Tag: <span>Mike Hershberger</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1956: Massillon 35, Akron Garfield 0

Tigers Top Garfield, Turn To Bulldogs
Benjamin Leads Rout As Massillon Hands Presidents 1st Loss



This phrase will be emoted by more Massillon people the next seven days than any other two words in the English language.

BEAT McKINLEY. You heard it before last night’s victory over heretofore undefeated Akron Garfield became official. The enthusiasm and that cry was whipped up in fine fashion after the final gun.

With the scoreboard clock showing a minute and 36 seconds remaining and the Tigers out front by 35-0, which was the way it ended, a big sign, strung from wires between the light standards at the north end of the stadium and reading BEAT McKINLEY was unfurled.

After action ceased a small but spirited group of Tiger fans staged a brief pep rally.

Tiger followers including adults broke out their small BEAT McKINLEY banners. In a few short words they praised the charges of Lee Tressel and staff for another job well
done – then it was BEAT McKINLEY.
* * *
THE BIG ONE, the one the Tigers have been pointing to since that narrow loss to Mansfield, comes off here next Saturday afternoon. All seats have been sold. The gates will open at 12 noon and there will be standing room only. In the events to follow the Orange and Black will be out to avenge last year’s setback by pinning the defeat label on the powerhouse from the city to the east.

If the Tigers do it they should hit the jackpot. What could keep them from regaining that state championship?
Against Garfield before close to 10,000 fans including 9,381 paid, the Orangemen weren’t “up.” Undoubtedly the circumstances prevented them from getting too “high” even though the Presidents had only a couple of ties marring an otherwise perfect mark.

But the locals had more than enough to put the damper on the Prexies. Sparked by twinkle-toed Ivory Benjamin who got great support from Bob Rinehart, Chuck Beiter, Chester Brown, Larry Washington and a host of others, the attack was just about as sharp as any time previously this season. The defense was crisp as the night air.

If you like scythe-like blocking and some teeth-jarring tackling put together with some fancy running, you were satisfied.

True, there were times when it looked like the Garfield ball carriers might have been grassed back of the line of scrimmage or with little yardage to show for their efforts. You can’t have everything, can you?

After all, the Tigers held the invaders to a total of 161 yards – only 23 through the air. And the Prexies had been averaging over six yards per rush.

Coach Tressel couldn’t find much fault with the offense although he agreed that it looked like his charges would “never get started.” Garfield was threatening three times in the opening period but it was completely shackled after that. The Tiger mentor, whose team now has won eight, the last three in a row, had some warm words for the line play, the running of Benjamin, Brown and Beiter, and the ball handling of Rinehart, who completed two of his four passes, one for a touchdown.

The Tigers zipped to a net of 381yards on the ground with Benjamin making 182 in 16 carries, Beiter 63 in eight and Brown 50 in seven. Washington, who started in place of Mike Hershberger, lugged seven times for 26 yards and Rinehart ran a keeper once for 13 yards as Benjamin waylaid three men with a crunching block.
* * *
OF COURSE ball carriers would get exactly nowhere without blocking from the boys up on the line. In this department the local youngsters appeared to be in peak form.

And all this came about with Hershberger and guard Bob Brown watching form the sidelines. Hershberger could have played but Tressel wasn’t about to take an unnecessary chances. “We’ll need them next week,” he said.

Dave Richardson, who booted five extra points, tackle Dick Whitfield and sub tackle John Halter were banged up a little but all will probably be ready for the Bulldogs, who were to meet Akron South this afternoon.

Richardson converted after Benjamin tallied three times, Beiter once and end Clyde Childers, who was on the receiving end of both Tiger pass completions, once.

Actually Garfield was never in the running after the initial panel. Probably because of a good scouting job and a bunch of kids who weren’t going to let another loss interfere with their plans.

In all fairness to the Presidents it must be emphasized that had a couple of first quarter aerials not gone awry they might have been able to make an issue of it as many expected them to do. On the second play the first time Garfield got possession its sterling halfback, Sterling Shephard, passed from the Tiger 49. The Tigers were apparently worrying about Manzie Winters, the President’s pass catching star, and let the other end, Don Gibson, get in the clear at the 20.

Shephard probably thought Gibson was going to cut to his right but he didn’t and a
sure-fire touchdown play went with the wind. Two plays later Garfield had to punt but got the pigskin right back as Benjamin fumbled at the Tiger 21. Shephard moved seven yards to the Orange 14 and after Chet Brown and Pete Heimann tossed Fullback Nick Arshinkoff for a one-yard deficit, Massillon gained possession again as Beiter intercepted Shephard’s spread play pass at the six.

Three plays later, after Benjamin got loose from a 30-yard scamper from his own eight to the 38, the locals lost the ball on another fumble. This time it was Garfield’s ball at the Massillon 44.

With the help of a twisting 17-yard run by Shephard, the Prexies advanced to the Tiger 17. But on fourth down linebacker Roger Reese barreled in and smacked Shephard down for an 11-yard loss to end the thrust.

Then the Tigers went ahead as two long runs, one by Brown and one by Benjamin, paved the way. Benjamin ran twice for 12 before Brown, stiff-arming one, veering away from three and getting blocks from Whitfield and Childers, galloped 29 to the Garfield 35. Washington picked up three and Benjamin sped to the left – with Dick Brenner springing him loose with a fine block at the 33 – and rambled all the way standing up. Three minutes 27 seconds were left in the quarter when Richardson converted his first time.

The Akron array bounced back but to no avail. From the 32 they made three first downs to the Tiger 22 as an 18-yard jaunt by halfback Frank Misker and a 13-yarder by Shephard provided the spark. Shephard tried two passes and sub Lindsey Humphrey two but none made connections.
* * *
ONCE WASHINGTON batted the ball down, once three Tigers outfought two Presidents, once Shephard dropped a Humphrey toss on the 10 and on fourth down the latter’s heave overshot the lanky Winters. Thus it was Massillon’s ball at its own 40.

On the last two running plays of the period Benjamin made nine and Brown four. A penalty against Garfield helped put the oval on the Massillon 40 as the second frame got underway. Benjamin netted 12 in two carries, Brown boomed through tackle for 14 and Beiter went up the middle for eight before the latter tallied on a 26-yard run. The hefty junior, who has been playing both fullback and righthalf, shot inside guard, and cut to his outside and was only 10 yards from pay dirt before most everybody in the stadium knew who had the ball.

This score came with 10:01 left and less than five minutes later the Orange had their third.

Beiter rushed Humphrey on a punt from the Garfield 31 and the ball sailed out of bounds at the 35. Beiter sandwiched eight and nine-yard gains around a three run pickup by Benjamin and from the 15 Irvory scooted the rest of the way on a double reverse that worked to near-perfection. Only one hand touched him and he twisted away from that lone defender.

The rest of the first half was meaningless. But things livened a bit for the home side at the outset of the third period as another bad punt by Humphrey led to the Tigers’ fourth TD.

Massillon had to move only 30 yards this time. Benjamin, Brown and Beiter carried to the 19 before Rinehart unwound. His pass hit Childers on the 10 and the big boy got away from the last would be tackler after Benjamin had thrown a key block. It was 28-0 with seven and a half minutes to go in that stanza.
* * *
THE ORANGEMEN made a strong bid before the quarter came to a close. From their own 37 they rolled to the one as a Rinehart-to-Childers pass clicked for 21 yards and Benjamin inserted a 20-yard sprint. However, an offside penalty set them back to the six and on last down Rinehart was three yards short on a sneak.

The Prexies were deep in their own territory as the final stanza began and from the seven sub Wayne McFarland kicked out of bounds at the Garfield 38.

On the first play Benjamin struck off the right side and streaked to pay dirt.

After that Tressel made use of his second stringers and twice Richardson, defensive safety, stymied the visitors by hauling in passes.

Looking Sharp

ENDS – Brenner, Elavsky, Mitchell, Wells, Snavely, Childers, Hagan, Williams, Mays.
TACKLES – Whitfield, Mercer, Ortiz, Slabaugh, Brownlee, Bixler, Halter.
GUARDS — Meldrum, Heine, Heimann, Cook.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger.
QUARTERBACKS – Rinehart, Getz, Reese, Dutton.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Washington, Pledgure, Richardson, Bivings.
FULLBACKS – C. Brown, Beiter, Dean.

ENDS – Winters, Hubbard, Gibson.
TACKLES – Wiseman, Flanders, Hicks, Truza.
GUARDS – Balca, Rekettye, Phillips, Capatosta, McFarland.
CENTERS – Blouir, Smith, Sabatino.
HALFBACKS – Shephard, Miskar, Humphrey, Rogers.
FULLBACKS – Arshinkoff, Vic Rich.

Scoring by quarters:
Massillon 7 14 7 7 35
Garfield 0 0 0 0 0

Massillon scoring:
Touchdowns – Benjamin (3, runs of 32, 15 and 28 yards); Beiter (run 26 yards); Childers (pass 19 yards).
Extra points – Richardson 5 (placements).

Massillon Garfield
First downs, rushing 17 9
First downs, passing 2 1
First downs, penalties 1 1
Total first downs 20 11
Yards gained rushing 401 159
Yards lost rushing 20 21
Net yards gained rushing 381 138
Yards gained passing 42 23
Total yards gained 423 161
Passes attempted 4 18
Passes completed 2 4
Passes intercepted by 3 0
Times kicked off 6 1
Kickoff average (yards) 43 54
Kickoff returns 9yards) 12 92
Times punted 2 7
Punt average (yards) 32.2 19.7
Punt returns (yards) 16 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 2 1
Lost fumbled ball 2 0
Penalties 6 9
Yards penalized 50 85

Mike Hershberger
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1956: Massillon 35, Barberton 6

Tigers Beat Barberton 35-6
Score Three Touchdowns In First 10 Minutes


Rolling up 159 yards via 10 running plays, Massillon’s Tigers rocked Barberton with three touchdowns in the first 10 minutes of play Friday evening and it looked like a simon-pure rout was in the making at Tiger stadium.

But the Orangemen apparently suffered a let down except for brief spurts in the third and fourth periods and a Dads’ Night crowd, including only 9,945 paid admissions, watched them grind out a methodical 35-6 triumph, their seventh in eight starts.

The Magics, anything but tricky or reminiscent of some of their previous arrays, were outplayed all around and had it not been for their passing game would have been sadly outclassed.

There wasn’t much difference in first downs as the Tigers had only two more than the opposition but the host crew hipper-dippered and blasted its way for 258 net yards rushing while the Magics gained only 96 on the ground.

Passing gave the Magics their only touchdown and all told netted them 105 yards on eight compleltions in 15 attempts.

