The Streak

The 60s, John Petercuskie, and The Streak



By Chris English Courier Times Sports Writer

With Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown establishing a football dynasty with 42 straight wins, long-time area gridiron followers are reminded of another streak. Neshaminy has a long and illustrious football tradition, but never were the Redskins more dominant than for five seasons in the early 1960’s. From the fourth game of the 1961 campaign all the way through 1965, Coach John Petercuskie’s teams did not taste defeat on the field. Neshaminy was 47-0-4 during that period. After Harry Franks established Neshaminy as a power-house, Petercuskie took over the reins by himself as head coach in 1960. In his second season, the Redskins took off on their unbeaten streak under the guidance of Petercuskie and assistant coaches Jack Swartz and Pete Cordelli.


Game One Sept. 29, 1961 – Neshaminy 28, Allentown William Allen 14

The streak started with a 28-14 win over Allentown William Allen in Allentown. Coming off a tough 13-7 loss to nemesis Easton in their third game of the season (after shutout wins over Bishop Egan and Chester), the Redskins took out their frustrations on the Canaries. Chief weapon in the Neshaminy arsenal was senior halfback Ed Kaminski. He scored on runs of four yards in the first quarter and six in the second to stake the Redskins to a 14-0 lead. Not satisfied to just show his running skills, Kaminski also passed for a nine-yard touchdown to Al Rell in the second quarter. The lead reached 28-0 in the third period when fullback Bob Baxter bolted 45 yards for a score. Bill Schemberg added all four extra points. Allentown got on the board with two touchdowns in the final quarter.

Game Two Oct. 6, 1961 – Neshaminy 59, Bristol 0

Playing before 3,000 at Neshaminy, the Redskins took no prisoners in steamrolling over Bristol. Neshaminy scored every time it handled the ball as nine different players scored touchdowns. They were Kaminski, Bob Barr, Tom Preno, Rell, Jim Ball, Bruce Evans, Tom Dee, Bob Baxter and Maury Tome. The longest plays came when Kaminski ran 65 yards for a score in the first quarter and threw 64 yards to Rell in the second. Mike Wingfield made sure the defense got into the act when he intercepted a Bob Pascale pass to set up the third touchdown. The 59 points equaled the team scoring record set in 1959 against Woodrow Wilson.

Game Three Oct. 13, 1961 – Neshaminy 54, Woodrow Wilson 0

For the second straight week, the Redskins coasted through a laugher. Playing before 4,000 on their home turf, Petercuskie’s team rolled up a 40-0 lead at halftime and never looked back. Kaminski again was a big gun offensively. He scored on runs of 10 and four yards and also ran back a punt 59 yards for a score. The punt return came when Jim Ball caught the kick and then handed off to Kaminski who took it in behind fine blocking. The Rams of Coach Lou Sorrentino could not penetrate into Neshaminy territory in the first half. Wilson’s best run in that half was an eight-yarder by Johnny Keener on a keeper. Other Neshaminy touchdowns were by Evans (one-yard run), Baxter (one-yard run), Bill Brundzo (three-yard run), Preno (one-yard run) and Barr (four-yard run). Bill Schemberg added five extra points and Baxter one.

Game Four Oct. 20, 1961 – Neshaminy 34, Pennsbury 14

Before a throng of 7,000 at Playwicki Field, the Redskins continued their scoring binge at the expense of their arch-rivals. Neshaminy opened the scoring in the first quarter when Baxter, a sophomore, dashed 11 yards to climax an 86-yard march following the opening kickoff. Kaminski followed with a 27-yard pass to junior halfback Barr in the second quarter. Baxter then caught a 25-yard scoring pass from Brundzo to give the Redskins a 21-0 lead. The score reached 34-0 in the third quarter on a 25-yard Barr run and a 10-yard run by junior halfback John Rothrock (extra-point kick failed). Pennsbury scored all its points in the final quarter. First, end Bill Junk recovered a Neshaminy fumble in the end zone. Then, senior fullback Bill Sanders finished a 54-yard drive with a two-yard run. One of the few sour notes for Neshaminy was an injury to Kaminski. He fractured his ankle in the game and missed the rest of the season.

Game Five Oct. 28, 1961 – Neshaminy 45, Delhaas 0

Another easy shutout for the Redskins, this one on the Delhaas field as 1,000 fans looked on. Brundzo passed for four touchdowns. They were 22 yards to Ball, 27 to Ralph Basch, 20 to Preno and four to Mike Wunsch. Probably the most exciting play was a 60-yard touchdown dash by Barr in the second quarter. The defense also got into the act when Mike Wingfield returned an interception 22 yards for a score. Evans scored the other touchdown on a seven-yard run.

Game Six Nov. 3, 1961 – Neshaminy 22, William Tennent 0

The Redskins clinched the Lower Bucks County League Section One title with their sixth and final shutout of the year. Around 4,500 at Playwicki field saw Tennent give John Petercuskie’s crew a surprisingly tough test. Barr opened the scoring with a one-yard run in the third quarter following a 64-yard march set up when Rell intercepted a pass from Tennent’s Frank Bachich. Baxter continued his scoring binge when he caught a 31-yard pass from Brundzo, also in the second stanza. Bachich was tackled in the end zone for a safety in the third stanza. Baxter finished the scoring with a one-yard run in the fourth. Schemberg kicked two of three extra points.

