Tag: <span>State Champions (Canton)</span>


1956: Massillon 7, Canton McKinley 34

McKinley Has Too Many Guns For Tigers
Martin Ball Of Fire Against Tresselman


A COMBINATION OF the irresistible force and the immovable object.

That would be an apropo description for Canton McKinley’s Bulldogs who, before over 23,000 fans at Tiger stadium Saturday afternoon, provided proof that they are worthy of the title, “1956 Oho state football champions.”

The best ball club to face a Massillon team in many a year and probably the best of all McKinley arrays without a doubt played its best game of the season and proceeded to paddle the out-manned but always-fighting Tigers by a stunning 34-7 count.

Let’s give McKinley credit. It had the horses as it:
1. Went undefeated for a second straight year and extended the school record to 20 triumphs in a row.
2. Beat Massillon for a second season in a row, the first time this trick has been pulled since 1933.
3. Handed the Tigers their first loss on home sod for the first time since Mansfield turned the tide in 1949.
4. Gave a Massillon team its worst beating since the 35-0 thrashing of 1942.
5. Registered 34 points to hike its school record to a season total of 490 points in 10 games. The old mark was 487 points in 11 contests.
6. And captured the state title for a second straight year, another first for a Bulldog team.

Program Cover

According the Bulldogs the championship and the Rutgers Hall of Fame trophy that goes with it is only a matter of formality.

The loss for the Tigers was the sixth over the last 10 campaigns and it marked the first time since 1947 the Bengals dropped two in one year. The Tiger record of eight wins, two setbacks, is the school’s worst since the 6-4 mark of 1947.

McKinley thus scored as many points in one game as it did against the Bengals in the seven previous years combined. And the win was the Bulldogs’ 27th in the ancient and colorful rivalry. Massillon, which has been the victor 29 times (five battles ended in ties) now has won 22, lost 12 and tied three over the last 36 years.

It was the ninth straight year the Tigers and Bulldogs had met with the state title riding on the outcome. Up until last season the locals had grabbed the brass ring seven consecutive years.

And now let us give credit to the local team, the more inexperienced and immature of the two.
* * *
LEE TRESSEL’S aggregation might have folded after being hit so hard early in the game but the Tigers never gave up trying. And when they realized they were a beaten ball club they fought back even harder.

But some bad breaks, their own mistakes and the stout McKinley defense left them a cropper.

Coach Tressel said the fumble on the first play after the kickoff following McKinley’s initial touchdown hurt his team immensely and who is there to disagree? There was another fumble after the second Bulldog TD and the Tigers were in a hole they were never able to get out of.

Three fumbles lost to the enemy and two pass interceptions stalled the Tiger attack and Tressel attributed the local defense to a “good McKinley offense.”

“They were a great ball club Saturday but I felt we were better than we showed. We certainly could have done a better job,” he said.

That sterling McKinley offense was centered around Quarterback Ron “Ike” Grimsley, the magician who directed the Bulldogs in his usual fine fashion; All-Ohio Bob Williams, who was simply great on defense and plucked two Massillon passes out of the air and also pounced on a Tiger fumble, all in the third period; little Phil Martin, a will-o-wisp who wrecked the Tigers with his sensational running in the first half; and Wayne Fontes, his running mate at halfback who ran equally as well inside as he did outside.

The mercury-footed Martin tallied on runs of five, 57 and 77 yards in that order and finished up the day with 191 yards in 15 carries – an average of 12.7 yards per trip. Fontes made 95 in 16 runs and Grimsley gained 81 in 14. The latter’s passing wasn’t anything to brag about but the Bulldogs were hardly pressed into going to the sky.

Mike Hershberger, the boy with a man-sized heart, led the Tiger attack despite the fact he was hampered by his bad knee. He carried 13 times for 68 yards, blocked with abandon and turned in an outstanding defensive game. Speedy Ivory Benjamin collected 74 yards in 15 carries and “Chuck” Beiter, took over for Chester Brown at fullback and picked up 43 yards in eight trips. Even for a losing cause, there were other Tiger stats.
* * *
THE BULLDOGS, who did very little wrong, went on the prowl after they won the toss of the coin and elected to receive. They pounded off the tackles and skirted the end like demons for 14 plays.

Fontes too Tim Krier’s kickoff on the 22 and got back to the McKinley 35 from which point Grimsley went on the air. Big Williams got behind the defenders at the Tiger 35 but the pass sailed over his head and the invaders then decided to hoof it.

Fontes had a hole at the left side for 10 yards and four plays later, on a fourth and two situation, blasted through center for four yards as he kept his team rolling at the Tiger 43. Only Hershberger kept Grimsley from going all the way and after Ike’s 16-yarder the Bulldogs chopped off short yardage to reach the five. At 6:01 Martin, with the aid of a nice block by Fontes, raced around the right flank for the first Bulldog TD and Grimsley followed with the first of his three conversions.

This had happened to the Tigers on many other occasions in the past and usually the Orangemen retaliated with a bang. But after Brown returned Williams’ kickoff 13 yards to the Massillon 38, Benjamin fumbled after dashing eight-yards.

