Moeller topples Massillon 35-19 Tigers unable to come back in second half;
By TODD PORTER Repository sports writer
MASSILLON ‑ It was throwback night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium on Saturday night. A lot of old memories were brought back, but they left after the halftime show.
Including the way a Massillon High School football team is supposed to play the game they cherish here. At least for two quarters, the Tigers played their best half of the season.
The Massillon Tigers were kicked into gear to start the game, but Cincinnati Moeller came out in the second half and kicked them in the teeth.
The Crusaders handed Massillon its fifth loss of the season in winning 35‑19 in front of’ an inflated crowd announced at 11,518.
There were members of’ Chuck Mather’s 1948‑54 teams on the field before the game. They even formed a tunnel for the Tigers to run through.
The Tiger Swing Band took on the look of George “Red” Bird’s bands, the famed band leader while Paul Brown coached here.
That was enough to inspire Massillon for a half; unfortunately, there are two halves in a football game.
“We made a few adjustments, nothing major, but we started running to our trips because they walked off their (weakside) linebacker to that side,” Moeller head coach Steve Klonne said of’ his team’s second‑half effort.
Massillon gained less than 100 total yards in the second half, while Moeller ran off 266 and outscored the Tigers 27‑12.
The Tigers took points off the board on the opening drive of’ the game. Massillon took the ball to the Moeller 15, where Brett Marshall made a 32‑yard field goal. However, the Crusaders were called for roughing the kicker and the Tigers had the first‑and‑goal at the 7. Two plays later, though, Massillon fumbled the ball on a bad handoff and Moeller recovered.
That was not doom.
The Massillon defense forced Moeller to punt. The real Tigers came out this time.
Jason Jarvis returned the punt 17 yards to the Massillon 46. Running back Marc Cleveland was split right in a slot position, went in motion to the left, and took the handoff from junior quarterback Dave Irwin. Cleveland gained 39 yards and the Tigers had the ball inside the Moeller 20 at the 14.
Fullback Ron Lynn took a trap play, broke a tackle at the line, and scored from 14 yards out to give Massillon a 7‑0 lead with 2:04 left in the first quarter.
As good as Irwin was in his first varsity start, he was not perfect. He was sacked on a third‑and‑18 play from the Massillon 20 and Moeller’s John Oscar recovered at the 27.
But Irwin turned in perhaps the best performance of the year for a Massillon QB. He has spent the entire season as the starting junior varsity QB and running the scout team offense.
Massillon had a slim chance to take the lead before halftime. Defensive back Jamie Allman intercepted a Moeller pass inside the Tigers’ 10 and returned it to midfield. However, Massillon was out of timeouts and had less than a minute to score.
A sack and delay of’ game penalty ‑ after Massillon stopped the clock by spiking the ball on third down ‑ squashed any chances of’ a late first‑half touchdown.
Moeller set the tone in the second half when sophomore Marcus Blanks took most of the snaps at tailback. The Crusaders needed eight plays to go 65 yards and score after the second‑half kickoff. On four of’ those plays. Blanks gained 10 yards or more. He had runs of 14, 22, 16 and 10.
Brian Reisert scored on a keeper from a yard out and Moeller led 15‑7.
The Crusaders tacked on another TD in the third quarter. while Massillon could not respond.
“I think the first touchdown took a little wind away from them” Klonne said. “I think the second score is what put them away.
“Massillon’s offense got better from last week, and their defense has always been good. I think if you look at what (head coach Rick Shepas) is working with, and what he’s trying to do … you just need to be patient with them.”
How do you coach heart and effort when the game is on the line?
More than 40 minutes after the game. Massillon head coach Rick Shepas, whose team is 3‑5 for the first time since 1931, was not made available for comment.
Moeller 0 8 14 14 35 Massillon 7 0 0 12 19
MAS ‑ Lynn 14 run (Marshall kick) MOE ‑ Hughes 3 run (Hughes run) MOE ‑ Reisert 1 run (Murphy kick) MOE ‑ Reisert 16 run (Seuberling kick) MAS ‑ Irwin 8 run (pass failed) MOE ‑ Jackson 10 pass from Reisert (Seuberling kick) MOE ‑ Ryan 25 pass from Reisert (kick failed) MAS ‑ Miller 77 kickoff return (pass failed)
Team statistics Rushing: Moeller 47‑281, Massillon 27-115.
Tigers Smash Canton McKinley 48-7 MASSILLON AWAITS OUTCOME OF FINAL FOOTBALL POLL Victory Should Bring Sixth Consecutive Ohio Title To Local School
By LUTHER EMERY
Massillon today awaited the outcome of the final Associated Press poll which is expected to name the Washington high school Tigers state champions for the sixth consecutive year.
Writers among the 16,500 people who saw the Massillon gridders slash Canton McKinley to pieces in the first half of their traditional game in Fawcett stadium Saturday afternoon and win 48-7 are convinced the local team deserves the state crown.
The triumph was the Tigers 23rd in a row and completed two consecutive undefeated seasons. It was the 57th victory for Coach Chuck Mather and his staff since they took charge of Tiger football in 1948. They have lost but three games, one each in the 1948, 1949 and 1951 seasons. They also were undefeated in 1950. The win over McKinley likewise was Massillon’s 28th of the 58-game series that started in 1894. McKinley won 25 and five ended in tie scores. * * * THE TIGERS were terrific.
Their first half offense was the most devastating, most perfect we have ever seen.
You have probably heard and read most of the figures by now, but they are worth repeating here.
In the first four plays from scrimmage the Tigers got three touchdowns. It took them six plays to get their fourth, two their fifth and one their sixth. In other words, their remarkable offense produced six touchdowns in 13 plays from scrimmage. Anyone want to dispute their claim to state champions.
They rolled up a 42-0 lead in one and one-half periods, after which Coach Chuck Mather opened the gates of mercy and began giving his senior substitutes as much action as possible in their final high school game. * * * McKINLEY recovered a fumble inside the 15-yard line in the last two minutes of the second period and scored in the last second to produce its only points of the game. There wasn’t even time left for a kickoff.
Mather kept a flow of senior subs in his lineup throughout the last half. This and an improved Bulldog defense, coupled with fumbles and three penalties, held the Tigers to one touchdown the last half, that coming on a blocked McKinley punt.
The Tigers devastating play is revealed in their long runs and long passes for touchdowns and a vicious defense that kept Bulldog ball carriers nailed to the turf throughout most of the first half.
Offensively, there was an 80-yard T.D. run by Homer Floyd, three passes, all for touchdowns, (that’s all he threw the first half) by Dick Crescenze and some remarkable catches by Jim Letcavits, Tom Boone and John Traylor, good for 44 yards, 51 yards and 73 yards respectively. We can still see Wade Watts, Canton McKinley coach, bury his head in his hands after the last one that hoisted the score to 42-0. * * * IT TOOK just 32 seconds to get the first T.D. and perhaps we had better take time out right here to account for the six in 13 feature.
Massillon fans were the most surprised lot in the place to see the Tigers win the toss and then elect to kickoff. They always receive when they win the toss. But Saturday at Canton it was different. Coach Chuck Mather informed his Co-Captains, John Traylor and Bruce Schram that if they won the toss they should kickoff because he figured McKinley was better defensively than offensively and he would rather meet them in their weakest department.
It was the right decision.
Ron Boekel gave the ball its hardest boot of the season right into the hands of Nat Harris, the Bulldogs’ ball carrying ace. But Nat was hit so viciously he fumbled and Traylor pounced on the ball on the four. McKinley jumped offside before a play could get under way from scrimmage and the Bulldogs were penalized to the one-yard line. On the first play Crescenze sneaked through from his quarterback spot for six points and Tom Boone kicked the seventh.
The Tigers next got the ball through a punt that rolled dead on the 15. John Francisco put it on the 20 in a slash at right tackle. On the second play of the series, Homer Floyd broke through on a trap play, cut to his right and raced 80 yards down the sideline to score. That made two touchdowns in three plays. * * * THE TIGERS kicked off, then took the ball away from the Bulldogs on downs on the Canton 44. On the first play Crescenze shot the leather to Letcavits who made a brilliant catch, almost fell down, but steadied himself with one hand to keep on his feet and race the rest of the distance with Tom Boone removing the first Canton tackler from his path. That made three touchdowns in four plays.
It took a little longer to get the fourth. The Tigers started from their own 25 where they got the ball on a punt.
Traylor made three at left end, and Floyd ran for a first down but a 15-yard penalty was assessed for clipping. Traylor went for 13, Francisco for 10 and Crescenze made it a first down on his 48. Francisco got a yard and Crescenze whipped the ball 51 yards to Boone for the touchdown. That and the point that followed made it 28-0. Only two plays were needed to get the fifth T.D. Joe Holloway crashed through to block Ken Bandi’s punt and Boone pounced on the ball on the six-yard line. Traylor carried it to the one, going over, but his knee touched a yard short before he laid his arms across the goal. Francisco smashed through with the score and it was 35-0. * * * ONE PLAY was needed to get the sixth. A quick kick by Harris rolled to the Tiger 27. Crescenze immediately winged the ball to Traylor who never broke stride as he caught up with it in midfield and raced the rest of the distance to give his team a 42-0 lead.
That just about wraps up the Massillon tale of victory.
In it you have all four backs and the two ends, scoring a touchdown each and with five minutes and 20 seconds of the period still remaining to be played.
Mather began pouring in substitutes, seniors and some juniors. Roy Johnson, a senior, who hasn’t gotten in a whole lot this year, took over the quarterbacking of the team, replacing Crescenze who did not return to the game until the last four minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Tigers fumbled the ball away to the Bulldogs the next time they got it, Canton covering inside the 15. With Sophomore Horace Harris doing most of the running, the Bulldogs marched to the one yard line where Harris went over just was the half ended. John Kompara kicked the extra point and that ended Canton’s scoring for the day. * * * THE TIGERS got one more touchdown when Ron Gardner blocked a McKinley punt late in the third period on the 16-yard line. He picked it up and ran across for the six points to end his football career in a blaze of glory. Ronnie has played mostly on defense. The touchdown, the only one he has scored, was just about the biggest thing that could happen to him.
The Tigers had other chances in the third and fourth quarter but penalties, substitutions and an improved Canton defense locked them out.
They were well on their way the first time they got the ball in the third period when McKinley covered a fumble on second down on the 14-yard line. They had what would have been a first down on the 15 had not the ball been called back because of a clipping penalty called against the Tigers and a personal foul against McKinley. The two nullified each other. Then Traylor ran to a first down on the five, but back came the ball again and another 15-yard penalty for clipping that necessitated the only Massillon punt of the afternoon. * * * THE TIGERS lost the ball to the Bulldogs on a fumble on the 38 early in the fourth quarter to end another drive. Then again they drove to what would have been third down on the four-yard line with a yard to go for a first down, but the ball was called back and a five-yard penalty slapped on for offside. That put it on the 18 and they lost it on downs on the eight. It was their last effort, for Canton held the pigskin the rest of the way.
So you can see where penalties and fumbles helped throttle the Tiger offense the last half.
The Tigers were just as impressive in the statistics as on the scoreboard. First downs were 13-10 in their favor and they gained 447 net yards to McKinley’s 114 net yards. They completed five of 10 passes for 205 yards. McKinley completed 8 of 13 passes for 49 yards.
