Tag: <span>Newark</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1983: Massillon 44, Newark 0

Gonzaga, come on down!

Offensive line, defense lauded in Tiger romp

Independent Managing Editor

MASSILLON – Gonzaga Prep of Washington D.C., has quite a bit to think about on the trip to Tigertown for Friday’s game.

Following Massillon Washington’s 44-0 drubbing of Newark before 8,445 fans in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Gonzaga must concern itself with:

— A Tiger offensive line that has jelled into an awesome high school unit. They go by the names, left to right along the line, of Jason Collins, Don Elvasky, Dave Morelli, Scott Hendershot and Darrell Strickling.

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— A Massillon defensive squad so stingy the second and third stringers have learned lessons well and tightened their teamwork to stop foes who think they might have it easier. Some of their names can be found later in this story. But like the offensive line, the defense is a team concept, not a group of individuals.

— Craig Johnson, Chris Spielman and Brian DeWitz, who, despite rain, sloppy fields and knee braces, perform consistently each time they hit the field.

Johnson scored four touchdowns on runs, in order, of 2, 37, 78 and 13 yards and gained 166 yards in14 carries – and he didn’t really get started until the second quarter and left the game to a deserved standing ovation with 2:28 left in the third quarter.

Spielman scored the Tigers’ first touchdown on a playbook-perfect-plus 21-yard pass in the left flat from DeWitz. Playbook-perfect-plus because Spielman ran his pattern deeper against the coverage, got behind the linebackers to catch the pass and from there, it was clear sailing into the end zone as he bowled over Newark defensive backs as if they weighed 140 and 150 pounds, which a couple of them did.

DeWitz was six of 14 for 134 yards, but should have had glossier statistics. He received excellent front-line support, but could have sued his receivers for non-support. Several passes found receivers’ hands, but were dropped.

But the standouts of the night in which the Tigers earned their fourth victory against one loss were the offensive line which helped the Tigers pile up 488 yards of total offense (284 running and 204 passing) and the defense, which posted the shutout.

“Newark were playing on our big players, Spielman and Johnson, and taking their middle linebacker out of the middle and putting him where they thought we’d run a play, a guessing game,” Tigers’ Coach Mike Currence said.

“The first few times Brian saw this, he didn’t know what he saw. But we thought the misdirection and counter plays would work well and they did and that’s a credit to the offensive line.”

After Spielman scored the initial touchdown, the teams exchanged punts with Massillon getting the better of the deal, pinning Newark in at its own 8-yard-line. A penalty moved the Wildcats back to the four and three Dave Jones rushes later, Newark punted with Spielman fair-catching the ball at the Newark 39.

From there, the Tigers moved backwards on a pair of penalties and a sack until they faced a third-down-and-27 situation at the Newark 44. Several Newark defenders chased the backpedaling Dewitz back into Massillon territory before the senior quarterback lofted the ball over their heads to the waiting Spielman near the left sideline.

Behind a cordon of blockers, Spielman rolled 31 yards to the Newark 13 and four Johnson bursts later, the Tigers led 14-0 as Johnson dove in from two yards out.

Newark then stalled at its own 15 and Kirk Ivan took a fair catch on the ensuing punt at the Newark 49. Then, Johnson went off tackle for two yards; Spielman went off right tackle and cut back for seven yards and then dove off tackle again for three yards. This repetition set up what was one of the prettiest plays of the game.

Dewitz faked a handoff going right and then gave it on the counter to Johnson, who slid off tackle and then headed for the left sideline, dragging tacklers the last five yards into the end zone.

But let Darrell Strickling, spokesman for the offensive line, tell it.

“On the counter play, the defensive tackle on the left side sets up the end and the right tackle comes across and pulls for the running back,” Strickling said.

“A play like that keeps the defense honest. But the offensive line got on our blocks and stuck with them until we got the job done tonight. We’ve been coming up to the stadium on weekends and working, especially on our pass protection. We’re working together.

