1955: Massillon 31, Youngstown North 0
Tigers Defeat Youngstown North 31-0
11,063 See Defending State Champions Win Opening Football Game
By LUTHER EMERY
The Washington high Tigers defeated Youngstown North 31-0 before 11,063 fans in Tiger stadium Friday evening but it was no pink tea party.
Those who thought it would be a breather hadn’t figured how stubborn North could be or how cagey it could play for a low score.
That’s what happened and as a result the Tigers got only one touchdown in each of the first three periods and two in the fourth, thanks to a couple of fumbles covered deep in Youngstown territory.
The score raises the question, how strong are the Tigers?
It will take more games to produce a satisfactory answer.
They were good in some departments, not too good in others, but Coach Tom Harp, who should know his squad better than anyone else, said, “I’m satisfied with the opening game performance. I know there are a lot of things to be improved and a lot of work to be done. I’m sure the motion pictures will prove it and we will have to make the necessary adjustments. Our timing must be improved and our defense needs some attention as well as some of the specialties.”
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WHEN YOU LOOK over the statistics you begin to wonder why the score was not larger. The Tigers gained 411 yards from scrimmage, a goodly amount. They never punted once and not once did they fumble, which is quite an achievement for a football team.
They had the ball eight times and scored touchdowns on five of them. Only once did they lose it on downs. They lost it once on an intercepted pass and they had it deep in North territory when the game ended.
One big reason the Tigers did not score more touchdowns was the type of game Coach Jack Cramb of North elected to play. His team took almost the maximum amount of time in the huddle on every play and always kept on the ground to keep the clock running. Not one forward pass did it attempt for this reason, since the clock stops on an incomplete pass.
Furthermore he had just enough offense to hold the ball for five first downs which consumed more time. When you can’t get the ball you can’t score touchdowns; North actually held the ball seven straight minutes at one time during the game.
The Tigers likewise had to grind out their yardage slowly most of the time, although Willie Long and Johnny James managed to get away for long touchdown runs. Each scored twice during the evening while Charlie Brown got the fifth, and Dave Archibald was denied one on the best run of the night from a draw play. Offensive holding spoiled it.
* * *
THE TIGERS also ran into some difficulties before the game. Ken Fisher, who had been assigned to do the place-kicking came up with a pulled tendon in his kicking leg during the warm up and young Tim Krier was rushed into the gap. He booted the first extra point successfully and the coaches decided to allow him to keep at it even though he missed the next five, feeling the experience would do him good. He actually has had little practice at place-kicking. His dad, Henry Krier, kicked the extra points for the Tigers 21 years ago.
Then Jim Schumacher, one of the defensive tackles, came down with the flu yesterday afternoon. He dressed for the game but remained wrapped in blankets while Dick Whitfield took his place.
While North didn’t throw a pass the Tigers tossed the ball seven times, completing four and having one intercepted. They gained 68 of their 411 yards with passes. North gained 111 yards with two hard-hitting backs, Clifford Anderson and James Higham doing most of the leather lugging.
Long and James proved the most dependable of the Tiger ball carriers.
While the timing was off on many plays, there was some crisp blocking to offset a lot of poor blocks. Fisher cut loose a good block to liberate Archibald on his long run that didn’t count and Don Duke laid the hide to North tacklers on different occasions.
The size of the crowd exceeded the expectations of athletic officials who had doubted that it would reach 9,000. Youngstown only had a small following.
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IT TOOK the Tigers most of the first period before they could score. Stopped in their first effort when they lost the ball on downs on the 15, they got it next time on a punt on the North 49. James flipped a pass to End Jim Houston for a first down on the 37 and Long entered the contest. On his first ball carrying effort he went 37 yards around right end to score and Krier kicked the extra point.
Three minutes of the second period had expired when the Tigers scored again. This time they started from their 38. Charlie Brown reeled off 10 and James passed 20 yards to Duke for a first on the 32. Brown hit for four and Archibald went 16 to the 12 and then reeled off five more. James on a keep play got the last seven and the Tigers led 13-0, and that was the score at the half.
The third period was almost over before the locals could again score. That’s because North took the kickoff and held the pigskin for over seven minutes before the Tigers forced a punt. The Massillon drive started from the 28 and Duke in two carries took it to the 39. Long went around his right end for 16 and Brown reeled off 13 more to place the ball on the 32. Duke made nine and interference was ruled on a James pass to Canary that gave the locals a first down on the 16. Brown made five but a 15-yard penalty for clipping put the ball back on the 25. Long took it back to the 15 and Brown went around left end to score.
The Tigers scored twice in the fourth quarter. Anderson fumbled and Jerry Hofacre pounced on the ball on the North 38. On the first play James on an option, kept the ball and ran right end for a touchdown, doing a fancy bit of tackle dodging on the way.
Leonard Brown, of North, fumbled the following kickoff and this time Earle Radtke was on the spot to cover for the Tigers on the North 24. It took a lot of work and time to get it over though.
Duke started with five but James was thrown for a loss of eight attempting to pass. Archibald got two, and James tossed a lateral to Duke that got a first down on the 10. An offside penalty on the next play put the ball back on the 15. Brown made three at left end and Archibald rammed to the three. He hit center for a yard and then Long swept end for the final touchdown of the game.
Despite the hot weather neither team sustained any severe injuries.
Duke hurt his leg toward the end of the game but it was not serious.
The Tigers will entertain Canton Lincoln here next week.
The lineup and summary:
ENDS – Canary, Houston, Geschwind.
TACKLES – Graber, Maier, Whitfield, Kreiger, Hofacre, Allen.
GUARDS – Fisher, Roan, Tracy, Ertle, Kasunick.
CENTERS – Spicer, Gentzler, Dowd, Krier.
QUARTERBACKS – James, Rinehart, Brenner.
HALFBACKS – Duke, Chas, Brown, Long, Washington, Benjamin, Herring, Radtke, Butcher, Cocklin.
FULLBACKS – Archibald, Chet Brown.
ENDS – Gray, Phillips, Snyder.
TACKLES – Jackson, Trevis.
GUARDS – Kennedy, Feagins, Cover, Scott.
CENTER – Rubino.
QUARTERBACK – Kula.
HALFBACKS – Anderson, Williams, Hughes, Brown.
FULLBACK – Higham.
Score by periods
Massillon 7 6 6 12 31
Touchdowns – Long 2, James 2, Chas. Brown 1.
Points after touchdown – Krier (Place-kick).
Referee – Smith, Elyria.
Umpire – Machack, Elyria.
Field Judge – Calhoun, Cleveland Heights.
Head Linesman – Holzworth, Louisville
First downs 18 5
Passes attempted 7 0
Had passes intercepted 1 0
Passes completed 4 0
Yards gained passing 68 0
Yards gained rushing 342 111
Total yards gained 410 111
Yards lost 13 34
Net yards gained 397 77
Times punted 0 5
Average punt (yards) — 31
Yards punts returned by 29 —
Kickoffs 6 1
Average kickoff (yds) 42 30
Yards kickoffs returned by 7 65
Times fumbled 0 4
Lost ball on fumbles 0 2
Times penalized 7 6
Yards penalized 55 38