The game had its heroes – plenty of them we would say – the 11 offensive starters and those who jumped in for defensive chores – all were in the contest up to their necks. The backfield boys have already been mentioned, but without the line in front of them they could not have shown so brightly. The Tiger forward wall literally tore the Bulldogs to pieces the first half. Give credit to a pair of great ends, Letcavits and Boone; to Bruce Schram and Ronnie Dean, the tackles; to Joe Eaglowski and Russ Maier, who filled in for the injured Ronnie Agnes at guard; and to Tom Fisher, center. And don’t forget Willie Longshore, Gardner, Joe Holloway, Bob Williams, Eddie Fletcher, Chuck Lentz, Ken Lorch, Andy Stavroff, Bill Stone, Carl Porter, Johnson, Jerry Yoder, Ray Byrd, Boekel, Dick Fromholtz, Al Shilling, Jim Woolley, Chuck Hill and Joe Lopez, all of whom had a part in the victory. * * * LIGHTS BURNED late in Massillon Saturday night as citizens and students celebrated the victory. The students held a victory dance at the school, citizens celebrated at parties about town and at country clubs.
Everywhere credit was given the team and Coach Mather and his assistants; Carl Schroeder, Paul Schofer, Lauri Wartiainen, Elwood Kammer and Dave Putts.
The questions most asked of them were why they didn’t pour it on; what was the argument over the ball; and was this your best team.
You have Mather’s answer to the first question – he wanted to give all seniors as much action as possible.
His face was red on the second. Crescenze came out of the game shouting, “They are using a rubber ball in there.”
Mather bristled: “They can’t do that,” and shouted to the referee, “Let me see that ball.”
He was shown the ball.
“It was leather,” said Chuck, telling of the incident. “There wasn’t much I could say.” * * * WE AGREE with Mather’s answer to the third question that it is difficult to say any team is the best in high school history, but we also agree that this year’s eleven certainly ranks with the greatest on the basis of its 10 straight victories. And we hasten to point out that its opposition has likewise been unusually good as a whole.
It you want to look at it this way, six of Massillon’s opponents only dropped a combined total of five games to teams other than Massillon during the season.
Fremont Ross was beaten only by the Tigers: Warren was beaten only by Massillon and Hamilton; Alliance by Massillon and Youngstown Urusline; Mansfield by Massillon and Warren; Steubenville by Massillon and Warren; and Toledo Waite by Massillon and DeVilbiss. Canton Lincoln lost but two other games in addition to that to Massillon. It was beaten by Alliance and Barberton.
Certainly, the Tiger eleven was one of the most poplar with Massillon fans. The ability of Floyd, Francisco and Traylor to break loose for a touchdown at any moment and the constant threat of Crescenze tossing a touchdown pass provided fireworks every night.
The team is in every sense of the word, a deserving champion.
STATISTICS Mass. McK. First downs 13 10 Passes attempted 10 13 Passes completed 5 8 Had passes intercepted 0 0 Yards gained passing 205 49 Yards gained rushing 244 122 Total yards gained 440 171 Yards lost 2 57 Net yards gained 447 114 Times kicked off 9 0 Average kickoff (yards) 42 — Yards kickoffs returned by — 82 Times punted 1 8 Average punt (yards) 30 30 Yards punts returned by 7 3 Had punts blocked 0 2 Times Fumbled 3 3 Lost ball on fumbles 3 2 Times penalized 5 5 Yards penalized 65 22
TIGERS BEAT BULLDOGS 41-8 IN BID FOR FIFTH STATE TITLE Await Outcome Of Final Press Poll; Massillon Gridders End Undefeated Season With Victory Over Old Rival
By LUTHER EMERY
Having completed an undefeated season by whipping Canton McKinley 41-8 here Saturday afternoon, the Washington high Tigers today awaited the final Associated Press poll of the season Tuesday which is expect to name them state champions for the fifth straight year.
Virtually all but one of the writers who saw the Tigers maul the Bulldogs were ready to give Massillon the title after the game. Springfield’s representative, Dan Hoyt, wasn’t convinced, and remained loyal to his own Wildcats, for which we don’t blame him one bit. “I’d like to see the two teams meet, it would be a good game,” he said. Dan didn’t think McKinley very strong, but he should remember that the Bulldogs came within two points of beating Mansfield as badly as the latter was beaten by Springfield Friday.
The Cleveland, Canton and Akron papers in their Sunday write-ups gave the Tigers the title, which shows the line of thought of some of the boys.
The ballots were being cast today and Tuesday the results should be known. * * * THE TIGER victory over McKinley, scored before a paid attendance of 17,830, climaxed a great season for the Tigers and the team will go down in Massillon pigskin history as one of the greatest.
The victory extended to two games the Tiger edge over the Bulldogs in their 57-game series that dates back to 1894. Massillon has now won 27, Canton 25, while five ended in tie scores.
The triumph brought Massillon’s victory string to 13 games. It was the 47th win for Chuck Mather since he took over the helm here in 1948, and his second undefeated season.
His 1948, 1949 and 1951 teams each lost one game.
“I wouldn’t say this team was better than the undefeated 1950 team,” Mather said after the game. “We had a good bunch of fellows then, too. But I will say this was one of the best and certainly a fine bunch of players to work with.” * * * THE TIGER COACH gave them all a big pat on the back as he made the rounds in the hilarious locker room after the game.
The players themselves bore the marks of a hard-fought contest. They were scratched and bruised, and Fullback Lee Nussbaum, who emerged from the contest as the leading ground gainer, didn’t know the score. He had suffered a slight concussion which had him somewhat foggy for several hours.
Coach Mather gave the Bulldogs credit for playing a hard game and was even louder in the praise of his opponent after looking over the motion pictures Sunday. “If we hadn’t been up we would have lost this one,” he said. “Do you know they hit us three times as hard as we were hit all season? They were playing their hearts out. So were our boys and that’s the only reason we won.”
The hard play caused tempers to flare and Bob Khoenle and Sam Williams of Massillon and two Canton players were tossed out by the officials; Williams in the third period and Khoenle in the fourth. * * * MATHER was critical of the officiating. “It was the poorest officiated game I ever saw and you can quote me as saying so,” he said after going over the pictures.
Mather was a little disappointed in Misere’s performance until he saw the pictures. “After watching the pictures I admire how that little fellow stayed in there and took it. He really got a going over when passing,” he said.
Mather said he wasn’t going to single out any individual for praise. “They all did well, otherwise we couldn’t have won,” he said.
We noted, however, that he was particularly pleased with the way Nussbaum came through in his last high school game. He broke the Bulldogs’ back on the opening play from scrimmage with an end sweep of 40 yards and he finished the day with a fraction less than nine yards per try for the 21 times he carried the ball. * * * LEE GAINED 181 yards, John Traylor 93, John Francisco 54, John Tasseff 40 and Clarence Stewart 21.
The Tigers rolled up 390 yards by rushing, lost 28 for a net of 362. They gained 65 yards by passing, giving them a net of 427.
Their total offense in victory was as superior to the Bulldogs as the score on the board. McKinley gained 70 yards rushing and lost 21 for a net of 49. They gained 121 yards passing for a total net offense of 170 yards. First downs were just as one-sided, 22-7 in favor of the Tigers. * * * WHILE the ball carriers were having a track meet, the Tiger line and defense should be given a big share of the credit.
The linemen, Bob Khoenle, Sam Williams, Jim Geiser, Bruce Schram, Bob Clinage, Bob Kraus and Frank Corral slit the Bulldog forward wall wide open and consistently made big holes for the ball carriers to romp through. Their charge at the same time so bottled up the Bulldog backs that they spent much of their time running in their own backfield.
John Goodrich, ace of the Canton team, for instance, gained but 11 yards and lost seven, for a net gain of four in the eight times he carried the ball. Leading ground gainer was Dick Albert, the Canton ball carrier who had 21 yards to show for the five times he sneaked through center with the pigskin from his quarterback position.
The Tiger blocking was likewise something to behold. It was at its best on a 33-yard punt return by Traylor and a 32-yard run for the second touchdown of the game from a deep reverse. Johnny had five teammates convoying him over the goal line. * * * HARDEST TOUCHDOWN run was that unleashed by John Tasseff substituting for Johnny Francisco when the latter injured his leg. It was a 31-yard fourth period effort in which Tasseff raced down the sideline and without too much help shook off three Canton tacklers in disdain as they took their turn at trying to bring him down. The run produced the Tigers’ fifth T.D.
The game had its oddities, and two of them combined to give McKinley a safety, its first points of the game.
Willard Grimsley, who played a great defensive game for Canton and whose hard tackling stopped what might have been two or three more Tiger touchdowns, got off a beautiful 49-yard punt in the fourth quarter that stopped dead just inches short of the goal. We had not seen such a kick this season. Traylor stood with his heels against the end zone line as though to punt back, but ran with the ball. He barely got out, but Misere was caught pushing in the end zone which gave McKinley two points. * * * THE TWO POINTS seemed to pep up the Bulldogs because they took the following free kick on their 47 and in three plays had a touchdown, Albert tossing to Kenny Young for 49 yards and the score.
It was actually the only Bulldog threat. Canton never got over the 50-yard line the first quarter; got no closer than the 42 the second, and otherwise made its deepest penetration to the third when it marched to a first down on the 32 only to lose the ball on John Climo’s pass interception on the 14-yard line.
In addition to their touchdown bid the Bulldogs twice barely got over the 50-yard line in the fourth quarter, reaching the 42 both times.
The Tigers, on the other hand were dangerous every time they had the ball. Two 15-yard penalties for clipping and a couple of intercepted passes probably kept them from scoring two or three more.
In fact an intercepted pass stopped the initial march that might have gone for a score. This break however, was offset by Sam Williams, covering a Canton fumble on the seven and one-half yard line on the series of plays that followed. * * * WINNING the toss the Tigers elected to receive.
Traylor brought the kickoff back to the 26 and on the first play Nussbaum whirled around left end and went 40 yards to the Canton 34 where he was knocked out of bounds. Three plays gained but six yards and Misere’s fourth down pass was intercepted by Bob Washburn on the Canton 14.
The Bulldogs gained but a yard on two plays and Washburn fumbled on third down; Williams covering on the seven and one-half. The Bulldogs yielded ground stubbornly. Nussbaum carried twice and gained but three yards. Traylor on third down put the ball a foot short of the goal with a terrific lunge and Nussbaum took it over. Four minutes and 42 seconds of the period had expired. Tom Boone kicked the extra point, 7-0. * * * THE TIGERS stopped the Bulldogs on the 31 on the next series of plays forcing them to punt. Traylor made a brilliant 33-yard return to his 45. On second d own Misere tossed to Francisco for 29 yards and a first down on the 23 but the Tigers were penalized 15 for clipping, bringing the ball back to the McKinley 49. (The movies showed no violation). Francisco, Traylor and Nussbaum took turns at lugging the leather to the 20 where Misere was tossed for a 12-yard loss when he couldn’t find a receiver to pass to. That set the stage for one of the prettiest plays of the game, a deep reverse that saw Traylor come around his right end behind superb blocking for 32 yards and a touchdown. Boone’s kick was good. 14-0.
