Football Teams 1946-1948

1946 Football Team

1946

Front Row: Manager Ivan L. Nickerson, John A. Robinson, Hugh R. McBride, Richard A. Whiting, Bruce L. Malcolm, Charles J. Bartnicki, Clifford E. Bull, John E. Kapica, Randolph F. Brown Jr., Myron B. Griswold, Jesse H. Holmes, Asst. Coach Frank R. Maze
Middle Row: Joseph A. Miller, John M.R. Morton, Albert R. Moro, Philip B. Dundas, Herman M. Hessenbruch Jr., Burt A. VanderClute, John S. Medd Jr., David A. Jordan, John C. Geary, Rollin B. Burton Jr., Frank H. Wenner Jr., Harry F. Forbes
Back Row: Asst. Coach John L. Wood, William P. Widdoes, William C. Brooks, Peter Griskivich, Harry M. Detjen Jr., Eric K. Begg Jr., Pete Nowell, Wesley R. Fahrbach, Andrew L. Rowan, Paul L. Bernard Jr., John A. Studwell, Wallace M. Burnett, Alexander B. Porter, Leonard M. Schumann, James A. Eaton, Head Coach Norman J. Daniels

Playing the first full season for Wesleyan following World War II, the 1946 football squad became the first Cardinal gridiron team to post an undefeated and untied season. The 7-0 mark began with a convincing 26-0 victory at Swarthmore.

One of the team’s greatest challenges came at home against a bigger, favored University of Connecticut squad. On a rainy day in Middletown, Harry Forbes scored the game’s only touchdown on a one-yard plunge and the Cardinal defense did the rest in a 7-2 victory.

After substantial triumphs against Middlebury, Amherst, and Haverford, Wesleyan wrapped up its first of three straight Little Three crowns by downing Williams on the road, 6-0. It was a 0-0 game into the closing minutes of the contest before Joe Miller hit pay dirt from six yards out to break the deadlock and put the Cardinals ahead for good.

Then came the season finale at home vs. Trinity. The Bantams forged a 7-6 lead at halftime, the only time all season that Wesleyan trailed in a contest. Wesleyan took the lead on a safety early in the second half and never looked back, scoring two touchdowns for a 21-7 lead. The Bantams scored in the final minute to make it a 21-14 game and tried an onside kick, but Wesleyan took possession and ran out the clock to lock up its 7-0 campaign.

The difference in the scoring between Wesleyan and its opponents was a remarkable 165-29.

1947 Football Team

1947

Front Row: John R. Bellobuono, Charles L. Medd, William G. Firstenberger, William H. Nelson III, Louis B. Daniels Jr., Allen C. Stewart
Second Row: Hugh R. McBride, David R. Jordan, Philip B. Dundas, John C. Geary, Rollin B. Burton, John A. Studwell, Wallace H. Burnett, William C. Brooks, John K. Kapica
Third Row: Frank Wenner, Clifford E. Bull, John A. Robinson, James A. Eaton, Daniel Robertson, Peter C. Nowell, Harry Forbes, Richard A. Whiting, Charles P. Bateman
Fourth Row: Randolph F. Brown Jr., Peter Wichowski, Peter Griskivich, Leonard M. Schumann, John D. Sherer, Harold Johnson, Harold E. Register, Donald M. Joffray
Fifth Row: Jack W. Schliemann, Donald C. Armstrong, John G. Rozakis, George G. Keith, James A. Pyne, Frederick C. Schneeberger, Stephen S. Sweet
Sixth Row: Asst. Manager Henry C. Cutler, Townsend E. Meyer, Frank X. Dwyer, Paul R. Crone, Walter M. Jackson, Jesse H. Holmes
Back Row: Asst.Manager Charles C. Lynch, Manager Arthur H. Cotins, Head Coach Norman J. Daniels, Asst. Coach John L. Wood, Asst. Coach Frank R. Maze, Asst. Coach Daniel P. Weitekamp

Picking up where the 7-0 squad of 1946 left off, the 1947 football squad also rattled off seven straight wins. The Cardinals opened the season with two shutouts, the second of which came over a favored University of Connecticut team, 12-0. That game marked the end of the rivalry between the two colleges, which had spanned 25 games.

