2001 - A Championship Season

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2001 Game Scores

  Neshaminy

Father Judge

28

27

 
  Neshaminy

Bensalem

02

00

 
  Neshaminy

Pennridge

28

22

 
  Neshaminy

North Penn

23

14

 
  Neshaminy

CB West

21

19

 
  Neshaminy

CB East

15

14

 
  Neshaminy

Truman

33

06

 
  Neshaminy

Abington

42

21

 
  Neshaminy

Council Rock

35

00

 
  Neshaminy

Pennsbury

26

21

 
  Neshaminy

CB East

24

14

 
  Neshaminy

Downingtown

37

20

 
  Neshaminy

Conestoga

28

12

 
  Neshaminy

Cumberland Vlly

25

19

 
  Neshaminy

Woodland Hills

21

07

 
 

Record: 15-0

 

Neshaminy

Opponent

 388

 216

 

2001 Redskin 11

49

Clay Hazalett

42

Austin Jones

66

Bill Little

24

Jim Chapman

43

Chris Seipe

02

Jamar Brittingham

67

Nick Feszko

84

Scott Mullin

26

Mike Loveland

33

Jay Collins

36

Chuck Koch

 

 

An hour before the WH game, QB Jason Wiater and (C) Ryan Contento went to midfield and took dozens of snaps in the pouring rain. They even got the ball muddy and practiced muddy snaps. They were the only two players on the field before the game. The practice paid off.

In the 1st half alone, Woodland Hills fumbled 7 snaps while the Redskins did not lose a single one.

 

Against Woodland Hills for the state title, Jamar Brittingham had 284 yards of offense. He had 157 rushing yards, 96 yards in the air, and he completed a 31 yard pass to Keith Ennis. That's 52 more yards than all of the  Woodland Hills team combined.

 
Neshaminy's win marked the 5th (AAAA) D-1 win in  six years.
 

Jamar ended his senior year with 2,565 rushing yards and 30 TD's.

Senior Keith Ennis had 48 catches for 769 yards.

Senior QB Jason Wiater passed for 1,530 yards on the season.

Freshman kicker Kevin Kelly had a 54 yard FG.

 
 
The Journey is Complete

Miracles and Dreams

They say the road to Hershey is paved with chocolate. Not so in 2001. That year, the road to Hershey was paved with dreams, desire and determination. Actually, the final leg of that journey wasn't paved at all; it was just a big muddy ravine that needed to be traversed. And as history often teaches, those who dream big are often rewarded with just enough miracles to make those dreams a reality. But not everyone in Buck County that year was a dreamer. In fact, there were plenty of doubters − doubters who could not imagine or foresee the 15 game season that Coach Schmidt and his team believed would be theirs. If the truth is to be told, outside of the 'Skins locker room, few people believed that this group of young men would get to Hershey. The majority of District One fans still had their eyes on Central Bucks West, the team that had dominated D1 football over the previous decade. Still, the boys of Heartbreak Ridge weren't swayed one bit as their belief in themselves − and their coach − was to prove to be much stronger than popular opinion and newspaper sports pages.

White Knuckles

As the 2001 season started, the early games proved to be tougher than expected. The tone was set for what would charitably be seen as a "white knuckles" year. Like it was just yesterday, I can recall thinking after the season opener: "This is gonna be a long year! If we can barely squeak past this non-league team, what will happen when some District One power house comes to town?" And as it turned out, I was more right than I realized − it was a long season. Fifteen games long to be exact but that wasn't the definition of "long" that I had had in mind. It was really more like a long thrill ride but without the warnings about just how scary it would be. Scary enough, as it was, to have considered rechristening Heartbreak Ridge as Heart Attack Ridge.

Close Encounters of Every Kind

Consider this: Four times during the 2001 season the 'Skins were down by at least 12 points in the fourth period − 12, 14, 14 and 15 to be exact. Six games were won by a TD or less. Twice the winning touchdown was scored with under a minute to go in the game. One memorable battle saw the go-ahead TD registered with no timeouts remaining and the clock reading 00:00. Another time the "tying" TD was scored late in the 4th period making it 14-13. But rather than kick the PAT for one-point and a tie, Neshaminy went for a 2-point conversion and the win − and they got it too. Week after week, 'Skins fans found themselves simultaneously biting their nails and holding their breath as the ticks of the clock grew oh-so-loud in the waning moments of the contest. And yet, at the same time, somehow, we grew to expect the scoreboard to be leaning in our favor by the time the final gun sounded. Clearly, that was a group of young men that would not be denied and even the most near-sighted of people in the cheap seats had 20-20 vision by the season's end.

