St. Peter’s Prep had a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter and sealed the win by blocking Don Bosco’s game-winning field goal attempt and returning it for a touchdown to win, 21-14.
First Quarter: Midway through the quarter, Cody Simon fielded a punt at the Prep 31 and went towards the sideline. Just as it looked as if he was going out of bounds, he went left and ran through the Bosco defense for a 69-yard touchdown. On Bosco’s ensuing drive on third-and-1 from their 32, Jalen Berger took the handoff and went left and received good blocks on the edge from Colin Ramos and Jahmir Greene to go 49 yards down to the Prep 19. After Berger gained 9 yards on first down, he took and option pitch to the right two plays later and scored to get Bosco on the boards and tie the game at 7. Prep was pinned deep in its own territory on the following series and was forced to punt from their 13. Greene crashed through the line, blocked the punt, and Ramos scooped it up on the 1-yard line to score the touchdown to put the Ironmen in front, 14-7.
Second Quarter: Much of the quarter featured Prep being pinned deep in their territory, getting much of their offense with Paul Lefkowitz running for first downs, which were not enough to get them to midfield. Meanwhile, Bosco had good field position with the Prep defense not allowing them to advance into scoring position. Late in the quarter, quarterback Jake Robbins was injured on a run to the sideline and sat out the rest of the game with what appeared to be a concussion and was replaced by Jahquil Batts.
Third Quarter: Prep’s first drive their best to that point, getting into Bosco territory with a Tahj Bullock pass to Jaylan Sanchez went 24 yards to the Bosco 33. But Ramos caught Bullock for a 3-yard loss on second down and Greene sacked him for a 4-yard loss to set up fourth-and-11. Ramos and Greene teamed up on this play with Ramos pressuring Shazir Sullivan on the option pass and Greene making a diving interception over a teammate t end the threat.
Fourth Quarter: Prep took over on their 27, one minute into the quarter and went on a six-minute drive. Bullock completed passes to Ben Silver for 13 yards, Jelani Mason for 10, Byron Shipman for 15, and Mason again for 11 – all picking up first downs, the last on the 14-yard line. Three plays later, Bullock went through the middle for a 5-yard touchdown with five minutes left. The Marauders went for two points and Mason took the handoff on a jet sweep and beat the defense to the end zone to go in front, 15-14. Arsheen Jiles took the ensuing kickoff on the 25 and went 28 yards to put Bosco in good field position. Three plays later, Batts found Berger for 25 yards to the 28 and the Ironmen ended up attempting a 43-yard field goal with 52 seconds left. The field goal was blocked and Avery Powell picked it up and went the distance for the score.
Summary: St. Peter’s Prep hung in there and had their best drive when it mattered. Bullock, as he has done throughout the season, guided the team down the field in the fourth quarter and they are now state champions. For a team that couldn’t mount many drives, were saddled with poor field position in the first half, they were resilient. They kept playing. The special teams were key, scoring two touchdowns with Simon’s punt return and Powell’s return on a blocked field goal. Because of that they are champions.
Bosco had some chances in the first half, but Prep’s defense came through. Bosco’s defense was outstanding, especially Ramos and Greene, who also combined for their special teams touchdown on the blocked punt. Berger made plays in the first half and his reception on their last drive gave them a first down and a chance to win the game. In the end, they came up one play short.