Tag: <span>Tony Ware</span>


1963: Massillon 22, Canton McKinley 6

City Still Raving About Tigers Today
A Sparkling Defense Stops McKinley 22-6


In a song of a few years back the whole town was talking about the Jones boys.

But today Massillon is still raving about something even better – its terrific Tigers and their scintillating defense. The Bengal fans are also waxing enthusiastic about a master piece of strategy by their Coach Leo Strang and questioning with unbelief the words of McKinley Coach Tony Ware following Saturday’s game at Fawcett stadium.

Put all these factors together and you have the story of Massillon’s convincing 22-6 conquest of the Bulldogs before an overflow crowd of 21,965. The victory will probably open the door of the throne room for the Tigers, giving them their 20th state championship.

Program Cover

The Bengals gave every last bit of effort to show their fans, the people of Canton and the state of Ohio that their first victory over McKinley 24-20 at Tiger stadium last month was no fluke.
* * *
THE TIGER defense stunting and blitzing held McKinley to 26 net yards on the ground and 35 in the air for a total of 61 and tossed the Bulldogs for two safeties in the second half. Time and again Bengal defenders stopped McKinley ball-carriers before they got started and intercepted three passes, one for a touchdown. The vaunted Willie Hall was held to 47 yards, breaking loose only twice.

That’s why Massillon fans today still found it hard to understand how McKinley Coach Tony Ware could say that their Tigers “didn’t bother us defensively. Our offensive mistakes beat us.” He added, “We played our worst game of the season.”

But Strang knew what beat McKinley. In the jubilant dressing room after the game he said, “Did we defense them or did we defense them?” He added, “Oh that was sweet! I never wanted anything more in my life. We had some bad breaks in there, too.”

Massillon did well offensively, too, picking up 202 yards on the ground and 44 via the aerial route for a total of 246.

The cunning piece of strategy by Strang was putting seniors Terry Getz and Bill Blunt back into the spots at which they had started the season. Knowing that Ware would set his defense for Blunt’s running from the tailback slot, Strang inserted “The Rabbit” as wingback and the curly-haired Getz at tailback, thus effectively foiling Ware’s efforts.
* * *
WITH BLUNT decoying defenders, Getz the more powerful of the two, ended his high school career in tremendous fashion behind some outstanding line blocking. Terry ran hard and picked his holes well to tally two touchdowns and collect 107 yards.

His unselfish comment was, “Give the credit to the line. They blocked beautifully.”

The Tigers wasted little time cranking into high gear offensively. After forcing McKinley to punt, minutes after the opening kickoff, the WHS eleven took over on its 22-yard line. Quarterback Ron Swartz broke through the middle on a play which netted 29 yards to McKinley’s 49 even though Swartz stumbled, fumbled the ball and Tom Roderick eventually recovered it during the action.

Lawrence ran a play. Then Getz carried three straight times for a total of 36 yards, putting the ball on the eight. Swartz fumbled on the four on the next play. McKinley’s Fred Mathews recovered.

Nobody got anywhere for the remainder of the first period.
* * *
McKINLEY GOT its only threat going as the result of an intercepted pass by Pete Kalogeras on the Massillon 49. He ran back to the 34. But the Bulldogs got no further than the 20. Henry Vafides tried a field goal but sent the ball way off to the right.

The Tigers had two bad breaks during their next time with the ball. A delay penalty set them back from third and six on their 49 to third and 11. On the next play, Will Perry bobbled a pass while in the clear for a score.

As the second quarter was nearing its close, the Tigers got their first score. Perry, playing his only game at defensive tackle, charged in and hit quarterback Arnie Fontes as he was about to pass. The pass went weakly off to the side.

Cornerback Grady Eckard tipped the pass into the air on the 30. With amazing reaction he reached back, grabbed the ball and raced in for the score. There were two minutes, 30 seconds left.
* * *
SWARTZ TRIED right end on a keeper for the conversion but fumbled and was hit short of the goal line.

With a little more than a minute remaining in the quarter, Floyd Pierce intercepted a pass on his 30 and ran back to the 43. The Tigers then moved 55 yards to the two-yard line thanks to a roughing the passer penalty and a fine catch of a 19-yard pass from Swartz by Blunt.

With 10 seconds left, Blunt raced off right tackle from the two on third down. Massillon fans thought he was in the end zone but the officials didn’t and the half ended.

The Orange and Black got to the McKinley 34 after taking the second half kickoff but Steve Kanner was forced to punt. The ball rolled towards the end zone and Frank Scassa downed it on the one to set up the Tigers’ first safety.
Fontes faded from the five to pass on third down and was lassoed in the end zone by Eckard with six minutes, 11 seconds left in the third canto. The score was 8-0.
* * *
THE BENGALS used 4y minutes on their next scoring drive, moving from the McKinley 33 after a 22-yard runback of the kickoff following the safety. Getz, Lawrence and Swartz took turns running the ball on eight plays with three first downs.

