Bill Engelhardt's MUSTANGS GRIDIRON Corner

This site is currently dedicated to covering the fortunes of the South Western High School MUSTANGS football team in York County, Pennsylvania. SOUTH WESTERN MUSTANGS GRIDIRON columns will be posted for a preseason review and following each game during the season. And we will follow my Alma Mater, the CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High School in Bergen County, New Jersey, with THE GRIDIRON columns by my twin brother Dick, the stadium announcer "Voice of the CUTTERS."

Location: Glenville, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, November 29, 2015

York and Adams County Report – Week 13

By Bill Engelhardt

Stat Stars of the Week


Passing: (200 yds or more) 

291 yes – Michael Shuster – Camp Hill

Receiving: (100 yds or more)

112 yds – Bill Williams – Camp Hill

Touchdowns: (4 or more)

5 – Bill Williams - Camp Hill


Interceptions: (2 or more)

2 – Dan Yokemick – York Catholic

Tackles: (10 or More)

13 – Lucas Colestock – Camp Hill
13 – Jack Williamson – Camp Hill

District 3 Notes for York & Adams Counties – Week 13

York-Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA) Division III action:

As the number 3 seed in the District 3 Class A Playoff picture, the Fighting Irish of York Catholic (6-6 overall, 5-2 league) played the number 1 seed Mid-Penn Capital Division Lions of Camp Hill (11-1 overall, 6-1 league) at Hersheypark Stadium Friday, November 27, at 1PM and were defeated 40-28.  The Lions advance to play the Laurel Highlands Conference Marauders of Bishop Guilfoyle (13-0 overall, 10-0 league) in the quarterfinals of the State Playoffs.

Bill Williams led the Lions rushing attack with 11 carries for 99-yards (including touchdowns of 70, 2, and 7-yards), followed by Jack Williamson with 3 carries for 37-yards, Logan Valiati with 1 carry for 12-yards, Quinn Buffington with 2 carries for 5-yards, Michael Shuster with 8 carries for 3-yards, Benny Guyer with 2 carries for minus 2-yards, and Nik Newman with 2carries for minus 15-yards.  Quarterback Shuster completed 19 of 30 passes for 291-yards and 3 touchdowns, 4 for 112-yards to Williams (including touchdowns of 35 and 62-yards), 5 for 78-yards to Valiati, 5 for 52-yards to Zack Kuntz, 2 for 22-yards to David Fetrow, 1 for 15-yards to Wyatt Beddow, and 2 for 12-yards to Williamson (including a 7-yard touchdown).  Noah Resuta kicked 4 extra points, Sean Eboch, Zack Kuntz, and Williams each recovered a fumble, Corey Becker recorded 2 sacks, and CJ Laporta and Williamson each recorded a sack, for the Lions.

Jakkar Kinard led the Fighting Irish rushing attack with 20 carries for 119-yards (including a 21-yard touchdown), followed by Dan Yokemick with 14 carries for 35-yards, Kyle Dormer with 3 carries for 27-yards, Sean Lamont with 4 carries for 21-yards (including a 9-yard touchdown), Andrew Poison with 4 carries for 12-yards (including a 1-yard touchdown), and Brandon Creisher with 1 carry for 4-yards.  Quarterback Yokemick completed 10 of 23 passes for 173-yards and 1 touchdown, 6 for 128-yards to Luke Brennan (including an 81-yard touchdown), 2 for 24-yards to Riley Brennan, 1 for 11-yards to Creisher, and 1 for 10-yards to Joe Bauhof, for the Fighting Irish.  Luke Brennan kicked 4 extra points, Dan Yokemick intercepted 2 passes, Jake Hamilton intercepted a pass and recorded a sack, and Luke Brennan and Matt Knauer each recorded a sack, for the Fighting Irish.  Yokemick ended his season completing 94 of 180 passes for 1,244-yards and 13 touchdowns, Kinard ended his season with 228 carries for 1,319-rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, Luke Brennan ended his season with 29 pass receptions for 535-yards and 4 touchdown, and Joe Bauhof ended his season with 29 pass receptions for 456-yards and 7 touchdowns, for the Fighting Irish.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


By Dick Engelhardt

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) instituted playoffs in 1974. Before that, sectional and group championships were awarded using power points. Now they are decided on the GRIDIRON. Power points only come into play in making the playoffs and in seeding in them and in seeding Consolation Games.