Newark picked up its initial first down of the first half with 4:50 left on a pass from Trey Balding to Jones swinging out of the backfield. But the Newark drive stalled at the Massillon 25 as Tom Gruno, Tim Sampsel and Spielman simultaneously hit or put pressure on Balding’s fourth-down pass attempt to end the threat.

The teams each had short-lived drives – Massillon’s ending on an interception, Newark’s with a punt. Currence and his coaching staff instructed the Tigers to decline a Newark illegal procedure penalty on the kick and take the ball at their own 22 with 1:02 left rather than make the Wildcats kick again to possibly gain better field position.

“There wasn’t much time left anyway and we needed a big play to get down into better field position,” Currence said in explaining his decision. “Besides, the rain made it difficult to run back any punt. So we ran our first trap play of the game. With the trap play, you have as good a chance of breaking a big play as on any play.”

Behind the skilled work of the offensive line, Johnson shot through the initial mass of bodies and headed to the right sideline free and clear. He then turned on the jets and wrapped up a 78-yard touchdown run, giving the Tigers a 27-0 halftime lead and thoroughly demoralizing Newark.

“We could see Newark getting a little tired on us,” Strickling said. “We were playing heads-up ball.”

Johnson still had the fire burning inside him as the teams lined up for the second-half kickoff. He took the return up the middle, then dashed to the left for a 95-yard return into the end zone. But no score. There was the small matter of a penalty flag for a clip which, after the yardage was marked off, put the ball back on the Massillon 44.

No problem; the Tigers went back to the methodical way of moving the ball 56 yards to a touchdown, scoring in five plays with the fifth play Johnson’s final TD on a 13-yard run, breaking past the befuddled Newark defenders on the same counter play he scored upon in the second quarter. Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?

“Johnson played a great game,” Currence said in the understatement of the 1983 season.

After Bronc Phisterer’s fourth of five successful extra point kicks, the 34-0 lead held up until 7:36 remained in the game when Pfisterer added a 29-yard field goal. Junior Irwin Hastings took a 12-yard pass from junior quarterback Mike Scott before Pfisterer notched the final point with 45 seconds left.

The defense, particularly the front four of John Brown, Gruno, John Franke and Tim Sampsel, was sterling. And when Neward mounted its last attack with less than seven minutes left, the Tiger defensive subs got into the act, too.

Newark moved the ball following Pfisterer’s field goal from its 35 to the Massillon 24 and had a second-and-five at that point. But Balding made an unwise pitch back to tailback Jay Redman and Redman was swarmed under by a gang of Tigers for a five-yard loss back to the 29.

Then Baldking went back to pass and was smacked by Massillon senior Jim Hendricks just as he released the ball, which floated into the arms of Tiger senior defensive back Kevin Shepherd. It was a fine piece of teamwork and fitting that a pair of seniors who see limited playing time were the ones to hook up in stopping Newark.

“The defensive coaches are always after a shutout,” Currence said. “It’s a moral victory for them. Team defense is really what makes a team great. They’re all individuals and they’re concentrating on playing their own position, not thinking about playing another position and that’s the team concept.”

Bill Biggers, coach of the Newark squad which fell to 1-3-1 had another concept of his team. “We were poor,” he said. “Jones runs the ball hard, but our offensive line stunk. Jones is a very good back, but we can’t seem to open anything up for him.

Perhaps Biggers and his staff should ask Currence, offensive coordinator Nick Vrotsos and offensive tackle coach Chuck Utterback to conduct a clinic.

Or he could just ask Collins, Elvasky, Morelli, Hendershot, and Strickling – the Tigers who get down and get themselves dirty.

‘Johnson played a great game’

Those were the words used by Massillon coach Mike Currence to describe the game Craig Johnson played in Friday nights’ 44-0 victory over Newark in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Johnson scored touchdowns on runs of 2, 37, 78 and 13 yards and gained 166 yards in 14 carries.

