In the biggest game of Friday night, the nationally top-ranked Don Bosco Ironmen (4-0) hosted Oradell's very own Bergen Catholic Crusaders (2-2) at Granatell Stadium in Ramsey. And the Ironmen have kept their undefeated record with a 33-22 win with two huge interceptions by Kyle Sarkowski.
The senior wide receiver picked off passes from Jon Germano to John Tsimis twice in the same quarter, to put the Ironmen into Bergen's territory. Mike Yankovich combined with Jabrill Peppers and Elijah Shumate following the first interception for the lead with Shumate fighting through the middle. Shumate then stretched over the far left corner seven minutes later on the next drive to secure the win.
But up until the final quarter, Bergen was leading on and off with the Ironmen plagued by three turnovers and several penalties. Germano connected with John Tsimis and Ryan Finkel for each of the Bergen touchdowns. And filling in the space were Justin Kulscar, Chucky Wingate and James Dawson.
In the third, Wingate put Bergen into position so that Kulscar and Dawson could have some running room to the red zone. Germano threw down the middle to Ryan Finkel to tie. Devine kicked the extra point to take the lead.
An opening kick-off return by Leonte Carroo of 96 yards that could have been a touchdown was negated by a holding flag and forcing the Ironmen back to their own 35. Yankovich connected with Jabrill Peppers three times and Kyle Sankowski to one yard shy of the fourth down. But the sophomore Peppers was able to wiggles his way to a fourth down on the next play.
The Ironmen may have taken the lead in the second, 21-15, but the field belonged to Germano and Tsimis connecting in the end zone. Tsimis caught an 8-yard pass in the end zone going up and over Yuri Wright's head to split a pair of Bosco TD's.
Leonte Carroo put the Ironmen on the board in the first few seconds of the second quarter as Bosco started from Bergen's own 17-yard line. Two drives later Jabrill Peppers gave Bosco the lead on a 56-yard solo run down the side line.
Bosco secured their lead when Elijah Shumate did a 6-yard quick step on fourth and goal. Carroo connected on back-to-back throws from Yankovich putting his squad in the red zone. Yankovich was scrambled out of the pocket for a toss to Shumate just inside the 1-yard but was taken down by Wingate and the rest of the red and gold defense.
Bergen struck first with a pass to Tsimis and then kicker Austin Devine faked the PAT and instead converted to a run for two.
Next Saturday, Oct. 8 the rivals will both be at Fordham in the 2011 State Pride Challenge triple-header: Bergen vs. Friendship Academy at noon, St. Peters vs Ursuline at 3pm, and Bosco vs. St. Edwards at 6pm.
Tickets are $20 and will cover all three games.
If you missed the game, catch the broadcast on MSG Varsity iO channel 14 which will be rebroadcast Saturday 9am on Sunday 12pm.