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."

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Location: Glenville, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, November 22, 2014

THE GRIDIRON 12-2014: THANKSGIVING DAY MEMORIES

By Dick Engelhardt 

Thanksgiving Day football games have largely disappeared but Fair Lawn fans enjoyed Turkey Day action 1943-2008. Coach Marty Fischbein found an opponent for his new CUTTERS that initial 1943 season in the TERRIERS of Holy Trinity High School of Westfield. Our CUTTERS started their Thanksgiving play with a 19-0 victory on what is now the Center Rec Field before the football field was built along Fairclough Place. The present SASSO FIELD, named after the venerable athletic director, teacher, coach and vice principal, Virgil G. Sasso, who served 1944-79, was laid out in 1956 as the gold colored “B Wing” high school addition was being built and took that space. The current home stands were constructed in 1959.

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 1984-93 Turkey Day rivalry with the PATRIOTS of Wayne Hills that wound up 5-5 (.500). The teams continued to play during the season. Wayne Hills took the 1984-2009 overall rivalry 20-5 (.800).

In 1994 the Thunderbirds of Mahwah joined the NBIL, which they had left in the 1960s for the new Bergen-Passaic Scholastic League (B-PSL). They wanted to play their old Turkey Day foe, Ramsey. The reshuffling of the Turkey 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 during 1943-2008 is 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. 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 ’55 B-PIL champion CUTTERS beat Ridgewood 19-7. My twin brother, Bill, and I were “Water Boys” on that team! The MAROONS led the series 7-5 (.583).

Bennett’s ‘59 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 our CUTTERS had beaten the COMETS 27-6. Ridgewood led the series 10-5-1 (.667).

Ed Sheehy’s ‘64 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 FLHS team in history to go undefeated! Ridgewood led the series 12-8-2 (.600). 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, Virge Sasso, 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 at SASSO FIELD on that Thanksgiving Day in ‘66, Ridgewood upset Fair Lawn in a 40-34 barn burner, breaking “the streak.” 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 interest to Fair Lawn fans. Until then, GO CUTTERS GO!!!

TURKEY DAY IN FLHS HISTORY

Years Ending In 4

By Dick Engelhardt


1944 – Marty Fischbein’s brand new CUTTERS brand new CUTTERS began the Turkey Day tradition with a 19-0 victory over the TERRIERS of Holy Trinity of Westfield in 1943. Now they would begin a 40 year Annual Classic with a 27-0 loss at the hands of the MAROONS of Ridgewood. Both games were independent affairs. Our CUTTERS, under new coach Frank Bennett, would join the Bergen- Passaic Interscholastic League (B-PIL) in 1945 and take the title in their 1st year!

1954 – Frank Bennett’s CUTTERS fell 20-6 to the MAROONS in B-PIL action. Ridgewood led the Annual Classic 7-4 (.636).

1964 – Ed Sheehy’s CUTTERS tied the MAROONS 6-6 in Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) action beginning a 19 year run at what is now SASSO FIELD. Ridgewood’s facilities were inferior then but are now better including Field Turf. The MAROONS led the Turkey Day rivalry 12-7-2 (.632).

1974 – Al Reinoso’s CUTTERS were beaten 24-15 by the MAROONS in NNJIL action. Ridgewood led the Turkey Day rivalry 20-9-2 (.690).      

1984 – Pete Natale’s CUTTERS celebrated their return to the Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL), which they had left in 1959, by beating the PATRIOTS of Wayne Hills 33-6 and taking the NBIL Division title. Their championship repeated their inaugural season 1945 title in the B-PIL, which was renamed the NBIL in 1956.

1994 – Mike Alberque’s CUTTERS began a 15 season Turkey Day rivalry with the BEARS of Bergenfield with a 39-20 victory in NBIL Division 1 action.

2004 – Greg Tanzer’s CUTTERS edged the BEARS 19-18 in NBIL Division 1 action. Fair Lawn took the overall 1945-48 and 1962-2008 series 35-16 (.686) and the 1994-2008 Thanksgiving rivalry 11-4 (.733). State mandated realignment ended the 51 season series that remains the longest in Fair Lawn or Bergenfield football history. 
    
Fair Lawn’s 1943-2008 Thanksgiving Day games ended as more and more Thanksgiving Games were dropped because of realignment and the preference given playoff games. Our CUTTERS went 28-35-3 (.444) on Turkey Day in those 66 seasons. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

THE GRIDIRON 11-2014

By Dick Engelhardt 


The injury depleted Cutters of Fair Lawn High were shutout 38-0 by the INDIANS of Wayne Valley in a Consolation Game in Wayne last Thursday night. Captains Dan Morganstein, Matt Phillips and Dillon Rinaldo went out for the coin toss and Wayne Valley received. Fair Lawn was outgunned from the start as the INDIANS marched down the field to take a 7-0 lead. According to MaxPreps.com they have a roster of 88 compared to Fair Lawn’s 39. On the ensuing kickoff the ball appeared to be about to go out of bounds but an alert Wayne Valley player pounced on it just before it did and the INDIANS had the ball on the Fair Lawn 22. Lickety split, the INDIANS led 14-0. A fumble led to their next score and a 21-0 lead. It was 31-0 at the half including a field goal. In the 2nd half, the INDIANS scored only 7 more points.

