Tag: <span>Richard “Dick” Miller</span>


1952: Massillon 41, Canton McKinley 8

Await Outcome Of Final Press Poll;  Massillon Gridders End Undefeated Season With Victory Over Old Rival


Having completed an undefeated season by whipping Canton McKinley 41-8 here Saturday afternoon, the Washington high Tigers today awaited the final Associated Press poll of the season Tuesday which is expect to name them state champions for the fifth straight year.

Program Cover

Virtually all but one of the writers who saw the Tigers maul the Bulldogs were ready to give Massillon the title after the game. Springfield’s representative, Dan Hoyt, wasn’t convinced, and remained loyal to his own Wildcats, for which we don’t blame him one bit. “I’d like to see the two teams meet, it would be a good game,” he said. Dan didn’t think McKinley very strong, but he should remember that the Bulldogs came within two points of beating Mansfield as badly as the latter was beaten by Springfield Friday.

The Cleveland, Canton and Akron papers in their Sunday write-ups gave the Tigers the title, which shows the line of thought of some of the boys.

The ballots were being cast today and Tuesday the results should be known.
* * *
THE TIGER victory over McKinley, scored before a paid attendance of 17,830, climaxed a great season for the Tigers and the team will go down in Massillon pigskin history as one of the greatest.

The victory extended to two games the Tiger edge over the Bulldogs in their 57-game series that dates back to 1894. Massillon has now won 27, Canton 25, while five ended in tie scores.

The triumph brought Massillon’s victory string to 13 games. It was the 47th win for Chuck Mather since he took over the helm here in 1948, and his second undefeated season.

His 1948, 1949 and 1951 teams each lost one game.

“I wouldn’t say this team was better than the undefeated 1950 team,” Mather said after the game. “We had a good bunch of fellows then, too. But I will say this was one of the best and certainly a fine bunch of players to work with.”
* * *
THE TIGER COACH gave them all a big pat on the back as he made the rounds in the hilarious locker room after the game.

The players themselves bore the marks of a hard-fought contest. They were scratched and bruised, and Fullback Lee Nussbaum, who emerged from the contest as the leading ground gainer, didn’t know the score. He had suffered a slight concussion which had him somewhat foggy for several hours.

Coach Mather gave the Bulldogs credit for playing a hard game and was even louder in the praise of his opponent after looking over the motion pictures Sunday. “If we hadn’t been up we would have lost this one,” he said. “Do you know they hit us three times as hard as we were hit all season? They were playing their hearts out. So were our boys and that’s the only reason we won.”

The hard play caused tempers to flare and Bob Khoenle and Sam Williams of Massillon and two Canton players were tossed out by the officials; Williams in the third period and Khoenle in the fourth.
* * *
MATHER was critical of the officiating. “It was the poorest officiated game I ever saw and you can quote me as saying so,” he said after going over the pictures.

Mather was a little disappointed in Misere’s performance until he saw the pictures. “After watching the pictures I admire how that little fellow stayed in there and took it. He really got a going over when passing,” he said.

Mather said he wasn’t going to single out any individual for praise. “They all did well, otherwise we couldn’t have won,” he said.

We noted, however, that he was particularly pleased with the way Nussbaum came through in his last high school game. He broke the Bulldogs’ back on the opening play from scrimmage with an end sweep of 40 yards and he finished the day with a fraction less than nine yards per try for the 21 times he carried the ball.
* * *
LEE GAINED 181 yards, John Traylor 93, John Francisco 54, John Tasseff 40 and Clarence Stewart 21.

The Tigers rolled up 390 yards by rushing, lost 28 for a net of 362. They gained 65 yards by passing, giving them a net of 427.

Their total offense in victory was as superior to the Bulldogs as the score on the board. McKinley gained 70 yards rushing and lost 21 for a net of 49. They gained 121 yards passing for a total net offense of 170 yards. First downs were just as one-sided, 22-7 in favor of the Tigers.
* * *
WHILE the ball carriers were having a track meet, the Tiger line and defense should be given a big share of the credit.

The linemen, Bob Khoenle, Sam Williams, Jim Geiser, Bruce Schram, Bob Clinage, Bob Kraus and Frank Corral slit the Bulldog forward wall wide open and consistently made big holes for the ball carriers to romp through. Their charge at the same time so bottled up the Bulldog backs that they spent much of their time running in their own backfield.

John Goodrich, ace of the Canton team, for instance, gained but 11 yards and lost seven, for a net gain of four in the eight times he carried the ball. Leading ground gainer was Dick Albert, the Canton ball carrier who had 21 yards to show for the five times he sneaked through center with the pigskin from his quarterback position.

