1962: Massillon 8, Steubenville 14
Battling Tigers Bow to Big Red 14-8
Bengals Try Hard And Finish Badly Crippled
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
They gave it a whale of a try, but the odds were stacked against them.
They were outmanned and crippled up, but the Massillon Tigers never gave in. They were in the game until the last minute, trying with all of their might to pull it out of the fire. But there’s a limit beyond which flesh and blood cannot endure against superior weight and healthy numbers.
The Steubenville Big Red powered their way to a 14-8 victory over Washington high school before 12,869 fans at Tiger stadium Friday night. They literally wore the Bengals down in the second half.
With All-Ohio, senior Halfback Harry Wilson going off the right side and junior Halfback Ray Terry slanting off the other, the Big Red beat Massillon for the first time since 1931. The score that year was 68-0.
The last time the Bengals lost three games in a season was in 1947. They dropped four games that year. The last time they faltered in three out of their first five games was in 1928.
“Under the circumstances the boys did the best job they could, especially on defense,” said Coach Leo Strang. Ray Hoyman, boss of Steubenville, said, “This was our toughest game of the year. Massillon had a scrapping bunch of players out there. They gave a 150 per cent effort.”
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THE BEST INDICATION of the fight and spirit of the Tigers came near the end of the fourth period. The Big Red fumbled with fourth-and-three on the Massillon three-yard line after a drive of 81 yards with three first downs highlighted by Terry’s breakaway run through the center from the Massillon 42 to the eight.
The Tigers took over and started up field in a last-ditch effort to pull the game out. There were 2:46 left on the clock when the drive started.
They drove from their eight to the Big Red’s 34 in 12 plays with four first downs featuring the running of senior Tailback John Kanney and two fine pass plays with junior Quarterback Ron Swartz on the throwing end. Junior long side End Mike Jones caught one aerial for 17 yards. Graydon Eckard, junior wingback, hauled in the other for the last 20 yards to the 34.
In a desperation move Strang called on Fullback Terry Getz. The little junior southpaw took a pitchout from Swartz, streaked to his left and let fly with a pass. But Wilson was “Johnny-on-the-spot,” with an interception which ended the threat and the game.
During this and other series the Tigers failed to connect on key passes that could have opened up the ground game. Strang explained, “We had no versatility in our passing attack. The only boys we could throw to were our wingbacks.” Both regular ends are injured. So is the starting quarterback. Although their replacements gave a good account of themselves, the passing game was hampered.
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WHILE ON the subject of injuries, it should be noted that the Tigers’ starting backfield is now all on the clinical list. Another quarterback and the short side guard are also sidelined. Senior Tailback Ron Davis has a neck injury. Junior Wingback Bill Blunt has a sprained knee ligament, ditto junior Quarterback Tom Gatsios, who injured himself in pre-game workouts. Co-Captain and senior short side End Jim Ehmer has a dislocated shoulder.
The Orange and Black broke the scoring ice first after a long drive by Steubenville was stopped on a pass interception by Davis. The Big Red had taken the opening kickoff and moved from its 33 to the Massillon 19 in 17 plays with four first downs as Wilson hit one side of the line and Terry the other.
Wilson’s 21-yard scamper around left end from the Massillon 41 to the 20 highlighted the drive. On this drive, as they did all night, the Big Red capitalized on key third down plays. The Tigers did also, and that made it an exciting game.
Davis’ interception came on a fourth-and-19 situation on the 19 to give the Tigers the ball on their 18. The interception came just after a holding penalty had set Steubenville back from the three to the 18.
With Davis and Kanney running the ends, the Orange and Black took eight plays and three first downs to move for the score. Davis had runs of nine, 17 and 21 yards and Kanney a 22-yard romp in the series.
* * *
SWARTZ WENT over from the one on the wedge with 55 seconds left. Kanney went off tackle for the conversion.
This was the last time Massillon was able to move the ball well around end. Steubenville widened its defense.
The Big Red got their first score as the result of circumstances that will be talked about for a long time. The Tigers had the ball third-and-three on their 24, ran a play and were penalized for a personal foul after the whistle, which meant the down counted. But the players misunderstood, thinking it was third-and-1 instead of fourth down on the 16, ran on the next play and were stopped with Steubenville taking over on the 16.
Three plays later Wilson ran around left end from the 12 to the one on third-and-six. On the next play he went through the center for the score at 8:27.
He was stopped on the conversion. However, Massillon was off-side. The Big Red got another chance, and Terry drove through the middle for the tying points.
Neither team mounted an offensive again until Massillon picked off a Steubenville fumble on the Big Red 31 midway in the third quarter. This threat was short-lived. On fourth-and-eight from the 29 minutes later, Swartz got hit hard by an onrushing Big Red lineman as he was passing, and the ball ended up in the arms of Steubenville’s Herb Lindsey on the 25. He returned to the Massillon 36 with a desperation tackle by Swartz saving a TD..
In the 12 plays and two first downs, Steubenville had the ball on the 11, fourth-and-nine. Sophomore safety Jim Lawrence then intercepted a pass on the two and ran it back to the 34.
The Tigers started rolling, getting to the Big Red 45 five plays later thanks to a 15-yard pass to Eckard and a 12-yard run up the middle by Lawrence. Then came a Bengal fumble recovered by Steubenville on the 34.
On the second play of the ensuing series, Terry raced 61 yards through the center for the winning score. Getz made a diving, desperation tackle but just missed. Wilson missed the conversion.
Then came a Massillon series, the Steubenville fumble and the Tigers’ last-ditch effort.
The Orientals from Akron East will move in next Friday to test the battle-scarred Tiger.
STEUBENVILLE – 14
Ends – Bruzda, Owens, Stinson and A. Terry.
Tackles – Mazzaferro, Miller and horston.
Guards – Ziklo, Bauman and Mayo.
Center – Duncan.
Backs – Wilson, R. Terry, McCosky, Weinman, Lindsey, Parris and Cusack.
MASSILLON – 8
Ends – Franklin, Jones, Hose and R. Alexander.
Tackles – Profant, Clendening, Tarle, Miller, Fabianich, Morgan and Mercer.
Guards – McDew, Ehmer, Roderick, Swisher, Castile, Geckler, Rivera and Mathias.
Centers – Bradley and Paisley.
Backs – Swartz, Davis, Lawrence, Blunt, Kanney, Eckard, Getz, Thomas, Pope, Sullivan and Williams.
Steubenville 0 8 6 0 14
Massillon 8 0 0 0 8
Massillon – Swartz 1 (one-yard run).
Steubenville – Wilson 1 (one-yard run); Terry 1 (61-yard run).
Massillon – Kanney 1 (run)
Steubenville – Terry 1 (run).
Referee – Tony Pianowski (Cleveland)
Umpire – C.W. Rupp (Cuyahoga Falls).
Head Linesman – Harold Rolph (Ironton).
Field Judge – Harvey Hodgson, Jr. (Massillon)
First downs – rushing 8 12
First downs – passing 4 0
First downs – penalties 1 0
Total first downs 13 12
Yards gained rushing 190 290
Yards lost rushing 6 7
Net yards gained rushing 184 283
Yards gained passing 62 0
Total yards gained 246 283
Passes attempted 14 5
Passes completed 5 0
Passes intercepted by 2 2
Times kicked off 2 3
Kickoff average (yards) 33.0 43.3
Kickoff returns (yards) 29 10
Times punted 4 2
Punt average (yards) 30.0 46.0
Punt returns (yards) 3 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 1 2
Lost fumbled ball 1 1
Penalties 2 4
Yards penalized 20 35