1961: Massillon 21, Parma 20
Tigers Edge Stout-Hearted Parma 21-20
Bengals Come From Behind In Third Period To Win Game
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
The 70,000 fans who stayed away Friday night will be kicking themselves for days to come!
But 10,219 who showed up at Municipal stadium in Cleveland will be talking about what they saw for some time!
The Redmen from Parma almost pulled the Ohio high school football upset of the season, as the Massillon Tigers squeaked to a 21-20 second half win. The margin of victory was an extra point off the toe of Junior Will Paisley after the Bengals’ second touchdown.
The Washington high school faithful sat shocked, absolutely stunned as the fired-up Redmen ripped the Massillon defense to shreds and stymied the Tigers’ powerful running game almost to a standstill in the first half to take a 20-8 lead after the initial 24 minutes of play. But the tables were turned in the second half.
The great fighting spirit of the Bengals that never lets them say die won out in the end. The Massillonians came storming back to tally 13 points in the third stanza for the win.
* * *
IF EVER THEY proved their right to the 1961 state title, it was Friday night, as the Tigers picked up their 10th straight victory of the season while Parma ended 5-5. It was one of the toughest nights in the career of Coach Leo Strang.
The Canton McKinley Bulldogs are the only team to stand in the way of the Bengals’ third straight championship. After what happened in Cleveland, they’ll not be taking Pete Ankney’s crew lightly. The Bulldogs are sure to be full of steam next Saturday in view of their recent suspension from football for the 1962 season.
Three names stood out above all others in the story of the contest. Two were Redmen, one a Tiger. The Parma passing combination of Russ Jacques to Al Hoehn, both juniors, and the second half performance of Massillon’s big senior Fullback Ken Dean dwarfed all other aspects of the game.
Dean scored both of the third quarter TD’s which enable the Bengals to come home victorious. Dean also ate up valuable acres of real estate to help keep two Massillon drives going and eat up the clock.
Jacques, a lefty quarterback pulled the rollout maneuver to perfection outwitting the Tiger defense time after time. Hoehn, with his stop-and-go pattern, left Massillon defenders in his dust with regularity. He would start down the field, hesitate for just a minute, then take off to grab Jacques pinpoint passes.
* * *
ONLY NEAR the end of the tilt when the Tigers were able to put the pressure on a desperate Jacques, trying to beat the clock, did his aim falter. The rest of the night he had perfect protection and plenty of time to throw.
Both coaches heaped praise on the other’s team. Said Strang, “Parma was capable of this all year. They were sky high tonight. I can’t understand why they haven’t played like this before. Brugge (Coach Bob of Parma) and his staff deserve a great deal of credit. They anticipated the type of defense we would use and outfoxed us.”
Said, Brugge, “I cautioned my boys that you can’t make mistakes against that great Massillon team. We did and they capitalized on them. I hope you guys win next week and take it all. You deserve it.” He added, “This was a great moral victory for us. I told the team they would have to play way over their heads. They gave me 100 per cent effort plus. I can’t ask for more than that.”
This was Strang’s third victory over a Parma team coached by Brugge. Leo had pulled the trick both in 1956 and 1957, both times by shutouts. The 1957 victory gave Shaw high its first Lake Erie league title in 29 years. It was the first victory for Massillon in three tries at Municipal stadium.
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STRANG EXPLAINED to reporters that the Redmen used four different things his scouts had never seen in the five games they had watched Parma. One was a counter play, which enabled left Halfback Carl Roloff to pick up big gains around the center of the Massillon line while running away from the flow of blockers. Another trick was a different type of blocking than the Tiger scouts had seen Parma use before.
“We changed our whole defense at halftime,” said Strang. “Our setup didn’t work against Parma, because they changed about half of their offense for the game. We moved our ends out to be able to slant in order to put more pressure on the passer.”
* * *
PARMA WON the toss. Massillon has only pulled the trick twice this year – and proceeded to use all but 2:45 seconds of the first period driving to its first score.
Brugge had said that his team’s only chance was to pass. However, he came out running. Halfback Carl Zipfel took Co-Captain Ken Ivan’s kickoff on the Parma five-yard line and returned to the 21. From there the Redmen embarked on a 79-yard drive for a score. The march covered 18 plays with six first downs.
Roloff, right halfback Howie Wichert and Fullback George Sider took turns running around both ends, over both tackles and through center. The gains weren’t just small ones but seven, eight, nine and 10 yards at a clip.
Three times the Tigers had Parma at third down situations but couldn’t hold. The last time it was fourth down on the one, Jacques hit Wichert for the TD on the next play. Another pass to left end Wayne Martin, near the end line, scored the conversion.
Massillon had its only four plays of the quarter after the kickoff, moved only from its 12 to its 18, and Jim Alexander punted.
* * *
PARMA HAD 20 PLAYS from scrimmage during the first quarter. The Tigers had 15 plays in the second quarter but Parma had 10. Inability to get the ball hampered the Bengals throughout the first half.
