Tag: <span>Paul Brown Tiger Stadium</span>

History

1984: Massillon 6, Canton McKinley 17

Determined Tigers beaten back by Bulldogs

By STEVE DUNGJEN
Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Decals, magic potion and a lucky penny weren’t enough.

McKinley’s Bulldogs were simply too much for Massillon Saturday afternoon before 17,926 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Not even record setting performances by Massillon’s Bruce Spicer and Mike Scott were enough to stave off a determined bunch of “Mad Dogs.”

When the final gun went off the scoreboard read: McKinley 17, Massillon 6.

And it wasn’t a game that could’ve gone either way. Massillon’s lone score occurred with a scant 32 seconds remaining, the Tigers’ fate already sealed.

Program Cover

Although the Bulldogs (7‑3) finished with a slight 296‑284 edge in net yards, the Tigers (6‑4) led in just about every other statistical category.

Statistics, though, are among the greatest half‑truths in the universe.

Massillon held a 20‑12 edge in first downs. The Tigers possessed the ball longer, and ran off a whopping 21 more offensive plays.

But the Bulldogs led in the two area, that counted the most ‑ big plays and total points. In both categories the Tigers lacked.

“That’s what wins big games for you,” Massillon defensive tackle John Kroah said. “We couldn’t stop theirs, and they didn’t make any mistakes. Maybe we just underestimated them.

“Personally, don’t think there was the same kind of intensity that we had for the Perry game.”

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1984

The strike‑it‑rich‑quick preference by the Bulldogs paid off handsomely to the tune of 17 points. Here’s the reasons why:

‑ Flanker Jeff Smith catches a 28‑yard touchdown pass with less than a minute left in the first half;
‑ Smith, also a safety, intercepts a Scott pass in the endzone to thwart a Massillon score;
– Tailback Chris Clax bursts 80 yards for a TD 36 seconds into the second half;
– Sophomore Mark Smith, with the wind at his back, drills home a 45‑yard fourth‑quarter field goal at the 7:55 mark to give the Dogs a 17‑0 lead.

Truly, McKinley was a rags to riches story this season. They were 1‑3 at one point. They unearthed their biggest treasure with Saturday’s win.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1984

After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers had a chance to draw first blood. But Todd Manion’s wind-aided 54‑yard field goal attempt fell well short of the intended mark.

Before setting up for the three-point try the Tigers used two time outs. That would come back to haunt them later in the period.

Taking over at their own 20, the Bulldogs went 80 yards in eight plays behind the throwing of junior quarterback Brian Chaney.

Chaney hit six of seven passes in the drive for 78 yards, the finale being a 28‑yard strike to Smith over the middle. Smith’s point‑after was good, and McKinley held a 7-0 lead with 59 seconds remaining in the half.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1984

Massillon, with no time outs left, promptly took the ball from its own 34 following the kickoff and marched to McKinley’s 9‑yard line behind Scott’s pin‑point passing, Scott hit Derrick Newman for 19 yards, Cornell Jackson for 23 and Spicer for 14 more.

Faced with a first down from the Bulldog 9, Scott sought Newman in the end zone. The pass was intercepted by Smith instead.

Mr. Momentum remained in the Bulldog locker room at halftime, joining the team minutes later on the field of play when Clax burst 80 yards to paydirt just 36 seconds into the half.

In the span of 95 seconds, the Bulldogs had pulled off three big plays. Three more than the Tigers had all game.

Twice in the third period the Tigers, who had pour field position for the bulk of the game, were within striking distance. Both times, though, they were denied entry into the end zone.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1984

Massillon had the ball once at its own 45, but had to punt three plays later. The same fate befell them on their next possession, taking the ball at McKinley’s 47 and punting three plays later again.

McKinley threatened to break the ballgame wide open on its ensuing set of downs, driving to the Tiger 27 where they were faced with a fourth‑and‑2. Clax took off with the ball to his right, but Massillon defensive end Chris Slinger put the stopper to him short of the yard stick.

With the distinct possibility of being shut out for the first time in the series since 1973, the Tigers got the ball back for the final time at their own 13 with 3:19 remaining.

Scott, who had a sterling first half, was off to a retched second‑half showing, completing just four‑of‑19 passes before the final drive.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1984

But the senior dug down and went work. He hit Spicer for a pair of 11‑yard gains. Irwin Hastings for nine more, and Spicer again for eight. Wes Siegenthaler then caught a pass for 12 yards and Spicer another eight yarder.

Hastings was found open once again, this time for a 14‑yard gain to McKinley’s 14. Two straight passes then fell incomplete when Scott connected with Siegenthaler for a first down at the Bulldog 2.

On the ensuing play, Hastings swept the left side for a long‑awaited but way too little TD. Only 32 seconds showed, and the subsequent onside kick attempt was recovered by the red and black.

On this sunny day not even the decals that equipment manager Keith Herring purchased and then applied to the front of each player’s helmet worked.

Not even the “win potion” of assistant coach Butch Hose could do it’s thing.

And not even the “lucky penny” assistant coach Keith Dewitz found outside the coach’s door nine days earlier could come through.

It just wasn’t meant to be.

It’s back to the
drawing board
for Currence, staff

By STEVE DUNGJEN
Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON There will be no grace period for Mike Currence this year. Canton McKinley saw to that Saturday afternoon.

In front of 17,926 spectators at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, the Bulldogs gave Thom McDaniels his first win in three outings against Massillon with a 17‑6 decision.

“I won’t be celebrating (this) week,” Currence, Massillon’s head coach of nine years, said. “I’ll be working. We’ll start a week early on next year’s game.”

“The big run killed us,” Currence said of Chris Clax’s 80‑yard run to paydirt on the first play from scrimmage to open the second half. “That put us down two, and now we really had to start playing catch up.

“I don’t know how many they had,” he said of the Bulldogs’ big plays, “three, four, five, six, seven or eight. They made a lot of them, and we didn’t get any big plays.

“I think we were up, but I don’t think we played as well as we could’ve. We had them several times, but we just didn’t cash them in.

“We used a few different formations and alignments, but it didn’t bother them. The formations and plays didn’t stop them from winning.”

Currence admitted his club aired the ball much more than they wanted to against McKinley’s seasoned secondary. The Tigers put the ball in the air a team record 49 times.

Although the Tigers dropped to 6‑4 with the loss, Currence wasn’t totally dismayed.

“We started out with a very young team,” he noted. “We have a lot to be proud of. We certainly aren’t proud of losing the last one, though.

“The senior never gave up, and I’m certainly proud of them.”

Massillon got off to one of its worst starts, saddled with a 1‑3 record after just four weeks. Then the Tigers started to put things together, stringing five consecutive wins before Saturday’s swan song.

And how does McKinley rate with Massillon’s other nine opponents this season?

“I think they are the best team we’ve played,” Currence said.

But there will be little time for reflection.

On Friday, the head coach received some bad news. His father-in‑law had passed away. Today Currence and his wife Joan are in Maryland, where funeral arrangements were taking place.

Tiger‑Bulldog gridstick

MCKINLEY 00
MASSILLON 00

McK M
First downs rushing 5 4
First downs passing 7 15
First downs by penalty 0 1
Totals first downs 12 20
Yards gained rushing 213 63
Yards lost tasting 18 29
Net yards rushing 195 34
Net yards passing 101 250
Total yards gained 296 284
Passes attempted 14 49
Passes completed 8 23
Passes int. by 2 0
Times kicked off 4 2
Kickoff average 46.5 32.2
Kickoff return yards 16 1
Punts 4 6
Punting average 30.3 32.2
Punt return yards 23 15
Punts blocked by 0 0
Fumbles 1 0
Fumbles lost 0 0
Penalties 1 2
Yards penalized 13 20
Touchdowns rushing 1 1
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Number of plays 51 72
Time of possession 23:31 24:29
Attendance 17,926

MCKINLEY 0 7 7 3 17
MASSILLON 0 0 0 6 6

Mck ‑ Jeff Smith 28 pass from Brian Chancy (Mark Smith kick)
Mck ‑ Chris Clax 80 run (M. Smith kick)
Mck ‑ M. Smith 45 FG
M ‑ Irwin Hastings 2 run (pass failed)

Scott, Spicer stand out
For Tigers
in face of defeat

By STEVE DUNGJEN
Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON ‑ Personal accomplishments lose their shine in the face of defeat.

