Football

Great PA Teams: CUMBERLAND VALLEY 1992

Tagged under: District 3, Great PA Teams, News

Billy Splain | February 28, 2023

 

In 1992, Cumberland Valley, from the western Harrisburg suburbs along Carlisle Pike, fielded a mighty team, unbeaten and untied in 15 games. The Eagles conquered the perfect record and No. 1 Upper St. Clair Panthers in the AAAA state championship game, with a show of extraordinary power, led by bruising fullback Jon Ritchie. In a PIAA State semi final rematch with Coatesville at frigid Villanova Stadium, Cumberland Valley had dominated the Red Raiders in a 22-6 win. Earlier, Harrisburg had been beaten by a late field goal in the PIAA District Three finals.

The championship game at Altoona was delayed a week by a blizzard. Twenty five inches had fallen. Snow banks lined the field. The Eagles led 14-6 at halftime after the Panthers had outmuscled CV early in the game. At the start of the second half, USC reached the one on a 25 yard pass play and then scored. The conversion try failed and CV still led 14-12. Later in the third quarter, Ritchie got loose for 56 yards carrying Panther players much of the way on his back. The Eagles scored and never looked back, winning 28-12.

An earlier home battle with the Coatesville Red Raiders was played in the rain with CV beating the eventual District One champions, 28-19. 14,000 fans braved the downpour.

Cumberland Valley was in the midst of a great run as the Eagles won four consecutive District Three championships from 1991-1994. In 1991, CV was 10-1-1. Expectations were high for 1992. In Ritchie’s three years as a starter, the Eagles were 38-2-1. Coach Tim Rimpfel today characterizes this team as well-rounded and tough, “ornery.” Ritchie was the principal team leader but he had lots of dedicated help.

The Mid-Penn Conference Eagles operated from a precise winged-T formation, emphasizing both power and misdirection.

Ritchie was a first team All-Stater after placement on the third team following his junior season. Cory Gumby received second team honors for his all-around talent, while Brian Potteiger was placed on the third team offense at tackle. Sophomore Askari Adams became a first team All-State defensive back in both 1993 and 1994.

Ritchie ran for 1,900 yards and quarterback Sam Kinback passed for 1,299 yards and 18 touchdowns. Halfbacks Cory Gumby and Brandon McKillop each had more than 1,000 running and receiving yards. Kinback’s outstanding play at QB exceeded pre-season hopes

The defense was dominated by the experienced front four of tackles Brian Potteiger, Mike Glinatsis and ends Mike Gaumer and Jason Graves. Ritchie led the linebacking corps on the strong side while 145 pound George Seeger withstood every attack and Brian Preuss led the team in tackles. Safety Askari Adams had eight interceptions. Defensively, the Eagles were less heralded but equally effective. Rimpfel termed the offensive line that fronted this stellar backfield as “the best I ever coached”.

Coach Tim Rimpfel was born in Harrisburg and raised principally in Steelton, After a football career at Harrisburg’s Bishop McDevitt, he went on to West Chester University, playing freshman football. Graduating in 1969, he first served as an assistant at McDevitt. He then spent 12 years at Trinity of Shiremanstown, including three as head coach. He went on to seven years in the top job at his Alma Mater, McDevitt. He became a volunteer assistant at Cumberland Valley in 1988 and took over as head coach the following year, succeeding Harry Chapman. He continued to direct the outstanding football program at CV until 2012. Rimpfel is a member of the PSFCA and PA Sports Hall of Fame

Coach Rimpfel’s overall head coaching record was 307-100-3. He’d won nine District 3 titles over 24 seasons and the 1992 PIAA Class 4A title. Coach Rimpfel passed away in 2021.

The great 1992 starting Eagle offensive unit:

E     11 Askari Adams 6-0 165
WR 16 Mic Sadler 6-0 175
T     68 Mike Glinatsis 6-1 215
G    79 Brian Potteiger 6-3 230
C    56 Steve Jeffreys 6-1 250
G    65 Mike Gaumer 6-1 225
T    51 Ray Tasker 6-2 220
E    81 Chris Wolf 5-10 165
Q  12 Sam Kinback 6-1 165
H  32 Cory Gumby 5-11 200
H  22 Brandon Mckillip 6-1 175
F   40 Jon Ritchie 6-3 235

Adams and Sadler were the only underclassmen on the starting unit. Adams was a sophomore and Sadler a junior. 80 Dan Stare did most of the placekicking. On the infrequent occasions when CV had to punt, Gumby handled the chore. With Gaumer ill with pneumonia, 66 Clint Kennedy at 6-0 200 went most of the way at offensive guard against Upper St. Clair.

The able 1992 defenders:

E 36 Jason Graves 5-11 190
T 68 Mike Glinatsis 6-1 215
T 79 Brian Potteiger 6-3 230
E 65 Mike Gaumer 6-1 225
Lb 40 Jon Ritchie 6-3 235
Lb 32 Cory Gumby 5-11 200
Lb 38 Brian Preuss 6-0 175
Lb 42 George Seeger 5-8 145
Cb 22 Brandon Mckillip 6-1 175
Cb 16 Mic Sadler 6-0 175
S 11 Askari Adams 6-0 165

Fullback Jon Ritchie first played at Michigan. Then, after transferring to Stanford, he became a Cardinal star. He had a stellar pro career with the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles before injuries forced his retirement. Askari Adams was a key special teams and defensive player for four years at Penn State.

The 1992 CV perfect record:

35
WILLIAMSPORT
13

39
MECHANICSBURG
13

33
CHAMBERSBURG 
0

31
RED LAND
0

38
HARRISBURG 
0

55
STEEL-HIGH
0

35
CARLISLE 
7

36
CEDAR CLIFF
7

28
COATESVILLE
19

28
CENTRAL DAUPHIN
0

42
BISHOP MCDEVITT
27

DISTRICT III PLAYOFFS

20
WILSON WEST LAWN
14

10
HARRISBURG
7

STATE PLAYOFFS

22
COATESVILLE
6

28
UPPER ST. CLAIR
12

The Cumberland Valley Eagles have won a total of 13 PIAA District Three championships, including two under Harry Chapman and 11 under Tim Rimpfel.

Titles include 1982, 1984, the run of four from 1991 through 1994, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2010 and 2015. The 12-1 Eagles were runner-up in 1990 and 1999, losing the 1990 crown in a  34-32 thriller to West Lawn Wilson. In 1991, CV defeated Lancaster McCaskey 14-6 for the title despite losing five starters to academics and others to injury.

 

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