Bergen Catholic jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead and weathered a Don Bosco rally to win, 23-17, and put a tough defeat from last week behind them.
First Quarter: Bergen went almost six minutes on 13 plays and 80 yards – all runs – with five different players carrying the ball. Ryan Butler went 13 yards for the score and gained 40 of those 80 yards on the drive. Bosco punted and the teams traded interceptions: Nick Alvarado for Bosco and Jed DeNobile for Bergen. After DeNobile’s interception, Andrew Boel found Amir Gist for 42 yards for a touchdown, making it 14-0 when Boel found Pierson Tobia for a two-point conversion, one minute into the second quarter.
Second Quarter: Bergen had good field position after a Bosco punt and made it to the 30, but on fourth-and-1, Gist was stopped short of the first down. BC forced another punt and marched down the field for a 27-yard field goal by Giancarlo Carbonaro as time expired, giving the Crusaders a 17-0 halftime lead.
Third Quarter: Don Bosco came out with the ball and inserted Jake Robbins at quarterback. The Ironmen found new energy and went 77 yards, getting on the board with a 28-yard field goal by Justin Frey. Robbins completed four-of-five and ran three times on the drive, with a key play being a 20-yard completion to Kyle Monagai. BC went three-and-out and Bosco narrowed the lead, going 57 yards on seven plays. With 11 seconds left in the quarter, Jalen Berger scored from 19 yards out, cutting to the left sideline. The score was set up on the previous play, a 26-yard Robbins-to-Monangai pass of 26 yards.
Fourth Quarter: Bergen answered back with another six-minute drive covering 70 yards. Butler added another touchdown, this time from three yards, but the extra point attempt hit the upright, making it 23-17 with 6:05 left. Two key plays on the drive were a 20-yard completion to Gist and a 17-yard run by Butler. Bosco started the drive on their own 32 and wasted no time as Robbins found Monangai for 33 yards. After three incompletions, including an intentional grounding, Robbins found Robert DeLuccia for 23 yards to the 17 on fourth-and-15. Monangai caught another pass for 13 yards and it was first-and-goal on the 4-yard line. Two plays later, Robbins kept the ball and raced past the right pylon for a touchdown with 3:40 left. BC kept to the ground, picked up two first downs, and took a knee to run the clock out.
Bergen Catholic – 6-11-0-6-23
Don Bosco ——- 0-0-10-7-17
BC – Ryan Butler, 13-yard run (kick blocked)
BC – Boel to Gist, 42 yards (Boel-to-Tobia)
BC – Carbonaro, 27-yard field goal
DB – Frey, 28-yard field goal
DB – Berger, 19-yard run (kick good)
BC – Butler, 3-yard run (kick failed)
DB – Robbins, 4-yard run (kick good)
Bergen ran for 238 yards, 166 in the first half. They had eight drives and only one was ineffective – their first of the second half. Two of those eight drives were actually one drive interrupted by one play on an interception. Butler had 129 yards on 24 carries and had 81 yards on 14 carries in the first half. The line of Bryan Felter, Collin Tunc, Matthew D’Addetta, Jack Syslo, and Pat Colicchio was outstanding throughout the night. Syslo deserves credit for stepping in when Ethan Lang left injured midway through their first drive. On defense, Tywone Malone, AJ Longo, Javon Cruz, and Jeremiah Grant were active throughout the night.
Bosco had new life in the second half when Robbins entered the game, completing 11 of 17 for 151 yards. They only had the ball for three drives in the second half and scored on all of them. Monangai had six receptions in the second half for 101 yards, setting up all three scores; but the first half was a different story. The Ironmen gained only 49 yards on the ground, 13 in the first half. The air game was more effective in the second half, but the ground game still struggled. It will be interesting to see who plays quarterback in their next game, bit it will be hard not to keep Robbins on the sidelines after tonight.
Bergen Catholic coach Vito Campanile: “There was no quit in either team. We played very well in the first half and our guys competed until the last play. Tywone Malone was hard to match up against and Gist had a great game – an elite competitor. Our line did an outstanding job and tackle Colicchio had some knockback during the game.”