Tag: <span>Tom Ross</span>

Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1978: Massillon 7, Warren Harding 7

Tiger offensive errors Lead to 7-7 tie Against fired up Panthers in Warren

Independent Sports Editor

The Massillon Tigers were rudely awakened from their dreams of a perfect season when they were tied 7‑7 by a fired up Warren Harding team Friday night at Mollenkopf Stadium in Warren.

“We just took the choke offensively, “Tiger bead coach Mike Currence said dejectedly in the quiet Massillon lockeroom after the game.

We lost our confidence and didn’t execute. We blocked well, but when you get third and six you have to pass,” he added, explaining why the Tigers had to keep throwing the ball even though the passing game wasn’t working.

Brent Offenbecher completed just three of 14 passes for 14 yards (his worst performance as a Tiger) and a halfback pass by Jeff Beitel fell incomplete.

The Tigers only score came in the third quarter when middle guard Bob Simpson picked up a fumble by Panther quarterback David Goldberg and sprinted 32 yards to the end Zone.

The Tigers were hampered by poor field position most of the night, and a ball control offense by Warren that ate up much of the clock.

Still, Currence made no excuses.

“I knew they had the people to control the ball,” he said, referring to 211‑pound fullback Tony Seawood and hard‑running tailback Terrance Peterson. The Panthers gained 224 yards rushing.

“But we had the ball enough to score. The defense gave us good field position when Darren (Longshore) intercepted a pass (at the Harding 45) and returned it to the 29.” That came on the first Warren series following Simpson’s TD run with the fumble.

Four straight incompletions followed, including a first‑down pass that would have been a touchdown had wide receiver Curtis Strawder not slipped on the deceptively wet turf at the goal line in the left side of the end zone. The ball landed right on top of Strawder just after be hit the ground and he made a vain attempt to hang on anyway.

“I know this,” Currence said, “We could execute those plays in practice with our eyes closed. Maybe that’s it, we were too good in practice.”

Currence did praise the job of his defense, which had its back to the wall all night and managed to hold the Panthers off on all but one series.

That came after a bad snap on the Tigers’ first punt attempt. The ball bounced past kicker Ron Wright and was recovered by Ray Thomas at the Massillon 15 yard line.

The defense almost held, but a 17‑yard pass on third and 17 gave Warren the ball at the Tiger five and Peterson went off left tackle two plays later for the score. Dave Preston kicked the point after and Harding held a 7-0 lead until the Tiger defense tied it up on Simpson’s TD run with the fumble and Wright’s extra point conversion kick in the third period.

The Tiger offense was plagued by fumbles and dropped passes all night.

While Currence blamed the fumbles on poor execution, Harding coach Tom Ross said the turnovers by both teams were caused by some “awful good sticking.”

He said that Goldberg’s fumble ‑ which probably cost the Panthers a victory ‑ was caused by a great defensive hit.

The Panthers shut down the Tiger air game and Ross said that was the result of the Panthers working on “a couple of different things on the perimeter against the pass.

“We felt Massillon could hurt us with the run ‑ the counter and the sweep and the pass,” Ross said. He added that this defense allowed the Tigers to gain good yardage up the middle, most of it by fullbacks Wally Neff and Bob James.

He said his team went with its traditional 4‑4 but changed up a lot and threw a 5‑3 at the Tigers.

“That’s what we wanted to play,” Ross said of the 5‑3. “We worked hard on it. It entails more responsibility but the kids picked it up real well.”

The Panthers have not allowed an offense to score a touchdown on their defense for 22 straight quarters.

Currence said the Tigers were not surprised by the 5‑3 (the Panthers had used it before this season), blaming the Tigers’ mistakes on poor execution and not on any of Warren’s defensive formations.

Ross noted the first and third quarters were the key,

“They started going in the third quarter, and they’ve done that historically, but we stopped them,” he noted.

“I feel we came as close as we possibly could to (carrying out) our game plan, which was to control the ball. The fumble (by Goldberg) was the only thing that intercepted it,” he explained. “I was pleased with the way our offensive backs ran the ball.”

Tailback Peterson carried 19 times for 67 yards, fullback Seaweed lugged the ball 13 times for 62 yards and halfback Darren Morgan led all rushers with 75 yards on seven carries. He ran 52 yards (to the Tiger 24) on a second‑quarter play in a drive that ended in a missed 49‑yard field goal attempt by Preston.

Outside of that, there’s not much else to say, But here’s a rundown of the Tigers’ troubles.

First series: a bad snap on a fourth‑down punt attempt gave Harding the ball at the Tiger 15 and led to their only score, the Tigers started from their own 15 on this possession;

‑ Second series Tigers started from their own 10 after a clipping penalty on the kickoff return: sophomore fullback Bob James fumbled the ball at the Panther 33 after picking up 10 yards and what would have been a first down. Tiger defense forced Harding back to midfield;

‑ Third series: Tigers took over at their own 13 after a clipping penalty on a punt return; a 10‑play drive ended at the Panther 40 with a punt (Tigers had reached 35 but lost five yards); Wright’s punt went to the five yard line but Peterson returned it 19 yards to the 24 to get Harding out of a hole;

‑ Fourth series: four plays and a punt (Tigers started from own 20);

‑ Fifth Series: Tigers got the ball at their own 11 following a punt with 55 seconds left before half;

‑Sixth series: Starting from own 27, Offenbecher’s third down pass deflected off Marty Guzzetta’s hands and was intercepted by Mark Ash at the 42 and returned to the 40;

