Brookline Knights Football Association
The 1979 Termites
Brookline's First Undefeated Team

The Brookline Knights have a long tradition of excellence, dating back to 1974, when the organizaton first fielded a football team. There have been many shining moments in the years since then, and the year 1979 ranks high among them.

It was in the 1979 season that Coach Rick Talerico's eleven-year old Termite team put together a 9-0-1 undefeated record. Brookline finished the season as champions of the Western Pennsylvania Midget Football League, joining the 1978 Mitey-Mite team as the second Brookline title holder in the six-year existence of the Knight's program.

1979 Termites

The Brookline Knights Termites
1979 WPMFL Champion

Front Row: Tim May, Pat Borelli, Mike Bucci, Nino Rizza, Eric Graham, Thomas Rose, Chip Devine.
Second Row: Terry Ryan, Bob Malley, Pat Foley, Bill Kuss, David Isenberg.
Third Row: Ray Watters, Mark Hovanec, Don Jakubowski, Brad Uhl, Terry O'Donnell, Glenn Undereiner, Jary Ball.
Back Row: Asst. Wes Watters, Jerry O'Rourke, Head Coach Rick Talerico, Frank Bonini, Ron D'Onofrio, Tim Fedak, Chuck Ribeau, Mike Niemiec, Pat Morgan, Asst. Mark Licht, Asst. Rick Roup.

Game-By-Game Summary

Game 1 - Brookline 34 <> Glassport 0
Game 2 - Brookline 6 <> Crafton 6
Game 3 - Brookline 36 <> Duquesne 0
Game 4 - Brookline 8 <> Clairton 0
Game 5 - Brookline 8 <> West Mifflin 6

Game 6 - Brookline 12 <> Beltzhoover 8
Game 7 - Brookline 16 <> Steel Valley 0
Game 8 - Brookline 28 <> W. Jefferson 0
Game 9 - Brookline 14 <> Eliz-Forward 6
Finals - Brookline 20 <> Eliz-Forward 10

Photos from the Championship game.
* November 10, 1979 *

1979 Termites Championship Game.
Co-Captains Jerry O'Rourke, Nino Rizza, Eric Graham and Brad Uhl await the coin toss to begin the championship game.

1979 Termites Championship Game.
Quarterback Brad Uhl and running backs Nino Rizza, Tim Fedak, and Ron D'Onofrio
provided the Brookline Knights potent offensive punch.

1979 Termites Championship Game.
Punter Jary Ball kept opposing teams in poor field position with his booming punts all season long.

1979 Termites Championship Game.
QB Brad Uhl takes a snap late in the game during Brookline's decisive fourth quarter drive against the Warriors.

1979 Termites Championship Game.
Running Back Nino Rizza puts the game out of reach with this two point conversion to make the score 20-10 Brookline.

1979 Termites Championship Game.
Players and Cheerleaders celebrate after the victory.
"Brookline is Number One!!!"

1979 Termites Championship Game.
Head Coach Rick Talerico (holding trophy) and his assistants did a marvelous job all season.
They earned Brookline a spot next to the Steelers and Pirates in the "City of Champions."


The Cheerleaders

1979 Cheerleaders

Lying Down: Nikki Marunich.
Front Row: Lisa Cambest, Colleen Hagen, Annie McDonough, Bobbilyn Mahoska, Debbie Pribik, Dawn Schilling.
Second Row: Lorrie Bova, Jennifer Dye, Judy Lutes, Mona Impell.
Third Row: Kelly Duggan, Assistant Coach Dina Griffith, Chris Barth, Theresa Bruno.
Rear: Tracy Murphy, Assistant Coach Patti Marunich, Lorrie DiPippa, Diane Stauffer, Coach Wanda Impell.

Game 10 - Championship
Brookline Knights Termites Win League Championship 20-10!

Brookline Knights heralded Termites (11-year olds) came through in the second half to defeat a strong Elizabeth-Forward team for the Western Pennsylvania Midget Football League championship. The Warriors had only two touchdowns scored against them all season long and were undefeated prior to meeting Brookline in the final regular season game.