The Tiger blocking was likewise something to behold. It was at its best on a 33-yard punt return by Traylor and a 32-yard run for the second touchdown of the game from a deep reverse. Johnny had five teammates convoying him over the goal line.
* * *
HARDEST TOUCHDOWN run was that unleashed by John Tasseff substituting for Johnny Francisco when the latter injured his leg. It was a 31-yard fourth period effort in which Tasseff raced down the sideline and without too much help shook off three Canton tacklers in disdain as they took their turn at trying to bring him down. The run produced the Tigers’ fifth T.D.

The game had its oddities, and two of them combined to give McKinley a safety, its first points of the game.

Willard Grimsley, who played a great defensive game for Canton and whose hard tackling stopped what might have been two or three more Tiger touchdowns, got off a beautiful
49-yard punt in the fourth quarter that stopped dead just inches short of the goal. We had not seen such a kick this season. Traylor stood with his heels against the end zone line as though to punt back, but ran with the ball. He barely got out, but Misere was caught pushing in the end zone which gave McKinley two points.
* * *
THE TWO POINTS seemed to pep up the Bulldogs because they took the following free kick on their 47 and in three plays had a touchdown, Albert tossing to Kenny Young for 49 yards and the score.

It was actually the only Bulldog threat. Canton never got over the 50-yard line the first quarter; got no closer than the 42 the second, and otherwise made its deepest penetration to the third when it marched to a first down on the 32 only to lose the ball on John Climo’s pass interception on the 14-yard line.

In addition to their touchdown bid the Bulldogs twice barely got over the 50-yard line in the fourth quarter, reaching the 42 both times.

The Tigers, on the other hand were dangerous every time they had the ball. Two 15-yard penalties for clipping and a couple of intercepted passes probably kept them from scoring two or three more.

In fact an intercepted pass stopped the initial march that might have gone for a score. This break however, was offset by Sam Williams, covering a Canton fumble on the seven and one-half yard line on the series of plays that followed.
* * *
WINNING the toss the Tigers elected to receive.

Traylor brought the kickoff back to the 26 and on the first play Nussbaum whirled around left end and went 40 yards to the Canton 34 where he was knocked out of bounds. Three plays gained but six yards and Misere’s fourth down pass was intercepted by Bob Washburn on the Canton 14.

The Bulldogs gained but a yard on two plays and Washburn fumbled on third down; Williams covering on the seven and one-half. The Bulldogs yielded ground stubbornly. Nussbaum carried twice and gained but three yards. Traylor on third down put the ball a foot short of the goal with a terrific lunge and Nussbaum took it over. Four minutes and 42 seconds of the period had expired. Tom Boone kicked the extra point, 7-0.
* * *
THE TIGERS stopped the Bulldogs on the 31 on the next series of plays forcing them to punt. Traylor made a brilliant 33-yard return to his 45. On second d own Misere tossed to Francisco for 29 yards and a first down on the 23 but the Tigers were penalized 15 for clipping, bringing the ball back to the McKinley 49. (The movies showed no violation). Francisco, Traylor and Nussbaum took turns at lugging the leather to the 20 where Misere was tossed for a 12-yard loss when he couldn’t find a receiver to pass to. That set the stage for one of the prettiest plays of the game, a deep reverse that saw Traylor come around his right end behind superb blocking for 32 yards and a touchdown. Boone’s kick was good. 14-0.

The Tigers were two-thirds of the way through the second period before they scored again. A 15-yard penalty for illegal use of the hands tied them up the first time they had the ball, forcing them to punt. They marched to a touchdown the next time, after getting the leather when Grimsley punted and out on the Massillon 31. Nussbaum put together runs of 16 and 24 yards in the drive that went to the four where the big fullback rammed it over. Boone kicked the extra point. 21-0.

The Tigers were on their way again in the period when Goodrich ended the threat by intercepting Misere’s pass on the Canton 38.

The locals scored the first time they got the ball in the third period but it took a lot of hard football to get it. Climo got the leather by intercepting Albert’s pass on the 14. A 13-yard pass, Misere to Bob Khoenle picked up a first down and the Bulldgos had a 15-yard penalty slapped on them for unnecessary roughness. Misere hurled a sweep pass to Tasseff good for 44 yards and a touchdown that went for naught because of the Tigers’ “illegal procedure”. Some hard running by Nussbaum and Tasseff and Misere’s 23-yard pitch to Khoenle put the ball on the four. On fourth down Misere bucked through center for the last foot and the fourth touchdown of the game. Again Boone kicked the extra point. 28-0
* * *
A 15-YARD penalty wiped out a first down on the Bulldog 30 late in the third quarter, forcing the Tigers to punt. Next time they got the ball which was early in the fourth period, they drove for their fifth touchdown. It started from the Canton 44. With Nussbaum dong most of the lugging, including a 24-yard effort, the Tigers moved the leather to the 31 and set the stage for Tasseff’s fine touchdown sprint. Boone missed his try for point. 34-0

Canton came back to score the safety and the touchdown already recorded here.