Bruce Spicer and Mike Scott know that all too well.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s disheartening 17‑6 loss to Canton McKinley at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Massillon’s S & S combination was, needless to say, distraught.

Spicer, a senior wide receiver, set three Tiger pass receiving records. Scott, a senior quarterback, established two passing standards.

Entering the McKinley game, Spicer already owned the single game receiving mark with nine. He bettered that by two with his 11 receptions for 104 yards.

On the first play from scrimmage, Spicer caught a 10-yard pass that gave him the regular‑season reception mark with 46. Marty Guzzetta had held the record with 45.

Guzzetta’s all‑time single season record of 50 catches was knocked down a notch. Spicer finished the year with 56 receptions.

In his career Spicer caught 66 passes, which rank him third on the all time list behind Curtis Strawder (68) and Guzzetta (69).

Those 56 catches by Spicer netted him 583 Yards, putting him in second place behind Guzzetta’s 706 total in 11 games.

“I got a pretty good end, don’t I?” Tiger head coach Mike Currence said of Spicer.

“The records didn’t mean a lot because we didn’t win the game,” a subdued Spicer said. “I think we hurt ourselves. We made a lot of mistakes and had a lot of letdowns here and there.

“The win over McKinley is what everybody wanted.”

Spicer said the 80‑yard touchdown run by McKinley’s Chris Clax to open the second half took the wind out of the Tigers’ sail.

“It was like the bottom fell out,” he said. “It was something that happened that you didn’t think could happen.”

Scott bounced back from a preseason back injury to certify himself as one of the all‑time top Tiger passers.

Despite missing nearly four full games, Scott pushed his name into third place in the single-season attempts chart. His 178 throws this year trailed only Brian DeWitz (181) and Brent Offenbecher (182).

Scott also ranks fourth on the career most attempts list with 190. His 1,208 passing yards this year rank him sixth on the all‑time career chart, and his 244 yards passing against McKinley put him fourth in the single‑game books.

Against McKinley, Scott heaved a yeoman‑like 48 passes to surpass his own record of 32 set earlier this year against Stow. The senior signal caller also completed 23 attempts to better his standard of 19, also set against Stow.

“I knew we had to get the ball down there some way and score, but I didn’t do it,” Scott said about his abundance of aerial attempts. “After a big score like that (Clax’s 80‑ yard run) everybody is down on themselves and we knew we’d have to come back and score.

“We were trying to get a good (big play) touchdown for ourselves in order to get back in the game. They were jumping most of our primary receivers and we had to go to our secondaries.”

There was nothing secondary about the performances turned in by the S & S duo. Though it will take some time for their deeds to sink in, they can hold their heads high.

Mike Scott and Bruce Spicer will long be remembered as two of Massillon’s finest.

Mike Scott
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1982: Massillon 7, Canton McKinley 0

Playoff game here Saturday night
Sandusky next as Tigers nip Pups

By MIKE HUDAK
Independent Sports Editor

MASSILLON – Victory whoops echoed throughout a locker room where passage was difficult because of wall-to-wall well wishers wanting to reach out and congratulate the players who were an extension of their own lives.

But Ty Beadle, the Tigers’ 6-foot-2, 265 pound senior tackle was not smiling. The young giant was drained mentally and physically and his eyes seemed to peer through the floor he was staring at.

It was a helluva game, he understated.

Teammate Charles Calhoun, the Gladiator like Tiger guard, brought the twinkle back to Beadle’s eye. “We showed them the line could run today, too, he quipped.

Program Cover

Early in the third quarter, Calhoun had provided the only levity in what wasn’t a laughing matter, picking up a fumbled snap and carrying the ball six yards before being pulled down by the swarming Pup defense.

“That was the famous Clydsdale right play,” quipped Calhoun and Beadle laughed.

Beadle deserved to laugh, the Tigers had won, a perfect regular season had been completed and a home date in the playoffs assured. Unemployment may have hit the highest mark in Massillon since the 1930s but there was no “Depression” in Tigertown on Saturday, Nov. 6, 1982.

According to Tiger statistician Tom Persell, the talk around town after the game was that the Tigers were “flat”, that they had heard so often how they were supposed to overwhelm the Bulldogs that they were lulled by the publicity.

Not so. The first time the Tigers touched the ball following the opening kickoff they held the ball 18 plays, moving down to the Bulldog 15 before a penalty and a devastating McKinley pass rush moved them back to the 34 where a fake punt and a run by quarterback Brian DeWitz fell short of the first down.

This initial stand buoyed the Pups confidence. McKinley from that moment on played to its maximum defensive potential – known to be quite good before the game even began. It was the McKinley offense that was suspect and despite moments of glory, it remained the Pups ‘Achilles Heel’ as they failed to score for the first time in the annual classic since 1979.

After the Tigers initial drive, neither team threatened again the remainder of the half. Massillon fans were contemplative at halftime; typical reactions when friends spotted each other were raised eyebrows or shrugged shoulders when would the vaunted Tiger offense roll into gear?

Again, the Tigers first possession of the half, after forcing McKinley to punt, appeared to be the opening of the flood gates.

Beginning possession on the McKinley 42, halfback Chris Spielman, who enjoyed a spectacular day and garnered more page one press than perhaps any junior in journalistic history, picked up chunks of turf in eight-yard chunks as the Tigers drove to the Pup three.

But a flag for clipping on the run that set up first and goal turned the drive around. Moments later, it was fourth and goal from the 17.

Bronc Pfisterer rushed onto the turf for a field goal attempt. But at the last second, he rushed off and Tim Sampsel rushed on, barely avoiding a delay of game flag and attempted a kick that was wide left.

Tiger head coach Mike Currence explained the apparent confusion.

Jeff Boerner
History

1980: Massillon 7, Canton McKinley 16

Meet McKinley in playoffs
Tigers will get another Chance Friday

By ROLLIE DREUSSI
Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers won’t have to wait a whole year to gain revenge for the 16‑7 loss the McKinley Bulldogs inflicted on them Saturday afternoon in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The Tigers will be going to the playoffs for the second straight year, but not on the basis of their performance on Saturday.

The Bulldogs simply outplayed the Tigers both offensively and defensively to raise their record to 9‑1 and grab first place in the Division I, Region 3 computer rankings.

Program Cover

The Tigers’ 8‑1‑1 record still produced enough points to net them second place, thanks to Lakewood St. Edward ‘s loss to Cleveland St. Joseph Saturday night.

So now, we’ll do it all over again when the Tigers travel to Canton’s Fawcett Stadium for the Region 3 championship game Friday at 7:30 p.m.

That may be the end of the road for the Tigers, however, unless they dramatically improve upon the kind of performance they turned in Saturday before the 21,754 fans who packed Tiger Stadium to see the 85th meeting between the two schools,

The Bulldogs unleashed a bevy of fast, hard‑running backs who totaled 221 yards rushing against the Tiger defense. That running attack was complemented by the eight of 12 passing of quarterback Rick Worstell, which accounted for another 92 yards.

This balanced attack proved too much for the Tiger defense. The Bulldogs controlled the ball and kept the Tiger offense off the field. McKinley had the ball for 32:46 compared to just 15:14 for the Tigers.

