Tag: <span>John Hauser</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 7, Canton McKinley 3

Currence not taking Pups lightly

Independent Sports Editor

“McKinley has five starters back from its defensive team of last year,” Mike Currence said. “The Bulldogs beat the Tigers 21-15.”

So Currence isn’t taking the Bulldogs lightly despite their 4-5 record compared to the Orange and Black’s 7-2 and seven straight wins. The two Stark County teams will clash in the 81st renewal rivalry Saturday at 2 p.m. at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Program Cover

CURRENCE discussed the upcoming game Monday at noon at the Tiger Touchdown Club’s weekly luncheon which was held at the Massillon Club. During the session TD club members named Jay Harper Hardnose of the Week for his play in last Friday’s contest at Warren.

“McKinley shut out Warren, a good offensive club 6-0 last Friday,” Currence said. “They scored 15 points against us.”

The five McKinley defensive returnees are middle guard Gerald Jackson, monster back Cliff Frazier, halfbacks Melvin Weatherspoon and Ray Ellis and linebacker Mike Beadle.

An injury will probably prevent Beadle from playing, however. Jackson is a two-way player, having replaced the injured Ken Hall at fullback.

Currence will have to deal with two McKinley quarterbacks who will give the Bulldogs different looks, depending on who is playing.

“MIKE BROWN is a real scrambler,” Currence said. “Kent McClellend started at Lehman last year. Brown seems to have taken over.”

Currence said Hall could cause trouble and that McKinley head Coach John Brideweser likes to get the ball to Weatherspoon or Ellis offensively, even designing an end around play where Weatherspoon passes to Ellis.

“These guys are the type who could play four quarter and come back and play in another game,” Currence said.

Currence thinks the outcome of the game will be decided on breaks and if the Tigers get the right one, they’ll win.

“We have to get a hold mentally,” Currence said. “That’s something we didn’t do last week.”

CLUB PRESIDENT Gene Boerner presented Currence with a “Beat McKinley” tie from his sophomore players. Marilyn Wright painted the design.

“The people of Massillon are glad we have Mike Currence as our head coach,” Boerner said. “We will see you next week when we’re 8-0 (eight wins after losses in the opening games).”

Boerner introduced the 1977 club president, John Muhlbach, Jr., saying, “He did a fantastic job. He’s been one of the best we’ve had.”

John introduced Dennis Gibson, the booster’s vice-president and next year’s boss.

The club will present its Hardnose Award for the season at its luncheon next Monday noon.

CURRENCE CONCLUDED by saying he had picked up a $5 bill from the ground outside the stadium after the defeat to Gahanna Lincoln. “I told my coaches then we’re going all the way.”

Booster club rally gets spirit rolling

Game action vs. Canton McKinley (credit: Bowersox)

“Beat the Bulldogs” mania got under way Monday night in the Washington High School auditorium as the Tiger Booster Club had its weekly session three days early.

Not only was the booster session ahead of time this week but the combined rally and meeting got under way 10 minutes early. One reporter had to jump onto a table and sit there to keep from being trampled by the Tiger Swing Pep Band charging down the school’s front corridor and into the auditorium.

THE BAND, led by head majorette Paula Bender and four fellow majorettes, mounted the stage to “Tiger Rag” and “Carry on” and serenaded the estimated 250 people present with several numbers. The majorettes twirled and danced.

Then came the Tiger cheerleaders, led by Captain Christy Frederick and Co-Captain Kathy Walterhouse, some drills to the band music and some cheers. But the real fun didn’t start until Captain Currence appeared on the scene and led the fans in some split cheers such as “Orange and Black” and “Tig-ers.”

(Currence was “Pokey” Converse, dressed in orange hat, black mask, Captain Currence Fan Club T-Shirt and orange cape. Booster officials are afraid he may meet his match in Friday’s “Beat McKinley” rally slated for 2 p.m. in the high school auditorium when he meets “The Fonze.”)

Tiger Booster Club President John Muhlbach, Jr., introduced Tiger skipper Mike Currence and the fans came from their seats as if shot from catapult to cheer him.

“The pep band and cheerleaders did a nice job,” Currence said. “I hope we can carry this on through the week. We’ve been waiting all season for this.”

THEN THE TIGER crew of Wilbur Arnold, Dave James and Don McFarren brought in Obie VII, the live mascot and Currence asked Obie what he plans to do with the Bulldog come Saturday afternoon. There was a slight growl and then the band struck up the fight songs again and marched out of the auditorium.

Currence showed films of last week’s 14-0 win over Alliance, hurrying over the first half films as quickly as possible. All the scoring came in the third quarter.

He reported fullback Jerry Shafrath practiced today (Monday) for the first time after being stricken last week with a kidney infection. Randy Laase is also expected to be ready for fulltime duty, coming back from a pancreas bruise.

Currence reported All-American Conference Commissioned Gaylord ‘Hap” Lillick, former Tiger grid aide, has ruled the Obiemen must wear white uniforms this week. They have worn black togs since starting their seven-game win streak.

Conference rules stipulate the home team must wear white unless the visiting team agrees otherwise.

Captain Currence wasn’t the only one Monday night wearing one of his fan club’s T-shirts. Muhlbach had one on and his two daughters wore special Tiger skin outfits made by their mother Bobbie.

The Booster Club has made arrangements with ex-president Junir Studer to put Beat McKinley letters on white or orange T-shirts for fans. The shirts should be taken to his sign shop at 323 3rd Street N.W. tonight. A small fee will be charged.

McKinley game
can be different this time

Independent Sports Editor

A dejected figure slumped against the brick wall leading to the visitor’s dressing room at Canton Fawcett Stadium.

“Scoop,” Mike Ramsey said quietly to this reporter who was hurrying to a post-game interview with Chuck Shuff, “It’s going to be different next year.”

THE TIGERS had just lost to Canton McKinley 21-15 in 1975 and Ramsey, now a Washington High School senior grid co-captain, along with many others, was not in a happy mood.

The season had ended 6-3-1 after most folks had figured the Tigers would be better than that because they had a host of returnees. I’ve know Mike since his Little League days when he was a pitcher and I was an umpire. He’s not the effervescent type of player but the quiet, determined type. When Mike sets his mind to something, it gets done.

This year Mike and his fellow co-captains – Anthony Grizzard, John Hauser and Mike Lauber – have guided their team to seven straight wins after two opening losses. Thus far is has been difference under Mike Currence than it was in 1975.

Saturday is the time the Tigers can cap everything with a victory over Canton McKinley. But they must not take the Bulldogs lightly. They have had problems putting things together in this year of consolidation, but their offense has been tough, allowing 87 points (fifth best in the All-American Conference). The Tigers have given up 48 points (second to Steubenville’s 38).

WHAT THE Obiemen have to fear is that the McKinley offense will come together Saturday. The Bulldogs have rolled for 136 points, (third best in the league), while the Tigers have collected 114 (fifth best). The WHS team must get on the board
early – something it has not done often this year.

Would you believe that if the Tigers win they’ll make the Canton Repository’s preseason prediction almost perfect? Bob Stewart’s staff called the Tigers an 8-2 team. They were figuring one of those losses to Canton McKinley, whose record was 10-0.

Massillon still has an outside chance to win the Class AAA Region 3 computer poll and make the playoffs. To do this the Tigers must win and hope certain other teams win and other teams lose. A Jackson Memorial victory over North Canton Hoover would help.

If the Tigers win the 81st renewal Saturday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, it will be No. 44 in the series. McKinley has won 32 times. Five games have ended in ties. The Tigers have scored 1,016 points and the Bulldogs 849.

There have been other times when the Tigers have come into the McKinley game, riding a win streak – but not an unblemished record – and have won. The list is as fellows: 7-6 win in 1917 to complete four-game streak for 7-2 record; 21-0 win in 1919 to complete four-game streak for 8-1 record; 9-0 win 1923 to complete six-game streak for 8-2 record; 6-0 win in 1924 to complete six-game streak for 8-1 record; 19-6 win in 1937 to complete three-game streak for 8-1-1 record; 32-0 win in 1941 to complete four-game streak for 9-0-1 record; 21-12 win in 1948 to complete five-game streak for 9-1 record; 40-0 win in 1951 to complete three-game streak for 9-1 record; 26-6 win 1954 to complete seven-game streak for 9-1 record; 25-7 win in 1957 to complete four-game streak for 8-1 record; 38-16 win in 1958 to complete three-game streak for 8-1-1 record; 22-6 win in 1963 to complete eight-game streak for 9-1 record; 20-13 win in 1967 to complete three-game streak for 9-1 record.

are keys

Independent Sports Editor

Weather, defense and desire will be deciding factors in Saturday’s 81st renewal of the Massillon-Canton football series, according to Massillon head Coach Mike Currence.

The Tigers and Canton McKinley Bulldogs will lock horns Saturday at 2 p.m. at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The Orange and Black have won the All-American Conference title with a 4-0 mark and one to go. McKinley needs to up its 1-3 mark and hope for a Warren Harding (1-3) loss Friday night at Warren against Niles McKinley (2-1) in order to get out of the cellar.

ALLIANCE (1-3) will be at Steubenville (2-1) Friday night. The Big Red needs a victory and a Niles loss to claim second place.

“Weather and defense always concerns us,” Currence said. “The weather can affect the offensive play. We hope it’s nice and dry so we can utilize our quickness. They’re quick too but when you get on a bad field, both teams will probably equalize their speed.”

Massillon uses the run and shoot offense, while McKinley utilized the wing-T. Both teams use angle-5 defenses which have been extremely stingy.

“I don’t’ think it will be that wet,” Currence said. “We might get a little snow and that shouldn’t hinder our offense too much. If we have to tighten down a little bit, we can do it and probably run as good as they have out of the “T”.

The Tigers have run the “robust T” successfully and won last week’s game at Alliance 14-0 with it, utilizing the running of left halfback Jay Harper.

“WE DROVE down the field twice and scored and McKinley was unable to do that,” Currence said.

One of the concerns for the Tiger skipper this week has been the condition of fullback Jerry Shafrath. He missed last Friday’s game with a kidney infection but has practiced
this week and will be used when needed in the straight-T.

“He has looked good and has really been enthused,” Currence said.

Currence said all the Tigers should be in good shape physically and mentally.

“We have had the best practices we have had this season,” Currence, who, together with the Tiger Booster Club, has reminded the Obiemen about their 21-15 loss to the Pups at Fawcett Stadium in Canton in 1975.

“THE KIDS told me we didn’t have real good practices after losing to Alliance last year,” Currence reported. “We have cut down practices this week because the weather was cold early in the week and we have wanted them to get the boys off the field by dark
(5:30 p.m.).”
Currence said that the Tiger and Bulldog defenses are about equal on personnel.

“McKinley probably has one of the best secondary’s in the league,” Currence stated. “We’ll outweigh them on the line. Both teams are quick in the secondary, but with Ray Ellis and Mel Weatherspoon back there they are bigger in that department.”

The Tiger boss thinks the Bulldog secondary has been the key to their success.

“If you look at the team, it’s the guys in the secondary who come up and stick you,” Currence said. “They don’t blitz but they react so well that the secondary is on a ball
carrier if he breaks through the line.”

CURRENCE also thinks the McKinley “force unit” (down linemen and linebackers) are very agile.

Talking about the Bulldog offense, Currence said, “They like to use the power pitch inside and outside end. They will probably try to get us to split out so they can open up the middle.”

Because the Bulldogs have had some injuries this season, Currence is not sure who will be the starting fullback. Ken Hall was sidelined for the season, Mike Beadle came on and was hurt and then head Coach John Brideweser used Mark Stevenson and the Bulldogs shifted more to a passing game.

Gerald Jackson is sure to hit the middle because he is a strong runner. Ellis and Stevenson will have the outside assignments.

“Their end-around play is a good one but they also like the screens, draws, delays and boot passes,” Currence explained. “They like to lead with their guards.”

CURRENCE figures Mike Brown will be the starting quarterback rather than Kent McClelland. Both are juniors and Brown has come on strong of late.

“McClelland made an excellent run against Steubenville on which his best two or three guys and Steubenville has a good secondary,” Currence said. “Weatherspoon started at quarterback but is now the Bulldogs’ split end and runs the end-around play. McClelland would be in there if Bridey decides on a passing series.”

How big a part will spirit and desire play in the game? “That will be the whole game,” Currence said. “It’s our turn to win. Bridey’s not supposed to win in even years.

20,000 expected
at game today

Independent Sports Editor

Spirit was at a height not seen here for several years as the Tigers met the Bulldogs this afternoon in the 81st renewal of the high school grid classic.

Some 20,000 were expected at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

AN AFTERNOON rally at Washington High School Friday, the annual parade through downtown Massillon and the bonfire rally at Agathon Field helped to rev up the spirit.

Onlookers said the spirit among fans and team members reminded them of that before the 1970 game, also played here, which the Tigers won 28-0 at the stadium.

With Jackson Memorial’s 20-16 win Friday night over previously unbeaten North Canton Hoover, ranked No. 1 in the Ohio High School Class AAA computer ratings, to undergrid their optimism, the Tiger faithful were expected to cheer ever louder at today’s 2 p.m. kickoff.

If the Tigers get their eighth straight victory it is still possible for them to win a place in the playoffs which will start next Friday in Dayton against defending champion Cincinnati Moeller. But for that to happen, Youngstown Chaney has to beat or tie unbeaten Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in a game this afternoon in Youngstown.

Friday’s festivities started with the rally in the Washington High School gymnasium. There was no organized cheering, but that was the beauty of the thing. The cheering came spontaneously.

THE TIGER Swing Band was there and the cheerleaders and the Tiger Booster Club put on a skit in which Captain Currence (“Pokey Converse”) met “The Fonze” (Mike Mauger).

Confetti and bathroom tissue rained down on the gymnasium floor. There was so much confetti flying that Tiger football players standing along the gym’s brick wall looked as if they were prematurely gray.

Pep signs urging the Tigers to victory were everywhere.

Those at the rally received the words to a Tiger Booster Club parody of “Happy Days Are Here Again” and sang the song, making the rally sound like the 1932 Democratic National Convention.

Aerial bombs, ordinarily set off on the morning of the Massillon-McKinley game, began to shatter the silence Friday afternoon.

THE TIGER Sideliners hosted the team Friday for dinner at the Massillon Holiday Inn. That meal is ordinarily the final one of the season but, should the team make the playoffs, there will be two more.
The parade Friday night featured about 100 motorized units, including floats, decorated cars, trucks and dune buggies. A color guard from VFW Post 3124 and American Legion Post 221 headed the entourage.

