from where Norris spun around the right side and dove into the end zone.
Lee Hurst’s extra‑point boot made it 9‑7 with 11:30 left in the game.
The Tigers needed a defensive stand. Instead, GlenOak mounted a ball‑control drive. The Eagles traveled from their own 20 to the Tigers’ 30 where it was fourth‑and‑one.
There was still time for a Tiger rally, with five minutes left, but GlenOak was going for the first down and Massillon needed a big play … and got one. A pitch to McLendon was stuffed by three Tigers a half-foot short of the first down and the Tigers took over.
Massillon came very close to winning the game when, on fourth and three with 2:45 left, quarterback John Miller hit tailback Jerome Myricks with a little swing pass that Myricks turned upfield and almost into the clear. The only thing that kept Myricks out of the end zone was a saving bump by McLendon, who nudged Myricks out of bounds near midfield.
On the next play, Miller was sacked for a six‑yard loss by Patt. That was followed by two more incompletions and a sack on fourth‑and‑long by Scott Garcia. The ball went over to GlenOak with 2:21 left and the Tigers called their last timeout.
The Tigers regained possession with 15 seconds left, on their own 40. The game ended on an interception by McElroy at the 20‑yard line.
“We came back in the second half but we did not make the plays we needed to get a victory,” Maronto said. “GlenOak moved the ball on us right away in the first half, but we expected to have problems with them early.
“Our intensity was all right, we just didn’t make the plays. There are no excuses. We got what we deserved.”
The Tigers failed to get a first down on their only three possessions of the first half, when they ran just nine plays to GlenOak’s 33.
Massillon’s first scoring threat followed the second‑half kickoff. A 38‑yard bomb from Miller to split end Bart Letcavits advanced the ball to the GlenOak 31, but on fourth-and‑nine, the Tigers went for it and came up short when McLendon chased Miller into a scramble resulting in a four‑yard loss.
Norris was the Tigers’ top ball carrier with 11 carries for 36 yards. Myricks, a big‑play threat in recent weeks, carried six times, but his total was minus‑one.
The Tigers had tried a total of 12 passes through three games before Friday, but this time Miller went to the airways 15 times, completing five for 90 yards. All but one of the passes came in the second half.
The Tigers will try to rebound next Friday against Barberton, also 3‑1 following a 14‑10 upset loss to Ravenna last night. A week later, the Tiger…
GLENOAK 9 MASSILLON 71
M G First downs rushing 1 11 First downs passing 3 1 First downs by penalty 0 0 Totals first downs 4 12 Yards gained rushing 46 228 Yards lost rushing 15 15 Net yards rushing 31 213 Net yards passing 90 32 Total yards gained 121 245 Passes attempted 15 7 Passes completed 5 2 Passes int. by 0 2 Punts 5 3 Punting average 30.2 28.0 Punt return yards 18 0 Punts blocked by 0 1 Fumbles 1 2 Fumbles lost 0 1 Penalties 5 6 Yards penalized 35 39 Number of plays 21 41 Time of possession 16:49 31:11 Attendance 12,780
GlenOAK 9 0 0 0 9 MASSILLON 0 0 7 0 7
GLEN ‑ Mottice 5 pass from Rastetter (Glosser kick) GLEN ‑ Safety, blocked punt bounced out of the end zone MASS ‑ Norris 2 run (Hurst kick)
Tigers near‑perfect in routing Eagles ‘Flawless’ team effort, adds” to ‘Nick’s Night’ as Tigers roll 42‑14
By MIKE HUDAK Independent Sports Editor
MASSILLON ‑ Halftime activities had ended, and Massillon Tiger offensive coordinator Nick Vrotsos was returning to his familiar perch in the upper loge of the pressbox.
A ladder separates the two decks; and for Vrotsos, each week’s climb is a happy reminder of the ladder of success he has climbed in Massillon in his unparalleled 25 years as a Tiger assistant.
Friday night was a bit different.
“This is my night, fellas, my night!” beamed a jubilant Vrotsos to his admirers in the pressbox. And indeed it was.
Not only had Vrotsos been presented with a surprise 25‑year plaque from the Tiger Booster Club in pre‑game ceremonies, (along with the original picture which appeared on Friday’s Tiger program), but his offensive charges had built an overwhelming 21‑0 lead at halftime in the “Computer Bowl” contest against GlenOak.
When it was all over, the first‑ever meeting between the two schools ended in a one‑sided 42‑14 Tiger win, assuring the Tigers of moving ahead of at least GlenOak when next week’s regional rankings are released.
“We were practically flawless tonight!” beamed Vrotsos after the game.
True, and from their first play from scrimmage, no less!
GlenOak received the opening kickoff, moving the ball two yards, on the ground in three plays, typical of the night’s efforts against the Tiger starters. A punt gave the Tigers possession on their own 36.
Tiger quarterback Brian DeWitz took center Rick Hamit’s snap, faked a handoff, rolled out left and unleashed a long pass to Gary Conley, who caught the ball on the run and ran the final 30 yards untouched. Bronc Pfisterer, becoming ‘Mr. Automatic’ on extra points, kicked his first of seven conversions and the Tigers led 7‑0 with 9:31 left in the opening period.
“I was surprised the coach (Mike Currence) went for the long one on the first play,” said DeWitz, fast moving up the ranks of all‑time Massillon throwing leaders. “But as soon as I threw it, I knew it was in there.”
“Loved it … loved it,” cooed the cool Conley afterwards. “The defensive back took the initial run fake and I just snuck around behind him, Brian fired a beauty and the result was a quick six.”
“That was Nick’s call to go right at them,” said Currence in praise of Vrotsos.
Vrotsos admitted that ‘unofficial’ coach Sonny Spielman, now the assistant principal at Longfellow Junior High, planted the idea in his head, adding, “It was a good call, that play’s been open for us most of the year.
GlenOak never recovered from the opening shockwave. On their next possession it was three downs and punt, then the Tigers came right back with a time‑consuming, 12‑play touchdown drive.
The drive was consummated entirely on the ground except for a screen pass to junior Chris Spielman on the second play good for 16 yards. Constant success was found on the “student body” right and left plays ‑ end sweeps.
“They jammed up everybody in the middle, practically giving us the outside,” said Vrotsos. ” And we’ll take what they give us.”
Spielman took final honors with a two yard sweep. The Tigers led 14-0 with 1:05 remaining in the initial quarter.
Massillon scored once in the second quarter ‑ another time‑consuming, 88‑yard drive. Spielman capped it with a seven yard sweep with 58 seconds remaining in the half for a 21‑0 lead. Tigers show their best At halftime, despite an almost even time of possession. Massillon led in total yardage 248‑26! GlenOak managed only one first down, midway through the second period.
By the third quarter, the Golden Eagles were “Bushed.” Massillon took the kickoff and marched 70 yards in six plays ‑ the first two plays runs of 29 and 17 yards by senior Jim Bushe, who capped the drive with a one‑yard scoot with 8:56 left in the third quarter.
Bushe was the Tigers’ leading rusher on the night, toting the leather 13 times for 142 yards.
“Give the line credit,” said Bushe. “I swear our guards are almost as quick as me, and they were just burying the Eagles tonight.”
A few more Eagle feathers were ruffled when pass coverage broke down with 29 seconds left in the quarter. A wide‑open Jim Geiser hauled down another DeWitz bomb for a 66‑yard score.
Down 35‑0, the Golden Eagles finally started moving the hall in the final period against the Tiger backups. Following a play in which GlenOak running back Greg Wagner suffered an ankle injury, quarterback Monty Crowl hit senior receiver Rob Wright with a 52‑yard touchdown toss. Wright was a bright spot for GlenOak, adding two interceptions for a fine night’s work.
Crowl, a speedy senior southpaw noted primarily as a fine runner and ballhandler, had his throwing arm kept under wraps in the first half, but found good success in the late going.