Are You Satisfied?

As that wonderful season rumbled along through the fourth and fifth game, there was an evident shift in the team's attitude. All of us fans could feel the rise in confidence and see the higher gear of power football that began to strike fear into the faces of opponents. Then it happened. Somehow, as the expectations of Coach Schmidt rose − and as the team ramped up its level of play to meet those expectations − the 2001 post-game ritual was born. Those of us who lingered in the stands after each win began to hear it gain in strength. It sent chills up and down our spines as the victors huddled at midfield with Coach Schmidt yelling to his troops: "Are you satisfied?" The players, in unison, would echo back "no" followed by Schmidt's retort: "Whoever said NO, give me a HELL NO!" The final answer was resoundingly boomed back for all of us to hear: "HELL NO!"

With joyous regularity, that little ceremony continued on unabated until December 11 when, on a cold rainy night in Hershey, the exhausted and "chocolate" covered players were finally able to provide a different and final reply to Coach Schmidt's original question of "are you satisfied".

Yes!

It was a simple reply. A single word. Three little letters. Still, those three letters represented all that the squad had worked for; all they had accomplished; all that they had dreamed and had ultimately given to us, their fans. Yes, from our viewpoint they surely had earned the right to bask in the glory of that one little word as they had outperformed, outplayed and bested a formidable opponent on that championship night. And with a 21-07 win over Woodland Hills, the team not only carved its name in Neshaminy's history books but the PIAA record book too, as they were crowned the 2001 Pennsylvania State 4A Football Champions.

 

This Website, Our Tribute

Beside the immediate and expected focus and accolades of that successful 2001 season, a season that lifted the Redskins into that rarified air of a state champion team, that team and that year were also the inspiration for this website, NeshaminyFootball.com. And although we created this website as a tribute to that very special group of young men and the championship they earned, this website also honors all of the other great Redskin teams − those that played before them, those that have lined up since and those still to follow. In that respect, it's a gift to all the players and coaches for all the excitement, thrills and pride they have given to us and will continue to give to us. Who are we, you ask? We are the friends, the fans and the families of the Neshaminy Redskins − we are all the people who love our 'Skins. And while we're at it, we also extend a thanks to those 'other' people who played such a big part in making the 2001 Redskins team such a success. We would like to thank the Neshaminy School District superintendent, Dr. Gary Bowman and Athletic Director Sheila Murphy along with coaches Steve Wilmot, John Chaump, Jay Weidenbaugh, Don Waiter, John Tezik, Ray Jones, Ryan O'Neal, Jim Jenkinson, Reed Nichols and of course, the man who was at the center of it all, Head Coach Mark Schmidt.

Post-Script: The Long Red Line

With the crowning of the 2001 Neshaminy Redskin football team as the Pennsylvania PIAA 4A champions, it could be argued that a long journey back to the top had been completed. Another thesis is that 2001 simply represented the continuum that is Neshaminy football − with some years destined to see championships while others might not be so highly acclaimed from a strictly wins and losses perspective. But whichever camp might be adopted, the essence of that season is most dramatically captured by looking into the hearts of the young men who produced it. Their never say die attitude; their undying belief in each other; their refusal to quit and give up when that was the easy choice to make in the face of long odds − that is the real story of that year. And it's one that is emblematic of the Neshaminy football program − a tradition rich history filled with "2001s" that continue to accumulate and bring honor, joy and attention to the school, the students, the parents, the coaches and most importantly the players. For it is that last group − the boys on the field − that continue to produce great teams and seasons year after year. So finally, with not enough superlatives in the dictionary for the players of 2001, we end with a few familiar words:

Time will never dim the glory of the Neshaminy Redskins.

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1st Quarter - 00:00 - 32:25

2nd Quarter - 33:30 - 63:00

3rd Quarter - 65:30 - 94:36

4th Quarter - 95:40 - 120:31

 

'Skins first TD - 23:40

'Skins 2nd TD - (drive starts) 82:00 - (score) 87:15

'Skins 3rd TD - (drive starts) 107:45 - (score) 108:40

 

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2001 - The road to the championship

Neshaminy's amazing journey to the state championship.