And when Massillon did get the ball, they did little with it. The Tigers netted only 96 yards ‑ 42 rushing and 54 passing ‑‑ and lost the ball twice on interceptions and once on a fumble.

Whether the Tiger’s simply had a bad day, or were just plain outmanned, will be determined Friday.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1980

“You have to hand it all to our kids.” a happy Terry Forbes said about his team’s victory in his first game against Massillon as the McKinley coach.

“They wanted the game so much. We were able to concentrate and do the things we wanted to do. One thing stood out: our character and togetherness, and our ability to come from behind.”

Currence, in the quiet atmosphere of the Tiger lockerroom, also touched on togetherness ‑ or the lack of it ‑ his team displayed.

“We didn’t play well today. We didn’t hit good and we didn’t have any togetherness or unity. We knew we would have to come up with the big play, but they got them. You can’t make mistakes and beat them.

“I’ve already cried, and now I’m ready to go on. We have a great football program here, and if things work, we’ll get another shot at them Friday. I’d like to go back after them.”

While much ado was made of the speed of the McKinley backs, Currence indicated his team lost the game in the trenches, where the Bulldog lines were bigger and more physical than the Tigers.

“We’ve played quick teams before and won,” Currence said. “They have great quickness and we knew their speed was going to hurt us. We knew they’d score because they have a great offensive team. But they controlled the ball on us.

Game Action vs. Canton McKinley 1980

“We can take their fast backs, but (wide receiver Todd) Fisher is the guy we didn’t do the job on. They got their passing attack going, and when that happens you’ve got to give up ground to the running attack. They have better balance than they’ve had in the past.”

Despite the Pups’ offensive performance, Currence said the turning point of the game was an unusual conversion pass by the Bulldogs, and a safety against the Tigers.

The Bulldogs took a 14‑7 lead in the third quarter when Paul Giavasis rolled right after a fake kick attempt and passed into the end zone. The ball was batted away by Tiger defensive back Dwayne Boss in the back of the end zone, but fell into the unsuspecting hands of Fisher, who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

The safety then gave the Bulldogs a 16‑7 lead and meant the Tigers would have to score twice to win the game.

“Psychologically, the safety hurt us,” Currence explained, “because we were down by two scores. Take those two plays away and we’re back in the ball game.”

The Tigers started off in trouble on the opening kickoff, when it was fumbled ‑ but recovered ‑ by Rick Boerner at his own 14 yard line.

The Tigers punted, and the Bulldogs took over in good position at the Massillon 47. Their drive stalled at the 28, however, and the Tigers took over.

With the help of a pass interference call and an 11 yard run by halfback Robert Oliver, the Tigers eventually moved to the McKinley 47. On second‑and‑eight, McKinley’s Mike Freeman intercepted a tipped pass and the Pups took over at their own 46.

A clipping penalty on the first play pushed them back to the 29, but on third‑and‑21 Worstell hit Fisher with a 22‑yard pass and a first‑down at the Tiger 43.

Six plays later Sidney Lewis swept 11 yards around left end for the score. The kick failed, and McKinley led 6‑0 with 1:32 left in the quarter.

The Tigers couldn’t move the ball, but a tremendous 65‑yard punt by Dave Eberhart ‑ which spiraled over the Bulldog returners’ heads ‑ settled on the McKinley one yard line and the Tigers had the Pups in the whole

From the nine, Ed Grimsley shanked a 22‑yard punt and Massillon had the ball at the Bulldog 31. Seven plays later, Eberhart sneaked over from the one, and booted the extra point to put the Tigers out front 7‑6 with 6:05 to go in the half.

The Bulldogs received the kickoff to open the second half, and promptly marched 80 yards in 15 plays with Lewis taking it in from four yards out. The drive was highlighted by three Worstell completions ‑ two to Fisher ‑ all for first downs.

The Bulldogs then faked the kick and Giavasis’ batted pass was caught by Fisher for a 14‑7 Bulldog lead with 5:06 to go in the quarter.

Massillon immediately turned the ball back over to the Bulldogs when Eberhart dropped back to pass, was hit and literally had the ball taken out of his hands by McKinley’s Scott Dixon.

Dixon had clear sailing the final 30 yards to the end zone, but he tumbled the ball. Bob Harsh alertly recovered for McKinley.

The bulldogs then drove to the Massillon six, but on third‑and‑goal Mike Spicer intercepted Worstell’s pass in the back of the end zone. He mistakenly tried to run the ball out, however, and was tackled at the three.

On the first play, halfback Mike Jones was nailed in the end zone for a safety, and the momentum suddenly shifted back to the Bulldogs. The safety gave the Pups, a 16‑7 lead with 26 seconds left in the third quarter.

That third quarter was the Tigers’ undoing, as McKinley scored 10 points while the Tigers had the ball for only two offensive plays ‑ a fumble and a safety.

McKinley mounted another drive following the kickoff after the safety, but Spicer again intercepted Worstell, this time at his own eight.

The Tigers then drove to the McKinley 14, but that drive was killed when Harsh intercepted Eberhart’s pass at the nine, ending the Tigers’ comeback hopes.

So Saturday was one day the Tigers will have to forget, And nothing would erase the bad memory of a loss to McKinley more than a victory one week later.

Thanks to the expanded playoff system, the Tigers will get that chance.

TIGER GRIDSTICK
MASS OPP
First downs rushing 3 12
First downs passing 2 5
First downs by penalty 2 0
Total first downs 7 17
Yards gained rushing 66 225
Yards lost rushing 24 4
Net yards gained rushing 42 221
Net yards gained passing 54 92
Total yards gained 96 313
Passes attempted 17 12
Passes completed 5 8
Passes intercepted by 2 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 3 3
Times kicked off 3 3
Kickoff average 59.0 47.0
Kickoff return yardage 38 18
Punts 4 3
Punting average 43.0 23.7
Punt return yardage 3 1
Punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 1 1
Fumbles lost 1 0
Penalties 3 7
Yards penalized 15 73
Touchdowns rushing 1 2
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Total number of plays 38 61
Total time of possession 15:14 32:46
Attendance 21,754

McKinley 6 0 10 0 ‑ 16
MASSILLON 0 7 0 0 ‑ 7

McK ‑ Sidney Lewis 11‑yard run (kick failed)
MASS ‑ Dave Eberhart 1‑yard run (Eberhart kick)
McK ‑ Lewis 4‑yard run (Todd Fisher pass from Paul Giavasis)
McK – safety

McKinley’s backs
end Stark Debate
Bulldogs end
Massillon’s unbeaten streak
By Milan Zban
Beacon Journal staff writer

Nobody bothered to ask Amy Carter about Canton McKinley’s proliferation of running backs.

But Stark County’s version of the great debate is over. McKinley settled the issue on the football field on a chilly but sun‑splashed Saturday at Massillon’s Paul Brown Stadium.

Amy would have agreed with 21,754 that it was the running of four Bulldog backs who applied so much pressure on Massillon’s defense that it cracked, tottered and finally fell, 16‑7. And with it went Massillon’s unbeaten, but once tied, streak through nine games.

Terry Forbes, McKinley’s first year coach, also ended Massillon’s four‑year domination of the 85‑yeard‑old classic on his first try.

He sent Dwayne Randle, Sid Lewis, Mike Simms and Mike Lynch pounding off the tackles and sweeping the ends for 221 yards on the ground.

And when they were temporarily stalled, the call went to quarterback Rick Worstell, who will be around for another classic next year. Worstell threw a dozen times, completing eight for 92 additional yards.

THE VICTORY pushed McKinley atop the Division I, Region 3 state computer ratings, giving it a shot at the state playoff quarterfinals, next week.