Linebacker Jesse Chenault covered the pigskin at the Bulldog 38 and McKinley was in business again. After Fontes and Fullback Arnold Lewis made two a piece, Martin wowed the crowd and stunned the Tigers again. He got off a 56-yard pay dirt jaunt by going off right tackle, working himself loose from three would-be tacklers and cutting away from two more. In the clear at the Orange 40, he raced to the end zone without too much effort. Grimsley again converted with (text unreadable) the period.

Less than a minute later Rinehart fumbled and McKinley had a break again, this time at the Tiger 18. After a 15-yard holding penalty, Grimsley tossed to End Bob Burchfield for 15 yards and from the 13, Grimsley threw again. Martin made a beautiful catch as he fought off two defenders but he was out of the end zone and the Bulldogs were stymied, temporarily anyway.
* * *
IN THE SECOND period, following a punt exchange, Benjamin recovered his own fumble on a punt and from their own 19 the Orangemen picked up steam. They made one first down on the ground and another via the airlanes as a reverse pass, Gene Stewart to End Don Elavsky, netted 19. But from the Bulldog 40 the Tigers had to kick. Hershberger’s kick was taken by Fontes, hit immediately by Benjamin and the ball was on the eight.

Mr. Martin made it 20-0 in a jiffy. After he lost two, Fontes picked his way for 17 yards to the 23 to set the stage for Martin’s third touchdown dash of the half. On a 77-yarder, the scatback went to his right, faked two defenders out of the way and sped to the end zone.

The Tigers came up with their first real thrust after Washington returned the kickoff to the Bengal 36. Benjamin did a neat bit of running for 19 and Hershberger spun and fought his way for 20 and a first down at the Bulldog 26. Tiger fans were yelling for a score but Massillonians were to be denied this time. Hershberger made three and Benjamin five to make it third and about two at the 18.

Then the Tigers, trying to catch the enemy by surprise, decided to take to the air. Rinehart intended to slip the oval to lanky Clyde Childers but Childers slipped and fell and the smooth Tiger quarterback was forced to “eat it.”

Coach Tressel later explained that the coaches had noticed the McKinley halfbacks coming up fast as the Tigers stayed on the ground. The strategy called for a long throw to Childers but things went haywire as Childers fell and the other eligible receiver, Benjamin, was covered. On the next play Tackle Harry Sylvester knifed in to throw Beiter for a six-yard deficit and the locals’ bid was stopped.

Williams was the fly in the Massillon ointment during the third period. The Tigers had possession four times but twice Williams intercepted a pass and on anther occasion be recovered a fumble.

At the outset of the canto he hauled in a Rinehart pitch and ran back to the Massillon 32. In just six plays the Bulldogs tallied again. Fontes started the drive with a 17-yard sprint and from the four he bulled over to make it
27-0 at 7:41.
* * *
THREE PLAYS after the kickoff Williams covered the Tiger fumble at the Bengal 18 and soon McKinley hit the jackpot for the fifth time. From the 13 Grimsley went back to pass, decided he had to run with it, and run he did. He ran to the left, then cut back toward the west sidelines and wasn’t hit until he crossed the final stripe.

Near the end of the period Fontes punted into the west stands and the Tigers began to percolate from their own 48. Hershberger made eight, Beiter seven and Benjamin made 11 yards on the last play of the session.

Benjamin sandwiched five yards between five by Hershberger for a first down at the 16 and the Tigers weren’t to be shutout even though they lost four on a fumble. Hershberger came back with five before Beiter tallied from the 15. The junior fullback ploughed through right tackle and had good blocking as he scored at 9:40. Davie Richardson converted for the 21st time this season – his 11th one in a row.

After an exchange of punts the Bulldogs began to move again. Hershberger punted, with his beauty going out of bounds at the eight, and the McKinley lads advanced to the Tiger 30 before the game came to a close.

The 22,993 paid admissions brought Massillon’s total attendance for seven home games to 98,159. This was the third largest number to see Tiger teams play at home in modern history.

It was the last football game in a Tiger uniform for 16 boys – Elavsky, Krier, Rinehart, Hershberger, Richardson, Washington, Chester Brown, Bob Brown, Dick Brenner, Joe Wells, Tom Mays, Dick Whitfield, Jim Mercer, Bruce Bixler, Tom Meldrum and Bob Kiplinger. McKinley will lose 12 by graduation, including such boys as Grimsley, Fontes, Bob Williams, Phil Martin, Dick Martins, Dick Roknich, and Burchfield, plus Guard John Ifantides, who will be too old for scholastic competition next fall.

The summary:
ENDS – Elavsky, Brenner, Hagan, Childers, Wells, Mays.
TACKLES – Mercer, Whitfield, Halter, Bixler, Brownlee.
GUARDS – Meldrum, B. Brown, Heine, Herimann.
CENTERS – Krier, Kiplinger.
QUARTERBACKS – Rinehart, Stewart.
HALFBACKS – Hershberger, Benjamin, Bivings, Washington, Richardson.
FULLBACKS – C. Brown, Beiter, Reese.

