Photo by Andee Fagan

Bergen Catholic rolls to Non-Public A State Final win over Don Bosco Prep

One of the biggest high school rivals in the entire country faced off once again at MetLife Stadium on Friday night for the Non-Public A State Football championships. Bergen Catholic and Don Bosco played last year for the Non-Public A championship as Bergen Catholic was able to come out on top, 28-7, to win the state title. The Ironmen were able to get their revenge earlier this season at Bergen Catholic, handling them a 31-7 loss on Sept. 24th. That would ultimately be Bergen Catholic's only loss on the season and they hoped to redeem themselves from the regular season by running it back and capturing back-to-back state titles.

In this meeting, No. 2 ranked Bergen Catholic (11-1) dominated rival No. 1 ranked Don Bosco Prep (9-3) to capture back-to-back state titles at MetLife Stadium with a dominating 45-0 performance on Friday. There was no doubt they would get the job done as this entire game was pure domination proving that this was a very special Bergen Catholic roster.

Bergen Catholic's first drive of the game sent Don Bosco a message. On the game's second play, receiver Quincy Porter sent that message as he caught a 56-yard catch and run that got the Bergen Catholic crowd into a frenzy early.

Less than 90 seconds into the game, Kai Sanders finished the drive with a touchdown on an 8-yard run. After a tricky reverse to open their drive, Don Bosco found themselves with solid field possession looking to tie the game. Don Bosco, deciding to be aggressive, went for it early on fourth down from Bergen Catholic's 17-yard line. The Crusaders' defense shut down the quarterback keeper holding the Ironmen for a big stop on fourth down that set the tone.

Bergen Catholic was able to go up two scores by completing a 55-yard drive with a 13-yard TD run by receiver Saeed St. Fleur off a screen pass from quarterback Dominic Campanile.

After Don Bosco's first drive, they had no offense going for them in the first half, finding themselves down 17-0. People would think that down 17 points at halftime, the number one team in the state would be highly capable of making a heroic comeback to avoid their first loss this season.

The first play from scrimmage for Don Bosco proved this theory wrong, as Joseph Barry intercepted a pass on Don Bosco's first offensive play falling at Bosco's 4-yard line. Jack Duffy only needed one play for the score, putting up points 13 seconds into the second half to make it 24-0.

Bergen Catholic opened up both halves with quick touchdown scores. Don Bosco fans quickly left MetLife stadium in the third quarter as the Crusader Crazies chanted the 'goodbye' once they went up 31 points in the third quarter.

A pair of touchdown runs by St. Fleur forced a running clock for the rest of the game, putting Bergen Catholic up 38-0 with one minute remaining in the third quarter. He finished the game with 136 yards on 14 carries.

This game was one of the most talked about games in the entire state. Don Bosco beat up Bergen Catholic two months ago on their home turf and the Bergen Catholic players' were delighted to get this dominating victory when it mattered most.

This state final sadly did not live up to the hype, but Bergen Catholic proved why they have consistently been the best high school football team in New Jersey over the past few years. These teams should be exciting to watch over the next few years as New Jersey hopes one could be their first high school football team since 2011 to compete for a national championship.

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