Nice plays were made on defense by Dominick Barbarulo, Joe Compolo, Alex D’Angelo, Jon Fochesato, Mike Laboy, Anthony Messina, Morganstein, Frank Ortoll, Mark Terwilleger and others. Bradley Ramirez made a TD saving tackle; Gal Harari broke up a long pass, Tyler Johnson nearly intercepted a pass, Rinaldo sacked the QB and Phillips recovered a fumble to end Wayne Valley’s last drive. The highlight play of the night saw QB Harari pitch the ball to Johnson and Johnson roll to his right and fire a bomb to Damien Rongo who raced to the 5. Alas, the drive stalled without points. Rongo, a promising freshman, finished the game at QB.

The win brought the 1967-80 and 2014 Wayne Valley record against Fair Lawn to 10-5 (.667). When our CUTTERS began playing the INDIANS in the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) in ’67, they were the INDIANS of Wayne High. When the PATRIOTS of Wayne Hills came into being, Wayne High School became Wayne Valley.       

Fair Lawn’s Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division went 1-3 (.250) against outside opposition. The Division was proud as a peacock as its 5 time champion BULLDOGS of Passaic County Technical Institute shutout the MOUNTAINEERS of West Orange 40-0 in North Jersey, Section 1, Group V playoff action. They’ll face the SOARING EAGLES of Union City, who demolished the MAROONS of Ridgewood 54-13, Friday night. In Consolation Games, in addition to Fair Lawn’s loss, the winless FIGHTING MUSTANGS of Clifton High lost a heart breaker 8-7 to the KNIGHTS of Bergen Tech and the GHOSTS of Paterson Eastside were beaten 33-16 by the JAGUARS of East Orange Campus. Last year I was privileged to announce the East Orange Campus at Ridgewood playoff game with my “spotter,” Shawn Kerestes. The BNC Liberty Division record against outside foes is 9-17 (.346) so far.

Our CUTTERS finished their 72nd football season 2-8 (.200). More about the season in later columns. Next week we’ll look at Thanksgiving Memories in Fair Lawn history. Until then, GO CUTTERS GO!!!

SECOND ROUND PLAYOFF ACTION IN FLHS GRIDIRON HISTORY


A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
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.

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. Having come from behind to beat the INDIANS of Passaic 27-18 at GIANTS STADIUM in the 1st round, Fair Lawn faced PV in the final. Joe Biscaha’s HORNETS shut our CUTTERS out 20-0. Biscaha had played for the NY GIANTS. During 1944-46 and 1966 independently and 1967- 81 and 83 in the NNJIL the HORNETS went 13-6-2 (.684) over our CUTTERS including that playoff finals victory. 

In 1989 – Fair Lawn got into the expanded North Jersey, Section 1, Group IV playoffs by virtue of being undefeated at selection time. Mike Alberque’s Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL) Division 1 champion CUTTERS upset the BRUINS of North Bergen and the Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association (HCIAA) 14-7 in the 1st round. In the next round they faced the HCIAA RED WINGS of Hoboken in the “fumble that wasn’t a fumble” game. With Fair Lawn leading 14-0 Hoboken picked up a 1st down but fumbled. Our CUTTERS might well have scored again to ice the game but a second official overruled the fumble and Hoboken scored on the drive and went on to win a 19-14 thriller.

The RED WINGS got their comeuppance losing to the NNJIL INDIANS of Passaic in the finals. 

In 2009 Stan Myles’ CUTTERS, playing in the new North Jersey Tri-County Conference (NJTCC) Division 3, made the playoffs. In the first round they edged the INDIANS of Passaic 39-38 in the most thrilling game played in FLHS history. It was the first “Home” playoff game ever at SASSO FIELD. The other two “Home” games were both in 1980 at GIANTS STADIUM. In the second round our CUTTERS fell 42-7 to the GAELS of Roxbury, champions of the Northwest Jersey Conference (NJC) American Division. Who went on to take the title. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

THE GRIDIRON 10-2014

By Dick Engelhardt 

The CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High jumped out to a 7-0 lead over the KNIGHTS of JFK of Paterson last Friday and held it until late in the 3rd quarter before falling 34-7 at BAUERLE FIELD in Big North Conference (BNC) crossover action. Captains Dan Morganstein, Matt Phillips, Dillon Rinaldo and Deshawn Roberts went out for the coin toss and Fair Lawn received. The drive stalled but Anthony Messina recovered a fumbled punt at the JFK 17. Tyler Johnson ran for 4 yards and Roberts ran to the 8. Ryan Rue, who boomed punts, ran to the 5 for a 1st down and Tyler Johnson ran to the 1. QB Gal Harari sneaked for the TD behind center Matt Forte. With Damien Rongo holding, the sure footed Dan Kutuzov kicked the extra point for the lead. Late in the 3rd quarter the KNIGHTS tied the score. JFK scored 27 more points including a completely classless TD on a pass with 9 seconds on the clock instead of taking a knee. The JFK assistant coaches were calling down to coach Ron Jackson to stop throwing the ball and just run out the clock. Last year JFK coach Jackson also threw the ball late in the game with a big lead in a 43-21 victory.

On “D,” great plays were made by Alex D’Angelo, Jon Fochesato, Johnson, Mike Laboy,   Morganstein, Phillips, Mark Terwilleger and others. Frank Ortoll broke up a TD pass and Jake Schwartz recovered a fumble. The loss brings Fair Lawn’s 1951-56, 58, 88, 2003 and 2009-14  record against JFK and its predecessor, Paterson Central, to 8-7 (.53).

