Philadelphia High School Sports
Most Memorable Playoff Games in City History

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  Below you'll find my list of the 50 most memorable playoff games in Philadelphia scholastic
sports history through the 2007-08 school year. Because the Inter-Ac League does not hold
playoffs, this list is limited to Public and Catholic League contests (along with some City
Titles). It's also limited to football, basketball and baseball.
  What makes a game "memorable"? Sometimes it's the sheer quality of the game itself, or a truly
special performance by one or more participants, or the historical context of the game, or the
fact that the result was a gigantic upset, or even the fan involvement during or after the game.
  Mostly, it's just a feeling. Again, this is one man's opinion and please understand that it was
hard to come up with this order. (And harder still to cast aside many other strong contenders.)
  Generally, games that decided championships received the strongest consideration for the upper
portion of the list. But as you'll see, games from earlier rounds are also sprinkled in.
  I'll list these one by one, from 50 on up, pretty much on a daily basis. Later, I'll also list the best
games, by sport (not sure yet about how many for each).

  Below my list are your comments about which playoffs in city history have most stayed etched
in your memory. Send to

  Thanks for paying attention, and I hope you've enjoyed the list.
  -- Ted Silary

No. 1
Catholic League Quarterfinal
At the Palestra
North 77, McDevitt 60
  In a game that generated headlines across the country, North’s junior
varsity -- filling in for the 12-man varsity squad, suspended by coach Jack
Friel (also the disciplinarian) earlier that day for cutting classes -- rolled to a
stirring victory. The youngsters, booed by North’s fans during warmups and
hit with chants of ‘‘We want the varsity!’’ had not played for eight days and
only split with McDevitt’s JVs during the regular season. The starters were
Mike Kaiser (20 points), Iggy Brodzinski (19), Jim Boylan (14), Joe Evanosich
(13) and Billy Dever (nine). Kaiser, Boylan and Brodzinski claimed 20, 17 and
15 rebounds, respectively. McDevitt was led by junior guard Bob Haas (26),
who during the regular season had scored 51 points against Ryan to break the
CL record.
  (Ted's note: Well, a few of you predicted this along the way and right you
were! smile. This deserves the No. 1 spot on so many levels. I attended this
game, as almost all of my friends away from Penn Charter were McDevitt
guys. I can't remember whether I knew North's varsity guys had been suspended
before I arrived at the Palestra, but the place certainly was abuzz. Enrollments
at CL schools were outrageously high in these days and at schools such as
North, the JV and varsity squads were almost always separate entities. Not
like today, where the varsity is often 7-8 guys and JV starters often serve as
varsity subs. Anyway . . . These JV guys hadn't played in eight days. Had only
split with McDevitt's JVs. Got this sprung on them. Got torched by their own
school's fans. Yet, not only did they win, they refused to crumble after McDevitt
stormed within six points late in the game. In my mind, there's no way this game
CAN'T be No. 1. Some links you might find interesting . . .
   Herb Stutz' story and column in the next day's The Evening Bulletin.
   Anniversary stories I did for the DN in 1978 and 1993.

No. 2
City Title
At Franklin Field
Southern 18, West Catholic 13
  Thanks to three drives covering 175 yards, Southern scored three TDs
in the last 7:40 to erase a 13-0 deficit and earn the stirring victory before
54,000. The winning score came with 19 seconds left when Anthony "Reds"
Coletta, the would-be kicker, heaved an 11-yard pass to Al Tulinsky, the
would-be holder, out of a field goal formation. Coletta then halted West's
final possession with an interception. The Rams' first score in the outburst
came on Jack Del Bello's 37-yard screen pass to Joe Carlozo. After Del Bello
recovered a fumble, Coletta ran in from the 2. The highlight of the final drive
was Del Bello's 42-yard pass to Carlozo. For West, Charley Albertus gained
75 yards on 18 carries and passed for a TD to Frank McCartney. Ace runner
Frank "Reds" Bagnell was sidelined early in the second quarter with a broken
  (Ted's note: Here is a 50-year anniversary story I wrote in 1995 . . .

The most famous football in Philadelphia scholastic history now resembles a pancake run over by a truck.

It belongs to Al Tulinsky, but the bladder is shot and the scuff marks are numerous, owing to the fact that his kids sometimes played with it.

If the ball could talk . . . man, what a marvelous tale it could tell.

On Dec. 8, 1945, 50 years ago tomorrow, Tulinsky used the ball to score the winning touchdown in a game that in 1986 was deemed by a Daily News panel of experts as the greatest high school sporting event in city history.

Quarterback Tulinsky, the would-be holder, caught an 11-yard pass from halfback Anthony "Reds" Coletta, the would-be kicker, on a fake field goal with 10 seconds remaining to elevate Southern over West Catholic, 19-13, for the City Championship.

The game was noteworthy for three reasons - it was witnessed by an estimated 54,000 spectators at Franklin Field; Southern scored three times in the final 7:40 to erase a 13-0 deficit; and the highlights were shown worldwide in movie theaters by Paramount News, which dubbed the classic The Bobby Socks Bowl.

Tulinsky is now a semiretired chemistry professor at Michigan State University. When he comes to Philadelphia tomorrow, the ball, he promises, will be in his suitcase.

"You should see it," he said. "There's no air in it. I can fold it in half. Joe Pitt, our coach, gave it to me. It has all the starters' names, and our signatures. I figure everybody will love seeing it. "

Tulinsky is returning home for a luncheon reunion expected to draw 25 to 30 members of the '45 team and the '44 team, which also defeated West Catholic in the City Championship game; that score was 13-0.

The private affair, to be held Friday at a South Philly restaurant, was arranged by Bill Esher, a '46 Southern grad and former Southern teacher who is the president of the school's alumni association.

"If we'd wanted to," Esher said, "we probably could have turned this into an affair with 2,000 people. The guys didn't want that. They just wanted something small, a chance to get together and reminisce. "

If Coletta and Tulinsky start feeling chipper, perhaps they will recreate their special moment.

"Go down two tables, Al, and break toward the kitchen . . . "

For 32 years, Coletta worked as a research chemist's assistant. (No wonder he and Tulinsky had good chemistry. ) Now living in Pitman, N.J., he has remained in the Philadelphia area throughout his life and always has been amazed by his generation's fascination with the game.

"It doesn't matter where I go - South Philly, Northeast, North Philly - people mention it to me," Coletta said. "It was built up so big, it stuck in their minds.

"Talking about it brings back a lot of good memories. I can't wait to see the guys again . . . Fifty years! My God, where'd they go? "

Southern's starting lineup that day included center Ben Burdetsky, guards Bob McCann and Lou Thomas, tackles Larry Pineiro and Ed Capuano, ends Walt Goldy and Bill Paullin, and a backfield of Tulinsky, Coletta, halfback Joe Carlozo and fullback Jack Del Bello. The subs were linemen Walt Palilonis, John Pendino, Nick Matteo and Walt Preno, end Dan Spizzirri and backs Mike Iorio, Bob Steele and Al Petrone. (Pendino went on to coach football and baseball at Southern. Spizzirri coached basketball and baseball at Olney. )

Early in the fourth quarter, the group could not have envisioned earning a special place in history.

But then the Rams marched 79 yards for a touchdown, scored by Carlozo on a 37-yard screen pass from Del Bello. And 35 yards for another TD, scored by Coletta on a run from the 1. The conversion attempts were an unsuccessful run and a blocked PAT, with Coletta kicking.

"I could usually kick three of four. Guess I got the lump," he said.

The Rams' winning drive covered 61 yards. It stalled on fourth-and-10 at the 11 and . . .

"Here's what happened," Coletta said. "Coach Pitt decided to run a fake field goal. He told the ends to run a crisscross and told me, 'See if you can spot somebody. ' I was being rushed, of course, real hard, and it got to be one of those schoolyard, two-hand-touch plays where you just run around goofy, zigzagging.

"I got away from one guy and wound up way back there. Maybe the 40-, 45- yard line. I spotted Al at the 5. Wide open! He caught it and ran in. No problem. "

Said Tulinsky: "The West kids kind of figured we wouldn't kick a field goal. They covered our receivers and Reds was running around. I slipped off to the side and stood there hoping. "

He laughed. "And probably waving. "

Burdetsky, formerly the dean of business and public management at George Washington University, remembers the atmosphere right before the play.

"West's fans were all crouching at the side of the field, ready to burst in and tear down the goal posts," he said. "Unfortunately, they didn't get that chance. "

Instead, Southern's fans poured out, causing a delay of several minutes as mounted policemen cleared the field.

"Know what I remember? " Tulinsky said. "Standing off to the side, talking to my buddies from 4th and Snyder. Finally, the cops chased them, too. "

Newspaper accounts of the game refer to Tulinsky as Andrew Tulinske. He said his parents never bothered to correct a mistake in his surname in school records, and that he just lived with the fact Pitt called him Andy rather than Al, short for Alexander.

"The first practice I ever went to, he called me Andy," Tulinsky said. ''If you know anything, you never correct a coach. I think he knew my name was Al by '45, but he still called me Andy. "

According to Coletta, Tulinsky and Burdetsky, who will miss the reunion because he has to undergo a medical procedure, Southern ultimately prevailed because its line outweighed West's by 19 pounds per man and because West's star back, Francis "Reds" Bagnell, suffered a separated shoulder in the second quarter. It didn't hurt that West committed five turnovers.

A year earlier, with World War II still raging, 27,000 went to Franklin Field to see Southern and West in what was the eighth annual meeting between the Public League and Catholic League champion. The last game in the series was played in '79.

"With us meeting West again, the papers played it up big with (preview) write-ups every night," Coletta said. "But we had no idea that many people would be there. About double.

"To have that many people at a high school game, it was exciting. You talk to younger guys today, they think you're talking about a different world. Guys my age, they all remember it. "

Or get wind of it.

While on a sabbatical from Michigan State, Tulinsky spent three months at Notre Dame. A dean there, a Philadelphia native, knew about the game and played a tape of it at a banquet where Tulinsky was being honored. The dean also informed coach Lou Holtz of Tulinsky's exploits.

"He gave me an autographed football," Tulinsky said. "It says, 'Al, too bad we couldn't have used your football talents while you were here. Sincerely, Lou Holtz.' "


No. 3
Catholic League Final
At Temple's Erny Field
O'Hara 10, Egan 6
This game featured the most shocking development in city playoff history.
Down by 5-2, O'Hara scored eight runs in the visiting seventh and seven
followed this juncture: two outs, nobody on and Joe Romano facing an 0-2
count. The Lions scored four runs (all earned) in one-third of an inning against
reliever Ted Blucas, who had not allowed an earned run all season. Scott Seifert
(4-for-5, three RBI) started the inning with a double and later had an RBI triple.
Tim Kelly (3-for-5) singled for the final RBI of the inning. The win went to John
Morris, who allowed one run in two innings. He had pitched only 3 1/3 previous
league innings. For Egan, starting pitcher Bob Zupcic went 4-for-4 with two triples
and two RBI to finish 11-for-17 (.647) with seven RBI in four playoff games.
  (Ted's note: It's a game like this that makes people honor baseball's status as
the one major game that's played without a clock. Down three runs. One strike
to go. Didn't matter. O'Hara got the job done.
Before the seventh inning, O'Hara
was batting .216 in two playoffs and had scored three runs, only one earned.
Bob Zupcic, also a star QB, went on to play outfield for the Boston Red Sox.
Kelly will be O'Hara's basketball coach this winter.
Here's the recap of O'Hara's seventh . . .

  Scott Seifert doubled to left. Tim Kelly grounded out third to first, Seifert advancing to third.
Mike Clancy pinch-hit for Kevin Stewart and grounded out short to first, Seifert scoring. Joe
walked. Chris McCall was hit by a pitch. Mike Connor walked. Ted Blucas relieved,
with Bob Zupcic switching to shortstop. John Morris walked, forcing in Romano. Ted Dezzi
singled to shortstop, scoring McCall. Jim Donaghy walked, forcing in Connor. Seifert tripled to
left, scoring Morris, Dezzi and Donaghy. Kelly singled to right, scoring Seifert. Kelly moved to
second on a passed ball. Clancy grounded out, pitcher to first.

Totals - 8 runs, 4 hits, no errors, 1 left.

No. 4
City Title
At the Palestra
West Catholic 54, Overbrook 42
  Before 8,461 fans (4,000 were turned away), West Catholic held 6-11 Wilt
Chamberlain to 29 points by surrounding him at all times with four defenders.
Chamberlain shot 9-for-25 from the floor and 11-for-19 at the line. Bill
Lindsay played the "floater" in West's defense and also scored a game-record
32 points, shooting 12-for-13 and 8-for-11.
  (Ted's note: Wilt went on to become the best player in world history, later to
be challenged only by Michael Jordan. Who's your choice? Wilt was a soph
when this game was played. How much energy did Lindsay expend this night?
Scores 32 points at one end. Chases FOUR guys at the other. Incredible!)

No. 5
Public League Round of 16
At Franklin
West Phila. 78, Franklin 76
  In the most amazing comeback in PL playoff history, West won the last
quarter, 36-16, and erased a 73-60 deficit in the final 1:27. Five-eight soph
Donnel Feaster set PL and city postseason records with seven threes (in 12
attempts), scored half of his 38 points in the final quarter and dribbled the
length of the court to flip in a 7-footer with 0:03 left. Sean McKnight hit three
threes en route to 15 points. For Franklin, Alex Wesby mixed 20 points, seven
rebounds and six assists and Dontise McClay dished eight assists. Because of
violations of team rules, both teams were missing two key players.
  (Ted's note: I still think often of this one. Feaster was a teenager possessed
in that fourth quarter. Especially back then, Franklin was a tough place for
visiting teams and Feaster just kept takin' it to them, TAKIN' it to them and
TAKIN' it to them. In those moments, he would have crushed AI in a game
of one-on-one -- smile. Wesby had a nice career at Temple and was a first
team All-City player in '98 when Franklin won the title.
  Here are key elements from my story the next day . . .

