1942: Massillon 34, Toledo Waite 14
INDIANS’ PASSES DAZZLE THRONG
Visitors Make More First Downs Than Massillon But they Pay Off On Points, So Tigers Stretch Undefeated String to 51 Games
By Luther Emery
The war drums of the Toledo Waite Indians were still ringing in the ears of the Washington high school Tigers today as they looked at the statistics and wondered how they ever escaped being ambushed in last night’s game at Tiger stadium.
A crowd of 16,621 fans looked on amazed as the Indians outgained the Tigers from scrimmage and rolled up more first downs, but lost 34-14. It was Massillon’s 51st consecutive game without a defeat.
Waite Expected to Spring Upset
Jack Mollenkopf brought Waite to Massillon, convinced that the Tigers were ripe for a trimming. He had planned to ambush Massillon with a passing attack that had been developed but not entirely uncovered this season until last night’s battle.
He, too, knew that he had a better team than most people had credited him with, and most of all, a team that wouldn’t quit.
Having carefully studied and scouted the Tiger team, Mollenkopf thought he was all set to spring the biggest upset of the 1942 football season and might well have done so with the assistance of good luck and the fulfillment of a few “ifs.”
Take out the blocked punt that produced the third Massillon touchdown, remove a couple of costly Waite fumbles, and substitute completed passes for two “touchdown” passes, one of which was dropped by the receiver and the other intercepted by a Massillon gridder, and you might well have had a tie score. On the other hand, the Tigers too can play the “if” game, and from their viewpoint they might have won by more points had they 10 seconds more time left in the first half which ended with them in possession of the ball, first down and goal to go on Waite’s one yard line.
Mollenkopf admitted that while he had set a trap for Massillon, he was ambushed himself by the throwing of Romeo Pellegrini, who replaced the injured Bob Graber at left halfback.
“I never knew that little fellow could throw so far,” the Toledo coach said after the game as he ground a crust of bread between his fingers at the dinner table. “I never knew Massillon to throw from the left, either. I was fooled there.”
The play-by-play account shows that Pellegrini completed passes of 57, 51, 14, and 15 yards for touchdown. In fact it was the first time this season that the forward pass developed into a potent scoring weapon for the Tigers, and it was well it did, for they did not run the ball over once last night. Their fifth touchdown was the result of a blocked punt.
Some of the things that Mollenkopf figured on were correct. The Tigers were ripe for some trouble and have been getting riper since their defeat of Steubenville. They have two games to go, both Saturday afternoon contests – Erie East next week and Canton McKinley two weeks hence. The locals should begin coming up again, and it is hoped the rebound will be too much for both Erie East and McKinley.
In Waite the Tigers found a better than average team that had been underestimated by most fans, and possibly the players sensed this same feeling of superiority.
Better Waite Team Than 1941
“It is a far better team than I had last year,” Mollenkopf confided after the game, “and we would have done a lot better this season had it not been for several unfortunate breaks.”
The Toledo coach was especially proud that his team did not quit on him, and it was one of few teams that have not folded under Tiger pressure.
The Indians were battling just as hard at the end of the game as they were at the start, and were on their way to a last minute touchdown, when an intercepted pass ended in a safety that gave them two points.
It has been three years since the Tigers have had to explain their victory to readers of the statistical column. From yards gained and first downs you would have thought Waite a certain winner. The Indians made 14 first downs to the Tigers 10 and gained 259 yards to the Tigers 230 yards but Massillon converted its yardage into scores instead of first downs to win 34-14.
The long shot touchdown passes to Willmot and the other two pegs to Cardinal and Holt, don’t show in the first down column through all covered more than 10 yards. The yardage is figured I, however and there’s just nothing you can do about trying to explain why Waite gained more yards except to say that the Indians had a good defense and a tough defensive end in Harold Raether.
The Tigers only gained 73 yards lugging the ball last night and made 173 yards with their passes, which is better passing than they have done at anytime this season and poorer running.
A Fine Passer
Waite’s passing attack was the fanciest thing seen here in a forward pass way for several seasons. You can give most of the credit to straight-shooting Joseph Horvath and if Uncle Sam needs a grenade thrower to clean out machine gun nests, Horvath has our recommendation. He pitched so accurately that he seldom missed his mark and most of the night did all the throwing to the same man, Paul Hrabovsky, Indian quarterback.
They worked pass after pass all evening, connecting for three of 17 yards, 22 yards and eight yards, in the series that led to their first touchdown, and completed two more, one for 32 yards and another for 11 in the second touchdown march. Mixed in the latter effort was an 18-yard toss to Raether.
Second guessers might accuse both teams of a poor selection of plays at intervals during the game. Waite, for instance advance the ball to the Tiger 25-yard line on passes in the third quarter, then ran four consecutive ground plays for a net loss of 13 yards. The Tigers at one time worked into Waite territory, then with only two yards necessary for a first down, wasted two attempts trying to pass and were forced to punt.
