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

Monday, November 11, 2013


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 2010-13 in the Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division, Clifton has gone 11-3-1 (.786) 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.

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.

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 2010-13, Fair Lawn has gone to 8-6 (.571) over Central/Kennedy.

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 67 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 7-5 (.583).


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