1952: Massillon 41, Canton McKinley 8
TIGERS BEAT BULLDOGS 41-8 IN BID FOR FIFTH STATE TITLE
Await Outcome Of Final Press Poll; Massillon Gridders End Undefeated Season With Victory Over Old Rival
By LUTHER EMERY
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
QUARTERBACK – Albert.
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.
Points after touchdown:
Massillon – Boone 4 (placekicks).
Safety – McKinley
Referee – Tobin.
Umpire – Rupp.
Head Linesman – Schill.
Field Judge – Sebastian.
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