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Paul Scull

Sport: Football

Born: September 4, 1907

Died: December 11, 1997

Town: Merchantville

Paul Thomas Scull was born September 4, 1907 in Merchantville. He grew up across the Delaware River in Bala Cynwyd, on the western edge of Philadelphia, and became a three-sport star at Lower Merion High School. Paul was a rock-solid triple-threat back with a strong arm, powerful kicking leg and explosive running style. In three varsity seasons, the LMHS football squad was undefeated, going 26–0–1. In his junior year, the Bulldogs scored 349 points in 10 games and did not allow a point. After graduating in 1925, he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1926, Paul’s first year as a varsity starter, his teammates nicknamed him Butterball, not for his physique, but for his ability to wriggle free from tackles. He scored five touchdowns as a fullback for the Quakers and kicked a half-dozen field goals, and was named the most valuable payer in eastern football. As a junior in 1927, he led Penn with five touchdowns. The Quakers went 6–3 and played Cal on New Year’s Eve in an exhibition game, losing 27–13.

PaulScullIn 1928, Penn went 8–1 and gave up only 26 points. Paul was the team’s captain. The Quakers opened the season with four straight shutouts and added two more in November. In the final game of his senior season, a 49–0 rout of Cornell, Paul reached the end zone four times and kicked seven PATs for a total of 31 points. He intercepted a pass on defense and a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown, and also threw for 229 yards—a big number for that era. Paul was honored as a First-Team All-American. He was also named kicker of the year, having hit on 23 of 25 PATs.

Paul also starred for Penn’s basketball and baseball teams and ran track for the Quakers. The year after he graduated, he appeared in an early talkie named Maybe It’s Love, which co-starred Joan Bennett and Joe E. Brown. Other football luminaries who had bot parts included Tulane All-American Bill Banker, Rose Bowl MVP Russ Saunders and USC head coach Howard Jones.

At that time, Paul was a Physical Education teacher at Penn. During the 1930s he went to work for Hercules Powder in Delaware, a company that made commercial gunpowder. He was employed there for more than three decades before retiring in the 1960s. In 1964, Paul was named to the all-time Philadelphia Scholastic Football Team. Paul retired to North Carolina and passed away at the age of 90 in Charlotte.


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