1924: Massillon 33, Akron South 20
HIGH GRIDDERS COME FROM BEHIND TO DOWN AKRON SOUTH 33 – 20
RALLY IN FINAL QUARTER BRINGS HOME THE BACON
Any football team that can spot its opponents to a 20 point lead in the first half and then come back and hand them an artistic drubbing the second half must have a superabundance of that fighting spirit so essential to a successful gridiron eleven. And that’s the kinds of spirit Coach David B. Stewart’s orange and black aggregation of Washington high school displayed last Saturday afternoon at Buchtel field, Akron, when it buried Akron South under a 33 to 20 lacing staging a rally in the last half that swept the Akronites off their feet.
South’s warriors brought a look of surprise and disappointment to the faces of hundreds of Massillon fans who had journeyed to Akron to see the game by running up a string of three touchdowns in the first two periods, one on a forward pass and the other two through costly Massillon fumbles, while holding the orange and black scoreless. This was entirely unexpected for South was not rated as very formidable but Massillon’s rather ragged play gave the Akronites their chance and they made the most of it.
To one not well acquainted with the fighting spirit of Coach Stewart’s team it would have looked like almost certain victory for South when the teams left the field at the end of the first 30 minutes of play. Even quite a few Massillon rooters were a bit shaky as to the outcome but soon after play began in the third quarter it became evident that Coach Stewart’s boys were fighting with their accustomed never-say-die spirit and hopes were raised when one touchdown was shoved across in that period.
But the real force of the Massillon attack did not have its offset until the final quarter when South began to wilt under the steady hammering of the Massillon backs and finally went under completely as the orange and black shoved across four touchdowns in the final period and romped off the field a winner by 13 points.
The fact that south was able to score 20 points in the first half made the contest an interesting affair to watch with quite a few spectacular runs, and plenty of good tackling. There is no disputing the declaration that the local team outclassed South’s sturdy eleven in every department of the game. But for those two costly fumbles in the first half and some rather ragged playing on the part of the Massillon contingent South probably would have been lucky to score and the game instead of being an interesting one would have developed into a one-sided contest with the only question being as to the size of the Massillon score.
South, however, must be given credit for putting up a plucky game. It fought from start to finish and only succumbed in the closing stages of the battle after having put forth its best efforts during the earlier part of the conflict to hold the orange and black back.
It was Jimmy Price, the Brewster lad, who furnished the real thrills for the Massillon fans. The Massillon pivot man almost won the game single handed for his team in the fourth quarter when, within the space of less than five minutes he twice dashed through the entire South team for touchdowns after runs of 55 and 61 yards. Both were sensational dashes and after that South’s fighting morale weakened quickly and the Massillon Tigers crashed through for two more sets of counters before the game ended.
Sharing honors with Price on offense was Kammer, the stocker line crusher, who battered the South line to bits despite the fact that he was in the contest with a bad leg. John Borza, another line smasher, also found quite a few holes in the South team for substantial gains. On defense the entire team played too football, holding South in check throughout most of the game. The tackling of Bill Price, brother of the fleet-footed quarterback, was a thing of beauty. South’s backfield men generally stopped in their tracks when Bill got his paws on them.
McCarthy and Weidman at the tackles also played good defensive games as did Hise and Reis. Bill Edwards, who started the game at fullback and then went back to his job at center in the second period, also was in the game up to his neck until the fourth quarter when the heat began to tell on him and he was forced to retire.
Coach Stewart started off with a substitute backfield, sending Grant to quarter, Smith and Brown to the halves and Captain Edwards to fullback, it being the Massillon leader’s first assignment to a backfield role. It was not until after South had scored its second touchdown that the Massillon coach shot in his regular backfield consisting of Price, Define, King and Borza and from then on South’s line got a battering that it will not forget for some time.
South’s first touchdown, resulting from a cleverly executed forward pass, did not cause much excitement among the Massillon fans but when the other two came as the result of Massillon fumbles, a wee bit of consternation began to trickle into the Massillon camp, to be dispelled by the rally in the last half.
