Tag: <span>Curtis Strawder</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

2001: Massillon 48, Dayton Chaminade-Julienne 27

Massillon reins in speedy Chaminade
Tigers’ fifth win in a row improves record to 8‑1

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers have shown they can run the football this season, but on Friday Rick Shepas’ crew sharpened up the aerial attack and racked up over 400 yards passing to torch Dayton Chaminade‑Julienne 48‑27, in front of 8,138 fans at Paul brown Tiger Stadium.

Program Cover

It was a record‑setting performance for two Tigers. Quarterback Justin Zwick passed for 407 yards to eclipse his own single‑game record of 403 set one year ago. Wide receiver Devon Jordan totaled 206 yards receiving to break the record of 169 yards setback in 1977 by Curtis Strawder.

“Too much Justin Zwick,” said C‑J head coach Jim Place after the game. “Just too much Zwick. Plain and simple, too much Zwick.”

Place wasn’t exaggerating. The 6‑foot‑5, 221‑pound senior completed 24 of 39 passes for four touchdowns, and at least four other throws were dropped. He was sharper than at anytime this season and scored a touchdown on a scramble for good measure.

Jordan wasn’t the only beneficiary of Zwick’s marksmanship. Senior wideout Joe Jovingo had a career night, snaring six passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

“I’m happy with my performance but it is a team game,” said Jovingo. “We could’ve put more points on the board. We’ve got some good running backs and that’s the reason we get open because the defense is playing the run and that leaves fewer guys to cover us.”

Shepas was pleased his quarterback spread it around.

“You never know who he’s going to,” Shepas said. “You know how you like to have it ‑ different receivers catching the ball each week.”

Zwick had plenty of time sit in the pocket and find open receivers, thanks to an offensive line that was without starting tackle J.P. Simon and began the game without starting center Chad Hennon.

“Our guys up front did a nice Job of pass protecting,” said Shepas. “A lot of it has to do not only with our offensive line getting better but also our backs checking up into protection with them.”

Starting guard Doug Dickerhoof revealed the Tiger coaching staff prepared the line for C‑J’s pressure.

“We gave Justin a lot of time and picked up all the blitzes,” said Dickerhoof. “He got the ball to his receivers. They caught the ball and took it in.”

While all is good with the Massillon offense, Chaminade’s 426 yards of total offense ‑ 230 of it on the ground ‑ did not sit well with Shepas, who knows McKinley scouts were in the stands and saw his team miss a few tackles.

“I really wasn’t happy with the defense,” Shepas admitted. “We were just a little sloppy tonight. It just felt sloppy tonight.”

Were some Tigers looking ahead?

“I don’t think so,” said Shepas. “I don’t know what to attribute it to. Our guys have maintained a high level of intensity throughout the season. We saw a good, fast football team and we had to get adjusted to their speed. Mckinley has great speed.”

David Abdul opened the scoring with a 22‑yard field goal on the Tigers second possession. Massillon advanced the ball from its 41 to the C‑J 5, thanks to a 14‑yard Zwick to Jordan completion on a curl pattern, and a 34‑yard pickup when Zwick found Jovingo running free on a post pattern.

Chaminade’s Anthony Turner showed that Zwick wasn’t the only talented quarterback in the house when he hit Andre Chattams with a 34‑yard laser on the Eagles ensuing possession. That throw advanced the ball to the Massillon 36.

Three plays later, Pernell Williams took an option pitch around left end and exploded past the Tiger defense and into the end zone for a 22‑yard touchdown. Bryan Fecke nailed the extra point and Chaminade owned a 7‑3 lead at 3:24 of the first quarter.

Stephon Ashcraft provided the Tigers with a shot on the arm by returning the C‑J kickoff 47 yards to the Eagles 45‑yard line.

After an incompletion on first down, Tiger junior Ricky Johnson turned a sweep that had no gain written all over it into a 45‑yard touchdown run. Johnson started around left end, changed direction and found daylight to his right. He cut back to the middle of the field at the 30 and sprinted untouched into the end zone.

Abdul’s kick was true and Massillon had regained the lead at 10‑7 with 3:08 left in the opening stanza.

A dropped pass doomed Chaminade’s next possession and Massillon made the visitors pay. Beginning at their own 14, the Tigers drove the length of the field, mixing the run and pass effectively. A swing pass to Robert Oliver picked up 16 yards, and Zwick later hit Jordan with a 23‑yard strike to the C‑J_ 8.

Two plays later, Zwick scrambled into the end zone from eight yards out. Abdul’s conversion kick was true and Massillon’s lead was 17‑7 at 8:40 of the second quarter.

Craig McConnell picked Turner off on the first play of the Eagles next possession, returning the football 26 yards to the C‑J 25.

On first down Zwick found a wide open Jovingo at the 8. The senior wideout turned, found no one within 10 yards and scooted into the end zone for the score. Abdul made it 24‑7 Massillon at 6:56 of the second quarter.

Chaminade still had some life and marched 30 yards in eight plays to get back in the ball game. Turner’s 33‑yard run got things going for the Eagles. The sophomore signal caller would score from eight yards out on a broken play. Fecke’s kick made it 24‑14 Massillon at 2:37 of the second.

But the Tigers regained momentum quickly, thanks to a 21‑yard kickoff return by Ashcraft that gave Massillon a first‑and‑10 at its 38. After advancing to midfield, Massillon struck. Zwick dropped back, looked right, then back left where he found Jordan running wide open at the 10. The junior snagged the football and raced into the end zone. Abdul’s kick made it Massillon 31, C‑J 14 with 1:02 left before the band show.

Massillon took the second half kickoff and Zwick again went to work. He hit Jordan for 23 yards, Jovingo for 33 more, and capped off the drive with a 14‑yard pass to Jordan, who spun past a defender and turned it into a 44‑yard touchdown. Abdul’s kick made it 38‑14 Massillon at 9:34 of the third period.

Craig McConnell’s interception and slick 34‑yard runback set up the Tigers next tally. David Hill made a juggling catch for a 19‑yard gain to the C‑J 8, then Jovingo latched onto his second TD pass of the night from 13 yards out. The scoreboard read Massillon 45, C‑J 14 after Abdul’s PAT.

First downs rushing 2 12
First downs passing 18 7
First downs by penalty 1 1
TOTAL first downs 21 20
Net yards rushing 75 230
Net yards passing 407 196
TOTAL yards 482 426
Passes attempted 39 24
Passes completed 24 13
Passes intercepted 0 2
Punts 2 5
Punting average 31.5 32.8
Fumbles/Lost 1/1 3/0
Penalties 9 5
Yards penalized 49 35

MASSILLON 10 21 14 3 48
CHAMINADE 7 7 0 13 27

M ‑ Abdul 22‑yard field goal
C‑J ‑ Williams 22‑yard run (Fecke kick)
M ‑ Johnson 45‑yard run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Zwick 8‑yard run (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Jovingo 25‑yard pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
C‑J ‑ Turner 6‑yard run (Fecke kick)
M ‑ Jordan 46‑yard pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Jordan 44‑yard pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
M ‑ Jovingo 13‑yard pass from Zwick (Abdul kick)
C‑J ‑ Williams 1 ‑yard run (Fecke kick)
M ‑ Abdul 48‑yard field goal
C‑J ‑ Sanford 30‑yard pass from Turner (Fecke kick)

Massillon rushing: Johnson 9‑61, Oliver 5‑5, Zwick 3‑5, Hill 1‑10.
Chaminade rushing: Williams 17‑112, Turner 15‑109.

Massillon passing: Zwick 24‑39‑407 4 TDs.
Chaminade passing: Turner 13‑24‑196 TD, 2 INTs.

Massillon receiving: Jordan 9‑206, Jovingo 6‑137, Williams 5‑24.
Chaminade receiving: Chattams 6‑91, Patrick 3‑24, Sanford 2‑38.

‑ Statistics courtesy of RICHARD CUNNINGHAM

Justin Zwick

Massillon vs. McK - Throwback (Large) History

1978: Massillon 13, Canton McKinley 10

Offenbecher does it to Pups again

Repository Sports Editor

It was a case of deja vu,
as Offenbecher threw for two.
Massillon won again, of course.
The ’10‑run rule’ was not in force!

MASSILLON ‑ The Lord giveth. The Massillon Tigers taketh away!

Massillon High quarterback Brent Offenbecher turned the 83rd high school football classic against McKinley Senior High into an aerial circus in the final six minutes of the game to wipe out a 10‑0 deficit and give the Tigers a 13‑10 victory before 21,592 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Program Cover

Offenbecher, the 6‑foot‑1, 175‑pound senior who last year passed for two TDs and ran for another in the Tigers 21‑0 win in Canton, gave the McKinley followers an unwanted rerun.

Only this year it was in more heartbreaking.

McKinley had nearly blown the Tigers off the field in the first half. But in the end, the Bulldogs just blew the game in the waning minutes.

Not only Offenbecher’s passes helped beat the Bulldogs. It was the McKinley passes which really put the Pups down the tubes, the last two of which were intercepted by the Tigers.

So for one more year, the McKinley fans went home mumbling. Not since 1968 have the Pups won here in the Tigers’ lair, and the Massillon win was its third straight over the Bulldogs and its seventh in the last nine games.

But there was no clock malfunction this year. The timepiece ticked to perfection. The officiating was adequate, and no flag felled the visitors. So for the vanquished, only one villain remained ‑ the coach.

The second‑guessers were out in force for McKinley’s Coach John Brideweser’s decision to throw the ball on first‑and‑15 from the Pups’ own 22 with 5:20 left in the game and the Bulldogs leading 10‑6.

“We had to maintain ball control,” said Brideweser in answer to the inevitable question.
Tigers dump Bulldogs
“We had to get the first down, and, after we drew the motion penalty and had a first‑and‑15, I thought we needed to hit the pass.”

Game photo from Massillon vs. Canton McKinley 1978

McKinley’s Dave Seaman, the junior quarterback who stepped in at mid‑season, saw his aerial tipped by Tiger tackle Harry Foster and grabbed off by junior linebacker Tim Reese in a diving catch just before the ball hit the ground at the McKinley 31.

Offenbecher then threw three straight quick lookin Passes, a 14‑yarder to Curtis Strawder, a 10‑yarder to Martin Guszetta and then the winning TD of 7 yards again to Strawder, the amazing pass‑eating machine who finished a two‑year career with a record 68 catches for 1,072 yards. Saturday he caught eight for 92 and both TDs.

It was not a bad call,” said Massillon coach Mike Currence of Bridey’s first‑down pass.

“They needed the yardage and the first down, and‑they might not have been able to get it running,” he said.

But the Pups took their 10‑point lead mostly by ripping through the Massillon defensive line on the ground.

In the first half McKinley gained 71 yards in 27 rushes, while holding the Tigers to a net yards rushing of “minus‑11.”

