The Game At A Glance: Bergen Catholic had possession the entire first quarter, jumped out to a 21-0 lead, and went on to beat Don Bosco, 28-14. It snapped an 11 game losing streak to Bosco and puts the Crusaders in the Non-Public Group 4 championship game at Giants Stadium.
First Half Highlights: Bergen Catholic opened the game with a nineteen play, 71 yard drive that consumed eight minutes and was capped off when Jon Germano hit John Feaster in the end zone for a four yard score. The drive had five first downs, including two on fourth down. Germano set the tone on the first play when he kept it for thirteen yards. The ensuing kickoff was a bouncer to the 24 yard line, where BC's Jake Citro recovered, giving the Crusaders the ball. Five plays later, Germano kept it from the one for the score to make it 13-0 with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter. The score was set up by a nine yard Germano to JJ Kulcsar pass on the previous play. The ensuing kickoff was a similar kick that was fielded and then fumbled by Bosco, with BC recovering on the 34. The Crusaders went seven plays, with Germano scoring from four yards out. BC added a two point conversion from Feaster running it in to make it, 21-0, two minutes into the second quarter.
Bosco finally had the ball and picked up a first down at midfield. But, they gave the ball to BC again, when Isaiah Hill fumbled after catching a Rob Nutile pass for what would have been a first down and BC recovered on its own 27. Bosco had the ball again and got on the board when Nutile found Jimmy Schulz in the end zone for a five yard score to make it 21-7, with three and a half minutes left in the half. The score was set up by a 37 yard pass to Mike D'Alessandro to the five.
Second Half Highlights: Bosco came out with the ball and were eventually forced to punt. They regained possession and went seventeen plays and covered 59 yards in eight minutes, scoring when Nutile found D'Alessandro for a four yard score, one play into the fourth quarter: 21-14, BC. The Ironmen converted two fourth down attempts, the first when punter Lauren Goodridge hit D'Alessandro for fourteen yards and the second when Nutile hit Dan Yankovich for eight yards to the 20 on fourth and seven.
The teams exchanged punts and BC looked like it was going to put the game out of reach when Germano found Kulcsar for 34 yards to the 28. The Crusaders had their chance, but Ryan Rose missed a 31 yard field goal attempt with two minutes left. Bosco's last chance ended when Bryan Smith intercepted on the 24 and went eight yards to the 16. The Crusaders put it away when Germano connected with Kulcsar for a twelve yard score with 51 seconds remaining.
Play Of The Game: The final score of Germano to Kulcsar, putting the game out of reach and giving BC the long sought after victory over Bosco.
Game Balls: Germano, Kulcsar, and Feaster were the playmakers. Germano gained 106 yards on 26 carries and had two scores, along with throwing for two touchdowns. Kulcsar caught three passes for 55 yards and one score. Feaster caught a touchdown pass and also had some nice runs. The offensive line also did a good job in the first quarter, when BC kept the ball the entire first quarter, helping them out to a three touchdown lead. Garrett Dickerson had an active game from his defensive end position.
In a losing cause, Nutile completed 14 of 26 for two scores and162 yards.
Bergen Catholic head coach Nunzio Campanile - "Germano is a special kid and one of the greatest competitors I've ever met and I've coached some great players. He's a great leader. The win feels great, but people make more of that than I do. Bosco has been a great team and they've been the best team. I want to beat them, but we worry about us and make ourselves the best team. We have the opportunity to play for a state title and we have to take advantage of it. The first drive, nineteen plays, was the longest I've been involved in."
Bergen Catholic wide receiver JJ Kulcsar - "This is the game you look for your whole life and you finally come down to it and get the win. We were trying to high tempo everything on the first drive and we got into the end zone. As soon as we got up, we knew we had it in the bag. We just had to keep going at it and we got that W. When I caught the pass, it was over and we're going to the 'ship."
Bergen Catholic wide receiver John Feaster - "It was a great win for the team. In reality, we have a state title to play for and I'm not going to stop. We came out of the gate ready to go. We were just confident. They didn't quit, but we didn't quit, either."
Bergen Catholic Jon Germano - "It was very important to jump out to the lead. We knew we had to get out early and stay ahead of them. It's a great feeling right now. We had a great plan coming into the game. Whatever was working for us was what we were going to stick to. We have one more game left and we have to come back tomorrow and get ready."