Fair Lawn’s BNC Liberty Division went 1-3 (.250) against outside opposition. In addition to Fair Lawn’s loss, the winless FIGHTING MUSTANGS of Clifton High were shutout 39-0 by the COMETS of Hackensack and the GHOSTS of Paterson Eastside were stung 7-0 by the HORNETS of Passaic Valley while the champion BULLDOGS of Passaic County Technical Institute beat the LANCERS of Lakeland 35-6. The BNC Liberty Division record against outside foes is 8-14 (.364) so far.

This Thursday at 7:00 our CUTTERS will travel to Wayne to take on the INDIANS of Wayne Valley in a “Consolation Game.” Our heroes are 8-6 (.571) in Consolation Game action since these games started in 1998. During 1967-80 the INDIANS went 9-5 (.643) over our CUTTERS in Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) action. They left the NNJIL for the Northern Hills Conference (NHC) Skyline Division in 1981 and Fair Lawn left the NNJIL to return to the Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL) in 1984. Wayne Valley comes into the game 4-5 (.444) having been outscored 223-181 for an average 25-20 loss. Fair Lawn is 2-7 (.222) and has been outscored 282-118 for an average 31-13 loss. Our heroes will give it their all to close out their season with a win. From here it looks like Fair Lawn 20 – Wayne Valley 13. GO   CUTTERS GO!!!

FIRST ROUND PLAYOFFS IN FLHS GRIDIRON HISTORY


A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
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.

1979 – Pete Natale came to Fair Lawn in 1978 having won championships at Ridgefield Park and made the CUTTERS winners again. They shut out the FIGHTING MUSTANGS of Clifton High 21-0 in Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) action in the regular season. In the States the roles were reversed as Clifton shut out Fair Lawn 30-0. During 1972-74 independently, 1975-81 in the NNJIL and 2010-14 in the Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division, Clifton has gone 11-4-1 (.733) over Fair Lawn including that playoff victory. 

1980 – Natale’s CUTTERS shared the NNJIL title with Clifton and Passaic Valley. In the States they played one of the most exciting games in their history. Trailing the INDIANS of Passaic 7-0, 12-0, 12-7 and 18-7 at GIANTS STADIUM they roared back to win a 27-18 thriller. Fair Lawn’s record against Passaic is 5-3 (.625)

1985 – Those INDIANS got revenge as they won a 36-26 thriller over Natale’s Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL) Division 1 champion CUTTERS at Passaic’s “One River Stadium.” Passaic School Stadium is now Boverini Stadium, named after the late long time Passaic Athletic Director. Fair Lawn trailed only 28-26 until the final minutes.

1987 – Natale’s NBIL Division 1 champion CUTTERS lost a 12-6 heart breaker to the BEES of Bayonne at Bayonne’s Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in freezing cold and gale force winds. Bayonne Coach Don Ahern said he was thankful for the awful weather because only it, and not his BEES, could thwart Fair Lawn’s vaunted offense. . In 2009, the teams faced each other again in a North Jersey Tri-County Conference (NJTCC) crossover game and our CUTTERS avenged that loss with a 48-8 victory.

1988 – Natale’s offensive coordinator, Mike Alberque, took over and led his CUTTERS into the States. They were beaten 20-6 by the KNIGHTS of John F. Kennedy of Paterson at Hinchliffe Stadium. During 1951-56 independently, in the playoffs in 1988, in a Consolation game in 2003, in the North Jersey Tri-County Conference (NJTCC) in 2009 and in the Big North Conference (BNC)  Liberty Division 2010-14, Fair Lawn has gone to 8-7 (.533) over Kennedy and its predecessor Paterson Central.

1989 – Alberque’s NBIL Division 1 champion CUTTERS upset the BRUINS of North Bergen 14-7 in the States in the only game played to date between the schools until the BRUINS 33-13 victory in North Jersey Tri-County Conference (NJTCC) crossover play in 2009.  

2000 - Alberque’s CUTTERS gave the nationally ranked COMETS of Hackensack all they could handle before losing a 14-6 thriller. During 1959-82 in NNIIL action the COMETS went 16-7-1 against our CUTTERS. The 4-0 Hackensack lead in Big North Conference (BNC) crossover action in 2010–13 has the COMETS’ record against our CUTTERS 21-7-1 (.750).

2009 –Stan Myles’ CUTTERS played the most thrilling game in their 72 season GRIDIRON history edging the INDIANS of Passaic 39-38 in the 1st Home playoff game ever at SASSO FIELD. The previous 2 Home playoff games were both at GIANTS STADIUM in 1980.

Fair Lawn’s record in “Consolation Games,” played the first weekend of playoffs since 1998, is 8-6 (.571). 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

SOUTH WESTERN MUSTANGS GRIDIRON 2014-11

By Bill Engelhardt
________


Last Friday evening, October 31, the Mustangs of South Western hosted the Rockets of Spring Grove at the Mustang Corral and galloped and passed their way to a 28-10 season ending victory.  The passing and rushing yards were nearly equal but the game rode the strong passing arm of junior quarterback Brock Geiman, who accounted for 133-yards and 2 touchdowns.  He set a new school record for season passing yards with 1,489-yards, eclipsing the 2009 record of 1,483-yards by Ian Smith.