‑ Seventh series: Tigers took over at their own 13 following a punt; eight straight running plays moved the ball to the Panther 33, a pass from Offenbecher to Strawder was complete but out of bounds on a third and six play; on fourth down, Fred Jones intercepted a Offenbecher pass at the 21 and returned it to the 24; Goldberg fumbled on Warren’s ensuing series and Simpson tallied the Tiger’ lone score;

‑ Eighth series: Tigers took over at the Warren 29 following a 16‑yard pass interception return by Longshore; four straight in completions gave Warred the ball back;

‑ Ninth series: 10 straight rushes took the ball from Massillon’s 22 to Warren’s 42; On second and 11, a long pass from Offenbecher to Strawder was intercepted by Tony Battee at the Panther two yard line with 4:09 left in the game; Warren ran out the clock to preserve the tie, but gave the ball back to Massillon (which had no time outs remaining) when they elected to run the ball on fourth down instead of punt; Tigers lined up hurriedly for a 41‑yard yard field goal attempt by Eric Barnard; the kick never got much off the ground (in part because the Tigers didn’t have time to get a kicking block onto the field)

Now the Tigers are 7‑0‑1 and play at Canton Timken Saturday at 2 p.m. Harding is now 5‑2‑1 and hosts Niles Friday night.

Massillon is now 3-0-1 in the All‑American Conference and must beat McKinley (4‑0) to win the loop title. Harding is 2‑1-1 in AAC play.


Mass. Opp.
First downs – rushing 10 12
First downs – passing 1 1
First downs – penalties 1 0
Total first downs 12 13
Yard, gained rushing 173 243
Yards lost rushing 13 14
Net yds. gained rushing 160 224
Net yds. gained passing 14 33
Total yards gained 174 257
Passes attempted 15 8
Passes completed 3 3
Passes intercepted by 1 3
Yardage on passes intercepted 14 0
Times kicked off 2 2
Kickoff average (yards) 39.0 50.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 21 24
Times punted 2 4
Putting average (yards) 30.0 24.5
Punt returns (yards) 12 19
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 4 2
Lost fumbled ball 2 2
Penalties 2 7
Yards penalized 25 88
Touchdowns rushing 0 1
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Misc. touchdowns 1 0
Total number of plays 51 59
Total time of possession 19:29 28:31

MASSILLON 0 0 7 0 7
HARDING 7 0 0 0 7

H Terrance Peterson 3 run (Dave Preston Kick)
M – Bob Simpson 32 run with fumble recovery (Ron Wright kick).

Curtis Strawder
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1977: Massillon 21, Warren Harding 22

Panther QB ‘shotguns’ Tigers
Warren edges Tigers With fourth-period TD


“Maurice didn’t know the game was lost.”

That’s how Tiger coach Mike Currence summed up the surprising 22‑21 victory by the Warren Harding Panthers Friday night in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Program Cover

IN A phenomenal fourth quarter, Panther guarterback Maurice Hall pulled out the shotgun and blew the Tigers away. Out of that formation he directed two scoring drives that brought Warren from a 21-7 deficit to a spectacular victory.

The first drive covered 96 yards and Hall accounted for 70 of them yards running and passing. The winning drive went 64 yards and Hall passed or ran for 54 of them.

In all, he rushed 15 times for 102 yards and completed nine of 16 passes for 110 yards. He also scored two of Warren’s three touchdowns, passed for a two‑point conversion and kicked the other two. The final and winning point came with 37 seconds left on the clock.

“It was a nighmare,” a frustrated Currence said after the game. “I’ve never lost one like that before.”

Outside the visitors lockerroom, Warren coach Tom Ross said, “Maurice is a great kid … Boys state, National Honor Society … just great. He’s the kind of kid you want playing quarterback.”

And Hall proved why.

THE FOURTH quarter began with Warren 96 yards away from Massillon’s goal line and trailing by 14 points. Harding gained possession after Tiger quarterback Brent Offenbecher passed to Mike Grove for 34 yards, but Grove fumbled as he was tackled at the four and Harding’s Joe Varley recovered.

The Panthers sputtered on the first two plays and, after an illegal procedure penalty, were facing a third-and-eight from the six. Hall threw a pass that fell incomplete but the Tiger defensive back covering the intended receiver was flagged for holding. That gave Warren a first-and‑ten at the 21 yard line.

Tailback Don Henderson was dropped for a three-yard loss and, on second down, the shotgun appeared. That pass fell incomplete but on third-and‑13 Hall end cocked the shotgun and fired to Sherman Golden for 13 yards on the nose and a first down. Hall repeated the play for another 12 yards and then ran for 12 yards and a first down.

On second‑and‑10 he hit Golden for five yards, then ran for six and another first down. That put the ball at the Tiger 34 and Hall passed to his tight end, Stephan Smith, for 18 yards. Massillon was flagged for a personal foul and the ball went to the seven. Two plays later fullback Ralph Goliday crashed in from three yards out. Hall rolled right on the conversion attempt and hit his tight end for the two points, making the score 21‑15 with 6:13 left in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers started at their 19 after the kickoff, threw two incomplete passes, got penalized for illegal procedure and Offenbecher recovered his own fumble on third down at the seven yard line.

PUNTER MARK Westover had to kick from his own endzone and Warren went for the block. Westover ignored the pressure and came through with a remarkable 57‑yard punt that put Harding on its own 36.

But Hall was not to be stopped. He ran out of the shotgun three of the next four plays and got the ball all the way down to the Massillon 25. The Partners went into an “I” formation on third-and-four and Henderson ran six yards for the first down.

That set the stage for the dramatic finish.

0n first down Henderson was stopped for no gain. On second down Hall’s pass was almost intercepted . On third down Hall threw to Smith in the end zone but the ball was batted away by a Tiger defender.