But despite the running of the Pups, they had to get a big break to get in the end gone.

Massillon’s leading rusher this season, Jeff Beitel, fumbled on the first play after a Todd Maragas punt, and McKinley’s Tony Floyd covered at the Tiger 16.

Six running plays later Brantley Kelly crashed in from the 2‑yard‑line and John Grimsley kicked the conversion to put the Pups on top 7‑0 with less than four minutes left In the half.

McKinley moved the ball 55 yards in 11 plays to get Grimsley’s 22‑yard field goal with 9:29 left in the game. That drive was keyed by Seaman’s 28‑yard pass to Doyle Lewis.

Lewis, whose catch came on his only offensive play of the game, was made at the seven between two Massillon defenders. He just out‑jumped them. But a motion penalty put the Pups back at the 19, and three runs got but seven yards, and they settled for the three.

Sam Hill’s 35‑yard return of the ensuing kickoff put the ball at the Tigers’ 43, from where Offenbecher directed his team to the end zone in seven plays, hitting Strawder an the 12‑yard TD. It was his fifth completion in that drive.

After Massillon’s go‑ahead TD, Seaman unloaded from his 29 and a broken pass pattern by his receiver allowed Darren Longshore to intercept at the 43 with 3:25 remaining. Longshore fell catching the ball, and then leaped up and ran off the field holding the bail high. The result was a brief bench‑clearing brawl, but the police, sheriff’s deputies and coaches restored order rather quickly, and Massillon resumed running out the clock.

Offenbecher’s final pass of the day, a 14‑yard completion to Strawder, naturally, came on third‑and‑10 with 1:28 left and sent the McKinley fans scurrying to the parking lot.

Offenbecher completed 9 of 9 for 95 yards in the fourth quarter, giving him 17 of 20 for, the day for 177 yards. He finally has completed his career at Massillon, with more than a mile‑and‑a‑half in yards passing, and virtually all the passing records in the Tigers school record book.

Massillon finished with an 9-0-1 overall record and won the All‑American Conference with a 4‑0‑1 mark. McKinley finished 7‑2 overall and 4‑1 in the AAC.

Tiger, Bulldog Lineups
QUARTERBACK: 14 Brent Offenbecher (Sr., 6‑1. 175);
FULLBACK: 43 Tom Gehring (Sr., 5‑10, 171), 16 Wally Neff (Jr., 5-8, 172), 49 Sam Hill (Jr., 5‑6, 160); HALFBACKS: 45 Jeff Beitel (Sr., 5‑7, 158), 22 Bill Beitel (Jr., 5‑7, 148);
ENDS: 42 Curtis Strawder (Sr., 5‑10, 153), 13 Ron Wright (Sr., 5‑9, 173), 25 Marty Guzzetta (Jr., 5‑9. 160); TACKLES: 67 Doug Wood (Sr., 6‑2, 191); 76 Mark Kircher (Jr., 6‑1, 212);
GUARDS: 69 Jim Horton (Sr., 6‑0, 177), 79 Eric Barnard (Sr., 6‑2, 215), 65 Larry Massie (Jr., 5‑7, 195);
CENTER: 51 Scott Kasunick (Sr., 5‑9, 181).

ENDS: 81 Bruce Solinger (Sr., 6‑0, 175), 88 Wilson (Sr., 6‑0, 182);
TACKLES: 72 Harry Foster (Sr., 6‑2, 232), 71 Jeff Pedro (Sr., 6‑3, 204);
MIDDLE GUARD: 55 Bob Simpson (Jr., 5‑11, 190);
LINEBACKERS: 28 Dick Cleveland (Sr., 5-11, 188), 38 Kevin Harris (Sr., 5‑10, 182). 59 Tim Reese (Jr.. 5‑9, 163);
MONSTER BACK: 11 Darren Longshore (Sr., 6‑1, 175);
SAFETY: 21 Jamie Schlegel (Jr., 5‑11, 160);
HALFBACKS: 34 Jeff David (Sr., 5‑9, 188), 12 Dan Venables (Sr., 5‑10, 160).
KICKERS: 13 Wright (punts, extra points), 86 Mike Hodgson, 79 Barnard (kickoff).

QUARTERBACK: 12 Dave Seaman (Jr., 165);
FULLBACK: 34 Charles Taylor (Sr., 190), 31 David Faur (So., 167), 30 Michael Lynch (So., 157); HALFBACKS: 42 Doyle Lewis (Sr., 180), 33 Robin Kindell (Jr., 150), 32 Lucius Rowser (Sr., 180), 40 Brantley Kelly (Jr., 160), 11 Todd Maragas (Sr ., 184);
ENDS: 82 ‑Jeff Thompson (Sr., 168), 84 Ron Rankin (Jr., 170);
TACKLES: 73 Steve Stranan (Sr., 215), 50 Brian Blosser (Sr., 205);
GUARDS: 64 Milton Young (Sr., 197), 67 Scott Dean (Sr., 170), 65 Cyle Cole (Sr., 185);
CENTER: 51 Eric Kempthorn (Sr., 180).

ENDS: 34 Taylor, 86 Bo Zeren (Sr., 180), 80Mitchell Kelly (Jr., 170), 81 Phil Glavasis (Jr., 165); TACKLES: 75 Tony Floyd (Jr., 205), 73 Strahan, 83 Troy Sanders (So., 195), 85 Joe Sanders (Sr., 185); MIDDLE GUARD: 32 Rowser;
LINEBACKERS: 64 Young, 67 Dean, 65 Cole;
MONSTER BACK: 22 Andy Kneffler (Sr., 160);
SAFETY: 42 Lewis;
HALFBACKS: 21 ‑ Mark Green (Sr., 155), 20 Kelly Mullane (Jr., 160), 33 Kindell.

SERIES: 83rd meeting, Massillon holds 45‑32‑5 edge.
LAST MEETING: 1977. Massillon 21, McKinley 0.
POINTS SCORED BY: Massillon 265, McKinley 140.
POINTS SCORED AGAINST: Massillon 29, McKinley 42.

A lesson in perseverance

The Washington High School football team was the toast of the city today for its fourth quarter conquest of arch rival Canton McKinley Saturday afternoon in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Trailing 10‑0 in the fourth period, the Massillon Tiger team lived up to tradition Saturday afternoon by staging a comeback to score 13 points and win the game 13‑10. In so doing it learned one of the great lessons of life – never give up.

Many a football team would have quit after McKinley, leading 7‑0 going into the last period, put three more points on the board – but not the Tigers. That’s when they became aroused and, at the urging of Massillon fans, scored two touchdowns in the final minutes to complete the regular season undefeated for the first time since 1972. A tie with Warren spoiled an otherwise perfect mark.

It was the Tigers’ determination to succeed that saw them through, and we give them great credit for never having given up in their efforts to win the game. In sports they call that “desire,” and the Massillon boys certainly had it Saturday afternoon; otherwise they would have been on the losing end of the score.

Their late rally was typical of fourth period comebacks against McKinley a number of times in past years. Remembrances of these historical games kept most ‑fans in their seats hoping that what appeared to be the impossible would become possible.

In victory we cannot help but feel some compassion for the vanquished. They were a dejected group of McKinley players who came off the field, their hopes crushed after having had victory almost within grasp. They played hard and, even though defeated, can hold their heads high for their efforts.

As a result of the victory the Tigers are champions of the All-American Conference, and we congratulate them and Coach Mike Currence and his assistant coaches for winning the title.

Curtis Strawder
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1978: Massillon 27, Canton Timken 0

Tigers beat Trojans 27-0
For McKinley game Saturday

Independent Sports Editor

“The season’s over,” Massillon Tiger head coach Mike Currence said after his team beat Timken 27-0 Saturday afternoon in Fawcett Stadium.

“The new season starts now.”

Program Cover

And it ends Saturday when the Tigers and Canton McKinley’s Senior High Bulldogs square off at 2 p.m. in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in the 83rd renewal of their famous rivalry.

The Tigers tuned up for their “second season” by more or less having their way with a Trojan squad that hit hard the whole game but could muster only 43 yards total offense.

The Tigers, meanwhile, rolled up 336 yards with quarterback Brent Offenbecher throwing for 175 yards on 15 of 23 passes. That put him over the 1,000 yard mark for the second straight season as he has now thrown for 1,146 yards. He has also completed 87 passes (compared to 84 last season) in 162 attempts (146 last year).

The Tigers rolled up a 20-0 halftime lead, but the Trojans refused to give up and limited Massillon to just one more TD the second half.

“We probably should have had one more (touchdown),” Currence said. “We played the first team longer than we wanted.

“But I thought they were a good defensive ball club, they were tough to drive on. The kids knew they were in a game.”

Tiger fans received a couple of good scares when junior middle guard Bob Simpson and defensive halfback Jeff David both went down with injuries.

“Bob is OK and I think Jeff is going to be all right,” Currence said.

The Tiger coach said he was a little disappointed that his team had so much trouble finding the end zone. “We made some mistakes when we got down inside, that’s probably what hurt us a little. But they changed up on us pretty good and kept us off balance a little bit,” he explained.

“They had some real tough kids inside and they weren’t giving us the middle.

The Tigers scored the first time they had the ball when Jeff Beitel capped a 33‑yard six‑play drive with a two- yard run around right end. Ron Wright’s kick made it 7‑0.

That drive was set up by a fine 37‑yard punt return by David.

The Tigers scored again midway through the second quarter when fullback Eric Barnard ‑ who usually plays right guard ‑ bulled over from a yard out. Barnard saw some action at fullback this past week in practice because of injury problems there. Wright converted the kick for a 14-0 lead.

David returned another punt 16 yards ‑ to the Trojan 30 ‑ and Offenbecher connected with Wright three plays later on a nine‑yard scoring pass, Wright had broken open at the goal line and Offenbecher zipped the ball between three defenders. The extra point attempt was botched and Massillon led 20‑0 at the half.

The Tigers didn’t score again until 7:26 remained in the game. Offenbecher climaxed a 78‑yard drive with a 10‑yard keeper around left end. Wright’s kick capped the scoring.

The drive was aided by a couple of outstanding catches by Marty Guzzetta and Curtis Strawder. Guzzetta made a diving catch for a seven‑yard gain on a second and eight play and Strawder made an unbelievable circus catch on a 26-yard gainer. Junior fullback Wally Neff also picked up 24 yards in three carries on the drive.

The Trojans, meanwhile, had trouble even getting first downs, managing just three (one on a penalty).

“We had trouble all year offensively speaking,” Timken coach Charles “Sonny” Spielman said afterwards. “When you can’t move the ball it’s hard on your defense, they have to play all day. And we have a lot of kids who go both ways.”

“I thought it was a real good experience for our kids to play Massillon. We went out there and gave it everything we had,” Spielman noted.

