County Courier Times - December 14,
The computer has played the game
and the best high school
football team in Pennsylvania
The 1971 Neshaminy Redskins.
Jack Swartz's undefeated
Neshaminy squad recorded a 19-10
victory over the 1972 team of
its fierce rival: Pennsbury,
coached by Chuck Kane, in the
first Hal Wilson Challenge.
The final of the 16-team,
computerized tournament was
played Thursday by the man who
programmed the event, Tom Elling,
who runs the Pennsylvania
Football News Web site where the
tourney can also be found.
"Can you believe it came down to
Pennsbury '72 and Neshaminy
'71?," marveled Bruce Traney,
starting fullback on the 1971
Neshaminy team, who was a guest
on Thursday night's show. "I
think it's wonderful [Neshaminy
won]. It's a tribute to
Neshaminy football, Bucks County
and the type of programs and
athletes they produce. It's neat
and it's fun."
The game and the tournament
concept was discussed Thursday
night on The Front Page Sports,
a sports radio show featuring
John Chester and Tim Koch that
can be heard every Wednesday and
Thursday night on 1490-AM WBCB.
Elling said the old computer
boxing matches of great
champions, the most notable
being Rocky Marciano vs.
Muhammad Ali, inspired him to
put a program together that
could determine the best high
school football team in the
Wilson is a long-time high
school football historian in the
state and he and Elling were
able to compile what they
believed were the 16 top teams.
The earliest came from 1919. Joe
Namath's 1960 Beaver Falls team
made the cut as did the 1983
Berwick team, that was
considered by many the top team
in the country that year.
And the computer came up with an
all-Lower Bucks final.
This is how the computer broke
down the game.
Pete Cordelli threw an 8-yard
touchdown pass to Dale Forchetti
and then Forchetti connected on
the PAT kick to give the
Redskins a 7-0 lead, less than
three minutes into the game.
The score would stay that way
until the final play of the
first half when a Pennsbury
quarterback named Garrett (the
actual backup QB on Pennsbury's
team was Bobby Crouch),
substituting for Gary Kutsmeda,
who was injured late in the
first quarter, had a pass
tipped, intercepted and returned
22 yards for a touchdown by Joe
Neky. The kick failed and the
Redskins led, 13-0, at the half.
Forchetti boomed a 48-yard field
goal off the upright and in to
make it 16-0 just a shade over
four minutes into the third
Pennsbury battled back, though.
Kutsmeda, now back in the game,
threw a 9-yard scoring strike to
Bill Porter with 4:06 left in
the third. John Giordano's kick
made it 16-7.
Neshaminy extended its lead to
19-7 on Forchetti's 26-yard
field goal early in the fourth
Pennsbury closed out the scoring
on Giordano's 12-yard field goal
with 7:16 to play.
The Falcons, down nine, missed a
short field goal on fourth down
and goal at the Neshaminy 5 with
1:44 to go. The computer had
decided to kick a field goal and
then worry about an onsides kick
recovery and touchdown scenario
with Pennsbury trailing and
needing two scores.
But coach Kane said he would
have gone for the touchdown
instead with a running play, his
offense's signature mode of
moving the ball in 1972.
"I would not have kicked a field
goal," Kane said. "I would have
gone for the touchdown running.
We ran the ball most of the
time. We rarely threw in 1972.
We weren't a passing team."
In fact, Kane said that the
computer wasn't very accurate in
predicting his team's overall
offensive strategy throughout
the entire computer-generated
"The [computer] statistics don't
back up what we did that year,"
Kane said. "I definitely would
not have thrown on first down.
We believed in a fullback
running offense. And Forchetti
never caught a touchdown against
us. We double-covered him,
because we knew he was the
"He scored a touchdown in every
game in 1971 except against us.
In two years he never caught a
touchdown against us. When he
caught the pass, I knew the
computer wasn't accurate."
Neshaminy was not a big surprise
in the title game. The Redskins
breezed through the computer
tournament while the Falcons
But Traney wasn't very surprised
to see that Pennsbury team make
Many of the members of a 9-2
Falcons squad in 1971 that gave
powerful Neshaminy all it could
handle in a 21-17 Redskins' win
returned for the 1972 perfect
"Coming into that game they were
9-1," Traney said of the 1971
Pennsbury team. "They lost to
Bethlehem Liberty in the mud and
rain, 6-0. That was a game they
should have won. They were
tough. They were tough as nails.
They had given up about 42
points all year going into the
game. Their defense was a wall
and then when you look at '72,
they were crushing guys like
Traney, an attorney living in
the Los Angeles area, was
delighted his team came out on
"We had a quite team," he said.
"I know there were some pretty
good teams there [in the
computer tournament] and this
was out in cyberspace, but it's
fun. I think it speaks well of
what's coming out of Lower