1941: Massillon 28, Marblehead, MA 6
MARBLEHEAD VISITORS KEEP FANS ON EDGE
Passes Electrify Crowd, But 85 – Yard Return Of Kickoff For Touchdown Was Outstanding Thrill in 28-6 Massillon Victory
By Luther Emery
The magic of Marblehead, Mass., revealed itself to 17,864 cheering fans in Tiger Stadium Friday evening but it was not sufficient to keep the Washington high Tigers from extending their victory string to 35 consecutive games.
Showing an improved offense that at times flashed old time power, the Tiger gridders capitalized on breaks and alert second-half play to triumph 28-6 over the visiting Magicians.
Passes Fail to Score
Marblehead’s magic lay in its forward passes, but the offense backfired under an altered Massillon defense in the second half, and threatened but once.
Though always in front, the Tigers were near panicky at times in the first two quarters when the Magicians unwielded their throwing arms to toss bullseyes into the Massillon secondary for long gains. Fans edged forth on their seats with every pitch, expecting sooner or later for one to connect for a touchdown.
Once a tremendous effort from Herb Carey to Harry Odell, nearly set up six points, but the Magic player slipped as he headed for the Tiger goal with no one in the way to stop him, and fell on the 19-yeard line. The ball soared 53 yards though the air that time and the pass was exceeded only in high school circles in these parts by the mighty 55-yard shot Mike Byelene tossed at Niles in 1935. Mike, who is in the army now, was watching from the press box last night.
A blocked punt, a hard tackle and a smashing run of 23 yards produced two touchdowns and a safety and helped relieve the tension of Tiger fans as the score amounted to 14 points with only 55 seconds of the first half remaining.
Then the visitors shot the works and the Massillon fans couldn’t help but stand up and cheer at the brilliance of Herbie Carey, Magic fullback, who picked up a fumbled kickoff and raced through the whole Tiger team for 85 yards and a touchdown, to bring the score to 14-6.
Fans Uneasy At Half
It was the touchdown that kept everyone in the stands at half-time and held them there throughout most of the third period, for with dangerous runners like Carey and a passing show such as the Magicians put on, fans expected anything to happen any moment. And it was just about that fast, too.
The complexion of the game changed so rapidly you could hardly keep up with it. It seemed the visitors just had to score, but their passing attack fizzled when they got dangerous and usually ended with an interception by a Tiger player. The Massillonians had five of them last night, two stopping critical drives.
The interceptions were not just breaks. They were the result of a well planned defense concocted between halves by the Tiger coaches.
Where protection of the secondary was left to four men the first two periods, the ends began dropping back the last half to provide a six-man defense against passes. Even then, the Magicians managed to sneak one through now and then, but they waited too long to try to run with the ball against this weakened line. They tried it only twice the third period and gained four yards on one attempt and one yard on the second. In the fourth they carried it four times and averaged better than seven yards per attempt.
The Tigers had all the better of the statistics, with the exception of passing where they looked woefully weak. First downs were 13-8 in their favor. They gained 312 yards carrying the ball to the Magicians 40 and averaged 39.5 yards on their punts to 23.2 yards.
Magicians Better Passers
The passing was all in the Head’s favor. They completed nine for 163 yards, and had 10 grounded and five intercepted. The Tigers completed two for 24 yards, had one intercepted and 11 grounded.
Outshining the offense for the second straight game, the line played fine defensive ball. The Head could still be hammering it and still wouldn’t have a touchdown. Rarely could a visiting player get over the Massillon trench, which fought with backs to the goal with the same dogged determination as the Russians in their defense of Leningrad.
When two perfect passes carried the Magicians 30 yards to the Massillon three-yard line, the forward wall reinforced by one of the secondary withstood the thrusts of Herb Carey, the Head’s great fullback and captured the ball, after throwing the visitors backward two yards. Only by means of the forward pass could the Head advance, which is vividly shown in the statistics in that only 40 yards were gained by the visiting ball carriers.
The Massillon offense showed improvement too, even though it did sputter several times at critical moments. It was good for three perfect plays for touchdowns, two by Capt. Fred Blunt and the third by Bob Graber, and at intervals showed flashes of old time power.
One of the touchdowns came in the last minute while Coach Bud Houghton was testing his experiment of using Chuck Holt at fullback and Fred Blunt at right half-back. “Pokey” went 23 yards for it as he measured his tacklers, then turned on the steam to circle them.
The game had its casualties and may prove a costly one, for Kevie Bray, who held down most of the pass defense work the first half, was carried from the field with an injured leg in the middle of the last period.
Dave Larkin, giant Marblehead tackle, suffered a similar injury. He did not start the game because of an injury received in last week’s opening game at Marblehead, but entered as a substitute.