“I’m real proud, our kids didn’t lay down and die,” he said. “We hit them hard and fought them to the end to the best of our ability.”

The Trojans finished their season with a 1‑8‑1 mark while Massillon carries an 8‑0‑1 mark into Saturday’s game against McKinley (7‑1).

Offenbecher’s 15 completions were split up among four receivers with Wright catching five for 45 yards and a TD, Strawder catching four for 65 yards, Guzzetta hauling in four for 41 yards and Bill Beitel notching two receptions for 25 yards.

Tigers wear down the Trojans 27-0
Repository Sports Editor

The Timken Senior High Trojans were defeated 27‑0 by the Massillon Tigers Saturday afternoon in the final high school football game of the season at Fawcett Stadium.

But the Trojans, who finished their long season with a 1‑8‑1 mark, were not embarrassed by the state’s No. 6 ranked Tigers.

Massillon found the going tough at times against Timken, as the Trojans’ defense played well, but unfortunately the defenders were on the field too long, as the offense kept giving the Tigers the ball in superb field position.

And then there was Massillon’s quarterback, Brent Offenbecher, who passed for one touchdown, ran for a second and completed 15 of 23 passes for 177 yards. Several of the completions came in spite of fine defensive coverage by Timken.

Massillon Coach Mike Currence said he wasn’t sure what to expect going into the game, noting he thought he could substitute more earlier.

“If we would have got that one in the third, then the first team would have come out,” Currence said, referring to an Offenbecher aerial to end Marty Guzzetta in the end zone which was nullified by an offensive interference penalty midway in the third period.

Timken took over on its own 23, and held the ball the rest of the quarter. Massillon’s final TD drive began on its own 22 at the start of the fourth, and Offenbecher took his team the distance in 10 plays, rolling left for the final 11 himself, with 7:26 remaining in the game. Then the subs took over.

“Timken has a fine club and a good defense. I thought we might have been into a 14‑0 game for a while, and it could have been a tougher contest if Timken’s offense could have controlled the ball more,” he said.

“I didn’t think we’d use the starters that long,” he said, “But I think we came out of it OK. Jeff David got an ankle sprain,” he said of the starting defensive back and kick holder. “But I don’t think it’s serious.”

Massillon concludes its season in the 83rd game of the traditional rivalry against McKinley Senior High at Massillon next Saturday at 2 p.m. The Tigers now are 8‑0‑1 and McKinley is 7‑1.

“I was pleased,” said Timken Coach Sonny Spielman. “I was happy to see that our kids didn’t quit. We don’t have enough people. It’s discouraging when the kids have to go both ways and they keep seeing those fresh uniforms coming in at them. But they hung in there, and fought to the end. I was proud of them,” he said.

Massillon scored on its first possession of the game, after a 36‑yard punt return by David (before his ankle injury) gave the Tigers the ball at the Timken 34, from where they scored in six plays, with Jeff Beitel going the final two.

Eric Barnard, the 212‑pound senior guard who transferred from McKinley to Massillon prior to this season, blasted in from a yard out for the second TD, capping a 9 play, 62‑yard march in the second period.

??? then ran for 9 before throwing the TD pass, which was his ninth of the season and 20th in his career.

Offenbecher in nine games this season has completed 87 of 162 with nine interceptions, for 1,146 yards. Last year as a junior he hit 84 of 146 for 1,369 yards and 10 TDs. In his sophomore season he completed one of 11 for 37 yards, and it was a TD. His career total is 172 of 319, for 53.9 percent and 2,562 yards, or nearly a mile and a half.

“We’ve been using Barnard in short yardage situations,” said Currence. “He’s a strong straight‑ahead runner.”

The Tigers’ third TD came 33 seconds before the half, when Offenbecher rifled a bullet between two Timken defenders into the numbers hers of Ron Wright it the end zone.

The 9‑yard TD was set up by an 18‑yard punt return by David, which put the ball at the Timken 30 from where Offenbecher bit Wright for 12 –yards.

Mass. Tkm.
First downs 13 3
First downs‑passing 8 10
First downs‑penalties 0 1
Total first downs 21 4
Yards gained rushing 195 71
Yards lost rushing 34 33
Net yards gained rushing 161 38
Net yards gained passing 175 5
Total yards gained 336 43
Passes attempted 26 10
Passes completed 15 2
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 5 19
Times kicked off 5 1
Kickoff average (yards) 45.4 53.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 20 72
Times punted 1 8
Punt average (yards) 36.0 35
Punt returns (yards) 113 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 0
Lost fumbled ball 0 0
Penalties 6 7
Yards penalized 40 70
Touchdowns rushing 3 0
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Misc. touchdowns 0 0
Total number of plays 72 42
Total time of possession 28:31 19:29

MASSILLON 7 13 0 7 27­
TIMKEN 0 0 0 0 0

M ‑ Jeff Beitel 2 run (Ron Wright kick);
M ‑ Eric Barnard 1 run (Wright kick);
M – Wright 9 Pass from Offenbecher (pass fail);
M – Offenbecher 10 run (Wright kick),

Curtis Strawder
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1978: Massillon 7, Warren Harding 7

Tiger offensive errors Lead to 7-7 tie Against fired up Panthers in Warren

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers were rudely awakened from their dreams of a perfect season when they were tied 7‑7 by a fired up Warren Harding team Friday night at Mollenkopf Stadium in Warren.

“We just took the choke offensively, “Tiger bead coach Mike Currence said dejectedly in the quiet Massillon lockeroom after the game.

We lost our confidence and didn’t execute. We blocked well, but when you get third and six you have to pass,” he added, explaining why the Tigers had to keep throwing the ball even though the passing game wasn’t working.

Brent Offenbecher completed just three of 14 passes for 14 yards (his worst performance as a Tiger) and a halfback pass by Jeff Beitel fell incomplete.

The Tigers only score came in the third quarter when middle guard Bob Simpson picked up a fumble by Panther quarterback David Goldberg and sprinted 32 yards to the end Zone.

The Tigers were hampered by poor field position most of the night, and a ball control offense by Warren that ate up much of the clock.

Still, Currence made no excuses.

“I knew they had the people to control the ball,” he said, referring to 211‑pound fullback Tony Seawood and hard‑running tailback Terrance Peterson. The Panthers gained 224 yards rushing.

“But we had the ball enough to score. The defense gave us good field position when Darren (Longshore) intercepted a pass (at the Harding 45) and returned it to the 29.” That came on the first Warren series following Simpson’s TD run with the fumble.

Four straight incompletions followed, including a first‑down pass that would have been a touchdown had wide receiver Curtis Strawder not slipped on the deceptively wet turf at the goal line in the left side of the end zone. The ball landed right on top of Strawder just after be hit the ground and he made a vain attempt to hang on anyway.

“I know this,” Currence said, “We could execute those plays in practice with our eyes closed. Maybe that’s it, we were too good in practice.”

Currence did praise the job of his defense, which had its back to the wall all night and managed to hold the Panthers off on all but one series.

That came after a bad snap on the Tigers’ first punt attempt. The ball bounced past kicker Ron Wright and was recovered by Ray Thomas at the Massillon 15 yard line.

The defense almost held, but a 17‑yard pass on third and 17 gave Warren the ball at the Tiger five and Peterson went off left tackle two plays later for the score. Dave Preston kicked the point after and Harding held a 7-0 lead until the Tiger defense tied it up on Simpson’s TD run with the fumble and Wright’s extra point conversion kick in the third period.

The Tiger offense was plagued by fumbles and dropped passes all night.

While Currence blamed the fumbles on poor execution, Harding coach Tom Ross said the turnovers by both teams were caused by some “awful good sticking.”

He said that Goldberg’s fumble ‑ which probably cost the Panthers a victory ‑ was caused by a great defensive hit.

The Panthers shut down the Tiger air game and Ross said that was the result of the Panthers working on “a couple of different things on the perimeter against the pass.

“We felt Massillon could hurt us with the run ‑ the counter and the sweep and the pass,” Ross said. He added that this defense allowed the Tigers to gain good yardage up the middle, most of it by fullbacks Wally Neff and Bob James.

He said his team went with its traditional 4‑4 but changed up a lot and threw a 5‑3 at the Tigers.

“That’s what we wanted to play,” Ross said of the 5‑3. “We worked hard on it. It entails more responsibility but the kids picked it up real well.”

The Panthers have not allowed an offense to score a touchdown on their defense for 22 straight quarters.

Currence said the Tigers were not surprised by the 5‑3 (the Panthers had used it before this season), blaming the Tigers’ mistakes on poor execution and not on any of Warren’s defensive formations.

Ross noted the first and third quarters were the key,

“They started going in the third quarter, and they’ve done that historically, but we stopped them,” he noted.

“I feel we came as close as we possibly could to (carrying out) our game plan, which was to control the ball. The fumble (by Goldberg) was the only thing that intercepted it,” he explained. “I was pleased with the way our offensive backs ran the ball.”

Tailback Peterson carried 19 times for 67 yards, fullback Seaweed lugged the ball 13 times for 62 yards and halfback Darren Morgan led all rushers with 75 yards on seven carries. He ran 52 yards (to the Tiger 24) on a second‑quarter play in a drive that ended in a missed 49‑yard field goal attempt by Preston.

Outside of that, there’s not much else to say, But here’s a rundown of the Tigers’ troubles.

First series: a bad snap on a fourth‑down punt attempt gave Harding the ball at the Tiger 15 and led to their only score, the Tigers started from their own 15 on this possession;

‑ Second series Tigers started from their own 10 after a clipping penalty on the kickoff return: sophomore fullback Bob James fumbled the ball at the Panther 33 after picking up 10 yards and what would have been a first down. Tiger defense forced Harding back to midfield;

‑ Third series: Tigers took over at their own 13 after a clipping penalty on a punt return; a 10‑play drive ended at the Panther 40 with a punt (Tigers had reached 35 but lost five yards); Wright’s punt went to the five yard line but Peterson returned it 19 yards to the 24 to get Harding out of a hole;

‑ Fourth series: four plays and a punt (Tigers started from own 20);

‑ Fifth Series: Tigers got the ball at their own 11 following a punt with 55 seconds left before half;

‑Sixth series: Starting from own 27, Offenbecher’s third down pass deflected off Marty Guzzetta’s hands and was intercepted by Mark Ash at the 42 and returned to the 40;

‑ Seventh series: Tigers took over at their own 13 following a punt; eight straight running plays moved the ball to the Panther 33, a pass from Offenbecher to Strawder was complete but out of bounds on a third and six play; on fourth down, Fred Jones intercepted a Offenbecher pass at the 21 and returned it to the 24; Goldberg fumbled on Warren’s ensuing series and Simpson tallied the Tiger’ lone score;

‑ Eighth series: Tigers took over at the Warren 29 following a 16‑yard pass interception return by Longshore; four straight in completions gave Warred the ball back;

‑ Ninth series: 10 straight rushes took the ball from Massillon’s 22 to Warren’s 42; On second and 11, a long pass from Offenbecher to Strawder was intercepted by Tony Battee at the Panther two yard line with 4:09 left in the game; Warren ran out the clock to preserve the tie, but gave the ball back to Massillon (which had no time outs remaining) when they elected to run the ball on fourth down instead of punt; Tigers lined up hurriedly for a 41‑yard yard field goal attempt by Eric Barnard; the kick never got much off the ground (in part because the Tigers didn’t have time to get a kicking block onto the field)

Now the Tigers are 7‑0‑1 and play at Canton Timken Saturday at 2 p.m. Harding is now 5‑2‑1 and hosts Niles Friday night.

