Bergen Catholic
Photo Credit: John Hund

Bergen Catholic delivers early knockout blows, pummels Paul VI in the Non-Public A Quarterfinals

The Bergen Catholic Crusaders(9-1) hosted the Paul VI Eagles(8-2) in the Non-Public A Quarterfinals at Jack McGovern Field(Bergen Catholic High School) in Oradell, New Jersey.

Bergen Catholic received a bye in the first round of the tournament. Meanwhile, Paul VI defeated Notre Dame in a shootout as running back Matt Morad produced a magnificent performance, rushing for 336 yards and five touchdowns.

The Crusaders got on the scoreboard first with six and a half minutes left in the opening quarter, with quarterback Dominic Campanile slinging a two-yard pass to tight end Matthew Daly, making it 7-0 Bergen Catholic.

After the Crusaders' defense forced the Eagles offense to punt the ball away, the Bergen Catholic offense started at their 36-yard line with five minutes remaining. Crusaders running back Kaj Sanders churned out chunks of yardage on the ground that moved the ball into Paul VI territory.

On second and ten at the Eagles' 34-yard line, Dominic Campanile unleashed a pass down the left side of the field and in stride to wide receiver Quincy Porter, who stretched out for the ball and glided into the end zone for the score that expanded the Bergen Catholic advantage with less than three minutes remaining.

Campanile and Porter connected on another scoring pass early in the second quarter. He completed a pass to Porter near the right sidelines at Paul VI's end of the field. Porter reeled in the catch, then skillfully evaded a couple of defensive players and muscled his way into the end zone for the 28-yard touchdown that widened the Crusaders' lead to 21-0 with 11:50 left in the half.

With less than five minutes left, the Campanile and Porter dynamic duo were back in business. Campanile connected on a pass to Porter in the flat, then Porter masterfully shook off one defensive player with the ball in one hand, then busted through an open line and sprinted towards the end zone for the 35-yard score that stretched out the Bergen Catholic lead to 28-0.

The Eagles' offense benefitted from working with a short field when the second half kicked off as the Paul VI special team's unit recovered an onsides kick.

An offsides call assessed against the Crusaders' defense on fourth down kept the drive alive. However, on a third down play at the 37-yard line, Eagles quarterback Dominick Santiago attempted a deep pass that Bergen Catholic defensive back Naiim Parrish intercepted.

The Crusaders' offense was backed up deep in their end due to a penalty on Parrish's pick. That was no problem as Campanile found his favorite target in Porter for a 33-yard pass.

Once in Paul VI territory, the Bergen Catholic offense utilized the running and passing game to advance the ball. On second down at the 24-yard line, Campanile flipped the ball to wide receiver Anthony Perrotti, then Perrotti darted, weaved through traffic, and scampered into the end zone for the 21-yard touchdown with less than five minutes left.

The Eagles had a couple of opportunities to put up points, but the Crusaders defense led by secondary denied that fact. First, defensive back Ethan Cothall backpedaling on a deep pass made a remarkable catch on the interception in the fourth quarter.

Bergen Catholic defensive back Joshua Cruz put a stamp on the 35-0 dominating win picking off a pass in the end zone to end the game.


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