Coaldale vs Lansford / Thanksgiving 1945

Coaldale vs Lansford / Thanksgiving 1945
(The Valley Gazette, February 1995)
by Curt Williams
Finally it was Thursday, November 22, 1945, and time for the traditional Turkey Day game between arch rivals Lansford and Coaldale. It was Lansford's turn to host the game in 1945 and it seemed like everybody was at the stadium between the two towns with the exception of Coaldale's head football coach Tom "Doc" Raymer. He was at home recuperating from injuries he received in an auto accident a couple of weeks earlier. Handling the head coaching chores for the Tigers was his able assistant coach Paul Dirnberger, who had been filling in for the injured Raymer.

Game time was 3:00 P.M. and taking the field for the Orange and Black that afternoon were Diaz at left end, Shanosky at left tackle, T. Jones at left guard, D. Jones at center, Frendak at right guard, Barron at right tackle, Verb at right end, George Kacik at quarterback, Joe Zenko at left half, Joe Zahora at right half, and Mike Bubernak at fullback.

The Red and White sent out Bill Perbetsky at left end, George Sabol at left tackle, Paul Mikulka at left guard, Fulvio Ranalli at center, Ted Kobetic at right guard, Mike Novotny at right tackle, Mike Jaso at right end, Frank Repinec at quarterback, Ed Gildea at left half, Bob Marouchoc at right half and Ed Haughton at fullback.

Attendance was somewhere over 7,000 fans with 6,371 paying to get into the game, plus over 400 servicemen and women as non-paying guests, plus whatever it took to make up the membership of three bands who were there to provide pre-game and halftime entertainment.

George Kacik of the Tigers managed to draw first blood when he scored in the first quarter. He did it by racing 35 yards on a punt return. Coaldale attempted a kick for the PAT but it went wide and besides that, it was short!

The Panthers came right back in the second quarter with a 56-yard scoring drive which culminated in a pass from Paul Repinec to right end Mike Jaso. Jaso was surrounded by several Orange and Black-suited defenders but he managed to pull down the pigskin in the endzone.

The Red and White decided to kick the PAT but wouldn’t you know that it was broken up. As they say when talking about games played in the past —there was no further scoring action and the Thanksgiving Game of 1945 between the Coaldale Tigers and the Panthers of Lansford ended in one of those dissatisfying ties—6 to 6.