Massillon is now 3-0-1 in the All‑American Conference and must beat McKinley (4‑0) to win the loop title. Harding is 2‑1-1 in AAC play.


Mass. Opp.
First downs – rushing 10 12
First downs – passing 1 1
First downs – penalties 1 0
Total first downs 12 13
Yard, gained rushing 173 243
Yards lost rushing 13 14
Net yds. gained rushing 160 224
Net yds. gained passing 14 33
Total yards gained 174 257
Passes attempted 15 8
Passes completed 3 3
Passes intercepted by 1 3
Yardage on passes intercepted 14 0
Times kicked off 2 2
Kickoff average (yards) 39.0 50.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 21 24
Times punted 2 4
Putting average (yards) 30.0 24.5
Punt returns (yards) 12 19
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 4 2
Lost fumbled ball 2 2
Penalties 2 7
Yards penalized 25 88
Touchdowns rushing 0 1
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Misc. touchdowns 1 0
Total number of plays 51 59
Total time of possession 19:29 28:31

MASSILLON 0 0 7 0 7
HARDING 7 0 0 0 7

H Terrance Peterson 3 run (Dave Preston Kick)
M – Bob Simpson 32 run with fumble recovery (Ron Wright kick).

Curtis Strawder
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1978: Massillon 42, Massillon Jackson 0

Passing duo highlights Tigers’ 7th win

Independent Sports Editor

The red hot passing combination of Brent Offenbecher to Curtis Strawder thawed out the Jackson Polar Bear defense as the Tigers rolled to a 42‑0 victory Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

A crowd a 13,112 saw Offenbecher set a single game passing record for completions as the senior quarterback hit on 15 of 19 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

Strawder, the fleet wide receiver with gazelle‑like grace and‑more moves than a belly dancer, hauled in eight passes for 133 yards and one touchdown, He used his speed to turn several short passes into sizable gains.

“Curtis had a great game,” Tiger bead coach Mike Currence said afterward, “just a super game. That’s the best he’s done,”

Currence also praised the work of Offenbecher, citing a 19 yard scoring pass to Marty Guzzetta in the third quarter as an especially alert play.

“He sure read that one nice to Marty. Brent waved him upfield,” Currence explained.

Guzzetta made a great diving catch in the end zone for what turned out to be Offenbecher’s 15th ‑ and record‑setting ‑ completion.

Jackson coach Tom Geschwind, a former Tiger gridder himself, was very disappointed after the loss.

“I thought we played well the first half,” Geschwind said. The Polar Bear trailed only 7-0 after the first quarter before falling behind 21‑0 at the half.

Geschwind explained that his team ran the ball a lot in the first half in an effort to control the ball. He also noted that the defense gave the Tigers the short out patterns in hopes of cutting off the long pass.

“If we didn’t give them that (short outs), we would have given them the deeper patterns. We knew we had to come up fast and tackle them but we didn’t do a very good job.”

The young Polar Bears had juniors at 15 different positions, but Geschwind said he didn’t know if the game would help or hurt the development of his players.

“At this point it is too early to tell. It will take a while to determine,” he said.

Currence said that despite the lopsided score, the Tigers knew they had been in a tough ball game.

They really hit us the first quarter . . . the first half,” he said, “we’re really bruised up. Tom Gehring (fullback) hurt his ankle and we have some other people banged up. We have to get well for next week (Warren Harding) in a hurry.

“They shut off our running game,” he noted. The Tigers totaled 149 yards rushing, “we couldn’t run on them, but they couldn’t contain the pass. They had trouble-covering Strawder.

“Their offense just kept turning the ball over to us and you can’t do that. You can’t control the ball on us. Eventually we’ll try our whole offense and that’s what we did. We went to Strawder and did some other things outside. If they could have controlled the ball the first half it would have been a different game.”

However, Currence preferred to put this win ‑ the Tigers’ seventh straight without a loss ‑ behind him.

“We don’t want to talk about records now, we’ll do that after the season’s over. We’ve got a big week this week, we’ve got to start thinking about Warren.”

Jackson drops to 3-4 on the year, including a 1‑3 record in the rugged Federal League.

The Tigers took the opening kickoff and marched 52 yards in six plays with Job Belief breaking a counter play through the middle and making a good cut to the right behind solid blocking for the final 15 yards.

Ron Wright booted the first of five straight conversions and the Tigers led 7‑0 with, 9:10 left in the period.

The rest of the quarter was a defensive struggle as both teams punted back and forth.

Jackson managed a first down ‑ its first of the game on the last play of the first quarter, but Tiger linebacker Dick Cleveland intercepted a Rich Bubenchik pass on the next play and returned it 12 yards to his own 34 yard line.

Twelve plays later Offenbecher hooked up with Strawder on a sensational 20‑yard scoring play. Strawder caught the ball at the Polar Bear seven, broke one tackle and danced around another defender before scampering into the end zone with 6:44 to go in the half. Wright’s kick made it 14‑0. That drive was aided by a series in which the Tigers were mistakenly given five downs.
Air game nets 42-0 win over Jackson
With the ball at the Jackson 34, Offenbecher hit Bill Belief with an eight-yard pass on first down. On second and two, Jeff Beitel gained about a yard and a half.

An official time out was called for a measurement, which showed the Tigers to be short of a first down. However, when the chains were brought back to the sideline, the down marker was not advanced, making it second and one when it should have been third and one.

An incomplete pass and a run for no gain followed. Offenbecher ran a keeper for five yards and a first down on what was actually fifth down instead of fourth and one.

It should be noted, however, that the mistake was made on second down, and play selection by the Tigers was made according to the official down marker and scoreboard (both of which were wrong).

Neither team and few of the fans noticed the error, which was made in the confusion of the first‑down measurement.

Dan Venables gave the Tigers the ball back a couple minutes later when he far intercepted a Jackson pass at the Polar Bear 48 yard line. Bill Beitel capped an eight play drive with a six‑yard scoring run and Wright’s kick made it 21‑0 Tigers with 2:46 left in the half.

The Tigers wasted no time getting on the board again in the third quarter. Following a Polar Bear punt. The Tigers drove from their own 49 to the Jackson 22.

Offenbecher hit Strawder with a quick pass in the left flat and the speedster turned it into a 19‑yard gain. Offenbecher found Wright open on a down and out pattern in the right comer of the end zone for the final three yards and the score. Wright booted the point after for a 28‑0 lead.

Following another Jackson punt, the Tigers drove 55 yards (not counting a 15‑yard clipping penalty) in five plays with Offenbecher capping the drive with his 19‑yard scoring toss to Guzzetta.

That 15th completion broke his old record of 14 set last year in the loss to Warren Harding. The score came with 4:54 left in the third quarter and Currence sent in the subs for the rest of the game.

The final Tiger touchdown came on an eight‑yard halfback pass from Bill Burkett to Dion Johnson with 4:11 to go in the game.

The win was the third straight shutout for the Tigers, and the defense hasn’t allowed a score since Niles McKinley notched a touchdown in the third quarter of Massillon’s 27‑7 win on September 30.

Massillon will travel to Warren Harding for an All-American Conference game next Friday and Jackson will entertain Canton Timken.

First downs – rushing 12 3
First downs – passing 10 2
First downs – penalties 0 0
Total first downs 22 5
Yards gained rushing 161 92
Yards lost rushing 12 21
Net yards gained rushing 149 71
Net yards gained passing 265 22
Total yards gained 414 93
Passes attempted 28 21
Passes completed 19 3
Passes intercepted by 2 1
Yards on passes intercepted 4 4
Times kicked off 7 1
Kickoff average (yards) 42.3 30.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 18 97
Times punted 2 6
Punt average (yards) 36.0 34.0
Pont returns (yards) 30 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 1 2
Lost fumbled ball 1 0
Penalties 5 3
Yards penalized 65 33
Touchdowns rushing 2 0
Touchdowns passing 4 0
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Misc. touchdowns 0 0
Total number of plays 54 57
Total time of possession 25:51 22:09

JACKSON 0 0 0 0 0
MASSILLON 7 14 14 7 42

M – Jeff Beitel 15 run (Ron Wright Kick);
M ‑ Curtis Strawder 20 pass from Brent Offenbecher (Wright kick);
M – Bill Beitel 6 run (Wright kick);
M ‑ Wright 3 pass from Offenbecher (Wright kick);
M Marty Guzzetta 19 pass Offenbecher (Wright kick);
M Dion Johnson 8 pass from Bill Burkett (Jeff Fry kick).

Final is 42-0
Massillon routs Jackson
MASSILLON ‑ Quarterback Brent Offenbecher’s 15 connections on 19 pass attempts set a Massillon single game completion record Friday night as the undefeated Tigers romped to a 42-0 finish over Jackson High School.

Offenbecher’s air game covered 201 yards included completing three touchdown passes. The old school mark of 14 single game completions set last year was held by Offenbecher.

Six plays going 52‑yards after the opening kick‑off, Jeff Beitel scored the solo first quarter touchdown for the Tigers.

Curtis Strawder, who grabbed a total of eight tosses for 133 yards, entered the end zone with a 20‑yard pass for the second TD.

Dick Cleveland intercepted a pass by Jackson’s Rich Bubenshik at the Massillon 28‑yard line and took it back to the 34 to spark the 12‑play drive ending in Strawder’s score.

Dan Zenables nabbed the second of the two Massillon interceptions at the Jackson 48‑yard line which eight plays later sent Beitel again in to score, this time on a 6‑yard trip.

A 51‑yard drive on seven plays set up Wright’s sixed pointer in the third period.

In the same quarter, 55 yards and five plays of after a punt, Massillon moved in for the record setting pass of 19 yards received by Marty Guzzetta. off the arm of Offenbecher.

Dion Johnson took an eight‑yard halfback throw from Bill Burkett over the goal line with 4:11 left in the game to end the barrage of scoring.

Massillon has won seven, Jackson is 3‑4, 1‑3 in the Federal League.