Massillon, the pre‑game leader over McKinley, 147.75‑to‑133.37 in computer points, may still win a berth in the playoffs as third‑place Lakewood St. Edward lost a 21‑6 decision to Cleveland St. Joseph Saturday night.

Massillon probably will wind up second and behind McKinley. If that happens, the teams will be rematched Friday night at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium.

While the McKinley offense was doing it’s job, rolling up 313 yards, the Bulldogs’ defense also was quite effective. It almost completely shut down dangerous Dave Eberhart, Massillon’s gifted quarterback who has passed for 1000 yards.
McKinley breaks Massillon streak
Eberhart was only five‑for‑17 for 54 yards with two interceptions.

“IT WASN’T so much McKinley’s secondary that took away our passing game, but Mckinley’s rush,” Eberhart said. “They came at me in that slanting defense which we couldn’t pick up and I didn’t get much of a chance to set up and throw.

“Maybe we’ll play them again next week,” he said hopefully, “but I’d rather had beaten them this week.

“Their defense did a great job. They only gave us the ball inside the 50 one time and we took that in for a score.”

Eberhart got Massillon’s only points, sneaking 1 yard for a touchdown, then booting the extra point for a 7‑6 Massillon lead in the second quarter.

It was Eberhart’s booming 65‑yard punt to the McKinley 1‑yard line which set up the score. In the exchange of punts, McKinley’s Ed Grimsley shanked the hall and it traveled only 23 yards to the McKinley 32. Seven plays later with 6:05 left in the half, the Tigers had taken the lead.

McKinley’s Lewis, who hadn’t scored a touchdown all season, got his first of two Saturday when he raced 11 yards to culminate a 72‑yard drive ignited by Mike Freeman’s interception of an Eberhart pass at his 29.

Lewis was almost caught at the 3‑yard line but stiffarmed Massillon defender Dwayne Boss and darted into the end zone.

With 1:32 left in the opening quarter, and following a Mckinley offside penalty, Nick Faulkner’s conversion kick was wide left.

Faulkner’s miss left the door ajar for Massillon to lead at the hall.

McKinley wasted little time in the second half. It dominated the third quarter, allowing the Tigers only two possessions and each of those lasted only one play.

The Bulldogs marched 80 yards to regain the lead on a 4‑yard sprint by Lewis and an amazing two‑point conversion catch by Todd Fisher on a batted pass from Paul Giavasis at the 5:06 mark.

ON MASSILLON’S first possession of the second half, Eberhart’s arm was hit as he attempted to pass and end Scott Dixon scooped up the loose ball at the Massillon 37. After running to the 23, he fumbled, but teammate Bob Harsh was there to fall on the ball.

However, the Bulldogs’ opportunity was thwarted by an end zone interception by Massillon’s Mike Spicer who unwisely attempted to run out of the end zone and was nailed at the 3‑yard line.

On the ensuing play, Massillon running back Mike Jones was smothered in the end zone by the left side of McKinley’s line for a safety which boosted McKinley into a 16‑7 lead with only 26 seconds left in the quarter.

McKinley threatened again early in the fourth quarter, reaching the Massillon 19, but, with 8:40 remaining, Spicer again intercepted Worstell at the 7.

Massillon, with the help of a pass interference call on McKinley’s Rob Dine, reached the Bulldog 14 with 2:24 remaining but Harsh picked off an Eberhart pass to turn back the Tigers once more.

“THE GUY who killed us was Fisher,” said Massillon coach Mike Currence. “I thought we did all right against McKinley’s ground game, but Fisher came up with the big catch time and again.”

Fisher, who had four catches for 52 yards, grabbed a 20-yarder on third and two, caught one for eight yards on third and six and had another eight‑yard pickup on second and six.

Randle was the game’s leading rusher with 110 yards in 18 tries. Sims had 56 in 11 carries, Lewis 37 in seven attempts and Lynch 30 yards in 10 tries.

Dave Eberhardt
History

1978: Massillon 13, Canton McKinley 10

Offenbecher does it to Pups again

BY BOB STEWART
Repository Sports Editor

It was a case of deja vu,
as Offenbecher threw for two.
Massillon won again, of course.
The ’10‑run rule’ was not in force!

MASSILLON ‑ The Lord giveth. The Massillon Tigers taketh away!

Massillon High quarterback Brent Offenbecher turned the 83rd high school football classic against McKinley Senior High into an aerial circus in the final six minutes of the game to wipe out a 10‑0 deficit and give the Tigers a 13‑10 victory before 21,592 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Program Cover

Offenbecher, the 6‑foot‑1, 175‑pound senior who last year passed for two TDs and ran for another in the Tigers 21‑0 win in Canton, gave the McKinley followers an unwanted rerun.

Only this year it was in more heartbreaking.

McKinley had nearly blown the Tigers off the field in the first half. But in the end, the Bulldogs just blew the game in the waning minutes.

Not only Offenbecher’s passes helped beat the Bulldogs. It was the McKinley passes which really put the Pups down the tubes, the last two of which were intercepted by the Tigers.

So for one more year, the McKinley fans went home mumbling. Not since 1968 have the Pups won here in the Tigers’ lair, and the Massillon win was its third straight over the Bulldogs and its seventh in the last nine games.

But there was no clock malfunction this year. The timepiece ticked to perfection. The officiating was adequate, and no flag felled the visitors. So for the vanquished, only one villain remained ‑ the coach.

The second‑guessers were out in force for McKinley’s Coach John Brideweser’s decision to throw the ball on first‑and‑15 from the Pups’ own 22 with 5:20 left in the game and the Bulldogs leading 10‑6.

“We had to maintain ball control,” said Brideweser in answer to the inevitable question.
Tigers dump Bulldogs
“We had to get the first down, and, after we drew the motion penalty and had a first‑and‑15, I thought we needed to hit the pass.”

Game photo from Massillon vs. Canton McKinley 1978

McKinley’s Dave Seaman, the junior quarterback who stepped in at mid‑season, saw his aerial tipped by Tiger tackle Harry Foster and grabbed off by junior linebacker Tim Reese in a diving catch just before the ball hit the ground at the McKinley 31.

Offenbecher then threw three straight quick lookin Passes, a 14‑yarder to Curtis Strawder, a 10‑yarder to Martin Guszetta and then the winning TD of 7 yards again to Strawder, the amazing pass‑eating machine who finished a two‑year career with a record 68 catches for 1,072 yards. Saturday he caught eight for 92 and both TDs.

It was not a bad call,” said Massillon coach Mike Currence of Bridey’s first‑down pass.

“They needed the yardage and the first down, and‑they might not have been able to get it running,” he said.

But the Pups took their 10‑point lead mostly by ripping through the Massillon defensive line on the ground.

In the first half McKinley gained 71 yards in 27 rushes, while holding the Tigers to a net yards rushing of “minus‑11.”

But despite the running of the Pups, they had to get a big break to get in the end gone.

Massillon’s leading rusher this season, Jeff Beitel, fumbled on the first play after a Todd Maragas punt, and McKinley’s Tony Floyd covered at the Tiger 16.

Six running plays later Brantley Kelly crashed in from the 2‑yard‑line and John Grimsley kicked the conversion to put the Pups on top 7‑0 with less than four minutes left In the half.

McKinley moved the ball 55 yards in 11 plays to get Grimsley’s 22‑yard field goal with 9:29 left in the game. That drive was keyed by Seaman’s 28‑yard pass to Doyle Lewis.

Lewis, whose catch came on his only offensive play of the game, was made at the seven between two Massillon defenders. He just out‑jumped them. But a motion penalty put the Pups back at the 19, and three runs got but seven yards, and they settled for the three.