On the Eagles next possession, he completed four passes, including a nine‑yard scoring toss to senior Jimmie Burks, as GlenOak went 66 yard in eight plays for a late tally. Crowl ended the game nine‑of‑17 for 158 yards passing.
But the Tiger reserves had a bit of firepower left in them, too. Following an unsuccessful onside kick attempt, senior quarterback Brad Offenbecher led the Tigers 53 yards, hitting junior Richard Crenshaw with a 16‑yard scoring pass with 29 seconds left for the final 42‑14 margin.
Offenbecher played his best hall of the year in the game. On the scoring drive, the brother of Ohio State’s Brent Offenbecher connected on two‑of‑four passes and scrambled nine yards on another play.
The surprisingly‑easy win gave the Tigers an unblemished 8‑0 mark on the year going into next week’s game with Mansfield ‑ a game sandwiched between the GlenOak and McKinley epics where the players must work extra hard to avoid a letdown.
For GlenOak, the loss snapped a six game winning streak, the first since an opening night 14‑0 loss at the hands of McKinley.
It also spoiled the homecoming of former Tiger coach Bob Cummings, who had hoped for a better effort but admitted, “Massillon took dead aim on us and beat us to a pulp.”
Currence felt compassion for his illustrious predecessor, but summed up the situation pragmatically:
“Better him than me.”
Massillon mauls GlenOak 42‑ 14 By STEVE DOERSCHUK Assistant Sports Editor MASSILLON ‑ The year was 1980. It was a snowy, cold November Sunday in Cincinnati. It was the day Massillon’s Tigers played Moeller High for the Ohio High School Division I football championship.
The day came to mind Friday night after the Tigers shot down ClenOak’s Golden Eagles 42‑14 before, 16,490 fans in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
Moeller was awesome in ’80, but Massillon was a good team, and folks were eager to see if the Tigers could make a game of it.
Friday, GlenOak wore the shoes that had been on Massillon’s feet in 1980. The Golden Eagles were the good team challenging the powerhouse.
This one wasn’t a game, either.
The Tigers started with a bang, scoring on a 65‑yard Brian DeWitz‑to‑Gary Conley pass on their first play from scrimmage, and poured it on until the first team sat down with a 35‑0 lead on the board after three quarters.
Massillon improved to 8‑0, halting a six‑game GlenOak winning streak and leaving the Eagles with a 6‑2 record.
“Ain’t no stoppin’ us now,” said Conley, a speedy senior split end. “We’ll take ’em one at a time until we get to the 13th game.”
No. 13, if it comes to that, would be for the state title ‑ perhaps against Moeller.
“We’re state bound … if we can keep our heads on straight,” said running back Jim Bushe, who used blockbuster blocking by the offensive line and his own speed and shiftiness to amass 142 yards in only 13 rushes.
Bushe says he wants to play football in the Big Ten Conference some day. Heck, he could have played in the Big Ten Friday.
Massillon dominated almost every phase of the game, but the running attack was the real crusher.
Bushe saw to it that it was over early, gaining huge chunks of yardage on runs to the outside.
The Tigers had the ball four times in the first half and scored three touchdowns. An interception by Rob Wright, one of GlenOak’s few bright spots, snuffed out the other drive.
Senior guard Charles Calhoun explained why the Tigers ran wild on the outside.
“We outweighed their defensive line by about 30 pounds a man,” said Calhoun, a 240‑pound senior. “They were submarining us, dying in the hole to try to stuff the middle. So we just went to the outside. Then they stopped submarining us, and we hit them with some counter plays that worked pretty well.”
The Tigers led 478 yards to 241 yards in total offense, but even that whopping margin was deceiving. Through three quarters, the Tigers led 390‑73 in total offense.
After that, Massillon brought in its second string, against which the Eagles scored both of their touchdowns.
Massillon coach Mike Currence said the Tigers had been worried.
“Maybe we were so fired up because we scared,” he said. “On film, GlenOak’s offense executed almost everything perfectly.”
But the Tigers did what no other team has done ‑ shut down GlenOak’s running game.
“People were saying GlenOak has the best offensive line in Stark County,” Massillon defensive coordinator Jim Letcavits said. “Our people shut them down. It was the best tackling we’ve had.”
The last thing GlenOak wanted to happen was one of the first things that happened ‑ the big play, early.
GlenOak took the opening kickoff, ran three plays, then punted to the Massillon 35.
Nick Vrotsos, Massillon’s offensive coordinator, sent in “14 waggle.” It had almost brought a touchdown on Massillon’s first play of the season, against another Federal League team, Perry.
“It calls for me to take my man deep over the middle,” Conley said. “It looked like the defensive back started to go for the run fake. I got open, and Brian threw me a perfect pass.”
Conley caught the ball on the GlenOak 25 and outraced GlenOak’s Fermin Olivera to the end zone at 9:31 of the opening quarter.
Three GlenOak plays and a punt later, the Tigers launched a 12‑play, 63‑yard touchdown drive. Bushe and halfback Chris Spielman did most of the damage on the ground, with Spielman going the final two yards at 1:05 of the first period.
GlenOak had a chance to get back in the game when Wright’s interception gave the Eagles the ball on their own 49 early in the second quarter. The Eagles drove to the Massillon 39, getting their only first down of the first half, before having to punt.
Then Massillon put the game away with a 78‑yard touchdown drive that again featured Bushe and Spielman. Spielman dove into the end zone on a seven‑yard run 58 seconds before the band show.
The rout was on when the Tigers took the second‑half kickoff and drove 70 yards for a score, with Bushe rushing for all but three of them and scoring on a one‑yard blast.
Later in the third quarter, DeWitz and split end Jim Geiser hooked up on a 66‑yard touchdown pass.
DeWitz completed five of eight passes for 168 yards. His touchdown pass to Geiser flushed him over 1,000 yards for the season. He now has completed 63 of 107 tosses for 1,055 yards and 10 touchdowns. Massillon romps 42‑14 The Eagles made it 35-7 on a 59‑yard scoring pass from quarterback Monte Crowl to split end Wright at 8:14 of the fourth quarter. Crowl later found Jimmie Burks on a nine yard scoring pass.
The Tigers led 22‑9 in first downs and 268‑91 in rushing yards. Star tailback Greg Wagner of GlenOak was held to 21 yards in nine carries before leaving the game with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. The extent of the injury was unknown.
Next Friday, Massillon hosts Mansfield Senior and GlenOak hosts Louisville.
GlenOak 0 0 0 14 14 Massillon 14 7 14 7 42
Mass ‑ Conley 65 Pass from DeWitz (Pfisterer kick) Mass – Spielman 2 run (Pfisterer kick) Mass – Spielman 7 run (Pfisterer kick) Mass – Bushe 1 run (Pfisterer kick) Mass – Geiser 66 pass from DeWitz (Pfisterer kick) Glen – Wright 59 pass from Crowl (Olivera kick) Glen – Burks 9 pass from Crowl (Olivera kick) Mass – Crenshaw 16 pass from Offenbecher (Pfisterer kick) Att – 16,490
This is one of the bluest Mondays in Tiger gridiron history.
Item: Cardinal Mooney High School, from Tiger head coach Bob Commings’ home town of Youngstown, will be in the state playoff at Cincinnati Friday instead of Washington High School.
Item: Last Saturday, Canton McKinley’s Bulldogs, under the direction of John Brideweser—with Bill Michaels as an assistant coach—handed Commings the worst shellacking of his four-year career here manhandling the Tigers 21-0 before 20,148 chilled fans at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium. Both Brideweser and Michaels are former Commings aides.
Item: It was the first time McKinley had shut out the Tigers since a 14-0 affair at Fawcett Stadium in 1947.
Item: The Tiger loss forced the first triple tie for a championship in the 10-year history of the All-American Conference (AAC). Massillon, McKinley and Warren Harding are the kingpins, each with 4-1 records.
Brideweser came to the aid of his former boss.