In 1980 Pete Natale’s CUTTERS shared the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) title with the FIGHTING MUSTANGS of Clifton High and the HORNETS of Passaic Valley. They beat the HORNETS 7-6 during the season but were beaten 20-7 by the FIGHTING MUSTANGS who in turn were beaten by the HORNETS. The tri-champions all had 8-1 (.889) NNJIL records. In the opening round of the States in North Jersey, Section 1, Group IV action, the CUTTERS played one of the most exciting games in their history. Trailing the INDIANS of Passaic and the Passaic Valley Conference (PVC) 7-0, 12-0, 12-7 and 18-7 at GIANTS STADIUM, they roared back to win a 27-18 thriller. In the finals at GIANTS STADIUM, the HORNETS of Passaic Valley avenged the regular season loss with a 20-0 championship shut out victory. Those 1980 CUTTERS were the first team in FLHS history to win 9 games, going 9-2 (.818).  The others were Natale’s 1985 and 87 Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL) Division 1 champion and playoff bound CUTTERS who went 9-1 (.900). 

THE GRIDIRON 14 - 2015

By Dick Engelhardt

In State Playoff Semi-Final and Thanksgiving Day action, Fair Lawn fans had plenty of rooting interests. Let’s look at some of the games.

In North Jersey, Section 1, Group V, Fair Lawn fans saw their 6 time Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division champion BULLDOGS of Passaic County Technical Institute edge the COMETS of Hackensack 10-7. The BULLDOGS are 6-0 against Fair Lawn. Hackensack leads the 1959-82, 2000 and 2010-15 rivalry with our CUTTERS 23-7-1 (.767). The MAROONS of Ridgewood beat the MOUNTIES of Montclair 24-17 in overtime. The 1966 Fair Lawn – Ridgewood Turkey Day game drew 13,000 fans to SASSO FIELD!

In Group IV, I saw the BRAVES of Indian Hills get beaten 21-14 by the PATRIOTS of Wayne Hills. That game interested me because, in the tentative lineup of the new North Jersey Super Football Conference (NJSFC) Freedom Division Blue, Fair Lawn is slated to be in with Indian Hills. Some tinkering could still go on in the set up. It was good to see former FLHS Band Director, Gordon Fisher, now doing a great job with the Indian Hills Marching Band! The GOLDEN KNIGHTS of Northern Valley/Old Tappan, another projected member of the NJSFC Freedom Division Blue, beat the INDIANS of Wayne Valley 42-20. Fair Lawn leads the rivalry with Indian Hills 13-12 (.520). Wayne Hills went 5-5 (.500) in the 1984-83 Turkey Day rivalry with Fair Lawn but took the overall rivalry 20-5 (.800). Wayne Valley took its series with Fair Lawn 10-5 (.667).

In Group III, the GREEN RAIDERS of Ramapo beat the INDIANS of Pascack Valley 35-13. PV is coached by Craig Nielsen, offensive coordinator at Fair Lawn 1980-85. He and Ramapo Coach Drew Gibbs are both class acts! PV took its Fair Lawn rivalry 14-10-1 (.583). Ramapo took its rivalry with Fair Lawn 17-11 (.607). The GOLDEN HAWKS of River Dell beat the defending champion SPARTANS of Sparta 28-21. In the only game ever played between the schools, the 1958 GOLDEN HAWKS beat our CUTTERS 26-13 with Bill Parcells playing at QB and running back.

In Group II, the Bears of Hawthorne lost a heart breaker 35-34 in overtime to the PANTHERS of Glen Rock. Fair Lawn took the 1944-54 rivalry with Hawthorne 9-3 (.750). Fair Lawn Coach Amir Saadah was defensive coordinator at Hawthorne before coming here in 2011. The THUNDERBIRDS of Mahwah beat the PANTHERS of Pequannock 28-7. Our CUTTERS took their rivalry with Mahwah 4-1 (.800).

