Bergen Catholic turns in dominant showing to win 1st sectional title in 13 years by Chris Iseman of The Record
EAST RUTHERFORD — Bergen Catholic was dominant from the start.
The Crusaders made big plays on both sides of the ball. They were balanced and efficient on offense, stifling and overwhelming on defense.
When the final second fell off the clock, the wait for a sectional title was over.
The top-seeded Crusaders turned in an outstanding performance to beat No. 2 St. Peter’s Prep, 44-7, in the Non-Public Group 4 final Friday night at MetLife Stadium.
With the convincing victory, Bergen Catholic claimed its first sectional title since 2004.
Johnny Langan, headed for Boston College, had one more stellar showing to cap off his high school career. Senior defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste also was outstanding to register three sacks.
“This game obviously was very special to me, state championship, my last game ever playing in the red and gold,” Langan said. “I just came out here on a mission and I was not going to be denied.”
The Crusaders started off strong.
They ran the ball effectively on their opening drive and Langan had a nice 20-yard pass to Tyler Devera. Bergen Catholic also got some help from two offsides penalties against the Marauders.
The drive ended with Langan running for a five-yard touchdown and Bergen Catholic kept it going from there, pulling off whatever it tried.
“We finished that drive, it was a phenomenal drive,” coach Nunzio Campanile said. “We just kind of were able to stay after it and we were pedal to the medal the whole time.”
That included Anthony Corbin running 54 yards for a touchdown on a fake punt in the third quarter.
Josh McKenzie capped Bergen Catholic’s scoring with a 36-yard touchdown run less than a minute into the fourth.
Opening up the playbook: The Crusaders used some trickery for their second touchdown as Langan threw a short pass to Dylan Classi, who pitched out to Rahmir Johnson.
Johnson then ran the ball 13 yards into the end zone.
Clutch play: After Michael Kearney kicked a 20-yard field goal early in the second quarter, Cade McDermott forced a fumble on the ensuing kick return and Isaiah Givens recovered for the Crusaders at St. Peter’s Prep’s 33.
That possession ended with Langan scoring on a six-yard run.
Key defensive play: The Marauders finally put together a solid drive in the second quarter and managed to get into the red zone.
But that’s where their drive stalled as Bergen Catholic’s defense clamped down.
The Marauders had fourth-and-7 at the 18 when Maynor threw into the end zone.
Shayne Butler batted down the pass to force St. Peter’s Prep to turn the ball over on downs.
Penalties, penalties, penalties: From the start of the game, St. Peter’s Prep hurt itself with penalties.
The Marauders committed a big one late in the second quarter.
On third-and-15 near midfield, Shayne Simon intercepted a Crusaders pass but it was negated because he was called for pass interference.
That gave Bergen Catholic a first down.
The drive ended with Langan hitting Devera for a five-yard scoring pass, which gave the Crusaders a 31-0 lead at halftime