ENDS – B. Williams, Burchfield, Reeves.
TACKLES – Roknich, Paul Martin, Koeliner, Sylvester, S. Williams, Patterson.
GUARDS – Ifantides, Bender, Chenault.
HALFBACKS – Phil Martin, Fontes.
FULLBACKS – Lewis, D. Martins.

McKinley 14 7 13 0 34
Massillon 0 0 0 7 7

McKinley scoring:
Touchdowns – Phil Martin 3; Fontes, Grimsley.
Extra points – Grimsley 3 (placements).

Massillon scoring:
Touchdown – Beiter.
Extra point – Richardson (placement).

Massillon McKinley
First downs, rushing 10 17
First downs, passing 1 1
First downs, penalties 0 0
Total first downs 11 18
Yards gained rushing 207 396
Yards lost rushing 32 6
Net yards gained rushing 175 392
Yards gained passing 19 28
Total yards gained 192 420
Passes attempted 4 9
Passes completed 1 2
Passes intercepted by 0 2
Times kicked off 2 6
Kickoff average (yards) 35.0 43.3
Kickoff returns (yards) 86 29
Times punted 2 2
Punt average (yards) 31.7 18.5
Punt returns 9yards) 1 -2
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 6 2
Lost fumbled ball 3 0
Penalties 2 6
Yards penalized 6 60

Mike Hershberger

1955: Massillon 7, Canton McKinley 13

Bulldogs Beat Tigers 13-7 On Breaks
Two High Passes Give Canton 2 Touchdowns And Likely State Title


The Washington high school Tigers “passed” the state championship eight miles eastward Saturday afternoon when they handed the Canton McKinley Bulldogs a 13-7 victory before a chilled crowd of 21,000 fans.

Two high passes from center that went over the Massillon punter’s head, enabled McKinley to score its two touchdowns. One was covered in the end zone, the other only required a three-yard effort to get the score.

The Tigers got their touchdown the hard way – a 79-yard drive. They made more first downs, 12-4 and gained twice as many net yards, but lost the game.

In short, they beat the Bulldogs everywhere but on the scoreboard. But it is the score that counts and in years to come, the score, not the statistics will be remembered.

Program Cover

The Canton victory narrows Massillon’s edge in the 60-game series to three games. The Tigers have won 29, the Bulldogs 26 and five have ended in tie scores.
* * *
THE TRIUMPH brought Canton its first undefeated season since 1934 when a Bulldog team coached by Jimmy Aiken whipped Massillon 21-6 to hang up a string of 11 wins for the season which entitled it to a just claim to the state title.

McKinley was highly elated over its victory and had every reason to be. It was the first time the Bulldogs had beaten the Tigers since 1947, and the victory will undoubtedly gain them the state title.

The counting of ballots cast in The Associated Press poll tonight should only be a mere formality since the game was billed as one in which the state title was to go to the winner. As a result the Hall of Fame trophy, which Massillon has won the last seven years, will likely be awarded to Canton McKinley.

There’s a possibility a campaign by a couple of other undefeated teams will wrest some ballots from the Bulldogs.

Two out-of-town reporters with ballots in their pockets, who had watched the game on the television screen, indicated to us Sunday they were going to desert the Bulldogs and cast their votes for one of the other undefeated teams because of Massillon’s superior showing in statistics.

However, we cannot see their logic in denying the Bulldogs the title in that none of the other undefeated teams has played a comparable schedule or has beaten Massillon, the defending champ.
* * *
WE SHALL VOTE for Canton, although we shall do so with tongue in cheek, believing the Tigers are as good if not the best in the state.

But their 8-1-1 record is against them in the poll. We don’t know where they will finish in this week’s balloting.

Some writers may seize the opportunity to knock the local team far down in the ratings, particularly in view of the clamor for first place.

The Massillon gridders had nothing to be ashamed of Saturday and that helped to temper the loss. Our only criticism, and about the only criticism we heard of Massillon’s play, was a bit of dilly-dallying in the huddle in the last three minutes of the game. It took them 35 seconds to get off next to the last play of the game.

The game, which was supposed to have been a tremendous offensive contest, actually resolved itself into more of a defensive game, and the Tigers had nothing to be ashamed of.

They were superior to McKinley on both offense and defense.

The locals who rolled to nine first downs the first half only got three the second half, but still out-gained McKinley in net yardage from running and passing plays the last two periods, 54 to 52.
* * *
CANTON McKINLEY’S vaunted offense, which had been rolling along at an average of over 400 yards a gained, was held to a net gain of 62 yards, while the Tigers rolled up 194 net yards rushing and passing. Deduct 52 yards on two passes from center that went over the punter’s head and you still have 142 net yards from scrimmage to the Bulldogs; 69 – and Canton called the game a defensive victory for the Bulldogs.