Fourth down … 10 yards to go … 1:25 remaining…

HALL TOOK the snap in the shotgun, hesitated for a moment, then threw to Golden at the Massillon five for a first down. Henderson ran to the one and Hall kept the ball on the next play and went in for the touchdown to tie the score.

He kicked the ball through the uprights for the 22-21 lead with 37 seconds left.

The Tigers got the ball at their 35 after the kickoff and Offenbecher threw deep to Curtis Strawder, but Strawder had plenty of company and the pass was knocked away. With 20 seconds left Offenbecher threw again but the ball was intercepted by ‑ who else? ‑ Maurice Hall. He returned the ball to the Massillon 30 before being stopped and that play ended the game.

“Hall is so quick in the open field.” Currence said. “We had to drop people back into the pass patterns and the defenders left up front just couldn’t catch him.

“That was the first time they had used me shotgun all year. It was out of desperation. I’m sure they thought the game was lost except for Maurice.”

The teams went into the lockerrooms at the half tied 7‑7.

Massillon’s initial score came in the first period after Hall fumbled on his own 49 yard line and Marc Longshore recovered for the Tigers. Massillon advanced to the Warren 37 and from there Offenbecher completed a 12-yard pass to end Mark Pringle.

(THAT PASS completion made Offenbecher the second Tiger quarterback since passing stats have been kept to pass for over 1,000 yards in a season. He passed for a total of 180 yards in the game, which puts him on top of all quarterbacks with 1,177 yards.)

Five Plays later halfback Greg Carpenter charged in from three yards out. Westover made the conversion version and the Tigers led 7‑0 with 6:37 left to the first quarter.

Warren started a drive at the Panther 31 later in the first period and drove downfield only to have Goliday fumble and Tiger Gene Miller recover at the Massillon 16. But on the Tigers’ first play the ball got away from Grove and Varley recovered – the first of two fumble recoveries for him that would lead to TDs.

Varley recovered the ball on the 12 and Hall immediately rolled to his left and whizzed through the Tigers defense like lightning for a touchdown. He added the extra point to knot the score at 7-7.

Warren had one other scoring shot in the second quarter. Hall tried to kick a 47‑yard field goal but the kick was a bit too wide.

THE TIGERS came out roaring in the third period, marched for touchdowns on their first two possessions and by the end of the quarter it appeared the game was decided.

Offenbecher capped an 86‑yard drive with a 12-yard pass to Grove and Westover ‘s kick made it 14‑7 with 8:05 left in the third.

Warren was shipped cold after the kick‑off punted to Massillon and Marc Longshore made a fair catch at the Tiger 28. With a good mixture of passing and running the Tigers got to Warren’s three in seven plays. Grove ran wide left, got a tremendous double-team block on the Warren defensive end by fullback Richard Cleveland and guard Ken Nagle, and went in for the score. Westover added the conversion and it was 21‑7 with 3:04 to go in the third.

On the first play after the kick‑off, Henderson took off on a 26‑yard run, but two plays later Goliday fumbled and Massillon’s Jeff David recovered at the Tiger 37. That was the beginning of the end for Massillon, for seven plays later Varley recovered Grove’s fumble at the four Hall went to work.

“It’s great to win when you’re a decided underdog,” Ross said after the game. “Now the kids know they can beat a tough team.”

HE SAID the Panthers went to the shotgun to better utilize their talent. “But plays and formations don’t win ball games. It was our players that got it into the end zone,” Ross added.

“We’ve got two real big ones left and we’re going to regroup.” Currence said. “The Tigers will come back.”

Hall appeared injured after running the interception back on the final play. He walked off the field with some assistance after a few moments. When asked if the “man of the evening” was hurt, Ross replied, “No, it was just a case of exhaustion and leg cramps. You know, he did a lot of running in the fourth quarter.”

And how.

First downs rushing 9 14
First downs passing 9 6
First downs penalties 1 1
Total first downs 19 21
Yards gained rushing 122 222
Yards lost rushing 12 13
Net yards gained rushing 90 209
Net yards gained passing 180 110
Total yards gained 270 319
Passes attempted 25 16
Passes Completed 14 9
Passes intercepted by 0 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 0 38
Times kicked off 4 4
Kickoff average (yards) 46.0 46.5
Kickoff returns (yards) 55 82
Times punted 4 4
Punt average (yards) 16.8 45.0
Punt returns (yards) 0 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 3 3
Lost fumbled ball 2 3
Penalties 5 2
Yards penalized 48 10
Touchdowns rushing 2 3
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Miscellaneous touchdowns 0 0
Total number of plays 54 62
Total time of possession 21:11 26:49

Massillon 7 0 14 0 21
Warren 0 7 0 15 22

M – Greg Carpenter, 3 run, (Mark Westover kick);
W – Maurice Hall, 12, run, (Hall kick);
M – Mike Grove, 12 pass from Offenbecher, (Westover kick);
M – Grove, 3 run, (Westover kick);
W – Ralph Goliday, 3 run, (Stephan Smith pass from Hall);
W – Hill, 1 run, (Hall kick).

Paid attendance: 10,662.

Tim Daniels
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1976: Massillon 22, Warren Harding 15

Tigers, Panthers in quickness match-up

Independent Sports Editor

Tom Ross, Warren Harding head coach and the Tigers’ boss, Mike Currence, both feel quickness will play a large part in tonight’s All-American Conference football game to be played at Mollenkopf Stadium in Warren.

Kickoff will be at 8 o’clock, with the Tigers (5-2, 2-0) and the Black Panthers (5-2, 1-1) probably slated to play before a sellout crowd. Massillon hopes to keep its five-game win streak alive as does Harding its two-game skein. The Tigers lead the AAC.

