CANTON DEFEATS MASSILLON IN ANNUAL TILT
FORWARD PASSES WIN GAME AND TITLE FOR McKINLEY ATHLETES
By LUTHER EMERY
Picked to lose by three or four touchdowns, a fighting Washington high school football team smeared Canton McKinley during three and one-half quarters on Massillon Field, Saturday afternoon, and weakened only momentarily in the second period, when the invading bulldogs succeeded in pushing across a touchdown and kicking the extra point to win 7 to 0.
The gallant Massillon gridders were victorious in defeat, that is if there is such a thing as a moral victory, and it appears as though there is for every Massillon fan, in spite of disappointment, was more or less satisfied with the result. But moral victories do not win football games and bring county championships and as a result Canton McKinley retains the grid title and also gets another leg on the University trophy to be awarded to the team first to win the county title three times.
Perfect Setting for Grid Classic
With the crowded stands a mass of color, a warm sun driving away the cold and a light wind brushing the field, a perfect setting was given for the classic, and one that will be remembered for many years. It demonstrated the power of 11 fighting hearts and served to prove the uncertainty of scores in a Canton-Massillon game.
“Lindy” won fame by flying and Canton used the ozone to win the Stark county title. The widely heralded passing attack of the McKinley gridders which swept aside half a dozen teams this fall carried the red and black to its one and only touchdown.
Canton Takes to Air.
The bulldogs took to the air to work the ball into the local team’s territory, and when line plunges failed to bring yards, tossed, passes on fourth downs putting the once tough skin of a pig on the six-inch line where it was carried across in a pileup of players, that completely hid Nick Green, the ball toter, from view. That was the only touchdown of the game and the only time either goal was seriously threatened, but it was a mighty sweet touchdown for Canton and brought a howl from the McKinley stands and a sigh from the Massillon rooters.
Massillon played a defensive game, and Canton knew it. The east-enders found it difficult to penetrate the forward wall and only did so on formations of deceptions. But where Canton had an offense, the orange and black had none. The local gridders found it difficult to penetrate the forward wall of the Canton team and were completely smothered when they attempted to beat the Cantonians at their own game and toss passes. Not a Massillon back was able to gain consistently and first downs for the local eleven were as scarce as hair on a frog’s back. Canton, however, succeeded in making the required yardage on nine occasions and thus rightfully deserved the victory.
Standing out on the line, head and shoulders above the rest, both teams included, were Goodman and Buttermore, McGrew’s pair of tackles, who could be found hanging on to some part of the ball carrier’s body on practically every play. Captain Miller, of Canton, ballyhooed as one of the greatest linemen ever produced at McKinley high, was even over-shadowed Saturday by these two orange and black gridders.
Play Even First Period.
Play during the first period was practically even, with Massillon having the first chance to score when a Canton fumble was recovered on the 28-yard line. However, two plays failed to gain, and Watkin’s attempted place kick on the third down was low.
Canton’s first offensive drive started shortly before the end of the first period. Getting the ball on their own 38-yard line on a punt, the visitors started a series of line plays. Spretnak made a yard, and Green slipped through for eight more. Ferral then crashed through for a first down on the Canton 48-yard line.
Canton Scores Touchdown.
Here the quarter came to an end. Canton defended the north goal in the second period. Zagray made three yards at left end and Green drove around right end for a first down on the Massillon 38-yard line. Ferral made a yard at center, but Zagray lost one. Spretnak then stepped back and passed to Green for a first down on the Massillon 19-yard line. Spretnak made a yard, Ferral -two yards, and Green a yard, and on the fourth down, the little Canton quarterback hurled a pass to Nick Green that sailed through the arms of a Massillon player, and the Canton gridder was dropped on the six-inch line. Green took the ball over on the next play, and Spretnak drop kicked the extra point. Not long before the end of the second period, the orange and black got the ball on the Canton 20-yard line, but after two attempts to crack the line failed, the Canton gridders knocked down two Massillon passes and took the ball on downs. Just as the second period came to an end, Hug, Canton right end, pulled the most sensational play of the day by grabbing up a fumbled Massillon punt and, racing ahead of a string of gridders ran 40 yards and across the Massillon goal line. But the run was without result, for the ball was dead at the point of recovery, and the deafening cheer from the Canton bleachers was echoed in greater volume by the fans in the Massillon stands.