The Tigers were two-thirds of the way through the second period before they scored again. A 15-yard penalty for illegal use of the hands tied them up the first time they had the ball, forcing them to punt. They marched to a touchdown the next time, after getting the leather when Grimsley punted and out on the Massillon 31. Nussbaum put together runs of 16 and 24 yards in the drive that went to the four where the big fullback rammed it over. Boone kicked the extra point. 21-0.
The Tigers were on their way again in the period when Goodrich ended the threat by intercepting Misere’s pass on the Canton 38.
The locals scored the first time they got the ball in the third period but it took a lot of hard football to get it. Climo got the leather by intercepting Albert’s pass on the 14. A 13-yard pass, Misere to Bob Khoenle picked up a first down and the Bulldgos had a 15-yard penalty slapped on them for unnecessary roughness. Misere hurled a sweep pass to Tasseff good for 44 yards and a touchdown that went for naught because of the Tigers’ “illegal procedure”. Some hard running by Nussbaum and Tasseff and Misere’s 23-yard pitch to Khoenle put the ball on the four. On fourth down Misere bucked through center for the last foot and the fourth touchdown of the game. Again Boone kicked the extra point. 28-0 * * * A 15-YARD penalty wiped out a first down on the Bulldog 30 late in the third quarter, forcing the Tigers to punt. Next time they got the ball which was early in the fourth period, they drove for their fifth touchdown. It started from the Canton 44. With Nussbaum dong most of the lugging, including a 24-yard effort, the Tigers moved the leather to the 31 and set the stage for Tasseff’s fine touchdown sprint. Boone missed his try for point. 34-0
Canton came back to score the safety and the touchdown already recorded here.
Boone’s interception of Albert’s pass and a runback of 16 yards put the ball on the Canton 14 and in position for the final points of the game. Francisco and Traylor took it to the three and Traylor went through the left side for the touchdown. Boone kicked the extra point. 41-8.
Points after touchdown: Massillon – Boone 4 (placekicks).
Safety – McKinley
Referee – Tobin. Umpire – Rupp. Head Linesman – Schill. Field Judge – Sebastian.
Statistics Mass. McK First downs 22 7 Passes attempted 12 24 Passes completed 4 10 Had passes intercepted 3 2 Yards gained passing 65 121 Yards gained rushing 390 70 Total yards gained 455 191 Yards lost 29 21 Net yards gained 427 170 Times kicked off 8 2 Average kickoff (yards) 38 51 Yards kickoffs returned by 35 128 Times punted 2 6 Average punt (yards) 38 34 Yards punts returned by 35 20 Times fumbled 2 5 Lost ball on fumbles 0 3 Times penalized 6 7 Yards penalized 70 54
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS MASSILLON Player Times Carried Gained Lost Nussbaum 21 181 0 Traylor 6 93 4 Francisco 9 54 0 Misere 5 1 24 Tasseff 4 40 0 Stewart 3 21 0 TOTALS 58 390 28
CANTON Goodrich 8 11 7 Good 5 18 2 Washburn 1 0 8 Albert 5 21 0 Grimsley 4 11 4 Burke 2 9 0 TOTALS 25 70 21
Tigers Defeat Canton McKinley 40-0 Local Gridders Roll Up Biggest Score In Their Many Years Of Rivalry
By LUTHER EMERY
The dye has been cast.
The ballots will be counted tonight, and Tuesday we will know who will be recognized as the Associated Press state high school football champion for 1951.
The Washington high school Tigers wound up their campaign for the title Saturday afternoon with a convincing 40-0 victory over a hard-hitting young Canton McKinley team which had to be beaten down before it would yield multiple touchdowns to the Tiger crew.
In so doing, the Tiger team: Won its ninth victory in 10 games this season
Rolled up the highest total made against a Canton McKinley team in the 56-game series which started back in 1894.
Gave Massillon a 26-25 edge in the series, the first time the Tigers have held the upper hand in games played with the Bulldogs. Five ended in tie scores.
The victory was Coach Chuck Mather’s fourth in a row over McKinley and left him with the fine record of 37 victories in the 40 games played by the local team since he took over the coaching chores here in 1948. His 1950 team was undefeated. His 1948 and 1949 teams dropped one game the same as this year’s team. Oddly enough all three losses were to fellow members of the Ohio Scholastic conference. The Tigers finished the season tied with Warren for the conference championship.
Whether the Tigers are recognized in the AP poll as champions, as they have been the last three years, will depend on the results of the balloting of sports writers and radio commentators.
The local team led the poll all year until last week when Steubenville, largely on the basis of having beaten Warren, the team that defeated Massillon, was voted into first place, three slim points ahead of the Tigers who dropped to second after squeaking through with a 6-0 victory over hitherto undefeated Barberton. * * * SPRINGFIELD, the No. 3 team last week and Hamilton the No. 4 team both finished their seasons with nine victories and a loss each. Springfield barely getting by Mansfield 7-0 Friday evening and Hamilton winning a close decision from Middletown 14-6 Saturday. Steubenville defeated Weirton, W. Va., an out-of-state foe, 41-0, Friday evening. Those who had worried that McKinley’s new found spirit last week might inspire it to unprecedented heights, capable of scoring an upset, had their fears allayed early in Saturday’s game when it became apparent to everyone of the some 16,000 fans present that the Tigers had too much power for the lighter Bulldogs.
There was no denying the McKinley spirit had its effect, for Canton fans who have followed the Bulldogs all year said they never saw their team hit as hard or as full of pep as it was Saturday afternoon. It was still fighting at the end of the game, when it made its best offensive efforts of the day by twice moving inside the Tiger five-yard line. The Massillon gridders stopped them the first time, and had held them on two plays on the one-yard line the second when the gun ended hostilities for the day. * * * THIS DISPLAY of grit, coupled with the enthusiasm generated by students for a team that had previously won but two games out of nine, was a credit to McKinley high.
The Tigers had too much of everything for the Bulldogs as reflected in the statistics as well as the score.
The locals made 18 first downs to the Bulldogs’ five, and scored 476 net yards from scrimmage to McKinley’s 92. Only in passing were the locals stymied. They completed but one toss in 12 attempts while McKinley completed one in three.
Better receiving would have helped the Tiger pass offense, but on the other hand had the team stuck to the ground, it might have scored more touchdowns, for in every series in which the Tigers lost the ball, an incompleted pass or penalty appears.
Even so, the Massillon gridders might easily have won by two more touchdowns in addition to the points scored. They lost one when a pass was dropped in the end zone with no McKinley player in sight and another when a fine 32-yard punt return for a touchdown by John Traylor was nullified by a clipping penalty. * * * THE TIGERS scored the first time they came in possession of the ball. Bob Grier, going over from 10 yards out after a drive of 72 yards.
The half was within two plays of completion before they could score again. Grier running 34 yards to the 11 from which point Henry Grooms, went over for the score.
That started a string of five consecutive touchdowns which would have been stretched to six had not clipping been called on a T.D. punt return.
The Massillon offense really rolled in the third period when the locals looked like the steamrollers of old as they scored the first three times they came into possession of the ball; Grooms running 44 yards for one; Grier going 11 for another; and Tom Straughn 16 for the third.
Then came the fourth quarter and the Tigers continued their onslaught again scoring when they got the leather, Bobby Joe Johnson running 37 yards on the slickest dash of the day. * * * THE LOCAL team would have made it five T.D.’s in a row had clipping not been called on John Climo on Traylor’s punt return. The 15-yard penalty followed by Willard Grimsley’s pass interception got the Tigers into a hole form which they were unable to crawl out the rest of the game. Grimsley got clear back to the Massillon 21 before he was tackled and the Bulldogs successfully used a reverse to get a first down on the eight. A five-yard penalty on Massillon for delay of the game gave McKinley a first down on the three but it couldn’t penetrate pay dirt in four downs and surrendered the ball.
The Tigers got partially off the spot but lost the ball on their own 29 when they decided to complete the game without punting and failed to make three yards on fourth down.
The Bulldogs tried another reverse. Got as far as first down on the one-yard line, ran two plays, couldn’t get over and then the gun sounded.
The two goal line stands were shades of the goal-line defenses thrown up against Barberton the previous week when the Tigers successfully protected a 6-0 lead.
Coach Mather did not spare the horses for his final game of the season. He gave 35 players a taste of competition including 22 seniors who were wearing the orange and black of Massillon for the last time. * * * WHILE the gridiron was in better condition than most folks had expected to find it, the footing was slippery and there were many soft spots. Tiger players wore their long spikes which reduced slipping but also cut down on a gridder’s speed. The last period was played in a snow flurry so intensive that at times the players were barely visible from the press box.
We thought the officials had pulled a boner in the fourth quarter and had given McKinley five downs instead of four. However, after talking with them after the game we found the boner was on Chuck Vliet, Tiger co-captain, who took a five-yard penalty in preference to a down after a Bulldog had been thrown for a five-yard loss. In the heat of the game Chuck became a bit confused. The referee did not step off the five yards since the penalty would have placed the ball exactly where the McKinley player had been tackled. As a result everyone was confused – PA announcer included.
There was no particular celebration in the Tiger dressing room after the game. The boys appeared more concerned as to whether the score would get them any more votes in the football poll, but Coach Chuck Mather was quick to tell them that regardless of how the poll went, he personally considered them the top team in Ohio. * * * CANTON’S HOPES were given a shot in the arm at the very start of the game when Goodrich returned Grooms; opening kickoff 38 yards to his 47 before he was brought down to earth.
McKinley might have driven to a first down on its first series had an offside penalty not set the Bulldogs back and forced them to punt the ball rolling dead on the Tiger 28.
The Massillon team immediately launched its first touchdown drive. Grooms carried on the first three plays and hit for two first downs on the 39 and 50. Grier hit for six and Grooms overcame a five-yard penalty to carry the ball to a first down on the Canton 39. The Tigers’ only completed pass, Paul Francisco to Dave Gable, advanced the ball another 18 to the 21. Grier and Straughn hit for a first on the 10 and Grier ripped through right tackle for the last 10 yards. Grooms kicked the extra point and it was 7-0. * * * THE NEXT TIME the Tigers got the ball they moved from their own 44 to the six but a clipping penalty set them back 15.
They would have made it up had Bruce Brenner, playing with a sprained ankle, been able to hold Francisco’s pass in the end zone. The ball hit him on the chest and bounced off and the Tigers forfeited on downs. To spectators it looked like an easy catch, but old football players will tell you it is one of the most difficult.
Willie Keen got the locals the ball shortly thereafter when he covered a McKinley fumble on the Bulldog 40. The Tiger wasted two downs on incomplete passes in this series and lost the ball on downs.
A five-yard penalty stopped the Tigers on their next attempt and again they forfeited the ball on downs to McKinley. They forced the Bulldogs to punt, blocked it and got the ball on the Canton 37. Again a five-yard penalty helped stop the locals causing them to lose the ball on downs. * * * THE SECOND period was practically over before they could get the leather again, and lost no time going the distance. They started from their 44, as Grier on first down ran to the McKinley 11, and Grooms negotiated the rest of the distance through left tackle. McKinley only had time to run one play after the kickoff.
The Bulldogs kicked to the Tigers to start the second half, Vliet being downed with the ball on his 32. Grooms rolled to his 45, Straughn carried twice for gains of two and four yards and Grier made it another first down on the Canton 44. Grooms broke through the line for a 44-yard run for the touchdown.
