The St. Joseph Green Knights will battle the Bergen Catholic Crusaders in a showdown of nationally ranked teams this Saturday. The Green Knights enter Saturday’s matchup ranked #69 in the nation, while the Crusaders enter as the #13 team in the nation. Bergen Catholic won last year’s rivalry battle, 30-17, and leads the all-time series 28-14. These 2 teams faced each other in the 1998 state finals. Bergen Catholic won the game 35-9 in front of the largest crowd in state finals history in New Jersey.
Bergen Catholic finished the 2011 season with an 8-3 record overall. The Crusaders will return senior Jon Germano at quarterback. Germano passed for 2,359 yards and 31 touchdowns last season. The 2,359 yards set a new single season record at Bergen Catholic. Senior James Dawson will lead the Crusaders running game at running back. Dawson is looking to become the first 1,000 yard rusher at Bergen Catholic since 2007. Senior John Feaster will be Dawson’s backup. The Crusaders will have a tough time replacing senior John Tsimis at wide receiver. Tsimis went down with a knee injury in May that has him sidelined for this season. Tsimis is currently signed to play at Rutgers University. Seniors JJ Kulcsar and Kyle Queiro will line up at the wide receiver positions. Queiro is currently ranked as the #42 overall athlete on rivals.com. He is committed to play at Northwestern. Kulcsar will give Germano a deep play threat while Queiro will use his jumping ability and incredible hands to catch toss-up balls in the redzone. Juniors Garrett Dickerson and Kurt Holuba will anchor a formidable defensive line. Dickerson and Holuba are 2 of the best defensive ends in the entire state. Senior Danny Grasso will return at middle linebacker for the Crusaders while Kyle Queiro will line up as safety to go along with his offensive duties.
The St. Joseph Green Knights went 10-2 in 2011 on their way to a Non-Public Group 3 title. The core of the 2011 team is back for the Green Knights, who enter the 2012 season as the favorites to repeat as Class 3 champions. Junior Spencer Aukamp returns as quarterback for the Green Knights. Aukamp put up 189 passing yards to go with 2 touchdowns in the Green Knights romping of Xaverian, one of the best teams in Massachusetts. Quai Jefferson is now starting at running back after senior Jeff Farina was injured in the Good Counsel game earlier this season. Jefferson filled in well last weekend, rushing for 120 yards and 2 scores. Senior Ricky Jeune returns at wide receiver for St. Joseph. Jeune is ranked as the #90 wide receiver in the country and is currently fielding offers from Boston College, UCONN, Kansas and Purdue amongst other schools. The offensive line will feature returning starters in senior guard Joel Campo, junior guard James McNerney and senior center Shawn Flaherty. Seniors Tyler Zoltowski and Troy Kay will anchor the defensive line while junior free safety Mark Fossati helps round out an intimidating secondary for the Green Knights.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @AmericanRivalry and to follow our Facebook page for info and updates on the Great American Rivalry Series