1924: Massillon 6, Canton McKinley 0
KAMMER’S MUDDY DASH OF 65 YARDS DEFEATS CANTON, 6 TO 0
INTERCEPTED PASS DECIDED BIT TILT OR LOCAL SCHOOL
Talk about that stadium dedication jinx all you want to but speaking in the vernacular “there ain’t no such animal: as far as the orange and black scholastic eleven of Washington high school is concerned. Superstitious individuals have it that no football team can successfully dedicate a new field and win a gridiron tussle all in one afternoon.
But Coach David B. Stewart’s huskies at the South Mill street institution did that very thing last Saturday afternoon when they dedicated the new high school athletic field near Pearl street and then handed the local school’s perennial foe, Canton, McKinley, a 6 to 0 trouncing in the annual conflict between the two old rivals and won for the third straight year in succession the scholastic championship of Stark county by trouncing the east enders in the final battle of the season for both schools.
The dedication jinx was handed a wallop in the solar plexus in the first quarter by Kammer, Massillon’s fleet footed and line cracking fullback, when he snatched a Canton forward pass out of the air and sloshed his way through 65 yards of mud and water for a touchdown – in favor of the orange and black for the third straight year.
It was a mud battle. Of that there can be no doubt. The field, newly constructed was made soggy by a heavy rain Friday. In spots stilts were needed for a successful passage and the balance was a nice sticky mass of mud anywhere from two to four inches deep. It was the worst field either team had played upon this year, but blame the elements for that, and it was the same kind of a gridiron the two rivals have had to settled their disputes on in the last three years.
Such being the case all the nicely pre-arranged dope was shot to the eternal bow wows early in the fracas for coaches of both teams and the players and spectators as well had prayed long and fervently for a dry, firm footing. On a dry field Massillon was a heavy favorite to win by a top heavy score. But on a muddy field, such as the one last Saturday, the orange and black was lucky to come out ahead.
With a chance to show its speed there is little doubt that Coach Stewart’s machine would have run the Canton invaders to shreds. But on a muddy field McKinley high, with a big, heavy and somewhat slow moving aggregation held the upper hand as it proved by outplaying the lighter Massillon team, distinctly at a big disadvantage in the mud.
Canton had a forward wall that had at least a five to eight pound advantage per man on the Massillon line. Its backfield also was heavier. And what Massillon fans have been trying to figure since Saturday’s conflict is why Canton, with such a formidable group of lads, did not do better than win but two games out of nine this fall.
The orange and black won the game; and that was the big thing, through the medium of Kammer’s muddy dash but to the east enders must be given the credit of trudging off the field holding an advantage in the actual play and proving themselves just a wee bit better mud dogs than Coach Stewart’s warriors. Their superiority in weight gave them that advantage along with the fact that their fighting spirit was better Saturday than it has been at any time this year. Even Canton fans were a bit surprised to see the dogged and determined fight their boys put up against the Massillon eleven. The way Canton had been defeated all season didn’t indicate a great deal of fighting spirit but they had it against Massillon – large gobs of it too.
With the muddy field as the scene for the big fracas the plans of both coaches to unleash the speed of their teams were shot but this probably was a life saver for Canton for even on the soggy battle ground the McKinleyites could not travel nearly as fast as Coach Stewart’s speed merchants. On a dry field Canton’s warriors would have appeared to be standing still when compared to the speed of the Massillon backs.
Breaks of the game however went to Canton. A bit of poor generalship on Massillon’s part also helped the east enders. The forward pass which Canton tried and Kammer intercepted was not a break for Massillon. It was one of those things that every team faces when it attempts a gain by the aerial route and the fact that Kammer took advantage of the opportunity and turned it into a touchdown for Massillon only proves that Kammer is a wide awake individual in mud or on dry land.
Right at the start of the game Canton got a lucky break when Vince Define, back in the game after a lay off of two weeks with a damaged knee, speared a Canton punt and raced it back 45 yards to Canton’s 15-yard line only to have it count for naught when two Massillon men were offside on the punting play. Again in the third quarter came another break of like nature. This time Canton punted from behind its goal line. The kick was poor and King signaled for a fair catch on Canton’s 17-yard line. He was tackled and the 15-yard penalty to be inflicted for this offense would have put the ball right under Canton’s goal posts but once again a Massillon player, too eager for a chance to block the kick, was offside and Canton got another chance to boot the oval, this time sending it down the field about 50 yards.