“I’ve gone through this three times in a row,” Bridey said. “You have one tremendous coach and group of boys over there. Tell those clowns to say off his back.”
HE WAS reminding the Tiger faithful that Commings had guided the Orange and Black to an 8-1-1 record after a miserable start and an unbelievable series of injuries. He was reminding Massillonians that Tiger teams have a habit of picking up the pieces and coming back to greatness.
Statistics tell the story. The Bulldogs rolled up 280 yards to the Tigers’ 79 and 18 first downs to the Tigers’ five, capitalizing on nine third-down and two fourth-down situations. The Bulldog defense, which both coaches said was changed very little for this game, held the Orange and Black to no rushing yards in the first half.
McKinley junior tailback Jonathon Moore, the AAC’s overall rushing leader, netted 78 yards in 24 arrives on the outside. McKinley Senior fullback John Thompson netted 72 in 14 attempts on the inside.
Line blocking by the Pups was superb, especially from center McKinley Smith and guards Herb Greene and Charles Cochran who opened gaping holes.
The Bulldogs had the ball for 69 plays to the Tigers’ 40 with elapsed time being 31:13 to 15:47. The Orange and Black never had a chance to get its offense into high gear.
McKinley was stopped at the Massillon seven in the first quarter when one Tiger end, Rusty Venables, jarred the ball loose from quarterback Garland Burns and another end, Vince DiLoreto recovered. Playing with a broken wrist, DiLoreto grabbed the pigskin, but couldn’t right himself, stumbled to the 27 and fell with a wide-open field ahead of him.
The Tiger defense dug into stop the Pups at the Massillon 34, 33 and 22-yard lines in the third-quarter. The clock ran out in the fourth quarter with the Bulldogs on the Tiger two.
THE BONE rattling Bulldog defense, led by its powerfully charging line of Lee Geiselman, Jerry Debos, Gordon Cook and company, allowed the Tigers out of their own territory only in the second stanza. But on that occasion Geiselman tossed quarterback Greg Wood for a 12-yard loss to the McKinley 45, forcing a punt.
In the third quarter, Cornerback Tim Cook threw Tiger wingback Mark Streeter for a safety with 6:88 remaining, after halfback Fred George had downed a Burns’ punt on the Massillon one.
“They were some football team,” Commings said of McKinley. “Their physical strength, our poor field position and their good field position were the stories. We could never call the game we wanted to call. That’s what football is all about. Make the other guy do something they don’t want to do. They did it to us and we couldn’t do it to them.”
After the Bulldogs had been turned back on the game’s first series, they forced the Tigers to kick and marched 70 yards in 14 plays with Thompson skirting left end of fourth down from one yard out for the score. An 18-yard pass from Rock Hontas to Gordon Cook startled the drive, which ended with 11:58 remaining in the second quarter.
The conversion came on Ken Bush’s kick.
THE BULLDOGS came back 52 yards in nine plays, after forcing a Tiger punt at the end of the next series, and scored with 4:04 left. Thompson ploughed through the center on third down from the two. Dave Pfeiffer knocked down a pass to end Reuben Floyd on the conversion attempt.
The final TD came on a 51-yard, 11-play fourth quarter drive. Halfback Jap Jeter took a pitchout and charged over left tackle on third down with 6:14 reminding in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Tim Gutshall and cornerback Terry Henderson kept Jeter from crossing the goal line for two more points.
“I don’t know what happened,” Brideweser said, when reflecting further on his victory. “All I know it was a total team effort. The kids played as well as they could. I knew they were up and wanted to play. We thought if we could control the ball we could control the game.”
The Bulldogs came back from last week’s 19-7 loss at Warren to make it an 8-2 season.
M McK First downs rush
First downs pass
First downs penal
Tot. first downs
Yds gained rush
Yds lost rushing
Net yds gained rush.
Net yds gained pass.
Tot yds gained
Passes inter by
Yd on passes inter
Kickoff ave (yds)
Kickoff returns (yds)
Punt ave (yds)
Punt returns (yds)
Had punts blocked
Tot no of plays
Ends—Huffman, T. Gutshall, Matie DiLoreto, Venables.
Tackles—Csonka, Lee. Rich, Chapman
Guards—Schumacher, Fenton, Graber, A. Lemon, White
Halfbacks—Danzy, Streeter, Henderson, Herring, D. Gutshall, Mayor, Pifer, Lentz, Dailey, Pfeiffer, T. Lemon.
Ends—Bush, Floyd, Hill, G. Cook, Pringle.
Tackles—Dubose, Geiselman, Obrovac, Jenkins.
Centers—Smith, Weber, Terrell
Halfbacks—Moore, Jeter, Lewis Bernardo, Taylor, T. Cook, George, Weatherspoon.
McKinley 0 13 2 6 21
McK—John Thompson 1 run (Ken Bush kick); McK Thompson 4 run (pass failed); Mck—Tom Cook tackled Mark Streeter for safety: McK—Jeter 5 run (run failed).
Referee—Chuck Lorenz; Umpire—Bobbie Brown; Head linesman—Herb Nissbaum; Field Judge—Nick Costello; Back judge—Steve Nagy Jr.
MASSILLON – Washington High School Tigers used the cool head and hot arm of quarterback Kevin Westover to turn back a fierce band of Canton McKinley Bulldogs 12-3 here Saturday afternoon in the state’s most celebrated scholastic grid rivalry.
The 77th classic was viewed by 22,371 at Tiger Stadium here, the third largest crowd ever in the “House That Paul Brown Built.”
The victory gave Massillon: ITS 499th TRIUMPH in the school’s long and fabled history. ITS 42nd WIN of the Canton series, against 30 losses and five ties in the dispute that dates to 1894. ITS 6th CHAMPIONSHIP in the 10 years of the prestigious All-American Conference one of the best schoolboy loops in the nation and certainly the toughest in the state. ITS 17th UNDEFEATED and untied team as it closed the regular season with a 10- mark. ITS 22nd MYTHICAL STATE championship team since 1930 when state titles were recognized officially. ITS FIRST Class AAA Region 3 title and a berth in the first Ohio High School Athletic Association state championship playoffs.
The Tigers wrapped up state titles in both wire service polls, although the final results won’t be announced until later this week. 13th Title in AP Poll The Associated Press poll of sportswriters and broadcasters will be released Tuesday and it will mark the 13th AP state title for Massillon since the poll was originated in 1947.
United Press International’s poll of Coaches has been won by Massillon five times.
The official computerized rating will be announced today, but there is no way Massillon will be anywhere but on top of this region’s “AAA” rankings.
The Tigers will play in the semifinals at Ohio State University Saturday at 11 a.m., probably against Cincinnati Princeton. The title game is Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Akron’s Rubber Bowl. Defeats Piling Up For the McKinley fans, the loss was another in a series – defeats which are coming with uncomfortable regularity. It marked the 13th time in the past 16 games Massillon has prevailed.
The game can be analyzed with a look at what happened on third downs.
In 11 third-down situations, McKinley got the first down only three times.
Massillon, however, converted seven times on 13 third-down plays. Two of them were game breakers. McKinley Scores First McKinley got on the board first, at 3:27 of the first period when Ken Bush booted a 23-yard field goal.
The kick had all the classic style of a Hoyt Wilhelm knuckleball and just got through the lower right corner of the uprights. But it was good and it marked the first time this season Massillon was behind in a football game.
McKinley had taken the opening kickoff and with fullback Chuck Gelal as the main, almost only, runner (he carried the first six plays and on eight of the first nine) moved to the Massillon 26 before the teams traded interceptions.
Pup Pass Intercepted
Massillon’s Danny Gutshall picked off Garland Burns’ first aerial, one of three Pup passes grabbed by the Tiger secondary. But two plays later, McKinley’s John Thompson returned the favor on Westover’s first throw, to set up the only McKinley score.
Led by junior tackle Lee Geiselman and guard Mike Carbone, who went after Massillon runners like hungry lions after unarmed Christians, McKinley’s defense by and large, bottled up the Tiger running game. But Westover’s arm proved too accurate.