Game Seven Nov. 11, 1961 – Neshaminy 55, Delaware Township (N.J.) 13

Some 3,000 fans at Playwicki field saw the Redskins explode for 28 points in a four-minute span of the third quarter to put the game away. Neshaminy overcame a 13-6 deficit to win going away. Barr ran for three touchdowns to lead the scoring parade (29, 23 and one yard). Evans returned a punt 76 yards for one touchdown and threw 35 yards to Rell for another. Other touchdowns were by Brundzo (three-yard run), Bruce Galvin (five-yard run with fumble recovery) and Mark Ciccone (three-yard run). Brundzo was injured and lost for the remainder of the season in this game.

Game Eight Nov. 17, 1961 – Neshaminy 21, La Salle 7

In a special game added to the schedule, over 8,000 fans at Neshaminy’s Playwicki field watched the. Redskins top the cream of the Philadelphia Catholic League crop. La Salle was the fending City champions. Senior halfback Bruce Evans stole the show, scoring all three Neshaminy touchdowns on runs of two, two and three yards. Quarterback Frank Daniel scored the only La Salle touchdown on a five-yard run after Neshaminy had already scored twice. Defensive stand John Carber, who went on to All State honors as a lineman, prevented another La Salle touchdown in the second quarter by recovering a fumble at the Neshaminy 10.

Game Nine Nov. 23, 1961 – Neshaminy 40, Bensalem 14

Petercuskie’s team closed out the year with the annual Thanksgiving Day clash with Bensalem. Around 2,000 at the Owls’ field watched the Redskins forge a devastating 376-39 advantage in total yardage. The game featured the usual number of explosive plays from Neshaminy’s single-wing offense. Bob Barr scored on runs of 62 and 83 yards. Other scores were by Baxter (runs of 19 and one yard), Evans (four-yard run) and Dick Bonsall (one-yard run). Neshaminy was up by a 40-0 count before Bensalem scored in the final quarter , a 65-yard kickoff return by Henry George and an eight-yard pass from quarterback Glen Ray to Danny Staats. Carber and the defense again did their part, registering another safety in the first quarter. Neshaminy finished 11-1-0 on the season, scoring 418 total points to its opponents’ 75.


Coming off a relentless 1961 campaign in which the Neshaminy High School football team rolled over almost every opponent, Coach John Petercuskie and his squad were primed for another fine season in 1962. Of course, Neshaminy’s success was due in large part to the tireless work of its assistant coaches Jack Swartz and Pete Cordelli put in countless hours helping out Petercuskie before becoming Neshaminy head coaches themselves in later years.

Game 10 Sept. 7, 1962 – Neshaminy 40, Bishop Egan 12

Petercuskie and his crew opened the season with a demolition of Egan before close to 8,000 at Playwicki Field. Halfback Bill Brundzo and fullback Bob Baxter accounted for 33 of the points. Baxter scored four touchdowns, two on passes from Brundzo and two on short runs. Baxter also booted three extra points. Brundzo added a two-yard run along with his passes to Brundzo. The Redskins’ longest play of the day came from the defense, as Tom Preno returned an interception 75 yards in the second quarter. Egan, already behind by a 27-0 score, broke the ice in the third quarter with a 63-yard drive. The touchdown came on a 35-yard pass from Bill Creeden to Al Pezzola. Egan added another score in the fourth when John Kerr climaxed a 64-yard drive with a one-yard run.

Game 11 Sept. 14, 1962 – Neshaminy 54, Chester 0

>Eight different players scored for Petercuskie as his squad completely overwhelmed the outmanned Clippers. A crowd of 5,200 at Playwicki Field witnessed the rout. Neshaminy rolled up a 40-0 lead by halftime, piling up 313 yards rushing in the first two quarters. For the game, the Redskins finished with 418 rushing yards and almost 500 (497) in total yards. Chester managed only 167. Baxter, Bob Barr, Brundzo, Maury Tome, Milt Rassier, Mark Ciccone, Tom Preno and Ray Jenkins all scored touchdowns.

Game 12 Sept. 21, 1962 – Neshaminy 13, Easton 6

Neshaminy traveled up to Cottingham Stadium and dealt the always tough Red Rovers a hard-fought loss. Neshaminy took the opening kickoff 61 yards for its first touchdown. A 27-yard pass from Brundzo to Rassier ended the march. The Redskins took a 13-0 lead when Tome plunged over from the three. Baxter’s second extra-point kick (after penalty nullified the first) was wide. Easton made it 13-6 in the third quarter when Jim Patterson scampered 64 yards for a score. Neshaminy’s seven-man defensive front held Coach Charlie Rute’s Easton squad the rest of the way. John Wichelman, Bob Cummings, Rich Lauther, Bruce Galvin, Phil Lange, Rudy Kalan and Ray Jenkins made up the line. They were backed up by Barr, Preno and safties Ciccone and Brundzo. A key run by Preno with 5:20 left in the game got Neshaminy a crucial first down and enabled the Redskins to run the clock down. Over 8,500 were in attendance at Easton. The Red Rovers had been the only squad to top Neshaminy in the last 44 games.

Game 13 Sept. 28, 1962 – Neshaminy 14, Allentown Allen 14

In what was to be one of the four ties it would endure during the 51-game streak, Neshaminy gave 6,500 fans at Playwicki Field a game to remember. The Redskins scored early in the first quarter. Phil Lange (Lower Bucks 220-yard dash champ in track), taking a handoff from Baxter, returned the opening kickoff all the way to the Allen 26. Baxter finished the short drive with a 13-yard run. Allentown’s defense got it on the scoreboard later in the first quarter. Co-captain John Henricks blasted in to block a punt by Neshaminy’s John Vosburgh and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. Preno set up Neshaminy’s second touchdown in the third quarter, intercepting a pass by Bob Brobst and returning it 40 yards to Allen’s 25. Shortly afterward, Brundzo scored on a five-yard run. Allentown tied things up again in the final quarter on a 70-yard drive. Gary Newhard finished it with a one yard run. Neshaminy had one last chance in the final minute. Bob Cummings’ field goal attempt from the 19 was on line but short. Baxter’s 13-yard score was Neshaminy’s longest run of the night.

