Tag: <span>Jim Lectavits</span>


1953: Massillon 48, Canton McKinley 7

Tigers Smash Canton McKinley 48-7
Victory Should Bring Sixth Consecutive Ohio Title To Local School


Massillon today awaited the outcome of the final Associated Press poll which is expected to name the Washington high school Tigers state champions for the sixth consecutive year.

Writers among the 16,500 people who saw the Massillon gridders slash Canton McKinley to pieces in the first half of their traditional game in Fawcett stadium Saturday afternoon and win 48-7 are convinced the local team deserves the state crown.

The triumph was the Tigers 23rd in a row and completed two consecutive undefeated seasons. It was the 57th victory for Coach Chuck Mather and his staff since they took charge of Tiger football in 1948. They have lost but three games, one each in the 1948, 1949 and 1951 seasons. They also were undefeated in 1950. The win over McKinley likewise was Massillon’s 28th of the 58-game series that started in 1894. McKinley won 25 and five ended in tie scores.
* * *
THE TIGERS were terrific.

Program Cover

Their first half offense was the most devastating, most perfect we have ever seen.

You have probably heard and read most of the figures by now, but they are worth repeating here.

In the first four plays from scrimmage the Tigers got three touchdowns. It took them six plays to get their fourth, two their fifth and one their sixth. In other words, their remarkable offense produced six touchdowns in 13 plays from scrimmage. Anyone want to dispute their claim to state champions.

They rolled up a 42-0 lead in one and one-half periods, after which Coach Chuck Mather opened the gates of mercy and began giving his senior substitutes as much action as possible in their final high school game.
* * *
McKINLEY recovered a fumble inside the 15-yard line in the last two minutes of the second period and scored in the last second to produce its only points of the game. There wasn’t even time left for a kickoff.

Mather kept a flow of senior subs in his lineup throughout the last half. This and an improved Bulldog defense, coupled with fumbles and three penalties, held the Tigers to one touchdown the last half, that coming on a blocked McKinley punt.

The Tigers devastating play is revealed in their long runs and long passes for touchdowns and a vicious defense that kept Bulldog ball carriers nailed to the turf throughout most of the first half.

Offensively, there was an 80-yard T.D. run by Homer Floyd, three passes, all for touchdowns, (that’s all he threw the first half) by Dick Crescenze and some remarkable catches by Jim Letcavits, Tom Boone and John Traylor, good for 44 yards, 51 yards and 73 yards respectively. We can still see Wade Watts, Canton McKinley coach, bury his head in his hands after the last one that hoisted the score to 42-0.
* * *
IT TOOK just 32 seconds to get the first T.D. and perhaps we had better take time out right here to account for the six in 13 feature.

Massillon fans were the most surprised lot in the place to see the Tigers win the toss and then elect to kickoff. They always receive when they win the toss. But Saturday at Canton it was different. Coach Chuck Mather informed his Co-Captains, John Traylor and Bruce Schram that if they won the toss they should kickoff because he figured McKinley was better defensively than offensively and he would rather meet them in their weakest department.

It was the right decision.

Ron Boekel gave the ball its hardest boot of the season right into the hands of Nat Harris, the Bulldogs’ ball carrying ace. But Nat was hit so viciously he fumbled and Traylor pounced on the ball on the four. McKinley jumped offside before a play could get under way from scrimmage and the Bulldogs were penalized to the one-yard line. On the first play Crescenze sneaked through from his quarterback spot for six points and Tom Boone kicked the seventh.

The Tigers next got the ball through a punt that rolled dead on the 15. John Francisco put it on the 20 in a slash at right tackle. On the second play of the series, Homer Floyd broke through on a trap play, cut to his right and raced 80 yards down the sideline to score. That made two touchdowns in three plays.
* * *
THE TIGERS kicked off, then took the ball away from the Bulldogs on downs on the Canton 44. On the first play Crescenze shot the leather to Letcavits who made a brilliant catch, almost fell down, but steadied himself with one hand to keep on his feet and race the rest of the distance with Tom Boone removing the first Canton tackler from his path. That made three touchdowns in four plays.

It took a little longer to get the fourth. The Tigers started from their own 25 where they got the ball on a punt.

Traylor made three at left end, and Floyd ran for a first down but a 15-yard penalty was assessed for clipping. Traylor went for 13, Francisco for 10 and Crescenze made it a first down on his 48. Francisco got a yard and Crescenze whipped the ball 51 yards to Boone for the touchdown. That and the point that followed made it 28-0.
Only two plays were needed to get the fifth T.D. Joe Holloway crashed through to block Ken Bandi’s punt and Boone pounced on the ball on the six-yard line. Traylor carried it to the one, going over, but his knee touched a yard short before he laid his arms across the goal. Francisco smashed through with the score and it was 35-0.
* * *
ONE PLAY was needed to get the sixth. A quick kick by Harris rolled to the Tiger 27. Crescenze immediately winged the ball to Traylor who never broke stride as he caught up with it in midfield and raced the rest of the distance to give his team a 42-0 lead.

That just about wraps up the Massillon tale of victory.

In it you have all four backs and the two ends, scoring a touchdown each and with five minutes and 20 seconds of the period still remaining to be played.

Mather began pouring in substitutes, seniors and some juniors. Roy Johnson, a senior, who hasn’t gotten in a whole lot this year, took over the quarterbacking of the team, replacing Crescenze who did not return to the game until the last four minutes of the fourth quarter.

The Tigers fumbled the ball away to the Bulldogs the next time they got it, Canton covering inside the 15. With Sophomore Horace Harris doing most of the running, the Bulldogs marched to the one yard line where Harris went over just was the half ended. John Kompara kicked the extra point and that ended Canton’s scoring for the day.
* * *
THE TIGERS got one more touchdown when Ron Gardner blocked a McKinley punt late in the third period on the 16-yard line. He picked it up and ran across for the six points to end his football career in a blaze of glory. Ronnie has played mostly on defense. The touchdown, the only one he has scored, was just about the biggest thing that could happen to him.

The Tigers had other chances in the third and fourth quarter but penalties, substitutions and an improved Canton defense locked them out.

They were well on their way the first time they got the ball in the third period when McKinley covered a fumble on second down on the 14-yard line. They had what would have been a first down on the 15 had not the ball been called back because of a clipping penalty called against the Tigers and a personal foul against McKinley. The two nullified each other. Then Traylor ran to a first down on the five, but back came the ball again and another 15-yard penalty for clipping that necessitated the only Massillon punt of the afternoon.
* * *
THE TIGERS lost the ball to the Bulldogs on a fumble on the 38 early in the fourth quarter to end another drive. Then again they drove to what would have been third down on the four-yard line with a yard to go for a first down, but the ball was called back and a five-yard penalty slapped on for offside. That put it on the 18 and they lost it on downs on the eight. It was their last effort, for Canton held the pigskin the rest of the way.

So you can see where penalties and fumbles helped throttle the Tiger offense the last half.

The Tigers were just as impressive in the statistics as on the scoreboard. First downs were 13-10 in their favor and they gained 447 net yards to McKinley’s 114 net yards. They completed five of 10 passes for 205 yards. McKinley completed 8 of 13 passes for 49 yards.

The game had its heroes – plenty of them we would say – the 11 offensive starters and those who jumped in for defensive chores – all were in the contest up to their necks. The backfield boys have already been mentioned, but without the line in front of them they could not have shown so brightly. The Tiger forward wall literally tore the Bulldogs to pieces the first half. Give credit to a pair of great ends, Letcavits and Boone; to Bruce Schram and Ronnie Dean, the tackles; to Joe Eaglowski and Russ Maier, who filled in for the injured Ronnie Agnes at guard; and to Tom Fisher, center. And don’t forget Willie Longshore, Gardner, Joe Holloway, Bob Williams, Eddie Fletcher, Chuck Lentz, Ken Lorch, Andy Stavroff, Bill Stone, Carl Porter, Johnson, Jerry Yoder, Ray Byrd, Boekel, Dick Fromholtz, Al Shilling, Jim Woolley, Chuck Hill and Joe Lopez, all of whom had a part in the victory.
* * *
LIGHTS BURNED late in Massillon Saturday night as citizens and students celebrated the victory. The students held a victory dance at the school, citizens celebrated at parties about town and at country clubs.

Everywhere credit was given the team and Coach Mather and his assistants; Carl Schroeder, Paul Schofer, Lauri Wartiainen, Elwood Kammer and Dave Putts.

The questions most asked of them were why they didn’t pour it on; what was the argument over the ball; and was this your best team.

You have Mather’s answer to the first question – he wanted to give all seniors as much action as possible.

His face was red on the second. Crescenze came out of the game shouting, “They are using a rubber ball in there.”

Mather bristled: “They can’t do that,” and shouted to the referee, “Let me see that ball.”

He was shown the ball.

“It was leather,” said Chuck, telling of the incident. “There wasn’t much I could say.”
* * *
WE AGREE with Mather’s answer to the third question that it is difficult to say any team is the best in high school history, but we also agree that this year’s eleven certainly ranks with the greatest on the basis of its 10 straight victories. And we hasten to point out that its opposition has likewise been unusually good as a whole.

It you want to look at it this way, six of Massillon’s opponents only dropped a combined total of five games to teams other than Massillon during the season.

Fremont Ross was beaten only by the Tigers: Warren was beaten only by Massillon and Hamilton; Alliance by Massillon and Youngstown Urusline; Mansfield by Massillon and Warren; Steubenville by Massillon and Warren; and Toledo Waite by Massillon and DeVilbiss. Canton Lincoln lost but two other games in addition to that to Massillon. It was beaten by Alliance and Barberton.

Certainly, the Tiger eleven was one of the most poplar with Massillon fans. The ability of Floyd, Francisco and Traylor to break loose for a touchdown at any moment and the constant threat of Crescenze tossing a touchdown pass provided fireworks every night.

The team is in every sense of the word, a deserving champion.

The line-up and summary:

ENDS – Letcavits, Boone, Lorch, Lentz, Lopez.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Williams, Hill, Woolley.
GUARDS – Eaglowski, Maier, Holloway, Gardner, Shilling.
CENTERS – Fisher, Fletcher.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Johnson, Porter.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, Francisco, Longshore, Yoder, Stavroff, Fromholtz, Byrd.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Stone, Boekel.

ENDS – Roman, Carter, Jackson.
TACKLES – Kompara, Crawford, Cerwinsky.
GUARDS – Wilds, Patrick, Graham.
CENTER – Perdue.
QUARTERBACKS – Dreher, Killians.
HALFBACKS – Bandi, Garman, Matthews, H. Harris
FULLBACKS – N. Harris.

Score by periods:
Massillon 21 21 6 0 48
McKinley 0 7 0 0 7

Massillon – Crescenze, Floyd, Letcavits, Boone, Francisco, Traylor, Gardner.
McKinley – H. Harris.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 6 (placekicks).
McKinley – Kompara (placekick).

Mass. McK.
First downs 13 10
Passes attempted 10 13
Passes completed 5 8
Had passes intercepted 0 0
Yards gained passing 205 49
Yards gained rushing 244 122
Total yards gained 440 171
Yards lost 2 57
Net yards gained 447 114
Times kicked off 9 0
Average kickoff (yards) 42 —
Yards kickoffs returned by — 82
Times punted 1 8
Average punt (yards) 30 30
Yards punts returned by 7 3
Had punts blocked 0 2
Times Fumbled 3 3
Lost ball on fumbles 3 2
Times penalized 5 5
Yards penalized 65 22

Jim Lectavits
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1953: Massillon 40, Fremont Ross 7

Tiger Gridders Crush Fremont 40-7
Mathermen Overcome Stubborn Resistance To Score Six Touchdowns


Little Giants you say?