Canto, while it made five earned first downs to four for Massillon, never dreamed of being able to score through Massillon’s line or around the ends. The east enders’ only hope lay in successfully putting over a touchdown by the aerial route and they worked the overhead game to a frazzle in the first quarter when they attempted 15 passes, only four of which succeeded and three of which were intercepted by Massillon, one of them being turned into the winning touchdown. After that Canton tried only two passes during the remainder of the game, completing one and failing in the other.
Canton, however, did uncover quite a proficient performer late in the game in Curley Whitmer, its plunging fullback, who was not discovered as possessing ball toting qualifications until only two weeks ago. He is a big, powerful lad and crashed through Massillon’s line for several substantial gains in the last two quarters but never got out in the open far enough to prove dangerous.
Massillon’s offense, disrupted by the mud, was nothing to brag about either except for a brief flash in the third quarter which marched the ball down the field for three first downs to the Canton five-yard line and a flashy dash by Jimmy Price late in the fourth quarter when he slipped through the Canton line and plowed through the mud for 53 yards to Canton’s 15-yard line before Corl sunk him.
The local team’s best offensive play was shown in the return of punts by Define and Jimmy Price. Canton out-punted Massillon. Corl and Dent having an edge on Define, Smith and Edwards, but this advantage was wiped out by the manner in which Define and Price carried back the ball. The Canton receivers of punts seldom moved out of their tacks before being spilled in the mud.
Massillon did not make a first down in the first two quarters. Its four first downs came during the second half. All of them were earned. Canton made three, all coming in the first quarter, two on penalties and one on a forward pass. The east enders made four earned first downs in the last half, two in the third quarter and a like number in the fourth.
Bill Edwards, finishing his high school football career after three years of steady and brilliant playing, was Massillon’s defensive star. The orange and Black leader, with his head swathed in bandages to protect a bad ear, didn’t miss getting into many plays and when he tackled the Canton man stopped right where Bill hit him. The Massillon line, pitted against the heavy Canton forward wall, was well coated with mud but not outplayed by the east enders.
Punting was frequent and Massillon showed a decided tendency of not being able to handle the water-soaked, slippery ball while Canton, discredited because of its numerous fumbles all season, never once fumbled.
Canton’s best chance to score came in the first quarter when Edwards passed the ball over Define’s head and Bolender covered for Canton on Massillon’s 23-yard line. The east enders then tried and failed at four passes and the orange and black came back in possession of the ball on the same spot it had lost it. Then each team intercepted a pass before Kammer picked the ball out of the air on his 35-yard line and made his 65-yard dash.
Kammer, the fastest man on the local team, splashed mud in the faces of more than one would-be Canton tackler as he charged down the west side of the field. He was given perfect interference too, Ike Hise taking out the last man between Kammer and the Canton goal line. Edwards failed to add the extra point on a try for goal by place kick.
It was in the third quarter that Massillon showed its best form. Stewart’s lads got the ball on Canton’s 38-yard line and marched it down to the visitors’ five-yard mark before being stopped, line plays and a 15-yard pass from King to J. Price shoving Canton back to its five-yard line. But with only five yards to make in four downs the local team failed to score. Borza made two yards in a plunge and then lost three on his second attempt through failure to pay strict attention to the play. King tried to make up the loss on a line plunge but was stopped without gain. He then attempted a forward to Jimmy Price as the last chance to score and the ball went over the goal line and the chance was lost.
A touchdown was in sight when the game ended. It was due to Jimmy Price’s remarkable dash of 53 yards. Massillon got the ball on its 32 yard line on a punt and on the first play Price, rammed his way through Canton’s left tackle and darted up the field. Had Jimmy not out-run his interference he might have scored but he was too fast for the balance of his mud-soaked comrades and he outstripped them but not Corl, the Canton safety man, who overhauled him and pulled him to earth on Canton’s 15-yard line.
Then once again Canton’s line hurled itself in the mud and refused to be budged and the orange and black lost the ball on downs. Canton punted but Price brought it back to the 15-yard line from where Grant and Kammer carried it to the seven-yard line in three plays. There the game ended.
