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Gloucester City NJ: Memories From The Past
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1953/Gloucester City: Rams vs. Lions City Football Series


In a thrilling encounter that saw most of the 4000 spectators on their feet cheering during the entire game, Gloucester Catholic High school for the first time in six years of grid competition beat their arch rival, Gloucester High and thus won their first city football title.

Led by Joe Murphy and "Sonny" Sessa, the Catholic gridmen outplayed the charges of Coach Carlos Paisley from the outset. The Maroon and Gold team, coached by Jim Hopkins rolled up 11 first downs as compared to five for the public high eleven. The winners gained 147 yards on the ground, while Gloucester High could only penetrate the victors zone for a net yardage of 24 yards. Public High's only advantage came in the aerial department as junior halfback, Les Neilio, displayed fine marksmanship. One in particular, good for 35 yards and a touchdown during the second quarter, which was heaved by Neilio to Phil Campbell was a "honey." Wayne Boulden made a diving catch of Neilio's pass for the extra point. Click on photo to enlarge.

Previously in the same quarter, the Ramblers "pushed across" a touchdown when on the fourth down Sessa a battering ram to say the least, bulled his way over the double stripe with three Blue and Gold jerseys clinging on for the ride. Murphy's attempted conversion was wide.

The teams moved back and forth in the third quarter until the late moments when Catholic starting on its own 45 marched for its second touchdown with Murphy ripping off precious yards that culminated with Saunders scoring from the two. Again the try for the extra point was a failure.

Gloucester took the ensuing kickoff and got as far as the Catholic 30, but here the Ramblers refused to budge and took over the ball as time ran out.

Besides Sessa and Carl Schoenborn for the winners, the defensive stars of the game were Buddy Hodson, Danny Raube and Boulden.

The annual Mustang awards for the game went to Murphy for Catholic, and Campbell for the Paisleymen. Sessa and Neilio were the runners-up on their respective teams.

Following the game more than 300 students of both schools were entertained at a dance in the New St. Mary's auditorium. The hall which was attractively decorated on the one side with the colors of Gloucester High school, and on the other with colors of Catholic High school caused much favorable comment.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Mother's Auxiliary of the All-girl Drum and Bugle students.