They were something more than that for two periods here Friday evening before they were beaten down to size by the Washington high Tigers who racked up their ninth victory of the season and their 22nd in a row by a score of 40-7 before a crowd of 15,368 fans.

It was the first defeat of the season for the hard hitting, hard tackling, well drilled crew which had won eight games in a row to rate fifth place in the Associated Press standing of high school teams.

Maybe the loss will knock Ross down in the standings, but it still rates a place in the first 10, and if the ratings were based on sheer courage and determination, we would rate them toward the top.
* * *
SELDOM will a team keep on battling after such a series of disheartening breaks as victimized the Little Giants the first period, but they did just that. They didn’t become discouraged but kept battling back until they were finally worn down by the Massillon team.

Actually there was a lot of heavy breathing in the Tiger stands the first half of the game and rightfully so, for the visitors looked the stronger until they scored. It was not until then that the Tiger became aroused and took command of the game. Up to that time it had been pretty well tamed, and Fremont held an edge of 85 net yards gained to Massillon’s measly 21.

From then on, however the local eleven was in charge. Yards came hard but it drove to touchdowns the next four times it got its hands on the ball, then added two more for good measure. The decisive win over the fifth ranking team should strengthen the Tigers’ hold on first place in the grid poll.

For the greater part of the first half, however, fans were wondering if the Bengals were about to be bumped off the top.
* * *
TO START WITH Fremont worked an onside on the kickoff by covering a Massillon fumble and marched to the one-yard line where Homer Floyd covered Charles Blacks’ fumble. That was break No. 1 for the Tigers, and a bad one for the Little Giants.

Then Freshman Henry Tiller returned a punt 43 yards to the Tiger 16 where Rich Crescenze covered his fumble. That was another break that went against the Little Giants, though had Tiller not fumbled, the ball would have been brought back on a clipping penalty. They lost the leather a third time when Jim Letcavits covered a fumble on the Massillon 33. We hate to think what might have happened had the visitors not handled the ball so loosely the first period.

After three heart-breaking muffs, they still had enough fight to come back, and march 48 yards to score the first points of the game.

The Tigers evened it up with an 88-yard march, and it was still an even game with only 55 seconds of the half remaining to be played. Then Crescenze crossed up the Little Giants who had been pulling their secondary close to the line of scrimmage, and fired a pass that Jim Letcavits caught with no one between him and the Gulf of Mexico that put Massillon in front 13-7, and it was there to stay.
* * *
MASSILLONIANS were pretty confident after that, for it was evident the Bengals were breathing fire again and were poised for the kill.

They only scored once in the third quarter, but were well on their way to another when the period ended – got it on the second play of the fourth and shoved over two more before the last minutes were ticked off.

Fremont, which had been a constant threat the first period and half, was pretty well throttled after its lone touchdown, and never got close to the goal line again.

The spirited Little Giants put out everything they had offensively. They ran from the T, single wing and I formations, and once they spread-eagled the field with players.

They had slick runners in Black, Jim Tiller, Lester Franks, and Ronnie Whitcomb and a couple of fine defensive ends in Henry Tiller and Dick Harter. Ted Houghtaling also did a nice job of passing.
* * *
THE VISITORS lived up to their reputation of having a good defensive team and stopped John Traylor, Tiger ball-carrying ace, almost completely. His only long run was called back on a clipping penalty. John Francisco carved them with slashes in the tackles, and Homer Floyd got loose for a couple of dandy long runs. Homer’s footwork brought three of the Tiger touchdowns. Crescenze scored on a sneak in which not a hand was laid on him, and Jim Letcavits and Tom Boone caught passes for two others.

The Tigers blocked two Fremont punts and tossed Whitcomb for a loss when he bobbled a poor pass in another attempt to punt.

Fremont held the Tigers to 237 yards gained on the ground. The Little Giants gained 128. Total net yards including passes, figured 291 for Massillon and 148 for Fremont. First downs were 13 to 11 in the locals’ favor.

It was a rough, bruising game which resulted in tempers flaring several times. On one occasion the officials tossed out both Chuck Lentz of the Tigers and Jerry Gallagher of Fremont. In the last couple of minutes, Boone was given the brush-off, though he said he was only trying to break up a duel on the ground between Willie Longshore and a Fremont player. They both escaped banishment, but the incident brought players of both teams pouring on to the field with fists cocked for action but which were kept locked in that position by coaches and police. They were quickly herded back to the benches and the game went on to conclusion.
* * *
THE TIGERS sustained a couple of casualties during the course of the contest.

Crescenze received a hard rap when he was tackled while trying to pass that made him dizzy for a time, but was able to leave the dressing room under his own power. Ronnie Agnes, regular guard, sustained a shoulder dislocation that will keep him out of next week’s game with Canton McKinley.

The contest was the Tigers’ last home game of the season, and while it attracted a crowd of more than 15,000 the turnout was not as good as anticipated. Fremont responded well, with at least 3,500 traveling the 100 miles to the game, and the performance of their tam the first half gave them plenty to cheer about.
* * *
THE LITTLE GIANTS earned their touchdown but apparently shot their wad getting it.

They started late in the first period after getting the ball on a punt on the Tigers’ 48, and they went all the way.

Whitcomb and Black hammered for a first on the Tiger 36, and Tiller covered Black’s fumble for a two-yard gain. A 14-yard pass, Houghtaling to Frank Lenhart gained a first on the 20 and Whitcomb wiggled his way around left end to another first on the eight. It took four downs to get the ball over from there, but Franks drove across on his own after being almost bottled up for a loss. Whitcomb’s toe produced the extra point.
* * *
FREMONT successfully worked an onside kick for the second time in the game after the touchdown and gained the ball on the Tiger 48. This time Massillon braced, forced Whitcomb to punt and got the ball on the 12. It was a long way to the opponents’ goal, but with Francisco carrying the ball three out of four times, the locals hammered their way to a first down on the 46.

Enter Floyd into the picture. He swept, around his right flank and headed down the sidelines. Nobody could get close to him after he passed the line of scrimmage and he was over for six points. Boone tied the score at 7-7 with the extra point from placement.

Fremont got one first down on its next series then was stymied by the Massillon line and forced to punt. Floyd made a nice return to his 48, and with only 55 seconds remaining in the half, Crescenze on the next play stepped back and shot the ball to Letcavits who caught it about the 25 and ran for a touchdown. Boone’s kick was wide of the uprights.
* * *
THE LITTLE GIANTS made a slight flurry at the start of the second half when they received the kickoff and made one first down as they worked the ball to the Massillon 44, but Tiger hands got in the way of Whitcomb’s punt and the ball rolled back to the Fremont 25 where the locals took over.

Aided by a five-yard penalty, the locals drove to the four. Francisco gained two yards and Crescenze sneaked for the last two and the Tigers’ third touchdown of the game. Boone kicked the extra point and it was 20-7.

Fremont managed to move for one first down after the next kickoff before the Tigers could force a punt. They got the pigskin on their own 29 and again began their hammering tactics with Francisco doing most of the pounding. They moved to a first down on the Fremont 47 as the quarter ended. On the second play of the fourth period, Floyd was again turned loose around left end and he went the distance. Boone missed the kick.

The locals missed out on their bid the next time they got the ball, but Ronnie Gardner regained the pigskin by blocking one of Whitcomb’s punts that rolled back to the four. Floyd went through tackle for the T.D. on the first play.

Another touchdown was scored in seconds.

Tiller fumbled Ronald Boekel’s kickoff and Joe Lopez flopped on the ball on the 35. On the first play Crescenze fired the leather to Boone who was into the end zone with a few steps to spare. He also kicked the extra point, and that ended the scoring of the evening.

ENDS – Boone, Letcavits, Lorch, Maier, Lentz, Lopez.
TACKLES – Dean, Schram, Williams, Hill.
GUARDS – Eaglowski, Agnes, Holloway, Gardner.
CENTERS – Fisher, Fletcher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter.
HALFBACKS – Francisco, Traylor, Longshore, Stavroff, Fromholtz.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Boekel, Stone.

ENDS – Lenhart, R. Tiller.
TACKLES – Cooper, Harter, Gallagher, Jones.
GUARDS – Amor, Pelter, White, H. Black.
CENTER – Goodeman.
QUARTERBACK – Houghtaling.
HALFBACKS – Whitcomb, Franks, Sewell, J. Tiller.

Massillon – Floyd 3; Letcavits; Crescenze; Boone.
Fremont – Franks.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 3 (placekicks).
Fremont – Whitcomb (placekick).

Referee – Pianowski (Cleveland).
Umpire – Pupp (Cuyahoga Falls).
Field Judge – Dunton (Warren).
Head Linesman – Lymper (Mansfield).

Mass. Fremont
First downs 13 11
Forward passes 7 12
Passes completed 2 5
Had passes intercepted 0 1
Yards gained passing 88 50
Yards gained rushing 237 128
Total yards gained 325 178
Yards lost 34 30
Net yards gained 291 146
Times kicked off 7 2
Average kickoff (yards) 44 18
Yards kickoffs returned by 0 112
Times punted 4 6
Average punts (yards) 36 26
Yards punts returned by 43 62
Fumbles 4 7
Lost ball on fumbles 3 4
Times penalized 3 6
Yards penalized 35 29

Jim Lectavits
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1953: Massillon 41, Toledo Waite 2

Tigers Defeat Toledo Waite Indians 41-2
Long Runs By Traylor And Homer Floyd Upset Early Charge of Foe


A bruised Tiger football team will return to Massillon today after winning a rough and tumble football game played at Toledo Waite Friday evening by a 41-2 score.

It was the roughest game in which the Tigers have participated in years, and there was scarcely one among the 31 participating players who did not display some scars of the scrap.

Linebacker Willie Longshore was released from the hospital after having stitches taken in a face wound. Bruce Schram had a tooth broken and quite a few of the boys displayed split and bruised lips from flying elbows caught during the melee.

It was the kind of game that caused Coach Chuck Mather to remark after the contest, “We have made our last trip to Toledo.”

Program Cover

Mather and most Massillon fans thought the Waite players went out of their way to maul Tiger players, and the last play of the game probably would have resulted in several players of both teams being thrown out for mixing it up had not time expired.
* * *
IT ALL may have been the result of Waite’s attempt to rise to the occasion and drive out the invading Tiger. Certainly the Indians were a spirited lot. They had pointed for the game, held more than the usual amount of pep rallies and were full of the old go get’em when they rushed out of their dressing room with a roar to warm up for the contest.

They carried the fight to the Tigers the first period and throttled the Massillon offense, while doing some ground gaining of their own.

Had they elected to play that type of ball the entire game we feel they would have made a better showing. Instead, once Massillon got to the front, the Indians seemed to concentrate more on personal exploits more common to the wrestling mat and paid less attention to football. The result only ended in more and more Tiger touchdowns. It probably could have ended in a rout had not Mather elected to substitute rather than chance any more injuries to regulars. As a result all 31 boys who made the trip to Toledo, got into the game.
* * *
THE CONTEST was played in near freezing temperatures which seemed doubly cold because of a high wind. The weather cut down the crowd, estimated at 8,000, several thousand short of capacity.