After Feaster (38 points) capped a 19-point, fourth-quarter outburst by canning a 7-foot flip
shot in the lane at 0:03, and after referee Warren Harding ordered the timer to put 2 seconds back
onto the clock because the fans had rushed onto the court, and after several Franklin players
stormed away in disgust and did not return, and after Franklin inexplicably had just four players
on the court when Dontise McClay missed a three-quarter-court baseball throw to end it, and
after West's players romped joyously to their locker room, coach James Brown bellowed,
``I bet y'all will believe in yourselves now, won't you!? ' ''

If not now, never.

Franklin coach Ken Hamilton had been confident enough to remove his best player, junior
swingman Alex Wesby (20 points, seven rebounds, six assists) and McClay, his senior floor leader
(eight assists), at the 1:27 mark in favor of two players who had yet to appear in the game.

Wesby and McClay rushed back in at 0:43, but West was already within 75-68, thanks to
Sean McKnight's left-corner three-pointer and Franklin was reeling.

At 0:34, Feaster was fouled while attempting a three-pointer. He made two of the free throws
and the Speedboys inched within 76-72. Franklin committed a turnover and Feaster scored again
at 0:26. Franklin committed another turnover and McKnight hit a jumper on a pass from Anthony
Frazier at 0:19 to tie it.

By this point, many Franklin fans were rimming the court and berating the referees and the
security folks were running from end to end, barely maintaining control.

At 0:15, Franklin freshman Hanif Styles went to the line for a double bonus. He missed
both shots. Derrick Johnson fought for the rebound and handed the ball to Feaster.

West had no timeouts remaining. Covered by McClay, Feaster rushed upcourt moving
slightly to his right. Then he veered to his left, scurried down the lane and launched the ball.



And this . . . (brace yourself; "Ham" was hissssssssssssed -- smile.)
All game, Hamilton yelled at his players to guard the arc and get a hand in Feaster's face.
If they heard him, they didn't carry out the orders.

``I couldn't be happier about what happened,'' Hamilton said. ``Why would I want to
coach these guys anymore? They don't deserve to go to the next round. They don't listen.
It's been the same thing all year. ''

No. 6
City Title
At Connie Mack Stadium
Egan 1, Southern 0 (11 inn.)
A pair of lefties, Egan's Dennis Yesenosky and Southern's Willie Jones,
were masterful in this marathon. Yesenosky allowed two hits and three
walks and set strikeout records for seven innings (12), nine innings (17)
and overall (20). Jones allowed eight hits and fanned 16. In the home 11th,
singles by Tony Varacallo, Dan Connors and Jim Colella loaded the bases.
Jim Carpenter sent a sinking liner to right and Vince DeMeis made the catch.
With all three runners moving a doubleplay was possible, but DeMeis's throw
to first was off-line. Jones then walked Phil Scalzone on four pitches to end it.
In the sixth, Southern had runners thrown out at second and the plate.
  (Ted's note: Thirty-six combined strikeouts! Phew! I'm not sure what became
of Yesenosky -- maybe someone out there can let us know -- but Jones
definitely played in the Phillies' farm system. Maybe as an outfielder? . . .
Meanwhile, here's a similar game. Couldn't find evidence that any of the daily
papers covered it in person, so the details are skimpy/sketchy and I would
have been uncomfortable giving it an official spot on the list. I played on a
youth team with Steve Miller, by the way. 
Public League Semifinal
At Central
Roxborough 1, Frankford 0 (14 inn.)
Jerry West's double in the home 14th scored Steve Miller to make reliever
Dereck Hicks a winner. Hicks and Bob Waldeck combined for 16 strikeouts
in a 10-hitter.

No. 7
Catholic League Final
At the Palestra
O'Hara 53, Judge 52 (OT)
O'Hara authored one of the more legendary chapters in CL history by
scoring the final 13 points of regulation in 2:18. Mike Daly hit a 25-footer
to complete the comeback, during which Judge missed four one-and-ones,
grabbed no rebounds and committed four turnovers. Joe Hazinsky (15),
Tom Ingelsby (13) and Daly (12) scored in double figures. Ingelsby dribbled
away most of the extra session and swished a clinching free throw with 0:16
left. The Lions' playoff run featured four OTs and three wins by five points
total. Judge suffered a blow when floor leader Tim Fehrle (17) fouled out
with 1:44 left in regulation.
  (Ted's note: This was a distressing development for Judge, no doubt. The
school's basketball program already had been dealing with a "choke" label
and this one did not help. Bill Fox, in his first season, enabled the Crusaders
to finally experience a title, in '75. Ingelsby played in the NBA after 'Nova
and was later a successful coach at Carroll, with help from his son, Martin,
a first team All-City player in '97.)

No. 8

City Title
At Franklin Field
Northeast 33, West Catholic 20
  John Papit ran 29 times for 160 yards and three TDs and passed 3-for-9 for 56
yards and another score in a game attended by 60,000 and halted by rioting with
10 seconds left. When Northeast's fans attempted to tear down the goalposts in
the final minute, West's fans ran onto the field to defend them. Elsewhere, two
fans connected with neither school ran toward Northeast's backfield to tackle and
slug Papit. With several thousand fans on the field, officials ended the game.
Soccer-style kicker George "Bertie" Miller booted three PAT and averaged 52
yards on six kickoffs. For West, Charley Albertus passed 8-for-20 for 186 yards
and two TDs and Emory McCourt carried 11 times for 91 yards.
  (Ted's note: John Papit played for a while in the NFL. Could you imagine being
at a high school game with 60,000 people? How cool is THAT?! In that era, high
school ball ruled Philly. Pete Gogolak -- look him up on Wikipedia -- has always
been credited with being pro football's first soccer-style kicker, in the mid-1960s.
A big deal was made about Bertie Miller in the papers, but no one stated that he
was the city's FIRST soccer-style high school kicker. Could have been, though. By
the way, as our older visitors know, Northeast was located at 8th and Lehigh during
this era. It moved to its present location in the mid-'50s and the original building
became Edison. In turn, Edison vacated the premises in the mid-'80s for its
present location on Hunting Park Ave., east of Rising Sun.)

No. 9
Catholic Blue Semifinal
At Northeast
West Catholic 55, Neumann 48
   In the highest scoring game ever involving city teams, there were 788 yards
from scrimmage and 264 on returns (1,052 total). The first half, which ended with
West ahead, 35-20, produced exactly 600 yards, including returns. The tone was
set as West's Chris Diaferio returned the opening kickoff 67 yards for a TD.
Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley posted 240 yards and four TDs on 26 carries. For
Neumann, Jimmy Porreca ran 24 times for 159 yards and three TDs and caught
a pass from Jon Brady (15-for-29, 236, three TDs) for a fourth. The win was
assured when West's Dave Fitzgerald recovered an onsides kick at 0:25. The
Burrs were quarterbacked by DB Matt Rodia; the former starter had been
dismissed from the team for school-related reasons.
  (Ted's note: Huck was in his glory at this one! Ha, ha. Well, we all were,
actually. Stat heaven! As you can imagine, this game took a loooooong time.
My original hope was to write about this game and another. I called the office
at halftime and Bob Cooney graciously agreed to write about the other one via a
phone interview, due to our ridiculously early deadlines; they're even earlier now
-- ugh . . . Anyway, Brinkley is now a senior at Syracuse. Fitzgerald is now an
assistant at West. Rodia is part of a big sports-crazed family. For good reason,
his brothers were quite proud that Matt was the QB on a night when the offense
exploded for so many points.)

No. 10
Public League Final
At Temple's McGonigle Hall
Frankford 71, West 64 (4 OT)
Frankford, a PL member since the 1916-17 season, won its first championship
in a classic war of attrition. Both teams lost four starters to personal fouls.
Frankford's ninth man, guard Jeffrey Mack, made a huge steal in the third OT,
then made another in the fourth. The Pioneers took the lead for good, at 64-62,
on Jason Warley's rebound basket with 2:34 left. Warley had 22 points and 23
rebounds. His brother, Carlin, a sophomore, had 16 points and 15 rebounds. For
West, Mik Kilgore had 27 points and 10 rebounds.
  (Ted's note: This was a very emotional day for Frankford coach Vince Miller,
a former Sixers' scout and Wilt Chamberlain's very best friend. Vince's dad,
Reuben Miller Sr., died about a month before this game at age 85. The Warley
brothers are the sons of ex-NBA player Ben Warley. Here's the part of my story
that dealt with Mack's situation/contributions . . .

"That kid Mack is always bugging me to play. Well, he sure got his chance today," Miller cackled.
"I also get it from his girlfriend (Samantha Hawkins). She gives me a hard time. She's always saying,
'I came to see Jeff play and you didn't even put him in. ' "

"Friday, coach Miller had me practice with the first team a little," Mack said. "But when the third
quarter came and I hadn't played yet, I said, 'Shoot, he's not going to use me. ' I was kind of mad. I
didn't want to show anybody, but I was kind of sulking at the Franklin game (semifinals), too. That
could have been the last game in my career. It hurt not to get in. Thankfully, we got to today.

"I was just trying to keep Williams" -- Eric, the victim of Mack's two steals -- "in the middle of the
court. I wanted to 'turn' him again and again, so he'd have to switch hands. Hopefully, he'd lose it on
one of those switches.

"Playing defense is what I do better than anything else."

No. 11
Public League Semifinal
At Northeast
Northeast 9, Bok 8
   In a circumstances-for-the-ages finish, Northeast reversed an 8-7 deficit with
0:08 left when Dante Poole blocked Ralph Sheridan's punt through the back of
the end zone for a safety. Bok had only 10 players on the field on the fateful
play -- the missing man was one of Sheridan's three personal protectors. With
1:02 left, Northeast coach Harvey "Brew" Schumer opted not to attempt a
chip-shot field goal and Tavis Green (17-110) was dumped for a 1-yard loss on
fourth-and-1 from the 4. Poole scored Northeast's TD on a 10-yard run. For Bok,
Will Gadson passed 10-for-18 for 121 yards, leaped into the end zone for a 2-yard
TD midway through the fourth quarter and then flipped a conversion pass to Ed
Brumskill. Gadson played more than half the game with a broken leg and needed
three stitches to repair a gash in his chin. Bok, the smallest PL school with football
(400 male enrollment), was trying to make the final for the first time since 1951.
  (Ted's note: Still can't get over the finish of this one. First, NE messes up its
late-game chance to win it on offense, then DOES win it on defense due to Bok's
mess-up on special teams. I was on Bok's sideline as this one wound down. Rarely
have I witnessed such emotional devastation.)

No. 12
Public League Final
At Northeast
Central 13, Bartram 6
Central 8, Edison 6
    In an unprecedented move, league officials decided to break a three-way tie
with two half-games on the same day at the same site. In the first game, Central
scored the first two TDs on short runs by Rich Weaver and Jack Gorman, then
Marv Frazier returned a kickoff 95 yards for Bartram. After a short break, during
which Central coach Ed Veith had no time to discuss preparations for Edison,
Edison stormed downfield in 11 plays and Pedro Barez scored from the 1. But
in the second period, Paul Lobosco's fumble recovery gave Central the ball at
Edison's 5, Johnnie Williams immediately ran for a TD and Gorman passed for
two to Handsome Wearing.
  (Ted's note: Could you imagine? Two half-games to decide a champ? Only in
the Pub!! Gotta love it. There were no playoffs in this era and three teams
happened to finish tied for first. Central then played in the City Title game.
Pedro Barez was likely the city's first great Hispanic athlete. Also starred in
basketball and baseball. And check out the last name in the recap. Handsome
Wearing. An all-timer!! Right up there with another guy from the '60s -- Franklin
hoopster Alton Laughinghouse. If any Central guy who played in this two-game
affair happens to read this, I'm sure we'd all be interested to hear your thoughts
on what it was like. Send to Thanks!)

No. 13
Public League Final
At St. Joseph's University
Franklin LC 56, Gratz 55
In the most amazing finish in PL playoff history, Michael Robinson (13 points)
fumbled the ball, then ducked under the upraised arms of a defender and swished
a 30-foot three-pointer with 1 second left to win it. It was the first time since 1968
that a championship was won on a last-second shot and the lead was FLC's first of
the game. Rasiheed "Noot" Arnold poured in 34 points before fouling out. Lynard
Stewart and Terrell Stokes scored 12 points each for Gratz.
  Note: The school district later found that FLC had used ineligible players
during the season. The district stripped FLC of the title and awarded it to Gratz.
(Ted's note: Believe it or not, I was the TV analyst on Channel 29 for this game.
When Robinson hit the shot, I was smart enough to stay quiet and let the fan
noise/pictures tell the story. I still think there might have been a backcourt
violation at the early part of the possession. The camera didn't quite show a
good enough view. Stewart was our Player of the Year. His brother, Larry,
played in the NBA and Lynard has been overseas for a long time. Another
brother, Stephen, is an assistant at Delaware. Great family! Stokes is now an
assistant at Loyola, in Baltimore . . . The ineligible FLC guys were guilty of
playing in games on days when they were marked absent. Very messy development.)

