1928: Massillon 7, Barberton 6
WASHINGTON HI GRIDDERS NOSE OUT BARBERTON BY SINGLE POINT, 7-6
ONE-MAN TEAM FIFTH VICTIM OF YOUTHFUL TIGERS THIS SEASON
By LUTHER EMERY
Their hopes crushed under a 7 to 6 defeat, a disappointed Barberton football team slipped quietly and humbly out of Massillon Saturday afternoon. Tears were streaming down the faces of the gridders who had seen their hopes rise and fall under a strong orange and black attack. Many of them had dug their cleats into turf on Massillon field for the last time for their alma mater.
Most disappointed and broken in spirit of the defeated but gallant gridders was “Mike” Raplenovic, who played his last high school game in a most brilliant manner. Tears coursed down his dust covered face as he wended his way to the clubhouse, assisted by his coach, and exhausted by his untiring efforts to turn defeat into victory for his school. Pat after pat on the back was given him by Massillon fans, who admired him for his athletic ability and his clean play. It was his last game for Barberton and he received the words of praise with a choking “thank you.”
Raplenovic Star of Game
Raplenovic was the Barberton football team. He was the only back who could gain on the orange and black, and his runs frequently were for long distances. He scored Barberton’s touchdown. He did the passing, the punting, and a lot of the tackling. He was the victim of hard and frequent tackling, but his excellent physical condition and his ability to handle himself saved him from injury. Had he been in the Massillon backfield, there’s no telling what the score might have been.
Raplenovic scored Barberton’s touchdown in the first minute and a half of play, on a 24-yard run from scrimmage. The points came so quickly that fans hardly realized the game was under way.
The touchdown gave the signal for the start of the Massillon attack, and after gradually pushing the Barberton gridders back into their own territory, John Kester slipped away for a 4-yard run for a touchdown in the second period which tied the score, and “Dick” Watkins gave the orange and black its fifth victory by booting the extra point from placement.
With a lead of one point the youthful tigers realized that if they could stop Raplenovic, they would win the football game. This they did, and again did not. They kept this 160 pounds of human lightning from getting away for any more long runs for touchdowns, but they did not stop him from getting yards nearly every time he carried the ball, and had it not been for the failure of a bit of strategy upon the part of the Barberton coach in keeping his star player out the greater part of the third quarter, the brown and white might have finished on top.
But in spite of the fact that the visitors had the individual star of the day who stood head and shoulders in ability above any other member of the two elevens, the Massillon gridders completely outplayed their rivals the greater part of the game.
The orange and black had at least two other good opportunities to score, losing the ball once on the four-yard line, when Buttermore fumbled on the fourth down, and time and again carried the ball deep into the invader’s half of the field. The local team rolled up 16 first downs, while Barberton made one short of a dozen.
On forward passes, however, the visitors excelled Massillon showing its customary inability to gain with an aerial attack. McGrew’s men tried three passes. Two were intercepted while the third one was not completed. Barberton tried seven passes, completing two for a gain of 22 yards, had four incomplete and one intercepted.
The visitors were set back 65 yards in penalties while the orange and black lost 25 yards through foul play.
Breaks Help Barberton
Barberton’s touchdown came as a result of a bit of ill working strategy on the part of the Massillon team. The local eleven received, Hess being downed on the 25-yard line after taking the kickoff. In an attempt to catch the visitors off their guard, a forward pass was called on the first play, but Wolf’s heave fell into the arms of Sutter, Barberton halfback, who was downed on the 33-yard line. Two drives at the line gained nine yards and on the next play Raplenovic slipped through Massillon’s right guard for a run of 24 yards and a touchdown. Sutter’s kick hit the goal post and bounded to the side.
Kester Scores Touchdown
Massillon’s touchdown came in the early part of the second quarter, after a march of 75 yards. Getting the ball on its own 25-yard line where it was punted out of bounds by Raplenovic, the local eleven began a determined drive toward the Barberton goal. Hess struck left tackle for seven yards. Watkins slipped through for six yards and a first down on the 38-yard line. Hess made a yard at left end and Watkins four yards as the first period came to an end. With the ball on the 44-yard line, Kester slipped through for four yards. On the next play he punted across the Barberton goal line, but the visitors were called back and penalized five yards for offside giving the local team a first down in mid-field. Hess picked up three yards at right tackle, while Watkins dashed off left tackle for five yards and hit the same spot again for a first down on the 34-yard line. On the next play Kester broke through right tackle and stepped along the east side line for a touchdown. Watkins kicked the extra point from placement.
Stand Out for Massillon
Kester, Watkins and Goodman played brilliantly for the local team Saturday. Kester’s long punts offset the brilliant runs of Raplenovic, while Watkins’ off tackle dashes were largely responsible for the manner in which the orange and black carried the ball up and down the field. Goodman was a shining light on defense. He dropped Barberton runners for losses and showed ability at following the ball.
Barberton made a desperate effort in both the third and fourth periods to score, but lost the ball on downs both times. However, only the failure of Sutter to hold Raplenovic’s accurate pass kept the invaders from crossing the goal line in the third quarter. Sutter had the ball in his arms, but lost it with no one between himself and the goal line.
Combined Bands Play
The combined junior high and high school bands played for the game and drew the applause of the fans. The bands likely will be combined for the Canton game, Saturday.
The Massillon team played nothing but straight football. McGrew was unwilling to uncork any of his pet plays for the benefit of Canton scouts, saving all his mystery stuff for next week..
The orange and black came out of the game in good shape. No members of the team received serious injuries, and the youthful tigers should be in first class condition for the annual grid classic Saturday.
Lineup and summary:
Massillon Pos. Barberton
Minger LE W. Weigand
Buttermore LT J. Weigand
Fisher LG Hackney
Potts C Seryak
Garland RG Constantine
Slinger RT Ricks
Houriet RE Romig
Hess QB Romain
Kester HB Sutter
Lewis HB Raplenovic
Wolf FB Bryant
Score by periods:
Massillon 0 7 0 0 7
Barberton 6 0 0 0 6
Massillon – Watkins for Wolf, Goodman for Slinger, Blatz for Garland, Schnierle for Lewis, Hollwager for Minger, Slinger for Buttermore, Buttermore for Schnierle, Schnierle for Buttermore, Buttermore for Fisher.
Barberton – Molvartz for Romaine, R. Weigand for Sutter, Moss for Raplenovic, Raplenovic for Moss.
Touchdowns – Raplenovic, Kester.
Point after touchdown – Watkins (place kick).
Time of periods—12 minutes.