The victory was the Tigers’ eighth of the season and their 21st in a row. It was Waite’s second loss of the season, the Indians having previously been beaten only by Toledo DeVilbiss, 15-14.

The heavier Waite line played havoc with the Tiger forward wall the first quarter, and frequently got into the Massillon backfield to throw ball carriers for losses.

The Tigers just seemed to feel them out, however, and once they found they could ambush the Indians with traps and flank plays, the complexion of the game quickly changed.

As a result, all of the touchdowns were scored by Johnny Traylor and Homer Floyd, each crossing the Waite goal three times, on long runs.
* * *
THE TIGERS scored two others that did not count when the ball was called back because of penalties.

Crisp blocking freed the ball carriers for many long runs and brought words of praise from the Waite fans and newsmen, who liked Massillon’s downfield blocking.

The locals had too much team speed for the heavier Indians.

Waite had a couple of fast runners in Lyle Veler and John Curtis, who gained most of the Indians’ yards. They were principally responsible for the 12 first downs made by Waite to Massillon’s 11.

However, the locals gained 412 yards from scrimmage to Waite’s 200.
* * *
THE TIGERS failed to complete a pass that counted. Every time they had a successful completion a penalty was called. One of them was a peg to Jim Letcavits for a touchdown. They were credited with seven official tries. Waite threw 14, completed one for seven yards, but had three interceptions by the alert Massillon secondary.

The Indians threatened a couple of times during the game but were never able to get the ball over the goal line.

They made a serious bid in the first period by covering a Massillon fumble on the 15. A five-yard penalty for being in motion helped the Tigers stop the Indians who wound up attempting a field goal that was short and wide of its mark.

The local gridders got their first T.D. the first time they took over the ball in the second quarter.

They started from the 20 after Waite’s fruitless field goal attempt and went 80 yards for the marker, even overcoming a 15-yard penalty for illegal use of the hands. A fancy run of 44 yards by Floyd advanced the ball from the 23 to the 33. John Francisco got away for a nice jaunt to the 18 and Traylor broke through left tackle, cut wide and swept down his left side line to score. Tom Boone kicked the extra point.
* * *
A 29-YARD RUN by Traylor from a statue for a first down on the Waite 11 set up the next touchdown. A motion penalty put the ball back on the 16, but Traylor got it all back on a left end sweep for a touchdown.

The half ended with the score 14-0.

The Tigers scored quickly in the third period. They kicked off and stopped the Indians forcing them to punt. The ball went out of bounds on the Massillon 32. Traylor made a yard at left end and Floyd raced 67 yards on a trap play to score. Boone’s extra point boosted the total to 21-0.

The Tigers got the ball on the next kickoff when the ball bounced off the chest of a Waite player and Andy Stavroff covered on the 40. Aided by a 15-yard penalty, the locals got down to the 30 where Floyd on a trap, shot through the middle of the line, then cut to his right and raced 30 yards for the touchdown.

The Indians had a chance to score later in the period but Curtis let a perfect pass from Jim Heider slip through his arms with no one between him and the goal posts.
* * *
THE TIGERS struck from the 40 for their next touchdowns. They got it at that point when a pass from center was bobbled by Heider on fourth down. After a futile attempt by Crescenze to pass, Floyd again trapped his opponents and did a tight rope walk along the sideline to score.

The third period ended 34-0.

Only once in the fourth quarter did the locals cross the Waite goal, largely because of Mather’s flow of substitutions.

Eddie Fletcher got them the ball when he stopped a Waite drive that had reached the
10-yard line by intercepting a pass on the five. Floyd romped for 16 yards and then Traylor cut around his left end for 79 and a touchdown.

The Tigers failed to score again, though Traylor and Boone both let what might have been touchdown passes slip through their arms, while Fletcher was called back after going half the length of the field on an intercepted pass for a touchdown. The officials ruled clipping on the play.

Waite got its only two points while Roy Johnson was quarterbacking the Tiger team. They threw him behind the Massillon goal line.

The game ended the Massillon-Waite series. The teams are not under contract for next year and judging from Mather’s mood after the game, they may not meet again.

ENDS – Lecavits, Boone, Lorch, Lopez, Maier, Lentz.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Williams, Woolley, Hill.
GUARDS – Agnes, Eaglowski, Holloway, Shilling, Gardner.
CENTERS – Fisher, Fletcher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter, Johnson.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, Francisco, Longshore, Byrd, Fromholtz, Stavroff, Stone.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Boekel.

ENDS – Turner, Durham, Schlegle, Lynn.
TACKLES – Derr, Veres, Croak, Martin.
GUARDS – Mylnek, Corns, Pounds.
CENTERS – Scott, Hatmaker.
HALFBACKS – Veier, Curtis, Thompson.
FULLBACKS – Kneisley, Canty.

Score by periods:
Massillon 0 14 20 7 41
Waite 0 0 0 2 2

Massillon – Traylor 3; Floyd 3.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 5.

Safety – Waite.

Referee – Kolopus.
Umpire – Gill.
Head Linesman – Seitz.
Field Judge – Earich.

Mass. Waite
First downs 11 12
Passes attempted 7 14
Passes completed 0 1
Had passes intercepted 0 3
Yards gained passing 0 7
Yards gained rushing 412 193
Total yards gained 412 200
Yards lost 41 43
Net yards gained 371 157
Times kicked off 8 1
Average kickoff (yards) 34 55
Yards kickoffs returned by 7 67
Times punted 4 8
Average punt (yards) 38 34
Yards punts returned by 51 10
Fumbles 6 5
Lost ball on fumbles 3 1
Times penalized 11 11
Yards penalized 105 100

Jim Lectavits
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1953: Massillon 27, Warren Harding 6

Tigers Crush Warren Panthers 27-6


A gallant band of Tiger football players took everything Warren had to offer for the better part of two periods Friday evening and then struck back with a devastating attack that produced a 27-6 victory, the 20th triumph in a row for the orange and black.

It was convincing proof for an overflow crowd of 22,000 fans that first place is where the Tigers belong in the Ohio high school football standings.

What a terrific first half it was!

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The two teams battled to a scoreless tie until the Tigers passed to their first touchdown with only 34 seconds of the half remaining to be played. It was a great effort by Quarterback Rick Crescenze and a fine bit of running by Halfback Johnny Traylor, who caught the ball on about the 30 and stepped around and about the Warren tacklers for the rest of the distance. The entire play was good for 41 yards.

Up to that time Warren had the better of it, for the scoring pass not only produced the lone touchdown of the first two periods but also put Massillon ahead in the yards gained. Up to that time the statistics were in the Panthers’ favor.

As it turned out the six points and the successful conversion by Tom Boone of the extra point on a placekick, turned the tide of battle in favor of Massillon.

The second half of the duel was overwhelmingly dominated by Massillon – in points and in offense and defense. Where the Tigers only made 158 net yards to Warren’s 131 net yards the first half, they rolled up 230 yards to the Panthers’ 59 the last two periods.

Actually it was the turn about in the Tiger defense that helped to swing the tide to Massillon.

A shifting defense the first half was inadequate to contain the Panthers and they dominated the play, running 32 plays to the Tigers’ 19.

The orange and black met them with a seven-man-line much of the second half and virtually stopped the thrusts of the Warren backs, limiting them to 47 yards on the ground. As a result the visitors were unable to control the ball as they did the first half and the Tigers had more opportunities to get their offense rolling.

It still was anybody’s ball game though until the last minute of the third period when Homer Floyd raced around end for the Tigers second touchdown with 30 seconds left in the frame to lead 14-0.

Nobody gave Warren much of a chance after that, though both teams fought tooth and nail right up to the final whistle.

The Tigers chalked up their third midway in the fourth quarter on a 40-yard run by Traylor and Warren got its lone T.D. on a pass following an interception on the Tiger eight, with a minute and 20 seconds of the game left to be played. The Tigers chalked up another on a pretty 42-yard pass play, Roy Johnson to Jim Letcavits with 39 seconds left of the game.

While Massillon was by far the superior team the second half, the game with a few breaks could have been much closer. Knock off the two touchdowns scored right at the end of the second and fourth periods and you would have the Tigers wining by 13-6 and if you want to make Warren look better yet, take into consideration the Panther fumble the Tigers recovered behind the goal line that might have led to another Warren touchdown had it not been for the muff.

Of course the local gridders had their bad breaks too. Warren never would have scored had not the orange and black, in possession of a safe 20-0 lead, gambled on a forward pass deep in their own territory with a minute and a half to go. Bob Maniatis intercepted it and ran back to the eight-yard line before being tackled. On the next play Quarterback Dave Preston passed to End John Smith for the Panther touchdown.
* * *
OUT-OF-TOWN writers in the press box were virtually all agreed that the Tiger team was considerably better than the Panthers over the four periods of play. Perhaps the happiest man in the press box was Bill Levy, sports editor of the International News Service, who had been criticized quite severely in Trumbull County the past week for having Warren far down the line in his football poll. He thought the Tigers’ 27-6 victory vindicated his judgment.

The game was the fastest played contest of the year. But one penalty was stepped off – a five-yarder against the Tigers. The locals refused a motion penalty against Warren and the latter refused a penalty against the Tigers.

A minimum of incompleted passes also hastened things along and there were few timeouts for injuries.

The Tigers had the best of the statistics. They made 15 first downs to Warren’s 12, completed half of their eight passes for 115 yards while Warren completed four of 10 for 37 yards, and gained 278 yards rushing to Warren’s 166. Net yardage, rushing and passing was 381 to 190 in the local teams’ favor.

Even in punting Traylor had the edge, averaging 48.5 yards on his two boots to 41 yards for Warren.
* * *
FIRED by a week of intensive preparations and pep meetings and buoyed by the confidence of some 7,000 fans who followed them to Massillon, the Panthers were keyed up for the contest and put up their best game of the season.

They made it uneasy for every Massillonian the first half and well through the third period, or until the Tigers put over their second touchdown.

“They tackled hard,” the Massillon boys said after the game and the coaches agreed it was a rough go.

Coach Mather took a brief moment to pay compliments to the performance of his team but was quick to say “right now I’m worrying about Toledo Waite. They’re the biggest team our scouts have ever seen in high school uniforms and what worries us most is that everyone is talking about Fremont Ross, and nobody is thinking of Waite. I believe Waite can beat Ross.”

At this stage the conversation someone rushed in to state he had just heard over the radio that Waite had beaten Toledo Central 61-13.

“See, that’s what I mean,” said Mather. “Waite has a ball team. It has lost one game – by a point – and to a team that is still undefeated. We can’t have any letdown this week – or the next – or the next.”

But Mather’s comments were almost drowned out with the hum of talk and rejoicing of fans over the conquest of Warren.
* * *
ALL FOUR of Massillon’s touchdowns came outside the 10-yard line and three of them were for 40 yards or more.

That’s the kind of team the local eleven has been all season – apt to go for the distance at anytime.

Every touchdown had a bit of the razzle dazzle, in it, Traylor’s run for the first, has already been described. It was a pretty piece of footwork on his part. The second made by Floyd was a 12-yard flanker following a pitchout. The third and Traylor’s second was the same perfect play that he worked against Mansfield a week ago, when he ran parallel to his line and then cut around the end to go for the works. Prettiest part of the run was when he took a shoulder away from the only Warren tackler to threaten him.