The lighting struck five minutes into the second period.
Faced with a third-and-eight on their own 38, the Tigers went for broke…and rolled a “7”. Bomb Is Unloaded Westover, with two days and 20 minutes to look around behind the fantastic pass protection blocking of the offensive line, unloaded the bomb to end Greg Sullivan.
McKinley’s defensive back Jon Barnett was playing intercept and got burned as Westover’s wing was true and Sullivan didn’t even break stride as he took the ball over his shoulder at the 30 and cruised to the goal line to complete the 64-yard TD play.
Sullivan does more than catch, though. Two minutes before the half, Sullivan and guard Larry Mayles blasted the key blocks for halfback Tom Hannon, who scampered 25 yards on a sweep in a third-and-two situation to put the ball on the McKinley 31, setting up the other Tiger TD. Hits on Two More After Westover hit a couple of 12-yard passes, one each to Chuck Danzy and Terry Edwards and Hannon bulled seven yards to the one, the strawberry-blond quarterback with the bushy mustache to match sneaked into the end zone behind center Todd Cocklin and guard Percy Keller. It was 51 seconds before the band show.
Hannon’s attempted runs for both of the PAT’s were stopped by the Bulldogs.
The victory ran Massillon in victory streak to 12, the last loss coming 8-7 to Warren last season. Since McKinley beat them 14-7 in the last game of the 1969 season, the Tigers have won 28 of their last 30 games, the Warren loss and a 7-6 defeat at the hands of Niles the only blots.
For McKinley, it marked the first time the Bulldogs have failed to score a touchdown in 20 games, since Massillon shut out McKinley 28-0 in 1970.
There’s something new for the Tigers They’ll meet Princeton in playoffs via 12-3 victory over Bulldogs
By CHUCK HESS, JR. Independent Sports Editor
“There is nothing new under the sun,” according to Ecclesiastes, but there sure is for the Massillon Tigers!
They’ve never been in playoffs for the state football championship before, but they’ll be there Saturday at 11 a.m. at Ohio stadium in Columbus as the Ohio High School Athletic association (OHSAA) holds its first such affair.
Opposite the 10-0 Tigers, who will be trying for the school’s 500th win, will be 9-0-1 Cincinnati Princeton. The Vikings, who battled Upper Arlington to a scoreless tie the week after the Tigers beat the Golden Bears 14-0, seldom throw in their attack, preferring the power sweeps and off tackles because Coach Pat Mancuso is an avid disciple of Ohio State’s Woody Hayes. * * * THE BIG team from Cincinnati works from the power-I, led by tailback Bill Gales, one of the best 100 backs in the nation, as named in a pre-season selection by a national sports magazine.
Warren Western Reserve (10-0) and Toledo Scott (8-0-1) will vie in the second game of Saturday’s semifinal computer selected Class AAA doubleheader. Game time will be 2 p.m. Dr. Harold A. Meyer, OHSAA commissioner, Sunday dispelled rumors that the title game, slated for Akron’s Rubber Bowl Saturday, Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m., would be moved to Kent State university because of the “sea of mud” reported there.
The Tigers got into the playoffs by completing a 10-0 season last Saturday with another of their so-familiar solid team efforts which gave them a 12-3 victory over ferocious arch-rival Canton McKinley before 22,371 at Tiger stadium. It was the second largest crowd over there and third largest in the McKinley rivalry.
McKinley failed to score a TD in a game for the first time since the Tigers held them scoreless in 1970.
Their sixth All-American conference title in 10 years, sure-to-come mythical championships from both wire polls – the 13th by the Associated Press – their 25th state title in all and their 19th undefeated season is not what fans are talking about today.
It’s the playoffs.
TIGER COACH Bob Commings spent Sunday morning with his coaches reviewing the McKinley game film, went to Columbus in the afternoon for playoff instructions and returned Sunday night for another film session with his coaches – this one with Princeton films exchanged Sunday.
Princeton had scouted the Tigers in last Saturday’s game with McKinley but Commings has not scouted Princeton.
Playing on the synthetic turf at Ohio State will be “no factor whatsoever,” according to Commings. “We will not practice on Bladwin-Wallace college’s synthetic turf as some people had thought.”
Commings said the OHSAA has bought “the best shoes money can buy” for use Saturday for what Dr. Meyer has termed a “shoe bank” also for use in future games. All teams will see the shoes and the turf for the first time this weekend.
One of the key factors in the Tigers’ winning their 42nd game over the Bulldogs 30 losses and five ties, including 13 of the last 15, was the aerial show put on by quarterback Kevin Westover, split end Greg Sullivan and right halfback Terry Edwards when the Massillon ground game was put to a stop by McKinley’s great defense led by tackle Lee Geiselman and middle guard Mike Carbone.
Ironically, it was the skyways which weren’t good to the Tigers early in the season, but they began to brighten during the last three games. Last Saturday, Westover passed to Sullivan for a touchdown and hit Sullivan, fullback Charles Danzy and Edwards – again playing with a lot of pain from a leg injury – with key possession passes, helping the Tigers to convert seven of 13 third down situations while the Bulldogs could do it only three of 11 times.
THE TIGERS went into the second quarter finding themselves behind for the first time this season after a 35-yard McKinley drive off the opening kickoff and traded pass interceptions by the Tigers’ Tim Gutshall and the Bulldogs’ John Thompson which left the ball on the Massillon 13. Three plays later Ken Bush booted one that just went over from 23 yards out with 3:27 left on the clock.
The Tigers went 78 yards in six second quarter plays following a punt, with the big play being Westover’s aerial, thrown with a couple of Bulldogs close on his heels, which soared 34 yards from third down on the Tigers’ 36. Sullivan outran a McKinley defender at the Bulldogs’ 30, grabbed the pigskin and went in for the TD with 6:51 left.
“That was the most important pass of my life,” Westover said. “I had the option of running or throwing deep. I saw Greg had him beaten and I threw it deep.”
“I just outran my guy,” Sullivan grinned. “It was a great pass and that had to be the most important catch I’ve ever made.” * * * THE TIGERS held for one series – even though roughing the kicked – and moved 77 yards for their second score in 12 plays with Westover throwing 11 and 12-yard passes to Edwards and combining with Danzy on a 12-yard screen before sneaking one yard for the other score with 51 seconds left in the second stanza.
A 25-yard power-pitch sweep by left half Tom Hannon and a seven-yard sweep up the center were also key yardage grabbers, with the latter putting the ball in position for Westover’s TD. Commings played it smart here by not relying on a lot of ball handling on the scoring play.
Hannon was short on both conversion plays but had another sparkling day running, picking up 97 net yards in 28 carries. He came up 30 yards short of the all-time one-season conference rushing record of 1,266 yards, but ended his regular season performance with one that won’t be forgotten.
The second half was all defense with each team getting out of its own territory only twice. Westover threw 35 yards to Sullivan who added three more to set up a first down on the Bulldogs’ 27 late in the third quarter, but missed by inches on fourth down at the 28 just after the start of the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs had missed by about the same margin at the Tigers’ 31 on the series before the Obiemen’s jaunt which had started when Westover’s sneak on fourth down on the Massillon 40 was also agonizingly short. * * * THE ORANGE and Black held again in the goodbye frame when Tim and Dan Gutshall and Dari Edwards smothered Will Grimsley on fourth down at the Bulldogs’ 45 in the fourth, but got nowhere offensively.
The Pups made one last try, with the help of an interference penalty and 19-yard pass from Grimsley to Tom Carver for a first down on the Massillon 38. However, free safety Hannon intercepted the next try on the 20.
McKinley Couldn’t Get the Inches Ho-Hum, It’s the 17th Perfect Slate Ever for Massillon Gang Tigers Eye Initial Shot At Real Title
By BOB STEWART Repository Sports Editor
MASSILLON – The winning locker room is the only place to be.
