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September 15, 2013The Game At A Glance: The Paramus Catholic defense held Delbarton to 60 total yards, despite Delbarton having the ball for seventeen and a half minutes in the first half, overcoming an offense that was sloppy, to beat a determined Delbarton squad, 30-18. The PC defense has not allowed a touchdown in two games, as Delbarton scored on a fumble recovery and a kick return.
First Half Highlights: Paramus Catholic was forced to punt after Delbarton's defense brought heavy pressure on quarterback Steve Shanley, including two sacks by Connor Mackie and Matt Opplinger, respectively. Delbarton took over on the 44 of PC and went nine plays behind the running of Robert Arancio, but a 26 yard field goal attempt was no good. PC gave Delbarton a good opportunity when Keyon Washington fumbled and the Green Wave recovered on the 27. This time the field goal was good and Delbarton was up 3-0, two and a half minutes into the second quarter.
After taking over on their 20, Jabrill Peppers went 80 yards for a score out of the wildcat on their first play and the Paladins were in front, 7-3. Late in the half, Delbarton made it to the 39 of PC, but their threat was ended when Anthony Pontoriero intercepted and PC had the ball on their 22. Three plays later, Shanley found Najee Clayton for a 74 yard score down the sideline and it was 14-3 at the half.
Second Half Highlights: After a Delbarton punt, PC had the ball on the Delbarton 44 and went seven plays, scoring when Shanley found Clayton again for a 13 yard score in the right corner of the end zone for a 21-3 lead. The Paladins were ready to break the game open, when Peppers fumbled and Opplinger scooped the ball up and went 85 yards for the touchdown and it was 21-10 with a little over a minute left in the quarter.
Peppers intercepted early in the fourth and returned it to the 39 of PC to set up their next score. Shanley found Peppers just over the goal line and make it 28-10. The ensuing kickoff was returned by Andrew Papantonis for a 95 yard touchdown, cutting it to 28-18 with eight and a half minutes left. PC added a safety when Keyon Washington sacked Giuseppe Bavacqua in the end zone for a safety. It was the third consecutive sack, with Nick Flores and Saleem Brightwell getting the sacks on the two previous plays.
Play Of The Game: The touchdown pass from Shanley to Clayton just before the half gave PC a cushion they didn't lose in the second half.
Game Balls: Clayton caught five for 131 yards and two touchdowns, including the touchdown before the half, forming a good combination with Shanley. Peppers scored twice and also had a good game on defense, including an interception and a sack. On defense, Nick Flores played a very good game from his defensive tackle spot, along with Brightwell in the secondary.
Delbarton played an inspired game and among those who had good games were Arancio, Opplinger and two way lineman Aaron Slodowitz. Papantonis opened eyes on the kick return for a score and he started at cornerback as a freshman.
Paramus Catholic head coach Chris Partridge - "We made too many mistakes; Delbarton's a fabulous football team, but you make that many mistakes and are that unfocused, you have problems. We have to fix that and they're going to see that on film. It's just a lack of mental focus on our part and that's what is concerning. The offense turned it over three or four times and that's unacceptable. The defense played well and they made the stops when they needed to and our defense has not given up a touchdown yet, so you can't ask any more out of them."
Delbarton head coach Brian Bowers - "To start the season with a nationally ranked team really focused us in the summer and the pre-season. Our kids played unbelievably hard and we left it out on the field. It was a hard hitting game and the kids brought the lumber on every snap. I'm disappointed with the result, but the effort was tremendous. We had opportunities in the first half, controlled the ball, but we couldn't get the points on the board. Defensively, we had a great effort and I can name so many guys who were tremendous. We will move on and playing them will only make us better."
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