The last T.D. came out of a clear sky as Johnson went in as substitute and fired the ball to Letcavits who caught it on about the 10 and hastened over the goal. The boys in the dressing room afterward were kidding the bespectacled and smiling Roy as to what kind of jet propulsion he had behind the thrust.
* * *
THE MASSILLON fans booed the officials several times for what they thought were errors of judgment.

They didn’t like the five-yard penalty inflicted after a sucker shift which gave the visitors a first down. Mather thought it illegal. The officials ruled contact had been made by a Massillon player who had jumped offside; hence the penalty.

A boo went up when no penalty was inflicted after Traylor had been knocked down while punting. The officials considered it unavoidable…another when a visitor roughed up Traylor near the north end of the field late in the game.

Considering the stakes – first place in the state standings – the game was played hard and for the most part it was clean.
* * *
WARREN FANS had plenty of opportunities to cheer and rightfully so for their eleven. It undoubtedly gave the Tigers their hardest game of the season and despite the defeat the Panthers still deserve a high spot in the standings. We believe the Panthers could trim most of the 10 leaders in the poll and shall cast our vote accordingly.

Warren has a rugged line and a particularly hard runner in Jim Rogers. He battered the Tigers hard early in the game.

The first quarter was over before most fans got settled in their seats. Each team had the ball twice during the period. Warren kicked off to the Tigers who after making one first down were forced to punt from their 48 to Rogers who was downed on his 17. The visitors reeled off three first downs and got down to the Tiger 39 where they fumbled, Willie Longshore covering for Massillon on the locals’ 47. The Tigers largely on Francisco’s
14-yard effort went to Warren 33, where Traylor fumbled a handoff and Warren recovered on its 35. The visitors made a first down and were back to the Massillon 46 as the quarter ended.
* * *
THE TIGERS held for three downs and with fourth and four coming up, Warren pulled the sucker shift previously referred to that drew the Tigers offside. The five-yard penalty gave the visitors a first down on Massillon’s 37. Incidentally, Warren writers said it was the first time this season the Panthers had used the sucker shift.

Warren moved to a first on the 25 and executed a fine fake handoff to send Giles around right end to a first down on the six. But on the next play Rogers fumbled on the goal line while being tackled and Eddie Fletcher pounced on the ball for a touchback.

A 47-yard run by Francisco helped take the ball to the 19 where Warren braced and held for downs. The visitors struck back with three consecutive first downs that moved the ball to the Massillon 37, where Ron Gardner, Tiger linebacker, intercepted a pass of Preston’s on third down.

That got the Tigers going. Crescenze tossed to Boone for a first on the Warren 47 and Floyd ground out six through the middle of the line.

With the seconds rapidly ticking away, Crescenze faded back, ran far to his right, pursued by two Warren tacklers and just got the ball away in time to Traylor who had planted himself between the visitors’ secondary. Johnny had to do some fancy running to elude Panther tacklers and aided by a couple of superb blocks, went over for the first T.D. with 34 seconds to spare. Boone kicked the extra point.
* * *
THE TIGERS scored the first time they got the ball in the third period – the only time they had it. They first had to stop Warren after the kickoff and force the visitors to punt, Preston getting off a good boot to the Massillon 18. It took nine plays to get the ball to the Warren 12. Homer Floyd got off two dandy runs en route including one of 28 and Crescenze hit Letcavits with a 14-yard pass that put the ball on the 12. A pitchout to Floyd produced the touchdown. Warren was able to run but one play after the following kickoff before the end of the period.

The team exchanged punts in the third quarter and Warren was forced to boot the ball a second time to the Tigers, Floyd running the leather back to his 37. A 22-yard effort by Traylor put the ball on the 40 from which spot he took off for the rest of the distance. Porter tried to run the extra point across but didn’t quite make it and the score stood at

The Tigers kicked off and again forced Warren to punt. Crescenze tried to pass from his own 24 but Maniatis got in front of the ball, intercepted and ran back to the eight before he was knocked out of bounds. On the next play Preston passed to John Smith for the Warren points.

The Tigers took the kickoff and moved rapidly. Ronnie Agnes brought it back to his 42 and Traylor ran to a first down on the Warren 48. Floyd on a pitch out went out of bounds on the 42 and Johnson was sent in to throw for the Tigers. Throw he did and completed his first peg to Letcavits for the last touchdown of the game. Boone kicked this extra point too.

ENDS – Boone, Letcavits, Lentz.
TACKLES – Dean, Schram, Williams, Hill.
GUARDS – Eaglowski, Agnes, Gardner, Maier, Shilling.
CENTERS – Fisher, Fletcher.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Johnson, Porter.
HALFBACKS – Francisco, Traylor, Longshore, Fromholtz.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Stoner, Boekel.

ENDS – Sibera, Kelley, Smith, Trice.
TACKLES – Nagy, Riffle, Begalla.
GUARDS – Aurand, Simmons, Mosholder.
CENTER – Principi.
HALFBACKS – Rogers, Giles, Venetta, Angelo, Maniatis, Dowell.
FULLBACK – Hilles.

Score by periods:
Massillon 0 7 7 13 27
Warren 0 0 0 6 6

Massillon – Traylor 2; Floyd; Letcavits.
Warren – Smith.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 3 (placekicks).

Referee – McPhee (Poland).
Umpire – Russ (Youngstown).
Head Linesman – Zimmerman (Cuyahoga Falls).
Field Judge – Lobach (Akron).

Mass. Warren
First downs 15 12
Passes attempted 8 10
Passes completed 4 4
Had passes intercepted 1 2
Yards gained passing 115 37
Yards gained rushing 278 166
Total yards gained 393 203
Yards lost 12 13
Net yards gained 381 190
Times kicked off 5 2
Average kickoff (yards) 47 30
Times punted 2 4
Average punt (yards) 48.5 41
Yards kickoffs returned by 20 71
Yards punts returned by 16 19
Times fumbled 1 3
Lost ball on fumbles 1 2
Times penalized 1 0
Yards penalized 5 0

Jim Lectavits
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1953: Massillon 41, Mansfield 7

Tiger Gridders Smash Mansfield 41-7
Massillon Team Turns On Steam To Whip Old Rival For 19th In Row


Unleashing its most devastating attack of the season, the Washington high school football team surprised its strongest supporters Friday evening as it turned back Mansfield high 41-7 before the largest crowd to attend a football gathering here this season – 16,496 fans.

It was the Tigers’ 19th victory in a row and their 14th over Mansfield in the series of 18 games played since the teams opened modern relations in 1936. Mansfield has won one game (1949) and has tied the Tigers three times.

The victory likewise set the stage for next week’s high school battle of the year here between powerful and undefeated Warren high which last night smashed Cleveland Benedictine’s long undefeated streak of 21 games by a score of 34-13.

The Tigers were terrific last night.

Playing a team that had lost only to Warren and that game by the slim margin of a point, they did everything right, were sharp and we hope will be able to take off against Warren next week where they left off when Coach Chuck Mather yanked them out of the game in the third quarter.
* * *
CHUCK didn’t want the team to get stale nor sustain any injuries for next week’s contest.

Some bruises were showing up on players after the game, but none appeared to be serious.

The victory got the second half of the schedule off it a rip-roaring start.

Mansfield was supposed to have tested the Tigers. It poured out what looked to be a better team than the score indicated. Some of the 3,500 visiting fans seemed to think their team suffered from stage fright, caused by the big crowd – and was playing in the shadow of the lopsided record Massillon holds over Mansfield teams.

Bet that as it may Mansfield also ran into the best performance put up by the Massillon team this year. The Tigers were a threat every time they carried the ball as evidenced by their long runs and passes for touchdowns, and the mountain of yardage they piled up during the game.

Johnny Francisco went 93 yards for one and 15 for another. Homer Floyd raced 20 for one and 54 for another, while Johnny Traylor went 42 yards for one and caught a pass from Roy Johnson for 29 and another.

The Tigers gained 607 yards, 131 by passing, while holding Mansfield to 240 yards, 90 by passing.

Most of the visitors’ yardage was made when Massillon second and third stringers were in the game.

In fact, we were fearful of what the score would have been had not Mather substituted so freely the last two periods.

First downs were 21 to 11.
* * *
THE RUNNING of Floyd was one of the big features of the evening. He legged it well through the visiting team, which appeared unaware of his ability.

The Tigers started off by sweeping the Mansfield flanks with wide end runs, particularly deep pitch-outs. Floyd had the speed to get around and was supported by some fine blocking.

Best blocking of the evening, however, was that turned in by the left side of the Massillon line on Traylor’s 42-yard T.D. The boys just pinned the visitors to the ground while Traylor legged it fast around his left, into the open and was gone like a jack rabbit.

Jack rabbit did we say? We should have saved that term for the 93-yard flight of Francisco. He did a lot of nifty dodging as he came out of the pack and was away with a couple of Mansfield players pursuing him to the end. All were out of wind including Francisco by the time pay dirt was reached.

When the big three of the Tiger backfield retired, Billy Stone took over. He got away for some good jaunts even though he had second and third stringers in front of him.
* * *
MANSFIELD had its backs too. Jim Thompson, Ed Avery, Wilmer Fowler and Willie Mack showed they had the speed, but their line was neither strong nor fast enough to get them into the open very often. They had few long gains.

Mansfield fans we talked to had words of praise for the Tigers. Most of them figured they would get beat but not by as heavy a margin.

Coach Bill Peterson was complimentary to the Tigers and told Mather he had a very fine team.

The Tigers broke the visitors’ spirit quickly.

They stopped Mansfield after the opening kickoff and got the ball for the first time in a punt on their 49-yard line. They never stopped until they had seven points.

It was Francisco 11 yards in two attempts, Floyd 20 on a pitchout to the left and 20 more and a touchdown on a pitchout to the right – just like that, with Tom Boone kicking the extra point.

They fizzled out on their second ball carrying series but when they got to a third time they drove into pay dirt again. They started from their own 46 with Floyd racing for 13. Francisco added a yard, and Floyd, running on that pitchout again, flew 25 yards to the Mansfield 15. Francisco went around his right end for the touchdown and again Boone booted the extra point.
* * *
THAT ENDED the scoring for the first quarter. Mansfield worked the ball into Tiger territory early in the second period but was forced to punt. Floyd took the ball on a handoff after the punt from behind his goal and only because of his speed and some fine chopping of tacklers by teammates was he able to avoid a safety and get out to his three. Traylor moved the ball up four yards and Francisco busted out of nowhere for his brilliant 93-yard run. Boone again kicked the extra point and it was 21-0.

The fourth touchdown came quickly. Stopped on the kickoff the visitors punted to the 40. Floyd lost two when he slipped on a pitchout but Traylor tore around his left end to score. Boone missed the kick.

Mansfield struck back with its best attack of the half. Starting with the kickoff on their own 41 the visiting Tygers began tossing short passes with Pudge Henkel doing the pitching. He hit Avery for 11 yards, Fowler for three, Mack for eight, and Morton for three. With some runs mixed in the visitors got down to the one yard line and had three chances to put it over. Fowler first tried to dent the Tiger wall and failed. Then Henkel tried a keep play and was thrown back. Lastly Thompson was hurled at the line and he too was stopped, so the Tigers took over.
* * *
THE LOCALS scored quickly in the second half. Getting the ball on the 32, Traylor and Francisco moved it up to their 46. There Floyd was sent up the alley on a quick opener and he came through as though shot out of a cannon to go all the way, 54 yards and a touchdown. Boone kicked this point too.