The Knights received the opening kick-off and could not move the ball as the defense held. After Jary Ball's 50 yard punt, the Warrior's drove the ball to the Knight's one yard line, where Pat Morgan and Mike Niemiec hit the Elizabeth-Forward fullback and caused a fumble, which was recovered by Ray Watters. Two plays later, quarterback Brad Uhl was hit in the endzone for a safety to give the Warrior's a 2-0 lead. Elizabeth-Forward then took the kick-off and marched to the Knights 10 yard line, where the Warriors scored on a burst through the middle and converted the point after for a 10-0 lead. Both defenses began to stiffen as the first quarter ended.

Brookline came roaring back as they caught the Warrior's defense in a blitz. Brad Uhl hit Jerry O'Rourke with a pass and he outraced the entire Warrior defense for a 55 yard touchdown romp. Chip Devine, Bill Kuss, Terry Ryan and Chuck Ribeau played outstanding defense as the half ended with the Warrior's holding a slim edge, 10-6.

The Knights began to dominate as the second half began to unfold. Elizabeth-Forward was held to only one first down for the rest of the game. Nino Rizza, Tim Fedak and Ron D'Onofrio began to pound the Warrior line for big yardage. Brookline took the lead for good after D'Onofrio broke loose for a big gainer to the 35 on good blocks by Terry Ryan, Bill Kuss and Mark Hovanec. Nino Rizza then rambled into the end zone for the score on a 35 yard burst up the middle. Brookline 12 - Warriors 10.

Pat Foley made a super tackle as the Knights defense shut down the potent Warrior offense. Jary Ball, Glenn Undereiner, Tim May and Tim Fedak were outstanding with hard-hitting defensive plays. Later, Brad Uhl took off on a beautiful 70 yard scamper to the Warriors 5 yard line where Ron D'Onofrio hit paydirt on an off tackle burst behind blocks by Don Jakubowski and Bob Malley. Nino Rizza scored the two point conversion to put the game out of reach for Elizabeth-Forward at 20-10.

Tom Rose, Mike Bucci, Eric Graham and Frank Bonini played a great game on defense for the Knights as Terry O'Donnell, Dave Isenberg and Pat Morgan sparkled in the team's championship effort.

Congratulations to Head Coach Rick Talerico and Assistants Wes Watters, Mike Gerulas, Mark Licht and Rich Roup on their fine job all season in bringing this Championship Victory to the Brookline Knights Program. The Termites also staked their claim to the first undefeated football season in Knight's history, a title that they can keep for the rest of their lives.

In this "City of Champions," Pittsburgh has found a new partner to stand alongside the Steelers and the Pirates; the Termites from Brookline!

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - November 15, 1979 *

Game 9 - Brookline vs. Elizabeth-Forward
Undefeated Termites Clinch Championship Berth
14-6 Over Elizabeth-Forward

Brookline's 11-year olds traveled to Elizabeth-Forward on Sunday, and in a battle of unbeatens came away with a 14-6 victory, clinching a berth in the championship game, to be played November 10.

After kicking off to start the game, the defense, which has been outstanding all season, started the scoring when Jary Ball picked off a pass in the flat and raced 45 yards for the score. Brad Uhl's pass to Jerry O'Rourke for the point after was broken up. Brookline 6 - Elizabeth Forward 0.

Elizabeth-Forward could not move on the stubborn Knights defense, as Jerry O'Rourke and Tim Fedak crushed the Warrior's fullback on a pitch out for a big loss. Jary Ball, Ray Watters, Tim May and Mike Niemiec sacked the quarterback for a loss on the next play.

The Knights offense started moving behind the direction of quarterback Brad Uhl and the running of Tim Fedak, Nino Rizza and Ron D'Onofrio. Uhl, running the option play to perfection by either keeping the ball or tossing it to Rizza, moved the ball to Elizabeth-Forward's 25, where the drive was stopped.

