TIGERS BEAT MANSFIELD AND TURN ATTENTION TO WARREN IMPROVEMENT SHOWN BY MASSILLON’S GRIDDERS
Passes Produce Second Straight Victory: “Too Fast For Us,” Says Mansfield Coach; Warren Has Not Been Scored On
By LUTHER EMERY
Having clawed Mansfield 33-7 Saturday for their second straight victory, the Washington high Tigers will be put through a brief workout this afternoon, as the first bit of preparation toward stemming the invasion of Warren Friday evening.
Improve in both offense and defense they will face their hardest assignment yet in Warren, a team that has not been scored upon. Cleveland Holy Name and Cleveland Heights have fallen victims to the Battling Presidents, who make no secret of the fact that they are holding their punch in an attempt to knockout the Massillon state champions.
Large Crowd to Follow Warren
From 2,500 to 3,000 Warren fans, convinced their team has a good chance to do just that will follow the Trumbull county eleven to Massillon, so fans are advised to buy their tickets early for another capacity crowd is expected if the stars twinkle.
A crowd which Mansfield officials estimated at 8,000 sat in trees, squatted on the sidelines and filled every inch of space in the Mansfield stadium to see Tiger meet Tyger.
Hopes for a repetition of the 1937 surprise when Mansfield came through to tame the Massillon Tigers in a 6-6 tie, attracted more than the usual number of Richland county fans while 2,000 to 3,000 Massillon rooters drove the 60 miles to see revenge attained in a very satisfactory manner.
Tigers Faster Team
What advantage Mansfield possessed in weight was more than offset by the speed of the Massillon gridders, who for the second straight week used their forward passes as a scoring weapon.
All five touchdowns were a direct result of taking to the air. One pass put the ball on the six-yard line in position for the first score. Two more were scored on George Slusser’s long throws to Horace Gillom, while the other two came the easier way, on interceptions, one by Freddie Toles and the other by Slusser.
While the last two touchdowns were cheap, they made up for three the Tigers lost the hard way, through fumbles and penalties.
Coach Paul Brown was more satisfied with the performance of his team Saturday than in its opening game with McKeesport. “I think we showed definite improvements,” he said, “We have many things to iron out, but we are on the way up as we should be.”
Russell Murphy, the Mansfield coach, declared Massillon had too much speed for him. “Your ends got by my secondary before they knew it,” he said. “Your forward passes beat us. You didn’t have a whole lot on us on the ground, but those passes. That Slusser fellow is a good thrower. I think Brown has a good team.”
The statistics show the Tigers were superior on both rushing and passing, though first downs do not reveal any great margin of superiority. That’s because most of the touchdowns were not the results of sustained drives, but came about with a lot of yardage gathered on one play.
First Downs 11 To 8
Massillon made 11 first downs to Mansfield’s eight, gained 177 yards rushing to Mansfield’s 68 and gained 185 yards in passing to Mansfield’s 79.
All the touchdowns came on fly by night plays when least expected, two after 15-yard penalties. It looked like the old 1936 team in action – when a 15-yard penalty usually meant a touchdown on the next play.
Take the first one for instance. Ray Getz had just ripped off a fancy dash of 25 yards around his left side to the goal line when the ball was called back and a 15-yard penalty for holding inflicted on the local team. On the very next play, Slusser stepped back and pegged a 37-yard toss to Gets who was downed as he caught it on the three-yard stripe. Slusser went over on second down from the one-yard line and Getz kicked the extra point.
The other three we’ll tell you about later.
Slusser Given Great Protection
There was little to choose in the way of outstanding players among the Massillon gridders. While Slusser’s passes sparkled, the line and other backs protected him so thoroughly that he had loads of time to pass and in the end were just as much responsible for the success of the touchdown plays as the passer and receiver who always hold the attention of the fans. Honors in carrying the ball w ere evenly divided, but the fans noted improvement in Getz’s footwork.
With Mansfield’s secondary crowding the line, the Tiger running attack had difficulty moving forward at times. It was then that Slusser, with the secondary sucked in, fired the ball over the heads of the Mansfield players into the hands of the fast moving Massillon ends.
No Score First Quarter
The Tigers did not score in the first quarter, but they lugged the ball once to the six-yard line where a fumble set them back and helped Mansfield hold them for downs.
A first down and a fine kick by Capt. Rich Nagle, apparently put Mansfield out of danger, but the Tiger ball toters dug in their cleats and went to work.
They lugged the ball to the Mansfield 25 where Getz got away for what would have been a touchdown dash had not a 15-yard penalty for holding, set the locals back to the 40. On the next play, Slusser let loose a long pass that Getz took over his head on the three-yard line. A Mansfield player was close enough to dump him in his tracks. Red Snyder picked up a couple of yards and Slusser on the second down carried the ball across. Getz kicked the ball neatly between the uprights and the score was 7-0.
Another Massillon drive moved to the 20-yard line where McMullen covered Slusser’s fumble to end the threat and the second period was three-quarters gone with neither team threatening any further when Capt. Nagle, trying desperately to tie the score before the end of the half, tossed a pass from his 38-yard line. Slusser was Johnny on the spot, scooped it up and romped away for a touchdown. Getz’s try for the extra point was wide of the posts this time.
