With a classic, 15-play drive that consumed 83 yards and nine minutes, Bergen Catholic scored the winning touchdown with two minutes left to beat St. Peter’s Prep, 22-15. Much of the drive was on the ground and it was an old-fashioned drive that coach Vito Campanile loves, along with former head coach and current line coach Fred Stengel.
First Quarter: St. Peter’s Prep had the game’s first possession and they got on the board with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Tahj Bullock to Sha’zir Sullivan. The pair were a big part of the drive, hooking up on two other occasions. Bergen got on the board as the quarter ended when quarterback Steve Angeli scored on a 3-yard keeper. Angeli had another run on the drive for 16 yards and he found Ryan Butler on a screen for 28 yards.
Second Quarter: After a Prep punt, Bergen had the ball and Angeli found Butler again for 65 yards and a touchdown to go in front, 14-7. Bergen threatened again and Butler went 18 yards to the Prep 25 with twelve seconds left. But a last-second pass was intercepted in the end zone by Tyion Smith.
Third Quarter: Most of this quarter was an exchange of punts until late. Bullock completed a 36-yard pass to Jaylan Sanchez to BC’s 42 as time expired.
Fourth Quarter: The Marauders kept moving and cut the lead to one point when Bullock found Sam Slade for a 37-yard touchdown. After a penalty on the extra point, Prep decided to go for two and turned to some trickery. Sullivan found Bullock in the end zone on some razzle dazzle to go ahead 15-14 with 11:16 left. It was Bergen’s turn and they moved the chains down the field behind Butler. On fourth-and-2 on Prep’s 33, Angeli found Saeed St. Fleur for 8 yards to give the Crusaders a first down. There were six minutes left at that point and Bergen did a great eating up the clock. Finally, Butler scored a 2-yard touchdown and Angeli found Christian Carti in the end zone for two points, making it 22-15 with 1:58 left. Prep’s next drive had four incomplete passes and Bergen kept the ball until nine seconds were left. Prep had two plays, but ended when Butler tackled the Prep receiver with no time left on the clock.
Conclusion: Bergen had their moments during the game, with Butler gaining over 100 yards both rushing and receiving (courtesy of nj.com). But it was the winning drive that will be remembered. They did a masterful job of keeping the ball away from St. Peter’s Prep, holding the ball for nine minutes. The offensive line did a big job without two starters: tackle Pat Colicchio and center Joe Matone. They moved guard Jack Syslo to center, Quentin Lane played left guard and Jonathan Parkes played left tackle. The right side of guard Frankie Zito and tackle Dominick Brogna was intact. Bergen has had many big moments in their history and this drive will end up near the top when it comes to all-time Bergen drives.