Tigers Have 74-0 Romp With Struthers
Bengals’ 36 Points In Second Period Is New Massillon Record
By CHUCK HESS, JR.
It was like the braves of Sitting Bull massacring General Custer’s troops all over again.
There were more scored Friday night than geese in the flocks which fly south at this time of year. Everybody got into the act of crossing the goal line at Tiger stadium. Twelve players touched pay dirt, scoring 74 points while a tough Tiger defense held Struthers high scoreless.
Everything the Bengals did was right. Blocking and tackling were crisp. Passing was right on the button to receivers who were at the right spot at the right time. Ball-carriers ran roughshod over the opposition.
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SO TOUGH was the Massillon defense that Struthers failed to get a first down until the third quarter and only five in the game. The Wildcats didn’t’ g et out of their own territory until the third quarter and only twice during the game.
The second time was with 4:10 left in the game and the third and fourth Tiger teams
in – Coach Leo Strang had started clearing the bench in the second quarter. With only a few seconds left, Struthers fumbled on the Massillon six-yard line. Sophomore halfback Ron Lawn grabbed the ball on the 16 and got back to the six where junior John Frieg tackled him as time ran out to preserve the shutout.
The Orange and Black juggernaut rolled up a total of 428 yards to Struthers’ 138. Massillon completed 11 of 19 passes for 286 yards, three touchdowns and three conversions. Net ground yardage was 194 with only five lost. Struthers completed only five of 19 aerials for 92 yards with 46 net on the ground and 40 lost.
Following the game reporters scurried to record books. They found that this was the most points rolled up by the Tigers since their 90-0 domination of Barberton in 1959. The 12 players who scored set a record. Thirty-six points tallied in the second period topped a previous mark.
Coach Bob Comings of Struthers said that Friday’s defeat was the worst ever pinned on the Wildcats. He also said, “I am happy about one thing. My boys didn’t give up.”
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STRANG ECHOED those sentiments, “Struthers certainly didn’t give up,” he said. “They kept running and hitting hard the whole game.”
About his own team the skipper said, ‘These boys deserve a big hand. Everybody I watched played hard all the time. I certainly got an insight into what the younger boys can do. They did a good job.”
The Tigers scored only once in the first quarter, missing two chances. But after that it was as if a giant tidal wave rolled over the stadium, sweeping away everything in its path.
The Bengals’ scoring machine struck early. On first down in the Tigers’ second series, quarterback Ron Swartz faded back from the Struthers’ 40, spied wingback Grady Eckard, who started his first game offensively, hit him on the 30 and Grady took over from there, going all the way down the right side with the aid of a good block by end Floyd Pierce. There was 8:14 left in the first quarter.
Halfback Bill Blunt sped off right tackle to make it 8-0.
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ON THE FIRST play of the game, Swartz hit Pierce, who was way out in the open but he couldn’t hold on. Ron also just missed connections with end Will Perry, who would have had clear sailing for a TD, later in the quarter.
Blunt contributed first quarter punt runbacks of 22 and 27 yards to put the ball in or close to Struthers territory.
Linebacker John Muhlback recovered a Wildcat fumble on the Struthers’ 34 just before the end of the first quarter to set up the second Bengal score. Blunt went off right tackle with 9:07 left in the second quarter to cap an eight-play drive. Terry Getz left-handed a pass to Pierce for two more points.
Swartz picked on Pierce on first down for the next score on a pass from the Tigers’ 21. He hit Duke on the 45 and the slender senior was off for touchdown land, the play covering 79 yards at 7:49. Blunt converted for a 24-0 count.
Passing was responsible for the fourth Bengal tally. After a 30-yard pass to Eckard, Bob McAllister was Swartz’s target this time on first down form the Struthers’ 35. McAllister grabbed the pigskin on the 15 and went on in at 3:38 with a good block from Pierce again. Swartz ran the keeper to the right for two more points.
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THEN CAME two blocked punts. Eckard sent the first one awry on a kick from a play which started on the 28. End Wes Goodnough fell on the ball at the seven.
On the next play quarterback Tom Gatsios swept right end. The clock showed 1:11 as Gatsios passed to McAllister but the senior end couldn’t quite get the conversion.
Linebacker Ken Swisher rushed through to block a punt on the ‘Cats’ next series. Sophomore linebacker Paul Marks scooped up the errant pigskin on the 25 and waltzed into the end zone with 25 seconds showing on the clock. Junior Quarterback Steve Kanner tried to run to the right for the conversion but couldn’t make it. The halftime score read 44-0, the biggest this year.
