1953: Massillon 40, Lima Central 0
Tigers Whip Lima Central 40-0
Orange And Black Play Best Game Of Season Before Crowd Of 12,807
By LUTHER EMERY
Displaying their best football of the season, the Washington high school Tigers whipped Lima Central 40-0 before a crowd of 12,807 fans here Friday evening with the second team playing offense the entire second half.
There’s no telling what the final score would have been had not Coach Chuck Mather of the Tigers opened the gates of mercy in the last two periods and filled his ranks with one substitute after another. He had 41 in the game before it ended, and still the score kept mounting.
Coach Seraph Pope of the visiting Dragons almost kept pace with Mather. When he saw victory fleeting, he too substituted liberally with the result that you had sophomores and juniors playing each other most of the final period.
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THE TIGERS were high last night and they put on a display of hard running and passing
that quickly overcame Lima’s early first period spurt that penetrated deep into Massillon territory.
“Maybe we were too high,” Mather said after the game. “But then it was about time we were getting up there.”
“I had no desire to run up a score for the sake of the football poll,” he said. “That’s why I let the younger boys play in the second half.”
The game produced a lot of sensations as well as some zany football. There was a brilliant 40-yard pass from Rich Crescenze to Halfback John Traylor for the Tigers’ first score of the game with only 53 seconds remaining in the first period. There was a brilliant run by Homer Floyd, as hard a one as you would want to see for 32 yards and the locals’ second touchdown; a 16-yard scoot by Traylor for the third and a 36-yard peg from Crescenze to Tom Boone for the fourth.
There was a blocked punt by Jim Letcavits that was converted into a touchdown and a T.D. by Andy Stavroff, who went through standing up for the Tigers’ last score of the game.
Then too there was a pass completion for a loss of 17 yards in which Quarterback Carl Porter ran back 35 yards before getting rid of the ball – and there was the longest yard gain of the year in which Dick Fromholtz on a statue ran over 50 yards to make one.
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LIMA CENTRAL early in the game came out with an offense good enough to cause fans to believe they might live up to their advance rating.
Just as Canton Lincoln walked through the locals in the initial quarter a week ago, so Lima moved from its 28 to what would have been a first down on the Tiger three had not an eager guard got offside and caused the Dragons to be penalized. John Francisco ended the threat with a pass interception behind the goal line and barely got back into playing territory before being tackled.
The teams took turns covering each other’s fumbles and when the Tigers pounced on a Lima muff on the 27, it was like erecting an iron curtain in front of the goal. The visitors never got close enough for conversation again.
The Dragons never quit trying, however. What was supposed to have been an impotent passing attack turned out to be a potent one the first half. They completed five of seven the first two periods, having one intercepted and one incomplete, the last of the half. The Tigers did a better job of breaking up the throwing the last half, principally by rushing the passer.
The Massillon line showed improvement as did the whole team. It shoved the lighter Lima line backward most of the evening and did not permit the visiting forward wall to free the fleet Lima backs. The latter on occasions showed fans they had all the speed they were supposed to have but they didn’t have the blocking to get them into the open.
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THE GENERAL improvement in the Massillon team is the best thing that can be said in its favor. It has gotten better with each game as a good, smart team should do and should keep developing right on through the final contest of the season. That’s what is necessary to become a great team. The Tigers hope to attain that rating.
In winning 40-0 the Tigers gave Chuck Mather his 50th victory since he took the helm of football here. He won nine games in each of 1948, 1949, and 1951 seasons and 10 in 1950 and 1952. This was his third triumph of the current campaign.
Coach Pope, of Lima, who also entered the contest with 49 wins as Central’s coach, will have to wait another week for his 50th.
Highlight of the game from a Massillon standpoint, we thought, was Floyd’s 32-yard run for the second Massillon touchdown. We haven’t seen anything as pretty in years and it brought words of praise from Al White, Lima sports writer. Floyd leaped over one tackler on his sweep and danced around on the ground to get out of the arms of two others before he could free himself for the run of the night.
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HIGHLIGHT for Central was the pass snatching of End Bill Cowden. He made a couple of dandy catches, taking the ball right out of the arms of Massillon secondary.
The Tigers won the game on the statistical sheet as well as the scoreboard. First downs were 17 to 11, net yards gained 348 to 146 and even the punting and kicking off showed a margin of superiority. Tom Boone, in fact, is getting more distance each week with his kickoffs. Where he seldom got the ball beyond the 25-yard line in the opening game, he’s now threatening to kick it over the goal. All of those things will come in mighty handy when the locals encounter stiffer competition.
Lima fans had thought their team might become the victim of stage fright in the opening minutes last night. They were not accustomed to the fanfare and crowds which are part of the Massillon football show.
Instead of wringing their hands, however, they were masters of the situation and went to work with a will that won them the applause and admiration of both friend and foe.
Receiving on the 28 they ran the ball to a first down on their own 48, largely through a
14-yard effort by Halfback Earmon Cook.
