Tag: <span>Steve Studer</span>


An Interview with Steve Studer

A look back at a 2001 interview with the “muscle man.”

Steve Studer may no longer be with us in person (he passed away in February 2004), but his legacy as a sports fixture at WHS and the Massillon community will not be forgotten.  Very much a family man, he was also highly devoted to students of the school, motivating them to succeed in life through weight training and inspiration.  What made the program a success was his high energy level and passion to succeed, attributes that will not soon be replaced.  In 2001 I had the pleasure of talking with Coach Stu about the Massillon High School weight program.  Here is that interview.

A 2-year varsity football player for Massillon, Studer was the starting center on the 1970 state championship team that also featured Tiger greats Dennis Franklin, Steve Luke, Mike Mauger, Larry Harper, Tim Ridgley, Willie Spencer and Tom Hannon. He also played in 1971, before becoming the starting center for the Bowling Green Falcons. After college he had a couple tryouts with professional football teams, but eventually landed a position as strength and conditioning coach/phys-ed teacher at Massillon High School.

“Our weight room is 55’ by 70’,” said Studer.  “It’s the same size as the weight room we had at the old high school. When we built the new high school we patterned it after the old one. It pretty much consists of free weights.

“Our core lifts are the squat, the clean, the bench press, and the dead lift. The machines that we have in the weight room are pretty much hammer-strength machines and it’s all top of the line equipment. It’s the same equipment that they use at Michigan, Notre Dame, and a lot of the NFL teams.

“We really compare the weight room to a lot of Division 1 colleges. There’s going to be your Tennessees, your Nebraskas, and your Michigan States where they have a better facility than this. I would compare this to any MAC school.

“We get a lot done in here and every year I work with a good 200 kids that pass through this weight room, at least four days a week. We’re pretty proud of it and right now as you take the pictures it looks very clean and we keep it that way because we take good care of it.

“But, believe me, we use it, and in the evenings it’s a pretty gross picture in here as far as the way it smells and when I’m carrying buckets out of here. It reminds you of a Rocky movie when you see the kids in here training.”

If I recall, you won the Mr. Ohio contest a couple of times.

When I was in college in the 70s is really when weight training took off and it got started in Nebraska and everybody was trying to emulate as much as possible what they were doing. And I know that’s what we did at Bowling Green.

After college football and after trying out with the Chicago Bears and trying out with the USFL, I wasn’t ready to stop my competitive juices. I got into powerlifting for about five years and competed at that level and then got into some body buildings and physique for about five years and then it was after that I started coaching.

I had my own private gym where I had about 10-12 kids here from Massillon: the Spielman brothers, Johnny Miller, Jared Vance, Darrell Strickland. A really nice group of guys. We trained in my own private place. I didn’t make a penny doing it. I did it for the love of doing it. And that’s kind of when John Moronto had taken me in here.

Tell me a little bit about your background as coach of the strength program. 

Actually I started here underJohn Moronto (1985-87 football coach) at the old high school. As I started it was an after school thing. I actually worked for my father as a sign painter. At 3:00 when the school let out I would go to the old high school and the weight room down there and work out the team. I did that four days per week.

Then when Lee Owens (1988-91 football coach) came here and we actually started this as a class. I was hired here at the high school full time and left my father at the sign shop to come up here. It’s really my first love. I love being here because I love working with the kids and it’s not just football here with me.

I train every sport. And a lot of our football players do play other sports. It adds up to about 200 kids a year that I train. I enjoy it because it’s my alma mater and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I don’t think I’d like to be anywhere else. I’m happy. I enjoy coming to work and when you look forward to coming to work each morning it’s pretty good.

Each sport I’m sure has a different weight training program. How do you address that?

There are some things that we do. For instance, there are some things that we do differently for a baseball player than you would for a wrestler. But, pretty much the lifts that we do in this room are specifically to make kids stronger on the basketball court, like make them jump higher or enable them to shoot for a takedown in wrestling. And you come off the ball as an offensive lineman or make a big hit as a linebacker. And all the things we do are predicated to make kids jump higher, ran faster, be more explosive.

And a lot of things we do are things that are on our feet, like squatting and cleaning and dead lifting and lunging. Those things develop the center of the body, the hips, thighs, and lower back and we do a lot of work on our stomachs. And those are all the areas that make you faster and make you more athletic.

The days of having a lot of guys out there on the football field with big bellies are gone. It’s not what we’re looking for now. We want the kids to be able to move. Speed is the name of the game, but you have to have the strength in there, too. And you have to do things that are going to help prevent injury. You want to work the joints, especially the whole knee capsule. If a kid does get hurt and he would have to have surgery, he comes back from that surgery because he’s built that area up. Maybe, a lot of times, you’ll see kids that get hurt and because they’ve built those areas up they don’t need the surgery. And that’s what it’s all about there.

Describe the kids’ mental approaches to lifting?

We like to see that they all have the same approach and that approach would be to come in here and improve every time you walk in the place. That’s the attitude. And it’s one of the reasons why right now in the wintertime we try to get every football player.

Right now we have every football player not involved in a winter sport lifting together in this room as a team. The leadership kind of spreads throughout it because it’s a tough thing to do, and we want it to be tough, but we want that team unity to be formed out of it. That’s really the thing we are trying to accomplish right now.

Do you get many girls involved in the program?

We have two girls’ classes that I don’t teach. Barb Heigl is the phys-ed teacher who runs the two girls classes. As far as the classes go, I have six classes throughout the day with 25 kids in each class and then I’ve got the group that works out here after school. It depends on what time of the year and what phase we’re in, but this room gets used all year round. I take two weeks off in the summer and I’m still here in the summer keeping the place open for the guys.

That’s kind of my little pet peeve. Because, if you would have seen it last night when I was carrying the puke buckets out of here and the floor was full of sweat. Then what happens is I come in here at 5:00 am and I take an hour and a half or two hours scrubbing this place down. I’ve been doing it for ten years since this building was built. I don’t let the janitors in the room. I take care of it myself because I’m proud of it and the way I look at it is this is my classroom. I think when people come around and they look at the school and they walk in the weight room and see that it’s well kept, it’s just a pride thing.

The Lift-a-thon is coming up this Saturday at 10:00 am, so tell me a little about that event.

We always raise money every year and the kids vote on what they want to buy new and we always get a new piece of equipment or maybe some new rubber to put down on the floor or some more bars, whatever we need. It’s taken us 15 years to build this place up to what you see right now and I’m a big stickler of taking care of it.

We’ve raised all this money, not one tax dollar. Down to the lightest plate in here, it’s all raised through lift-a-thons since I’ve been here through John Moronto. Some people might think I’m crazy. ‘There’s Stu at 5:00 in the morning sweeping and mopping the weight room. And he takes better care of the weight room than he does his own house.’ I admit it, but that’s just the way it is.

The Lift-a-thon is how we end up the winter conditioning. Our off-season program this year has gone from January 4 to March 3. It’s a very intense time of the year. Just because we have the Lift-a-thon to close it up doesn’t mean we stop. It just means we go on to track season, maybe some different style of lifting during that time. The Lift-a-thon is a big test week. We’ll test on things during the week, especially speed. We’ll test on the 20, the 40, the pro-agility, the 60-yard shuttle; we’ll test on those things. And we’ll test on the clean and the squat at the Lift-a-thon. I kind of like to make it like a weight lifting meet, where I hand out medals, weigh them in. They all come in at different weight classes.

We have a record board up here on the wall and the kids try and break records. We started the record board in ’91, so the record board’s now ten years old. And it’s harder and harder to get up there on that board every year. We still have a couple ‘91s up there. But, they shoot for those kinds of goals at the Lift-a-thon. It gets intense and they all get to go out and raise a little money and at the end of it we add all the money up and figure out what we want to do for the weight room.

Thanks, Coach Stu.


1971: Massillon 29, Canton McKinley 6

Nifty Line Play Is Victory Key In 76th Game

Repository Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers came to town Saturday and in two hours at Fawcett Stadium showed the more than 21,000 fans a football aggregation that belies its 8-2 season record.

In a scholastic grid contest unquestionably decided in that 11-inch space known as the
line-of-scrimmage the Tigers turned in a 29-6 triumph over the upset-minded but undermanned McKinley Bulldogs.

Program Cover

Massillon finished the season in third place in the All-American Conference with a 3-2 mark. However, the Tigers were but two slender points away from an undefeated season and possibly state recognition.

