1966 St. Mary’s Football Team
|1966 St. Mary’s Football Team – (2010)|
With a victory-leading backfield, a vigorous line and a vibrant young coach, Lorain St. Mary High School’s football team pulled out all stops in 1966 in completing a 9-0 undefeated season.
Although St. Mary outscored all opponents, 279-86 points, four of its triumphs came by eight points or less. Their 8-6 win over host Elyria Catholic came in a season finale during which the Irish failed to garner a first down!
Coach Bill Philbin’s Irish – they finished eighth in the final United Press International state poll — reached that Ely Stadium finale by disposing of Fremont St. Joseph, 14-8; Akron Firestone, 28-20; Cleveland St. Stanislaus, 48-0; Cleveland Our Lady of Lourdes, 36-12; Cleveland St.
Philbin, a Bowling Green University graduate who also led the Irish to a 7-2 log in 1965 and a 15-game unbeaten streak before moving on to coach Sandusky St. Mary in 1967, was known for favoring relatively short practices at City Field. However, Bill’s skull sessions and film-grading with assistant coaches Jim Lawhead, Jerry Butchko and Jim Macholl could be quite time-consuming.
Thoughout the season, the Green and Gold banked heavily on the quarterback and linebacker talents of Ken Dobosy, a 200-pound senior speedster who lettered as a sophomore and junior. Entering the Elyria Catholic game, Dobosy had rushed for 358 yards on options; passed for over 350 yards and four TDs, and had personally tallied 60 points.
Dobosy didn’t disappoint, taking the opening kickoff and galloping 87 yards for a scintillating touchdown. Irish halfback Mike Flynn ran over the winning two-point conversion and he also batted down a potential TD pass thrown by EC star Chuck McHugh toward the endzone in the final minute.
McHugh, the unbeaten Panthers’ all-time season scoring leader with 144 points entering the game, was held out of the endzone. Dave Verhoff scored EC’s lone TD on a one-yard run in the second quarter but a two-point running attempt was stopped cold by the Irish, who wound up winning the outright North Central Conference crown.
Other Irish stalwarts were backup quarterback John Burke, who later enjoyed a great prep coaching career in Colorado
and Arizona; tackle Reese Morgan, currently on the U. of Iowa grid staff; plus Captain-fullback Bob McPhie, linebacker Tom Weber, center Rich Shewring, halfbacks Mike Coughlin and Gene Sweeney, ends Bob Skusa and Tim Majesky, and hard-nose tackles Joe Scuilli and Bill Wilkins.
Morgan, also a fine high school coach before joining the Hawkeyes’ college staff, was inducted into the Lorain Sports Hall of Fame as an individual in 2006. He was preceded by Coughlin’s entry into the Hall in 2002. Assistant Coach Butchko, a standout lineman at Kent State University during the mid-1950s, entered the Lorain Hall as an individual in 2009.