Curtis Strawder
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1978: Massillon 31, Cleveland Benedictine 0

Tigers’ late surge buries Bennies 31‑0
Defense brilliant in logging first shutout


Between the Benedictine offense and the Tiger defense, Massillon had ample opportunity to put Friday night’s game on ice in the first half.

But it took a second half offensive surge and a continuing stellar performance by the Tiger defenders to white‑wash Cleveland Benedictine, 31‑0.

“The defense saved us again when we were sputtering,” Tiger coach Mike Currence said after his team chalked up its fifth straight win and first shut‑out of the season.

The Beanies lost four fumbles in the first half, two deep in their own territory, but the Tigers could take advantage of only one. That was recovered in the Massillon end one by defender Jamie Schlegel for a touchback.

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Three plays later senior halfback Jeff Beitel took off on a sweep, picked up some excellent blocks and charged down the sideline 68 yards for the Tigers’ only touchdown of the first half. Ron Wright’s kick was no good, and the score was 6-0 with 9:08 remaining in the half.
Schlegel’s key recovery in the end zone was just the beginning of a great performance by the junior defensive halfback. He picked off a pass on Cleveland’s first play of the second half and a few moments later brought the crowd of over 10,000 to its feet with one of the most exciting punt returns in many a‑game at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The return set up another Tiger score.

The Tiger offense had its problems in the first half and most of the credit for those problems has to go to the talent and size of the Benedictine defensive backs and linebackers.
“It’s real tough throwing over those tall guys!” Currence exclaimed after the contest. The Bengals’ defensive line had some tall trees that blocked Tiger Quarterback Brent Offenbecher’s view. And the secondary was even taller.

Sixteen of Massillon’s 31 first‑half plays were completed. Offenbecher usually found his target in the first two quarters, and a big Bengal usually found the target too just in time to break up the play.

In all, Offenbecher finished the night with 12 completions in 30 attempts for 167 yards and three interceptions.

“Two of those interceptions were my fault,” Currence said, noting that his strategy backfired a couple times when his foe, Benedictine Coach Augie Bossu, changed his defensive procedures.

The Tiger mentor praised Bossu’s ability as a coach and added the two have had a rivalry ever since Currence was the field general at Lakewood St. Edward’s.
“We didn’t get to use as many of our players as we wanted to, because Angle always keeps his starting team in. He doesn’t substitute,” Currence added.

“And with about eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, and only up 24 points, you can’t ease up against him,” Currence said.

Although Benedictine picked up 222 yards in the game, the Bennies only knocked on Massillon’s door once. They marched downfield early in the second period and had a second‑and‑three situation at the Tiger 10‑yard line.

Sophomore halfback Don Cline carried the ball into the line, was hammered by linebacker Richard Cleveland and, as he tried to twist and squirm for more yardage, lost the ball which Schlegel recovered in the end zone.

Though the Tiger defense recovered fumbles at the Bennies’ 29 and 18 yardlines after the score, the offense couldn’t reach the promised land again in the first half.

However, things were different in the second half. Senior Curtis Strawder returned the kickoff 24 yards and the Tigers went to work from their 43 yard line.

Beitel ran his trademark sweep ‑ a play that is fast becoming the Tigers’ bread and butter on the ground for 10 yards. Fullback Tom Gehring went up the middle for two yards and then Offenbecher found Beitel open and connected on a nine-yard gainer. Junior Bill Beitel squirmed through the line for another 10 yards and then brother Jeff was off‑and‑running again.

Behind some powerful blocks, Jeff swept down the hometown sideline for a 25‑yard touchdown scamper. Offenbecher tried to pass for the extra points, but the ball fell incomplete and the Tigers were on top 12‑0 with 10:35 remaining in the third quarter.

Cline returned the kickoff to the Benedictine 40, but quarterback Dale Horton’s pass on the first Play was picked off by Schlegel.

Offenbecher started marching the Tiger’s downfield, but a third‑and‑six pass was picked off and the Bennies had the ball at their 10‑yard line. The Tiger defense gave up five yards on three plays, and the Bennie’s punted to Schlegel.

Defense brilliant in logging first shutout
Schlegel caught the punt and ran a country mile for what turned out to be a 40‑yard return. He caught the ball at ratified on the east sideline, ran backwards about 15 yards to avoid tacklers while he crossed the field and zoomed down the west sideline to the 10 before being hauled down from behind.

Two plays later Gehring rammed through the center of the line for his first of two touchdowns. The conversion pass was broken up and, with 5:49 remaining in the third period, the score was 18-0.

Benedictine failed to get a first down on the next series, punted, and Darren Longshore ran it back 65 yards for another TD, only to have it called back on a clipping infraction.
The Tigers had to start at their 21, and “Mr. Clutch” came in at quarterback to give Offenbecher, who had been sprinting left and sprinting right all night, a breather.
“Mr. Clutch,” as Currence calls him, is Wright – split end, kicker, and quarterback.
Wright didn’t waste any time showing his talents to the Bengals. After four running plays, that gave Massillon a second‑and‑14 at the Tiger 31, Wright connected with Gehring on an 18‑yard gainer, Two plays later he fired on a run to junior end Marty Guzzetta, who battled for some extra yardage of the ball on Benedictine’s 20 ‑ a play good for 31 yards.

The Bennies’ defense slammed the door on Massillon’s running game again, and on fourth-and-10 Wright went back to Guzzetta for a 15‑yarder and with a whistle on Benedictine for a late hit, Massillon had a first‑and‑goal at the three. Gehring barged over the line for his second TD, Wright’s conversion pass was incomplete and it was 24‑0 with 11:43 remaining to play.
Massillon’s defense again held the Bennies at bay, but a booming punt by 6-4 Dave Marshall, one of those trees on defense, put the Tigers on their 20.

Offenbecher returned to action, with the nod from Currence to call his own game.
“When Brent went out he was determined to take it all the way,” Currence said.
He did ‑ with a little help from the defense.

The offense ran two plays and got a 15-yard holding penalty in the process, putting the ball back at the 13. Two plays later Offenbecher got hit as he threw the ball and Scott Modzelewski intercepted at the Benedictine 48. The Beanies went to the air right away and Horton connected with 6‑6 end Joe Mincek. The tall guy ran for some good yardage but fumbled when he was tackled and Cleveland recovered for the Tigers at Massillon’s 22.
So Offenbecher went to work again. He hit Strawder and Bill Beitel on consecutive passes, threw an incomplete pass, then rolled to his left and picked up 12 yards an his own. He got steamrollered when he was already out of bounds, which gave the Tigers an additional 15 yards.

With a second‑and‑one on the Bennies’ 21, however, Massillon returned the yardage on an illegal receiver penalty. That infraction made it second‑and‑16 at the Cleveland 36, but a hard run by Sam Hill and a pass to Guzzetta made it first‑and‑10 at the 15. Offenbecher hit junior end Scott Gehring at the three, and kept the ball on three successive plays until he punched into the end zone with 3:01 remaining.

“Yeah, the fumbles sum hurt us,” Bossu said after the game. “Our defense was on the field longer than it should have been, and Massillon has an awfully strong offense,” he added.
Thinking of those fumbles and interceptions, Currence said, “I have to apologize to our defense. We should have scored so many more times.”
So, what‑the‑heck; 31‑0 isn’t bad at all.

First down, rush. 9 4
First downs pass. 12 4
First downs pen. A 2
Total first down 21 10
Yards gained rushing 221 130
Yards lost rush. 48 5
Net yds. gained rush. 173 125
Net yds. passing 241 97
Total yds. gained 414 222
Passes att. 34 11
Passes completed 15 5
Passes intercepted 3 3
Yardage on passes intercepted 20 4
Times kicked off 6 1
Kickoff ave. 46 42
Kickoff returns 25 93
Times punted 2 6
Punt average 25 34
Punt returns 45 0
Punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 1 7
Lost fumbles 1 5
Penalties 5 3
Yards penalized 74 24
Touchdowns rushing 5 0
Total number of plays 73 55
Time of Poss. 25:03 22:57

MASSILLON 0 6 12 13 31

M ‑ Jeff Beitel 68 run (Ron Wright kick fail);
M ‑ J. Beitel 25 run (pass fail);
M – Tom Gehring 4 run (pass fail);
M – T. Gehring 3 run (pass fail);
M – Brent Offenbecher 1 run (Wright kick).



QUARTERBACK: 14 – Brent Offenbecher (Sr., 6‑1,175);
FULLBACK: 49 ‑ Sam Hill (Jr., 5‑6,160), 43 ‑ Tom Gehring (Sr., 5‑10. 171);
HALFBACKS: 45 ‑ Jeff Beitel (Sr., 5‑7 158), 22 ‑ Bill Beitel (Jr., 5‑7, 148);
ENDS: 42 – Curtis Strawder (Sr., 5-10, 153), 13 ‑ Ron Wright (Sr., 5-9,173), 25 Marty Guzzetta (Jr., 5-9, 160);
TACKLES: 67 – Doug Wood (Sr., 6‑2, 191), 76 ‑ Mark Kircher (Jr., 6‑1, 212);
GUARDS: 69 ‑ Jim Horton (Sr., 6-0,177), 65 ‑ Larry Massie (Jr., 5‑7, 195);
CENTER: 51 Scott Kasunick (Sr., 5‑9, 181).

ENDS: 81 ‑ Bruce Solinger (Sr.. 6-0, 175), 88 ‑ Kent Wilson (Sr. 6-0, 182);
TACKLES: 72 ‑ Harry Foster (Sr, 6‑2, 222), 71 ‑ Jeff Pedro (Sr., 6‑3, 204);
MIDDLE GUARD: 55 ‑ Bob Simpson (Jr., 5‑11, 190);
LINEBACKERS: 28 ‑ Dick Cleveland (Sr., 5 11,188), 38 Kevin Harris (Sr. 5‑10, 182);
MONSTER BACK: 11 Darren Longshore (Sr., 6-1, 175);
SAFETY: 21 – Jamie Schiegel (Jr., 5‑11, 160);
HALFBACKS: 34 – Jeff David (Sr., 5-9, 188), 12 ‑ Dan Venables (Sr., 5‑10, 160)
KICKERS: 13 ‑ Wright (punts, extra points), 86 ‑ Mike Hodgson (Jr., 6‑5. 194) kickoffs.


QUARTERBACK: 10 – Dave Horton (Jr., 5‑8, 124);
FULLBACK: 21 Mark Mariani (Sr., 6-0. 186);
HALFBACKS: 22 Don Cline (Soph., 5‑10, 160); 95 – Joe Mencek (Sr., 6‑6, 186);
ENDS: 85 ‑ Dave Marshall (Sr., 6-4, 188), 81 ‑ John Goode ( J r. , 6-2, 192);
TACKLES: 72 ‑ Dan Cash (Jr., 6-2, 190), 71 ‑ Tom Glowik (Sr., 6‑4, 215);
GUARDS: 61 ‑ Greg Shenedy (Sr., 5‑9, 166), 66 ‑ Joe Buerger (Jr., 5-11, 179), 63 – Dan Frate (Sr., 5-11, 178 ), 60 – John Savage (Jr., 5‑10, 177);
CENTER: 55 – Mike Shantery (Jr., 5-11, 175).