The pair of one-point losses, to Warren and Niles, made the difference between the Tigers being in contention for the state title, or also-rans in the state and conference.

McKinley concluded its season with a 7-2-1 mark, losing to Warren and tying Niles. The Bulldogs finished fourth in the six-team conference with a 2-2-1 effort.
Tigers Dominate Series 41 to 30
The victory by Massillon ups its lead in the 76-game rivalry to 41-30, with five games ending in ties. The Tigers have won 12 of the last 15 contests.

Massillon’s Willie Spencer ran for two Tiger TDs and defensive end Derry Edwards had a day he’ll not soon forget as he intercepted two McKinley passes and ran both back for touchdowns, one 76 yards and the other 58.

Willie Spencer Sr. leaps for a score vs. Canton McKinley

But in spite of the fact Spencer’s 12 points gave him the Stark County scoring title for 1971 and he gained 142 yards in 33 carries Saturday to reign as the star runner, the glory for the Tigers belonged to the offensive and defensive linemen.

It was center Steve Studer, guards Scott Graber, Randy Heck and Bruce Christoff, tackles Glenn Weirich and Andre Heath and ends Bob Stephan and Mike McGuire who made the Massillon offense go with their devastating blocking.

In the defensive line, some of the names were the same. Stephan, a great one at 6-3 and 207 pounds, Weirich, the alert Edwards, Studer, end Todd Cocklin and middle guard Larry McLenndon, who doubles as the “other” runner in the Tiger backfield and added 64 yards in 12 rushes to the Massillon cause.

The defensive line put tremendous pressure on McKinley quarterback Jimmy Vance, causing a total of four interceptions. On Edwards’ first TD theft, the pass was deflected by the on-rushing Tiger defensive line.

And the Tigers blocked McKinley’s extra-point kick attempt.

The offensive line, anchored by center Studer in the middle and Stephan on the right side, ripped the Bulldogs defense to allow the backs to pile up 288 yards rushing.

So overwhelming was the Tiger line in the first quarter that Massillon controlled the ball for 23 plays to McKinley’s three. The Pups gained a yard on each of three running plays in that stanza.

Pups’ Big Pain Is Tigers’ Offensive Line
Commings Calls It ‘Sweet’


The sunshine on the leaves of the trees around Fawcett Stadium made the normal yellow color appear a Massillon orange.

Yes, it was a Saturday afternoon for the Massillon Tigers – a game which Massillon Coach Bob Commings termed “a sweet one.”

“Anytime you beat McKinley, it is a great win,” said Commings, dripping wet after being tossed in the shower.
THE TIGERS gave McKinley’s Bulldogs a steady diet of backs Willie Spencer and Larry “Pookie” McLenndon, with emphasis on the former and the result was a 29-6 triumph.

Spencer, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior tailback, ran with reckless abandon as he led the Tigers. In the big fourth quarter, he couldn’t be stopped on short-yardage situations.

After the Bulldogs closed the deficit to 13-6 with 33 seconds left in the third stanza, Commings called on Spencer to get the first downs when two and three yards were needed. Spencer never failed once on the drive which led to a big touchdown with 5:34 left.
“WE TOOK IT, to them,” said Commings. “We ran basic football. There was nothing nifty about it, McLenndon and Spencer ran hard. It was just great they way they ran.”

Commings said the shift of Spencer from end on offense to running back this season, “was the move of the year.”

“McKinley hung in there,” said the Massillon mentor.

“The realization of those two one-point losses (to Niles 7-6 and Warren 8-7) sets in. But people now know this is one of the best teams they’ve seen around here.”

“We received an excellent job from the defensive secondary. Hannon (Tom), Thompson (Art); Nussbaumer (Hank) and Jackson (James) all were great. Bill Wonsick came in and did a helluva job.”

Wonsick was a replacement for Jackson, who limped off the field at the start of the fourth quarter.
COMMINGS also lauded the right guard, Scott Graber, who was the only Tiger on the injured list before the game.

“Scott played the whole game on offense and he hadn’t played one minute in practice all week.”
“IT’S EVEN bigger than last year because this is my last year. I messed up my knee a little,” said McLenndon, who gained the game’s initial first down with second effort.

Asked if he saved anything for the game with McKinley, Spencer smiled and said: “Everything I had, I saved. I hit my head on a piece of steel out of bounds, but I’m okay now.”

After being injured slightly in the third quarter, Willie jumped up and immediately went back into the game.

Dave Gable, the Tigers’ offensive tackle coach, called the team’s line play the best of the year.

“We deserved a good game. Two penalties cost us. One cost us a touchdown,” said Gable.

QUARTERBACK Scott Dingler, a senior who will go to college but one who hadn’t had a college offer when he was interviewed, added: “We buried them once we started moving.”

“I didn’t call the plays. Most of them come from the bench. Some come from up in the press box. Our defense did the great job they have done all year. It is the biggest thrill of my life,” said the signal caller.

“We knew it,” remarked Commings when asked if he was aware of the pass-catching ability of McKinley’s Artis Zachary, “but we couldn’t do anything about it.”

NICK VROTSOS, the Massillon assistant coach, was on the field end of the phone to the Tiger aides in the press box. He thought for a moment prior to the start of the game that there was a bad connection and of course, he was concerned about some “bugging”.

One fan yelled at Commings, “Why did you take the penalty?” after the Bulldogs scored their lone touchdown on a third-and-seven situation.

The Bulldogs would have had possession with fourth-and-one on the Tigers’ two if the Tigers had not taken the penalty for illegal procedure.

Total First Downs 22 12
First Downs Rushing 20 4
First Downs Passing 2 8
First Downs Penalty 0 0
Total Offensive Plays 71 45
Net Yards Rushing 288 93
Net Yards Passing 21 162
Mis. Yardage (net) (1-23) 15
Total Offensive Yardage 286 270
Ave. Yds. Per Play (net) 4.0 6.0
Passes Comp.-Att. 4-7 10-20
Passes Had Intercepted 1 4
Net Gain Per Pass 3.0 8.1
Punts 1-29 2-71
Punts Return –Yds. 1-11 0-0
Kickoff Returns-Yds. 2-52 5-79
Interception Returns-Yds. 4-149 1-0
Fumbles-Fumbles Lost 3-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 5-50 2-10

Massillon – Spencer 33-142; McLenndon 12-64; Thompson 8-48.
McKinley – Zachary 12-48; Vance 5-31; DeGraffinreed 5-16.

Massillon – Thompson 2-18; Hannon 2-3.
McKinley – Zachary 6-107; Chambers 1-24; Carver 1-15; Lewis 1-12; DeGraffinreed 1-4.

Massillon – Dingler, 4-7-1, 21 yards.
McKinley – Vance, 10-20-4, 162 yards.

Steve Studer
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1971: Massillon 36, Alliance 6

Passing aids 36-6 victory 105 second-quarter air yards best season effort

Independent Sports Editor

Quarterback Scotty Dingler rang the bell and his receivers caught fire to make the effort unanimous.

Getting their passing game going after several disappointed attempts this season, was important to the Massillon Tigers for it made rushing a lot easier and could arm their arsenal a lot more effectively for next Saturday’s season finale against arch-rival Canton McKinley.
* * *
WASHINGTON HIGH’S charges downed their second oldest protagonist, the Alliance Aviators, 36-6 before 11,076 in the curtain closer Friday night at Tiger stadium.

Program Cover

The Tigers upped their slate to 7-2 while dropping Alliance to 4-5. The WHSers evened their All-American conference record for four tilts to stay in fourth and saddled the Aviators with their fourth loss against no wins.

Dingler completed five passes in six tries in the second quarter, connecting with wingback Art Thompson for a touchdown, fullback Tom Hannon and split end Mike McGuire for 105 yards – the best effort of the season. The Tiger aerial show didn’t connect on a couple of second half efforts, but its prior-to-the intermission performance must have been enough to give McKinley Coach John Brideweser’s scouts cause for consideration.

Dingler hit McGuire on a 14-yard combination to offset a five-yard delay penalty. Scotty found Thompson for 15 to sidetrack a five-yard procedure call, hit Hannon in the flat and Tom ran 25 yards for a first down at the Alliance 30, but the Tigers ran out of gas at the four, four plays later; after a 14-yarder through the middle by Larry McLenndon.