Graber’s Punting Helped
If there was any single individual piece of work that sparkled for the Tigers it was the punting of Graber. He really laid his foot to the leather last night and through two tremendous boots, punted the Tigers out of a second period hole and set the Head clear back to its own seven-yard line where Bob Kanney broke through to toss tantalizing Ed. Barry for a safety and two points for the Tigers.
They may not look precious to you now, but they were bit last night with Marblehead threatening to bomb the goal line every time it grabbed the ball.
The two points came on top of a first period touchdown that Dallas Power, subbing for Lawrence Cardinal, scored when he threw his body over the ball after Joe De Mando had blocked Barry’s punt. Graber set the stage for that one too when he angled the ball out of bounds inside the 10-yard line. Not wishing to take any chance on a fumble, the Head tried only one play, then sent Barry back to punt. De Mando eluded the blockers and hit the leather with a thud. No more did it go over the Head goal until Dallas took off in a power-dive that recovered the leather for a touchdown for Massillon. Adams couldn’t get the kick away and it was 6-0.
A 19-yard run by Graber had the Tigers knocking again after the next exchange but they lost the ball on the 13-yard line. A five-yard penalty and a 15-yard pass helped the Head advance the pigskin to midfield and here the Magicians put on a show. The ball was snapped to Carey, who faded back to pass but found himself hounded by two Tiger tacklers. He raced back 19 yards and finding he couldn’t elude them, rared back and fired the ball up the center of the field.
Dick Adams had come in from his safety position to look the situation over and by the time he discovered what was happening Harry Odell was streaking down the field behind him.
Stumbles In Open Field
The ball just kept on sailing and nestled into the arms of Odell who turned and raced for his goal, with no one to stop him. He must have mistaken the 20-yard stripe for a new white clothes line for he tripped and went down in a heap and away went six points for the Head. It’s hard telling what might have been the result had the visitors chalked up this score.
They succeeded in working another pass that took the leather to the three-yard line where the gallant stand of the Tigers has already been described. Two line bucks and a sweep netted the loss of two yards and a pass on the fourth down was grounded. You could see who the Head depended on in this series, for Carey handled the ball all four times.
Graber banged a beautiful punt from behind his goal to midfield and in another exchange along with a 31-yard dash by Dick Adams after a pass interception had the Head rocking back on its own seven-yard line. Kanney’s desperate tackle that sent Barry reeling behind his own goal for a safety and two points for Massillon followed.
An exchange of punts and Marblehead was back at the Tiger front door again as three passes gained 53 yards but Carey fumbled and Blunt promptly covered the ball on the Tiger 19. Here the Massillon gridders launched their best offense of the evening. Adams nearly got away as he streaked on a reverse to the weak side for 26 yards. The march continued to the 23-yard line where with fourth down coming up and a yard to go Graber slashed through for 23 and six points. Adams missed the kick, but the score was 14-0 and Massillon fans had reason to suspect that Marblehead was ready to crack.
But they forgot to examine the names of the players – Sullivan, O’Dell, Carey, Kelley, Bardy and Barry. They forgot the Irish in that team, but they didn’t forget it for long, because it was on the following kickoff that Carey scooped up Shephard’s fumble and raced 85 yards for a touchdown that was the most electrifying offensive effort of the night. He missed his attempted kick for the extra point.
Twenty-two yards was as near as the visitors could get to the Tiger goal the second half, but the Massillon team looked better from the start of the third period and they marched the kickoff to the 12-yard line where they lost the leather on a fumble.
A muffed punt by Adams gave the Head a chance on the 22-yard line but Bray arose to the occasion to steal a pass and recover the ball. Toward the close of the quarter, he intercepted another of Carey’s passes on the visitors’ 44-yard line and in one play, Blunt went through for a touchdown on a fine bit of running. This time Adams kicked the extra point.
A drive of 40 yards through an apparently tiring Marblehead team, produced the Tigers last touchdown, Blunt dashing the last 23 from the right halfback position with 55 seconds to go and Adams kicking the extra point.
Bray LE O’Dell
Paulik LT Brady
Miller LG Bray
Fuchs C Hamilton
Kanney RG Hawkes
Weisgarber RT Remick
De Mando RE Kelley
Power QB Sullivan
Graber LH E. Berry
Adams RH Hammond
Blunt FB Carey
Score by Period
Massillon 6 8 7 7 28
Marblehead 0 6 0 0 6
Massillon: Cardinal, qb; Holt, fb; Yelic, rg; Stouf, c; Armour, le; White, lh.
Marblehead: Chapman, lh; Jordan, rt; Barry, qb; Riley, c; Larkin, rt; Hourihan, re;
Touchdowns – Power, Graber, Blunt 2, Carey
Points after touchdown – Adams 2 (placekicks)
Safety – Massillon
Referee – Brubaker
Umpire – Graf
Headlinesman – Harlow
Field Judge – Lubach