ENDS: 64 ‑ Willie Tucker (Sr., 6‑1, 191), 57 – Tony Pletka (Sr., 6-0, 176);
TACKLES: Jim Urda (Sr., 6-3, 210) , 70 ‑ Jim Kutka (Soph., 5-11, 175);
LINEBACKERS: 50 – Ted Chiudioni (Sr., 5-9, 164), 90 – Derick Dove (Sr., 6-2, 185);
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS: 60 – John Savage, 85 ‑ Dave Marshall;
HALFBACKS: 30 ‑ Hugh Evert (Sr., 5‑10, 155), 32 – Scott Modzelewski (Jr., 5-10, 166);
SAFETY: 95 – Joe Mincek.
KICKER: 57 ‑ Tony Pletka.

SERIES: 24th meeting, Massillon Holds hold’s 20‑2-1 edge.
LAST MEETING: 1977, Massillon 24, Benedictine 7.
POINTS SCORED BY: Massillon 131, Benedictine 45.
POINTS SCORED AGAINST: Massillon 22, Benedictine 23.

Curtis Strawder
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1978: Massillon 40, East Liverpool 7

Tiger aerial game buries Potters 40-7 with 33 second‑half points

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers finally found their passing game and exploded for 33 second‑half points as they handed the East Liverpool Potters a 40-7 pasting Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The 11,510 fail saw the Tigers sleepwalk through the first half as the Potters controlled the ball and took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.

A fumble recovery 55 seconds before intermission woke the Tigers up, however, and they drove 44 yards to tie the score 12 seconds before the band show.

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Brent Offenbecher then cranked up the passing game and East Liverpool coughed up the football as the Tigers scored 12 points in the third quarter and 21 in the final period. Unofficially Offenbecher finished with 189 yards on 12 of 21 passes and two TDs.

“We weren’t ready to play football the first half,” happy Tiger head Mike Currence said after the game.

“We were walking around before me game watching the tiger, looking at the cheerleaders, saying to mom and dad in the stands,” Currence said, tongue in check. “We thought it was going to be a nice night.”

“The best thing that happened was we got back on the field and did our two minute drill,” he pointed out, referring to the Tigers 42 second drive just before the half ended.

“We were cautious. Then when we found out we had to sprint ‑ and did it ‑ it gave us confidence. We knew we could go back out the second half and throw.”

A little pep talk at halftime also helped wake the Tigers up, Currence admitted.

“’They scored first and that shook us no quite a bit,” Currence said.

The Potters score came on a one‑yard run by Less Browne following a 69‑yard drive that consumed 8:20 of the second quarter.

Potter coach Ted Maley said after the game that controlling the ball was the game plan.

“We weren’t going to come in here with 50 new
plays or anything,” Maley said. “We had to do the things we do well, we had to execute well. And we did it for a half.

“After a couple of breaks, mental lapses set in and that’s when (Massillon’s) tradition came in,” Maley explained.

‘The end of the first half wasn’t the turning point, though the kids thought about that coming out. The two quick touchdowns did it,” he added.

It was Offenbecher’s sharp passing that got the Tigers moving in a hurry.

“Brent’s back in form and I’m glad he is,” Currence said.

After a scoreless first quarter, East Liverpool started the second period at their own 31 and embarked on the 16‑play drive that ate up 8:20 on the clock.

Some short out passes by junior quarterback John Talbot and hard running by Less Browne ‑ who gained 29 yards on eight carries and picked up four first downs during the drive ‑ helped the Potters take command of the game at that at point.

Browne scored from a yard out and Mark Crawford booted the extra point to put the Potters out front 7‑0.

The Tigers got the ball and went to the air as Offenbecher hit Curtis Strawder – wno had 6 receptions for 71 yards (unofficially) ‑ with a pair of down and out passes for 14 and 11 yards.

Following a run for no gain, the next three passes fell incomplete and East Liverpool had the ball back at their 35 yard line with 2:37 left in the half.

East Liverpool started driving again, picking up two first downs and moving into Massillon territory when Jeff Pedro recovered, a Potter fumble in the backfield at the East Liverpool 44 yard line with 55 seconds to play in the half.

Offenbecher hit Strawder for 16 and 19 yards and an interference penalty against East Liverpool made it first and goal just inside the five. Offenbecher ran a keeper left to the one and sneaked over on the next play with 12 second remaining. Ron Wright tied the score with his placement.

East Liverpool took the second half kickoff, got one first down and punted with the Tigers taking over at their own 24.

Offenbecher hit Strawder for seven yards, then threw an incompletion and limped off the field favoring his knee. Wright took over for two plays as Jeff Beitel gained four yards and Sam Hill five.

Offenbecher came back in and hit Bill Beitel with a 12 yard pass good to the Potter 48. Following a incompletion, he found Bill Beitel again, this time wide open on the left sideline. The junior halfback caught the ball and raced to the Potter two where he was finally hauled down.

His brother Jeff carried it over for the score with 6:23 to go in the quarter. The extra point kick failed and the Tigers led 13‑0. The drive covered 76 yards in 8 plays and lasted 2:05.

Currence explained that Offenbecher came out of the game because his knee popped out.

“But that Ronnie Wright is a cool cucumber. He goes right in and no mistakes,” Currence said.

East Liverpool then fumbled the ball away on another pitch out on its next possession and defensive halfback Jeff David recovered the ball at the Potter 49.

Five plays and a minute and 50 seconds later Offenbecher found Jeff Beitel open over the middle on a quick pass and the senior speedster throw one fake and was gone for a 24‑yard scoring play.

A pass for the points after failed and the Tigers led 19‑7 with 2:23 left in the third quarter.

East Liverpool took the kickoff and drove out to their own 30 as the quarter ended.

On the first play of the fourth period, monster back Darren Longshore made a spectacular one‑handed interception at the Potter 30 yard line and scampered into the end zone. Wright ‘s kick made it 26‑7 Tigers.

East Liverpool took the kickoff and drove out to its 36 where it had to punt on fourth and two. The snap from center sailed over Lou Ward’s head and defensive end Kent Wilson covered him at the Potter 11.

Jeff Beitel swept right end to the three and Offenbecher found Strawder open in the left flat of the end one for another TD with 9:12 to go. Wright’s kick was good and the Tigers had opened up a 33‑7 lead and opened the door for the substitutes.

Later in the quarter, Len Robinson intercepted a Talbot pass at the Tiger 15. The Tigers had to punt but guard Eric Barnard recovered a Potter fumble on the play at the East Liverpool 49.

Junior Bill Scott then drove the Tigers to their final score by hitting Bill Burkett with an eight‑yard TD pass with 13 second to go in the game.

Scott set up the play with a 27-yard pass to Burkett and a 10‑yard aerial to Greg Evans. Jeff Fry converted on the point after kick to close the scoring at 40‑7 and leave the Tigers at 3‑0 and the Potters at 1‑3.

In addition to Offenbecher and Strawder’s stats, Wright caught one pass for 16 yards, Bill Beitel caught four for 78 yards, Jeff Beitel caught one for 24 yards, Burkett caught two for 35 yards and Evans had one for 10 yards.

Sam Hill, who had a 70‑yard run against Perry called back in the opener, had an 86‑yard touchdown run called back because of an legal procedure penalty.

The Tigers’ explosiveness was evident not only from the points scored, but from the fact they scored 40 points while having the ball for just 17:46. The Potters had the ball for 30:14.

The Tigers travel to Niles McKinley next Saturday night for their second All-American Conference game.

First downs 3 10
First downs passing 12 1
First downs penalties 2 2
Total first downs 17 13
Yards gained rushing 95 139
Yards lost rushing 11 41
Net yards gained rushing 84 98
Net yards gained passing 236 46
Trial yards gained 320 144
Passes attempted 27 11
Passes completed 15 7
Passes intercepted by 2 0
Yardage on passes intercepted 38 0
Times kicked off 7 2
Kickoff average (yards) 39.1 41.5
Kickoff returns (yards) 29 96
Times punted 3 4
Punt average (yards) 33.3 26.2
Punt returns (yards) 0 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 1 5
Lost fumbled ball 1 3
Penalties 8 7
Yards penalized 40 75
Touchdowns rushing 2 1
Touchdowns passing 3 0
Touchdowns by interception 1 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Total number of plays 50 61
Total time of possession 17:46 30:14

E. LIVERPOOL 0 7 0 0 7
MASSILLON 0 7 12 21 40

QUARTERBACK: 14 Brent Offenbecher (Sr., 6‑1, 175);
FULLBACK: 43 Tom Gehring (Sr., 5-10, 171);
HALFBACKS: 45 Jeff Beitel (Sr., 5‑7, 158), 22 Bill Beitel (Jr., 5‑7, 148);
ENDS: 42 Curtis Strawder (Sr., 5‑10, 153), 13 Ron Wright (Sr., 5‑9, 173), 25 Marty Guzzetta (Jr., 5‑9, 160);
TACKLES: 67 Doug Wood (Sr., 6 2, 191), 76 Mark Kircher (Jr., 6-1, 212);
GUARDS: 69 Jim Horton (Sr., 6‑0, 177), 79 Eric Barnard (Sr., 6‑2, 215);
CENTER: 51 Scott Kasunick (Sr., 5-9, 181).

ENDS: 81 Bruce Solinger (Sr., 6-0, 175), 88 Kent Wilson (Sr., 6-0, 182);
TACKLES: 72 Harry Foster (Sr., 6-2, 232), 71 Jeff Pedro (Sr., 6‑3, 204);
MIDDLE GUARD: 55 Bob Simpson (Jr., 5-11, 190);
LINEBACKERS: 28 Dick Cleveland (Sr., 5‑11, 188), 38 Kevin Harris (Sr., 5-10, 182);
MONSTER BACK: 11 Darren Longshore (Sr., 6-1, 175);
SAFETY: 21 Jamie Schlegel (Jr., 5‑11, 160);
HALFBACKS: 34 Jeff David (Sr., 5‑9, 188), 12 Dan Venables (Sr., 5‑10, 160).
KICKERS: 13 Wright (punts, extra points), 86 Mike Hodgson (Jr., 6-5, 194) kickoffs.

