Tornadoes Time Warp #9

1931 Football: Dover beats Massillon

Dover's defensive line dominated and its offense gained ground with smash-mouth running in a 1931 victory over Massillon.

– 1931 Dover Football – Game 9

Brilliant Line Play Leads Dover to Last Half Win Over Tigers

Game coverage from the Times-Reporter:

By Hal Jenkins

This is a tale of taming the Tigers. And, if it drags a little at times, it will be quite in keeping with the condition of the aforesaid animal’s rear appendage about 4:30 in the afternoon Saturday.

Through sheer power the Crimsons smashed Massillon by 6 to 0. Magnificent line play throughout and knife-like thrusts by hard running backs in the third and fourth periods won the day.

The charging line withstood the Tigers’ bombardment in the first half with its most brilliant defensive efforts of the season. It became an offensive steam-roller in the second half while Crimson backs sifted through gaping holes in Massillon’s forward wall.

It was a game of thrills with all the breaks going to the losers, who twice seriously threatened to score. As gridiron entertainment it surpassed the Millersburg game, which hereby relegated to second place on the season’s list of highspots.

[[[Read the full game story by clicking the small picture below!]]]

Newspaper article: Dover Crimsons 1931 football Game 9


When: Saturday, Nov. 14, 1931

Where: Massillon, Ohio

Result: Dover 6, Massilon 0. The Crimsons improve to 8-1 on the season.

Notable: In 1930, the Tigers pasted Dover 47-0 to send the Crimsons reeling to a 2-4-2 record through 8 games. This 1931 victory would help usher out Massillon coach Elmer McGrew. Dover’s repeat triumph next season came over new Tigers coach Paul Brown, and would prompt the future college and NFL legend to keep his team from playing the Crimsons the rest of the decade.

Also Notable: Dover coach Bup Rearick, famous for his multiple substitutions of his large roster throughout his inaugural season, made just one substitution in this tight contest, sending in Fred Souers for a limping Earl Mauer.

Previous game: Dover beat Ravenna at home, 20-0.

Next game: Nov. 21, home, against Newcomerstown


Keys to the game – Line play won the day on a soggy field. Dover’s trademark trickery — reverses, double- and triple-passes — were stopped cold in the muck. And a series of penalties and lucky breaks four times favored the Tigers. But the Crimsons’ defenders pushed Massillon back every time. Four decades before the NFL’s Deacon Jones would coin the term “sack,” Dover allowed the Tigers just one pass (which Fred Souers intercepted), with reporter Hal Jenkins noting “on attempted forward passes, the hurler was smothered before he could raise his arm.”

In-game sequence – Dover switched gears in the second half, shelving its trickery and finesse plays and resorting to straight-ahead, smash-mouth ball. The drive that led to the game’s lone score started on the Dover 22 with a 35-yard sweeping run by Don Foutz. The Crimsons alternated runs between fullback Zuchegno and halfback Foutz until the ball rested on the Massillon 25:

“Don Godfrey hurled a forward to Frank Kelker, who almost got away. He went out of bounds on the 13 yard marker. Zuchegno smashed through for eight yards and Foutz then went over (the goal line on) an off-tackle thrust from the five yard line.”

Don Foutz’s line –

1 touchdown rushing (6 points)

0 extra points kicked (1 missed)

6 points total

(no yardage totals reported)


Tune in for the second installment of a Tornadoes Time Warp Twofer: The Crimsons play Newcomerstown in the penultimate game of the season. Hated rival New Phila awaits on Thanksgiving — and gets blowout coverage in this blog every day next week. Stay tuned!


Each week, this series runs in tandem with the 2010 Dover (Ohio) Tornadoes football schedule to share historic game-by-game summaries of Dover’s 1931 season, in which Colt Foutz’s grandfather, Don Foutz, played a starring role. Game stories and photos are excerpted from Don Foutz’s football scrapbook, with thanks to Fred Foutz. How did Dover do this week (in 2010)? Get the latest Dover Tornadoes news from the Sports section of The Times-Reporter.

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