Estime and Nowell propel St. Joe’s to 49-21 romp over Seton Hall Prep
One year ago the St. Joseph(Montvale) lost a heartbreaker game at Seton Hall Prep 28-27. Last week, the Green Knights dropped their season opener at home to Bergen Catholic 24-21. Not only attempting to right the ship but facing a more daunting schedule ahead with road games at St. Peter’s Prep and Don Bosco Prep it was imperative to get a victory against the Pirates at Robert Joseph Dinallo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Committed to Michigan State University, senior running Audric Estime put up phenomenal numbers in week one against the Crusaders totaling 176 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Estime picked up where he left off, on the second play from scrimmage displaying tremendous breakout speed for a 71-yard touchdown run. However, Seton Hall quickly answered back on a nine-play 66-yard drive resulting in two-yard touchdown run from senior running back PJ Penders.
The back and forth action continued with the Green Knight offense led by senior quarterback Dorian Nowell who is committed to Georgetown University engineering a seven play, 70-yard drive capped off by a 32-yard touchdown pass from Nowell to senior wideout Justin Mucci with less than minutes remaining in the first quarter.
After the St. Joe’s defense forced a quick three and out, the Green Knights offense swiftly moved down the field with Estime gaining 40 yards on the ground and hauling in a 22-yard pass from Nowell. Estime finished the drive off barreling into the end zone on a six-yard run with 13 seconds remaining.
Starting out at their own 20-yard line to begin the second quarter, the Seton Hall Prep offense responded in fashion with quarterback Brady O’Sullivan airing out a 58-yard pass to wide receiver Nick Dunneman that moved the ball down to the Green Knights 23-yard line. Five plays later O’Sullivan tossed a seven-yard pass to Dunneman making it 21-14 with nine minutes to go in the quarter.
On the ensuing St. Joe’s offensive series that started with excellent field position at the 48-yard line, senior running back Christian Abraham ripped off a 38-yard run. Four plays later Nowell plunged into the end zone from the one-yard line extending the Green Knights lead to 28-14 with seven minutes left on the clock.
It appeared as though the St. Joe’s offense would tack on more points with sophomore defensive back James Mullen recovering a fumble at the Pirates 42-yard line. On the first Green Knights offensive possession Seton Hall Prep defensive back Giye Jenkins intercepted a Nowell pass. Feeding off that momentum, the Pirates offense needed just over two and half minutes to score with Nick Dunneman reeling in his second touchdown catch on a 46-yard pass from quarterback from quarterback Jaden Craig.
With three minutes in change still remaining in the first half provided to be plenty of ample time for the St. Joe’s offense. Estime picking up chunks of yardage with 61 while catching a 16-yard pass from Nowell. On first and goal from the three-yard line Nowell leaped high into the end zone with 12 secs left. By the time halftime rolled around Estime had rushed 12 times for 186 yards. Meanwhile Nowell had 47 yards rushing and a perfect 4 for 4 passing and 80 yards.
“I owe it to the offensive line, run it perfectly to execution and that is what happens when you do your job and make big plays,” said Audric Estime. “Dorian(Nowell) is a great player but person and leader.” We love having him in the room and he is going to do anything for the team and help us win.
In the second half Estime was not finished finding the end zone, with seven and half minutes left in the third quarter Nowell directed a lengthy 10-play 52-yard drive that chewed up almost four minutes of the clock including Nowell connecting with Estime on an eight-yard pass on fourth and four at the Pirates 30-yard line. On first and goal at the five-yard line, Estime drove straight through for the score widening the advantage to 42-21. Estime finished with 24 carries for 257 yards. Nowell rushed 10 times for 58 yards while completing 8 of 10 passes for 95 yards.
“That was proof of the summer, we have been working on conditioning and we all knew that we had to execute when it comes to the second half,” Dorian Nowell explained. “This is just from running on this field, we had a lot of energy and came out in the second half determined and the game was far from over and we took the W.”
Meanwhile, the St. Joe’s defense dominated the trenches not allowing a Seton Hall Prep first down until seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. After a 21-yard punt return from junior Trey Watkins that pushed the ball deep into Pirates territory, Estime cemented a solid day of running the ball with a seven-yard touchdown run.
“Everyone just has to execute and finish and what we did in the second half,” Audric Estime described. “We kept it up all game and our foot on the gas and that’s what we did.” When you do that you are going to come out with a victory. This victory means so much to us, a loss last week and we had to bounce back. We’re in practice every day in and out and executing, running hills and gassers, film room and hard week of practice.”
Nowell on the win, “Guys after the Bergen(Catholic) game with their heads down but we stayed focused throughout the week.” “Audric(Estime) is the best player I have played with, he is a dog, comes out here and grinds and works his butt off and you see it on the field.”