The Rockets started off the game with a three and out, including a sack for a 5-yard loss by Seth Janney, and punted.  The Mustangs returned the favor and punted after a six-play drive, but the Rockets muffed the punt and Luke Baugher recovered the ball for the Mustangs at the Rockets 31-yard line.  A three-play drive, featuring a 25-yard pass from Geiman to Brady Thayer, ended with a 12-yard touchdown run by Robby Harbison.  Andrew Slater kicked the extra point and the Mustangs led 7-0 at the 5:50 mark of the first quarter.

The Rockets retaliated immediately with a four play 70-yard drive, featuring a 64-yard touchdown run by Shay Feulmer.  Andrew Luckenbaugh’s extra point kick tied the game at 7 with 4:31 left in the first quarter.

Miles Francis returned the Rockets kickoff 57-yards, setting the Mustangs up on the Rockets 30-yard line.  Harbison ran for 15-yards and 1-yard and then Geiman threw a 14-yard touchdown strike to Noah Staub.  Slater’s extra point kick put the Mustangs up 14-7 at the 3:16 mark of the first quarter.

The Rockets then drove 54-yards in five plays, featuring a 40-yard pass from Otacolius Chisolm to Shay Feulmer and an 11-yard pass from Jacob Messersmith to Logan Hall.  The drive ended with Andrew Luckenbaugh’s 39-yard field goal kick, making the score 14-10 in favor of the Mustangs with 19 seconds left in the first quarter.

The second quarter consisted of several exchanges of punts, with a 25-yard field goal attempt by Luckenbaugh for the Rockets that misfired mixed in.

The Mustangs opened the second half with a short drive that ended with an interception for the Rockets by Brandon Trasker.  The Mustangs soon returned the favor when Ryan Krebs intercepted a Rockets pass.at the Mustangs 9-yard line.  The Mustangs ended up punting and the Rockets only got off four plays before Darius Rowlette intercepted a pass and returned it 10-yards for the Mustangs.

Four plays later Geiman scampered 61-yards for a touchdown.  Slater’s extra point kick put the Mustangs up 21-10 with 1:08 left in the third quarter.

Feulmer returned the Mustangs kickoff 73-yards to the Mustangs 26-yard line for the Rockets.  However, the Rockets turned the ball over on downs at the 17-yard line.  The Mustangs ended up punting but the Rockets only got in two incomplete pass attempts before Zach Hughes intercepted a Rockets pass and returned it 19-yards for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs drove 58-yards in three plays, featuring a 21-yard run by Geiman and ending with his 41-yard touchdown pass to Staub.  Slater’s extra point kick closed out the scoring at 28-10 in favor of the Mustangs with 7:07 left in the game.

Andrew Slater kicked off 5 times for 287-yards, with 1 touchback, and Brock Geiman punted 6 times for 194-yards (for an average of 32.3-yards) with the longest going for 44-yards.  Miles Francis returned 1 kickoff for 57-yards and Jeff Green returned 1 kickoff for 21-yards for the Mustangs.

Tyler Jachelski, with 12 tackles, led the Mustangs defense, followed by Tyler Fulmore with 11 tackles, 1 pass defense and1 pass hurry, Ryan Krebs with 10 tackles, 1 interception and 1 pass defense, Josh Zeroth with 9 tackles and 1 pass hurry, Hunter Palmer with 9 tackles, Zach Hughes with 4 tackles and 1 interception returned for 19-yards, Seth Janney with 4 tackles and 1 sack for a 5-yard loss, Luke Baugher with 4 tackles, 1 fumble recovery and 1 pass defense, Brady Thayer with 4 tackles, Gus Landis with 2 tackles and 1 caused fumble, Miles Francis, Marcus Jones, Evan Raubenstine, and Andrew Slater with 2 tackles each, Andrew Feeser and Nate VanCampen with 1 tackle each, Darius Rowlette with 1 interception returned for 10-yards and 2 pass defenses, and Matt Smolko with 1 pass hurry.

Luke Baugher, Corbin Byers, Scotty Dickmyer, Mike Farace, Miles Francis, Tyler Fulmore, Matt Helwig, Bret Hertzog, Tyler Jachelski, Seth Janney, Marcus Jones, Gus Landis, Josh Martin, Austin Reusing, Matt Smolko, Chris Steckel, and Josh Zeroth manned the offensive and defensive line and linebacker positions.

Ryan Krebs, Hunter Palmer, Brady Thayer and Nate VanCampen, with help from Darius Rowlette, patrolled the secondary for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs gained 176-yards rushing and 133-yards passing for a total of 309-yards of offense. Junior quarterback Brock Geiman completed 8 of 18 passes for the 133-yards and 2 touchdowns (setting a new school record for season passing yards with 1,489), 5 for 93-yards to Noah Staub (including touchdowns of 14 and 41-yards) and 3 for 40-yards to Brady Thayer, for the Mustangs.

Geiman led the Mustangs rushing attack with 6 carries for 93-yards (including a 61-yard touchdown), followed by Robby Harbison with 15 carries for 45-yards (including a 12-yard touchdown), Miles Francis with 6 carries for 27-yards, Bret Hertzog with 5 carries for 9-yards, and Drew Hartlaub with 1 carry for 5-yards.

Andrew Slater kicked 4 extra points, Darius Rowlette intercepted 1 pass and returned it for 10-yards, and defended 2 passes, Ryan Krebs intercepted 1 pass and defended 1 pass, Zach Hughes intercepted 1 pass and returned it for 19-yards, Luke Baugher recovered 1 fumble and defended 1 pass, Seth Janney recorded 1 sack for a 5-yard loss, Tyler Fulmore defended 1 pass and recorded 1 pass hurry, Gus Landis caused 1 fumble, and Matt Smolko and Josh Zeroth each recorded 1 pass hurry, for the Mustangs.