Right at the start of the game, South broke through and blocked Smith’s first punt on Massillon’s 16-yard line. The local team held and South’s attempted field goal went wide. Then play for the most part was in midfield until South fumbled and South covered the ball on Massillon’s 40-yard line. After an exchange of punts Aultman heaved a 20-yard pass to Hardesty who let the ball nestle in his arms as he dug for the Massillon goal 30 yards away. He made it but Aultman failed to kick goal.
A few minutes later Smith grabbed the ball for a shot at South’s line. He fumbled as he hit the line and Arnett scooped up the oval and dashed 80 yards for another South touchdown. Aultman kicked goal.
It was then that Coach Stewart shot his regular backfield quartet into the fray. But while the regulars immediately proceeded to rip South wide open they could not score. The ball was kept in South’s territory until about the middle of the quarter when Define uncorked another costly fumble. This time Klipstine scooped up the oval and raced 75 yards for South’s third touchdown. Goal was again kicked by Autlman.
Twenty points behind, the orange and black began to show some speed and soon had driven through South by a series of line plays from midfield to the five-yard line. A touchdown seemed certain but after Borza in three smashes at the line had made only four yards King was given the ball on the fourth down and South stopped him dead in his tracks, getting possession of the ball.
In the third quarter with Kammer cracking the South line wide open the local team soon took the ball deep into South’s territory and Kammer finally went over for the first touchdown. Then the tide of battle turned. At the opening of the fourth quarter South punted to Jimmy Price who grabbed the oval on his 45-yard line and with almost perfect interference dashed through the entire South team for 55 yards and Massillon’s second touchdown.
A minute later Price was destined to again bring the crowd to its feet. On the first play after the kickoff with the oval on Massillon’s 39-yard line, Price slipped through South’s left tackle and streaked his way up the field almost unaided, outstripping the South gridders and running 61 yards for the third touchdown. This tied the score at 20 all and Captain Edwards put his team out in front by booting goal for the extra point.
South began to realize then that it was in for a beating. The Akronites could do nothing with Massillon’s defense and a bit later Andrew Halco made himself a hero when he covered a South fumble behind the goal line for the fourth touchdown. Aultman of South attempted a forward pass but the Massillon line dashed in on him so fast that he never had a chance to throw the ball which slipped out of his grasp, rolled across South’s goal line and was pounced upon by Halco.
King made the fifth touchdown a little later in a 12-yard dash through South’s left tackle. Another touchdown was in sight as the game ended. The orange and black had carried the ball to South’s four-yard line and Kammer had taken it to the two-yard line when the whistle blew.
Statistics of the game show that Massillon made 19 first downs to five for South. The Rubber city eleven made but two first downs in the first half. Massillon completed four forwards for a total yardage of 33 while South completed four for 76 yards, one bringing it a touchdown. Seven attempted Massillon passes failed while South had a like number grounded.
That Old Fight
Massillon – 33 Pos. Akron S. – 20
W. Price LE Hardesty
McCarthy LT Pesaric
Crone LG Huckwith
Hise C Wert
Weidman RG Hoopkins
Thomas RT Nickles
Grant RE Klipstein
Grant QB Aultman
Brown LHB Sloop
Smith RHB Arnett
Edwards FB Hench
Score by quarters:
Massillon 0 0 7 26 33
South 13 7 0 0 20
Massillon – J. Price for Gant, King for Smith, Borza for Edwards, Edwards for Hise, Define for Brown, Hise for Crone, Agler for W. Price, Kammer for King, W. Price for Agler, Reis for Hise, King for Define, Grant for Borza, Hise for Edwards.
Akron South – Larson for Nickles, Gossage for Hopkins, Neiddert for Wert, Kennedy for Aultman, Perkins for Kennedy, Durham for Klipstein, Sweet for Hardesty, McCoy for Hench, Aultman for Kennedy, Larson for Nickles, Hench for McCoy, Neiddert for Wert, Pesaric for Hopkins, Hopkins for Pesaric, Nickles for Pesaric.
Touchdowns – Hardesty, Arnett, Klepstein, Kammer, J. Price 2, Halco, King.
Goals after touchdown –Aultman 2, Edwards 3.
Referee – Kester (Mt. Union).
Umpire – Berger (Wittenberg).
Head Linesman – Waugh (Ohio Wesleyan).
Time of quarters – 15 minutes.