 

AUG. 31, 2001
NESHAMINY 28, FATHER JUDGE 27

Running back Geoff Donahue (27) picks up some tough yardage against Father Judge in the season opener.
(Photo:
Joe Dixon/Courier Times)

Tailback Jamar Brittingham racks up a career-high 312 yards and four touchdowns as the host Redskins come from behind to edge nonleague foe Father Judge of the Philadelphia Catholic League in the season opener. Coach Mark Schmidt's Redskins, down 27-21 with 3:42 remaining in the game, begin the winning drive from their 43. Brittingham sparks the drive with a 44-yard gain on third-and-1. Two plays later, Brittingham powers his way into the end zone from 2 yards out to tie the score. Freshman Kevin Kelly provides the margin of victory with his successful PAT.

SEPT. 7, 2001
NESHAMINY 1, BENSALEM 0

The host Redskins don't even have to take the field, winning this game by forfeit due to the Bensalem teachers strike.

SEPT. 14, 2001
NESHAMINY 28, PENNRIDGE 22

Neshaminy chalks up its third win of the young season and first road victory, staging another comeback to get past talented Pennridge in Perkasie. The Redskins fall behind 15-0 before turning things around. Once again, Jamar Brittingham steals the show, scoring all four touchdowns. The 6-1, 194-pound senior gives Neshaminy fans some anxious moments early in the fourth quarter when he's helped off the field with sore hamstrings. But Brittingham returns shortly thereafter to score on a 53-yard run to tie the game with 7:24 left and a 16-yard run with 51 seconds remaining to win it.

SEPT. 21, 2001
NESHAMINY 23, NORTH PENN 14

The Redskins meet coach Mark Schmidt's challenge with a stellar defensive performance in a scoreless second half, limiting the visiting Knights to just eight net rushing yards. Erik Pederson, Geoff Donahue and Jay Collins lead the Redskins, who repeatedly hammer North Penn quarterbacks in the second half. Collins' 1-yard plunge into the end zone with 28 seconds left in the second quarter puts the Redskins up 23-14. The clinching touchdown is set up by Chuck Koch's fumble recovery of a punt at the Knights' 20-yard line. Jamar Brittingham runs for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the first half on 20 carries.

SEPT. 28, 2001
NESHAMINY 21, CB WEST 19

Tight end Scott Mullin celebrates the game-winning touchdown against CB West.

(Photo: Joe Dixon/Courier Times)

Do you believe in miracles? Neshaminy surely does after this incredible finish in Langhorne, which sees the Redskins stun the Bucks on a last-second, 4-yard TD on fourth-and-goal. Quarterback Jay Wiater rolls left and hits tight end Scott Mullin in the back of the end zone as time expires to give Neshaminy its first win over CB West since 1988. Trailing 19-15 after the Bucks' Clay Lepley scores from 1 yard out with 1:57 left in the game, Neshaminy begins its winning march from its 30. Wiater hits speedy wide receiver Keith Ennis for 15 yards and Jamar Brittingham for 26 more to put the ball at the Bucks' 30. Wiater then connects on a soft floater to wide receiver Mike Loveland, who races down the sideline to the 5. After CB West shuts down the 'Skins on three running plays, a calm Wiater fakes to Brittingham, rolls to his left, checks off of Ennis and hits Mullin between the numbers for the game-winner. Wiater finishes the game with some impressive stats, completing 16 of 25 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown.

OCT. 6, 2001
NESHAMINY 15, CB EAST 14

The Cardiac Kids do it again. A large crowd in Doylestown watches Neshaminy coach Mark Schmidt make a gutsy call, electing to go for two points instead of the equalizer with 29 seconds left in the game and the 'Skins down 14-13. After Jamar Brittingham caps a 13-play, 86-yard drive with a 2-yard TD run to pull within one, Schmidt opts to go for the win. Quarterback Jay Wiater, reading blitz, fakes a handoff to Brittingham, releases the ball quickly and hits 225-pound fullback Geoff Donahue for the two-point conversion. The play climaxes the Redskins' 15-point fourth-quarter comeback. Brittingham accounts for both TDs, scoring earlier on an 11-yard run. Wiater sparks the last two drives, passing for 93 yards.