OTHER LEAGUE games scheduled for tonight are Niles (5-2, 1-1) at Alliance (5-2, 1-1) and Steubenville (4-3, 1-1) at Canton McKinley (3-4, 0-2).

“Our scouts feel Warren is the quickest team they’ve seen this season offensively and defensively,” Currence said. “We’ll find out tonight whether the Panthers or the Tigers are quickest. I’d rate it a tossup.”

In order to best a will-of-the-wisp team like Warren, Currence commented that naturally you don’t do things the same as you would against a slow team.

“You don’t attack at the perimeter as much as you would other teams,” he said. “When you get a quick team in there, pursuit is so great you almost have to run at them a little bit.”

The Tigers will also have to alter their defensive strategy.

“HARDING RUNS from an unbalanced line,” Currence said. “We saw it a little bit in the preseason scrimmage against Warren Western Reserve. An unbalanced line poses a problem of being out flanked. Harding brings an end over, puts its wingback on the same side and if you keep the nose guard on the center, like you’re supposed to, they’ve got you out flanked.”

Currence has another worry in playing a team such as Harding – the physical condition of his linebacking crew. Juniors Steven Dottavio and Kurt Walterhouse are slated to start. Dottavio jammed a hand while replacing senior Gary Border (broken arm) last week.

Junior Scott Wilson was lost for the season due to an arm injury sustained earlier this fall. The remaining linebacker is junior Tim Horton.

Walterhouse calls the signals and if he should get hurt, the Orange and Black would be hurting. Signal calling against a quick team like Warren, with its varied formations, is not an easy task.
“Warren likes to run off tackle and outside and control the ball with its power offense,” Currence said. “Strength wise I thin our defensive ends juniors Dave Engler and Frank Sweterlitsch will get their biggest test of the season. I’m anxious to see how good our pursuit is.”

BECAUSE THE TIGERS have senior co-captain Anthony Grizzard at monster back, another key defensive spot against a quick team like Warren’s, Currence thinks this a plus for the Tigers.
“They’re going to run at one of the best monster backs they’ve ever seen,” Currence stated. “If they come outside very much, they’re going to have some problems. We put him out there because we knew we had to have him there to plays teams like Warren and Canton McKinley.”

Another plus is that the Tigers will have the weight advantage – offense to defense.

Currence expects the fact that Warren switches from a 5-2 to a 4-4 defense from down to down could be troublesome. The Panthers also try to take the pass away, he said.

“They drop back and cover the zone extremely well,” Currence said. “They have not blitzed much. Ross wants things covered well.”

If the Tigers can beat the Panthers, they’ll get over a hurdle bigger than Mt. Everest.

Tiger, Warren lineups

ENDS – Mark Pringle (6-0, 150, Jr.); Rich Chovan (5-11, 171, Sr.).
TACKLES – Tim Tournay (6-2, 270, Sr.); Tim Daniels (6-7, 230, Jr.).
GUARDS – John Hauser (5-11, 211, Sr.); Mark Lauber (6-1, 212, Sr.).
CENTER – Mike Ramsey (5-8, 180, Sr.).
QUARTERBACK – Bret Traylor (5-10, 159, Sr.).
HALFBACKS – Jay Harper (5-5, 160, Sr.); Mike Grove (5-8, 175, Jr.).
FULLBACK – Rich Cleveland (6-1, 180, Soph.).
ENDS – Frank Sweterlitsch (6-1, 180, Jr.); Dave Engler (5-9, 180, Jr).
TACKLES – Tony Matie (6-0, 210, Jr.); Jesse Toles (6-0, 190, Sr.).
MIDDLE GUARD – Carl Dorsey (5-9, 185, Jr.).
LINEBACKERS – Kurt Walterhouse (6-0, 170, Jr.); Steve Dottavio (5-8, 216, Jr.).
SECONDARY – Anthony Grizzard (5-9, 168, Sr.); Randy Lash (5-8, 165, Sr); Bill Henderson ((5-9, 160, Sr.); Van Jones (5-11, 155, Sr.).

ENDS – Rod Maines (6-2, 180, Sr.); Steve Golden (5-8, 140, Jr.).
TACKLES – Mike Dixon (5-11, 193, Sr.); Dave Allen (6-2, 205, Sr.).
GUARDS – John Epitropoulos (6-2, 208); Ernie Epitropoulos (6-1, 208).
CENTER – Rick Core (5-10, 170, Sr.).
QUARTERBACK – Maurice Hall (5-7, 160).
HALFBACKS – Ivan Battee (6-1, 170, Sr.); Ralph Goliday (6-0, 195, Sr.).
FULLBACK – John Hill (6-0, 205, Sr.).
ENDS – Allen and Maines.
TACKLES – Nick Ambeliotis (5-10, 192, Jr.); Tom Megalis (5-10, 192, Sr.).
MIDDLE GUARD – Eric Lewis (5-10, 176, Sr.).
LINEBACKERS – John and Ernie Epitropoulos.
SECONDARY – Lynn Robinson (5-7, 155, Sr.); Rob White (5-10, 160, Sr.); Chris Gray (5-10, 165, Sr.) Eric Johnson (5-10, 150, Sr.).

Great second half effort
gives Tigers 22-15 victory

Independent Sports Editor

Motivation was the key Friday night at Mollenkopf Stadium in Warren.

The Tiger offense took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and carried the swinehide 66 yards for the tying touchdowns.

SPURRED ON by their mates’ example the “Tiger Claw Defense,” which had been like a sieve in the first half, became like Ed “Strangler” Lewis during the final 24 minutes, threw in the winning touchdown to boot and Washington High School had a 22-15 win before 14,000 fans.