Boone’s interception of Albert’s pass and a runback of 16 yards put the ball on the Canton 14 and in position for the final points of the game. Francisco and Traylor took it to the three and Traylor went through the left side for the touchdown. Boone kicked the extra point. 41-8.

10 In A Row

ENDS – Williams, Khoenle, Letcavits, Crone, Gardner.
TACKLES – Geiser, Schram, Younkers, Gumpp, Rubio.
GUARDS – Clinage, Kraus, Shilling, Agnes, Dean, Fabianich.
CENTERS – Corral, Kimmins.
QUARTERBACKS – Misere, Johnson, Porter.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, Francisco, Boone, Millar, Floyd, Mlincek, Climo, Tasseff, Longshore.
FULLBACKS – Nussbaum, Stewart, Stone.

ENDS – Sheeler, Umbles, Young, Carter.
TACKLES – Cole, Barber, Kompara.
GUARDS – Wildes, Fach.
CENTERS – Noel, Rehfus.
HALFBACKS – Goodrich, Washburn, Grimsley, Bednareyz, Matthew.
FULLBACKS – Good, Burke, Mack.

Score by periods:
Massillon 14 7 7 13 41
McKinley 0 0 0 8 8

Massillon – Nussbaum 2; Traylor 2; Tasseff; Misere.
McKinley – Young.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 4 (placekicks).

Safety – McKinley

Referee – Tobin.
Umpire – Rupp.
Head Linesman – Schill.
Field Judge – Sebastian.

Mass. McK
First downs 22 7
Passes attempted 12 24
Passes completed 4 10
Had passes intercepted 3 2
Yards gained passing 65 121
Yards gained rushing 390 70
Total yards gained 455 191
Yards lost 29 21
Net yards gained 427 170
Times kicked off 8 2
Average kickoff (yards) 38 51
Yards kickoffs returned by 35 128
Times punted 2 6
Average punt (yards) 38 34
Yards punts returned by 35 20
Times fumbled 2 5
Lost ball on fumbles 0 3
Times penalized 6 7
Yards penalized 70 54

Player Times Carried Gained Lost
Nussbaum 21 181 0
Traylor 6 93 4
Francisco 9 54 0
Misere 5 1 24
Tasseff 4 40 0
Stewart 3 21 0
TOTALS 58 390 28

Goodrich 8 11 7
Good 5 18 2
Washburn 1 0 8
Albert 5 21 0
Grimsley 4 11 4
Burke 2 9 0
TOTALS 25 70 21

Bob Khoenle

1951: Massillon 40, Canton McKinley 0

Tigers Defeat Canton McKinley 40-0
Local Gridders Roll Up Biggest Score In Their Many Years Of Rivalry


The dye has been cast.

The ballots will be counted tonight, and Tuesday we will know who will be recognized as the Associated Press state high school football champion for 1951.

The Washington high school Tigers wound up their campaign for the title Saturday afternoon with a convincing 40-0 victory over a hard-hitting young Canton McKinley team which had to be beaten down before it would yield multiple touchdowns to the Tiger crew.

In so doing, the Tiger team:
Won its ninth victory in 10 games this season

Rolled up the highest total made against a Canton McKinley team in the 56-game
series which started back in 1894.

Gave Massillon a 26-25 edge in the series, the first time the Tigers have held the
upper hand in games played with the Bulldogs. Five ended in tie scores.

The victory was Coach Chuck Mather’s fourth in a row over McKinley and left him with the fine record of 37 victories in the 40 games played by the local team since he took over the coaching chores here in 1948. His 1950 team was undefeated. His 1948 and 1949 teams dropped one game the same as this year’s team. Oddly enough all three losses were to fellow members of the Ohio Scholastic conference. The Tigers finished the season tied with Warren for the conference championship.

Whether the Tigers are recognized in the AP poll as champions, as they have been the last three years, will depend on the results of the balloting of sports writers and radio commentators.

The local team led the poll all year until last week when Steubenville, largely on the basis of having beaten Warren, the team that defeated Massillon, was voted into first place, three slim points ahead of the Tigers who dropped to second after squeaking through with a 6-0 victory over hitherto undefeated Barberton.
* * *
SPRINGFIELD, the No. 3 team last week and Hamilton the No. 4 team both finished their seasons with nine victories and a loss each. Springfield barely getting by Mansfield 7-0 Friday evening and Hamilton winning a close decision from Middletown 14-6 Saturday. Steubenville defeated Weirton, W. Va., an out-of-state foe, 41-0, Friday evening.
Those who had worried that McKinley’s new found spirit last week might inspire it to unprecedented heights, capable of scoring an upset, had their fears allayed early in Saturday’s game when it became apparent to everyone of the some 16,000 fans present that the Tigers had too much power for the lighter Bulldogs.

