1939: Massillon 47, Canton Lehman 6
POLAR BEARS STAGE AERIAL CIRCUS AS TIGERS WIN 47-6
CROWD THRILLED BY FINE OFFENSIVE GAME
Lehman Second Team Of Season To Score On Massillon Eleven; Tally Touchdown On Intercepted Pass After Having Two Scoring Attempts Stopped
By LUTHER EMERY
It was Polar Bear weather, but Tiger might, and today Washington high school’s consecutive victory chain had the 21st link welded into it, a 47-6 triumph over Canton Lehman, last night before 10,000 shivering fans in Tiger Stadium.
Not a one of the 10,000 regretted sitting through the game and most of those who had intended leaving at the half remained to the very end.
All Sorts of Formations
The lopsided score doesn’t tell the reason why, but had you been there, the intricate formations of the Lehman gridders would have had an appealing effect to your football weakness too.
Were it not for the difference in suits, you might have thought it was the Massillon band when the Lehman gridders spread themselves over the field in squares and something resembling a company front.
It was effective in pushing twice as many first downs over the Tigers than any other opponent has been able to do and most of all, it kept the fans in an excited mood, wondering what to expect next.
Intercepted Passes Inevitable
But when you spread your team offensively, you also spread your protecting defense for the play should anything go wrong and here the boomerang bounced back on the Polar Bears. Four passes went into the arms of Tiger players and two of them, Horace Gillom and Jim Moody, had nothing to do but run 80 and 60 yards respectively for touchdowns. A third intercepted pass by George Fabian, behind the goal line, stopped a Lehman touchdown drive that had reached the seven-yard line.
The Polar Bears were just as unruly on defense. They lined up with only two men on the line of scrimmage, then as the Tigers shifted, hopped from four to five players into the line and moved two and three of the secondary forward several paces in an attempt to confuse the Tigers in their blocking assignments and upset the Massillon offense.
It didn’t work so successfully, however, for the varsity moved over the Polar Bear goal three times the first quarter and then went to the bench to watch the second and third stringers play the remainder of the game.
Aside from the Lehman offense and defense the game was screwy from another standpoint. The first quarter and part of the second was played without an official timekeeper.
It appears that someone had told Head Linesman Barrett that C.P. Hoffee, who goes to bed and gets up with a stop watch, would keep time. But nobody told Hoffee. The coaches thought Barrett was timing the game.
After the first quarter had lasted 14 minutes, Hoffee, who sure enough was following his hobby of timekeeping for fun, reported to Coach Brown. The Head Linesman was notified. He didn’t have a gun. Time was called. The coaches and officials held a discussion. The quarter ended there and it was agreed that the two minutes would be deducted from the second period which was cut to 10 minutes. Hoffee times the remainder of the game.
The Polar Bears’ desire to make a game of it and give the fans their money’s worth carried them deep into Tiger territory twice in the first half, once to the 16-yard line and again to the seven-yard line. Their fervent desire to score on the local eleven, something only Cathedral Latin had previously been able to do, was finally rewarded in the third quarter and Massillon fans were glad for it.
Santora Intercepts Pass
The Tigers here hammering down on the Polar Bear 31-yard line when Fabian tried to pass; the ball was partially blocked as it left his hand and Pete Santora gathered it in and headed for the east sideline and south goal. Running with all his might he raced by several Massillon players who attempted to tackle him and collapsed when tackled behind the goal. The attempt by Elsaesser to kick the extra point failed, but it mattered not, for Lehman’s work was done.
The Polar Bears ability to move the ball, kept the game an offensive duel from start to finish. In the entire first three periods, there was but one punt that coming at the end of the first series of plays, when Fuller punted after his team had failed to gain after the kickoff.
The punt put the ball in Massillon’s possession on the Lehman 40. Spectators’ eyes popped out at the sight of Lehman defense and Red James, carrying the ball on the first Massillon play was thrown for a three-yard loss by Bob Fuller. George Slusser felt the Polar Bears out as he got back the three yards on a charge at left tackle. He sized up the situation immediately and the Polar Bear unorthodox defense paid dearly. Slusser dropped back and Horace Gillom streaked down the east sideline toward the south goal.
He was past the Lehman secondary in a flash and took Slusser’s perfect pass with no one between himself and the goal. All he had to do was run and Gillom can do that right handily. Ray Getz kicked the extra point, the ball striking the left post and bounding over the crossbar.
Did that touchdown discourage Lehman? No, sir. The Polar Bears took the kickoff and came right back with their razzle – dazzle, spraddles that carried the ball from their own 27-yard line down to the Tiger 16. Fuller started it out by sweeping right end for 14 yards. Then Panella tossed a 20-yarder to Fuller for a first down on the Massillon 39. He came right back with another 20-yard heave to Fuller that caused the poor Tigers to take time out on their own 19 as Capt. Martin noticed the goal line wasn’t so very far behind him.
Tigers Get Ball
Fuller tried to carry the ball but was tossed for a three-yard loss. Panella’s pass was grounded. Panella tossed another to Fuller for a six-yard gain that took the ball to the Tiger 16-yard line. The Bears tried another wide spread formation, but took too much time. The referee blew his whistle just as the ball was passed. Fuller passed to Elsaesser and he went over the goal line, but about half the Tigers and Lehman players who heard the whistle, didn’t take part in the play. Lehman attempted another pass but Gillom grounded it and the Tigers took the ball on downs on their 21, thus ending the threat.
Three plays later the Tigers had their second touchdown. Slusser made three yards at left tackle and on a quick break, Foster sneaked through for 11 and a first down on his 35. There Slusser tucked the ball under his arm and raced 65 yards for a touchdown, outrunning Fuller and another Lehman secondary as he streaked down the west sideline to the south goal. Getz booted the extra point on a perfect bullseye between the uprights and the score was 14-0.
