Tag: <span>Julius Tonges</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1979: Massillon 48, Alliance 6

Tigers roll to 48‑6 win after close first half
Scott’s passing keys rout of Aviators

Independent Sports Editor

It was a close game for 22 minutes.

Then Massillon Tiger Quarterback Bill Scott took matters into his own hands, passing his team to a 14‑6 halftime lead that sparked them to an eventual 48‑6 rout of the Alliance Aviators before 10,534 fans in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Friday night.

The Tigers were leading the Aviators 7‑6 with 2:06 left in the first half when Scott marched his team 60 yards in eight plays ‑ all of them passes ‑ to a touchdown with :31 showing on the clock.

That seemed to take the life out of the undermanned Aviators. The Tigers came out of the lockerroom to score 27 points in the third, quarter and coast to their second straight win.

“We played a good second half, anyhow,” Tiger coach Mike Currence said afterwards. “I think we had a little too much depth for them.”

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I think it was obvious that our lack of depth hurt us,” Aviator coach Julius “Juice” Tonges agreed. “We hung in there well in the first half, but it took its toll. The things we did were sound (defensively), we just didn’t have enough man power. We just ran out of gas.”

“If we could make them play 11 guys for 48 minutes, we’d give them a good game,” Tonges added referring to the fact several Aviators played both ways the whole game, while Massillon used the two-platoon system plus fresh substitutes.

But it was that late second‑quarter touchdown drive that Currence called the turning point of the game.

“That late touchdown was crucial for our morale,” he explained. “It makes us feel like we have a ball club that can come through for us. That was great determination by our offense.”

Alliance received the opening kickoff, got one first down, then punted to Massillon. Dan DiLoreto fumbled the punt and the Aviators’ Alan Matthys recovered at the Alliance 43.

After 7:15 of possession, the Aviators tried a 32‑yard field goal attempt by freshman Chris Zurbrugg. It was blocked by nose guard Bob Simpson and the Tigers took over at their 20.

The Tigers then drove 80 yards in 10 plays with Scott hitting Marty Guzzetta with a 24‑yard touchdown pass, the first of three TD tosses by Scott, who finished the game with 14 of 21 passes for 174 yards.

Guzzetta caught the ball at the 15 and threw a nice move on an Aviator defensive back at the 10. Scott completed four of five passes in the drive, which was aided by a late hit penalty against Alliance on a crucial third down play. Scott had completed a nine-yard pass to Bill Burkett, but it was still five yards short of the first down. The penalty gave the Tigers a first and 10 at the Alliance 49 and they scored five plays later.

Fry converted the point after and Massillon led 7‑0.

Alliance’s Tony Grimes recovered a Sam McDew fumble at the Tiger 40 yard line midway through the second period, but the Aviators couldn’t move the ball.

On fourth and three at his own 47, Zurbrugg faked a punt and passed to Andre Jackson for a first down at the Tiger 44.

On the next play, quarterback Clay Brown scrambled to his right and found Jackson wide open for a touchdown with 2:11 showing on the clock. The Aviators muffed a two‑point conversion try, but trailed only 7‑6.

The Tigers took the kickoff and Burkett returned it 27 yards to the 40. That’s when Scott went to work.

He hit Guzzetta ‑ who had 7 catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns ‑ for seven and eight yards and a first down.

Greg Evans dropped his next pass, but the Aviators were called for defensive holding and the Tigers had a first down at the Aviator 30 with 1: 08 left.

Two incompletions and a screen pass put the ball back at the 33. On fourth and three with :44 remaining, Scott threw over the middle into a crowd and Guzzetta made a great catch at the 13.

Scott found Burkett open in the right corner of the end zone for the touchdown with :31 left. Fry converted for the 14‑6 half time lead.

“You have to give gill (Scott) a lot of credit,” Currence said. “Especially on that second touchdown drive. He hit the secondary receiver well. He knows the offense well and he’s starting to get a little confidence.”

