1927: Massillon 0, Canton McKinley 13
WASHINGTON HIGH BOWS TO CANTON
Local Gridders Hold Canton Scoreless for Two Periods, Then Weaken to Lose, 13 to 0
Eleven members of Washington high school’s greatly tossed about football team, dug their cleats into the hard wrinkled turn of Lakeside stadium, Canton, Saturday afternoon and showed 7,500 fans how a never die spirit could hold Canton McKinley’s high vaunted grid machine to two touchdowns and a score of 13 to 0.
For 24 minutes those snarling Tigers from Massillon turned back the desperate thrusts of the attacking Bulldog and for 12 minutes they held a decided advantage over their eastern rivals.
But a defensive game is a hard strain on any team and with the opening of the second half, things took a different turn. The orange and black, battered badly in its efforts to stem the Canton attack, failed to come back with its gallant defensive stand and was brushed aside by a powerful red and black offense which swept across the Massillon goal line after five minutes of the third period had expired. In these few minutes of the game, the condition of the two teams was the deciding factor and the McKinley players showed greater endurance than the youthful Tigers.
Two forward passes tossed by Lab, Canton substitute, carried the ball across the muddy part of the gridiron to within striking distance of the Massillon goal and paved the way for a touchdown. Then Canton’s galloping ghost, Sam Hodnick, forgot about his injured nose and began ripping the orange and black line to shreds. He carried the ball to the 12-yard mark for a first down. It appeared as though the youthful Tigers, fighting within the shadow of their own goal posts, would turn back the Canton threat. Three times McKinley backs smashed at the orange and black. Once it held. Then it yielded three yards and then five more. With fourth down coming, the ball on the four-yard line and two yards needed for a first down, Hodnick’s signal was called and the McKinley ace drove this165-pounds through the left side of the line with a force that carried him across the Massillon goal.
It was McKinley’s first touchdown. It took the red and black gridders 29 minutes to do what they should have accomplished in five minutes if comparative scores mean anything. McKinley scored one other touchdown, that coming when only half a minute of the game was left to play and was a direct result of a poor pass from the Massillon center which Leiber recovered on the orange and black’s 13-yard line. Goss and Maurer plunged the pigskin to the youthful Tigers one-yard line for a first down and Maurer went across on the next play. McKinley had one other opportunity to score, the ball being placed in position on the local team’s 37-yard line as a result of a blocked punt recovered by the Canton gridders, but after passes had carried the oval to within 12 yards of the goal, the McKinley quarterback like President Coolidge, did not choose to carry the ball, but elected to pass and the pigskin was grounded behind the orange and black goal line. The way in which Reese Price brought Hodnick to the earth after he had received a pass placing the ball on the 13-yard line, probably had as much to do with stopping the Canton gridders from scoring on that occasion as anything. Hodnick had evaded several tacklers until Price pounced on him, bringing the plunging fullback down with a heavy thud and injuring his nose, which slowed him up considerably for the remainder of the half.
While McKinley scored twice on three of its opportunities, the orange and black failed to even threaten the Canton goal line, The local lads got the ball once on the red and black’s 37-yard line after an exchange of punts, but there the Cantonians braced and forced the youthful Tigers to punt. Play during the greater part of the game was between the 35-yard markers and with the exception when McKinley scored its first touchdown; the ball was seldom advanced into enemy territory except through a poor punt or a break in the game.
The game Saturday was a case of a well oiled, fine functioning football machine pitted against an outfit with an unbeatable, defiant spirit. When the orange and black squad trotted out on the field it could be likened to that famous painting, “The Spirit of
Seventy-Six.” Several of the players had slight limps, others possessed injuries that they vainly tried to cover and only a great determination to hold Canton to a low score and preserve Massillon’s high score record, kept them in the game. One player, Dommer, a tackle, tossed away his crutches in order to play Saturday afternoon; another with a torn ear and a heavy bandage over the side of his face, went in and mixed it roughly with the Canton boys, while still another took a chance of being put on crutches for a week or more by playing his first game in five weeks, all because Massillon’s record on the gridiron had to be preserved and such it was. The McKinley team failed to do the thing that it most desired: to set a new high score for a Massillon-Canton game. When the two elevens met five years ago with Massillon being much the stronger team, the Washington high gridders set a record by beating the red and black 24 to 0 and that record still stands as a result of Canton being unable to score more than 13 points Saturday.
At that, granting that McKinley did play a better brand of football than the orange and black Saturday, its game was in reality only one touchdown better than the youthful Tigers. While the teams shared evenly in the breaks, McKinley’s were far more valuable for they came in Massillon territory, one of which contributed to a touchdown. On the other hand the youthful Tigers benefited very little by the breaks they received, practically all coming in their own territory, 50 yards or more from the Canton goal line.
First downs also show that McKinley failed to outplay the youthful Tigers by more than seven points. The red and black made nine first downs to Massillon’s four, but four of the host team’s downs were made on their first touchdown march while the others were scattered throughout the game. McKinley failed to make the required yardage a single time in the second period, while the orange and black negotiated the distance twice. The youthful Tigers had an edge on the red and black that period, outplaying the McKinley gridders. Two more first downs were rolled up by the Massillon aggregation in the fourth quarter, one as a result of a forward pass in the last few seconds of the game and the other on a 15-yard run by “Whitey” Laughlin on a triple pass.
The local eleven never managed to get a pass away until the final period because of the fast charging McKinley linemen. On several occasions Grant was smothered for a loss by a host of tacklers when he was attempting to find a man uncovered to receive a pass. Thus the youthful Tigers were unable to harness the air for gains until after the game was lost. McKinley completed three passes for a gain of 65 yards, while the local gridders made three passes, gaining 35 yards.