However, the Orange and Black came back after the next punt and moved 45 yards in two plays to score with four seconds left. Dingler hit the Thompson target both times, one for 24 yards to the Alliance 31 and another into Art’s nifty embrace in the center of the end zone.

Dingler’s kick was off to the right.
* * *
“SCOTTY COULDN’T have laid the ball in there much better,” Coach Bob Commings said. “I’m pleased with the poise with which we threw the ball. The protection was good. I thought the offensive line settled the issue, blocking well, particularly in the first half.”
Former Tiger assistant Gene Nara, now the head man at Alliance, had another version: “We gave Dingler too much time to throw.”

His TD pass may have been the key to the Aviators’ loss.

“If we had been down only 14-6 at the end of the first half, it would have been easier to come back,” Nara said.

Alliance continued to have the passing troubles it has experienced all year, failing to complete 11, with a lot of credit going to the Massillon secondary for alert coverage.
* * *
THE AVIAITORS had their chances in the second half, getting 44 plays to the Tigers’ 19, but couldn’t move the ball past the WHS 21.

“Bob went to a stack defense with a stunt and I think he used a safety blitz one time,” Nara said. “We weren’t picking it up.”

The Tigers were in what Commings calls a goal-line go, putting Hank Nussbaumer, the strong safety, in the go position.

The Orange and Black opened the scoring with a 49-yard run off left tackle by tailback Willie Spencer on the game’s fourth play from first down.

Dingler kicked the conversion with 10:05 on the clock.

Alliance’s score came late in the first quarter after Rick got off only a 15-yard punt and the Aviators drove 42 yards in five plays with a 14-yard pass-run from quarterback Bill Anderson to halfback Joe Tucker setting up a first down on the Massillon 27.
* * *
TWO PLAYS later junior halfback Dan Contrucci charged through the middle from the 25, giving nice second and third efforts. However, with 1:20 showing, Anderson fumbled the pigskin as the Aviators tried for two and was stopped short.

The Tigers marched 80 yards in seven plays after the kickoff with Spencer scoring off right tackle and cutting back on second down from the Alliance 35 with 5:46 left in the second stanza. Dingler’s 16-yard right end keeper and Spencer’s 17-yarder over left guard helped.

Dingler kicked the conversion.

Alliance punted after its first third quarter series and Hannon flashed his groovy hips for 51 yards to put the ball on the Alliance four. Two plays later Dingler smashed through the center from the one on a third down with 9:06 on the lights.

He passed to McLenndon playing fullback in the absence of injured Don Perry, to put two more points on the total.

The final tally came when a fourth-down snap went over Contrucci’s head and twins Dari and Terry Edwards and Todd Cocklin hauled Contrucci down on the Alliance six. McLenndon raced around left end on the ensuing play with 6:08 left in the goodbye frame.
* * *
JUNIOR TAILBACK Jim Jackson slashed off right tackle for the final two points.

The Tigers might have had another TD, but junior wingback Terry Edwards fumbled on the Alliance 23 after brother Dari had recovered an Aviator fumble on the 21. Ron Kuceyeski recovered for the Carnation City team.

Ends – Jones, Randy Kuceyeski, Brockett, Danesi, Harper.
Tackles – Ron Kuceyeski, Addams, Kirksey, Grimes.
Guards – Huff, Messenheimer, King, Garnes.
Centers – Miller, Swanson.
Quarterbacks – Anderson, Miller.
Halfbacks – Snodgrass, Contrucci, Hewitt, May, Davis, Tucker.
Fullbacks – J. Hancock, Deack.

Ends – McGuire, Stephan, Matie, Bodiford, D. Edwards, Gutshall.
Tackles – Heath, Weirich, Peters, C. Perry, Hauschultz, Green, Geiser, T. Peters.
Guards – Christoff, Mayles, Guiffre, Bozzacco, Bash, Balizet, Heck, Graber, Ahlstrom, Danzy.
Centers – Studer, Cocklin, Allman, McCabe, Grizzard.
Quarterbacks – Dingler, Muhlback, Westover.
Halfbacks – Spencer, Thompson, T. Edwards, Nussbaumer, Weise, Jakcson, Wonsick, D. Peters, Groff.
Fullbacks – McLenndon, Hannon, Wood.

ALLIANCE 6 0 0 0 6
MASSILLON 7 13 8 8 36

M – Spencer, 49 run (Dingler kick);
A – Contrucci, 25 run (run failed);
M – Spencer, 35 run (Dingler kick);
M – Thompson, 31 pass from Dingler (kick failed);
M – Dingler, 1 run (McLenndon, pass from Dingler);
M – McLenndon, 9 run (Jackson run).

First downs, rushing 11 4
First downs, passing 4 5
First downs, penalties 1 3
Total first downs 16 12
Yards gained rushing 234 105
Yards lost rushing 5 72
Net yards gained rushing 229 33
Net yards gained passing 105 52
Total yards gained 334 85
Passes completed 5-8 11-24
Passes intercepted by 0 0
Kickoff average (yards) 6-44.9 2-45.0
Rest is missing

Referee – Ted Humphrey.
Umpire – Ted Deutsch.
Head Linesman – Stan Evans.
Field Judge – Hugh Davis.
Back Judge – Beauford Hatfield.

ATTENDANCE – 11,076.

Steve Studer
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1971: Massillon 7, Warren Harding 8

Commings asks Tigers to fight back

Independent Sports Editor

“This is not the time to cry over spilt milk.”

Tiger Coach Bob Commings had the right idea when he said, “This isn’t the quitting point. You’ve got to gut it out and come back.”
* * *
HE MADE the rounds of all his players to make sure they knew there were a couple of tough All-American conference games left against Alliance and Canton McKinley and that Tigertowners will be solidly rooting for a rebound in the knowledge they still have an outstanding football team representing them.

Program Cover

The word rebound could likewise be applied to the Warren Harding Black Panthers’ effort before 20,648 – the season’s largest crowd at Tiger stadium – Friday night. After dropping behind 7-0 in the first period, they came back for an 8-7 victory, probably the AAC title and state Class AAA championship and their first win here since 1944.

The Washington high team, defending champions in both, dropped 6-2 overall; 1-2 in the league and fourth place Harding is 8-0 and 4-0.

“They had the courage to come back and you must respect them for that,” Commings said.

Harding Coach Tom Batta was thrilled with the “great job” done by his defense. “When 175 and 180-pounders give you that type of performance, it’s some effort!”

He was also happy with the way his team moved the ball.
* * *
HE ADMITTED that the Tigers, who won the battle of statistics as they had in a 7-6 AAC loss to Niles, were tough to control, even forcing the Panthers out of their normal 5-4 defense at times and into a 6-1 because, “We couldn’t stay with them man to man.”

It was after the intermission when the Tigers took the upper hand, gaining 186 yards to Warren’s 68.

“When you go out and dominate the second half, you usually win,” Commings said sadly. “I thought we played good enough to win.”

The Tigers were in Panther territory four times with the AAC’s leading rusher and scorer tailback Willie Spencer – whom Batta said he did not have his charges key on – stopped on fourth down at the 27 and 32.
Fullback Tom Hannon fumbled with 2:28 left and halfback Joe Kirksey recovered at the 38 as the old bugaboo cropped up again. He had run well in the second half and Batta admitted “Tombo” had scared him.

On the last sustained drive, with three seconds left, quarterback Scott Dingler was short on a 50-yard field goal try – an impossibility for even the strongest high school booster – after the Tigers had gotten to the 34.
* * *
ON TWO of the fourth-quarter marches, Dingler, who threw well, came within a gnat’s eyelash of hitting split end Mike McGuire. Halfback Doug Stubbs batted one pass away in the end zone and Stubbs and Kirksey knocked another deep one awry.

The Tigers also lost the ball on downs at the Warren 44 in the second quarter when Stubbs got a hand in front of fullback Don Perry, forced to leave in the second half with a painful arm bruise. Spencer got stopped at the 39 on fourth down in the first period.

It was then that the Orange and Black got its only score as Rick Weise punted to the 14. Warren was socked half the distance to the six for holding and junior quarterback Dan Ross retreated to the two, fumbled and senior end Todd Cocklin recovered and went in with 22 seconds left.

Dingler kicked the conversion.