The aerial game benefited the Tigers too as one connection went for the jackpot and Bob Rinehart, the sweet thrower and neat manipulator of the Tiger “T”, had a pretty fair night with five completions in seven tosses.

The handwriting was on the wall in a jiffy. There wasn’t much for Bengal followers to shout about the last three periods but Coach Lee Tressel was not too discouraged.

He thought the defense, on Barberton running plays, was more than adequate and noted that the pass defense needs polishing up. The only time the Magics didn’t fare too well in the airlanes came in the final session when they resorted to spread formations.

Until that time Junie Ferrall stayed with the straight T with a balanced line and the Magics’ tactics in the ozone kept the Tigers on their toes.

Barberton was weak at the middle and the Tigers quickly took advantage of the situation as Chester Brown, the big fullback who hammers then gallops, carved out the first two scores on lengthy jaunts of 48 and 53 yards. Then Ivory Benjamin, the twinkle-toed speedster, took over the burden and made the last three six-pointers, two on runs (six and 16 yards) and the other on a pass play which covered 16 yards.

Little Davie Richardson, with Mike Hershberger sidelined by a pulled leg muscle, handled the conversion chores in fine fashion. He split the uprights on four with his other shot barely clearing the crossbar.
* * *
BROWN and Benjamin each gained more yards than the entire Barberton team on the ground as chuggin’ Chester averaged over 14 yards per try on 143 yards in 10 trips and hurrying Ivory made 107 in 15 carries. Larry Washington, Jimmy Bivings and “Chuck” Beiter worked at Hershberger’s right half slot and although none of the trio was scintillating, all were just as instrumental in giving Massillon its 16th victory in 20 meetings with Barberton teams. Beiter also played some at fullback.

It required the Tresselmen just 53 seconds to draw blood.

Washington grabbed up a short kickoff and got back to the Tiger 27. Benjamin made four at right tackle, then came back and zipped around the right flank. The junior standout reeled off a 21-yard run (the last man having a chance shot at him got him) to put the oval on the Magic 48.

Then Brown got a big hole at the middle, wriggled free at the 34 and raced into the end zone standing up.

Barberton made one first down after the kickoff and on a fourth and two situation at the Massillon 36, Bob Savage, the tank-like fullback, fumbled the center pass and Tackle Jim Mercer pounced on the bobble to give the Tigers possession at their own 44.
* * *
AFTER BROWN made 11 (Barberton’s Dave Lee Bartee came up with a shoe-string tackle to stop him from going the distance) and Bivings lost eight on a sweep, Massillon reached the Promised Land again.

It was Brown again. The play was the same as on his first trip. Given a key block by End Don Elavsky, Chester raced 53 vards, Richardson again converted and the Tigers led 14-0 with 5:22 remaining in the opening heat.

The third tally was set up by Benjamin’s interception of a pass by Magic Quarterback Marco Burnette. Massillon was pounding at the visitor’s 27 after Ivory returned 28 yards.

In five plays six more points flashed up. Beiter pounded for seven, ditto for Brown before Benjamin picked his way 10 yards to the three.

Barberton was then penalized to the one for being offside and on the next play Rinehart sneaked across. But the locals were offside and penalized five yards back to the six. From that point Benjamin found a hole at right tackle and his spurt came easy at 1:46.

Early in the second period Rinehart hit Clyde Childers for 18 yards but the locals stalled and Burnette returned Jim Dutton’s punt to the 32. The Magics digested a five-yard penalty and marched the rest of the way with three passes doing the damage.
* * *
BURNETTE did all the throwing with Moses Iverson catching one for 13, Bartee one for 10 and Les Jones one for 27 – the final 27 yards. A 15-yard dash by Jim Hatula kept the drive going.

On the touchdown, which came at 3:40, the toss down the middle was snagged by Jones at the five and he could have walked past the final stripe. Barberton had to settle for six after Jones’ placement sailed wide to the right.

Tackle John Halter leaped on a Barberton bobble at the Magic 28 on the third play of the third frame and Massillon jacked the margin four plays later. Benjamin got one, Brown three before Ivory squirted eight to the 16. Rinehart then went to the air. His pitch to the left hit Benjamin, who juggled the oval momentarily at the 10, turned around, twisted away from one would-be tackler and fought his way into the end zone at 9:22.

An exchange of punts followed the kickoff and Barberton then threatened to score. Burnette passed to Sub End Bob Velloney, Regular End Alan Cooksey and another sub, Jerry Mattingly accounted for 41 yards with a 10-yard completion to Mattingly placing the ball on the Massillon 10 as the quarter came to a close.

But Barberton magic failed, and after three aerials went for naught, the locals took over. Benjamin, Beiter, Brown and Washington (text missing)

HOWEVER a holding penalty cost the locals. A Rinehart to Bivings pass made six but Brown got only six and Bivings just one and Dutton was called on to kick again.

Barberton fumbled four plays later and Mercer again recovered.

With 4:09 left and the ball at the 34, Rinehart sneaked for one, Benjamin ran three times for nine, Beiter got five and Brown three before Benjamin made his third TD trip from 16 yards out. He simply got some fine blocking off the left side and outran the defenders to pay dirt at 1:04. Three plays later it was all over.

In addition to the aforementioned Hershberger, Bob Brown, regular right left guard, missed the game because of a broken bone in his left hand. Luckily the locals came out of the scrap without any more serious injuries.

The summary:
ENDS – Brenner, Elavsky, Childers, Mitchell, Hagan, Williams, Zorn, Wells, Steele, Mays.
TACKLES – Whitfield, Meldrum, Bixler, Halter, Slabaugh, Mercer.
GUARDS – Heine, Meldrum, Heimann, Cook.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger.
QUARTERBACKS – Rinehart, Dutton.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Washington, Beiter, Bivings, Pledgure, Richardson.
FULLBACKS – G. Brown, Reese, Dean, Beiter.

ENDS – Cooksey, Bartee, Gissinger, Bob Velloney, Hampton.
TACKLES – Creager, Shaffer, Goletz, Reeves.
GUARDS – Mystovich, Chaykoski, Dilbeck, Gardner, Johnson.
CENTER – Schens.
QUARTERBACKS – Burnette, Mobley.
HALFBACKS – Jones, Iverson, Mattingly, Spencer, Savage.
FULLBACKS – Savage, Hatula.

Scoring by quarters:
Massillon 21 0 7 7 35
Barberton 0 6 0 0 6

Massillon scoring:
Touchdowns – Benjamin 3 (runs 16, 6, pass 16); Brown 2 (runs 48 and 53)
Extra points – Richardson 5.

Barberton scoring – Touchdown – Jones (pass 27).

Massillon Barberton
First downs, rushing 11 5
First downs, passing 3 7
First downs, penalties 0 0
Total first downs 14 12
Yards gained rushing 280 126
Yards lost rushing 22 30
Net yards gained rushing 258 96
Yards gained passing 66 105
Total yards gained 324 201
Passes attempted 7 15
Passes completed 5 8
Passes intercepted by 1 0
Times kicked off 6 2
Kickoff average (yards) 47.5 37.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 17 130
Times punted 4 3
Punt average (yards) 34.3 30.7
Punt returns (yards) 15 20
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 6
Lost fumbled ball 0 2
Penalties 4 3
Yards penalized 40 12

Mike Hershberger
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1956: Massillon 26, Warren Harding 6

Benjamin, Bivings, Brown Running Stars 13 Points In Final Quarter
Cinch Massillon’s Sixth Victory At Warren


The magic number is now three.

Barberton next week, Akron Garfield the week following and then McKinley…all on Tiger stadium soil…these were the obstacles left in Massillon’s path after win No. 6 was chalked up, 26-6, at the expense of Warren’s Panthers last night at Warren Harding stadium.

The victory, the Tigers’ fifth straight over Warren teams which now trail in the long series that shows Massillon with 24 triumphs, seven reversals and a tie, did not come as easy as the final spread would indicate.

It was a 13-6 ball game for over three quarters.
* * *
AND IT WASN’T locked up by the Bengals until sub halfback Jim Bivings and
antelope-gaited Ivory Benjamin winged off a couple of long runs in the last period.

The Panthers, who had won four and lost two before the contest, were rarin’ to knock the wind out of the Tiger sails but Lee Tressel’s charges gained control of the situation before the first quarter was halfway gone. Halfback Wally Armour cut the gap to 13-6 late in the second period when he dashed 46 yards with a punt but on only two other occasions did the Red and Black knock at touchdown door.

With an assist from a Tiger fumble, Warren reached the 23 in the second period before Dick Brenner, defensive safety, hauled in an errant pass. Warren did not threaten again until after Massillon had its 26 points. This time the Panthers moved to the Tiger 22 before the Orangemen stiffened and took the ball on downs.

For four days the Tigers went about tightening the defense which gave up so much ground to Mansfield and the extra work evidently paid off in a big way.

The statistics showed just how funny a bounce a porkhide will take. Against Mansfield the Tigers had possession only 34 plays as compared to 65 for Mansfield. Last night Warren ran 53 plays to Massillon’s 50.

But the Tigers held the upper hand in just about every phase of the game.

They gained 257 yards on the ground, 47 by passing for a net of 304. The defense, tougher from flank to flank, held the host team to 157 yards including 10 by a lone aerial connection. The Orange had 12 first downs to seven for the Panthers.
* * *
COACH TRESSEL started using substitutes in the first half and before the final horn 38 Massillon players had entered the fray. The fleet Bivings, a junior, was the top gainer – thanks to his 61-yard TD scamper, followed by chuggin’ Chet Brown and the snake-hipped Benjamin. Bivings carried six times for 90 yards, Brown six for 63 and Benjamin 11 for 52. Mike Hershberger, who had a case of indigestion before the opening kickoff and then suffered a leg injury in the second period, carted only six times and picked up 20 yards while husky “Chuck” Beiter, the junior fullback, made 15 in as many trips.

When Hershberger was in action the work-horse, who had been averaging over five yards per try was not his usual self because of his illness. But the injury to his right leg will cause more concern than his tummy. As will the hand injury offensive guard Bob Brown sustained.

Hershberger is likely to miss out on one or perhaps two games while Brown, invaluable as a blocker, could be absent for all three remaining encounters. Only time will tell.

Otherwise the Bengals came out of it in good shape. However, these injuries are enough to keep Tressel a mite worried. Tressel, who pointed out that the tackling showed some improvement, was extremely satisfied by the performances of the shock troopers.

He didn’t name names but one could not overlook the running of Bivings and the defensive play of John Heimann, who replaced Hershberger at halfback on defense. There were other standouts to be sure. The boys were bent on starting to redeem themselves and it looks like they are off to a fine start.