Actually the victory was a gift to McKinley for both touchdowns were donated. No blame should be placed on the centers responsible for the passes. Both felt the world had fallen in on them at the end of the contest. It should be pointed out that they were handling a slippery ball and that a center in modern T football has little opportunity to actually pass the ball 10 yards or more under game conditions.

They practice it often but get little actual game experience because the Tigers seldom punt more than once or twice.

In fact, we saw two poor center passes, one of which resulted in a blocked kick, in a recent professional football game.

The breaks just came at inopportune moments and although the decision of the contest rode on them we haven’t heard anyone criticize either player.

Furthermore, an examination of movies of the game failed to substantiate a report that on both occasions a McKinley player had bumped the ball or put pressure on the centers. McKinley in no way contributed to the play.

The first touchdown was presented in the opening period of play with the Tigers in possession of the ball on their own 36-yard line, fourth down and nine to go.

Dave Archibald dropped back to punt and Tom Spicer’s pass from center soared over his head. Archibald took after the ball and it rolled to the three-yard line before he could get on it.
* * *
IT TOOK NAP Barbosa three whacks at the line to get over but he made it on the third attempt and Nate Harris kicked the extra point to put McKinley ahead 7-0.

The Tigers tied it up by taking the kickoff and gallantly marching 79 yards on 18 plays to score. While doing so they were helped along by 20 yards in penalties which actually were more than nullified by 25 yards in penalties assessed against them.

Don Duke scored the T.D. from the two-yard line with eight minutes and 10 seconds remaining in the second period John Kasunick kicked the extra point a high boot that tied the score at 7-7.

The Bulldogs got their second touchdown without effort in the second minute of the fourth quarter. The Tigers had gotten themselves into a hole when Ivory Benjamin fumbled a punt and Canton covered it on the Tigers’ 45.

Dave Archibald got the ball back for Massillon when he intercepted a Barbosa pass and was downed on the 20.
* * *
THROWN BACK a yard by the Bulldgos in three downs, Archibald again tried to punt. This time Jim Dowd was centering the ball. His pass, like that of Spicer’s was high and soared over Archibald’s head and into the end zone. Archibald dove for the ball and so did two Canton players. Bill White got on it for a touchdown. Harris missed the extra point and that ended the scoring.

Except for the Tigers’ long touchdown drive, neither team threatened seriously from scrimmage.

The Tigers came within striking distance on only two other occasions. The first time they got the ball in the second half they worked to the Bulldog 32-yard line where they surrendered the pigskin to Canton on a fourth down incompleted pass.

McKinley and Massillon both got into each other’s territory in the second period.

The advances were the result of good punt returns. Benjamin ran brilliantly to the Canton 39 before being knocked out of bounds but a 15-yard clipping penalty put the ball way back on the Massillon 31, an actual loss of 30 yards and a real blow to the Tigers who were hot at the moment for it was the first time they had gotten the ball after scoring their touchdown.
* * *
EVEN SO they marched with it from their own 31 back to the Canton 35 where with two yards to go and fourth down coming up they punted.

Ike Grimsley, returned brilliantly, lugging the ball back to the Massillon 47. Two five-yard penalties against the Tigers and a six-yard gain by Don Garman produced a first down on the 31. Barbosa passed seven yards to Jackson, who fumbled when hit hard by Bob Tracy and Dave Schumacher pounced on the ball for the Tigers on the 24.
* * *
CANTON MADE one other effort the last time it had the ball in the game. The Bulldogs aided by a 22-yard run by Barbosa, the best Canton gain form scrimmage, worked the ball into Massillon territory but lost it on downs on the 27.

Charlie Brown, Tiger safety man, had a possible opportunity to tie the score on this series when he almost intercepted a pass by Barbosa with what appeared to be a clear field ahead of him. He juggled the ball while going full steam ahead and dropped it.

That just about sums up the offensive maneuvers of the day.

The Tigers succeeded in stopping the highly vaunted McKinley offense with a special defense cooked up for the game.

They called it an eagle defense. The three men in the center of the five-man defensive line had the responsibility of taking care of five men in the McKinley line, tackle to tackle. Bob Cocklin, who has been a linebacker, and Jim Houston, who has been the defensive left end, changed positions. Tracy’s assignment was also switched. The ends and the two wing linebackers had the responsibility of holding in Bob Williams and Herman Jackson, the Bulldog ends, and they did a good job of it. McKinley didn’t dare to try its end around stuff and the ends had difficulty getting downfield for passes. Only three were attempted. One was intercepted, one was almost intercepted and the receiver fumbled the only one completed when tackled.

Likewise the three men in the middle of the line did excellent work. Ken Fisher started on defense as a linebacker for the first time this season but was knocked out in the second quarter and didn’t play any longer. He was replaced by Jack Butcher who played well.

Fisher was taken to the Massillon city hospital where he has recovered from a slight concussion and was to be released today.

His experience undoubtedly was missed by the Tigers offensively in the second half.
* * *
THE TIGER DEFENSE stopped Ron Carnahan, the Bulldogs’ leading ground gainer for the season, with a net loss of nine yards for his ball carrying efforts.