You don’t have to watch what you say, everyone is happy, smiling and willing to talk.
Such as it was under the stands on the north end of the west side of Tiger Stadium here Saturday.
But he revelry was not raucous in the den of the Tigers, who had just downed archrival, Canton McKinley Bulldogs, by 12-3 to wrap up another (ho-hum) unbeaten season – the 17th in the school’s history.
The gladness was there and the super smiles.
But the air was one of the yeoman, the journeyman, the craftsman – who knows his work well, to the point of artistry – and who has just completed what he was assigned to do.
It was like – “was there every any doubt!”
Perhaps, it’s that this year is unique. It’s the first season there will be a “real” Ohio High School football champion crowned.
The first year of the playoffs set up by the OHSAA will see Massillon representing Region 3 (the northeast) in the Class AAA semifinals next week at Ohio State.
The players, coaches and fans know that this was not the climax this season as it has been 76 times in the past.
There are two more games to go before the Tigers, who claim more mythical state titles (22) than anyone else in Buckeyeland, are to be able to stand up and say, “We’re the real champs.” – : – For Massillon Coach Bob Commings it was euphoric enthusiasm coupled with a certain sense of relief.
The coaches who won’t say it and the fans who will say it are of the opinion that Canton McKinley is the second best team in the state and was the only real threat to the Tiger title aspirations. – : – “Kevin Westover was magnificent,” bubbled Commings.
“His passing was great. Greg Sullivan’s catching was great. The backs ran hard. The defense was superb. And our coach called a great game,” he quipped.
Turing to the serious side, Commings said he was hard pressed to talk about McKinley because he didn’t want to sound insincere.
“It’s really got to sound like all the clichés, but McKinley has a fine football team. I really mean it.”
“Those Bulldogs were tough and they came to play and they hit. They gave it to us for 48 minutes and they have nothing to hang their heads about and I’m as sincere as I can be,” the Bengal boss said, adding it was the toughest McKinley team he’s faced in four years in Tigertown. – : – “I’m really proud of our kids. It’s the first time we were ever behind and nobody was pushing any buttons.”
“Yes, we knew Westover was a fine passer and he showed it today. We knew we had him when it counted and he really came through in the clutch.”
“I can’t say who all did great jobs, but I know Westover and Sullivan and Tommy Hannon really gave it all they had.” – : – “And how about those Gutshall kids. They really played a game in the secondary,” Commings said.
Commings referred to Danny Gutshall, who intercepted McKinley’s first pass and Tim Gutshall, who intercepted another, almost stole two others and broke up a couple more.
Commings also went on to praise the fourth quarter punting by Westover and Todd Cocklin, the junior center.
“Man, on those punts they knew that everybody was coming and Cocklin really fired that ball back there right on the money.”
Regarding punts, of which Massillon didn’t have any until four minutes into the third period, Commings said it was the first “shaky” punt (for 17 yards) that led him to the decision to go for the first down in a crucial third period situation, which could have turned the game around.
The Tigers had it fourth-and-one on their own 40 and decided to try Westover on a sneak for the first. He missed by inches and it gave McKinley new life with great position and 4y minutes left in the third period.
But the Bulldogs tried the same thing four plays later and Chuck Gelal missed his fourth-down plunge by inches, also, on the Massillon 31.
It was three minutes into the final canto when McKinley got the ball back on the Massillon 28.
Brideweser went the first three quarters with junior quarterback Garland Burns and at the onset of the fourth, he put in senior Will Grimsley.
The Burns-running vs. Grimsley-passing argument has split the McKinley followers all season long. – : – Asked if he instituted adjustments at halftime, Commings smiled and said, “We didn’t change anything, I just yelled a lot.”
Commings said McKinley made some adjustments in its defense for this game “that just shut off completely our sweeps…in fact it about ruined our running game. They did a fine job.”
“We didn’t change anything, no defensive switches, no new plays. We didn’t work on stopping any particular part of their game, we just tried to work on stopping everything,” he said. – : – Perhaps no one is more happy, not so much at the outcome of the game, but simply that it’s over, as Sharon Commings, Bob’s lovely and charming wife (sometimes mistaken for his daughter).
Sharon came in the coach’s office and received a well planted kiss and a long, long embrace.
“She’s the one who’s got the ulcer,” said Bob of his wife, who grinned with tears streaming down her face.
“Yes, I’m really glad it’s over, I’m the pessimist in the family, I wasn’t sure we could do it.”
“Yes, the pressure is unbelievable, it’s just tremendous. I’m, glad it’s over,” Sharon said.
Bob must’ve neglected to mention four years ago that coaching at Massillon just isn’t quite like coaching at Struthers…or anywhere else on earth, either!
Hannon, Westover key Tiger Attack
By ART SCHROCK Repository Sportswriter
MASSILLON – The Massillon Tigers’ defense was terrific as usual, but the 12-3 winners also attained their edge on the scoreboard with offensive performances from Kevin Westover and Tom Hannon, the All-American Conference leaders in passing and ground gaining.
Westover, the individual singled out for a job well done by McKinley Bulldog Coach John Brideweser, was sharp, completing six of nine passes for 153 big yards.
The rangy Tiger quarterback picked up 102 yards on two passes to end Greg Sullivan. The first, a 64-yard play, put Massillon head to stay and Kevin was 4-for-5 in the deciding second quarter.
Hannon, although scoreless for the second time in three games, was the cog in Massillon’s ball-control game with his hip-shaking runs. – : – HE TOTED the ball 28 times for a net 97 yards, pushing his season total to 1,236 yards in 231 carries for an average of 5.3 yards per attempt.
The All-American Conference record in rushing is 1,266 by Rick Gales of Niles McKinley in 1969. Willie Spencer of the Tigers totaled 1,251 yards last year.
Westover overshadowed Garland Burns and Willard Grimsley of McKinley, who combined for 6 of 16 passes for 53 yards.
Grimsley, the Bulldogs’ senior signal caller, entered the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter and took to the air. He was 4-for-11, but his final heave was intercepted by Hannon. – : – THE BULLDOGS had three passes intercepted to Massillon’s one.
Massillon led in net yards rushing 140-50. Thirty-seven of McKinley’s ground yards came in the first quarter when fullback Chuck Gelal notched 36 in 11 tries.
Gelal led the Bulldogs’ rushers with a net 50 yards in 17 rushes. Among the other top McKinley runners, Dan Contrucci had only five yards in four carries, Eric Escola was a minus-six yards in two tries and John Barnett failed to gain in his lone tote.
Massillon commanded first downs 12-7. The Tigers were ahead in first downs rushing 7-3 and first downs through the air, McKinley notched a first down on a penalty. – : – THE WINNERS were ahead in total yardage 293-103 and offensive plays 62-50. They led with three penalties for 35 yards to McKinley’s one infraction for five yards.
Neither team lost possession of the ball on a fumble although the Bulldogs fumbled twice and the Tigers once.
McKinley’s John Barnett was superior in the punting department, averaging 37 yards for four boots to an average of 26 yards for three Westover kicks. The Bulldogs averaged 57 yards for their two kickoffs and Massillon averaged 43.3 yards for three kickoffs.
Massillon’s tough defense allowed only one touchdown in the final five games of the regular season and that was a third-quarter score in 34-8 conquest of Alliance. The Tigers have given up only 29 points all year.