It didn’t come easy for the Orange and Black. Warren Harding’s Black Panthers were a snarling bunch of gridders who had hoped to scissor the Tigers’ five-game win streak as the Obiemen had cut Warren’s seven-game string here in 1975.

Hampered by some key injuries sustained in the first half and by another injury sustained in practice Thursday, the Panthers played in the best tradition of Harding football teams. They took a 15-7 halftime lead.

But the Tigers clawed more furiously after t he intermission and came away with their sixth win against two defeats. Harding dropped to 5-3.

Massillon (3-0) continued to lead the All-American Conference. Warren (1-2) dropped into third place with Alliance. Steubenville (2-1) and Niles McKinley tied for second. Canton McKinley (0-3) remained in the cellar.

THE STAGE is set for a Massillon-Alliance rematch next Friday at Mt. Union Stadium in Alliance. The Tigers also had a great game against Warren last year but were upset by Alliance the next week.

Massillon fans were shocked in the first half Friday when the Harding offensive line opened huge holes in the Orange and Black defense and tailbacks Don Henderson and Ivan Battee sped through them. Harding also completed four of five pass attempts as the Tigers tried to stop Warren’s running game and left receivers wide open.

Warren raced up nine first downs to the Tigers’ three, 83 yards rushing to the Tigers’ seven and 51 yards passing (three for four), to the Tigers’ 32 for a 134-39 advantage.

Harding converted five of eight third down attempts to the Tigers’ two of four.

After the bands had entertained, the Orange and Black rolled up five first downs to the Panthers’ one, 98 yards rushing to the Panthers’ eight, 37 yards passing (three for four) to the Panther’s none for a 135-8 advantage.

The Panthers converted no third down attempts in two tries to Massillon’s two in four tries.

WARREN GOT the “Thriller from Mollenkopf” under way with a 66-yard, eight-play drive after a 24-yard runback of the opening kickoff by Ralph Goliday. It was one of several good ones by Panther runners.

Three passes were keys in the drive. Flanker Goliday had a seven-yarder and David Allen (shifted from tackle to tight end), a 20-yarder and a 13-yard touchdown catch at 8:34. Maruce Hall booted the conversion.

Lineacker Kurt Walterhouse recovered an errant Harding pitchout on the panther’s five to set up a touchdown for Rich Cleveland, working out of left halfback in Woody Hayes’ “robust-T” when the Tigers were inside the 10-yard line. Jerry Shafrath handled fullback and Ken Nagle right halfback.

Cleveland powered off tackle for the TD two plays after the fumble recovered at 2:31. Mike Hardwick kicked the conversion.

Halfback Jay Harper got hit a terrific jolt after catching a pass on the Tigers’ 27 right after the start of the second quarter. Harding cornerback Chris Gray hopped on Harper’s fumble just before it went out of bounds and Warren started on its way for its second touchdown.

SEVEN PLAYS and three penalties later fullback Don Henderson went off right tackle for the TD with 6:55 left. Hall faked a kick and ran the conversion.

The Tigers thought they had stopped the drive when safety Van Jones intercepted a pass on his five but middle guard Carl Dorsey got called for roughing the passer, putting the ball on the 12.

The Warren TD came four plays later, following a sterling 11-yard third down run by Hill to the one.

Cleveland ran the third period kickoff back 10 yards and the Tigers took off on an
eight-play, 66-yard scoring romp. The big play was a 46-yard run by Cleveland off left guard to the Warren eight. Four plays later Rich took a pitch off right tackle for the score with 8:22 left.

Grove made a great diving catch of a Bret Traylor pass for the tying tally.

LATER IN the period the Tigers took a Warren punt on the Panthers’ 43 after the “Tiger Claw Defense” had forced Tom Clouser to kick from the end zone. In five plays the Orange and Black had the ball on the one.

Harper and Grove contributed 18 and 15-yard catches off Traylor but Grove later fumbled on the one, trying to go over left tackle for the score. Panther linebacker Joe DiLella recovered on the one but the Tigers held again.

Clouser kicked from his end zone. Massillon end Dave Engler narrowly missed roughing him, monsterback Anthony Grizzard grabbed the punt on the 38 and raced down the sideline for the score with 9:50 left in the last quarter.

Hardwick kicked the final conversion.

Gray intercepted a Tiger pass on Massillon’s 40 later in the period and ran it back to the 34, but the “Tiger Claw Defense” – in the person of Anthony Grizzard – threw Henderson for a four-yard loss to the 33 on fourth down.

“WE HAD A long half time and we made adjustments,” Currence said. “They ran us off the field in the first half. They were the best team we faced this year explosive-wise. I got scared watching their tailbacks running the first half. We couldn’t tackle them. We never faced anyone this year we couldn’t come up and stick.”

“We had a couple of key fumbles – on a punt and on a pitchout,” said Warren head Coach Tom Ross. “We thought we had the corner turned on a key fourth down play but didn’t get up there for a first down. Massillon has a fine football team.”

The punt fumble Ross mentioned came late in the fourth quarter when Bob White, who had done a masterful runback job all night, miscued and Tiger Van Jones hopped on the ball at the Warren 23. But an illegal shift penalty and a holding penalty kayoed the Tigers’ chances.

Ross lost Allen when he got his bell rung in the first half, defensive tackle Nick Ambleotis suffered a knee injury in practice Thursday but it wasn’t determined until 6 p.m. Friday that he couldn’t go. John Antebucci replaced him and received a knee injury in the first half.

GUARD ERNIE Epitropoulos received a foot injury in the fourth quarter.