Currence said Scott’s passing in the first half helped open up the Tiger running game in the second half (the Tigers had only eight yards net rushing in the first half but totaled 248 yards in the second half).

“In the first half, they were up tight on us,” Currence explained. “Scott worried them with his passing and they dropped off on us in the second half.”

“I went to the second backfield (in the third quarter) and it was all over. At that point, it was a combination of our depth – those were fresh backs I put in there ‑ Scott’s passing and their players being tired.”

The Tigers took the kickoff opening, the second half and marched 65 yards in 11 plays. Scott completed passes of 17 and 22 yards to Bill Beitel, the last one giving the Tigers a first down at the Aviator 24. Five running plays later, it was third‑and‑six at the nine. Scott drilled one to Guzzetta just inside the goal line in the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown with 8:16 to go in he third quarter. Fry’s kick made it 21‑6.

The Aviators showed definite signs of exhaustion at this point, and the Tigers rammed three quick touchdowns downs their throats: 64 yards in three plays, 33 yards in three plays and 54 yards in two plays.

After an Aviator punt, the Tigers took over on their own 36 with 7:12 left in the third period. Sam McDew swept right end behind some good blocking, broke a couple tackles and ran 48 yards to the Aviator 16.

Mike Jones carried 13 yards to the three, and Bob James took it over for the score on the next play. The kick failed and the Tigers led 27‑0 with 5:52 to go in the third quarter.

The ‘Tigers took over at the Aviator, 33, and on second‑and‑nine Scott pitched the ball to Jones who threw a pass to Guzzetta who made a fine catch in a crowd at the one yard line. He had been wide open, but the wobbly pass was under thrown. Jones then did the honors on the next play, the kick by Dave Eberhart failed, and the Tigers led 33‑0 with 1:48 left in the third quarter.

Dave DeLong then went in at quarterback for the Tigers as they took over after an Aviator punt at their own 46 just before the end of the third quarter.

DeLong ran 11 yards for a first to the Alliance 43, and Jones electrified the crowd with a twisting, tackle breaking run of 43 yards for a touchdown with :26 on the clock. Burkett ran for the extra points and a 41‑0 Tiger lead.

Massillon failed to move the ball on its next two possessions, and it looked like the fireworks were over when they took over on downs at their own 18 yard line with :19 seconds left in the game.

But Damian McKinney the speedster from the Tiger track team ‑ swept right end, got a couple blocks, and showed the tired Aviator defenders nothing but heel, sole and spikes as he burst 82 yards for a touchdown. Eberhart’s conversion kick capped the scoring at 48‑6.

“It’s been a great rivalry over the years,” Currence said afterwards, referring to the fact this was the last scheduled meeting between the two teams. “And for the first half it was a good ball game.”

Defensive coordinator Jim Letcavits singled out nose guard Bob Simpson for his exceptional play. Tiger linebackers Tim Reese and Kevin McClelland also had good games, coming up with a lot of successful blitzes.

“We were blitzing so much because we had to get some pressure on Clay Brown, he’s so quick,” Currence explained.

In addition to some fine statistics for Scott and Guzzetta, McDew had 74 yards in eight carries, Jones had, 48 in five carries and McKinney led all rushers with 98 in three carries.

The Tigers totaled 461 yards, 205 in the air and 256 on the ground, and piled up 23 first downs.

The Tigers are now 2‑0 and will entertain Mentor Friday night at 8 in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The Aviators fall to 1‑2 and they will host Cleveland John Adams on Saturday.

The final tally on the Tiger‑ Aviator series now reads 58 wins for Massillon, nine for Alliance and two ties.

ALLIANCE 0 6 0 0 6
MASSILLON 7 7 27 7 48

M – Marty Guzzetta 24 pass from Bill Scott (Jeff Fry kick);
A ‑ Andre Jackson 44 pass for Clay Brown (run fail);
M ‑ Bill Burkett 13 pass from Scott (Fry kick);
M ‑ Guzzetta 9 pass from Scott (Fry kick);
M ‑ Bob James 3 run (kick fail):
M – Mike Jones I run (kick fail)
M ‑ Jones 43 run (Bill Burkett run);
M ‑ Damian McKinney 82 run (Dave Eberhart kick).