Benjamin had two touchdowns, his other coming on a seven yard slam off tackle on the first play of the second stanza while the fourth Tiger TD was made by Brown, whose
40-yard gallop started the Orange on the right track.

Warren stopped the Tigers after the game opening kickoff and Massillon thwarted the initial bid by the fired-up Panthers. The Tigers worked the criss-cross on Armour’s kick with Benjamin taking the handoff from Hershberger at the Bengal 14 and rushing out to the 30.
* * *
IT REQUIRED the Tigers nine plays to go 70 yards. Hershberger got four and Benjamin zipped for 10 to the 44. Beiter, Brown and Hershberger gained eight in three plays and on fourth down, Benjamin kept the march functioning.

He cut around the right side on a nifty bit of foot-work for eight yards to the 39 and after Hershberger lost one and Bob Rinehart’s pass to Benjamin was short, Brown hit the jackpot.

Getting some excellent blocking, Chet roared around left end for 40 yards as Massillon fans in the crowd of 10,000 roared, and Massillon led with 4:28 left in the heat. With Hershberger feeling badly, Tressel called on Dave Richardson to boot the point.

Massillon capitalized on an unusual fumble for its second touchdown. Warren had to punt from the Tiger 47 and Armour, back to do the booting, missed the ball. Brown dove on it and the Tigers started pounding at the Panther 44.

Rinehart unlimbered his arm, hit Benjamin at the 25 and Ivory made it to the 12 – a
32-yard pick-up. Hershberger made five and Beiter was held at the line of scrimmage on the last play of the opening round.

Benjamin whizzed into the end zone standing up on the first play of the second panel and after Richardson’s placement went wide, the Tigers were in front 13-0 with only three seconds gone in the quarter.

After the next kickoff Armour, Grover Danage, Jim Dotson and Jim Abrams carried to the Panther 37 before Armour punted. But Benjamin dropped the ball at the Tiger 26 and Warren recovered at that spot.

Danage got two and Dotson one before Abrams went to the airways. Instead of end Bill Greskovich, his peg reached the arms of Brenner in the end zone. Brenner got out to the two and from that point Massillon began to move. Bivings went into the line up and inserted a 15-yard run but the attack bogged down and Hershberger was forced to punt from the 11 after a clipping penalty and Rinehart’s nine yard loss hurt.

ARMOUR FIELDED the punt on the Tiger 46, went to his right, got free at the Bengal 40 and wasn’t stopped. John Petiela’s placement was wide and it was 13-6 at 3:25.

Massillon was on the prowl again. From the 23 Hershberger made six before Bivings got loose for 12 and following a six-yarder by Benjamin, Rinehart hit sub Larry Washington on a 13-yard pass play. Washington gained six and Benjamin, on a reverse scooted 18. But time ran out on the Tigers after Beiter got to the seven.

Both teams picked up two first downs in a third period, which was dull compared to the others.

On the first play of the final canto Jim Dutton, who did a nice punting job after Hershberger left the field, kicked and Armour was stopped at the Warren 22. The Panthers got a first down but from the 34 Abrams’ pass was hauled in by Bivings, who slid out of bounds at the Tiger 39. On the next play the same youngster went the distance. He got a big hole on the right side, wriggled free at the Warren 41 and outran everybody to touchdownland. Richardson’s kick was wide again but Massillon had a 19-6 lead at 9:36.

Warren decided to take to the air after that. Sub Malone completed one to Greskovich for 12 but the Tigers fouled up a statue-of-liberty play and Armour had to punt. Benjamin grabbed the ball on the Massillon 35, faked a handoff, and skipped down the sidelines with nary a Warren player getting a good shot at him. This time Richardson converted to make it 26-6 at 6:19.

After the kickoff Tim Krier’s kickoff was returned to the 29 and Armour ran for 38 but Massillon braced. The Tigers then were forced to punt and Warren was at its own 47 when the game ended.

ENDS – Childers, Elavsky, Brenner, Wells, Snavely, Hagan, Williams.
TACKLES – Mercer, Whitfield, Ortiz, Slabaugh, Brownlee, Bixler, Halter.
GUARDS – B. Brown, Meldrum, Kasunick, Heimann, Cook, Heine.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger, Williamson.
BACKS – Rinehart, Benjamin, Hershberger, C. Brown, Beiter, Pledgure. Richardson, Bivings, Garcia, Dutton, Stewart, Washington, Getz, Reese.

ENDS – Greskovich, Smith, Tutish, Shelly.
TACKLES – Johnson, Romig, Maras, J. Mnotti, Yaugo, Mrofchak, Rudolph.
GUARDS – Foy, Ostrosky, McCrea, Petiela, Lengel, Hammerchek, Perfetti.
CENTERS – McEwen, Sims.
BACKS – Abrams, Gorby, Danage, Saffold, Dotson, Amour, Szuch,
Spithogianis, Malone, Apple, F. Miller.

Score by quarters:
Massillon 7 6 0 13 26
Warren 0 6 0 0 6

Massillon scoring:
Touchdowns – Brown (run 40); Benjamin (run 7 and punt return 65); Bivings (run 61).
Extra points – Richardson 2 (placements).

Warren scoring:
Touchdown – Armour (punt return 46).

Massillon Warren
First downs, rushing 10 6
First downs, passing 2 –
First downs, penalties 0 0
Total first downs 12 7
Yards gained rushing 293 183
Yards lost rushing 36 26
Net yards gained rushing 257 157
Yards gained passing 47 10
Total yards gained 304 167
Passes attempted 4 8
Passes completed 2 1
Passes intercepted by 2 0
Times kicked off 5 2
Kickoff average (yards) 46.2 43.5
Kickoff returns (yards) 21 66
Times punted 5 6
Punt average (yards) 32.6 21.0
Punt returns (yards) 81 62
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 1 6
Lost fumbled ball 1 0
Penalties 2 2
Yards penalized 11 10

Mike Hershberger
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1956: Massillon 6, Mansfield 14

Mansfield Power Plays Stop Tigers 14-6
Penalties, Injuries Slow Massillon; Hershberger Tallies On 83-Yard Scamper

The bubble burst out at Mansfield last night.

And having yielded to a five-and-dime Mansfield team – a determined Mansfield team which had a one-track mind – the Tigers of Massillon today looked forward to salvaging some glory out of the season with the big catch being, of course, Canton McKinley’s Bulldogs.

That 14-6 defeat was a stunning blow but Massillon teams have been beaten before, then roared back to finish at the top of the heap.

Tigers fans are only hoping it will happen again.
* * *
THEY’LL BE RE-PLAYING last night’s scuffle for many a moon. We can talk about the penalties, the gainers that just missed by inches, the tackles that came a yard too late, the injuries – anything – but in the final analysis we must all agree – Mansfield had a mighty good football team on Arlin field, which was jammed to overflowing by around 13,000 fans.

The Tygers ability to control the ball probably proved Massillon’s downfall.

When the final gun sounded, Mansfield had possession of the pigskin for 75 plays, Massillon had it 34 times.

Massillon out-gained the sky-high host crew, 312 yards to 292. The Tigers out-passed them. But as everyone knows for sure, statistics don’t win ball games.

Of course these statistics do not include the 27-yard pass play that clicked for a second quarter touchdown that was nullified by a backfield-in-motion penalty nor the fourth down gain of four yards scooter Ivory Benjamin made which would have given the Orangemen a first down at the Mansfield 15 a few moments after the TD was wiped out.

Nor do the figures show a couple of almost-but-not-quite cases where Massillon needed only one more block or one more step to go all the way.

Penalties hurt the Orange – without a doubt – but Lee Tressel, who saw his personal winning streak come to an end at 39 straight, offered no excuse as he sadly recalled the turn of events after the battle.

“WE COULDN’T stop those hard-running backs. They were making one and two yards after they were hit and we couldn’t do much about it.

“We were weak physically. Especially Meldrum (Tom) and Whitfield (Dick). Some of the other boys weren’t able to go at full steam. We made mistakes – we were just beaten,” Lee said.

The hard-running backs Lee was talking about were Jim Lutz, the tank-like fullback, and halfbacks Pistol Pete Zivkoff, high-stepping “Chuck” Taylor and speedy John White.

Stopping these charges was like trying to knock over the Bank of England. The
piston-legged Lutz found his way for 97 yards in 16 tries, Zivkoff raced 94 in 19 carries, Taylor punched for 53 in 10 and White gained 37 in 10.
* * *
THE MANSFIELDERS, who thus beat a Massillon team for the second time in
history – and the victory set off a major display of frolicking in the Richland county
seat – were generalized by Jack Ward, who tried only one pass and didn’t complete it.

The Tigers, who gained 259 yards on the ground as compared to Mansfield’s 292, were sparked by spunky Mike Hershberger who picked his way for 143 yards in seven trips and Benjamin, who lugged six times for 53 yards.

Hershberger, who was virtually out on his feet at the final gun, got loose on an 83-yard jaunt for the Tigers’ only touchdown early in the final period.

Mansfield threatened only twice and the Bob McNea – coached boys cashed in both times.

Massillon was deep in Mansfield territory twice in the second stanza and once more after Hershberger’s scintillating spring in the fourth. But it just wasn’t Massillon’s night.

Hershberger banged for 12 yards on the first play following the game-opening kickoff, returned by Benjamin from the nine to the host 49 after Ivory got out of a trap at his own 20. But a holding penalty messed things up. Mansfield jammed up two plays at the middle, a Bob Rinehart toss was too far and Hershberger kicked into the end zone.

Mansfield marched all the way in 20 plays with Zivkoff, White and Lutz toting. It was on the Massillon seven at the end of the period and on the first play of the second panel, Zivkoff smacked across, Ward booted the point and the Red and White led 7-0 with five seconds gone.

The Tresselmen came storming back. They threw everything but the bench at the Tygers but their efforts went for naught as the little red flag was down on three of eight plays it required them to go from their own 32 to the Mansfield 24.
* * *
ON THE FIRST play there was an in-motion penalty. Then the Tygers were caught flat-footed. Hershberger went to his left on an apparent reverse but he stopped and threw deep to lanky Clyde Childers, who got behind the secondary at the Mansfield 46.

Childers was hauled down after a 46-yard gain and the Orange was knocking on touchdown door. Childers snagged another pass for a touchdown on the next play. Gene Stewart was sent in to replace Benjamin and the Tigers pulled the same play, only Gene reversed to his right. Childers made a beautiful catch in the end zone but Massillon was called for backfield-in-motion – much to the chagrin of Tiger followers – and six points went with the wind.

Chet Brown was thrown for a loss of a yard on a trap play, Hershberger was stopped by his own teammate at the line of scrimmage before the Rinehart-Hershberger combo clicked for 15 yards to the 19.

