Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bergen Catholic rolls over St. Joseph (Mont.)

Bergen Catholic
(5 - 2 - 0) November 7th, 2009
2 p.m.

St. Joseph (Mont.)
Montvale, NJ
St. Joseph (Mont.)
(6 - 2 - 0)
28 7

Bergen Catholic 28, St. Joseph (Mont.) 7 (High school Football scores and results)
The Star Ledger, November 07, 2009 7:36 p.m.

There were many outstanding performers on defense for Bergen Catholic yesterday, but none better than senior linebackers Brendan McGovern and Sam Shirak.

McGovern scored the first touchdown and Shirak was all over the field, especially in the opponent's backfield, when Bergen Catholic, No. 6 in The Star-Ledger top 20, scored early and then coasted to a 28-7 victory over its rival, ninth-ranked St. Joseph, in Montvale.

Both powers will now prepare for the state playoffs that open this coming weekend. Bergen Catholic has qualified in Non-Public, Group 4 and St. Joseph will play in the Non-Public, Group 3 field.

St. Joseph quarterback Devin O'Connor was harassed and hurried all afternoon and sacked seven times. Shirak collected two and a half sacks and eight tackles, McGovern collected eight tackles and a sack, linebacker Doug Rigg and end Chris Bush collected one and a half sacks and lineman Hunter Kiselick recorded a sack and an interception.

``They have a great team. And every time we play St. Joe's we have to prepare for a battle,'' McGovern said. ``We had to shut down their skilled players (runner Kamal) Hogan and O'Connor. We did a lot of blitzing and didn't let O'Connor get comfortable in the backfield.''

O'Connor was sacked for minus 51 yards and passed for 130 yards and Hogan rushed for 103 of his team's 113 yards. He also had a touchdown.

On St. Joseph's first drive, it moved to the Bergen Catholic 31 but fumbled and McGovern scooped it up in stride and dashed 65 yards for the touchdown with 6:33 left in the first period. Mike Halligan kicked the extra point.

On Bergen Catholic's first drive, it moved 80 yards in just six plays. Spencer Kulcsar caught a 25-yard pass from Mike Halligan before Rigg raced for a 44-yard score.

The defenses dominated in the second period. The team from Oradell grabbed a 21-0 advantage on its initial push in the second half as it marched 63 yards in eight maneuvers. Three passes by Halligan totaling 25 yards helped advance the ball to the 36. From there, Kulcsar motored around the left side for a score.

But St. Joseph responded with a touchdown after Hogan returned the kickoff to the 34 and a 15-yard horse collar penalty brought the ball to the 49. Hogan churned out all the yardage on four carries including the final 15 to the end zone. Jason Checke followed with the kick.

The Montvale team made things interesting in the fourth quarter as it went 45 yards to the 13. But Shirak sacked O'Connor for a 9-yard loss and Rigg and Chris Bush combined to bring down the quarterback for a 5-yard loss on fourth down.

St. Joseph got the ball back but not for long as Kiselick intercepted a pass at the middle of the field and brought it back 22 yards for a score.

``We have a lot of quickness on defense and didn't let them get to the outside,'' Shirak said. ``We worked hard to prepare for this game and this put us back in the big three (with Don Bosco Prep and St. Peter's Prep). I can't wait for the state playoffs to start.''

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
St. Joseph (Mont.) (6-2) 0 0 7 0 7
Bergen Catholic (7-2) 14 0 7 7 28First Quarter

Bergen Catholic: Brendan McGovern 65 fumble return (Mike Halligan kick)

Bergen Catholic: Doug Rigg 44 run (Mike Halligan kick)

Third Quarter

Bergen Catholic: Spencer Kulcsar 36 run (Mike Halligan kick)

St. Joseph (Mont.): Kamal Hogan 15 run (Jason Checke kick)

Fourth Quarter

Bergen Catholic: Hunter Kiselick 22 interception return (Mike Halligan kick)


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