QUARTERBACK: 7 Pat McNicol (Jr., 6-0, 160), 18 John Talbot (Jr., 6-1, 150);
FULLBACK: 3 Ed Pack (Sr., 5‑10, 180);
HALFBACKS: 5 Less Browne (Sr., 5-10, 170), 41 Larry Laneve (Jr., 5-10, 145), 30 Joe Anderson (Sr., 5-10, 160);
ENDS: 85 Kevan Merriman (Sr., 5‑10, 170), 80 Mark Crawford (Jr., 6‑2, 185);
TACKLES: 65 Dan Nizer (Sr., 5-10, 195); 74 Joe Porter (Sr., 6‑2 250);
GUARDS: 66 Chuck Stephenson (Sr., 5-10, 185), 61 Mike Tice (Sr., 5‑10, 166);
CENTER: 50 Mike Blaner (Jr., 6‑1, 220)

ENDS: 83 Brad Goodballet (Sr., 6‑1, 180), 40 Lou Ward (Sr., 5-11, 215);
TACKLES: 74 Porter 50 Blaner;
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS: 85 Merriman, 21 Steve Banfield (Sr., 5‑9, 150);
INSIDE LINEBACKERS: 30 Crawford, 34 John Ferlaino (Jr., 5‑11, 170);
HALFFBACKS: 30 Anderson, 12 John Judy (Jr., 5-9, 150), 27 Tim Kelly (Jr., 5‑11, 155);
KICKERS: 80 Crawford (place kicker), 40 Ward (punter).

SERIES: 2nd meeting, Massillon holds 1-0 edge.
LAST MEETING: 1960, Massillon 42, East Liverpool 0.
POINTS SCORED BY: Massillon 64, East Liverpool 29.
POINTS SCORED AGAINST: Massillon 8, East Liverpool 52.

Curtis Strawder
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1978: Massillon 37, Alliance 2

Tiger defense destroys Aviators 37‑2

Independent Sports Editor
The Massillon Tiger defense scored two touchdowns and set up the other three to spark a 37‑2 win over Alliance in an All‑American Conference game at Mount Union Stadium Friday night.

“The defense shines tonight,” head coach Mike Currence said in the Tiger lockerroom after the game.

“My defensive people are real proud,” Currence noted, amid shouts of “defense” from his players. “They came up with the big play.”

Indeed they did, seven times to be exact, including four interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

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It was the defense that came to the rescue of a struggling Tiger offense in the first quarter when Kent Wilson scooped up an Aviator fumble at the Alliance six yard line and took it in for the first score of the game.

An interception, a good punt return and a fumble recovery set up the next three Tiger scores as the offense had to go only 29, 32 and 28 yards to find paydirt each time.

The fifth TD was on a 30‑yard interception return by linebacker Tim Reese after a fine one‑handed catch.

The big plays by the a Tiger defense were needed as Alliance’s defense played hard‑nose football, almost shutting down the Tiger air game completely.

“We played give away football.” Aviator head coach Julius “Juice” Tonges said of the game afterwards.

“Our defense didn’t play too bad. We went after them defensively, we were aggressive. But when you give them field position and touchdowns and keep your defense out there all night they get tired,” Tonges added.

“Offense is discipline, and apparently we don’t have enough self discipline,” he said.

Currence had praise for the Aviator defense also, “They did a good job defending us,” he said. “I knew he would, Juice always does.

“We just couldn’t throw. He changed up on us and went with a 50 defense,”

Currence pointed out. “We were expecting a 4‑4.”

The 50 defense enabled the Aviators to get a strong pass rush, which gave Brent Offenbecher little time to throw.

“But they made the big mistakes and gave us a couple of touchdowns. We had to grind it out to score though, because they shut down our offense.”

Currence did admit that his offense, didn’t commit the penalties and mistakes it did in the opener last week against Perry.

Alliance made a mistake on the opening kickoff the Aviator, tried for side kick. The ball ? three yards and the Tigers took over at the Aviators ?.

A drive to the 12 when Offenbecher threw Curtis Strawder in the left corner of the end zone a fourth and three play.

The teams exchanged punts, with Alliance getting the ball on its own 1? line. On first down, Clay Brown fumbled the handoff from quarterback Dhayer and Tiger defensive end Kent Wilson scooted the ball at the six and went in for the first score of the game. Jeff Fry booted the point after and Massillon led 7‑0 with 2:10 to play in the first period.

Following a punt by Alliance, Massillon drove from its own 46 to the Aviator 25 where Jeff Beitel fumbled and Alliance’s Stuart Tolle recovered.

The teams exchanged punts again, with Alliance getting the ball on its own 18. On second and seven, Brown tried a halfback pass which was intercepted by Jamie Schlegel at file Aviator 45 and returned 16 yards to the 29.

The Tigers drove to the Aviator seven yard line, mostly behind the running of fullback Sam Hill (who was subbing for the injured Tom Gehring).

On first down of the seven, Offenbecher’s pass for Strawder was almost intercepted in the end zone. Currence then sent linebacker Dick Cleveland in to play fullback and Jeff Beitel followed his block to the one yard line and then into the end zone on the next play.

Alliance was called off side before the kick attempt, so the Tigers went for two from the one half yard line.

Once again Jeff Beitel followed Cleveland into the end zone behind right guard Eric Barnard and the Tigers led 15‑0 with 1:29 left before the half.

Alliance ran three plays and punted to open the second half and Offenbecher’s pass for Strawder three plays later was intercepted by Ray Phillabaum at the Aviator 13.

The Tiger defense held them at the 12 (thanks in part to an offside penalty against the Aviators and a punt by Tim Graybill was fielded at the 40 by Schlegel’ and returned eight yards to the Alliance 32.

On fourth and four at the 26, Offenbecher went left on a keeper and came up short of the first down, but a defensive holding penalty on Alliance gave the Tigers a first down at the 11.

Jeff Beitel went through the right side of the line, broke three or four tackles and then danced through three Aviator defenders before crossing the goal line standing up.

Alliance was offsides again on the kick attempt, so the Tigers went for two and Jeff Beitel once again shimmied through the Aviator line for the conversion. With 6:02 left in the third quarter, the Tigers led 23‑0.

Following another exchange of punts, the Aviators took over the ball, on their own 30. On first down, Tiger defensive tackle Barry Foster batted down a pass at the line and on second down he put a hard hit on Aviator running back Oliver Scott. Scott coughed up the football and Wilson recovered his second fumble of the game (He also ran this one into the end zone but the play had been blown dead).

Offenbecher finally started to find the range (on short, quick slant‑in patterns that didn’t need much pass protection), hitting Marty Guzzetta for 11 yards and Strawder for six.

On third and goal from the three, Bill Belief took a quick handoff around left tackle for a TD. The play completely faked out the Alliance defense, which was looking for Bill’s brother Jeff to crack the right side again.

Fry booted the point after and Massillon had a 30‑0 lead, With 41 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Tigers final score came when linebacker Tim Reese made a one‑handed interception of a Jerry Latimore pass and returned it 30 yards for a store. Ron Wright kicked the point after for a 37‑0 margin with 10: 22 remaining.

It was the Tiger defense’s second score of the night. The defense was so effective, live, it didn’t allow the Aviators a first down until 9:41 of the final period. That was on a 42‑yard pass ‑ the Aviators only completion of the night ‑ from Brown to Allan Williamson. The Aviators did manage one more first down on a run by Scott.

Alliance finally got on the board with 4:55 to play when Jeff Russell blocked a Dave Gibbs punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

The Tigers held the Aviators to just 34 yards total offense the first half and 113 for the game. The Tigers totaled just 202 for the game themselves.

Offenbecher was 2 of 9 the first half for 23 yards and finished the game with 4 of 13 for 40 yards. Sam Hill led the Tiger rushing attack with 72 yards in 12 carries Jeff Beitel gained 43 in 12 carries (and scored two TDs and two conversion runs).

Oliver Scott led Alliance with 60 yards in 20 attempts. The Aviators completed just one of 14 pass attempts.

The Tigers will play East Liverpool at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Friday night. Cleveland Glenville, the original opponent, will be unable to play because of the Cleveland teachers’ strike.

The Tigers are now 2‑0 overall and 1‑0 in the All-American Conference, while Alliance drops to 0‑2 (0 1).

First downs rushing 8 1
First downs passing 3 1
First downs penalties 3 0
Total first downs 14 2
Yards gained rushing 179 76
Yards lost rushing 29 5
Net yards gained rushing 150 71
Net yards gained passing 52 42
Total yards gained 202 113
Passes attempted 17 14
Passes completed 5 1
Passes intercepted by 4 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 66 0
Times kicked off 7 1
Kickoff average (yards) 45.0 2.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 0 72
Times punted 4 5
Punt average (yards) 28.3 36.8
Punt returns (yards) 41 15
Had punts blocked 1 0
Fumbles 4 3
Lost fumbled ball 2 3
Penalties 6 10
Yards penalized 50 70
Touchdowns rushing 3 0
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Touchdowns by interception 1 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 1 0
Total number of plays 61 47
Total time of 27:07 20 53

MASSILLON 7 8 15 7 37
ALLIANCE 0 0 0 2 2

QUARTERBACK: 13 Mike Dhayer (Jr‑ 6-2, 184), 10 Clay Brown (J r. 5-9, 145)
HALFBACKS: 30 Oliver Scott (Sr., 5-10. 150), 40 ‑ Glenn Ford ( Sr.. 5-11, 155), 33 Lawrence Parsons (Sr. 6-2, 175);
WINGBACK: 25 Allan Williamson (Sr., 6-2, 170);
ENDS: 89 Scott Bell (Sr., 6-1, 190), 87 Joe Ailes (Sr., 6-0, 175), 80 ‑ Rich Summers (Jr., 6‑4, 188);
TACKLES: 68 Bob Slutz (Sr., 6-0, 240), 56 Craig Hoopes (Sr., 5-11, 218);
GUARDS: 50 Lou Cironi (Sr., 6‑3, 200), 66 William Cade (Sr., 5‑11, 195);
CENTER: 76 Barry Grimes (Jr., 6-0, 217 ).
ENDS: 83 Bill Collins (Jr., 6-0, 170), 80 Summers;
TACKLES: 79 Stuart Tulle (Jr., 6-3, 200), 68 Slutz;
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS: 50 Cironi, 33 Parsons;
INSIDE LINEBACKERS: 60 Brett Amelung (Sr., 5‑8, 160), 21 Jeff Russell (Jr., 5‑8, 163);
SAFETY: 10 Brown;
HALFBACKS: 30 Scott; 34 Anthony Nelson (Jr., 5‑8, 150), 11Roy Phillabaum (Sr., 5‑9,135).

SERIES: 68th meeting, Massillon holds 56‑9 2 edge.
POINTS SCORED BY: Massillon 27, Alliance 0
POINTS SCORED AGAINST: Massillon 6, Alliance 20
LAST MEETING: 1977, Massillon 44, Alliance 0.