Statistics Mass. McK. First downs-rushing 7 3 First downs-passing 5 3 First downs-penalties 0 1 Total first downs 12 7 Yards gained rushing 157 68 Yards lost rushing 17 18 Net yards gained rushing 140 50 Net yards gained passing 153 53 Total yards gained 293 103 Passes attempted 9 16 Passes completed 6 6 Passes intercepted by 3 1 Yardage on passes intercepted 27 2 Times kicked off 3 2 Kickoff average (yards) 43.3 57.0 Kickoff returns (yards) 17 52 Times punted 3 4 Punt average (yards) 26.0 37.0 Punt returns (yards) 2 14 Had punts blocked 0 0 Fumbles 1 2 Lost fumbled ball 0 0 Penalties 3 1 Yards penalized 35 5 Total number of plays 62 50
AAC Standings FINAL League All-Games Team W L Pts. Op. W L Pts. Op. x-Massillon 5 0 81 17 10 0 180 29 McKinley 4 1 104 51 8 2 238 74 Niles 3 2 91 75 8 2 255 106 Steubenville 2 3 51 75 7 3 193 120 Warren Harding 1 4 50 59 5 5 239 98 Alliance 0 5 57 157 2 8 119 234
TIGERS BLAST BULLDOGS 29-6 Nifty Line Play Is Victory Key In 76th Game
By BOB STEWART Repository Sports Editor
The Massillon Tigers came to town Saturday and in two hours at Fawcett Stadium showed the more than 21,000 fans a football aggregation that belies its 8-2 season record.
In a scholastic grid contest unquestionably decided in that 11-inch space known as the line-of-scrimmage the Tigers turned in a 29-6 triumph over the upset-minded but undermanned McKinley Bulldogs.
Massillon finished the season in third place in the All-American Conference with a 3-2 mark. However, the Tigers were but two slender points away from an undefeated season and possibly state recognition.
The pair of one-point losses, to Warren and Niles, made the difference between the Tigers being in contention for the state title, or also-rans in the state and conference.
McKinley concluded its season with a 7-2-1 mark, losing to Warren and tying Niles. The Bulldogs finished fourth in the six-team conference with a 2-2-1 effort. Tigers Dominate Series 41 to 30 The victory by Massillon ups its lead in the 76-game rivalry to 41-30, with five games ending in ties. The Tigers have won 12 of the last 15 contests.
Massillon’s Willie Spencer ran for two Tiger TDs and defensive end Derry Edwards had a day he’ll not soon forget as he intercepted two McKinley passes and ran both back for touchdowns, one 76 yards and the other 58.
But in spite of the fact Spencer’s 12 points gave him the Stark County scoring title for 1971 and he gained 142 yards in 33 carries Saturday to reign as the star runner, the glory for the Tigers belonged to the offensive and defensive linemen.
It was center Steve Studer, guards Scott Graber, Randy Heck and Bruce Christoff, tackles Glenn Weirich and Andre Heath and ends Bob Stephan and Mike McGuire who made the Massillon offense go with their devastating blocking.
In the defensive line, some of the names were the same. Stephan, a great one at 6-3 and 207 pounds, Weirich, the alert Edwards, Studer, end Todd Cocklin and middle guard Larry McLenndon, who doubles as the “other” runner in the Tiger backfield and added 64 yards in 12 rushes to the Massillon cause.
The defensive line put tremendous pressure on McKinley quarterback Jimmy Vance, causing a total of four interceptions. On Edwards’ first TD theft, the pass was deflected by the on-rushing Tiger defensive line.
And the Tigers blocked McKinley’s extra-point kick attempt.
The offensive line, anchored by center Studer in the middle and Stephan on the right side, ripped the Bulldogs defense to allow the backs to pile up 288 yards rushing.
So overwhelming was the Tiger line in the first quarter that Massillon controlled the ball for 23 plays to McKinley’s three. The Pups gained a yard on each of three running plays in that stanza.
Pups’ Big Pain Is Tigers’ Offensive Line Commings Calls It ‘Sweet’
By ART SCHROCK
The sunshine on the leaves of the trees around Fawcett Stadium made the normal yellow color appear a Massillon orange.
Yes, it was a Saturday afternoon for the Massillon Tigers – a game which Massillon Coach Bob Commings termed “a sweet one.”
“Anytime you beat McKinley, it is a great win,” said Commings, dripping wet after being tossed in the shower. *** THE TIGERS gave McKinley’s Bulldogs a steady diet of backs Willie Spencer and Larry “Pookie” McLenndon, with emphasis on the former and the result was a 29-6 triumph.
Spencer, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior tailback, ran with reckless abandon as he led the Tigers. In the big fourth quarter, he couldn’t be stopped on short-yardage situations.
After the Bulldogs closed the deficit to 13-6 with 33 seconds left in the third stanza, Commings called on Spencer to get the first downs when two and three yards were needed. Spencer never failed once on the drive which led to a big touchdown with 5:34 left. *** “WE TOOK IT, to them,” said Commings. “We ran basic football. There was nothing nifty about it, McLenndon and Spencer ran hard. It was just great they way they ran.”
Commings said the shift of Spencer from end on offense to running back this season, “was the move of the year.”
“McKinley hung in there,” said the Massillon mentor.
“The realization of those two one-point losses (to Niles 7-6 and Warren 8-7) sets in. But people now know this is one of the best teams they’ve seen around here.”
“We received an excellent job from the defensive secondary. Hannon (Tom), Thompson (Art); Nussbaumer (Hank) and Jackson (James) all were great. Bill Wonsick came in and did a helluva job.”
Wonsick was a replacement for Jackson, who limped off the field at the start of the fourth quarter. *** COMMINGS also lauded the right guard, Scott Graber, who was the only Tiger on the injured list before the game.
“Scott played the whole game on offense and he hadn’t played one minute in practice all week.” *** “IT’S EVEN bigger than last year because this is my last year. I messed up my knee a little,” said McLenndon, who gained the game’s initial first down with second effort.
Asked if he saved anything for the game with McKinley, Spencer smiled and said: “Everything I had, I saved. I hit my head on a piece of steel out of bounds, but I’m okay now.”
After being injured slightly in the third quarter, Willie jumped up and immediately went back into the game.
Dave Gable, the Tigers’ offensive tackle coach, called the team’s line play the best of the year.
“We deserved a good game. Two penalties cost us. One cost us a touchdown,” said Gable.
QUARTERBACK Scott Dingler, a senior who will go to college but one who hadn’t had a college offer when he was interviewed, added: “We buried them once we started moving.”
“I didn’t call the plays. Most of them come from the bench. Some come from up in the press box. Our defense did the great job they have done all year. It is the biggest thrill of my life,” said the signal caller.
“We knew it,” remarked Commings when asked if he was aware of the pass-catching ability of McKinley’s Artis Zachary, “but we couldn’t do anything about it.”
NICK VROTSOS, the Massillon assistant coach, was on the field end of the phone to the Tiger aides in the press box. He thought for a moment prior to the start of the game that there was a bad connection and of course, he was concerned about some “bugging”.
One fan yelled at Commings, “Why did you take the penalty?” after the Bulldogs scored their lone touchdown on a third-and-seven situation.
The Bulldogs would have had possession with fourth-and-one on the Tigers’ two if the Tigers had not taken the penalty for illegal procedure.
STATISTICS MASS. McK. Total First Downs 22 12 First Downs Rushing 20 4 First Downs Passing 2 8 First Downs Penalty 0 0 Total Offensive Plays 71 45 Net Yards Rushing 288 93 Net Yards Passing 21 162 Mis. Yardage (net) (1-23) 15 Total Offensive Yardage 286 270 Ave. Yds. Per Play (net) 4.0 6.0 Passes Comp.-Att. 4-7 10-20 Passes Had Intercepted 1 4 Net Gain Per Pass 3.0 8.1 Punts 1-29 2-71 Punts Return –Yds. 1-11 0-0 Kickoff Returns-Yds. 2-52 5-79 Interception Returns-Yds. 4-149 1-0 Fumbles-Fumbles Lost 3-1 1-0 Penalties-Yards 5-50 2-10
Pride has been a key word with Bob Commings all season.
Over and over again the Tiger football coach has told his charges that individual pride is what makes a great player. When 11 players have individual pride, a team has pride and becomes great. * * * TODAY THE Washington high gridders are a proud team and their pride has swelled into Tigertown pride – a pride that will probably manifest itself in the biggest crowd to ever turn out for the annual football banquet come Nov. 29 at the WHS cafeteria
The Orange and Black lost the season finale 14-7 to arch-rival Canton McKinley in the 74th renewal of the ancient grid classic before 22,200 fans Saturday afternoon at Fawcett stadium in Canton. They also lost the All-American conference title to the Bulldogs, but the Tigers became great in the eyes of their fans.
