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PREVIEW: St. Joseph Regional vs. Don Bosco Prep (NJ)

November 25, 2013

MONTVALE, NJ – The St. Joseph Regional Green Knights can get one step closer to a perfect season when they face the Don Bosco Prep Ironmen on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. (EST) More than 8,000 fans are expected at St. Joseph Regional High School for a game that’s part of the 2013 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the U.S. Marine Corps and Hibbett Sports.

St. Joseph Regional is ranked No. 1 in the state and top-5 nationally and is currently 9-0 with two games left on the schedule and a possible fifth straight state title on the horizon. St. Joseph Regional beat Don Bosco Prep 20-10 last season, snapping Prep’s 61-game winning streak against New Jersey schools and a seven-game losing skid in the series.

The Green Knights, who went 10-2 under coach Tony Karcich last season, are coming off a 28-7 win over Red Bank Catholic in the NJSIAA/Atlantic Health Non-Public, Group 3 semifinals. Senior quarterback Spencer Aukamp threw for 165 yards and rushed for two scores, while senior back Sherman Alston had 116 total yards and a TD in the win.

The Greg Toal-coached Ironmen, who went 8-3 last season, lost to Paramus Catholic 21-20 in the NJSIAA/Atlantic Health Non-Public, Group 4 semifinals in their last game. They missed a field goal as time expired for their first loss in the series since 1999. Senior Frank Nutile threw for 148 yards and a TD, while senior back Elijah Ibitokun-hanks rushed for 114 yards.

St. Joseph Regional (16) and Don Bosco Prep (eight) have combined for 24 state titles since the Non-Public playoffs began in 1993. St. Joseph Regional has won four in a row, while Don Bosco Prep has won six in the last seven years.

Plenty of Division I talent will be on display as St. Joseph Regional features Alston (Boston College), senior receiver Quai Jefferson (UMass) and senior offensive lineman Kevin Wilkins (Boston College, UConn, Maryland, UCF), while Don Bosco Prep has Nutile (Temple), senior tight end Tommy Sweeney (Boston College), senior offensive linemen Tyrell Smith (Virginia Tech) and Kevin Feder (Miami) and junior linebacker Anthony Malaguti (Rutgers, Penn State, Virginia).

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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.