The Game At A Glance: Don Bosco played a methodical and effective game on offense, while their defense took the running game away from Paramus Catholic for a 31-8 victory. Their ball control offense gave them possession for nearly 31 minutes and Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks rushed for 173 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries, while the Bosco defense limited PC to 37 yards rushing.
First Half Highlights: Don Bosco was forced to punt on its opening drive and were backed into a corner when the punt was blocked, with Paramus Catholic taking over on the 17 yard line. After having the big play go against them, they made a big play of their own when defensive end Alquadin Muhammad nailed quarterback Steve Shanley, forcing a fumble, with the Ironmen recovering on the 21. This time, they went thirteen plays and consumed nearly six minutes, scoring when Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks crashed in from the one yard line to make it 7-0, with three minutes left in the quarter. Ibitokun-Hanks carried nine times for 46 yards on the drive, while Frank Nutile completed all four of his passes for 23 yards. Bosco's defense made the play on the following drive when Mike D'Alessandro intercepted and returned it 27 yards to the PC 30. Bosco had their drive snuffed out by Jabrill Peppers making a leaping interception on the one yard line.
PC's ensuing punt set the Ironmen in great field position when Isaiah Hill returned the punt eleven yards to the 29. Ibitokun-Hanks then went the distance on the following play to open up a 14-0 lead with seven minutes left. Bosco later forced a fumble and Muhammad picked it up, going 20 yards to the 15, with two minutes left and Cameron Baels kicked a 36 yard field goal with 36 seconds left to make it 17-0.
Second Half Highlights: Paramus Catholic tried to get something going, when they faked the punt and Marquise Watson rambled 15 yards through the middle for a first down on their 19, but they eventually punted. Bosco then went 52 yards on nine plays, with Ibitokun-Hanks carrying it five times, the fifth carry going 17 yards for the score. PC made a dash down the field and got on the board when Shanley found Dejon Harrison for 31 yards. The two point conversion had Shanley hitting Harrison again to make it 24-8 with four seconds left in the quarter. The score was set up on a Shanley to Tyrone Washington pass of 34 yards on fourth down from their own 35 on the previous play.
Bosco put it away in the fourth quarter, when Dalton Friend broke through the line for a 7 yard score, to culminate a nine play, five minute drive.
Play Of The Game: Muhammad's forced fumble on PC's first drive changed the momentum in the game and the team went on to their first score.
Game Balls: The Bosco offensive line for controlling play and Ibitokun-Hanks for his workmanlike performance. Muhammad made plays on defense. Razohnn Gross made his presence felt on both sides of the line. Linebacker Spencer Scannell was very active at linebacker and Mike D'Alessandro had a big interception. Baels deserves one for his field goal.
Don Bosco head coach Greg Toal - "On offense, we were methodical, but effective. Ibitokun-Hanks ran the ball well, did a superb job. The line did a good job up front. The game isn't too complex. It still comes down to blocking and tackling."
Don Bosco defensive end Alquadin Muhammad - "We amped it up a bit, with the hype of the game. We play team defense. The score looked like the way it was, 31 to 8. When they blocked the punt on the first drive, I felt I had to set the tone and the fumble I forced was a game changer. Don Bosco is not a one man show, we play as a team."
Don Bosco running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks - "It was great, just working hard; it's finally paying off. Coming in from Malcolm X. Shabazz, I'm finally getting adjusted. All the coaches have been giving me tough love and it's paid off. We stayed focused and the coaches were telling us to stay focused."
Don Bosco lineman Razohnn Gross - "The big weeks have become normal. I'm used to it. The first year starters get used to it quickly. We thought we could take their run away. This year is my last here and I play every game as if it's my last. We have to keep getting better to be the best we can be."