QUARTERBACK: 14 Brent Offenbecher (Sr., 6‑1, 175);
FULLBACK: 43 Tom Gehring (Sr., 5‑10, 171);
HALFBACKS: 45 Jeff Beitel (Sr., 5‑7. 158), 22 Bill Beitel (Jr., 5‑7, 148);
ENDS: 42 Curtis Strawder (Sr., 5-10, 153), 13 Ron Wright (Sr ., 5-9, 173). 25 Marty Guzzetta (Jr., 5-9, 160);
TACKLES: 67 Doug Wood (Sr., 6‑2, 191), 76 Mark Kircher (Jr., 6‑1, 212);
GUARDS: 69 Jim Horton (Sr., 6‑0 177), 79 Eric Barnard (Sr., 6-2, 215);
CENTER: Scott Kasunick (Sr., 5-9, 181).

ENDS: 81 Bruce Solinger (Sr., 6‑0, 175), 88 Kent Wilson (Sr., 6-0, 182);
TACKLES: 72 Harry Foster (Sr., 6‑2, 232), 71 Jeff Pedro (Sr., 6‑3. 204);
MIDDLE GUARD: 55 Bob Simpson (Jr., 5-11, 190);
LINEBACKERS: 28 Dick Cleveland (Sr., 5‑11, 188), 38 Kevin Harris (Sr., 5‑10, 182);
MONSTER BACK: 11 Darren Longshore (Sr., 6‑1, 175);
SAFETY: 21 Jamie Schlegel (Jr., 5‑11, 160);
HALFBACKS: 34 Jeff David (Sr., 5‑9, 188), 12 Dan Venables (Sr., 5‑10, 160);
KICKERS: 13 Wright (punts, extra points), 36 Mike Hodgson (Jr., 6‑5. 194) kickoffs.

Tigers to host East Liverpool
The Massillon Tigers will play East Liverpool Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

East Liverpool will replace Cleveland Glenville which will be unable to play because of a teachers’ strike.

The game was agreed to by the Potters at 3 p.m. Friday and a contract was supposed to be signed later that night or today.

The Tigers have played the Liverpool only once, winning 42-0 in 1960.

“I’ve been wanting to play them for a long time,” Tiger head coach Mike Currence said Friday night.

The Potters, who lost to Wintersville last week, were to play at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney tonight.

The game will not count in the computer rankings.

Curtis Strawder
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1978: Massillon 27, Massillon Perry 6

Wright keys Tiger win over Panthers
Massillon’s 27-6 victory hard fought

Independent Sports Editor
“Thank God for Ronnie Wright, because tie’s a winner.” sighed Massillon Tiger head coach Mike Currence Friday night.

And thanks to Wright, it was a sigh of relief from Currence, whose Tigers overcame a ragged Perry Panther team to win their first opener in three years, 27‑6.

”Mistakes, mistake, mistakes,” Currence moaned in the lockeroom at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium after the game. “If we would have made any more mistakes it would have been their game.”

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“There isn’t one guy that didn’t make a mistake. We didn’t handle the emotional stress very well. Ronnie just seems to be able to handle the pressure.”

The game was a lot closer than the score indicates – with Perry missing a field goal in the first quarter and fumbling the ball away at the Massillon one‑yard line in the third quarter ‑ and it took a clutch second‑half performance by Wright to keep the Panthers at bay.

The kick failed and the score was 20‑6 at the half.

Perry took the second-half kickoff and drove to Massillon’s one‑yard line where Fink fumbled and Pedro came with his second recovery of the game.

Neither team could get a drive going and the third quarter ended with the score still 20-6.

Just before the end of the third quarter, Wright replaced Offenbecher at quarterback with the Tigers at their own four yard line following a great coffin‑corner kick of 37 yards by Fink).

Bill Beitel gained 11 and five yards, Sam Hill rushed for two and then caught a three‑yard pass from Wright for a first down at Perry’s 25.

Wright drove the team all the way to Perry’s 18 – completing two more passes for 27 yards along the way – before Paul White fumbled the ball and Vasiliades recovered.

But the drive got the Tigers out of a bad hole and kept the persistent Panthers at bay.

Asked why he switched quarterbacks, Currence said: “Brent was hurt all, week, I don’t know if people knew that. He did the best be could do I don’t even know if he could see out there (because of a swollen face).

“But Brent didn’t have the timing. He knew it and I knew it, and I didn’t want to throw anyway. I just wanted to drive it out of there and that’s what we did. Ronnie does a good job on the short pass and his faking and ball handling are excellent.

“It wasn’t Brent’s fault. Besides, we had bad field position all night. But when we had to call on Ronnie he came up with the big play,” Currence explained.

He came up with another big play when the Tigers got the ball back with less than two minutes to go in the game.

Offenbecher came back in at quarterback and hurled a perfect pass to Wright who made a fingertip catch and sprinted to the end zone to complete a 59‑yard scoring play. Wright added the extra point kick and the score ended 27‑6.

Despite the mistakes, it was a good way to start a rivalry (this being the first meeting between the two schools go the gridiron) and the Perry Panthers certainly gave the Tigers all they needed.

First downs – rushing 9 4
First downs – passing 1 7
First downs – penalties 0 1
Total first downs 15 12
Yards gained rushing 292 58
Yard, lost rushing 25 6
Net yards gained rushing 267 52
Net yards gained passing 153 139
Total yards gained 420 191
Passes attempted 15 31
Passes completed 8 15
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 11 0
Times kicked off 5 2
Kickoff average (yards) 46.8 50 4
Kickoff returns (yards) 87 103
Times punted 4 6
Punt average (yards) 32.0 34.8
Punt returns (yards) 10 8
Had punts (blocked) 0 0
Fumbles 4 3
Lost fumbled ball 2 2
Penalties 7 10
Yards penalized 65 71
Touchdowns rushing 2 0
Touchdowns passing 2 1
Touchdowns by interception 0 0


QUARTERBACK: 14 Brent Offenbecher (Sr., 6‑1, 175);
FULLBACK: 43 Tom Gehring (Sr., 5‑10, 171);
HALFBACKS: 45 ‑ Jeff Belief (Jr., 5‑7, 158), 22 ‑ Bill Beitel (148);
ENDS: 42 Curtis Strawder (Sr., 5‑10, 153), 13 ‑ Ron Wright (Sr., 5-9. 173), 25 Marty Guzzetta (Jr., 5‑ 9, 160 );
TACKLES: 67 ‑ Doug Wood (Sr, 6‑2, 191), 76 Mark Kircher (Jr., 6-1, 212);
GUARDS: 69 Jim Horton (Sr., 6‑0, 177), 79 Eric Barnard (Sr., 6-2, 215);
CENTER: 51 Scott Kasunick (Sr., 5‑9, 181).

ENDS: 81 Bruce Solinger, (Sr., 6 0, 175), 88 Kent Wilson (Sr., 6-0, 182);
TACKLES: 72 Harry Foster (Sr., 6-2, 232), 71 Jeff Pedro (Sr., 6-3, 204);
MIDDLE GUARD: 55 Bob Simpson (Jr., 5‑11, 190);
LINEBACKERS: 32 Dick Cleveland (Sr., 5‑11, 188), 17 ‑ Kevin Harris (Sr., 5‑10, 182);
MONSTER BACK: 11 Darren Longshore (Sr., 6‑1, 175);
SAFETY: 21 Jamie Schlegel (Jr., 5‑11 160) or 24 Dan DiLoretto (Jr., 5-8, 149);
HALFBACKS: 34 Jeff David (Sr., 5‑9, 188), 12 Dan Venables (Sr., 5‑10 160).
KICKERS: 13 Wright (punts, extra points), 86 Mike Hodgson (Jr., 6-5, 194) kickoffs.

QUARTERBACK: 14 John Vasiliades (Sr., 6-0, 170);
FULLBACK: 32 Greg Grimsley (So, 6‑0, 195);
HALFBACKS: 35 Steve Fink (Sr., 5‑10.171), 23 Ronnie Wilson (Sr., 5‑8, 148);
ENDS: 83 Greg Janowicz (Sr., 6‑1, 188), 15 ‑ Scott Slicker (Sr., 5‑11, 163);
TACKLES: 72 Eric Ferguson (Sr., 6-1, 204), 77 ‑ Doug Lab (Jr., 6‑0 195);
GUARDS: 65 Rick Troxell (Sr., 5-8, 162), 61 Dennis Rollins (Sr., 5‑9, 165);
CENTER: 54 Jerry McCoy (Sr., 6‑1, 218).

ENDS: 86 Mike Daniels (So., 5-10 179), 83 Janowicz;
TACKLES: 77 Lab, 72 Ferguson;
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS: 14 Vasiliades, 35 Fink;
INSIDE LINEBACKERS: 65 Troxell, 53 Do Gregoire (Jr., 6-1, 167);
SAFETY: 23 Wilson;
HALFBACKS: 15 Slicker, 49 Aubrey Trufont (Sr., 5-7, 148).

SERIES: First meeting.

Federal clubs command respect
By Bob Stewart
Repository Sports Editor
In this, the first full weekend of Ohio high school football, the Federal League lost some battles, but may have wond the war.

To be sure, it was not the best weekend Federal League football teams ever have encountered, with only Jackson and Marlington managing to whip the non‑league competition.

But then Perry dared to enter the Tiger’ lair, and GlenOak made it’s second annual opener at Fawcett.

And therein lies a tale.

The Federal League teams that tweaked the tails of the so‑called mighty Massillon and McKinley aggaggregations got bit, but not fatally.

Perry gave the Tigers a run for their money, and the Pups had to come from behind to put down the Golden Eagle upstarts.

Federal League football must rank with some of the beat played in Ohio, and while the entire loop may not be able to play week in and week out with the likes of a Cincinnati Moeller, well, who can?

The Federal loop has gained respect, and there is no justification for the fans to be maligning the Federal teams on the McKinley and Massillon scheduled.

The Massillon fans have been grumbling since last spring about the Perry and Jackson addition to the Tigers.

But you will see more and more matchups like them. You need only look to the bottom line of the summary, where it reads: Attendance ‑ 17,930. That translates into $$$$.

That’s the most in Tiger Stadium for an opening ball game for many a moon. There is no question it’s a lot more than Dayton Roth or Cleveland East turnover would have put there.

In addition to the clicking of the turnstiles, the Massillons add the McKinleys also will be waiting for the clicking of the computers as the Perrys and the GlenOaks knock off teams the rest of the session.

Of all the teams on Massillon’s schedule this year, Perry had the beat 1977 record, except for McKinley, which want to the state playoffs.

The two top items for high school football teams these days are money and computer points.

Massillon and McKinley are convinced Federal foes can provide both.

But the Federal League also can provide some tough competition, and one of these years it could be a Federal team riding the Massillon or McKinley points into the state playoffs.

Louisville and North Canton have been but a whisker away from the playoffs in the past, and the Federal footballers have served notice that they come to play. If you put them on your schedule, better button up your chin strap.

Curtis Strawder