They had all the other backs bottled up until late in the third period when Barbosa began running from short punt formation. He gained 61 of McKinley’s 78 yards rushing.

His longest run of 22 yards was exceeded only by a 26-yard dash reeled off in the first period by Willie Long in the process of the Tiger’s touchdown drive.

Top ground gainer of the day, however, was Duke with 66 net yards on 20 carries.

The Bulldogs actually got off only 21 running plays, three pass plays and three punts from scrimmage (exclusive of penalty plays) during the game, while the Tigers got off 54 running, three pass and four punt formation plays.
* * *
CHIEF REASON for McKinley failing to get off more plays was inability to move the ball the first half and the Tigers controlling the ball for 10 minutes and 14 seconds while marching to their only touchdown.

In that drive they got the ball through a punt on their own 20. Brown made two yards and Duke four. McKinley drew a 15-yard penalty which put the ball on the 41. Brown hit for seven, Duke one and Long picked up five yards for a first on the Canton 48. Duke made two and James, running on an option, raced 13 yards to a first on the 33.

The Tigers were penalized five yards back to the 38 for offside. Long made two yards and the Tigers drew a 15-yard clipping penalty. A four-yard pass to Brown gained four yards but another five-yard penalty was slapped on the Tigers for offside, moving the ball back to midfield. There Long, running from fullback, sent 26 yards and Archibald in a two-yard plunge made it a first down on the 22.

Archibald carried two more times in a row, getting four yards on each try and putting the ball on the 14. The Tigers drew a five-yard penalty when Jim Houston jumped offside on the next play, but got it right back when a delay of game penalty was slapped on McKinley for a substitution.

Duke plunged to a first on the 11 and James went seven yards to the four.

Duke in two tries went over for the touchdown, getting two yards each time.

The play on which James did his running in this series was especially cooked up for the game. He flared out as though to pass but had the option of running if the defense dropped back. He gained 56 yards in the game and lost 15 for a net of 41.

The line-up and summary:
ENDS – Canary, Houston, Welcher, Cockling, Nagle.
TACKLES – Graber, Maier, Whitfield, Schumacher, Hofacre, Allen.
GUARDS – Fisher, Roan, Ertle, Tracy, Kasunick.
CENTERS – Spicer, Dowd, Gentzler.
QUARTERBACKS – James, Brenner.
HALFBACKS – Brown, Duke, Long, Radtke, Butcher, Benjamin, Washington.
FULLBACKS – Archibald.

ENDS – Williams, Jackson, Jack, Bryant.
TACKLES – Patterson, Rocknich, Infantides.
GUARDS – Clawson, Bell, Martin, Bender.
CENTERS – Perdue, White.
QUARTERBACKS – Barbosa, Grimsley.
HALFBACKS – Carnahan, Garman, Phil Martin, Martins, Fontes.

Score by quarters:
Massillon 0 7 0 0 7
McKinley 7 0 0 6 13

McKinley – Barbosa, White.
Massillon – Duke.

Points after touchdown:
McKinley – Harris (placekick).
Massillon – Kasunick (placekick).

Jim Houston

1944: Massillon 0, Canton McKinley 27

Smith And Pujazon Shine As Bulldogs Rip Tigers 27-0


Powerful And Speedy McKinley Eleven Tallies 4 Times In Annual Classic To Inflict Third Defeat Of Season On Massillon Gridders

A golden anniversary in football but not so golden from a Massillon viewpoint was celebrated out at Tiger stadium Saturday afternoon when a power-laden Canton McKinley Bulldog outfit battered its way to a 27-0 victory over a Washington high school Tiger team that was on the short end in everything but courage.

And what courage those Massillon kids displayed!

The records will show in cold figures what will appear to be a rather lopsided victory for one of the most powerful aggregations ever fielded by Canton McKinley but the raw courage and fight those badly outmanned Tigers exhibited out there on the gridiron last Saturday afternoon will live long in the memory of the more than 21,000 fans who jammed Tiger stadium to witness this annual schoolboy classic, one of the greatest in the nation.

50th Anniversary Game
Team Captains & Head Coaches

Defeated But Not Outfought
Defeated, yes, but not outfought were those Massillon youngsters who had some apparent shortcomings all fall but lack of intestinal fortitude was not one of them. No football team in Massillon history ever fought their hearts out against greater odds than did those gallant little youngsters last Saturday.

In defeat they rose to their greatest fighting performance of the season and even though they lost they need not hang their heads in shame. They put up a brilliant fight against odds that were too great for them to overcome with sheer courage alone and they will always be remembered as the team that went into their season’s biggest game with everything against them and came out of it heroes in defeat.

Tigers Never Quit
Even partisan Canton McKinley fans who went wild with glee as their superb and powerful Bulldogs ripped their way to 4 touchdowns through the use of driving power and dazzling speed had to stop in the midst of their cheering to pay tribute to the great fighting spirit displayed by the Tigers. Those Massillon kids came out fighting at the opening whistle and they were still fighting their hearts out at the final bell, even though nearly all the breaks of the game went against them, breaks which would have taken the fight out of a team imbued with less fighting spirit than the Tigers possessed Saturday.