Sam Hill’s 35‑yard return of the ensuing kickoff put the ball at the Tigers’ 43, from where Offenbecher directed his team to the end zone in seven plays, hitting Strawder an the 12‑yard TD. It was his fifth completion in that drive.

After Massillon’s go‑ahead TD, Seaman unloaded from his 29 and a broken pass pattern by his receiver allowed Darren Longshore to intercept at the 43 with 3:25 remaining. Longshore fell catching the ball, and then leaped up and ran off the field holding the bail high. The result was a brief bench‑clearing brawl, but the police, sheriff’s deputies and coaches restored order rather quickly, and Massillon resumed running out the clock.

Offenbecher’s final pass of the day, a 14‑yard completion to Strawder, naturally, came on third‑and‑10 with 1:28 left and sent the McKinley fans scurrying to the parking lot.

Offenbecher completed 9 of 9 for 95 yards in the fourth quarter, giving him 17 of 20 for, the day for 177 yards. He finally has completed his career at Massillon, with more than a mile‑and‑a‑half in yards passing, and virtually all the passing records in the Tigers school record book.

Massillon finished with an 9-0-1 overall record and won the All‑American Conference with a 4‑0‑1 mark. McKinley finished 7‑2 overall and 4‑1 in the AAC.

Tiger, Bulldog Lineups
TIGERS
Offense
QUARTERBACK: 14 Brent Offenbecher (Sr., 6‑1. 175);
FULLBACK: 43 Tom Gehring (Sr., 5‑10, 171), 16 Wally Neff (Jr., 5-8, 172), 49 Sam Hill (Jr., 5‑6, 160); HALFBACKS: 45 Jeff Beitel (Sr., 5‑7, 158), 22 Bill Beitel (Jr., 5‑7, 148);
ENDS: 42 Curtis Strawder (Sr., 5‑10, 153), 13 Ron Wright (Sr., 5‑9, 173), 25 Marty Guzzetta (Jr., 5‑9. 160); TACKLES: 67 Doug Wood (Sr., 6‑2, 191); 76 Mark Kircher (Jr., 6‑1, 212);
GUARDS: 69 Jim Horton (Sr., 6‑0, 177), 79 Eric Barnard (Sr., 6‑2, 215), 65 Larry Massie (Jr., 5‑7, 195);
CENTER: 51 Scott Kasunick (Sr., 5‑9, 181).

Defense
ENDS: 81 Bruce Solinger (Sr., 6‑0, 175), 88 Wilson (Sr., 6‑0, 182);
TACKLES: 72 Harry Foster (Sr., 6‑2, 232), 71 Jeff Pedro (Sr., 6‑3, 204);
MIDDLE GUARD: 55 Bob Simpson (Jr., 5‑11, 190);
LINEBACKERS: 28 Dick Cleveland (Sr., 5-11, 188), 38 Kevin Harris (Sr., 5‑10, 182). 59 Tim Reese (Jr.. 5‑9, 163);
MONSTER BACK: 11 Darren Longshore (Sr., 6‑1, 175);
SAFETY: 21 Jamie Schlegel (Jr., 5‑11, 160);
HALFBACKS: 34 Jeff David (Sr., 5‑9, 188), 12 Dan Venables (Sr., 5‑10, 160).
KICKERS: 13 Wright (punts, extra points), 86 Mike Hodgson, 79 Barnard (kickoff).

BULLDOGS
Offense
QUARTERBACK: 12 Dave Seaman (Jr., 165);
FULLBACK: 34 Charles Taylor (Sr., 190), 31 David Faur (So., 167), 30 Michael Lynch (So., 157); HALFBACKS: 42 Doyle Lewis (Sr., 180), 33 Robin Kindell (Jr., 150), 32 Lucius Rowser (Sr., 180), 40 Brantley Kelly (Jr., 160), 11 Todd Maragas (Sr ., 184);
ENDS: 82 ‑Jeff Thompson (Sr., 168), 84 Ron Rankin (Jr., 170);
TACKLES: 73 Steve Stranan (Sr., 215), 50 Brian Blosser (Sr., 205);
GUARDS: 64 Milton Young (Sr., 197), 67 Scott Dean (Sr., 170), 65 Cyle Cole (Sr., 185);
CENTER: 51 Eric Kempthorn (Sr., 180).

Defense
ENDS: 34 Taylor, 86 Bo Zeren (Sr., 180), 80Mitchell Kelly (Jr., 170), 81 Phil Glavasis (Jr., 165); TACKLES: 75 Tony Floyd (Jr., 205), 73 Strahan, 83 Troy Sanders (So., 195), 85 Joe Sanders (Sr., 185); MIDDLE GUARD: 32 Rowser;
LINEBACKERS: 64 Young, 67 Dean, 65 Cole;
MONSTER BACK: 22 Andy Kneffler (Sr., 160);
SAFETY: 42 Lewis;
HALFBACKS: 21 ‑ Mark Green (Sr., 155), 20 Kelly Mullane (Jr., 160), 33 Kindell.

SERIES: 83rd meeting, Massillon holds 45‑32‑5 edge.
LAST MEETING: 1977. Massillon 21, McKinley 0.
POINTS SCORED BY: Massillon 265, McKinley 140.
POINTS SCORED AGAINST: Massillon 29, McKinley 42.

A lesson in perseverance

The Washington High School football team was the toast of the city today for its fourth quarter conquest of arch rival Canton McKinley Saturday afternoon in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Trailing 10‑0 in the fourth period, the Massillon Tiger team lived up to tradition Saturday afternoon by staging a comeback to score 13 points and win the game 13‑10. In so doing it learned one of the great lessons of life – never give up.

Many a football team would have quit after McKinley, leading 7‑0 going into the last period, put three more points on the board – but not the Tigers. That’s when they became aroused and, at the urging of Massillon fans, scored two touchdowns in the final minutes to complete the regular season undefeated for the first time since 1972. A tie with Warren spoiled an otherwise perfect mark.

It was the Tigers’ determination to succeed that saw them through, and we give them great credit for never having given up in their efforts to win the game. In sports they call that “desire,” and the Massillon boys certainly had it Saturday afternoon; otherwise they would have been on the losing end of the score.

Their late rally was typical of fourth period comebacks against McKinley a number of times in past years. Remembrances of these historical games kept most ‑fans in their seats hoping that what appeared to be the impossible would become possible.

In victory we cannot help but feel some compassion for the vanquished. They were a dejected group of McKinley players who came off the field, their hopes crushed after having had victory almost within grasp. They played hard and, even though defeated, can hold their heads high for their efforts.

As a result of the victory the Tigers are champions of the All-American Conference, and we congratulate them and Coach Mike Currence and his assistant coaches for winning the title.

Curtis Strawder
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 7, Canton McKinley 3

Currence not taking Pups lightly

By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor

“McKinley has five starters back from its defensive team of last year,” Mike Currence said. “The Bulldogs beat the Tigers 21-15.”

So Currence isn’t taking the Bulldogs lightly despite their 4-5 record compared to the Orange and Black’s 7-2 and seven straight wins. The two Stark County teams will clash in the 81st renewal rivalry Saturday at 2 p.m. at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Program Cover

CURRENCE discussed the upcoming game Monday at noon at the Tiger Touchdown Club’s weekly luncheon which was held at the Massillon Club. During the session TD club members named Jay Harper Hardnose of the Week for his play in last Friday’s contest at Warren.

“McKinley shut out Warren, a good offensive club 6-0 last Friday,” Currence said. “They scored 15 points against us.”

The five McKinley defensive returnees are middle guard Gerald Jackson, monster back Cliff Frazier, halfbacks Melvin Weatherspoon and Ray Ellis and linebacker Mike Beadle.

An injury will probably prevent Beadle from playing, however. Jackson is a two-way player, having replaced the injured Ken Hall at fullback.