No. 14
Catholic Red Final
At Northeast
La Salle 14, SJ Prep 7
   These private-school rivals canceled their Thanksgiving game and played
the next night before an overflow crowd. La Salle, a 42-14 loser in the regular
season matchup, survived in this one, despite being outgained, 390-175, by
forcing two fumbles at the 1 and making interceptions at the goal line and 1 yard
deep in the end zone. The Explorers' first TD came when Jack Forster and Rob
Saraceni forced a fumble within a whisker at the goal line and Greg Frantz picked
up the ball and dashed 96 yards for a TD; it was the longest fumble return for a
score in city postseason history. Saraceni had the other recovery while Mike
Donohoe (goal line, last play of first half) and Jack Forster (1-yard into end zone,
fourth quarter) made the interceptions. On the Prep's final play, JB Campanella
and John McBurnie combined for a sack. Andrew Wood (15), Campanella (13)
and Sean Saverio (11) racked up large tackles numbers as Prep ran 72 plays.
La Salle had zero rushing yards, but John Harrison passed 17-for-29 for 175 yards
(he finished with a city record for completions in a season, with 200) and a TD
to Joe Migliarese (7-84) and was sacked just once. It was the second time in three
years that a first-year CL coach won a title (Drew Gordon for La Salle, Joe Powel
for Wood in '04). The Explorers became the first Red team to win the title without
having the luxury of a first-round bye and just the third team in CL history to
capture a crown after losing three league games (also Judge in '81 and '83).
  (Ted's note: The circumstances of this one still boggle the mind. La Salle gets
NO rushing yards, is outgained total by much more than 2-to-1, yet wins because
it forces FOUR turnovers pretty much AT its own goal line!!?? If this game had
occurred in college or pro football, the FBI would still be investigating.)

No. 15
Catholic League Second Round
At La Salle University
Ryan 11, Judge 10 (13 inn.)
  This one featured 29 hits, 10 extra-base hits, 19 walks, 10 errors, seven
steals, the use of 32 players and lasted 4 hours, 13 minutes, not counting
an 8-minute rain delay. Soph Tom Billek, a backup shortstop, made his
first pitching appearance and posted 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for the
win. The winning run scored in the visiting 13th on Steve Devlin's suicide
squeeze. Jim McNesby had a two-run homer. For Judge, Doug Briggs went
2-for-6 with a double and three RBI. With no out in the home seventh, Ron
Brunner broke for home on an errant pitch, but catcher Jim Stafford recovered
quickly and tossed to pitcher Jim Yozallinas for the out.
  (Ted's note: I did not see this one. Puck covered it and complained like crazy
that the game's length made him late for a summer league game/practice; I
forget which. If the name Steve Devlin looks familiar, well, he is now Wood's
football coach. Jim McNesby is the brother of Roman basketball assistant
Chris McNesby. As always for second stories, Puck got Billek's number and I
interviewed him later over the phone. He said, "
When they told me to warm up,
I didn't have any idea I'd get in the game. I warmed up in the 10th, then they told
me before the 11th, 'If someone gets on, you're going in. ' I was nervous going
out there, but I was also excited about getting a chance to play. I didn't look at
anybody or anything. Just the catcher's glove. I don't think Judge took me seriously.
They were probably thinking, 'Who's this guy?' ")

No. 16
Catholic Red Final
At Northeast
O'Hara 35, SJ Prep 10
  Capping a sensational career, Kevin Jones posted four TDs and 196
all-purpose yards as the Lions rolled to an upset victory. He ran for scores
of 2 and 39 yards, returned a kickoff 86 yards for another and made a
34-yard reception of a Mike Lomas Hail Mary pass for yet another.
Lomas (6-for-12, 137 yards) also fired a TD pass to Ryan Barksdale.
Prep entered at 12-0 and thus became the first team with a perfect record
to fall in a CL title game since St. James in 1969. Kyle Ambrogi rushed for
50 yards and fell nine yards short of overtaking Judge's Bill Foley
(2,116 in '68) for the No. 1 spot in CL one-season rushing. Mike
McGann passed 18-for-37 for a game record 245 yards.
  (Ted's note: Jones starred at Virginia Tech and is now in camp with the
Bears after previously playing for the Lions. Ambrogi, who played at Penn,
is remembered fondly by all who knew him. McGann starred at Temple
and was in camp with the Colts two summers ago; he's now assisting at
Prep . . . My biggest memory of this game concerned something not part
of the actual action. This was the beginning of my notes column the
following Tuesday:

Friday night, moments before the Catholic Red title game, St. Joe's Prep's players came
storming onto their sideline.

Tight end Pat McCauley ran right toward me and screamed, "We've got this one!"

I didn't consider him a wiseacre. It didn't seem as though he was delivering the line in
we'll-show-you fashion. He merely appeared excited, like he wanted to direct a pregame
comment to somebody, anybody. I happened to be standing alone. In his path. No sweat.

The Prep, of course, lost to O'Hara, 35-10, and poof! went its hopes of a 13-0 season.

Long after the game ended, I was in my car, trying to squeeze out of the still-crowded
parking lot. I was looking straight ahead. Tap, tap, tap. Driver's side window. I rolled it down.

"I was wrong," a young man said.

It was Pat McCauley.


Prep coach Gil Brooks was not surprised by that story. He called McCauley "a wonderful
kid" and then told me a story. As an eighth-grader, McCauley was cut from the basketball team
at St. Margaret, in Narberth, but showed up to practice the next day. "The coaches didn't have
the heart to cut him again," Brooks said. "By the end of the year, he was starting".

No. 17
Public League Round of 16
At Strawberry Mansion
Imhotep 80, Straw. Mansion 75
This featured some of the most noteworthy circumstances in city history.
In the first quarter, Mansion's Dwayne Davis (32) hit six consecutive treys.
No. 6 came on a shot while he was falling out of bounds in front of Imhotep's
bench. He later added two more treys and finished with 32 points, but the Knights
collapsed after he fouled out with 6:40 remaining. Imhotep, which entered the
fourth quarter down by 19 points, rang up a 31-7 advantage while forcing 12
turnovers. The three D-I signees, Tamir Johnson, Jermaine Washington and
Kashief Edwards (19), scored seven points apiece in the wild comeback.
Afterward, Davis and Washington were crying as they shared a halfcourt hug.
  (Ted's note: I witnessed this one. Could you imagine seeing a guy hit SIX
treys in the first quarter? My mind was racing: he'll end up with 15, maybe 20!
Then, at the back end of the game, we had the great collapse after Davis
fouled out. Just as amazing, especially since Mansion was the home team.)

No. 18
Catholic League Final
At the Palestra
Roman 59, Neumann-Goretti 56
   Just when it appeared the Cahillites were dead meat, with just under
six minutes left, they overcame a 10-point deficit by roaring to 11
consecutive points in 1 minute, 40 seconds, and wound up scoring 17 of the
game's final 21 points. The win gave 21-year coach Dennis Seddon his 10th
title, eclipsing the CL record of nine by Roman's Billy Markward in the 1920s
and '30s and preventing N-G's Carl Arrigale from capturing his fifth in seven
years. Roman went ahead for good, at 56-54, with 2:22 left as members of the
team's two sets of twins did the honors: Will Kirkland (also Wes) scored on a
pass from Pitt signee Bradley Wanamaker (also Brian). Will Kirkland was the
defender in '06 when Derrick "D.J." Rivera hit his game-winner; he said he
wasn't himself for a whole month afterward. Bradley Wanamaker had 17 points,
six rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Wayns (13), Will Kirkland (12) and
Brian Wanamaker (10) also scored in double figures. N-G's leaders were Syracuse
signees/best buddies Rick Jackson (20 points, 18 rebounds, six blocks) and Antonio
"Scoop" Jardine (11 assists). Jackson's three-game playoff averages were 22.7, 14
and six. Will Kirkland sank the first of two free throws at 6.4 for a 62-59 lead.
Teammate Courtney Stanley grabbed the rebound of the missed second shot, then
clanked two FTs of his own. N-G's Jamal Wilson rebounded and passed ahead to
sixth man Mark Hatty, who hit the rim with a 24-foot, right-wing trey at the buzzer.
As the Cahillites began to celebrate, roughly a half-dozen, liquid-filled plastic bottles
were fired onto the court from high above N-G's bench. Roman's contingent sought
refuge in the locker room, then later returned to accept the plaque and cut down the net.
  (Ted's note: Seven of these guys have played -- or, are about to play -- D-I ball, Not bad.)

No. 19

Catholic League Quarterfinal
At Villanova Stadium
McDevitt 10, Judge 0
    Pat Lawn scored on a 57-yard pass from Matt Kolen and John Moran
kicked a 31-yard field goal as the Lancers, making their first postseason
appearance in their 20th season of CL play, stunned the undefeated regular
season champs. Down linemen Bob Arnold and Chris Conlin combined for
35 tackles, including 20 solos.
  (Ted's note: This was coach Pat Manzi's first season at McDevitt. Judge
had gone 8-0 in division play while winning seven of those games by at least
23 points. McDevitt was "only" 3-3-2 and lost to Judge, 28-0, in the regular
season. Arnold and Conlin played for Maryland and Penn State, respectively,
and the latter went on to the NFL. Conlin was part of a great sports family
(also Ken, Craig, Keith, Kevin). McDevitt's quality linebackers were Mike
Anderson. Yes, plural. Michael Stephen and Michael Sean; not related.)

No. 20
Catholic Red First Round
At Northeast
N. Catholic 30, Judge 27
This was quite the red-letter occasion for North. Terrell Oglesby (12-195)
and Daryl Robinson (15-154) raced for one and two TDs, respectively, as the
Falcons rolled to 426 total yards and won a postseason game for the first time
since 1956 (12-0 over Lincoln for the City Title). Also, it was their first triumph
in a CL playoff since '37 (13-0 over SJ Prep in a final necessitated by a tie for
first place in the standings). In all, Robinson generated 265 yards of
rushing/receiving/returning and lost an 84-yard score on a punt return to penalty.
He did catch a scoring pass from Dennis Logue and make two of the Falcons' five
interceptions. Oglesby, Rich Cruz and Ryan McCullough also had picks. For Judge,
Andrew McHale scored on a punt return and a pass from Paul Volpe (7-for-16, 135,
two TDs).
  (Ted's note: Robinson's performance was a masterpiece -- three total TDs, 265
yards of three Rs, two picks.)

No. 21
Catholic League Quarterfinal
At the Palestra
St. James 58, Roman 56 (OT)
In the greatest upset record-wise in CL playoff history, the 7-7 Bulldogs,
who needed to win a preplayoff just to join the party, stunned 14-0 Roman
as Nate Hall collected 15 points and 10 rebounds, John McHugh added 10
points and eight boards and Paul Van Horn, accustomed to shooting less than
50 percent, went 6-for-8 at the line and dished five assists. St. James had lost
29 in a row to Roman. Tom Jones blocked Roman’s last shot in regulation.
Hall’s one-and-one conversion with 0:10 left in OT provided a 58-54 lead.
Roman’s Glenn Welton scored 20 points.
  (Ted's note: This wound up being Speedy Morris' final season at Roman.
Tom Jones is the father of ex-O'Hara FB star Kevin Jones, now in the NFL.
St. James, located in Chester, closed in June 1993.)

No. 22
Public League Final
At La Salle University
Northeast 5, Central 4 (11 inn.)
Freshman reliever Pete Whittle, of Central, escaped jams in the ninth and
10th in amazing fashion, but couldn't quite do it in the 11th. After having to
remain at third and second, respectively, as two teammates struck out, R.J.
Farina AND John Griffin scored on an infield single to end it. On a 3-2 count,
Shane Best slapped a ball that was smothered by second baseman Nick
McCloskey at the back of the infield dirt. McCloskey made a desperation flip
to shortstop John Durso, who had no time to make a play on Griffin. Central
had taken a 4-3 lead in the top half on Steve Pietrzykowski's two-out RBI
single and had tied it in the seventh on Bob Dintino's sacrifice fly. Phil
Goodhead tied a city record by going all 11 innings for Northeast. He allowed
nine hits and five walks and struck out eight. Tim Greco had two RBI for Central.
  (Ted's note: In the semis, Dintino was the hero in a win over Frankford. He
lived DIRECTLY across the street from home plate at Frankford's field. As for
Goodhead, the last time I saw him it was on TV! He made an appearance on
Wheel of Fortune when the show came to Philly a few years ago and made a
decent amount of money, if I remember correctly. Greco is the son of Central's
girls' basketball coach, Frank Greco.)

No. 23
Public League Semifinal
At La Salle University
Central 13, Frankford 12 (8 inn.)
  Thirteen runs were scored in the one extra inning. A grand slam by Teddy
Lipford, who also doubled while going 3-for-4 with a walk, double and five
RBI, capped Central's seven-run outburst. Joe Manini and Will Bromley had
RBI singles as Frankford clawed back. With Bromley, the tying run, at third,
Adam Hartman grounded to Lipford, the shortstop, and was called out on an
extremely close play to end it. Noah White got the win, John Hickey the save.
Frankford pitchers Glenn LaBadie and Tom DiBello were used two times apiece.

No. 24
City Title
At the Palestra
Overbrook 65, Roman 56 (OT)
  Overbrook put the finishing touches on a 34-0 season -- the best record in
city-leagues history -- as Tony Costner collected 23 points and 15 rebounds,
Darryl "World" Brown added 14 points and five assists and John Bryant (12
rebounds) and Steve Black split 20 points. Costner scored eight points in a 15-6
overtime session. With 0:11 left in regulation, Roman's Randy Monroe went to
the line for a one-and-one. He hit the first shot to create a 50-50 tie, but then
missed the second. William "Vernon" Hardwick (jumper) and Costner (tap)
missed shots for 'Brook to make necessary the first OT session in the series
since 1943. Gerald Roberts (21) and Lonnie McFarlan (18) led Roman in scoring
while Monroe (14) and McFarlan (13) were tops in rebounds.
  (Ted's note: This wound up being the final City Title game and Overbrook's
34-0 mark remains the best in city history. Tony Costner starred at St. Joe's
and is the father of Brandon Costner, of North Carolina State; he grew up in North
Jersey. Randy Monroe is the head coach at UMBC.)