The victory is yours, Canton McKinley. You deserved it because you had the team – a great team in every way. We give you all the plaudits and praise that rightfully belongs to a victor. Your Bulldogs did a masterful job, a great exhibition of what a team can do when it is big, experienced and strong in every department with 2 such phenomenal performers in the backfield as Joe Pujazon and Hank Smith, All-Ohio scholastic performers without a doubt.

We gave you every credit, Canton McKinley, except this one – your powerful Bulldogs didn’t outshine our little kids when it came to courage – but courage alone could not win that ball game Saturday against a team like the Bulldogs – a team that packed too many guns and made the most of the power, speed and weight it possessed.

Last Saturday’s game marked the 49th combat between Massillon and Canton McKinley teams in the last 50 years, the first game having been played in 1894. McKinley’s triumph last Saturday now gives it a 2-game victory margin over the Tigers, the Bulldogs having won 24 of the 49 engagements with Massillon having won 22 while 3 others ended in ties.

That 27-o trouncing the Bulldogs inflicted on the Tigers was Massillon’s third defeat of the 1944 campaign, the orange and black this fall losing more games in a single season than any other Tiger team since 1932. Other outfits to conquer the 1944 Tigers were Cleveland Cathedral Latin 6-0 and Warren Harding 32-12.
Brilliant Bulldog Season
By defeating the Tigers Saturday in the golden anniversary classic Canton McKinley completed one of the most brilliant season’s in its history, winning 9 and losing but one, that to Warren Harding by a single point, 27-26.

A brilliant decade of Tiger football ran afoul of some bad breaks this fall and for the first time since 1934 an orange and black team finished far down in the list of outstanding Ohio scholastic outfits but the Tigers of 1944 need not feel too badly about this because the defeats they suffered were inflicted by aggregations which held great advantages over them in manpower, size and experience. In each of their 3 defeats they went down fighting before teams which excelled them in practically all departments of the game and the defeats would have been greater had not the Tigers possessed that superb fighting spirit which kept them in there battling to the finish, even though they were outclassed.

Although Washington high school lost 3 games this fall it still had a great and shining record on the gridiron which no other school in Ohio can match and which very few throughout the country can equal. In 100 games played since 1935 the Tigers have recorded 93 victories against 5 defeats and 2 ties. Canton McKinley has inflicted 2 of these defeats winning 35-0 in 1942. Newcastle, Pa., handed the Tigers a 7-0 reverse in 1937 and Cathedral Latin and Warren Harding joined the list of Tiger conquerors this season. The 2 ties came in games with Mansfield’s Tygers in 1937 and 1941, both by 6-6 scores.

There is this one consolation for the 1944 Tigers and local supporters of the orange and black. The Tigers will come roaring back – and before very long – to avenge the defeats sustained this year. Just keep an eye on the Tigers for the next year or two and see what happens.

No two backfield stars laden with more power and speed than Joe Pujazon and Hank Smith put on display Saturday have ever been seen in action here. Operating behind a big and powerful forward wall that outweighed the Tiger line by nearly 20 pounds to the man, the McKinley stars had nothing to do but run and how they ran! This pair of Canton aces divided the scoring honors, each tallying twice.

There was nothing particularly deceptive about the Bulldog attack. For the most part one could tell what type of play the east enders were going to use. It was either Pujazon or Smith running off the tackles or wide to the right or left ahead of powerful interference which shook them loose for frequent and brilliant long dashes down the field.

Once Smith and Pujazon were out in the open it was a man-sized job to halt them. The Tigers for the most part did a great job of smacking them down with spectacular and fierce tackling but they just couldn’t catch them all the time.

Pujazon and Smith closed their scholastic careers against the Tigers in a blaze of glory and deserve plenty of praise for the brilliant performance they put on tap. Without them the Bulldogs, even with their great advantage in weight, would have been taken apart by the Tigers as they played Saturday but Pujazon and Smith spelled the differences between victory and defeat.

Aiding and abetting Pujazon and Smith were Herm Lombardi, who did a great job backing up the line, Bob Tucci, Bob Parks, Jack Belding and Jim Rawers, towering husky pillars of strength on the line. They were big and good, these fellows and they packed too many guns for the badly outweighed Tiger line which fought tooth and nail against them all afternoon and came off second best, simply because they did not have the weight and strength to battle on even terms with the rugged Canton gains.

In all the previous games the Bulldogs, in addition to the brilliant running of Pujazon and Smith, depended to a large extent on a highly capable aerial attack to score points but forward passing availed the Cantonians nothing Saturday. The Tigers saw to that by playing a strong defensive game against aerials, covering Canton receivers like a swarm of bees and rushing Pujazon so much he had no time to display the uncanny accuracy which had characterized his passing all fall. Thus the Tigers became the first team to bottle up the Canton air attack.