Harding mounted its comeback on eight plays, going 61 yards after a 26-yard kickoff runback by the elusive Stubbs. Fullback Len Sernulka, who also played a whale of a game as a linebacker, carried three times for 14 yards while junior halfback Wilbur Boggs scored the touchdown on fourth down, one from the 30 on a pitch and run around right end, cutting back to the center nicely at the five.
* * *
WITH 9:25 left in the second stanza, Stubbs whirled by the left side on a fooler
end-around. “This time it worked,” Batta said. “When Bob was at Struthers and I was at Akron Hoban, I gambled and ran a conversion, didn’t get it and we lost the game.”

Batta called Boggs’ run a “great effort” and said the play was run to the outside because the Tigers were jamming up the middle.

“I guess I made the right call at the right time,” he added.

Commings said the Tigers were in a goal-line defense which had been good to the Orange and Black all year.

“They were a good team, well prepared,” Commings said, “the best we’ve played.”

The only other Harding tries into Tiger territory saw the Panthers lose the ball on downs at the 45 in the third period and punt from the 44 and 47 in the fourth.

Individual statistics showered Spencer carried 21 times – losing nine yards – for a net 94, while Sernulka attempted 15 runs for 57 yards – not losing ground – and Boggs handled the ball 17 times for 87 yards – losing only one yard.

Ends – Hunter, Blazek, Stubbs, Lee, Douglas, Dixon.
Tackles – Hilas, Tislimos, Stan, Halea.
Guards – C. Cullins, Pegg, Varle, Capellas, Richards.
Centers – Fabrizio, Futey.
Quarterback – Ross.
Halfbacks – Botggs, Kirksey, Ange, Lowry, Menz, Manson, R. Cullins.
Fullbacks – Sernulka, Wyand, Elza.

Ends – McGuire, Steffan, Matie, D. Edwards.
Tackles – Weirich, Heath, Shuman.
Guards – Christoff, Heck, Mayles, Guiffre, Graber.
Centers – Studer, Cocklin.
Quarterbacks – Dingler, Muhlbach.
Halfbacks – Thompson, Spencer, McLenndon, Nussbaumer, Weise, Jackson, Wonsick, T. Edwards.
Fullbacks – Perry, Hannon.

WARREN 0 8 0 0 8
MASSILLON 7 0 0 0 7

M – Cocklin, recovered Ross’ fumble in end zone (Dingler kick).
W – Boggs, 30 run (Stubbs run).

Punt average, (yds.) 4-35.5 7-30.8
First downs, rushing 9 9
First downs, passing 3 1
First downs, penalties 2 0
Total first downs 14 10
Yards gained rushing 206 161
Yards lost rushing 9 19
Net yards gained, rushing 199 142
Net yards gained, passing 78 40
Total yards gained 277 152
Passes completed 5-14 1-4
Kickoff average, yards 2-41.0 2-55.5
Kickoff returns, yards 28 29
Punt average (yds.) 4-35.5 7-30.8
Punt returns (yds.) 0 26
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles (lost) 2(1) 4(2)
Yards penalized 2-20 3-36
Touchdowns rushing 0 1
Miscellaneous 1 0
Total number of plays 57 56

Referee – Tony Pianowski.
Umpire – Joe Yanity.
Head Linesman – Ed Steinkerchner.
Field Judge – Frank Toth.
Back Judge – Dr. Ed Fiffick.

ATTENDANCE – 20,648.

Steve Studer
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1971: Massillon 46, Barberton 0

Fumbles, pass problems marr 46-0 rout over Magics in homecoming

Independent Sports Editor

It was a lot easier than a lot of folks thought it would be Friday night, but there were sounded also a pair of sour notes.

The Massillon Tigers rolled over Barberton 46-0 before 12,524 at the rain-sprinkled Tiger stadium non-league homecoming, hanging up a 6-1 slate while handing Barberton its first loss in seven games. The Magics had tied once.

THEY HAD been touted as a dangerous ball club, but the Tiger defense dug in again when it needed to for its fifth shutout in seven tilts. The offense continued to gobble up yardage by the bags full.

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The discords were sounded when Tiger backs lost the pigskin on four of five fumbles. It cost them because two of the bobbles occurred deep in Magics territory – probably preventing touchdowns – and the other brace came about the only times Washington high had the ball in the goodbye canto.

The Orange and Black passing game saw only one completion in seven tries as Tiger Coach Bob Commings got a 28-0 lead in the second quarter and got a chance for an extra sky route workout. Receivers couldn’t find the handle for quarterback Scotty Dingler.

Both the ball handling and passing headaches have caused consternation before and could be disastrous when the state’s top ranked Warren Harding Black Panther invade next Friday for an All-American conference affair.

“We’ll just have to concentrate on holding the ball,” Commings declared. “First things must come first. You have to get the ball and then go through the hole. I think our guys were trying to get down field without the ball.”

About the passing, he explained, “It was off, but it was not the quarterback. When he puts the ball in there and they can’t catch it, it’s not his fault.”
* * *
COMMINGS SAID the Tigers’ offensive line did a fine job and liked the way in which the Orange and Black got a lot out of the “I” formation with senior Willie Spencer in the tailback slot. The WHSers had shown a couple of plays from that set last week at Steubenville and used it almost the whole first quarter Friday night.

Commings didn’t use the “I” in the second half with Spencer sitting on the bench, suffering from the effects of the muggy weather. He had gained 124 yards – losing none in 12 first half carries and scored two touchdowns.

Tailback Larry McLenndon, also played at right half, which Don Perry in the lead running slot and tallied once. Defensive halfback Tom Hannon put six points on the scoreboard as did wingbacks Art Thompson and Terry Edwards.

The other two points came in the third stanza when defensive end Todd Cocklin tackled junior quarterback Doug Huffman in the end zone for a safety as Huffman faded from the nine.

The Tigers took the opening kickoff, after a 19-yard runback by Hannon and scored in 10 plays, covering 67 yards, with Spencer and Perry carrying the pigskin. Spencer tallied on third down from the one over right tackle with 7:23 on the clock.

Dingler kicked conversion.
* * *
THE GROOVY HIPPED Hannon ran a punt back 44 yards for a TD with the help of end Mike McGuire’s two man block as the time lights stopped at 2:20.

Dingled added a point.

Tom Jackson, like Hannon, Cocklin and Edwards a promising junior, knocked down Doug Huffman’s second quarter fourth down pass to end Jim Bauschlinger in the end zone, to give Massillon the ball on its five. Spencer flew through left tackle on the next play and picked up 15 more yards on a face mask call to give the Tigers first down on their 26.

An eight-play 95-yard drive had started and Spencer also ended it with a four-yarder through the center after Thompson had charged 51 yards over left guard on third down from the WHS 49 after a motion penalty.

With the clock reading 5:25, Dingler put the ball through the uprights.

Thompson got off another scintillating run on fourth down, after a holding penalty and raced 56 yards for the last counter of the first half, reversing field nicely and breaking a couple of tackles. Halfback Larry Young tried to stop “Gritz” with a desperation tackle, but only succeeded in giving him an extra push into pay dirt at 2:54.
* * *
DINGLER’S PAT boot was good.

Hannon ran back a punt 22 yards and added 14 more yards through the center to get the Tigers off and winging for a 38-yard, five-play scoring offensive. McLenndon went in off right tackle on first down from the four with 5:24 remaining in the third period.

Hannon ran the conversion off a pitch over right tackle.

The final excursion to the Promised Land started after junior middle guard Alex Wood had recovered a fumble on the Magics’ 22. The tally came after four plays with Edwards clearing left tackle on first down from the six at the 2:33 mark.

Junior quarterback Kevin Westover found Edwards in the right corner of the end zone for a two-pointer.

The Tigers had the ball for only two minutes and 50 seconds in the fourth quarter as junior tailback Jim McKinnie picked up quite a bit of yardage and the Magics got to the Massillon 25 before losing the ball on downs as tackle Glenn Weirich and safety Hank Nussbaumer threw Huffman back 14 yards – with the aid of a fumble.
* * *
BARBERTON WAS also stymied on fourth down at the five as McLenndon and McGuire hauled down McKinnie.

“They did a good job on what they were trying to do against us,” Commings said. “Some might have thought it was easy, but it wasn’t. They’re young like Akron East.”

“They beat us real good,” Barberton Coach Ron Fenik said. “They ran through us, over us and around us. There’s not much you can say.”