This brought up a fourth and one situation and Benjamin easily made it (he gained about four) but again the penalty flag put a crimp in Massillon plans. This time the Tigers were penalized because of an offside call. The drive ended as Rinehart’s pass was a shade too far for Benjamin at the 15.

An exchange of punts followed and with two minutes left in the first half the Orangemen were in business again.

From the 24, Benjamin wriggled for 22 yards on a double reverse. That put the oval on the 46. Hershberger, running to his left on the reverse, picked up a couple of nifty blocks and high-tailed it 37 yards to the Tyger 17.
* * *
RINEHART INTENDED to go to the air for two plays but both times he couldn’t locate a receiver ran instead, and had to be content with two yards. On the last play of the half, Benjamin out to his right and wheeled to the six before being grassed.

Mansfield struck for its second touchdown after receiving at the start of the second half. Zivkoff returned to the 35 and in 11 plays the Tygers reached pay dirt.

Taylor came in to help Lutz, Zivkoff and White carried the mail with the biggest gain being a 15-yarder by Taylor. From the four the same lad blasted through right tackle for another six, Ward again split the uprights and Massillon trailed 14-0 at 5:50 in the period.

Benjamin stepped for 21 yards after “Chuck” Beiter returned the kickoff to the 42 and the only boy that had a chance to stop Benjamin did just that. But the Tiger attack stalled and Hershberger had to kick. Mansfield drove again with their movement carrying over into the final quarter.

After Mansfield advanced to its own 44 it had to punt with Ward’s boot being returned 30 yards by Hershberger. From the 17 Mike then found a hole at left tackle and was gone – 83 yards. He was past the Tyger secondary defenders before they knew it. Mike outran them but only after a bit of labor.
* * *
A TIRED Hershberger attempted the extra point but his kick was too low and the scoreboard read Mansfield 14, Massillon 6 with 10 minutes remaining.

After the kickoff was brought back to the 26, the hosts netted a first down as Lutz zipped for 27 yards (the hard-nosed Hershberger kept him from going the distance) and they gambled after gaining eight more yards to the Tiger 34.

Massillon came up with an 18-karat stand. Zivkoff was held at the line of scrimmage, ditto Lutz, and the Tigers took over at the 34.

The Tresselmen weren’t about to say uncle. They gave it another giant effort. In trying to pass Rinehart ran for six, then was dropped for a four-yard deficit before he twirled to Hershberger for 11 yards.

Chet Brown, in one of the few times he carried, steamed around left end for 30 yards to the Mansfield 23 but the Tigers stalled. Hershberger made three but Rinehart lost one. In came Jimmy Bivings and he got five. On the next play Bivings was thrown for a yard loss but might have raced to pay dirt had he received one or two key blocks.

So Mansfield had the ball again. The Tygers made two first downs and with seconds left the Tigers’ Jim Mercer recovered a fumble at the enemy 35. There was time for one play and Rinehart kept for nine yards.

That was it. The Tigers suffered their first loss in six games.

The defeat will probably cost the Orange and Black second place in the state scholastic poll and undoubtedly Mansfield, previously rated 10th, will climb a few notches.

The summary:
ENDS – Childers, Elavsky, Brenner,Hagan, Wells.
TACKLES – Whitfield, Mercer, A. Slicker, Slabaugh, Brownlee, Bixler, Halter.
GUARDS – Meldrum, B. Brown, Heine, Kasunick.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger.
QUARTERBACKS – Rinehart, Reese.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Hershberger, Pledgure, Bivings, Garcia, Stewart, Washington.
FULLBACKS – C .Brown, Beiter.

ENDS – Horsman, Ackerman, Bell, Hunter.
TACKLES – Franta, Henkel, Bernat.
GUARDS – Roth, Hood, Kolb, Bauman.
CENTERS – Groves, Mathews.
HALFBACKS – Zivkoff, Taylor, White, Balcolm.
FULLBACKS – Lutz, Tanner.

Scoring by quarters:
Massillon 0 0 0 6 6
Mansfield 0 7 7 0 14

Massillon scoring:
Touchdown – Hershberger (run, 83).

Mansfield scoring: Touchdowns – Zivkoff (run, 7); Taylor (run, 4).
Extra points – Ward 2 (placements).

Referee – Don McPhee, Youngstown.
Head Linesman – Carl Spossard, Cuyahoga Falls.
Umpire – Bob Walker, Youngstown.
Field Judge – Clint Emmerish, Cuyahoga Falls.

Massillon Mans.
First downs rushing 7 16
First downs passing 2 0
First downs by penalties 0 0
Total first downs 9 16
Yards gained rushing 255 295
Yards lost rushing 15 3
Net yards gained rushing 240 292
Yards gained passing 72 0
Total yards gained 312 292
Passes attempted 6 1
Passes completed 3 0
Passes intercepted by 0 0
Times kicked off 2 3
Kickoff average (yards) 42.5 41.3
Kickoff returns (yards) 69 35
Times punted 2 3
Punt average (yards) 44 40.3
Punt returns (yards) 12 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 2
Lost fumbled ball 0 1
Penalties 5 2
Yards penalized 45 20

Mike Hershberger
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1956: Massillon 27, Cleveland Benedictine 18

Tigers Fight Back For 27-18 Victory
Whitfield Out With Injury As Orange Racks Up Its 5th


It was five down and five to go for the Washington high school gridders after a Friday night donnybrook in which our Tigers proved they have all the ingredients of a true champion.

Rallying behind a determined defense and their quick-hitting offense, featuring speed afoot, nimbleness, headiness and just plain high-octane power, the Orange and Black outlasted a Cleveland Benedictine club which lived up to expectations, and then some, by a 27-18 tune.

Some 13,000 fans, including 12,556 paid, were in Tiger stadium for the big battle and few Tiger followers, if any, held high hope for a fifth straight victory after the first two minutes and 18 seconds of play. It took the Bengals from the lakefront just that little bit of time to wheel out a 12-0 lead.

But this inexperienced Massillon club, outweighed, out-passed and minus tackle and
co-captain Dick Whitfield, was only momentarily stunned by the order of events – an
85-yard kickoff return, an intercepted pass and then a 40-yard aerial for a second touchdown.

Showing their mettle and living up to their reputation as an outfit content to parlay short gainers into gold-dust, Lee Tressel’s hustlers came roaring back. With 4:26 left in the opening chapter they hit pay dirt for the first time and with 4:22 remaining in the second period and they barged ahead.

The first drive involved 11 plays and 68 yards, the second 20 plays, 79 yards, two vital gambles and a 15-yard penalty. So it was Massillon by the margin of Mike Hershberger’s conversion at intermission.
* * *
THE TIGERS received the second half kickoff and went on the prowl again. The drive fizzled out at the enemy 15 but the next thing Benedictine knew was that Fancy-Dan, Ivory Benjamin hit them. His 50-yard TD jaunt on a punt return widened the gap and Massillon pulses returned to normal after a 72-yard march paid off early in the final quarter.

Benedictine battled back for another score but it meant nothing. In fact, it came as Coach Tressel was dotting his lineup with reserves.

When the Tiger celebration in their dressing room died down, Tressel and Co. started thinking about their next foe, the Tygers of Mansfield.

This may sound like a broken record but the Orangemen are facing a fourth straight toughie. If you don’t believe us, ask the local scouts who have put a “tougher than Benedictine” tag on the Tygers.

Before Tressel’s mind turned to next Friday’s road opponent, the Tiger tutor directed a verbal bouquet toward his charges.

“I guess I can’t say much about the first couple of minutes. Everybody knows what happened. But our boys were tremendous after that. It shows you what desire can do,” he said.

The Massillon mentor, whose personal win streak now stands at 39, declared it a team victory – “there were no real standouts” – and said the three boys who fitted into things as replacements for the rugged Whitfield; Bruce Bixler, Al Slicker and John Halter, indicated by their performances that the coaching staff may have little to worry about as long as Whitfield is out.
* * *
WHITFIELD, WITH HIS injured foot encased in a special shoe, was suited up in case of an emergency and Tressel was happy because he didn’t have to call on the spunky senior co-captain.

Dick received the foot injury Wednesday but said nothing about it. He couldn’t walk Thursday morning and X-rays taken yesterday morning showed a chip in the large bone of his right foot.

When Whitfield will be able to return to action is a real question. Tressel is hopeful he’ll be available in a couple of weeks.

The Tigers, with the “5-man” backfield of Bob Rinehart, Benjamin, Hershberger, Chet Brown and “Chuck” Beiter shining all the way, held the upper hand in most phases of the statistical department. They made 17 first downs to Benedictine’s nine and ground out 257 yards rushing to a total of 123 for the Bengals.

The Clevelanders enjoyed an edge in the passing game as Quarterback Paul Hriske, who doubled as a fine defensive performer, lived up to his press notices. The Bengals hit on seven of 13 for 102 yards while the locals connected on two of five for 61 yards. And both of Rinehart’s pitches helped no end – the first completion of 17 yards setting up Massillon’s second touchdown and a strike good for 20 aiding the drive that led to the fourth.

Another bright spot for the Tigers was in the ball-handling department. They fumbled only once, and recovered same. They had one pass intercepted with that interception paving the way for Benedictine’s second quickie.

Benedictine won the toss and elected to receive. The decision was just right for the Bengals as Halfback George Sefcik, sturdy and swift, hauled it back for a touchdown that rocked the locals on their heels. Sefcik eyed an alley up the middle, cut to his right and away from a couple of would-be tacklers and after getting free at the Tiger 22, zipped into the end zone, past the final stripe to wind up an 85-yard return. His placement sailed to the left but the Orangemen were trailing 6-0 with only 11 seconds gone.

Benjamin returned the ensuing kickoff from his 15 to the 24 and after Brown picked up a guard, Dame Fortune turned a cold shoulder on the Tigers. Rinehart’s pass intended for childers at the enemy 40 was the target for Childers, Benjamin and Sefcik. Ivory got a hand on the ball but it came to rest in Sefcik’s and the Bendictine scooter got to the Tiger 43.
* * *
AFTER GARY HANSLEY, right half, made three yards at right tackle, Hrisko and Hansley clicked for a second Bengal TD. Hansley was all by his lonesome at the 25 and when he grabbed the pass at the 25 and raced into the end zone, Massillon was really in trouble.

Sefcik’s placement was again wide. Then the Tigers got plenty mean.

Hershberger returned the kickoff seven yards to the 32 and then teamed with Benjamin, Brown and Beiter for two first downs to the Bengal 41. Brown put the ball in scoring position via a 36-yard blast featuring some sharp blocking and Chester’s fancy footwork. Benjamin made three and Hershberger one before Mike banged the middle to make it a
12-6 ball game. It was still that way after his placement was blocked.