The Rockets gained 160-yards rushing and 130 yards passing for a total of 290 yards gained.  Quarterback Jake Messersmith completed 8 of 21 passes for 65-yards, 4 for 30-yards to Logan Hall, 2 for 18-yards to J. Adam Warehime, and 2 for 17-yards to Otacolius Chisolm, Chisolm completed 1 pass for 40-yards to Shay Feulmer, and Feulmer completed 1 of 2 passes for 25-yards to Hall, for the Rockets.

Feulmer led the Rockets rushing attack with 16 carries for 130-yards (including a 64-yard touchdown), followed by Nick Erickson with 4 carries for 23-yards, Messersmith with 3 carries for minus 1-yard, and Chisolm with 1 carry for minus 4-yards.

Andrew Luckenbaugh kicked a 39-yard field goal and1 extra point and Brandon Tasker intercepted 1 pass, for the Rockets.

The 66-member 10-time Cavalcade of Bands Champions, Tournament of Bands Group IV Champion and US Scholastic Band Champion South Western Mustangs Marching Band put on a stirring post game performance, presenting their 2014 field show “Nevermore,” based on “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, on Band Night.  The show opened with the Overture from “Sweeney Todd” by Stephen Sondheim.  Mozart’s 25th Symphony provided the musical material for the first impact before melding into a minor treatment of the “Johanna” theme.  The madness continued with a return to the Overture that dissolved into a final solution.  The ballad began with beautiful sonorities from the front ensemble.  Freshman trumpet soloist, John Dyson, introduced the ‘Johanna’ theme as the narrator’s thoughts turn to his lost love, Lenore.  The passion built to a climax as he longed to be reunited with her, but alas, they shall be together, nevermore.  The closer brought a return to the narrator’s earlier thoughts as he peers deep into the darkness.  The music reached an emotional culmination with the Mozart and Verdi Requiems, before the percussion section took over with a short feature.

The 67-member New Oxford Colonials Marching Band gave a crowd-pleasing half time performance of its show “Spring Awakens.”

The 27 member strong Mustangs Cheer Leading squad (26 girls and a guy) and the Rockets’ squad were very impressive as they roused the faithful.

The Mustangs of South Western ended their season at 5-5-0 overall and 5-2-0 in York Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA) Division I league play.

The Mustangs have a career record of 346-214-8.  The results of the 568 games played in the history of the South Western Mustangs are a career .618 winning percentage and a .623 non-losing percentage.

We bid a fond and tearful farewell and offer our best wishes for the future to the 19 departing seniors.  We owe them all our gratitude for their efforts in providing us with exciting football over the course of their high school careers.  They are:  Trevor Bankert, Luke Baugher, Brock Cookerly, Andrew Feeser, Matt Helwig, Bret Hertzog, Tyler Jachelski, Marcus Jones, Ryan Krebs, Gus Landis, Josh Martin, Mitch Muir, Jesse Myers, Hunter Palmer, Darius Rowlette, Andrew Slater, Thomas Sneeringer, Brady Thayer, and Jonas Walter.

I want to say a very special thank you to Richard Lupro for faithfully compiling the official Offensive, Special Teams and Scoring statistics for the Mustangs, and for inputting them at the Max Preps web site very quickly each week so that they were always available for my use.  He was instrumental in coming up with many of the records that will be mentioned below.  And a very special thank you also goes to Mustangs Assistant Coach Chris Heilman for inputting all of the defensive stats at Max Preps after reviewing game films on very short notice.  They were always available for my use on a very timely basis.

The 2014 edition of the Mustangs of South Western gave their fans lots of excitement and thrills.

Junior Brock Geiman, who still has another year to add to his record setting accomplishments, completed 88 of 174 passes for 1,489-yards and 14 touchdowns.  The yardage set a new school season passing record, eclipsing the 2009 record of 1,483-yards by Ian Smith.  The 14 touchdowns thrown tied him with David Sager for 4th best in school history.  His passing yardage also places the team in 2nd place for team passing yardage for a season in school history.  First place belongs to the 2009 team with 1,583-yards.

Junior Noah Staub, who still has another year to add to his record setting accomplishments, already is in the record book four times.  His 683 career pass reception yards puts him in 5th place in school history, replacing Bob Fleming’s 651-yards in the top 5.  His 28 pass receptions for the season puts him in 5th place in school history.  His 42 pass receptions for his career to date puts him in 4th place in school history.  And his 9 touchdown receptions for his career to date puts him in a tie with Corry Rutters for 5th place in school history.

The season pass reception leaders were Drew Hartlaub with 18 for 481-yards and 5 touchdowns, followed by Noah Staub with 28 for 432-yards and 5 touchdowns, Miles Francis with 14 for 188-yards and 1 touchdown, Brady Thayer with 10 for 161-yards and 2 touchdowns, Robby Harbison with 6 for 99-yards, Corbin Byers with 4 for 36-yards and 1 touchdown, Bret Hertzog with 2 for 25-yards, Zach Hughes with 2 for 21-yards, and Seth Janney with 1 for 13-yards.  There were a total of 88 receptions for 1,489-yards and 14 touchdowns.

Drew Hartlaub’s 481-yards in pass receptions is 4th best in school history.