Massillon 48
Alliance 6
Mass. OPP
First downs‑rushing. 10 14
First downs – passing 11 6
First downs – penalties 2 0
Total first downs 23 0
Yards gained rushing 284 78
Intercepted 0 0
Times kicked off 8 1
Kickoff average (yards) 46.1 48.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 51 10?
Times punted 1 ?
Punt average (yards) 31.0 28.
Punt returns (yards) 22 ?
Had punts blocked 0 ?
Fumbles 4 ?
Lost fumbled ball 2 ?
Yards lost rushing 28 41
Net yards gained rushing 256 37
Net yards gained passing 205 178
Total yards gained 461 215
Passes attempted 23 21
Passed completed 15 8
Passed intercepted by 1 0
Yardage on posses
Penalties 4 6
Yards penalized 40 45
Touchdowns rushing 4 0
Touchdowns passing 3 1
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Misc. touchdowns 0 0
Total number of plays 58 66
Total time of possession 20:16 27:44
Attendance 10,534

Marty Guzzetta
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1978: Massillon 37, Alliance 2

Tiger defense destroys Aviators 37‑2

Independent Sports Editor
The Massillon Tiger defense scored two touchdowns and set up the other three to spark a 37‑2 win over Alliance in an All‑American Conference game at Mount Union Stadium Friday night.

“The defense shines tonight,” head coach Mike Currence said in the Tiger lockerroom after the game.

“My defensive people are real proud,” Currence noted, amid shouts of “defense” from his players. “They came up with the big play.”

Indeed they did, seven times to be exact, including four interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

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It was the defense that came to the rescue of a struggling Tiger offense in the first quarter when Kent Wilson scooped up an Aviator fumble at the Alliance six yard line and took it in for the first score of the game.

An interception, a good punt return and a fumble recovery set up the next three Tiger scores as the offense had to go only 29, 32 and 28 yards to find paydirt each time.

The fifth TD was on a 30‑yard interception return by linebacker Tim Reese after a fine one‑handed catch.

The big plays by the a Tiger defense were needed as Alliance’s defense played hard‑nose football, almost shutting down the Tiger air game completely.

“We played give away football.” Aviator head coach Julius “Juice” Tonges said of the game afterwards.

“Our defense didn’t play too bad. We went after them defensively, we were aggressive. But when you give them field position and touchdowns and keep your defense out there all night they get tired,” Tonges added.

“Offense is discipline, and apparently we don’t have enough self discipline,” he said.

Currence had praise for the Aviator defense also, “They did a good job defending us,” he said. “I knew he would, Juice always does.

“We just couldn’t throw. He changed up on us and went with a 50 defense,”

Currence pointed out. “We were expecting a 4‑4.”

The 50 defense enabled the Aviators to get a strong pass rush, which gave Brent Offenbecher little time to throw.

“But they made the big mistakes and gave us a couple of touchdowns. We had to grind it out to score though, because they shut down our offense.”

Currence did admit that his offense, didn’t commit the penalties and mistakes it did in the opener last week against Perry.

Alliance made a mistake on the opening kickoff the Aviator, tried for side kick. The ball ? three yards and the Tigers took over at the Aviators ?.

A drive to the 12 when Offenbecher threw Curtis Strawder in the left corner of the end zone a fourth and three play.

The teams exchanged punts, with Alliance getting the ball on its own 1? line. On first down, Clay Brown fumbled the handoff from quarterback Dhayer and Tiger defensive end Kent Wilson scooted the ball at the six and went in for the first score of the game. Jeff Fry booted the point after and Massillon led 7‑0 with 2:10 to play in the first period.