In Section 2, Group II action, the BULLDOGS of Rutherford beat the HORNETS of Hanover Park 38-28. During 1959–63 in Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) action, Fair Lawn went 3-2 (.600) over Rutherford.

On Turkey Day at Joseph Grecco Field at Clifton School Stadium, I not only saw Clifton beat Passaic 35-12 but I got the unexpected thrill of announcing “The Showband of The Northeast,” The Fighting Mustang Marching Band of Clifton High! Bob Morgan, back for a 1 season stint as Interim Director, is a good friend. It was nice to see former Fair Lawn assistant Doug Lemberg, now on the Passaic staff and the INDIANS freshman team coach. The GHOSTS of Paterson Eastside were edged 33-28 by the KNIGHTS of JFK. Before Fair Lawn High opened in 1943, most Fair Lawn students attended Eastside with Radburn area students attending Ridgewood High and Lincoln Avenue area students attending Hawthorne High. Fair Lawn’s BNC Liberty Division went 5-2 (.714) against outside opposition bringing its 2015 record to 14-15 (.483) with 1 game to go.  

Next week we’ll look at playoff finals action of interest to Fair Lawn fans. Until then, GO CUTTERS GO!!! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Years Ending In 5
By Dick Engelhardt 

Fair Lawn played on Thanksgiving Day 1943 – 2008 beginning with a 19-0 victory over the TERRIERS of Holy Trinity of Westfield in 1943 and ending with a 42-0 victory over the BEARS of Bergenfield in 2008. During those 66 seasons Fair Lawn went   28-35-3 (.444) on Turkey Day. This history covers years ending in 5.

1945 – Frank Bennett’s CUTTERS were Bergen-Passaic Interscholastic League (B-PIL) champions in their maiden season in the league. Under Coach Marty Fischbein in 1943, the brand new CUTTERS shutout the TERRIORS of Holy Trinity High of Westfield 19-0 and began a 40 year rivalry with the MAROONS of Ridgewood with a 27-0 loss in 1944. The MAROONS made it 2-0 thrashing the CUTTERS 38-0 in 1945. It was an independent game as Ridgewood didn’t join the B-PIL until 1950.

1955 – Bennett’s CUTTERS were B-PIL champs again and this time came from behind to beat Ridgewood 19-7 in the annual classic. The MAROONS led the series 7-5 (.583).

1965 – Frank Devens’ undefeated but tied by Hackensack CUTTERS beat Ridgewood 13-6 and won the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) title. The MAROONS led the series 12-8-2 (.600).

1975 – Rich Szura’s CUTTERS were shut out 13-0 by the MAROONS who had now won the last 6 games and led the series 21-9-2 (.700). The rivalry ended in 1984 when Fair Lawn returned to the NBIL. Ridgewood took the 1944-83 series 26-11-3 (.703). 

1985 – Pete Natale’s Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL) Division 1 (The B-PIL became the NBIL in 1956) champion CUTTERS beat the PATRIOTS of Wayne Hills 36-20. They led the rivalry 2-0 (1.000). In 1994 the Turkey Day rivalries were switched and the 1984-93 Fair Lawn – Wayne Hills series wound up all even at 5-5 (.500).

1995 – Mike Alberque’s CUTTERS shut out the BEARS of Bergenfield 51-0 to lead the Turkey Day rivalry 2-0 (1.000). Fair Lawn leads the 1945-48 and 1962-present Bergenfield rivalry 33-14 (.702). Our CUTTERS have faced the BEARS on Thanksgiving Day since 1994 and lead that rivalry 9-2 (.818) including last year’s thrilling 19-18 last second victory on a TD pass from Vinnie Graff to Stephan Macchiorola.

2005 – Mike Alberque’s CUTTERS were beaten 31-24 by the BEARS of Bergenfield. Fair Lawn took the overall 1945-48 and 1962-2008 series 35-16 (.686) and the Thanksgiving rivalry 11-4 (.733). State mandated realignment ended the 51 season series that remains the longest in Fair Lawn or Bergenfield football history. 