Then came the Tiger Swing Band followed by cars containing Mayor Mark Ross,
Safety-Service Director Blasé Sparma, Washington High School Homecoming Queen Chris Zurcher and her court, Tiger cheerleaders, reserve cheerleaders, coaches, players, trainers and managers.

A special entrant was the Tiger Kazoo Band led by Drum Major Phil Bucci and “majorettes” Dick and Terry Snyder, Richard Reichel, Steve Studer, Joe Matie, Mauger and LeRoy Schumacher.

The parade proceeded to Agathon Field with plenty of fans trailing along behind. There the band and cheerleaders held forth and the team and coaches were placed on a flatbed trailer for all to see.

HEAD COACH Mike Currence said, “I can see now the agony you have been in since losing to McKinley last year. I think Saturday will be our time to win.”

Co-Captains Mike Ramsey, Anthony Grizzard, Mark Lauber and John Hauser assured fans of the same thing.

Second half difference
in Tigers’ 7-3 win

Independent Sports Editor

Second half . . .

. . . A pair of words which will remain forever entrenched in the memories of the Tiger faithful who followed the 1976 Washington High School football team.

FIVE TIMES during the season, which was completed last Saturday afternoon, the Massillon gridders came from behind or from a tie at halftime to win. Three of those times came in the final games of the season as the Orange and Black kept alive a win streak which ran to eight games.

The Obiemen’s latest turn-around palpitator came last Saturday before 19,528 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium and brought the Tigers a 7-3 All-American Conference victory over arch-rival Canton McKinley.

In a twist of irony, the Bulldogs’ defeat was aided by a misfire on a play which had garnered them a lot of yardage during the afternoon. Tiger tackle Tony Matie recovered a fumble off a pitchout intended to start a sweep. The Orange and Black took control on the McKinley 15 and scored four plays later.

On second down from the three, Mike Grove took a pitchout from quarterback Bret Traylor and raced into the end zone unmolested as fullback Jerry Shafrath faked through the middle. The play had been sent to head Coach Mike Currence by the men in the rooftop scout box.

While the Tigers had the ball they survived a delay penalty and picked up a pass interference call on McKinley safety Melvin Weatherspoon on the two when he banged into end Bob Grizzard. The call so infuriated Bulldog head Coach John Brideweser and an assistant that both were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and the ball ended on the four from where Jerry Shafrath took it to the three to set up the score.

THE BULLDOGS came right back on the kickoff and drove to the Massillon 30 where the Tiger defense held McKinley three yards short on a fourth down run. The Obiemen were penalized for a personal four after the ball had been blown dead. Then Traylor fell on the ball on the next two plays.

Traylor brought to an end a contest which saw a quicker, stronger Bulldog team control all the statistics but kickoff averages, kickoff returns and punt averages. The Pups kept the Tigers bottled up in their own territory all afternoon.

Only in the third period did the Tigers move the ball onto McKinley grounds. On that occasion halfback Jay Harper fumbled at the McKinley 37 and linebacker Ken Bailey recovered.

Also in that period Weatherspoon intercepted a Tiger aerial at the Bulldog 20 and halfback Ray Ellis picked off another at the 25. A 15-yard holding penalty also helped to stall Massillon.

But defense had been the Tigers’ suit all season. They had shutouts in three of their previous four games. They had allowed two touchdowns only against Warren and last Saturday they bared their Tiger claw again.

FOUR TIMES in the first half the Bulldogs knocked on the door. Three times they were repulsed. The only other drive came after the Tigers’ fourth period touchdown.

McKinley’s second drive began after a bad fourth down snap. Tiger guard John Hauser picked up the ball and ran to the 25 where he was tackled and the Bulldogs got the ball.

What might have been a late second period drive into Massillon territory was stalled on fourth and one at the Bulldogs’ 46 when the Pups were called for delay and had to punt instead of being able to call timeout and set up strategy to get a first down. Brideweser stormed onto the field at this point, too.

On two of the first half drives the Obiemen got some temporary help from holding penalties but tackle Jesse Toles and linebacker Kurt Walterhouse stopped one invasion at the Massillon four, Walterhouse and tackle Bob Dennison put the brakes to another at the 38 and halfback Bill Henderson intercepted a pass at the 20 to stop the final drive.

The Tigers thought they had stopped earlier the drive on which Henderson intercepted the pass but Walterhouse’s fumble recovery was nullified because the ball had been blown dead.

THE BULLDOGS’ lone score came on a 27-yard field goal by Kelly Darnley with 9:44 left in the first quarter. The tally came off a 21-yard runback of the opening kickoff by Mark Stevenson and a 52-yard run on a pitchout by Ellis off an unbalanced line and the wingback set to the right, which completely surprised the WHSers.

Tiger linebacker Anthony Grizzard knocked Ellis out of bounds at the Massillon 17 to save a touchdown. On McKinley’s next drive Mike Brown ran the kickoff back 50 yards before Van Jones brought him down at the Massillon 25.

“There’s no doubt they outplayed us but they were sitting on three points and hoping it would last,” Tiger head Coach Mike Currence said, “but I knew it wouldn’t.”

Currence paid tribute to the McKinley secondary of Ellis, Weatherspoon and Cliff Frazier as the best he’s seen.

“We didn’t win it impressively, but I don’t really care,” said Currence. “The only thing I do care about is that these seniors proved they were a bunch of winners when everybody said they were a bunch of losers.”

CURRENCE PAID tribute to punter Mark Westover who got off a key 59-yard kick which was downed at the McKinley 10 in the fourth period. The skipper also lauded the work of his coaching staff.

He thought the Tigers’ emotions were too high.

“They were making mistakes where McKinley wasn’t,” Currence said. “McKinley came to play. Our kids came to win.”

Bulldog Coach John Brideweser was bitterly disappointed.

“With no disrespect to the Massillon football team or to Mike Currence, that’s one victory you don’t deserve,” Brideweser said. “I’ve been coaching for 20 years and I’ve never complained. We did get handled. That’s the first time I’ve said that and I’m ashamed. We got handled in more ways than one.”

MASSILLON FINISHED the season undefeated in the All-American Conference at 5-0 with the league title and 8-2 overall. McKinley ended 1-4 in the league and 4-6 overall.

Niles McKinley and Steubenville ended tied for second with 3-1-1 records. Alliance, Warren Harding and Canton McKinley followed with 1-4 records.

Ends – Weatherspoon, K. Jackson, Latimer, Albright.
Tackles – Adams, Williams, Cole, Hogsett, Hill, Beadle.
Guards – Randazzo, Huntsman.
Center – Mullane, Schoeneman.
Quarterback – Brown.
Halfbacks – Johnson, Ellis, Asberry, Stevenson, Andrews, Brown Truitt.
Fullback – Bowers.
Middle Guard – G. Jackson.
Linebackers – Ramos, Bailey, Latimer, Gaines.
Defensive Halfbacks – Webb, Frazier, Basham.
Kicker – Darnley.
Punter – Zern.

Ends – Pringle, Chovan, Sweterlitsch, Engler, Clendening, Furnas, B. Grizzard, A. Longshore.
Tackles – Tournay, Daniels, Dennison, Toles, Matie, Stuck, Kovacsiss, Laase.
Guards – Hauser, Lauber, Berquist, Baus.
Centers – Ramsey, Lutz.
Quarterback – Traylor.
Halfbacks – Harper, Grove.
Fullbacks – Cleveland, Shafrath.
Middle Guard – Dorsey.
Linebackers – Walterhouse, Dottavio, Border, Sowards.
Defensive Halfbacks – A. Grizzards, M. Longshore, Jones, Lash, Henderson, Letcavits, Nagle.
Kicker – Hardwick.
Punter – Westover.

McKinley 3 0 0 0 3
Massillon 0 0 0 7 7

McK – Kelly Darnley, 27 field goal;
M – Mike Grove, 3 run (Hardwick kick).

Referee – Chuck Lorenz.
Umpire – Brenton Kirk.
Linesman – Jack Prettyman.
Field Judge – Nick Costello.
Back Judge – Wilson Murray.

ATTENDANCE – 19,528.

Mass. McK.
First downs rushing 4 8
First downs passing 0 2
First downs penalties 1 0
Total first downs 5 10
Yards gained rushing 102 212
Yards lost rushing 21 16
Net yards gained rushing 81 196
Net yards gained passing 23 34
Total yards gained 104 230
Passes completed 3-9 5-12
Passes intercepted by 1 2
Yardage on passes intercepted 0 3
Kickoff average (yards) 2-52 2-51
Kickoff returns (yards) 61 39
Punt average (yards) 5-37 5-30
Punt returns (yards) 2 67
Had punts blocked 0 0
Lost fumbled ball 1-1 2-3
Yards penalized 5-55 7-66
Touchdowns rushing 1 0
Total number of plays 45 62
Total time of possession 20:23 27:37

Ellis 4 58 0 58

Cleveland 11 42 0 42

Tonight is last
Booster session

The final session of the Tiger Booster Club for this season will be held tonight at 8 in the Washington High School auditorium. Films of last Saturday’s 7-3 win over Canton McKinley will be shown.

Tonight will be the final chance for fans to take pictures of Obie VII, the live Tiger cub, for the mascot will depart for other quarters Tuesday, according to Booster President John Muhlbach, Jr. Pictures may be taken on the auditorium stage either before or after the meeting.

John Hauser
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 14, Alliance 0

Tigers clinch AAC title with 14-0 victory

Independent Sports Editor

“The Jaybird” flew, the “Tiger Claw Defense” growled and Washington High School got its seventh straight victory and clinched the All-American Conference title Friday night at Mt. Union Stadium in Alliance.

But the Tigers 14-0 win was like all the other ones this year for head Coach Mike Currence – as hard to come by as a Republican winner in Massachusetts.

AN ESTIMATED 10,500 fans, largest turnout this year at Alliance, viewed the game.

Program Cover

The Orange and Black broke a scoreless deadlock in the third period via two touchdowns by halfback Jay Harper, running out of the “robust T”, and a pair of conversions by Mike Hardwick.

Harper gained 104 yards in that period on seven carries, losing only four yards. His other attempt was a two-yarder in the first quarter.

The Aviators didn’t help the situation, throwing a very stingy defense at the Tigers. Andre Royster receiver a lower leg injury early in the second quarter. This not only deprived Alliance head Coach Julius Tonges of an excellent linebacker but also of a flanker – a key factor.

Alliance had a 63-46 edge in number of plays run and almost had the ball seven minutes longer than Massillon, but the “Tiger Claw Defense” was equal to the task. The furthest penetration by the Aviators was to the Massillon five-yard line on a 29-yard drive in the first quarter after Don Johnson had recovered Mike Grove’s fumble on the Massillon 34. Alliance lost the ball on downs when a pass was overthrown out of the end zone.

THE AVIATORS penetrated Massillon territory four times in the first half and two times after the intermission. Randy Lash intercepted an Alliance pass on the Massillon 15 in the second period to abort Aviator scoring plans.

The Aviators kept throwing halfback Rich Scott (23 carries, 72 yards, 9 lost) at the Tigers via dive plays. That gets mighty hard to halt. If a team keeps banging away long enough, it’s going to find a hole in the seam.

Massillon got into Alliance territory one time in the first half and three times in the second half.

An illegal receiver downfield cost the Tigers 15 yards from the Alliance 29 in the second period. The Orange and Black moved from the Aviators’ 45 in the goodbye canto, after halting an Alliance drive on fourth down, to the Aviators’ four but time ran out.

Reserve fullback Ken Nagle, filling in for the ailing Jerry Shafrath, in the “robust T”, got off runs of 10 and 21 yards on the drive. But other than on those occasions Massillon got nowhere because defensive ends Steve Clunk and Phil Grove crashed in so well the Aviators shut off the Tigers’ run and shoot offense and forced Currence to make the switch to the “robust T’ in the third quarter.

THE TIGERS had gotten only four first downs – the same as Alliance – 42 yards rushing and nine passing in the first half. The Aviators chalked up 51 rushing and none passing.

Besides Harper, one other Tiger ate up a lot of real estate. Fullback Rich Cleveland carried seven times, picking up 54 yards with no losses.

But it was Harper who did it all defensively. The Tigers got the ball following a third period Alliance punt at the Aviators’ 44. On second down “The Jaybird” took a pitch from quarterback Bret Traylor and raced 30 yards before being knocked out of bounds on the 14.

Grove picked up two yards on third down for a first down and Harper went the remaining four yards over guard with 2:30 left.

Alliance had one series, punted and Harper went off tackle for 61 yards for the second Tiger touchdown with 33 seconds remaining.

HARPER CAUSED some concern at one point when he got leg cramps and had to leave the game.

“We played another great second half,” Currence said. “The defense did it again. The offense made the mistakes again. We have to get ourselves together for that big one against Canton McKinley next week. I’ve waited nine games for that one.”

Currrence was more than impressed with the Alliance defense.

“I didn’t think they would just shove us right back into the end zone,” said Currence. “If the fans weren’t back there, we would have gone through the stands. I went in during a timeout and said, ‘Fellows there’s a fence here. They can’t shove us any further.’”

Currence also took a timeout in the second quarter on fourth down when Mark Westover, who missed practice all week due to flu, was forced to punt from the end zone.

“ALLIANCE HAS blocked four punts for touchdowns this year,” Currence said. “I went in and told them (Massillon), ‘this is the most crucial play of the game. If you don’t get this punt off it could mean the ball game.’”

Tonges explained that Royster, a flanker, was missed offensively and also when adjustments were made to try to stop the Tigers (when Massillon switched offenses in the third quarter). But “Juice” was happy that his defense took away the “bread and butter stuff from a fine team.”

Alliance was forced to go to its passing game when it got behind 14-0 and Tonges agreed that’s not the Aviator’s strong suit.

“I’m not ashamed of our kids, we battled and I think they hit as hard as any football team around,” Tonges said.

Massillon advanced to 7-2 and Alliance dropped to 5-4.

Alliance – 0
Ends – S. Clunk, Grove, Jae, Kemp, Debee, Zelasko, Blair.
Tackles – D. Clunk, Schenk, Johnson, Oesch.
Guards – Baker, Felger, Hamilton, Betz, Evans.
Centers – Mick, Dailey.
Quarterback – Andreani.
Halfbacks – Scott, Love, McCray, Royster, Gailey, Mulholland, Gemberling.
Kicker – Hancock.
Punter – Minger.