There was no denying the McKinley spirit had its effect, for Canton fans who have followed the Bulldogs all year said they never saw their team hit as hard or as full of pep as it was Saturday afternoon. It was still fighting at the end of the game, when it made its best offensive efforts of the day by twice moving inside the Tiger five-yard line. The Massillon gridders stopped them the first time, and had held them on two plays on the one-yard line the second when the gun ended hostilities for the day.
* * *
THIS DISPLAY of grit, coupled with the enthusiasm generated by students for a team that had previously won but two games out of nine, was a credit to McKinley high.

The Tigers had too much of everything for the Bulldogs as reflected in the statistics as well as the score.

The locals made 18 first downs to the Bulldogs’ five, and scored 476 net yards from scrimmage to McKinley’s 92. Only in passing were the locals stymied. They completed but one toss in 12 attempts while McKinley completed one in three.

Better receiving would have helped the Tiger pass offense, but on the other hand had the team stuck to the ground, it might have scored more touchdowns, for in every series in which the Tigers lost the ball, an incompleted pass or penalty appears.

Even so, the Massillon gridders might easily have won by two more touchdowns in addition to the points scored. They lost one when a pass was dropped in the end zone with no McKinley player in sight and another when a fine 32-yard punt return for a touchdown by John Traylor was nullified by a clipping penalty.
* * *
THE TIGERS scored the first time they came in possession of the ball. Bob Grier, going over from 10 yards out after a drive of 72 yards.

The half was within two plays of completion before they could score again. Grier running 34 yards to the 11 from which point Henry Grooms, went over for the score.

That started a string of five consecutive touchdowns which would have been stretched to six had not clipping been called on a T.D. punt return.

The Massillon offense really rolled in the third period when the locals looked like the steamrollers of old as they scored the first three times they came into possession of the ball; Grooms running 44 yards for one; Grier going 11 for another; and Tom Straughn 16 for the third.

Then came the fourth quarter and the Tigers continued their onslaught again scoring when they got the leather, Bobby Joe Johnson running 37 yards on the slickest dash of the day.
* * *
THE LOCAL team would have made it five T.D.’s in a row had clipping not been called on John Climo on Traylor’s punt return. The 15-yard penalty followed by Willard Grimsley’s pass interception got the Tigers into a hole form which they were unable to crawl out the rest of the game. Grimsley got clear back to the Massillon 21 before he was tackled and the Bulldogs successfully used a reverse to get a first down on the eight. A five-yard penalty on Massillon for delay of the game gave McKinley a first down on the three but it couldn’t penetrate pay dirt in four downs and surrendered the ball.

The Tigers got partially off the spot but lost the ball on their own 29 when they decided to complete the game without punting and failed to make three yards on fourth down.

The Bulldogs tried another reverse. Got as far as first down on the one-yard line, ran two plays, couldn’t get over and then the gun sounded.

The two goal line stands were shades of the goal-line defenses thrown up against Barberton the previous week when the Tigers successfully protected a 6-0 lead.

Coach Mather did not spare the horses for his final game of the season. He gave 35 players a taste of competition including 22 seniors who were wearing the orange and black of Massillon for the last time.
* * *
WHILE the gridiron was in better condition than most folks had expected to find it, the footing was slippery and there were many soft spots. Tiger players wore their long spikes which reduced slipping but also cut down on a gridder’s speed. The last period was played in a snow flurry so intensive that at times the players were barely visible from the press box.

We thought the officials had pulled a boner in the fourth quarter and had given McKinley five downs instead of four. However, after talking with them after the game we found the boner was on Chuck Vliet, Tiger co-captain, who took a five-yard penalty in preference to a down after a Bulldog had been thrown for a five-yard loss. In the heat of the game Chuck became a bit confused. The referee did not step off the five yards since the penalty would have placed the ball exactly where the McKinley player had been tackled. As a result everyone was confused – PA announcer included.

There was no particular celebration in the Tiger dressing room after the game. The boys appeared more concerned as to whether the score would get them any more votes in the football poll, but Coach Chuck Mather was quick to tell them that regardless of how the poll went, he personally considered them the top team in Ohio.
* * *
CANTON’S HOPES were given a shot in the arm at the very start of the game when Goodrich returned Grooms; opening kickoff 38 yards to his 47 before he was brought down to earth.

McKinley might have driven to a first down on its first series had an offside penalty not set the Bulldogs back and forced them to punt the ball rolling dead on the Tiger 28.

The Massillon team immediately launched its first touchdown drive.
Grooms carried on the first three plays and hit for two first downs on the 39 and 50. Grier hit for six and Grooms overcame a five-yard penalty to carry the ball to a first down on the Canton 39. The Tigers’ only completed pass, Paul Francisco to Dave Gable, advanced the ball another 18 to the 21. Grier and Straughn hit for a first on the 10 and Grier ripped through right tackle for the last 10 yards. Grooms kicked the extra point and it was 7-0.
* * *
THE NEXT TIME the Tigers got the ball they moved from their own 44 to the six but a clipping penalty set them back 15.