Following a punt by Alliance, Massillon drove from its own 46 to the Aviator 25 where Jeff Beitel fumbled and Alliance’s Stuart Tolle recovered.

The teams exchanged punts again, with Alliance getting the ball on its own 18. On second and seven, Brown tried a halfback pass which was intercepted by Jamie Schlegel at file Aviator 45 and returned 16 yards to the 29.

The Tigers drove to the Aviator seven yard line, mostly behind the running of fullback Sam Hill (who was subbing for the injured Tom Gehring).

On first down of the seven, Offenbecher’s pass for Strawder was almost intercepted in the end zone. Currence then sent linebacker Dick Cleveland in to play fullback and Jeff Beitel followed his block to the one yard line and then into the end zone on the next play.

Alliance was called off side before the kick attempt, so the Tigers went for two from the one half yard line.

Once again Jeff Beitel followed Cleveland into the end zone behind right guard Eric Barnard and the Tigers led 15‑0 with 1:29 left before the half.

Alliance ran three plays and punted to open the second half and Offenbecher’s pass for Strawder three plays later was intercepted by Ray Phillabaum at the Aviator 13.

The Tiger defense held them at the 12 (thanks in part to an offside penalty against the Aviators and a punt by Tim Graybill was fielded at the 40 by Schlegel’ and returned eight yards to the Alliance 32.

On fourth and four at the 26, Offenbecher went left on a keeper and came up short of the first down, but a defensive holding penalty on Alliance gave the Tigers a first down at the 11.

Jeff Beitel went through the right side of the line, broke three or four tackles and then danced through three Aviator defenders before crossing the goal line standing up.

Alliance was offsides again on the kick attempt, so the Tigers went for two and Jeff Beitel once again shimmied through the Aviator line for the conversion. With 6:02 left in the third quarter, the Tigers led 23‑0.

Following another exchange of punts, the Aviators took over the ball, on their own 30. On first down, Tiger defensive tackle Barry Foster batted down a pass at the line and on second down he put a hard hit on Aviator running back Oliver Scott. Scott coughed up the football and Wilson recovered his second fumble of the game (He also ran this one into the end zone but the play had been blown dead).

Offenbecher finally started to find the range (on short, quick slant‑in patterns that didn’t need much pass protection), hitting Marty Guzzetta for 11 yards and Strawder for six.

On third and goal from the three, Bill Belief took a quick handoff around left tackle for a TD. The play completely faked out the Alliance defense, which was looking for Bill’s brother Jeff to crack the right side again.

Fry booted the point after and Massillon had a 30‑0 lead, With 41 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Tigers final score came when linebacker Tim Reese made a one‑handed interception of a Jerry Latimore pass and returned it 30 yards for a store. Ron Wright kicked the point after for a 37‑0 margin with 10: 22 remaining.

It was the Tiger defense’s second score of the night. The defense was so effective, live, it didn’t allow the Aviators a first down until 9:41 of the final period. That was on a 42‑yard pass ‑ the Aviators only completion of the night ‑ from Brown to Allan Williamson. The Aviators did manage one more first down on a run by Scott.

Alliance finally got on the board with 4:55 to play when Jeff Russell blocked a Dave Gibbs punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

The Tigers held the Aviators to just 34 yards total offense the first half and 113 for the game. The Tigers totaled just 202 for the game themselves.

Offenbecher was 2 of 9 the first half for 23 yards and finished the game with 4 of 13 for 40 yards. Sam Hill led the Tiger rushing attack with 72 yards in 12 carries Jeff Beitel gained 43 in 12 carries (and scored two TDs and two conversion runs).

Oliver Scott led Alliance with 60 yards in 20 attempts. The Aviators completed just one of 14 pass attempts.

The Tigers will play East Liverpool at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Friday night. Cleveland Glenville, the original opponent, will be unable to play because of the Cleveland teachers’ strike.

The Tigers are now 2‑0 overall and 1‑0 in the All-American Conference, while Alliance drops to 0‑2 (0 1).