First downs rushing 10 2
First downs passing 8 3
First downs by penalty 1 0
Totals first downs 19 5
Yards gained rushing 307 57
Yards lost rushing 23 24
Net yards rushing 284 33
Net yards passing 204 84
Total yards gained 488 117
Passes attempted 21 18
Passes completed 10 8
Passes int. by 2 1
Yardage on pass int. 6 0
Times kicked off 8 1
Kickoff average 46.8 55.0
Kickoff return yards 39 151
Punts 2 8
Punting average 39.0 34.4
Punt return yards 26 0
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 1 0
Fumbles lost 0 0
Penalties 4 4
Yards penalized 34 39
Touchdowns rushing 4 0
Touchdowns passing 2 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 60 42
Time of possession 26.02 21.58
Attendance 8,445

NEWARK……………….0 0 0 0 – 0
MASSILLON……………7 20 7 10 – 44

M – Chris Spielman 21 pass from Brian Dewitz (Bronc Pfisterer kick)
M – Craig Johnson 2 run (Pfisterer kick)
M—Johnson 37 run (Pfisterer kick)
M – Johnson 78 run (kick failed)
M – Johnson 13 run (Pfisterer kick)
M – Pfisterer 29 field goal
M—Irwin Hastings 12 pass from Mike Scott (Pfisterer kick)

Chris Spielman
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1982: Massillon 49, Newark 7

Tigers roll to fifth win, 49‑7 over Newark
‘Laugher’ belies players concern for Hendershot

Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ The most advanced computer in the world would be hard pressed to match the efficiency of the Massillon Tigers Friday night.

The state’s No. 2 ranked Class AAA team ran roughshod over the visiting Newark Wildcats in a 49‑6 ‘laugher,’ but there was little joy in the Tiger lockerroom before the contest.

“We wanted to dedicate this game to Scott Hendershot,” said Tiger junior Chris Spielman afterwards. “This one was for him.”

The Tigers’ 55, a junior backup lineman, was not on the sidelines for Friday’s game. He was home with his family, his stomach in knots, awaiting news on his 7‑year‑old sister, Dawn Marie, last seen leaving school Wednesday afternoon.

“Scott was right where he should have been tonight,” said Massillon head coach Mike Currence. “The team prayed for the little girl’s safe return before and after the game. It was certainly something that was on our minds; we were all ready to play tonight.”

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Newark tried to be fancy from the start, as the opening kick was promptly caught and passed across the field to a player stationed on the sidelines, who promptly fumbled the ball out of bounds, a harbinger of things to come for the Wildcats.

Newark mounted one of its best drives on its opening possession, though, advancing to the Tiger 48 before being forced to punt.

The Tigers began on their own 28, marching the remaining 72 yards in just six plays. Jim Bushe, returning to action after a hip pointer cost him most of two games, announced himself healthy by rambling 16 yards on the first play. Three plays later, fullback Tim Sampsel found a big hole and rambled 29 yards to the Newark eight, his longest gain of the year. A play later, Spielman broke through for a seven‑yard touchdown run, followed by the first of seven straight Bronc Pfisterer conversion kicks.

Seconds later, Spielman stepped in front of a Terry Balding pass, recording his second interception of the year; the third was to follow. Less than three minutes after the first Tiger score, Spielman rambled 12 yards for the second.

Newark again was forced to punt, and after a jitterbug return by Gary Conley, the Tigers marched 66 yards in seven plays. After his punt return, Conley kept the ball rolling by grabbing a 30‑yard pass by junior quarterback Brian DeWitz down to Newark’s 36. Bushe capped the drive with a three‑yard run with 10:38 remaining in the half.

“Our offense was better tonight because Jim was back with his running and blocking,” said Currence. “He looked very strong.”

“My hip didn’t bother me at all,” said the senior speedster afterwards. “I was just too happy to be back on the playing field to worry about pain.”

The Tigers actually had to punt the next time they gained possession, a high, spiraling 41‑yarder by DeWitz, the baby‑faced bomber with the leg of steel. But Newark certainly couldn’t do anything with the ball, except fumble it away on an option play with the Tigers’ Bob Robinson hopping on the loose orb after a 12‑yard loss on the Wildcat eight.

