NEVER dim the glory of the Neshaminy Redskins."
It was back in 1954
Harry Franks, then head football coach, made that
statement which, to this date, is still uttered by
staunch Redskin followers.
Over the last three decades, the Langhorne-based
school has produced many talented, championship
From 1952 up to an
including the season of '65, for that matter,
Neshaminy rightfully had to be acclaimed the kingpin
of Pennsylvania Eastern scholastic football.
DURING THAT 14-YEAR
span, the 'Skins posted an incredible 128-11-7
record, which included four undefeated seasons: 1954
(10-0-0), 1956 (9-0-1), 1960 (10-0-1) and 1962
Trying to single out
the strongest Redskin team in history is indeed an
arduous task It's a topic which still causes
considerable discussion; and, in some local
taprooms, rather vehement ones.
Some cast their votes
for Franks' '54 team which featured the talents of
Don Cameron, Stan Covington, Bob Rothenbach and
Another faction points to the '60 club coached by
John Petercuskie A team which, with the likes of
Harry Schuh, Jack Stricker, John Carber and Jack
Currie, totaled 436 points to the opposition's 51.
And in recent years,
yet another group strongly throws its support to the
71 Redskin eleven coached by Jack Swartz. It was
this team, guided by All-State performers Pete
Cordelli, Jr. Dale Forchetti and Chuck Lodge, that
secured themselves a spot as one of the top two
teams (Kiski Area was the other) in the state.
YET FOR SOME strange
reason, the '62 club is seldom mentioned. And it's
difficult to comprehend why.
Petercuskie, now in his third year as head coach (he
had been co-head coach with Franks in '58 and '59),
had a major rebuilding job on his hands.
His greatest task was filling the gaps on the
offensive line where Carber, named to the All-State
team in '61, headed a list of graduates. Others gone
from that '61 club, which finished 11-1-0, were
end Allen Rell, tackle Dick Bonsall guard Brian
Baker and halfback Eddie Kammski.
But Petercuskie, whose six-year record saw him post
a fantastic 59-1-5 record (including 47 straight
wins), molded a unit which rolled over practically
IT WAS ALSO a team
which achieved what no other Redskin club before it
had been able to do, defeat powerful Easton High
In three previous years, Neshaminy had fallen twice
to the Red Rovers while tying once. Easton dropped
Neshaminy, 13-7 in '59, tied the Skins in '60,
13-13, and handed 'Cuskie his lone loss in '61.
The squad did have
two all-star selections back from the '61 club:
center-linebacker Bob Cummings and fullback Bob
Baxter. They were joined in the backfield by Tom
Preno, halfback Bill Brundzo and wing back Bob Barr.
NESHAMINY, WITH ITS famed single-wing offense,
served noticed early it would be unstoppable in
belting Bishop Egan, 40-12.
The B-B guns, who would go on to lead an awesome
'Skins attack which would pile up 397 points and
permit just 90, were primarily responsible for the
one-sided opening win.
Brundzo and Baxter
accounted for 33 of the 40 points. Baxter, who won
the overall scoring title with 191 point (26
touchdowns and 35 PATs) scored four times against
Egan, two of them on passes from Brundzo covering 15
and 35 yards, respectively.
"As far as I'm concerned Baxter at that time had to
be the best running back in the state," recalled
"HE HAD GOOD balance and all the qualities of a good
running back His biggest asset was his speed. The
key to our offense when Bob got the ball was to get
him to the outside.
"It was my job to
knock down the end or corner man. And once Bob got
to the outside and turned the corner, there was no
stopping him. He did just about anything and in some
games, he was the entire show," added Brundzo.
greatest effort was the 'Skins 26-6 win over
Delhaas. The 6-1, 190-pound junior, who had
accounted for the 'Skins first period score, took
matters into his own hands after upset-minded
Delhaas had fought to a 6-6 tie at the half.
Baxter scored on runs
of 51 and 28 yards in the third period, and capped
his performance with a 53-yard burst in the final
"That was one of the few games we just weren't
mentally prepared for." added Brundzo. "We had just
come off one of our biggest wins against Pennsbury
and there was a little bit of a letdown."
BRUNDZO HAD FOND
memories of Neshaminy's rousing 51-26 win over
Pennsbury, marking the second straight game
Neshaminy had pushed across eight touchdowns. (The
'Skins had rolled over Wilson 50-6 a week before).
"We put it all
together against Pennsbury. Petercuskie really had
us psyched for this game. I still remember how he
had all the backs and ends paint their helmets a
fluorescent orange. That was a great psychological
move. We were sky-high and just wanted to do a job."
Neshaminy went out
and did just that, especially in the second period
when the 'Skins pushed across an incredible 33
A fumble recovery of
a kickoff and interceptions by Rich Lauther and Mark
Ciccone had set up three of the touchdowns. Baxter
accounted for three scores on runs of 56 and three
yards and a 57-yard pass play from Brundzo.
"That was our
double-reverse pass. Just like I said before, once
Baxter got downfield, forget it. He could outrun
anyone." added Brundzo.
YET AS FAR as Brundzo
was concerned the team's greatest win was against
Easton. "Beating them on their field made it extra
special. It was our biggest challenge. We always
came up on the short end against them before."
But touchdowns by
Milt Rassier on a 27-yard pass from Brundzo and by
Maury Tome on a three-yard plunge finally broke the
single-wing attack was able to control the ball most
of the way. Easton, which scored on the last play of
the third session when halfback Jim Patterson
scampered 64 yards, was able to get its hands on the
ball just once in the final period. The Red Rovers
drove the Neshaminy's 38 before being forced to
"After Rassier made
that catch, the team went bananas," said Brundzo.
Milt, along with our other end Phil Lange, were
probably two of most under-rated guys on the club.
But they sure came up with some big plays."
Brundzo, who said
Petercuskie was primarily responsible for the club
being so fundamentally sound, thought one big reason
to the 'Skins success that year was the play of
He was an exceptional
athlete. He was a great blocker and awfully tough on
defense as well. But his biggest strength was his
ability to hike the ball in the single-wing. That's
a pretty tough job. You have to keep your head down
and concentrate on getting the ball to the right
back, then have to worry about blocking. But Bob was
really accurate and quick."
THERE WERE, HOWEVER,
some disappointments that season. The first came
when Neshaminy battled Allentown Allen to a 14-14
"That was probably
the biggest disappointment. We could have had a
perfect season. Allen had a good team, but I still
thought we were much better.3
"Again, it was a case
of a letdown. We had just beaten Easton for the
first time in four years and never really got up for
"We had problems
getting the ball, frankly. Our defense let us down
because most of the game Allen controlled the ball."
THE SECOND SETBACK
came at the end of the season when it was discovered
Neshaminy had used an ineligible player and was
forced to forfeit all its wins.
"We were really
surprised at the announcement," said Brundzo "Even
though technically we had to give the title away,
most of the team still felt those games were ours.
We won them on the field."