Both the Bergen Catholic Crusaders and the St. Joe Regional Green Knights enter Friday’s game with a 4-1 record. The Crusaders are ranked #1 in the state of New Jersey while the Green Knights are ranked #2. This rivalry game comes packed with future collegiate athletes, who have gained attention from universities like UCLA, Pitt, and Ohio State.
Look for Javontae Jean-Baptiste to keep the Crusaders’ defense locked while Matt Alaimo aims to push the Green Knights’ offense to big numbers. After a 41-30 loss to Bergen Catholic in 2017, St. Joe Regional hopes to best the #1 team in NJ Friday night.
St. Joe's Regional
Jake (middle right) is a two-year starter at center and has been a tremendous asset to the team. During the game, Jake makes all the calls and is the leader of the offensive line. Jake currently has a99 in all Honors and AP courses. He has been inducted into both the National and Spanish Honor society. Jake has garnered interest from schools in both the Patriot League as well as the Nescac.
JR (middle left) is a captain and two-year starter for Bergen Catholic defending state champion football team. He is also a member of the national champion wresting team and throws shot put and discus in the spring. JR is a member of student government and student ambassador program, red, and gold club. He is an AP scholar and member of the national honor society. JR hopes to study finance at either Princeton Columbia or John Hopkins
HALL OF FAME
St. Joe's Regional
Karcich graduated from Hackensack High School, where he was an all-county linebacker, and Syracuse University. He graduated from Syracuse in 1969. Karcich stepped down as athletic director at the school at the end of last school year. He served as head football coach for 29 years (1985-2013), winning 17 state titles and finished with a North Jersey best 338 victories. He also has four former players in the NFL.
Eric made a big splash as he entered the rivalry his senior year during the 1991 state final and carried 13 times for 136 yards, scoring the game sealing touchdown with a run deep in the fourth quarter. He went on to play running back at Tennessee with football royalty, Peyton Manning. After a professional stint with the New York Giants, Eric returned to Tennessee and obtained JD-MBA degrees. He entered Bergen Catholics hall of fame in 2010.
With a come from behind victory against St. Joe's Regional on Saturday afternoon, Bergen Catholic could very well find themselves at the top of the rankings in the state of New Jersey next week. St. Joe's held a 20-10 lead at halftime and were looking the dominant team, but after the break Bergen Catholic came out with a purpose. The offense got going, scoring one touchdown early in the 2nd half to make it 20-17 St. Joe's. Patience and a strong defense in the 2nd half helped Bergen Catholic remain in the game until they scored the winning touchdown late on to eventually win the game 24-20.
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