Skins’ Football – 86 years of gridiron history.

 
 
 
 
 
 

We told you we had some crazy Skins facts, well here they are!

(Page two of three)

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Redskins Visitors At The Ridge: Before you protest that we've lost our senses, does Saturday, October 15, 1977 mean anything to you? It should. For it was on that day and date that the Neshaminy Redskins found themselves on the Eastern side of the field (that's for the visitors - yikes - get with the program people).

How could that be? Well, if you had been poking around all the nooks and sidebars of this site (like we asked), you'd know that from 1976 through the 1981 the Neshaminy School District was split into two separate high schools - the "old" Neshaminy and the "new" Maple Point. The former remained as our cherished Redskins while the latter became the Cougars.

With both playing at "The Ridge", home and away games between the two were traded each year and in 1977 it was the Redskins turn to play a road game. Traveling can be tough, and so it was for the Skins as the obvious confusion of looking West all game long was too much for Neshaminy as they lost to their brother (or would it be sister), 7-0.

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Redskins Visitors At The Ridge II & III: And while we're at it (as seems to be the case throughout), it would appear that in 1979 the Skins were once again confused as they came up short for a second time when lining up as visitors and playing the Cougars (16-7 this time).

Try as they might, the Skins never did quite get a grip on the Lincoln Highway side of the field as they closed out their "visitor" career in 1981 by tying Maple Point 0-0 (a little closer to the W column but not close enough). Fortunately the school district put itself back together the following year with the two-school "experiment" then relegated to the lead balloon file.

Now what was that they say about a tie and kissing your sister (ugh).

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What's with the number 3: We've obviously got too much time on our hands because we just noticed our Skins have tied 33 games over the years (that's about 1 every 24 games).

With that said - explain to us (if you will) the 1951 season when 3 contests ended up all knotted up! And if that isn't "coincidental" enough, those 3 games in 1951 went into the books as follows: Game 1 against Pennsbury - 6 to 6; Game 2 against Doylestown - 6 to 6; and, Game 3 against Jenkintown - 6 to 6.

We're not sure what this all means but it does keep us occupied.

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What's with the number 3 (part II): This is getting weird (and to make matters worse - we don't feel very pithy today). Anyway, in 1937 the Skins registered 3 ties as well! Only this time they were all 0 to 0 (at least there was some scoring by 1951)!!! For more on this we respectfully direct you to: Lowest Scoring Game.

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What's with the number 3 (part III): Now here's something we think you'll enjoy (and we thought we'd write it down before we forget) - we wanted to congratulate the Kinney family for providing 3 boys (Jarred, Jason and Justin - listed alphabetically if you hadn't noticed) to help Coach Schmidt and the rest of the squad in its recent victory over Archbishop Ryan (September 9, 2005). Scratching our heads as we might (and thumbing through our Redskins "books") we couldn't find another game when 3 Skins from the same family (that means they're brothers) suited up and and played in the same game! Quite a feat!

And if anyone has information that this has happened before - please let us know so we can give a tip o' the hat to that family as well.

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Lowest Scoring Game: It can't get any lower than 0-0 tie and the Skins have seen 13 contests end knotted at double-ought. Those games were played in 1932, 1933, 1934, 1937, 1938, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1963 and as recently as 1978 and 1981. And we didn’t forget to list a couple of years (that is only eleven seasons) as rather incredibly, 3 of those side-by-side goose egg finals were posted during the same campaign (1937) when New Hope, Morrisville and Quakertown held the Skins scoreless while also failing to cross the goal line themselves.
Now that's some defense!

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Worst Defeat I: Bristol halted Neshaminy 60-0 in long ago 1939 (maybe that had something to do with the 1961 game between the Warriors and the Skins – check out “Biggest Margin of Victory”).

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Worst Defeat II: Capping off a disastrous 1966 campaign, the Skins closed out that year on the wrong end of a 60 to nothing rout against cross-town rival Pennsbury.

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Worst Defeat III:  In 1994, Head Coach Dick Bedesem's last season, the 'Skins lost their season opener to Allentown's Louis Dieruff by the score of 61-24.

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Worst Defeat IV: In the last playoff game of the 2012 season, the Redskins lost to Coatesville 63-28. It was the most points ever given up by a Redskins team.

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Longest Unbeaten Streak: The Skins posted a 51 game run which began with a win in the fourth game of 1961 and continued uninterrupted to the last game of the 1965 season. During that skein (under the guidance of the legendary John Petercuskie) their record was 47 wins, no losses and 4 ties.

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Longest Winning Streak: The 51 game streak during the first half of the 1960s stands as the Redskins longest unbeaten streak; however, it is not the longest consecutive win streak. That honor falls to the 1952 and 1953 clubs (coached by another Neshaminy stalwart - Harry Franks) who reeled off 18 straight wins unmarred by a loss or tie. Thereafter, and not unlike a dormant volcano, it was nearly fifty years before the 2001 and 2002 teams (under Mark Schmidt) exploded to put together their own 18 game “perfect” mark.

