Following the 1967 football season, Head Coach Joe Gallagher ’39 retired from football. After 21 years of football, he would focus on coaching basketball until his retirement in 1990. New Head Football Coach David “Doonie” Waldron ’49 took control of the Johnnies with the help of coaches Bob Hampton, Branson Ferry ’55 and Bill Madero ’66. Coming off a difficult 1967 season, defending champion DeMatha and stalwart John Carroll were both considered “in the hunt” for the league championship. St. John’s most certainly was not, since according to the local newspapers, the school was “rebuilding” their football program.
SJC 20 - ROOSEVELT 6
The 1968 season opened against DC’s Roosevelt Rough Riders. The first score of the ’68 campaign was by Matt Dillon ’69, as he picked off a pass and raced untouched for a 40-yard TD. Touchdowns were also scored by Pete Grant ’69 on an eight-yard pass from QB Fred Glasgow ’69 and on a 15-yard run by FB Jim Ohlhaver ’69. Jack Harper ’69 had two XPs in the win. St. John’s led 20-0 well into the fourth quarter and won the game 20-6.
SJC 27 — ALTOONA 7
The Cadets traveled to central Pennsylvania to take on the Altoona Mountain Lions who, at that time, were one of the highly ranked teams in the state. This was the “coming out party” for FB Ohlhaver, QB Glasgow and, in fact, the entire team. Ohlhaver rang up 137 yards and two TDs on 25 carries, while Glasgow, described as “a smooth working quarterback who continually confused the Lions with his play-calling” (Altoona Mirror, Sunday, Oct. 6, 1968), led the charge. It was this game where the ’68 team realized how good they could be. With more than 8,500 in attendance, the Johnnies led the Mountain Lions 21-0 at half and 27-0 late in the game, when Altoona scored to make the final 27-7. Saturday morning, the Altoona Mirror printed: “Incredible, St. John’s Humiliates Lions 27-7.”
SJC 14 — DEMATHA 13
Behind 13-0, the Cadets rallied for 14 fourth-quarter points to beat the defending league champions 14-13. Harper returned a punt 28 yards to the Stags’ 20-yard line early in the fourth quarter. This got the team going! Ohlhaver scored from the 13, and Harper kicked the XPT. It was now 13-7. Defensive Guard Dennis Burke ’69, one of the two team captains, recovered a Stag fumble at the SJC 40. The underdog Cadets then had the resolve to march 60 yards for the 13-13 tie. Ohlhaver and HBs Ray O’Brien ’69 (SJC AHOF 2010) and Dillon accounted for those yards, with Dillon scoring from the three for the 13-13 tie. Under the enormous pressure of positioning the team to beat the then Catholic League champion, placekicker Harper heeded the “encouragement” in the huddle from the future ’68 Parade All-American guard Mike Cady ’69 to split the uprights for the 14-13 lead. However, DeMatha still had an opportunity to win. They drove to the SJC 20, where SJC All-Prep DE Dan Newman ’69 dumped the DeMatha QB for a 10-yard loss. A field goal attempt on the game’s last play fell short, and the Cadets secured their biggest win in several years.
SJC 28 — JOHN CARROLL 6
At that point in the season, undefeated Carroll scored first for a 6-0 lead. Tied 6-6 at halftime, the Cadets rallied around three second-half interceptions by LB Grant, as well as crucial TD receptions by Pat Brant ’69 (two each), captain Louie Baker ’69 and another by Dillon. The Johnnies scored 28 unanswered points for the 28-6 win. This enabled the ’68 team to avenge a 32-2 loss from the previous year. QB Glasgow’s play — four TD tosses and 216 yards through the air — was highlighted in The Washington Post, with mention of Glasgow and then Redskin QB Sonny Jurgensen in the same sentence. Jurgensen had taken an interest in QB Glasgow during his weeklong session at a football camp at Fork Union Military Academy of Virginia that summer, where Glasgow received special mentoring from old #9… Sonny!