Benedictine had to punt two minutes later and on the last three plays of the quarter the Tigers moved from their own 21 to the 35. Controlling the ball as Rinehart, the two halfbacks and the two fullbacks carried the load, the locals used up 17 plays and over seven minutes for the tying touchdown. Benjamin’s 10-yard sweep and Beiter’s 13-yard buck up the middle helped place the pigskin on the one from where Benjamin tallied at right tackle. This time Hershberger’s kick was good and it was Massillon 13, Benedictine 12.

Twice during this drive the locals gambled, and won. On a fourth and four situation Benjamin got off his 10-yarder and with fourth and one at the four, Hershberger slammed off tackle for three.

Besides all this action, the Tigers were halted momentarily by a 15-yard clipping penalty.

During the remaining time neither team mustered a threat.

The Tigers marched 48 yards after receiving the second half kickoff. Hershberger’s 14-yard scamper was the chief gainer as they moved to the 15 before an offside violation put a crimp in their hopes for a third touchdown.
* * *
HOWEVER, MASSILLON chalked it up just a few seconds later. Benedictine had to punt but actually Benjamin didn’t get the chance to get on the go until Guard Joe Chapon punted three times.

The first time Benedictine was offside and the Tigers elected to have the Bengals punt again and the second time the visitors were offside and Massillon was called for clipping on Hershberger’s return. Finally there was nothing to wipe out the play – for which Tiger fans were happy.

Benjamin fielded Chapon’s boot at midfield, faked a handoff, and shifted into high gear. He was in “daylight” at the Bengal 35 and the rest of the chore was easy for the
swivel-hipped halfback. Hershberger again converted to make it 20-12 at 4:41.

Benedictine got to the Massillon 28 before Benjamin broke up a fourth down pitch by Hrisko and from that point the Tigers moved goal ward again. After Brown made 11 (he would have been long gone had not the last defender tripped him), Hershberger slipped and fell for a one-yard loss but sub halfback Jimmy Bivings sneaked behind the secondary, grabbed Rinehart’s toss and the 20-yard gainer put the oval on the Bengal 18 as the final period got under way.

Beiter gained two, Brown nine, Ivory four and Hershberger lost one before Beiter, moving to left half, cracked tackle for the score from the four. Once again Hershberger booted the point-after.

After Benedictine’s drive was stopped at the Tiger 31 the Orange had to punt and from their own 29 the Clevelanders went all the way as Hansley (once for 21 yards) and Sefcik (once for 16) ran for the needed yardage and Hrisko hit on three straight passes, the last one a 3-yarder to End Tom Pacl for the six-pointer.

Massillon made one first down and then lost 10 on a fumble before the contest came to an end.

The Tigers came out of the clean-played encounter with some bumps and bruises while Benedictine’s chief injury was Center Frank Kozlevchar’s twisted ankle.

The summary:
ENDS – Brenner, Elavsky, Wells, Childres, Mays, Hagan.
TACKLES – Mercer, Bixler, Halter, A. Slicker, Brownlee, Slabuagh.
GUARDS – B. Brown, Meldrum, Heine, Heimann.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Hershberger, Washington, Bivings, Pledgure, Stewart.
FULLBACKS – C. Brown, Beiter, Reese.

ENDS – Pacl, Mayher, Marek.
TACKLES – Skufca, Jakubowski, Zmarsly.
GUARDS – Sczurek, Chapon, Pusateri, Misencik.
CENTERS – Halasz, Kozlevchar, Naymik.
HALFBACKS – Hansley, Sefcik, Davis.
FULLBACKS – Kuretz, Kucera.

Scoring by quarters:
Benedictine 12 0 0 6 18
Massillon 6 7 7 7 27

Massillon scoring:
Touchdowns – Beiter (4-run); Hershberger (1-run); Benjamin 2 (1-run, 50-yard punt return).
Extra points – Hershberger 3 (placements).

Benedictine scoring:
Touchdowns – Sefcik (85-kickoff return); Hansley (40-pass from Hrisko); Pacl (3-pass from Hrisko).

Mass. Opp.
First downs rushing 16 5
First downs passing 1 4
First downs by penalties 0 0
Total first downs 17 9
Yards gained rushing 257 123
Yards lost rushing 24 6
Passes attempted 5 13
Passes completed 2 7
Yards gained passing 61 102
Net yards gained 294 219
Times kicked off 5 4
Average kickoff return 8.8 30.6
Yards kickoffs returned by 35 153
Times punted 2 3
Average punts (yards) 33 32
Yards punts returned by 50 -5
Had punts blocked 0 0
Total fumbles 1 1
Times lost ball on fumbles 0 0
Penalties 3 4
Yards penalized 25 30

Mike Hershberger
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1956: Massillon 27, Cincinnati Elder 12

Tigers Beat Cincinnati Elder 27-12
Massillon Gridders Win Fourth Straight In Spite Of Mistakes


It was a good thing our Tigers weren’t playing Canton Lincoln or Alliance – and we’ll throw in power-laden McKinley – last night.

They simply had too many weapons for a big and stubborn Cincinnati Elder team, which put up a ding-dong scrap for almost three-quarters. They dominated the statistics and impressed with three long touchdown drives but there were too many mistakes in that
27-12 victory.

It was Massillon’s fourth straight triumph of the season and marked the second year in a row that Elder became a cropper to the locals, who won’t get the chance to play the Panthers the next couple of years.

With the clock reaching zero for the last time of the chilly evening, the two-year contract with Elder had elapsed. It is a fact that Massillon wants to continue playing the club from the Queen City but they are having trouble getting together on dates.
* * *
ALTHOUGH ELDER fared badly in the second and third periods and didn’t score its second touchdown until after the Tigers had four, it was anybody’s ball game until the last 12 minutes.

This might be hard for some people to believe but the Tiger coaches and the players themselves realize probably more than anybody that the performance wasn’t as sharp as it might have been. Too many times the ball carrier was afforded little in the way of blocking, too many times the defense appeared sluggish and all in all there were just too many of those little mistakes that could ruin you against tougher opposition.

Looking at the situation from another angle, it was the opposition, which slowed up the Tigers at times. The Panthers, backed vocally by their band and about 200 fans, were a pretty tough nut to crack.

Pre-game dope had it that Elder was big, rough and ‘higher than a kite” for Massillon, and the scouts were right again.

Virgil Scardina thought his charges might have played better ball but wasn’t taking anything away from the boys. He had a big line, which the locals had a rugged time moving on occasions, and his backs, especially fullback Ronnie Reisz, weren’t spectacular but they could get the job done.

In the Tiger dressing room after the game there wasn’t too much celebrating, Apparently the Tigers were in opinion that their play wasn’t up to par.
* * *
COACH LEE TRESSEL was relaxed after experiencing some pre-game nervousness. Lee doesn’t get jittery, usually, but last night was an exception.

“It was an easier one (meaning Lincoln and Alliance were more formidable) but we never had much of a chance to let up” he said after it was all over.

The Tiger coach opined that Elder’s defense was a rugged one and this fact, along with the two fumbles which Elder recovered, and some missed assignments, slowed his team up. Defensively the Tigers were “a little better,” according to Tressel.

The Tiger relied on their running game and again Ivory Benjamin, Mike Hershberger, Chet Brown and “Chuck” Beiter gave the enemy fits.

Brown, the big boy with the odd gait who really roars once he gets warmed up, and Hershberger, who does everything well, scored two touchdowns apiece and the latter, after little Davie Richardson got banged on the head following the initial Tiger tally, took over the place-kicking duties and toed three straight conversions between the uprights.
* * *
BROWN LUGGED the leather seven times and averaged over 15 yards a trip with his touchdowns being chalked up on neat 27 and 38 yards runs. Benjamin, who averaged eight yards for 15 carries, set up Chet’s 38-yarder with a scoot of 22 and Brown’s other
six-pointer climaxed a 94-yard march.

Hershberger capped drives of 58 and 78 yards with one-yard blasts. Mike carried 15 times and averaged over four yards a crack (he hit the middle more than anybody) and his punting was again nothing short of terrific. He kicked twice, once for 51 yards and another time for 50 but the latter punt actually went 29 yards officially because it rolled into the end zone.

All this running accounted for a net of 314 yards on the ground and Massillon gained 31 more yards on three completions in six attempts while Elder came out of it with a net of 75 yards rushing and 60 on three-for-12 in the air game. The Orange line, anchored by Tom Heine, Tom Meldrum, Dick Whitfield and Jim Mercer with some good end play from Chet Brown, tossed Elder backs for losses totaling 51 yards. The Tigers also had 16 first downs to the losers’ 10.

Hershberger’s first punt, which barely rolled into the end zone, came on the 10th play of the encounter (played to 9,758 paid fans) and after the two clubs exchanged fumbles. The ball was brought out to the 20 and Elder took on the appearance of an array to be reckoned with. The Panthers went all the way but they had to get a “break” on a fumbled hand-off.

After they made one first down to the 35, an errant pitch-out, with the ball striking the shoulder of halfback Jim Vogt, set the visitors back on the 23. A pass was incomplete and quarterback Paul Umberg booted. Benjamin grabbed the ball on the Massillon 40 but it was dropped as he attempted to give it to Dick Brenner. And Elder had possession on the Massillon 39 as tackle Ray Herzog covered the pigskin.
* * *
ELDER MOVED for a first and 10 on a pair of six-yard runs by Ron Wainscott and Dave Wittrock and Vogt and Reisz carried to the 18. With a fourth and one situation, Reisz drove behind a wedge at the right side, slipped past the line of scrimmage, twisted out of the grasp of one defender and much to the surprise of just about everybody (it looked like he was a dead duck at the 15) zipped past the final stripe. Guard Frank Koehne’s placement was wide but Massillon was behind.

Reisz scored with 2:25 remaining in the period and it didn’t take the locals long to tie it up. Benjamin, Brown and Hershberger accounted for 18 yards before the initial quarter came to a close and Benjamin’s 10-yarder featuring a nice stop-and-go overture by the trick junior halfback, came on the opening play of the second panel. Hershberger gained seven in two tries at left tackle before Rinehart hit Benjamin with a pretty running pass. Ivory was downed after a 12-yard pick-up to the one and on the next play Hershberger banged through right tackle to make it 6-6 at 10:36. Richardson was hit hard after his boot went low of the posts.

