Great Neshaminy Moments.
It was one of Neshaminy's greatest friends, Dick
Dougherty of the Bristol and Courier Times, who
first hung the title
on the 'Skins home field in a weekly column he wrote
on scholastic sports in the Delaware Valley. With
the then upcoming yearly battle between Neshaminy
and Pennsbury as the centerpiece of his November 10,
1965 review, Dougherty couldn't help but reference
the Redskins' winning history as suggestive of the
outcome - especially at home where Neshaminy was
55-4-4 since its 1956 opener with Hatboro-Horsham.
As usual, Dougherty's thoughts were prophetic as the
boys above the creek clipped the Falcons wings 7-0
on the strength of Jerry Barr's 48 yard scoring
jaunt late in the 4th quarter. And perhaps more
importantly, Heartbreak Ridge became a part of the
Neshaminy lexicon which continues to this day.
Over The Records
When you remember the Second World War you can't
help but think of the battle of Iwo Jima. And
discussions about the Korean Conflict always seem to
center around Pork Chop Hill.
But when you talk about Lower Bucks County football
battles there's no question about it! Many football
teams have been dispatched to Heartbreak Ridge, but
few have conquered it.
Heartbreak Ridge is easily located. If you stand on
Route 1 near Oakford and lift your eyes toward the
west it hits you in the face squarely as a Mack
truck. Heartbreak Ridge is where the mighty Redskins
of Neshaminy High School roam.
Neshaminy is always toughest when playing at home.
Neshaminy's winning trend in football began in 1952
at the old Langhorne − Middletown High School on
Cherry St. in Langhorne. Three clear-cut flags and a
co-championship were manufactured at old Playwicki
In 1956 the Redskins moved to Heartbreak Ridge. From
1956 until today, Neshaminy, power-house of Eastern
Pennsylvania football, has played 63 home contests.
And when one realizes the 'Skins have defeated 55
teams, lost four and tied four it appears
What is more earth-shaking is Neshaminy's
near-perfect record against squads from Lower Bucks
County. In the past decade the Redskins have played
host to 45 neighboring schools. Neshaminy has won 43
of those games, losing only to Pennsbury, (7-6) in
1957 and tying Morrisville (6-6) in 1958.
Matuza Made The Grade
Pennsbury's stirring one-point conquest in 1957 was
engineered by Coach Al Matuza. He was carried off
the field by a cheering mob which saw only happiness
for the Falcons. The joy was over a week later.
William Tennent stunned Pennsbury 12-8, and
Neshaminy shared the football crown with the
A year later it was Morrisville's turn to climb
Heartbreak Ridge. Coach Gordon Davies waged a torrid
battle with the Redskins but couldn't escape with
the whole cake. Neshaminy, then under the reigns of
Harry Franks, salvaged a 6-6 deadlock and again had
part of the title.
No team has been able to knock Neshaminy off its
lofty perch since those days of yesteryear. Tennent
tried to ambush the 'Skins in 1958 but fell one
point short, 20-19, in a game played in Johnsville.
In 1963 Bishop Egan Catholic appeared on it's way to
pulling a stunning victory. Egan led at the half,
13-0, but Neshaminy, under the direction of John
Petercuskie, wouldn't stand still. Neshaminy
exploded like a volcano and made it home safe,
Neshaminy had another brush with death in 1963.
Pennsbury, bossed by Erle Baugher, turned the tables
on the 'Skins and held a 20-14 edge late in the
Neshaminy's patented "return from the gallows" was
in full view when speedboy Tommy Dee reeled in a
27-yard pass from Bill Brundzo to knot the score.
All-State fullback Bob Baxter's talented toe put the
knife in Baugher. It ended 21-20.
We Are Again
Last year Baugher felt he wouldn't be denied two
years in-a-row. Pennsbury went against Neshaminy
unbeaten in eight games and had the "edge" in most
departments. The only category the Falcons didn't
fill was in points. Neshaminy roared off to a 14-0
lead but had to hold its breath in winning, 14-13.
The stage is set again. Pennsbury is 6-1-1 and feels
confident of tangling and beating Neshaminy on
Friday night. Neshaminy's status never changes. The
'Skins are undefeated (8-0-1) and can't wait to meet
Pennsbury is in a strange position. The Falcons were
the last team to hand Neshaminy a loss in the Lower
Bucks County Football League. Fifty-three conference
battles have been held since that night in 1957 and
only Morrisville's tie is found on that long string.
Last week Pennsbury was caught in a wind storm
created by Levittown's Woodrow Wilson. The game
ended in a 0-0 tie and immediately Neshaminy fans
started to shout. "Pennsbury doesn't have a chance
now," is what has been blaring louder than a red-hot
rock and roll band.
Baugher is taking all of the noise in stride. He
doesn't feel the stalemate with Wilson will bother
his Falcons. "I imagine we'll be up for the game. I
have a sneaky suspicion about it. And I guess
Neshaminy will have something cooked up for us. And
we'll cook up something too." He said with a
The Falcons coach isn't worried about playing at
Neshaminy either. "We're so close we'll dress at
home. But I hope we don't have any trouble with the
traffic with the detours and all that down there.
But I know one thing for sure. They can't start the
game until we get there."
Petercuskie, still flying high since Saturday
night's 27-6 hammering of Altoona, king of
scholastic football west of the Susquehanna, isn't
taking the Pennsbury invasion lightly. "Pennsbury
will be at its best. We just don't expect to walk
onto the field and become the winner."
Petercuskie has been in too many free-for-alls to
shrug off any game. His memory is sharp and deeply
imbedded in his mind are 21-20 and 14-13 wins over
Pennsbury. He figures it to be a whale of a game.
One thing, however, is making Petercuskie smile when
no one is looking. The game will be played on
Heartbreak Ridge, the battleground where many teams
have attacked but few have lived to tell about it.