Massillon – 14
Ends – Engler, Sweterlitsch, Chovan, Pringle, B. Grizzard, Clendening, Furnas.
Tackles – Toles, Matie, Daniels, Tournay, Dennison, DeOrio, Namanny, Stuck, Kovacsiss.
Guards – Lauber, Hauser, Berquist, Baus, Jones.
Centers – Ramsey, Lutz.
Quarterbacks – Traylor, Offenbecher.
Halfbacks – Harper, Grove, Carpenter, Popovich.
Fullbacks – Cleveland, Nagle.
Middle guard – Dorsey.
Linebackers – Walterhouse, Dottavio, Border.
Defensive halfbacks – Henderson, Jones, A .Grizzard, Lash, M. Longshore, Whitlock, Letcavits, Wilkerson, Gowins.
Kickers – Hardwick, Laase.
Punter – Westover.

First downs rushing 8 4
First downs passing 1 3
First downs penalties 2 1
Total first downs 11 8
Yards gained rushing 247 100
Yards lost rushing 67 11
Net yards gained rushing 180 89
Net yards gained passing 9 50
Total yards gained 189 139
Passes completed 1-8 14-19
Passes intercepted by 1 0
Yardage on passes intercepted 18 0
Kickoff average (yards) 3-48.7 1-39.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 18 40
Punt average (yards) 7-28.7 8-23.3
Punt returns (yards) 35 21
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 2-1 0
Yards penalized 5-50 7-75
Touchdowns rushing 2 0
Total number of plays 46 63
Total time of possession 20:49 27:11

John Hauser
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 22, Warren Harding 15

Tigers, Panthers in quickness match-up

Independent Sports Editor

Tom Ross, Warren Harding head coach and the Tigers’ boss, Mike Currence, both feel quickness will play a large part in tonight’s All-American Conference football game to be played at Mollenkopf Stadium in Warren.

Kickoff will be at 8 o’clock, with the Tigers (5-2, 2-0) and the Black Panthers (5-2, 1-1) probably slated to play before a sellout crowd. Massillon hopes to keep its five-game win streak alive as does Harding its two-game skein. The Tigers lead the AAC.

OTHER LEAGUE games scheduled for tonight are Niles (5-2, 1-1) at Alliance (5-2, 1-1) and Steubenville (4-3, 1-1) at Canton McKinley (3-4, 0-2).

“Our scouts feel Warren is the quickest team they’ve seen this season offensively and defensively,” Currence said. “We’ll find out tonight whether the Panthers or the Tigers are quickest. I’d rate it a tossup.”

In order to best a will-of-the-wisp team like Warren, Currence commented that naturally you don’t do things the same as you would against a slow team.

“You don’t attack at the perimeter as much as you would other teams,” he said. “When you get a quick team in there, pursuit is so great you almost have to run at them a little bit.”

The Tigers will also have to alter their defensive strategy.

“HARDING RUNS from an unbalanced line,” Currence said. “We saw it a little bit in the preseason scrimmage against Warren Western Reserve. An unbalanced line poses a problem of being out flanked. Harding brings an end over, puts its wingback on the same side and if you keep the nose guard on the center, like you’re supposed to, they’ve got you out flanked.”

Currence has another worry in playing a team such as Harding – the physical condition of his linebacking crew. Juniors Steven Dottavio and Kurt Walterhouse are slated to start. Dottavio jammed a hand while replacing senior Gary Border (broken arm) last week.

Junior Scott Wilson was lost for the season due to an arm injury sustained earlier this fall. The remaining linebacker is junior Tim Horton.

Walterhouse calls the signals and if he should get hurt, the Orange and Black would be hurting. Signal calling against a quick team like Warren, with its varied formations, is not an easy task.
“Warren likes to run off tackle and outside and control the ball with its power offense,” Currence said. “Strength wise I thin our defensive ends juniors Dave Engler and Frank Sweterlitsch will get their biggest test of the season. I’m anxious to see how good our pursuit is.”

BECAUSE THE TIGERS have senior co-captain Anthony Grizzard at monster back, another key defensive spot against a quick team like Warren’s, Currence thinks this a plus for the Tigers.
“They’re going to run at one of the best monster backs they’ve ever seen,” Currence stated. “If they come outside very much, they’re going to have some problems. We put him out there because we knew we had to have him there to plays teams like Warren and Canton McKinley.”

Another plus is that the Tigers will have the weight advantage – offense to defense.

Currence expects the fact that Warren switches from a 5-2 to a 4-4 defense from down to down could be troublesome. The Panthers also try to take the pass away, he said.

“They drop back and cover the zone extremely well,” Currence said. “They have not blitzed much. Ross wants things covered well.”

If the Tigers can beat the Panthers, they’ll get over a hurdle bigger than Mt. Everest.

Tiger, Warren lineups

ENDS – Mark Pringle (6-0, 150, Jr.); Rich Chovan (5-11, 171, Sr.).
TACKLES – Tim Tournay (6-2, 270, Sr.); Tim Daniels (6-7, 230, Jr.).
GUARDS – John Hauser (5-11, 211, Sr.); Mark Lauber (6-1, 212, Sr.).
CENTER – Mike Ramsey (5-8, 180, Sr.).
QUARTERBACK – Bret Traylor (5-10, 159, Sr.).
HALFBACKS – Jay Harper (5-5, 160, Sr.); Mike Grove (5-8, 175, Jr.).
FULLBACK – Rich Cleveland (6-1, 180, Soph.).
ENDS – Frank Sweterlitsch (6-1, 180, Jr.); Dave Engler (5-9, 180, Jr).
TACKLES – Tony Matie (6-0, 210, Jr.); Jesse Toles (6-0, 190, Sr.).
MIDDLE GUARD – Carl Dorsey (5-9, 185, Jr.).
LINEBACKERS – Kurt Walterhouse (6-0, 170, Jr.); Steve Dottavio (5-8, 216, Jr.).
SECONDARY – Anthony Grizzard (5-9, 168, Sr.); Randy Lash (5-8, 165, Sr); Bill Henderson ((5-9, 160, Sr.); Van Jones (5-11, 155, Sr.).

ENDS – Rod Maines (6-2, 180, Sr.); Steve Golden (5-8, 140, Jr.).
TACKLES – Mike Dixon (5-11, 193, Sr.); Dave Allen (6-2, 205, Sr.).
GUARDS – John Epitropoulos (6-2, 208); Ernie Epitropoulos (6-1, 208).
CENTER – Rick Core (5-10, 170, Sr.).
QUARTERBACK – Maurice Hall (5-7, 160).
HALFBACKS – Ivan Battee (6-1, 170, Sr.); Ralph Goliday (6-0, 195, Sr.).
FULLBACK – John Hill (6-0, 205, Sr.).
ENDS – Allen and Maines.
TACKLES – Nick Ambeliotis (5-10, 192, Jr.); Tom Megalis (5-10, 192, Sr.).
MIDDLE GUARD – Eric Lewis (5-10, 176, Sr.).
LINEBACKERS – John and Ernie Epitropoulos.
SECONDARY – Lynn Robinson (5-7, 155, Sr.); Rob White (5-10, 160, Sr.); Chris Gray (5-10, 165, Sr.) Eric Johnson (5-10, 150, Sr.).

Great second half effort
gives Tigers 22-15 victory

Independent Sports Editor

Motivation was the key Friday night at Mollenkopf Stadium in Warren.

The Tiger offense took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and carried the swinehide 66 yards for the tying touchdowns.

SPURRED ON by their mates’ example the “Tiger Claw Defense,” which had been like a sieve in the first half, became like Ed “Strangler” Lewis during the final 24 minutes, threw in the winning touchdown to boot and Washington High School had a 22-15 win before 14,000 fans.

It didn’t come easy for the Orange and Black. Warren Harding’s Black Panthers were a snarling bunch of gridders who had hoped to scissor the Tigers’ five-game win streak as the Obiemen had cut Warren’s seven-game string here in 1975.

Hampered by some key injuries sustained in the first half and by another injury sustained in practice Thursday, the Panthers played in the best tradition of Harding football teams. They took a 15-7 halftime lead.

But the Tigers clawed more furiously after t he intermission and came away with their sixth win against two defeats. Harding dropped to 5-3.

Massillon (3-0) continued to lead the All-American Conference. Warren (1-2) dropped into third place with Alliance. Steubenville (2-1) and Niles McKinley tied for second. Canton McKinley (0-3) remained in the cellar.

THE STAGE is set for a Massillon-Alliance rematch next Friday at Mt. Union Stadium in Alliance. The Tigers also had a great game against Warren last year but were upset by Alliance the next week.

Massillon fans were shocked in the first half Friday when the Harding offensive line opened huge holes in the Orange and Black defense and tailbacks Don Henderson and Ivan Battee sped through them. Harding also completed four of five pass attempts as the Tigers tried to stop Warren’s running game and left receivers wide open.

Warren raced up nine first downs to the Tigers’ three, 83 yards rushing to the Tigers’ seven and 51 yards passing (three for four), to the Tigers’ 32 for a 134-39 advantage.

Harding converted five of eight third down attempts to the Tigers’ two of four.

After the bands had entertained, the Orange and Black rolled up five first downs to the Panthers’ one, 98 yards rushing to the Panthers’ eight, 37 yards passing (three for four) to the Panther’s none for a 135-8 advantage.

The Panthers converted no third down attempts in two tries to Massillon’s two in four tries.

WARREN GOT the “Thriller from Mollenkopf” under way with a 66-yard, eight-play drive after a 24-yard runback of the opening kickoff by Ralph Goliday. It was one of several good ones by Panther runners.

Three passes were keys in the drive. Flanker Goliday had a seven-yarder and David Allen (shifted from tackle to tight end), a 20-yarder and a 13-yard touchdown catch at 8:34. Maruce Hall booted the conversion.

Lineacker Kurt Walterhouse recovered an errant Harding pitchout on the panther’s five to set up a touchdown for Rich Cleveland, working out of left halfback in Woody Hayes’ “robust-T” when the Tigers were inside the 10-yard line. Jerry Shafrath handled fullback and Ken Nagle right halfback.

Cleveland powered off tackle for the TD two plays after the fumble recovered at 2:31. Mike Hardwick kicked the conversion.

Halfback Jay Harper got hit a terrific jolt after catching a pass on the Tigers’ 27 right after the start of the second quarter. Harding cornerback Chris Gray hopped on Harper’s fumble just before it went out of bounds and Warren started on its way for its second touchdown.

SEVEN PLAYS and three penalties later fullback Don Henderson went off right tackle for the TD with 6:55 left. Hall faked a kick and ran the conversion.

The Tigers thought they had stopped the drive when safety Van Jones intercepted a pass on his five but middle guard Carl Dorsey got called for roughing the passer, putting the ball on the 12.

The Warren TD came four plays later, following a sterling 11-yard third down run by Hill to the one.

Cleveland ran the third period kickoff back 10 yards and the Tigers took off on an
eight-play, 66-yard scoring romp. The big play was a 46-yard run by Cleveland off left guard to the Warren eight. Four plays later Rich took a pitch off right tackle for the score with 8:22 left.

Grove made a great diving catch of a Bret Traylor pass for the tying tally.

LATER IN the period the Tigers took a Warren punt on the Panthers’ 43 after the “Tiger Claw Defense” had forced Tom Clouser to kick from the end zone. In five plays the Orange and Black had the ball on the one.

Harper and Grove contributed 18 and 15-yard catches off Traylor but Grove later fumbled on the one, trying to go over left tackle for the score. Panther linebacker Joe DiLella recovered on the one but the Tigers held again.

Clouser kicked from his end zone. Massillon end Dave Engler narrowly missed roughing him, monsterback Anthony Grizzard grabbed the punt on the 38 and raced down the sideline for the score with 9:50 left in the last quarter.

Hardwick kicked the final conversion.

Gray intercepted a Tiger pass on Massillon’s 40 later in the period and ran it back to the 34, but the “Tiger Claw Defense” – in the person of Anthony Grizzard – threw Henderson for a four-yard loss to the 33 on fourth down.

“WE HAD A long half time and we made adjustments,” Currence said. “They ran us off the field in the first half. They were the best team we faced this year explosive-wise. I got scared watching their tailbacks running the first half. We couldn’t tackle them. We never faced anyone this year we couldn’t come up and stick.”

“We had a couple of key fumbles – on a punt and on a pitchout,” said Warren head Coach Tom Ross. “We thought we had the corner turned on a key fourth down play but didn’t get up there for a first down. Massillon has a fine football team.”

The punt fumble Ross mentioned came late in the fourth quarter when Bob White, who had done a masterful runback job all night, miscued and Tiger Van Jones hopped on the ball at the Warren 23. But an illegal shift penalty and a holding penalty kayoed the Tigers’ chances.

Ross lost Allen when he got his bell rung in the first half, defensive tackle Nick Ambleotis suffered a knee injury in practice Thursday but it wasn’t determined until 6 p.m. Friday that he couldn’t go. John Antebucci replaced him and received a knee injury in the first half.

GUARD ERNIE Epitropoulos received a foot injury in the fourth quarter.

Ross moved inside tackle Mike Dixon to Allen’s outside tackle slot when Allen was shifted to tight end, but didn’t get the blocking from him that Ross got from Allen, a pre-season All-American pick.

“We couldn’t throw in the second half because of poor field position,” Ross said.

Ends – Chovan, Pringle, Engler, Sweterlitsch, Clendening, Chovan.
Tackles – Tournay, Daniels, Matie, Toles, Dennison, Kovacsiss.
Guards – Lauber, Hauser, Berquist.
Center – Ramsey.
Halfbacks – Harper, Grove, Carpenter, Nagle.
Fullbacks – Cleveland, Shafrath.
Middle guard – Dorsey.
Linebackers – Walterhouse, Dottavio, Border.
Defensive halfbacks – Grizzard, Lash, Jones, Henderson, Hickey, Letcavits, M. Longshore.
Kicker – Hardwick.
Punter – Westover.

Ends – Allen, Golden, Maines, E. Shaker, Blazek, Thomas.
Tackles – Dixon, Megalis, Antenucci, J. Shaker.
Guards – E. and J. Epitropoulos, Cassakais.
Center – Core, Grodesky, Bokone.
Quarterback – Hall.
Halfbacks – Battee, Henderson, Goliday, Robinson.
Fullback – Hill.
Middle guards – E. Lewis, Di Lella.
Defensive halfbacks – Gary, White, Robinson, Johnson.
Punter – Clouser.

Massillon 7 0 8 7 22
Warren 7 8 0 0 15

W – David Allen, 13 pass from Maurice Hall (Hall kick);
M – Rich Cleveland, 2 run (Mike Hardwick kick);
W – Don Henderson, 1 run (Hall run);
M – Cleveland, 2 run (Mike Grove pass from Bret Traylor);
M – Anthony Grizzard, 38 punt runback (Hardwick kick).

Referee – Frank Buhas.
Umpire – Al Collier.
Head Linesman – Hugh Davis.
Field Judge – Dave Landis.
Back Judge – Tim Murray.