It took the Bulldogs 47 minutes and 43 seconds to get their win and a 9-1 record while the WHSers ended 7-2-1, but the Pups knew they were in a game. The Tigers hit hard and ran hard the whole afternoon. They played better football and practically stopped the Bulldogs cold.
But for a senior quarterback named Joe Babics, some finesse at key moments, a couple of penalties and a great break made by the Bulldogs, it might have been a different story.
Bulldog fullback Rocco Rich, tailback Rich Brown and wingback Ed Floyd got almost nowhere. Admittedly Brown, who had been injured a couple of weeks ago, was not in the best of condition, operating on a gimpy ankle.
“We won the real warfare,” a tired Tiger game Co-Captain Darnell Streeter said afterwards. He referred to the statistical column where the Orange and Black amassed 15 first downs to McKinley’s 11 and 255 total yards to the Bulldogs’ 172. * * * STREETER PICKED up 72 yards in 16 carries and Autrey 74 in 17.
Both of McKinley’s touchdown drives featured outstanding outside running by Babics, dictated by a great inside Tiger defense. Fifteen-yard face mask penalties and an interception by Rich on the second drive also helped.
Outside of the two TD jaunts and a long pass to the Massillon 30 at the end of the first half,
McKinley failed to get out of its own territory. Rich’s pilfer came after the Tigers had forced a punt and had taken over on their 47 with 2:06 left in the game. Quarterback Gary Herring found wingback Larry Harper down the middle on the McKinley 43, but Harper was hit hard, the ball bounced into the air, Rich grabbed it and got back to the Orange and Black’s 47.
Commings could have settled for a tie but to his credit, he went after a win.
Eight plays later sub quarterback Joe Shimek, off play action and a sprint out, tossed to Floyd who made a diving catch for the winning TD with 17 seconds left. Shimek followed with his second conversion boot.
Babics executed two key runs off fake action to turn the end, one on first down from the Tiger 47 to the 41with the face mask penalty added. Then on fourth and one on the 14 he sprinted to the two. * * * BABICS WAS injured when thrown out of bounds. Shimek came in, handed off twice into the line and then threw the winning pass.
“The proudest guy around has got to be Mr. Shimek and I can’t blame him,” Bulldog Coach Ron Chismar said. “He was our No. 2 quarterback all year and he had the guts to come in when we needed him. And that was a beautiful catch by Floyd!”
Chismar acknowledged that the Bulldogs had gotten a big break via Rich’s interception.
“It takes breaks to win,” he said. “We gave a few away and got some.”
Shortly before the fateful drive the Tigers had punted on fourth and four from the Bulldog 43.
“It worked out the way we wanted it to,” Commings said. “We got the ball back with two minutes to go.” * * * McKINLEY’S OTHER scoring jaunt came after the Tigers’ only TD and featured eight plays and 75 yards after a 20-yard kickoff runback by Tom Clifford.
Another deceptive 11-yard end run by Babics with a face mask penalty thrown in and a 31-yard pass to Mark Brown, which put the ball on the Tiger 16, were the highlights.
Babics carried on three of the next five plays and when the Orange and Black stacked its linebackers behind its tackles and left a gap in the center, Babics rammed through from the three on third down with 8:09 left in the second stanza. Shimek booted the PAT.
The Tigers’ score came off a 42-yard drive and a 13-yard interception runback by Don Lewis. The Commingmen’s effort featured eight plays, an 11-yard run by Streeter, who carried seven times, and a 19-yard pass from Herring to Harper who made a brilliant catch just inside the boundary line for a first down at the nine. Autrey scored over guard on fourth down from the one with 11:52 left in the second stanza. Mike Mauger kicked the conversion.
The Tigers ran out of downs after a 27-yard drive to the 32 in the first quarter – following a 39-yard jaunt to the 38 in the third quarter and lost the ball again on downs after Doug Miller had intercepted a pass near the sideline on the McKinley 21 in the third canto. The Orange and Black moved the ball only four more yards.
They had the ball for 21 plays compared to McKinley’s 8 in the third quarter and for 68 compared to the Pups’ 47 over-all, giving the home-standers a good dose of their own ball control medicine.
“Massillon did a fantastic job of defensing us,” Chismar stated.
“We did a fantastic job of hitting them,” Commings opined. “They’re a great team. They fooled us a couple of times but we controlled the ball on them. I couldn’t ask for any better effort than our boys gave.
SCORING SUMMARY M – FB Mike Autrey, one-yard run, TB Mike Mauger PAT (kick) McK – QB Joe Babics, throw-run, QB Joe Shimek PAT (kick) Mck – WB Ed Floyd, throw-pass from Shimek, Shimek PAT (kick)
OFFICIALS Referee – John Cseh. Umpire – Chuck Lorenz. Head Linesman – Milo Lukity. Field Judge – Ruggiero. Back Judge – Tonn.
THE GRIDSTICK M McK First downs – rushing 9 5 First downs – passing 5 4 First downs –penalties 1 2 Total first downs 15 11 Yards gained rushing 159 95 Yards lost rushing 12 10 Net yards gained rushing 147 85 Net yards gained passing 108 87 Total yards gained 255 172 Passes completed 9-23 7-12 Yardage on passes intercepted 2-18 1-10 Kickoff average (yards) 2-51.0 4-48.3 Kickoff returns (yards) 0 19 Punt average yards 4-33.5 5-38 Punt returns (yards) 5 7 Had punts blocked 0 0 Lost fumbled ball 1-4 0-2 Yards penalized 6-57 2-10 Touchdowns rushing 1 1 Touchdowns passing 0 1 Total number of plays 68 47
A salute to the Tigers The scoreboard read Canton McKinley 14, Massillon 7, but the Massillon Washington high school football team stood high in the eyes of Massillon fans.
Entering the Saturday afternoon game played in Canton’s Fawcett stadium an underdog by two touchdowns, the Tigers played admirable football for 48 minutes. They lost the game to Canton but won the admiration of Massillon fans for their spirited play. They won the battle of statistics, first downs, yards gained from passing and rushing, but lost on the scoreboard which showed 17 seconds remaining when Canton scored the winning touchdown.
Seldom has a Massillon team played any better football and still lost the game. We salute Coach Robert Commings, his staff and the Massillon Tigers for a job well done.
We congratulate Canton McKinley. The Bulldogs hung on tenaciously, capitalized on opportunity when victory had all but eluded them and scored their winning points on a truly great catch by halfback Eddie Floyd, thrown by substitute Quarterback Joe Shimek.
The McKinley team, one of the greatest in Bulldog history, should be voted state champion on the basis of its schedule, but will probably finish second to Upper Arlington whose opponents were not of the same caliber as those played by McKinley.
Tigers Have 74-0 Romp With Struthers Bengals’ 36 Points In Second Period Is New Massillon Record
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
It was like the braves of Sitting Bull massacring General Custer’s troops all over again.
There were more scored Friday night than geese in the flocks which fly south at this time of year. Everybody got into the act of crossing the goal line at Tiger stadium. Twelve players touched pay dirt, scoring 74 points while a tough Tiger defense held Struthers high scoreless.
Everything the Bengals did was right. Blocking and tackling were crisp. Passing was right on the button to receivers who were at the right spot at the right time. Ball-carriers ran roughshod over the opposition. * * * SO TOUGH was the Massillon defense that Struthers failed to get a first down until the third quarter and only five in the game. The Wildcats didn’t’ g et out of their own territory until the third quarter and only twice during the game.
