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

Saturday, November 30, 2013


By Dick Engelhardt 

In State Playoff Semi-Final and Thanksgiving Day action, Fair Lawn fans had plenty of rooting interests. In North Jersey, Section 1, Group V I saw Fair Lawn’s Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division eliminated from the playoffs as its champion BULLDOGS of Passaic County Technical Institute were beaten 31-7 by the MAROONS of Ridgewood who were Fair Lawn’s Thanksgiving foe 1944-83, taking the Annual Classic 26-11-3 (.703).

In Group IV the INDIANS of Pascack Valley beat the HIGHLANDERS of Northern Highlands 39-7. PV Coach Craig Nielsen was an assistant at Fair Lawn under Pete Natale 1980-85. Pascack Valley took the 1955-56, 1984-85 and 1988-2008 Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL) rivalry with Fair Lawn 14-10-1 (.583). Popular former Fair Lawn announcer Joe Hausmann is the Northern Highlands announcer. My twin brother, Bill, and I were his “spotters” for many years before I became “The Voice of the CUTTERS on the Gridiron” in 1997. Fair Lawn took the 1986-93 and 1998–2008 NBIL rivalry against the HIGHLANDERS 10-9 (.526). The SPARTANS of Paramus edged the GOLDEN KNIGHTS of Northern   Valley, Old Tappan 17-16. During 1962-83 and 2010-11 in Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) and BNC action, the SPARTANS have gone 14-10 (.583) against our CUTTERS. Fair Lawn took the 1984–2008 NBIL rivalry against the GOLDEN KNIGHTS 15–10 (.600). 

In Group III I saw the GREEN RAIDERS of Ramapo get beaten 46-14 by the SPARTANS of Sparta. Ramapo Coach Drew Gibbs is a class act and his son, Brian is on Amir Saadah’s Fair Lawn staff. Ramapo took the 1956-58 and 1984-2008 NBIL rivalry with Fair Lawn 17-11 (.607). The GOLDEN HAWKS of River Dell surprised the THUNDERBIRDS of Mahwah 38-13. In independent action in 1958 River Dell, with Bill Parcells at running back/QB, beat our CUTTERS 26-13. During 1999-2001 and 2007-2008 our CUTTERS have gone 4-1 (.800) over the THUNDERBIRDS in NBIL interdivisional action.
In Group II the CARDINALS of Westwood beat the BRAVES of Newton 63-12. During 1943-44 independently and 1984-85 in NBIL interdivisional action, our CUTTERS went 3-1 (.750) against the CARDINALS. Westwood Coach Vito Campanile grew up in Fair Lawn and was an assistant coach here under Greg Tanzer. In Section 2, the RAMS of Lodi were scalped 43-6 by the CHIEFS of Caldwell. Coach Marty Fischbein’s brand new Fair Lawn team was edged 7-6 by Lodi in 1943 in JV action in the first game ever played by the team that became the CUTTERS after game 3. During 1964-66 Coaches Ed Sheehy and Frank Devens’ CUTTERS went 3-0 over Lodi. 

In Group I the CARDINALS of Pompton Lakes walloped the HILLBILLIES of Verona 47-7. During 1945-50 Charlie Benson’s CARDINALS and Frank Bennett’s CUTTERS split their rivalry 3-3 (.500).

On Thanksgiving Day Fair Lawn’s BNC Liberty Division went 2-0 against outside opposition. The FIGHTING MUSTANGS of Clifton High beat the INDIANS of Passaic 21-6 taking a 44-36-5 (.550) lead in the overall rivalry that began in 1923. The GHOSTS of Paterson Eastside beat the KNIGHTS of JFK 14-8 taking a 43-39-7 (.524) lead in the rivalry that began in 1925 when Eastside was brand new and JFK was Paterson Central. Most Fair Lawn students went to Eastside before FLHS opened in 1943. The Division would up 10-17 (.370) against outside foes.

Next week we’ll look at Playoff Finals from a Fair Lawn point of view. Until then, GO CUTTERS GO!!!


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