First downs rushing 8 1
First downs passing 3 1
First downs penalties 3 0
Total first downs 14 2
Yards gained rushing 179 76
Yards lost rushing 29 5
Net yards gained rushing 150 71
Net yards gained passing 52 42
Total yards gained 202 113
Passes attempted 17 14
Passes completed 5 1
Passes intercepted by 4 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 66 0
Times kicked off 7 1
Kickoff average (yards) 45.0 2.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 0 72
Times punted 4 5
Punt average (yards) 28.3 36.8
Punt returns (yards) 41 15
Had punts blocked 1 0
Fumbles 4 3
Lost fumbled ball 2 3
Penalties 6 10
Yards penalized 50 70
Touchdowns rushing 3 0
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Touchdowns by interception 1 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 1 0
Total number of plays 61 47
Total time of 27:07 20 53

MASSILLON 7 8 15 7 37
ALLIANCE 0 0 0 2 2

QUARTERBACK: 13 Mike Dhayer (Jr‑ 6-2, 184), 10 Clay Brown (J r. 5-9, 145)
HALFBACKS: 30 Oliver Scott (Sr., 5-10. 150), 40 ‑ Glenn Ford ( Sr.. 5-11, 155), 33 Lawrence Parsons (Sr. 6-2, 175);
WINGBACK: 25 Allan Williamson (Sr., 6-2, 170);
ENDS: 89 Scott Bell (Sr., 6-1, 190), 87 Joe Ailes (Sr., 6-0, 175), 80 ‑ Rich Summers (Jr., 6‑4, 188);
TACKLES: 68 Bob Slutz (Sr., 6-0, 240), 56 Craig Hoopes (Sr., 5-11, 218);
GUARDS: 50 Lou Cironi (Sr., 6‑3, 200), 66 William Cade (Sr., 5‑11, 195);
CENTER: 76 Barry Grimes (Jr., 6-0, 217 ).
ENDS: 83 Bill Collins (Jr., 6-0, 170), 80 Summers;
TACKLES: 79 Stuart Tulle (Jr., 6-3, 200), 68 Slutz;
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS: 50 Cironi, 33 Parsons;
INSIDE LINEBACKERS: 60 Brett Amelung (Sr., 5‑8, 160), 21 Jeff Russell (Jr., 5‑8, 163);
SAFETY: 10 Brown;
HALFBACKS: 30 Scott; 34 Anthony Nelson (Jr., 5‑8, 150), 11Roy Phillabaum (Sr., 5‑9,135).

SERIES: 68th meeting, Massillon holds 56‑9 2 edge.
POINTS SCORED BY: Massillon 27, Alliance 0
POINTS SCORED AGAINST: Massillon 6, Alliance 20
LAST MEETING: 1977, Massillon 44, Alliance 0.

QUARTERBACK: 14 Brent Offenbecher (Sr., 6‑1, 175);
FULLBACK: 43 Tom Gehring (Sr., 5‑10, 171);
HALFBACKS: 45 Jeff Beitel (Sr., 5‑7. 158), 22 Bill Beitel (Jr., 5‑7, 148);
ENDS: 42 Curtis Strawder (Sr., 5-10, 153), 13 Ron Wright (Sr ., 5-9, 173). 25 Marty Guzzetta (Jr., 5-9, 160);
TACKLES: 67 Doug Wood (Sr., 6‑2, 191), 76 Mark Kircher (Jr., 6‑1, 212);
GUARDS: 69 Jim Horton (Sr., 6‑0 177), 79 Eric Barnard (Sr., 6-2, 215);
CENTER: Scott Kasunick (Sr., 5-9, 181).