There wasn’t much to write home about until the first half was almost over. An Umberg punt was grounded at the Tiger 40 from which point Benjamin, on a double reverse,
high-tailed it 22 yards to the Elder 38. Then Brown, racing into the clear at the 20, lumbered the rest of the way untouched. Hershberger’s kick put the Tigers in front 13-6 with 2:30 remaining in the half.

After Hershberger got off his 51-yard punt early in the third quarter, Umberg retaliated with a 42-yarder and Massillon started clicking from its own 23.

Before the end of the quarter the Orangemen had tacked up five more first downs. It was Hershberger, then Benjamin, Hershberger then Benjamin for a total of nine plays, which netted 60 yards. The Tigers decided to go to the air on the first down at the 17 but a Rinehart pitch was dropped in the end zone and on the last play of the period Brown fought his way for 15 yards.
* * *
WITH THE OVAL on the two, Hershberger’s off-tackle slant put it a yard away on the first play of the final canto and on the second the same hustler hit the same spot for Massillon’s third touchdown of the night. He converted to make it 20-6 at 11:26.

Two penalties helped stymie Elder after the kickoff but Larry Washington, the alert defensive halfback, hurt the Panthers more. He intercepted Umberg’s toss at the Tiger 35 and dashed to the Panther 46.

However, the Tigers were penalized for illegal use of the hands and on the next play were assessed 15 additional yards, this time for holding. The ball was back on the six but the Tresslemen had another touchdown in them.

Brown bolted off tackle for 19 and Beiter, who had broken into the starting lineup for the first time, returned to gain 11 yards on a sweep. Attempting to pass, Rinehart was nailed for an eight-yard deficit but still the locals moved. Beiter got seven and then Hershberger 12 before Mike hauled in a Rinehart aerial for 12 yards to the 35. Washington ran once for four, ditto for Benjamin and from the 27 Brown saw to it that the drive wasn’t going to be in vain. He found a hole at the middle, veered to his left and chugged to pay dirt unmolested. Hershberger again split the uprights. Thus the score was 27-6 with four minutes and 10 seconds of play remaining.

Elder took the kickoff at its 32 and went on to score a second time. Passes to Wittrock and sub Jerry Drew were the chief gainers to the Tiger 36. From that point Umberg threw again. Drew again was the receiver, taking the oval on the 15 and going in standing up. Dan Bushman tried to run across the extra point but was stopped short.

Elder tried an onside kick but the ball was covered only five yards away and on the second kick-off Beiter returned eight yards to the Orange 38. Rinehart lost four attempting to pass after a delay-of-game penalty and then end Jim Mullin intercepted a Rinehart pitch at the Tiger 39 and raced to the five before he was flopped by Rinehart. Wittrock ran for four and that was it.

The Tigers came out of the fray in good shape, except for a few cuts and bruises. Elder lost sub center Bob Maegley in the second half and six stitches were required to close a wound over an eyebrown.

Fourth Straight

ENDS – Brenner, Elavsky, Walls, Mays, Childers, Hagan.
TACKLES – Whitfield, Mercer, Slaybaugh, Halter, Ortiz, Brownlee.
GUARDS – Meldrum, B. Brown, Heine, Heimann.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger, Swartz.
QUARTERBACKS – Rinehart, Stewart.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Hershberger, Richardson, Washington, Pledgure, Bivings, Lawson.
FULLBACK – Beiter, C. Brown, Reese.

ELDER – 12
ENDS – Roth, Mullin, Reinstartler, Ludwig, Wegman, Flanigan.
TACKLES – Herzog, Farrell, Worss, Marx, Halloran.
GUARDS – Lebring, Brown, O’Neill, Nethaus, Keehne.
CENTERS – Maegley, Jertvorth, Westendorf.
QUARTERBACKS – Umberg, Bushman.
HALFBACKS – Luenberger, Wittrock, Wainscott, Carmisino, Vogt, Drew.

Scoring by quarters:
Massillon 0 13 0 14 27
Elder 6 0 0 6 12

Massillon scoring:
Touchdowns – C. Brown 2 (runs of 38 and 27 yards); Hershberger 2 (two 1-yard plunges).
Extra points – Hershberger 3 (placements).

Elder scoring:
Touchdowns – Reisz (run of 18 yards); Drew (pass play covering 36 yards).

Referee – Paul Robin Tobin.
Umpire – Earl Schreiber.
Head Linesman – Walter Grysks.
Field Judge – Harvey Hodgson.

Mass. Opp.
First downs rushing 15 8
First downs passing 2 2
First downs by penalties 0 0
Total first downs 17 10
Yards gained rushing 333 126
Yards lost rushing 19 51
Net yards rushing 314 75
Passes attempted 6 12
Passes completed 3 3
Yards gained passing 31 60
Net yards gained 345 135
Times kicked off 5 3
Average kickoff return 6 18
Yards kickoffs returned by 18 89
Times punted 2 5
Average punts (yards) 40 42
Yards punts returned by 0 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Total fumbles 3 3
Times lost ball on fumbles 2 2
Penalties 4 3
Yards penalized 40 35

Mike Hershberger
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1956: Massillon 13, Alliance 0

Tigers Win Thriller From Alliance
Massillon Gridders Triumph 13-0; Erase Old Jinx For Coach


It was another heap big scare, m’am, and Massillon was mighty glad it won.

There was good reason for rejoicing in the Tiger camp; the Tigers could point to their third victory in a row, the Alliance jinx was something of the past and Coach Lee Tressel’s personal winning skein had reached 37 games.

The Aviators, mainly on their longest sustained drive of the night, which came late in the third period and fizzled out on the first play of the final quarter, were like so many previous Alliance combines. They simply gave all they had before bowing 13-0 before 7,819 paid fans at Mt. Union College stadium.

But what they had wasn’t enough, thank goodness.

Program Cover

Massillon parlayed first and fourth period marches into its 28th win in 33 meetings with Alliance clubs. Fancy prancing Ivory Benjamin dashed into pay dirt twice and teamed with hard-nosed Mike Hershberger and the two line-busters, Chet Brown and “Chuck” Beiter, to give the Tigers the advantage when it came to moving that pigskin.

That the ground attack was the big difference was evident in that for the second time this season Massillon enjoyed a statistical edge. Just take a look.

Massillon, 13 first downs to Alliance’s 10, 270 net yards gained to 173. One Tiger aerial connection made 14 yards while the vaunted Aviator air game went ker-plunk.
* * *
ALLIANCE TRIED eight passes and not one settled into the arms of the intended receiver. But four times it was not fault of the passer, sophomore Walt Zingg.

This boy Zingg really threw the oval around but his efforts were in vain.

For instance, in that third quarter march Zingg’s flings could have put the host club back in the old ball game. Twice his receivers raced behind the Tiger secondary and were practically all by their lonesome when the pass arrived. But on both occasions the aerials were dropped.

Then after the drive ended, the Tigers had to punt and early in the spine-tingling final frame the Aviators went to work again. After Mike Hershberger got off one of his fine punts, this one 53 yards to the Aviator 10, the Mel Knowlton-coached crew advanced to their own 43 and once again one of their receivers dashed behind the secondary. Again the ball was right there but again Zingg’s toss was missed.
* * *
THE ORANGEMEN then applied the clincher. A march of 81 yards, featuring Beiter’s
35-yard caper up the middle, was capped when Benjamin whizzed around the right side for the final 13 yards.

The goalposts came down and the thumping in Massillon hearts eased considerably. What happened after that, except for the celebrating, was anti-climatic – even the fact that end Clyde Childers was required to kickoff three times.

Thus the Alliance jinx which made Paul Brown, Chuck Mather and Tom Harp its victims, went down the drain. And responsible was a green gang of fighters who licked a scrappy band of veterans.

Coach Tressel, enjoying one of his happiest hours, wouldn’t try to pick out any standouts.

“We are improving, our tackling was better and our downfield blocking looked good again. However, we have some more tough ones coming up. They are all rough…I mean it…but I believe we can hold our own if we continue to improve,” he said.

Tressel was a little peeved because of a second quarter let down but he explained the boys may have been tiring. However, apparently they got their second breath after stopping Alliance’s one big push of the night and as the last drive that iced the verdict was marked by crisp blocking and some hard running.
* * *
THE TIGER COACH was high on the Alliance team. He singled out halfbacks Timmy Johnson and Gary Wilson, who were particular thorns on inside running plays, and also paid a tribute to Zingg, a passer of “real promise.”

Johnson and Wilson accounted for 167 yards between them but their fast and shifty dashes failed to overshadow those of the four lads who carried the brunt of the Orange attack.

Benjamin zipped 92 yards in 14 carries with his touchdown coming on nifty runs of 25 and 14 yards, Hershberger made 76 in 16 trips, the improving Beiter gained 70 in five carries and Brown toted seven times for 31 yards.

Their runs were made possible by a mobile line that handled its job mighty fine. There were no standouts – everybody played hard and smart.

The game was less than two minutes old when guard Tom Meldrum jumped on a fumble at the enemy 49 – and Massillon was on its way to its first touchdown.

Hershberger and Benjamin gained three and five, respectively, before the former, twisting away from two would-be tacklers on a sweep to the left, picked up 14 yards to the 27. Brown got a yard, Benjamin fought for five and Hershberger fumbled and recovered for a four-yard deficit before Benjamin got on his horse.
* * *
THE WHIRLING dervish who plays left half for the Bengals took the ball on a double reverse – which caught the Aviators with their defenses down – and veered to the right. Blocking was near perfect and Ivory had it comparatively easy the last 15 yards of his
15-yard gallop. He was knocked for a loop but in the end zone and with six and a half minutes remaining in the panel, the Tigers were in front 6-0.

It was still six to zero after Davie Richardson’s placekick hit the crossbar and bounced back.

The rest of the quarter was meaningless other than Johnson’s 18-yard run but the hosts made two more first downs as the second round got under way. However, the Tigers knuckled down and finally end Attlilo Giovanatto had to punt from the Massillon 48.

The Tigers moved to their own 49 before Hershberger got off another terrific punt and another exchange of punts followed. The last time Alliance had possession in the first half Zingg tried three passes. One was almost intercepted by Benjamin, and two others were too far for the intended receiver.

Tressel’s halftime talk must have been a honey.

The Tigers came out loaded for Aviators. Except for a 15-yard foray by Beiter the yards were ripped off in short chunks as the Orangemen took the kickoff and moved from their own 16 to the 39.
* * *
BOB RINEHART the smooth quarterback, then hit on his only completion with Benjamin the catcher. The play was good for 14 and the fourth first down of the march but then the boys ran out of gas. On a delay, Hershberger was nailed for a five-yard loss by linebacker Bob Miller and Beiter was held for no gain before Rinehart took to the airlanes again.