Ross moved inside tackle Mike Dixon to Allen’s outside tackle slot when Allen was shifted to tight end, but didn’t get the blocking from him that Ross got from Allen, a pre-season All-American pick.

“We couldn’t throw in the second half because of poor field position,” Ross said.

Ends – Chovan, Pringle, Engler, Sweterlitsch, Clendening, Chovan.
Tackles – Tournay, Daniels, Matie, Toles, Dennison, Kovacsiss.
Guards – Lauber, Hauser, Berquist.
Center – Ramsey.
Halfbacks – Harper, Grove, Carpenter, Nagle.
Fullbacks – Cleveland, Shafrath.
Middle guard – Dorsey.
Linebackers – Walterhouse, Dottavio, Border.
Defensive halfbacks – Grizzard, Lash, Jones, Henderson, Hickey, Letcavits, M. Longshore.
Kicker – Hardwick.
Punter – Westover.

Ends – Allen, Golden, Maines, E. Shaker, Blazek, Thomas.
Tackles – Dixon, Megalis, Antenucci, J. Shaker.
Guards – E. and J. Epitropoulos, Cassakais.
Center – Core, Grodesky, Bokone.
Quarterback – Hall.
Halfbacks – Battee, Henderson, Goliday, Robinson.
Fullback – Hill.
Middle guards – E. Lewis, Di Lella.
Defensive halfbacks – Gary, White, Robinson, Johnson.
Punter – Clouser.

Massillon 7 0 8 7 22
Warren 7 8 0 0 15

W – David Allen, 13 pass from Maurice Hall (Hall kick);
M – Rich Cleveland, 2 run (Mike Hardwick kick);
W – Don Henderson, 1 run (Hall run);
M – Cleveland, 2 run (Mike Grove pass from Bret Traylor);
M – Anthony Grizzard, 38 punt runback (Hardwick kick).

Referee – Frank Buhas.
Umpire – Al Collier.
Head Linesman – Hugh Davis.
Field Judge – Dave Landis.
Back Judge – Tim Murray.

ATTENDANCE – 14,000.

First downs rushing 4 6
First downs passing 4 2
First downs penalties 0 1
Total first downs 8 9
Yards gained rushing 140 139
Yards lost rushing 35 45
Net yards gained rushing 105 91
Net yards gained passing 69 51
Total yards gained 174 142
Passes completed 6-8 4-5
Passes intercepted by 0 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 0 0
Kickoff average (yards) 4-52 3-42
Kickoff returns (yards) 42 107
Punt average (yards) 4-36 5-33
Punt returns (yards) 36 9
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 3-2 2-2
Yards penalized 4-40 4-30
Touchdowns rushing 2 1
Touchdowns passing 0 1
Miscellaneous touchdowns 1 0
Total number of plays 42 51
Total time of possession 21:48 26:12

Player A G L N
Cleveland 15 81 6 75

Player A G L N
John Hill 9 41 1 40

John Hauser
Massillon Tigers Black Letter Logo History

1975: Massillon 17, Warren Harding 0

What a show! Tigers 17, Warren 0

Independent Sports Editor

“You gotta believe!” Tigertown has said all week.

The Tigers believed! The fans believed! Now all Buckeyeland has to believe!

MASSILLON HAS a great football team! The Orange and Black took a giant Friday night step toward a state championship and the title in the All-American Conference by putting together one of the greatest displays of offensive and defensive football ever fashioned by a Tiger football team!

Program Cover

Before 17,267 fans, the largest crowd of the season, the Orange and Black upset a great Warren Harding team 17-0. Everything you could ask for was there: powerful offensive football, two of the greatest goal line stands high school football fans ever have seen, an
eye-popping brother scoring combination, a record-setting field goal and team football at its best!

The Tigers scored the first three times they handled the ball. They made Harding, defending state Class AAA champion, play catch-up football and made sure the Panthers didn’t catch up

The Black Panthers, who had won 20 of their last 21 games, including seven this year, saw their AAC record drop to 2-1.

The Tigers’ state jumped to 6-1-1 overall and 3-0 in the league. The Orange and Black remained tied with Canton McKinley (7-1, 3-0) for the AAC lead.

“THIS WIN made my whole body feel good,” said Tiger Coach Chuck Shuff, a former Harding assistant who lost to the Black Panthers 35-10 last year at Warren.

The first thing that made the skipper fell good was a 47-yard field goal by senior Keith Harmon with 7:45 left in the first quarter. Harmon had put Harding in the hole with a 54-yard kickoff. End Syl Drobney and tackle Steve Easter made the situation worse with a nine-yard spill of tailback Gus Tucker to the three, Scott Ingram’s punt went out on the Harding 43.

Quarterback Todd Keller ran two great end runs to put the ball on the Harding 30. Then Harmon booted the field goal with plenty of height and distance to spare.

The previous longest field goal was one kicked 40 yards by Bill Edwards, later a great coach and athletic director at Wittenberg University, in 1924 in a 77-0 win here against Alliance.
Harmon’s 56-yard kickoff again put Harding into a hole. Safety Willie Conley and linebacker Anthony Grizzard threw Tucker into another tailspin from the 21, a procedure penalty was thrown in for good measure and Ingram punted from the 15.

JAY HARDPER made a fair catch of the punt on the Tiger 47 and the Tigers were off and running again as Bill Harmon picked up 37 yards in 10 carries on the drive, ultimately scoring from the two over left guard with 9:04 left in the second quarter. He also jumped over a Harding player while bulling his way over the middle for the conversion.