OCT. 13, 2001
NESHAMINY 33, HARRY S TRUMAN 6

Quarterback Jason Wiater completed 8-of-10 passes for 116 yards and three touchdowns against Truman.
(Photo:
Kim Weimer/Courier Times)

Homecoming at Harry E. Franks Stadium in Langhorne sees Neshaminy have an easy time of it against the Tigers. Jamar Brittingham runs for 192 yards and two touchdowns to go over the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season, and quarterback Jay Wiater has another strong game, completing 8 of 10 passes for 116 yards and three touchdowns. The much-overlooked Neshaminy defense has its best game of the season, limiting Truman's running attack to just 79 yards.

OCT. 20, 2001
NESHAMINY 42, ABINGTON 21

With an upset on its mind, host Abington battles unbeaten Neshaminy to a 21-21 standoff after three quarters. But then, the Redskins explode for three fourth-quarter touchdowns to foil the Ghosts' bid and nail down a berth in the Class AAAA playoffs. Abington QB Jeff Chick burns Neshaminy with several big plays, including a 62-yard TD run with 2:22 left in the third quarter, and then successfully passes for the two-pointer to tie the game at 21. Jamar Brittingham has a field day, picking up 315 yards on 35 carries and scoring three times.

OCT. 13, 2001
NESHAMINY 35, COUNCIL ROCK 0

The Redskins turn it up defensively, posting their first shutout of the season to clinch the Suburban One League National Conference title. The crowd at Heartbreak Ridge in Langhorne watches a Neshaminy defense hold CR to 23 total yards in the first half and just 47 yards on the ground the entire game. Meanwhile, the Neshaminy offense fires on all cylinders again. Jamar Brittingham rushes for three touchdowns, carrying the ball 24 times for 169 yards. Quarterback Jay Wiater picks apart the CR secondary, connecting with four different receivers. He completes 8 of 14 passes for 150 yards. Waiter hits his first five passes of the game, three on the Redskins' opening 64-yard touchdown drive. Brittingham's most impressive run of the day is a 57-yard TD in the second quarter to give Neshaminy a 28-0 lead.

NOV. 2, 2001
NESHAMINY 26, PENNSBURY 21

A crowd of 7,000 at Falcon Field in Fairless Hills is on hand for another backyard brawl. The Redskins, bidding to become the first area team since 1988 to finish the regular season unbeaten, look in total control, enjoying a 26-7 lead after three quarters. But the archrival Falcons make things interesting. After a critical fourth-down stand in the fourth quarter, Pennsbury scores on three plays with Cris Cordero running up the middle 25 yards for a TD. The Falcons score again, driving 49 yards, with Cordero going over from the 1. But the Redskins secure the thrilling win by running out the clock. Neshaminy freshman kicker Kevin Kelly plays a big role in the victory. He kicks field goals of 37 and 54 yards in the second quarter for what proves to be the winning margin. Kelly's 54-yard boomer ties the record for the longest field goal in Lower Bucks County, set by Pennsbury's Mike Augustin in 1980. Jamar Brittingham paces the Redskins' attack, scoring two TDs and picking up 118 yards on 23 carries.

NOV. 9, 2001
NESHAMINY 24, CB EAST 14 (DISTRICT ONE QUARTERFINAL)

Making their first state playoff appearance in 13 years, the Redskins make sure their second meeting with the visiting Patriots doesn't come down to another two-point conversion. Neshaminy, with no turnovers, scores on its first three possessions and comes up with some key plays defensively to nail down the area's first win ever in the playoffs and advance to the District One semifinals. Senior end Chuck Koch ignites the defense with three sacks, all in the second half. He also catches a 21-yard pass from quarterback Jason Wiater on a fake field goal to set up Jamar Brittingham's 2-run TD run. Wiater is on target in the first half, hitting four different receivers for 112 yards. His 16-yard strike to tight end Scott Mullin on the opening possession gives Neshaminy a 7-0 lead. Neshaminy also scores on its first drive of the second half, as Keith Ennis takes a sweep handoff around the left side and races 71 yards to put the 'Skins comfortably in front, 24-7.