While McKinnie was a bright light the Magics’ first half running, senior tailback Bob Glenchert looked good before the intermission and seemed most effective when running from counter plays as the Tiger defense was angling the opposite way.

Commings called it running to daylight.

Junior wingback Rick Lay, both an outstanding runner and pass receiver, left with 7:35 remaining in the third quarter and was to have an ankle X-rayed. His absence hindered the Magics’ offense.

First downs, rushing 21 9
First downs, passing 0 1
First downs, penalties 1 1
Total first downs 22 11
Yards gained rushing 351 176
Yards lost rushing 8 53
Net yards gained rushing 343 123
Net yards gained passing 8 26
Total yards gained 351 149
Passes completed 1-7 4-12
Kickoff average (yards) 7-43.0 1-46.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 42 69
Punt average (yds.) 1-41.0 6-32.5
Punt returns (yds.) 65 2
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles (lost) 5(4) 5(3)
Yards penalized 4-50 3-25
Touchdowns rushing 0 0
Miscellaneous 1 0
Total number of plays 56 59

Steve Studer
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1971: Massillon 42, Akron East 6

Dingler, Spencer pace Tiger victory

Independent Sports Editor

Scotty Dingler added something new to the Tigers’ offensive arsenal Friday night – the conversion kick.

The Washington high quarterback booted six of them, two short of the all-time mark of eight set by guard Bob Pflug in 1923, reached twice by center Jerry Krisher in 1950 and once by halfback Tom Boon in 1952.

THE LAST to kick six was tackle Bob Williams in 1954.

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The WHSers put together a well-run offense with another stingy defensive job for a 42-6 victory over Akron East before 9,230, the smallest in the first five games – all played at Tiger stadium. The win gave the Orange and Black a 4-1 record and dropped the Orientals to 2-2.

“Dingler has worked hard on kicking conversions,” Tiger head Coach Bob Commings said, “and it paid off. I was also pleased with his kickoffs. He’ll do it some more, although it’s kind of tough on a quarterback. He’s a good short tackler and it gives us that extra man in there.”

Tailback Willie (The Wrecker) Spender scored two touchdowns, picked up 117 net yards, losing none, in 13 carried; ends Mike McGuire and Joe Matie each scored once as did fullback Don Perry and tailback Larry McLenndon.

The Tigers picked up 518 total net yards while giving up 155, allowing the Orientals no further than the Massillon 42 and completed four of eight passes for 128 yards. It was the Orange and Black’s best showing of the season, but they lost three of four fumbles, reverting to an early-season malady and it cost them.

“THEY WERE by far the quickest team we’ve played,” Commings states. “Their offense was well conceived, they knew what they wanted to do against our angle defense, hurt us with the quick fullback hitter and were a good team, but just didn’t have enough personnel. They were the best we’ve played against all year and might have given some others ideas.”

The Tigers got their first score on a 68-yard, eight-play drive, aided by a 15-yard face mask call. Hannon started it with a 23-yard kickoff runback and Perry bulled over from the five on first down with 2:13 remaining in the first quarter.

Todd Cocklin started the next drive with a recovery of sub quarterback Eric Parson’s fumble at the Massillon 47. Seven plays and a five-yard procedure penalty later, Spencer rolled around left end on third and five from the Orientals’ 35 for the touchdown with 10:31 left in the second quarter.

The Tigers almost had a TD on a first-down pass from Dingler to split end Mike McGuire from the Massillon 47, but a cornerback came rushing in, couldn’t be blocked and the pass didn’t get to McGuire. They missed another in the second period when Hannon ran back a punt 65 yards, but the kicker had been roughed.

A six-play, 73-yard drive netted the WHS high team its third score with 1:45 left in the second canto. Dingler, getting excellent protection, hit McGuire on the 26 from second and 10 on the East 41 and McGuire carried in. The pass was perfectly thrown on the hook pattern down the middle.

The groovy-hipped Hannon ran the second-half kickoff back 25 yards and the Tigers scored in eight plays after McGuire had picked up McLenndon’s fumble at the East 20. McLenndon went into Promised Land over right guard on second down from the six with 8:57 showing.
* * *
A FIVE-PLAY, 61-yard drive, with Spencer on the scoring end and Perry providing a
41-yard romp over right tackle to the East five, caused the scoreboard lights to flash again. Spencer went over the same tackle on first down from the five with 10:24 left in the goodbye episode.

The last touchdown was thwarted temporarily by a series of misadventures. Hannon took a Westover screen left on the Tigers’ 30 and ran 31 yards to he East 39, but the Orientals intercepted a pass.

Don Muhlbach re-intercepted on the next play and ran back 44 yards to the East 35, but then came a clip. Hannon scooted through the center for 14 yards to the Massillon 43 and second and one.

Westover hit split end Joe Matie on the Orientals’ 25 and Joe scored with 4:05 to go.

Dom Patella, East coach, thought his team did very well considering he started only three seniors.

“Line play made the difference,” is the way he explained his third loss to Massillon. “They blew us out of there and got stronger as the game went along.”
* * *
“SPENCER WAS outstanding offensively. Jim Bolden and Merle Burdette (a junior and sophomore respectively) are not in Spencer’s class, but will be outstanding as they get older.”

After a month’s sojourn at home, the Tigers will travel to Harding field in Steubenville next Friday for their second All-American conference game.

Ends – Moledar, C. Parson, Patton, Smith, Evans.
Tackles – Blair, McGhee, Dixon, Kasarnich, Lidge, Owens, Wittman.
Guards – Beasley, Crawford, Lillie, Preer, Cash, Platt.
Center – Laster.
Quarterback – E. Parson.
Halfbacks – Flint, Ratcliff, Grimes, Moore, Anry, Bolden.
Fullbacks – Burnette, Thomas.

Ends – McGuire, Matie, Stephan, Sullivan, Bodiford, Rowe, D. Edwards.
Tackles – Heath, Weirich, Peters, Hauschultz, Shumar.
Guards – Guiffre, Heck, Christoff, Graber, Simpson, Keller, Mayles, Bash.
Centers – Studer, Cocklin, McCabe, Allman.
Quarterbacks – Dingler, Muhlbach, Westover.
Halfbacks – Spencer, McLenndon, T. Edwards, Thompson, Weise, Wonsick, Christie, Jackson.
Fullbacks – Perry, Hannon, Wood.

EAST 6 0 0 0 6
MASSILLON 7 14 7 14 42

E – Thomas, 1 run (run failed); M – Perry, 5 run (Dingler kick);
M – Spencer, 35 run (Dingler kick); M – McGuire, 41-yd., pass-run
from Dingler (Dingler kick); M – McLenndon, 6 run (Dingler kick);
M – Spencer, 5 run (Dingler kick); M – Matie, 57-yard pass-run
from Westover (Dingler kick).

First downs, rushing 20 7
First downs, passing 3 0
First downs, penalties 2 2
Total first downs 25 11
Yards gained rushing 392 144
Yards lost rushing 2 18
Net yards gained rushing 390 126
Net yards gained passing 128 29
Total yards gained 518 155
Passes completed 4-8 2-13
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 22 18
Kickoff average (yards) 7-45.3 2-37.5
Kickoff returns (yards) 46 82
Punt average (yds.) 0 6-32.9
Punt returns (yds.) 14 0
Fumbles (lost) 4(3) 4(1)
Yards penalized 5-65 6-61
Touchdowns rushing 4 1
Touchdowns passing 2 0
Total number of plays 51 62

Referee – Howard Eckert.
Umpire – Joe Yanity.
Head Linesman – Henry Mastrianni.
Field Judge – Charles Hinkle.
Back Judge – Robert Walker.


Steve Studer
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1971: Massillon 6, Niles McKinley 7

Tigers lose spirited defensive battle

Independent Sports Editor

Both coaches called it pretty good when looking ahead earlier this week, but Bob Commings must wish he hadn’t been so correct.

He hadn’t predicted his Massillon Tigers would be edged 7-6 by the Niles McKinley Red Dragons before 17,458 – the season’s largest crowd – Friday night at Tiger stadium, but he figured their strategy well.

NILES’ BOB Shaw loves to burn you when you least expect it.

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And Shaw must have seen something in his tea leaves for he had said 1971 was his turn. This was his second victory in three seasons over Commings – two here – and his third in four tries against the Orange and Black, the first coming in 1966.