Holding Canton after the kickoff, Traylor was downed with Ramsayer’s punt without return. Grooms went around his left end for 26 yards and a first on the Canton 36. Straughn hit for three and Grooms for six before Grier wheeled his way through for 16 and a first down on the Bulldog 11. He went around right end on the next play for six points. Grooms missed his first kick of the game after the touchdown but the Bulldogs were offside and he made good on the second chance.
A 15-yard penalty on McKinley for roughing on the try for point, put the Bulldogs in the hole on the following kickoff and they only got out to the 10. Traylor returned Ramsayer’s punt nine yards to the Bulldog 42 and the Tigers were in motion again. Straughn hit for six, Grier for four and a first down on the 32. It was Grooms for three and one, Grier four and Grooms a first down on the 17. Grier made a yard, and Straughn the last 16 on a pretty run.
Joe Sapia gave the Tigers their next scoring opportunity when he hopped on a Canton fumble on the Bulldog 39 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Bob Johnson and Francisco moved the ball up seven yards but it came back to the 37 on a five-yard penalty which nullified a first down by Grooms. Bobby Joe cut loose, however, dashed through a hole, wheeled to the left and outraced everyone for the touchdown which proved to be the Tigers’ last.
The local team came out of the game in good condition with the exception of Dave Gable, who sustained a shoulder separation early in the contest. He was treated at the Massillon city hospital.
Touchdowns: Massillon – Grooms 2; Grier 2; Straughn; Bob Johnson.
Points after touchdown: Massillon – Grooms 4 (placekicks).
Officials Referee – Rupp. Umpire – Tobin. Field Judge – Smith
STATISTICS Mass. Canton First downs 18 5 Passes attempted 12 3 Passes completed 1 1 Had passes intercepted 1 0 Yards gained passing 18 3 Yards gained rushing 461 129 Total yards gained 479 132 Yards lost 3 40 Net yards gained 476 92 Times kicked off 7 1 Average kickoff (yards) 42 30 Yards kickoffs returned by 2 98 Times punted 0 8 Had punts blocked 0 1 Average punt (yards) 0 25 Yards punts returned by 18 0 Times fumbled 2 3 Lost ball on fumbles 0 2 Times penalized 7 3 Yards penalized 55 21
Individual Massillon Player Times Yards Yards Net Carried Gained Lost Gained Paul Francisco 1 3 0 3 Bob Grier 19 111 3 108 Tom Straughn 12 65 0 65 Henry Grooms 20 215 0 215 Lee Nussbaum 4 26 0 26 Bob Johnson 2 41 0 41
Individual McKinley George Ramsayer 2 0 15 -15 John Goodrich 12 60 0 60 Otis Howard 12 40 23 17 Pat Burke 12 29 2 27
Fighting Warren Team Defeats Tigers 19-13 20-Game Victory Streak Snapped By Panthers In Battle Before 12,000
By LUTHER EMERY
The invincible Washington high school football team is no longer invincible.
The Tigers, winners of 20 consecutive games were defeated 19-13 by a deserving Warren team Friday evening before a crowd of 12,000 fans who packed every inch of Warren stadium.
All good things come to an end and so did the Tigers’ long victory streak which began back in the middle of 1949 when Mansfield upset the local team in Tiger stadium.
There was nothing lucky about the Warren victory. As Coach Chuck Mather said after the game, “We were beaten by a team tonight that plays better ball than we did.” * * * THE STATISTICS of the game bear out the statement for Warren gained more first downs, made more yardage on the ground and in the air, out-punted and out-kicked the Tigers.
The Panthers were high for the game. Rattling with an eagerness that sensed victory the longer the game progressed, they played a hard game. They were good enough to convert three breaks that came their way into touchdowns and were strong enough offensively to hold the ball a goodly portion of the game.
When you can’t get the ball, you can’t score touchdowns – and that was the Tigers ‘chief difficulty.
The Warren running attack built around Fullback Dave Rogers, the hardest running leather lugger the Tigers have faced this season rolled up 303 yards on the local team to retain possession of the pigskin for long periods at a time. Considering this fact and that of the Tigers losing the ball four times on fumbles and again on an intercepted pass, you can well understand how the locals had a hard time getting anywhere with the ball. In fact they ran but four-plays from scrimmage the first quarter; lost the ball on a fumble on one and had a pass intercepted on another. * * * THE TIGERS found it difficult to cope with the Warren offense, and all types of defenses were used in a vain effort to check the Panthers. Warren scored first on a forward pass, after the Tigers had given it the ball on a fumble. Then the Panthers intercepted a Massillon pass, and staged a drive that consumed all of seven minutes in going the length of the field for a touchdown.
The Tigers proved themselves a great ball team in the second period when they marched to two touchdowns and tied the score at 13-13.
That took courage and there were signs of Warren fading when the locals ripped to a first down after taking the kickoff at the start of the second half. But the Panthers covered a Massillon fumble, on the second play from scrimmage and shoved over their third touchdown, which proved to be the winning points.
The Tigers made on great effort after that to tie the score and carried the ball to the four-yard line where with fourth down and a foot to go they tried an end run with Bobby Grier carrying the ball and were shoved out of bounds short of the required yardage. The chances of at least a tie or a possible victory went glimmering on that play.
An analysis of the Warren victory tends to show that the Panthers were better coordinated than the Tigers last night. Just when the locals seemed in the midst of an offensive maneuver they were set back with penalties, principally for offside, largely because of their own eagerness to win. Two clipping penalties and the rare calling of interference on the offensive team on a forward pass also helped to stymie the locals on two marches. * * * WARREN had its share of bad breaks too, losing the ball three times on fumbles and dropping a forward pass in the end zone at the end of the first half which would have been another touchdown.
Offensively, the game for the most part resolved itself into a duel between Rogers and Ace Grooms, Tiger back. Rogers had the better of the advantage in total yards, but Grooms’ the higher average per try. Rogers carried 27 times and gained 162 net yards while Grooms carried 18 times and gained 121 net yards.
The Warren ball toter was a hard runner who bulled his way through tacklers and rarely did one Massillon player bring him down. Usually it required two and three.
The Panthers scored quickly. They received the kickoff and got to the Massillon 45, where they lost the ball on downs. Ace Grooms, got a first down on the play but the Tigers were offside and were penalized. On the next play Grier fumbled and John Krafcik covered for Warren on the Tiger 37. Bill Reed and Rogers made it a first down on the 25 and Don Seem threw a touchdown pass to Roger Bryant. Only three minutes of the game had expired. Pesanelli’s foot made the score 7-0. * * * THE TIGERS took the kickoff and in two plays were on the Warren 41, but Reed intercepted Grooms’ long pass on the goal line and got back to the 33 before being downed.
The interception set Warren in motion again and Rogers was unstoppable as he tore off yard after yard. Once he ran 22 yards to the Tigers’ 20 but a five-yard penalty nullified the effort. He came right back to rip and plow, however, and soon was again digging his feet into pay dirt. The ball was driven to the seven-yard line where Rogers circled end for the touchdown. The attempt for the extra point was blocked and Warren led 13-0.
The Tigers proved themselves a great team after the following kickoff when they started from their 25 and drove the length of the field. They had to overcome two penalties en route. Once Grooms had a first down on his 35 but a penalty put the locals back on the 23. Grier made up for it by running to his 48. The Tigers moved on to a first down on the Warren 38 but another five-yard penalty sent them back over the middle of the field. Grooms and Grier took the leather to another first down on the Warren 41. From this point Paul Francisco fired a pretty pass to Bruce Brenner who took it over his shoulder while running hard and crossed the Warren goal. Grooms kicked the extra point and the Tigers trailed 13-7. * * * WARREN came right back with the kickoff and advanced the ball with Rogers again doing most of the lugging to the Massillon 39. Bob Kraus popped on a fumbled lateral from Seem to Rogers and gained the leather for the Tigers on the 35. Little Johnny Francisco was the hero of this march as he ran 19 yards to the 11, and then scored on a seven-yard run around his left end. Warren blocked Groom’s attempted placekick for the extra point and the score was tied at 13-13.
On one of the rare occasions, the Tigers stopped Warren after the kickoff and forced the Panthers to punt. Bob Khoenle fumbled the ball when he was tackled just as he caught the pigskin and Warren recovered with 45 seconds of the half remaining. Seem hurled a pretty fourth down pass to Rogers who had the ball first on his finger tips then lunged at it again as it rolled off, and barely missed catching the leather in the end zone.
Press box chatter between halves was to the effect that if Massillon could march the kickoff at the start of the third period to a touchdown, it would win the game. Grooms got back with the ball to the 25 where he was tackled viciously. He plunged for seven and Grier had what would have been a first down save for a fumble that Warren covered on the 35. Rogers in two plays was on the Tiger 15. Here a five-yard penalty on Massillon for delay of the game put the ball on the 10-yard line first down and five to go. Rogers went to the three on the first play, and circled left end untouched for the touchdown on the next. The Tigers blocked the kick – and few thought the 19-13 score would stand up the rest of the way.
But it did. The Tigers got the kickoff and John Francisco was downed with it on his 17. Grooms made it 16 yards and a first on the 33, and picked up eight more on another sweep but a 15-yard penalty stopped the threat and the Tigers were forced to punt. Three plays later the Tigers had their big opportunity when they covered Seem’s fumble on the Warren 25. Grooms made six and John Francisco went to the 13. Grooms in three plays gained nine and one-half yards. It was fourth down on the four and Grier was sent around right end. Warren anticipated a right end sweep and got massed for the play driving Bobby out of bounds for a two-yard loss and took over the ball. * * * ROGERS carried out of the hole for Warren as play entered the fourth period with the ball on the Massillon 39. The Panthers got down to the 20 where on fourth down Grier knocked down a pass in the end zone intended for Bryant.
The Tigers carried all the way back to the 33, but a 15-yard clipping penalty set them back. Francisco then tried a long pass to Bruce Brenner but the official charged offensive interference claiming the Massillon receiver pushed the Warren defender, and as a result the locals drew another 15 yards, plus loss of the down. A five-yard penalty for delaying the game shoved the Tigers back another five, forcing Vliet by this time to punt.
He got off a good one to the nine-yard line. Warren got up to its own 28 where Seem fumbled and John Traylor covered to give the Tigers their last chance. John Francisco made a yard at left end. A pass into the end zone rolled off Brenner’s finger tips. Grooms was thrown for a loss on a right end sweep and a pass to Brenner on fourth down failed to gain enough yardage.
Warren had the game by this time. Rogers kept the Panthers in possession by ripping through the Tigers at will for first downs on the 38, the 47 and Massillon’s 35 and the game ended with the Panthers holding the pigskin.
While the loss was a disappointment, it did not necessarily knock the Tigers out of the state championship race, but it will scramble the voting, with the scribes the judges and plenty of them now getting in a lick for their favorite team in the Associated Press poll.
Warren has lost two games to Collinwood and Mansfield, and has an easy game with Erie Academy which hasn’t won a game, next week, before taking on Steubenville, one of the state’s best, in two weeks.
The triumph was Warren’s first over Massillon since 1947. The Tigers won the last three years.