ATTENDANCE – 14,000.

First downs rushing 4 6
First downs passing 4 2
First downs penalties 0 1
Total first downs 8 9
Yards gained rushing 140 139
Yards lost rushing 35 45
Net yards gained rushing 105 91
Net yards gained passing 69 51
Total yards gained 174 142
Passes completed 6-8 4-5
Passes intercepted by 0 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 0 0
Kickoff average (yards) 4-52 3-42
Kickoff returns (yards) 42 107
Punt average (yards) 4-36 5-33
Punt returns (yards) 36 9
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 3-2 2-2
Yards penalized 4-40 4-30
Touchdowns rushing 2 1
Touchdowns passing 0 1
Miscellaneous touchdowns 1 0
Total number of plays 42 51
Total time of possession 21:48 26:12

Player A G L N
Cleveland 15 81 6 75

Player A G L N
John Hill 9 41 1 40

John Hauser
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 21, Barberton 0

Tigers ‘not there yet’ despite 21-0 victory

Independent Sports Editor

“We aren’t championship caliber yet,” said Mike Currence.

“We played sloppy football,” said Rudy Sharkey.

THOSE STATEMENTS by the head coaches of the Massillon Tigers and Barberton Magics summed up Friday’s Parents’ Night game at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in which the Tigers shut out the Magics 21-0 in a non-league game.

A crowd of 10,234 watched the Orange and Black roll to their fifth straight victory after losing their first two games. They also saw the Obiemen hang up their second straight shutout.

Barberton dropped to 3-4.

Program Cover

Currence had said earlier this week that his defenders had to get the ball for the offense. They picked off four of Barberton’s eight fumbles, setting up there touchdowns. Junior linebacker Steve Dottavio, substituting for senior Gary Border who is out with a broken arm, grabbed off two bobbles. Senior defensive end Bob Furnas got the other.

Junior monster back Kevin Gowins, with the reserve in late in the fourth quarter, picked up the final Barberton fumble at the Tigers’ 31-yard line to stave off Barberton’s last threat. So good was the Massillon defense that the Magics did get past their 45-yard line in the first half and were stopped at the Tigers’ 30 and 43 in the second half by pass interceptions by halfbacks Randy Lash, a senior and Mike Hickey, a junior.

Barberton also had the misfortune to be stymied by 70 yards in penalties and some unfortunate punting by junior Tom Thomas, subbing for senior Rick Donnelly who received a leg injury against Akron Hoban last week.

THE TIGER offense went back to its old tricks, getting into Barberton territory 10 times, but scoring only three times. Barberton senior halfback Bill Rackley intercepted a third quarter pass at his own 10 and a fourth quarter pass at his own 15.

Senior tackle Bob Hill picked up a Tiger first quarter fumble at the Barberton 12.

Mike Hardwick was wide left with a 22-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter after the Tigers had a fourth and one on the Barberton nine but were called for encroachment.

“We still don’t have the ability to put somebody down and put them down quick,” Currence said. “You have to have great poise to do that. When we got ahead and let up, they were good enough to come back on us.”
Currence thought his defensive ends, juniors Frank Sweterlitsch, Dave Engler and Furnas, who filled in for Engler after he re-injured his ankle in the third quarter, did great.

“BARBERTON RUNS the outside option well and those three boys did a great job,” Currence said.

Currence said Barberton completely surprised him. The Magics used a 4-4 defense instead of their 5-2. Barberton used the “I” and split backs more than the “Y” or inverted wishbone.

“Rudy Sharkey gave us fits,” Currence said. “You just don’t beat a coach like that by an awesome score. Barberton has a good young club. We’ll meet them in the opener next year at the Rubber Bowl.”

The Tigers’ first touchdown came after Dottavio’s recovery at the Barberton 47 in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Bret Traylor ran for 15, 12 and five yards – the last, the scoring jaunt, coming after a 15-yard defensive pass interference call.

Hardwick kicked the conversion with 49 seconds showing on the clock.

DOTTAVIO GOT his second fumble recovery in the third quarter at the Barberton 25. Traylor was thrown for a 12-yard loss on the next play and injured. Sophomore quarterback Brent Offenbecher then came in and hit junior end Mark Pringle with a
37-yard pass for the score.

Hardwick kicked the conversion with 10:52 showing on the clock.

Furnas recovered a fumble on the Magics’ 19 in the fourth quarter. Five plays later sophomore fullback Rich Cleveland bulled over from the one.

Hardwick kicked the conversion with 7:04 showing on the clock.

In reviewing the game, Sharkey said his team has been inconsistent this year.

“There have been nights when we played super football but tonight wasn’t one of them,” he said. “A lot of our problems started when we lost our punter last week. Our substitute kicker Thomas kicked 55-yard and 38-yard punts last week. He came into the game tonight and there was one time he didn’t make the stick. That was the beginning of the end.”

SHARKEY WAS concerned that his offense put his defense into the hole time after time and pointed out you can only do that so often.

“Defensively our kids played well,” he said.

He explained his changes in offense and defense as put in to try to get something going for his team.

One bright light for the Magics was junior tailback Terry Cameron who netted 102 yards in 18 tries, losing only one yard. Cleveland netted 67, losing five, in 12 carries for Massillon.

Ends – Bates, Smith, Gamier, Peters, Sharkey, Bizach, Niehaus.
Tackles – Coher, Garren, Roland, Jones, Bob Hill, Hutchison, Watkins.
Guards – DeAngelis, Campbell, Bill Hill.
Center – Canale.
Quarterbacks – Finley, Karalic.
Halfbacks – Huffman, L. Ricks, Rackley, Gable, Hymes, F. Tivkd, McKinnie, White, Chastain, Bowman, Henderson, Robertson, Hepfl.
Tailback – Cameron.
Punter – Thomas.

Ends – Engler, Sweterlitsch, Furnas, Pringle, Chovan, Clendening, Grizzard.
Tackles – Tournay, Namanny, Stuck, Daniels, Toles, Kovacsiss, Dennison, Matie, Brown, DeOrio.
Guards – Lauber, Hauser, Baus, Berquist, Jones, Keller, Edel.
Centers – Ramsey, Lutz, Englehardt.
Quarterbacks – Traylor, Offenbecher.
Halfbacks – Harper, Grove, Carpenter.
Fullbacks – Cleveland, Shafrath, Nagle.
Middle guards – Dorsey, Holman.
Linebackers – Walterhouse, Dottavio, Sweterlitsch, Wilson, Sowards.
Defensive halfbacks – Grizzard, Hickey, Letcavits, Lash, Jones, Henderson, Phillips, Gowins.
Punter – Westover.
Kicker – Hardwick.

Barberton 0 0 0 0 0
Massillon 0 7 7 7 21

M – Bret Traylor, 5 run (Hardwick kick);
M – Mark Pringle, 37 pass from Brent Offenbecher (Hardwick kick);
M – Rich Cleveland, 1 run (Hardwick kick).

Referee – Chuck Hinkle.
Umpire – Jim McNally.
Head Linesman – Bill Kulich.
Field Judge – Ken Newton.
Back Judge – Ron Bennington.
ATTENDANCE – 10,234.

First downs rushing 10 7
First downs passing 3 1
First downs penalties 1 1
Total first downs 14 9
Yards gained rushing 212 159
Yards lost rushing 57 30
Net yards gained rushing 155 129
Net yards gained passing 85 33
Total yards gained 240 162
Passes completed 3-15 2-10
Passes intercepted by 2 3
Yardage on passes intercepted 9 42
Kickoff average (yards) 4-39.3 1-32.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 12 25
Punt average (yards) 3-26.3 5-25.0
Punt returns (yards) 0 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 3-1 8-4
Yards penalized 4-30 7-70
Touchdowns rushing 2 1
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Total number of plays 61 51
Total time of possession 24:37 13:23

John Hauser
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 10, Steubenville 0

Currence warns: beware of Big Red

Independent Sports Editor

Mike Currence gave Tigertown a warning.

“The best Steubenville team in many years will be coming here tonight,” Washington High School’s popular football skipper said.

A crowd of about 10,000 is expected to watch the Big Red (4-1, 1-0) and the Tigers
(3-2, 1-0) battled in an All-American Conference game at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Plenty of good tickets are still available, according to WHS ticket officials. Windows at the stadium will open at 6:30.

Program Cover

ALSO IN action tonight will be Alliance (4-1, 1-0), tied with the Tigers and Big Red for first, hosting Warren (3-2, 0-1). Canton McKinley (2-3, 0-1) will be at Niles McKinley
(4-1, 0-1) on Saturday night.

When told that the Steubers haven’t scored on the Tigers in seven of the last eight games, Currence replied, “That’s very unusual. I think this Steubenville team is going to be a different kind of a ball club.”

The last time the Big Red came here 4-1 was in 1974. Last year they were 3-2. Both times Massillon won.

The 1972 team came in 5-0 but the Tigers won 12-0.

“Steubenville was seventh ranked this week in the Associated Press Poll,” Currence said. “This is another in a series of high ranked teams coming in – the fourth in six weeks.

The Big Red was not ranked in the Top Ten in the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Region 3 computer poll released Thursday. Massillon was in the 10th spot.

“THE STRENGTH of the Big Red is their defense,” Currence said. “They have eight players returning. In one film I watched their defense get a touchdown. They literally took the ball away and scored.”

“Bill Bohren has put a lot of his good kids on defense and plays three kid both ways. We’re hitting a year when everybody has a lot of players back.”

Currence picked middle guard Darrell Soloman (5-9, 205), linebacker Dave Medich
(6-2, 225), tackle Mark Fahey (6-1, 230) and end Tony Zatta (6-0, 190), all seniors, as the toughies.
The key to stopping the offense appears to be halting junior fullback Bob Rush (5-11, 175), the AAC’s leading ground gainer.

“He is very quick in hitting the holes and he does well on the quick pitch,” Currence said. “I watched him on film tear Youngstown North apart. He’s like Cleveland Benedictine’s Bob Conwell.”

CONWELL AVERAGED 2.4 yards, picking up 77. Rush has averaged 5.2 yards, picking up 516.

“Steubenville has not thrown much – only 19 times – Currence expects the Big Red to put the ball into the sky only if they are forced to. Power control is their game.

“They have some good play action passes and the quarterback (Sam Baldwin) puts the ball right on receivers’ chests,” Currence said. “They have dropped some good passes.”

But the Tigers have worked hard on pass defense this week because of misreading tendencies that have shown up. The skipper doesn’t want to get beat by one pass thrown at the right time.

The specialty teams have come in for some hard work too.

“I WAS disappointed with those units last week,” he said. “They weren’t real sharp and ready to field the ball.”

One change will be made in the Tigers’ starting defensive alignment. Junior Tony Matie (6-0, 210) will get his chance because of an outstanding performance against Cleveland Benedictine last week.

At stake in this game is the Mayor’s Bucket Trophy. If the Tigers win, the prize will stay here because the Orange and Black will have won it three straight times.

Tigers beat Big Red 10-0
for first shutout

Independent Sports Editor

To borrow a trick of the old TV show, “The Wild, Wild, West,” it was “The Night of the Pass” Friday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Before 13,891 fans, the largest crowd to see the Tigers play this season, the Tigers combined their best passing performance with a sixth straight week of outstanding defense and downed the Steubenville Big Red 10-0.

THE WIN gave the Tigers undisputed possession of first place in the All-American Conference with a 2-0 mark. Alliance’s loss to Warren Harding Friday night gave the Aviators, Black Panthers and Steubenville 1-1 marks. Canton McKinley and Niles McKinley, both with 0-1 slates, play at Niles tonight.

Friday’s win was the fourth straight for Washington High School after the Orange and Black lost its first two games. Steubenville dropped to 4-2, had a two-game win streak scissored and was shut out for the first time this season.

Tiger quarterback Bret Traylor, improving with every game, completed nine of 16 passes – his best effort – for 117 yards. One went for an 11-yard first quarter touchdown to end Bob Grizzard.

The Tigers rushed for 100 yards against a huge Steubenville defense.

The “Tiger Claw Defense” meanwhile held the Big Red to 76 yards on the ground and 54 in the air. Steubenville quarterback Sam Baldwin was able to complete only two of eight attempts as the Big Red lost their seventh straight game to the Tigers and their 12th in the last 13 years.

The 1969 contest, played at Steubenville, ended in a scoreless deadlock.

BY WINNING Friday night, the Tigers retired the Mayor’s Bucket Trophy with three wins.

Even though the Orange and Black’s passing game was a key to winning, Coach Mike Currence was not ecstatic about it. He was, however, very pleased again with the “Tiger Claw Defense.”

“It was the best passing we’ve done, but we dropped some we should have caught,” Currence said. “When Bret (Traylor) gets the ball to them, the least they ought to do is catch it. And then when we caught it we fell down with it. The kids could have walked into the end zone a couple of times.”

Because Steubenville was giving the Tigers the perimeter game and preventing them from running there, Currrence felt the game would have been a lot closer had the passing side of it not gone as well as it did.

About the defense, Currence enthused, “It was great! It was the best we’ve played! I thought they put some pressure on us from the ends.”

CURRENCE WAS unhappy that the Tigers had drives stopped at the Steubenville 30, 32 and nine-yard lines.

“I don’t know whether they tightened up or we didn’t execute,” Currence said. “We’ll have to analyze it and see what happened.”

On a second quarter drive which was cut short, Steubenville linebacker John Adams batted down a fourth down pass intended for halfback Mike Grove, thus negating a 44-yard pass-run from Traylor to end Mark Pringle.
On an aborted third quarter drive 12 and 16-yard Traylor to Grove pass-run went out the window. And then Traylor was tossed for a one-yard loss on fourth and one.

In the fourth quarter a 35-yard Traylor to Grove pass-run went down the drain when Traylor was thrown for a five-yard loss on fourth and eight. The first drive followed a touchback from a punt, the second, a Steubenville fourth down try which was short by inches, and the third a punt.

THE TIGERS’ only touchdown came with 4:26 left in the first quarter and was their first welcome canto score of the season. Steubenville was called for roughing Westover on his third down punt from the end zone. The Tigers rolled for 82 yards after the 15-yard penalty for the score and Mike Hardwick booted the conversion.

A 27-yard Traylor to Grove pass-run, with Grove running 19 yards and a 25-yard Traylor to Jay Harper pass-run, with “The Jaybird” flying 23 of those yards, were keys in the drive as was Rich Cleveland’s 11-yard run.

“My player told me we had a piece of that punted ball,” said Steubenville Coach Bill Bohren. “Therefore, it’s not roughing.”