Elizabeth-Forward scored with less than a minute left in the first half, as their quarterback hit one of the running backs in the end zone for the score. The Knights defense held on the extra point try, with great plays by Glenn Undereiner, Pat Morgan and Chip Devine. The score at the half was tied 6-6.

As the second half unfolded, the Knights offense, behind the blocking of Terry Ryan, Bill Kuss, Chuck Ribeau, Don Jakubowski, Mike Niemiec and Frank Bonini, pressured the Elizabeth-Forward defense. As Uhl continued running the option play with Rizza trailing, the Knights drove to the Warrior 11 yard line. From here, Uhl took a keeper in for the touchdown. The all-important extra point was made on a pass over the middle to Ron D'Onofrio, making the score 14-6 Knights.

As the game became a defensive duel, with each team holding their ground. Brookline managed to drive to the Elizabeth-Forward 16, but the drive was stopped by a "fired-up" defense. With time running out in the game, Elizabeth-Forward moved the ball on Brookline's defense to mid-field where they fumbled the ball away. Brookline recovered the loose ball as time ran out.

"It was a great victory," stated Coach Rick Talerico after the game. "These boys have worked hard to get here and have one more step to go, the championship." Other scores: Elizabeth Forward 22 - Brookline Cubs 6, Elizabeth-Forward 50 - Brookline Mighty Mites 0, Elizabeth-Forward 48 - Brookline Midgets 16.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - November 1, 1979 *

Game 8 - Brookline vs. West Jefferson
Termites Continue Undefeated Over West Jefferson 28-0

Brookline's 11-year olds took on the tough West Jefferson Jets on Saturday and broke loose in the second half for 3 touchdowns to win 28-0. Nino Rizza rambled 30 yards to open the scoring in the second period for Brookline. Ron D'Onofrio made the points after on a dive play giving the Knights an 8-0 lead.

After good defensive plays by Jary Ball, Glenn Undereiner and Jerry O'Rourke, Brookline began to get stronger. Terry Ryan and Tim Fedak sacked the Jets QB on a fourth and goal situation.

The second half was all Brookline, as Brad Uhl scored on a 52 yard keeper behind the great blocking of Nino Rizza and Jary Ball. Brookline 14 - Jets 0.

On the Jets next possession, they could gain only 2 yards as the Knights defense stiffened. Tim May, Jary Ball and Ray Watters all made great stops. The Knights took charge after West Jefferson punted. Ron D'Onofrio rambled 8 yards off tackle to the 50. Rizza ran for 3. Brad Uhl galloped to the 22 on a keeper. Then Rizza took a flat pass from Uhl and broke loose down the sidelines for a touchdown. Uhl's pass to Terry O'Donnell for the point after was broken up, leaving the score 20-0 Brookline.

The Jets could not move on the stubborn Knights defense as Tim Fedak crushed the West Jefferson fullback on a reverse for a big loss. Brookline took over and looked impressive as Brad Uhl tossed a 30 yard touchdown strike to Ron D'Onofrio, who rambled into the end zone for the score. Jerry O'Rourke scored the points after on a reverse, making it 28-0 Brookline.

Mark Hovanec recovered a Jets fumble as Pat Foley and Mike Niemiec made a good hit on the ball carrier. Chip Devine, Bill Kuss, Eric Graham and Bob Malley did a fine job on defense in the victory.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - October 25, 1979 *

Game 7 - Brookline vs. Steel Valley
Undefeated Termites Roll Over Steel Valley 16-0.

"Thank heaven for the defense" was Coach Rick Talerico's comment regarding his teams 16-0 win on Sunday.

The Knight's strong defensive charge continually gave the offense good field position but they could generate no points on the scoreboard. The defensive unit yielded only two first downs all day. The Steel Valley ball carriers were given little yardage and the Steeler quarterback was sacked seven times.

Jary Ball, Ray Watters, Glenn Undereiner, Mike Niemiec, Bob Malley, Tim May, Dave Isenberg and Jerry O'Rourke were outstanding as the defense sparkled. The first half ended scoreless as turnovers and penalties marred the offensive effort.