22,000 See Tigers Smash McKinley Bulldogs 33-0 Massillon Gridders Win Third Consecutive Ohio Football Championship
By LUTHER EMERY
The ambitions of a coach and football team were realized in Tiger stadium Saturday afternoon as 22,000 fans saw the Washington high school Tigers beat down the challenge of Canton McKinley’s Bulldogs by the impressive score of 33-0 to win their third consecutive state championship and their first Ohio conference crown.
Today Coach Chuck Mather was in possession of his first untied and undefeated seasons in his coaching career and the Tigers were able to boast that they had defeated Canton McKinley by more points than any other Massillon team had been able to measure the Bulldogs in the 55 games that have been played between the two teams since they first met in 1894.
Then too, the Tigers can have the additional honor of being the team that caught up with Canton McKinley. The series is all even now, each school having won 25 games, while five resulted in tie scores. There was a bit of personal pride for the 20 senior members of the squad too – they closed their football careers by having played on three state championship teams.
Not many boys in Ohio have been able to make that kind of boast. In fact only in Massillon have boys played on championship teams during their three years in high school. No other school has been able to win three in a row but Washington high since the Associated Press originated its organized football poll. The Tigers won seven in a row from the season of 1935 through 1941.
While the Tigers will not be officially crowned champions until the Associated Press announces the final standings in its poll this week – there’s no doubt as to how it will turn out – and the Tigers should be a unanimous choice for the title. Anyone voting otherwise will be voting sentiment and not sense for the Massillon team has been on top in the pool from the very first week of the football season.
It is the only time in the history of the poll, according to Fritz Howell, the originator, that one team has held the top rung every week of balloting.
In winning the Ohio Scholastic conference crown the Tigers beat all other teams in the conference. * * * THE TIGERS were magnificent in victory – the Bulldogs game in defeat.
There was no question as to the local team’s superiority. It is shown not only in the score but throughout the statistics, and while the Tigers could easily have won by several more touchdowns (they lost the ball three times on fumbles inside the 20-yard line) there also were anxious moments, particularly early in the third quarter when McKinley moved the ball deep into Tiger territory, only to lose it on the 22 when Tom Zeller pounced on Sam Parks’ fumble. It was one of two times the red and black were able to penetrate the danger zone.
The other was in the final period when Lou Mariano uncorked the most brilliant run of the game as he traveled some 100 yards in moving forward 41, ran out of steam and out of bounds on the Tigers 29.
Bill Stoner ended that threat on the next play when he made a brilliant interception of George Ramsayer’s pass on the 18. These two maneuvers accounted for 83 yards of Canton’s 165 net yardage.
The Tigers on the other hand rolled up 432 net yards, all but 54 through rushing. The 54 were made by the completion of two of 11 forward passes. McKinley made all but four of its yards by rushing, completing only one of nine passes for four yards. First downs were 14 to 7 in Massillon’s favor. * * * THE GAME ran true to form, and Canton’s hopes of overcoming Massillon power with spirit failed. The Bulldogs though still fighting as the game ended, were as badly a beaten team as ever limped off the field in a Massillon-Canton engagement.
With many of them called upon to play defensive and offensive football in contrast to the two-platoon system used by the Tigers, hardly a play was run off the last seven minutes without time being taken out for one or more exhausted McKinley players. Two of them, Ronald Wilds, who played a great game and who was virtually walking on his knees throughout the second half, and Chuck Gelal were taken to Mercy hospital Canton after the game for observation but were found not to be seriously hurt.
It was Wilds who caused the Tigers most of their trouble. They never knew where he would be – over the center or off to the side and as a result were unable to trap him successfully. Because of his wandering tactics he messed up many a Tiger play. After the game Coach Chuck Mather paid him the tribute of being among the best linemen the Tigers have faced all season. * * * THE LOCAL gridders escaped without a serious injury – in fact they haven’t had one all season – and it was their gratitude for this, that before they began celebrating the fruits of victory, they locked themselves in their squad room and before Coach Mather or assistants knew what was going on, were on their knees with one of their number, Ray Lane, leading them in a prayer of Thanksgiving. Voluntary, unrehearsed and coming from the heart, it goes down as a red letter page in their championship history.
You can name your own individual starts. We’ll take both platoons as our champions and not single out anyone for special honors. Fred Waikem, Bob Howe, Lane and Ernie Russell made the touchdowns. Waikem two of them, but without the assistance of the big Tiger line, the blocking of their teammates and the ability of the defensive platoon to throw back McKinley’s challenge to gain ground, the glories of victory might not have been attained.
Every player made his contribution to seeing that the Tigers won the title. Tom Zeller flopped on a couple of Canton fumbles at the right time, Stoner and Bob Khoenle pulled down Bulldog passes to regain the ball for the Tigers, Jerry Krisher booted three points from placement after touchdown, Wilfred Brenner caught one pass and Russell another with Fred Close doing the pitching as well as handling the ball like a magician from his T-quarterback position. Frank Gibson, Glenn Tunning, Jim Reichenbach, Jim Schumacher and Cliff Streeter beat down the McKinley line time and again to open touchdown avenues for the ball carriers, and always there was that fine defensive line of Allen Murray, Jim Geiser, Rudy Grunder, Dick Woolbert, Tom Zeller, and Jack Strobel to smash the charge of the Bulldogs so that the line backers Chuck Vliet, Joe Gleason and Lane could lower the boom with head-on tackles. There are three line backers Coach Mather and Elwood Kammer, his secretary of defense, wouldn’t trade for any other three boys in the state. * * * THE BRUNT of the ball carrying was shared by Howe, Russell and Waikem. Big Bob lugged it 21 times for a net of 126 yards, while Russell and Waikem each had it 13 times for net gains of 139 and 100 yards respectively.
Mariano’s long run of 41 yards gave him the edge over parks in the ball carrying department for the Bulldogs. Each carried 17 times, Mariano gaining 83 net yards and Parks 45. Leuby Popoff plunged for 33 in six carries.
Seldom has a Massillon-Canton game been played under a more favorable setting. Sunshine and a temperature that was not too cold made it pleasant for both fans and teams.
Only a strong breeze interfered with the game, passers having difficulty throwing against it and receivers misjudging the carry of the ball as it rode the wind right out of reach of their outstretched arms. * * * THE TIGERS had set as their point objective – to beat McKinley by a greater score than any other Massillon team. They succeeded by a point but failed by two points from reaching the greatest point difference of 35, set by the Canton McKinley team of 1942 which shellacked the Tigers 35-0.
The Massillon team the following year, 1943 was undefeated and untied and this season is the first perfect one since that time. The 1945 eleven was undefeated, but was tied five times.
Ever since he began coaching at Brilliant in 1937, Chuck Mather has never had a perfect season. He has been undefeated on several occasions but always there was a tie to spoil the mark of perfection. He wound up with a perfect record at Leetonia one year, but stuck his neck out in a post-season game with Salem which ended in a tie. * * * THE TIGERS had hoped to score a touchdown the first time they got the ball against the Bulldogs but failed to do so and had to await a second chance. Then they marched 68 yards for the marker and crossed the Bulldog goal after seven minutes and 36 seconds of the first period had expired.
They score again in the second quarter after Zeller covered a Canton fumble on the Bulldog 39, and wound up the game in grand fashion by pushing over three T.D.’s in the final period on drives of 42 yards, 47 yards and 71 yards.
Seldom have seen a ballgame in which the ball was lost so many times on fumbles. The Tigers fumbled four times and lost the ball on three of them, while Canton lost the ball on all of its five fumbles. In other words one of nine fumbles made by the two teams was recovered and that by Massillon. * * * UNFORTUNATELY the game got a bit rough in the last period which resulted in two players being ejected by the officials. Had the officials asserted their authority earlier they might have prevented some of the punches that preceded the expulsion.
The hardest any ball carrier hit a player here this season occurred late in the game when Bob Howe ran over Mariano. The latter gamely picked himself off the ground shaken but uninjured.
The Tigers lost the toss and McKinley elected to receive. The Bulldogs gained nine yards and advanced the ball to the 28 in three attempts from which spot Ramsayer punted to Stoner who caught the ball on the 50 but was dropped in his tracks. Waikem went for two yards and Howe 11 for a first down on the 37. McKinley drew an offside penalty, putting the ball on the 32. Russell added a yard. Two passes went for naught and Howe stumbled and lost a yard.
Canton took over the ball on its 32, Mariano and Parks gained eight yards on three attempts and Stoner returned Ramsayer’s punt two yards to his 32. The Tigers broke Howe loose for a 45-yard run. Out in the clear, he was caught in a diving, desperation tackle by Parks who managed to snag one heel, enough to throw Howe off balance on the 23. Howe went for six more to move the ball to the 17. Close picked up a Tiger fumble, eluded two Bulldog tacklers, then sped around left end for a first down on the seven. Howe put it on the three and Waikem went the last three on a quick opener. Krisher’s attempted kick was wide of the uprights and the Tigers led 6-0. * * * NEITHER TEAM was able to gain an appreciable amount of ground in the remainder of the first period and in the first half of the second quarter until Zeller pounced on Parks’ fumble on the Bulldog 39. Howe and Russell gained but three yards in two attempts and the Tigers drew a five-yard penalty after Waikem had gone for what would have been a first down. He struck right back, however and in two plays took the leather to the 27. Close was tossed for a loss of three but Waikem was running hard and picked up 13 for a first down on the 17. He went for another eight to the nine and Howe exploded through his left guard from that point for the touchdown to give the Tigers a 13-0 lead.
The Tigers made two more bids for touchdowns in the same period. After Khoenle had gotten the ball for the Tigers by intercepting a McKinley pass, Waikem missed a first down by inches on the 19 and Canton took over.
The longest pass of the game, a 45-yard peg to Russell produced a first down on the 16 but Waikem fumbled on third down and the Bulldogs covered the ball on their 14 to end the threat.
The Tigers received at the start of the second half and got seven yards over the midfield stripe before stopped by Canton which forced Reichenbach to punt. He got off a good kick but it bounced back 15 yards to the McKinley 34.
The McKinley offense, which gained but one first down the first half, flashed for the first time during the afternoon and the Canton stands had good reason to shout with joy. It was Mariano for 11 yards, Parks for 12, Mariano and Parks for a first down on the Tiger 29. Mariano for four more and then a fumble by Parks that the Tigers covered on their own 22. The fumble was one of many bad breaks received by the Bulldogs throughout the day. It stopped what looked like a sure touchdown drive. * * * THE TEAMS took turns punting and fumbling the rest of the period. Zeller covered one Canton fumble on the Bulldog 22, but the Tigers obliged when Howe fumbled on the 13 and Canton covered. On the next to the last play of the quarter Stoner covered Parks’ fumble on the Canton 42. Howe reeled off 13 yards to end the period and set the Tigers in forward motion.
Waikem ran for 12 more and a first on the 17 but the drive petered out when Wilds bounded in to cause Close to fumble a hand off, Gelal covering for McKinley. Stopped with a net gain of three yards on as many plays, Ramsayer punted poorly to the Tiger 29. On the first play Russell went through left tackle for a touchdown and Krisher’s extra point made the score 20-0.
The Tigers fourth touchdown came soon after Mariano’s brilliant 41-yard run to the Massillon 29. Almost every Tiger player got a hand on him it seemed, some of them taking two shots at him as he headed for the west sidelines then reversed his field and shook off tacklers until he went out of bounds.