Then Quarterback John Henderson began throwing. He hit Dick Dush for 18 yards and a first down on the 34 and on second down tossed to Dush for nine and another first on the 24. He threw to end Bill Cowden for eight and then bootlegged around end to a first on the three only to have the ball called back because a lineman had jumped offside on the play. He pitched to Cowden for six more and Jim Jackson made it first down on the 14. On second down, Francisco grabbed a pass from Henderson behind the goal and ran it out four yards. The Tigers followed with their first, first down of the game, but lost the ball on a fumble on the next down with Cook covering on the 13.
Lima obliged by also fumbling on first down, Russ Maier covering for Massillon on his 27.
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THE TIGERS went to work.
In six running plays they moved the ball to the Lima 40 where Crescenze shot a well-timed pass that Traylor took over his shoulder on the dead run and never broke stride until he had planted the leather behind the goal. Boone gave additional assurance by placekicking the extra point.
The Tigers went over twice before they got another that counted.
Getting the ball through a punt on his own 38, Francisco led a running assault that went to the Lima 14 from which point Traylor broke away to sink his cleats in pay dirt only to find it didn’t count. The Tigers had been caught clipping and were penalized 15. That only served to set the stage for Floyd’s great 32-yard effort already described. Boone missed the try for the extra point.
A punt started the Tigers out again. Getting the ball on their 47, they launched another attack. This time Traylor was in the lead as he got off runs of 24 yards and 16 yards, the latter a touchdown jaunt. Boone kicked this one and it was 20-0.
The Tigers covered a fumble on the Lima 44 right after the next kickoff and in two pass plays had another T.D. The first went to Letcavits for 20 yards and the clincher was hauled in by Boone on the three. He stumbled backward for the remainder. Boone missed this kick and the score was 26-0. It came within a hair of being more as Floyd hauled down a pass with one hand and ran all the way back to the three-yard line before being tackled. The half ended before the locals could put the ball in play.
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THE SECOND offensive team took over in the third period for the local team. Letcavits should get credit for the first touchdown of the second half as he made everything but the points.
Lima attempted to punt on fourth down and Jim broke through and blocked the ball which rolled back to the one yard line. Bill Stone plunged over but it was not allowed – the locals were offside and were penalized five. But that didn’t matter for Willie Longshore made up the distance in one play to score. Boone kicked the 33rd point.
The drive for the final touchdown got under way late in the third quarter and lasted into the fourth. Lima lost the ball on fourth down on its own 48. Longshore got five and Stavroff went to the Lima 35 before the end of the period.
Stavroff picked up seven more and Stone went 23 yards and all the way to the five before being downed. Stavroff got the five on the next play and Boone kicked the extra point to complete the scoring for the evening.
The Tigers emerged from the game in good physical condition.
The sophomores of the squad will travel to New London tonight to play the New London varsity. The juniors and seniors will see their next action Friday night at Steubenville. Tickets for that game will be sold to the public Monday.
The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Boone, Letcavits, Lentz, Barrett, R. Francisco, Canary, Lorch, Lopez.
TACKLES – Schram, Dean, Woolley, Hill, Williams, Schumacher, Moore.
GUARDS – Eaglowski, Agnes, Holloway, Russ Maier, Shilling, Gardner.
CENTERS – Fisher, Rohrbaugh, Grant.
QUARTERBACKS – Crescenze, Porter, Speck.
HALFBACKS – Traylor, J. Francisco, Stavroff, Longshore, Byrd. Fromholtz, Brown, Duke, Yoder.
FULLBACKS – Floyd, Johnson, Stone, Archibald, Boekel.
ENDS – Dush, Dowden, Wisniowski, Reynolds.
TACKLES – Daley, Cook, Laibe.
GUARDS – Gross, Wilson, Campbell, Carnes, Neal, Lhaman.
CENTERS – Pfeifer, Fisher, Folland.
QUARTERBACKS – Henderson, Black, Hamar.
HALFBACKS – Cook, Robertson, Berthold, Jones, J. Fisher.
FULLBACKS – Jackson, Martin.
Score by periods:
Massillon 7 19 7 7 40
Touchdowns – Traylor 2; Boone; Floyd; Longshore; Stavroff.
Points after touchdown – Boone 4 (placekicks).
Referee – Schaffer (Ottawa).
Umpire – Cooney (Hamilton).
Head Linesman – Lymper (Mansfield).
Field Judge – Wirtz (Cincinnati).
First downs 17 11
Forward passes attempted 11 12
Passes completed 5 6
Had passes intercepted 0 2
Yards gained passing 124 50
Yards gained rushing 249 140
Total yards gained 373 190
Yards lost rushing and passing 25 44
Net yards gained 348 146
Times kicked off 7 1
Average kickoff (yards) 48 40
Yards kickoffs returned by 24 118
Times punted 2 7
Average punt (yards) 34 26
Yards punts returned by 48 2
Times fumbled 4 3
Lost ball on fumble 2 2
Times penalized 5 4
Yards penalized 45 20