Getz ran the last two plays off right tackle, picking up nine yards on fourth down, then going in from the three with 1y minutes showing on the clock. Swartz missed the conversion run off tackle.

Seconds into the fourth quarter linebacker John Muhlbach intercepted a McKinley aerial on the Bulldogs’ 35 and ran the ball to the 15. But a clipping penalty nullified the runback and three plays later Lawrence fumbled on the 21 with Mathews again Johnny on the spot for the recovery for the Pups.

McKinley got two series and Kalogeras went back to punt on fourth down from the 39. A tremendous charge by the Tigers caused a fumble. Kalogeras tried to punt the ball while it was rolling loose, but ended up with a penalty for illegally kicking a free ball. Massillon was awarded the ball at the spot of the infraction and was off for its final six-pointer.

Eight plays, three first downs and six minutes, 47 seconds later Getz went off right tackle again on second down from the two after running six of the plays on the drive. With one minute, 43 seconds showing on the clock, Bobby Hewitt missed running the conversion.
* * *
TOM RIVERA got to kickoff from the Bulldog’s 45-yard line, thanks to a piling penalty between the extra point try and the kickoff. His boot went into the end zone for a touchback.

On the next play Bobby Johnson tried a “Statue of Liberty” play from the 20, was forced to retreat all the way to the goal line and was thrown into the end zone by Mike Jones. This was probably one of the few 20 yard safeties on record. Massillon led 22-0 with one minute, 32 seconds left in the game.

Hoping to score another touchdown, Blunt passing in a game for the first time, suffered an interception by Martin Smith on the McKinley 20 after the kickoff. He ran back to the Massillon 19.

Three plays later on first down from the nine, Fontes passed to End Dwayne Lipkins for McKinley’s only score with 15 seconds left. Fontes misfired on an attempted conversion pass.

Massillon had one more chance following the kickoff. Swartz just missed hitting Blunt deep in McKinley territory for a score.

The Tigers ended the season with a 9-1 record. McKinley finished 6-4. Massillon has now won 36 games in the series, McKinley 27. Five have ended in ties.

This was the second straight time that Massillon had beaten McKinley twice in one year.

The year 1909 was the only other time this happened.

One group of men who are usually overlooked and seldom praised for their efforts we would like to give a pat on the back for a job well done Saturday. These are the traffic officers who kept the cars on the move before and after the game.

We recall missing the kickoff at Fawcett two years ago because of a traffic jam, though we thought we had given ourselves more than sufficient time to get to the game. We left
one-half hour later this year and drove right into the stadium without any delay. Maybe there were tie-ups in some places but we didn’t encounter any.

Ends – Perry, Pierce, McAllister, Hose, Jones and Goodnough.
Tackles – Miller, Tarle, Morgan, Lash and Binge.
Guards – Larsuel, Castile, Rivera, Roderick, Swisher, Muhlback and T. Whitfield.
Center – Scassa.
Quarterbacks – Swartz, Gatsios and Kanner.
Halfbacks – Getz, Blunt, Rink, Schenkenberger, Eckard and Marks.
Fullbacks – Lawrence and Hewitt.

Ends – Lipkins, Roman , Card and Jones.
Tackles – Miller and Shumick.
Guards – Turner, Barney, Hall and Vafides.
Center – Roman.
Quarterback – Fontes.
Halfbacks – Johnson, McElroy, A. and M. Smith, Carter and Mathews.
Fullbacks – Hall and Kalogeras.

Massillon 0 6 8 8 22
McKinley 0 0 0 6 6

Massillon – Getz (three and two-yard runs); Eckard (30-yard pass interceptions).
McKinley – Lipkins (nine-yard pass from Fontes).

Massillon – (Fontes tackled by Eckard and Johnson tackled by Jones).

Referee – Brenton Kirk (New Philadelphia).
Umpire – Harold Rolph (Ironton).
Head Linesman – C.W. Rupp (Cuyahoga Falls).
Field Judge – Harvey Hodgson, Jr. (Massillon)

Massillon Opp.
First downs, rushing 10 3
First downs, passing 3 3
First downs, penalties 1 2
Total first downs 14 8
Yards gained rushing 211 79
Yards lost rushing 9 53
Net yards gained rushing 202 26
Yards gained passing 44 35
Total yards gained 246 61
Passes attempted 14 12
Passes completed 5 6
Passes intercepted by 3 2
Times kicked off 4 4
Kickoff average (yards) 40.5 37.5
Kickoff returns (yards) 43 19
Times punted 2 3
Punt average (yards) 41.0 36.3
Punt returns (yards) 8 8
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 4 3
Lost fumbled ball 2 0
Penalties 2 3
Yards penalized. 20 45

Bill Blunt

1963: Massillon 24, Canton McKinley 20

Tigers Beat Fired-up Bulldogs 24-20
Point Conversions Represent Bengals’ Margin Of Victory


The yellow lights on the scoreboard at the south end of Tiger stadium seemed to take an eternity to toll off the last 4:20 of the game. And when they had blinked out 0:00 against the black October night sky, a huge sigh of relief and a mighty cheer came up from Tiger fans.