The first went to Benjamin at the 25 but it looked like Ivory tried to run before he made the catch. On fourth down Rinehart twirled into the end zone and the throw was just a shade too far for Dick Brenner to reach.

Alliance was fired-up again. It was Johnson, then Wilson to the Tiger 43 before an end dropped a Zingg aerial in the clear at the 20. The host team went to the ground again and Wilson on two smashes gained 23 to the 20. Alliance stands were roaring but another Zingg pass was dropped and Johnson got only two and Wilson three. Then on fourth down Zingg couldn’t find a receiver in the open and ran to his right. Chet Brown got a firm grip on Zingg’s jersey, wouldn’t let go and Massillon took over at its own 13.

Chet and Ivory picked up a first down but in three more plays the Bengals gained nine and Hershberger punted. This time his kick sailed 53 yards and dead on the 10.

And man, the Aviators had Tiger fans on the edge of their seats once again.

That same pair, Johnson and Wilson, carried the mail to the 32 and after the next two plays made eight, a Zingg pass was dropped for the fourth time.
* * *
THEN EVERYBODY was expecting the Red and Blue to go for the first down. It was fourth and about a yard and a half at the 43 but the Aviators punted.

Giovanatto lofted one 38 yards to the Massillon 19 and the Tresselmen got sharp to apply the clincher.

Chet Brown twice wriggled loose for 12-yard pick-ups as the invaders moved to the Aviator 43 before Beiter came through with his 35-yard jaunt. Beiter cracked the middle and almost went the distance but was brought down from behind at the eight. A Rinehart toss was short but Benjamin skirted right-end, smartly cut away from a couple defenders, and went into the end zone standing up. Richardson’s placement at 1:02 made Massillonians real happy.

Childers had to kickoff three times after the field was cleared of fans who walked off with the goalposts. Massillon was offside on the first; the second went out of bounds. Then kicking from his own 35, the lanky flanker sent one clear down to the Alliance five. Johnson ran it out to the 27 and on the second play from scrimmage guard John Heimann intercepted a Zingg pass and two plays later the final gun sounded.

Mass. Opp.
First downs rushing 12 10
First downs passing 1 0
First downs by penalties 0 0
Total first downs 13 10
Yards gained rushing 278 180
Yards lost rushing 22 7
Passes attempted 6 8
Passes completed 1 0
Passes had intercepted 0 1
Yards gained passing 14 0
Net yards gained 270 173
Times kicked off 3 1
Average kickoff return -5 16
Yards kickoff returned by -5 49
Times punted 4 5
Average punt (yards) 42.5 36
Yards punts returned by 0 9
Had punts blocked 0 0
Total fumbles 2 3
Times lost ball on fumbles 0 2
Penalties 5 2
Yards penalties 35 20

Mike Hershberger
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1956: Massillon 26, Canton Lincoln 13

Tigers Defeat Canton Lincoln 26-13
Lions Give Orange And Black Terrific Game Before Bowing


Over 13,000 fans came to Tiger stadium last night expecting to take in a whale of a football game.

They weren’t let down. Massillon’s Tigers and Canton Lincoln’s Lions saw to that. Nobody, nay nobody, felt the Hammering in his heart east up until the clock showed only a little over two minutes remaining and the Orange and Black out front by 13 solid points, 26-13.

As the rain, which fell intermittently for about 46 minutes, started to pelt down the teams were going through the motions – Massillon awaiting the final second and a celebration marking its second straight victory, the Lions beaten but far from being stung to the quick.
* * *
THE TIGERS topped a big strong and speedy ball club. A club that doesn’t give up ship is always hard to beat and Lincoln was just that.

Program Cover

There were times when it looked like Massillon was about to break the contest wide open. Especially when Mike Hershberger, the foot-loose and fancy free halfback scatted 79 yards on a kickoff return to put the Tigers ahead 20-13 late in the third period. But did Lincoln fold? It did not. In fact the Canton combine came battling back, drummed up two more threatening gestures and was only a fallen foe after its second big gamble of the night failed to pay off.

It was a ball game, which might very well have gone either way. Fumbles and penalties gummed the works for both sides and in the long run the Tigers’ ability to get their
post-haste leather luggers in the open field overcame a Lincoln attack featuring powerized smashes and a surprise pass play.

Down-field blocking certainly was a rose to Massillon but there are still loop holes which must be sewed up pronto. The Tigers have another mean enemy, Alliance, due next Friday night and the belief is that if the Orange and Black takes the Aviators – usually more dangerous on their home field – into camp they may well be on their way to many more happier hours.
* * *
COACH LEE TRESSEL wasn’t beefing about much after the smoke of battle cleared last night. He noted the improvement in the blocking, plugged the running ability of Hershberger, hurrying Ivory Benjamin and fullbacks Chet Brown and Chuck Beiter, and then in the same breath paid tribute to the hard-fighting Lincoln team.

“They surprised us with some of their new offensive plays. Their line was pretty big for our kids to handle. That kid Cosentino (Don) showed more speed than we expected.”

Tressel’s next statement will probably find most Tiger supporters agreeing with him: “I feel we have a good bunch of scrappers. That’s what it takes.”

Massillon HAD to scrap. The Lions, with possibly their best outfit since the 1945 team that held Massillon to a scoreless deadlock, had the most first downs (15 to 12) and the most yardage by passing and running (295 to 217). The breaks were just about even, consequently desire probably made the difference.

Lincoln fumbled six times, Massillon recovering four times while the Lions jumped on all four Tiger bobbles. The penalty marker also was a thorn fly in the ointment for both.
* * *
IN ALL PROBABILITY the most disheartening bits of bad luck for either side was the fumble which snafued a Lion bid after the Tigers wiped out a deficit and took a 7-6 lead in the opening quarter and the penalty which deprived Lincoln of a TD after Hershberger’s run. Lincoln grabbed the bull by the horns and rolled 57 yards before Beiter pounced on Cosentino’s miscue at the three.

Then in the third period it was 13-13 after Hershberger electrified the crowd of 12,375 paid admissions with is 79-yard kickoff return. Clyde Childers kicked off to the invading crew and it was Cosentino’s turn to romp. He did…for 52 yards after fullback John Farrall returned the kick to his own 48. But a holding infraction cost the Lions the score with the penalty being the third one of three similar ones chalked up against the Lincoln array in the same period.

The Tigers had their flabbergasted moments too.

They digested two clipping penalties during the sortie, which led to their second touchdown of the night and in the third chapter a fumble led to Lincoln’s tying touchdown. But the toughest break came when the Tigers had a chance to sew it up earlier. On the third play of the last period Benjamin went lickity-split for 48 yards only to lose the ball when he was downed at the Lion seven.

Three of the four Orange tallies came on get up and go gainers with Hershberger reaching pay dirt after runs of 42 and 79 yards and Benjamin hot-footing it 38 for another. Ivory’s other second TD was made on a 13-yard run. Dave Richardson, the student manager with the blossoming toe, kicked two extra points. In his two other attempts he was hurried, the ball sailed low and right into Lincoln rushers.

The first of the fumbles came on the fourth play of the encounter. Chet Brown fumbled and Lincoln had its first break. From the Tiger 36 it required the Lions six plays to go the rest of the way. Cosentino, Farrall, and Capt. Ronnie Worstell carried to the 11 from where Cosentino hit off tackle for the touchdown and it was still 6-0 after quarterback Chuck Dinkins missed the kick.
* * *
THREE PLAYS after the kickoff Lincoln had possession again. Quarterback Bob Rinehart threw a pass in the right flat but a fine leaping catch by end George Copeland put the Lions on the Massillon 32. However, three plays later Beiter’s catch of a Dinkins pass made the Tigers as active as a mouse in a cheese factory.

Chet Brown got the drive going with an 11-yard sweep from the 22 and he, Benjamin, Beiter and Hershberger advanced the pigskin to the Lion 42. After Brown out-foxed one defender and then bowled over another Massillon was penalized for clipping but Hershberger tallied the tying TD. Finding a hole at left tackle and aided by Benjamin’s block at the 15, Mike dashed 42 yards on a real heady job. Richardson split the uprights and with 1:52 left in the quarter the Tigers were ahead.

Apparently, the score was like a red flag to a bull. The Lions made 13 yards on the last three plays of the period (with a fourth down gamble paying off in a five-yard gainer by Farrall) and at the outset of the second stanza the Cantonians stayed on the ground to move to the three, only to see Cosentino fumble and Beiter recover.

It was the Tigers’ turn to roar. Benjamin swept end and ran 17 before slipping. Two clipping penalties hurt but a roughing call against the Lions and Rinehart’s pretty pass to Hershberger which picked up 12 helped and soon the Bengals were on the Lincoln 38.
* * *
AT THIS POINT Benjamin, with a wave of blockers ahead of him, wriggled around right end, got loose at the 25 and sprinted past the final stripe. End Dick Brenner was shaken up on the play and as Tiger coaches were taking a look at him the teams lined up for Massillon’s extra point try – and the Tigers then were called for delaying the proceedings. Everybody had figured time was out and Coach Tressel had a chat with the ref but the penalty stood. Richardson went back further for the kick and it was low and flew smack into the back of a Lincoln boy. Cosentino returned the kickoff to the 31 and the half was all over.

Following the rest period the fans really got their money’s worth.

After an exchange of fumbles Lincoln got the ball on the Tiger 42. After three plays the Lions were faced with a fourth and four situation at the 35 and here they decided to gamble.

A double-reverse pass came off with Dinkins doing the tossing. End Larry Ellison was all by his lonesome at the 12. He caught the oval and carried to the four. Worstell gained one, then cracked the middle for a touchdown and when Farrall ran across the point-after, matters were all even with 4:10 remaining in the frame.

Copeland kicked off and Hershberger fielded the ball in front of the east stands on the 21. He cut to his left, then went back to the right, got a needed block from Jim Mercer and outran some enemies to the Promised Land. Richardson again converted and it was 20-13 at 4:03.
* * *
COSENTINO got in the act with a 52-yard return but Lincoln was caught holding and Paul Dellerba’s team stayed in hot water after another holding penalty three plays later. The second penalty erased a 22-yard jaunt by the same Cosentino.

With fourth and 20 at the Tiger 44 the Lions gambled again and this time they didn’t hit the jackpot. The reverse pass play was called again on third down but Brenner came through, batting the ball down and on fourth down Dinkins’ shot intended for Ellison was way too short.

On the second play of the final round Hershberger punted to Worstell on the Lion 37 and the Lincoln halfback fumbled. The kid who kicked the ball dived on it at the Lincoln 45 but on Massillon’s first play from scrimmage, the Tigers relinquished possession again. Benjamin inserted a beauty of a run but fumbled when he was tackled and Ellison recovered on the seven.