Mansfield was stopped after the following kickoff and forced to punt, the Tigers getting the ball on their 25.

Francisco in two plays went to his 44, but a 15-yard penalty after a completed pass to Chuck Lentz didn’t help matters any. Carl Porter then whipped a 42-yard beauty to Francisco who got all the way to the 29, Johnson went in to throw one and throw it he did, a perfectly timed ball that Traylor took over his shoulder in the end zone while on the dead run.

This time the boys muffed the ball on the try for point, so Porter picked it up and ran it over for a counter. It turned out to be the Tigers’ last points of the game but only because the Tigers lost the ball on a fumble on the one-yard line. After that Mather filled his ranks with rookies.

Mansfield got its only T.D. in the fourth quarter after getting a Tiger punt on the latter’s 38. Mack on a deep reverse picked up 11 and went to a first on the 13 only to be penalized 15 on a personal foul. A well-aimed pass, Henkel to Avery, made up for the penalty loss and brought a first down on the two-yard line. Thompson shot around right end for the T.D. and Jerry Lorenz kicked the extra point.

ENDS – Boone, Letcavits, Lorch, Lentz, Canary.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Williams, Woolley, Hill.
GUARDS – Agnes, Eaglowski, Shilling, Gardner, Fletcher, Holloway, Maier.
CENTERS – Fisher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter, Johnson.
HALFBACKS – Francisco, Traylor, Byrd, Stavroff, Fromholtz, Yoder, Longshore, Duke.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Stone, Boekel.

ENDS – Groves, Morton, Shoylaya, Smith, Yoha, Philpot.
TACKLES – Cook, Elliot, Fisher, Neston.
GUARDS – Elmas, Moore, G. Yoakam, Senohozlieff, Komjanovich.
CENTERS – Armstrong, Danals.
HALFBACKS – Mack, Fowler, Avery, Bair, Jones, Wilson.
FULLBACK – Thompson.

Score by periods:
MASSILLON 14 13 14 0 41
MANSFIELD 0 0 0 7 7

Massillon – Floyd 2; Francisco 2; Traylor 2.
Mansfield – Thompson.

Point after touchdowns:
Massillon – Boone 4 (placekicks). Porter (carried).
Mansfield – Lorentz (placekick).

Referee – Smith (Elyria).
Umpire – Walker (Columbus).
Head Linesman – Machock (Wooster).
Field Judge – Moore (Wooster).

Mass. Mansf.
First downs 21 11
Passes attempted 9 24
Passes completed 3 8
Had passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 131 90
Yards gained rushing 476 150
Total yards gained 607 240
Yards lost 24 17
Net yards gained 583 223
Times kicked off 7 2
Average kickoffs (yards) 41 48
Yards kickoffs returned by 31 96
Times punted 3 6
Average punt (yards) 28 37
Yards punts returned by 9 21
Times fumbled 5 1
Lost ball on fumbles 3 1
Times penalized 5 5
Yards penalized 45 55

Jim Lectavits
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1953: Massillon 33, Alliance 7

13,036 See Tigers Beat Alliance 33-7
Orange And Black Roll Up Winning Margin In First Half Of Contest


The Washington high school football team sputtered Friday night but still had enough to chalk up its fifth win of the season at the expense of a fighting Alliance high eleven before a crowd of 13,036 fans, largest turnout of the season.

The victory was the Tigers’ 18th in a row since they last tasted defeat in Warren in October, 1951.

The margin of victory was gained in the first half when the Tigers scored two touchdowns in each of the first and second quarters; scoring in the second half was equal, seven points for each teams.

The Massillon score might have been larger save for a pass interception on the goal line and several clipping penalties that helped throttle possible drives for points.

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The fact remained, however, that the Tigers were not sharp and were up against a spirited Alliance team that was scrapping with all it had.
* * *
THE TIGHTENING of the struggle in the second half was also revealed in the number of substitutions by Massillon Coach Chuck Mather. Where he had been using 40 or more players in previous games he used but 30 last night.

Likewise, it was the first time this season that the Tigers gained more yards passing than they made running the ball. They gained 205 yards and scored two touchdowns through the completion of five passes, while making 190 on the ground. Alliance completed only two of nine passes for 55 yards, one of which set up its only touchdown. It gained 148 yards on the ground. First downs were 15-11 in the Tigers’ favor.

While the game lacked some of the luster of previous Massillon-Alliance contests, it produced a lot of thrills for the spectators.

The biggest sensation was spoiled by a clipping penalty which took away yards but not the brilliance from a second period run by Johnny Traylor.

With the ball on the Massillon 22, the fleet Tiger halfback had set out around his left end only to find himself confronted by a swarm of enemy interceptors as he went three yards past the line of scrimmage. So he reversed his field, ran backward some 15 yards in a wide arc while his blocking began forming in front of him. Then Johnny sped forward along the sideline. His teammates began cutting down Alliance tacklers, as he went all the way to the 10 where he ran out of steam and was pulled down from behind. Clipping was called on the Alliance 41 and the Tigers were penalized 15 yards back to their own 44.
* * *
TWO PLAYS LATER, more of the fancy stuff was produced. Rich Crescenze fired a long pass that Tom Boone made a great catch of on the Alliance 20. Two Alliance tacklers closed in on him and Boone lost his helmet in the fight for liberation. While an Alliance player dove for it, thinking it to be the ball, Tom went the remaining 20 yards for a touchdown. There was a 32-yard razzle dazzle to Bill Stone for a touchdown that did not count in the last minute of the half, because of a penalty, and there was a pitch to Johnny Traylor good for 54 yards and the Tigers’ only touchdown in the second half.

Francisco and Traylor each scored two touchdowns, and Rujay Jones got Alliance’s only one, though it was made possible by a long pass, Bill Offenbecher to Chester Kirksey, good for 33 yards that put the ball on the one yard line. He was tossed out in the coffin corner after it looked as though he would go over.

In Jones Alliance displayed a hard-running sophomore fullback who got away for several long gains despite the fact that he was pretty well bottled up by a hard charging Massillon line that messed up the Alliance offense much of the time.

In fact, Offenbecher usually had little time to pass the ball for someone was reaching out to haul him down most all the time. Alliance lost as many yards as it gained trying to pass.
* * *
THE LINE also hurried Orlando Giovanatto so much in the first half that he had little time to punt. One was blocked and another only went 13 yards.

The Tigers punted but once, and that one went over the Alliance goal.
* * *
IT LOOKED like a scoreless first period before the Tigers began to roll, and only a minute and 31 seconds remained of the quarter when John Francisco went over from the four-yard line for the first points. The drive started in midfield with a 42-yard pass, Crescenze to Homer Floyd putting the ball in scoring position.

Interception of an Alliance pass by Bill Stone on the Aviators’ 42 made it possible to score on the first play of the second quarter. Francisco carried to the five-yard line on the last play of the first period and then went over as the second period got under way.

A blocked punt that gained Massillon the ball on the Alliance 40 was the starting point for the third T.D. A 24-yard pass from Crescenze to Jim Letcavits got the ball into scoring territory and after Francisco had narrowed the distance by six yards, Traylor circled his left end for the points.

Boone’s catch of a touchdown pass, already described, was the fourth and last T.D. of the half. The locals lost a fifth in the late minutes of the period when a 52-yarder from Crescenze to Stone took the bal into the end zone only to be called back because of a penalty on the Tigers.
* * *
ALLIANCE was first to score in the second half, though the Tigers were down to the
eight –yard line when an intercepted pass ended their drive.

Alliance came right back after the interception to drive the length of the field. Hard running by Jones produced first downs on the 48 and 36 and after Jones moved the ball up to the 33, Offenbecher passed to Kirksey who got within a foot of the goal before he was thrown out of bounds, Jones went over.

The Tigers took the kickoff on their 46 and in two plays had another T.D. of their own. Traylor failed to gain and Crescenze let fly to Traylor who outran the Alliance secondary to score. The play covered 54 yards.

The Tigers emerged from the game in good condition and Mather was glade to get it over with. “You always fear this kind of game,” he said after the contest. “The boys got the idea from fans that they have an easy touch and then go out to meet a fired-up opponent. That’s when they often get hurt.”

Most serious casualty last night appeared to be Boone who has been coming along fast in just about every department the last couple of weeks. He sustained a bruised hip that hurt him considerably after the game.

Sophomore members of the team didn’t get much rest last night. They had to report at 7:30 this morning for a trip to Mansfield where they play the Mansfield sophs today.

The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Boone, Letcavits, Lentz, Lorch.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Woolley, Hill.
GUARDS – Eaglowski, Agnes, Shilling, Gardner, Holloway, Maier, Williams.
CENTERS – Fisher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Grant.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, Francisco, Duke, Byrd, Longshore, Fromholtz.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Johnson, Stone, Boekel, Speck.

ENDS – Kirksey, Coldsnow, Giovanatta, Hariston.
TACKLES – Pucci, Egan, Kracher, Liber.
GUARDS – Thomas, Menechelli, Milovich, Peloso, Slusser, Giase.
CENTERS – Dietz, Adams.
QUARTERBACK – Offenbecher.
HALFBACKS – Plummer, Barnett, Wright, Long, Hawkins, Howard.

Score by periods:
Massillon 7 19 7 0 33
Alliance 0 0 7 0 7

Massillon – Francisco 2; Traylor 2; Boone.
Alliance – Jones

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 3 (placekick).
Alliance – Slusser (placekick).

Referee – A.N. Smith (Elyria).
Umpire – John Holzback (Youngstown).
Head Linesman – Andy Lindsay (Poland).
Field Judge – A.C. Grant (Loudonville).

Mass. Alliance
First downs 15 11
Passes attempted 16 9
Passes completed 5 2
Had passes intercepted 8 1
Yards gained passing 205 55
Yards gained rushing 190 148
Total yards gained 395 203
Yards lost 3 55
Net yards gained 287 148
Times kicked off 5 2
Average kickoffs (yards) 40 37
Yards kickoffs returned by 31 85
Times punted 1 7
Average punt (yards) 16 26
Yards punts returned by 3 0
Times fumbled 2 3
Lost ball on fumbles 1 1
Times penalized 9 4
Yards penalized 75 35

Jim Lectavits
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1953: Massillon 35, Steubenville 6

Tigers Rip Big Red 35-6
Capacity Crowd Sees Massillon Gridders Win Fourth Game Of Season


A hard hitting Steubenville football team gave the Washington high school Tigers their stiffest battle of the season Friday evening but did not have enough to keep the Bengals from winning their fourth victory of the autumn campaign and their 17th in a row.

The score was 35-6 and the margin of Massillon victory might have been four touchdowns more had it not been for a couple of fumbles, a disagreement of officials and the expiration of time. We will get around to all that before the end of this story.

What matters most was that the Tigers kept their slate clean while removing the Big Red from the undefeated list in the state. What we regret is that it had to be done at the expense of an ex-Massillonian, Ray Hoyman, coach of Steubenville.

But there’s no time for sentiment on the football field, and there was none of it displayed in the game as the two teams battled it out throughout the night.
* * *
YOU HAD only to visit the Tigers dressing room after the contest to know the players had been through their most grueling contest of the season.

Several were limping and there was scarcely a lad who did not leave some skin behind in Harding stadium.