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The Humble Beginning: Neshaminy first fielded its own eleven in 1928 when the school was called Langhorne-Middletown High School. Preferring to stay close to home, that first - and only - game that year was against Newtown High School. Heart and history yet-to-come where not enough as our kids came up short, 13 to 0.

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Humble Beginning II: In 1929 (that’s the following year – stick with us) the Skins exacted a measure of revenge when they put their first mark in the “W” column when they brought home a 13 to 7 victory over – who else – Newtown High School. Wonder if they tore down the goalposts?

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Lowest Scoring Year: In 1939 the season saw 8 games played and 0 points scored.
Did someone say forward pass?

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Longest Field Goal: In 2001 Kevin Kelly lined up for a 54 yard field goal try against Pennsbury. Guess what? He not only tried it – he made it! Beside that kick being an area record. Kevin also “owns” the District One record with a 53 yarder. We sure will miss him.

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Kicking, Part II: Since we’re lamenting his graduation we feel compelled to point out that during the 2004 march to chocolate town Kevin was an astounding 58 for 58 on extra points. We might close with the fact his 4 year total of 142 for 153 “one-pointers” means he was on the mark 92.8% of the time. The Lions should be roaring when Kevin comes a calling.

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Four Skins on All-Century Team:  Well, we know the Skins are tops in our hearts but apparently they're tops in a few others as well.  How's that you ask?  Check out our favorite gridiron newspaper - the Pennsylvania Football News.  In their recently compiled All-Century Team (that's 1901 through 2000 - the next one's not quite ready) they listed 121 players from 90 schools on their First and Second Teams as well as those given Honorable Mention (the list was compiled by vote of fans and PFN staff).  Only four schools had 4 or more players (the drum roll please): 

  (1)  Altoona - 5;  (2)  Connesville - 5;  (3)  Neshaminy - 4; and (4)  Donora - 4.

 Our players?  Harry Schuh, Chris Bahr, Matt Bahr and Bob Baxter.  Schuh was a First Teamer on offense while Chris Bahr was on the Second Team offense.  Matt Bahr and Baxter both received Honorable Mention.

 And in case you were wondering, two schools had 3 players on the list, thirteen had 2 each and seventy-one had 1 of their boys on the team.

 By the way, you might recognize a few of those other players:  George Blanda, Chuck Bednarik, Jim Nance, Lenny Moore, Fred Biletnikoff, John Cappelletti, Leon Hart, Dan Marino, Johnny Lujack, Joe Namath, Dave Joyner, Herb Adderly, Ty Law, Jack Ham, Raghib Ismail, Ricky Waters, Tony Dorsett, Mercury Morris and Billy "White Shoes" Johnson - among others.

 Not bad company, we'd say.  And lest we appear remiss, congratulations to our All-Century Redskins!

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Three's The Charm:  One of our other favorite papers (the Bucks County Courier Times - of course) featured a most eloquent article in its August 29, 2000 edition.  The topic?  The selection of the area's best high school football player, best high school football coach and best high school football team during the second half of the twentieth century (that's 1951 through 2000 - come on folks).  After due consideration, careful and thoughtful reflection, and deep and probing discussions continuing late into the night - the envelopes please:

 1)     The area's top coach:  Neshaminy's John Petercuskie who guided the Skins from 1960 through 1965 compiling a 59-1-5 record while being voted Coach of the Year in 1961, '62, '63 and '65.  Voted into the PA Scholastic Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000;

 2)     The area's top player:  Neshaminy's Harry Schuh.  Played in 1958, '59 and '60.  Lead the area in scoring in 1958 and 1959 while being named All-Pennsylvania and All-America as a Senior.  Played at Memphis State and was an All-American as a Junior.  Played ten years in the NFL (was with Oakland in Super Bowl II).  Voted onto the PFN All-Century Team as a First Team offensive player; and

 3)    The area's top team:  Neshaminy's 1971 squad.  Finished 11-0 and under the old Dunkel ranking system received a Pennsylvania state rating of .537 to Pittsburgh's Kiski Area's .544.  Ranked 7th nationally in Scholastic magazine and top ranked in most Northeastern publications.

 Now you see what we mean when we say it's as easy as one, two, three!  Another clean sweep by your Redskins.

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Big Four and Little Three: What the heck could that mean? Try this on for size.

Back in the thirties (before the Lower Bucks League was established) the loose affiliation between schools in Lower Bucks was broken into two leagues known as – gee, I wonder – The Big Four and The Little Three. Here’s the line-up:

The Big Four – Langhorne-Middletown, Bensalem, Bristol and Morrisville.

The Little Three – Fallsington, Newtown and Southampton.

Seventy years later, I think we all know that Langhorne-Middletown became Neshaminy, Fallsington became Pennsbury, Newtown became Council Rock North and South and Southampton just sort of went up in smoke (maybe that’s William Tennent when you think about it).

How about that for trivia!

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Mr. Redskin! A Top Honor If Ever There Was One! (Part I): Yet again we found ourselves sitting around on a Saturday night without enough to do (so we thought we'd research our archives and find out the "story" behind the Mr. Redskin Award). Believe it or not - we found it (of course you believe it, we're good, we're really, really good!).