They would have made it up had Bruce Brenner, playing with a sprained ankle, been able to hold Francisco’s pass in the end zone. The ball hit him on the chest and bounced off and the Tigers forfeited on downs. To spectators it looked like an easy catch, but old football players will tell you it is one of the most difficult.

Willie Keen got the locals the ball shortly thereafter when he covered a McKinley fumble on the Bulldog 40. The Tiger wasted two downs on incomplete passes in this series and lost the ball on downs.

A five-yard penalty stopped the Tigers on their next attempt and again they forfeited the ball on downs to McKinley. They forced the Bulldogs to punt, blocked it and got the ball on the Canton 37. Again a five-yard penalty helped stop the locals causing them to lose the ball on downs.
* * *
THE SECOND period was practically over before they could get the leather again, and lost no time going the distance. They started from their 44, as Grier on first down ran to the McKinley 11, and Grooms negotiated the rest of the distance through left tackle. McKinley only had time to run one play after the kickoff.

The Bulldogs kicked to the Tigers to start the second half, Vliet being downed with the ball on his 32. Grooms rolled to his 45, Straughn carried twice for gains of two and four yards and Grier made it another first down on the Canton 44. Grooms broke through the line for a 44-yard run for the touchdown.

Holding Canton after the kickoff, Traylor was downed with Ramsayer’s punt without return. Grooms went around his left end for 26 yards and a first on the Canton 36. Straughn hit for three and Grooms for six before Grier wheeled his way through for 16 and a first down on the Bulldog 11. He went around right end on the next play for six points. Grooms missed his first kick of the game after the touchdown but the Bulldogs were offside and he made good on the second chance.

A 15-yard penalty on McKinley for roughing on the try for point, put the Bulldogs in the hole on the following kickoff and they only got out to the 10. Traylor returned Ramsayer’s punt nine yards to the Bulldog 42 and the Tigers were in motion again. Straughn hit for six, Grier for four and a first down on the 32. It was Grooms for three and one, Grier four and Grooms a first down on the 17. Grier made a yard, and Straughn the last 16 on a pretty run.

Joe Sapia gave the Tigers their next scoring opportunity when he hopped on a Canton fumble on the Bulldog 39 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Bob Johnson and Francisco moved the ball up seven yards but it came back to the 37 on a five-yard penalty which nullified a first down by Grooms. Bobby Joe cut loose, however, dashed through a hole, wheeled to the left and outraced everyone for the touchdown which proved to be the Tigers’ last.

The local team came out of the game in good condition with the exception of Dave Gable, who sustained a shoulder separation early in the contest. He was treated at the Massillon city hospital.

The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Keen, Shilling, Gable, Brenner, Sweasey, Climo, Tasseff.
TACKLES – Geiser, Rubio, Gibson, Strobel, Takacs, Kraus, Younkers.
GUARDS – Sapia, Stewart, Tunning, Grunder, Snyder, Moyer.
CENTERS – Fabian, Roderick.
QUARTERBACKS – P. Francisco, Dommer. R. Johnson.
HALFBACKS – Longshore, Khoenle, Traylor, Grier, Straughn, Williams, Nussbaum, Bob Johnson.
FULLBACKS – Grooms, Vliet.

ENDS – Gelal, Sheeler, Carter.
TACKLES – Barber, Ruble, Baren, Cole, Posey.
GUARDS – Fach, Umbles, Wilds.
CENTERS – Noel, Chezzi, Edwards.
QUARTERBACKS – Ramsayer, Albert.
HALFBACKS – Goodrich, Howard, Good.
FULLBACKS – Burke, DeYarman, Bedmarczyk.

Score by periods:
Massillon 7 7 20 6 40

Massillon – Grooms 2; Grier 2; Straughn; Bob Johnson.

Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Grooms 4 (placekicks).

Referee – Rupp.
Umpire – Tobin.
Field Judge – Smith

Mass. Canton
First downs 18 5
Passes attempted 12 3
Passes completed 1 1
Had passes intercepted 1 0
Yards gained passing 18 3
Yards gained rushing 461 129
Total yards gained 479 132
Yards lost 3 40
Net yards gained 476 92
Times kicked off 7 1
Average kickoff (yards) 42 30
Yards kickoffs returned by 2 98
Times punted 0 8
Had punts blocked 0 1
Average punt (yards) 0 25
Yards punts returned by 18 0
Times fumbled 2 3
Lost ball on fumbles 0 2
Times penalized 7 3
Yards penalized 55 21