By Dick Engelhardt

Fair Lawn HighSchool opened September 13th, 1943 and played Thanksgiving Day football games 1943-2008. Coach Marty Fischbein’s brand new CUTTERS started the tradition with a 19-0 shutout victory over the TERRIERS of Holy Trinity High School of Westfield. As State Playoff games began to get more and more attention, schools began to drop the Thanksgiving games and only as few remain. Fair Lawn discontinued the tradition after the 2008 season.

In 1944, Fischbein’s CUTTERS began a 40 year Turkey Day rivalry with the MAROONS of Ridgewood which ended in 1984 when Fair Lawn left the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) to return to the Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL), that Fair Lawn and Ridgewood had left in 1959. Ridgewood took the 1944-83 annual classic 26-11-3 (.703).

In 1984 back in the NBIL, our CUTTERS began a 10 year Turkey Day rivalry with the PATRIOTS of Wayne Hills that wound up 5-5 (.500). Wayne Hills took the 1984-2009 overall rivalry 20-5 (.800).

In 1994 the THUNDERBIRDS of Mahwah joined the NBIL and wanted to play their old Turkey Day foe, Ramsey. The reshuffling of the Thanksgiving Day NBIL rivalries enabled Fair Lawn to pick up the BEARS of Bergenfield. Fair Lawn took the 1994-2008 Turkey Day rivalry 11-4 (.733) and the 1945-48 and 1962-2008 overall rivalry, the longest in either school’s history, 35-16 (.686).

Fair Lawn’s 66 season Thanksgiving Day record was 28-35-3 (444). It ended with Fair Lawn’s 42-0 victory over Bergenfield. There were some great memories along the way. In 1947, our CUTTERS shared the then Bergen-Passaic Interscholastic League (B-PIL) championship with the GOLDEN BEARS of Lyndhurst. Coach Frank “Mac” Bennett was the New York Daily News North Jersey “Coach of The Year.” The CUTTERS beat the MAROONS 7-6 for the first Fair Lawn victory when Ed “Muddy” Senkevich blocked a punt and fell on the ball for a TD and George “Automatic” Lefelar kicked the extra point. Ridgewood led the series 3-1 (.750). In 1953 Bennett’s B-PIL champion CUTTERS shared the North Jersey, Section 1, Group III title with the COMETS of Hackensack. They beat Ridgewood 26-6. Star running back Dave Sime would become “The World’s Fastest Human!” Ridgewood led the series 6-4 (.600).

Bennett’s 1959 CUTTERS almost took the title in their maiden NNJIL season. Ridgewood’s 13-7 upset victory in which the MAROONS injured Fair Lawn’s star running back, Bob Wright, who went on to play for Army, gave Hackensack the title by half a game even though the CUTTERS had beaten the COMETS 27-6. Ridgewood led the series 10-5-1 (.667).

Ed Sheehy’s 1964 CUTTERS tied Ridgewood 6-6. Sheehy died after the season and Frank Devens’ NNJIL champion CUTTERS went 8-0-1 (1.000) in ’65 and beat Ridgewood 13-6 on Turkey Day. They remain the only Fair Lawn team in history to go undefeated! Devens’ 1966 NNJIL champion CUTTERS brought a 24 game non-losing streak into the game. Sensational running back, Bruce Jankowski would go on to star at Ohio State and play for the Kansas City CHIEFS in the National Football League (NFL) and the Shreveport STEAMER in the World Football League (WFL). He and ’59 star, Bob Wright, along with coaches Bennett and Devens and the late AD, Virgil “Virge” Sasso, after whom SASSO FIELD is named, were in the initial group inducted into the Fair Lawn High School Athletic Hall Of Fame in 2006. Coach Fischbein and the original “cutters” were inducted in ‘09 along with this writer. Before a crowd of 13,000 on Thanksgiving Day in ‘66, Ridgewood upset Fair Lawn in a 40-34 barn burner. The MAROONS led the series 13-8-2 (.619).            
What wonderful memories there are of FLHS in action on Thanksgiving Day! Next week we’ll look at playoff action of interest to Fair Lawn fans. Until then, GO CUTTERS GO!!!