The Washington high school eleven, playing gritty football, had held on to edge arch-rival Canton McKinley 24-20 in the 67th renewal of the oldest high school grid rivalry in the nation.

Friday night’s game marked the first time any Massillon-McKinley game had been played under the arcs. It was also the first game in the new All-American High School Football league.

The two teams will meet again on the afternoon of Nov. 9 at Fawcett stadium in Canton. And you can be sure they’ll pack the place for that one.

An unofficial 16,252 sat in Friday night.
* * *
THAT THE BULLDOGS gave Massillon all they could handle and then some is for sure. But the Orange and Black also dished out its share of hard-hitting football.

The game seemed to become a personal vendetta between Massillon’s Bill (Rabbit) Blunt,
165-pound senior halfback, and McKinley’s Willie Hall, 225-pound junior fullback, to see which one could inflict the heaviest damage on the opposition.

Blunt scored two touchdowns and two conversions. His use of the limp leg and swivel hip gave him a good change of pace, enabling him to do some outstanding running.

Said his Coach Leo Strang, “He was terrific. His stop and go running was great.”

Said Tony Ware, “Blunt is a great athlete.”

Hall didn’t score any touchdowns but he did pick up a conversion and lots of valuable yardage, including some key first downs as did Massillon’s fullback, junior Jim Lawrence.

Game Photo: Bill Blunt (45)

Ware said of his big back, “He did a tremendous job.”
* * *
STRANG REVEALED, “Hall caught us by surprise. He had never run sweeps before. We adjusted just in time at the end of the game.”

Hall had tremendous interference on those sweeps which made them very effective as he bulled his way through.

Strang said of the game, “It was a good one, like all Massillon-McKinley games should be. Besides Blunt’s and Lawrence’s running I thought Swartz (quarterback Ron) did some good throwing. “We gave them two touchdowns and missed two we should have had. You just can’t give them touchdowns and not expect trouble.”

About the McKinley team he said, “They were sure fired up. They were in the game all the way.”

Ware said, “Massillon is a well-coached team and played good ball. They took advantage of an injury weakness at left side (the speedy Bill Snell was sidelined) and it hurt us.”

Strang reminded that “linebacker Ken Swisher, defensive end and Captain Mike Jones and tackle Tom Miller were either out of action or used sparingly.

Of his own team Ware said, “I couldn’t ask for anymore from the boys. They gave their all. We’ll beat the Tigers in November. We would have beaten them this time if we had scored on that first pass and hadn’t fumbled on the one.”

But the Bulldogs got two tremendous breaks in the second half which they converted into touchdowns, offsetting the bad breaks. Had it not been, therefore, for the tenacious Massillon defense rising up to stop two of McKinley’s conversion attempts, the game might have ended tied 24-24.
* * *
THE FIRST BREAK came right after the second half kickoff. Massillon was forced to punt following its first series. Steve Kanner dropped back to his 45-yard-line. Frank Scassa’s snap was bad, the kick was blocked and 210-pound right tackle Dick Miller picked up the pigskin on the 41 and raced in for the score with 10:04 left.

Hall converted through the center to make the score 16-14.

The next break came midway through the last quarter. Massillon forced McKinley to punt and as the ball rolled to the Massillon 26, it hit safetyman Tom Gatsios and an alert Bulldog recovered.

Three plays later on third and one from the 17 quarterback Arnie Fontes threw to right end Nick Roman down the middle at the goal line to make it 24-20 with 4:27 remaining. Hall missed the conversion.

The Tigers played good control football from there on out to win the game. The last play of the game, however, saw Fontes sweep right end for 21 yards and just miss getting away for a winning tally. McKinley had gotten the ball with only 26 seconds left.
* * *
McKINLEY BECAME the first team to score at Tiger stadium this year and the first to get a touchdown before the Tigers by going 57 yards after taking Massillon’s initial punt. Fontes scored on a keeper from the two-hard line on second down with 3:03 remaining in the first quarter.

He missed the conversion on the same play.

Hall and halfbacks John McElroy and Bobby Johnson did a lot of running on the drive. Hall had one run of 19 yards around left end from his 43 to the Massillon 38. The missed pass which Ware spoke of came during this series. Fontes misfired to left end Dwayne Lipkins on second down from the Tiger 30.

