Red Bank Catholic celebrates its 2023 NJSIAA Non-Public B Championship
Red Bank Catholic celebrates its 2023 Non-Pubic B championship. (Photo by Andee Fagan - JSN)

Red Bank Catholic wins rubber match of the NJSIAA Non-Public B state trilogy against DePaul Catholic

The Red Bank Catholic Caseys (10-1) defeated the DePaul Catholic Spartans (6-6) 14-7  in the NJSIAA Non-Public B Final at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Red Bank Catholic cruised past Holy Spirit 35-21 in the semifinals. Meanwhile, DePaul Catholic edged past St. Thomas Aquinas 13-10.

The Caseys and Spartans faced each other for the third consecutive year in the Non-Public B state championship game. Red Bank Catholic was victorious in 2021, 13-8, while DePaul Catholic exacted revenge last year 19-10.

DePaul Catholic received the opening kickoff and started their first offensive possession at the 32-yard line. A pass interference call against Red Bank Catholic moved the ball to near midfield.

The Spartans faced a fourth and 11 at the Casey's 28-yard, but managed to keep the drive alive due to a 23-yard pass from quarterback Derek Zammit to running back Nolan James Jr.

DePaul Catholic ran the ball the first three times, but could only advance it to the one-yard line. Facing a fourth and goal, Zammit punctuated the drive by plowing straight ahead into the end zone that capped off a 13-play drive chewing up over six minutes of the clock.

Red Bank Catholic commenced at the 21-yard line with their first offensive series. The Caseys pounded the rock by running the ball on three consecutive plays. A roughing of the passer penalty called against DePaul Catholic pushed the ball into Spartans' territory.

On second down and three at the DePaul Catholic 24-yard line, quarterback Frankie Williams connected on a touchdown pass to wide receiver Emmanuel Ross with three minutes remaining.

Late in the first quarter, the Red Bank Catholic got the ball back at their 28-yard line after a Spartans' punt. The Caseys found immense success with the running tandem of Frankie Williams and running back Luke Wassef.

In the second quarter, Red Bank Catholic was in DePaul Catholic territory. A pass interference call assessed against the Spartans placed the ball on the 12-yard line.

On first down, Williams took the snap then rolled out of the pocket to his right, and just before stepping out of bounds, lofted a pass to a wide-open Wassef in the end zone that finished off an outstanding 12-play, 72-yard drive that lasted five and half minutes.

The second half was a defensive battle, with punts exchanged on both sides. DePaul Catholic had one last opportunity to tie the game up late, but an incomplete pass turned the ball over on downs.

The Caseys were able to run the clock out as they won their second Non-Public B state championship in the last two years and set off a jubilant celebration on the field and in the Red Bank Catholic stands.

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