Sroba, Bahr Rally
Past Egan, 27-24
By Jack Knarr
Courier Times Sports Writer
Try to believe what happened last
night in the Neshaminy-Bishop Egan Catholic football
Neshaminy Coach Jack Swartz still
His Redskins came out of a first-half
cloud of dust which left them trailing, 24-14, to
send Egan home on the short end of a 27-24 score
before 12,500 fans at Langhorne.
And Swartz, savoring Neshaminy’s
first win against Egan in four years, was enjoying
every minute of the post-game hand shaking and
If you would have seen him a year ago
at this time (when Egan beat Neshaminy 13-0) and
seen him last night, you might have thought you were
seeing a different man.
The creased frowns were gone.
And Jack Swartz, after rattling off a
long monologue of technical hows and whys of the
feat, didn’t know which players to praise.
“These boys are a darn good football
team,” he finally admitted. “The whole team.”
Egan Coach, Dick Bedesem, was going
through what Swartz went through last year. “We got
beat,” he said, “I can’t say anything except I’m
disappointed. Jack did a heck of a job getting them
ready. He has our congratulations.”
The small foot of diminutive
soccer-style kicker Chris Bahr booted three decisive
extra points and halfback Steve Sroba rolled for a
pair of second-half touchdowns which brought the
The game had to be one of the most
exciting back-and-forth affairs in the history of
the series, which now stands at 7-3 in Neshaminy’s
favor over 10 years.
Egan rumbled to a 12-0 lead in a
little over 10 minutes of the first period. Fullback
Dennis Malloy broke several tackles and scored on a
“bounce” play from 15 yards out at 7:31 for the
first touchdown. Egan’s Joe Polweller intercepted a
Neshaminy pass nine plays later on the Eagles’
39-yard line and halfback Ed McDowell, with
extra-ordinary speed, raced 56 yards for the 12-0
lead on second effort from the line of scrimmage.
Thirteen seconds later Neshaminy was
on the scoreboard and looking for more. Redskin Dale
Forchetti personally took care of Egan’s long
shutout against Neshaminy with an electrifying
85-yard kickoff return at 2:36. Two plays later and
Egan’s McDowell fumbled and Neshaminy’s guard Mark
Mattingly recovered on the Eagle 18. Seven plays
later fullback Andy Koch blasted in from the one.
Bahr then booted his second extra point for a 14-12
But Egan “found” itself and roared
back for 12 more points in the second period. Bahr
punted a ball just three yards out of bounds to set
up the Eagles at the Neshaminy 13, and halfback Bob
Lamina scored easily from the 10 after some neat
quarterback faking. Egan tried a pass for two extra
points to close the gap, but the attempt failed and
the score remained 18-14, Egan.
McDowell: 82 Yarder
Four minutes later Neshaminy was
forced to punt and Egan’s Lamina took the ball on
his own 18. He slipped the ball to McDowell on the
criss-cross and McDowell zig-zagged 82 yards for a
touchdown and a 24-14 lead. An extra-point run
In the second half Neshaminy made a
defensive strategy change and took away Egan’s
around-the-end running game. The result was a pair
of Egan goose-eggs on the scoreboard.
Meanwhile, the Redskin offense went
to work, taking the second-half kickoff and storming
59 yards in ten plays for a score. Quarterback John
Swartz, son of the coach, threw the only complete
pass of the drive on a clutch third down play to
keep the drive alive. Sroba barreled over from the
two, and with Bahr’s placement, the Redskins trailed
by just 24-21.
Egan’s inexperience at quarterback
and Neshaminy’s aggressiveness on defense became
evident in the fourth period when Mike Friel fumbled
twice and both bobbles were swarmed over by Redskin
first resulted in Neshaminy’s winning touchdown
while the second killed Egan’s last serious threat.
Neshaminy’s tackle Tony Fisher
pounced on the first loose ball at the Egan 36. Koch
plunged for two yards, and then Sroba maneuvered
around the right side, cut back left and saw
daylight for a 27-24 Neshaminy lead. Bahr, after a
penalty, missed the PAT from 22 yards away, and Egan
started marching with the kickoff.
Coach Dick Bedesem’s Eagles went from
their own 36 to Neshaminy’s 21 before Friel fumbled
and Redskin Mattingly recovered. Neshaminy’s next
drive stalled, but Bahr’s booming 46-yard punt put
Egan back in its own territory for its final
unsuccessful series. Redskin end Ken Johnston
creamed Friel on a third-down pass with 1:06
remaining to just about wrap it up.
Sroba emerged as Neshaminy’s leading
ball-carrier with 96 yards gained in 16 carries and
two touchdowns while McDowell raced 131 yards in 14
tries for Egan. Add another 82 yards for McDowell’s
TD punt return and the fleet Eagle accounted for 213
yards and two touchdowns.