St. Joe’s (Montvale) scored 21 unanswered points in the second half behind their offensive line and Audric Estime, who finished with 167 yards on 26 carries – 20 in the second half.
First Quarter: Bergen came out with the ball, drove down the field, and made it to the 23, but Steven Angeli fumbled and Joe’s recovered on the 26. All it took was five plays when Estime scored on a 52-yard run. Bergen had another drive past midfield and turned it over on downs, but their third drive brought them a touchdown, a 15-yard pass from Angeli to Ryan Butler to tie the score at 7-7, one minute into the second quarter.
Second Quarter: Bergen was moved the ball again, capping it off with a 23-yard field goal by Giancarlo Carbonaro with 2:36 left. The drive consumed almost six minutes and the big plays were an Andrew Boel pass to Tywone Malone for 34 yards and a 19-yard run by Butler.
Third Quarter: Joe’s came out with the ball, moved to midfield and a Michael Alaimo punt pinned Bergen down on their own 1-yard line. Three incompletions forced a punt that was partially blocked to their 30 and Shane Stewart returned it 15 yards. Estime carried it our times, the last one being a 2-yard score to give the Green Knights a lead they would keep. A BC punt gave Joe’s the ball again and Alaimo found Brayden Kelly for an 8-yard touchdown.
Fourth Quarter: The next Joe’s possession ate up six minutes, mostly giving Estime the ball. When he left the game with cramps, Te’Rai Powell scored a 4-yard touchdown with 3:32 left.
St. Joe’s (Montvale) – 7-0-14-7-28
Bergen Catholic – 0-10-0-0-10
SJ – Estime, 52-yard run (kick good)
BC – Angeli-to-Butler, 15 yards (kick good)
BC – Carbonaro, 23-yard field goal
SJ – Estime, 2-yard run (kick good)
SJ – Alaimo-to-Kelly, 8 yards (kick good)
SJ – Powell, 4-yard run (kick good)
The St. Joe’s running game was the difference in the second half. They controlled the clock, staying mostly on the ground and threw only three passes in the second half. Estime only carried six times in the first half, but that changed in the second, carrying 20 times. The Green Knight defense also did a very good job, holding Bergen to 67 yards of offense in the second half.
Bergen Catholic led at the half, but the second half was a nightmare for them. The offense could not get untracked with only one first down on their first three drives. In addition, the defense was worn down by Joe’s. The game changed on the possession when they were pinned down on their 1-yard line and threw three incomplete passes, followed by the deflected punt that set Joe’s up on the 15. In the end, they lost to a better team. One highlight for them was Butler running for 119 yards and he is becoming a workhorse.
St. Joe’s (Montvale) head coach Augie Hoffman: “We imposed our will. Our offensive line did very well. Estime is our best player: give him the ball, let him do his thing, and the offensive line will open holes.”
St. Joe’s (Montvale) running back Audric Estime: “I felt fresh in the second half and had a lot of energy. We have the best line in the state and I like running the ball. At the half, we said “let’s just finish the game.” We run power best because we out-physical every team.”