Game 14 Oct. 5, 1962 – Neshaminy 34, Bethlehem 14

>Neshaminy scored three touchdowns in the final quarter to run away from the Hurricanes before 5,000 at Bethlehem. Baxter scored on runs of one and 10 yards while Preno added a 62-yard jaunt in the fourth stanza to put the game away. Neshaminy vaulted to a 14-0 lead on runs of 13 (first quarter) and 40 yards (second quarter) by halfback Brundzo. Bethlehem tied things up on a 75-yard run by Les “Tank” Amison and a 65-yard pass from Frank Matla to Frank Mohap. End Milt Rassier set up one of Neshaminy’s fourth-quarter touchdowns when he tore in to deck Dwayne Wartman on a punt attempt. The Redskins operated from the T-formation in this game, varying slightly from their usual single-wing lineup.

Game 15 Oct. 12, 1962 – Neshaminy 53, Woodrow Wilson 6

Neshaminy again proved that teams from Lower Bucks weren’t much of a match for its overall power. Barr led the attack with three touchdowns (runs of 21 and 31 yards and 65-yard pass from Brundzo). Fullback Baxter continued his scoring rampage with two TD s (runs of 10 and 96 yards). Preno (27-yard pass interception return), Maury Tome (two-yard run) and Brundzo (21-yard pass reception) also scored. Wilson’s lone touchdown came on a nine-yard pass from Tom Walsh to Frank Davis in the second quarter. Neshaminy rolled up a 430-171 edge in total yardage as 6,500 at the Bristol Township field looked on.

1962_10_12_Neshaminy Vs Woodrow Wilson

Source: The Bristol Courier Times article on Friday October 12, 1962 game against Woodrow Wilson

Game 16 Oct. 20, 1962 – Neshaminy 51, Pennsbury 26

Around 6,000 at Pennsbury watched Neshaminy score an, incredible 33 points in the second quarter to blitz Erie Baugher’s Falcons. The points came in the span of six and a half minutes. Baxter netted four more touchdowns (runs of 56, three and one and a 57-yard pass from Brundzo). The Redskins also scored on a one yard run by Brundzo, one-yard run by Barr, 23-yard pass from Preno to Barr and a three-yard run by Tome. Pennsbury scored on a 32-yard pass from Vince Tanzola to Dave Yates, 38-yard run by Tanzola and runs of 51 and three yards by Bob Burkhart. The 26 points was the most against Neshaminy since a 26-13 loss to Pennridge in 1958.

Game 17 Oct. 26, 1962 – Neshaminy 26, Delhaas 6

Baxter scored all four Redskins’ touchdowns, and his three scores in the second half broke a 6-6 halftime deadlock. Baxter opened the scoring with a one-yard plunge in the first quarter Delhaas tied it in the second on a 10-yard pass from Vern Pastirchak to Ed Hoffman. Baxter took over in the second half, however, scoring on runs of 51, 28 and 53 yards.

Game 18 Nov. 3, 1962 – Neshaminy 55, William Tennent 0

The big story was Baxter, as he scored 19 points (two touchdowns and seven extra-point kicks) to break the old Lower Bucks County scoring mark. His 152 points broke the old mark of 150, set by Neshaminy’s Jack Stricker in 1960. Barr also scored two more touchdowns, on runs of 71 and 15 yards in the second quarter. Neshaminy’s reserves piled on two more scores in the final quarter, the highlight of which was a 49-yard touchdown pass from Bill Kaminski to Mark Ciccone. Brundzo (two-yard run), Tome (two-yard run) and Rassier (12-yard pass from Preno) also scored. Neshaminy topped the 50-point mark for the fourth time in the 1962 season.

Game 19 Nov. 9, 1962 – Neshaminy 20, Bishop Kenrick 6

The Golden Knights of Kenrick didn’t manage a TD until the fourth quarter when they already were on the short end of a 20-0 score. Barr got Neshaminy on the scoreboard in the first quarter when he ran 42 yards for a touchdown. Baxter then scored on runs of 27 yards and one yard in the final quarter to put Kenrick away. The Golden Knights one TD came on a 25-yard pass from Pete G Achille to Mike Vernacchio.

Game 20 Nov. 16, 1962 – Neshaminy 37, Bensalem 0

A robust crowd of 7,500 at Playwicki Field saw the Redskins make rather short work of the Lower Bucks County League Section Two champs. Neshaminy was the Section One king. Baxter scored four more touchdowns. He raced 71 yards on each of two kickoff returns and also returned a punt 71 yards for a score. Baxter also notched a three-yard run in the third quarter. The other Neshaminy touchdowns were on a one-yard run by Preno and a 38-yard pass from Brundzo to Lange. Mark Ciccone recovered three fumbles in the game for Neshaminy, sharing one recovery with John Wichelman. Jim Dettmer turned in a fine defensive game for Bensalem. Baxter notched an incredible 191 points (26 touchdowns, 35 extra points) for the season, an area scoring mark that still stands. He was named Courier Times Player of the Year while center Cummings was honored with Lineman of the Year. After the 1962 campaign, it was discovered that Neshaminy had inadvertently used an ineligible player (a little-used substitute). The Redskins were forced to forfeit all 11 games during the ’62 season but its dominance on the field was clearly unchallenged.


