Behind the Mike
Mike Tos, long-time Bishop
and supporter beyond belief of the program, offers his history of the
If there was a year I could relive in my life, it would be 1966. The year had its plusses and minuses -- soph in college; took a physical for the Army on June 20; the year of the 10-10 tie between Michigan State and Notre Dame; saw BSGK beat the Green Machine in Jersey City. 1966 will be remembered for Bishop Egan football's Greatest Show on Earth. In the Levittown area, there were four major football schools. 1) Neshaminy entered the season with a 51-game unbeaten streak (47-0-4). 2) Pennsbury, the Avis of Bucks County. 3) Woodrow Wilson (now Truman), which had beaten Pennsbury and Egan. 4) Egan, the Catholic high school that everyone watched on Saturday night. After the 9-3 season in '65, Egan returned many starters, but there was a tough audience to sway. The Eagles were considered a good but not solid favorite. But this team left a mark that not many, if any, have surpassed. 1) Neshaminy's streak was SMASHED, 41-0! How confident and up were the Eagles? They arrived at Neshaminy before the school day ended. In all fairness to the Redskins, their coach, John Petercuskie, had moved on. But on 9/9/66, no one would have beaten the Eagles. It was 41. Could've been 70. As euphoric as the mood was after that one, Game 2 brought everyone back to earth. Wilson was also a veteran and the halftime score was 0-0. The action was dead even and the place was packed. The Eagles probably played before 20,000-25,000 fans in these first two games! Near the end of the third period, Wilson punted from its end zone. The ball was snapped into the stands! 2-0 Eagles. They took the free kick and came down to score??? (many Wilson fans still deny it) on a 1-yard plunge by Irv Whalen. It was Wilson's only loss of the season (9-1-1). After beating St. James, 31-6, the Eagles won their first six games in the Northern Division -- by scores of 35-0, 41-0, 40-6, 41-6 and 40-14 (over North). As good as that recent Carroll team was in the Blue, winning by 77-0 and 74-7 and other big scores, there's no doubt they would have been mercy-ruled by the Eagles. You must consider that Larry Marshall, who went on to become an NFL stalwart as a kick-returner, could not start for this team until Don Becker broke his leg midway through the season. The defense allowed 50 points, many with the subs in. The one Achilles heel that prevents me from anointing this squad the greatest in CL history is Nov. 13, 1966. La Salle 6, Egan 0. It was an unreal game played at La Salle College. The Eagles kept driving the ball, but each time the Explorers stopped them -- a dropped pass in the end zone causes me nightmares to this day. La Salle scored in the last 2 minutes to win. Although the division was already clinched, the loss deeply hurt the Eagles' psyche. I still rank this as the greatest upset in CL history! (Twenty-two years later, we repaid it.) If you talk to the seniors on the '66 team, to this day they say that the 6-0 loss ruined their senior years and was the worst day of their lives. Nov. 19: the country was treated to the Michigan State/Notre Dame 10-10 tie and the headline in a national magazine was Tie One for the Gipper. Well, the Egan Eagles played Notre Dame of Trenton that night. The score was 60-6 and restraint was shown, but seeing Gary Gray score the last TD was touching . . .