The Massillonians lost many yards on poor passes from center. Buttermore played a whale of a defensive game and was a regular bulwark in the center of the line, but after the first quarter he was badly used up by the McKinley players and was unable to bend over sufficiently to pass the ball accurately to the backfield receivers. He was taken from the game shortly after the start of the second half and soon after McKinley scored a touchdown. Whether McKinley would have scored had not Buttermore been injured and taken from the game will never be known but the fact remains that he made it miserable for Canton line smashes when he was playing.
The bad passes from center caused Foster plenty of trouble in getting away his punts. In spite of the fact that the ball was rolled back to him on the ground four times, he had only one kick blocked. These grounders, however, did cut many yards off his punts, as he had to boot the ball hurriedly when surrounded by Canton players, with the result that Kauffman had the edge in the punting for the day though that edge was very slight. Had Foster received as good passes from center as Kauffman, there is every reason to believe that he would have out punted the Canton player by many yards.
His punting held the Cantonians in check during the first half but in the third quarter his kicks failed to travel as far and McKinley gained ground on nearly every exchange. To the fans it appeared at the end of the first half that 1926 history might be repeated and the game result in another scoreless tie. Up to that time, each team had scored but two first downs and neither was able to get anywhere in advancing the ball. Captain Laughlin and Grant had smashed the McKinley line twice for the required distance, while Hodnick, through a forward pass and off tackle dashes, had made McKinley’s yardage.
However, with the opening of the third period McKinley showing greater recuperating power began to mix passes with its running attack. The touchdown march started when the Canton gridders took a Massillon punt in midfield. Hodnick made two yards at right end and Kauffman’s pass fell into unpopulated territory. Lab then heaved the ball to Hodnick for 12 yards, placing the ball on the 36-yard line. With the orange and black on the run, Lab tossed another pass to Farrell for a gain of 13 yards, placing the ball on the orange and black’s 23-yard line. Then Hodnick, forgetting the bump handed him by Price, began a series of plunges. Two drives at the Massillon line brought him a first down on the 13-yard line. Sam then struck to his right for two more. Brinson attempted to carry the ball but was smothered in his tracks, after a gain of two yards. Lab then found an opening and gained four more. With the ball only four yards from the Massillon goal and two yards needed for a first down, Hodnick smashed through Massillon’s right guard for a touchdown. Kauffman kicked the extra point from placement.
Briggs made a neat return of the kickoff, carrying the ball back 25 yards to the 48-yard line before being downed. That was one of two runs that featured the orange and black’s play during the afternoon. The other was Captain Laughlin’s 15-yard dash on a triple pass. Following the touchdown, the ball see-sawed back and forth, with neither team threatening to score until the last minute of the game. Then with the ball on the Massillon 28-yard line, Evans passed the oval over Laughlin’s head, McKinley recovering on the orange and black’s 13-yard line. On the first play, Maurer slashed through the left side of the Massillon line for six yards. Goss then hit the same spot for six more and a first down within half a yard of the goal. Maurer, carried the ball across. L. Miller’s kick was blocked.
A large number of Massillon fans attended the game, although not as many turned out as in former years. There were probably 2,000 or more fans from this city present, including Mrs. Mary Merrell, Massillon’s 87-yard old football fan. Mrs. Merrell attended the game, unaccompanied, via trolley car. If you don’t think she’s a rabid fan, you should have heard her discussing the game on her way to Canton.
The roughness that was a common factor in Canton-Massillon games 10 years back has disappeared. Instead of the customary sight of flying fists between halves, the bands of the two schools staged a drill on the field in front of their respective student bleachers. Everything was orderly Saturday. The sidelines were well guarded and the crowd was kept back of a strong fence so that it could not surge on to the field as it did two years ago. It was as orderly a Canton-Massillon game as has ever been played and credit should be given to the Canton management for making it so.
The game ends the season for the two elevens. In point of victories it has been one of the most successful for McKinley which dropped but one game, an early season 19 to 0 contest to Steubenville. The season, however has been just as disastrous for the orange and black as it has been good for McKinley. The youthful Tigers have won three games, lost five and tied one. In the last three years that Canton and Massillon have met, the McKinley gridders have won two games while last year’s contest ended in a scoreless tie.
Lineup and summary:
Canton – 13 Pos. Massillon – 0
Farrell LE Fox
Miller LT Dommer
Samuels LG Henderson
Rittersbaugh C Buttermore
Zeren RG Mauger
Esmont RT Price
Barrett RE Straughn
Kauffman QB Grant
Combs LHB Foster
Brinson RHB Briggs
Hodnick FB Laughlin
Score by periods:
Canton 0 0 7 6 13
Massillon – Evans for Straugh, Shanabrook for Fox, Fox for Shanabrook, Shanabrook for Evans, Evans for Buttermore, Garland for Dommer, Schnierle for Shanabrook.
Canton – Lab for Combs, Jurekovic for Farrell, Farrell for Barrett, Leiber for Zeren, Maurer for Brinson, Goss for Lab, Lab for Kauffman, Beidler for Jurekovic, Fraunfelter for Samuels, Schubach for Esmont, Green for Hodnick, Harbert for Miller, Kelly for Farrell.
Touchdowns – Hodnick, Maurer.
Point after touchdown – Kauffman (placekick).
Referee – Shafer (Akron).
Umpire – Morgan (Youngstown).
Head Linesman – Barrett (Sebring).