No. 25
Catholic League Final
At La Salle University
Neumann-Goretti 44, Roman 41
  An exciting finish wound up leading to what was likely the darkest day in CL
history. Derrick "D.J." Rivera drained a left-wing trey with 1.4 seconds left,
and then dashed immediately down and across the court to a spot in front of
Roman's student rooters, who'd been heckling him hard all game. Players and
fans followed, the Roman kids threw debris, including plastic bottles, and a
Roman student received a cut nose when something was fired back. There were
also on-court scuffles involving adult N-G fans and police and a city-wide assist
call resulted in 100-plus police officers rushing to Tom Gola Arena. Two juveniles
were among six people arrested and the incident drew national attention. Though
intense and close, the game was not especially clean. The teams combined to
shoot 31-for-108 (28.7 percent) from the floor and 21-for-41 at the line (51.2)
and were guilty of 30 turnovers. Rick Jackson had 12 points, six boards and seven
blocks and helped hold Mike Ringgold, the South MVP, to two points. Roman's
Rockeed McCarter totaled eight points and 15 boards while Raymond "Doodles"
Sims mixed nine points, two assists and three steals. A week-long investigation of
the incident by principals, ADs and the archdiocese resulted in a suspension for
N-G coach Carl Arrigale for the first four games of the 2006-07 CL regular season.
Among other sanctions: no spectators for the N-G/Roman games.

No. 26
Public League Final
At Temple's Erny Field
Franklin 4, Roxborough 2
  Deron Miller allowed five hits and one walk and struck out six as Franklin,
in just 1 hour, 37 minutes, became the first all-minority team (seven
African-Americans, two Hispanics) to win the PL title. Miller pitched all 21
of the Electrons' playoff innings, allowing 15 hits and seven walks while
striking out 17. Ron Friedrich, who got married the previous August and
quickly gained 40 pounds, had an RBI triple. Anthony McQuillar went 3-for-3.
Roxborough's Dave Coyne went 2-for-3 with a double.
  (Ted's note: This Franklin group was a fun bunch and it captured the title
just before baseball, basically, became a non-factor for the city's African-
American kids. Scouts routinely used to check out Franklin/Gratz/U. City,
etc., and occasionally sent guys to the minors. Franklin's next very good
pitcher AFTER Miller, Terrell Berthau, spent some time in the minors, and
an outfielder from the Class of '78, Steve Harvey, reached as high as AA
Reading in the Phillies' system. By the way, Miller pitched those 21 innings
over eight days -- Thursday, Monday and Thursday again. Wouldn't be
possible under current rules.)

No. 27
Catholic League Final
At Baker Bowl
Roman 13, Villanova Prep 9
  In the dying moments of the game, Charlie McKinney caught a punt
on Roman's 5-yard line and zig-zagged 95 yards for the game-winning TD.
Villanova had taken a 9-6 lead earlier in the quarter on Vail's 35-yard
field goal. A 35-yard pass from McKinney to Francis "Dibby" Cassidy set
up the game's first score, Vince McNally's 4-yard run. Villanova countered
with Jimmy Quinn's 3-yard run. The Cahillites finished with a quite unusual
overall record of 7-0-4. Included was a 6-6 road tie against St. James, of
Haverhill, Mass.
  (Ted's note: Baker Bowl, once the home of the Phillies, was located on
the southwest corner of Broad and Lehigh. Vince McNally became a star
at Notre Dame and still holds a record for returning two punts for TDs in
the same game. He later spent about 15 years as the Eagles' general manager.)

No. 28
Catholic League Quarterfinal
At the Palestra
Dougherty 44, North 43
  Paul Terrell sniped 14-for-22 and 2-for-5 for 30 points, including 10 in the
final period, as Dougherty stunned the 16-0 Falcons. The 30 points were a
CL playoff record. The other Cardinals shot 5-for-27. North led, 43-40,
but Terrell hit jumpers with 0:29 and 0:06 left and North’s Don Hobson
(17) missed a last shot. Lawrence Reid had 10 rebounds. North’s Jim
‘‘Bozo’’ Wolkiewicz had 17 boards.
  (Ted's note:
Dougherty's coach, Bob Harrington, said that week at the
Markward Club luncheon, "16-and-0 and down they go and don't quote me
until after the game." If I remember correctly, North posted one of its 16 wins
by something like 112-66.)
Reid, then a soph, wound up being one of the CL's
finest athletes. He scored 42 points in a basketball game and rushed for 379 yards
in a football game -- long the city record until Curtis Brinkley broke it -- and
was a RB starter at Michigan. Wolkiewicz played hoops at La Salle.)

No. 29
Catholic League Quarterfinal
At the Palestra
North 64, Bonner 50
As they’d done in 1968, the Falcons again turned a bizarre situation into
victory. At the scheduled 2 p.m. start, coach Fran Dougherty, thinking his
team was slated for the second game, was walking into the building and no
Falcons were warming up. Officials gave North 15 minutes to put a team
on the floor. When Dougherty reached the locker room, he found six
players (four starters). The fifth starter, 6-5 Jim Boylan, rushed to the bench
during the National Anthem and asked guard Billy Dever, ‘‘Which basket is
ours?’’ Gene Kweeder and Joe Rymal scored 18 points apiece. Dever (13)
and Boylan (nine) helped. Bonner’s Joe DiCocco scored 19 points. Two
main men missed the game — North’s Joe Rapczynski (broken ankle) and
Bonner’s John Cappelletti (sprained ankle).
  (Ted's note: As for the opening reference . . . in '68, North's JV, filling in
for the suspended varsity, beat McDevitt in a quarterfinal at the Palestra.
Rapczynski coached North to the '87 CL title. Yes, John Cappelletti is THAT
John Cappelletti -- winner of the Heisman Trophy during his Penn State
career and a productive NFL rusher. He wasn't bad at hoops, either. The day
after this game, one of the Philly papers ran a picture of the court, taken from
high above. Bonner was warming up. North's end was empty.)

No. 30
Public League Final
At Frankford
Roxborough 7, Northeast 5
Folks are still having fun talking about all the wacky occurrences in this
one. The best was the triple play turned by Roxborough in the home fifth.
With runners on first and third, pinch-hitter Ed Kraus flied to leftfielder
Dave Brotherton. Jeff Weiss was out at the plate on a relay from third
baseman George Shepherdson. Catcher Joe Turvey spotted Tom Cross,
trying to advance from first, and fired to second for out No. 3. Twice
there were 10-minute arguments -- first when plate ump Ron Burgis
rescinded an infield-fly call and awarded Northeast's Mark Ertel a single
and later when Weiss batted in the No. 5 hole even though he'd entered
the game in the No. 7 hole. During the waits, Northeast's fans heckled
Roxborough pitcher Eric Kay about his 255-pound frame and brief,
fans-only scuffles ensued. Chris Deskiewicz, the No. 9 hitter, gave
'Boro a 6-1 lead with a three-run homer in the sixth. For Northeast,
Jim Callahan went 4-for-4 with one RBI on a solo homer.
  (Ted's note: Turvey went on to play for a few years in the Cardinals'
farm system.)

No. 31
City Title
At Kennedy Stadium
Frankford 27, Wood 7
  In a driving rainstorm, which turned the natural surface at
Kennedy Stadium into a mud-covered mess, Frankford relied almost
exclusively on the straight-ahead running of fullback Joe Galasso, who
responded with 155 yards and two TDs on 30 carries. The Pioneers were
just the PL's third winner since 1951. Coach Al Angelo had been 0-8-1 in
city title appearances as a player, assistant and head coach. Chris
Yurkow ran for one TD and completed his only pass for another. Walt
Parrish made four tackles for losses and recovered an errant pitchout.
For Wood, John Kafel returned the second half kickoff 80 yards for a TD.
  (Ted's note: Wood ran the wishbone in this era and the field conditions
were a major hindrance. When coach Angelo passed away recently, one
of his friends told me that a player had talked him into kicking off for the
second half even though Frankford had also kicked off to start the game.
Kafel returned it 80 yards for a TD. For our younger visitors, who might
not be aware, Municipal/Kennedy Stadium was long the site of the Army-Navy
game and is now home to the Wachovia Center.)

No. 32
Catholic League Semifinal
At the Palestra
Dougherty 46, Judge 43
This game had the craziest finish in CL playoff history. With the score tied,
41-41, Dougherty’s Dave Black started a slashing move to the basket and it
appeared he was grabbed by Judge’s Chuck Hiller. A highly controversial
intentional foul was called at 0:09. Black hit two free throws and Cuttino
‘‘Cat’’ Mobley hit two more after the Cardinals inbounded the ball. At 0:02,
Dougherty’s Jerry Ricca was fouled after rebounding a missed three by Judge’s
John McGovern. But Dougherty’s fans, thinking the game was over, stormed
onto the court and the Cards were assessed a technical foul. Ricca made one
free throw and then Judge’s Danny Oldfield made two. On Judge’s inbound
play, Oldfield took a pass from Chris Cervellero and hit the back part of the
rim on a 40-footer. Both teams’ fans then hurled trash at each other —
Dougherty’s from the floor, Judge’s from the stands. Spectators and the
media were banned from attending the next year when the teams met at Dougherty.

No. 33

Catholic South Preplayoff
At O'Hara
Roman 5, SJ Prep 4 (12 inn.)
Paul Barton homered with one out in the home 12th to win it. Pat DiCicco
went 2-for-4 with an RBI, was issued two intentional walks, gunned out two
base-stealers and made a great block-and-tag at the plate to prevent an 11th
inning run. Roman scored two in the seventh on RBI singles by Pete Boylan
and John Connor. In the eighth, Prep scored on a doubleplay grounder and
Roman's Fran Zehren had an RBI single. Prep's Vince Bonaventura and
DiCicco had RBI singles in the ninth.

No. 34
Catholic League Semifinal
At Temple's Erny Field
Bonner 19, St. James 14
In the highest-scoring playoff game in CL history, the Friars exploded for eight
runs in the visiting seventh to erase a 14-11 deficit. The leaders were Pete Klein
(2-for-3, triple, four RBI) and Chris Boyle (2-for-5, double, triple, five RBI).
Bonner was outhit, 16-8. For St. James, Jim Smith had three RBI while Neal
McLaughlin, Len Montano, Dave "Duke" Elison and Mike McBride had three
hits apiece.

No. 35
Public League Semifinal
At Northeast
Lincoln 30, Dobbins 28
   In the PL's first postseason night game, Wendell Birch passed 10-for-18 for
171 yards and three TDs (two to Curtis Morman) and ran 13 yards for the
winning score with 1:36 remaining. Zachary Armwood rushed 31 times for 113
yards and a TD. For Dobbins, Kevin Ingram rushed 17 times for 161 yards and
a TD and passed 4-for-13 for 108 yards. Kevin Dixon added 124 yards and two
TDs on nine carries and Cliff Carter posted a 53-yard TD on a punt return. The
teams combined for 34 first downs, 742 yards total offense and 197 yards on
returns (939 total).
  (Ted's note: Ingram remains the best Pub QB I've seen since beginning to cover
the league full-time in 1976. He played at Villanova/East Carolina, and then in the
CFL/NFL. Carter starred in baseball at Temple, and then in an independent minor

No. 36
Public League Final
At La Salle University
GAMP 8, Northeast 6
The Pioneers, part of PL baseball since 1989, won their first championship by
rallying from a 4-1 deficit in the last three innings. David Scirrotto had an RBI
single in a three-run fifth and a two-run single in a three-run sixth. The run that
broke a 4-4 tie scored on a passed ball. Matt Sestito also had hits in each of the
three-run uprisings. The momentum swung when third baseman Jeff Colon made
an outstanding play on a grounder to end the fourth and keep Northeast's lead
from expanding to 5-1. Mario Malatino, on two days' rest, toughed out a 10-hitter
and went the distance. Northeast had runners at second and third with one out in
the home seventh when Malatino induced a popout and groundout to end it. Ken
Wlodarczyk went 3-for-4 with a double, triple and one RBI. Starting pitcher Ryan
Zastowney had a two-run single. Northeast committed six errors to none for GAMP.
GAMP, which had just 11 players in uniform (10 percent of the school's male
enrollment), won its four playoff games by six runs total.

No. 37
Public League Final
At Temple's Liacouras Center
  Prep Charter 49, Gratz 48: The Huskies survived as Gratz missed three "last
shots," one of which was launched after the game "ended." After 6-10 Markieff
Morris partially deflected a close-in flip shot by Josh "Scrap" Martin and 6-9
Marcus Morris, Markieff's identical twin, batted away Alibaba Odd's follow, the
clock melted down to 0:00 and the Huskies' fans/cheerleaders stormed the court
in celebration and "We Are the Champions" played over the sound system. One
problem: the clock should have been stopped. The referees summoned the Huskies
back to the court and put 1.3 on the clock. Martin inbounded to Charles White,
who missed a left-wing trey. PC's joy was repeated, this time with even more
intensity. Just two days after Neumann-Goretti's Rick Jackson posted 26 points,
17 rebounds and eight rebounds in a CL semi, Markieff went pretty much stat for
stat with 23-18-8. Marcus had 10 points, 10 boards and five assists. Gratz turned
three straight steals into six consecutive points and a 48-47 lead before Markieff took
a pass from Tyree "Chuck" Harris and followed his own miss for what turned out to
be the winning basket. Tommie "T.J." Sykes (13), White (11) and Ishmawiyl
McFadden (10) scored in double figures for Gratz. White added eight rebounds and
four assists. The loss made Gratz 7-9 in title games over the last 19 seasons, with
three setbacks by one point and two others in OT. (One of those one-point losses,
to Franklin LC in '94, was later erased due to the Bobcats' use of ineligible players.)