The Tigers pushed over two touchdowns before Waite could score. Midway in the first period, when Waite was pressing its secondary to stop Tiger ball carriers, Pellegrini raced back and fired a long pass over the heads of the Indians’ safety to Willmot, who had to wait for the ball to float into his arms. He still had time to go the rest of the route for 51 yards. The pass changed the complexion of the game, for only two plays before, Willmot went high in the air to spear one of Horvath’s passes that had touchdown written all over it, for Hrabovsky had gotten behind Willmot and would have went for the works had not the latter left his feet to haul in the leather and return 29 yards to his 49-yard line, from where the Massillon touchdown pass was completed. Cardinal kicked the extra point that followed to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
The local team struck back quickly for a second touchdown when Pellegrini kicked off and covered Howard Schatzke’s fumbled return on the Waite 41. Pellegrini ran to the 26 and Holt plunged to the 15 but a 15-yard penalty for holding put the Tigers back momentarily. Here the old Statue of Liberty was hauled out of the bag, and Bray, taking the ball from Pellegini, ran 22 yards to the 20-yard line. Holt plunged for a first down and Pellegrini tossed to Cardinal for the rest of the distance. He again kicked the extra point to bring the score to 14-0.
Waite Comes Back
Waite took the following kickoff and did not stop until it crossed the Massillon goal. A poor kickoff went out of bounds on the Indians’ 49. Lamoreaux was thrown for a six-yard loss, so Horvath began tossing to Hrabovsky, once for 17 yards, again for 22 yards which brought a first down on the 18-yard line, and another for eight yards. A five-yard penalty for off-side gave the Indians a first down on the Tigers’ four-yard line and here the Massillonians bristled in good old fashioned spirit. Louis Smith hit for three yards, but the ball still remained on the one-yard line after the next two plays. Waite didn’t shift on fourth down, however, and with a quick opening play, Horvath broke through for the touchdown. Richard Wandtke was sent in to hold the ball for the attempted kick but fumbled it and the Indians lost the point.
The Tigers scored their only touchdown of the period on a blocked punt. Horvath intercepted Pellegrini’s pass on the seven-yard line after the Massillonians had carried the kickoff deep into Toledo territory. Horvath tried to punt on first down, but Barney Wallace got his face in the way of the ball, blocked the punt and Chuck Holt scooped up the leather and ambled over for the score. Cardinal’s kick for the extra point was wide.
The Tigers tried for another in the period and nearly got it. Time expired as Pellegrini tossed to Bray for 23 yards and a first down on the one yard line. Waite was offside. The Tigers had the choice of the ball or the penalty. They took the ball, which meant the half was over. Had they taken the penalty, Waite would have been penalized which would have placed the ball on the 19-yard line and there would have been time left for one play.
The fans didn’t understand the ruling and thought the officials had wasted precious seconds, conferring with the Massillon players which caused time to expire before the ball could be put in play again. As a result they let out a big boo when the arbitrators walked off the field. The ruling was explained during intermission.
Scoreless Third Period
Neither team scored in the third quarter, Waite advancing he greatest distance, reaching the Massillon 25-yard line on one occasion.
The Tigers got in motion early in the fourth period, however and passed and ran their way 88 yards. A 17-yard toss to Cardinal moved the ball into position for a 15-yard toss to Holt for the touchdown. Cardinal booted the extra point.
The last score came shortly after when Pellegrini again caught the Waite secondary asleep and tossed the ball to Willmot for 56 yards and a touchdown. Willmot caught the ball on the 15-yard line, which means the leather traveled approximately 56 yards through the air, since Pellegrini was almost 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage when he fired. Holt plunged the extra point.
Coach Kammer sent in his second team, and Waite soon was knocking on the Tiger door. Horvath tossed to Hrabovsky for 32 yards, and another for 11 yards put the ball on the Tiger 25. A peg to Raether advanced it to the seven and the Massillon first team went in. That made too many times out and the Tigers were penalized five yards to the two, from which Louis Smith exploded for the touchdown. Another attempt for the extra point was muffed.
The Indians still were not stopped. The next time they got the ball they struck back, Horvath tossing to Hrabovsky for 34 yards and nine yards. He tried to pitch for the touchdown, but Sam Yelic hauled to the leather on the one-yard stripe and began to run with the ball. He was tossed behind the goal for a safety and two points for Waite. The game ended before the Tigers could kick out.
Willmott le Collins
Williams lt V. smith
R. Wallace lg Lehman
B. Wallace c Kimpon
Weisgarber rg Foster
Paulik rt Westenkirchner
Jasinski re Raether
Cardinal qb Hrabovsky
Pellegrini lh Horvath
Bray rh Lamoreaux
Holt fb L. Smith
Score by periods:
Massillon 14 6 0 14 – 34
Waite 0 6 0 8 – 14
Substitutions – Massillon: Power, Fulton, Oberlin, Gable, Schuler, Tongas, Profant, Turkall, Yelic, Kanney, Mastriann.
Touchdowns – Willmot 2, Holt 2, Cardinal.
Points after touchdown – Cardinal 3 (placekicks), Holt (carried)
Safety – Yelic (two points for Toledo).
Referee – Slutz.
Umpire – Boone.
Headlineman – Harlow.
Field judge – Rupp.
First Downs 10 14
Yards Rushing 72 103
Yards Lost Rushing 16 34
Net Gain Rushing 57 69
Yards Passing 173 190
Total Net Gain 230 259
Passes Attempted 14 19
Passes Completed 6 12
Times Punted 4 3
Average Punt (yards) 32 34
Times Kicked Off 6 3
Times Penalized 9 4
Yards Penalized 65 20
Fumbles 3 4
Lost Ball on Fumble 0 3