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September 24, 2013

FROM THE ROAD: Pat Rice checks in on the weekend's action

I made it to three games this past Saturday involving North Jersey Parochial schools. Bergen Catholic played Bishop Gorman of Nevada at 1:00, Paramus Catholic played DePaul at 3:00, and Don Bosco played Miami Central at 7:00. The only game I didn't see in its entirety was the Paramus Catholic-DePaul game.

Bergen Catholic put up an impressive early drive that was capped by a Colin McGovern to Mike Aniello touchdown pass of 3 yards to put BC up 7-0. Later that quarter, Bergen was supposed to attempt to draw Bishop Gorman offside on fourth down, but the ball was accidentally snapped. Bishop Gorman recovered the ball on the BC 13 and scored when Randall Cunningham, Jr. hit Alize Jones in the left corner of the end zone to tie the game. BC took a 10-7 lead at the half on a field goal and Gorman went out in front in the third quarter on a one yard score, missing the extra point to make it 13-10. The Crusaders went in front in the third quarter on a 6 yard run by Corey Russo. Gorman scored with 30 seconds left on another Cunningham to Jones pass, this time to the right corner of the end zone, making it 20-17, Bishop Gormann and giving them the win.

It was two teams who played hard and only one could win. BC's defense played well, but their inability to get the running game going hurt them. They had a horse collar penalty go against them on Gorman's winning drive. Gorman was a good team that wasn't particularly fast, but their defense played hard. I wasn't particularly impressed with Cunningham, thinking he ran tentatively too often, but he ran hard on a 30 yard run to the 4, setting up the winning score. BC's defense is a lot better than it was last year and they will need to keep it up against St. Joe's (Montvale) this week.

After leaving Bergen Catholic, I made my way to Paramus Catholic and arrived in the middle of the second quarter, with the score 0-0. DePaul then opened the scoring on a Zach Bednarczyk to Justin Nelson pass of 29 yards down the middle. Paramus Catholic drove the field and scored on a Steve Shanley to Jabrill Peppers pass. The game changed on the opening play of the third quarter when Keyon Washington picked up a fumble and ran it in for a score and gave PC a lead they would not surrender. When I left, it was two minutes into the fourth quarter and the Paladins had a 35-7 lead. DePaul made it 35-21, but PC had 35 unanswered points between the DePaul scores.

I then made it up to Don Bosco, where they hosted Miami Central, one of the nation's top teams. Bosco came out strong on the first drive, scoring on a 6 yard pass to Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks. Central moved the ball and settled for a field goal for a 7-3 score and it would stay that way at the quarter's end. Bosco was still hanging tough, when Ibitokun-Hanks scored again to put Bosco in front, 14-10, but it was all Miami Central after that. The Rockets took advantage of three Bosco turnovers to make it 29-14 at the half and the only Bosco score after that was a beautiful Frank Nutile to Dan Yankovich pass of 39 yards. Miami Central kept it up, winning 50-21.

Miami Central is one of the best teams I have seen, they're certainly the fastest team I've ever seen. They have two fabulous running backs in Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook, with Yearby committed to Miami and Cook to Florida and they have several other great players. When Don Bosco's 2003 squad had the explosiveness of Brian Toal, Marquis Liverpool, and Michael Ray Garvin, it was one of the most explosive teams people had ever seen. That was mainly three players; Miami Central has seven or eight players like that and those are only the ones who play. New Jersey doesn't see speed or quickness like Miami Central; they're as quick as jack rabbits. The line is huge, athletic, and there aren't any fat kids. Tackle Trevor Darling (6-foot-4, 310) committed to Miami, guard Reginald Bain (6-foot-4, 275) to Florida Atlantic, guard Michael Smith (6-foot-3, 300) to South Florida, and tackle Joshua Addison (6-foot-4, 305) is a 1-A prospect. Center Raul Daiz (6-foot-1, 265) will also play college football at the 1-A or 1-AA level. Quarterback Keith Reed also was impressive, along with the receivers. The defense was very quick and fast, with numerous juniors playing.

It was a tough loss for Bosco and they had three key players injured in linebacker Eric Miele, linebacker/fullback Dalton Friend, and tackle Tyrell Smith. They have to regroup and face DePaul Friday night.

It was a good day, with a lot of good football being played and while I wasn't there to see the teams from Miami and Las Vegas, it was good to see them, especially Miami Central.




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