Massillon got another chance at about the 10-minute spot of the second stanza, getting the ball on its 47 after a 37-yard punt return by Bob Baker. The Bengals took until 6:28 to get the equalizer. The Parma defense didn’t let the Tigers break loose, with the result they had to settle for the short gainers which consumed valuable time.
After eight plays and two first downs, with Brown and Philpott doing most of the carrying through the center and between the long side end and outside tackle, Alexander carried over just inside the right end from the 18 for the tally. His pass to Ivan notched the conversion.
Two plays following the kickoff Ivan almost intercepted a pass near the Parma 43 that might have netted Massillon a score. Had Ivan held on he had what looked like a clear field ahead.
Parma took eight plays to score after this, getting two first downs in the process. Key plays were a 30-yard pass to Hoehn from the Parma 38 to the Massillon 32 after a holding penalty on the Redmen, and a 10-yard aerial from the 20 to the 10. Both were from Jacques to Hoehn.
* * *
SIDOR FINALLY carried over down the center from the one at 3:26. Jacques tried to throw for the extra points but was tackled and the scored remained 14-8.
On Massillon’s next play from scrimmage, Alexander tried to pass to Ivan. Jim’s pass was short. By the time Ken could get turned around, Hoehn had intercepted on the Massillon 45.
There was 2:48 left in the half. Parma promptly scored again at 1:14, this time in seven plays and three first downs.
Jacques passed to Roloff on the first play, to take the ball to the 15. One play later a holding penalty set the Redmen back to the 29. Baker and Bill Blunt broke up a pass down the center at the goal line to Hoehn on the next play to stop a score. In their efforts the Tiger defenders almost tipped the ball into Hoehn’s hands in the end zone.
On the next play Jacques threw down the left side. Hoehn dropped the pass, which had TD written all over it again. Then Jacques threw right and end Joe Angey made an impossible circus catch on the one.
Sidor took the ball over again on the next play, this time through a gaping hole in the right side of the Tigers’ line. Jacques pass for the conversion fell incomplete.
* * *
THE TIGERS managed to get a drive going from their 27, following the kickoff, only to have the clock catch them on the Parma seven with a first down. The last play of the half was a pass from Alexander to Wingback Ron Schenkenberger that covered from the Redmen’s 43 to the seven down the right side.
When the second half started, it was Massillon’s turn to eat up the clock. The Tigers moved 80 yards right after the kickoff, only to be stopped on the three on an incomplete pass. The drive featured good runs around the center by Dean, in for the first time, and Alexander, and Brown’s jaunts inside the long side end. The march lasted until 6:22.
The Bengals didn’t reach gold dust territory until 5:37, after recovering a Parma fumble on the Redmen’s four; Charlie Whitfield, playing middle guard for the first time because Willie Poole was taken ill, pounced on the ball after a vicious tackle had jarred the pigskin loose from Wichert’s hands.
Dean went over, through the middle, on the first play. Paisley booted the conversion to make it 20-15.
Ivan’s kickoff was fumbled by Lee Orne on his 30 after another hard tackle. Ron Davis recovered this one.
Dean scored six plays later, going over through the center from the one at 3:22 to give Massillon its winning margin. Alexander’s pass for the extra points was incomplete.
Fred Philpott, senior fullback, had a key run around left end from the 28 to the sic to help set up the score.
Massillon had 22 plays to Parma’s 11 in the third canto. Both teams had 18 plays in the last quarter. Both had long drives stopped.
* * *
PARMA HAD the first chance.
Taking over on the Tigers’ 47, the Redmen drove to the six in seven plays and three first downs. Most of the efforts were passes from Jacques to Hoehn, although Angey caught one that moved the ball from the 25 to the eight.
The Bengals broke up three successive passes from the six, anyone of which might have been a score, and took over with 7:38 remaining. They tried desperately to get a TD for breathing room but were stopped on the Parma 17 after 13 plays an four first downs.
Dean did most of the carrying, aided by Brown and Alexander again. A good part of the real estate was picked up through the middle this time.
Parma took over at the 1:12 mark. Jacques went to the air for four out of the next five plays, throwing to Hoehn each time. He picked up one first down, but that was all. Jacques had to run out of bounds on one play when he couldn’t pass.
Massillon was able to run out the clock after this. There were only 26 seconds remaining.
First downs – rushing 12 9
First downs – passing 1 4
First downs – penalties 3 1
Total first downs 15 14
Yards gained rushing 252 115
Yards lost rushing 3 0
Net yards gained rushing 249 115
Yards gained passing 35 153
Total yards gained 284 268
Passes attempted 5 21
Passes completed 1 8
Passes intercepted by 0 7
Times kicked off 4 4
Kickoff average (yards) 44.6 45.4
Kickoff returns (yards) 39 71
Times punted 1 1
Punt average (yards) 33.0 32.0
Punt return (yards) 37 2
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 3
Lost fumbled ball 0 2
Penalties 3 3
Yards penalized 33 35