No. 38
Public League Quarterfinal
At Two Sites
Roxborough 7, Bartram 0
Due to an upheld protest, this game was played in two stages two days apart
at two different sites. Roxborough first "won" by 5-2. But the game was continued
from the spot where the score was 4-0 in the visiting fourth. The protest was over
a pickoff play -- after time was called, Roxborough pitcher Carl Soupik did not step
back onto the rubber before picking off Bartram's Mike Morton. Anyway, Soupik
wound up allowing two hits in 5 2/3 innings and Dave Knittel had a two-run homer.
The game began at Roxborough's field. It was finished at Roxborough and Henry,
Roman Catholic's field.

No. 39
Public League Final
At the Civic Center
Edison 74, Gratz 68 (OT)
Mark Peterson shot 15-for-16 at the line en route to 27 points (nine in OT)
and added 10 rebounds for the Owls, champs for the first time since 1969.
Omar Logan added 17 points. After Gratz's Marvin O'Connor (35 points)
scored with 2 seconds left in regulation to provide a 58-56 lead, Edison forced
overtime on an amazing play: Tyrone Forrest made a three-quarters court pass
to Albert Crockett, who caught the deflected ball on a short hop and made
an all-in-one-motion turn and flip to the basket from 15 feet. The ball banked in!
  (Ted's note: Peterson's teammates went 11-for-31 at the line. There was a
9-minute delay in the first quarter after players slipped on a Nike logo affixed
to the court. Workers couldn't scrape it off with razors, so they sanded it to
remove the slickness. Edison trailed, 9-1, at the time of Swooshgate. There was a
long delay after Crockett's basket as Gratz coach Bill Ellerbee herded his team to
the locker room, saying the clock had not been properly started and the basket
should not have counted. Ultimately, his players convinced him to return to
the court and finish the game.)   

No. 40
Catholic League Semifinal
At La Salle University
Carroll 9, Conwell-Egan 8 (8 inn.)
The Patriots rallied from a 6-1 deficit, forced extra innings at 7-7 with three runs
in the visiting seventh (big hit: Colin McHale's two-run double) and held on in the
home eighth when Alex Szathmary was rubbed out at the plate to end the game
while trying to take two bases on a wild pitch. Catcher Matt Lisowski could not
locate Brian Rorick's wild pitch. Rorick wound up recovering the ball at the base
of the backstop and tossed to Lisowski at the plate. C-E's Tim Carroll went 3-for-4
with a double, triple, walk and two RBI. Kurt Bruehl added three hits, including a
double, and two RBI. Of Carroll's eight runs over the last four innings, six were
unearned due to five errors.

No. 41
Catholic League Quarterfinal

At La Salle Univ.
Dougherty 66, Wood 63 (2 OTs)
   The Cardinals avoided what likely would have been considered the second biggest
upset in CL playoff history -- behind only the win by North's JV over McDevitt in
1968 -- when sub Kyle Sample took a pass from Tim Smith (17 points, three assists)
and swished a right-corner trey with 2.1 seconds showing. Smith then batted away
Wood's final inbound pass. Dougherty was just the third team in CL history to go
perfect for two straight seasons and was the area's No. 1-ranked team. Wood entered
0-10 in regular playoffs and just two nights earlier had finally tasted postseason
success, downing North in a pre-playoff. Dougherty trailed, 54-49, with 35 seconds
left in regulation, but got to OT on a follow by Shane Clark (12 points, 1,009 for
career) and a trey by 6-7 center DeSean White. Wood point guard Matt Spadafora
had 16 points and 14 rebounds. Rob Pearson (15), Tim Walters and Brian Klumpp
(14 apiece) also scored in double figures and Klumpp's trey on a pass from Corey
Filer created a 63-63 tie with 0:26 showing in the second OT. Kyle Lowry added
10 points for Dougherty before fouling out with 2:17 left in the first OT.

No. 42
Public League Preplayoff
At Germantown
Northeast 3, Central 1 (10 inn.)
This one wasn't decided until PL baseball chairman Jerry Kean went to Connie
Mack Stadium to consult with the umpires (Bill Jackowski, Shag Crawford, Vic
Delmore, Al Barlick) who had worked the Phillies-Cubs game. They disallowed
a protest by Central coach Wally Bennett, who felt Carter Roskow, who stole
second, should have been allowed to score an eighth inning run (it would have
ended the game) when an overthrow rolled onto a runway leading to the locker
rooms. The umps made Roskow stop at third and the major league umps concurred.
  (Ted's note: Shag Crawford is the patriarch of the famous ump-ref family from
Delaware County.)

No. 43
Public League Round of 16
At Overbrook
Engineering & Science 75, Overbrook 73 (3 OT)
  Lynn Greer collected 35 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals and
passed to Jameel Hawthorne for the winning three with 0:08 left. Thomas Darden
added 13 points, 10 boards. For ’Brook, N’aim Crenshaw scored 26 points and
Dakaree “Cory” Rose had 19 points, 17 boards. Crenshaw was barely long with a
last-second three.
  (Ted's note: Lynn Greer played briefly in the NBA and has enjoyed a productive
pro career overseas. Rose is the brother of long-time NBA performer Malik Rose.
The next year, Crenshaw was dating Greer's sister, Kelli, a star in her own right.
N'aim edged Lynn for the scoring title. Kelli kidded that N'aim, on his next visit to
the Greer home, "might have to stand out on the porch.")

No. 44
Catholic North Preplayoff
At La Salle High
Dougherty 51, McDevitt 50 (OT)
  The Cardinals roared to a 16-1 advantage in the final 4:14 of regulation and claimed
the win when Cuttino ‘‘Cat’’ Mobley (11 points, seven rebounds) hit a free throw with
0:08 left in OT after grabbing an offensive rebound. Shawn Newman added 11 points
for Dougherty, which lost five of its first six and eight of its first 11 before rallying to 8-8.
McDevitt got 12 points and 10 rebounds from 6-7 Mark Zataveski, but missed four
one-and-ones in the final 0:43 of regulation while allowing Mobley to hit a three and
Elson DeVan to can an uncontested layup at 0:05.
  (Ted's note: Mobley is a long-time NBA player. Newman earlier set the record for
most points in one game by a CL player with 58 in a non-league game vs. West; he later
became a male model, changed the spelling of his first name to "Sean" and dated the
now deceased Lisa Left-Eye Lopes. Zataveski, a true big'un, played football at Notre Dame.)

No. 45
Public League Semifinal
At Northeast
Frankford 63, Dobbins 29
  In the highest-scoring game ever played involving a city-leagues team (or teams),
Eddie Gaskins (19-261, four TDs) and Herbert "Pitter" Sample (17-119, three TDs)
ran wild and Jim Nagle passed 5-for-8 for 115 yards and two scores. Frankford
scored on its first nine possessions. Bill Sheerin set a city-leagues postseason record
with seven PAT. For Dobbins, Andre Davis passed 13-for-23 for a city-leagues
postseason-record 306 yards and four TDs -- two apiece to Rondell Clement (5-165)
and Danny Johnson (4-134). In the waning moments, Dobbins's Khary Dennison
returned a fumble 61 yards for what appeared to be yet another TD, but a clipping
penalty was called. The teams combined for 903 yards total offense and 178 on
returns (1,081 total).

No. 46
Public League Round of 16
At Washington
Washington 31, Fels 2
    The Eagles had 22 hits (six for extra bases), drew six walks and benefited from 11
Fels errors. Washington coach Joe O'Hara inserted all seven of his subs in the third
inning, told Jordan Nicgorski to wander off first base and get tagged out to end the
fifth and did not let his team bat in the sixth. Fels was a first-year PL member. Terry
Burstein had four RBI. Jamar Griffin and John Plunkett had three apiece. Nicgorski
and Herb Hoffman had three hits apiece. There were no homers. Washington's runs
by inning: 11, 5, 0, 7, 8.
  (Mercy rules were not in effect at this time.)

No. 47
Public League Second Round
At Lincoln
Lincoln 9, Mastbaum 8
    With rain falling, thunder crackling and Mastbaum coach Ralph "Bones" Schneider
being accused of stalling by several rabid Lincoln fans, the Railsplitters scored three in
the home seventh to win it. The winning run scored when centerfielder Renato Lajara
lost sight of Jim Keiser's easy fly and it dropped 15 feet in front of him, allowing John
Dempster to dash home with the game-winner. No more than 10 seconds later, the skies
opened full-force and everyone was instantly soaked to the skin. The downpour lasted
just three minutes. Keiser finished with four RBI. Ed Bowman and Fred Hansberry
homered for Mastbaum.

No. 48
Public League Preplayoff
At Gratz
Lamberton 24, Gratz 20 (8 inn.)
    The game lasted 4 hours, 20 minutes. Lamberton scored five in the
visiting eighth to break a 19-19 tie as Bobby Melone and Bryant Horsley
had RBI hits. Marshall Kerdeman and Chris Griffin both had grand slams
en route to five RBI. Chuck Moran went four innings for the win. For Gratz,
which committed nine errors and issued 21 walks, Shawn "Reds" Smith had
three doubles for six RBI and Brian Samuels had five RBI.
  (Smith and Samuels were primarily basketball players. Smith was the point
guard with Rasheed Wallace, class of '93, then played at La Salle.)

No. 49
City Title
At the Palestra
Germantown 77, Dougherty 62
  Dougherty saw its hopes of a 25-0 season dashed as Lou Gambrell shot
13-for-22 for 26 points, Charlie Orme added 16 points and Bob Reid and
Leroy Lark claimed 14 and 13 rebounds, respectively. Bill Nelson became
the first man to play in the City Title game for a champion (Bartram '44) and
then produce a champion as a coach. For Dougherty, Mike Kempski scored
18 points while Earl Williams (14, 13 rebounds) and Maurice Savage (13, 15)
were productive in two categories.

No. 50
Catholic Blue First Round
At Northeast
Dougherty 26, Wood 21
   Despite being outgained, 338-161, Dougherty became the first
city-leagues team with a regular season record as poor as 2-5 to win a
playoff game. Ben Dever passed 4-for-10 for 101 yards and two TDs to
Sarina Oeub (3-70), the first Cambodian native to make an impact in
city-leagues football, while Rodney Daniels (fumble return) and James
Jefferson (end-zone fumble recovery) scored defensive TDs. Wood's Sean
Murphy ran 22 times for 167 yards and the game's first two scores.

Your Comments/Memories . . .

  I hope the kevin Jones show will be a top 5. (PREP--O HARA Title game in 2000).
-- Ernie Gallagher
  (Ted's note: Can't tip my hand, Ern. But common sense tells us it'll make the Top 50 -- smile.)
 One the greatest upsets of all time, the Phil Martelli led Bishop Kenrick Knights upset top ranked LaSalle in the first round of the CL playoffs in 1982. The year before, LaSalle had beaten  a senior laden Kenrick team on its way to the CL title. The following year, LaSalle is the prohibitive favorite led by All City player Chip Greenberg. Kenrick loses every starter from its 81 team and relies on budding sophomore Brian Leahy and a team of scrappy role players to pull off the huge upset.
  I assume the Kenrick '76 win over Michael Brooks and his West Catholic team will be included as well as one of the bigger high schools upsets of all time. Kenrick had no one taller than 6-2 but somehow found a way to beat the future college player of the year and his top ranked Burrs.
-- Dan Allerton
Hey Ted what about the 2005 Judge and Roman play off game where judge won, that was the hardest and best game I think I've ever seen in high school football
-- Doug Ulrich
  I'd love to see the 2006 Catholic League hoops final between Neumann and Roman make the list despite the souring scene that developed after the game.
-- Matt Rogerson
   (Ted's note: In the realm of "memorable," the post-game developments help -- smile.)
This is Joe Crooks from prep charter and one playoff game i remember is Prep's 1st ever AA championship game in there school short history. The year before Saul blew prep charter out both times in the regular season beating us 12-1 the first meet and 17-7 the second time. The next year we would make it all the way to the AA championship were we would play non other then Saul. Going in with our heads high we came out victories winning our 1st AA championship and then winning it again the next year. That game meant a lot to us because we knew Saul was a good team and we have never beat them before.
MAY 17 2007 Class AA Final
Prep Charter 6, Saul 0: Josh DeSimone struck out nine in a seven-hitter while Joe Crooks (double) and Sean McGovern halved four RBI.
-- Joe Crooks
  I would hope that the 1968 (I think) Northern Division playoff game at the Palestra when North Catholic's JV team upset Bishop McDevitt's varsity would be in the top 5, if not the most memorable basketball playoff game in city history.  It was like the high school basketball version of Rocky. 
-- Bill Donohoe
  (Ted's note: Or even Rocky to the 10th power, Bill.)
  I went to Central but lived in Cardinal Dougherty / Olney HS area. In 1968-1969 I believe Dougherty won every Catholic League championship. There were several great games along the way. The Catholic League football championship was played at Temple Stadium between Dougherty and Monsignor Bonner (with John Cappelletti). CD won, but it was a great game. The city Championship vs Northeast was not a great game at all.
  Baseball was also a great city championship in 1969 at Connie Mack Stadium CD vs Olney. Olney had a really good public league team (Bobby Careless was their main pitcher). Paul Tucker from CD pitched a no-hitter in the city championship game!
  Lost in all of the shuffle -there was a great city championship track meet in 1969! Dougherty vs Overbrook at Northeast. A real old fashioned dual meet 1 on 1. All of the athletes from football and basketball and everything were on the track team for CD. However, Overbrook won on the last event- the high jump - when David Bland missed on his last attempt to clear the height to win the whole thing. Both teams had legendary coaches - Jack St. Clair and the the 'Brook coach may have been Fred Rosenfeld, but not sure on that.
Also, Central vs Egan football 1970 at Franklin Field. First public league victory in like 13 years or so. That was a great game in that the pub had clearly fallen behind the cath for a long time, and Ed Veith figured out a way to win.
I will write back with more as I went to almost every championship from like '67 to about 76 or so.
-- Gary Ross
  (Ted's note: About the '69 City Title baseball game . . . Paul Tucker, then a junior, was a very good friend of mine -- we used to attend Phillies' games together -- and he started that game only because the scheduled starter, a senior, was disciplined for cutting practice. Paul took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and then surrendered a single to another friend, Charles Sumter. We'd played youth baseball together. Charles is now the chairman of Public League basketball. He played in the minor leagues for a while . . . Some other items: 'Brook's track coach back then was Jonas Harding. He still officiates track meets. Great guy! CD won FB and baseball in the 1968-69 school year, but its basketball title came in '70. Paul Tucker was a starter on that team.)
  I know we lost this game, but i feel as though this is one of the best games ever in Public League history. I think this should be top 10..cuz of how crazy and exciting it was. It was reported by Amauro and it really was the game of the year. By the way, they didn't mention it, but i had 5 tackles and a sack that game...but it's all good....LOL..
-- Amos Leak
Doubleheader at Northeast
Northeast 7, Dobbins 6
   Chris Banks (16-81) and Jeremiah Pitt (17-80, TD) collected almost identical rushing numbers and Chris Mountney's PAT made the difference. Kyle Sample posted a fourth-quarter interception and Rockeed McCarter recovered two fumbles. Dobbins' Rashad "Reds" Williams rushed 19 times for 92 yards and a score.
  (Ted's note: Amos and Mike, a Mastbaum grad and FB player, are part of a legendary brother combo. They're long-time supporters of the site and it's always great to hear from them. "Famous Amos" is in the home stretch of pursuing a degree in sports administration and has been working this summer with the Sonny Hill League, among other endeavors.)
  I know my DAD won't like this but to this day he still has guys at work saying 16-0 and down they go. Dougherty beats North in the Catholic League quarters after North was 16-0 and not many games were close. My dad still says they were one of the best teams ever.
-- Mark Hueber
  (Ted's note: Mark's note refers to the '74 season. Definitely a legendary occasion. Dougherty's coach, Bob Harrington, said that week at the Markward Club luncheon, "16-and-0 and down they go and don't quote me until after the game." He was right. If I remember correctly, North posted one of its 16 wins by something like 112-66.)
  I have a bad memory for me probably great from the folks at Ryan. I think it was 2002 I wasn't even at Judge yet but at La Salle University Judge had about an 8-10 point lead with 2 minutes left in regulation, despite the early "It's all over" and "Start the buses" chants by the students of FJ they couldn't finish it out Ryan came back to tie the game and take the game in OT where they won by about 10 tough night for the Judge guys but it's memorable.
-- Dave Durkin
  (Ted's note: That's this one, Dave . . .
Ryan 71, Judge 61 (OT)
   The Raiders overcame an eight-point deficit in the final 2:20 of regulation to seize the win. Andy MacDonald, a 6-2 center, shot 7-for-10 and 6-for-9 for 20 points and claimed 11 boards. Chris Kozole had 16 points, six rebounds, six assists, six steals. Kozole and Mike Devine hit gigantic treys in the regulation comeback. For Judge, the leaders were Kevin Pierce (15), Tom Keenan (13) and Ryan Haigh (11, five assists).
I may be a little biased here. I am hoping the double overtime game between Dougherty & Wood in 2004 makes the list. CD had four D-1 players and were taken to the brink of first round elimination by a Wood team no one gave a fighting chance too. There was some controversy surrounding a play late in regulation or the end of first OT I forget, in which a CD player got away with a pretty good bump on a Wood player that would have led to free throws. I think you mentioned it in DN next day. Anyway, probably the best High School game I have seen in person.
-- Blair Klumpp
  (Ted's note: Here's the stuff from the DN article, Blair . . . Doubt your brother would have been able to get off a shot -- smile.)

