Final Regular Season Record 7-1-1
Head Coach - George Greiner
West Golden Falcons
Final Regular Season Record 6-3-1
Head Coach - Chuck Nelson
|East 14 West 14 (tie)|
|West||Touchdown: Ron Fulop 15 yard pass to Sinclair + extra point by Andy Synder||0-7|
|East||Touchdown: Steve Haertel on a four yard run + extra point by Ray Marchuk||7-7|
|West||Touchdown: Ron Fulop 13 yard pass to Surma + extra point by Andy Synder||7-14|
|East||Touchdown: Mike Haertel 13 yard pass to Ray Marchuck + extra point by Ray Marchuk||14-14|
|It’s Wait ‘til Next Year After East-West Tie|
Somerset Messenger Gazette December 1968. By Bill Sferra
It will be at least a year before the fans of Bridgewater-Raritan East and West will know which of the two schools is superior on the football field. This question is still unanswered, as the schools battled each other to a 14-14 tie on Thanksgiving Day.
The 6,500 fans in attendance at this Mid-State conference clash were treated to a whale of a ball game. However, the fans of East were a bit more disappointed as East needed an outright victory to tie Somerville for the conference title. The tie game gives Somerville the flag with a 6-1 mark to East’s 5-1-1.
The game did not live up to expectations in one respect. With both teams sporting potent offenses, it was expected to be a high-scoring affair. However, both defenses came up with the big play when they needed it.
There were several plays that had a bearing on the final outcome, but the biggest came early in the second stanza. With the score tied at 7-7 the (“West”) Falcons were driving for another score. They started out on their 27-yard-line, and after a loss of three, Harry Bell took a reverse and scampered 50 years to the East 26-yard line.
With a third and 10, Ron Fulop passed to end Tom Surina for a first down at the 11. It was at this point that the play occurred. Bruce Hennemuth intercepted a Fulop pass in the right flat. With no one in front of him except one of his own men he had clear sailing ahead. He dropped the ball however, and had to fall on it at the 21-yard-line. So what looked as a long gainer after an interception for East, ended up with the ball at its own 21. The fired up defense of West threw the Minutemen for 21 yards in losses, following a four yard gain. East punted, its only one of the day, and it was a poor kick, coming to rest at the 29 yard line. Having such good field position, the West offense took charge, and on the first play Joel Bruinooge picked up 13 yards to the 16, and then Bell another three to the 13. Fulop took to the air on first down and found favorite target Tom Roushey for a first down at the three-yard-line. On the next play, Randy Sinclair was thrown for a 10 yard loss. West scored on the following play, Fulop tossing to Surma in the end zone. Andy Snyder kicked his second conversion and at this point West held a 14-7 lead.
The Falcons used the arm of Fulop in the initial period when they drew first blood. The first time that the Minutemen had their hands on the pigskin they drove nicely, using strictly a ground game. They went from their 16-yard line to the 45-yard-line of West, but a pass interception on their first fling proved costly. Scott Henderson came up with the interception at his own 42-yard-line. It took West six plays to go the distance. After a pass fell incomplete, Fulop hit Sinclair with a toss, good for a first down at the East 32-yard-line. Two running plays and a complete jump pass to Surina took it to the 15, and from there, Fulop hit another favorite receiver, Sinclair, for the touchdown. Snyder’s boot gave West a 7-0 lead. East came right back and scored following the ensuing kickoff. From his 34 yard line, Steve Haertel went off right tackle for 32 yards to the West 34. Three running plays brought the ball to the 22, and Mike Haertel, on a bootleg around right end, scampered 18 yards to the four. Steve Haertel finally broke over left tackle for the first East score. Ray Marchuk who kicked both extra points for East, added the first one here to knot the score, with 1:29 showing on the clock. After West had gone ahead East again scored after the kickoff. A clipping penalty against East, on the kickoff return put the ball on the 18-yard-line. On the first play, Hennemuth flipped a halfback option pass to end Gary Debes, who made a great catch of the ball, having to fight off two defenders. That went for 20 yards to the 38-yard-line.
East Gets Break
East received a big break several plays later. Charlie Sandora, in at quarterback threw a pass which fell incomplete, but interference was called on West. The 15-yard penalty put the ball on the West 48, and also gave East a large lift. Mark Barrett picked up four yards and after an incomplete pass, Steve Haertel carried for 14 yards and a first down at the 30. Sandora hit Marchuk with a pass at the 17. And two plays later a 13 yard pass from Mike Haertel to Marchuk went for the TD. This touchdown roused the West fans considerably. After crossing the goal, Marchuk fumbled the ball and West fell on it. However, because of the ruling that once the ball crosses the goal line, the play is dead, there cannot be a fumble, the touchdown went as called. Marchuk then added his eighth point of the day, the all important point to tie the game. Neither team sustained any drive in the third period, but in the final quarter East threatened twice. The first was a 51-yard drive, to the 24-yard- line of West with East finally losing the ball on downs at that point. Two key passes in the drive, from Sandora to Barrett kept things going. West couldn’t move the ball, and East had possession again, this time on the West 39-yard line. A pass interference penalty was followed by a complete pass, Mike Haertel to Dennis Gallagher, to give the Minutemen a first down on the West 23-yard-line. With third and five, the rally was snuffed out by a great interception in the end zone by Roushey. He took the ball out of the hands of the intended receiver. West had the ball on the 20-yard-line, and, along with the East defense, had to fight the clock, as there were only three minutes left in the game. Fulop was hot at this point. He ran for eight yards, and then passed to Sinclair for 17 yards and a first down at the 45.
Time Runs Out
Another pass completed to Roushey netted 22 yards to the East 33. After a four yard loss, and two incomplete passes Roushey caught another pass, but short of the first down, and at this point the clock ran out. East had the edge in statistics, picking up 19 first downs to only nine for West. The Minutemen rolled up 326 total yards, 230 on the ground and 96 through the air on 8 completions in 15 attempts. West picked up 256 yards, with Fulop accounting for 166 on 12 completions in 22 ties. The other 90 yards came overland. The Falcons had the edge in the ball hawk department, picking off four errant East tosses and recovering one fumble to kill several drives. West did not fumble , and Fulop was intercepted just once. West punted four times for a 28-yard average, while the lone Minuteman punt went for 22 yards. The penalties were fairy even, with 50 years being marked off against West, and 32 against East.