The Game At A Glance: Paramus Catholic, behind Jabrill Peppers, jumped out to a 35-14 halftime lead, had Joe's come back to tie it, and them Matthew Golabek kicked a 28 yard field goal with seven seconds left to go in front, and iced it when they returned a fumble on the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to win, 44-35. Peppers rushed for 347 yards, four touchdowns on 34 carries and Paramus Catholic, as a team, rushed for 458 yards.
First Half Highlights: Paramus Catholic opened the game with the ball and went five plays, scoring on the fifth when Jabrill Peppers, taking the snap in the wildcat, went 34 yards for the score to put them in front, 7-0. After exchanging punts, Joe's scored when Sherman Alston went 15 yards through the middle to tie it up. Alston went 27 yards on the previous play to set things up. Again, PC went five plays to score, as Peppers went 45 yards to go back in front. Peppers did it again, as he went 25 yards to make it 21-7 with over a minute and a half left in the quarter. The score was the lone play of the drive, as Joe's started on their 5 yard line, when Alston slipped taking the kick off and then the Joe's punt went 17 yards.
Joe's went on a nine play drive that stretched into the second quarter, capping it off when Alston jumped over the pile from one yard out. Peppers led the team down the field and scored from 8 yards out. The nine play drive consumed most of five minutes, with Peppers carrying six times. After a Joe's punt, PC changed things when Keyon Washington went 66 yards to the 17 yard line on the opening play of the drive. Four plays later, Washington scored on an 11 yard run towards the left pylon and was aided by good block by Tyrone Washington near the goal line. Joe's drove deep into PC territory and were on the four yard line, when Spencer Aukamp found Mark Fossati out of the backfield, but Tyrone Washington tackled him at the one yard line. Aukamp fumbled on the following play and PC recovered with nine seconds left.
Second Half Highlights: Joe's opened the second half with a five minute drive, consisting of thirteen plays and scored when Quai Jefferson scored from 2 yards out on the jet sweep. PC made it into Joe's territory when Peppers went 43 yards to the 32, but turned it over on downs. Joe's narrowed the gap to 35-28 when Jefferson went six yards, again on the jet, for the score. The previous play set things up when Aukamp found Matt Buckman for 58 yards.
PC went on a ten play drive of nearly six minutes, getting to the 36, but Fossati blew through the line to tackle Peppers for a one yard loss on fourth down. Joe's took it down the field in six plays, tying the score when Alston burst through the middle for a 15 yard score with six minutes to go. PC then made a classic drive of 62 yards down to the 11. On fourth down, the services of Matthew Golabek were called upon to attempt the game winning field goal. After two time outs from St. Joe's to ice him, Golabek kicked the game winning field goal from 28 yards out with seven seconds left. The ensuing kickoff had a lateral that was bobbled and picked up Jonathan Grant for a four yard score.
Play Of The Game: Tyrone Washington's tackle at the one yard line late in the first half prevented a St. Joe's touchdown and kept the score at 35-14, Paramus Catholic at the half.
Game Balls: Peppers obviously gets one for his effort, but the offensive line did a fabulous job, creating room for him to run. The Paladins threw only two passes, but the wide receivers did a very good job with their downfield blocking, most notably Tyrone Washington. Washington made a key play on defense, preventing a touchdown just before the half and he did a very good job covering Ricky Jeune of St. Joe's.
For St. Joe's, Alston rushed for 143 yards on 19 carries and Fossati had his usual outstanding game.
Paramus Catholic head coach Chris Partridge - "I am so proud of these kids. To come out and have such high expectations and what happened last week and to be able to fight back, not bat an eye, and be ready to play ball, and come out and play like that, I'm so proud of them. It was my call last week to be patient with Jabrill (Peppers) and I might have cost us a game, but he carried the team today and we have a good football team. We have to continue to get better and we have a phenomenal game next week against a good football team in Friendship Academy. Peppers is an amazing kid, mentally and physically, and don't forget about our offensive line. Those guys blocked their (butts) off today and they probably weren't too happy with me this week, but they responded. Tyrone Washington was challenged because he did not have his best game last week. His blocking was unbelievable and he made a key tackle before the half. We also played the game without four starters and I'm proud of the kids who replaced them."
Paramus Catholic running back/defensive back Jabrill Peppers - "Our line did a great job and I'm so proud of them. The receivers also blocked so well downfield. Without those guys, I'm nobody. We just stayed calm when St. Joe's came back. They're a real good team. I thought they'd come back, but I didn't think they'd come back like that. We learned and made adjustments after last week and it worked. We have a good Friendship team next week and it's back to work tomorrow."
Paramus Catholic kicker Matthew Golabek - "It was first field goal in a game. I was on the soccer team a couple of weeks ago. I'm a junior. I thought if I make this field goal, we have the win. The two time outs before the (winning) kick startled me at first, but I just stayed focused. I just stayed calm and did my job."
Paramus Catholic wide receiver/cornerback Tyrone Washington - "When I made the tackle before the half, Jabrill Peppers was telling us to watch play action. I saw the player leak out and I ran with him. He caught the ball and I made that tackle. We stressed blocking from the receivers all week in practice."