NOV. 16, 2001
NESHAMINY 37, DOWNINGTOWN 20 (DISTRICT ONE SEMIFINAL)

Before another large turnout at Harry E. Franks Stadium in Langhorne, the Redskins continue their journey on the playoff trail with an impressive victory over Ches-Mont power Downingtown in a District One semifinal battle. Jamar Brittingham, shaking off a thumb injury that forces him to the sidelines for the final seven minutes of the first quarter, looks sharp in piling up 216 yards on the ground. His 16-yard run to Downingtown's 14 in the third quarter pushes him over the 2,000-yard mark for the season and sets up Jay Collins' second of three touchdowns, a 1-yard plunge to put the 'Skins up 24-7. Brittingham seals Downingtown's fate with a 57-yard TD run with 3:56 left in the game. Neshaminy uses a lot of weapons in ousting the two-time district champions and advancing to the district title game. A 40-yard field goal by Kevin Kelly and a 69-yard TD pass from quarterback Jason Wiater to speedy Keith Ennis put Neshaminy up early, 10-0.

NOV. 23, 2001
NESHAMINY 28, CONESTOGA 12 (DISTRICT ONE FINAL)

Neshaminy celebrates its District One championship against Conestoga.
(Photo:
Joe Dixon/Courier Times)

Neshaminy scores early and often to roll over Conestoga, nail down its first District One title and advance to the state semifinals. The Redskins treat the standing-room-only crowd in Langhorne to a sparkling performance, moving the ball effortlessly. Once again, Jamar Brittingham takes center stage. He rushes for 178 yards on 29 carries, and is involved in two scores, the first a 1-yard dive in the second quarter. His second, a 39-yard option pass to Keith Ennis, puts Neshaminy in front, 21-0, at the half. An interception and a 20-yard return by senior linebacker Pat Carroll set up Ennis' TD. Quarterback Jason Wiater also plays a key role, hitting 4 of 4 passes in the opening quarter for 54 yards and the game's first score, a 16-yarder to senior Mark Beck.

DEC. 1, 2001
NESHAMINY 25, CUMBERLAND VALLEY 19

(PIAA EASTERN FINAL)

The scene switches to Hersheypark Stadium, but the results are still the same: another Neshaminy win. But it's not easy. Far from it. The Redskins, after a disastrous first half, rally from a 12-0 deficit to beat the powerful District Three champions, claim the Eastern Regional title and advance to the state championship. Neshaminy's big plays in the second half help offset Cumberland Valley's relentless ground attack. All-state candidate Jamar Brittingham carries the ball 27 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns and comes up with a key fumble recovery with 1:27 left in the game. The fumble is forced by safety Devon Swope, who strips the ball after a 17-yard pass completion that would have given CV a first down in Neshaminy territory.

DEC. 8, 2001
NESHAMINY 21, WOODLAND HILLS 7 (PIAA AAAA CHAMPIONS)

Nothing can stop the Redskins - not a talented, favored Woodland Hills team or the miserable, rainy weather at Hersheypark Stadium. Determined to make history, Neshaminy, as it has done so often, comes from behind in the second half with an awesome performance to knock off the highly touted Wolverines and claim the area's first state football title. Jamar Brittingham, as he has all season, plays a key role in leading the unbeaten Redskins to their 15th win. Brittingham scores the go-ahead touchdown, a 4-yard run to complete a march ignited by Brittingham's successful 31-yard halfback option pass to Keith Ennis on the 'Skins first play of the second half. Brittingham, who picks up 157 yards on 30 carries, seals the win with a 45-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Jay Wiater is just as instrumental in the win, completing 9 of 11 passes for 150 yards. The defense is equal to the challenge. The Redskins shut out powerful Woodland Hills in the second half, making a big stand in the third quarter on a fourth-and-two situation. Linebacker Pat Carroll leads the way with 14 tackles.

 ~ Compiled by Ray DiLissio (Bucks County Courier Times)

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Undefeated

Teams

 

2001

Mark Schmidt

15-0

 
 

1971

Jack Swartz

11-0

 
 

1965

J. Petercuskie

10-0-1

 
 

1964

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9-0-1

 
 

1963

J. Petercuskie

9-0-1

 
 

1962

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10-0-1

 
 

1960

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10-0-1

 
 

1956

Harry E. Franks

9-0-1

 
 

1954

Harry E. Franks

10-0

 

 

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