Bergen Catholic 21 St. Joe’s (Montvale) 10
Bergen Catholic faced a big challenge, falling behind 10-0, before scoring 21 unanswered points to beat St. Joe’s (Montvale), 21-10.
First Quarter: There was action on the first play when Luke Henrich found Kenyon Massey down the left sideline for 52 yards to the 25-yard line for St. Joe’s. After three running plays, Marcos Ruiz kicked a 33-yard field goal to put the Green Knights in front, 3-0.
Second Quarter: Joe’s marched from its 18 and increased their lead to 10-0 on an 8-yard touchdown from Luke Tucci. The key play on the drive was a 21-yard pass to Jaden Wimberly that brought the Green Knights to midfield. Midway through the quarter, Bergen started moving with three runs by Saeed St. Fleur, followed by a 23-yard run by quarterback Steve Angeli to the Joe’s 30. A 13-yard pass to Larue Linder gave the Crusaders a first down on the 19 and got on the board on a 4-yard run by Ryan Butler with 1:17 left in the half.
Third Quarter: BC came out with the ball and began with four straight runs by Butler, who fumbled the last one with Joe’s recovering on their 33. Bergen’s defense forced a punt and the Crusaders had the ball on their 40. Angeli connected with Jayden Bellamy, who went down the right sideline for 41 yards to the 14. The drive ended with four more runs by Butler, the last one a 1-yard touchdown that put BC in front for the first time with six minutes left in the quarter. St. Joe’s came right back with a 23-yard pass to tight end Brendan Errity, getting them into Bergen territory, However, their chance for points ended when a 45-yard field goal attempt was wide right.
Fourth Quarter: Bergen consumed six minutes and increased their lead on an Angeli pass to Christian Carti for a 16-yard score with Carti extending himself and the ball across the plane. The 15-play drive’s longest play was a 20-yard run by Angeli. Joe’s fumbled on their next possession, recovered by John Fiore of Bergen on the Joe’s 12, but the Crusaders turned the ball over on downs.
Summary: For the first time this year, there was a point in the game whether Bergen was going to win. But they responded very well, scoring the last 21 yards of the game. Not only did the offense get going, but the defense stiffened. D-lineman DJ Samuels made his presence known, along with Fiore and others.
Teams such as Bergen get notice for their Power-5/Division 1 prospects and rightfully so. But players such as Fiore make their presence known, as he does a lot on defense as a linebacker. When I asked head coach Vito Campanile about his being an unsung player, he replied “he may be unsung to those outside the program, but not to us. He is a winner and does everything the right way.” Fiore is a very good high school football player that every team needs, along with other BC players such as two-way lineman Dominick Brogna.
St. Joe’s was impressive, but could not stay with Bergen for four quarters. They should be commended for presenting a big challenge and they are a better team than they were in their opener.
Bergen Catholic head coach Vito Campanile – “We said at halftime that all great teams have been challenged. We needed to get tougher. We always want the other team to reach their breaking point and it took a long time for St. Joe’s to reach theirs.”