Three plays later, Tiger senior Tom Gruno bulled it over from two yards out. The half ended with the Tigers up 28-0. It was almost 35‑0 ‑ on the Tigers final possession before halftime, Conley found himself unbelievably open behind the Newark secondary but DeWitz’s pass just eluded his fingertips.

Massillon received the second half kick, with Tom Manion almost breaking it for a long‑gainer before being hauled down at the Tiger 34. Three plays later, DeWitz arched a bomb over a leaping defender and into Conley’s hands for a 55‑yard score. Action for Tiger offensive regulars was over for the night.
Tigers roar to fifth straight win.
The quarter ended with the Tigers leading 35‑0. Spielman’s diving, fingertip interception which stopped a Newark drive at Massillon’s 21 highlighted the remainder of the period. After the theft, the Tigers’ regular defense followed the offense to the sidelines as the Tiger backups saw their most extensive playing time of the year.

Early in the fourth quarter, a 38‑yard run by Tom Gruno ‑ his longest jaunt of the season ‑ put the ball on Newark’s 15. Senior Mark Smith went the final eight yards with 9:57 left in the game.

The Tigers’ seventh TD of the night came after a Mike Gallant interception at the Newark 26 which he returned to the 19. With 7:35 remaining in the game, junior Brian Spicer smashed over the line from four yards out to cap a short, four‑play drive.

Newark finally scored with 4:54 remaining. A 73‑yard drive was finalized by a 14‑yard run by Newark’s Tim Dierks. Finishing what they had begun, the Wildcats’ kick was off the mark.

Newark fell to 2‑3 with the loss. About the only consolation coach Bill Biggers could find is that his team didn’t lose the game in the waning seconds like the previous two weeks.

“That was the worst I’ve ever been beaten in 11 years of head coaching,” said Biggers. “We were embarrassed here tonight, but that’s not to take anything away from the Tigers; they’re a fine, fine team.

“In the end, it wasn’t our mental errors or the crowd that beat us; the Tigers just blew us out plain and simple. They’re the best team I’ve ran across, both offensively and defensively, in a long time.”

Now the 5‑0 Tigers must prepare, for Barberton on Friday night. The Magics haven’t shown much in the way of wizard‑like powers so far this year, but the Tigers can hardly afford to be overconfident after last year’s shocking loss to the tradition‑bound school.

“It’s Up To You in ’82” is the official slogan for this year’s squad, but Spielman always ends his post‑game quotes with a slogan that’s just as good: “Tonight’s over and done. It’s next week’s game that matters now.”

First downs rushing 12 8
First downs passing 4 3
First downs by penalty 0 2
Totals first downs 16 13
Yards gained rushing 249 73
Yards lost rushing 13 44
Net yards rushing 249 73
Net yards passing 119 73
Total yards gained 368 146
Passes attempted 16 23
Passes completed 8 6
Passes int. by 3 0
Yardage on pass int. 11 0
Times kicked off 8 2
Kickoff average 55.4 30.0
Kickoff return yards 23 85
Punts 3 7
Punting average 45.0 35.6
Punt return yards 38 0
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 2 2
Fumbles lost 0 1
Penalties 4 0
Yards penalized 40 0
Touchdowns rushing 6 1
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 53 58
Time of possession 24:22 23:18
Attendance 9,414

Newark 0 0 0 6 6
Massillon 14 14 7 14 49

M ‑ Spielman 7‑yard run. (Pfisterer kick).
M ‑ Spielman 12‑yard run. (Pfisterer kick).
M ‑ Bushe 3 yard run, (Pfisterer kick.)
M ‑ Gruno 2‑yard ran. (Pfisterer kick,)
M – Conley 55 yard pass from DeWitz. (Pfisterer kick.)
M ‑ Smith 8‑yard run. (Pfisterer kick.)
M ‑ Spicer 4‑yard run. (Pfisterer kick.)
N ‑ Dierks 12‑yard run, (kick failed).