On both occasions he stopped Tiger streaks – 32 games without a loss the first time and 13 this trip. His latest effort put Niles in second place behind Warren Harding in the All-American conference. The Black Panthers are 2-0 in the league and 4-0 overall while the Dragons are 1-0 and 4-0.

Massillon, the 1970 league winner, dropped to 3-1 and an 0-1 AAC record. The loss will also undoubtedly drop the defending Ohio Class AAA champion Tigers out of first place in both wire service polls.

“We never gain when we beat Massillon,” Shaw, the boss of the state’s 11-ranked team, said, “but other teams do.”

Friday’s game was a great tribute to both defenses although Massillon outdistanced Niles 14-7 in first downs and 224-158 in total yards gained, posting most of those figures in the second half. Both lines hit hard and the secondarys covered the passing lanes adequately.

The Tigers completed only one of 11 passes and Niles only two of 13 for six and 19 yards respectively. This is not conducive to adequately complementing your ground game.

“They just played good defense,” Commings said. “They made the good plays – we didn’t.” When you give up only one, TD, you’re not playing bad football. Once we settled down, we played good football. They did what they do well – spring one once in awhile.
* * *
HE ADDED, “Their linebackers and defensive backs coming up were the toughest part of their defense.”

“Both defenses were good,” Shaw agreed. “When you get a 7-6 game, it will always be this way. This was the good football we used to play at Niles. For three years back we hadn’t stopped them. I think we forced them to pass when they couldn’t run. This helped our secondary play good defense. They cut us off with their angle defense. Their backside tackle hurt us.”

This would be Glen Weirich or Steve Studer, depending upon which way the defenders were headed.

Niles quarterback Tom Andres, Jr., burned the Tigers with his ball-handling and speed at times, although linebacker Mike McGuire bombed him several times.

“He’s the fastest man on the team so we wanted him to run the football,” Shaw said. “His good action faking to a back going one way with another coming back, helped. Andres has deceptive speed at 6-3.”

The Dragons got off more long runs, although Tigers Willie Spencer, Larry McLenndon, Don Perry and Art Thompson gave it their best. The Orange and Black offense did it in short chops and forced the Niles’ defense out of its Notre Dame 4-4 and into an Oklahoma 5-4 early in the contest.

After seeing a team score on them for the first time this season, the Tigers took the kickoff and marched 29 yards in 10 plays in the first quarter but were forced to punt from the Niles’ 38.

They moved 68 yards in nine plays in the second stanza to get their touchdown with tailback Spencer starting the drive with a 24-yarder around right end to the Niles 43. He scored for the ninth time in four games – over right tackle on fourth and four form 26 yards away with 4:52 left. A good stiff farm helped.
* * *
QUARTERBACK SCOTT Dingler tried to run the go-ahead conversion, but halfback Pat Burke and ends Mike Weida and Ted Williams hauled him down just short of the mark.

The Tigers had one more good drive – in the fourth quarter. It was a 10-play affair starting after a 30-yard pun t to the Massillon 39. The drive ended on the Niles 25 with four minutes, 10 seconds remaining.

Fullback Don Perry was short of the first down, but the Tigers were called for illegal procedure and offside and the Dragons were detected on a personal foul, nullifying the run and giving Spencer a chance around left end. However, Williams nailed him.

Niles got all of the margin it needed when halfback Bob Sygar intercepted Dingler’s toss on the game’s first play and raced 26 yards to the Tigers’ 29. In six plays, the Dragons had scored as Andres helped with a 13-yard, third-and-eight jaunt for a first down on the 13.

Fullback Tim Monos scored on third-and-four from the seven when Andres threw to the right and Monos grabbed the pigskin on the two. With 8:34 left, Tom Masciangelo kicked the winning point.

Sygar was a thorn in the side for the Tigers. He bolted 71 yards around the left side on a pitchout just after Massillon’s first quarter kickoff and was brought down by halfback Tom Jackson on the nine. Hannon threw fullback Bob Manella to the 20 and McGuire intercepted an Andres’ aerial on the 15 to halt the drive.

Sygar ran 43 yards to the Massillon 25 on the second quarter, but a clipping penalty called this one off. In the same period, he ran a punt back 28 yards to his 48, but another clip interfered.

He ran 68 yards to the Tigers’ 11 in the third canto, but a clip cancelled this scamper too. Sygar also hopped on Hannon’s fumble in the third episode to give the Dragons the ball on the 50.

Ends – Kaszonyi, Rose, Weida, Harris, Ted Williams, Tom Williams, Allen, Mackey, C. West.
Tackles – Biddlestone, Shehy, Thou, Schweitzer, Tackett, Law.
Guards – Baker, Skocik, Pekarovic, Masciangelo, Peterson.
Center – Wilson.
Quarterbacks – Andres, Joseph.
Halfbacks – Sygar, Miranda, Wolfe, Kuhn, L. West, P. Burke, M. Burke.
Fullbacks – Monos, Manella.

Ends – Matie, McGuire, Stephan, D. Edwards.
Tackles – Weirich, Heath, Geiser, Green.
Guards – Christoff, Graber, Mayles, Heck.
Centers – Studer, Cocklin.
Quarterbacks – Dingler, Muhlbach.
Halfbacks – Spencer, McLenndon, Thompson, Wonsick, Jackson, Weise, T. Edwards.
Fullbacks – Perry, Hannon.

NILES 7 0 0 0 7
MASSILLON 0 6 0 0 6

N – Monos 7 pass from Andres (Masciangelo kick);
M – Spencer 26 run (run failed).

First downs, rushing 14 4
First downs, passing 0 2
First downs, penalties 0 1
Total first downs 14 7
Yards gained rushing 226 170
Yards lost rushing 8 31
Net yards gained rushing 218 139
Net yards gained passing 6 19
Total yards gained 224 158
Passes completed 1-11 2-10
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 3 13
Kickoff average (yards) 2-47.0 2-35.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 29 40
Punt average (yds.) 5-33.8 7-27.4
Punt returns (yds.) 0 7
Fumbles (lost) 4(1) 2(0)
Yards penalized 2-20 5-55
Touchdowns rushing 1 0
Touchdowns passing 0 1
Total number of plays 64 48

Referee – Milo Lukity.
Umpire – Jack Werkowitz.
Head Linesman – Frank Wahl.
Field Judge – Del Groezinger.
Back Judge – Ron Giacomo.


Steve Studer
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1971: Massillon 20, Cleveland Benedictine 0

Determination prevails in Tiger win

Independent Sports Editor

There were several reasons why Massillon’s undefeated Tigers got their third victory Friday night, but two showed brighter than a lighthouse beacon on the rocky shore of Maine.

Foremost was the determination of the Orange and Black not to be defeated by a strong Cleveland Benedictine team.
* * *
SECOND WAS a master stroke by Bob Commings in making up a key play on the sidelines.

The result was a 20-0 victory – the third whitewash and the first time a Tiger team had turned the trick since Chuck Mather’s charges did it in 1950. One of the victims was Cleveland Cathedral Latin. Since Mather’s charges went onto a state championship, this may be a good omen.

It was the 13th straight victory for the Tigers, dating to 1970 and the eighth shutout in the last nine games.

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Tiger determination could be broken down into three sub-categories. There was a defense which dug in after a devastating third period blocked punt, a fired up offense which powered its way to the fourth quarter touchdown which helped everybody breath easier and a tremendous tailback, Willie Spencer, who scored two touchdowns to up his season’s total to eight and picked up 111 net yards – losing only one in 22 tries – and got a standing cheer with 1:28 left in the game.

Tony Petruziello blocked Rick Weise’s punt and then recovered it on the Tigers’ 28. Duane Petrovich’s fourth-and-six pass from the 24 to end Bob Szabo made it first down on the 12.

Tackles Glen Weirich and Steve Studer and middle guard Larry McLenndon threw halfback Mike Woods to the 13, end Bob Stephan drove Petrovich to the 31 and halfback Tom Hannon and end Mike McGuire knocked down a fourth-and-24 pass from the 26 to end Dave Kniola to end the threat.
* * *
THE TIGERS TOOK over and worked their way 74 yards in 16 plays with Spencer, fullback Don Perry and wingback Art Thompson doing the bulk of the running. Spencer scored on fourth-and-three from the six with 11:37 left in the contest.

This was where the always-cool Commings sent in tailback Hank Nussbaumer as a split end set to the same side the formation was pointed towards instead of the normal opposite end.

