Beacon Vault: Colonels own all-time cross-town rivalry

This week, we look back to 1949 when Wilkes football defeated King’s for the fourth consecutive year. It woud take King’s until 1951 to secure its first victory against Wilkes, on its sixth try that is. Look at this as a friendly reminder that Wilkes still holds a 21-11 lead all time against the Monarchs, as well as a 14-9 advantage in Mayor’s Cup games. Let it be known it also took King’s five tries to win a Mayor’s Cup too. It will forever be WILKES-Barre. -Complied by Luke Modrovsky, Editor-in-Chief

Luke Modrovsky, Editor-in-Chief

Editor’s note: This article appeared in the Nov. 23, 1949 issue of The Beacon (Vol. 3, Issue 10). The Beacon has quite the storied past. The Beacon has enjoyed many years of success, publishing continuously since 1936. The newspaper began as The Bison Stampede from 1934 until 1936 before changing names to The Beacon. Each week, we’ll take a peek in the archives, looking back at historic points. Curious to see more online? Check out to dig through a Wilkes University treasure.


By George Brody / Co-Sports Editor

They rang down the curtain in a blaze of glory . . ‘ Those superb Colonels whose deeds surpass words. They will always be remembered as a team who wasn’t just content to win, but were out to play football for all it was worth. That is the brand of greatness.

47-7. I rode to the game with a student from King’s, who in all seriousness, told me why the game was going to be close and could go either way. Imagine, he almost convinced me.

For the benefit of the Bloomsburg students who insist that Wilkes caught them when they weren’t ready! Wilkes took King’s by more than double the score that the Huskies did.

What’s in a comparative score? King’s beat the National Aggies by six points. Wilkes beat the Aggies by six points more than they beat King’s.

Take your hats off to Wyoming Seminary! Seldom do relations exist as between them and Wilkes College. Since the season began, the Blue Knights and the Colonels have been scrimmaging against each other. It served two purposes: It cut down the chance of injury within a squad by one-half, and secondly, it gave each team a chance to work against the best the other had. Result? Both Wilkes and Sem had exceptionally good seasons. So when congratulating the Colonels on a fine season, reserve a little for Wyoming Sem…

…It was our contention from long ago that King’s would enter the game inspired, and that how close the game would be, would depend on how the early breaks went. We said that if Wilkes got one good break early in the game, King’s would be demoralized. Well, it happened, and the question of a close game dissipated.

Florky set the tone when, on the game’s second play, he intercepted a pass and scooted 55 yards to paydirt. That was the beginning of what we thought was Florky’s game of the year. Think back… he was good for nine or more yards almost every time he carried the ball.

No game ever saw so many players play their best game of the year. Olie Thomas was one of those. His running of interference was the best that we have seen of him this year. Especially good was his down field blocking. Olie really came through in fine style.

Perfection: The set-up on Gus Castle’s 60-yard TD scamper. To start with, you could hear Pinky all the way across the field yell, “Follow me, Gus!” With that he cut down the defensive line backer, and Gus turned the end for his downfield jaunt. At that point, Olie Thomas and Feeney came across the field just as the defensive halfback and safety man were converging on little Gus. As though shot from a gun, Feeney and Thomas cut the two defenders down like efficient lawn mowers working over a blade of grass. Gus just sailed after that.

Still on the subject of best games: Al Molash was deadly. His tackling was tooth-shaking and body-jarring. He bowled his blockers like ten pins when he blocked that first punt. He was never so sharp or so fast.

And little Pinky. Somehow we never thought he was very fast. Now we take it back. That rugged little fellow can run with the best.

Then, too, he called the best game of his career against King’s. He was up for this one, that’s all.

Big Walt Hendershot at last showed all he really had. He was a menace. He tore the King’s line to shreds and was in on 50 percent of the tackles. Maybe he didn’t make them all, but he certainly had a hand in a good many. He got the jump on his opponent early in the game and he kept it. Made the poor boy eat dirt sometimes.

But then there was Gorgas and Knapich. The ease with which they tore up the Monarch’s line would have been humorous if the game weren’t the serious traditional game that it was. It seemed as though, for those two, it was a mere matter of walking over the center and sitting on the defenseless, puzzled quarterback. Knapich got his usual blocked punt, and Gorgas on one occasion took a lateral pass right out of the quarterback’s hand. Their’s was a brilliant game.

Well, that winds up the 1949 football campaign. The season was full of highlights, and there were few moments when the Colonels weren’t shining. Of course, its proudest feature was its fourth straight victory over King’s. It left a high mark for future teams to shoot at, and it left a King’s College determined that their year was coming. The future Colonels will have this to remember. Theirs is a great task to take up the slack and maintain the standard set by the departing Colonels.

The future seasons with new names and new faces will present an interesting spectacle. No matter how good they are, people will always wonder if they’re as good as the ‘49 aggregation. Well, the job is theirs. Good luck to them, and GOOD BYE, SENIOR COLONELS!