1921: Massillon 13, Canton McKinley 12
HIGH GRIDDERS TRIM CANTON IN ANNUAL DUEL
ORANGE AND BLACK IS 13-12 WINNER IN MUDDY ENGAGEMENT
A football game hung in the balance!
Only a few seconds of play remained. Eleven tired and mud be-spattered but grimly determined youths stood within the shadow of the goal line they had so nobly defended. Opposite them stood eleven other tired and mud be-spattered but as grimly determined lads who by sheer strength had forced their way to within four yards of the goal line.
Upon the next play rested the outcome of the encounter. But one point separated the rival gladiators, so thoroughly soaked with mud that it was almost impossible to discern friend from foe. But in the faces of eleven of those sturdy lads was written the grim resolve not to yield one more inch of ground. In the countenances of the others could be seen an equally firm determination to score the touchdown which meant victory.
On the sidelines several thousand highly excited persons stood in breathless silence as they waited for this final test of strength. The atmosphere vibrated with the tenseness of the moment. The opposing warriors took their positions.
Then—“Time!” That single word echoed across the field. A sharp blast of a whistle pierced the air. And for the fifth time in nine years the orange and black waved triumph over the red and black. Massillon had defeated Canton! By a single point had victory been achieved. Washington high school’s football team had won its annual encounter with its perennial foe, McKinley high, of Canton, by a score of 13 to 12.
On one side of the field at Lakeside stadium, Canton, pandemonium broke loose. Cheer after cheer rent the air as the victorious Massillon lads trotted off the field. On the other side quiet prevailed. With heads bowed, the defeated athletes trudged through the mud. They had fought gamely in this the biggest battle of the year. The defeat was a bitter pill but they bore their cross manfully. Needless to say, Massillon celebrated Saturday night.
Thus ended the annual gridiron fracas between the scholastic elevens of Massillon and Canton. In 1920 Canton came to Massillon and handed the orange and black a 14 to 0 lacing. This year Massillon turned the tables and the balance of power rests with the local school, for of the nine games played, five have been Massillon victories. Three have been won by Canton, while one ended in a tie.
Saturday was far from being an ideal football day. A steady downpour, which lasted until after the game had begun, turned the field into a quagmire of mud and water. With the mud several inches deep, fast playing was out of the question. Straight football had the call and with a team several pounds to the man heavier than Massillon’s aggregation, the advantage rested with Canton. But once more Massillon grit and fighting spirit conquered. After the first few plays the rival players were so covered with mud that it was hard to distinguish one from the other.
Under such conditions victory would go to the team which secured the breaks. Massillon secured the breaks but they resulted because of the hard and fierce playing of Coach Stewart’s lads who entered the fray to do or die. Canton’s points were made because of the ability of its heavy backs to plunge through the lighter Massillon eleven.
Although Ted Roth, Massillon’s splendid center, was injured and forced out of the game before the second quarter ended, it was his fierce tackling which paved the way for Massillon’s first touchdown in the initial period. For it was he who tackled Kennedy, Canton’s star halfback, so hard as he came through the line that the wet ball slipped from his grasp and was pounded upon by Boerner, Massillon’s halfback, on Canton’s 20-yard line. Then Captain Hess, whose ankle which was injured in the Dayton Steele game several weeks ago was still weak, sneaked through the Canton line for three yards and on the next play heaved a pass to Boerner, which brought a first down and placed the ball on Canton’s 10-yard stripe.
Next came a double pass. Rosenberg to Hess and the orange and black leader dashed around Canton’s right end, being forced to the extreme edge of the field before he crashed into an opposing player and slid over the goal line for Massillon’s first touchdown. He kicked goal and that point later was to be the deciding point of the battle.
Not until the third quarter did Massillon’s next opportunity to score present itself. A Massillon punt was downed on Canton’s two-yard line. The red and black was given five yards to punt. Bob Shaidnagle, a husky lineman, who had not played since early in the season because of a broken collar bone, had just entered the game for Massillon. Kennedy dropped back to punt. As he received the pass, Shaidnagle shot through the line and blocked the kick, the ball rolling over the Canton goal line where Potts fell on it for Massillon’s second touchdown. Hess failed at goal.