“That was the hardest hitting team we have met this year,” said Coach Chuck Mather as he gave the squad the once over after the game.

Tom Fisher had an injured leg, which could bench him for quite a spell; Chuck Lentz was banged up; John Traylor was limping and the merthiolate was being daubed around freely.

It was testimony of the brand of football the Big Red put up in defeat, and evidence that the Tigers had to be good to survive.

A capacity crowd of more than 9,000 attended the game and over a third of it was composed of Massillon fans.

The local delegation had plenty of opportunities to cheer as their favorite team slammed over five touchdowns through some sensational running and passing, and lost four others that might just as well have been marked up to their credit.
* * *
STEUBENVILLE folks had a jolly time themselves when their fleet back, Jim Johnson, intercepted a Tiger pass and went for the works in the last 37 seconds of the game.

It didn’t mean anything as far as getting close to victory was concerned but it was something to cheer about.

Of more interest from a local standpoint were the touchdowns that were not made. Twice the Tigers lost the ball on fumbles when within an arm’s reach of the goal line, and twice more they were denied scores, once through a difference of opinion of officials and again through the expiration of time.

The official twist came near the end of the first half when John Francisco apparently went over from the three-yard line. The head linesman, Glen Dicken, indicated a touchdown. The field judge disagreed and the referee took the field judge’s opinion. The Tigers had but two seconds left after that one and Rich Crescenze fumbled in his hurry to get off another play as the half ended.

Then at the end of the game the Massillon boys had a first down on the seven-yard line with precious seconds ticking away. Their timeouts already used up, Joe Eaglowski faked injury in an attempt to get a timeout, but the officials did not see him and time ran out before the ball could again be put in play.
* * *
THE ORANGE and black struck swiftly in the opening minutes of each half. An unintentional onside kick at the start of the game was covered by John Francisco on the Big Red 39-yard line. Six plays later, Crescenze passed 26 yards to Jim Letcavits for the touchdown, with the game only two minutes and 42 seconds old.

Then to start off the second half, John Traylor gathered in the Stubber kickoff on the 10 and raced 90 yards to score.

Sandwiched between these two touchdowns was a 44-yard touchdown pass, Crescenze to Traylor.

The locals scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Billy Stone went over from seven yards out on the first play of the quarter to climax a 40-yard march. Francisco bucked across the final six points from the one-yard line and Tom Boone completed a perfect evening of placement kicking by booting his fifth point after touchdown.

The Statistics show the Tigers’ superiority as good if not better than the score.

The locals made 31 first downs to the Stubbers three and gained 454 yards from scrimmage to 113 yards.

Where they failed was in loose ball handling. They fumbled seven times, losing the ball on four of the occasions.

Penalties hurt at times too. The Tigers lost 95 yards while Steubenville lost 47 for rule infractions.
* * *
THE TIGERS rolled up their yardage in, every possible way. They made much of it on the ends, hoping to spread the Big Red defense for quickies and counters through the line and they opened the secondary, particularly early in the game with some well placed passes. Crescenze and Carl Porter hit five receivers for two touchdowns and 133 yards.

Steubenville had a set of fast backs who were dangerous when loose. Fastest of all was John Stinson, a substitute who hadn’t intended playing this year because of a twice fractured leg. He didn’t pick up too much yardage since he only carried a couple of times. Next in line and a great back was Fred Hudson who was a threat every time he carried the ball. Jim Morgan and Jim Johnson, other backs, were also dangerous.

On the line, Veteran Tackle Bill Kerr played a whale of a game. Said Eaglowski, “He was the kind of guy who would smile and wink at you and then proceed to knock you to pieces.”
* * *
THE TIGERS had their good boys too. Francisco, Traylor, Homer Floyd and Billy Stone all ran well. Homer had a case of fumbleitis, largely because the Stubbers were tackling the ball.

Jim Letcavits looked good again at end and Bruce Schram at tackle, and you can’t start mentioning people without getting into Boone’s five placements after touchdowns and his fine kickoffs.

Here’s how the scoring went:

Steubenville won the toss and elected to receive. Boone kicked off, hit the ball on the side of his foot and Francisco grabbed it for the Tigers on the Big Red 39. Traylor and Francisco made it first on the 27, Traylor hit for five, but Crescenze covered a fumbled handoff for a loss of three. The Big Red line swarmed over Francisco for a yard loss. Then Crescenze stepped back and shot a pass to Letcavits for 26 yards and the first T.D. of the game. Two minutes and 42 seconds had expired.
* * *
THE TIGERS started next time from their 37. Traylor ripped off 10 after Floyd had failed to gain. Floyd went to the Big Red 44 and Crescenze pitched to Traylor for the remaining 44 yards and a touchdown. Five minutes and 56 seconds of the game had passed by on this one.

The Tigers didn’t threaten again until midway in the second period when they recovered Hudson’s fumble on the Big Red 24. Floyd raced to a first on the 15. Floyd raced to a first on the 15. Francisco made four and Floyd fumbled but recovered for a gain of three putting the ball on the eight. Francisco drove to a first down on the four. Floyd fumbled within reach of a touchdown and Johnson recovered for Steubenville.

The locals drove to the goal line the next time they got the ball as the last seconds were being ticked off on the clock. With 21 seconds to go, Francisco apparently went over from the two. The head linesman, we thought, as did Coach Mather, signaled for a T.D., but was overruled by the referee. Time was called with two seconds to go. Crescenze attempted to buck it over but fumbled and another touchdown effort was lost.

The third quarter got under way in dazzling fashion for the Tigers. Traylor gathered in the kickoff on the 10 and raced straight up the alley 90 yards to score in the first 16 seconds of play.

The Tigers next got the ball on a punt on their 25. Francisco and Traylor got off good runs as the ball was moved to a first on the 16. Floyd took it to the eight had the ball pulled from his arms and Steubenville covered. A third T.D. was lost.
* * *
AS THE THIRD period was fading the Tigers launched their fourth successful touchdown drive. Traylor was downed with a Big Red punt on the latter’s 40. Stone smacked for 15 and again raced to a first on the 12. Stone circle right end on the first play of the fourth period for the touchdown.

Floyd set the Tigers in motion for their final points when he hauled in one of Nick Medves’ passes on the Steubenville 46. Stone hit for 10 and after an exchange of five-yard penalties for delays, Porter circled left end for 23 yards and a first on the 13. Stone was stopped without gain but Halfback Andy Stavroff ran to the six.

A five-yard penalty on Steubenville for offside put the ball on the one and Francisco was given the honor of bucking it over.

Only 37 seconds of the game remained to be played when Johnson intercepted Porter’s pass and ran 65 yards for the Big Red touchdown. But even in those last 37 seconds the Tigers almost got another. They brought the kickoff back to their 45 and Stone almost got away as he ran to a first on the seven. It was at this point that Eaglowski played injured but nobody saw him until the game as over. A fourth touchdown lost.

The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Letcavits, Lentz, Boone, Lopez, Lorch.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Williams, Maier, Woolley.
GUARDS – Agnes, Eaglowski, Gardner, Shilling.
CENTERS –Fisher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, Francisco, Longshore, Stavroff.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Stone.

ENDS – Thomas, Starlipper, Pettress, Wilson, Fulton.
TACKLES – Snyder, Kerr, Underwood, Snair.
GUARDS – Starr, Bickerstaff, Brandt.
CENTER – Moncilovich.
QUARTERBACKS – Medves, White.
HALFBACKS – Johnson, Hudson, Stinson, Callas.
FULLBACKS – Morgan, Pylia.

Score by periods:
Massillon 14 0 7 14 35
Steubenville 0 0 0 6 6

Massillon – Letcavits; Traylor 2; Stone; Francisco.
Steubenville – Johnson.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 5 (place kicks).

Referee – A.L. Walsh (Elwood City).
Umpire – Sam Hodnick (Canton).
Head Linesman – Glen Dicken (Pittsburgh).
Field Judge – Hub Radnour (Pittsburgh).

Mass. Steub.
First downs 21 3
Passes attempted 15 7
Passes completed 5 1
Had passes intercepted 1 2
Yards gained passing 133 7
Yards gained rushing 321 106
Total yards gained 454 113
Yards lost 21 18
Net yards gained 433 95
Times kicked off 6 2
Average kickoff (yards) 45 37
Yards kickoffs returned by 100 93
Times punted 3 7
Average punt (yards) 37 34
Yards punts returned 63 13
Times fumbled 7 2
Lost ball on fumbles 4 1
Times penalized 9 9
Yards penalized 95 47

Jim Lectavits
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1953: Massillon 40, Lima Central 0

Tigers Whip Lima Central 40-0
Orange And Black Play Best Game Of Season Before Crowd Of 12,807


Displaying their best football of the season, the Washington high school Tigers whipped Lima Central 40-0 before a crowd of 12,807 fans here Friday evening with the second team playing offense the entire second half.

There’s no telling what the final score would have been had not Coach Chuck Mather of the Tigers opened the gates of mercy in the last two periods and filled his ranks with one substitute after another. He had 41 in the game before it ended, and still the score kept mounting.

Program Cover

Coach Seraph Pope of the visiting Dragons almost kept pace with Mather. When he saw victory fleeting, he too substituted liberally with the result that you had sophomores and juniors playing each other most of the final period.
* * *
THE TIGERS were high last night and they put on a display of hard running and passing
that quickly overcame Lima’s early first period spurt that penetrated deep into Massillon territory.

“Maybe we were too high,” Mather said after the game. “But then it was about time we were getting up there.”

“I had no desire to run up a score for the sake of the football poll,” he said. “That’s why I let the younger boys play in the second half.”

The game produced a lot of sensations as well as some zany football. There was a brilliant 40-yard pass from Rich Crescenze to Halfback John Traylor for the Tigers’ first score of the game with only 53 seconds remaining in the first period. There was a brilliant run by Homer Floyd, as hard a one as you would want to see for 32 yards and the locals’ second touchdown; a 16-yard scoot by Traylor for the third and a 36-yard peg from Crescenze to Tom Boone for the fourth.

There was a blocked punt by Jim Letcavits that was converted into a touchdown and a T.D. by Andy Stavroff, who went through standing up for the Tigers’ last score of the game.

Then too there was a pass completion for a loss of 17 yards in which Quarterback Carl Porter ran back 35 yards before getting rid of the ball – and there was the longest yard gain of the year in which Dick Fromholtz on a statue ran over 50 yards to make one.
* * *
LIMA CENTRAL early in the game came out with an offense good enough to cause fans to believe they might live up to their advance rating.

Just as Canton Lincoln walked through the locals in the initial quarter a week ago, so Lima moved from its 28 to what would have been a first down on the Tiger three had not an eager guard got offside and caused the Dragons to be penalized. John Francisco ended the threat with a pass interception behind the goal line and barely got back into playing territory before being tackled.

The teams took turns covering each other’s fumbles and when the Tigers pounced on a Lima muff on the 27, it was like erecting an iron curtain in front of the goal. The visitors never got close enough for conversation again.

The Dragons never quit trying, however. What was supposed to have been an impotent passing attack turned out to be a potent one the first half. They completed five of seven the first two periods, having one intercepted and one incomplete, the last of the half. The Tigers did a better job of breaking up the throwing the last half, principally by rushing the passer.