On the next play Ramsayer fired a long pass that Bill Stoner knocked down with one hand and grabbed with the other on the 18. It was mostly Waikem the rest of the way down the field. He ran 27 yards to his 45, and after Russell had moved it over the midfield stripe, too off on a 47-yard jaunt to the Promised Land.
The final touchdown came after Ramsayer had punted out on the Tiger 29. Close’s pass to Brenner gained nine yards and Waikem ambled for nine more. Howe went for four, Russell eight, and a 15-yard penalty inflicted on Canton for unnecessary roughness put the ball on the 26. Howe cut the distance by 19 yards on a jaunt around right end and lane went the last seven through the left side of the line.
Statistics Mass. Canton First downs 14 7 Passes attempted 11 9 Passes completed 2 1 Had passes intercepted 1 2 Yards gained passing 54 4 Yards gained rushing 414 181 Total yards gained 464 185 Yards lost 32 20 Net yards gained 432 165 Times punted 4 7 Average punt (yards) 22 28 Yards punts returned by 44 8 Times kicked off 6 1 Average kickoff (yards) 44 35 Yards kickoffs returned by 12 66 Times fumbled 4 5 Lost ball on fumbles 3 5 Times penalized 4 3 Yards penalized 40 25
16,175 See Tigers Beat Steubenville 35-12 Big Red Becomes First Eleven To Cross Goal Line Of Massillon Team
By LUTHER EMERY
Washington high school’s goal line is no longer uncrossed. The Big Red wave from down Ohio River way, rolled over the Massillon zero stripe twice Friday evening but it wasn’t enough to keep the Tigers from chalking up their fourth straight victory by a score of 35-12 before 16,175 fans, largest crowd of the season.
Just as expected, the Tigers ran into tough competition in Steubenville which not only became the first team to cross the Massillon goal this season but which actually out-scored the local team 6-0 in the second period.
The Massillon gridders were not at their best. Usually when a team does not look up to form, the opposition is part of the reason, and such was partially the case last night.
Steubenville gave ground stubbornly during most of the game and first downs came the hard way though the Tigers had an 18-6 advantage in this department.
But with all the spirited play on the part of the Big Red, the local team did not appear sharp. Blocking was not up to par and players did not appear to be on the alert in throwing their bocks, they picked the wrong man to throw the leather at and permitted tacklers to slither through to mess up the maneuver.
“I wasn’t at all pleased with the performance of the boys,” Coach Chuck Mather said after the game. “I didn’t think our blocking was a sharp as it should have been and too many times one or more players got mixed on assignments and blocked out the wrong man.”
The showing of the Steubenville team was no surprise to Mather. He anticipated trouble, found it and his warnings that Perry Jeter, fleet Big Red halfback was dangerous at all times were verified in the third quarter when the speedster ran 74 yards for Steubenville’s second touchdown of the game. * * * HONORS for scoring the first touchdown against Massillon this season went to Clarence Lawson, sophomore halfback, who sparked the Big Red touchdown drive of 88 yards in the second period. He went over from the one-yard line, where the ball had been placed as a result of a five-yard penalty on Massillon.
The Big Red showed the Tigers more offense and defense than they had seen all season, though the locals had the edge in this portion of the statistics, gaining 349 net yards, (the least made by the Tigers in a game this season) against Steubenville’s 155 yards.
Perry Jeter and Lawson furnished most of the Big Red’s punch.
The Tigers didn’t have an individual ball carrying star. Bob Grier scored three of the locals’ touchdowns, one from 22 yards out and the others on two and one-yard plays.
The Tigers used a pressing defense that caused many in the stands to wonder why the Big Red did not pass when the Massillon secondary was so near the line of scrimmage. The answer was furnished in the later stages of the game when the Big Red did most of its passing, none coming close to the intended receiver.
The Tigers tried 10 passes and hit on three for 78 yards. Two others were dropped by their receivers. * * * FORTUNATELY the locals came out of the game from what appeared to be no serious injuries. “We are thankful for that,” said Mather in the dressing room after a quick check of all players.
Fans groaned when they saw big Cliff Streeter sprawled out on the turf but it only proved to be a severe leg cramp.
Thirty-three players were used in the game but many of them played only a few minutes. * * * THE FIRST period was seven minutes old when the Tigers chalked up the first of their five touchdowns. They lost the ball on a fumble on the kickoff but began rolling after an exchange of punts in which they got the ball on the Big Red 47-yard line. Freddie Close on first down hurled a fine 37-yard pass to Cliff Streeter who was nailed on the 10-yard line. Russell banged his way to the two and Bob Howe plunged it over for the score.
A poor punt after the following kickoff gave the locals the ball on the Big Red 40 and placed them in position to drive for another touchdown. Russell, running beautifully from a trap, went 24 yards to the 16. The Big Red dug in and was hard to move from there on. Grier banged for three, Russell four and Howe made it first down on the four. Howe hit again for two and Russell smacked center….. (NEXT LINES ARE UNREADABLE)
….ball most of the second period with its 88-yard touchdown drive. The Big Red got the ball through a punt on their own 12.
With Benny Bunch and Clarence Lawson doing the lugging, the visitors reeled off six first downs, principally on end runs to put the pigskin on the six-yard line. An off side penalty against Massillon advanced the leather to the one-yard line where Lawson went over for the first touchdown against the Tigers this year. Bunch’s attempted kick for the extra point was low. All of Steubenville’s first downs were packed into this one drive. Score: 14-6. * * * THE TIGERS took the kickoff and aided by two passes, Close to Streeter for 16 yards and Close to Bill Stoner for 25, had the ball on the 19-yard line when the half ended.
The first time the local team got the ball in he second half it scored. A Steubenville punt went out of bounds on the Massillon 36, Grier ripped off 29 yards for a first down on the visitors’ 35 and Russell narrowed the distance by 13 more yards. Grier went around end for 22 and the score. Score: 21-6.
Steubenville was forced to punt after the kickoff, Stoner being downed with the ball on a short return on his own 45. It took a lot of hard driving to get to the goal. * * * THE TIGERS rammed over their final touchdown with less than a minute left to play in the fourth quarter. The drive started from the Massillon 35 where the local team took the ball on downs. Howe got away for a 37-yard run that moved the pigskin to the Big Red 28. Steubenville was penalized five yards and Freddie Waikem raced to a first down on the 15. Lee Nussbaum picked up six and Howe placed the ball on the four. Ray Lane narrowed the distance to two yards and Grier went over for the final points of the game. Score: 35-12.
Jerry Krisher kicked all of Massillon’s extra points after touchdown, giving him a string of 13 without a miss. Unofficially it should be 14, since he had to kick one twice because of the Tigers being off side.
Today, 50 members of their teams and their dads were taken by the Tiger Booster club to Columbus to see the Ohio State-Pitt football game. They made the trip in private autos. A chicken dinner at Centerburg was on the schedule.
Points after touchdown: Massillon – Krisher 5 (placekicks).
Referee – Rupp. Umpire – Brubaker. Head Linesman – Grubbs. Field Judge – Jenkins.
Statistics Of The Game Mass. Steub. First downs 18 6 Passes attempted 10 8 Passes completed 3 0 Had passes intercepted 7 0 Yards gained passing 78 0 Yards gained rushing 288 192 Total yards gained 366 192 Yards lost 17 37 Net yards gained 340 155 Kickoffs 6 3 Average kickoff (yards) 43.6 33 Yards kickoffs returned by 22 101 Punts 3 8 Average punt (yards) 38.3 25.3 Yards punts returned by 9 15 Times fumbled 4 2 Lost ball on fumble 2 1 Times penalized 6 3 Yards penalized 40 13.5
15,000 See Tigers Defeat Canton Lincoln 46-0 Sharp Blocking Paves Way For Local Eleven’s Second Win Of Season
By LUTHER EMERY
The supremacy the Washington high Tigers have held over Canton Lincoln in football was maintained Friday evening in Fawcett stadium as the Massillon Bengals clawed their way to a 46-0 victory before 15,000 fans in what was probably the last game to be played between the two teams.
The Tigers have signed Cincinnati Elder in the Lincoln spot for the next two seasons and the Lions have intimated they are satisfied to drop gridiron relations for the time being after eight years of happy competition. The best the Lions could do in the eight years was hold the Tigers to a scoreless tie in 1945. The Massillon team won all of the other seven games.
The Tigers scored in every period last night to win their second game of the season in defense of the state championship they have held the past two seasons.
Touchdowns came somewhat harder, than they did against Akron Central beaten 49-0 in the opening game a week ago, but nevertheless Coach Chuck Mather found it possible to give 41 players an opportunity to get into the melee and three of the substitutes, Bob Grier, Bob Kkoenle and Chuck Vliet were able to score touchdowns against their Canton opponents. * * * THE MASSILLON gridders scored three times in the first quarter, once in each of the second and third periods and twice in the fourth. Lincoln never got near the Tiger goal.
The Cantonians put up a scrap, however as shown by the fact they forced the Tigers to punt four times, and both teams took quite a physical beating.
Players were limping out on nearly every play in the fourth quarter, with Lincoln suffering the most damage although the Tigers had a medical list that caused some worry to Coach Mather.
Bill Stoner, aggravated an old foot injury and Fred Waikem had a shoulder bumped. Big Jim Schumacher saw stars and retired to the bench with a headache from coming in contact with a Lion foot. None of the injuries sustained by either team, however, was considered serious. * * * THE TIGER offense was smoother last night than it was against Central and the ball was handled with stickier fingers. Quick opening plays and deep reverses proved to be the locals best weapons although two forward passes and one lateral were good for three touchdowns.
Principal ground gainers in the ball carrying department were Bob Howe, Ernie Russell, Ray Lane, Bob Grier and Lee Nussbaum. Waikem’s shoulder injury put him out of the game early so that he had little opportunity to show the Canton folks how he could run.
The Tiger ball carriers were accorded sharp blocking, lending additional backing to the statement of Coach Mather that this is one of the hittingest teams he has ever had.
The Tiger quarterbacks, Fred Close and Bob Khoenle likewise were given excellent protection on forward pass plays and had all the time in the world to pick out their receivers. They completed five of 16 attempts. The same could not be said however, for the protection accorded Capt. Jim Reichenbach on punting plays. He nearly had the ball blocked a couple of times. * * * THERE WERE vicious tackles too, but the one that brought the biggest ovation came at the end of the game when Clarence “Chug-Chug” Stewart tossed Vic Schoeppner, Lion ball carrying ace on the 10-yard line after a kickoff. The tackle may earn “Chug-Chug” a place on the eleven when the Tigers kickoff in the future. Built close to the ground, he can’t hit’em anywhere but low and that’s what it takes to stop a player when he has a chance to get up steam on a kickoff.
The Tigers had all the best of the statistics, making 15 first downs to Lincoln’s three and gaining the net total of 421 yards to Lincoln’s 57.
Despite the one-sided score, the Massillon eleven can still stand considerable brushing up and Coach Mather will proceed along these lines as he prepares for next week’s game here with Cathedral Latin which on a basis of performance thus far could prove to be a surprise package.