Pass Gets Another
Mansfield received, failed to gain and Bill Zimmerman brought back Nagle’s punt five yards to his 45-yard line. With only a minute left to play, Slusser on the first down stepped back and shot the ball 40 yards to Gillom who ran the remaining 15 yards. Just to show it could be done again, he passed the ball to Gillom in the flat to the right for the extra point.
Martin covered McMullen’s fumble after the following kickoff and Snyder heaved a
22-yard peg to Toles for a first down on the 10-yard line. A 15-yard penalty brought the ball back but before the referee could step off the yardage the half ended.
Mansfield came out with more pep in the third quarter and pushed over a first down on the 41-yard line. Then up jumped Freddie Toles to intercept Schwaner’s pass just as Hershey was about to gather it in his arms. Toles, running as though he were in a 100-yard dash raced 55 yards for the fourth touchdown.
The interception apparently aroused Mansfield and it came back with its best offensive efforts of the day. Tossing passes and relying on Hershey and Nagle for gains, the Tygers marched straight up the field to a first down on the Massillon six-yard line. There an
eight-man line threw back everything that headed for the goal and the local team took the ball on the four-yard line.
Gillom punted back safely to Hershey but the Mansfield safety man wormed his way to the 22-yard line before he was downed. “Ike” Smith who had an epileptic fit in the early part of the game but came right back after a period of rest, carried the ball twice and made a first down on the nine-yard line. Toles grounded Smith’s pass and the Tigers slipped into an eight-man line again. Nagle shot a short pass to Hershey who caught it between the secondary and line and went wide to his left to cross the goal line. Schwaner placekicked the extra point.
The Tigers began a touchdown drive after the following kickoff and marched the ball from their 36 to a first down on the Mansfield 20 when the third period closed.
On the second play of the fourth quarter Getz dashed to the Mansfield goal only to have the ball called back as the referee stepped off 15 yards for holding. It was Slusser’s cue and he shot the ball to Gillom 35 yards on the next play for a touchdown.
The pace slowed down the rest of the quarter as both coaches substituted freely and took five-yard penalties for it. Fans thought for a moment that Corrigan was in town but it was only Bud Lucius. He ran the wrong way after intercepting a Mansfield pass but another Mansfield player made the mistake of heading him off and tackling him.
Little Red James, the smallest of the Tiger players, got his chance to carry the ball in the fourth quarter and made nine yards on one attempt. More will be heard of him later in the season.
Fumble Ends Threat
The Tigers threatened in the last minute of the game when Slusser heaved a 20-yard pass to Roscoe Clendening, substitute back. Clendening fumbled, however, when tackled on the eight-yard line and Mansfield recovered.
The way the Tiger secondary stopped Mansfield’s passes was pleasing to Massillon fans. Where Mansfield completed 14 of 21 passes against Akron West in its opening game it only completed nine of 21 Saturday for a gain of 78 yards. Six of the 21 were intercepted.
The Washington high band was on hand and brought fans to their feet with “Hold That Tiger” and its revolving “M”. Mansfield cameramen were particularly interested in the Tigers and drum majors and had their cameras clicking throughout the drill.
The band proudly marched up and down the field after the game and to the school house where members boarded their busses for the return trip.
The booster club’s caravan, which many thought would never get to Mansfield in time for the game, arrived 20 minutes before the kickoff. Some 200 machines in the lineup were whisked through traffic lights and over the highway at a fast clip by state highway police.
One youngster on the outskirts of Mansfield caused a lot of comment. He held up a daubed sign reading “Massillon Boo” as each Massillon machine passed by.
Dave Stewart, whose Sharon team will oppose Massillon in two weeks, was in the stands. “Looks like you have a great team there at Sharon, Dave.”
“And I suppose these are a bunch of pantywaists here,” was his reply.
Warren scouts also were on hand to get first hand information on Massillon.
Better This Year
Massillon Pos. Mansfield
Toles LE Dugger
McMichael LT Lehr
Russell LG Phaler
Martin C Gallagher
Houston RG Goettle
Lucius RT Schwartz
Gillom RE Horvath
Slusser QB McMullen
Getz LH Smith
Zimmerman RH Schwaner
Snyder FB Nagle
Score by periods:
Massillon 0 20 7 6 33
Mansfield 0 0 7 0 7
Massillon – Lechleiter, e; Foster, e; Sweezey, t; Appleby, c; James, lh; Clendening, rh; Wallace, lg; Page, rg.
Mansfield – Hershey, hb; M. Smith, hb; Russell, e; Guegold, g; Williams, g; Beer, t.
Massillon – Slusser 2; Gillom 2; Toles.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Getz 2 (placekick); Gillom (pass).
Referee – Lobach.
Umpire – Graf.
Head Linesman – Bechtel.
First downs 11 8
Yards rushing 177 88
Yards passing 185 79
Total gained 362 167
Passes completed 5 9
Passes incomplete 6 6
Passes intercepted 0 6
Penalties 75 15
Lost ball on fumbles 3 2