The 60's, John Petercuskie, and The Streak

Decade Totals

1960 10-0-1
1961 11-1-0
1962 10-0-1
1963 9-0-1
1964 9-0-1
1965 10-0-1
1966 2-6-2
1967 3-7-0
1968 7-4-0
1969 7-4-0
Total 78-22-7
Win Pct .780
Points For 2593
Pts against 1116

 

'62 Neshaminy Team Overlooked

(by Ray DiLissio  - Bucks County Courier - September 22, 1974)

"TIME WILL 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 teams.

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 (10-0-1).

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 Errrol Faunce.
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 every opponent.

IT WAS ALSO a team which achieved what no other Redskin club before it had been able to do, defeat powerful Easton High School, 13-6.
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. 13-7.

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 Brundzo.

"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.

Probably Baxter's 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 session.
"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 points.

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 Easton hex.

The 'Skins 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 punt.

"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 Cummings.

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 standoff.

"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 this one.

"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."

Undefeated

Teams

 

2001

Mark Schmidt

15-0

 
 

1971

Jack Swartz

11-0

 
 

1965

J. Petercuskie

10-0-1

 
 

1964

J. Petercuskie

9-0-1

 
 

1963

J. Petercuskie

9-0-1

 
 

1962

J. Petercuskie

10-0-1

 
 

1960

J. Petercuskie

10-0-1

 
 

1956

Harry E Franks

9-0-1

 
 

1954

Harry E Franks

10-0

 

 

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