Neshaminy High School entered the 1963 season having not been topped on the football field in 20 games. The streak would continue unabated as Coach John Petercuskie led a talented stable of standouts into battle.

Game 21 Sept. 6, 1963 – Neshaminy 7, Central Dauphin 0

A crowd of 9,000 at Playwicki Field watched the Redskins edge this Central Pennsylvania power. It was only the second loss in 21 games for Central Dauphin. The only score came in the second quarter on a one-yard run by Bill Brundzo. It climaxed a 16-play, 79-yard drive. The key play on the march was a 35-yard run by junior Eric Hutchison, who helped make Neshaminy’s season opener a successful one. Jack Dunn also did a fine job carrying the ball for the Redskins. Linemen Bill Schwartz, Steve Weinstein, Keenan Mucklow, Ray Jenkins and Steve Pyle did a fine defensive job.

Game 22 Sept. 13, 1963 – Neshaminy 14, Bishop Egan 13

Playwicki Field overflowed with 11,000 spectators for this classic battle among area rivals. Under Coach Dick Bedesem, Egan was fired up and Neshaminy had to rally from a 13-0 deficit to get the win. Egan scored first in the first quarter when Joe Rorick plunged over from the two. In the second quarter, Bedesem’s crew made it 13-0 when Tom Colella ran one yard for a score. However, a run by Rorick for the extra point was stopped cold and that proved to be critical. Neshaminy came to life in the second half. A 15-yard Egan punt from deep in its own territory put the Redskins in business at the Egan 36. Bob Baxter completed the short drive with a three-yard run. An interception by Bill Brundzo set up the winning score. After his return to the Egan 45, the Redskins marched in. Brundzo finished the drive with a one-yard run and Baxter provided the extra-point kick for the winning margin.

Game 23 Sept. 20, 1963 – Neshaminy 0, La Salle 0

A field made messy by rain resulted in a scoreless deadlock. Bob Baxter scored a touchdown on a 75-yard punt return in the third quarter, but it was nullified when Neshaminy was penalized for having 12 players on the field. About 6,000 fans showed up at Playwicki Field, with around half leaving when the rain started coming down heavily. The outweighed Redskins had trouble opening any holes for Baxter and Brundzo.

Game 24 Sept. 27, 1963 – Neshaminy 14, Easton 9

Baxter scored both Neshaminy touchdowns as 9,000 looked on at Playwicki Field. The scores came on a 25-yard pass from Brundzo in the first quarter and a 51-yard run in the second. Neshaminy also scored on a safety in the second quarter when an Easton snap sailed over its punter’s head and out of its own end zone. Junior lineman John Troyano was Neshaminy’s unsung hero. Neshaminy, ahead 14-7 in the third quarter, fumbled the ball into its own end zone. Alertly, Troyano recovered the fumble as Neshaminy was charged with a safety but prevented an Easton touchdown. Tackles Bill Schwartz and sophomore Bill Elswick played well defensively for Neshaminy, holding Easton at bay in many crucial situations. Easton had taken a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a three-yard run by Chuck Amato. The Redskins answered before the quarter ended with the Brundzo-to-Baxter aerial. Neshaminy then scored the safety and another touchdown in the second quarter.

Game 25 Oct. 4, 1963 – Neshaminy 21, Allentown Allen 20

Before 7,000 at Allentown, the Redskins pulled out a squeaker thanks to three touchdowns from the irrepressible Baxter. The 6-1, 195-pound senior scored on a 61-yard punt return, 78-yard kickoff return and 32-yard run. The run gave Neshaminy a 21-13 lead in the final quarter, enough to withstand a final touchdown by Allentown. The Canaries had taken a 13-0 lead on a one-yard run by Jim Rau (extra-point kick failed) and a five-yard dash by Greg Newhard. Baxter got Neshaminy on the board in the third quarter with his kickoff return, In the fourth, his punt return and extra point kick pushed Neshaminy into the lead, 14-13. Neshaminy recovered three fumbles in the first half to keep itself in the game

The_Morning_Call_Sat__Oct_5__1963_Bob Baxter

The_Morning_Call_Sat__Oct_5__1963_Bob Baxter

Game 26 Oct. 11, 1963 – Neshaminy 13, Allentown Dieruff 7

Another good crowd of 8,000 at Playwicki Field watched the Redskins take a 13-0 lead and then hold on. Neshaminy got on the scoreboard in the first quarter when Bill Schwartz picked up a fumble and ran 29 yards for a touchdown. Baxter added another in the second with a 70-yard run (kick failed). Allentown Dieruff got back into the game in the third stanza on an eight-yard touchdown run by Ken Reichard. Allentown had driven to Neshaminy’s 24-yard line with 1:22 remaining in the game. However, a jarring hit by Neshaminy tackle and Co-captain Ray Jenkins forced a wobbly pass from Ed Roche. Jack Dunn intercepted and the Redskins were able to kill the remaining time. Jenkins had 1 3 tackles on the day and Ted Boerckel also turned in a fine defensive game for Neshaminy.

Game 27 Oct. 18, 1963 – Neshaminy 13, Bethlehem 0

Baxter and Brundzo scored on runs of two yards each and the defense did the rest as 8,500 at Playwicki Field watched. Neshaminy was stymied in the first half. Baxter scored early in the third quarter after a 31-yard kickoff return by Tom Dee gave the Redskins good field position. Brundzo’s TD early in the fourth was set up when defensive halfback Ted Boerckel intercepted a pass and returned it 41 yards to Bethlehem’s 17. With the win, Neshaminy captured the first championship of the newly-formed East Penn League. The Redskins would later win another title in the Lower Bucks County League (Section One).