The second time was with 4:10 left in the game and the third and fourth Tiger teams in – Coach Leo Strang had started clearing the bench in the second quarter. With only a few seconds left, Struthers fumbled on the Massillon six-yard line. Sophomore halfback Ron Lawn grabbed the ball on the 16 and got back to the six where junior John Frieg tackled him as time ran out to preserve the shutout.
The Orange and Black juggernaut rolled up a total of 428 yards to Struthers’ 138. Massillon completed 11 of 19 passes for 286 yards, three touchdowns and three conversions. Net ground yardage was 194 with only five lost. Struthers completed only five of 19 aerials for 92 yards with 46 net on the ground and 40 lost.
Following the game reporters scurried to record books. They found that this was the most points rolled up by the Tigers since their 90-0 domination of Barberton in 1959. The 12 players who scored set a record. Thirty-six points tallied in the second period topped a previous mark.
Coach Bob Comings of Struthers said that Friday’s defeat was the worst ever pinned on the Wildcats. He also said, “I am happy about one thing. My boys didn’t give up.” * * * STRANG ECHOED those sentiments, “Struthers certainly didn’t give up,” he said. “They kept running and hitting hard the whole game.”
About his own team the skipper said, ‘These boys deserve a big hand. Everybody I watched played hard all the time. I certainly got an insight into what the younger boys can do. They did a good job.”
The Tigers scored only once in the first quarter, missing two chances. But after that it was as if a giant tidal wave rolled over the stadium, sweeping away everything in its path.
The Bengals’ scoring machine struck early. On first down in the Tigers’ second series, quarterback Ron Swartz faded back from the Struthers’ 40, spied wingback Grady Eckard, who started his first game offensively, hit him on the 30 and Grady took over from there, going all the way down the right side with the aid of a good block by end Floyd Pierce. There was 8:14 left in the first quarter.
Halfback Bill Blunt sped off right tackle to make it 8-0. * * * ON THE FIRST play of the game, Swartz hit Pierce, who was way out in the open but he couldn’t hold on. Ron also just missed connections with end Will Perry, who would have had clear sailing for a TD, later in the quarter.
Blunt contributed first quarter punt runbacks of 22 and 27 yards to put the ball in or close to Struthers territory.
Linebacker John Muhlback recovered a Wildcat fumble on the Struthers’ 34 just before the end of the first quarter to set up the second Bengal score. Blunt went off right tackle with 9:07 left in the second quarter to cap an eight-play drive. Terry Getz left-handed a pass to Pierce for two more points.
Swartz picked on Pierce on first down for the next score on a pass from the Tigers’ 21. He hit Duke on the 45 and the slender senior was off for touchdown land, the play covering 79 yards at 7:49. Blunt converted for a 24-0 count.
Passing was responsible for the fourth Bengal tally. After a 30-yard pass to Eckard, Bob McAllister was Swartz’s target this time on first down form the Struthers’ 35. McAllister grabbed the pigskin on the 15 and went on in at 3:38 with a good block from Pierce again. Swartz ran the keeper to the right for two more points. * * * THEN CAME two blocked punts. Eckard sent the first one awry on a kick from a play which started on the 28. End Wes Goodnough fell on the ball at the seven.
On the next play quarterback Tom Gatsios swept right end. The clock showed 1:11 as Gatsios passed to McAllister but the senior end couldn’t quite get the conversion.
Linebacker Ken Swisher rushed through to block a punt on the ‘Cats’ next series. Sophomore linebacker Paul Marks scooped up the errant pigskin on the 25 and waltzed into the end zone with 25 seconds showing on the clock. Junior Quarterback Steve Kanner tried to run to the right for the conversion but couldn’t make it. The halftime score read 44-0, the biggest this year.
Eckard, playing his best game of the season, gathered in the opening kickoff of the second half at his 22 and raced 88 yards for a score with only six seconds gone in the third stanza. Good blocking sprung him loose. Gatsios missed connections on a pass to junior wingback Don Schenkenberger on the attempted conversion.
Blunt started a 39-yard march for another score with a 26-yard punt runback. Wingback Tim Rink caught a 31-yard pass from Gatsios to set up the score. Fullback Jim Lawrence tallied on the next play but a holding penalty was called on the Tigers. * * * TWO PLAYS later on third down Schenkenberger scored on a reverse from the eight. Gatsios connected with McAllister to run the scoreboard to 58-0.
Howard Gamble, a junior defensive halfback, recovered a Struthers fumble on the Massillon 35 on the ‘Cats’ first push into Massillon territory. Fourteen plays and 65 yards later the rockets sounded again at 0:19. * * * TAILBACK TOM POPE did the honors this time on first down from the five. Marks went off left guard for two more points.
Junior end Ken Gilmore put the frosting on the cake with 10:19 left in the final canto. Kanner passed to Rink for 26 yards and a first down on the Struthers’ 28. Then came the aerial to Gilmore in the end zone. Junior end Ed Franklin made the scoreboard lights flash twice more on another Kanner pass.
The Tigers looked like they were on the way to another score when safety Jeff Miller intercepted a pass on the Struthers’ 24 and got back to the Massillon 49. The WHS eleven did not have the ball again.
Massillon has now won six of seven games this year and has a five-game winning streak going. Warren comes in next week for an All-American High School Football league game on home-coming night. Struthers’ record is 4-2-1.
STRUTHERS – 0 Ends – Gura, C. Lewis and Kurz. Tackles – Millich and Wells. Guards – Cammack, Avolio and E. Lewis. Centers – Nackino, McCann and Sandine. Quarterbacks – Hudoba and Lookabaugh. Halfbacks – J. and R. Lawn, Miller, Kubof, Majecko and Wildes. Fullbacks – Belichick and Gentile.
MASSILLON – 74 Ends – Pierce, Perry, Jones, Hose, McAllister, Gilmore, Paige, R. and D. Alexander, Franklin and Goodnough. Tackles – Lash, Miller, binge, Paul, Passalacqua, Morgan and Stevens. Guards – Castile, Larsuel, Swisher, Roderick, Mathias, Rivera, Rearick, T. and D. Whitfield, Manson and Martin. Centers – Muhlback, Scassa, Frank and Rambaud. Quarterbacks – Swartz, Gatsios, Kanner, Frieg and Sheegog. Halfbacks – Blunt, Eckard, Schenkenberger, Pope, Getz, Marks, Herring, Stroh, Rink, Gamble, Harris and Williams. Fullbacks – Hewitt, Lawrence, Thomas and Lemon.
Massillon 8 36 22 8 74
Touchdowns – Eckard 2 (40yard pass from Swartz and 88-yard kickoff run back); Blunt (one-yard run); Pierce (79-yard pass from Swartz); McAllister (35-yard pass from Swartz); Gatsios (seven-yard run); Marks (25-yard run with blocked punt); Schenkenberger (eight-yard run); Pope (five-yard run); Gilmore (28-yard pass from Kanner).
Points after touchdowns: Blunt 4 (runs); Pierce 2 (pass from Getz); Swartz 2 (run); McAllister 2 (pass from Gatsios); Marks 2 (run); Franklin 2 (pass from Kanner).
Officials Referee – Howard Wirtz (Cincinnati). Umpire – Bob Harman – (Upper Sandusky) Head Linesman – George Donges (Ashland). Field Judge – Clarence Rich (Canton).
GAME STATISTICS Massillon Opp. First downs, rushing 9 2 First downs, passing 9 3 First downs, penalties 1 0 Total first downs 19 5 Yards gained rushing 199 86 Yards lost rushing 5 40 Net yards gained rushing 194 46 Yards gained passing 286 92 Total yards gained 480 138 Passes attempted 19 19 Passes completed 11 5 Passes intercepted by 1 1 Times kicked off 11 1 Kickoff average (yards) 42.8 48.0 Kickoff returns (yards) 88 159 Times punted 1 9 Punt average (yards) 24.0 32.1 Punt returns (yards) 105 0 Had punts blocked 0 2 Fumbles 1 2 Lost fumbled ball 1 2 Penalties 4 2 Yards penalized. 40 10