Ohio League 1905


Ohio League
Massillon Tigers (C)99001.000
Canton AC Red & White10820.800
Shelby AC
Dayton AC
Lisbon AC
Columbus AC
Columbus AC
Canal Dover Giants
Pennsylvania Teams
Carlisle Indian School Redskins
West Virginia Teams
Military Teams
USS Michigan
Ohio League 1905 [References: Compiled from results in 1]


DateHome TeamAway Team
Week 1
30.09.1905Canton AC Red & White41Lisbon AC0
Week 2
07.10.1905Canton AC Red & White63Columbus AC0
Massillon Tigers34Ohio Medical University0
Week 3
14.10.1905Canton AC Red & White121USS Michigan0
Massillon Tigers42Norwalk0
Week 4
21.10.1905Canton AC Red & White107Dayton AC0
Massillon Tigers22Shelby AC0
25.10.1905Dayton AC0Canton AC Red & White52
Week 5
28.10.1905Canton AC Red & White25Shelby AC0
Massillon Tigers51Lorain0
Week 6
04.11.1905Canton AC Red & White66Benwood (W.Va.)0
Massillon Tigers88Broadway AC Cleveland0
09.11.1905Massillon Tigers40Toledo AC0
Week 7
11.11.1905Latrobe (Pa)6Canton AC Red & White0
Massillon Tigers8Carlisle Indian School Redskins4
Week 8
16.11.1905Canton AC Red & White8Carlisle Indian School Redskins0
18.11.1905Massillon Tigers39Canal Dover Giants0
25.11.1905Massillon Tigers14Canton AC Red & White4
Ohio League 1905 [References: Compiled from results in 1]


Having won the Ohio Independent Championship for two seasons running in American Football, the Massillon Tigers had a new challenge to their supremacy in 1905: Canton Athletic Club. Both teams were from Stark County, and were to dominate the best Profesional Football League in the country for more than a decade.

In 1905 they started with massive wins: Canton 41-0 over Lisbon AC followed by a 63-0 win over Columbus Ac and then a record-breaking 121-0 win over USS Michigan. Massillon Tigers meanwhile won 34-0 against Ohio Medical University and 42-0 over Norwalk.

The first big test for either team came on the 21st of October when Massillon met Shelby AC, and defeated them 22-0. Shelby were the next best team in the State after the big two, and the following week Canton beat them by 25-0, so there was little separatimg the big two.

Meanwhile Canton defeated Dayton AC, who had provided the Championship Game opposition to Massillon in 1904, by a huge margin: 107-0 in Canton and 52-0 in Dayton. Massillon themselves picked up two big wins: 51-0, 88-0 and 40-0. Canton then defeated a visiting West Virginia side 66-0.

These two teams were steamrolling opposition, and fans were not turning up at the gate. The manager of Canton AC knew they needed a big draw to continue to pay the players. He lined up the Carlisle Indian School Redskins, one of the top draws in Football. The Carlisle Indian School was a school for adult Native Americans, and although more of a high school level education they played matches against the big Colleges further east such as Harvard.

Not to be outdone, Massillon also signed up the Redskins and this was seen as the first big test of both teams. First Massillon defeated Carlisle 8-4 and the same weekend the Canton gteam travelled to Latrobe, in the coal-mining areas of Western Pennsylvania, once the powerhouse of Pro Football (from 1892 to 1901) but now less important. although undefeated since 1901 Latrobe weren’t expected to provide stiff opposition, but not only did they do that they shocked Canton AC 6-0, with Captain Ryan (an Irish name) at the helm.

The following week Canton defeated Carlisle Redskins 8-0 and Massillon struggled, by their standards to a 39-0 win over Canal Dover Giants. On Thanksgiving Day 1905 the Massillon Tigers met the Canton AC Red & White for the State Championship and the claim of Pro Football’s World Champion too. with the score tied at 4-4 at halftime, one of Canton’s star players was sent off for throwing a punch. With his replacement on the defensive line inexperienced, Massillon sent the big Notre Dame Fighting Irish star Red Salmon through him on every play, and gained yards after yards. Salmon burst through fot two touchdowns (worth 5 points each at the time) for a 14-4 Massillon win and the three-in-a-row for the “second city” in Stark County.

While Professional Football was still second to College Football in the country and only really played in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York City, New Jersey and Upstate New York, teams played University teams as well as High School teams (there were no official rules governing player eligibility or payments). The money was massive for the time. It was expected that Canton’s payroll for the Championship Game was $3,000. New England stuck with Soccer as its pro game until the early 1930s. An Ed Murphy played for Canton in 1905 while a Charley Moran played for Massillon Tigers, both Irish names.



[1] Professional Football Researchers Association (2011) “Challenge from Canton – 1905” The Early History of Professional Football. pg. 209-223. PFRA Publications. Connecticut.



Thanks to Rose McCabe, Gabriel McCloyne, Ann Hanley, Peter Lemass, Ciaran Simms, Gerry Tully, Paul Lynch, Paul Foley, Cathal Gallagher, Emerson Callender, Naomi Harte and Niamh Bohan.

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 2 September 2020

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2020

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