Keith Harmon kicked off 51 yards to the nine, Junior Robby White ran back to the 22. On the next play, Tiger tackle Mark Matie hopped on a fumble at the 28.

Quarterback Todd Keller hit Keith Harmon, out of his swingback spot over the middle, on the next play for a TD with 8:07 left in the second quarter. Harmon’s attempted conversion kick was wide left.

At this juncture Warren Coach Tom Ross inserted star tailback Tyrone Hicks, who had been on crutches Wednesday, nursing a knee injury. He and quarterback Frey, with some tricky ball handling, ignited the Black Panthers’ offense.

Harding rolled to the Tigers’ six in 13 plays after Keith Harmon’s 56-yard kickoff. The big play was Tucker’s 20-yard romp between right tackle and right end to the seven.

On third down Frey tried to hit senior wingback Weibush in the end zone but Conley dived in at the knick of time.

“I saw two players go back over there and jumped between them and batted the ball away,” Conley said.

On fourth down Frey passed into the flat to Hicks who dropped the ball.

HARDING THREATENED after taking Keith Harmon’s kickoff at the 25. In 11 plays they were on the Massillon one.

Defensive coordinator Joe Siesel sent in the “Tank Corps” including 6-2, 265-pound tackle Tim Tourney and Bill Harmon, 6-1, 237-pound end. The Orange and Black held on four running plays.

The Tigers then began to move with the help of junior tailback Pete Killins, but ran into a flock of penalties and lost the ball on downs at their 45.

Later after Keith Harmon’s third down quick kick, Frey hit Weibush with a 26-yard pass to the Tigers’ 41. Two plays later he hit senior end Ezra Alls with a 15-yarder to the Tigers 22.

On second down Frey connected with Alls again, in the left corner of the end zone, but he dropped the pass.

THE TIGERS, with Killins and Bill Harmon doing the carrying again, took the Orange and Black machine to the Harding 36 where the Obiemen lost the ball on downs.
They had the ball on the Black Panthers’ 22 when the game ended to a tumultuous standing ovation for the team and for sure-fire All-Ohioan Harmon who, during the Tigers’ final drive of the first half, went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

He carried the ball 24 times Friday night, netting 112 yards, to put his total at 1,056 for the season. Mike Mauger’s 1,200 in 1970 is the next highest Tiger total. Then comes Tom Hannon’s 1,236 in 1972 and Willie Spencer’s 1,251 in 1971. They fill the AAC’s second through fourth all-time spots.

Rick Gales of Niles McKinley holds the lead at 1,266 in 1969. Just above Harmon is Steubenville’s Mike Palmer at 1,093 in 1966 in sixth place.

“It was tough running against their line,” Co-Captain Bill Harmon said. “I earned everything I got. The line did a great job opening the initial holes. Tom (Grizzard) and Pete (Killins) did a great job of taking the pressure off me. I’m happy about Keith’s field goal and going over 1,000 yards.”

“Our defense was great,” said Shuff. “I think Conley was thinking of Upper Arlington and wasn’t going to let that (winning touchdown pass) happen again. Warren had a good defense.”

“THE OFFENSE kept possession when they had to and the pass from Todd (Keller) to Keith (Harmon) was great,” said Shuff. Billy (Harmon) rammed hard in there. We had some nice movement. I thought our offensive line started taking charge in the fourth quarter.”

Harding surprised, according to Shuff, by running unbalanced left.

“I’m proud of our boys’ performance in both the first and second halves,” Warren Coach Ross said. “We felt we got out physicalled at the line of scrimmage tonight. Harmon had a great night, the kids hit him with all they had.”

“We have to pick up the pieces and go back and get ready for another football game.”

As to Hick’s playing on a bad knee, Ross felt he was ready mentally and physically.

“WE TRIED to deemphasize his importance because that’s the way he wanted it,” Ross said. “He’s not a selfish football player.”

Hicks’ carried the ball 12 times for 74 net yards. Tucker carried six times for 46 net yards.

Massillon, Warren Lineups

Ends – Bill Bammerlin (6-2,167, Sr.); Mark Matie (6-0, 225, Sr.).
Tackles – Mike Lauber (5-11, 207, Sr.); Sylvester Drobney (6-1, 216, Sr.).
Guards – Todd Schumacher (5-11, 200, Sr.); Carl Christoff (5-8, 172, Sr.).
Center – Dan Nagle (5-11, 232, Sr.).
Quarterback – Todd Keller (6-1, 185, Sr.).
Halfbacks – Tom Grizzard (6-0, 185, Sr.); Keith Harmon (6-2, 195, Sr.).
Fullback – Bill Harmon (6-1, 237, Sr.).
Ends – K. Harmon; Drobney.
Tackles – Tim Tournay (6-2, 265, Jr.); Matie.
Middleguard – Jess Toles (5-10, 192, Jr.).
Linebackers – Anthony Grizzard (5-10, 163, Jr.); T. Grizzard.
Secondary – Glenn Arner (6-1, 173, Sr.); Don Stewart (5-11, 151, Sr.); Willie Conley (5-11, 173, Sr.) Harold Dorsey (5-11, 188, Sr.).
Ends – Russ Porter (6-2, 205, Sr.); Aaron Reed (5-7, 150, Sr.).
Tackles – Ed Kowalczyk (5-11, 210, Sr.); Jamie Candella (6-3, 215, Sr.).
Guards – Dave Maurice (5-10, 191, Sr.); Ed Farah (5-10, 175, Sr.).
Center – Ed Bolino 95-10, 175, Sr.)
Quarterback – Bill Frey (5-10, 160, Sr.).
Halfbacks – Gus Tucker (5-11, 195, Sr.); Kurt Weibush (5-9, 165, Sr.).
Fullback – Dave Terpin (5-0, 185, Sr.).
Ends – Ernie Epitropoutos (6-0, 183, Jr.); David Allen (6-2, 200, Jr.).
Tackles – Porter; Candella.
Middle Guard – Erick Lewis (5-10, 175, Jr.).
Linebackers – Tucker; John Epitropoulos (6-0, 183, Jr.).
Secondary – Gary Angel (5-7, 150, Sr.); Bruce Davenport (6-0, 175, Sr.); Timothy Hall (6-1, 170, Sr.); John Canty (5-11, 170, Sr.).

offense (line 203, backfield 198, overall 201);
defense (line 204, secondary 172, overall 189).

offense (line 191, back field 176, overall 186);
defense (line 193, secondary 166, overall 184).