Dougherty got to OT on a follow from Shane Clark and a three-pointer from center DeSean White.

It got to double OT when referee John Wisniewski, obviously believing the kids should decide it, declined to call a foul when Brian Klumpp was drilled while trying to catch a long inbound pass. Klumpp was 40 feet from the basket, and not facing it. The play began with nine-tenths of a second left.

And then . . . The Cardinals won it in glorious fashion as junior Kyle Sample, a guard substitute, took a pass from Smith, a senior point guard, and drained a right-corner trey with 2.1 ticks left.

  Hi Ted. As soon as I saw that you were doing the top 50 I thought of my '74 CD team over North game at the Palestra. I'm glad that the astute Mark Hueber (regular contributor) mentioned it first.  His dad, Tim & I have played in the same leagues since then along with many other Northern Division guys.  My 2nd most memorable high school game was La Salle beating us in the next game led by sophomore Matt Mihalich.
-- Vince Shervin
  1995's public league quarter final between M.L. King and University City in which M.L. King won by a single point after Jamal Barlow scored with 16 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, and yours truely Malik Jones (Mr. Automatic) booted the clutch extra point for the win.  King stars at the time were Jovan Roger RB, Jackie Colston OL/LB, Omar Green OL/DL, Vermar Tutt WR, Mark Daniels QB,  Anthony Medlock C/LB and Barlow FB.  Coached by Dave Sanderson.  University City celebrated Ed Giddings WR, Reggie Manley QB, (That's all I can remember...Lol.).  It was a tight game start to finish, possibly worthy of top 50 recognition.
-- Malik Jones
  My most memorable playoff game is the 1968 melt down by Father Judge to O'Hara. I've seen a bunch of great games at The Palestra, but I'll never forget the incredible momentum swing at that game. The crowd reaction was amazing. As the Judge fans assembled to storm the court in celebration of a championship, their Crusaders simply fell apart and the O'Hara faithful watched in disbelief as The Lions took advantage every Judge mistake. This has to be the most extraordinary comeback in CL Playoff history.
-- Mike Monti
  (Ted's note: That's definitely a contender, Mike.)
     Father Judge vs North Catholic  in a 2006 1st round matchup. The game was back and forth. There were a ton of big plays by both teams. It was a classic game by the two rivals. It was hard fought and very exciting. The 4th quarter brought the most excitement where there was like 20 something combined points scored in a matter of minutes. North Catholic unfortunately won but Judge had a chance on their last drive.
-- Fran McMenamin

   Not that you asked for it but here is the list of my top ten most memorable playoff games that I attended. I hope that some of them make your list.
     10) 1992 CL final at Palestra. Roman 77-CD 68. I thought this special squad was destined (see memorable moment #1 Below) to end the title drought for the cards but unfortunately Roman was too strong inside for the Cards to handle.
     9)   After exciting win over Wood in semi’s heartbreak again for the Cards in CL football final in 1977. Prep 19-CD 7. Joe Rabuck seemed to run the ball every play and grind out first down after first down.
     8) 1984 CL football final Judge 17-Carroll 10. I though Carroll would win easily. Attended many of Judge’s games that year and never thought they were Championship caliber but Whitey and his kids proved me wrong once again in the post season. Memorable as it was the end of Judge’s championships  under Whitey Sullivan.
     7)  Baseball Pub final 2006 –Memorable played in NJ (Campbell’s field) and led to improbable PIAA run by Lancers.. Central 7- Frankford 1. Crisply played first five innings with game remaining scoreless. Lancers erupted in 6th to end Frankford’s dominance at least for a year.
     6) 1975 CL hoop championship Judge upsetting Roman 48-46 for first ever basketball crown. Judge had defeated CD and LaSalle to get to final and bittersweet for me who was attending CD but older brother attending Judge.  Sat quietly with my Dad as bro was hollering from student section.  Memorable as started a great run for Judge and Coach Bill Fox.
     5) Growing up on Frankford football the 1973 Pub final had a great finish with Frankord prevailing over Southern 14-13. Lots of late scoring. Late Al Angelo was coaching and his son Skip who was the Qb. Fun ride home from NE high on the route 59 bus.
     4) Basketball 1977 North division semi-final CD 49- North  47 at the buzzer. North again as #1 seed taken down by the Cards.
     3) Before a full house at the Palestra 1976 Northern Division final Kenrick 63-CD 45. Stunned in disbelief as we were taken apart by Kenrick.  Although teams split in regular season we were sure that this was CD’s  year.  I was not surprised when Kenrick also defeated West Catholic for the title. That Kenrick squad defined team play.
     2) My first ever CD basketball game was in 1974 “sixteen and oh and down they go” echoed from the packed Palestra stands.. CD 44-North 43. What a fun way to be exposed to CD hoops before enrolling the following Fall.
 Before a big crowd at Palestra in 1992 Northern division final CD 46- Judge 43. What a fun team to follow all year just a bunch of good kids that were led by Cat Mobley. Teams split two highly competitive games during the regular season. This was the anticipated rubber match with the winner to take on Roman( surprise winner over O’Hara). Great finish to game that was very intense…yes it was an intentional foul and yes Judge hurled the trash onto the floor first. (Smile)
-- Joe LePera
   (Ted's note: Thanks to going to all this trouble. Joe.)
The second round catholic league baseball playoff game North Vs. Judge in 2007 has to be one of the most exciting games i have ever been a part of. It was a classic battle between two neighborhood rivals. The game was back and forth all game and North led by 3 going into the 7th and gave up a dramatic grand slam over the blue monster at widener to give judge the lead only to have North tie the game on a two out double in the home seventh. North gave up yet another run in the visiting eight before scoring two more dramatic runs in the home eight, the last one also with two outs. The atmosphere of the game because of the judge north rivalry and the back and forth style and dramatic finish made it a classic.
-- Bob Hopkins
  My input for the top 50 playoff moments is a mcdevitt moments I don't think that will surprise you though because i am the biggest McDevitt bandwagon ever.
  Early 90's(1994 I think) four seed McDevitt beats one seed Ryan 10-0 at Northeast. At the time Ryan had a huge playoff winning streak going for a ton of wins in a row, including 5 out of six championships, four in a row. McDevitt beat them 10-0 ending the win streak and advancing to the next round.
-- Anonymous
  (Ted's note: Ryan had gone unbeaten in CL play for 47 consecutive games -- 45-0-2.)
  The most memorable championship game and inspirational game was when gamp defeated northeast in the 2002 public league playoffs. They went 5-9 in the regular season and defeated Frankford, which was undefeated that season. Frankfort has not lost a game since that game until gamp defeated them that year in an upset.
-- anonymous
  One of my favorite games; 1956 City Championship at the Palestra, where else. North Catholic vs West Phila. Led by led by 6’9” Chink Scott and Hubie White. North's Bobby McNeil scored 30 points to lead North to the title. In the semi-finals North beat La Salle at the buzzer on a tap in by Josh Keenan.
-- Ed White
  Ted, how are you these days. I love it when you reminisce about the greatest games of the past.
As an old North guy (class of 58) and also in the father's club from the  60's and 70's, I was around for most of North's great basketball teams. Ed White (Alumni pres.) remembers the '56 game against west Philly, but he really didn't get into the Catholic title game against La Salle. Ted, you never saw such a packed house at the old Palestra. I think every one of our 4,000 plus students were there plus as many Little Flower and Hallahan girls as could get in. LaSalle brought their full marching band in and I swear you could hardly hear them . I'm not kidding when I say the roof almost blew off the Palestra. We filled a good 3/4 ths of  the seats and with the game going back and forth and back and forth all night you were sweating and your heart was pounding the whole game. To this day I still remember the last 10 seconds or so as if it happened yesterday. Our big center Zeke Slaveski tried to tap in an errant shot and it came out to the right of the basket where Josh Keenan tried to tap it back in and it missed again. When it came off the backboard again Keenan again took a swipe at it as the horn (that beloved horn) sounded as the ball dropped in for a thrilling 47 to 46 victory. The first title for North in the modern era. It started a streak of four straight tiles for the Falcons. Baseball, Football and Basketball again. Actually we were also in the midst of a 100 plus soccer streak also. It was a great victory and all who were there (except the Explorer fans) will never ever forget. Thanks for the forum.
-- Ed Wuillermin (Fablio N Fablio C)
PS I know there is always the big choke of '74, with CD. "16 and 0 and down you go" was the worst of all time. North won their 2 games against Dougherty by 30 and 19 points. Almost every game went the same. I never know what got into those guys, but it was a disaster. However nobody choked like Judge did through the years especially in 67.. but that's for another time...
  (Ted's note: Great job on this, Ed. I have a feeling North guys don't mind it when Judge stumbles. And vice versa. smile)
December 4, 1993
Dobbins ( 5-3-1) vs Mastbaum(10- 0)
Dobbins was down 16-0 @ the half,  Dobbins stormed back to score 17 points in the 3rd and capped it off with another touchdown in the 4th.  First and only Football championship in Dobbins history.
Weather : Freezing Rain
Field Conditions : Poor
-- Vinnie Mack
  McDevitt's '85 football team was ranked #1 in the city that year and was probably one of the best teams ever assembled in the city. We were seeded 1# in the catholic league and judge was #4. This was a sure win for us, especially knowing that we had just beat them 19-0 in the regular season. I will never forget the following incidents that were never told; First it was a great experience for us because it was played in the vet and our chests were sticking out graciously, unfortunately so were our coaches. One of our coaches whom I wont name decided to make these shirts up that said Northern Division champs and we pranced around the vet with them on during the pre-warmup. Well this definitely worked against us and we got our....... handed to us. Of this 85' team we had 13 All-Catholics and of the the 13, 9 were First Teamers. Thank God for the 86 and 87 Teams for they both won it all. Hey Ted, watch out for my son he's a burner for West Catholic.
-- Eric Young
  (Ted's note: McDevitt had a tremendous run during that era, Eric. The upset parameters were not THAT dramatic, though, in '85. McDevitt had one loss in league play. Judge had just three.)
  While not a league playoff game, Central's 10-9 PIAA victory over heavily favored West Chester Henderson was memorable. West Chester Henderson was leading 5-3 after three. Central scored seven runs in the fourth. Two runs scored on a strikeout. With runnners on second and third, Joe Magdovitz struck out swinging and the catcher couldn't find the ball at his feet. When he did, he threw it into left field and Mike Braun scored from second. Another run scored when Josh Fleishman laid down a squeeze bunt with the bat almost in front of his face, on a pitch way up and in, to score Micah Wintertstein from third. Micah , unbeknownst to Josh, Micah was told to steal home and arrived at the plate, just as Fleishman made contact with the ball. Lest anyone think it was fluke, Central beat Central Dauphin 1-0 a few days later. Micah pitched five innings of three hit ball and Jared Farbman pitched the last two. The final out was a fly ball to center field that Fleishman caught just in front of the 390 sign at Spring Ford Stadium. Philadelphia's first PIAA baseball win and the first Philadelphia baseball team to reach the state semi-finals.
-- Dan Winterstein
  (Ted's note: I remember these circumstances well, Dan. Truly wild and wooly.)
1985   Northern Division Championship
Ryan 14  Judge 13
I remember being in 5th or 6th grade and my father taking me to this game. Judge I believe was coming off two straight Catholic League Championships- and stormed out to a 13-0 lead. Then late in first half or early second half- Judge franchise and QB I believe (Joey Garlick)  got his leg busted on a kickoff return and Ryan came back to win the game.
If I remember correctly this is also the game Coach Sullivan missed because of a dance commitment with his daughter and he supposedly took some heat for it.
-- Kevin Murray
  (Ted's note: Here's my recap for that one . . .
Ryan 14, Judge 13
    Pat Smith passed to a diving Earle Masciulli for a six-yard TD
with 4:01 remaining and Masciulli added the PAT. The winning drive
covered 82 yards in 17 plays; the first 16 were runs. Rick Hollawell
(19-88) and Al Settembrino (16-65) led in rushing. Judge coach Whitey
Sullivan missed the game because he'd promised to take his daughter,
Kelly, to a father-daughter dance at Wood.

