|VIDEO: Paramus Catholic does it again, beats Don Bosco in semi|
Call it magic, voodoo or just clutch play. Whatever the reason, Paramus Catholic continues to have the number of Don Bosco Prep, and as a result the Paladins are once again headed to MetLife Stadium.
Paramus Catholic defeated the Ironmen for the sixth consecutive time, this one a 35-29 victory in the Non-Public Group IV state finals. The Paladins survived a Hail Mary attempt at the end to hold on and advance to the state finals for the fourth time in five years.
This game featured a crazy second quarter that saw multiple momentum shifts and 44 total points scored. Paramus Catholic emerged with a 28-23 halftime lead.
The Paladins extended that margin late in the third quarter, only to see Don Bosco strike right back to cut the lead to six. The Ironmen had several possessions in the final period, but the Paramus Catholic defense came up with the critical stops.
Quarterback Andrew Brito made the Paramus Catholic offense go, rushing for 165 yards and passing for 149 and one touchdown. Alijah Jackson had 115 rushing yards and scored the first two touchdowns as the Paladins grabbed an early 14-0 lead.
Jonathan Clark added 50 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Javon Turner had 73 yards receiving, while Matthew Zelaya caught four passes for 59 yards and a score.
Freshman Jalen Berger had a big first half for Don Bosco, scoring twice as the Ironmen rallied to make it a game. Berger ended up with 13 carries for 170 yards.
Tommy DeVito completed 16-of-27 passes for 205 yards and one touchdown, a 53-yarder to Kevin Brennan. Brennan had 75 receiving yards and John McGuire added 50 yards on four catches.
Fourth-seeded Don Bosco also scored on defense, a 40-yard interception return by Gavin Sharkey.
The Ironmen finish at 6-5 after a strange football season that included three out-of-state defeats. The only New Jersey school to defeat Don Bosco was Paramus Catholic, which won both meetings.
Paramus Catholic, the top seed, improves to 9-2. The Paladins will meet third seed St. Peter's Prep in the Non-Public Group IV finals on Friday, December 2 at MetLife Stadium.
Those two teams played in both the 2013 and 2014 finals, with each side winning once. They also met earlier this season, with Paramus Catholic pulling out a win on a late touchdown.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school state playoff football semifinal game, click play in the box at left.