DePaul 28 Paramus Catholic 12
September 22, 2023
DePaul beat Paramus Catholic, 28-12 behind Nolan James, who scored four touchdowns – three on the ground and one receiving – and rushed for 214 yards on 28 carries. The win puts the Spartans back on the winning track after losing to Archbishop Stepinac of White Plains, NY last week.
First Quarter: Each team crossed midfield on their first possessions, but nothing translated into points. After Paramus Catholic’s possession of three incomplete passes, DePaul had good field position on the PC 38. The Spartans moved the ball and scored on a 6-yard swing pass from Derek Zammit to James, two minutes into the second quarter.
Second Quarter: PC got to midfield behind a 20-yard run by Xavier WIlliams, but DePaul stopped the Paladins for no gain on fourth-and-3 at the DePaul 47. The defenses stood out the rest of the half and DePaul went to the locker room with a 7-0 lead.
Third Quarter: DePaul took a big step forward coming out with the ball, going 82 yards on eight plays with James carrying on seven of them, scoring from three yards out. Two big plays setting up the touchdown were a 39-yard run to the PC 30, followed by 17 yards to the 13. Paramus Catholic stayed in the game, scoring when Crew Colon found James Dely on the 2-yard line, who spun around and ran to the end zone. PC had a golden opportunity when Jaylin Harrell intercepted at midfield, but Dely fumbled upon catching a pass on third down and DePaul recovered on their 47. One play later, James scored on a 53-yard run, going towards the left sideline, before cutting back across the field on a 45 degree angle and put the Spartans up 21-6 with 36 seconds left.
Fourth Quarter: Paramus Catholic wasn’t done. Williams ran 35 yards to the 30 on their first play. And Colon found Kenyon Massey for 13 yards to the 2 before Williams scored from one yard out. But the 2-point conversion failed when Logan Nagle sacked Colon. This hurt PC because they needed two scores to catch DePaul at that point, down 21-12. The Spartans went eleven plays with James carrying on seven of them, the last being a 4-yard touchdown with 5:40 left. PC kept going with a 21-yard run by Colon and a 32-yard completion to Massey, but the Paladins turned it over on downs and DePaul ran out the clock to seal the win.
Comments: It was a much-needed win for DePaul. James was the story with his performance, combining the physical with the finesse and great cutting ability. Zammit completed his first twelve passes before finishing 13-15-63. On defense, Anthony Nittoli stood out with his tackling.
Paramus Catholic showed they are a good team who is getting closer to their standard from several years ago. Williams is a good running back and there are others who have a bright future. They will be a good team to watch in the future.