Eckard, playing his best game of the season, gathered in the opening kickoff of the second half at his 22 and raced 88 yards for a score with only six seconds gone in the third stanza. Good blocking sprung him loose. Gatsios missed connections on a pass to junior wingback Don Schenkenberger on the attempted conversion.
Blunt started a 39-yard march for another score with a 26-yard punt runback. Wingback Tim Rink caught a 31-yard pass from Gatsios to set up the score. Fullback Jim Lawrence tallied on the next play but a holding penalty was called on the Tigers.
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TWO PLAYS later on third down Schenkenberger scored on a reverse from the eight. Gatsios connected with McAllister to run the scoreboard to 58-0.
Howard Gamble, a junior defensive halfback, recovered a Struthers fumble on the Massillon 35 on the ‘Cats’ first push into Massillon territory. Fourteen plays and 65 yards later the rockets sounded again at 0:19.
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TAILBACK TOM POPE did the honors this time on first down from the five. Marks went off left guard for two more points.
Junior end Ken Gilmore put the frosting on the cake with 10:19 left in the final canto. Kanner passed to Rink for 26 yards and a first down on the Struthers’ 28. Then came the aerial to Gilmore in the end zone. Junior end Ed Franklin made the scoreboard lights flash twice more on another Kanner pass.
The Tigers looked like they were on the way to another score when safety Jeff Miller intercepted a pass on the Struthers’ 24 and got back to the Massillon 49. The WHS eleven did not have the ball again.
Massillon has now won six of seven games this year and has a five-game winning streak going. Warren comes in next week for an All-American High School Football league game on home-coming night. Struthers’ record is 4-2-1.
STRUTHERS – 0
Ends – Gura, C. Lewis and Kurz.
Tackles – Millich and Wells.
Guards – Cammack, Avolio and E. Lewis.
Centers – Nackino, McCann and Sandine.
Quarterbacks – Hudoba and Lookabaugh.
Halfbacks – J. and R. Lawn, Miller, Kubof, Majecko and Wildes.
Fullbacks – Belichick and Gentile.
MASSILLON – 74
Ends – Pierce, Perry, Jones, Hose, McAllister, Gilmore, Paige, R. and D. Alexander, Franklin and Goodnough.
Tackles – Lash, Miller, binge, Paul, Passalacqua, Morgan and Stevens.
Guards – Castile, Larsuel, Swisher, Roderick, Mathias, Rivera, Rearick, T. and D. Whitfield, Manson and Martin.
Centers – Muhlback, Scassa, Frank and Rambaud.
Quarterbacks – Swartz, Gatsios, Kanner, Frieg and Sheegog.
Halfbacks – Blunt, Eckard, Schenkenberger, Pope, Getz, Marks, Herring, Stroh, Rink, Gamble, Harris and Williams.
Fullbacks – Hewitt, Lawrence, Thomas and Lemon.
Massillon 8 36 22 8 74
Touchdowns – Eckard 2 (40yard pass from Swartz and 88-yard kickoff run back); Blunt (one-yard run); Pierce (79-yard pass from Swartz); McAllister (35-yard pass from Swartz); Gatsios (seven-yard run); Marks (25-yard run with blocked punt); Schenkenberger (eight-yard run); Pope (five-yard run); Gilmore (28-yard pass from Kanner).
Points after touchdowns:
Blunt 4 (runs); Pierce 2 (pass from Getz); Swartz 2 (run); McAllister 2 (pass from Gatsios); Marks 2 (run); Franklin 2 (pass from Kanner).
Referee – Howard Wirtz (Cincinnati).
Umpire – Bob Harman – (Upper Sandusky)
Head Linesman – George Donges (Ashland).
Field Judge – Clarence Rich (Canton).
First downs, rushing 9 2
First downs, passing 9 3
First downs, penalties 1 0
Total first downs 19 5
Yards gained rushing 199 86
Yards lost rushing 5 40
Net yards gained rushing 194 46
Yards gained passing 286 92
Total yards gained 480 138
Passes attempted 19 19
Passes completed 11 5
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Times kicked off 11 1
Kickoff average (yards) 42.8 48.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 88 159
Times punted 1 9
Punt average (yards) 24.0 32.1
Punt returns (yards) 105 0
Had punts blocked 0 2
Fumbles 1 2
Lost fumbled ball 1 2
Penalties 4 2
Yards penalized. 40 10