Currence will have to deal with two McKinley quarterbacks who will give the Bulldogs different looks, depending on who is playing.

“MIKE BROWN is a real scrambler,” Currence said. “Kent McClellend started at Lehman last year. Brown seems to have taken over.”

Currence said Hall could cause trouble and that McKinley head Coach John Brideweser likes to get the ball to Weatherspoon or Ellis offensively, even designing an end around play where Weatherspoon passes to Ellis.

“These guys are the type who could play four quarter and come back and play in another game,” Currence said.

Currence thinks the outcome of the game will be decided on breaks and if the Tigers get the right one, they’ll win.

“We have to get a hold mentally,” Currence said. “That’s something we didn’t do last week.”

CLUB PRESIDENT Gene Boerner presented Currence with a “Beat McKinley” tie from his sophomore players. Marilyn Wright painted the design.

“The people of Massillon are glad we have Mike Currence as our head coach,” Boerner said. “We will see you next week when we’re 8-0 (eight wins after losses in the opening games).”

Boerner introduced the 1977 club president, John Muhlbach, Jr., saying, “He did a fantastic job. He’s been one of the best we’ve had.”

John introduced Dennis Gibson, the booster’s vice-president and next year’s boss.

The club will present its Hardnose Award for the season at its luncheon next Monday noon.

CURRENCE CONCLUDED by saying he had picked up a $5 bill from the ground outside the stadium after the defeat to Gahanna Lincoln. “I told my coaches then we’re going all the way.”

Booster club rally gets spirit rolling

Game action vs. Canton McKinley (credit: Bowersox)

“Beat the Bulldogs” mania got under way Monday night in the Washington High School auditorium as the Tiger Booster Club had its weekly session three days early.

Not only was the booster session ahead of time this week but the combined rally and meeting got under way 10 minutes early. One reporter had to jump onto a table and sit there to keep from being trampled by the Tiger Swing Pep Band charging down the school’s front corridor and into the auditorium.

THE BAND, led by head majorette Paula Bender and four fellow majorettes, mounted the stage to “Tiger Rag” and “Carry on” and serenaded the estimated 250 people present with several numbers. The majorettes twirled and danced.

Then came the Tiger cheerleaders, led by Captain Christy Frederick and Co-Captain Kathy Walterhouse, some drills to the band music and some cheers. But the real fun didn’t start until Captain Currence appeared on the scene and led the fans in some split cheers such as “Orange and Black” and “Tig-ers.”

(Currence was “Pokey” Converse, dressed in orange hat, black mask, Captain Currence Fan Club T-Shirt and orange cape. Booster officials are afraid he may meet his match in Friday’s “Beat McKinley” rally slated for 2 p.m. in the high school auditorium when he meets “The Fonze.”)

Tiger Booster Club President John Muhlbach, Jr., introduced Tiger skipper Mike Currence and the fans came from their seats as if shot from catapult to cheer him.

“The pep band and cheerleaders did a nice job,” Currence said. “I hope we can carry this on through the week. We’ve been waiting all season for this.”

THEN THE TIGER crew of Wilbur Arnold, Dave James and Don McFarren brought in Obie VII, the live mascot and Currence asked Obie what he plans to do with the Bulldog come Saturday afternoon. There was a slight growl and then the band struck up the fight songs again and marched out of the auditorium.

Currence showed films of last week’s 14-0 win over Alliance, hurrying over the first half films as quickly as possible. All the scoring came in the third quarter.

He reported fullback Jerry Shafrath practiced today (Monday) for the first time after being stricken last week with a kidney infection. Randy Laase is also expected to be ready for fulltime duty, coming back from a pancreas bruise.

Currence reported All-American Conference Commissioned Gaylord ‘Hap” Lillick, former Tiger grid aide, has ruled the Obiemen must wear white uniforms this week. They have worn black togs since starting their seven-game win streak.

Conference rules stipulate the home team must wear white unless the visiting team agrees otherwise.

Captain Currence wasn’t the only one Monday night wearing one of his fan club’s T-shirts. Muhlbach had one on and his two daughters wore special Tiger skin outfits made by their mother Bobbie.

The Booster Club has made arrangements with ex-president Junir Studer to put Beat McKinley letters on white or orange T-shirts for fans. The shirts should be taken to his sign shop at 323 3rd Street N.W. tonight. A small fee will be charged.

CHUCK
‘n’
SPORTS
McKinley game
can be different this time

By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor

A dejected figure slumped against the brick wall leading to the visitor’s dressing room at Canton Fawcett Stadium.

“Scoop,” Mike Ramsey said quietly to this reporter who was hurrying to a post-game interview with Chuck Shuff, “It’s going to be different next year.”

THE TIGERS had just lost to Canton McKinley 21-15 in 1975 and Ramsey, now a Washington High School senior grid co-captain, along with many others, was not in a happy mood.

The season had ended 6-3-1 after most folks had figured the Tigers would be better than that because they had a host of returnees. I’ve know Mike since his Little League days when he was a pitcher and I was an umpire. He’s not the effervescent type of player but the quiet, determined type. When Mike sets his mind to something, it gets done.

This year Mike and his fellow co-captains – Anthony Grizzard, John Hauser and Mike Lauber – have guided their team to seven straight wins after two opening losses. Thus far is has been difference under Mike Currence than it was in 1975.

Saturday is the time the Tigers can cap everything with a victory over Canton McKinley. But they must not take the Bulldogs lightly. They have had problems putting things together in this year of consolidation, but their offense has been tough, allowing 87 points (fifth best in the All-American Conference). The Tigers have given up 48 points (second to Steubenville’s 38).

WHAT THE Obiemen have to fear is that the McKinley offense will come together Saturday. The Bulldogs have rolled for 136 points, (third best in the league), while the Tigers have collected 114 (fifth best). The WHS team must get on the board
early – something it has not done often this year.

Would you believe that if the Tigers win they’ll make the Canton Repository’s preseason prediction almost perfect? Bob Stewart’s staff called the Tigers an 8-2 team. They were figuring one of those losses to Canton McKinley, whose record was 10-0.

Massillon still has an outside chance to win the Class AAA Region 3 computer poll and make the playoffs. To do this the Tigers must win and hope certain other teams win and other teams lose. A Jackson Memorial victory over North Canton Hoover would help.

If the Tigers win the 81st renewal Saturday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, it will be No. 44 in the series. McKinley has won 32 times. Five games have ended in ties. The Tigers have scored 1,016 points and the Bulldogs 849.

There have been other times when the Tigers have come into the McKinley game, riding a win streak – but not an unblemished record – and have won. The list is as fellows: 7-6 win in 1917 to complete four-game streak for 7-2 record; 21-0 win in 1919 to complete four-game streak for 8-1 record; 9-0 win 1923 to complete six-game streak for 8-2 record; 6-0 win in 1924 to complete six-game streak for 8-1 record; 19-6 win in 1937 to complete three-game streak for 8-1-1 record; 32-0 win in 1941 to complete four-game streak for 9-0-1 record; 21-12 win in 1948 to complete five-game streak for 9-1 record; 40-0 win in 1951 to complete three-game streak for 9-1 record; 26-6 win 1954 to complete seven-game streak for 9-1 record; 25-7 win in 1957 to complete four-game streak for 8-1 record; 38-16 win in 1958 to complete three-game streak for 8-1-1 record; 22-6 win in 1963 to complete eight-game streak for 9-1 record; 20-13 win in 1967 to complete three-game streak for 9-1 record.

Weather,
Defense
Desire
are keys

By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor

Weather, defense and desire will be deciding factors in Saturday’s 81st renewal of the Massillon-Canton football series, according to Massillon head Coach Mike Currence.