Game 28 Nov. 1, 1963 – Neshaminy 20, Woodrow Wilson 6

The Golden Rams, 2-0 in LBCL Section One play and 6-0 overall heading into the game, could not withstand the onslaught of Baxter. Baxter scored on runs of five yards in the first quarter, one yard in the second and 50 yards in the third to stake the Redskins to a 20-0 advantage. Coach Lou Sorrentino got a three-yard run from Paul Horwatt in the final period to avoid the shutout. Around 7,500 at Playwicki Field witnessed the contest. Baxter and Bill Kaminski had interceptions for Neshaminy while Don Robertson intercepted a pass for Wilson. Baxter’s three TDs gave him 341 points for his three-year varsity career, breaking the old Lower Bucks scoring record held by Neshaminy’s Harry Schuh, who totaled 337 in three years.

Game 29 Nov. 9, 1963 – Neshaminy 27, William Tennent 7

The Redskins ran up their highest point total in what was proving be a tougher season than 1962, when 50 points was not all that uncommon. Baxter got Neshaminy off to a quick start with a two-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter. Halfback Brundzo added a four-yard scamper later in the period. Tennent scored its only TD in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge by John Sokolis. Neshaminy added two more touchdowns in the third period. The first was a 1 6-yard Brundzo pass to Bill McIntyre and the second a 16-yard run by Baxter. Bill Kaminski added another interception for the Redskins in the game. The Panthers got most of their offense on the passing of quarterback John Samsel.

Game 30 Nov. 15, 1963 – Neshaminy 21, Pennsbury 20

The Redskins copped the Section One crown with a thrilling win before over 9,000 at Playwicki Field. It also concluded Neshaminy’s season. Petercuskie’s crew started fast, taking a 14-0 advantage in the first quarter. Brundzo opened the scoring with a 57-yard run and Baxter followed with a two-yard plunge. The Falcons roared back in the second stanza. Quarterback Vince Tanzola finished a 75-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run Shortly afterward, Bob Burkhart scored on a seven-yard dash to climax another 75-yard march and tie the score after Burkhart’s extra point run (all extra points – kicked or otherwise – were worth only one point) at 14. In the final quarter, Pennsbury took a 20-14 lead on a one-yard Tanzola run. His 30-yard pass to Bill Houser was the key play on the drive. Burkhart’s PAT run fell short, however, and that was to prove critical. Neshaminy came right back with its own drive. Tom Dee tied the score when he caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Brundzo. Baxter’s patented left-footed kick for the extra point provided the margin of victory. Pennsbury drove down to the Neshaminy seven, but time ran out for the Falcons. Pennsbury actually out gained the Redskins by a hefty 337-132 margin in total yardage. A Pennsbury defense led by Doug Guertin, Les Hoffman, Ken Medlin, At Dunning, Bob Peresta, Joe Fioravanti, Steve Battershell and Mike Homa held Baxter to only 23 yard on 15 carries; the lowest output, of his career.


Already blessed with a state-wide and national reputation, the Neshaminy High School football team picked right up on its gridiron dominance in 1964. The 51-game unbeaten streak would continue throughout 1964 and 1965. The players may have changed, but the winning formula started by Harry Franks and continued by John Petercuskie was a constant.



Game 31 Sept. 11, 1964 – Neshaminy 21, Bishop Egan 0

Switching to a Wing-T offense for this season to replace the traditional single-wing, the Redskins got off to a fast start against Dick Bedesem’s defending Philadelphia Catholic League champions. Petercuskie cited the absence of a big bruising fullback in the Bob Baxter mold and general lack of dominating size as the reason for changing offenses. Before 10,000 fans at Playwicki Field, Neshaminy was led by junior quarterback Jim Colbert. He passed 45 yards to Denny Auckland for the Redskins’ first touchdown. Neshaminy’s second touchdown came in the third quarter when Colbert fumbled two yards from pay dirt after a 10-yard run. Alert teammate Andy Irons fell on the ball in the end zone for a TD, however. The Redskins finished the scoring in the fourth quarter. Fred Tragemann, who earlier had intercepted a pass, recovered an Egan fumble on the Eagles’ 46. Colbert directed his squad in from there with Ted Kaminski finishing the march with a 10-yard run. Gerry Barr’s interception had set up the second Neshaminy touchdown drive.

Game 32 Sept. 18, 1964 – Neshaminy 13, La Salle 0

Striking twice in the second quarter, once on the ground and once through the air, the Redskins emerged victorious before nearly 10,000 fans at Playwicki Field. Neshaminy’s first score was set up when La Salle fumbled a punt and Neshaminy recovered on the La Salle 15. Three plays later, Colbert went over from the two. Shortly afterward, Colbert found Irons for a 12-yard touchdown pass. Standing out on defense for the Redskins were linebacker Jack (Dynamite) Dunn and end Steve Pyle. Also having good games defensively were Rich McHale, Harold Odell, Bill Elswick and Fred Conger.

Game 33 Sept. 25, 1964 – Neshaminy 19, Easton 0

Colbert continued with his hot hand, throwing for three touchdowns as the Redskins notched their third consecutive shutout before 9,500 at Easton’s Cottingham Stadium. Colbert’s scoring passes were 10 yards to Denny Auckland in the second quarter, 49 yards to Ted Kaminski in the third and again to Kaminski for eight yards in the fourth. Neshaminy’s defense held Easton to 105 total yards and the Red Rovers did not complete a pass. Colbert hit on eight-of-12 passes on the night for 111 yards.