  1998 Semi-final football game Northeast vs. Bok Tech.  OUCH! To this day the most devastating loss I’ve ever experienced as a fan at any level HS, College or Pros.  To quote you Teddy- “In a circumstances for the ages finish” NE 9 - Bok 8.  A hard fought game between the “BIG” school NE and “little ole” Bok.  A defensive struggle decided on the last play…a blocked punt with only seconds remaining.  Bok had 10 men on the field when Poole from NE blocked the punt through the end zone for a safety.  Bok QB Gadson played the 2nd half with a broken leg and a gashed chin.  Players from both sides banged up and limping on and off the field.  It was what HS football should be all about the effort, pride and never say die attitude.  As a Bok fan I remember walking off the field dumbstruck, really…and trying to console Eddie Brumskill who was distraught but I couldn’t find the words.  Emotional…? You bet.   The bus ride back to 10th and Bigler and the locker room scene after is something I’ll never forget…but felt privileged to witness.  Writing about it now brings back that “pit” in my stomach feeling again.  I’ll never forget it and I’m sure those who were there won’t either.  The thrill of victory and agony of defeat…all in 6 seconds.  Thanks Ted
-- Joe McFadden
  (Ted's note: This will be on the list, Joe. Definitely one of the most compelling finishes ever.)
Ted........... really enjoy reading about the best playoff games. The comments by your readers are just as good.
Can't wait for the top 10.
-- Ray Fitch, George Washington ' 65
  (Ted's note: Thanks for checking in, Ray. We're gettin' there . . . )
I know this is Thanksgiving Day football, so it wouldn't qualify as a playoff game, but...
I remember being an 8th grade kid in Nov. '91 watching Ryan cruise to a 21-0 halftime against Washington, a team they'd never lost to before. I had an uncle who left at halftime (Ryan's D was allowing no more than six ppg those days) and refused to believe it when we told him Washington came back to win, 28-24. I can recall both punt and kick returns for TDs (the latter providing the final margin following a Ryan FG that put them back on top 24-22 in the 4th). Both teams went on to win league titles that season.
-- Bill Graham
   (Ted's note: An all-timer, Bill. No doubt. This happened, in part, because Ryan started inserting second-stringers with the 21-0 lead. Jamar Griffin scored twice for Washington on long returns -- 82 with a punt, 94 with a kickoff. Washington scored three TDs
in 5 minutes, 54 seconds, and four in 12:04. Ryan had given up only 29 points in its previous nine games. Ryan entered this game with a 16-0-1 edge in the series.)
  I don't think it has been long enough to know how truly memorable this game will be but the past Public League final with Comm. Tech and Frankford was incredible. 2 OT's back and forth the whole time. My dad and I watched this game at home but I remember him the whole time trying to yell at Khayree Brown (an old teammate of mine and a good friend) in the early parts of the game for missing lay ups but in the 2 OTs he was yelling praises for how good he was playing. Big time players for both teams Tinsley and Randall played big and both put up good numbers. Malik Ballard (another former teammate) stepped up big time at the point guard position going for 20 and still remaining a true point guard. Great game to watch I only wish I was in the stands for it.
-- Dave Durkin
  (Ted's note: Thanks for another contribution, Dave. Always ready for more . . . smile.)
   I came across your 50 all time playoff game list and couldn’t help but think of Tugger and what he would say.  I tried to think of the most monumental games to him and there are obviously many.  The couple I thought of are:
  ’88 McDevitt game – season opener where he had been telling you for months that we would end their 28 game or whatever it was streak.  I still remember him telling me that he (and he also had my son, Chuck, do it) told you that “you were on the wrong side” when you stood on our sideline the first half (remember – he uncovered your pattern!) and when Philips kicked a field goal early in the game to give us a 3 – 0 lead – he said – “it’s over, Ted”  Of course, this game does not qualify since it was not a playoff.
  His favorite playoff win would be when we defeated LaSalle 9- 0 in the 1988 quarterfinal.  He talked about it often.  LaSalle was undefeated with a high-powered offense led by Jack Stanczak and had a couple other D-1 players.  We had lost to them in the regular season the week before – I think 13-0 but I am not positive.  No one gave us a great shot in that game because although we had some good, tough high school players on that team, we really had no D-1 types. But, we pulled the shutout off and Tugger was on cloud 9.
 The other playoff game that he is still probably in God’s ear about is – of course – the infamous ’83 Judge game where we lost in a swirl of controversy over Rooney’s TD turned fumble and the interference non-call interception at the end.  He talked about it relentlessly.  I remember that I would say: “Mike – it is twenty years ago and you are still talking about it.”  His answer was always the same – “I think about it every day”  and I would say: “EVERY DAY!!!” and he would affirm “Every day and When I picture it – Rooney scores every time!”  I’m sure you heard the same comments as well.
     Another favorite topic of his was the 16-16 or something like that ’63 city title game which was Egan’s first year in the PCL.  I believe Egan tied Roxborough and safeties were involved if my memory serves me right.
     Two games I attended in high school and remember were in 1964 – Judge’s special playoff win over Dougherty at Northeast to break a Northern Division tie and Judge’s 19-18 city title win over Frankford that year.
     Of course – I’m sure he would also be telling you now that besides football, basketball and baseball that field hockey and, of course, softball should be included.
-- Chuck Knowles
  (Ted's note: Chuck is the athletic director at Norristown HS, and formerly was the FB coach and AD at Egan/C-E. He was great friends with the legendary
Mike "Tugger" Tos, who passed away last Dec. 4. Mike was indeed the guy who caught on to one of my old habits. I always tried to be on the sideline of winning teams in the second half because I figured it would help with my stories to be close by as games ended, especially from the standpoint of viewing/hearing emotional things. Once the word started to spread, coaches who noticed me on their sideline in the FIRST half would say, "So, you think we're going to lose today, huh?!" Some even told their players for motivation! smile. Nowadays, for website pic purposes, the location of the sun dictates where I stand. Sometimes, for night games, I still revert to old habits. Indeed, Tugger talked relentlessly about the Judge-Egan game Chuck mentions. La Salle's Jack Stanczak was a great baseball player, as well, and spent some time in the minors. Thanks for remembering Tugger with this note, Chuck. I still can't believe we're heading into a FB season without him. Life is sometimes beyond unfair.)
     I really enjoy The top 50. Last years Ryan-Bonner semi-final.. basketball game at the Palestra was one of the best playoff games ever. When Andrew Rogers just took over that game all by himself. A great individual performance. Ryan was a considerable underdog. Bonner had the height. Ryan's tallest kid was 6' 1' .
-- Bob Dillon
  (Ted's note: That's why making decisions on this list is so difficult, Bob. Every year, there is at least one worthy candidate in all three sports in each league; often more. So, you can only imagine how many worthy candidates there are.)
One of the most exciting playoff games I have ever seen was a basketball game between
Roman Catholic and Cardinal O'Hara in 1968.Roman lost in triple overtime with a last second shot by
O'Hara. It was played at the Palestra. What a thriller !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-- Michelle Fox
  (Ted's note: The entire '68 playoff series was filled with legendary games. Here's the recap from that one . . .
O’Hara 57, Roman 55 (3 ot)
Sub Steve Maiocco, scoreless beforehand, nailed a 20-foot jumper at the buzzer to dampen Roman’s first playoff appearance since a prearranged preplayoff in 1959 (and before that in ’49). Joe Hazinsky (17) and Tom Ingelsby (11) led in scoring for O’Hara, which had possession for more than 12 of the final 13 minutes. John Proud (15) and Keith Coady (13) led Roman.
   . . . If I remember, O'Hara had the ball so much because it kept holding for "last shots." Tom Ingelsby played in the NBA and later coached at Carroll; his son, Martin, was one of the stars. This was Speedy Morris' first Roman team.)
  I just wanted to make sure that I think several of the Kenrick games in the late 70's deserve consideration in you top 50.  Please review:
- 1975, Kenrick/Judge ND Playoff Game at the VET
*  We gave Judge their only loss during the season
*  Kenrick outgained Judge by almost a 2 to 1 margin in the playoff game and had a game tying field goal as time ran out nullified due to an offsides penalty
*  Yardage would have determined the winner should the FG have counted
*  This resulted in a rule change the following year where a game could not end on an offensive penalty
*  We lost 17-14
- 1976, Kenrick 54, West Catholic 44 at the Sold out Palestra
- 1972, St. James 29, Kenrick 27
* St. James won on a flea-flicker to end the game
* St. James is often discussed as one of the best teams ever (Kenrick may have been better)
They are my votes.
-- Bill Conners
  (Ted's note: All three of these are good ones, Bill. The St. James team, as you know, received so much acclaim because it had several "huge" players. The funny thing is, I think the heaviest guy weighed 250, maybe only 240, and would be considered average-sized today. The '76 basketball team was incredibly fun to watch -- as you also well know, since you were a member of it (smile) -- and is fondly remembered by all who appreciate solid, team-oriented play, especially from undersized groups.)
  I was at this game down at the Fieldhouse. At the time I was only 13 years old and getting ready to start high school next year.  But the main reason I was there was to watch my older cousin go for a championship, who was Lynard Stewart.  It was a great game and atmosphere to be around.  That was my first introduction to Pub Basketball at its greatest.
When I last heard from family, Lynard was playing in England.
-- Bruce E. Fleming

