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PREVIEW: Bergen Catholic vs. St. Joseph Regional (NJ)

September 25, 2013

PALISADES PARK, NJ – The Bergen Catholic Crusaders and the St. Joseph Regional Green Knights are set for a monster showdown on Saturday at 7 p.m. (EST) at Overpeck Park Complex as the centerpiece of the 2013 Bergen County Fair. Over 7,000 fans will witness a game that’s part of the 2013 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the U.S. Marine Corps and Hibbett Sports.

The Crusaders and the Green Knights are two of the better programs in the state and are both coming off stellar seasons. The Crusaders went 8-4 and came up just short of winning their first state title since 2004, losing 37-34 to Paramus Catholic. They trailed 14-0 but took a lead with under 2 minutes, but they couldn’t hold on and lost in the Non-Public Group 4 state final game.

The Green Knights, on the other hand, finished 10-2 and blasted Delbarton 37-9 to win the Non-Public Group 3 title. It was their second straight title and 16th overall (10 since 2000).

Bergen Catholic, which also has 16 state titles, is coached by Nunzio Campanile and is ranked in the top 100 in the country by It’s 1-2 right now with a win over Utah’s Jordan (56-26) and losses to Louisiana’s John Curtis (24-13) and Nevada’s Bishop Gorman (20-17) in its last game. All three of those teams won state titles last season and are nationally ranked.

St. Joseph Regional, coached by Tony Karcich, is 2-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state. It has big wins over Maryland’s DeMatha (42-14) and Florida’s New Smyrna Beach (49-13).

There will be plenty of Division I talent when these two teams meet up, as Bergen Catholic features Garrett Dickerson (Michigan, Northwestern, Stanford), Kurt Holuba (Duke, Florida State, Stanford, Wisconsin), Cameron Quiero (Northwestern) and St. Joseph Regional features Quai Jefferson (UMass), Kevin Wilkins (Boston College, UConn, Maryland, UCF), Sherman Alston (Boston College).

The Green Knights won last season’s meeting 38-37 in overtime after blowing a 21-0 lead. A missed PAT by the Crusaders was the difference. Bergen Catholic leads the all-time series 28-15.

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.