Individual Massillon
Player Times Yards Yards Net
Carried Gained Lost Gained
Paul Francisco 1 3 0 3
Bob Grier 19 111 3 108
Tom Straughn 12 65 0 65
Henry Grooms 20 215 0 215
Lee Nussbaum 4 26 0 26
Bob Johnson 2 41 0 41

Individual McKinley
George Ramsayer 2 0 15 -15
John Goodrich 12 60 0 60
Otis Howard 12 40 23 17
Pat Burke 12 29 2 27

Ace Grooms

1950: Massillon 33, Canton McKinley 0

22,000 See Tigers Smash McKinley Bulldogs 33-0
Massillon Gridders Win Third Consecutive Ohio Football Championship


The ambitions of a coach and football team were realized in Tiger stadium Saturday afternoon as 22,000 fans saw the Washington high school Tigers beat down the challenge of Canton McKinley’s Bulldogs by the impressive score of 33-0 to win their third consecutive state championship and their first Ohio conference crown.

Today Coach Chuck Mather was in possession of his first untied and undefeated seasons in his coaching career and the Tigers were able to boast that they had defeated Canton McKinley by more points than any other Massillon team had been able to measure the Bulldogs in the 55 games that have been played between the two teams since they first met in 1894.

Program Cover

Then too, the Tigers can have the additional honor of being the team that caught up with Canton McKinley. The series is all even now, each school having won 25 games, while five resulted in tie scores. There was a bit of personal pride for the 20 senior members of the squad too – they closed their football careers by having played on three state championship teams.

Not many boys in Ohio have been able to make that kind of boast. In fact only in Massillon have boys played on championship teams during their three years in high school. No other school has been able to win three in a row but Washington high since the Associated Press originated its organized football poll. The Tigers won seven in a row from the season of 1935 through 1941.

While the Tigers will not be officially crowned champions until the Associated Press announces the final standings in its poll this week – there’s no doubt as to how it will turn out – and the Tigers should be a unanimous choice for the title. Anyone voting otherwise will be voting sentiment and not sense for the Massillon team has been on top in the pool from the very first week of the football season.

It is the only time in the history of the poll, according to Fritz Howell, the originator, that one team has held the top rung every week of balloting.

In winning the Ohio Scholastic conference crown the Tigers beat all other teams in the conference.
* * *
THE TIGERS were magnificent in victory – the Bulldogs game in defeat.

There was no question as to the local team’s superiority. It is shown not only in the score but throughout the statistics, and while the Tigers could easily have won by several more touchdowns (they lost the ball three times on fumbles inside the 20-yard line) there also were anxious moments, particularly early in the third quarter when McKinley moved the ball deep into Tiger territory, only to lose it on the 22 when Tom Zeller pounced on Sam Parks’ fumble. It was one of two times the red and black were able to penetrate the danger zone.

The other was in the final period when Lou Mariano uncorked the most brilliant run of the game as he traveled some 100 yards in moving forward 41, ran out of steam and out of bounds on the Tigers 29.

Bill Stoner ended that threat on the next play when he made a brilliant interception of George Ramsayer’s pass on the 18. These two maneuvers accounted for 83 yards of Canton’s 165 net yardage.

The Tigers on the other hand rolled up 432 net yards, all but 54 through rushing. The 54 were made by the completion of two of 11 forward passes. McKinley made all but four of its yards by rushing, completing only one of nine passes for four yards. First downs were 14 to 7 in Massillon’s favor.
* * *
THE GAME ran true to form, and Canton’s hopes of overcoming Massillon power with spirit failed. The Bulldogs though still fighting as the game ended, were as badly a beaten team as ever limped off the field in a Massillon-Canton engagement.

With many of them called upon to play defensive and offensive football in contrast to the two-platoon system used by the Tigers, hardly a play was run off the last seven minutes without time being taken out for one or more exhausted McKinley players. Two of them, Ronald Wilds, who played a great game and who was virtually walking on his knees throughout the second half, and Chuck Gelal were taken to Mercy hospital Canton after the game for observation but were found not to be seriously hurt.

It was Wilds who caused the Tigers most of their trouble. They never knew where he would be – over the center or off to the side and as a result were unable to trap him successfully. Because of his wandering tactics he messed up many a Tiger play. After the game Coach Chuck Mather paid him the tribute of being among the best linemen the Tigers have faced all season.
* * *
THE LOCAL gridders escaped without a serious injury – in fact they haven’t had one all season – and it was their gratitude for this, that before they began celebrating the fruits of victory, they locked themselves in their squad room and before Coach Mather or assistants knew what was going on, were on their knees with one of their number, Ray Lane, leading them in a prayer of Thanksgiving. Voluntary, unrehearsed and coming from the heart, it goes down as a red letter page in their championship history.