The Tigers and Canton McKinley Bulldogs will lock horns Saturday at 2 p.m. at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The Orange and Black have won the All-American Conference title with a 4-0 mark and one to go. McKinley needs to up its 1-3 mark and hope for a Warren Harding (1-3) loss Friday night at Warren against Niles McKinley (2-1) in order to get out of the cellar.

ALLIANCE (1-3) will be at Steubenville (2-1) Friday night. The Big Red needs a victory and a Niles loss to claim second place.

“Weather and defense always concerns us,” Currence said. “The weather can affect the offensive play. We hope it’s nice and dry so we can utilize our quickness. They’re quick too but when you get on a bad field, both teams will probably equalize their speed.”

Massillon uses the run and shoot offense, while McKinley utilized the wing-T. Both teams use angle-5 defenses which have been extremely stingy.

“I don’t’ think it will be that wet,” Currence said. “We might get a little snow and that shouldn’t hinder our offense too much. If we have to tighten down a little bit, we can do it and probably run as good as they have out of the “T”.

The Tigers have run the “robust T” successfully and won last week’s game at Alliance 14-0 with it, utilizing the running of left halfback Jay Harper.

“WE DROVE down the field twice and scored and McKinley was unable to do that,” Currence said.

One of the concerns for the Tiger skipper this week has been the condition of fullback Jerry Shafrath. He missed last Friday’s game with a kidney infection but has practiced
this week and will be used when needed in the straight-T.

“He has looked good and has really been enthused,” Currence said.

Currence said all the Tigers should be in good shape physically and mentally.

“We have had the best practices we have had this season,” Currence, who, together with the Tiger Booster Club, has reminded the Obiemen about their 21-15 loss to the Pups at Fawcett Stadium in Canton in 1975.

“THE KIDS told me we didn’t have real good practices after losing to Alliance last year,” Currence reported. “We have cut down practices this week because the weather was cold early in the week and we have wanted them to get the boys off the field by dark
(5:30 p.m.).”
Currence said that the Tiger and Bulldog defenses are about equal on personnel.

“McKinley probably has one of the best secondary’s in the league,” Currence stated. “We’ll outweigh them on the line. Both teams are quick in the secondary, but with Ray Ellis and Mel Weatherspoon back there they are bigger in that department.”

The Tiger boss thinks the Bulldog secondary has been the key to their success.

“If you look at the team, it’s the guys in the secondary who come up and stick you,” Currence said. “They don’t blitz but they react so well that the secondary is on a ball
carrier if he breaks through the line.”

CURRENCE also thinks the McKinley “force unit” (down linemen and linebackers) are very agile.

Talking about the Bulldog offense, Currence said, “They like to use the power pitch inside and outside end. They will probably try to get us to split out so they can open up the middle.”

Because the Bulldogs have had some injuries this season, Currence is not sure who will be the starting fullback. Ken Hall was sidelined for the season, Mike Beadle came on and was hurt and then head Coach John Brideweser used Mark Stevenson and the Bulldogs shifted more to a passing game.

Gerald Jackson is sure to hit the middle because he is a strong runner. Ellis and Stevenson will have the outside assignments.

“Their end-around play is a good one but they also like the screens, draws, delays and boot passes,” Currence explained. “They like to lead with their guards.”

CURRENCE figures Mike Brown will be the starting quarterback rather than Kent McClelland. Both are juniors and Brown has come on strong of late.

“McClelland made an excellent run against Steubenville on which his best two or three guys and Steubenville has a good secondary,” Currence said. “Weatherspoon started at quarterback but is now the Bulldogs’ split end and runs the end-around play. McClelland would be in there if Bridey decides on a passing series.”

How big a part will spirit and desire play in the game? “That will be the whole game,” Currence said. “It’s our turn to win. Bridey’s not supposed to win in even years.

20,000 expected
at game today

By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor

Spirit was at a height not seen here for several years as the Tigers met the Bulldogs this afternoon in the 81st renewal of the high school grid classic.

Some 20,000 were expected at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

AN AFTERNOON rally at Washington High School Friday, the annual parade through downtown Massillon and the bonfire rally at Agathon Field helped to rev up the spirit.

Onlookers said the spirit among fans and team members reminded them of that before the 1970 game, also played here, which the Tigers won 28-0 at the stadium.

With Jackson Memorial’s 20-16 win Friday night over previously unbeaten North Canton Hoover, ranked No. 1 in the Ohio High School Class AAA computer ratings, to undergrid their optimism, the Tiger faithful were expected to cheer ever louder at today’s 2 p.m. kickoff.

If the Tigers get their eighth straight victory it is still possible for them to win a place in the playoffs which will start next Friday in Dayton against defending champion Cincinnati Moeller. But for that to happen, Youngstown Chaney has to beat or tie unbeaten Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in a game this afternoon in Youngstown.

Friday’s festivities started with the rally in the Washington High School gymnasium. There was no organized cheering, but that was the beauty of the thing. The cheering came spontaneously.

THE TIGER Swing Band was there and the cheerleaders and the Tiger Booster Club put on a skit in which Captain Currence (“Pokey Converse”) met “The Fonze” (Mike Mauger).

Confetti and bathroom tissue rained down on the gymnasium floor. There was so much confetti flying that Tiger football players standing along the gym’s brick wall looked as if they were prematurely gray.

Pep signs urging the Tigers to victory were everywhere.

Those at the rally received the words to a Tiger Booster Club parody of “Happy Days Are Here Again” and sang the song, making the rally sound like the 1932 Democratic National Convention.

Aerial bombs, ordinarily set off on the morning of the Massillon-McKinley game, began to shatter the silence Friday afternoon.

THE TIGER Sideliners hosted the team Friday for dinner at the Massillon Holiday Inn. That meal is ordinarily the final one of the season but, should the team make the playoffs, there will be two more.
The parade Friday night featured about 100 motorized units, including floats, decorated cars, trucks and dune buggies. A color guard from VFW Post 3124 and American Legion Post 221 headed the entourage.

Then came the Tiger Swing Band followed by cars containing Mayor Mark Ross,
Safety-Service Director Blasé Sparma, Washington High School Homecoming Queen Chris Zurcher and her court, Tiger cheerleaders, reserve cheerleaders, coaches, players, trainers and managers.

A special entrant was the Tiger Kazoo Band led by Drum Major Phil Bucci and “majorettes” Dick and Terry Snyder, Richard Reichel, Steve Studer, Joe Matie, Mauger and LeRoy Schumacher.

The parade proceeded to Agathon Field with plenty of fans trailing along behind. There the band and cheerleaders held forth and the team and coaches were placed on a flatbed trailer for all to see.

HEAD COACH Mike Currence said, “I can see now the agony you have been in since losing to McKinley last year. I think Saturday will be our time to win.”

Co-Captains Mike Ramsey, Anthony Grizzard, Mark Lauber and John Hauser assured fans of the same thing.

Second half difference
in Tigers’ 7-3 win

By CHUCK HESS, JR.
Independent Sports Editor

Second half . . .

. . . A pair of words which will remain forever entrenched in the memories of the Tiger faithful who followed the 1976 Washington High School football team.

FIVE TIMES during the season, which was completed last Saturday afternoon, the Massillon gridders came from behind or from a tie at halftime to win. Three of those times came in the final games of the season as the Orange and Black kept alive a win streak which ran to eight games.

The Obiemen’s latest turn-around palpitator came last Saturday before 19,528 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium and brought the Tigers a 7-3 All-American Conference victory over arch-rival Canton McKinley.

In a twist of irony, the Bulldogs’ defeat was aided by a misfire on a play which had garnered them a lot of yardage during the afternoon. Tiger tackle Tony Matie recovered a fumble off a pitchout intended to start a sweep. The Orange and Black took control on the McKinley 15 and scored four plays later.