Brad Uhl scampered 50 yards for a score that was nullified by a penalty. This sparked the offense in the second half as they came out looking like a different team. As third quarter action unfolded, Tim Fedak, Brad Uhl, Nino Rizza and Ron D'Onofrio got rolling for sizable gains, behind good blocking by Bill Kuss, Chuck Ribeau and Chip Devine. Brookline got on the scoreboard with a beautiful touchdown pass from Brad Uhl to Jerry O'Rourke. Uhl broke over the middle for the extra points, making the score 8-0 Knights.

The Knights scored again when Nino Rizza broke loose on an end sweep and outran everybody for a 25 yard touchdown. Uhl passed to Jary Ball for the conversion to give Brookline a 16-0 lead. Ray Watter's 30 yard touchdown run was called back on a penalty.

Mike Bucci, Pat Borelli, Mark Hovanec, Tom Rose and Don Jakubowski played an outstanding game.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - October 18, 1979 *

Game 6 - Brookline vs. Beltzhoover
Undefeated Termites Squeak By Beltzhoover 12-8

Brookline's 11-year olds slid past Beltzhoover in a muddy non-conference game at home this weekend.

The Knights took the opening kick-off and drove to the Brown's 15, where the initial drive stalled. After an exchange of punts, Brookline hit paydirt on a beautiful 25 yard jaunt by Nino Rizza. Rizza took the handoff from Brad Uhl and went off tackle, where Chip Devine, Mike Niemiec and Donnie Jakubowski opened up a tremendous hole. Rizza did the rest, as he out-raced several speedy Beltzhoover defensive backs to make the score 6-0, Brookline.

Rizza later put the Knights on the scoreboard again with a 50 yard gallop after he intercepted an errant Beltzhoover pass. Good blocking by Ray Watters and Jary Ball broke Rizza loose on his scamper into the end zone.

The defense controlled the game from this point on, as they did not yield a first down in the entire first half.

The Knights offense moved the ball exceptionally well, considering the condition of the playing surface. Ron D'Onofrio caught 4 passes from Brad Uhl, and running backs Tim Fedak and Nino Rizza kept the ground game moving.

Beltzhoover scored a consolation touchdown in the fourth period as the Brookline coaches shuffled players into the game.

Chuck Ribeau, Bill Kuss, Glenn Undereiner and Jerry O'Rourke were outstanding on defense as they continually stalled the Beltzhoover offensive machine, which had been so potent in weeks past.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - October 11, 1979 *

Game 5 - Brookline vs. West Mifflin
Eleven Year Olds Remain Unbeaten 8-6

Brookline's undefeated Termites won a close one on Sunday as they got by a tough West Mifflin team 8-6. The Knights were forced to punt on the first series as they were stymied by penalties on the sloppy turf. The punt only went for 6 yards, then West Mifflin scored on a burst up the middle. The conversion failed. West Mifflin 6 - Brookline 0.

Early in the 2nd quarter, the Knights potent offense started to move. Nino Rizza, Ron D'Onofrio and Brad Uhl pounded the West Mifflin defense for a 65 yard drive. The Knight's touchdown came on a 20 yard pass from Brad Uhl to Terry O'Donnell. The points after were tallied by Nino Rizza on a beautiful end sweep. Brookline 8 - West Mifflin 6.

The scoring drive was highlighted with great blocking by Pat Ryan, Bill Kuss, Mike Niemiec, Don Jakubowski and Glenn Undereiner.

The second half was a defensive struggle. Brookline controlled the ball for most of the fourth period. The defense, considered the strength of the Termite team, was outstanding as Tim Fedak, Ray Watters, Tim May and Brad Uhl played "heads up" football. Jary Ball, as usual, punted well and was wreckless on defense.

The Knights play Beltzhoover at home this weekend.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - October 4, 1979 *

Game 4 - Brookline vs. Clairton
Termites Undefeated With A Big 8-0 Win

Head Coach Rick Talerico's Knights remained unbeaten in 4 games as they got by a tough Clairton aggregation last Saturday at the Brookline Community Center. The Knights were not playing their usual explosive game and Clairton was penalized 25 yards early on for off-sides infractions.