You can name your own individual starts. We’ll take both platoons as our champions and not single out anyone for special honors. Fred Waikem, Bob Howe, Lane and Ernie Russell made the touchdowns. Waikem two of them, but without the assistance of the big Tiger line, the blocking of their teammates and the ability of the defensive platoon to throw back McKinley’s challenge to gain ground, the glories of victory might not have been attained.

Every player made his contribution to seeing that the Tigers won the title. Tom Zeller flopped on a couple of Canton fumbles at the right time, Stoner and Bob Khoenle pulled down Bulldog passes to regain the ball for the Tigers, Jerry Krisher booted three points from placement after touchdown, Wilfred Brenner caught one pass and Russell another with Fred Close doing the pitching as well as handling the ball like a magician from his
T-quarterback position. Frank Gibson, Glenn Tunning, Jim Reichenbach, Jim Schumacher and Cliff Streeter beat down the McKinley line time and again to open touchdown avenues for the ball carriers, and always there was that fine defensive line of Allen Murray, Jim Geiser, Rudy Grunder, Dick Woolbert, Tom Zeller, and Jack Strobel to smash the charge of the Bulldogs so that the line backers Chuck Vliet, Joe Gleason and Lane could lower the boom with head-on tackles. There are three line backers Coach Mather and Elwood Kammer, his secretary of defense, wouldn’t trade for any other three boys in the state.
* * *
THE BRUNT of the ball carrying was shared by Howe, Russell and Waikem. Big Bob lugged it 21 times for a net of 126 yards, while Russell and Waikem each had it 13 times for net gains of 139 and 100 yards respectively.

Mariano’s long run of 41 yards gave him the edge over parks in the ball carrying department for the Bulldogs. Each carried 17 times, Mariano gaining 83 net yards and Parks 45. Leuby Popoff plunged for 33 in six carries.

Seldom has a Massillon-Canton game been played under a more favorable setting. Sunshine and a temperature that was not too cold made it pleasant for both fans and teams.

Only a strong breeze interfered with the game, passers having difficulty throwing against it and receivers misjudging the carry of the ball as it rode the wind right out of reach of their outstretched arms.
* * *
THE TIGERS had set as their point objective – to beat McKinley by a greater score than any other Massillon team. They succeeded by a point but failed by two points from reaching the greatest point difference of 35, set by the Canton McKinley team of 1942 which shellacked the Tigers 35-0.

The Massillon team the following year, 1943 was undefeated and untied and this season is the first perfect one since that time. The 1945 eleven was undefeated, but was tied five times.

Ever since he began coaching at Brilliant in 1937, Chuck Mather has never had a perfect season. He has been undefeated on several occasions but always there was a tie to spoil the mark of perfection. He wound up with a perfect record at Leetonia one year, but stuck his neck out in a post-season game with Salem which ended in a tie.
* * *
THE TIGERS had hoped to score a touchdown the first time they got the ball against the Bulldogs but failed to do so and had to await a second chance. Then they marched 68 yards for the marker and crossed the Bulldog goal after seven minutes and 36 seconds of the first period had expired.

They score again in the second quarter after Zeller covered a Canton fumble on the Bulldog 39, and wound up the game in grand fashion by pushing over three T.D.’s in the final period on drives of 42 yards, 47 yards and 71 yards.

Seldom have seen a ballgame in which the ball was lost so many times on fumbles. The Tigers fumbled four times and lost the ball on three of them, while Canton lost the ball on all of its five fumbles. In other words one of nine fumbles made by the two teams was recovered and that by Massillon.
* * *
UNFORTUNATELY the game got a bit rough in the last period which resulted in two players being ejected by the officials. Had the officials asserted their authority earlier they might have prevented some of the punches that preceded the expulsion.

The hardest any ball carrier hit a player here this season occurred late in the game when Bob Howe ran over Mariano. The latter gamely picked himself off the ground shaken but uninjured.

The Tigers lost the toss and McKinley elected to receive. The Bulldogs gained nine yards and advanced the ball to the 28 in three attempts from which spot Ramsayer punted to Stoner who caught the ball on the 50 but was dropped in his tracks. Waikem went for two yards and Howe 11 for a first down on the 37. McKinley drew an offside penalty, putting the ball on the 32. Russell added a yard. Two passes went for naught and Howe stumbled and lost a yard.

Canton took over the ball on its 32, Mariano and Parks gained eight yards on three attempts and Stoner returned Ramsayer’s punt two yards to his 32. The Tigers broke Howe loose for a 45-yard run. Out in the clear, he was caught in a diving, desperation tackle by Parks who managed to snag one heel, enough to throw Howe off balance on the 23. Howe went for six more to move the ball to the 17. Close picked up a Tiger fumble, eluded two Bulldog tacklers, then sped around left end for a first down on the seven. Howe put it on the three and Waikem went the last three on a quick opener. Krisher’s attempted kick was wide of the uprights and the Tigers led 6-0.
* * *
NEITHER TEAM was able to gain an appreciable amount of ground in the remainder of the first period and in the first half of the second quarter until Zeller pounced on Parks’ fumble on the Bulldog 39. Howe and Russell gained but three yards in two attempts and the Tigers drew a five-yard penalty after Waikem had gone for what would have been a first down. He struck right back, however and in two plays took the leather to the 27. Close was tossed for a loss of three but Waikem was running hard and picked up 13 for a first down on the 17. He went for another eight to the nine and Howe exploded through his left guard from that point for the touchdown to give the Tigers a 13-0 lead.

