THE GRIDIRON 6-2012
By Dick Engelhardt
The CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High made their fans proud last Friday night standing up to the number 3 ranked in New Jersey and number 25 ranked in the country (As of this writing) IRONMEN of Don Bosco in Big North Conference (BNC) crossover action. Captains George Alexandris, Kevin Osback, Franklyn Ramirez and Jeff Welsh won the toss and our heroes received. QB Osback ran for a 1st down threw to Pete Danko for another before the drive stalled. Then the depth and skill of Bosco showed as the IRONMEN led 31-0 at halftime. I counted 82 players on the Bosco roster including, from Fair Lawn, the son of a Fair Lawn star player. The continuously running clock that comes into play when there is a 35 point differential in the 2nd half, didn’t kick in until late in the 3rd quarter. Carlos Carlone and Franklyn Ramirez ran the ball nicely and Danko electrified the crowd with a great kickoff return. George Alexandris and Laine White broke up passes and Danko’s break up turned the ball over to Fair Lawn on downs. He also teamed up with Nick Tsinkelis on a great stop. Dan Laboy and Jake Schwartz made some nice plays too. The official clock operator was heard to say, “Fair Lawn is playing better than we expected!”
The 44-0 shutout loss was the 1st since Fair Lawn’s 41-0 loss to the COMETS of Hackensack last year. Since their beginning in 1943, our CUTTERS have shut their opponents out 82 times and have been shut out themselves 84 times! Bosco coach Greg Toal, who was an assistant at Fair Lawn 1978-80 under Pete Natale, showed sportsmanship taking a knee instead of going for a 2 point conversion after a TD and putting subs in early. Popular former Fair Lawn announcer, Joe Hausmann, now the Bosco announcer, attended his Nephew’s wedding and I was privileged to be the announcer for the game. My twin brother, Bill, and I were “spotters” for Joe at Fair Lawn 1967-96. I became the “Voice of the CUTTERS on the Gridiron” in ’97
The win brought the Don Bosco record against Fair Lawn during 1976 and 1982-83 and 2012 to 4-0 (1.000). Don Bosco has not lost to a New Jersey public school since 1997. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) missed the boat in “fixing” the parochial powerhouse problem. A Division of the BNC could have Bergen Catholic, Delbarton, DePaul, Don Bosco, Paramus Catholic, Saint Joseph, Saint Peter’s and Seton Hall. Seven league games would leave two games top be picked up outside the league or even the State. No public school should have to play the parochial behemoths unless it wants to.
Fair Lawn’s BNC Liberty Division went 0-2 against outside opposition. In addition to Fair Lawn’s loss, the FIGHTING MUSTANGS of Clifton High were mauled 27-2 by the BENGALS of Bloomfield. In the only BNC Liberty Division game the BULLDOGS of Passaic County Technical Institute edged the GHOSTS of Paterson Eastside 16-13. The BNC Liberty Division is 4-10 (.286) against outsiders so far in 2012.
On Friday night at 7:00 our CUTTERS travel to Wayne to take on those two time defending BNC Liberty Division champion BULLDOGS of Passaic Tech. Fair Lawn comes into the game 1-4 (.200) having been outscored 133-62 for an average 27-12 loss. Passaic Tech comes into the game 4-1 (.800) having outscored the opposition 167-128 for an average 33-26 win. The BULLDOGS can be scored on. Fresh from a decent effort against Don Bosco, our heroes will give it their all. They nearly upset Clifton earlier and I look for them to pull an upset here. To me it looks like Fair Lawn 21 – Passaic Tech 19. GO GUTTERS GO!!!