There were plenty of heroes in the Tiger camp Saturday. Every boy who got into the game distinguished himself by his fierce and courageous playing but the great work of Massillon’s sturdy co-captains Bill Gable and Glenn Keller stood out prominently. Few better exhibitions of defensive playing have ever been seen than that put on tap Saturday by tow-headed Bill Gable. He smashed McKinley interference and tackled like a demon all afternoon. Keller also did a great job of backing up the line and punting.

Others standing out prominently in the Tiger performance were little Francis Cicchinelli, 135 pound guard, who hit with the force of a 200-pound battering ram, Tom Brooks and Gene Krisher, sophomore linemen, Bert Webb, Don Sedjo, Junie Pedrotty and Don McGuire who spearheaded the Massillon offensive threats, and Wilmer Luke who did a grand job of covering big Jim Rawers, who all season had been on the receiving end of most of Pujazon’s passes. Jim didn’t catch any aerials Saturday.

Breaks of the game and one or two errors in judgment hurt the Tigers and set up at least 2 Canton touchdowns and also robbed the orange and black of some fine opportunities to score. Had these breaks been in the Tigers’ favor it might have been a different ball game, despite McKinley’s apparent great advantage.

The errors the Tigers committed were plain to be seen but they were errors which any team might make and the Tigers do not rate too much censure for these blunders. Those who are inclined to criticize might well stop and ponder for a moment what they would have done under similar circumstances, particularly in the heat of such a tense battle as that one was Saturday. After all the lads who made those mistakes are just kids and their errors might have gone almost unnoticed had they been on the winning end instead of the losing.

It’s easy to find flaws when things are not going your way.

The statistics show just how powerful a ground gaining outfit the Bulldogs were Saturday. They only shaded the Tigers 11 to 8 in first downs but that does not begin to tell the story.
Where Bulldogs Held Edge
Canton McKinley’s vast superiority is revealed in the yards gained, the Bulldogs finished their afternoon’s chores with a net yardage of 345 as compared to only 132 for the Tigers. The Bulldogs had a gross yardage of 366 with a loss of 21 while the Tigers had a gross of 163 with a loss also of 21.

The orange and black gained more yards through the air than the Bulldogs but tried more than twice as many passes as the east enders. Coach Elwood Kammer’s lads tossed 18 aerials during the progress of the battle, completing 6 for 74 yards and had 3 intercepted. Canton tried 7, completing 2 for 31 yards and had 2 intercepted. Pujazon, however, was not on the tossing end of either of Canton’s completed aerials. Smith tossed both of them, one to Harold McCoy in the second quarter and the other to Bill Messenheimer late in the game.

As had been the case so often this season the Tigers found themselves in a hole early in the game and had to wage a desperate but not too successful battle in an effort to keep the Bulldogs out of pay territory.

McKinley received and on the first play of the game Pujazon running wide around his left end broke into the clear and dashed 32 yards to the Massillon 26 before being pulled to earth. The Tigers braced and Pujazon took to the air, his first attempt to hit Rawers being batted down. On his second try, which was fourth down, he tossed a long one toward Rawers but Luke leaped high into the air and grabbed the ball instead of batting it down. This was the first costly Tiger mistake as Luke was tackled on his 6 yard line. Had the ball been batted down the Tigers would have gained possession on their 27 yard line.

Then a 5-yard penalty for offside did not help them and Keller punted from behind his goal line to Pujazon who came roaring back to the Massillon 30 before being halted by this same Keller.
Bill Gable dropped Smith for a loss of 6 but Lombardi crashed through the Massillon line and rambled to the 19 before being stopped. Pujazon made it a first down on the Massillon 17 but once again the Tigers stiffened and held. Then came the first of Pujazon’s 2 touchdown dashes. Taking the ball from center Joe faded back looking for a pass receiver. Finding none he set out toward the east side line and running like a scared rabbit dashed down the sideline and across the Massillon goal for Canton’s first touchdown. Several times it seemed as if a Tiger tackler would nail him but they all missed. Smith plunged across for the extra point.
Poor Judgment
The Tigers received and Keller ripped off a 15-yard gain through right tackle. Webb made 3 and Sedjo smashed for 6 but with third down coming up the Tigers gambled on a pass instead of a ground play and it failed. The decision to attempt to pass seemed like poor judgment, particularly at that stage of the game when their line plays were clicking.

Then with a yard to go it looked as if they were going to gamble on a plunge but Coach Kammer immediately sent in a substitute with instructions to punt. All season the Tigers have gambled on making that last yard on fourth down and all season they have lost. Kammer was not ready to give Canton the ball at midfield Saturday if he could help it.

Keller then punted and Pujazon was downed on the Canton 30. A short time later the Tigers got a break when Lombardi fumbled and Dick Ielsch pounced on the ball on Canton’s 20. The Tigers worked their way to Canton’s 25 and with fourth down coming up the locals took to the air and this time they ran into a bad break. McGuire pitched a perfect strike to Webb who was out in the open but the little Tiger halfback could not hold the ball and it fell to the ground. Had he held it, it might have resulted in a touchdown.

Early in the second quarter Keller had the experience of having a punt blocked for the first time this season. Bob Parks crashed through to block the kick and McCoy covered the ball on the Massillon 13.