Jeff Boerner
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1961: Massillon 50, Newark 6

Tigers Beat Newark 50-6 Before 10,387
Three Passes, Long Runs Feature Bengals’ Opening Night Victory


They said it would be a breather. And the experts called it right.

The Tiger roared to the tune of 50-6 at Tiger stadium Friday night in its first outing in quest of a third straight state championship.

Washington high school’s first victims of the 1961 season were the Newark Wildcats.

There were a few hitches here and there during the evening but nothing that can’t be ironed out with more hard work on the practice field.

Coach Leo Strang commented, “Our rushing game was a little sluggish and when we had our reserves in during the second half, our defense ran into a little difficulty.”

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* * *
STRANG explained that the first team backs were missing assignments early in the game.

The Tiger machine ran smoothly after a few adjustments until the reserve backs had trouble in the second half.

“Our backs are still green,” Strang said, “but they’ll come around. “Dean (Ken) was out due to the death of his father, and Brown (Co-Captain Charlie) had sore feet and we couldn’t use him too much. When we’re able to use them fully, it’ll make a difference.”

While on the subject of his backfield, Strang commented on the work of left Half Ron Davis, a junior, and senior Fullback Fred Philpott. “I was really pleased with the performance of both of these boys,” Strang said.

Philpott scored one touchdown and one conversion. Davis two six-pointers and a two-pointer.

Strang singled out Tackle Ben Bradley, a junior, and seniors Willie Poole and Charlie Whitfield for their work on defense. Poole was in the line. Whitfield was linebacker. All three did yeoman service.

The quarterbacking of senior Jim Alexander and sophomore Terry Getz looked good. Both handled the ball well. Alexander passed for three touchdowns. Getz was a little off. But being a southpaw the Tiger offense is naturally a bit awkward for him. Strang was pleased with their work.

* * *
THE BENGALS scored in each quarter before a good opening night crowd of 10,387. Massillon’s best effort came in the first period when the Tigers tallied 16 points.

The Tigers made good use of scoring opportunities, tallying seven of 11 times that they had the ball. They came up with four TD’s the first half and three the last.

The Bengals rolled up 445 total yards to 104 for Newark. Massillon did not lose any yards rushing. The Tigers gained 279. Neward garnered 117 and lost 24. Passing yardage was 166 to 11 in favor of the Bengals. First downs were 18 to 6 on the Massillon side of the ledger.

Newark Coach Jim Allen in his first year, had high praise for the Wildcats. “We hustled all the way,” he said. “I think we can improve on last year’s record (1-8-1).”

The Tigers had the scoring all to themselves until the final period. When Newark scored with 1:41 left to play.

Massillon started thing off midway through the first period. The Tigers took over after a Newark punt on their own 30-yard line. On the second play of the series Alexander and long side End Larry Ehmer got together on a 61-yard TD pass, the aerial coming on a second-and-one situation after Brown had blasted nine yards through the middle to the 39. The score came with 4:13 remaining. Brown then cracked off the right side for the conversion and an 8-0 tally.

* * *
MINUTES LATER the Tigers again forced Newark to kick. Howard Ridella punted from his 38. Safety Bob Baker grabbed the ball on his 30 and raced down the sideline for the
70-yard tally. Fred Philpott carried off the right side for the conversion. The score was
16-0 with 1:48 remaining.

One play before the first period ended Ridella punted to Baker, who was nailed on his own 34. Five plays and two first down later came the third score. Philpott ran two successive plays, gaining 10 yards and a first down. Brown picked up 22 yards on the next two plays, taking the ball to the Newark 34 for a first and 10 situation. Alexander then passed to Wingback Ron Schenkenberger down the right side. Schenk grabbed it on the 10 and went into the end zone with 9:16 remaining. Davis went between the tackles for the extra points.

Alexander got into the scoring act again late in the quarter. The Tigers forced Ridella to kick, this time from his own 36 to Massillon’s 26, where the ball rolled dead. In eight plays and four first downs the Bengals had their fourth tally.