Robby Harbison led the team in rushing this season with 151 carries for 629-yards and 4 touchdowns, followed by Drew Hartlaub with 71 carries for 382-yards and 6 touchdowns, Miles Francis with 56 carries for 215-yards and 6 touchdowns, Brock Geiman with 47 carries for 130-yards and 4 touchdowns, Bret Hertzog with 33 carries for 125-yards and 2 touchdowns, Josh Martin with 2 carries for 9-yards, and Zach Hughes with 7 carries for 8-yards.  There was a team loss of 20-yards on 10 carries.  There was a total of 380 carries for 1,500-yards and 22 rushing touchdowns for the season.  You’d have to call that a very balanced offense with only 11-yards separating the passing and rushing totals for the season.

Drew Hartlaub led the team in scoring with 84 points on 14 touchdowns, followed by Miles Francis with 42 points on 7 touchdowns, Noah Staub with 30 points on 5 touchdowns, Andrew Slater with 30 points on 27 extra points and 1 field goal, Brock Geiman with 26 points on 4 touchdowns and 2 extra point kicks, Robby Harbison with 24 points on 4 touchdowns, Brady Thayer with 18 points on 3 touchdowns, Bret Hertzog with 12 points on 2 touchdowns, Corbin Byers with 8 points on 1 touchdown and a 2-point conversion, and Seth Janney with 2 points on a safety.  The team scored 276 points for the season.

There were 4 players with at least 50 tackles for the season, Tyler Jachelski with 86, Ryan Krebs with 70, Seth Janney with 51, and Tyler Fulmore with 50.  Hunter Palmer with 45 tackles wasn’t far behind.

Seth Janney led the team with 7 sacks on the season, followed by Luke Baugher with 5, and Tyler Fulmore and Josh Zeroth with 1 sack each.  There was a team total of 14 sacks for the season.

The team registered 13 interceptions, Ryan Krebs with 6, Brady Thayer with 3, Zach Hughes with 2, and Miles Francis and Darius Rowlette with 1 each, and 8 fumble recoveries, Luke Baugher with 3, Matt Smolko with 2, and Corbin Byers, Tyler Fulmore, and Tyler Jachelski, with 1 each.

Ryan Krebs’ 6 interceptions for the season puts him in a 5-way tie for 3rd place in school history, with Duane Rowlette (2007), Doug Seidenstricker (1990), Andy Stauffer (1984), and Paige Wingert (1982).

Andrew Slater kicked 27 extra points and 1 field goal for the season.  He also kicked off 42 times for 2,034-yards and 2 touchbacks.  His 27 extra points will put him in the “Keystone Club” at the Pennsylvania Football News.

The 2014 Mustangs represented their school and league honorably, played hard, and never gave up.  They have a great nucleus of returning players from the varsity and the junior varsity and solid players coming up within the ranks.  And the distant future looks bright as well, as the freshmen team has a 7-0-1 record with 1 game to go.  I can’t wait for next season to begin.  Until then, GO MUSTANGS GO.

THE GRIDIRON 9-2014

By Dick Engelhardt 


The CUTTERS of Fair Lawn beat the INDIANS of Passaic 39-7 last week at SASSO FIELD in Big North Conference (BNC) crossover action. Captains Dan Morganstein, Dillon Rinaldo and Deshawn Roberts went out for the coin toss and Passaic received. Tyler Pollack recovered a fumble and Roberts raced 52 yards for a TD and our heroes never looked back! Morganstein recovered the surprise onside kick and Tyler Johnson picked up a first down and then scampered 16 yards for a TD off a block by Sefa Basci. The INDIANS scored to make it 12-7 but QB Gal Harari threw a bomb to Johnson who raced to the 5. Roberts’ TD run and Johnson’s 2 point conversion run had our CUTTERS up 20-7 at the half. 

In the second half Anthony Messina recovered a fumble and Roberts ran to the 1 and Harari scored on a plunge behind center Matt Forte. Fair Lawn led 26-7. Harari threw a picture pass to Johnson for a 33 yard TD and our heroes led 32-7. Morganstein’s 8 yard TD run and Dan Kutuzov’s extra point kick with Damien Rongo holding closed out the scoring. The 39 points equaled those in Fair Lawn’s 39-38 playoff victory over Passaic in 2009 which remains the most thrilling game ever played in Fair Lawn’s now 72 seasons on THE GRIDIRON! The win brought Fair Lawn’s record against Passaic to 5-3 (.625). It was nice to see former Fair Lawn assistant coach Doug Lemberg, now on the Passaic staff.

This last regularly scheduled home game, was poignant as seniors soon to end their participation in the football program were honored and introduced with their escorts. We said goodbye and wished the best to: Joseph Compolo, Kutuzov, Messina, Morganstein, Matt Phillips, Frank Ortoll, Dillon Rinaldo, Roberts and Jake Schwartz. Senior cheerleaders honored were: Amanda Cacciatiore, Nicole Drummond, Rachel Fladung, Angela Marx, Brittany Meerholz, Rachel Nicholas, Rachel Pollack, Stephanie Shapiro and Rachel Somick. Led by their energetic coach, Melissa McInerney, they’ve been great all year! It was nice to see former Cheerleader Coach Lauren Gimon in the stands cheering the cheerleaders on! Fair Lawn fans remember renowned Fair Lawn QB Carl Straw throwing TD passes to “Meerholz and Davies” on that 1985 Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL) Division 1 champion and playoff team that lost 36-26 to Passaic in the States!

