HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - It was a sign of the times. After Hasbrouck Heights defeated St. Bernard’s High School, 55-0 to open the season, small notes appeared in the "Passiac Daily News."
Two separate car accidents involving fans from Hasbrouck Heights returning from Gladstone were reported, with one of the drivers being cited for reckless driving. No one was injured in either accident, but their autos did not fair so well. Oh, and starting right tackle Fred Diegen's suitcase was lost on the trip back. The suitcase which contained his football uniform, fell off the running boards somewhere along the way.
Not too much went wrong for Hasbrouck Heights that season, as the Aviators won their second Bergen County Scholastic League title, finishing with a 4-2-2 record. They were also awarded the Class C State Championship, the first in Hasbrouck Heights history.
Coach Jonas Schreffler had told the media before the season he thought his team was going to be good, they went and proved him right.
While the season for Hasbrouck Heights was opening with a rout at St. Bernard’s, East Rutherford shocked the county be beating Rutherford, the Class A defending champions.
The Aviators came home and defeated a tough Westwood team, 14-0, before dropping a 6-0 to Englewood, a Class B school. Englewood at the time was known as “The Only City” and had the advantage of a larger population of kids to draw from.
The Orange and Black finished up their three game stretch at home with a 27-0 shellacking of Park Ridge. The backfield of quarterback George Eckert, halfbacks Gary Depken and Joe Feinstein, and fullback Elbert Burr were dominant on the ground against Park Ridge. The game clinched the BCSL title for Hasbrouck Heights.
A trip to play an outstanding Bogota team ended in a fierce 6-6 tie, that the "Bergen Record" noted as an especially physical and brutal game. Which was followed by another physical game, as Hasbrouck Heights dropped a 7-0 decision in Boonton.
A 37-0 romp of Dumont left Hasbrouck Heights 4-2-1 coming into a Thanksgiving Day showdown with the era’s hated rival, East Rutherford. East Rutherford, after defeating Rutherford to start the season, had been battered around its next few games before righting its ship. Leading into the game, the media had noted that East Rutherford “was playing as well as anyone in the county” at that moment.
Thanksgiving came, and Lemmerman Field in Hasbrouck Heights was covered with snow, except for the lines, which had been cleared away. Both teams who always played tight competitive games, played for field position all day long. The game turned into a punting duel, when in the final two minutes of a scoreless tie, Bull Barthold recovered a fumbled punt at the East Rutherford 10 yard line.
(Lemmerfield Field, according to records, was on what is currently Central and Oak Grove Avenues.)
After an end-around failed for no gain, but placed the ball right in front of the goal posts (which were on the goal line at the time, not the back of the end zone where they reside today) Heights decided to have Burr drop-kick for the go-ahead points. But, the kick, while high enough, was wide right, and the score remained 0-0.
East Rutherford would complete one pass, and had a second one intercepted by Burr. But the clock would run out before Heights was able to attempt a last pass, and the game ended a 0-0 tie.
Press coverage of the game in the Record, "Passaic Daily News." and "Passaic Herald" all lauded the game as an upset, as East Rutherford had been heavily favored. The papers reported that Hasbrouck Heights had outplayed East Rutherford in the game, and despite the Orange and Black record moving to 4-2-2, the game may have been seen as a victory by most.
Barringer was declared NJSIAA Champions in Class A. Hasbrouck Heights was awarded the Class C title.
Depken would finish 9th in scoring in Class C in the state, Barthhold 10th. Eckert was named to the second team by the "Passaic Daily News" and received, along with Depken honorable mention by the "Newark Sunday Call" in statewide honors. Arthur “Bull” Barthold was first team All Bergen Record, while Burr, Eckert and Walter Wachholz were given second team honors.
End Ed Capell; Tackle Fred Diegen; Guard Charles Ruegger; Center Walter Wachholtz; Guard Eugue Padberg*; Tackle Robert Van Note; End Arthur Barthold; Quarterback - George Eckert *,: Halfback - Gary Depken *; Halfback Joseph Feinstein; Fullback - Elbert Burr
* Member of Hasbrouck Heights Hall of Fame
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