On second down from the three, Mike Grove took a pitchout from quarterback Bret Traylor and raced into the end zone unmolested as fullback Jerry Shafrath faked through the middle. The play had been sent to head Coach Mike Currence by the men in the rooftop scout box.

While the Tigers had the ball they survived a delay penalty and picked up a pass interference call on McKinley safety Melvin Weatherspoon on the two when he banged into end Bob Grizzard. The call so infuriated Bulldog head Coach John Brideweser and an assistant that both were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and the ball ended on the four from where Jerry Shafrath took it to the three to set up the score.

THE BULLDOGS came right back on the kickoff and drove to the Massillon 30 where the Tiger defense held McKinley three yards short on a fourth down run. The Obiemen were penalized for a personal four after the ball had been blown dead. Then Traylor fell on the ball on the next two plays.

Traylor brought to an end a contest which saw a quicker, stronger Bulldog team control all the statistics but kickoff averages, kickoff returns and punt averages. The Pups kept the Tigers bottled up in their own territory all afternoon.

Only in the third period did the Tigers move the ball onto McKinley grounds. On that occasion halfback Jay Harper fumbled at the McKinley 37 and linebacker Ken Bailey recovered.

Also in that period Weatherspoon intercepted a Tiger aerial at the Bulldog 20 and halfback Ray Ellis picked off another at the 25. A 15-yard holding penalty also helped to stall Massillon.

But defense had been the Tigers’ suit all season. They had shutouts in three of their previous four games. They had allowed two touchdowns only against Warren and last Saturday they bared their Tiger claw again.

FOUR TIMES in the first half the Bulldogs knocked on the door. Three times they were repulsed. The only other drive came after the Tigers’ fourth period touchdown.

McKinley’s second drive began after a bad fourth down snap. Tiger guard John Hauser picked up the ball and ran to the 25 where he was tackled and the Bulldogs got the ball.

What might have been a late second period drive into Massillon territory was stalled on fourth and one at the Bulldogs’ 46 when the Pups were called for delay and had to punt instead of being able to call timeout and set up strategy to get a first down. Brideweser stormed onto the field at this point, too.

On two of the first half drives the Obiemen got some temporary help from holding penalties but tackle Jesse Toles and linebacker Kurt Walterhouse stopped one invasion at the Massillon four, Walterhouse and tackle Bob Dennison put the brakes to another at the 38 and halfback Bill Henderson intercepted a pass at the 20 to stop the final drive.

The Tigers thought they had stopped earlier the drive on which Henderson intercepted the pass but Walterhouse’s fumble recovery was nullified because the ball had been blown dead.

THE BULLDOGS’ lone score came on a 27-yard field goal by Kelly Darnley with 9:44 left in the first quarter. The tally came off a 21-yard runback of the opening kickoff by Mark Stevenson and a 52-yard run on a pitchout by Ellis off an unbalanced line and the wingback set to the right, which completely surprised the WHSers.

Tiger linebacker Anthony Grizzard knocked Ellis out of bounds at the Massillon 17 to save a touchdown. On McKinley’s next drive Mike Brown ran the kickoff back 50 yards before Van Jones brought him down at the Massillon 25.

“There’s no doubt they outplayed us but they were sitting on three points and hoping it would last,” Tiger head Coach Mike Currence said, “but I knew it wouldn’t.”

Currence paid tribute to the McKinley secondary of Ellis, Weatherspoon and Cliff Frazier as the best he’s seen.

“We didn’t win it impressively, but I don’t really care,” said Currence. “The only thing I do care about is that these seniors proved they were a bunch of winners when everybody said they were a bunch of losers.”

CURRENCE PAID tribute to punter Mark Westover who got off a key 59-yard kick which was downed at the McKinley 10 in the fourth period. The skipper also lauded the work of his coaching staff.

He thought the Tigers’ emotions were too high.

“They were making mistakes where McKinley wasn’t,” Currence said. “McKinley came to play. Our kids came to win.”

Bulldog Coach John Brideweser was bitterly disappointed.

“With no disrespect to the Massillon football team or to Mike Currence, that’s one victory you don’t deserve,” Brideweser said. “I’ve been coaching for 20 years and I’ve never complained. We did get handled. That’s the first time I’ve said that and I’m ashamed. We got handled in more ways than one.”

MASSILLON FINISHED the season undefeated in the All-American Conference at 5-0 with the league title and 8-2 overall. McKinley ended 1-4 in the league and 4-6 overall.

Niles McKinley and Steubenville ended tied for second with 3-1-1 records. Alliance, Warren Harding and Canton McKinley followed with 1-4 records.

McKINLEY – 3
Ends – Weatherspoon, K. Jackson, Latimer, Albright.
Tackles – Adams, Williams, Cole, Hogsett, Hill, Beadle.
Guards – Randazzo, Huntsman.
Center – Mullane, Schoeneman.
Quarterback – Brown.
Halfbacks – Johnson, Ellis, Asberry, Stevenson, Andrews, Brown Truitt.
Fullback – Bowers.
Middle Guard – G. Jackson.
Linebackers – Ramos, Bailey, Latimer, Gaines.
Defensive Halfbacks – Webb, Frazier, Basham.
Kicker – Darnley.
Punter – Zern.

MASSILLON – 7
Ends – Pringle, Chovan, Sweterlitsch, Engler, Clendening, Furnas, B. Grizzard, A. Longshore.
Tackles – Tournay, Daniels, Dennison, Toles, Matie, Stuck, Kovacsiss, Laase.
Guards – Hauser, Lauber, Berquist, Baus.
Centers – Ramsey, Lutz.
Quarterback – Traylor.
Halfbacks – Harper, Grove.
Fullbacks – Cleveland, Shafrath.
Middle Guard – Dorsey.
Linebackers – Walterhouse, Dottavio, Border, Sowards.
Defensive Halfbacks – A. Grizzards, M. Longshore, Jones, Lash, Henderson, Letcavits, Nagle.
Kicker – Hardwick.
Punter – Westover.

McKinley 3 0 0 0 3
Massillon 0 0 0 7 7

SCORING SUMMARY
McK – Kelly Darnley, 27 field goal;
M – Mike Grove, 3 run (Hardwick kick).

OFFICIALS
Referee – Chuck Lorenz.
Umpire – Brenton Kirk.
Linesman – Jack Prettyman.
Field Judge – Nick Costello.
Back Judge – Wilson Murray.

ATTENDANCE – 19,528.

GRIDSTICK
Mass. McK.
First downs rushing 4 8
First downs passing 0 2
First downs penalties 1 0
Total first downs 5 10
Yards gained rushing 102 212
Yards lost rushing 21 16
Net yards gained rushing 81 196
Net yards gained passing 23 34
Total yards gained 104 230
Passes completed 3-9 5-12
Passes intercepted by 1 2
Yardage on passes intercepted 0 3
Kickoff average (yards) 2-52 2-51
Kickoff returns (yards) 61 39
Punt average (yards) 5-37 5-30
Punt returns (yards) 2 67
Had punts blocked 0 0
Lost fumbled ball 1-1 2-3
Yards penalized 5-55 7-66
Touchdowns rushing 1 0
Total number of plays 45 62
Total time of possession 20:23 27:37

INDIVIDUAL SUMMARYS
McKinley
Ellis 4 58 0 58

Massillon
Cleveland 11 42 0 42

Tonight is last
Booster session

The final session of the Tiger Booster Club for this season will be held tonight at 8 in the Washington High School auditorium. Films of last Saturday’s 7-3 win over Canton McKinley will be shown.

Tonight will be the final chance for fans to take pictures of Obie VII, the live Tiger cub, for the mascot will depart for other quarters Tuesday, according to Booster President John Muhlbach, Jr. Pictures may be taken on the auditorium stage either before or after the meeting.

John Hauser