The Massillon line showed improvement as did the whole team. It shoved the lighter Lima line backward most of the evening and did not permit the visiting forward wall to free the fleet Lima backs. The latter on occasions showed fans they had all the speed they were supposed to have but they didn’t have the blocking to get them into the open.
* * *
THE GENERAL improvement in the Massillon team is the best thing that can be said in its favor. It has gotten better with each game as a good, smart team should do and should keep developing right on through the final contest of the season. That’s what is necessary to become a great team. The Tigers hope to attain that rating.

In winning 40-0 the Tigers gave Chuck Mather his 50th victory since he took the helm of football here. He won nine games in each of 1948, 1949, and 1951 seasons and 10 in 1950 and 1952. This was his third triumph of the current campaign.

Coach Pope, of Lima, who also entered the contest with 49 wins as Central’s coach, will have to wait another week for his 50th.

Highlight of the game from a Massillon standpoint, we thought, was Floyd’s 32-yard run for the second Massillon touchdown. We haven’t seen anything as pretty in years and it brought words of praise from Al White, Lima sports writer. Floyd leaped over one tackler on his sweep and danced around on the ground to get out of the arms of two others before he could free himself for the run of the night.
* * *
HIGHLIGHT for Central was the pass snatching of End Bill Cowden. He made a couple of dandy catches, taking the ball right out of the arms of Massillon secondary.

The Tigers won the game on the statistical sheet as well as the scoreboard. First downs were 17 to 11, net yards gained 348 to 146 and even the punting and kicking off showed a margin of superiority. Tom Boone, in fact, is getting more distance each week with his kickoffs. Where he seldom got the ball beyond the 25-yard line in the opening game, he’s now threatening to kick it over the goal. All of those things will come in mighty handy when the locals encounter stiffer competition.

Lima fans had thought their team might become the victim of stage fright in the opening minutes last night. They were not accustomed to the fanfare and crowds which are part of the Massillon football show.

Instead of wringing their hands, however, they were masters of the situation and went to work with a will that won them the applause and admiration of both friend and foe.

Receiving on the 28 they ran the ball to a first down on their own 48, largely through a
14-yard effort by Halfback Earmon Cook.

Then Quarterback John Henderson began throwing. He hit Dick Dush for 18 yards and a first down on the 34 and on second down tossed to Dush for nine and another first on the 24. He threw to end Bill Cowden for eight and then bootlegged around end to a first on the three only to have the ball called back because a lineman had jumped offside on the play. He pitched to Cowden for six more and Jim Jackson made it first down on the 14. On second down, Francisco grabbed a pass from Henderson behind the goal and ran it out four yards. The Tigers followed with their first, first down of the game, but lost the ball on a fumble on the next down with Cook covering on the 13.

Lima obliged by also fumbling on first down, Russ Maier covering for Massillon on his 27.
* * *
THE TIGERS went to work.

In six running plays they moved the ball to the Lima 40 where Crescenze shot a well-timed pass that Traylor took over his shoulder on the dead run and never broke stride until he had planted the leather behind the goal. Boone gave additional assurance by placekicking the extra point.

The Tigers went over twice before they got another that counted.

Getting the ball through a punt on his own 38, Francisco led a running assault that went to the Lima 14 from which point Traylor broke away to sink his cleats in pay dirt only to find it didn’t count. The Tigers had been caught clipping and were penalized 15. That only served to set the stage for Floyd’s great 32-yard effort already described. Boone missed the try for the extra point.

A punt started the Tigers out again. Getting the ball on their 47, they launched another attack. This time Traylor was in the lead as he got off runs of 24 yards and 16 yards, the latter a touchdown jaunt. Boone kicked this one and it was 20-0.

The Tigers covered a fumble on the Lima 44 right after the next kickoff and in two pass plays had another T.D. The first went to Letcavits for 20 yards and the clincher was hauled in by Boone on the three. He stumbled backward for the remainder. Boone missed this kick and the score was 26-0. It came within a hair of being more as Floyd hauled down a pass with one hand and ran all the way back to the three-yard line before being tackled. The half ended before the locals could put the ball in play.
* * *
THE SECOND offensive team took over in the third period for the local team. Letcavits should get credit for the first touchdown of the second half as he made everything but the points.

Lima attempted to punt on fourth down and Jim broke through and blocked the ball which rolled back to the one yard line. Bill Stone plunged over but it was not allowed – the locals were offside and were penalized five. But that didn’t matter for Willie Longshore made up the distance in one play to score. Boone kicked the 33rd point.

The drive for the final touchdown got under way late in the third quarter and lasted into the fourth. Lima lost the ball on fourth down on its own 48. Longshore got five and Stavroff went to the Lima 35 before the end of the period.

Stavroff picked up seven more and Stone went 23 yards and all the way to the five before being downed. Stavroff got the five on the next play and Boone kicked the extra point to complete the scoring for the evening.

The Tigers emerged from the game in good physical condition.

The sophomores of the squad will travel to New London tonight to play the New London varsity. The juniors and seniors will see their next action Friday night at Steubenville. Tickets for that game will be sold to the public Monday.

The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Boone, Letcavits, Lentz, Barrett, R. Francisco, Canary, Lorch, Lopez.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Woolley, Hill, Williams, Schumacher, Moore.
GUARDS – Eaglowski, Agnes, Holloway, Russ Maier, Shilling, Gardner.
CENTERS – Fisher, Rohrbaugh, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter, Speck.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, J. Francisco, Stavroff, Longshore, Byrd. Fromholtz, Brown, Duke, Yoder.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Johnson, Stone, Archibald, Boekel.

ENDS – Dush, Dowden, Wisniowski, Reynolds.
TACKLES – Daley, Cook, Laibe.
GUARDS – Gross, Wilson, Campbell, Carnes, Neal, Lhaman.
CENTERS – Pfeifer, Fisher, Folland.
QUARTERBACKS – Henderson, Black, Hamar.
HALFBACKS – Cook, Robertson, Berthold, Jones, J. Fisher.
FULLBACKS – Jackson, Martin.

Score by periods:
Massillon 7 19 7 7 40

Touchdowns – Traylor 2; Boone; Floyd; Longshore; Stavroff.

Points after touchdown – Boone 4 (placekicks).

Referee – Schaffer (Ottawa).
Umpire – Cooney (Hamilton).
Head Linesman – Lymper (Mansfield).
Field Judge – Wirtz (Cincinnati).

Mass. Lincoln
First downs 17 11
Forward passes attempted 11 12
Passes completed 5 6
Had passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 124 50
Yards gained rushing 249 140
Total yards gained 373 190
Yards lost rushing and passing 25 44
Net yards gained 348 146
Times kicked off 7 1
Average kickoff (yards) 48 40
Yards kickoffs returned by 24 118
Times punted 2 7
Average punt (yards) 34 26
Yards punts returned by 48 2
Times fumbled 4 3
Lost ball on fumble 2 2
Times penalized 5 4
Yards penalized 45 20

Jim Lectavits
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1953: Massillon 55, Canton Lincoln 13

Tigers Smash Canton Lincoln 55-13
Massillon Team Comes From Behind After Lions Score First Touchdown


An inspired Canton Lincoln football team made a determined first period bid against the Washington high school Tigers before 11,728 fans here Friday evening but succumbed to Massillon’s power and went down to a 55-13 defeat.

The visiting Lions came out strong at the start of the game, grabbed a 6-0 lead with an
86-yard march in 11 plays and momentarily succeeded in stopping the Tigers. But a series of bad breaks were like pouring ice water down their backs and they cooled off as Massillon got the upper hand.

Program Cover

The first period was a dilly, from a standpoint of close scoring, ending with Massillon in front 7-6. Lincoln scored its touchdown the hard way, returning the kickoff 21 yards to the 35 and slam-banging the rest of the way. The Tigers went 57 yards on a minus two for their ball carrying efforts. A 15-yard penalty against Lincoln and interference on an incomplete pass moved the ball from the Massillon 34 to the Lions 13. The interference was called on third down with 12 yards needed for a first down.
* * *
ONCE IN the shadow of the visitors’ goal, the local team struck swiftly, Homer Floyd going over on the first play for the T.D. and Tom Boone kicking the extra point to give the Tigers the lead.

The first was still in Lincoln and after an exchange of punts, the Lions seemed ready to roll again, but with a first down in their grasp, they were penalized 15 yards for illegal use of the hands. They were further cooled off when John Francisco intercepted a forward pass to gain possession of the leather for the Tigers.

After that there was nothing to it.

The Massillon juggernaut began to roll, marched 70 yards to a touchdown in the first minute of the second period, added two more before the end of the half, three more in the third and one in the fourth when the ranks were being filled by the 32 substitutes used by Coach Chuck Mather. Lincoln scored again against these in the last minute of the game.

It was a far better contest than that of a week ago from play on the part of the Tigers and from a standpoint of spectator interest.

There were few times out for injuries or penalties and the officials kept the game moving.

Then too, Lincoln had enough offense to keep the game interesting.
* * *
YOU WOULDN’T believe a team could be beaten as badly as 55-13 and yet show up so well in the statistics. The Lions tallied 20 first downs to Massillon’s 21 and gained 329 yards, sufficient to win most games. The Tigers gained 452 yards and lost 28 for a net of 424. Lincoln finished with a net of 305.

Had it not been for its first period hard luck, Lincoln might have made even more of a fight of it.

However, there should have been no doubt in the mind of any spectator but that the Tigers were by far the stronger team.

They were much smoother than a week ago, though dents were made in their armor at times as the Lincoln backs frequently ripped for yardage and completed 12 of 28 passes.

Coach Mather was in a good mood after the game. “I thought we looked better tonight, didn’t you?” he asked. “We were a lot smoother,” he said, and then hastened off to make a final check of members of the team. He found them in good condition. John Francisco had him worried when he sustained a bruised leg, but it did not appear to bother him to any extent after the game. “I’ll be all right, coach,” said John.
* * *
THE TIGERS were better in several ways – not only smoother in their execution of plays. Tom Boone was kicking off and getting points from placement. He averaged 49 yards on his kickoffs and converted seven of his eight tries for extra point.

Pass receivers were running loose in the Lincoln backfield too, but Rich Crescenze was throwing the ball just a shade too far. Otherwise the Tigers’ percentage of completions would have been higher than four of 14. The 131 yards gained on the four are more impressive.

Long runs and long passes for touchdowns are the reason why the Tigers got so many more points for their first downs than did Lincoln.

The fancy stuff provided additional entertainment for the fans and served notice on future opponents they have to stop half a dozen backs to beat Massillon.

Slickest run of them all produced the orange and black’s third touchdown in the second period. Capt. Fred Schmidt of the visitors got off one of his few good punts that Johnny Francisco took on the 16. Johnny started for the sideline in a wide arc and slipped the ball to Floyd who was coming from the opposite direction. Francisco was on the 10 when he made the handoff and Floyd tore full steam along the east sideline behind fine blocking to race 90 yards and across the north goal with the ball.
* * *
THE FOURTH T.D. came on a pass from Crescenze to Traylor good for 52 yards and almost as many cheers. Another in the third to Boone gained 25 and a touchdown while Francisco went 20 yards and Bill Stone 33 yards for other third period scores. The last one was lugged over by Willie Longshore on an 18-yard jaunt around left end.

The victory was the second of the season for the Tigers and the defeat was the first of the year for Lincoln. Washington high now has 15 triumphs in a row or 35 in its last 36 games. The record will be threatened next Friday night when Lima Central, boasting one of its best teams in years, comes here.