ENDS: 81 Bruce Solinger (Sr., 6‑0, 175), 88 Kent Wilson (Sr., 6-0, 182);
TACKLES: 72 Harry Foster (Sr., 6‑2, 232), 71 Jeff Pedro (Sr., 6‑3. 204);
MIDDLE GUARD: 55 Bob Simpson (Jr., 5-11, 190);
LINEBACKERS: 28 Dick Cleveland (Sr., 5‑11, 188), 38 Kevin Harris (Sr., 5‑10, 182);
MONSTER BACK: 11 Darren Longshore (Sr., 6‑1, 175);
SAFETY: 21 Jamie Schlegel (Jr., 5‑11, 160);
HALFBACKS: 34 Jeff David (Sr., 5‑9, 188), 12 Dan Venables (Sr., 5‑10, 160);
KICKERS: 13 Wright (punts, extra points), 36 Mike Hodgson (Jr., 6‑5. 194) kickoffs.

Tigers to host East Liverpool
The Massillon Tigers will play East Liverpool Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

East Liverpool will replace Cleveland Glenville which will be unable to play because of a teachers’ strike.

The game was agreed to by the Potters at 3 p.m. Friday and a contract was supposed to be signed later that night or today.

The Tigers have played the Liverpool only once, winning 42-0 in 1960.

“I’ve been wanting to play them for a long time,” Tiger head coach Mike Currence said Friday night.

The Potters, who lost to Wintersville last week, were to play at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney tonight.

The game will not count in the computer rankings.

Curtis Strawder
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1977: Massillon 44, Alliance 0

Fired up Tigers Annihilate Aviators
Ground game clicks in 44-0 win

Independent Sports Editor
“When them Tigers get mad they hit people,” head coach Mike Currence said after his Washington High gridders demolished Alliance 44-0 Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

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The Tigers used a bone-crunching ground game and a few timely passes as they rolled up 13 first downs and 244 total yards in the first half, scoring the first four times they had the ball to take a 28-0 lead into the locker-room at halftime.

“THAT WAS the first time we played four quarters of good football all year,” Currence said. “The way we were coming off the ball tonight nobody could have beat us.”

The Tigers’ offensive line opened gaping holes in the Aviator defense, and Alliance coach Julius Tonges said that was his team’s downfall.

“We expected our defense to be better,” Tonges said following the game. “We’re disappointed. We didn’t penetrate the way we had expected.

“Offensively, when we got behind we tried to throw. We threw a couple on the money but we didn’t catch them. The big thing was the defense. We just didn’t have it,” Tonges said.

‘They had to control the ball on us to win,” Currence pointed out, “and our defense kept giving the ball to us.”

ASKED IF the game planned called for more running, Currence said: “We planned on doing everything we could to win. The fact that we were blocking well is why we stayed on the ground. Also, Julius Tonges is a great coach and they took the pass away from us. They were on us like glue.”

When the Tigers did pass, it was reserve quarterback Ron Wright who did most of the throwing. Wright came in when Offenbecher was shaken up late in the second quarter and threw one touchdown pass and set up another TD with a pass.

He finished the night with five out of eight for 78 yards. Offenbecher, the leading passer in the All‑American Conference, finished ‘with two of seven for 31 yards.

“Ron did a super job,” Currence said. “I’ve been telling everybody all year that we have two great quarterbacks.”

Currence said Offenbecher got the wind knocked out of him when he was hit just after he released the ball.

“I JUST didn’t think he was as effective after that,” Currence said.

The Tigers took the opening kickoff and marched 77 yards in 12 plays with Richard Cleveland scoring on a seven-yard run with 6:58 left in the first quarter. Cleveland, who gained 39 yards in the drive, ran for the extra points and an 8-0 Tiger lead. Massillon rolled up four first downs in the drive.

Alliance then started a drive that carried into Massillon territory, but on a second and six at the Tiger 33, Tiger defensive tackle Tony Matie nailed Willie McCray in the backfield for a five-yard loss.

Following a 19-yard punt, the Tigers took over at their own 19 and marched 81 yards in nine plays with Greg Carpenter plunging one yard for the score with 11:30 to go in the second quarter.