A Canton chance to score, however, was wiped out when Korosedes fumbled on the second play and Cicchinelli covered on his 17. The Tigers offensive was checked and Keller then punted to Smith who was dropped in his tracks on Massillon’s own 47. Canton drew a
15-yard penalty for holding, putting the ball back on McKinley’s 41 but Pujazon tossed a lateral to Smith, and the dusky Bulldog flash broke into the clear and raced to Massillon’s 24 for a 35 yard gain. Pujazon made 8 in two plays. Lombardi fumbled but recovered and then Pujazon made it first down on the Massillon 12. Pujazon’s attempted pass to Rawers was batted down but Massillon was handed a 5 yard penalty for being offside. But once again the Tigers braced and took the ball on their 6.

Again Keller punted, Pujazon being downed on the Massillon 30. Two plays later he was injured and left the game. It was then Smith tossed a pass to McCoy good for 17 yards, taking the ball to the Massillon 8. Lombardi smashed for 3 and then Smith, running wide around his right end went over by a scant few inches for Canton’s second touchdown. Canton’s attempt to run the ball over failed and the Bulldogs were leading 13-0.
Tiger Bid For Score Fails
The Tigers, however, refused to concede a thing and late in the quarter again were within scoring distance when Korosedes fumbled and Brooks covered on the Canton 27. With time running out McGuire passes successfully to Gable for 7. A Keller to Gable pass failed and then Webb tossed to McGuire for 14 yards taking the ball to the Canton 6. Keller was turned loose on a dash at right end but was thrown for a 4 yard loss as the gun sounded, ending the half.

The Bulldogs threatened to turn the game into a rout in the third period by scoring twice in quick succession, their third touchdown coming on an unbroken march of 85 yards. Getting the ball on their 30 after a Keller punt the Bulldogs were handed a 15-yard penalty for clipping. Pujazon picked up 3 yards and then Smith turned loose another of his dazzling runs, breaking into the clear and streaking down the east side line to the Massillon 40 for a gain of 42 yards before being nailed by Gable. Pujazon and Korosedes picked up 6 in 2 plays and once again Smith went into high and this time raced around his right end to the Massillon 21 for 14 yards. Pujazon and Korosedes made 9 yards in 2 tries and then Pujazon tucked the leather under his arm and sprinted around his left end for 7 yards and the third Canton touchdown. Rawers placekicked the extra point. Just one play was needed for Canton’s fourth and last touchdown.

Once again the Tigers gambled in an effort to make a yard and first down and failed, the Bulldogs getting the ball on Massillon’s 49. And once again Mr. Smith went to town in a big way with the day’s most dazzling run for 49 yards and a touchdown.

Starting out around his right end, the Bulldog ace squirmed and fought his way into the open, shaking off a flock of Tiger tacklers. Then reversing his field he darted toward the west side of the gridiron and out sped the Tigers in a sizzling dash across the goal line. Again Rawers made good on his placekick to boost the Canton total to 27.
Not So Golden
Massillon, 0 Pos. McKinley, 27
Gable LE McCoy
Ielsch LT Tucci
Cicchinelli LG Belding
Heltzel C Lilly
Brooks RG Cobett
Krisher RT Parks
Luke RE Rawers
Keller QB Lombardi
McGuire LH Smith
Webb RH Korosedes
Sedjo FB Pujazon

Score by quarters:
Bulldogs 7 6 14 0 27

Touchdowns: Bulldogs – Pujazon 2; Smith 2.

Points after touchdowns: Bulldogs – Smith (plunge); Rawers 2 (placekick).

Massillon – Clark, le; Gibson, rt; Turkall, lb; Pedrotty, fb; Giloff, qb; Cary, lh; Green, lt; Makowski, lh.
Canton – Meecham, rh; Bundy, fb; Lepore, c; Messenheimer, le.

Referee – Mobach.
Umpire – Gross.
Head Linesman – Brubaker.
Field Judge – Shafer.

Mass. Can.
Total first downs 8 11
Yards gained by rushing 89 335
Yards lost by rushing 21 21
Net yards gained rushing 68 314
Forward passes attempted 18 7
Forward passes completed 6 2
Yard gained by passing 74 31
Total net yardage,
rushing and passing 142 345
Passed had intercepted 3 2
Number of punts 6 3
Average distance of punts 36 22
Number of kickoffs 2 6
Average distance, kickoffs 27 40
Number of fumbles 1 4
Times ball lost on fumbles 1 1
Number penalties against unreadable
Yards lost on penalty unreadable

Last Meeting Of
Tiger Boosters

The final regular Tiger Booster club meeting of the 1944 football season will be held this evening at 8 o’clock in Washington high school auditorium.

Coach Elwood Kammer’s report on the Tiger-Bulldog battle last Saturday will highlight the program.

The annual Tiger banquet and show will be held at Washington high school Tuesday, Dec. 5. Clark Shaughnessy, Pittsburgh Panther coach, will be the principal speaker.

Glen Keller