Canton’s first touchdown came after an unbroken march of 60 yards. The Cantonians launched their drive as the first quarter ended. With Kennedy, the star of the Canton offense, playing the part of a battering ram, the red and black smashed its way through the Massillon eleven for five first downs, the march not being halted until Kennedy dove through the orange and black line for a touchdown from the four yard line. Canton then had a chance to tie the score but Kennedy missed goal.
Canton’s second touchdown came early in the fourth quarter. As the third period ended Hess had fumbled a Canton punt. Beachy covering for Canton on Massillon’s 30-yard line. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Kennedy shot around Massillon’s right end for a gain of 11 yards bringing the ball to Massillon’s 19-yard line. Three smashes into the line netted Canton another first down and carried the ball to the five-yard line. Kennedy was called into action and on his second attempt pierced the Massillon line for his second touchdown. Again Canton had an opportunity to tie the score but once more Kennedy’s attempt was low and was batted down by a Massillon warrior.
Massillon was leading by one point. The quarter was nearly half over and indications were that the orange and black would triumph. But Canton came back strong and presented a first class running attack which carried the ball deep into Massillon territory. The wet condition of the field and ball made good punting impossible and as a result Massillon was unable to punt the oval out of danger.
Two bad passes by Potts, who had replaced Roth at center, which prevented, Hess from punting gave Canton possession of the ball on Massillon’s 10-yard line with but a minute to play. A line plunge netted two yards. Then Hess batted down an attempted Canton forward. Another dive into the line took the ball to the five-yard line. Canton had goal to gain on the next play or lose the ball, but before the play could be put into motion time expired and the duel was over.
Played on a dry field the game might have ended differently. With solid footing Massillon’s speedy backfield stars more than likely would have given Canton plenty of trouble but speed was no asset on a field such as the rival elevens played on Saturday. On only a few occasions were Hess, Ulrich and Rosenberg able to show flashes of their fleetness of foot. The heavy mud made it impossible for them to get started. Forward passes and trick plays also were difficult to execute.
As it was statistics show that Canton, so far as the actual amount of ground gained, outplayed Massillon. The red and black made 12 first downs to five for Captain Hess’ aggregation. Each team punted 11 times. Massillon completed two forwards out of eight attempts. Canton completed none in four attempts. Neither team intercepted a forward.
Although all of its regulars performed, Massillon was far from being in first class shape. Hess’ ankle bothered him. Ulrich entered the game with his injured knee bandaged. Roth’s shoulder, hurt several weeks ago, gave way and he was forced to leave the contest. Boerner sustained a badly wrenched hip in the second quarter attempting to catch a forward pass and he had to be helped to the sidelines. But even though injuries did weaken them, Coach Stewart’s lads deserve a world of praise for their game and determined fight. To them there is no such work as quit and to them goes all the honor for winning cleanly and fairly in this, their greatest battle the year.
A Sweet Morsel
Massillon – 13 Pos. McKinley – 12
Lyons LE Ashcon
Snyder LT Viethmeyer
Rutherford LG Gibson
Roth C Hoffman
Kallaker RG Bob Wade
Nelson RT Kartman
Jamison RE Frease
Rosenberg QB McGlashan
Hess LH Kennedy
Boerner RH Hamilton
Potts FB Johnson
Score by periods:
McKinley 0 6 0 6 – 12
Massillon 7 0 6 0 – 13
Substitutions – McKinley: Beachy for Viethmeyer, Ralph Wade
for Bob Wade, Mayforth for Hamilton, Hamilton for McGlashan,
Kirk for Mayforth, Deal for Hamilton, Harmon for Kennedy, Bob
Wade for Ralph Wade, Rebillot for Ashcon.
Massillon: Bischoff for Boerner, Ulrich for Potts, Potts for Roth,
Pflug for Rutherford, Shaidnagle for Pflug, Hax for Bischoff.
Touchdowns – Kennedy 2, Hess, Potts.
Goal from touchdown – Hess 1.
Missed goals from touchdown – Hess 1, Kennedy 2.
Referee – Paige of Ohio Wesleyan.
Umpire – Bletzer of Mount Union.
Head linesman – Zimmerman of Mt. Union.
Time of periods – 15 minutes