It will be the first engagement between teams of the two schools and interest is so high in Lima that the school is chartering a special train for students and fans and two radio stations are making tape recordings to be played back Saturday to their home-town fans.
* * *
THE TIGERS kicked off to Lincoln to start last night’s ball game and it seemed just what the Lions wanted. They got back to the 35 with the ball and reeled off five first downs as they passed and marched their way to the two. They sent little Vic DeOrio into the slot and he got over for the six points.

Longshore brought Dave Muntean’s kickoff back to the 34. Traylor was thrown for a loss of four but Lincoln was penalized 15 yards. The Lions dropped Francisco for a two-yard loss and Crescenze’s attempted pass was grounded. On third down he fired again and this time interference was called on the incompleted pass and the Tigers were given the ball on the 13. Floyd went over on the first play and Boone’s extra point made it 7-6.

Francisco’s interception of Don Nehlen’s pass on the 42, set the stage for the next score. Francisco and Traylor in five plays took the ball to the six, but it took four more to get it over from that point, Francisco diving across for the score. This was the only extra point attempt missed by Boone.

Next came Floyd’s long punt return after taking a handoff from Francisco.

Two passes produced the fourth Tiger score. Crescenze tossed 20 yards to Jim Letcavits and then the 52-yarder to Traylor.

A poor Lincoln kick that went out of bounds on the Lion’s own 25 paved the way for the fifth score early in the third period. On the first play after the punt, Crescenze threw 25 yards to Boone to score.

A rhubarb that followed the point after touchdown ended with the ejection of Floyd from the game and a 15-yard penalty on the Tigers on the following kickoff.

The officials held Floyd had punched a Canton tackle. Floyd’s version was that the Canton tackle had him pinned on the ground, was roughing it up and wouldn’t get off of him. Floyd said he had to force him off. The violation occurred after the extra point had been made.
* * *
AL SHILLING recovered a Lion fumble in midfield to get the Tigers off to their sixth T.D. Stone in two plays went to the 20 and Francisco the rest of the distance.

Stone scored on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 33-yard run to cap a 75-yard march in which Traylor and Francisco both got off long runs.

The Tigers’ final points were scored midway in the fourth quarter. Starting from their own 32, Stone hit for four, Francisco for 32. Traylor for 14 and Longshore went the last 18.

Lincoln took the following kickoff on its own 23 and marched 77 yards to score. DeOrio going over for the points.

The line-ups and summaries:
ENDS – Letcavits, Lentz, Lopez, Barrett, B. Francisco, Canary, Lorch, McConnell.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Woolley, Blocher, Hill, Moore, Feather.
GUARDS – Agnes, Eaglowski, K. Fisher, Shilling, Holloway, R. Maier, Gardner, Speck.
CENTERS – T. Fisher, Grant, Rohrbaugh, Spicer.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, J. Francisco, Fromholtz, Duke, Longshore, Yoder, Wallace, Byrd.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Stone, R. Johnson, Archibald, Boekel.

ENDS – Langman, Muntean, Hoobler, Harpst. Gillspie.
TACKLES – Sedlock, Capper, Brooks.
GUARDS – Kelly, Felton, Grainger.
CENTERS – Bryant, Parks.
HALFBACKS – DeOrio, Schmidt, Meiser, Volzer.
FULLBACKS – Ujcich, Zettler.

Score by periods:
MASSILLON 7 20 14 14 55
LINCOLN 6 0 0 7 13

Massillon – Floyd 2; Francisco 2; Traylor; Boone; Stone; Longshore.
Lincoln – DeOrio 2.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 7 (placekick).
Lincoln – Schmidt (placekick).

Referee – Pianowski (Cleveland).
Umpire – Jones (East Cleveland).
Head Linesman – Machock (Elyria).
Field Judge – Ballenger (Kent).

Mass. Lincoln
First downs 21 20
Passes attempted 14 28
Passes completed 4 12
Had passes intercepted 1 2
Yards gained passing 131 94
Yards gained rushing 321 235
Total yards gained 452 329
Yards lost 28 24
Net yards gained 424 305
Times kicked off 10 2
Average kickoff (yards) 49 44
Yards kickoffs returned by 32 152
Times punted 1 6
Average punt (yards) 30 27
Yards punts returned by 103 6
Tiimes fumbled 0 4
Lost ball on fumble 0 2
Times penalized 3 4
Yards penalized 35 50

Jim Lectavits
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1953: Massillon 39, Akron Garfield 0

Tigers Defeat Akron Garfield 39-0
Crowd of 10,370 Sees Massillon Gridders Get Off To Winning Start


A sick, Washington high school football team slapped down Akron Garfield 39-0 before 10,370 fans in Tiger stadium Friday evening to begin defense of the state championship crown it has worn the last five yards.

With half the squad suffering from the stomach-ache, the Tiger gridders made many mistakes, but once they become better coordinated, they will be a tough customer for anyone to handle.

Fortunately their opponent last night was Garfield, a good and willing football team, but not as experienced and as sturdy as some of the future foes on the orange and black’s schedule.

“I don’t know what it was,” Coach Chuck Mather, said after the game. “Maybe it was just nervous stomachs from the first night performance.”

Whatever the reason, about half of the team complained throughout the game of aching and sick stomachs. That was one reason why Mather moved several players in an out of the contest so many times. All told, he used 32 players.
* * *
THE SCORE was below the advance prediction of most fans. A stubborn Garfield team that battled right up to the end was one of the reasons for it being so. Also holding down the total were 100 yards in penalties and the loss of the ball three times on fumbles.

“We will look a lot better when we get more coordinated,” Mather said after the game. “We need to improve our downfield blocking. We could have had a couple more touchdowns with better blocking.” The Tiger coach singled out Halfback John Francisco for special praise for his hard running.

The Tigers scored in every period, getting two touchdowns in each of the second and fourth quarters. Garfield threatened but once, completing a pass to within two yards of the Tiger goal only to have the ball called back on a penalty.

Mather’s reference to lack of coordination shows up better in the yards gained column than on the scoreboard.
* * *
THE TIGERS gained 499 yards, 108 through passing. That kind of offense usually produces more than six touchdowns, especially when there’s a cheap one in the group.

However, penalties and fumbles at the wrong time helped to nip touchdown bids.

Because of the penalties and the great amount of substitutions, the game was slow from a spectators’ standpoint, and large portions of the crowd began to leave early in the fourth quarter, knowing the Tigers had the game in the bag. As a result they missed a couple of the best runs of the game.

Though Mather complained of his blocking, some good ones were thrown during the course of the evening. Johnny Traylor tossed a beauty once for Francisco and we saw Ronnie Dean take two men out of a play on one occasion.

The Tigers completed five of 12 passes and the percentage would have been higher had the receivers done a better job of holding the ball. Three were dropped, that should have been caught – all deep in enemy territory.

Not a Massillon pass was intercepted, while Garfield had three taken away by Tiger secondary men. The visitors threw 11 and completed two for 11 yards.
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THE MASSILLON defense on the whole was good enough. Not only was the pass defense operating well, but the line playing against a single wing offense with which it was not too familiar, held the visitors to a total of 80 yards gained and threw them for 54 yards in losses, leaving them a net gain on the ground of only 25 yards.

Top scorer of the evening was Traylor with three touchdowns. Aside from throwing some good blocks he also punted well, getting off one 48-yard beauty that rolled dead on the
two-yard line.

Hardest runner was Francisco who squirmed his way for a lot of fine gains. His first effort and incidentally it was the Tigers’ initial play from scrimmage was a 66-yard sprint to the three-yard line where he stumbled and fell in the open after being knocked off balance.

Traylor had set him free around the 20 with a beautiful block.

Traylor in two plays went over for the score, the first of the game.

That was all for the quarter that ended 6-0.

The second period was almost two-thirds gone before the locals scored again. It was a cheap one.

Willie Longshore gained position for the points when he covered a Garfield fumble on the one yard line.
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FRANCISCO went over on the first play but the ball was called back and the Tigers penalized five yards for being in motion. Crescenze was tossed on the nine for a three-yard loss, but he hit Boone with a pass in the corner for the score. Boone missed the uprights on the extra point attempt.

The next points came quickly as Billy Stoner returned an Akron punt to his 41. In two plays the Tigers were over, Homer Floyd touring right end to the 19 and Traylor coming around the left for the T.D. Another missed kick and the score stood at 18-0 at the half.

Massillon received to open the third period and never gave up the ball until it was over the Akron goal. Starting from the 35, Traylor went around left end for 20. Francisco whirled for five but a 15-yard penalty for clipping shoved the leather back over the midfield stripe. Traylor made up for it on the next play by tearing to the 32, and Crescenze went around end to the 10. Francisco took the ball over in two plays and Boone kicked the extra point to make the score 25-0. That’s where it stood until the fourth quarter, when Boone intercepted a Garfield pass and scampered back to his 27. A couple of well executed passes, one to Traylor and another to Floyd took the ball into Akron territory.

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THE LAST T.D. came with 50 seconds to play. The locals had backed Garfield to its own
six–yard line and the punt out was none too good, going only to the 28. Dick Fromholtz made six yards on a reverse and Francisco on a quickie raced to the two-yard line. The honor of going over was given to Floyd and he barely made it in a plunge at the middle, Boone kicked this one too and the game was over two plays later with Andy Stavroff intercepting an Akron pass and running all the way to the 13 before being tackled.

While the Tigers’ play still has many shortcomings, one obvious weakness was in the kickoff. The ball was short on most occasions which results in a gift of from 15 to 30 yards to the opponent. Garfield brought one kickoff back to its 49, another to the 44, others to the 38, the 35 and 36. The only two good kickoffs were stopped on the 24 and the 16.

Garfield’s offense was centered largely in a speedy halfback, Richard Gibson, who gained most of the visitors’ yards.

ENDS – Lentz, Letcavits, Lopez, Boone, Canary, Lorch.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Williams, Woolley, Hill.
GUARDS – Agnes, Eaglowski, Shilling, Gardner, K. Kisher, Holloway, Maier.
CENTERS – T. Fisher, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, Francisco, Fromholtz, Stone, Longshore, Duke.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Archibald, Stavroff, Boekel.

ENDS – Olenick, Williams, Parks, Bolender.
TACKLES – Vance, Fink, Compton, Bridges.
GUARDS – Cox, Williamson, Zoval.
CENTER – Kirk.
QUARTERBACKS – Quintrell, Brittson.
HALFBACKS – Gibson, Marts, Miller, Amedeo.
FULLBACKS – Tunstall, Mobley.

Score by periods:
MASSILLON 6 12 7 14 39

Touchdowns: – Traylor 3, Francisco, Boone, Floyd.

Points after touchdown: – Boone 3 (placekicks).

Referee – Rupp.
Umpire – Klocker.
Head Linesman – McPhee.
Field Judge – Don Hamilton, Jr.

Mass. Garfield
First downs 15 6
Passes attempted 12 11
Passes completed 5 2
Had Passes intercepted 0 3
Yards gained passing 108 32
Yards gained rushing 391 80
Total yards gained 499 112
Yards Lost 11 54
Net yards gained 488 58
Times punted 2 8
Average punt (yards) 44 27
Times kicked off 7 1
Average kickoff (yards) 40 45
Times fumbled 5 5
Lost ball on fumbles 3 1
Times penalized 12 7
Yards penalized 100 55

Jim Lectavits