SJC 28 — BELL VOCATIONAL 0
The Cadets ground game accounted for 245 yards with TDs by Baker, Dillon, Mike Bolger ’69 and Ohlhaver. The final tally certainly could have been more, but Coach Waldron was evidently content with scoring 28 and playing almost all players in the game. It was a great team win, which was only marred by the season-ending knee injury to placekicker and DB extraordinaire
SJC 40 — GONZAGA 15
St. John’s completed their season with yet another revenge game against archrival Gonzaga. The Cadets wasted little time jumping out to a 20-0 lead at half and a 27-0 lead in the fourth quarter. Ohlhaver slashed through the Eagles’ defense for 151 yards and three TDs. Glasgow was 7 for 11, including a 66-yard TD to Baker. Baker also had a running TD and booted three XPTs to complete his three years of playing varsity football for the Cadets. The result was a 40-15 Cadet victory and a league championship for the 1968 St. John’s football team.
- 1968 team recognized by The Washington Post as the area’s “Catholic champions.”
- Major upsets of Altoona, rivals Carroll and DeMatha and a decisive win over archrival Gonzaga — all teams that defeated the Cadets during the 1967 season.
- End of season: #3 ranking in Washington metropolitan area.
- Final Record: 6-2-1, reversing the previous season’s 2-6-1 record, and in those days, all games were away games.
- Consecutive points scored in six wins: Roosevelt 14, Altoona 27, DeMatha 14, Carroll 28, Bell 28 and Gonzaga 27; 138 consecutive, unanswered points in six 1968 season wins.
- In that 1968 season, St. John’s started 10 seniors on offense and nine seniors on defense. Nineteen of 22 starters were seniors.
- Players receiving post-season recognition in The Washington Post or Evening Star: Dan Newman ’69 (E), Pat Brant ’69 (E), Dennis Burke ’69 (G) and Mike Cady ’69 (G); Parade All-American Team: Matt Dillon ’69 (B), Joe Marks ’69 (T), Jim Ohlhaver ’69 (FB), Fred Glasgow ’69 (QB), Louie Baker ’69 (LB), Pete Grant ’69 (LB), Ray O’Brien ’69 (DB) and Jim Galloway ’70 (C).
- Players from the 1968 team who played in college: Dennis Burke ’69 (Guilford College), Mike Cady ’69 (Texas A&M University), Jim Ohlhaver ’69 (William & Mary and Catholic University*), Joe Marks ’69 (St. Mary of the Plain University), Ray O’Brien ’69 (Georgetown University*), Joe Norris ’69 (East Carolina University), Pat Brant ’69 (Xavier University* and University of Maryland*), Dan Newman ’69 (University of Pennsylvania), Fred Glasgow ’69 (University
- of Pennsylvania), Phil Slagle ’69 (Shepherd College), Simeon Booker ’70 (Brown University), Jim Galloway ’70 (Brown University), Joe McNamara ’70 (Catholic University*), Dan D’Agostino ’70 (Catholic University, football and baseball), Matt Dillon ’69 (Montgomery College), Mike Bolger ’69 (Xavier University*), Jack Harper ’69 (St. Thomas College) and Richard Nolan ’71 (Catholic University*)
*Indicates baseball as the sport of choice in college
THE 1968 FOOTBALL TEAM TODAY
Having lost teammate Matt Dillon ’69 to cancer in 2011, the team established the Matt Dillon Award, which has been given annually for the past seven years to the SJC football player(s) who excelled on the football field and in at least one other sport.
The 1968 football team has also initiated the Matt Dillon Memorial Golf Tournament, held in September from 2012-2018. With 112-124 participants each year, the tournament has raised more than $100,000 for charity, with the majority of the donations going to St. John’s football and baseball programs, sports in which Dillon excelled while attending SJC.
The 2018 St. John’s school year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 championship football season. The 1968 team would like to thank everyone for their support, particularly the Class of 1969 for honoring them with SJC’s most prestigious honor — induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
In closing, the 1968 team remembers and honors our deceased teammates Matt Dillon ’69, Ollie Kiss ’69, Dennis Clark ’69, Mike Veith ’70 and Jim Galloway ’70, as well as coaches Doonie Waldron ’49, Branson Ferry ’55 and Bill Madero ’66.