Four plays later Cosentino made only one when the Lions needed three and it was Massillon’s ball on the Maroon 16. Hershberger got three before Benjamin scored. He cut around the right side and high-tailed it to the end zone as Hershberger and Beiter blocked nicely. At 8:02 Richardson’s kick was low but the Tigers had the clincher.

Lincoln gave it another whirl, moving from its own 42 to the Tiger 29 before the locals again took over on downs. Hershberger’s fumble was recovered by Ellison at the Tiger 19 and the visitors got to the three before time ran out.

ENDS – Brenner, Elvasky, Childers, Hagan, Geschwind, Wells.
TACKLES – Whitfield, Mercer, Brownlee, Bixler, Halter.
GUARDS – B. Brown, Meldrum, Heine.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger.
HALFBACKS – Benjamin, Hershberger, Pledgure, Richardson, Bivings, Washington.
FULLBACKS – C. Brown, Beiter, Reese.

ENDS – Ellison, Wetzel, Copeland, Zettler, Bennett.
TACKLES – Groetz, Thewes, Craddock.
GUARDS – DePasquale, Vogelgesang.
CENTER – Stroia.
QUARTERBACKS – C. Dinkins, T. Dinkins.
HALFBACKS – Cosentino, Worstell, Van Benthuysen, Ferry.
FULLBACK – Farrall.

Score by quarters:
Massillon 7 6 7 6 26
Lincoln 6 0 7 0 13

Massillon scoring:
Touchdowns – Hershberger 2, runs 42, 79; Benjamin 2, runs 38, 13.
Extra points – Richardson, 2 (placements).

Lincoln scoring:
Touchdowns – Cosentino, run 11; Worsetll, run 3.
Extra point – Farrall (run).

Referee – Mack Schaffer, Ottawa.
Umpire – Leo Less, Youngstown.
Head Linesman – C.W. Rupp, Cuyahoga Falls.
Field Judge – Dick Klar, Dover.

Mass. Opp.
First downs rushing 12 12
First downs passing 0 2
First downs by penalties 0 1
Total first downs 12 15
Yards gained rushing 235 246
Yards lost rushing 30 7
Passes attempted 2 6
Passes completed 1 2
Yards gained passing 12 56
Net yards gained 217 295
Times kicked off 5 3
Average kickoff return 41.3 19.2
Yards kickoffs returned by 124 96
Times punted 1 0
Average punt (yards) 25 0
Yards punts returned by 0 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Total fumbles 4 6
Times lost ball on fumbles 4 4
Penalties 6 4
Yards penalties 65 50

Mike Hershberger
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1956: Massillon 35, Toledo Central Catholic 0

Tigers Defeat Toledo Central 35-0
Long Runs By Bengal Backs Startle Foe


If the outcome of all the rest are like the one last night there will be a lot of happy people in Massillon – and Coach Lee Tressel will be able to toss his aspirins into the nearest trash can.

But before the 1956 edition of the Washington high Tigers had applied the finishing touches to their one-sided 35-0 conquest of an out-manned but stubborn Toledo Central Catholic grid team those who root for the good old Orange and Black were starting to think about the more troublesome obstacles which lie ahead.
* * *
CANTON LINCOLN is next and the Lions will be a different story. That’s what they were saying and apparently no truer words have ever been spoken.

Program Cover

Toledo Central had a spunky, hard-hitting outfit, one that probably kept the score down by controlling the swineskin. Those 35 points looked awfully good but they fail to tell the story. Only once did the Tigers put on a sustained drive, they were out-first-downed and without a couple of long gainers they would have been on the short end of total yardage.

The blocking stands improvement and we think it will be better. Ditto for the defense, which was somewhat off color in the tackling department. But there were some outstanding overtures played by the Tigers, who made it a romp before a goodly-sized turnout (10,257) considering a good many things.
* * *
BIGGEST THING in Massillon’s favor was its explosiveness. The three regulars operating out of the “hands” of Quarterback Bob Rinehart – Halfbacks Ivory Benjamin and Mike Hershberger and Fullback Chet Brown, with one big assist from sub fullback Chuck
Beiter – were the difference. Perhaps the energetic Benjamin came up with the more spectacular jaunts but the three others did man-sized jobs and although the Fighting Irish really acted tough on occasions, the mixture of speed and power put them on the
ropes – then knocked them off.

Hershberger, righthalf and co-captain, tallied two touchdowns on runs of seven and 20 yards, caught a pass for 10 more and in 11 trips with the mail averaged over seven yards per try. Benjamin carted nine times for an average of seven yards per and it was his
58-yard scamper, longest run of the night, which went for another Tiger TD. He also caught an aerial for a gain of 36 yards. Line-bucking Brown averaged over six yards in nine carries and Chet got into the scoring act on a six-yard smash. Beiter, impressive in his brief role as a line buster, scored the other touchdown on a 21-yard sock up the middle.
OUT FRONT of these lads was a line, which blew “hot and cold.” The opener staged in near-perfect football weather probably helped them a great deal and undoubtedly they will get better with each game. After all, the fact that none of them had ever before started a varsity scuffle must be considered.

Incidentally, the same holds true for the backfield – including Hershberger who sat out the 1955 season because of an injury.

Benjamin got the Orangemen headed goal ward midway in the first quarter when after an exchange of punts he grabbed another Toledo kick on his own 32. Cutting to the east sidelines he moved in the clear at the 40 and apparently was going all the way but the last defender standing a chance to stop him did just that. However, Massillon was in business at the Central 27 and in short order the Tigers’ first touchdown of the year was flashed on the scoreboard.

HERSHBERGER lost three at the left side and a Rinehart pass was incomplete but Bob, showing considerable poise, twirled again and this time Hershberger made a leaping catch at the 24 and toted four more yards. On the next play the same Hershberger, on a
quick-hitter, hit pay dirt after tearing away from one Toledo player, then outrunning two more.

Little Dave Richardson, who doubles as a student manager and place-kicker, came in and calmly split the uprights. And he did the same after each touchdown that followed.

Only two minutes, 32 seconds remained in the quarter and Massillon didn’t reach touchdownland again but the speedy, shifty Benjamin brought the crowd to its collective feet and got the Bengals knocking at touchdown door again.

The Centralites stalled and Quarterback Bob Stearns punted from the 17 to Ivory, who grabbed the leather on the 48 and zoomed to the Irish 38. The Tigers were on the prowl after being held at bay the last two plays of the period.

On the first play of the second quarter Rinehart ran to his left, fired the ball to Benjamin on the 42 and the Tiger righthalf made it to the 11 after neatly reversing his field in front of the Central bench. Ivory was bounced for a loss of two but Hershberger got six before taking a pitch out, wheeling left and fighting his way to the end zone. Richardson converted at 10:07.

Before the half it was 21-0.

BENJAMIN HAULED in a pass by Pete Kessler, sub for Stearns, and rambled from the Tiger 44 to the Central 42. It required the hosts six plays to make their third six-pointer. It was sub halfback Larry Washington for six, Benjamin three, Hershberger for the first down at the 32, Brown to the 21 and then Beiter, finding a big hole at center, buzz-sawing his way the last 21 yards. At 5:04 Richardson kicked the point. That’s the way it stood at intermission which arrived shortly after Hershberger halted a Central bid which reached the Tiger 23. Mike intercepted a throw at the three, cut back to within inches of his own goal line, and raced to the 35. With a couple of good blocks he might have gone the distance. It wouldn’t have counted through, as Massillon was penalized back to the 20 for clipping. Two plunges netted seven, two passes failed and the teams took a rest.

A poor kick which squirted off End Bill Compton’s foot and went out of bounds 15 yards away at the 35, paved the way for the Tresselmen’s third period touchdown.

After Brown got two and Beiter churned for five, Benjamin got on his “horse” once again. Hitting off the right side, he quickly burst into the clear and without a hand touching him, hot-footed it 58 yards to the Promised Land. Needless to say, Richardson booted it through to make it 28-0 with 8:45 remaining in the session.

THE IRISH of Tom McHugh followed with their best effort, which went from their own 44 to the Orange six. Two runs, two passes made it third and six at the six when Stearns unleashed an aerial intended for Halfback Dick Courturier. Instead Benjamin was the catcher. From the six-inch line he scooted up field and with Tackle Jim Mercer throwing the key block, reached midfield. For a moment the play spelled touchdown but two Toledo boys had an angle on him.

Apparently, the back-fire took the wind out of the visitors and the Tigers got rambunctious again. On the last play of the quarter Hershberger gained three and as the final round got under way the drive kept moving.

Cutting away from one enemy and stiff-arming another, Hershberger raced 12 and came back for 18 after Benjamin picked up four following a Rinehart pass, which was bent for End Don Elavsky, but broken up by Irish Halfback Ron Bueter. End Bob Brubaker nailed Rinehart before Bob could get his bearings, for a deficit of seven, back to the 20 but Brown barreled to the nine and Benjamin got six and with fourth and three on the board, the husky Brown hit over the left side and was hit by a brace of Irish at the two. But they failed to stop him and Chet just made it past the final stripe. At 8:39 Richardson’s kick wound up the scoring.

TRESSEL began to make more frequent use of his reserves and the Scarlet got the chance to advance the pigskin once more. Martin Grosjean, Bob Vetter and Kessler ran to the 19 and a pass, deflected by sub tackle Gary Ortiz, was caught by halfback Charley Miller who reached the 10. Two plunges got only a yard and on the last play of the encounter Kessler passed again. His throw sailed into the end zone and Fournier was set and waiting but defensive halfback “Corky” Pledgure came out of nowhere and batted the ball away.

Tressel was a very happy coach, “It’s always nice to win your opener,” he smiled.

Pointing out that Central controlled the ball a considerable amount of time (over five minutes at one stretch) the new Tiger tutor went on to say that this might not have been if his team’s tackling had been sharper. “Out-standing, I thought, was the fact that we didn’t fumble and were penalized only once.”

The coach emphasized that the attempted to keep his first unit intact over three quarters “because we need the work.”

Mass. Opp.
First downs rushing 8 10
First downs passing 1 4
First downs by penalties 0 0
Total first downs 9 14
Yards gained rushing 227 152
Yards lost rushing 35 11
Passes attempted 7 8
Passes completed 2 4
Passes intercepted 2 0
Yards gained passing 46 47
Net yards gained 231 188
Times kicked off 6 1
Average kickoff return 14 12
Yards kickoffs returned by 14 82
Times punted 1 3
Average punt (yards) 40 28
Yards punts returned by 55 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Total fumbles 0 2
Times lost ball on fumbles 0 1
Penalties 1 0
Yards penalties 15 0

Mike Hershberger