  I would like to say the 2005 Football playoff game between McDevitt and Conwell-Egan is the best playoff game I have ever seen with the OT time win by Egan.  McDevitt could not beat Egan and it seemed as if the McDevitt finally had their number on this one, but McDevitt seemed to have the game in hand and Egan to their credit came back on what I think was a questionable call with crossing the goal line.  It was a terrific game and a great effort by both teams.  Egan’s quarterback, Kevin Schaefer, really brought them back.
-- Craig Ploucher
  (Ted's note: Here's the recap for that one . . . Conwell-Egan 27, McDevitt 21 (OT)
   The Eagles rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the final 17 minutes and lived something
of a charmed life in OT. Kevin Schafer scored on a 1-yard keeper, but the Eagles were
vulnerable after the PAT was missed. McDevitt star Manny Harrison (32-163, all three TDs)
then fumbled close to the goal line and Tom McCue recovered in the end zone to end it. Schafer
generated 151 yards of rushing and passing, five of his eight tackles were solos and he also made
an interception. Plus, he completed a conversion pass to Steve Herrmann to necessitate OT.
Rasuel Thomas ran 10 times for 63 yards and two tallies.)
  I am a Havertown resident who works in Phila and would probably give up breathing before giving up the Daily News.  My son plays football, basketball and runs track for Haverford (Twp) High School.
  Two games that probably belong in there, one is the 1953 City Championship in boys basketball, when West Catholic beat Overbrook (and Wilt), I think it was 54-43, close game till the 4th quarter, West practiced in a closed gym all week, my father, a 1954 West grad, was good friends with one of the players, Bobby Devine.
  A few years ago, my father told me that the night before the game, he and a few friends went out for a bite with Devine, who told them what the game strategy would be, four men on Wilt and one man would run all over the court covering the other four men whenever they had the ball.  My recollection was that the floater was Devine, though your site says Lindsay, I am sure yours is correct.
  They had a man standing on a chair all week pretending to be Wilt in practice.  Somehow, it worked, Wilt played well, but the others missed too many shots.
  Interesting sidelight that I did not realize about this game till I saw a box score for it a few years ago.  One of the referees for that game was Steve Juenger.  Juenger was the long-time coach of basketball (and many other sports) at Haverford High School (not the Haverford School), coached there from late 1930's till 1984, only died about five years ago, coached Haverford to a PA State title in basketball in 1958 and were runner-ups in 1970.
  The other game that should probably make the list was O'Hara's upset win (14-13?) over St. Joe's Prep in Catholic League Red Championship in 2004 (I think that was the year) at Villanova, there was a fumble in the Prep backfield on an odd lateral that helped turn the game.  Although I recall there was some controversy on that play, Prep should have put this away early and did not.  Another thing I will never forget was watching Anthony Walters, playing both ways for O'Hara at QB and CB laying on an amazing hit on one of Prep's stars (either RB or WR, I forget) late in the game.  I went to this game with a father and his two sons, one a 1974 Prep grad (and player), Greg Vitali (same one now in PA State House), and his brother Dave, an O'Hara player/grad (I think 1980).  Greg Vitali played at the Prep with Gil Brooks and Michael Nutter.
-- Michael McGrath
  (Ted's note: Thanks for the detail on this, Michael. I'm not sure which coach was the FIRST to use the chair thing to ready his team for games against Wilt. The version most often told is the guys would stand on a chair and use a broom to swat away shots. I'll have to cross-check on the floater thing. One of these games has made the Top 10 cut, by the way.)
  (Update: All references through the years in assorted newspaper stories have mentioned Lindsay as the floater. One of those stories had quotes from Devine about the game. I'd imagine he would have pointed out the mistake, if there had been one all those years.)
  Cool idea Ted. I would have to say I officiated a couple of the top 50…. O’Hara over LaSalle (Semi final) 23-21 in 2000 and LaSalle over Prep 14-7 (Final) in 2006. I also agree with my dear friend Ernie on the O’Hara Prep final in 2000. Oh man I am going to miss officiating!
-- Danny Hoban
   (Ted's note: All the best, Danny. Officiating is going to miss you. You always maintained a good presence out there, and it was obvious that you enjoyed being a part of it all.)
  I am certainly hoping the stunning Father Judge football victory over the number 2 team in Pa. Archbishop Wood in 1981 would be under #7 on the countdown. Wood beat us earlier in the year (20-11) and on an unbelievably cold day we smoked them 31-0 at their place on our way to the Catholic league championship. We were the last team selected for the playoffs and they were number one ranked and number 2 in the state. Jerry Mags ran for a million yards and I don't think they got a first down on offense.
-- Ed Bambino
  (Ted's note: That was definitely an impressive win, Ed. TOO impressive, really. It's hard to consider a 31-0 game one of the best in city history. Jerry Magallanes definitely was on fire that day. I hope your son is doing well.)
  I am going to be a little biased here but there were two games that I remember my dad's team playing in which were amazing.  The one was the 1993 game which Central won 4-3.  There was a play at the plate where the kid from Central ran home and it was debated that he didn't attempt to slide and knocked out the ball.  Still crushes my dad.  The other was 1995.  My dad's team got rocked the year before in the finals and were losing by three runs in the last inning.  They came back and tied it and wound up winning it in extra innings when Rick Mruk hit a walkoff.  I am pretty sure this was Ben Rosner's last game as he succumbed to cancer and it was Washington's last championship.  As a side note, the 2nd baseman for Northeast (Frank DeSembrino) and I go to Eagles games with one another and he still talks about that game.
-- Brian O'Hara
  (Ted's note: Brian's dad is Joe O'Hara, who experienced great success at Washington. Both games you mentioned were strong contenders, Brian.)
  I'm enjoying your series on the best/wildest city games ever. I've got one for you that, if it did not make your overall list, should definitely be in your basketball list. The 1980 Catholic League North quarterfinals, Judge (#4 seed) vs. Archbishop Ryan (#1 seed, and highly ranked in the city). Besides from the surprise upset ending, as Judge beat Ryan, it was later discovered that the clock (at Lincoln High) had malfunctioned and the game was actually 5 quarters long! You have noted this in your historical b-ball playoff game files. Now that is a classic story.
-- Michael
  (Ted's note: That was a crazy occurrence. I could tell that something was wrong and finally said to Puck and others nearby, "Something goofy is going on here." So, we got a watch and did some "timing" of our own and realized that the scoreboard clock was mis-calibrated. A minute of scoreboard time was equaling 1:18 of real time! Only in the Pub . . . Gym! -- smile)
  The Judge-St.James basketball Semi-Final in 58 was a classic. Judge was losing by 4 points with 20 some seconds left. After St. James missed a layup, Judge's Bill Penney took over the game he tied it at regulation, and in the first O.T And he won the game in Sudden Death. I was a Sophomore at Judge then. A long time ago. St. James had Tom Galia, Tom Wynne, Tony Abbott.
-- Bob Dillon
  (Ted's note: I've always wondered about that sudden-death thing. Did the teams/fans have to be out of the building by a certain time? Did the referees have dates? What's with THAT?! Was this only a Catholic League thing? Were other OT games in other leagues decided by sudden death? Tom Galia was pretty famous back then. The papers did stories about his leaping ability. Not even sure he was 6-foot tall. But could dunk easily. Pretty unusual for that era.)
  More from Bob on this game . . . 
  From what i understand they never had this happen before, so at the end of the second OT the refs and coaches got together and agreed: the next basket would win the game. St, James had 2 foul shots and missed both of them . Then Bill Penney hit a runner down the lane and all I could see was coach Buddy Donnelly running on the court with the rest of the Judge team. Penney hit both shots at the buzzer in the end of regulation & at the first OT. I also believe that you had to win by 2 points. Very bizarre ending to a great game. I remember Bill Campbell's commentary on his show. Saying it was one of the greatest games he ever saw. Well it was short lived because Neumann with Bill Mulvihill killed us for the Championship, 67-59. If Joe Bonikowski had played I think it would have been different. Joe of course played for Minnesota Twins as a pitcher. If Judge wins there I think a lot more Championships would have come their way. But thanks to Bill Fox WE finally got that one in '75. Well they got 3 now. But with this PIAA thing they don't have much of a chance. Thanks again.
  (Ted's note: Thank YOU again, Bob. I like hearing your memories on these games.)
  Did rich gannon's last career game make the list - cath. south championship vs. carroll. i don't believe that i saw it. hard to believe if not.
-- George N.
  (Ted's note: Many of the other goodies will find spots on the lists for individual sports.)
    I was surprised that the 1961 city fb championship game between Southern and West Catholic was not on your list. I was only 9 at the time and rooting for Southern [I was a future player in 1969]. As I remember it West tied the game towards the very end of the game and Southern needed a goal line tackle by Gigi Gambone on the 2 point conversion to keep the game tied.
-- George Scannapieco
  I was fortunate enough to play in the 1996 Philadelphia Public League Championship Game and be on the winning side (Northeast). I'm so glad that contest made it onto the list. It truly was one of the greatest moments in my life!  I remember every second of that game like it was yesterday.  I am now the head coach of Cheltenham High School and Brett Reynolds (shortstop of 1996 team) is my assistant.  We often refer to that team and that game as a source of inspiration for our players.  I played baseball up until a few years ago, ironically with most of the guys on that 1996 team in the Pendel league, and I don't think outside of playing with each other have we ever come close to being on a team with that type of strong work ethic and determination to win.  Looking back now I admire our character as young men and am grateful for the experience.  Our coach, John Litzke had a lot to do with our success and was a great mentor and role model.  The 1996 team for the most part still keeps in touch and we often share memories about that game and Shane Best's miraculous "seeing eye single!"
- Frank Decembrino
2nd Base 1996 Northeast Vikings
  (Ted's note: Thank you for this, Frank. Yo, tell Brian O'Hara how to spell your name -- smile. I was worried I had spelled it wrong back then. I agree with you about John Litzke, by the way. Great man!! And please say hello to Brett! I know it's a cliche, but members of championship teams truly do walk together forever.)                                                                          
Hey Ted,
  My favorite playoff moment was the 2001-2002 season Neumann had something to prove . We lost all of our starters from the championship team the year before beside Chris Del Brocco, and I guess you can say Tabby since he started the playoffs. Anyways we were the number 4 seed in the playoffs, knocked off both one seeds (Carroll-Kashif Payne, Jordan Ingram) Dougherty (Shane Clark, Desean White). Then we played Ryan in the championship and we came out on top. I'm not  100% , but were we the first number 4 seed to win the Catholic League Title, and only. Correct me if I'm wrong because it always good to know a little more. Even if that's not the case that whole playoff year is my favorite memory because we came from the low end and proved that we belonged at the top again. I just thought one of our games should have been in that top 50 respectively (or the whole playoff serious-Ha). Just trying to represent my championship team.
-- Kevin Lauer
  (Ted's note: Thank you, Kevin. Nice to hear from you. There's a long history of top seeds getting bumped along the way. It's what makes everything so interesting. A few times the winner has been a team that finished tied for a last playoff spot, as you guys did.)
 How bout the 1983 CL football playoff game at Villanova between previously unbeaten Cardinal O'Hara and St.James. As I recall Andre Pollili, St. James' little big man stole the show on both offense and defense. The Dog's stunned the O' Hara faithful. I was at the game, I think Bob Ewing cried that day!!!!!
-- Joe Hart

 Although not a playoff game the Northeast/Southern game of 1946 was certainly emotional and dramatic. During the 1945 game Johnny Papit's leg was broken and Southern eventually won while NE was without Papit. The ’46 game was a revenge game with a dramatic finish.
  With less than 6 minutes left in the game and Southern leading 19-18 NE received a punt deep in its own territory.
If memory serves me correctly Papit was involved in every play in the winning drive. He ran the ball and threw a key pass to Harry? Anderson to keep the drive going. When NE reached Southern’s ‘red zone’ it was Papit carrying the ball on every play and he didn’t stop until  he reached the end zone. I don’t remember how much time was left at that point but it certainly wasn’t a lot. NE won 25-19 and went on to win the City Championship in a game you cite as #8 of the most best playoff Games. I may be biased (I’m a Northeaster) but the game you cite as the best football playoff was Southern vs. West Catholic the previous year. I wonder if that game would even have been played had Papit not broken his leg vs Southern that year.
  My brothers wrote a poem (ala ‘Casey at the Bat’ cadence) which was read over the radio at halftime during the broadcast of the NE/Central game later in’46. (You mentioned in a write up that high school football was big in that era…but I don’t know if you are old enough to remember that some high school games were actually broadcast on the air.)
I can’t remember the poem entirely but most of it went like this:
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Northeast team that day. The score stood 18-19 with less that 6 to play.
And so when Southern kicked and Northeast received it deep, some Northeast fans got up and left, some others went to sleep.
Again the Rams would win the crown, again they’d be the class. They showed an air of cockiness as Pap went back to pass.
And then the ball was in the air and how that pigskin flew.
With winged like feet, the pass complete down the sideline Henderson sped  He’s out of bounds at the 25 the Northeast rooters said
 It was Papit now on every play, crashing toward the goal. His mind flashed back to “45 there was vengeance in his soul
Not a single fan was sitting as he got beyond the 10 They felt Northeast wouldn’t be beat by that downtown gang again.
Now John was down within the 5, smothered on the 3. Defeat stared in the faces of the team that used the ‘T’
Once more the tailback hit the line his fighting spirit riled. You could almost hear a pin drop as the players were unpiled
TOUCHDOWN!, Papits over shouted some one in the stands. And old Gloomy Gus (Geiges, the coach) was happy when the referee raised his hands.
The rest you all know very well, the game was surely ‘ours’. The 12th and Bigler boys went  home, no victory soothed their scars .
For the Northeast boys remembered as they fought throughout the fight,
Whatsoever Thy Hand Findeth to do, Do it with Thy Might
Ted…that last biblical quote , long before this game, was inscribed on the speakers’ lecturn in the auditorium an Northeast High School. The poem above is not exactly how it was originally written, but what the hell, my memory is not that bad considering it was more than 60 years ago.
Thanks for ‘listening’
-- Jerry Luber
  I agree completely that the victory by North's jayvee team over McDevitt in 1968 deserves top billing, but I would like to make an argument that the 1967 Catholic League title game that North won over Monsignor Bonner in double overtime also deserves mention somewhere on your list. The game was decided a split-second before the buzzer ended the second OT when Denny Bohn tipped in a shot by Ronny Kurtz that came off the backboard hard. It did not hit the rim. I don't know how he did it, but  the ball somehow went off his hand into the basket. North went on to win the city title by beating Overbrook.

-- Dan Golden, North Catholic, '70
  (Ted's note: Definitely was considered, Dan. Thanks for bringing up this one.)
  I was surfing the net and stumbled on your Most Memorable Top 50 list.  I wondered where this game would be on your list as it was certainly "memorable" albeit in a very painful way.  (Note:  The only "more painful" memory was dislocating my hip on the 2nd play of the Egan vs. Cardinal Daugherty football game in 1984 at Northeast High field...and you were there for that one too!).   Your comment that "this game featured the most shocking development in city playoff history" is interesting as it puts things in perspective for me based on all the games I know you have watched over the years.
  As you know, I was behind the plate for Egan calling the pitches for Bob Zupcic and Ted Blucas.  It was all going so well being up 5-2 with 2 outs and an 0-2 count on Joe Romano in the 7th inning.  The Catholic League championship was 1 strike away and I could taste victory.  Bob Zupcic was still throwing gas even at this point in the game.  I knew he was amped up so I called for a fastball on the outside corner.  I really thought Zupcic was going throw a heater right by Romano...and while I thought he painted the corner with that pitch the reality is that the call didn't go our way and not much else did the rest of the inning as the game got simply got away from us from that point forward.  The one strong chance to get a 3rd out that sticks in my mind was Dezzi's solidly hit liner directly to shortstop.
  As you might imagine, I've thought about that last inning MANY times and I'm sure my Egan mates have as well even though we'd like to forget the outcome.  It was and will always be a gut wrenching loss and one that I'll never forget.  I really can't believe it has been 28 years as I can still replay that last inning in my mind like it was yesterday.  Time doesn't heal all wounds, at least as it relates to this game...but reflecting back to those Egan baseball days mainly brings back many great memories of how much fun I had playing and the great friends I made along the way.
-- Greg Youngblood
  (Ted's note: Greg sent this email in April 2012. It truly shows the lasting effect that notable moments have on our lives. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Greg.)