The Tigers got what Currence called a big break on the drive which resulted in a field goal. Steubenville punter Steve Michalak kicked from his end zone, Tiger halfback Anthony Grizzard muffed the ball and the Big Red’s Bernard Stevenson recovered it on his 39.

But back judge Bill Kalapodis inadvertently blew his whistle. By a rule change this year the ball had to go back to the previous spot for a re-kick.

“I KNEW he had blown the whistle and he wasn’t going to call it but the other guy heard it,” Currence said.

Bohren said, “It took the ball away from us and gave it to Massillon on our 30.”

On the second punt Grizzard made a fair catch and seven plays later Hardwick kicked his 20-yard field goal from an angle to the right with 10:10 left. Cleveland’s eight-yard run and Grove’s 13-yarder helped set the boot up.

Steubenville threatened twice in the second stanza, the first time going 52 yards following Randy Laase’s kickoff. Tweetie Brown ran back 15 yards and quarterback Sam Baldwin and end Dan Constantini added a 44-yard pass-run to the effort.

Dave Medich tried a 41-yard field goal kick. It fell short.

Defensive end Tony Zatta blocked Westover’s punt from the Massillon 31 later in the period. Bohren wanted to try a field goal with time running out but Medich broke a shoe lace, the Big Red was out of time outs and Baldwin was unable to throw the ball out of bounds off a sprint to stop the clock.

THE BIG Red got to the Tigers’ 32 in the third quarter but tailback Billy Ware failed, by inches, to make three yards on fourth down.

“He tried an option and got ahead of the stick but they brought the ball back,” Bohren said. “He got knocked down parallel to the line of scrimmage.”

Currrence said, “I thought he hit and bounced ahead.”

After a punt late in the fourth quarter Steubenville started a drive which was aborted when Randy Lash intercepted a pass and ran back 29 yards to the Massillon 49. The Tigers got to the Big Red 31 before the clock ran out.

Bohren thought his Steubenville team played well enough on defense to win but did not play well enough offensively.

Steubenville fullback Bob Rush, the leading ball carrier in the All-American Conference, was held to 67 yards in 16 carries, his third lowest total of the season. Massillon’s Rich Cleveland, the No. 2 man, was held to 42 yards in 15 carries, his lowest total.

Ends – Kline, Edwards, Sweeney, James, Constantini, Lockett, Andresen, Hays.
Tackles – Medich, Michalak, Fahey.
Guards – Adams, Becker, Zada.
Center – Barrett.
Quarterback – Baldwin.
Halfbacks – Ware, L. Brown, T. Brown, Thorn, Stevenson.
Fullback – Rush.
Middle guard – Solomon.
Defensive halfbacks – McKinney, Talamine, Hicks, Mavromatis, DeFrank, Sierawaski.
Kick holder – Bryan.

Ends – Clendening, B. Grizzard, Pringle, Chovan, Engler, Sweterlitsch.
Tackles – Laase, Toles, Matie, Dennison, Kovacsiss, Baughman, Namanny, Tournay, Daniels.
Guards – Hauser, Lauber, Berquist, Baus.
Center – Ramsey, Lutz.
Quarterbacs – Traylor, Offenbecher.
Halfbacks – Grove, Harper, Carpenter.
Fullbacks – Cleveland, Nagle.
Middle guard – Dorsey.
Linebackers – Border, Walterhouse.
Defensive halfbacks – Grizzard, Jones, Lash, Letcavits, Henderson, Nagle.
Kicker – Hardwick.
Punter – Westover.

Steubenville 0 0 0 0 0
Massillon 7 3 0 0 10
M – Bob Grizzard, 11 pass from Bret Traylor (Mike Hardwick kick);
M – Hardwick, 20 field goal.

Referee – Al Francesconi.
Umpire – Nick Frascella.
Head Linesman – Milo Lukity.
Field Judge – Frank Wahl.
Back Judge – Bill Kalapodis.

ATTENDANCE – 13,891.

First downs rushing 5 6
First downs passing 7 1
First downs penalties 1 2
Total first downs 13 9
Yards gained rushing 128 121
Yards lost rushing 28 45
Net yards gained rushing 100 76
Net yards gained passing 177 54
Total yards gained 277 130
Passes completed 9-16 2-8
Passes intercepted by 1 0
Yards on passes Intercepted 31 0
Kickoff average (yards) 3-42.3 1-40.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 0 49
Punt average (yards) 2-39.0 4-31.0
Punt returns (yards) 1 0
Had punts blocked 1 0
Fumbles 2-5 5-1
Yards penalized 4-47 6-43
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Total number of plays 52 56
Total time of possession 20:27 27:33

John Hauser
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 18, Cleveland Benedictine 3

Second half key as Tigers win 18-3

Independent Sports Editor

If maestro Mike Currence can get the Tiger offense to stop throwing in those discords, the Orange and Black’s victory song will sound much sweeter.

On Friday for the third time in five weeks, the Washington High School team was behind at half time. The Tigers came roaring back on the ground and in the air at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium to claim an 18-3 victory over traditionally tough Cleveland Benedictine before 9,800 homecoming fans.

Program Cover

IT WAS the third straight win for the 3-2 Tigers. Benedictine dropped to 2-2-1.

The Tigers squandered away two scoring opportunities in the first half while the Massillon and Benedictine defenses hammered away at each other. As a result, both teams were bottled up in their own territory. Massillon punted six times, Benedictine five.

But quarterback Bret Traylor scored twice and fullback Rich Cleveland once in the second half to assure a Tiger victory. For the second consecutive week Traylor did some fine passing and running to aid the Orange and Black’s offensive cause.

Cleveland gained 71 yards without a loss in 11 carries, but for the first time in three weeks failed to pass the century mark. The tenacious Benedictine defense was the reason.

Traylor and fullback Jerry Shafrath didn’t get together on a second period handoff at the Benedictine 27-yard line. Guard Steve Tanner recovered on the 32 and Traylor’s 16-yard run and Cleveland’s 15-yard effort went down the drain.

Halfback Mike Grove caught a Traylor pass on the Benedictine 20 in the first quarter and scored but a clipping penalty crossed it off the book and two plays later the Obiemen were forced to punt.

Halfback Jay Harper and Traylor had combined for a 33-yard pass-run effort on the aborted drive. Harper almost went the distance but was knocked out of bounds by halfback John DiPaola on the Benedictine 25.

TRAYLOR HAD some more trouble in the third period when halfback Ron Manning intercepted his pass at the Benedictine nine but the Bennies, still suffering from poor field position because of great Tiger defensive work, were forced to punt from their 16.

The Tigers took over on the Benedictine 43, Traylor hit Grove with a 14-yarder and the Orange and Black were off on their first touchdown jaunt. Harper and Traylor combined on a 26-yard pass-run and Traylor charged in from the one with 4:56 left. Mike Hardwick’s conversion kick went under the crossbar.

Anthony Grizzard came up with another of his great punt runbacks (21 yards) at the start of the fourth quarter and in five plays the Currencemen had scored again. Rich Chovan grabbed a Traylor pass for 15 yards, Harper ran for 15 and Traylor skirted end for a 38-yard TD with 9:15 left.

But Chovan couldn’t hang on to Traylor’s conversion pass.

THE TIGERS drove from their 27 in five plays after a punt for their final score. End Mark Pringle and Traylor combined talents for a 46-yarder, Grove caught an eight-yarder and Cleveland, the sophomore running sensation, went the remaining distance (seven yards) with 4:58 left.

Grove’s conversion run was short.

Benedictine’s 25-yard field goal by junior Fran Szocs came after a second quarter punt. Terry Modzelewski returned for 10 yards to the Massillon 46, halfback Bob Conwell, who netted 77 yards in 17 carries, picked up 32 yards in two carries on the scoring drive and Szocs kicked on fourth down with 8:28 left.

“We decided at halftime that we would have to throw to beat Benedictine,” said Currence. “They’re just too big and strong. Their pursuit was great. That’s Augie and that 6-1 defense. That middle linebacker, Richard Saunders, was tough.”

Currence said that it was also determined at halftime that the Tiger defense would have to turn things around aggressively if they were going to win.

“IT TAKES a little bit of success offensively for our boys to get rolling,” Currence said. “It’s taken Traylor a little longer to read the opponent’s defense. There’s so many options off of our defense.”

Currence saluted Frank Thomas, Jim Letcavits, Gary Wells and Dale Walterhouse for a terrific job of coaching the defense this year. Besides the usual work of linebacker Kurt Walterhouse, tackle Jesse Toles, middle guard Carl Dorsey, monster back Grizzard, and junior tackle Tony Matie did an outstanding job as Currence gave more players a chance to participate.

“Benedictine blockers let us go the way they wanted us to go and then the back went the opposite way,” Currence said. “Their tackles are so big we couldn’t see. Steve Tanner is very tough. The Bennies hurt us on their quick drive.”

Currence said for a Class AA school, Benedictine is one of the toughest teams the Tigers have played.

“It was hard because we had poor field position,” said Benedictine chief Augie Bossu. “At times we moved the ball good but we had the good play to make and maybe were afraid to go for the big one. We also had to play catch-up ball after awhile.”

Augie thought the right side of his offensive line did a great job of blocking for Conwell. “We had a good defensive effort,” Bossu said. “It’s hard covering the run and shoot sideline to sideline.”

BOSSU POINTED out that when Grizzard was brought to the middle of the defense the Benedictine backs didn’t pick him up.

“We went up against an excellent ball club tonight,” Bossu said.

Ends – Pringle, Chovan, Clendening, Sweterlitsch, A. Longshore, Engler.
Tackles – Tournay, Daniels, Laase, Toles, Namanny, Baughman, Kovacsiss, Dennison, Matie.
Guards – Hauser; Lauber, Berquist.
Center – Mike Ramsey.
Quarterback – Traylor, Offenbecher.
Halfbacks – Harper, Grove, Carpenter, Hickey, Popovich.
Fullbacks – Cleveland, Shafrath, Nagle.
Middle guard – Dorsey.
Linebackers – Border, Walterhouse.
Defensive halfbacks – Grizzard, Lash, Henderson, Jones, Letcavits.
Punter – Westover.
Place kicker – Hardwick.

Ends – Washington, Kovogsek, Few, Germano, Peterson, Kniola.
Tackles – Tomba, Tanner, Tomba, Huedash, Dieninger.
Guards – C. St. John, DiPetro, Dillard, Medovic, O’Neil, Armelli.
Center – Martinez.
Quarterback – Georgenson.
Halfbacks – Conwell, Clayton, Marino, Manning, DiPaola.
Flankers – Modzelewski, Germano.
Middle linebacker – Saunders.
Kicker – Szocs.

Benedictine 0 3 0 0 3
Massillon 0 0 6 12 18

B – Frank Szocs, 25 field goal;
M – John Traylor, 1 run (kick failed);
M – Traylor, 38 run (pass failed);
M – Rich Cleveland, 7 run (run failed).

Referee – Steve Nagy.
Umpire – Chuck Hinkle.
Head Linesman – Tom Cleman.
Field Judge – Bob Hipple.
Back Judge – Don Fowler.


First downs rushing 5 4
First downs passing 6 6
First downs penalties 0 0
Total first downs 11 10
Yards gained rushing 203 106
Yards lost rushing 34 50
Net yards gained rushing 169 56
Net yards gained passing 145 105
Total yards gained 314 161
Passes completed 6-17 9-23
Passes intercepted by 1 2
Yards on passes Intercepted 30 17
Kickoff average (yards) 4-47 2-45
Kickoff returns (yards) 34 24
Punt average (yards) 3-34 9-39
Punt returns (yards) 48 7
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 2-1 4-2
Yards penalized 5-43 5-35
Touchdowns rushing 3 0
Total number of plays 60 66
Total time of possession 26:30 21:30

John Hauser
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 13, Niles McKinley 8

Tiger hopes hinge on game at Niles

Independent Sports Editor

If the Tigers don’t win this week it could be all over in 1976.

That was the word head Coach Mike Currence had for the Tiger Touchdown Club at its weekly luncheon Monday at the Massillon Club.

AFTER Currence had finished it was announced that senior monster back and Co-Captain Anthony Grizzard had been selected by club members as their Hardnose of the Week. At the end of the season the player with the most votes becomes the Hardnose of the Year.

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“If we lose Saturday night at Niles we’ll be out of things as far as the computer is concerned and maybe in the All-American Conference race,” Currence said. “If we lose we won’t have a chance of someone else knocking off Niles.

Currence asked for more noise from the fans at Niles to which President Gene Boerner replied, “We’ll make all the noise we can. You’ll hear Massillon fans yelling louder than the hometown fans.”

But club members agreed they didn’t need noise such as came from the student section last Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium when Brown was speaking at half time. One member suggested that a delay in the start of half time festivities had gotten the students restless.

“Nobody has run up the middle on Niles,” Currence said, but that doesn’t bother us because our offense is designed to attack the perimeters.”

CURRENCE is not sure what the problem is with the quarterbacks. He does know they are not getting the pass protection they should be getting. He asked members not to evaluate Bret Traylor’s performance to date for that reason, explaining Bret hasn’t been that far off in practice.

Members suggested various ways to cut down on fumbles such as having players tape thumbtacks to their fingers or wear rubber thumb grips or just toss the ball into the water bucket during practice. The first two suggestions are illegal and the third is out because you can’t get a true grip on a wet ball, according to Currence.

Massillon is
13-8 victor over Niles

Repository Sports Writer

NILES – Massillon’s heralded “run and shoot” offense finally gunned down a noteworthy foe Saturday night, dropping the state’s sixth-ranked Niles McKinley Red Dragons 13-8 before 13,000 noisy onlookers at Riverside Stadium.

Tigers’ Coach Mike Currence will have an awful lot of “player of the week” awards to hand out Monday as Massillon came up with the big play both offensively and defensively.

Niles, trailing 13-0 going into the final period, forced three Tiger turnovers in the final 12 minutes to make it a ball game.

The loss was the first in four games for Niles and Massillon evened its record at 2-2 in winning its second in a row. The game was a mutual opener in the All-American Conference.

Red Dragons quarterback Curtis Rein threw a 28-yard pass to end Mike Pizzano to get his club on the board with 8:56 left in the game.

Rein then snaked around left end for the two-point conversion that put Niles back in the contest.

Pizzano intercepted a Bret Traylor aerial at the 5:50 mark and teammate Joe Connel ran 30 yards with 1:46 remaining to give the Red Dragons two good chances at pulling off a comeback win.

But the Tigers’ defense held on both occasions, stopped Niles at the 26 and 24 yard lines in the final half of the last period.

Paced by Richard Cleveland’s 122 yards in 17 carries, Massillon held a 257-54 rushing advantage.