“We wanted to go outside so we put Nussbaumer out there for extra blocking from a wide set,” Commings explained. “We hadn’t run from this formation before.”

Spencer scored the conversion, but the Tigers were guilty of holding and quarterback Scott Dingler tried a kick from the 24 which fell inches short.

Thompson started the Orange and Black on the way to their final score with an interception on his 46 and a runback to the Benedictine 49. Thompson, Hannon, McLenndon and Spencer ran the pigskin with Spencer picking up key yardage in the
13-play drive.

McLenndon skirted the end on fourth down from the three – losing his shirt in the process – but getting the score with 33 seconds left.
* * *
THE TIGERS’ other score came after Stephan had recovered a fumble on the first play of the game to give Massillon possession on the Benedictine 30. Spencer went off tackle on the sixth play on second down from the three with 9:20 left.

Dingler’s favorite “cute boot” netted the conversion.

The Tigers had three first half drives stopped as Petruziello intercepted passes at the Benedictine 45 and 10 – the former also featuring a runback to the Massillon 30 which was nullified by a clip – and an offside call mired the Orange and Black at the Bennies’ 30.

“Dingler’s two passes which were intercepted were classic examples of what could have been two great plays,” Commings explained. “He did everything right. We’re going to keep running them and get them open.”

Then Commings praised Spencer for keeping the Tigers in the game offensively and Perry, Thompson, Weirich, Studer and Stephan for playing all the way both ways. Six Bennies did the same.

“The two biggest things which happened were the offense charging down field on that 74-yard drive and the magnificent defense after the blocked punt,” Commings stated, “and we dispelled one rumor – that we couldn’t handle Benedictine in the second half. The Tigers had it when they needed it. Another word for that is character.”
* * *
AUGIE BOSSU, veteran Benedictine boss, was highly pleased with his teams’ gang-tackling, kick coverage and pursuit and felt good that the Bennies worked the Tigers back to basics.

“They couldn’t blow us out of there,” he said. “They had to finesse us. They got some movement on us – enough for the backs to come driving through. Spencer is a heckuva back with good size to go along with speed and balance.”

“There were two things which hurt us,” Bossu said. “There was that first quarter fumble which gave them good field position and that long second half kickoff which we lost on an offside penalty. Both of these things were unfortunate. They set the tempo for both halves.”

Ends – Szabo, Vavro, Koeth, D. Kniola, Zamaria.
Tackles – Switalski, Rochford, Melson.
Guards – Lanigan, DeFranco, Glowik.
Center – Pisching.
Quarterbacks – Petrovich, Seres, Keller.
Halfbacks – Holpuch, Woods, Favorite, Petruziello, Hodavievic, T. Moriarty, P. Moriarty.
Fullbacks – Teresczuk, Modzelewski.

Ends – Stephan, McGuire, Matie, D. Edwards, Rowe.
Tackles – Weirich, Andre Heath, Geiser.
Guards – Christoff, Heck, Graber, Bash, Mayles.
Centers – Studer, Cocklin.
Quarterbacks – Dingler, Muhlbach.
Halfbacks – Spencer, McLenndon, Nussbaumer, Thompson, Wonsick, Weise, T. Edwards, Jackson.
Fullbacks – Perry, Hannon.

MASSILLON 8 0 0 12 20

M – Spencer, 3 run (Dingler run);
M – Spencer 6 run (penalty on successful run, Dingler kick failed);
M – McLenndon 3 run (run failed).

First downs, rushing 18 4
First downs, passing 0 2
First down penalties 0 0
Total first downs 18 6
Yards gained rushing 259 100
Yards lost rushing 16 28
Net yards gained, rushing 243 72
Net yards gained, passing 16 40
Total yards gained 259 112
Passes completed 2-7 3-11
Passes intercepted by 2 2
Yardage on passes intercepted 20 12
Kickoff average (yards) 4-43.3 1-30.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 0 77
Punt average (yds.) 4-28.8 5-37.4
Punt returns (yds.) 5 0
Had punts blocked 1 0
Fumbles(lost) 1(0) 1(1)
Yards penalized 5-47 3-35
Touchdowns rushing 3 0
Total number of plays 73 42

Referee – Hugh Davis.
Umpire – Joe Yanity.
Head Linesman – Don Miller.
Field Judge – Ed Steinkerchner.
Back Judge – Dr. Henley Freeman.


Steve Studer
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1971: Massillon 56, Cincinnati Taft 0

Tigers win 56-0; Bennies lie in wait

Independent Sports Editor

There’s only one trouble with a victory like the Massillon Tigers got Friday night. It leaves you too well satisfied at the wrong time.

Washington high’s defending Ohio Class AAA champions demolished Cincinnati Taft 56-0 before 10,516 at Tiger stadium to hang up victory No. 2 and 12 straight in the past two seasons.

TAFT IS 0-2 and has the task of returning to Stark county next Friday to take on Canton McKinley.

Amidst all the rejoicing, Tiger Coach Bob Commings hung up a warning sign:

“The Bennies are coming,” he said, referring to the invasion of Cleveland Benedictine which is slated for next Friday.

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“You enjoy one like this once in awhile if you learn,” he continued. “We’ve had it happen before where we’ve beaten people bit and had a tough game coming up the next week. The only thing which counts is what happens then.”

In each of his three seasons here, Commings has come off easy victories – this time two – to have the tough Bengals starring him right in the face. The team from Cleveland is sure to be rough again this year after Friday night’s 20-0 opening win over Cleveland Cathedral Latin.

The Tigers showed their fans several things against Taft.

– THEY CONTINUED to be tough on defense and are looking forward to that first big challenge.

– The backs ran with authority and held onto the ball much better, even though losing two of three fumbles and made the running attack more consistent behind good blocking.

– The ground game worked as well to the left as to the right as Commings sought to keep his team from being almost all right-handed as it had been last week.

– Good field position pays off.

– There are a lot of hardworking, eager kids waiting in the wings to keep the Tiger machinery working efficiently.

On the last point, Commings again cautioned, “We got a chance to play many kids for experience, but you have to play a good team to find out about depth.”

SO EXCELLENT was the defense for the second week in a row, that Taft got no first downs until midway in the third quarter while the Tigers were rolling up 17 in the first half – 14 on the ground. The game total was 28-3 with the Senators getting two by penalties.

Taft managed only three net yards rushing and 28 total while Massillon got 353 and 384. The Senators got out of their own territory only four times. Once was when Gary Trible recovered Larry McLenndon’s third-quarter fumble on the Tiger 21.

Tailback Willie Spencer was the chief cog in the Tigers’ offensive works, scoring four touchdowns and picking up 71 net yards in 15 tries. Another left half, Larry McLenndon, scored two six-pointers and a conversion. Wingback Art Thompson ran a pair of two-pointers as the Orange and Black scored eight of 11 times it got the ball.

Spencer capped a 13-play first period drive with a run around right end on a pitch on second down from the five with 5:28 left. Side stepping quarterback, Scott Dingler, bootlegging well all night, ran for the conversion off a nice block by guard Scott Graber.

McLenndon scored off right guard on second down from the three with 10:13 remaining in the second quarter after a 13-play drive, highlighted by the running of Dingler, fullback Tom Hannon and key third down pass reception by Thompson. A good second effort also gave mcLenndon the conversion.

Massillon took over on Taft’s 48 following a punt and in seven plays, including a 38-yard run by Thompson and aided by a personnel foul call, scored again as Spencer rammed over right tackle on the first down from the one with 4:42 left.

HANK NUSSBAUMER recovered a fumble at the Taft 35 and the Orange and Black tallied in two plays, a 19-yard pass from Dingler to split end Mike McGuire, seeing his first action after a knee injury and McLenndon’s 16-yard effort around right end on first down from the 16 with 2:29 remaining. Thompson double – reversed the conversion.

A bad snap sent Taft punter, Greg Wooten to the eight where Jim Jackson and Percy Keller hauled him down. In four plays on third down from the four, Spencer traversed left end with 50 seconds left.

The Tigers took over on the Senators’ 48 following a third quarter punt and had a tally in six efforts, including a 15-yard run by fullback Don Perry. Spencer blasted through right tackle on second down from the six with 7:58 to go. Thompson navigated right end for two more.