Fair Lawn’s BNC Liberty Division went 2-2 (.500 against outside opposition, In addition to Fair Lawn’s win, the defending champion BULLDOGS of Passaic County Technical Institute beat the MAROONS of Ridgewood 19-13 earning a home playoff spot. The winless FIGHTING MUSTANGS of Clifton High were beaten 35-12 by the BEARS of Bergenfield, who earned a playoff spot. The GHOSTS of Paterson Eastside were walloped 56-6 by the IRONMEN of Don Bosco in yet another travesty in the public – non public school saga. The BNC record against outside foes is 6-12 (.333) so far.

This Friday at 1:00 our CUTTERS travel to BAUERLE FIELD in Paterson to take on the KNIGHTS of John F. Kennedy High. Paterson Central was the Turkey Day rival of the GHOSTS of Paterson Eastside and most Fair Lawn students attended Eastside before FLHS opened in 1943. During 1951-56 and 58 Fair Lawn went 5-2 (.714) over Central. In 1988 the successor KNIGHTS of JFK beat our CUTTERS 20-6 in the States while, in the 2003 State “Consolation Game,” our CUTTERS prevailed 20-0. During 1951-56 independently, in the playoffs in 1988, in a Consolation game in 2003, in the North Jersey Tri-County Conference (NJTCC) in 2009 and in BNC crossover action 2010-13, Fair Lawn has gone to 8-6 (.571) over Central/Kennedy.

Kennedy comes into the game 3-4 (.429) having outscored the opposition 140-120 for an average 20-17 win. Fair Lawn is 2-6 (.250) and has been outscored 248-111 for an average 31-14 loss. With an all out effort, I think our heroes can win this one. From here it looks like Fair Lawn 20–JFK 14. GO CUTTERS GO!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

SOUTH WESTERN MUSTANGS GRIDIRON 2014-10

By Bill Engelhardt
________


Last Friday evening, October 24, the Mustangs of South Western visited the den of the Bobcats of Northeastern and galloped to a 16-7 victory.  The swarming Mustang defense registered 7 sacks for a mind boggling 69-yards in losses, including a safety.

The Bobcats opened the game by going three and out, including a sack of quarterback Blake Einsig by Luke Baugher for a 13-yard loss, and punted.  The punt only netted three yards and the Mustangs took over on the Bobcats 26-yard line.  Brock Geiman threw a 10-yard pass to Noah Staub, Robby Harbison rambled for 12-yards to the 4, and Miles Francis scampered in for a 4-yard touchdown.  Andrew Slater kicked the extra point and the Mustangs were up 7-0 at the 9:18 mark of the first quarter.

The Bobcats then started on their own 23-yard line, were penalized to the 13, and gained a yard to the 14-yard line.  The Mustangs’ Seth Janney then sacked Einsig in the end zone for a 14-yard loss and a safety.  That put the Mustangs up 9-0 at the 7:52 mark in the game.

The Mustangs started a drive at the Bobcats 42-yard line and drove to the 17 in six plays, featuring a 12-yaed pass from Geiman to Staub.  The drive ended when the Mustangs misfired on a 35-yard field goal attempt.

The Bobcats then drove from their own 20-yard line to the Mustangs 17-yard line in nine plays, featuring passes of 25 and 14-yards from Einsig to Jordan Zirkle and an 11-yard pass from Einsig to David Ankney.  However, a sack by Janney for an 11-yard loss followed by a sack by Josh Zeroth for a 2-yard loss ended that drive and the Bobcats punted.

The Mustangs next drive ended when Houston Hoffman intercepted a Geiman pass at the Bobcats 32-yard line.  The Bobcats went three and out and punted and the Mustangs ended up punting after a short drive.

The Bobcats then drove 76-yards in two plays, ending with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Einsig to Ankney.  Chase Sasala kicked the extra point and the score was 9-7 in favor of the Mustangs with 3:26 left in the second quarter.

The Mustangs next drive ended when Taemar Willis intercepted a Geiman pass and returned it 13-yards.  The Mustangs returned the favor on the next play when Zach Hughes intercepted an Einsig pass and returned it 9-yards to the Bobcats 24-yard line.  The Mustangs ended up misfiring on a 29-yard field goal attempt.

The Mustangs and the Bobcats opened the second half by exchanging punts.  The Bobcats’ drive was thwarted by a sack by Baugher and a sack by Janney (who had three sacks in the game).  After Miles Francis returned the Bobcats punt 21-yards to the Bobcats 44-yard line the Mustangs ended a nine-play drive with a 7-yard touchdown run by Bret Hetzog.  Slater’s extra point kick closed out the scoring at 16-7 in favor of the Mustangs at the 2:01 mark of the third quarter.

Each team turned the ball over on downs and each team punted.  The Bobcats last drive went from their own 24-yard line to the Mustangs 44-yard line, featuring a 28-yard pass from Einsig to Zirkle, but ended when Brady Thayer intercepted an Einsig pass and returned it 13-yards for the Mustangs.

Andrew Slater kicked off 2 times for 106-yards, with the longest going for 54-yards, and Brock Geiman punted 3 times for 97-yards (for an average of 32.3-yards) with the longest going for 37-yards.  Miles Francis returned 3 kickoffs for 55-yards, with the longest going for 24-yards, and 1 punt for 21-yards for the Mustangs.