Niles was led by Phil Chelsea who ran 8 times for 23 yards, despite being hampered by an ankle injury. He was injured when he slammed his right foot in a car door 40 minutes before the game.

The Tigers totaled 11 first downs to 10 for Niles and the Red Dragons had an edge in passing, completing 12 of 21 for 141 yards. Massillon hit on one of three for 13 yards.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers were forced to punt on their first possession of the second stanza.

Niles Ken Wiencek fielded the ball at the Red Dragons’ 10-yard line, was smacked to the ground by a Tiger tackler and coughed up the ball.

Massillon’s John Letcavits scooped up the ball at the four and sailed into the end zone with 7:11 left in the half. Mike Hardwick’s conversion made it 7-0. Niles punted after the ensuing kickoff and the Tigers took over on their own 16.

Then the Massillon offense moved down the field like a runaway steamroller, 84 yards in 10 plays, with Bret Traylor completing his only pass of the night, a 13-yard TD toss to Rick Chovan just 1:05 before the band show.

Currence called the win “a great team victory”. “No other team in the state could have come into Niles and beaten the type of team Coach Tony Napolet has here.

“But the community of Massillon backed us all the way,” Currence said.

The Tiger fans unleashed a roar upon the Tigers’ initial appearance on the field and didn’t let up until the final whistle, as there were several thousand from Massillon who made the pilgrimage here.

On the Tigers performance, Currence said, “We just made less mistakes tonight. We moved the ball against everyone we played but mistakes have been hurting us until tonight. If Bret (Traylor) ever comes around to being the type of quarterback we think he is capable of being, we’ll win some more ball games,” Currence said.

Tiger – Niles lineups

ENDS – Sam George (5-11, 165, Sr.); Rick Chovan (5-11, 171, Sr.).
TACKLES – Tim Tournay (6-2, 270, Sr.); Tim Daniels (6-7, 230, Jr).
GUARDS – John Hauser (5-11, 211, Sr.); Mark Lauber (6-1, 212, Sr.).
CENTER – Mike Ramsey (5-8, 180, Sr.).
QUARTERBACK – Bret Traylor (5-10, 159, Sr.).
HALFBACKS – Jay Harper (5-5, 160, Sr.). Greg Carpenter (6-1, 188, Jr.).
FULLBACK — Rich Cleveland (6-1, 180, Soph.).
ENDS – Frank Sweterlitsch (6-1, 180, Jr.); Dave Engler (5-9, 180, Jr.).
TACKLES – Randy Laase (6-5, 211, Sr.); Jesse Toles (6-0, 190, Sr.).
MIDDLE GUARD – Carl Dorsey (5-9, 185, Jr.).
LINEBACKERS – Kurt Walterhouse (6-0, 170, Jr.); Gary Border (6-0, 203, Sr.).
SECONDARY – Anthony Grizzard (5-9, 168, Sr.); Randy Lash (5-8, 165, Sr.); Bill Henderson (5-9, 160, Sr.); Van Jones (5-11, 155, Sr.).

ENDS – Mile Woodford (5-9, 160, Sr.); Duane Thomas (6-0, 175, Sr.).
TACKLES – John Slwinski (5-11, 185, Sr.); Mark Joseph (5-11, 197, Sr.).
GUARDS – Tom Golder (5-9, 170, Sr.); John Blakely (5-9, 180, Sr.).
CENTER – Brian Williams (5-10, 185, Sr.).
QUARTERBACK – Curtis Rein (6-0, 180, Sr.).
HALFBACKS – Phil Chelsea (5-9, 158, Sr.); John Virostko (6-0, 170, Sr.).
FULLBACK – Geoff Tabor (6-1, 205, Sr.).
ENDS – Joe Bezilla (5-10, 175, Sr.); Ray Rashilla (5-10, 180, Sr.).
TACKLES – Joe Connell (6-0, 250, Jr.); Bob Tenney (6-0, 225, Sr.).
MIDDLE GUARD – Marty Chance (5-8, 185, Sr.).
LINEBACKERS – Tabor; Sam Giangardella (6-1, 210, Sr.).
SECONDARY – Ken Masciangelo (5-9, 165, Jr.); Ken Weincek (5-9, 160, Sr.); Mike Pizzano (5-8, 160, Jr.); Virostko.

– offense (line 206, backfield 171, overall 193);
– defense (line 188, secondary 161, overall 179).
– offense (line 179, backfield 178, overall 179);
– defense (line 204, secondary 165, overall 190).

Tigers – 12-4.

Points Scored
Tigers 330;
Niles 133.

Points scored this year
Tigers 16;
Niles 56.

Points allowed this year:
Tigers 22;
Niles 6.

All-American Conference rules prohibit releasing
Officials’ names to the public before game time.

Currence warns:
beware Bennies

Independent Sports Editor

There’s one trouble with upset victories such as the Tigers’ effort at Niles last Saturday night. If a team savors the win too much, it might not taste victory the next time out.

“Cleveland Benedictine is tough,” said Tiger Skipper Mike Currence. “They won 48-0 over Painseville Harvey Friday. We must work hard to prepare for the Bennies. We made too many offensive mistakes at Niles. We’re lucky our defense did the job or we would have been beaten.

AUGIE BOSSU’S team (3-1) will face the 2-2 Tigers, who won their second consecutive game last Saturday night, at 8 p.m. Friday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Saturday’s 13-8 All-American Conference victory over Niles McKinley put Washington High into a tie with Steubenville and Alliance for first place. Niles dropped into a deadlock with Canton McKinley and Warren for fourth.

After the Orange and Black had scored twice in the second quarter to stun the Niles fans and elate the Tiger faithful in the sellout house of 13,000 at Riverside Stadium, the “Tiger Claw Defense” continued t6o throw a mighty roadblock – with one exception – in the way of the Red Dragons. Niles played some mighty fine iron curtain ball themselves, led by linebackers Sam Giangardella and Geoff Tabor and minus four defensive starters, injured in the first half.

The Tigers’ great defensive effort started after Tabor had picked up a John Traylor fumble in the first quarter. Linebacker Kurt Walterhouse threw quarterback Curtis Rein for an eight-yard loss to the Massillon 26.

Several Obiemen halted Rein at the Tigers’ 12-yard line on fourth down in the second stanza after Niles had taken control on the Tigers’ 35 when Mark Westover’s punt from the end zone was partially blocked.

Co-Captain and monster back Anthony Grizzard intercepted a pass at the Massillon 45 to halt the Red Dragon’s furthest advance in the third quarter.

Grizzard, used for the first time on runback teams, carried the pigskin 50 yards after a punt to the Niles 24 in the goodbye canto only to have Traylor and Rich Cleveland misfire on a handoff at the 18. Giangardella recovered at the 24 to set up Niles’ only touchdown drive.

TAILBACK PHIL Chelsea, after battling the flu during the week, tossed a pass to halfback Mike Pizzano for 11 yards, dashed for 13 and then the Dragons got the benefit of a disputed 15-yard late-hit penalty, for a first down on the Tigers’ 38. Two plays later Pizzano took Rein’s pass at the one and stepped in for the score with 8:56 left.

Rein ran the end for the conversion and the fans had visions of another Niles comeback win such as occurred in 1966, 1974 and almost occurred in 1975.

Pizzano intercepted a Traylor pass on the Massillon 41 in the fourth quarter, ran to the 30, but the Dragons were guilty of clipping. Eight plays later end Dwayne Thomas was hauled down short of a first down on the Massillon 26.

On second down from the 34, assistant Coach Nick Vrotsos called a change in blocking assignments which enabled fullback Rich Cleveland, who carried for 100 yards plus for a third straight game, to roll for 56 yards to the Niles 10. But Traylor, while trying to consume time with a keeper run, fumbled. Tackle Joe Connell recovered and rambled to the 40 where Traylor knocked him out of bounds.

The Dragons took to the air, getting to the Massillon 31, thanks to a 15-yard Rein to end Bill Ifft pass. But middle guard Carl Dorsey sacked Rein and linebacker Kurt Walterhouse busted up two passes to end things.

THE MASSILLON offense out-performed the Niles version, 256 net yards to 54. Cleveland carried 18 times, netting 118 yards. Traylor lugged the swinehide 17 times, netting 61 yards, picking up important yardage several times.

He threw only three passes, but one was a 12-yarder to end Rick Chovan, who just eluded his defender in the end zone in the second quarter. Mike Hardwick was wide left on his conversion kick with the clock showing 1:05 left.

Jay Harper, Cleveland and Traylor had set the score up with 14, 26 and 12-yard runs.

The Tigers’ first touchdown came with 7:11 left in the same period. Ken Wiencek tried to field a Westover punt at the 12, but was hit an awful whack by Van Jones, the ball popped loose; John Letcavits scooped it up at the three and scored. Hardwick kicked the conversion.

Wiencek was lost for the remainder of the game with a concussion.

IN HIS post game comments Currence was happy with the Tigers’ perimeter attack but unhappy that they couldn’t run up the middle as they did before, that the fumbles continued and unhappy that the pressure on the opposing quarterback wasn’t greater.

“They were tough up the middle,” Currence said. “We kept trying and trying and finally Cleveland broke the big one up the middle. We’ve got to get some sticky glue for our fingers and we must not drop so many people back on passes.”

“Our defense had the composure our offense didn’t have. When its fourth and one you have to have it and if you don’t have it, you don’t have a great ball club.”

Currence was overwhelmed by the fan backing.

“I’ve never gone to an away game and had the kind of support we had,” said Currence. “The booster club outdid itself. I expect the same treatment every game.”

First downs rushing 11 4
First downs passing 1 7
First downs penalties 1 0
Total first downs 13 11
Yards gained rushing 285 82
Yards lost rushing 29 28
Net yards gained rushing 256 54
Net yards gained passing 12 98
Total yards gained 268 152
Passes completed 1-3 14-23
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Yards on passes Intercepted 0 4
Kickoff 3-42 2-58
Kickoff returns 42 35
Punts 4-32 4-44
Punt returns 50 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 3-3 5-2
Yards penalized 4-50 3-45
Touchdowns passing 1 1
Misc. touchdowns 1 0
Total number of plays 55 57
Total time of possession 26:41 21:19

John Hauser
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 16, Cleveland East 6

‘Aerial circus’ on tap in Tigertown

Independent Sports Editor

Will the Tigers get their “Aerial Circus” cranked into high gear?

Will they be quicker than a Cleveland East team which could be the most agile the Orange and Black will face this year?

These were the two questions uppermost in the mind of Washington High School head football Coach Mike Currence Thursday before he put his charges through their final pre-game workout.

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THE TIGERS (0-2) and the Blue Bombers (1-1) will square off tonight at 8 p.m. at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Currence is hoping that with Brown on hand and a dry field predicted, good luck will follow.

“It would be awfully embarrassing to lose with Brown watching,” Currence stated.

There are expected to be about 10,000 fans on hand to watch the Tigers and to watch Brown lauded at halftime when the stadium will be officially renamed in his honor. The Tiger Swing Band will present a special show in his honor.

“Quickness will play a big part in the game,” Currence said, “and there’ll be a lot of footballs in the air – as long as it doesn’t rain.”

East has a junior end named Myron Hockett who causes Currence cause for concern.

“I DON’T believe we have a receiver as quick, but Sam George is pretty quick,” Currence said. “Hockett seems to have the moves. Their coach, Joe Pledger, told me Hockett is also a big-time basketball prospect as well as a football prospect. He’s one of the best receivers I’ve seen.”

Currence said senior quarterback Ricky Holman also likes to throw to junior tight end Charles Radford and senior wingback Steve Reeves.

“He also catches well,” Currence said. “He’s an excellent kid – a two-way man. He also plays in the secondary with Holman.”

Five Bombers go both ways, including two other offensive backfield men – senior tailback Darnell Duncan and senior fullback Tony Jones. Duncan is a secondary man, Jones a linebacker in East’s 6-1 alignment.

Senior center Juan Pope also plays a defensive end slot.

“EAST THREW more than they ran last week against Warren Reserve,” Currence warned. “Our secondary hasn’t been tested yet because of the wetness. I think our boys are pretty good pass defenders. They won’t meet anybody better than Holman.”

The Bombers drop back and give Holman maximum protection, according to Currence.

“He throws the out-cut pass as well as any high school boy “I’ve ever seen,” Currence said. “He can duck out of trouble and I’ve seen him throw 30 to 40 yards off the wrong foot while running. He also throws the in-cuts well and is a threat with the keeper.”

Currence expects East to try the bomb to Hockett and short ones to the talented receiver if the Bombers get inside the 25-yard line.

East likes to run isolation and counter plays off their fullhouse-I as well as rollout for Holman to run with the backs running.

“A BIG question with East is who is injured,” said Currence. “Joe hasn’t told anyone but I suspect the tailback is hurt. Why else would they run Holman off a fullhouse-I and not run the tailback.”

Pledger reported in Thursday’s Evening Independent that he would hold injured players – now well – out of Friday’s games and would also not open up his offense. This is to prepare for the opening of the East Senate League campaign next week.

“I think he would like to have a victory over Massillon over any East Senate victory,” Currence said.

He expects Pledger to do some innovating defensively because he changed his coverage twice against Lakewood St. Edwards when Currence coached in 1974 and 1975. The Tiger skipper won both games.

“Because of East’s quickness the Tigers’ run and shoot offense will get its best to date,” Currence said.

DURING THE week stadium groundskeeper Paul Ford has filled holes with dirt so Currence hopes for dry weather. Otherwise the game could be a battle of the mud bowl.

Currence has been in contact with the Cleveland Browns this week to find out to where to buy a tarp. The stadium had one but it wore out.

To win tonight Currence said the Tigers must execute in games as it does in practice. He feels the ball handling has improved this week except for Tuesday. The Tigers haven’t had a wet ball to work with but have used old ones on which it’s hard to get a grip.

“It would be great if we could score the first touchdown,” Currence said. The morale has been good. It hasn’t been all drudgery as you might think it would be after two losses, although we were really down after last Friday. That loss hurt worse than the first loss.”

Currence had a similar problem at Westlake. After 40 points per game and putting up a 3-0 record, Currence’s quarterback broke his thumb. Westlake lost the next four games – all by about six points. Snap problems were in the bugaboo.

“I KNOW we’ve got the talent to win,” Currence said. “We’ve just got to get some experience.”

Only lineup change will see junior Marc Longshore playing some defense and doing some specialty work and senior Van Jones starting at safety, now fully recovered from a shoulder injury.

Senior defensive halfback Bill Henderson had the flu Wednesday. Senior defensive tackle Jesse Toles banged his elbow again Thursday. He had an infection.