End Todd Cocklin picked up a Taft bobble on the Senators’ 16 in the fourth canto. Tailback Jim Jackson rolled aro9und left end on the next play with 11:01 on the clock. Both are juniors.

Terry Edwards, a junior wingback, scored with 59 seconds showing, on first down from the seven in a run around right end. His effort ended a 16-play drive by the second string which featured some nice running by both Jackson and fullback Val Keys.

“We weren’t hitting much better this week than last,” a disappointed Taft Coach Elmer Berney said.

He had praise for Massillon saying, “They are well-coached, sound personnel – wise and their big backs execute well.”

First downs, rushing 26 0
First downs, passing 3 1
First down penalties 0 2
Total first downs 29 3
Yards gained rushing 361 42
Yards lost rushing 8 39
Net yards gained, rushing 353 3
Net yards gained, passing 31 25
Total yards gained 384 28
Passes completed 2-5 4-14
Passes intercepted by 2 0
Yardage on passes intercepted 19 0
Kickoff average (yards) 9-46.4 1-52.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 25 92
Punt average (yds.) 1-49.0 6-25.1
Punt returns (yds.) 0 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles(lost) 3(2) 4(2)
Yards penalized 6-80 8-45
Touchdowns rushing 8 0
Total number of plays 66 48

Steve Studer
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1971: Massillon 32, Cleveland Heights 0

Tiger defense is superb in heat bath

Independent Sports Editor

It was anything but weather for football.

It was as hot as billie blue blazes on the Tiger stadium gridiron, the pressbox was even more uncomfortable and the defending Ohio AAA champions made it unanimous by putting on the heat in the first half. However, their after –burner was cooled off following the intermission, by backs unable to hold unto the football and to many penalties.

The result was a 32-0 Massillon victory over Cleveland Heights with 26 points coming in the first 24 minutes before 12,677 toasted fans.
* * *
THE HEAT was a factor which worked against Heights with the temperatures standing at 77 at the kickoff. But the Washington high team seemed to shrug it off, especially the
hard – hitting defense. Longtime fans couldn’t remember a hotter temperature for an opener.

Program Cover

“We wore out four or five kids,” first year Heights Coach Carl Wilson said. “Rafael Rehamin is the best center in the state, but the heat got to him. We had to play him one way. With him in their both ways we would have been more effective.”

Tiger Coach Bob Commings and trainer Mike Internicola both agreed the heat hampered the Orange and Black a little, with the WHSers getting iced down at halftime – something not available in Heights.

“We also played a lot of kids,” Commings said. “We used two nose men, three tackles, four ends, two tailbacks and five guards all the way.”

The skipper was happy with a great defensive team effort which held Heights to zero yards, rushing in the first half, 91 total yards for the game and five first downs. One came in the first half and three during the final five minutes, when Heights made its deepest penetration – to the Massillon 33.
* * *
THE DEFENSE continually held Heights in its own territory and provided some nice field position for the offense.

A fumble by tailback Willie Spencer on the Massillon 45 and another by fullback Don Perry on the Heights’ 47 in the third quarter were recovered by the visitors’ Rahamin and Brian Sague. A holding penalty on the latter drive didn’t help either. A holding call tacked onto a clip almost aborted a fourth period scoring jaunt.
And offside jumps by three different middle guards because Heights was going on a long count didn’t help either.

However, Spencer and Perry, the 200-pound battering rams, did some great running, helped by some outstanding blocking, after the Tigers got over what Commings called early trouble picking up linebackers. Both Spencer and Perry scored twice while Hank Nussbaumer got the other tally and quarterback Scott Dingler the conversion.

Perry missed keeping a drive going shortly after the opening kickoff when he rumbled 18 yards to the Heights’ 45 only to have a clip nullify his effort.

Spencer claimed 126 yards in 12 carries.

The Tigers got their first score when punter Jim Corrigan missed the ball, according to Wilson and Steve Studer got possession at the Heights 34.
* * *
JUNIOR WINGBACK Terry Edwards took off for 19 yards around right end on fourth and 15 from the 20. Spencer blasted over right guard with 5:48 remaining in the first quarter. Dingler bootlegged the conversion.

A holding penalty almost gimmicked things up in the second quarter after one of junior Tom (Flash) Hammon’s several groovy punt run backs for 17 yards and Spencer’s
36-yarder through the middle to the 22. Then came the 15-yard infraction setback.

But Dingler faded on third and 21 from the 33 and deposited one in the arms of Nussbaumer, playing split end instead of tailback, Hank raced in on the left side with 9:45 left. Tailback Larry McLenndon just missed the conversion.

A bad fourth-down snap from the Heights’ 28 by Rahamin sailed to the one where Corrigan hopped on it, but junior end Dari Edwards hauled him down in a hurry. Perry scored over left tackle with six minutes left. Junior Don Muhlback had to run with Steve Studer’s high snap and didn’t make it.

Hannon started a scoring drive with a 20-yard punt return to the Heights’ 27. Six plays later and helped by a face mask penalty, it was first down on the three, setting the stage for Perry to blast through the middle with 2:30 left. Dingler’s kick was no good.

Senior halfback Art Thompson intercepted a pass on the Tigers’ 26 to stop a Heights’ drive just before the half ended.

IN THE third period, Massillon almost had another TD on a Dingler-to-Nussbaumer combination that would have been a real “Hum Dingler,” but halfback Tom Wasson got a hand into the act and thwarted the long aerial.

The Orange and Black had problems getting their final score. The clip and holding penalties negated a 20-yard Dingler-to-split end Joe Matie effort to the Heights’ 34, but Dingler hit tight end Bob Stephan for 13 to the 41. Spencer ran 17 to the 41 and Hannon, 10 to the 14 from where Spencer scored around left end, with 5:07 left in the game. Hannon failed on the conversion attempt.

Commings summed things up with, ‘We were penalized 85 yards and lost three fumbles. You can’t do that against a good team.”

He lauded Hannon’s punt returns and explained that Nussbaumer had been used on two pass plays because he runs good deep cuts.

Wilson felt his team started slowly, but came along and then missed some opportunities because of penalties and dropped passes.

“I hope there’s a little better future ahead of us,” he said. “It will take a good club to score on Massillon.”

Ends – Vinocur, Deering, Sague.
Tackles – A. Stallworth, Siegel, Kirk, Allen, De Baggis, Kovatch.
Guards – Freedman, Faerber, Sorin, Johnston, Shewman, Thomas, Gutin, Burlin.
Centers – Rahamin, Lohwater, Coco.
Quarterbacks – Lipman, Visci, Wasson.
Halfbacks – M. Stallworth, Marinelli, Toomey, Mintz, Corrigan.
Fullbacks – Metcalf, Spigutz.

Ends – Stephan, Matie, Vogt, D. Edwards, Nussbaumer.
Tackles – Weirich, Andre Heath, Peters, Green Geiser.
Guards – Heck, Graber, Mayles, Guiffre, Keller.
Centers – Studer, Cocklin.
Quarterbacks – Dingler, Muhlbach.
Halfbacks – Spencer, T. Edwards, McLenndon, Thompson, Andy Heath, Wonsick, Nussbaumer, Weise, Jackson.
Fullbacks – Perry, Hannon

MASSILLON 8 18 0 6 32
HEIGHTS 0 0 0 0 0

M – Spencer, 20 run (Dingler run);
M – Nussbaumer, 33 pass from Dingler (run failed);
M – Perry, 1 run (kick failed);
M – Perry, 3 run (run failed);
M – Spencer, 14 run (run failed).

First downs, rushing 16 2
First downs, passing 2 3
Total first downs 18 5
Yards gained rushing 279 66
Yards lost rushing 16 55
Net yards gained, rushing 263 11
Net yards gained, passing 70 80
Total yards gained 333 91
Passes completed 4-8 7-21
Passes intercepted by 1 0
Yardage on passes intercepted 41 0
Kickoff average (yards) 5-44.3 1-39.0
Kickoff return (yards) 16 96
Punt average (yds.) 3-32.3 9-29.0
Punt returns (yds.) 59 6
Had punts blocked 0 1
Fumbles(lost) 4(3) 2(0)
Yards penalized 9-85 7-58
Touchdowns rushing 4 0
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Total number of plays 49 58

Referee – Jack McLain.
Umpire – Alex Rubins.
Head Linesman – Irwin Shopbell.
Field Judge – Dr. Henley Freeman.
Back Judge – Robert Walker.

Steve Studer