Game 34 Oct. 3, 1964 – Neshaminy 40, Allentown Allen 6

The Redskins bolted to a 34-0 lead after three quarters and coasted in for the victory. Around .6,500 saw the game at Playwicki Field. Neshaminy scored three touchdowns in the first quarter (three-yard run by Ted Boerckel, 54-yard run by Barr and three-yard run by Colbert). Ted Kaminski bolted one yard for a TD in the second. Colbert got into the act again with a 23-yard scoring run in the third. Allentown Allen scored its only touchdown in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run by Tony Perilla. The score was set up on a fumble recovery by Bob McFarland. Kaminski finished the scoring shortly afterward with a twisting 90-yard kickoff return. Dunn was again all over the field defensively for the Redskins while middle guard Harold O’Dell also stood out.

Game 35 Oct. 10, 1964 – Neshaminy 6, Allentown Dieruff 6

A relatively sparse crowd of 2,800 fans at Allentown watched the Huskies force the third tie of Neshaminy’s 51-game streak. Quarterback Colbert suffered head injuries on the first play of the game and had to be replaced by junior Bob Rotollo, who managed to hit on only one of 10 passes. Bill Kaminski’s one-yard plunge in the first quarter put the Redskins up by a 6-0 count (George Nolte’s extra point kick was wide). Dieruff managed to tie the score in the third quarter on a one-yard run by Mike Lopsonzski, Dieruff’s quarterback. Ken Reichard’s kick for the extra point sailed wide, preserving the deadlock. Dieruff would drive to the Neshaminy 25 late in the final quarter, but fumbled the ball away as Dunn recovered. Neshaminy’s only other chance for a score was a drive to the Dieruff 17 in the third quarter. Dieruff out rushed the Redskins by a 274-153 margin and held a 301-173 advantage in total yardage.

Game 36 Oct. 16, 1964 – Neshaminy 40, Bethlehem Liberty 19

Bill Kaminski turned in a fine performance, scoring three touchdowns (all on short runs) to lead Neshaminy before 11,500 at Bethlehem. Quarterback Bob Rotollo and Jerry Barr also notched touchdowns. Rotollo also threw 33 yards to junior end Rich McHale for another score. The longest Neshaminy score was a 59-yard scamper by Barr for the game’s final touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Game 37 Oct. 30, 1964 – Neshaminy 9, Woodrow Wilson 2

Colbert, returning to action from an injury, plunged one yard for a touchdown in the first quarter for the winning points. Around 4,500 at the Bristol Township Field saw the action. Neshaminy took a 9-0 lead in the second quarter when Wilson fumbled on its own six-yard line and the ball rolled backwards across the goal line for a Neshaminy safety. Wilson got its only points in the third stanza when Jack Wertheim brought down Barr in the end zone for a safety. The Redskins were without the services of guard John Troyano (out for season with mononucleosis and hepatitis) and tackle Harry O’Dell (out for season with fractured ankle).

Game 38 Nov. 6, 1964 – Neshaminy 35, William Tennent 6

Petercuskie’s team rolled over the visiting Panthers before 5,500. Ted Boerckel opened the scoring with a 48-yard run in the first quarter. Tennent drew to within 7-6 (the. Panthers’ extra-point conversion pass failed) on a one-yard Mike Reilly run in the second quarter. It was set up when Larry Krause blocked a Redskin punt. Neshaminy then scored four straight TDs to turn the game into a rout. The touchdowns came on a one-yard Colbert run, 61-yard pass from Colbert to Billy Kaminski, 75-yard run by Kaminski and a one-yard run by Eric Hutchinson. Jimmy Walker, Neshaminy’s middle guard on defense, hauled down a score of Tennent runners during the contest. He was just returning to the squad after eight weeks out with a knee injury

Game 39 Nov. 14, 1964 – Neshaminy 14, Pennsbury 13

This game was for the Section One title of the Lower Bucks County Football League. Neshaminy was 7-0-1 heading into the contest and Pennsbury, under Coach Erle Baugher, was 8-0-0. Before more than 10,000 at Pennsbury, the Redskins emerged a one-point victor for the second straight year against Pennsbury. Neshaminy got out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Billy Kaminski bolted 39 yards for the first TD. Then, with six seconds remaining in the opening stanza, Colbert ran two yards for another score. His 38-yard pass to end Andy Irons was a key play on the drive. Nolte kicked both extra point for the Redskins. In the second quarter, Pennsbury closed the gar Tackle Dave Pursell intercepted Colbert pass to put the Falcons it business at their own 48. Fifteen plays later, Joe Hodgson scored the TD on a three-yard run. Bob Burkhart cracked into the end zone for the conversion (counting only one point during that time). Pennsbury blew a chance in the third quarter when it tumbled the ball away one inch from a touchdown. However, early in the fourth quarter Burkhart bolted over from the two. He tried another run for the conversion, but was halted by Neshaminy’s line Baugher was not able to find anyone on the Pennsbury team to boot extra points before school started.

Game 40 Nov. 20, 1964 – Neshaminy 53, Delhaas 0

The Redskins closed out a 9-0-1 campaign with a flurry. Perhaps the most exciting play was a 103-yard interception return for a touchdown by Gerry Barr. Bill Kaminski scored three touchdowns (runs of 62 and six yards and a 52-yard punt return). Other touchdowns were by Colbert (runs of 12 and 27 yards), Jim Walker (39-yard run) and George Kissinger (43-yard run). Tackle Art O’Connell along with Dunn and Larry Finney turned in fine games defensively for Neshaminy.


