"The Statue of Liberty Play"

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY PLAY

1989 Group IV State Championship Game

Brick vs. Washington Township - 12/02/1989


On a bitter cold & windy December day, perfect for playoff football, #4 seed Brick was facing #3 seed Washington Twp on their home turf in the 1989 Group 4 South State Championship Game.  With just over 4 minutes to go, I was the one who was running the play in to the huddle for this crucial 3rd & 9.  Should we get the first down, time was on our side to hold onto our 14-13 lead against a team with 2 future Division I running backs who we did not want to get the ball back.  With the wind making it almost impossible to throw, Coach Wolf looked at me and gave me the historic "LK32".  The classic Brick play was as successful in this game as it had been for 32 years prior.  Then, as I turned around to run the play in, Coach Wolf grabbed the back of my shoulder pads and stopped me to change the play.  He yelled in a raspy, game-day voice, "Leon, run me a good Statue of Liberty play".  Shockingly I looked at Coach Dennis Filipone, who nodded his head and with a smile said "you heard him Leon, run a good Statue of Liberty".

I proceeded to meet our quarterback Shawn Scott at the hash mark and as we ran in the huddle I told him the play call.  He started yelling to stop wasting time and to give him the play.  I repeated in the huddle "Coach Wolf told me to run a good Statue of Liberty!"  While this play was practiced throughout the year, it was usually at the end of practice when everyone was exhausted with little attention span.  Never expecting it to be used, it wasn't as fresh in everyone’s minds as it should have been.   A lesson no doubt to pay attention to EVERY play in practice.

As we broke the huddle and ran up to the line, all 5 offensive lineman - Ray Schlauch, Peter Farnsworth, Len Zdanowicz, Tom Kozar and myself - proceeded to point to the man we were going to block and yell out their numbers to ensure that we didn't lose any yardage or let someone go unblocked.   

While the thousands of Brick fans stood on their feet , they awaited a typical stuff-it-down-your- throat Brick running play that got us this far.  Shawn Scott proceeded to orchestrate a perfect sandlot-style Statue of Liberty play, standing as he was about to pass the ball and then perfectly dropping it behind him into the hands of Chris Valez, led by our other leading RB Mike DeTata.  Our powerful running back rumbled around the left side for 15 yards leading to a first down in a crucial part of this championship game. 

While Washington Twp may have known we were going to run the ball, and was aware of exactly who was going to block them, we still delivered the element of surprise.  They never expected the predictable Brick Dragons to pull out an extremely "unpredictable" play that was mostly used in backyards and playgrounds.

For a game that also included a crucial 4th and 1 stop by our pounding defense, thanks to a backfield tackle by Tom Kozar, it had all the ingredients of a historic Brick Township State Championship football victory.


This was your classic Brick football team who was undersized with no superstars, but large in heart, comradary and the desire to win.  For a team that squeaked into the playoffs as a long shot by 3/4 of one power point, we took full advantage of the opportunity to be cemented into the Brick Football history books.

While the seconds ticked down, my father led the crowd in one more "Gimme a B", which became a staple for years at Brick during crucial times in games to remind the players that it was time to shine.  We delivered Brick's 5th on-the-field State Championship (and 12th overall) in true brick fashion, with a helping hand from the Gods of Brick.

 

The sea of green jackets and fans who took busloads down to the game showed Washington Twp what we knew all along - That we are Brick, and we expect to win. 

 

Leon Mowadia, Jr.

#65 – Left Guard

Class of 1990

 

 

 

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