Content With Lead.
Canton apparently was content with the seven-point lead, for the visitors were careful with their passes in the second half, and relied on line plunges for gains. Play during the latter part of the third period was largely in Massillon territory as a result of John Kester’s only poor punt of the day, the red and black working the ball to the 19-yard line on one occasion, only to lose it on downs, when two passes were batted to the earth. The fourth quarter was largely a punting duel between Kester and Spretnak, the former having the better of the argument even though he was kicking against the wind. Neither team threatened and the game ended with the ball in mid-field.
Plays With Broken Finger
It takes good internal organs to stay in a game with a broken finger, and that’s what Fisher, Massillon guard, did. Brought to the sidelines by Captain Potts, and suffering considerable pain, Fisher protested against leaving the field. Coach Elmer McGrew surveyed his bench, failed to find a substitute of any value, taped up the injured player’s finger, and he went back into the game and made the tackle on the next play. Fisher’s courage, however, was just a visible sample of the play of the entire Massillon line, for these stalwarts of the front ranks, whose praises are seldom lauded, were really the ones who held Canton to the small margin of seven points. Kester, however, should come in for his share of praise, for his long punts in spite of the poor passes he received early in the game, kept Canton in her own territory most of the contest. Kester has finished a season of remarkable kicking for a sophomore, and in spite of the fact that he stands but nine yards back of the passer, he has not had a punt blocked on him this year. Captain Miller tried to do it and tried hard, for he has blocked punt after punt this year, but he tossed out his hands Saturday only to find that the ball had already left Kester’s toe and was sailing on its way down the field.
Bands Stage Drill
There was plenty of music on Massillon field Saturday, with both Canton and Massillon bands blaring away frequently. The two musical organizations paraded together between halves, the Massillon band forming a large “M” in front of the student bleachers, while the students sang their school song. The bands also played for the flag raising.
Both schools had their mascots “Obie”, the Washington high tiger, was carried up and down the sidelines by the cheer leaders while over on the Canton sidelines a bulldog snarled his viciousness.
Canton was penalized 80 yards to Massillon’s 40, the penalties being for holding and offside principally. The McKinley gridders completed four passes for a gain of 40 yards. Four were incomplete, and one intercepted. Massillon failed to complete a pass in four attempts.
A Perfect Day
The weather probably was the best ever for a Massillon-Canton game. Although the top of the field was slightly loose, slowing up the runners somewhat, yet it was much better than it has been for years. As for temperature, it too was right. Just cold enough to make the blood tingle in the spectators, and not too warm to interfere with the play of the teams.
A crowd of approximately 6,500 attended the game. All bleachers were filled and the sidelines jammed, and the crowd was probably the most orderly of any of the many large Canton-Massillon crowds.
Had Massillon possessed a fair offense, the local team probably would have pulled through on top. The youthful tigers had the ball in Canton territory on several occasions, once as close as the 20-yard line, but every attempt to advance the ball was met by a host of Canton tacklers and the ball was lost on downs.
Three telephones on the field flashed the news of the game back to newspapers, and there were nearly as many cameramen as players on the field.
As a result of the Canton victory, the county seat team and the orange and black each have two legs on the University cup, the winner of which probably will be decided in 1929. With good material coming from the junior high schools, the Washington high students are already talking about how they are going to even matters up next fall and win the cup.
Lineup and summary:
Massillon Pos. Canton
Houriet LE Rich
Slinger LT Miller
Garland LG Miday
Buttermore C Tracey
Blatz RG Culp
Goodman RT Zeren
Schnierle RE Hug
Hess QB Spretnak
Kester LH Hutchinson
Hollwager RH Green
Watkins FB Ferral
Score by periods:
Canton 0 7 0 0 7
Massillon – Fisher for Garland, Potts for Buttermore, Buttermore for Slinger, Lewis for Watkins, Slinger for Buttermore, Buttermore for Hollwager.
Canton – Zagray for Hutchinson, Cordrey for Culp, Rudy for Green, Green for Rudy, Lieber for Ferral, Ferral for Rich, Hutchinson for Zagray, Walker for Cordrey, Kirk for Hutchinson.
Touchdown – Green
Point after touchdown – Spretnak (drop kick).
Referee—Lobach (F. & M.)
Headlinesman—Shafer (O. S. U.)
Time of periods—15 minutes.