Tyler Jachelski, with 12 tackles, led the Mustangs defense, followed by Luke Baugher with 8 tackles, 3 sacks for 29-yards in losses, and 1 pass defense, Ryan Krebs with 7 tackles and 2 pass hurries, Seth Janney with 6 tackles, 3 sacks for 39-yards in losses, and 1 pass hurry, Tyler Fulmore with 6 tackles and 1 pass hurry, Josh Zeroth with 5 tackles and 1 sack for a 1-yard loss, Gus Landis with 5 tackles, Zach Hughes with 3 tackles and 1 interception returned for 9-yards, Marcus Jones with 3 tackles and 1 pass hurry, Miles Francis and Hunter Palmer with 2 tackles each, Matt Smolko with 1 tackle for a 1-yard loss, Corbin Byers, Jacob Muir, Carson Perry, Evan Raubenstine, and Nate VanCampen with 1 tackle each, and Brady Thayer with 1 interception returned for 13-yards.

Luke Baugher, Corbin Byers, Scotty Dickmyer, Mike Farace, Miles Francis, Tyler Fulmore, Matt Helwig, Bret Hertzog, Tyler Jachelski, Seth Janney, Marcus Jones, Gus Landis, Josh Martin, Austin Reusing, Matt Smolko, Chris Steckel, and Josh Zeroth manned the offensive and defensive line and linebacker positions.

Ryan Krebs, Hunter Palmer, Brady Thayer and Nate VanCampen patrolled the secondary for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs gained 146-yards rushing and 51-yards passing for a total of 197-yards of offense. Junior quarterback Brock Geiman completed 5 of 14 passes for the 51-yards, 3 for 26-yards to Noah Staub, 1for 15-yards to Robby Harbison, and 1 for 10-yards to Hunter Palmer, for the Mustangs.

Robby Harbison led the Mustangs rushing attack with 19 carries for 80-yards, followed by Bret Hertzog with 13 carries for 58-yards (including a 3-yard touchdown), Miles Francis with 8 carries for 14-yards, and Brock Geiman with 2 carries for minus 3-yards.

Andrew Slater kicked 2 extra points, Brady Thayer intercepted 1 pass and returned it for 13-yards, Zach Hughes intercepted 1 pass and returned it for 9-yards, Luke Baugher recorded 3 sacks for 29-yards in losses, and recorded 2 pass hurries, Seth Janney recorded 3 sacks for 39-yards in losses, and recorded 1 pass hurry, Josh Zeroth recorded 1 sack for a 1-yard loss, Tyler Jachelski registered 12 tackles, Ryan Krebs recorded 2 pass hurries, and Tyler Fulmore and Marcus Jones each recorded 1 pass hurry, for the Mustangs.

The Bobcats gained a net of minus 46-yards rushing and 192 yards passing for a total of 146 yards gained.  Blake Einsig completed 9 of 14 passes for the 192-yards and 1 touchdown, 6 for 101-yards to Jordan Zirkle and 3 for 91-yards to David Ankney (including a 75-yard touchdown) for the Bobcats.

Fred Mulbah led the Bobcats rushing attack with 5 carries for 23-yards, followed by Kody Reeser with 11 carries for 10-yards, Chris Whack with 3 carries for 7-yards, Ankney with 1 carry for minus 5-yards, and Einsig with 10 carries for minus 81-yards.

Chase Sasala kicked 1 extra point, Houston Hoffman intercepted a pass, and an unknown player intercepted a pass and returned it 13-yards, for the Bobcats.

The 66-member 10-time Cavalcade of Bands Champions, Tournament of Bands Group IV Champion and US Scholastic Band Champion South Western Mustangs Marching Band put on a stirring post game performance, presenting their 2014 field show “Nevermore,” based on “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, on Band Night.  The show opened with the Overture from “Sweeney Todd” by Stephen Sondheim.  Mozart’s 25th Symphony provided the musical material for the first impact before melding into a minor treatment of the “Johanna” theme.  The madness continued with a return to the Overture that dissolved into a final solution.  The ballad began with beautiful sonorities from the front ensemble.  Freshman trumpet soloist, John Dyson, introduced the ‘Johanna’ theme as the narrator’s thoughts turn to his lost love, Lenore.  The passion built to a climax as he longed to be reunited with her, but alas, they shall be together, nevermore.  The closer brought a return to the narrator’s earlier thoughts as he peers deep into the darkness.  The music reached an emotional culmination with the Mozart and Verdi Requiems, before the percussion section took over with a short feature.

The 61-member Northeastern Bobcats Marching Band gave a crowd-pleasing post-game performance of its show “Adventures in Cinema,” including “Overture” from “Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves,” “Cadillac of the Skies” from “Empire of the Sun,” “Skyfall” from “Skyfall,” and “Into the West” from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

The 27 member strong Mustangs Cheer Leading squad (26 girls and a guy) and the Bobcats’ squad were very impressive as they roused the faithful.

The Mustangs of South Western are 4-5-0 overall and 4-2-0 in York Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA) Division I league play.

The Mustangs have a career record of 345-214-8.  The results of the 567 games played in the history of the South Western Mustangs are a career .617 winning percentage and a .623 non-losing percentage.

Next week the Mustangs host the Rockets (3-6 overall, 1-5 league).  Spring Grove is coming off of a 42-28 loss to the Lions of Red Lion.  The Mustangs are looking to remain on the winning track.  GO MUSTANGS GO.