Bergen Catholic celebrates its 2023 NJSIAA Non-Public A championship
Beregn Catholic celebrates its third consecutive Non-Public A championship. (Photo by Andee Fagan - JSN)

Bergen Catholic completes the three-peat in NJSIAA Non-Public A Final win over Delbarton

The Bergen Catholic Crusaders(11-1) cruised past the Delbarton Green Wave(10-2) 24-14 in the Non-Public A Final at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Bergen Catholic won their third consecutive state championship title.

Bergen Catholic rolled past Donovan Catholic 42-13 in the semifinals. On the flipside, Delbarton dispatched Seton Hall Prep 38-23.

In the first quarter, the Crusaders benefitted from an extended kickoff return by Anthony Perrotti to the Green Wave 32-yard line. They were able to move the ball inside the red zone. Once at the t10-yard line, running back Kaj Sanders took the handoff and barreled straight through for the score.

The Crusaders wasted no time widening their advantage as running back Dante Kain powered into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown.

However, Delbarton responded late in the quarter. With an excellent starting field position in Crusaders' territory, Green Wave running back Philip Folmar exploded through a line of players and scampered past the goal line for the 12-yard score.

Folmar made his presence known again in the second quarter, crashing into the end zone for the one-yard touchdown that tied the game up at 14-14.

Once the third quarter got underway, the Crusaders regained their composure and found a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. Bergen Catholic jumped back in front 21-14 on an 11-yard score by Sanders.

Bergen Catholic stretched out the lead to 24-14 late in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard field goal from kicker Guytano Bartolomeo. The Crusaders' defense was dominant in the second half, forcing a turnover on downs with an incomplete pass that sealed the victory and three-peat for Bergen Catholic.

As the final whistle sounded, the Crusaders doused head coach Vito Campanile with a bucket of water, and players and coaches streamed onto the field to celebrate along with the Bergen Catholic fans and Crusader Crazies in the stands.