The 1965 football season marked the final year for both Head Coach John Petercuskie and Neshaminy High School’s remarkable 51-game unbeaten streak. Neshaminy would fall on some rare hard times following the ’65 campaign, but the players would make Petercuskie’s final year a memorable one.

Game 41 Sept. 10, 1965 – Neshaminy 41, Bishop Egan 0

Petercuskie couldn’t have asked for a much better season opener. It was a long night for the Eagles of Dick Bedesem. Senior quarterback Jim Colbert opened the scoring in the first quarter with a three-yard run. The Redskins added two more touchdowns in the second quarter on long runs. The first was a 50-yard jaunt by Tom Thompson on a reverse. Colbert added a 58-yard burst. Colbert added his third touchdown in the third quarter on a two-yard run. He got one on a pass in the fourth period, a 23-yard strike to Rich McHale. Rich Settles finished the scoring with a four-yard run. George Nolte, back for another season of reliable placekicking, was good on five of six extra-point kicks. Dave Rakita intercepted a pass for Neshaminy while Bill Bartholomew, a junior tackle, was outstanding on defense for Egan.

Game 42 Sept. 17, 1965 – Neshaminy 7, La Salle 0

The Redskins came up with a sterling defensive effort before 8,000 fans at their home field. Neshaminy held the Explorers to 11 total yards but managed only one touchdown of its own. Colbert continued his outstanding play when he scored the game’s only touchdown on a 53-yard run in the third quarter. Neshaminy marched up and down the field all night only to be halted at critical times by La Salle’s defense or its own mistakes. Gerry Barr intercepted a pass for the Redskins. Among those turning in solid efforts on defense for Petercuskie were Harry Hoffman, Pete Vosburgh, Fred Conger, Steve Whithurst. Bill Walker, Bruce Sauerbry and Sam Spadaccino.

Game 43 Sept. 24, 1965 – Neshaminy 33, Easton 27

In a game not lacking in excitement, the Red Rovers rolled up the most points against Neshaminy since Allentown’s 32-7 win in 1957. Easton led the entire game until 2:34 remaining. It was then that Colbert faked a pass and, with three blockers ahead of him, raced 61 yards down the right sideline for the winning touchdown. After George Nolte’s extra point kick, Neshaminy’s defense held Easton on four downs to salt away one of the most exciting wins in recent years. John Cappellano, who would score three of the four Easton touchdowns on the night, notched the games first TD on a seven-yard run in the first quarter. Colbert answered with a two-yard run. He added a 29-yard touchdown pass to McHale later in the quarter. In fact, Colbert also figured in the other two Redskins TDs. He had a points against Neshaminy since Allentown’s 32-7 win in 1957. Easton led the entire game until 2:34 remaining. It was then that Colbert faked a pass and, with three blockers ahead of him, raced 61 yards down the right sideline for the winning touchdown. After George Nolte’s extra point kick, Neshaminy’s defense held Easton on four downs to salt away one of the most exciting wins in recent years. John Cappellano, who would score three of the four Easton touchdowns on the night, notched the games first TD on a seven-yard run in the first quarter. Colbert answered with a two-yard run. He added a 29-yard touchdown pass to McHale later in the quarter. In fact, Colbert also figured in the other two Redskins TDs. He had a seven-yard run in the third quarter and passed 20 yards to Barr in the fourth to get Neshaminy within 27-19 and set up its climactic drive. Easton’s other touchdowns came on a one-yard run by Frank Freidl, a 49-yard Cappellano run and a 61-yard pass to Cappellano from George Meyers.

Game 44 Oct, 2, 1965 – Neshaminy 19, Allentown Allen 7

A crowd of 14,000 in football crazy Allentown watched the Redskins continue their mastery over the Canaries. Barr opened the scoring for Neshaminy with a one-yard run in the opening quarter. Allentown scored its only touchdown in the second quarter on a 45-yard pass from Joe Tomcho to Pete Moggio. Ken Cressman’s placement made it 7-7. Neshaminy scored two TDs in the final quarter to wrap things up. Colbert, the Skins’ most explosive threat, notched a two-yard touchdown run to finish a 79-yard drive. Garry Pasquine ran 14 yards for the game’s final scoring.



Game 45 Oct. 8, 1965 – Neshaminy 7, Allentown Dieruff 7

Neshaminy suffered a tie for the -fourth and final time in the 51-game ,unbeaten streak. The Redskins thus had one tie in each of the four full seasons of the streak (1962, ’63, ’64 and ’65). About 5,500 at the Neshaminy Athletic Field witnessed the contest as Coach Ernie Wescoe and his Dieruff Huskies forced the deadlock. Neshaminy jumped out to a lead in the first quarter when, you guessed it, Colbert scored on a twisting 55-yard run. It took Dieruff until the third quarter to tie the score. It came with only 35 seconds left in the stanza on an eight-yard pass from Rich Studenich to Milton Carl. Neshaminy’s defense, led by Harry Hoffman, Steve Madden, Alan Jay, Fred Conger, Rich Settles and Steve Whitehurst, held Deiruff to 28 yards rushing and 84 total yards. Neshaminy managed only 28 yards of its own, however. After this game, and just before the next Friday’s game with Bethlehem, Petercuskie announced his resignation effective at the end of the season. The official pronouncement came from Neshaminy High School principal Dr. Kenneth King the day before the game with Bethlehem. Petercuskie had actually told his coaches in August that the 1965 campaign would be his last and on three other occasions told the team of his plans. He cited demands on time as the main reason for his decision to step down. “My family is an important part of my life,” said Petercuskie at the time. He was then 40 years old. “I’ve had just one vacation with my family (in 15 years in coaching, including his time as assistant). When you coach, you have to be around during the summer. This is the best thing for my family.”

