Catholic Bergen fights against St. Joseph
ORADELL – Style points? Not really. More points? This was the important thing for Catholic Bergen.
The Crusaders got off to a slow start to pass the St. Joseph Regional, 21-10, on Saturday afternoon on the Jack McGovern field in the final helmet game in one of North Jersey’s best rivalries.
Bergen Catholic, ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Network New Jersey poll, is 7-0.
The Green Knights led 10-0 early in the second quarter, but the Crusaders responded with two touchdowns and 111 yards from senior running back Ryan Butler and a stunning 17-yard touchdown caught and executed by Christian Carti.
âI don’t attach much importance to style points. I’m betting on victory, âsaid Catholic Bergen coach Vito Campanile. âI’ve coached in this game five times and five out of five, and I’m sure the next five, it always comes down to tenacity, winning the line of scrimmage and executing the ball strong and having courage in the game. watch shift. “
âThis is what you come to Catholic Bergen for,â Carti said. âWhen you can be downcast and fight through adversity. That’s what a team is for.
What this means
This is the first victory in what the Campanile has called a “three week war” for the Crusaders. Bergen Catholic will face Seton Hall Prep on the road next week and then finish the regular season with St. Peter’s Prep.
The Crusaders showed they can win on Saturday without necessarily playing their best. They had three touchdowns recalled due to penalties, but they physically equaled the Green Knights and ultimately exhausted them.
âThey’ve always been like that, we hate them, they hate us,â Carti said. “But we love how physical they are.”
The Green Knights are now 4-3 and next host Don Bosco Prep in a game with big implications for the playoff standings. The Green Knights defense was fabulous – Jimmy Mullen and Jack Smiechowski each made big plays – but the offense struggled after a hot start.
Carti B Good
Leading 14-10 in the fourth quarter, Bergen Catholic faced third and -15 at St. Joe’s 17. At the time, a field goal wouldn’t have provided much cushion, so Santino Correa decided.
At least that’s what Campanile said, honoring its senior receiver.
âSantino called the room,â Campanile said. âSteve [Angeli] Said he liked it and what we did was trap Jimmy [Mullen] because he’s so good and we got into the perimeter.
The game was designed for Carti to catch a quick hitch in the flat and tackle the Green Knights’ defensive back one-on-one. Carti broke the tackle and rushed into the end zone for the grueling score.
âI had to finish,â Carti said. “I kind of think it was the change of momentum.”
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With a minute to go in the first quarter, officials mistakenly picked up the ball to stop play and marked the quarter over. Due to the glare on the dashboard, it was difficult to see. The officials quickly corrected their mistake and the game resumed.
Just before Butler’s touchdown in the second quarter, Bergen Catholic President Dr Scott Mahoney took to the pitch to speak to officials. A black towel had come off in the previous game and Mahoney said he was concerned that part of the grass had torn.
Bergen Catholic star defensive lineman Sydir Mitchell left the game with a first-half injury but returned to action.
Bergen Catholic will face Seton Hall Prep. This is the school where Campanile was before training the Crusaders. He said it’s always emotional to train against the Pirates.
âI am proud of what they do,â Campanile said. âIt’s emotional in a good way. Bishop Kelly [at Seton Hall Prep] is one of the most important people in my life.
The Green Knights will welcome Don Bosco on Saturday at the Karcich pitch in Montvale.
Darren Cooper is a high school sports columnist for NorthJersey.com. For full access to live scores, the latest news and analysis from our Varsity Aces team, subscribe today. To get the latest news straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter and download our app.
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