Senior defensive tackle Randy Laase sprained a knee Thursday. Senior Mike Hardwick would replace Laase as the kickoff man and junior Mark Namanny at the tackle position.

Should Henderson not make it, senior Dave Warthen would replace him.

Brown sees Tigers win first 16-6

Independent Sport Editor

The “Big D” was in charge Friday night, but it wasn’t Dallas.

The “Tiger Claw” and Blue bomber defenses battled with plenty of malice before 11,273 at the official recognition night for the renaming of Tiger Stadium to Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

WITH BROWN on hand the Washington High gridders fought back in the fourth quarter to a 16-6 win over Cleveland East. It was the first win for the Tigers after two shut-outs. East drops to 1-2.

Brown had coached Tiger footballers on the same gridiron from 1932-1940.

“I think my kids outplayed Massillon tonight,” said East head coach Joe Pledger. “There’s no way they can convince me Massillon actually beat us. The Massillon kids played their hearts out but in the second half we started to get penalized like something out of the “Twilight Zone.” “We can’t understand why a penalty is called every play. It got to a point where it looked like something personal. They never let our offense get out. We stayed in the hole and started to make mistakes because they couldn’t react to all the penalties.”

East was called for 13 penalties (140 yards).

TIGER CHIEFTAIN Mike Currence said, “I think East outplayed us except for the fourth quarter. I think we wanted it worse than they did. Coach Pledger has a very experienced ball club. I’m glad of the way our kids hung in there.”

“The officials made some good calls tonight and they made some nobody saw. Our offensive line let us down.”

Massillon was called for seven penalties (75 yards).

Currence gave a lot of credit to the East defensive line.

“They were just quick as could be,” Currence said. “We couldn’t get around the end. Senior Juan Pope is one of the best defensive ends we’ve seen. Junior tackle Hammond Ford kept getting in there.”

THE QUICK East pursuit cut off the perimeter game for the Tigers and put plenty of pressure on Tiger passers. They completed no passes in 11 tries.

Meanwhile, the “Tiger Claw” defense made only one mistake. That was when East senior quarterback Ricky Holman scored around right end from 39 yards away with 3:07 left in the second quarter.

The conversion kick was wide left.

The TD had been set up when the Tigers failed to cover the punt on the kickoff following a second quarter safety and the Bombers got the ball down on Massillon’s 47. A holding penalty set East back but a roughing the punter call gave them the ball on the 39.

The Tigers won the game on a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns.

JUNIOR FULLBACK Jerry Shafrath scored on his first effort of the night, a three-yard run up the center, with 11:56 left in the fourth quarter. A Bret Traylor to Jay Harper pass was incomplete on the conversion try.

Shafrath ran for 46 yards without a loss on seven carries in the final canto.

The “Tiger Claw” defense had picked up the ball on a bad fourth down snap on the last play of the third stanza. Punter Tony Jones was tackled on the East three-yard line by end Dave Engler and linebacker Kurt Walterhouse, both juniors.

Halfback Billy Henderson got the Tigers under way on their other touchdown drive by intercepting a pass on the East 43. A personal foul call on East put the ball on their 27.

On second down on the 20 – after an illegal shift penalty – sophomore Rich Cleveland ran for the TD with 4:11 left. Mike Henderson’s kick was off to the left.

MASSILLON WAS first to hit the scoreboard. After running out of downs at the East seven in the first quarter and negating a 25-yard Cleveland run which put them there, the Tigers held East on three downs.

Jones dropped back to punt, with the ball on the 13. Center Juan Pope snapped the ball over Jones’ head and out of the end zone with 4:20 left.

East got socked with a personal foul and encroachment violations in the second quarter and had third down on the 11. Holman was chased into the end zone by seniors Jesse Toles, a tackle, Anthony Grizzard, a monster back and co-captain and junior end Frank Sweterlitsch.

Holman intentionally grounded the ball with 9:10 left for another safety.

The Tigers lost the ball on downs on the East 25 in the second quarter and were snuffed out by the clock at the Bomber 30 at the expiration of the second half.

The only other Tiger threat came near the end of the game when a short kick by Jones after a high snap went out of bounds at the East 28. But two Tiger passes fell incomplete and then a Brent Offenbecher to Shafrath handoff missed connections and East recovered at the 33.

EAST – 6
Ends – Campbell, Sutton, Robison, Crumpton, Edwards, Avery, M. Hockett.
Tackles – Wilkerson, Randleman, McGlothan, Dye, Ford.
Guards – Dunham, Martin, Strothers, Hughs, Mack.
Centers – Pope, F. Jones.
Quarterback – Holman, Jackson.
Halfbacks – K. Hockett, Johnson, Duncan, Reeves.
Fullbacks – T. Jones, Terrell.

Ends – George, Chovan, Pringle, Engler, Sweterlitsch, A. Longshore, Clendening, Furnas.
Tackles – Tournay, Daniels, Laase, Toles, Dennison, DeOrio, Namanny, Stuck, Kovacsiss, Matie.
Guards – Lauber, Hauser, Berquist, Baus, Jones.
Centers – Ramsey, Lutz.
Quarterbacks – Traylor, Offenbecher.
Halfbacks – Harper, Carpenter, Grove, Hickey, Wilkerson.
Fullbacks – Cleveland, Shafrath, Nagle.
Middle guards – Dorsey, Holman.
Linebackers – Border, Walterhouse, Sweterlitsch, Dottavio.
Defensive backs – Grizzard, M. Longshore, Jones, Letcavits, Henderson, Lash, Gowins, Warthen, Farley.
Punter – Westover.
Place kicker – Hardwick.

East 0 6 0 0 6
Massillon 2 2 0 12 16

M – Safety (East center snapped ball out of end zone);
M – Safety (Ricky Holman, East, illegally grounded ball in end zone);
E – Holman, 39 run (kick failed);
M – Jerry Shafrath, 3 run (pass failed);
M – Rich Cleveland, 20 run (kick failed).

Referee – Craig Smith.
Umpire – Merle McConkey.
Head Linesman – Charles Flohr.
Field Judge – Randy Manuella.
Back Judge – Steven Kromer.

ATTENDANCE – 11,273.

Mass. CE
First downs rushing 9 (numbers
First downs passing 0 missing)
First downs penalties 0
Total first downs 9
Yards gained rushing 215
Yards lost rushing 36
Net yards gained rushing 179
Net yards gained passing 0
Total yards gained 179
Passes completed 0-11
Passes intercepted by 2
Yardage on passes Intercepted 13
Times kicked off 3-53.3
Kickoff returns (yards) 61
Times punted 6-33.5
Punt returns (yards) 5
Had punts blocked 0
Fumbles 3-2
Yards penalized 7-75
Touchdowns rushing 2
Total number of plays 49
Total time of possession 20:25

‘Proud day’ for Brown’s family

Independent Sports Editor

“This is a proud day for my family. ‘Thank you.’”

With those words Paul Brown, the pride of Tigertown, Friday night acknowledged two standing ovations and other plaudits by the fans and officials of the school at which he taught and coached in the thirties.

Brown was presented with a plaque by Lee McCauley, who had been chairman of the Massillon Jaycees’ “Paul Brown Week” festivities here in June.

L.C. YOUNG, superintendent of Massillon schools, was presented with a plaque by Delbert Demmer, president of the Board of Education. That plaque will hang on an outside wall of the west stands of Tiger Stadium, renamed “Paul Brown Tiger Stadium” in Brown’s honor in May by the Board of Education.

Brown received the first of his standing ovations when he and Mrs. Brown and others involved in the special halftime at the Tiger-Cleveland East game walked down the west sidelines during the Tiger Swing Band’s fanfare at the beginning of the intermission.

The other standing ovation came when he addressed the crowd.

“I spent many happy days here,” Brown said. “It was the best job. I think I did more good and got more backing than anywhere in the country.”

He thanked the fans on behalf of his players, coaches and the public who helped him gain the honor of having the stadium named after him.

“I ALSO want to give Lute Emery a public thank-you,” said Brown. “He helped us tremendously in controlling the spirit and thoughts of what we were doing – trying to be the best in everything I’m a very fortunate man.”

When Brown coached here, Emery was a sports writer for The Evening Independent. He is now the editor.

The Tiger Swing Band’s presentation of “Theme From the Olympics” and “Sweet Georgia Brown” must have really pleased Brown, who saw the band started here in 1938 by George E. “Red” Bird. Watching Tom Ickes perform as Obie must have also brought back memories for Brown who found the Tiger skin used by the first Obie.

The presentations to Brown and Young were made after the band formed “Paul” and “Brown” during the “Theme From the Olympics” number.

The whole thing started from a block march toward the north end of the stadium. The band then broke into the formation of Brown’s names, first “Paul” and then “Brown”. The majorettes did a twirling routine with ribbons on their batons.

“SWEET GEORGIA Brown” followed the presentation and featured a well-performed, tricky shuffle turn from block formation and a trumpet octet. The brass performers must have been exhausted after that because they were blowing harder than a hurricane blasting at the coast of Florida.

In the octet were John Bach, Barb Shuck, Lisa Zook, Al Dean, Bob Corban, Ann Archibold, Scott Ickes and Patty Smith.

The Tiger Swingsters countinue to amaze the fans each week with their marching and dancing dexterity and the manner in which they flood the stadium with their big sound.

For the first time this season, the Tigers wore all-black uniforms. When they came through the pre-game hoop (“Hi P.B.” and “Go Tigers”) they were led by senior co-captain and guard Mark Lauber.

There seemed to be a psychological battle going on prior to the game, as neither team came out right away for the kickoff. Finally the Tigers made it first.

HEAD statistician Tom Persell wore a new orange leisure suit in the pressbox.

Cleveland East’s band was not on hand.

The Blue Bomber head coach, Joe Pledger, explained that the reason he likes to run quarterback Ricky Holman as much as he did Friday night is that Holman is a tremendous athlete and a durable one.

“If anybody can hurt you on a football field, he can,” Pledger said.

Because of East’s poor field position most of the night the Bombers couldn’t throw as much as they normally do.

EAST’S REGULAR punt-snapper was in during the safety and the poor snap that resulted in the Tigers taking over at the 3-yard line. Pledger said the penalties hurt more than the kicking game problems.

Pledger said he knew what Currence runs and East used to use the run-and-shoot, so that helped them too.

Mike Currence, Tiger head coach, related that he thought the problem on the snap signal which brought two illegal shifts was noise from the fans. The quarterback turns his head, he said and if he yells too forcibly he will lose his mouthpiece and get a 15-yard penalty.

In the fourth quarter Currence put sophomore Brent Offenbecher in at quarterback.

“I wanted to see if Brent could open it up for us,” Currence said. “We had tried to open it up and couldn’t get the ball there. Bret Traylor was ‘off’ and pressured hard. They were giving us the motion pass. He has the arm, can take two steps and hit that motion pass. I thought if we could complete one we would take a little pressure off.”

CURRENCE thought the offensive backs played a good game and that fullback Jerry Shafrath ran harder in the fourth quarter than anybody else.

“You have to give him credit,” said Currence. “I’m hoping he’s healthy and ready to go.” (Shafrath had suffered a knee injury in the final pre-game scrimmage.)

A second-period delay penalty on East was called because the officials had blown the ball dead, it was then fumbled, an East player ran with it, fumbled it and another Bomber picked it up and tried to run with it.

East was not called for a roughing penalty against punter Mark Westover later in the game because the Bomber player who hit him also hit the ball.

Tiger senior guard and Co-Captain Mike Ramsey received a hip pointer, but it was not believed to be serious. His grandfather Russ, who is guardian of the pressbox door, was quite concerned.

According to Mr. and Mrs. McCauley, with whom Brown and his wife sat, “The Old Master” was tickled with two safeties, saying it had been 40 years since he had seen two in one game.

John Hauser
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 0, Gahanna Lincoln 10

Gahanna reigns over Tigers 10-0

Independent Sports Editor

Take it from Neal Billman, now is not the time to desert the Tigers and rookie head coach Mike Currence.

“Massillon has some fine young players,” the coach of the Gahanna Lincoln Lions said after Friday night’s 10-0 victory over Washington High School before 9,109 at rainy Paul Brown Tigers Stadium.

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“IT’S A terrible thing to come into a new job and try to whip a team into a winner in the first year,” he said. “I had to do it at Ghanna and was 3-6. The people stayed with me and they ought to stay with this young man. He’s a proven coach.”

If somebody would only turn off the spigots and give Massillon’s new run and shoot offense a chance, the Tiger faithful, Currence and the team would be in a lot better shape.

Currence stuck to control football Friday night. Also running out of the single slot and double wing alignments, the Tigers moved the ball well but again had fumbles at the wrong time. They recovered six of their 10 miscues, losing one less than they did against Middletown.

The Orange and Black picked up 267 net yards to Gahanna Lincoln’s 134 and 14 first downs to the Lions’ three but the Tigers’ lost the ball at the Gahanna 20, eight, three, 29, 15 and six yard lines.

First and second quarter Bret Traylor handoffs to Rich Cleveland went awry. Traylor lost the ball in the third stanza when he sprinted out to pass and was hit a good whack.

THE TIGERS ran out of downs on the 20 in the first quarter.

Defensive back Kent Parrill intercepted Traylor’s second quarter pass at the 15-yard line. Marc Longshore’s fourth quarter aerial to Greg Carpenter from the six went incomplete even though Greg made a valiant diving try for it.

The Tigers had gotten close in via a Longshore to Sam George 41-yard effort. Cleveland’s 16 and 23-yard runs got them down deep in the first and second quarters. Carpenter’s
30-yard run also put them in scoring position in the first quarter.

By letting Lions off the hot spot so many times the WHS team was bound to get hurt. It happened in the third quarter.

JUNIOR tailback Tim O’Cain, a 10-flat 100 runner, broke through the center, cut to the right sideline and was gone for 49 yards for a touchdown on what Billman called an isolation play and Currence termed a counter. Monster back Anthony Grizzard and end Dave Engler almost stopped him about midway in his run.

Parrill kicked his conversion with the clock reading 0:37.

The Lions’ final score came when Parrill intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter on the Tigers’ 19. Three plays later, with 1:25 left, Parrill booted a 28-yard field goal and Massillon was shut out for the first time in 46 years in its first two games. It was also the first double loss at the beginning of a season since then.

Ghanna is 2-0.

“I saw some improvement tonight but what a way to lose,” Currence said. “You beat somebody to death the whole game and they beat you on the long one.”

Currence is quite perplexed about the Tigers’ ball handling problem.

“I WISH you would tell me what to do about it,” he said. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know why we’re having all the mistakes we’re having. I do know the elements had something to do with it. I haven’t played on dry land yet. Whenever I get a chance to play on dry land I’ll have something to compare.”