CARPENTER HAD opened the series with a fine 24-yard run. On third and 12 at the Alliance 34, Wright threw down the middle to Tom Gehring. The pass was deflected by an Aviator defender and Gehring bobbled the ball but hung on for a remarkable catch and a first down at the Alliance one. Carpenter scored on the next play. Mark Westover’s kick was wide and the Tigers led 14-0.

Following another short Alliance punt, the Tigers took the ball at their own 40 and Carpenter scored his second TD of the game seven plays later on a five-yard run with 6:40 left in the half.

Westover hooted the point after and the Tigers led 21-0.

Yet another bad punt by Alliance gave the Tigers the ball at their own 40 and once again they used seven plays to score. On a fourth and three from the Alliance 10, Wright found Mike Grove open in the end zone for a touchdown. Westover made good on the conversion kick and the Tigers led 28-0 with 2:01 to go in me the half.

The Tigers almost scored again before the half when defensive tackle Jerry Shafrath recovered an Alliance fumble at the Aviator nine yard line with just over a minute showing on the clock. A halfback pass by Jeff Beitel on fourth down was batted down at the linem however, and Alliance ran out the clock.

IN THE second half, the Tigers stopped the Aviators cold following the kickoff, and took over at their own 42 yard line following a punt.

Massillon then drove to the Alliance 22 in 11 plays when the drive stalled. Westover came in and kicked a 40 yard field goal that cleared the crossbar with room to spare, giving the Tigers a 31-0 lead with 4:49 left in the third quarter.

Following an Alliance punt, the Tigers drove from their own 32 to paydirt in eight plays with Beitel making a slick run on a right sweep from nine yards out for the score. Westover split the uprights with his conversion kick add the Tigers led 38-0 with :08 left in the third period.

The big play in the drive was a 22-yard pass from Offenbecher to Eric Clendening. Clendening took a quick pass over the middle and made a good run, giving the Tigers a first down at the Alliance 12. Beitel’s score came two plays later.

The Tigers final tally of the night came after Kevin Gowins intercepted a pass at midfield and raced down the right sideline all the way to the Alliance three, carrying several tacklers along the last five or 10 yards.

JOHN WILKERSON scored off left tackle on the next play, despite a penalty against the Aviators, and Massillon led 44-0 with 52 seconds left in the game.

Wright, who had the only Tiger punt of the night, booted the extra point, but a holding penalty forced him to try it over from 35 yards out and the kick was wide.

The Tigers ground game accounted for 272 of 379 yards and 18 of 24 first downs. Cleveland led a balanced attack with 84 yards in 13 carries, while Grove added 77 on 12 carries and Carpenter had 69 on 12 carries.

This win, witnessed by 10,566 faithful, should give the Tigers some momentum for the grand finale next week against Canton McKinley. A win by the Tigers next Saturday will give them a share of the All-American Conference title they won outright last season.

First downs rushing 18 3
First downs passing 6 0
First downs penalties 0 0
Total first downs 24 3
Yards gained rushing 300 73
Yards lost rushing 28 31
Net yards gained rushing 272 42
Net yards gained passing 107 0
Total yards gained 379 42
Passes attempted 15 1
Passes completed 7 0
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 48 7
Times kicked off 8 1
Kickoff average 55.6 45.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 9 67
Times punted 1 7
Punt average (yards) 38.0 28 0
Punt returns (yards) 5 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 3 1
Lost fumbled ball 0 1
Penalties 2 1
Yards penalized 20 15
Touchdowns rushing 5 0
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Total number of plays 72 40
Total time of possession 30:05 17:55

Massillon 8 20 10 6 44
Alliance 0 0 0 0 0

M – Richard Cleveland 7 run (Cleveland run)
M – Greg Carpenter 1 run (kick failed)
M – Carpenter 5 run (Mark Westover kick)
M – Mike Grove 10 pass from Ron Wright (kick Westover)
M – Westover 40 FG
M – Jeff Beitel 9 run (Westover kick)
M John Wilkerson 1 run (kick fail).

Attendance 10,566


Tim Daniels
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.

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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