Peter Liske - Quarterback - 1966-1968, 73-74 - Penn State
Peter Liske was a strong-armed quarterback out of Plainfield, New Jersey. Peter played for Penn State from 1961-63 where he was a starter and posted impressive totals as the team finished with a winning record each year.
Liske was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 10th round 130th overall of the NFL draft as well as in the American Football League by the New York Titans in the 15th round 115 overall. He elected to play in the AFL with the newly minted New York Jets. He saw limited action with New York in 1964 making 18 passes over 4 games played. In 1965, Peter would bring his game north to the Toronto Argonauts. In 11 games with Toronto Liske threw 17 interceptions with 10 touchdown passes.
For the 1966 season Liske moved West to the Calgary Stampeders where he took over the top quarterback job and posted solid totals. In 1967 Liske would have one of the greatest statistical seasons in CFL history breaking Tobin Rote’s record for passing touchdowns in a season with 40. Certainly for the era Liske was a trend setter. With his passing ability Liske made everyone aware of the excitement of a wide open passing game. With 40 touchdown passes and 4,479 yards in 16 games Liske was rightfully named the League’s Most Outstanding Player. He would follow up his record breaking season in 1968 by passing for 4,333 yards and 31 touchdowns as he led Calgary all the way to the Grey Cup versus Ottawa. The Stampeders would fall to Ottawa 24-21 capping 2 electric seasons for the Stampeders with Liske at the helm.
In 1969, Liske would move back to the AFL joining the Denver Broncos – he would also play for Denver in 1970 upon the teams merger to the NFL. For the 1971 & 72 season Liske played for the team that drafted him the Philadelphia Eagles. Over his 4 seasons in the NFL he would pass for 5,170 yardsa nd 30 touchdowns.
Liske would return to the CFL and the Stampeders in 1973. He would struggle to match his lofty totals in his prior stay with Calgary as he threw 21 interception against 12 touchdowns. The Stampeders would finish the season 6-10 and miss the playoffs. In 1974, Liske played the first 13 games with Calgary completing 59.8% of his passes when he was dealt to the B.C. Lions late in the season. The Lions were making a push for the playoffs, they would finish 8-8 before falling to Saskatchewan in the West Semi-Final.
1975 would be Liske’s final season in the CFL he threw 13 touchdown passes as the Lions would finish 6-10 and miss the playoffs. Liske stayed close to the game and would go on to be a long-time NFL back judge.
Peter Liske can be credited with expanding the passing game in the CFL like no one before him. His play in Calgary ushered in the era of the passing game that has thrilled CFL fans for decades.
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