Currence pointed out that with Gahanna’s three yards and a cloud of dust wing-T offense they were not about to make mistakes.

“They’re a good team,” he said. “That one cloud was a big one.”

Then Currence cautioned, “Nobody had better come to town and think the Tigers’ morale is going to be down. I haven’t been here long but I have a feeling these kids will be tougher next week than they were this week. I think we did a pretty decent job.”

BILLMAN WAS happy that Gahanna never gave up.

“We’ve been that type of team through our tradition,” he said. “We’ve always played it nothing to nothing and have never concerned ourselves with the elements. We won a championship lat year in the rain.”

Billman said the Lions did some great blocking on the touchdown play. Left tackle Tim Stropki and fullback Vic Reed had the key hits, according to their coach.

“The Tigers are a very courageous and well coached team,” he said. “We had to make some middle adjustments at half time.”

Billman praised right linebacker Glenn Bradford for playing great football.

Here are the top net rushing yardages:
– Cleveland, 111 in 18 carries;
– Carpenter, nine in 56. Cleveland lost only one yard; Carpenter, none.
– O’Cain 55 in 11;
– Reed 33 in 11.

Ends – Loper, Dempsey, Baugh.
Tackles – Stropki, DeCamp.
Guards – Martin, Hicks, Roney, Jones.
Center – Marriott.
Quarterback – Toelier.
Halfbacks – O’Cain, Carter.
Fullback – Reed.
Linebackers – Williams, Bradford, Rogers.
Defensive halfbacks – Hall, Hensley, Parrill.

Ends – George, Chovan, Pringle.
Tackles – Laase, Tournay, Daniels, Dennison.
Guards – Hauser, Lauber.
Center – Ransey.
Quarterbacks – Traylor, Longshore.
Halfbacks – Harper, Carpenter, Grove.
Fullbacks – Shafrath, Cleveland.
Defensive ends – Engler, Sweterlitsch.
Middle guard – Dorsey.
Linebackers – Walterhouse, Border.
Defensive halfbacks – Jones, Grizzard, Letcavits, Henderson, Lash.
Punter – Westover.

G – Tim O’Cain, 49 run (Kent Parrill kick); Parrill, 28 field goal.

Referee – Frank Buhas.
Umpire – James Keefer.
Head Linesman – Charles Hill.
Field Judge – John Mickley.
Back Judge – Ron Giacomo.


Mass. GL.
First downs rushing 11 1
First downs passing 2 1
First downs penalties 1 1
Total first downs 14 3
Yards gained rushing 240 137
Yards lost rushing 21 15
Net yards gained rushing 219 122
Net yards gained passing 48 12
Total yards gained 267 134
Passes 4-12 1-5
Passes intercepted by 0 3
Yardage on passes Intercepted 0 21
Kickoff average (yards) 1-54.0 3-41.6
Kickoff returns (yards) 60 21
Punts 2-32.0 1-38.1
Punt returns (yards) 20 9
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 4-10 1-2
Penalties 4-50 3-35
Touchdowns rushing 0 1
Total number of plays 60 43
Total time of possession 29:03 18:57

John Hauser
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 0, Middletown 6

Tiger opener provides early gauge on season

Independent Sports Editor

A Tiger opening football game is usually used to tune up the Washington High School team, but tonight’s go with the Middletown Middies is anything but, folks.

Some 12,000 fans are expected to see the veteran charges of Middletown mentor Jack Gordon provide one of the stiffest tests of the season for the young pupils of new Tiger Coach Mike Currence.

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IF THE Orange and Black can get by this one, they’ll get a big boost. But if not it could be a long fall for Currence, who came here in May for Lakewood St. Edwards.

“It (tonight’s game) is darn important,” said the brown-haired skipper. “If we win, we’ll be a contender in the All-American Conference. It (the opener) is a gauge for the whole season. This is probably the most important opener we’ve had here in years. I don’t think we’ve ever met a team ranked as high as Middletown in an opener.”

Currence hopes the Middies will not be ready mentally, but he says the Tigers will be.

The game shapes up as a David-vs.-Goliath affair offensively because Middletown’s offense averages 204 pounds, compared to the Tigers’ 178. However, the Orange and Black’s offense has a slight advantage: 193-185.

The big differences show between the Middies’ 215-pound offensive line and the Tigers’ 187-pound defensive line and the Massillon 206-pound offensive line and the Middletown 194-pound defensive line.

“MIDDLETOWN WILL try to come right at us and push us out of there with their weight,” Currence said. “They will also try to throw a bit to keep us loose when we get up there real tight and then come back up the middle again.”

Currence expects Gordon to throw on first and 10 or second and one on two situations to keep the Tigers off guard. Middie junior quarterback Jackie Gordon is rated great by Currrence on the basis of reports from Gerry Faust, coach of defending state Class AAA champion Cincinnati Moeller which plays Middletown every year.

“Gordon’s real threat is probably with the pass and not the run,” Currence said. “He throws a tough possession pass which we’re worried about. He has thrown mostly to the wingbacks and split end in scrimmages but has also used a tailback who can catch the ball well.”

Currence says Middletown has consistently run 8, 10, 12, 14 yards at a clip so the Tiger skipper knows the Middies have a good blocking line led by senior tackle Tim Sorrell (6-3, 238).

“He’s quick enough to play defense and big enough to be a good offensive tackle,” Currence said.

ENDS – Sam George (5-11, 165, Sr.); Rick Chovan (5-11, 171, Sr.).
TACKLES – Tim Tournay (6-2, 270, Sr.); Tim Daniels (6-7, 230, Jr.).
GUARDS – John Hauser (5-11, 211, Sr.); Mark Lauber (6-1, 212, Sr.).
CENTER – Mike Ramsey (5-8, 180, Sr.).
QUARTERBACK – Bret Traylor (5-10, 159, Sr.).
HALFBACKS – Jay Harper (5-5, 160, Sr.); Greg Carpenter (6-1, 188, Jr.).
FULLBACK – Rich Cleveland (6-1, 180, Soph.).
ENDS – Gene Miller (5-10, 170, Jr.); Dave Engler (5-9, 180, Jr.).
TACKLES – Randy Laase (6-5, 211, Sr.); Jesse Toles (6-0, 190, Sr.).
MIDDLE GUARD – Carl Dorsey (5-9, 185, Jr.).
LINEBACKERS – Kurt Walterhouse (6-0, 170, Jr.); Gary Border (6-0, 203, Sr.).
SECONDARY – Anthony Grizzard (5-9, 168, Sr.); Randy Lash (5-8, 165, Sr.); Bill Henderson (5-9, 160, Sr.); John Letcavits (6-0, 155, Jr.).

ENDS – Ron Gregory (5-11, 180, Sr.); Tom Dorn (6-1, 185, Sr.).
TACKLES – Greg Tigg (6-3, 248, Sr.); Tim Sorrell (6-3, 238, Sr.).
GUARDS – Todd Ramsey (5-11, 214, Jr.); Lucious Ramsey (6-3, 247, Sr.).
CENTER – Dave Rhea (6-1, 195, Sr.).
QUARTERBACK – Jackie Gordon (6-3, 210, Jr).
HALFBACKS – Jim Thompson (5-10, 170, Sr.); Rick Clements (6-2, 170, Sr.).
FULLBACK – Lawrence Mack (5-10, 185, Sr.).
ENDS – Joe McMonigle (6-2, 200, Jr.); Frank Armstrong (5-11, 185, Sr.).
TACKLES – Sorrell, Ed Brown (5-11, 205, Sr.).
MIDDLE GUARD – Chris Jones (5-11, 175, Sr.).
LINEBACKERS – Todd Bell (6-1, 180, Sr.); Jim Irwin (6-1, 175, Jr.).
SECONDARY – Joe Merritt (5-9, 160, Sr.); Eric Cresham (5-8, 165, Sr.); Clements Gregory.

offense (line 296, backfield 171, overall 193).
defense (line 187, backfield 162, overall 178).

offense (line 215, backfield 184, overall 204).
defense (line 194, backfield 167, overall 185).

Series – First Game.


Referee – Edward Feils.
Umpire – Arthur Burton.
Head Linesman – Leonard Brudzinski.
Field Judge – Henry Miesle.
Back Judge – Glenn Halm.

Middies, rain dampen Tiger hopes

Independent Sport Editor

“It won’t rain for all of them.”

You’re right, Mike Currence. There are better times coming for the Tigers.

HAMPERED BY wet weather which is not the best thing for run and shoot football – the Tigers’ new offense – but is great for power control up the middle, which the Middletown Middies ran Friday night, the Washington High gridders went down 6-0 before the veteran visitors from southwestern Ohio.

But 12,154 fans saw the Orange and Black put up a tremendous defensive battle against a team which outweighed them by an average of 26 pounds per man. They held the Middies to 121 yards but managed only 74 themselves – a figure which hasn’t been seen here in years.

Currence even tried using some straight-T football in order to help things.

Rain came down before the game and during the third quarter, making for a wet ball which caused nine fumbles by each team. The Tigers lost five and the Middies one.

So the defense continually had to bail the offense out. There were some bad snaps on both sides which caused havoc with punters, but the Tigers got the words of this too.

“WE ALMOST has this one in the rain against a much bigger team and a much more experienced team,” said Currence. “People told me the way these kids are down here,” he added. “My goodness! Look how we played! A group of kids with two years’ experience. You can’t tell me these kids didn’t give me 100 per cent tonight. It was just inexperience with the ball that killed us. We did a pretty good job defensively.”

The Tigers almost scored in the third and fourth quarters at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Junior quarterback Marc Longshore had the ball slip from his hands as he was running, preparing to pass on fourth down from the Middleton 11 in the third quarter.

Bret Traylor tried to hit Longshore, playing end in the fourth quarter but the wet ball slipped from Marc’s hand on the Middletown 40 with the agile junior in the clear.

Middletown’s lone touchdown came in the second quarter on the end of a 47-yard drive when 5-11, 170-pound senior tailback Jim Thompson scored on a 20-yard draw play. Jackie Gordon’s conversion kick was wide left with 10:08 left.

THE MIDDIES threatened in the first quarter after recovering Traylor’s fumble on the Orange and Black’s 28-yard line but Jesse Toles halted the drive on the two when he recovered Lawrence Mack’s fumble and raced to the 10.

Middletown drove to the Tigers’ 22 in the second period but the Tiger defense stiffened and forced a punt.

After Mark Westover fumbled a snap in the third quarter and punted only five yards to the Tigers’ 44, the defense hit hard, causing two Middie fumbles – both recovered by the foe – and got the ball back on downs at the Middletown 46.

However, they lost it two plays later when sophomore Rich Cleveland fumbled while running a draw and Dale Hopper got it for Middletown on his 45.

Middletown threatened again with 1:17 left in the game when a Traylor to Jay Harper pitch went awry on the Tigers’ 19 and Todd Bell recovered. But time ran out with the ball on the eight.

“Tonight was made for our offense,” Middletown Coach Jack Gordon said, “but we had hoped to throw the ball.”

GORDON COMMENTED that his offense is big and strong up front, but the Tigers are a very quick team, which bothered the Middies. However, they were able to follow their game plan of controlling the line of scrimmage.

Two of their backs Mack and Thompson – gained 152 total yards. Mack picked up 89 in 24 carries, losing only one yard. Thompson got 63 in 15 tries with no losses.

“I think Mike (Currence) has done a fantastic job of putting in a new offense in three short weeks,” Gordon said. “I’m very impressed with their spirit and desire.”

He felt that the fact that he had experienced players in his lineup helped tremendously.

“It was a great defensive game for both sides,” Gordon said. “They have great traditional football up here. To come up in the Tigers’ den and open up with a win has got to be a great win for us.”

Middletown downs Massillon, 6 to 0

By Hymie Williams
Plain Dealer Bureau

MASSILLON – The coaching debut of Mike Currence of Massillon High was foiled by the Middletown Middies, 6-0, on a water-soaked Paul Brown Tigers’ Stadium gridiron before 12,154 fans Friday night.

Heavy rain before the game and also in the third period made for an extremely slippery gridiron that stymied the running and passing games for the two clubs.

Currence was coach of Lakewood St. Edward last season where his team went 10-0 and lost out to Cincinnati Moeller, 14-12, in the state AAA championship game.

Currence inherited a rookie team at Massillon, with not a single returning offensive regular. The Massillon mentor tried both Bret Traylor and Marc Longshore at the quarterback spot, but neither had much success.

The Tigers attempted 18 passes and completed only three.

The Middletown team, with veteran talent at most positions scored the game’s lone touchdown at 10:08 of the second period when running back Jim Thompson found an opening in the Massillon forward wall and raced 20 yards for the score. The drive covered 43 yards. Jack Gordon’s attempt for the extra point was wide. Gordon is the son of the Middletown coach.

MIDDLETOWN 0 6 0 0 6
MASSILLON 0 0 0 0 0

Middletown – Jim Thompson, 20 run (kick failed).

Mass. Midd.
First downs rushing 6 5
First downs passing 2 0
First downs penalties 1 1
Total first downs 9 6
Yards gained rushing 100 156
Yards lost rushing 72 38
Net yards gained rushing 28 118
Net yards gained passing 46 3
Total yards gained 74 121
Passes completed 3-18 1-2
Passes intercepted by 0 0
Times kicked off 0 3-45
Kickoff returns (yards) 66 0
Times punted 6-26 6-30.5
Punt returns (yards) 0 27
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 9-5 9-1
Yards penalized 4-20 3-35
Touchdowns rushing 0 1
Total number of plays 59 60
Total time of possession 22:23 25:37

To the Editor of
The Evening Independent

My wife and I attended the football game last Friday and stayed overnight in Massillon. Our son is a Middletown player and our daughter is a cheerleader.

I think I can safely speak for all Middletown fans, coaches and players when I say that you showed us how a real championship town performs.

Many things impressed us, the drive through your handsome downtown and every window with a “Sink the Middies” poster, that enormous gold “Ohio Scholastic Champions” flag on top of the bank, our entrance into your fine stadium with 12,000 people there in a driving rain and what must be the largest American flag in the state unfurling for the National Anthem.

Your enormous marching band played beautifully and put on a fine show before the game. Their routines and music at the half marked them as truly big time.

And what a football game! It wasn’t over until the final seconds ran out on a super-gutty team. Your boys never quit; they were still hitting hard on the last play.

But the people we met impressed us most. You all were pleasant, unfailingly kind, smiling and gracious, even as we left the stadium. Anybody can be a good winner, but the real champ is a good loser.

You are quality folks. Please invite us back again soon to show us how high school football should really be played and enjoyed.
Harold Dorn
September 12, 1976

John Hauser