Lincoln proved its own worst enemy on many occasions last night when players failed to receive passes or muffed chances to intercept passes which all but knocked some of the players down. The Lions were jittery and in addition to the pass muffs they also gave the Tigers the ball three times on fumbles. With more glue on their fingers they could have made a much better game of it. * * * THE GAME was five minutes and five seconds old when the Tigers scored their first touchdown in a drive of 59 yards. With Bob Howe leading the attack the locals got to the Lincoln 42 where Howe tore loose and ran to the three-yard line before slipping out of bounds. Grier was stopped inches short but Close put it over on a quarterback sneak and Krisher kicked the extra point.
An intercepted pass by Russell who got back to the Lincoln 20, set the stage for the second score. Grier hit for six yards and Lane went the remaining 14. Krisher missed the extra point. A 58-yard march produced the third score with only seconds left in the quarter. A deep reverse with Grier carrying, gained a first down on the 16 from which Close hit Cliff Streeter with a perfect pass for the touchdown.
A 42-yard march late in the second period ended with the only touchdown of that quarter, another pass, Fred Close to Streeter for 25 yards, gaining the six points. Krisher added the seventh from placement and the half closed with the Tigers leading 26-0. * * * LINCOLN, which kicked-off at the start of the game also booted the ball at the start of the second half and the Tigers never gave it up until they got over the Lion goal. They started from their own 29, used three first downs getting down to the Lion 21, where Grier circled his right end for the touchdown. Krisher booted the 33rd point of the game.
The Tigers got another drive going in the same period but after marching 50 yards with the ball, forfeited on downs on the Lincoln 10.
The Lions fumbled on the first play of the fourth period and substitutes Tom Straughn and Joe Sapia got on the ball for Massillon, on the Lincoln 26-yard line. Another sophomore, Lee Nussbaum ran the leather to the 10 where Khoenle tossed a lateral to Chuck Vliet for the touchdown. Krisher again kicked the extra point to make the score 40-0. * * * DICK WOOLBERT covered a Lincoln fumble on the Lion 44 to start the seventh and final drive. With Nussbaum leading the drive the Tigers moved to the two where Khoenle bucked it over. Krisher missed the kick for the extra point and the score remained 46-0.
The game produced one freak play we have never seen before. After the Tigers’ fourth touchdown, Krisher, in kicking off for Massillon barely touched the ball in that it merely trickled from the tee and hardly moved a yard. A Tiger player immediately pounced on the leather, but having failed to move 10 yards, it was not a free ball and went to the opponents at the point where it was touched and made dead by the Tiger player.
Lincoln was eligible to cover the ball or pick it up and run like any ball kicked off. Had neither team touched the ball, the officials said they would have called for another kickoff. Prior to that Krisher had been getting off some terrific kicks.
Touchdowns: Massillon – Close; Lane 2; Streeter; Grier; Vliet; Khoenle.
Points after touchdown: Massillon – Krisher 4 (placekicks)
Referee – Lindsay. Umpire – Gross. Head Linesman – Jenkins. Field Judge – Russ.
Statistics Mass. Lincoln First downs 15 3 Passes attempted 16 13 Passes completed 5 2 Had passes intercepted 0 2 Yardsgained passing 68 9 Yards gained rushing 362 79 Total yards gained 430 88 Yards lost 9 31 Net yards gained 421 57 Times punted 4 5 Average punt (yards) 29.7 29.2 Yards punts returned by 12 18 Times kicked off 7 2 Average kickoff (yards) 41.8 30 Yards kickoffs returned by 10 85 Times fumbled 1 3 Lost ball on fumble 0 3 Times penalized 6 1 Yards penalized 50 5
44 Massillon Players Given Chance To Show In Opening Grid Game
By LUTHER EMERY
Chuck Mather could have named his score and made it Friday evening when the Washington high Tigers defeated Akron Central 49-0, but he chose to substitute freely and thus kept from doubling that figure.
Because of the liberal substitutions, 44 wearers of orange and black had an opportunity to perform before the nose counted crowd of 11,103 fans in the opening game of the 1950 scholastic season here.
A big, rugged line, faster than one would expect for its size, and enjoying a weighty advantage over its Rubber City opponent, blasted holes for the Tiger backs to romp through at will and with safety. * * * THE MASSILLON gridders smashed to three touchdowns the first period, and added two more the second quarter to lead 35-0 going into the second half. They grabbed two more T.D.’s in the first three minutes of the third quarter, and from there on in the parade to and from the bench was under way. One had a fairly good idea who was playing the first two periods but after that the changes came so rapid boys were in and out of the game before you awoke to the fact that they were even in uniform.
It is too early to say how good the 1950 edition of Tigertown is, and until a stronger team than Akron Central comes along, it will be hard to judge the potential strength of the eleven, but the squad showed sufficient last night to convince most fans that it will take a lot of football to upset the Bengals this season. * * * MATHER tried to brush off the score as “one of those things” but underneath his remarks one could discern that he was pretty well satisfied with the performance.
“We still need a lot of smoothing up,” he said, “But I liked the way some of the boys worked.” He said the game was considerably rougher than it appeared from the stands, and there were quite a few split lips and scratches when the boys hit the showers, and rinsed off the dirt and perspiration. There were no serious injuries however. Leg cramps caused the removal of two players, Ernie Russell and Bob Grier.
Mather used a partial double platoon system, keeping three of his offensive players in the lineup for defense, and sending eight substitutes in to make up the remainder of the team.
The game was uninteresting from a standpoint of a contest for there was no doubt from the opening gun but that the local team would make a run-away of the score.
Some sensational passing and running plays sparked the interest of fans. There was a surprising lateral from Fred Close to Bob Howe followed by the latter’s long pass to Cliff Streeter, good for 53 yards and the first touchdown. There was a 56-yard punt return by Bill Stoner for the second score and a 47-yard jaunt off the trap by Howe for the third set of points. There was a 22-yard run by Fred Waikem in which he threaded his way through a broken field for a touchdown, a 32-yard peg from Close to Streeter for another and a 50-yard run by Ray Lane for still another.
In fact all of the touchdowns came on plays from way out in the ball park with the exception of one which Waikem made from the nine-yard line.
The other points of the game were five scored after touchdowns, four of them by Jerry Krisher and one by Howe and a safety in the last five seconds which resulted from Central’s Lalo Biazeff being tossed behind his goal while attempting to punt.
The Tigers rolled up 499 yards from scrimmage, 345 by rushing and 154 by passing and registered 13 first downs to Central’s five. * * * THE VISITORS only once reached the 20-yard line, that in the fourth quarter when Tiger fourth stringers composed most of the local team’s line-up. The youngsters held for downs and then marched back to come within a yard of scoring a touchdown.
The work of Guards Glenn Tunning and Jim Reichenbach stood out for the Tigers offensively, while the play of Chuck Vliet, Jim Geiser and Joe Gleason was something to watch from a defensive point of view.
Jim Schumacher and Frank Gibson did well at the tackles as did Wilfred Brenner and Streeter on the ends.
Lee Nussbaum, sophomore fullback, had some trouble holding on the to ball, but this was a case of first night jitters, and his hard running when he did retain possession gave promise of a good future for him. * * * THE TIGERS headed for the oats bin the first time they got the ball, but their drive, which began from the 30 where they brought the kickoff, petered out on a fumble which Central recovered on its 18 to end the threat. This opening burst of offense, however, was sufficient to spell the doom of the visitors because the next time the Tigers got the pigskin, Howe on the first play passed to Streeter who grabbed the sphere and went over. It was a 53-yard gain.
Central was stopped after the following kickoff and when Blazeff punted, Stoner grabbed the ball on his own 46-yard line, headed to his right then suddenly reversed his field and went 56 yards to score. The Tigers’ third score of the opening period came after Blazeff’s punt rolled out of bounds on his 47-yard line. One the next play, Howe was fired through on a trap play for a touchdown. Krisher kicked the extra point after each of the first three touchdowns.
A blocked punt recovered by Paul Martin on the Central 15-yard line started the locals to another score early in the second period. Waikem twice crossed the Central goal, only to have the ball called back and the Tigers penalized for rule infractions. But he tried it again and the third time was legal. Howe booted the extra point to put the Tigers in front 28-0.
Central received the kickoff but on the first series Stoner intercepted Tom Barber’s pass and came back 24 yards before the visitors downed him on their 31. Waikem did a fancy bit of running for the last 22 yards and six points. A high pass from center on the try for the extra point was dropped but Krisher scooped up the ball and bulled his way over for the marker to bring the halftime count to 35-0. * * * THE THIRD PERIOD was hardly under way until the Tigers had another touchdown. Blazeff fumbled on the first play after the kickoff and Brenner got on the ball. Close immediately rifled it to Streeter who made a brilliant catch to score his second touchdown of the game. Krisher missed the uprights on his attempted kick for the extra point.
The Tigers scored the next time they came into possession of the leather. They got it on their own 38 and a 12-yard peg. Close to Streeter put the ball in midfield where Lane got loose for a touchdown gallop. Krisher again tried to run the ball over after a high pass from center but this time was thrown before he got to the goal.
Central made its only serious touchdown bid in the last period when it got the ball through a fumble on the Tiger 46. A 10-yard pass, Barber to Dick Ekstedt and a 10-yard run by Mike Shill put the ball on the 25. Three passes failed and on fourth down, Barber’s toss to Ekstedt failed to make the necessary yardage and the Tigers took over on their 20. They were dropped back to their 15 on a five-yard penalty for being off side but launched a march with Nussbaum, Grier, Tom Straugh and Bobby Jo Johnson carrying the ball that got them to the two-yard line where they lost it on downs. They got two points when Blazeff dropped back of his goal line to kick. He never did get the punt away as he was swarmed over by a flock of Tigers who chalked up a safety to hoist their score to 49 points. It was the last play of the game.
Points after touchdown: Massillon – Krisher four (3 placekicks, 1 carry); Howe 1, (placekick).
Safety: Massillon – Blazeff.
Referee – McPhee. Umpire – Peabody. Head Linesman – Calhoun. Field Judge – Lobach.
Statistics Mass. Akron First downs 13 5 Passes attempted 11 21 Passes completed 5 5 Had passes intercepted 0 3 Yards gained passing 154 61 Yards gained rushing 345 71 Total yards gained 409 132 Yards lost 25 33 Net yards gained 474 99 Times kicked off 8 1 Average kickoff (yards) 47.5 55 Yards kickoffs returned by 23 134 Times punted 1 8 Average punt (yards) 33 24.6 Yards punts returned by 56 17 Had punt blocked 0 1 Times penalized 7 6 Yards penalized 55 42 Times fumbled 7 3 Lost ball on fumbles 5 1
Tigers Blast Bulldogs 6- And Claim State Title Massillon Gridders Battle Big Canton Team To Standstill
By LUTHER EMERY
Massillon today hailed the Washington high school champions of Ohio as fans still recounted and praised the deed of the gallant orange and black team in its 6-0 victory over Canton McKinley at Fawcett stadium Saturday afternoon in what was one of the most bitter and hardest fought contests in the 55-year-old series.
Fifty-four games have been played since the schools first met in 1894 and the Tigers’ triumph Saturday whittled the McKinley advantage for the series to one game. Massillon has now won 24, Canton 25, while five ended in tie scores.
“Still champs!” were the words chanted by Tiger supporters as they milled around the stadium after the game and headed for Massillon in what seemed to be an endless horn blowing parade.