Game 46 Oct. 15, 1965 – Neshaminy 34, Bethlehem Liberty 0

Petercuskie’s resignation announcement did not have an adverse effect as the Redskins rolled over the Hurricanes before 6,000 at Playwicki Field. Colbert, becoming a touchdown producer in the Bob Baxter mold, rushed for one touchdown and threw for two more. The senior quarterback notched a seven-yard run in the second quarter. Later in the quarter, he passed 31 yards for a score to Bob Rotolo and 60 yards for another to Barr. Other Neshaminy touchdowns came on a 20-yard Rotolo run and a 15-yard run by Tom Munski. Standing out defensively for the Skins were Dave Ivins, Ray Chychota, Fred Conger and Tommy Thompson. The win gave Neshaminy another championship in the Big Six Conference. In the three-year existence of the league to that point, the Redskins won two titles outright and tied in the other year.

Game 47 Oct. 23, 1965 – Neshaminy 35, Johnson City (N.Y.) 6

On its home turf before 7,500 on-lookers, the Redskins dismantled the visitors from the Empire state. Colbert again figured heavily in the offense, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another. His passes covered 61 yards to McHale (first quarter) and 35 yards to Thompson (fourth quarter). Early in the fourth quarter, Colbert had run two yards for a TD. Barr, another consistent weapon in the Neshaminy arsenal, accounted for the other two touchdowns with runs of one and 40 yards.

Game 48 Oct. 30, 1965 – Neshaminy 30, William Tennent 0

Strictly routine for Petercuskie and his crew. Barr continued his hot scoring binge with an 89-yard run to get things started. Colbert ran two yards for a TD in the second quarter and added another TD later in the stanza on a 38-yard pass to Frank DeMezza. Garry Pasquine returned a punt 62 yards for a score in the third. Second-team quarterback Ernie Forchetti, a junior, ran for two touchdowns in the final quarter (four and 55 yards) to cap the scoring. Forchetti is the older brother of Dale Forchetti, a big star for the Redskins in later years. Bill Elswick recovered a fumble to set up Colbert’s two yard score in the second quarter.

Game 49 Nov. 6, 1965 – Neshaminy 27, Altoona 6

The Redskins did not have a great deal of trouble with the Mountain Lions of Coach Earl Strohm, a traditional power in western Pennsylvania and a 28-26 winner over Pennsbury earlier in the season. Altoona was 6-2 overall coming in and left with its third straight setback. Colbert got the ball rolling with a two-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter. Altoona drew to within 7-6 later in the stanza with its only score, a 37-yard pass from Walt Beatty to Dick Frasca. Colbert’s touchdown had been set up when Harry Hoffman recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff. Colbert added two more rushing touchdowns, seven yards in the second quarter and one in the third. Barr finished the scoring by stepping one off 35 yards in the final period. The game unfolded before 10,000 on Neshaminy’s field.

The_Bristol_Daily_Courier_Thu__Nov_11__1965_Defensive Line

The_Bristol_Daily_Courier_Thu__Nov_11__1965_Defensive Line

Game 50 Nov. 12, 1965 – Neshaminy 7, Pennsbury 0

Pennsbury had dealt the Redskins its last loss in the Lower Bucks County League back in 1957. Pennsbury’s hopes for dealing Neshaminy another league loss went by the board when Barr raced 48 yards for the game’s only touchdown in the fourth quarter. A crowd of 11,000 witnessed another epic battle at Playwicki Field. Pennsbury took the opening kickoff and marched all the way to the Neshaminy seven-yard line. From there, Jim Broadwater and Ed McManus took two cracks apiece at the Neshaminy defense but couldn’t crack it.

Game 51 Nov. 19, 1965 – Neshaminy 26, Woodrow Wilson 7

The Petercuskie era came to an end in fine fashion as the Skins rolled before 9,000 fans at the Wilson field. Wilson actually took a lead, something few Neshaminy opponents managed to due in the Petercuskie years, when Rollie Clark ran seven yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. The touchdown was set up when Jack Jakobik recovered a fumble for Wilson on the Neshaminy 20. Star quarterback Colbert was injured in the second quarter and missed the remainder of the game. Backup. Ernie Forchetti took over and led the Skins to victory. He got Neshaminy on the scoreboard in the third quarter on an 11-yard pass to McHale. Neshaminy exploded for three touchdowns in the final quarter to put the game away. They came on a one-yard run by Forchetti, a four-yard run Gerry Barr and a 31-yard interception return by Tommy Thompson.

The Redskins finished a 10-0-1 campaign and outscored its opponents by a cumulative, score of 274 to 60. Petercuskie stepped down with a final head coaching record since 1960 (he was co-head coach in 1958 and 1959 with Harry Franks) of 59-1-5. This was his record on the field, and did not count the 11 games Neshaminy was forced to forfeit by using an ineligible player in 1962. Neshaminy’s 51-game unbeaten streak would come to a halt with the first game of the 1966 season. Under new head coach Tom McHugh, former head coach at Palmyra (N.J.), the Redskins suffered a 41-0 setback at the hands of Dick Bedesem’s Bishop Egan team.

1965_11_19 Wilson Game - Cuskies Last Bus 1024w

1965_11_19 Wilson Game – Cuskie’s Last Bus photo courtesy of Bill Walker