M – Keith Harmon, 47 field goal;
M – Bill Harmon, 2 run (B. Harmon run);
M – K. Harmon, 28 pass from Todd Keller (kick failed).

Series – Tigers 35-14-1.

Points scored – Tigers 1,023; Warren 426.

Points scored this year – Tigers 133; Warren 207.

Points allowed this year – Tigers 24; Warren 38.

Referee – Chuck Lorenz.
Umpire – Brenton Kirk.
Head Linesman – Bill Kerr.
Field Judge – Nick Costello.
Back Judge – Wilson Murray.

ATTENDANCE – 17,267.

Mass. War.
First downs-rushing 10 7
First downs-passing 1 2
First downs-penalties 2 1
Total first downs 13 10
Yards gained rushing 181 165
Yards lost rushing 5 39
Net yards gained rushing 176 116
Net yards gained passing 28 42
Total yards gained 204 158
Passes completed 1-2 2-10
Passes intercepted by 0 0
Yardage on passes intercepted 0 0
Kickoff average (yards) 4-54.8 3-50.0
Kickoff returns (yards) 24 72
Punt average (yards) 3-30.3 3-30.3
Punt returns (yards) 0 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Lost fumbled ball 0 1-2
Yards penalized 4-20 4-40
Touchdowns rushing 1 0
Touchdowns passing 1 0
Total number of plays 45 47
Total time of possession 26:50 21:10

Harmon AAC’s top scorer

Massillon’s Bill Harmon lost his All-American Conference rushing lead to Niles McKinley’s Phil Chelsea last weekend, but held on to his all-games lead. He also continued to lead in league and all-games scoring.

Harmon has rushed for 415 yards (6.2 average) while Chelsea has rushed for 418 yards (5.6). Harmon has scored 38 points in league games and 80 overall.

CHELSEA IS second in league scoring with 24 points and tied for second overall with Warren Harding’s Tyrone Hicks with 72.

Other rushers and scorers from the Tigers: rushers – Tom Grizzard (10th league, 93 yards, 4.4 average; 10th overall, 300 yards, 4.9 average); scorers – Keith Harmon (sixth, league
15 points).

Alliance, Massillon’s foe this week, has Richard Scott fourth in league rushing (217 yards, 6.4 average) and Art Kennedy eight (98 yards, 3.9 average). Scot is also seventh in overall rushing (378 yards, 4.4 average).

Todd Keller continues to be sixth in overall passing (16 for 48, 336 yards, three touchdowns, three intercepted). He does not show league passing for the first time this week.

Canton McKinley’s Roch Hontas leads both passing departments. His figures: (overall – 45 for 91, 688 yards, five touchdowns, three intercepted: league – 23 for 45, 343 yards, two TDs, one intercepted.)

BILL FREY of Warren Harding is second in both passing categories. His figures: overall – 29 for 78, 596 yards, five touchdowns, five intercepted; league – 15 for 36, 295 yards, one TD, one intercepted.

Aliance’s Ed Tremoulis is fourth overall (17 for 61, 245 yards, no touchdowns, nine intercepted) and third in the league (11 for 35, 63 yards, no touchdowns, three intercepted).

Keith Harmon is sixth in overall receiving (seven catches, 160 yards, two touchdowns) and does not show in league receptions. Alliance’s Scott is fourth (14 catches, 122 yards) and Russell Goodwin sixth (12 catches, 128 yards) overall. Scott is third in league receivers (seven catches, 25 yards) and Goodwin fourth (five completions, 63 yards).

Canton McKinley’s Ray Ellis leads in overall catches (17, 253 yards, one touchdown) and league receptions (11 catches, 163 yards). Dan Gatta of Niles McKinley is second overall (17 catches, 224 yards, one TD) and second in league receptions (seven catches, 92 yards).

Saturday, October 25, 1975
A great victory!

Massillon’s Washington High School Tigers took a big stride forward in Ohio scholastic football Friday evening when they defeated the previously unbeaten and defending state champion Warren Harding High School team in Tiger Stadium.

It was one of the great game in Tiger history and certainly one of the best in the
Warren-Massillon series.

The game was closer than the 17-0 score would indicate and the Warren players need not feel ashamed of their performance. They, too, played a terrific game. But the Tigers were masters of the goal line offensively and defensively. They crossed it twice for touchdowns, once for points after touchdown and kicked a 47-yard field goal, the longest in Tiger history.

The high mark of the game was when the defense stopped Warren in a first down situation on the one-yard line in the third quarter. They looked like the Tigers of old when they didn’t yield an inch in four plays. Earlier in the game they had also stopped a Warren effort inside the 10.

It was a great victory for Massillon, a team effort and Coach Chuck Shuff and his young athletes deserved all the plaudits they received from the crowd . . . a demonstration of what can be done when team and fans get together and shove for victory.

Keep it up, Tigers!

Bill Harmon