Ron D'onofrio rambled 42 yards for Brookline's lone touchdown as he took the handoff from Brad Uhl on a great fake. Blocking by Terry Ryan and Billy Kuss broke D'Onofrio loose for the score. Nino Rizza made the 2-point conversion on a pitch-out to give the Knights an 8-0 lead in the first quarter.

After the score, neither team moved the ball as the game turned into a defensive struggle. Glenn Undereiner, Terry Ryan, Don Jakubowski, Chip Devine, and Mike Niemiec were outstanding defensively throughout the contest. Ray Watters and Jerry O'Rourke made key interceptions to insure the victory.

The game ended with Brookline driving to Clairton's 8 yard line on fine running by Brad Uhl, Tim Fedak, Nino Rizza, and Frank Bonini.

Jary Ball boomed several fine punts and made several key plays on defense.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - September 27, 1979 *

Game 3 - Brookline vs. Duquesne
Termites Crush Duquesne 36-0 To Stay Undefeated

The Brookline Termites ran their record to 2 wins, no losses and a tie as they crushed a good Duquesne team 36-0 last Sturday at the Dukes field.

Quarterback Brad Uhl opened the scoring in the first quarter with an 11 yard scamper on great blocks by Jerry O'Rourke, Chip Devine and Glenn Undereiner. Nino Rizza ran for the conversion to make the score 8-0 Knights. Late in the second period, Nino Rizza broke loose with a 12 yard romp on a draw play for Brookline's second score. Frank Bonini bolted in for the extra point. Brookline 16 - Dukes 0.

Duquesne could not move the ball on the stubborn Brookline defense and on the next series Frank Bonini scored on a 15 yard jaunt with great blocks by Mike Niemiec and Billy Kuss. Brookline 22-0.

Brad Uhl took off on a 37 yard TD run in the 4th period on good blocking by Jary Ball, Terry O'Donnell, Ray Watters and Nino Rizza. Tim Fedak scored the extra points. 30-0 Knights.

Fedak later broke loose with a 45 yard scamper on an excellent draw play fake by Brad Uhl to make the final score 36-0 Brookline.

The defense was great on tough hitting by Ray Watters, Jary Ball, Pat Morgan, Don Jakubowski and Dave Isenberg.

Head coach Rick Talerico praised the teams efforts and the 220 yards of total offense. Defensive coaches Wes Watters and Mark Licht were proud of the defensive players. It was a great team effort.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - September 20, 1979 *

Game 2 - Brookline vs. Crafton
Termites Tie Crafton Cougars 6-6 In A Hard Fought Contest

Rich Talerico's 11-year olds took it to Crafton last Saturday and should have won as they out-played a great Cougar team. Crafton scored early on a plunge by Eric Kelly and took a 6-0 lead. Tim May broke up the conversion attempt with a hard hit on the Cougar fullback.

On Crafton's next series, Jary Ball sacked the quarterback and Brad Uhl saved a Cougar touchdown with a great hit. Nino Rizza and Ray Watters along with Tim Fedak made great defensive plays just before the half.

Brookline mounted a scoring drive in the third quarter to tie the game after Glenn Undereiner recovered a Crafton fumble. Rizza ran 15 yards to the 25. Brad Uhl went for 7 on a sweep. Then Uhl stepped back and hit Eric Graham with a perfect pass in the end zone to tie the game.

In the fourth period, it was all Brookline as Uhl, Fedak, and Rizza pounded the Crafton line for big yardage. The game ended with Brookline on the Crafton one foot line as time ran out.

Nike Niemiec, Don Jakubowski, Chip Devine, Terry O'Donnell and Jary Ball all had fine defensive plays in the contest. The Knight's record is now 1 win, 1 tie, no losses.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - September 13, 1979 *

1979 Termites

* Photos and information provided by Mrs. Pat Uhl *

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