The Tigers made two more bids for touchdowns in the same period. After Khoenle had gotten the ball for the Tigers by intercepting a McKinley pass, Waikem missed a first down by inches on the 19 and Canton took over.

The longest pass of the game, a 45-yard peg to Russell produced a first down on the 16 but Waikem fumbled on third down and the Bulldogs covered the ball on their 14 to end the threat.

The Tigers received at the start of the second half and got seven yards over the midfield stripe before stopped by Canton which forced Reichenbach to punt. He got off a good kick but it bounced back 15 yards to the McKinley 34.

The McKinley offense, which gained but one first down the first half, flashed for the first time during the afternoon and the Canton stands had good reason to shout with joy. It was Mariano for 11 yards, Parks for 12, Mariano and Parks for a first down on the Tiger 29. Mariano for four more and then a fumble by Parks that the Tigers covered on their own 22. The fumble was one of many bad breaks received by the Bulldogs throughout the day. It stopped what looked like a sure touchdown drive.
* * *
THE TEAMS took turns punting and fumbling the rest of the period. Zeller covered one Canton fumble on the Bulldog 22, but the Tigers obliged when Howe fumbled on the 13 and Canton covered. On the next to the last play of the quarter Stoner covered Parks’ fumble on the Canton 42. Howe reeled off 13 yards to end the period and set the Tigers in forward motion.

Waikem ran for 12 more and a first on the 17 but the drive petered out when Wilds bounded in to cause Close to fumble a hand off, Gelal covering for McKinley. Stopped with a net gain of three yards on as many plays, Ramsayer punted poorly to the Tiger 29. On the first play Russell went through left tackle for a touchdown and Krisher’s extra point made the score 20-0.

The Tigers fourth touchdown came soon after Mariano’s brilliant 41-yard run to the Massillon 29. Almost every Tiger player got a hand on him it seemed, some of them taking two shots at him as he headed for the west sidelines then reversed his field and shook off tacklers until he went out of bounds.

On the next play Ramsayer fired a long pass that Bill Stoner knocked down with one hand and grabbed with the other on the 18. It was mostly Waikem the rest of the way down the field. He ran 27 yards to his 45, and after Russell had moved it over the midfield stripe, too off on a 47-yard jaunt to the Promised Land.

The final touchdown came after Ramsayer had punted out on the Tiger 29. Close’s pass to Brenner gained nine yards and Waikem ambled for nine more. Howe went for four, Russell eight, and a 15-yard penalty inflicted on Canton for unnecessary roughness put the ball on the 26. Howe cut the distance by 19 yards on a jaunt around right end and lane went the last seven through the left side of the line.

State Champions

ENDS – Murray, Zeller, W. Brenner, Streeter, B. Brenner.
TACKLES – Geiser, Grunder, Gibson, Schumacher, Strobel, Mitchell.
GUARDS – Gleason, Woolbert, Tunning Reichenbach, J. Howe.
CENTERS – Krisher, Dowd, Martin.
QUARTERBACKS – Stoner, Close, Francisco.
HALFBACKS – Khoenle, Russell, Waikem, Grier, Lane.
FULLBACKS – Vliet, Howe, Stewart.

ENDS – Killins, Gelal, Zander, Singleterry, Poole.
TACKLES – Dempsey, Ruble, Winderl.
GUARDS – Wilds, Price, Edwards, Shaffer.
CENTER – Dividio.
QUARTERBACKS – Ramsayer, Schrade.
HALFBACKS – Parks, Mariano, Horner, Prophet.
FULLBACKS – Popoff, Cast.

Score by periods:
Massillon 6 7 0 20 33

Mass. Canton
First downs 14 7
Passes attempted 11 9
Passes completed 2 1
Had passes intercepted 1 2
Yards gained passing 54 4
Yards gained rushing 414 181
Total yards gained 464 185
Yards lost 32 20
Net yards gained 432 165
Times punted 4 7
Average punt (yards) 22 28
Yards punts returned by 44 8
Times kicked off 6 1
Average kickoff (yards) 44 35
Yards kickoffs returned by 12 66
Times fumbled 4 5
Lost ball on fumbles 3 5
Times penalized 4 3
Yards penalized 40 25

Jim Reichenbach