Anyway, way back in 1952 (at the end of his first season as Head Coach) Harry Franks decided there was a need to recognize a player each year that embodied a set of all-around qualities of character that all Redskins could look up to (in fact, Coach Franks' plan included having the players vote for Mr. Redskin themselves with that player then deemed the teams' Honorary Captain for that year).

Well, before a vote could be held, there had to be some guidelines that the candidates would have to "live up to" (that makes sense). Wonder what they were? Don't worry, like we said above, we found them and you might just read on a bit if you're curious.

When voting for Mr. Redskin, there were four main "qualifications" that Harry's boys were to consider as essential to the player elected and they were as follows:

1) He should be the best all-around football player;

2) He should be the best all-around citizen;

3) He should be the most cooperative team mate with the other players and the coaches; and

4) He should display sportsmanship, conditioning, and a general attitude which were, at all times, good for the team.

There they are! And you know something, although those four "ideals" might seem quaint in today's world, we think they're just as applicable now as they were back then.

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Mr. Redskin (Part II): A blind squirrel could have seen this one coming (duh - hey fellas, who was the first Mr. Redskin?).

Step right up because we've got the answer to your question (drum roll and envelope please). The first Mr. Redskin, as voted by his teammates in 1952, was:

Steve Cloak.

Steve anchored the Neshaminy offensive line at the center position and was a large part of their 9-1 squad that year (Harry's first as a Head Coach). Winner of numerous awards, Steve is also a member of Neshaminy's Football Hall of Fame being inducted in its initial "class" of 1985.

One other point of note, Steve (a 1953 graduate of Neshaminy) also gave the Redskins Steve, Jr. who was a stalwart player for the 'Skins in the mid-seventies under Head Coach Paris "Pal" Allison.

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Harry Franks - Did He Invent Redskin Football? Well, we know he didn't actually invent Neshaminy football but he sure had a lot to do with it. Oops - we got off-track, the point we wanted to make was that when we were researching the Mr. Redskin award (see above) we "discovered" that in 1951 (Harry's first year as a coach at Neshaminy) he was the Head Coach of the JV team.

His record? Try 7-0-0.

Then in 1952 he became Head Coach of the Varsity squad.

His record? Try 9-1-0.

Then in 1953 his team finishes up 9-1-0 again before his 1954 boys post Neshaminy's first "perfect" record when they bring home a 10-0-0 season!

Not bad, not bad at all. In fact, if you do some quick math you might just notice that Coach Franks' combined record during his first four years as a Head Coach was a not-so-shabby 37-2-0. And in case you haven't poked around this site till you're "red and blue" in the face, we'll point out that Harry's overall record while the Head Honcho of the 'Skins (from 1952 through 1959) was 69-10-2. That's a winning percentage of over 87% which puts Coach Franks in second position behind only John Petercuskie and his monumental 59-1-5 effort during the 1960 to 1965 seasons.

Congratulations to Coach Franks.

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Mr. Redskin (parts III through IX): Lists, list and more lists - that's what we've become!

So here's another list for you "factoid" junkies - the first 10 Mr. Redskin honorees (that's 1952 through 1961 for those of you not paying attention). But before we set them out below, we should make note that through the 2005 season, there have been 54 Mr. Redskin "winners" and you can find all of them in the Players Awards section of this most wonderful website (we do like to pat ourselves on the back now and then).

But we digress, so here's the First Ten Mr. Redskin selections (with their positions listed):

   1952 - Steve Cloak (center)
   1953 - Tom Buckley (quarterback)
   1954 - Don Cameron (back)
   1955 - Bill Barret (quarterback)
   1956 - Donald Boyer (center)
   1957 - Frank Conroy (lineman/linebacker)
   1958 - Al Gaskill (back)
   1959 - Herb Cummings (Center)
   1960 - Jack Stricker (back)
   1961 - John Carber (lineman)
Now have about a round of applause!

And how about these tidbits: Everyone of those players is in the Redskins Football Hall of Fame while 7 of of the 10 were accorded "All County" honors (that was the all-star team to "make" in those days) with those fellows being Steve Cloak, Don Cameron, Frank Conroy, Al Gaskill, Herb Cummings, Jack Stricker and John Carber. Four of them (Cameron, Conroy, Stricker and Carber) were so honored in both their junior and senior years. Plus John Carber was 1st Team All-State in 1961 (the first Redskin to earn that recognition although Harry Schuh was named 2nd Team All-state in both his junior and senior years in 1958 and 1959).

And how about this footnote, Dashing Don Cameron was not only All-County in 1953 and 1954 he was named Mr. Back in both of those years too (yes - they had other awards back then) while being crowned Mr. Redskin in 1954 (the 'Skins first perfect season we might add). Our records reveal that Don can thus lay claim to being the only player to have been selected as Mr. Redskin while "winning" in another category the same year. Nice job, Don!

Anyway, we think that they're all winners - so congratulations again to these fine representatives of Neshaminy Redskin football.

 

 

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