With Davis, Alexander and Schenkenberger taking turns running the ball, Massillon brought the ball to the Newark 26, first and 10. The big gains in the drive were eight and 10 yards by Schenkenberger and 15 by Alexander. Schenkenberger picked up two first downs, so did Alexander.

The touchdown play was Alexander’s pass to End and Co-captain Ken Ivan with 3:59 remaining. Ivan hauled the ball in one the 10. Alexander was short on the conversion try.

* * *
SENIOR Fullback Jack Lash set up the fifth tally with a fumble recovery on the “Cats” 25. With Getz engineering the attack, the Bengals scored in two plays.

Davis swept right end from the 18 after Brown had picked up nine yards through the center. The tally came on a second-and-one play with 7:42 left in the third stanza.

A delay penalty cost the Tigers a chance to make the conversion. Ivan tried to kick from the eight and missed.

Massillon took over the ball just before the third period ended on its own 43 and on the first play of the fourth canto, with 10 seconds gone, Philpott shot between the long side guard and inside tackle for 57 yards and the score. Lash missed on the conversion.

The Tigers had one more scoring opportunity. It came on a 67-yard drive from Massillon’s 33 after Newark’s lone TD. During the drive the Bengals garnered four first downs, all of them coming on consecutive plays. One was on a 13-yard run by John Kanney, junior halfback; one on a 13-yard pass Alexander to Ivan, and the last on a 16-yard run by Davis.

* * *
DAVIS WENT OVER on first-and-seven on a sweep around the right side with 20 seconds remaining in the game. Kanney tallied the conversion.

Newark Halfback Jim Tims stopped two other Massillon scoring opportunities himself on pass interceptions. He grabbed an Alexander to Schenkenberger aerial in the end zone for a touchback on the Tigers’ first series of the game.

Just before the end of the first half. He picked off a pass of senior Quarterback Bob Baker’s on the Newark five.

The ‘Cats’ lone tally came on a 64-yard drive, starting on their own 36 when many of the Tiger reserves were in. The big gainers were by senior Quarterback Gordon Johnson, another southpaw, and junior Halfback Jim Cocanour. During the drive Newark picked up five first downs.

Johnson threw to junior Halfback Jeff Wortman at the one, and Wortman went over, the score coming with 1:41 remaining. Junior Guard Don Kennin tried to kick the conversion, but missed

A Good Start

Ends – Pyle, Klein, Hunt and Bartlett.
Tackles – Myers, Walters, Hazelett, Cashdollar, and Miller.
Guards – Gordon, Kennon and Holten.
Centers – Lowery and Bibart.
Backs – Johnson, Wortman, Tims, Ridella, Arnold, Cartner, Cluggish, and Cocanour.

Ends – Ivan, L. Ehmer, McDew, Pierce, Dewald and Garland.
Tackles – Strobel, Spees, Brenneman, Mercer, C. Bradley, Dekan, Profant, Magiiacho and Clendening.
Guards – Clendenin, Miggee, J. Ehmer, Matecheck, Relford, Whitfield, Poole, Mickley and Caldwell.
Centers—B. Bradley, Heckathorn and Heine.
Backs – Alexander, Schenkenberger, Brown, Philpott, Baker, getz, Jarvis, Lash, Williams, Snively, Franklin, Sullivan, Davis and Kanney.

Newark 0 0 0 6 6
Massillon 16 14 6 14 50

Massillon Newark
First downs – rushing 13 6
First downs – passing 5 0
First downs – penalties 0 0
Total first downs 18 6
Yards gained rushing 279 117
Yards lost rushing 0 24
Net yards gained rushing 279 93
Yards gained passing 166 11
Total yards gained 445 104
Passes attempted 10 3
Passes completed 5 4
Passes intercepted by 1 2
Times kicked off 8 2
Kickoff average (yards) 38.2 35.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 16 121
Times punted 2 6
Punt average (yards) 41.5 30.0
Punt return (yards) 73 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 3
Lost fumbled ball 0 1
Penalties 4 0
Yards penalized 40 9

Charlie Brown