Massillon – 6 Pos. McKinley – 0
W. Price LE Bolender
McCarthy LT Gebel
Hise LG Young
Edwards C Parker
Halco RG Henning
Weidman RT Nealander
Thomas RE Genet
J. Price QB Black
Define LHB Poet
Kammer RHB Corl
Borza FB Whitmer
Score by quarters:
Massillon 6 0 0 0 6
Massillon – King for Define, Gump for W. Price, Agler for Thomas, Grant for Borza, P. Smith for J. Price, Borza for Grant, J. Price for P. Smith, Thomas for Agler, W. Price for Gump, Define for Borza, Grant for Define, Gump for W. Price.
Canton – Dye for Bolender, Dent for Corl, Clark for Genet, Bigson for Poet, Corl for Gibson, Poet for Dent, Bolender for Dye, Genet for Clark, Farwick for Gebel, Gebel for Farwick.
Touchdown – Kammer.
Referee – Roudebush, Cleveland.
Umpire – Shafer, Akron.
Head Linesman – Michaels, Akron.
Time of quarters – 15 minutes.
NEW ATTENDANCE MARK
IS SENT AT PARK DEDICATION
Rain; snow and plenty of mud couldn’t hold down the attendance at Saturdays’ football game which marked the dedication of Massillon field, Washington high’s new athletic playground. The largest crowd which ever saw a scholastic game in this city was on hand, attracted by the annual fracas between Massillon and Canton and the dedicatory programme.
High school authorities, Saturday night, while hundreds of joy-filled students were turning the town upside down in a big celebration of the 6 to 0 victory over Canton, said that a conservative estimate of the crowd placed the attendance at 8,000. Every inch of the park was packed and quite a few saw the game from good vantage points on the outside.
The only thing that marred the event was the weather which was the poorest of the entire season. Friday’s heavy rain turned the gridiron into a quagmire but nobody cared much about the mud, except the players who soon carried a thick coating of it.
The dedication programme started promptly with H.R. Gorrell, superintendent, in charge. After the local high school band had strutted around in the mud and played a selection, Congressman John McSweeney, of Wooster, mounted a platform at the south end of the field and speaking through a double barreled megaphone made the principal address of the day.
His talk was devoted to clean sportsmanship and high class athletics. He was followed by the Rev. F.B. Hax, of St. Paul’s Lutheran church who offered prayer.
Then came Miss Louise Hunter, Washington high school senior, selected by the student council to christen the field. Miss Hunter did a good job of it and broke a bottle, filled with nothing stronger than water, at the south goal post as she christened the field, “Massillon Field.”
That was followed by an aerial display of bombs, featured by the setting loose of pennants of Canton McKinley and Washington high, attached to parachutes and a large American flag.
Between the halves after the students of the two schools had sung their school songs the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary presented the school with an American flag and large orange and black pennant. Headed by the Canton McKinley band and the local band bringing up the rear a uniformed detail of Legion members marched to the south goal post where Arthur Paul, commander on behalf of the Legion made the flag presentation speech and Mrs. Edward Johns, on behalf of the Auxiliary presented the pennant.
E.P. McConnaughy, accepted on behalf of the school and board of education.
Then as the massed bands played the Star Spangled Banner the flag and pennant were run up the flag pole presented and erected by the Legion and the second half of the game was started.
The affair was well arranged and quite appropriate to the occasion.
The game itself, while played on a very muddy field, was clean throughout, players of both teams playing hard but cleanly. The officiating was good too, although Head Linesman, Michaels once gave Canton five downs in which to make 10 yards but even this did not help the east enders on this occasion and they were forced to punt.
The battle was delayed about 15 minutes by failure of Shafer and Michaels to appear. They thought the game would start at 2:30 o’clock. Finally it was agreed to use Frank Bast of Massillon as umpire and Bletzer of Canton as Head Linesman until the regular officials arrived. They appeared shortly after the first kickoff.
One thing that is badly needed at the park is larger exits. The big crowd was jammed quite a bit while the thousands of fans tried to get out through several narrow gates.
Part of the first half was played in a drizzling rain and snow.