The Tigers kicked off to the Polar Bears and back they came with their razz-a-ma-taz. A shot from Fuller to Elsaesser gained 16 yards, another to Uebing produced five and a
15-yard penalty on Massillon put the ball on the Tiger 35.
Clear the decks for Gillom. And that’s what his teammates did as he gathered in Panella’s next pass on the 20-yard line and headed for the south goal. It was an 80-yard run and the third touchdown of the game.
Out came the Lehman first team and in went the second stringers. Getz booted the 21st point and the varsity’s evenings work was finished. In went the Tiger second stringers and with it, Coach Jim Robinson of Lehman shoved his first team back on the field.
The Polar Bears received, but when Fuller tried a pass, Freddie Blunt gathered it in on the Lehman 37 to launch another Tiger drive. The Tigers got down to the 25-yard line, overcoming a 15-yard penalty for clipping that nullified a fine 22-yard mouse trap end run by George Kester, when the prolonged first period ended.
Blunt Goes Over
Fabian, Blunt and Clendening took turns carrying the ball until they reached the two-yard line. Lehman was offside and a one-yard penalty advanced the ball to the one-yard line where Blunt took it over. He failed to make the extra point and the score was 27-0.
Lehman struck back again after the kickoff was downed on the 27-yard line. A 10-yard peg, Panella to Fuller put the ball on the 37-yard line and there followed the prettiest play of the game. Fuller passed laterally two-thirds the width of the field to Panella who in turn heaved the ball 23 yards to Elsaesser for a first down on the Tiger 32-yard line. A 15-yard penalty on Massillon advanced the ball to the 17. Santora and Fuller made it first down on the seven and sent the Tiger team into an eight-man line. Fuller tried to buck it but hit a stone wall. Panella then attempted a pass, but George Fabian hauled the ball in behind the goal and ran back to the five-yard line. The half ended two plays later.
Lehman kicked off as the third period got underway and Clendening was downed with the ball on his 28-yard line. On the first play he broke fast through the Lehman team and was hauled down from behind on the Lehman 27, after a run of 45 yards. Kester went to the 15 on an end around play and Blunt hit through tackle for the touchdown, Clendening went over for the extra point.
The Polar Bears were still on the loose, however, and aided by a 15-yard pass from Panella to Fuller, came back to the Tiger 44-yard line. They had Jim Moody to reckon with, however, and Jim timed Fuller’s next throw to intercept the ball and race 60 yards for a touchdown. Fabian attempted to toss a pass for the extra point but it failed.
Santora Brings Joy To Lehman
The following kickoff found the Bears pecking away again. Fuller found Panella for a
25-yar pass as the visitors took the ball to the Tiger 30. There the locals stopped the drive and marched back to the Lehman 31, where Fabian’s blocked pass found the waiting arms of Santora who raced for Lehman’s touchdown. At this stage of the game, the score was about as good as a victory for the Lehman rooters who shouted themselves hoarse. And they were joined by almost as many Massillon supporters who were glad to see the Bears rewarded for their pleasing efforts.
The Tigers scored but once the last period in a drive that began from their own 42. It was Clendening seven yards, Fabian seven yards and a first down on the 28. Fabian lost two but got back five on his second attempt. The Bears left an opening on the left side of their line on the next play and that was all Pokey Blunt needed. He was through and away for a 25-yard touchdown dash, the last of the game. Clendening plunged the 47th point across.
The statistics would not indicate the Tigers as 41 points better than Lehman. They made 13 first downs to the Polar Bears’ dozen and gained 342 yards rushing to the Bears’ 40. On the other hand the Bears’ made the huge total of 155 yards passing to the Tigers’ 40.
Massillon attempted but three passes, completing one, while the visitors made 11 of 21. The Tigers punted but once and Lehman three times, three of the four punts coming in the last quarter.
That both teams were in fine condition, there was no doubt. There were few times out for injury and no dragging on the field. The Polar Bears had a wealth of spirit but were poor in tackling and blocking, particularly the former. Many a time Bear defensive players had opportunities to spill Tiger ball carriers for losses, but spoiled the opportunity with weak tackling.
Good Old Bear
Massillon Pos. Lehman
Getz LE Uebing
Pedrotty LT Lee
Russell LG Cline
Martin C Wilson
Henderson RG Butler
Swezey RT Mack
Gillom RE Loucks
Foster QB Panella
Slusser LH Fuller
James RH Elsaesser
Zimmerman FB Santora
Score by periods:
Massillon 21 6 13 7 47
Lehman 0 0 0 6 6
Massillon – Kester; Wallace; Broglio; Appleby; Cardinal; Croop; Moody; Kingham; Fabian; Blunt; Clendening; Hill; White; Pettay; De Mando.
Lehman – Bauer; Brown; Neading; Wyler; Julian; Eicher; Uebelhart; Nicholson; Marconi; Hungerford; Williams.
Massillon – Gillom 2; Slusser; Blunt 3; Moody.
Lehman – Santora.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Getz 3 (placekicks); Clendening 2 (carried).
Referee – Hetra.
Umpire – Bechtel.
Head Linesman – Barrett.
First downs 13 12
Yards rushing 342 40
Yards passing 40 155
Total yards gained 382 195
Yards lost 11 18
Net yards gained 371 177
Passes attempted 3 21
Passes completed 1 11
Passes intercepted 1 4
Passes incomplete 1 6
Punts 1 3
Average punt (yards) 30 34
Kickoffs 8 2
Average kickoff (yards) 45 47
Punts returned (yards) 11 3
Kickoffs returned (yards) 39 124
Times penalized 2 4
Yards penalized 30 26
Fumbles 1 1
Fumbles recovered 1 1