The early touchdown only served to infuriate the Tigers and after Tom Gatsios had turned in an 18-yard runback of the kickoff to the Massillon 35, Ron Swartz cocked his right arm and hit Blunt down the right side. “The Rabbit” grabbed the pigskin on the McKinley 40 and eluded five would-be tacklers on his romp to pay dirt at 2:39. He got some fine blocking along the way.

Blunt blasted off right tackle for the conversion which put the Tigers ahead 8-6.

Massillon struck again early in the second period. McKinley punted after one series. The kick was grounded on the Bengals’ 39 with 13 seconds left in the first quarter.
* * *
BLUNT TOOK off over right tackle on the first play of the second quarter behind good blocking. He used that outstanding running ability of his to good advantage again, going all the way to the McKinley three. But the Tigers were guilty of clipping and were set back to the McKinley 35.

The Bengals marched the ball in from there with Lawrence going over the top of a big pile from the one with 6:22 left. Blunt went off right tackle for the two extra points.

McKinley took the kickoff and marched 70 yards only to have Johnson fumble on the one. Blunt made the all-important recovery for Massillon.

McElroy had an 18-yard runback of the kick. Hall had a 36-yard romp on a sweep from the Massillon 46 to the 10.

The Tigers then initiated a drive of their own, going to the Bulldog seven before missing on three straight before missing on three straight passes into the end zone. The margin of difference was inches.
* * *
DURING this 92-yard invasion, Blunt took a pass on the right side and almost went for a touchdown but collided with long side end Will Perry who was trying to block for him. The play covered 25 yards – from the Massillon 13 to the 38.

There was also another fine run by Blunt off left guard – again with good blocking – on the next play. “The Rabbit” moved all the way to the McKinley 11, 51 yards.
Massillon’s other score came at the 5:45 mark of the third quarter. Blunt ran a kickoff back 26 yards to the Bengal 38. Then with Blunt, Swartz – who seldom runs the ball – and Lawrence carrying, the Orange and Black moved the ball to the Bulldog 28 for a first down.

Blunt set sail again on the next play, going to his right, cutting back and racing for touchdown land. Again a combination of good running and fine blocking told the tale. Swartz converted.

Game statistics showed that Massillon got a total of 382 yards net to McKinley’s 217. The Tigers piled up 271 rushing. McKinley 200. The Bengals got 111 passing, the Bulldogs 17.

The fact that McKinley lost only four more yards rushing than did Massillon, 16-12, points up the terrific, almost even battle of the lines.

Massillon’s record now stands at 5-1 with a four-game winning streak riding. The Bulldogs stand at 3-3.

Ends – N. Roman, Turner, Lipkins and Card.
Tackles – Miller and Shumick.
Guards – Vafides, Barney and Ball.
Center – J. Roman.
Quarterback – Fontes.
Halfbacks – Johnson, McElroy, Carter and Smith.
Fullbacks – W. Hall and Kalogeras.

Ends – Pierce, Perry, Hose, Jones and Goodnough.
Tackles – Morgan, Lash, Rarle, Binge, Paul and Passalacqua.
Guards – Castile, Larsuel, Rivera, Muhlback, Roderick, Swisher and T. Whitfield.
Centers – Scassa, Frank and Rambaud.
Quarterbacks – Swartz, Gatsios and Kanner.
Halfbacks – Blunt, Getz, Eckard, Schenkenberger, and Marks.
Fullbacks – Lawrence.

McKinley 6 0 8 6 20
Massillon 8 8 8 0 24

McKinley – Fontes (two-yard run); Miller (41-yard run on blocked kick); N. Roman (17-yard pass from Fontes.
Massillon – Blunt 2 (65-yard pass from Swartz and 26-yard run); Lawrence (one-yard run).

Points after touchdown:
McKinley – Hall (run).
Massillon – Blunt 2 (runs). Swartz (run).

Referee – Bobby Brown (Parma).
Umpire – Harvey Hodgson, Jr. (Massillon).
Head Linesman – Bill Makepeace (Cincinnati).
Field Judge – Joe Romano (Mansfield).

Massillon Opp.
First downs, rushing 12 9
First downs, passing 4 1
First downs, penalties 0 1
Total first downs 16 11
Yards gained rushing 263 216
Yards lost rushing 12 16
Net yards gained rushing 271 200
Yards gained passing 111 17
Total yards gained 382 217
Passes attempted 8 3
Passes completed 4 1
Passes intercepted by 0 0
Times kicked off 4 4
Kickoff average (yards) 45.0 36.2
Kickoff returns (yards) 62 82
Times punted 1 4
Punt average (yards) 42.0 34.2
Punt returns (yards) 15 0
Had punts blocked 1 0
Fumbles 1 1
Lost fumbled ball 1 1
Penalties 2 1
Yards penalized. 20 15

Bill Blunt