The defensive battle – a direct opposite of the offensive duel the teams were expected to wage – was marked by hard play from the opening kickoff until the final gun.
No one was certain of victory until the final gun sounded.
Tiger fans nervously watched the seconds, which seemed like hours, being ticked off by the clock, wondering if the Tigers could preserve the six-point lead they had gained in the third quarter. * * * CANTONIANS were under the same tension, only the clock seemed to be moving too fast for them as each second meant less time for their Bulldogs to catch up with the Tigers. The Bulldogs never did, and as hearts pounded like tom-toms in accompaniment to the heat of battle, the gun sounded, ending hostilities and signaling an outburst of enthusiasm such as only a traditional rivalry of this kind can develop.
Fans leaped the walls and made a race for players, hoisting them to their shoulders. Other members of the team grabbed Coach Chuck Mather and carried him out. The parade of victory had started and the locker room rang with enthusiasm as fans swarmed in to extend greetings.
The Tigers deserved all honors heaped upon them for they had just conquered a heavier opponent and had in the eyes of Massillonians and most sports writers present retained the state championship that was voted them after their 21-12 defeat of the Bulldogs in 1948. * * * EVERY MEMBER of the squad shared in the glory, but Irvin “Ace” Crable, was given the biggest pat on the back for having scored the only touchdown of the game and for having prevented a Canton McKinley touchdown with a hard driving tackle that caused Louis Mariano, the Bulldog ace, to fumble on the four-yard line where End Don Slicker promptly pounced on the ball for Massillon.
It was the Bulldogs’ only threat of the game, but would have meant a tie score or possibly a Canton victory had Crable not caught the hard running Canton halfback.
In scoring the only touchdown, Crable set some sort of a record for himself for he was the only Tiger to cross the goal line a year ago. He scored all three of Massillon’s touchdowns in the 1948 finale.
Congratulated after the game “Ace” modestly replied, “I couldn’t have done it without the help of the other 10 guys.”
The touchdown came like a bolt out of the blue. Somehow or other Massillon fans felt that sooner or later one of their backs would break through – they had come close so many times, with just a tick by one Canton player stopping what would have been long touchdown runs. But the hopeful fans feared for the worst for there seemed to be one Bulldog always left to get the ball carrier when a runner was on the loose. * * * THE PAYOFF came on the 35-yard line with fourth down coming up and three yards needed for a first down. The play was called by Quarterback Don James as the Tigers elected to carry the ball instead of punt. It was handed off to Crable who shot through his left tackle and streaked for the north sideline. Don Slicker threw the key block on Don Killins of McKinley and not a hand was laid on Crable as he raced for pay dirt with the roar of 23,000 fans ringing in his ears.
Then came the try for the extra point. It was won and lost Canton games on occasions in past years and older Massillon fans, remembering these one point decisions, were apprehensive when the wind blew Jerry Krisher’s boot wide of the cross bars. It was a good kick. The ball had started out all right but insufficient allowance had been made for the strong gale.
It was only the middle of the third quarter and few folks had expected the six points to stand, but they got bigger and bigger as the game grew older and stood imposingly on the score board as the second hand completed its last circuit.
The Bulldogs, in fact, never made a serious threat to tie the score. Only once did they get over the 50-yard line, thereafter a fourth period effort moving the ball to the 38 where the Tigers braced, threw them backward and forced them to punt with six and one-half minutes remaining to be played. * * * THOSE LAST six and one-half minutes were the ones that seemed like time eternal.
The Tigers took Palumbo’s short punt on their 27 and marched the ball up the field with Don James tossing to Don Slicker for a first down on his 38 and Jacobs fumbling forward and recovering for another first down on his 49. The Tigers charged forth to what would have been another first only Gene Laps was charged with holding and a 15-yard penalty set them backward. Even so Crable nearly got away on a fake kick, the last man again getting him. Jacobs, with a minute and 50 seconds of the game left, was forced to punt. Rogers returned the ball 10 yards to his 25. The Bulldogs moved forward to a first down on their 41, smartly running the ball out of bounds each time to stop the clock.
They had a minute left now. Quarterback John Rogers tried a pass to Killins that Slicker knocked down. Fifty-five seconds remained. The Canton quarterback tossed a screen pass to End Elijah Lipkins that gained three yards and he ran out of bounds to stop the clock with 34 seconds left to play. Rogers threw another pass that Joe Gleason knocked down and the clock showed 30 seconds to play and fourth down coming up.
In another desperation pass, Rogers tried to hit Killins again, but Slicker tipped the ball and Jacobs cutting over, caught it and brought it to midfield. It was all over for McKinley for only 15 seconds were left, and James following out the orders of Coach Mather took the pass from center, held it and kept backing up until the gun sounded, ending the game. * * * WHEN THE FIRING was over, the Tigers, much to the surprise of fans, were the stronger team. Canton, heavier and deeper in reserve strength was expected to wear down the Tiger Massillon team, but the Bulldogs were getting up slower than the local boys after fourth period scrimmages, with one or two being injured on almost every play.
None was seriously hurt, however. In fact, Jim Reichenbach, Tiger guard, possibly received the hardest blow of anyone, a rap on the head early in the game. He did not regain his senses until near the end of the contest, sitting out the greater part of the last three periods on the bench and in the locker room. * * * WHIILE the Bulldogs only got by the 35-yard line once during the game, the Tigers were playing in Canton territory much of the time. They crossed the midfield stripe twice in the first quarter but didn’t get far. Early in the second quarter, however, they marched to the 19 where Jacobs missed getting a first down by inches and Canton took over.
At this point the Bulldogs launched their only prolonged drive of the day, as they reeled off four first downs in a row before Mariano shook himself loose for the 18-yard jaunt that left only Crable between him and the goal line. His fumble of the ball when tackled viciously by Ace, ended the threat and before the quarter was over the Tigers had again carried the ball over the 50 and were down to the 25-yard line on a first down when a desperation pass with 32 seconds left was intercepted by Don Killins in the end zone. * * * THE MASSILLON gridders took the kickoff at the start of the second half and starting from their 25, whereas Jacobs almost got away, marched to the Canton 25 where Crable lost the ball on a fumble with what appeared to be a clear field ahead of him. Petroff covered for Canton.
Jim Schumacher covered a Bulldog fumble on his own 46 that set off the Tigers’ touchdown drive. Johnson toured left end for seven yards and Jacobs made it a first down around right end on the Canton 42. Jacobs went for three and Johnson raced well for a first down only to have the ball called back and the Tigers penalized five for offside. Johnson and Jacobs gained nine yards and with the ball on the 35 and fourth down coming up with three to go, Crable broke through for the touchdown.
The Tigers got into Bulldog territory once in the fourth quarter but were stopped on a 15-yard penalty holding and forced to punt.
But while the Tiger offense was reeling off a net gain of 279 yards the teams’ defense was surprising everyone by holding the Bulldogs in check and limiting them to the net sum of 166 yards, fewer than most of the locals’ opponents registered during the season.
Coach Mather and staff devoted considerable time to their land and air defenses and both proved successful. A big hunk of credit should be given to the three line backers, Dick Shine, Ray Lane and Joe Gleason, who worked behind the forward wall composed mostly of Don Studer, Jerry Krisher, Jim Reichenbach, Jim Schumacher and Clarence Johnson. When Reichenbach was injured in the first half of the contest, Leland Stanford replaced him.
Slicker, teaming in the secondary with Crable and Jacobs, did a good job on pass protection, with the latter two each intercepting a Canton pass to take the ball away from the Bulldogs. * * * MATHER USED only a few substitutes. Aside from his usual exchange on defense, Mike Turkal and Glenn Tunning got a shot at defense, and little Gene Laps took over for the injured Reichenbach and did a whale of a job bumping the heavier Bulldogs out of the way.
The locals came up with several new plays, including a flake kick and a delayed trap with Crable carrying the ball, and a pass by Johnson off a reverse, all of which worked for sizeable gains. They only attempted six passes, completed three and had two intercepted.
As shown by the statistics they beat the Bulldogs at almost every turn, making 14 first downs to eight, out gaining them both on the land and in the air, and had a slightly better average for punting, 34 yards to 32 yards, for their two punts. The Bulldogs punted six times.
They held Canton’s two offensive starts, Mariano, and Sam Parks, well in check. Mariano got away to a couple of 18-yard runs but his average for the day was 5.7 while that of Parks was only 2.3.
Leading ground gainer, of course was Crable who averaged 8.5 yards per try and made one beautiful 32-yard return of a punt in which he reversed his field to outrun every Cantonian save Rogers who made the tackle. Crable carried the ball 16 times, while Jacobs had it 19 times and averaged 4.2 yards per try. His best run came on a 34-yard jaunt, the first time he carried the ball. Johnson had a five-yard average for the five times he carried the ball. It would have been much better, except that twice he had good gains called back because of offside penalties. James carried the ball on a quarterback play, the first time it was tried this season, and gained five yards. He also took it on the last play of the game, to finish with an average of two yards.
The start of the game was delayed for several minutes when Coach Mather got into an argument with officials over the coin toss. The officials grabbed off Massillon co-captains and held the toss without Mather’s knowledge. Canton won the toss and chose to receive. The Tiger co-captains forgetting about the high wind, chose to defend the west goal because they considered the east goal their lucky goal line. As a result the Bulldogs had all the advantage at the start, receiving with Massillon kicking into the wind. Krisher saved the day by getting off a booming kick and Mariano helped out by fumbling the ball long enough to enable the Massillon backs to get down and nail him to the turf without a return.
As it turned out, it was all right for the Tigers had the wind to their backs at the end of the game. But Mather still argued the officials were wrong for holding the coin toss without saying anything about it to him or without asking him who was his captain. He naturally would have advised his captains to defend the east goal and kick with the wind. * * * THE TIGER victory spoiled another possible undefeated record for McKinley’s coach Bup Rearick but with nine victories and a loss he still has possibly the best record of any high school coach in the state over his period of coaching years.
Bup has only lost one game a year since taking the gridiron helm at McKinley.
Canton missed a possible undefeated season by one tackle and that of Irvin Crable and yet on the same last man tackle basis, the Tigers could just as well have won by three or four touchdowns – considering the number of times local ball carriers were felled by the last Bulldog between the runner and the goal line.
Massillon Tigers proclaimed this year’s Canton team as the toughest aggregation they faced all season. “No doubt about it,” local players commented in the dressing room after the game. The thought Parks and Mariano to be hard runners and were particularly complimentary to the hard play of Henry Palombo, Ernest Ghezzi and Tom Weber, Canton linemen.
Referee – Brubaker. Umpire – Russ. Field Judge – Lindsay. Head Linesman – McPhee.
Statistics Of The Game Mass. McK First downs 14 8 Passes attempted 6 10 Passes completed 3 4 Had passes intercepted 2 2 Yards gained passing 49 45 Yards gained rushing 274 150 Total yards gained 323 195 Yards lost passing 7 0 Yards lost rushing 28 29 Yards lost punting 9 0 Total yards lost 44 29 Net gain offense 279 166 Times punted 2 6 Average punt (yards) 34 32 Yards punts returned by 49 21 Times kicked off 2 1 Average kickoff 43 57 Yards kickoffs returned by 22 1 Fumbles 4 2 Lost ball on fumbles 2 2 Times penalized 4 5 Yards penalized 30 33