Rolling to wins over Swarthmore and Amherst, gaining a leg up in the Little Three, the Cardinals built up a 25-0 lead at Haverford before surrendering two touchdowns and a safety in a span of 40 seconds to make the score appear much closer than the game, 25-15.

At home against Williams in search of the Little Three crown, the Cardinals took on the Ephs in a downpour, breaking a 6-6 tie in the fourth quarter on a Bob McBride touchdown run on a reverse for the deciding points. Earlier in the game, Wesleyan had blocked a Williams extra-point attempt to keep the game even after Wesleyan had scored first. The Cardinals locked up their second Little Three title in a row with the win.

In the last game of the season, about 10,000 fans witnessed the battle of the unbeatens in Hartford as both Wesleyan and Trinity entered the game without a loss. Trinity averaged 32 points a game and had not been held below 25 points in any single game all season. The Bantams were held scoreless by the bend-but-don’t-break Cardinal defense while the offense put up 13 first-half points. The defense came up with five interceptions on the afternoon to help thwart numerous Trinity scoring bids.

For the year, Wesleyan outscored its seven adversaries by a whopping 141-28.

1948 Football Team

1948

Front Row: Trainer Steve Witkowski, Head Coach Norman J. Daniels, Peter Wichowski, John E. Kapica, John C. Geary, Frank H. Wenner, William C. Brooks, John A. Robinson, William Firstenberger, Asst. Coach John L. Wood, Asst. Coach Frank R. Maze
Second Row: Donald M. Joffray, Leonard M. Schumann, John R. Bellobuono, Donald C. Ford, Charles G. Bowles, Chapman T. Spencer, Jesse H. Holmes, Neil D. Keller, Charles P. Bateman, James A. Pyne Jr., Frank G. Binswanger, Harry F. Forbes
Third Row: Wallace M. Burnett, Albert L. Benson, Theodore S. Bartolotta, Richard C. Eustis Jr., Donald C. Armstrong, Robert McGrath, John A. Studwell, William H. Nelson III., Denman H. Boyd, Walter O. Lang, Paul R. Crone
Fourth Row: Charles W. Shorter, Richard B. Velleu, Robert Gardner, Myron B. Griswold Jr., James M. VanStone, Daniel Robertson, Charles L. Medd, Richard Scher, Charles I. Hoch, Joseph D. Shakespeare, Frank K. Berlew, Asst. Manager Edward Cannel
Back Row: Asst. Manager William I. Shapiro, Asst. Manager Donald B. Burdick, Edwin E. Carter, Randolph F. Brown, George D. Brodigan, Albert D. Welsh, Gordon B. Wall, Alois Kallfelz, John R. Meyer, Richard N. Lucas, Norman Pyle, Joseph C. Drobinski, George R. White

Following in the footsteps of both the 1946 and 1947 teams, the 1948 Cardinal gridmen were the most dominant team in Wesleyan football history. Not only going 8-0 for the first time in team
history to finish a run of three straight unbeaten and untied seasons, the 1948 squad posted a team-record five shutouts, allowed only 34 points all year, and racked up 224 points of their own for an average game score of 28-4.

As was the case in 1947, the 1948 team trailed on only one occasion all season, falling behind Swarthmore, 14-7, during the season’s third game before pulling away for a 41-20 victory. Before that, both Bowdoin and Coast Guard fell at the hands of the Cardinals.

Wesleyan shut out Amherst for the second consecutive season, this time by a 27-0 count, and smoked New England College by the most decisive score (53-0) since defeating the Connecticut Aggies, 56-0, in 1911. Williams was the next to succumb to the Cardinals’ might, 28-7, completing Wesleyan’s three-year reign as Little Three champion.

In front of the largest crowd ever to watch a Wesleyan football game, the Cardinals delighted a partisan throng in Middletown on November 13 by defeating Trinity, 16-0, as a 26-yard Jack Geary field goal and a 41-yard scamper by Harry Forbes produced a 10-0 margin. A blocked punt and subsequent recovery in the endzone by Cardinal Adair Robinson provided the final points in the fourth quarter.

A comfortable 26-0 win at Rochester the next week put the finishing touches on the 8-0 season. With a 22-0 mark over three seasons, Wesleyan had a string of 25 straight wins in combination with its abbreviated 1945 schedule and a 28-game unbeaten streak stemming from the last game of the 1942 season.